Drug users aren’t hu­man, says Duterte

The Myanmar Times - - World -

PHILIP­PINE Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte, who is wag­ing a bloody war on crime, has jus­ti­fied the large-scale killing of drug users by sug­gest­ing the vic­tims were not hu­man.

Mr Duterte, who has seen about 2000 peo­ple killed since he was elected in May, made the re­marks as he shrugged off the United Na­tions’ con­cerns over hu­man rights in his coun­try.

“Crime against hu­man­ity? In the first place, I’d like to be frank with you: Are they hu­mans? What is your defini­tion of a hu­man be­ing?” he told sol­diers while vis­it­ing an army camp.

“Hu­man rights? Use it prop­erly in the right con­text if you have the brains,” he added.

“You can­not wage a war without killing,” Mr Duterte said, ad­ding that many drug users were be­yond re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

His re­marks came af­ter var­i­ous UN of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon, con­demned his sup­port for ex­tra-ju­di­cial killings.

The UN spe­cial rap­por­teur on sum­mary ex­e­cu­tions, Agnes Cal­la­mard, said ear­lier this month Mr Duterte’s di­rec­tives “amount to in­cite­ment to vi­o­lence and killing, a crime un­der in­ter­na­tional law”.

Mr Duterte’s com­ments come af­ter his na­tional po­lice chief Ron­ald Dela Rosa urged drug users to kill their traf­fick­ers and burn their homes.

“Why don’t you give them a visit, pour gaso­line on their homes and set these on fire to regis­ter your anger,” Mr Dela Rosa said.

He later apol­o­gised for his re­marks. But Mr Duterte de­fended Mr Dela Rosa, say­ing, “That’s my style. He is fol­low­ing it.”

Mr Duterte also taunted the United Na­tions, say­ing, “They want me to go prison? Do those id­iots think I will be cap­tured alive? My God, we will be to­gether in hell.”

Ear­lier last week, Mr Dela Rosa told sen­a­tors that over 750 peo­ple had been killed by po­lice in an­tidrug op­er­a­tions while more than 1000 had been slain by shad­owy fig­ures.

Mr Duterte, 71, won the May elec­tions in a land­slide on a prom­ise to kill tens of thou­sands of sus­pected crim­i­nals to pre­vent the Philip­pines from be­com­ing a narco-state.

He has vowed to pro­tect po­lice of­fi­cers who may be charged as part of the cam­paign. –

Photo: AFP

Ro­drigo Duterte in­sists that drug ad­dicts can be killed at will.

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