SAN JOSE, CA — For these Filipino American activists, these lighted candles represent the thousands of lives snuffed out by President Rodrigo Duterte’s alleged drug war and from other human rights abuses in the Philippines.
They sent out this message as they gathered at the Holy Family Episcopal Church on Tuesday night – in commemoration of International Human Rights Day.
“It’s not right for people’s rights to be trampled on and I believe that in the Philippines, we need to look at the people who aren’t at the table. We need to organize,” said Jonathan Cabrera, Anakbayan De Anza.
According to Human Rights Watch, more than 7,000 people have died since President Duterte’s drug war began in 2016.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency brings down that number — saying that about 5,000 suspected drug users and dealers have died during police operations.
But these activists argued that the number of those killed has reached tens of thousands.