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Dying Democracy: A Public Forum on the War on Drugs and the Human Rights Si...

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Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand

แขวง ลุมพินี, กรุงเทพมหานคร 10330

Thailand

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In 2016, Rodrigo Duterte won the Philippine National Elections under the campaign of eliminating crime and corruption. His promise was to wage a war against drugs, tagging it as the main menace that plagued the country. After 13 months since he was sworn into office, there are now documented deaths of over 13,000 Filipinos, with over 8,000 under ‘investigation’. In recent weeks, the killings have escalated to an alarming rate. In the province of Bulacan, 32 deaths were recorded in the evening of August 14, alone.

This campaign promise has resulted in impunity and abuse of law enforcement authorities, vigilante killings, and unlawful witch-hunts, which mainly target impoverished, marginalized and vulnerable communities. The war on drugs has now morphed into a war against human rights and war against the poor. The spate of killings in the Philippines and the concerted efforts to intimidate and silence human rights defenders and advocates call for widespread mass actions and initiatives, not just in the Philippines, but all over the world.

Filipinos in Thailand can play a role in helping put an end to these killings. Over the years, Filipinos in Thailand were able to respond to burning issues via photo and solidarity actions. While these have helped in rendering visibility and garnering support and solidarity, the current situation requires so much more.

Thailand is a hub for foreign journalists. It is the only country in the region that has a university that hosts a human rights programme in Southeast Asia, and is home to several regional and international organisations working on human rights, peace and development.

In this regard, we, concerned Filipinos in Thailand, are organising a public forum on October 5, from 6:00 -8:00 pm at the Foreign Correspondents Club Thailand (FCCT) in Bangkok.

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Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand

แขวง ลุมพินี, กรุงเทพมหานคร 10330

Thailand

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