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    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he answers questions from reporters during a press conference

    Philippine Ruling Bloc's Senators Call for Probe Into Killings in 'War on Drugs'

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    Several members of the Philippine Senate's majority bloc called for the investigation into the recent killings of suspects in anti-drug operations as part of President Rodrigo Duterte's "war on drugs" policy, local media reported Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Philstar news outlet reported that the senator's condemnation of the killings was the rare instance of the parliamentarians from the majority bloc speaking against the authorities' activities.

    The media added that 32 suspects had been killed during several simultaneous police operations in the country's Bulacan province on Tuesday. In another raid in Manila, at least 20 people have been killed, according to Thursday's news reports.

    Duterte launched his large-scale anti-drug campaign known as the "war on drugs" in June 2016. The campaign has been widely criticized by international community and human rights watchdogs over brutality and extra-judicial killings. According to Human Rights Watch, over 7,000 suspected drug users and dealers have been killed by Philippine National Police officers or unknown gunmen since the launch of the policy.

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    killings, war on drugs, Rodrigo Duterte, Philippines
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