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Lacson: Compensation for 'collateral damage' in drug war
Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson said that innocent victims on the government's war on drugs must be compensated. Twitter/Ping Lacson
MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, chair of the Senate committee on public order, wants the government to compensate the “collaterals” in its war against illegal drugs.
Lacson aired his proposal through his Twitter account Friday, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that innocent lives were also taken.
“Unintended killings or collateral damage, especially the ‘slippers’ victims of the government's anti-drug war, must at least be compensated,” the senator posted. 'Slippers' refer to the poor, who make up the bulk of those killed in drug raids and in unsolved vigilante killings.
Duterte, in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN on Thursday, apologized for the unintended deaths since the government launched its campaign against illegal drugs in July.
“I would admit there were killings that were really unintended, like the children who were caught in a crossfire. Collateral damage, and I’m sorry,” the president said.
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Since the start of the war on drugs, 2,165 supposed drug personalities have been killed in police operations. Police have said that these deaths were caused by suspects choosing to shoot it out with police. Around 4,000 have also been killed by unknown attackers. The authorities have blamed the deaths on vigilantes and on drug syndicates going after each other and "cleansing" their ranks.
Duterte, who said he would eliminate drugs and crime within six months before asking for a six-month extension on the deadline, said the war is far from over.
“Until the last pusher is out of the street, I’ll be very frank with you, until the last drug lord is killed, this campaign will continue until the very last day of my term,” he said.
Earlier this month, Lacson slammed what he said was a double standard in the war on drugs by the administration after Duterte admitted that he ordered the reinstatement of Superintendent Marvin Marcos as Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief in Region 8.
Marcos was relieved by Philippine National Police Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa after receiving information that the CIDG-8 head was involved in illegal drugs. Marcos was reinstated on the same day that he was relieved.
“I thought it was an all-out drug war I was supporting. Talk about double-standard. Talk about double-speak," the senator said last December 3.
"Change isn’t coming after all,” he added.