A bill filed at the House of Representatives that allows the presumption of guilt on drug suspects is “a dangerous disregard for human rights guarantees under domestic and international law,” Amnesty International (AI) said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
Butch Olano, AI section director, also said lower chamber approving House Bill No. 7184 on third and final reading on Tuesday was also an “alarming knee-jerk reaction” to the shootout between members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) that left two police officers, two PDEA agents, and a PDEA informant dead.
“HB 7814 further encourages arbitrary arrest and detention of drug suspects and will likely facilitate the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment,” Olano said.
“The lack of judicial supervision that the bill endorses would practically allow security forces to commit further human rights violations with increasing impunity,” he added.
“Given its implications, especially in the context where thousands upon thousands have already been killed in the ‘war on drugs’, this bill is an alarming knee-jerk reaction to the PNP-PDEA ‘misencounter’ that is more an issue of government intelligence-gathering and protocols than of the law,” he added.AI called on the House to withdraw HB 7814. SOVEREIGNPH