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
War on 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?
INQUIRER.net stock photo LUCENA CITY — An alleged notorious shabu (crystal meth) peddler and a neophyte in the illegal drug trade were arrested in buy-bust operations here on Wednesday. The suspects were identified as Russel Aranas and John Derick Valencia, police Lieutenant Colonel Romulo Albacea, Lucena police chief, said in a report. Aranas was nabbed by cops after he sold a pack of shabu to an undercover police officer acting as a drug user in Barangay Ibabang Iyam around 3:40 p.m. The suspect, included in the Quezon police list of identified drug pushers in the province, yielded seven plastic sachets of meth with a street value of P34,680. Earlier, police agents also collared Valencia in another part of the village around 9:30 a.m. Authorities seized six sachets of shabu worth P31,000 in the street market. Police tagged the suspect as a “newly identified drug pusher” in the city. The arrest was the result of Oplan Sacleo or “Simultaneous ... » Learn More about 2 drug suspects fall in Lucena buy-busts
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
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?
Screenshot from RTVM youtube live MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar on Tuesday ordered a thorough investigation into the reported involvement of nine police generals in drug trafficking, as President Rodrigo Duterte mentioned in his final State of the Nation Address (Sona). Duterte made the revelation when he lamented during Monday’s Sona that he is fighting his own government in his war on drugs campaign. “Iimbestigahan nating mabuti ang bagay na ito,” Eleazar said in a statement. “Aalamin at tutukuyin natin ang matataas na opisyal sa PNP na sinasabing sangkot sa iligal na droga.” (We will investigate this thing thoroughly. We will look into this and identify the ranking PNP officials involved in illegal drugs.) “Uulitin ko, walang puwang ang organisasyon para sa mga tiwaling pulis, lalo na ang sangkot sa iligal na droga,” he added. (I repeat, there is no space for this organization for corrupt policeman, especially ... » Learn More about Duterte SONA rekindles PNP desire to probe generals involved in drugs
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
The Supreme Court voted 15-0 to dismiss the petitions challenging President Rodrigo Duterte's unilateral withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC). It's one of those types of decisions – the ruling is to dismiss the petitions, but the reasoning contains a lot for "positive" takeaways. Lawyers call the reasoning just obiter dictum, or an opinion that doesn't have legal weight. What makes reasoning an obiter is debatable, said Professor Andre Palacios, who teaches Public International Law at the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law and chairs the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) international law committee. For him, the decision's citation of the domestic International Humanitarian Law (IHL) affects the ongoing ICC case "positively" because the IHL requires the Philippines to surrender suspects to international tribunals. The decision also laid out three rules for presidents to withdraw from a treaty. The ... » Learn More about [PODCAST] Law of Duterte Land: ICC hopes alive in Supreme Court ‘loss’
No other drug war killing gathered the same amount of attention as one killing in Caloocan City. The victim is just a boy. He was a good son to a father manning a sari-sari store, and a mother who worked overseas. Before he was killed, he was worried about taking his test the next day. He never saw his classmates again. The policemen who killed him thought that he could just be another statistic in President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-drug campaign. They were wrong. A camera was rolling. Listen to the story of Kian delos Santos. Hosted by Rappler's police reporter, Rambo Talabong, this is the pilot episode of Rappler's crime podcast, KRIMINAL. – Rappler.com ... » Learn More about [PODCAST] KRIMINAL: The boy named Kian
Senator Leila de Lima, who has been detained for over four years after she led a Senate investigation into President Rodrigo Duterte's bloody drug war, has declared her bid to seek reelection in the 2022 elections. In a scathing letter addressed to Duterte ahead of his final State of the Nation Address, De Lima said she would not be cowed by the attacks from the President himself and would continue the fight in 2022 – even if that meant running a campaign from her detention cell in Camp Crame. “Marami ang nagtatanong sa akin kung sa kabila ng pagyurak na ginawa mo sa akin ay may lakas pa ako ng loob na tumakbo muli bilang senador sa 2022. Tatakbo akong muli. Hindi ako susuko. Tuloy ang laban,” said De Lima. (Many are asking if I still have the will to run for senator in 2022 even if you have trampled upon me. I am running again. I will not give up. The fight continues.) A lawyer and human rights activist, De Lima used to chair the Commission on Human ... » Learn More about ‘Tuloy ang laban’: De Lima declares bid for Senate reelection