Newsbrief: Philippine Official Asks End to Vigilante Killings of Drug Dealers, Users 5/10/02

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Davao City Human Rights Commissioner Dominador Calamba II demanded on May 4 that local government officials in Mindinao province stop the vigilante killing of alleged drug dealers and users and gang members, the Philippine Star reported this week. At least 40 minors have been killed by vigilantes in the region since 1999, the newspaper reported. A task force to look into the killings was announced last year, but has not presented any findings, the paper said.

"Let them stop the killings because they are counterproductive," Calamba said in remarks aimed at local government officials. "Vigilante killing is a crime and it mars the peace and order." Calamba said it was impossible that local officials did not know who was behind the killings, which they apparently tolerated. "I even believe that these killers are paid to execute their missions," he said.

In March, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, chair of the Regional Peace and Order Council, accused Digos City Mayor Arsenio Latasa of involvement in the killings. According to a report in Sunstar Davao, a local news service, Duterte accused Latasa of hiring a band of "notorious killers, some of them police scalawags," to liquidate drug dealers in the area.

Latasa denied the charge, saying he couldn't afford to hire vigilantes.

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Issue #236, 5/10/02 Editorial: Unsafe Streets | Leading Education, Civil Rights, and Drug Policy Organizations Urge Congress to Repeal HEA Drug Provision in Full | Congressional Drug and Terrorism Expert Says Legalization Could Cut Crime | Needle Exchange Not Playing Well in Peoria | Philadelphia Trying to Quash Open-Air Drug Markets With Massive Police Presence | In Hartford, Neighborhood Drug Fighters and Drug Reformers Inhabit Parallel Universes | Million Marijuana March Hits 200 Cities Worldwide, Major Arrests Only in NYC | Patient's Hunger Strike for Medical Cannabis Enters Fourth Week | Newsbrief: FDA Okays Marijuana Hair Test, Would Detect Up to Three Months | Newsbrief: German Heroin Deaths Decline After Safe Injection Sites Introduced | Newsbrief: South Dakota Hemp Petition Signatures Submitted, Seeds Planted | Newsbrief: Philippine Official Asks End to Vigilante Killings of Drug Dealers, Users | Newsbrief: Canadian Senate Panel Hints at Marijuana Legalization | NPR and Reuters on HEA and SSDP | The Reformer's Calendar

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