DUTERTE’S NARCO WAR
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte vows to continue his war against illegal drugs despite mounting criticisms from various human rights organizations and even lawmakers, who threatened to unmask his alleged link to extrajudicial killings of people involved in the nefarious activities in the Philippines.
Among those who constantly criticized Duterte, a lawyer and former prosecutor in Davao City, is Senator Leila de Lima, who was Justice Secretary during the previous Aquino administration; and the international Human Rights Watch.
Nearly 2,000 suspected drug users and dealers had been killed since Duterte assumed the presidency, but many of the murders had been largely attributed by the police to vigilante groups.
But De Lima and human rights organizations insist that police were behind the spate of killings, an accusation strongly denied by the country’s police chief Ronaldo dela Rosa, who openly expressed his frustrations over the allegations during a senate investigation on extrajudicial killings.
Policemen had killed armed drug dealers during legitimate operations to protect their lives, according to Dela Rosa. “We are just doing our jobs here,” he said.
Dela Rosa, who once served Duterte when he was mayor in Davao City, also vowed to continue the war against illegal drugs and criminals.
Because of Duterte’s iron-fist policy in fighting the drug menace, tens of thousands of drug users and traffickers surrendered to the police, including mayors and judges he accused as being involved in illegal drug trades.
Duterte also accused De Lima of taking bribes from drug lords, but she denied the allegations and said the president is destroying her reputation in an effort to derail her investigation into extrajudicial killings perpetrated by the police.
Majority of the Filipinos are supporting Duterte’s war and the police forces in fighting illegal drugs.
President Rodrigo Duterte (Photo by Michael Rey Baniquet)
President Rodrigo Duterte (Kilab Multimedia)