Back in August, I wrote an article about Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. Nicknamed The Punisher, Duterte has sanctioned murder as an acceptable method to solve the Filipino drug problem. Thousands have already been killed with no end in sight. Ordinary citizens, stiffled by the economic conditions in the country, have turned into hitmen. Many have taken to the streets to collect payments for the murder of “drug dealers.” The government approved contracts that reportedly pay 15,000-20,000 Filipino pesos each, or $323-$431 USD.
In the past, Duterte has outright said, “I don’t care about human rights.” In October, regarding the massacre in the Philippines, he said, “you can expect 20,000 or 30,000 more.”
The New York Times recently did a full-featured article with excellent images about this human rights abomination. You can view it here for more information and first-hand accounts.
Massacre in the Philippines – A Humanitarian Crisis
In what has become an all-too-common scene in the Philippines, people of all ages are being killed for suspected drug use. One victim of a stray bullet was as young as five. Filipino citizens are often being kidnapped by groups of masked men or vigilantes on motorbikes. Their bodies turn up sometime later, often in alleys. There has also been an unusually high number of cases where citizens have been killed by the police for “resisting arrest.” Reports are varied, but it is estimated that at least 3,500 people have been murdered so far. Many have been carried out by hit squads: often a pair of people on bikes, who kill right in the street. Some people have even been killed in their own homes.
The New York Times documented 57 homicides in a 35 day span. This may not even account for every murder in that time period too. Based on reports by New York Times reporter, Daniel Berehulak, he sounded as if he was so busy going from crime scene to crime scene that he hardly had time to do anything else. He stated,” I witnessed bloody scenes just about everywhere imaginable- on the sidewalk, on train tracks, in front of a girls’ school, outside 7-Eleven stores and a McDonald’s restaurant, across bedroom mattresses and living-room sofas.
He also stated that many bodies were found on the streets with their heads wrapped in packing tape. Others were left with crude cardboard signs labeling victims as dealers or addicts. The accuracy of the charges is nearly impossible to authenticate.
Massacre in the Philippines – Duterte’s Policies
Duterte certainly has made his policies clear for all to see and he doesn’t seem concerned with what anyone else thinks about the massacre in the Philippines. He has joked about the pope, insulted other foreign leaders, joked about rape and murder, and defended the murder of drug addicts. In a televised speech on August 7th, he said, “my mouth has no due process.’
According to the BBC, in September, he launched an obscenity-filled rant toward the EU and showed Brussels his well-used middle finger. In addition, in one of the most offensive and also inaccurate statements imaginable, Duterte also praised Adolf Hitler by saying he would, “kill as many addicts as Hitler did Jews.” Duterte also compared his violent drug war to the Holocaust saying, “Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there is three million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them. At least Germany had Hitler.”