The banality of bloodshed

 By: Joel Ruiz Butuyan More than 6,000 people have been killed because of alleged links to illegal drugs since Rodrigo Duterte became president in July 2016. That’s 1,000 corpses per month, or 33 per day. More than 4,000 of those killed were victims of outright murder committed by masked vigilantes. That’s 670 victims of murder […] More →

Bigger fear of crooked cops

 By: Joel Ruiz Butuyan THERE’S A disconnect in the war of words between President Duterte and his critics in the ongoing campaign against illegal drugs. His critics are condemning the means employed, while the President is defending the goal he seeks to achieve. The goal is to cleanse the country of illegal drugs. The means […] More →

‘If fear is contagious, so is courage’

 By: Joel Ruiz Butuyan It was the most impressive delivery of justice I have witnessed in my more than two decades of being a lawyer. The families of four garbage collectors who were killed and a vegetable vendor who survived, were given permanent protection from four policemen who perpetrated the killings under the guise of […] More →

The cruel, the fearful, and the brave

 By: Joel Ruiz Butuyan After 7,000 deaths, the first case initiated on behalf of victims of “Operation Tokhang” was filed in the Supreme Court on Jan. 26. The case involved the killing of four men and the near-fatal shooting of another by Quezon City policemen in August 2016. There are three notable groups of people […] More →

Open season for killing

 By: Joel Ruiz Butuyan The killing last month of Mayor Rolando Espinosa of Albuera, Leyte, and his fellow inmate Raul Yap inside a Leyte provincial jail is the most brazen incident of murder perpetrated by police officers in recent memory. Espinosa and Yap were killed by a group of 24 policemen led by Supt. Marvin […] More →

No ‘presumption of regularity’ in police killings

 By: Joel Ruiz Butuyan IT’S A mantra that top government officials keep chanting: Police killings enjoy a presumption of regularity. This mantra is used in answer to voices of protest when someone is killed by police under suspicious circumstances, such as when an arrested suspect is killed inside a police car for allegedly attempting to […] More →

Duterte blames the abused, not the abuser

 By: Joel Ruiz Butuyan PRESIDENT DUTERTE recently declared that he would work for the abolition of the party-list system because the rich abuse it in complete “mockery of the law.” If abuse by the rich is the criterion for the abolition of public institutions, then Mr. Duterte should work for the abolition of Congress in […] More →

Extrajudicial killings as crime against humanity

 By: Joel Ruiz Butuyan A TOTAL of 3,257 extrajudicial killings (EJKs) were committed during the Marcos dictatorship. In contrast, there were 805 drug-related fatalities from May 10 (when Rodrigo Duterte emerged winner of the presidential election) to Aug. 12, per the Inquirer count. If the current rate continues, the total number of EJKs for the […] More →