Manila, July 18 (IANS) Hundreds of young students took to the streets here on Tuesday to slam the drug war initiated by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
Students from the all-girls Saint Scholastica College in Manila marched to show opposition to Duterte’s brutal campaign against drug dealers and users, reports Efe news.
Christine Pinto, a Catholic nun at the school, said that almost 1,000 students aged nine to 16 joined the protest, though only those who secured permission from their parents joined in.
“We encourage them to make a statement but of course we need their parents’ permission. This institute has always been for social justice. For the truth, for freedom and that’s what we teach to our students,” she said.
Many students carried cardboard placards with messages such as “Youth Resist”, “Stop the killings” and “EJK (extrajudicial killings) is not OK”.
Duterte, who was elected on a tough anti-crime platform, has faced wide-ranging criticism for his war on drugs, both from his compatriots and from foreign organisations.
Philippine government data released last month states that some 3,100 people linked to drug trafficking have been killed since Duterte took office on June 30, 2016.
However, Human Rights Watch puts the figure much higher at more than 7,000, and attributes the higher number to vigilantes acting with impunity.
But Duterte remains popular among Filipinos, with the results of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) poll released on July 10 showing some 78 per cent of Filipino adults approve of his performance.
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