by PhilRights Staff

Welcome to HR Insights, a weekly roundup of human rights news in the Philippines. This week…

Four-year-old hit by stray bullet, becomes another collateral damage of Philippines’ drug war

According to a Rappler report, four-year-old Skyler Abatayo had just finished doing his homework when he was hit by a stray bullet from a buy-bust operation on July 10 in Barangay Ermita, Cebu City.

Cops visited the area to confirm a pot and shabu session, but when they arrived in the supposed drug den, the suspects allegedly engaged the police in a shoot-out. One of the bullets went astray, taking Skyler’s life.

The police, however, were not able to capture the suspects as they already fled from the area.

Cebu City Police Office Senior Superintendent Royina Garma insisted that no one from the police who responded fired a gun. “Allegations nila ‘yon, pero based on the counselling and paraffin, walang nagpaputok sa tao ko,” said Garma in a phone call with Rappler.

Skyler Abatayo is just one of the increasing number of children killed during Duterte’s bloody drug war.

Sri Lanka to “replicate success” of Philippines’ war on drugs

After an almost half-a-century ban on issuing death sentences, The Guardian reported that Sri Lanka is now ready to execute drug offenders in the country, citing Philippines as its model for the drug war.

“We were told that the Philippines has been successful in deploying the army and dealing with this problem. We will try to replicate their success,” Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena mentioned.

Sri Lankan officials stated that that the country has an increasing number of drug-related incidents, thus the need for a drug war.

In a report by Manila Bulletin, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque told the media that the Palace is ‘happy’ that other countries are taking note of the Philippines’ “best practice on dealing with illegal drugs.”

Mayors, vice mayors killed under Duterte admin

At least 16 local officials were killed since the start of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term, Rappler reported.

Recent deaths include the shooting of Tawi-tawi town Vice Mayor Al Rashid Mohammad Ali on July 11 and Trece Martires Vice Mayor Alex Lubigan on July 07.

These deaths have created speculations, with some associating them to the governments’ anti-drug war and kill threats.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, however, mentioned that the president should not be blamed for these deaths since there are already cases of extrajudicial killings even before Duterte’s time. He even related that the killings may have been caused by the upcoming elections.

In the Rappler report, Roque said: “Whether or not we have the war on drugs, the killings would have happened especially now that we are nearing elections.”

View the list of officials killed under the Duterte admin here.

MUST READ: Con-Com draft Federal Constitution

The Consultative Committee (Con-Com) submitted their proposed federal constitution to President Rodrigo Duterte on July 9, CNN Philippines reported.

The federal constitution was drafted by the 22-member panel that Duterte formed to revise the 1987 Constitution.

As described by the Philippine News Agency, Duterte approved the federal constitution draft a few hours after receiving it, but requested to amend the transitory provision. Duterte will endorse the draft to Congress—the only government body with the power to amend the constitution.

You can review the complete draft of the federal constitution here.

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