Philippines

Is anti-drug strongman of the Philippines in bed with narco gangs?

Posted on September 5th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

South East AsiaIs it really possible that Philippine President Rodirgo Duterte—who has unleashed a "war on drugs" that has now reached the point of mass murder, and used charges of narco-corruption to lock up his political opponents—is himself mixed up in the drug trade? With the Philippine Senate now launching multiple investigations into the drug-related violence, charges of involvement in the narco trade have actually reached some of Duterte's closest family members.

Philippines: Duterte calls for genocide against drug users

Posted on August 16th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

South East AsiaPolice in the Philippines killed 32 people in a wave of anti-drug operations north of the capital, Manila—making Aug. 16  the single deadliest day so far of President Rodrigo Duterte's ultra-deadly war on drugs. Over  100 were also arrested in the sweeps—overwhelmingly street-level dealers—and dozens of firearms reportedly seized. The operations were jointly carried out by National Police and Bulacan provincial authorities. Duterte expressed open enthusiasm for the bloodshed—and warned that it is just beginning. "There were 32 killed in Bulacan in a massive raid, that's good," he said in a speech. "Let's kill another 32 every day. Maybe we can reduce what ails this country."

Philippines: Duterte still defiant on draconian drug war

Posted on August 8th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

South East AsiaThe Philippines' ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte met in Manila on Aug. 8 with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and came away gloating that the new administration in Washington is unconcerned with his blood-drenched "war on drugs," that has left perhaps 8,000 dead since he took office just over a year ago.

Philippines: youth protest drug war 'dictatorship'

Posted on July 25th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

South East AsiaAn estimated 7,000 protesters marched on the Philippines' House of Representatives in the Batasan district of Manila July 24 as ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte gave his second State of the Nation Address—in which he pledged to keep pursuing his bloody drug war. "The fight will not stop," said Duterte. "There is a jungle out there. There are beasts and vultures preying on the helpless. We will not be disheartened, we will not be cowed, we will not be overhelmed." He offered drug dealers and users a choice of "jail or hell."

Philippine strongman's bloody drug war: year one

Posted on June 26th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

South East AsiaJune 30 marks one year since the ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte took office in the Philippines, on a pledge to halt the "virulent social disease" of drug abuse. Officials boast that crime has dropped, thousands have been arrested on drug offenses, and a million users have turned themselves in for treatment programs instead of jail. The usual totalitarian rhetoric is employed to justify the price in human lives for this supposed progress—the bloodletting is necessary for the health of the nation. "There are thousands of people who are being killed, yes," Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde told Reuters for a one-year assesment of Duterte's crackdown. "But there are millions who live, see?"

Philippines: protests against martial law

Posted on June 12th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

South East AsiaProtests are emerging in the Philippine against ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte's declaration of martial law in the southern island of Mindanao last month. Over 100 former and current lawmakers, religious leaders and activists gathered in Manila for an interfaith rally on June 11, the Philippines' Independence Day., demanding an end to the official suspension of basic democratic rights in Mindanao.

Duterte declares martial law in south Philippines

Posted on May 24th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , .

South East AsiaAfter threatening to do it for months, the Philippines' ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte on May 23 declared martial law on the conflicted southern island of Mindanao. The declaration takes immediate effect and will last for 60 days—officially. But in his comments upon the declaration, Duterte said it could last up to "a year"—and (not for the first time) favorably invoked the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, under whose harsh rule the Philippines saw a decade of martial law. "To those who have experienced martial law, it would not be any different from what president Marcos did," Duterte said. "I'll be harsh."

Trump's troubling 'bromance' with Philippines' drug war strongman

Posted on May 8th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

South East AsiaThe Philippines' inimitable President Rodrigo Duterte is being his usual charming self. The United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Agnes Callamard, arrived in the country on May 5 to attend a conference on drug policy and human rights at the University of the Philippines. Callamard is of course a harsh critic of Duterte's campaign of police and paramilitary terror against low-level drug dealers and users. Duterte wasted not a moment in voicing defiance, warning drug users: "And here's the shocker: I will kill you. I will really kill you. And that's why the rapporteur of the UN is here, investigating extrajudicial killing."

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