Rich and poor are all tar­gets in drug war

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE Philip­pines po­lice chief warned yes­ter­day that his of­fi­cers were pre­pared to kill any­one, even rich and in­flu­en­tial politi­cians, as they wage Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s deadly war on drugs.

Since Mr Duterte took of­fice just over two months ago, the govern­ment said more than 2400 peo­ple have been killed in his anti-crime cru­sade, an in­creas­ingly con­tro­ver­sial cam­paign that has drawn UN con­dem­na­tion.

Po­lice said they them­selves killed 1011 drug sus­pects with 1391 others listed as “deaths un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion”, pos­si­bly vig­i­lante ex­e­cu­tions.

“If they fight back ... they will die. Rest as­sured, we do not dis­crim­i­nate,” na­tional po­lice chief Ron­ald De la Rosa told a news con­fer­ence.

“All of them, the rich, the poor, po­lice, civil­ians ... Even if you are a politi­cian, you will die if you are into drugs and you fight back,” he said.

The dom­i­nant Catholic church, hu­man rights groups and even UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon have crit­i­cised Mr Duterte for his sup­port of ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings.

Crit­ics have also charged that the po­lice are mainly killing poor peo­ple in the slums while wealthy and in­flu­en­tial sus­pects have been spared.

Mr Duterte was elected by a land­slide in May after vow­ing to end crime in six months by killing tens of thou­sands of crim­i­nals.

Mr De la Rosa, who has been Mr Duterte’s main enforcer in the cam­paign, stressed that po­lice would be more mer­ci­less to­wards cor­rupt po­lice­men in­volved in il­le­gal drugs.

“We even pre­fer to kill our fel­lows who have be­trayed our cause ... they have turned traitor,” he added.

Mr Duterte and other of­fi­cials have insisted that po­lice only kill sus­pects in self-de­fence, and have said others were mur­dered by crime gangs try­ing to si­lence them.

How­ever Mr Duterte has also openly called for the killing of drug sus­pects, even urg­ing their neigh­bours to mur­der them.

Con­cern over Mr Duterte’s an­ti­crime crack­down in­creased fur­ther after he de­clared a “state of law­less­ness” fol­low­ing a bomb­ing in his home­town of Davao on Septem­ber 2 that left 14 dead and more than 70 in­jured.

The dec­la­ra­tion al­lows the pres­i­dent to use the mil­i­tary in law en­force­ment op­er­a­tions once lim­ited to the po­lice.

Op­po­si­tion leg­is­la­tors have said this ac­tion was un­nec­es­sary and could re­sult in fur­ther breaches of hu­man rights.

Mr De la Rosa, play­ing down such con­cerns, said, “Rest as­sured that we will im­ple­ment this with­out vi­o­lat­ing hu­man rights.” –

Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP) chief di­rec­tor Gen­eral Ron­ald Dela Rosa ges­tures to re­porters be­fore board­ing a jeep­ney in Camp Crame in Que­zon City, east of Manila, yes­ter­day. Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports, se­cu­rity forces have set up check­points na­tion­wide and tight­ened se­cu­rity on vi­tal in­stal­la­tions after Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s dec­la­ra­tion of a “state of law­less­ness” in the coun­try fol­low­ing the blast in Davao City on Septem­ber 2 that killed 14 peo­ple.

Photo: EPA

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.