Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took office last month with a pledge to unleash a deadly crackdown on drug users and other miscreants—and he’s sure delivered.
These words are no joke. As AFP reports, police in the Philippines have reported killing more than 200 drug suspects—an average of 11 per day—since Duterte took office. Local media put the toll far higher—counting the numerous bullet-ridden bodies that have been found on streets across the nation, probable extra-judicial executions. The Philippines’ ABS-CBN TV network counts 544 deaths since election day (some six weeks before the inauguration).
The officially recorded deaths were all supposedly in self-defense, but this claim should be viewed with skepticism in light of Duterte’s campaign promise to issue “shoot-to-kill” orders against “criminals,” and open boast that his crackdown would cost tens of thousands of lives.
In another tirade just days before the State of the Nation speech, Duterte blasted his critics in human rights groups as “bleeding hearts.” In open defiance, he crowed: “I am not afraid of human rights [concerns]. I will not allow my country to go to the dogs.” He even added, “I will retire with the reputation of Idi Amin,”—a reference to the late genocidal dictator of Uganda, who is believed to have killed some 100,000.
It has to be said that Duterte is playing his cards deftly. Even with his law-and-order stance, he was support from the left—playing to populsim, and emphasizing his humble origins in a country traditionally dominated by an oligarchic elite. He even appointed a labor minister who is a former left-wing guerilla fighter, and has declared a unilateral ceasefire with the communist rebels of the New People’s Army (NPA).
And at a time of tensions between the Philippines and China over contested waters, Duterte has turned to Beijing for drug war assisstance. Calling drugs “a common enemy of mankind,” the Chinese embassy in Manila said that the People’s Republic “has expressed explicitly to the new administration China’s willingness for effective cooperation in this regard, and would like to work out a specific plan of action with the Philippine side.” China, of course, has one of the world’s worst human rights records—especially where drugs are concerned.
photo: Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images
Family of Man Killed by Bulldozer After Growing Pot Sues Police
Ban on Smokable Medical Marijuana Officially Repealed in Florida
High Folks: Yareem Barnes-Ivey Balances the Two Worlds of Cannabis
The High Priestess: What to Smoke For Spring
Knowledgeable Dabbing: A Guide To Our Favorite Quartz Bangers
First Clinical Trial Of Cannabis For PTSD in Veterans Is Now Complete
Missouri Police Raid Hospital Room of Stage 4 Cancer Patient Using Cannabis
Oklahoma House Passes Medical Cannabis Protection Bill
News4 days ago
Indiana State Trooper Seizes $3.5 Million Worth of Cannabis, Vapes
News4 days ago
Colorado Researchers Seeking Volunteers to Get High and Drive
News5 days ago
Study Finds Medical Marijuana Alleviates Seniors’ Pain, Reduces Opioid Use
News6 days ago
Survey Shows 25% of Cannabis Users in Legal States Consume at Work
Legalization5 days ago
Breaking: Connecticut Lawmakers Unveil Plan to Legalize Marijuana
Culture4 days ago
The New “Miss Marijuana” Pageant Comes With Outdated Guidelines and Transphobia
News6 days ago
$2.5 Million Worth of Marijuana Seized at Philadelphia Port
Grow5 days ago
An Interview With Dinafem Seeds: Europe’s King Of Feminized Seeds