WE, at the Filipino Reporter, are pleased to note that two influential and highly-respected Filipino citizens in the native country have spoken about extrajudicial killings (EJK) and what can be done about it, adding their voices to both domestic and worldwide indignations on the inhuman practice under the Duterte Administration’s campaign against drugs.

In our previous editorials and columns, we have repeatedly brought up the EJK issue and the need to rehabilitate drug addicts by proper treatment, instead of the seeming need to kill them.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, earlier this week in an interview with Radio Veritas, “called on the Filipino people to defend and value human life amid a spate of so-called extrajudicial killings under the Duterte Administration.”

Cardinal Tagle, in the same interview, said that human life is sacred and all forms and means of human rights violations should be condemned.

He also cited the rising rates of abortion, unfair labor practices, and food waste, which he described as “a crime against human dignity.”

“Buhay ng kahit sino, hindi lamang buhay na gusto nating protektahan...Basta taong may buhay kahit sino pa siya, ang buhay na yun ay sagrado. Alam ko na ngayon na ang malaking usapin ay ang nagiging mga pagpatay, pero kahit nga guilty man o hindi guilty, ang buhay ay dapat alagaan at igalang,” the church prelate said.

(Translation: Anyone’s life, irrespective of who or what he or she is, is sacred. I understand that there is a big discussion on the killings, but even if they are guilty or not, human life should be respected and valued.)



In one of our earlier columns, we said that “every life is a gift from God and a right.”

We commend Cardinal Tagle for speaking out on the sensitive and important issue.

The other Filipino citizen who spoke this week was Vice President Leni Robredo.

She has condemned EJK last month.

Speaking before Bulakenos, she lamented the lack of rehabilitation element in the anti-drug campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“For me, we need a more holistic solution to drugs rather than be reactive all the time,” VP Robredo said in an interview.

Robredo has spoken out against the spate of extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers or users but maintains that the Office of the Vice President is “very supportive” of the government’s anti-drug campaign.

She proposed creating a comprehensive rehabilitation program in coordination with other concerned agencies and local governments pursuant to the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

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