According to research by the non-governmental organization Children’s Rehabilitation Center (CRC), at least 27 minors have been killed since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte began his war on drugs.
A report in CNN Philippines highlighted that children, especially from the poorest sectors of society, are vulnerable to violence related to the war on drugs.
Outrage over the killing of 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos has brought the issue of children and the war on drugs to light after CCTV footage captured the student being dragged by officers to an alley where he was found dead.
According to the report, 20 teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 have been killed by masked men, in police operations, or by stray bullets. Six kids under the age of 13 and two pregnant women have also been killed in drug related incidents.
Fifteen of the 27 minors were killed in Metro Manila, three were killed in other parts of Luzon, eight in Visayas, and two in Mindanao.
The CRC gathered data from local media reports on drug-related killings starting June 2016.
Despite assuring the public that police officers involved in Kian’s death would be investigated and prosecuted, Duterte said that they will not change any strategy in the campaign against drugs.
“I cannot back down there. If there is a mistake, if I am gone, you try to imagine a scene in which my plane crashes when I go home, who is in the best position to carry out the fight against drugs?” Duterte told Rappler during a media round table.
A senate panel is scheduled to investigate the police operation that led to Kian’s death tomorrow.