By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — The British ambassador to the Philippines and the president of the Saint Louis University (SLU) said that human rights and the rule of law should be upheld in addressing the illegal drugs problem in the country.
Daniel Pruce, the British ambassador to the Philippines, said his country has already expressed their concerns about how the present Philippine government’s campaign against illegal drugs and highlighted the importance of adhering to the rule of law and to the commitment to uphold human rights.
Fr. Gilbert Sales, SLU president, seconded Pruce’s statment. “All of us believe in the rule of law and basic human rights of each person and as a Catholic university especially here in the Northern Luzon, that is our strong belief, that we hope that in all these that human rights and also the rule of law is always adhered to,” he said.
The Catholic church has openly criticized the Duterte administration for all the extrajudicial killings that resulted from its war on illegal drugs.
More than 12,000, including minors have already been killed since the Duterte administration waged its war on illegal drugs in 2016. The administration has recently re-launched its “tokhang” operations despite the protests and criticisms from human rights groups and institutions in the country and abroad and even with the ongoing investigations being conducted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Pruce said that like the Philippines, the United Kingadom also has illegal drug problems. He said that the UK government deals with their illegal drug problem with combined law enforcement, community based rehabilitation and appropriate interventions. But in all these approaches, the rule of law is adhered to and human rights are respected. Pruce said that if the Philippine government is willing, he will share their experiences at addressing the illegal drug problem in the UK. He was in Baguio to promote an education program partnership with local universities as part of the celebration of the British Festival in the country. # nordis.net