Statement Calling for a Senate Investigation Into the Death of Kian Loyd Delos Santos and Overhaul of the Government’s Anti-Drugs Campaign
We, the undersigned academics, teachers, analysts and researchers are issuing this joint statement to call on the Senate to open an investigation into the death of seventeen-year-old Grade 11 student Kian Loyd Delos Santos.
Kian Loyd is among a growing number of children and youth who have been killed as a result of the government’s anti-drugs campaign. The long and still growing list includes 4-year-old Althea Barbon of Negros Occidental, and two 5-year-old children–Danica May Garcia, an honor student from Pangasinan, as well as Francisco Manosca, who was gunned down with his father in Pasay City.
Whether killed by police, or murdered, allegedly, by unknown assailants, the senseless deaths of so many of our youth and thousands of our citizens are a signal of the worsening environment of violence and lawlessness that now threatens the very communities that the anti-drugs campaign was supposed to protect.
We are deeply alarmed by the growing divide within communities as Barangay leaders are asked to draw up lists of suspected drugs affected citizens who are then identified, rounded up, and in many cases later killed in either police operations or by unknown assailants.
We also note the evidence of continuous influx of illegal drugs into the country, notably from China. We are alarmed that too much attention has been given to punishing small-time drug users and pushers, but little has been done to prevent big-time drug smugglers from continuing to flood the country with illegal drugs.
We call on the Senate to investigate and consider the urgent need for a complete overhaul of the government’s anti-drugs campaign. Any such campaign should protect instead of harm our children and youth, include target interventions on the main sources of drugs, and value the rights of all Filipino citizens under a strong rule of law.
We recommend alternative and more evidence based strategies and policies to combat drugs. We urge government to place a greater focus on the root causes of drug use, the root sources of drug supply in the country, and the root issues of poverty and corruption that have aggravated the drug problem.
We emphasize, in particular the need for nonviolent, humane, holistic, health-based and community-based approaches to address drug addiction, as well as information and education campaigns to protect young people from falling prey to the menace of drug addiction.
We urge everyone not to forget the main reason why the country needed an anti-drugs campaign in the first place – to protect our citizens, particularly our children and youth, from harm.
- Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC, President, De La Salle Philippines
- Dionisio M. Miranda, SVD, President, University of San Carlos
- Rhonda Padilla, PhD, President, Panpacific University North Philippines
Urdaneta City, Pangasinan
- Br. Raymundo B. Suplido FSC, President, De La Salle University -Manila
- Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ, President, Ateneo de Manila University
- Margarita Acosta, PhD, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Miriam College
- Fernando T. Aldaba, PhD, Dean, School of Social Sciences, Ateneo de Manila University
- Rosario Margarita Aligada, Dean, College of Education, Miriam College
- Josephini Ambatali, SFIC, Dean, Arts and Sciences, St. Joseph’s College Quezon City
- Rodolfo P. Ang, MBA, Dean, Ateneo Graduate School of Business
… and 410 others.