[From the web] Philippines’ Duterte Admits Murderous ‘Drug War’ is Unwinnable -HRW

Philippines’ Duterte Admits Murderous ‘Drug War’ is Unwinnable

President Vows to Persist Despite Horrific Death Toll
Phelim Kine
Deputy Director, Asia Division
@PhelimKine

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has admitted that his abusive “war on drugs” is unwinnable. Duterte told a gathering of military personnel that his promise to eradicate methamphetamine use – known as shabu in the Philippines – “won’t be fulfilled, that this [drug use] really will not end.”

But Duterte’s admission did not include expressions of remorse for the thousands of victims of his “drug war,” including dozens of children that he has dismissed as “collateral damage.” He instead echoed the message of his July 24 state of the nation address by insisting the campaign will be “unremitting as it will be unrelenting.”

Duterte was elected on a campaign platform that advocated violent measures, including killings of criminal suspects, to “solve drugs, criminality, and corruption in three to six months of taking office.” In January he declared that anti-drug operations would continue until the end of his term in 2022.

Duterte also recently backpedaled on his full-throated support for police killings of suspected drug users and drug dealers as proof of the “success” of his campaign. On Thursday, Duterte questioned estimates by some media organizations that the campaign had claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people. “They said I killed 10,000 people,” he said. “Who was the 10,000th victim? Where did the 9,999th victim die? Who? How did the victim die?”

Duterte’s questioning of death toll estimates coincides with an effort by both the government and the Philippine National Police in recent months to issue death toll statistics that are less than half of the official police figure of 7,000drug war-related killings issued at the end of January. The government has frustrated efforts by media and other independent observers to maintain a verifiable and transparent tally of such deaths by issuing contradictory data. Earlier in August the chairperson of the official Commission on Human Rights, Chito Gascon, stated that the “Actual number [of drug war killings] is certainly higher than what is suggested [by police].”

That means Filipinos face an indefinite and abusive “drug war” pursued by a government unwilling to accurately document the human toll of that campaign.

Read more @www.hrw.org

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally
published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or
change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and
original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the
tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s