With the growing number of drug-related killings, human rights lawyers and those who opposed what they deemed as extrajudicial killings have spoken up. Litigation lawyer Raymond Fortun is one of them as he also said his piece on the matter with a Facebook post on August 2.
“My heart rejoiced and thanked God today, because THREE (3) columnists in the Philippine Daily Inquirer spoke against extrajudicial killings,” Fortun wrote.
“Let me make myself clear. I support the President’s war against drugs. I have never taken drugs, never sniffed a single stick of marijuana, and counsel my children incessantly about the dangers of drugs. And no, I do not want my family to be victims of some drug-crazed felon,” he added.
However, he scored the usual excuse about suspects trying to fight the authorities as a reason why they get shot and killed.
“But nobody is being fooled by the repetitive excuse, “nanlaban kaya binaril.” I’m sorry gentlemen. We are not stupid to believe that,” Fortun said.
He then went on to remind everyone about what the laws say on how criminals should be handled.
“Our laws say that criminals cannot be killed in cold blood. Criminals should be arrested, prosecuted and sent to jail,” he said.
As for drug users, Fortun wrote, “Truth is, our laws say that first-time drug offenders will be sent to drug rehab centers and NOT jail.”
He then warned about what might happen if the law enforcers themselves start to break the law themselves, leaving citizens like us as the losing party.
“I do not tolerate drug offenders; but neither can I tolerate law enforcers becoming law breakers. When that happens, who can we seek help from? Paano nyo kami matutulungan kung hindi namin kayo mapagkakatiwalaan?” Fortun said.
To further emphasize his stand against extrajudicial killings, Fortun quoted Dr. Jennifer Oreta, who he said has “views I fully agree with.”
“The problem, however, of a war not one’s own is that it can go either way. It is those who control the instruments of death who will decide where to bring the war. Those who have guns have the power. They can kill ANYONE and EVERYONE, and justify the kill with their “cardboard justice” – labels like “addict,” “pusher,” or “holdaper,” haphazardly written on cardboard and left on or beside the corpses of the victims to silence the public. No one knows if it’s true; the dead cannot defend themselves.
We, the bystanders and co-conspirators of this war, with our DELIBERATE SILENCE, CAN ONE DAY BECOME VICTIMS. While we collectively rejoice albeit silently, that the supposed scum of the earth are being mowed down, are we sure that we will not fall victim to “mistaken identity”? What if an envious neighbor concocts malicious stories about us – – who will defend us if we have already accepted vigilante justice as the filler in the law enforcement vacuum?
How many deaths will be enough for us to say “Enough!”?
Remember that the Holocaust happened with a few dead Jews per day, and that at the end of the war in 1945, 6 Million Jews were found to have been killed. THE HOLOCAUST HAPPENED BECAUSE PEOPLE CHOSE TO BE SILENT. When will we speak out?”
This is actually part of Oreta’s article published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer as a commentary on August 2, with the full article here.
If you pour over the comments, a heated debate ensues over the issue of extrajudicial killings, Duterte’s war on drugs, and cardboard justice, with Fortun actively engaging some of his commenters.
Here are some of the interesting exchanges in the comments section.
Cardboard killings were certainly discussed.
Someone pointed out how some of the killings are possibly done by the mafia, the drug operators, not by the law enforcers themselves, and others piped up about who to blame for vigilantism, which Fortun answered with this comment.
In one of his replies to commenters, Fortun once again expressed his support for Duterte’s anti-drug campaign, but emphasized that he opposed the “manner by which the same is implemented.”
As of writing, Fortun’s post has received over 2,770 shares, 5,100 reactions, and 115 comments.