Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Filipino president Duterte marks one year in power as it emerges 5,000 people have died and police have arrested more than 80,000 during his brutal war on drugs

By Scott Campbell

Daily Mail
June 25, 2017

Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte has marked a year in power with 5,000 people killed and 80,000 arrested in his brutal war on drugs.

The outspoken politician took power at the end of June last year vowing to halt substance abuse and lawlessness that he saw as 'symptoms of virulent social disease'.

Government officials claim that crime has dropped because of his campaign with thousands of drug dealers behind bars.

They say that a million users have also registered for treatment and future generations of Filipinos are being protected.

Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde said: 'There are thousands of people who are being killed, yes. There are millions who live, see?'

n the first 11 months of Duterte's rule, police say 3,155 suspects were shot dead in anti-drug operations.

Police say they have investigated a further 2,000 drug-related killings, and have yet to identify a motive in at least another 7,000 murders and homicides.

But a growing chorus of critics including human rights activists, lawyers and the country's influential Catholic Church dispute the authorities' claims of success.

They say police have summarily executed drug suspects with impunity, terrorising poorer communities and exacerbating the lawlessnesss.

In the Navotas fishing district there were nine killings in a single night earlier this month.

Local resident Mary Joy Royo said a dozen gunmen arrived on motorbikes and abducted her mother and stepfather.

Their corpses were found later with execution-style gunshots to the head and torso.

She said: 'They should be targeting the drug lords. The victims of the drug war are the poor people.'

Filipino priest Amado Picardal said: 'This president behaves as if he is above the law - that he is the law. He has ignored the rule of law and human rights.'

Critics say the death toll is far above the 5,000 that police have identified as either drug-related killings or suspects shot dead during police operations.

Most victims are small-time users and dealers while the masterminds behind the lucrative drug trade are largely unknown and at large, it is claimed.

In October, the Hague-based International Criminal Court said it could investigate the killings if they were 'committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population.'

Police operations were halted for much of February after it emerged that anti-drug police abducted and killed a South Korean businessman last year, but the outcry over the rising body count has rarely slowed the killing or led to prosecutions.

The Philippine Commission on Human Rights is investigating 680 drug-war killings.

Chito Gascon, the commission's chairman, said: 'In this country the basic problem is impunity. No one is ever held to account for the worst violations. Ever.'

Police chief Albayalde says that the force's Internal Affairs Service (IAS) investigates all allegations of abuse by his officers.

He added: 'We do not tolerate senseless killings. We do not just kill anybody.'

Indeed, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency's own data suggests crystal meth has become even cheaper in Manila.

In July 2016, a gram of the substance cost 1,200-11,000 pesos (£19-£172), according to official figures - while last month a gram cost 1,000-15,000 pesos (£16-£234).

Gloria Lai of the International Drug Policy Consortium said: 'If prices have fallen, it's an indication that enforcement actions have not been effective.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Compare Duterte’s war on drugs with our war on drugs. Duterte comes down as hard on the users as on the dealers. The idea is to reduce, if not eliminate, the market for illegal drugs by getting the users off the street. Much of that war is fought in the poor communities.

In the U.S., we weep and wail about ruining the future of users if they are arrested. And if we concentrate our fight in those communities where illegal drugs are most prevalent, we are accused of racial discrimination against blacks. President Obama released drug offenders, mostly dealers, from federal prisons by commuting their sentences. The DEA is not going after the growers and suppliers of marijuana in those states where pot is legal. Instead of getting the users off the streets, we go after the dealers, thereby leaving a market to serve the insatiable hunger Americans have for illegal drugs. But when the drug kingpins get taken down, whether here or in Mexico, they are quickly replaced by underlings.

The Filipinos are fighting a take-no-prisoners war on drugs and winning decisively. While we too are winning the war on drugs, there is no end in sight because of the way we are fighting it.

1 comment:

bob walsh said...

Homie don't play.