Students, various groups protest summary killings

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Activists lie on the ground outside the Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City to protest the rampant summary executions in the country, Aug. 31, 2016. (Photo: Maria Tan)

MANILA, Sept. 1, 2016— Students, faith leaders, and civil society groups prayed and lit candles yesterday, Aug. 31, in protest against the spate of killings in relation to President Duterte’s war on illegal narcotics.

Held in different parts of Metro Manila on Wednesday evening, the activities were led by the newly-formed Stop the Killings Network as it raised the alarm over the rising number of drug-related killings in the country.

At the Dominican-run Colegio San Juan De Letran in Manila, hundreds of students prayed the rosary for peace and lit candles for the victims of summary executions and other crimes.

Letran Student Council President Samantha Marcellana said they support the fight against criminal activities, but stressed the rule of law must be observed.

‘Like a plague’

She said recent killings are “like a plague infecting the minds” of many people in and outside the country.

“Let us all unite for peace. Let us all be one in formulating a positive change,” said Marcellana, a senior Communication student.

Other “light for life” activities were also held at the Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City, Baclaran Church in Parañaque City, Monumento Circle in Caloocan City, People’s Park in Valenzuela City, and at the Alabang Public Market in Muntinlupa City.

Similar activities were also held in various churches, communities and workplaces all over Metro Manila.

According to the Stop the Killings Network, the Duterte administration must act to stop the killing of suspected drug pushers and users.

Students hold candles for the victims of extrajudicial killings and other crimes around the country during the "Light for Life" held outside the Colegio de San Juan De Letran in Intramuros, Manila, Aug. 31, 2016. (R. Lagarde/CBCPNews)

More future events

“We unite to demand an end to the killings in the name of war on drugs. Justice and due process must be upheld. Human rights must by no means be violated,” it said.

The multisectoral group also asked the authorities to investigate and prosecute the masterminds of the illegal drug trade, including their protectors and the perpetrators of summary executions.

“Let us not allow the solution to the drug problem constitute a forsaking of democratic processes and an abandonment of our humanity,” it said.

The network also vows to stage a series of activities in various churches, schools, communities, workplaces, and in other areas in the days to come to raise awareness and encourage more people to join the crusade to protect life. (CBCPNews) 

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