RODZON Enriquez’s skeletal remains are pulled out of a coffin- sized tomb in Manila and placed in a body bag. Five years after the 21-year-old was killed in the Philippines’ drug war, the lease on his grave is expiring. Activists say tens of thousands of people have died since President Rodrigo Duterte ordered police to go after drug addicts and dealers in a widely-condemned campaign that has largely targeted poor men. Many of the dead were put in “apartment” tombs stacked metres high in jam-packed cemeteries across the capital, where a five-year lease on a rectangular concrete box costs 5,000 pesos (RM415). As leases run out, a Catholic charity is helping families unable to afford the renewal fee to retrieve the bones of their loved ones with the aim of having them cremated and put in a permanent burial site. “I don’t want his remains thrown away,” Corazon Enriquez, 63, said after her son’s bones were carried away on a stretcher by two men wearing protective gear. The mother ... » Learn More about Drug war dead exhumed
Drug killings in the philippines
MANILA, Philippines – When 17-year-old Kian delos Santos was killed defenseless by Caloocan cops, his family could point to only one credible witness to recount what happened: a CCTV camera. It was installed by barangay officials near the community basketball court, where cops in civilian clothes dragged the boy across, thus capturing the incident. Delos Santos' case led to the complete overhaul of the Caloocan City Police. Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa called his death an overkill. With the irregularity of Delos Santos' case being the first to be unearthed through film out of almost 4,000 drug-related deaths recorded by the police, questions have been raised: Could there have been others before him? What if cameras recorded all the operations? Even better, why not strap those cameras to cops themselves? These questions made their way to the halls of Congress, with lawmakers in both the House and the Senate ... » Learn More about Will body cameras solve alleged police abuse in the drug war?
MANILA - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday (July 26) the battle against narcotics is far from over, more than five years after he began a brutal war on drugs that has killed thousands and prompted an accusation of possible crimes against humanity. Duterte, in his last State of the Nation address, defended the campaign, saying it had brought down crime and improved peace and order. "We still have long way in our fight against the proliferation of drugs," Duterte said in his nearly three-hour address, which many had expected would focus on the Covid-19 pandemic. Duterte, 76, is not eligible for re-election, but has hinted he may run for vice-president, which critics see as a possible backdoor to a return to power. Before his address, hundreds of activists took the streets of Manila despite the threat of the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, carrying banners criticising Duterte's rights record and his handling of the Covid-19 crisis. Last month, ... » Learn More about Philippines’ Duterte taunts ICC, saying war on drugs far from over
CLARK FREEPORT—Moving his antidrug campaign forward, President Duterte named five former and active directors of the Philippine National Police as drug lord coddlers, and ordered them investigated and the active officers relieved of their posts. The five are retired Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo; retired Chief Supt. Vicente Loot who is now mayor of Daanbantayan in Cebu province; Chief Supt. Joel Pagdilao, who until July 4 was head of the National Capital Region Police Office; Chief Supt. Edgardo Tinio, the former director of the Quezon City Police District; and Chief Supt. Bernardo Diaz, the former Western Visayas director who is temporarily assigned at the Camp Crame headquarters. All are graduates of the Philippine Military Academy. “I am compelled by my sense of duty to tell you everything, especially the policemen who are involved in drugs, one way or another contributing to the deterioration of the law and order of this country,” Mr. Duterte said at rites ... » Learn More about Rody: 5 PNP execs in drugs
Aside from blood and death, President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war also stirred controversy – from the deadly execution of anti-drug operations, to hundreds of recorded abuses by police officials and other authorities. Even Duterte’s allies became victims of this atrocious campaign. And five years on, some of these controversies and injustices remain unsettled. Below is a list of some of them. Jee Ick Joo case Even foreigners became victims of Duterte’s drug war. Only months into the deadly war on drugs, Korean Jee Ick Joo made headlines after he was reported to be killed by a cop. On October 18, 2016, Jee was abducted from his house in Angeles City, Pampanga by a policeman. The same day, he was brought to Camp Crame, national headquarters of the police, and was allegedly strangled to death by a member of the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG). Jee’s case later became one of the biggest drug war-related controversies ... » Learn More about LIST: Whatever happened to these drug war issues under Duterte?
