Duterte links 150 judges and politicians to drugs

Cheryl Sanders
August 8, 2016

Sereno also warned that Duterte's naming of the judges may endanger their lives, considering the rash of extrajudicial killings of people suspected to be involved in the illegal drugs trade.

President Rodrigo Duterte reveals at least 157 names of those allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade during his visit to the Naval Station Felix Apolinario in Panacan, Davao City on Sunday, August 7, 2016.

"I'll really have you killed".

Carlos said more are expected to report in to the police later on Monday.

He justified his reading of the list, saying he has a sworn duty to inform the public about the state of "narco-politics" in the country.

In the case of illegal killings, Duterte said the government will investigate.

While Duterte's recent war on drugs has drawn major criticism [Aljazeera report] from worldwide human rights groups due to his extreme methods, Duterte claims that he must fulfill his duty to end the "pandemic" of drug abuse despite the risk of violating human rights. The judges he named were ordered to report to the Supreme Court.

Hours later, two mayors on the list, one from Iloilo and another from Bulacan, turned themselves in to police, denying any involvement in the drug trade.

Wednesday, more than 300 organizations from around the world released a joint letter calling on the United Nations drug control agencies to break their silence on the killings in the Philippines and to urge Duterte's administration to put an immediate halt to its lethal anti-drug campaign. Even how untrue this accusation is, should this be the way and the necessary step to win the war against drugs, I will fully cooperate with the authorities to immediately clear my name and we trust that we will be given the opportunity to present our side and prove our innocence.

"The President is encouraging all of the persons of interest, the alleged drug lords and drug coddlers to come out in the open, to surrender themselves and submit themselves to thorough investigation", he told reporters.

"I do not care", he said. "That is all it takes for me to stand up and say "enough", Archbishop Socrates Villegas said in a message read at all Catholic masses in his archdiocese.

Responding to the reports of vigilante killings, Vice President Leni Robredo, who is from a different political party than Duterte and has traditionally been a defender of human rights, said: "There have been a few voices already out there against extrajudicial killings, but I think that public outcry is not there yet".

But Duterte has scoffed at criticisms of his leadership. While police claim that more than 500,000 people have surrendered to local authorities and pledged to stop using illegal drugs many are extremely critical of Duterte's methods which involve an order to "shoot to kill".

In expressing concern over the judges' safety, Sereno wrote: "Thus this Court has been careful, all too aware that more often than not, a good reputation is the primary badge of credibility and the only legacy that many of our judges can leave behind".

They included eight judges, as well as five retired and current generals.

Other reports by iNewsToday