Senators Leila de Lima and Alan Peter Cayetano discussed their opposite point of views in an exclusive interview with CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour this Tuesday, August 30. The two senators were interviewed separately, as they tackle the reports of extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the Philippines. Watch the video below.
Cayetano, who was the running mate of President Rodrigo Duterte in the recent presidential elections, was asked about his comments to critics (such as the United Nations) who are worried about the ongoing intensified war of the PNP (Philippine National Police) against illegal drugs, particularly the alleged violation of international human rights law.
“There is a very big, big problem in the Philippines which is the drug situation. Families don’t feel safe…we have 3 to 7 million Filipinos who are hooked on drugs, 3 million are addicted…what do we tell to the critics? Please come here, don’t just read the reports, because they are people out to discredit him (President Duterte)” Sen Cayetano said.
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According to Cayetano, there are people who are using the term “extrajudicial killings” and “summary executions” very loosely, adding that the Duterte administration values the sanctity of life, noting that Filipinos are very religious people. Amanpour then showed him some figures of drug suspects who have been killed by police and unknown suspects.
Later, it was the turn for Senator Leila de Lima to air her side. Being a huge critic of President Duterte and who once led an investigation on reports of extrajudicial killings in Davao City when he was still the mayor, Amanpour ask her about Sen.Cayetano’s comment that there are really no extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the country.
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“How can anyone say that there are no extrajudicial killings?” Sen de Lima tells Christiane Amanpour, adding that she does not agree with the statements that there is also the same number of killings during the time of Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo and Noynoy Aquino. The neophyte senator suggests that President Duterte is on a personal vendetta against her.
Christiane Amanpour Interviews Sen Alan Peter Cayetano
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Christiane Amanpour Interviews Sen Leila de Lima
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In line with this, Amanpour asked de Lima on what she thinks is the best way to eliminate illegal drugs in the Philippines. According to the senator, there should really an intensified drive against illegal drugs but should minimize the killings. She admitted that there is still a lot to fix, including the criminal justice system and the efficiency of the law enforcement.
The full interview video will be aired on CNN Philippines, Wednesday, August 31, 5 pm.