Duterte Abuses Obama On Philippines’ Drugs War And Extrajudicial Killings

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs has reportedly claimed the lives of more than 2,000 drug dealers and addicts, but he is in no mood to stop the extrajudicial killings. As reported by the Associated Press, Duterte warned Barack Obama to refrain from raising the legality of extrajudicial killings when they meet Tuesday in Laos for a regional summit.

Duterte was responding to the press on Monday on the legality of extrajudicial killings before embarking for Laos for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit. As reported by the Guardian, official figures estimated at least 2,400 deaths in just two months. Reportedly, human rights groups are condemning Duterte for inciting a brutal war on drugs.

Duterte, while responding to a journalist, mentioned that he is the president of a sovereign state, is only answerable to the Filipino people, and is no American puppet. He even scoffed at Obama saying, “Son of a b****, I will swear at you.”

Armed with the zeal to sort out drug crime in the Philippines, Duterte, after assuming office in June, declared an all-out war on drug-related crimes. Reportedly, he had promised an end to the widespread drug problem in six months and had threatened to impose martial law to further his unhindered anti-drug campaign.

The Guardian quoted Duterte on his justification of the extrajudicial killings.

“If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.”

Reportedly, Duterte estimated at least 100,000 casualties in his anti-drug crackdown, and he allegedly said so many dead bodies would be dumped in Manila Bay that fish would fatten after feeding on them.

The Philippines’ war on drugs has reportedly led to open killings of suspected drug criminals on the streets of Manila and other cities. Under Duterte’s watch, thousands of suspected drug users have been killed by vigilantes and the police. As reported by Time, the drug war in the Philippines is responsible for at least 17 extrajudicial killings per day.

Protesters stage a “die-in” to dramatize the rising number of extrajudicial killings related to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s “War on Drugs.” [Photo by Bullit Marquez/ AP Images)
Earlier, there were hints from the United States on a possible discussion between Obama and the Philippines President regarding the legality of killing drug dealers and drug addicts in absence of judicial proceedings and due process. Now, it isn’t clear whether Obama plans to raise the issue of extrajudicial killings with Duterte on the sidelines of the summit of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations.

Meanwhile, President Obama shrugged off Duterte’s statement by calling the Philippines a close “friend and ally” of the United States. As reported by NBC News, Obama has instructed his staff to assess whether a meeting with Duterte on the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines would be “productive.”

Earlier, the United Nations and international human rights groups condemned the widespread slaughter of drug dealers and drug users in the Philippines, but Duterte’s response has been belligerent and vulgar. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) condemned the Philippines’ apparent endorsement of extrajudicial killings as illegal, which breaches fundamental rights and freedoms.

After the UN criticized Duterte’s war on drugs as a crime under international law, Duterte threatened to cede his nation’s UN membership and floated the possibility of forming another body with the help of China and several African nations.

In a speech, Duterte said, “I don’t care about human rights, believe me,” according to official transcripts released by the presidential palace.

It is pertinent to note that the unprecedented killing of drug suspects in the last two months has frightened hundreds of thousands of drug addicts, who then surrendered to Philippine law enforcement. Reportedly, Duterte’s government is building rehabilitation centers in military bases and taking other steps to curb drug addiction in the Philippines.

As the Philippines’ drug war continues, the administration is unprepared, and the massive surrender has created a new crisis. The country’s drug treatment facilities are overwhelmed and are reportedly crumbling with the sudden rush of people seeking rehabilitation.

What are your thoughts on the Philippines’ extrajudicial path to dealing with drug crime?

[Photo by Bullit Marquez/AP Images]

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