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The Philipinnes: War Against the Poor

De Jong, Alex

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/11/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is responsible for a so-called "war on drugs" that is costing thousands of lives and is increasingly concentrating power in his own hands.



Campaigning for the elections that made him president, Rodrigo Roa Duterte promised to eradicate crime. He promised to be ruthless and kept his promise. One year into his presidency, thousands have been killed in his "war on drugs." The victims of this war are either killed "resisting arrest" or are murdered by unknown assassins.

Local journalists and human rights activists report how police execute people in their homes and plant evidence. According to reports, the anonymous assassins are mostly cops or are paid by them. The budget for cash rewards to cops who have "rendered extraordinary service" ballooned.

In his speeches, Duterte encourages cops to plant evidence and kill suspects, and promises to protect cops from prosecution.

Nobody knows how many have been killed. Based on news reports, activists estimate that the number of dead could exceed 10,000. The victims are almost always the poor: pedicab drivers, street peddlers, scavengers. Economically and socially marginalized, they are killed with impunity.

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