“It is a personal and official insult,” said Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s criticism of his war on drugs … a campaign which has seen more than 12,000 people killed, according to Human Rights Watch — 2,555 of them by the Philippine National Police.
“It angers me when you are a foreigner, you do not know what exactly is happening in this country,” Duterte fumed. “You don’t even investigate.”
Actually, thanks to the work of human rights groups, we have a pretty good idea of what’s going on in the Philippines — and the picture is chilling. “If I make it to the presidential palace,” Duterte declared during his presidential campaign, “I will do just what I did as mayor [of Davao City]. You drug pushers, holdup men and do-nothings, you better get out because I’ll kill you.”
Shortly after coming to power, Duterte extended the threat to users: “There’s three million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them.” High-ranking police officials claimed that police subsequently received cash bounties for executing drug suspects, planted evidence at crime scenes and orchestrated killings by vigilante groups — murders which sometimes came at the rate of dozens in a single night, mostly in poor neighborhoods.
Duterte’s war has killed children, too — and not always inadvertently. In August 2017, the murder of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos — a youth whose family claims had no involvement whatsoever in the drug trade — outraged the nation. Church leaders decreed that church bells would ring every 15 minutes for three months to protest the extrajudicial killings, while some of Duterte’s political allies broke ranks and signed a resolution condemning “the recent spate of abuses by police resulting in excessive and unnecessary deaths in the conduct of the campaign against drugs.”
Duterte met with the parents of the slain teenager — but while addressing the boy’s funeral he vowed that if people resist arrest violently, “the military, you are free to kill the idiots.”
Read the full article on iPolitics.