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Luyao, Cyril Joy E.



TO: Ryan Jeremiah D. Quan, J.D., LL.M.

FROM: Cyril Joy E. Luyao
RE: Justifying extrajudicial killings through anti-crime and anti-drug campaigns
DATE: August 24, 2016

Question Presented:
Do the anti-crime and anti-drug campaigns of the present administration justify
extrajudicial killings?

Short answer:
No. It is not moral to resort to violence even if it will help in the anti-crime and
anti-drug campaigns of the present administration.

Statement of facts:

Hundreds of drug dealers and pushers have been killed over the past few months,
and these deaths are attributed to the ongoing campaign of the government against crime
and illegal drugs. According to Inquirers Kill List, 729 drug suspects have been killed
either by police or unidentified vigilante since Duterte assumed office.

Extrajudicial killing is defined as a deliberated killing not authorized by a

previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial
guarantees, which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples. Sinaltrainal v.
Coca-Cola Co., 578 F.3d 1252 (11th Cir. Fla. 2009) Extrajudicial punishments are mostly
seen by humanity to be unethical, since they bypass the due process of the legal
jurisdiction in which they occur.

All these killings of alleged or tagged drug pushers are clearly violating laws from
the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines such as:
Article III Section 1: No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or
property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the
equal protections of laws.

Article III Section 12 (2): No torture, force, violence, threat,

intimidation, or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used
against him. Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other
similar forms of detention are prohibited.

Article III Section 14.

(1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due
processof law.
(2) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed innocent
until the contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the right to be heard by
himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation against him, to have a speedy, impartial, and public trial, to
meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure
the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence in his behalf.
However, after arraignment, trial may proceed notwithstanding the
absence of the accused provided that he has been duly notified and his
failure to appear is unjustifiable.


As the administrations anti-crime and anti-drugs campaign continues, the number

of dead bodies continues to increase. All these alleged drug suspects are killed without
having a chance to explain and undergo the due process. Mere suspicion or accusation is
enough to kill those tagged drug pushers. Some even call these phenomenon as a
cardboard justice because of the cardboard with the sign drug pusher ako, wag
tularan attached to the bodies of the alleged drug suspects. The family of the victims
would cry out for help but would get nothing in return because of the label that they have
already claimed, their relative is a criminal.

Rather than producing a community that can live together in peace, this campaign
is even making a more violent society for the residents. It may be reducing the number of

drug users or pushers in our country but it is clearly disregarding life and the human
rights of the suspects. Instead of feeling safer, people are now more scared to go at night
afraid that someone will just shoot them, assuming that they are a drug pusher or user.
This whole campaign might be successful through the eyes of the administration but if
you would look at it through our laws, it is clearly wrong. It is wrong and unlawful to kill
an alleged criminal or an alleged drug user without proper judgment.

Allegations of drug-trafficking offences should be judged in a court of law, not

by gunmen on the streets, said UN special rapporteurs Agnes Callamard and Dainius
Puras in a statement. Fighting illegal drugs must be carried out in a framework that values
and respects human rights. The administration should keep in mind that they should
develop a system that will uphold the due process and sees drugs or any crime as
something that must be addressed fairly and not violently.

All these rampant killing are in contrast with the obligation of the government to
ensure that no one is deprived of life and liberty without due process of law. We could
end the war against drugs or crime without having to put an end to a life of a person. Is it
not right to resort to killing a suspected criminal or a suspected drug user without letting
that person undergo the due process. The administration should not take justice and law
into their own hands. It is also clear that they are violating certain laws that are provided
in the 1987 Constitution and that fact alone is enough to prove the this anti-drug or anticrime campaign is not enough to justify all the extrajudicial killings that are happening
here in our country.


Our country faces not only problems related to crimes or drugs. Other crimes,
conspiracy, corruption are included in the long list of problems that we are facing and we
are yet to solve. And if our goal as of the moment is to stop the usage of drugs or spread
of crimes, killing of criminals, or alleged criminals, without due process should not be
included in our options. There is a reason why death penalty is removed as a punishment
for criminals. Therefore, it is not right to bring it back unofficially just because the
administration is promoting it. Extrajudicial killings in our country have gone on for too
long and yet it still remains to be unsolved. It is the same with drugs and other crimes,
those issues have been our problem for too long but it is still unsolved. I am strongly
against extrajudicial killings, even if it helps in the war against drugs and crimes.

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