Philippines: Shoot On Sight, Shoot To Kill

Philippines: Shoot On Sight, Shoot To Kill, by Jim Dunnigan.

The war on drugs … continues to enjoy popular support in the Philippines (and condemnation from many outside the country).

Police have, since the war on drugs began on June 30th, filled the jails to the breaking point with nearly 40,000 arrested.

This effort has killed over 2,000 suspects in the process. Most of the dead were suspects who violently resisted but nearly 40 percent were the result of local vigilantes or drug gangs killing suspected informers or rivals. So far the police have suffered fewer than 80 casualties, mostly wounded but including 17 dead.

The extent and intensity of these efforts caused over 800,000 people to turn themselves in. Since 93 percent of those surrendering were users nearly were released, especially if they provided information about their suppliers.

Opinion polls show that support (63 percent approval) of president Duterte and his war on drugs is virtually unchanged over the last few months. These are very high rating for a Filipino president.

But there are uncertainties. For one thing the Filipino justice system, even in normal times, is remarkably inefficient. … without judicial reforms (which take a long time) or more prisons (which require money the government has not got) the war on drugs is going to stall because of the problems with prosecuting those arrested.

Another side effect of the war on drugs is that criminal gangs, faced with reduced supplies of drugs, are turning to other crimes, like kidnapping. …

Finally while the use of vigilantes and a “shoot on sight, shoot to kill” attitude most of the two million drug users in the country are looking for help in quitting but the help isn’t there and never was. The country can’t afford it. This use of widespread violence to halt drug use and dealing has been used before (in China in the 1950s, Afghanistan in the late 1990s and so on) and seems to work for a while but the drug use eventually returns.


Philippines: Duterte confirms he personally killed three men, by the BBC.

The President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has confirmed to the BBC that he shot dead three men while mayor of Davao.

He said: “I killed about three of them… I don’t know how many bullets from my gun went inside their bodies. It happened and I cannot lie about it.” …

Mr Duterte was mayor of the southern city for two decades, during which time he earned a reputation for brutally suppressing crime, and was accused of sponsoring death squads.

He first spoke about killing three men in 2015, while still mayor of Davao. He said that the men were suspected of kidnapping and rape.