192 alleged drug abusers killed and over 60,000 turned themselves into rehabilitation centers to avoid death.
Ever since Rodrigo Duterte’s landslide win for the Presidency in the Philippines, his commitment to a bloody war on drugs has resulted in a confirmed 192 deaths of major drug dealers in the city.
In a recent speech, President Duterte states:
“If you destroy my country, I will kill you. If you destroy our children, I will kill you. If I am asked by anybody, including the Commission on Human Rights, I do not know you”.
During a visit to police headquarters early this month, Mr. Duterte encouraged officers not to hold back.
“Do your duty, and if in the process you kill 1,000 persons because you were doing your duty, I will protect you,” he said.
In response, over 60,000 drug abusers have turned themselves in to authorities over the past three months in order to avoid being shot on the street. They’ve turned themselves in in such large numbers that rehabilitation centers are unable to cope with the influx of people.
In a speech late last month, Duterte spoke to a crowd of about 500 people, stating:
He has also given the Philippines’ 4,000 person strong communist rebel army legal rights to kill civilians without a trial.
In addition to the surrendered drug users, at least 43,000 alleged drug traffickers have been “neutralized”, with 300kg of the addictive methamphetamine “Shabu” confiscated.
“Forget the laws on human rights. If I make it to the presidential palace, I will do just what I did as mayor.”
“You drug pushers, hold-up men and do-nothings, you better go out. Because I’d kill you. I’ll dump all of you into Manila Bay, and fatten all the fish there.”
DRUGS IN EAST ASIA
According to a UN report, the Philippines has the highest abuse rate for methamphetamine hydrochloride, or “Shabu”, in East Asia. 2.1% of Filipinos between 16 and 64 were using the drug.
Philippine authorities have seized over 250 kilos of meth, valued at $68 million. While there has been a decline in industrial-sized laboratories based in the Philippines itself, they note that meth has been smuggled in through African-based airlines and in bulk through cargo shipments.
A VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Human rights lawyer Jose Manuel Diokno tells AFP that “[Duterte] has spawned a nuclear explosion of violence that is spiraling out of control and creating a nation without judges.”
Rene Saguisag, a former senator and prominent human rights lawyer has also criticized President Duterte’s harsh methods.
“Do we still probe and have a trial as part of due process? Useless, it seems to me,” Mr. Saguisag wrote in an online column last week.
Duterte has also come under fire by the Citizens Council on Human Rights (CCHR), who believe that anti-illegal drugs and criminality campaign is worsening violence and lawlessness in the country. They urge the government to stop killing suspected drug dealers and allow them the right to due process and a fair trial.
The United Nations shares the opinion of the CCHR, having stated that “people do not lose their human rights because they use drugs. Other major organizations such as the World Health Organization believe that drugs should be decriminalized and rehabilitated, which goes starkly against Duterte’s current violent stance.
President Duterte has promised to eradicate crime and corruption within 6 months of his presidency, using whatever tactics necessary.
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