MANILA — Rodrigo Duterte just recently became President of the Philippines, about a month ago. He campaigned on the promise to rid the country of drugs and the “criminals” who use and sell them. He has also vowed to “kill 100,000 criminals” if he made it to the presidential palace, adding that he would seek to “give security forces “shoot-to-kill” powers for suspects who evaded arrest.”
He wasn’t blowing smoke. In his short period of governance, the police have already killed over 420 “suspects,” and over 114,000 people have turned themselves into the police fearing that they might otherwise be destroyed by Duterte’s henchmen or vigilantes who are either working at the behest of the President or inspired by him.
The police have employed female assassins to hunt down and kill suspected drug dealers. It is believed that women are capable of getting close to their victims without drawing suspicion.
According to a BBC report, Duterte, while campaigning, gave fair warning when he said, “his presidency will be ‘bloody.’ His father was once a provincial governor, and the family had links with the powerful Duranos and Almendrases families in Cebu province, where his father was once mayor.” The same report says he “called the Pope “the ‘son of a whore’ in a mostly devout Roman Catholic country; joked that, as mayor, he should have been first to rape an Australian missionary murdered in a prison riot; threatened to kill thousands of criminals without trial – something he is accused of having sanctioned in Davao; and promised to suspend democratic rules if they get in his way.”
The city of Manila and other parts of the country are now considered by many to be a perilous place to vacation at, not because of common criminals, but because the police and military appear to be dangerously killing and arresting people without cause.
According to a report in the New York Times, “human rights groups, Roman Catholic activists and the families of many of those killed during the crackdown say that the vast majority were poor Filipinos, many of whom had nothing to do with the drug trade. They were not accorded an accusation and a trial, but were simply shot down in the streets, the critics say.”
People are concerned that law-abiding Americans could easily be killed along with innocent local citizens. The Philippines are apparently too dangerous for Americans to vacation at