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Events: Exorcising Terror, Exercising Freedoms: Screening and discussion revive War on Drugs conversations

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — In pursuit to revive the conversation on the continued extrajudicial killings (EJKs) even amid the pandemic, DAKILA and Active Vista, through We The Future PH, present Exorcising Terrors, Exercising Freedoms — a special screening of Alyx Ayn Carumpac’s documentary film on the war on drugs, Aswang (2019), and a forum on the drug-related violence in the country on June 5, 2021, 3:00-5:30 PM via Zoom. 

“For the past years under the Duterte administration, we have witnessed an onslaught of drug-related killings and violence in our country. Even amid the pandemic when our countrymen are already dying because of the health and economic crises, the violence perpetrated by the authorities and the EJKs continue and even worsen by 50% in the early months of the pandemic, according to Human Rights Watch report,DAKILA Communications Director Andrei Venal explains.

“We understand that these acts of violence seem lost in the public consciousness right now as everyone struggles to survive; but it is exactly in this reason why we see the need to revive the conversations on the drug war and continue demanding for justice, accountability, and policy change,” he added. 

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The screening of Aswang documentary will be followed by a discussion with Alyx Ayn Carumpac herself, Human Rights Watch’s Carlos Conde, and photojournalist Raffy Lerma, moderated by artist Adrienne Vergara and content creator Gab Campos and facilitated by StreetLawPH’s Atty. Karry Sison and Budit Carlos of Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA). 

The screening aims to remind the participants of the grim reality of the war on drugs campaign. At the same time, the forum highlights ways to achieve genuine justice as a nation both by seeking accountability and pushing for a harm reduction approach — a humane and human rights-based approach in addressing drug issues. 

“To achieve genuine justice and healing for us as a nation, we demand that all the architects and perpetrators of the drug war be held to account, either in local courts or international court. We also demand restorative justice and harm reduction approach by junking the current war on drugs and replacing it with policies that address the drug issues holistically, from its root causes to its effects on individuals and communities,” We The Future PH Youth Engagement Manager Madelene de Borja underscores. 

Participants may register at this link. The Aswang documentary will be accessible for all the event registrants a day before and after the forum. Meanwhile, toolkits on seeking justice and advocating for a harm reduction approach shall be available on We The Future PH website. 

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