United States senators have set in motion a process of sanctioning Philippine officials linked to the detention of opposition Senator Leila de Lima and alleged extrajudicial killings (EJKs) under the Duterte administration. For one, the US Senate Foreign Relations committee passed a resolution condemning De Lima's imprisonment and calling out the Philippine government for its "role in state-sanctioned extrajudicial killing by police and other armed individuals as part of the 'war on drugs.'" The same resolution declared its opposition to the arrest and detention of human rights defenders and political leaders in the Philippines who have "exercised their right to freedom of expression." It also denounced the "harassment, arrest, and unjustified judicial proceedings" against media, particularly Rappler and its CEO Maria Ressa. Beyond putting a spotlight on human rights and press freedom issues in the Philippines, the US Senate resolution 142 included terms of ... » Learn More about Why the Global Magnitsky Act matters to the Philippines
MANILA, Philippines – On Lubang Island, Occidental Mindoro, a black hawk helicopter descended on an airfield as soldiers quickly shuffled out and charged forward amid a staccato of imitation gunfire. Precise and coordinated, Filipino soldiers, together with American troops, dispersed on foot across the expanse of land to rescue hostages and seize the island back from foreign invaders. In tactical formation, the soldiers wove through buildings until the operation was complete. The mission was elaborate. It was also scripted. The simulation, which took place in April 2019, capped off a nearly two week-long event between Philippine and American soldiers – the annual Balikatan (shoulder to shoulder) exercises, where both forces undergo training that would better prepare them for real battle. Although it was choreographed, it is, perhaps, not ironic the exercise took place on the historic Lubang Island. The island, filled by two ... » Learn More about With threats to scrap VFA, Duterte gambles Philippines’ security
MANILA (Reuters) - Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, a day after making history as the Philippines' first ever Olympic gold medallist, took top billing in an ecstatic nation's newspapers on Tuesday above reports on a major speech by her president. But for the 30-year-old being showered with accolades, the story was very different in 2019, when her name was included on a dozens-long list of people accused of plotting against the same man. Inclusion on the list along with journalists and opposition lawmakers by Salvador Panelo, then spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte, made Diaz fear for her life, she was quoted by domestic media as saying at the time. But that did not deter her from her Olympic ambitions. "Don't link the name of a person who is busy making sacrifices for the Philippines and who is doing everything to represent the Philippines in weightlifting," she said in a May 2019 Facebook post that dismissed Panelo's claims. "I am focused at my Tokyo 2020 goal." Fast ... » Learn More about Olympics-weighlifting-From “plot” to pride for Philippines’ first Olympic champion
This is the haul of crystal meth, worth P1.482 billion, that PDEA agents seized in three operations on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021. (Photo from PDEA) MANILA, Philippines — Four suspects were arrested and a Chinese suspect was killed in a shootout in three drugs operations in Balagtas town in Bulacan and Quezon City and Valenzuela in Metro Manila, which also led to the seizure of P1.482 billion worth of suspected crystal meth, or shabu, according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). “We believe that these groups are related to each other,” said PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva in an interview with GMA News. “And it’s here that we see the main source of illegal drugs,” he added. The Chinese man was killed in an armed encounter in Bulacan, where PDEA agents seized 75 kilograms of suspected crystal meth worth P510 million. Suspect Wu Zishen, 50, was killed in a drug operation at Barangay Santol in Balagtas town in Bulacan. Another suspect, a certain Chen Hongli, ... » Learn More about 4 suspects nabbed, 1 killed in 3 PDEA ops yielding P1.4-B worth of crystal meth
A police investigator inspects the body of a suspected victim of extrajudicial killing in connection with the drug war. (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO) MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte says it was Filipinos — and not him nor his family — who “benefitted” from the deaths in his administration’s drug war. Duterte insisted on this in his taped weekly briefing on Monday in an expletive-laden rant about human rights advocates’ criticisms of the drug war. “Let’s assume that what they say about human rights [violations] is true. [EXPLETIVE]. Who benefitted? Me? Was it me who benefitted?” Duterte said in Filipino. “My family? Did they benefit from those [EXPLETIVE] dead? Who benefitted? It’s you, your children. It’s our country that benefitted.” “Who was put in danger? It’s me, my family, their lives. They [relatives of the dead] will seek revenge. I’m not a millionaire who has a squad behind to guard me. It’s me who has a problem now. Those who benefitted, in truth, are you ... » Learn More about Who ‘benefitted’ from drug war deaths? ‘Filipinos, not me,’ says Duterte