Students protest killings with noise barrage

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Dubbed #ShoutForLife, students of St. Paul University-Manila come together and created noise to call for an end to summary executions on Sept. 30. (Photo: Roy Lagarde)

MANILA, Oct. 1, 2016— Students of a Catholic school staged a noise barrage on Friday, Sept. 30, to protest drug-related killings in the country.

Dubbed #ShoutForLife, students of St. Paul University-Manila come together and created noise to call for an end to summary executions.
Organized by the Pro-Life Paulinians and Stop The Killings Network, the students called on the Duterte administration to do “significant actions” to stop the summary killings of suspected drug pushers and users.

“As Catholics, these killings are not okay for us, said Nica Dominique Ondoy, Pro-Life Paulinians president.

Useless justice system

They called on the Duterte government to observe due process in its “war on drugs”.

“We want due process. Being not proven guilty of crimes makes the justice system, the courts, the judges and lawyers, useless,” stressed Ondoy.

“But how can we attain this if these people are killed in the so-called process which is the extrajudicial killings?” she said. “What this country needs is restorative justice and not the outright killings of people.”

The students made noise by shouting “No to Killings” with most of them holding placards reading “Though Shall not Kill”. They also tied red ribbons outside their campus along Pedro Gil Street.

Sanctity of life

Ondoy added, the demonstration also aims to create an awareness on the sanctity of human life and that everyone can be a victim of summary executions.

Since Duterte assumed the presidency in June, there have been over 3,500 deaths linked to his fight against drugs — both from legitimate police operations and summary executions.

Yesterday’s rally is part of a series of activities being organized by the Stop the Killings Network which has been calling on Duterte “to do significant actions” to stop the killings.

“We are one with the people who want an end to the drug menace in the country. But no amount of killings is bound to end this problem,” said Cora Agovida, the network’s spokesperson.

Socio-economic roots

The best way, she said, to solve the drug menace is to address the socio-economic roots of the problem.

“The Duterte administration has yet to produce jobs, end contractulization, improve social services, provide free or affordable decent homes to the homeless and informal settlers and distribute land to the tiller-farmers, to make the majority of Filipinos productive and positive contributors to nation-building,” Agovida said.

The group reiterated its position that the Duterte administration has yet to lay down and enforce long-term solutions to end the drug scourge.

“Poverty must be ended, not the lives of the poor,” Agovida said, adding that there must be education, rehabilitation, and livelihood to protect or rehabilitate people after involvement in illegal drugs. (CBCPNews) 

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