Drug users and dealers are running scared in the Philippines. Source: Wikimedia
The Philippines’ new president Rodrigo Duterte’s drugs crusade has killed an estimated 300 people during July.
Duterte, who has said drugs were drowning his country and had to be stopped at all costs, announced: “Double your efforts. Triple them if need be. We will not stop until the last drug lord, the last financier and the last pusher have surrendered or been put behind bars … or below ground if you wish.”
Police figures say the crackdown led to 293 deaths of suspected addicts and dealers at the hands of the authorities between July 1 and July 24.
The figures do not include vigilante killings.
Duterte promises to pardon police if they were charged with human rights violations for the killings.
Nearly 60,000 addicts surrendered themselves for arrest after Duterte called on civilians to “go ahead and kill” dealers and addicts.
“These sons of w****s are destroying our children. I warn you, don’t go into that, even if you’re a policeman, because I will really kill you,” he said from the campaign trail.
Presidential spokesman Martin Andanar said nearly 60,000 addicts had surrendered.
The media reports that 43,000 suspected drug traffickers had been “neutralised” and 300kg of shabu, a methamphetamine, had been seized.
Duterte has promised that 100,000 people would die and fish in Manila Bay would grow fat from corpses.
A unilateral ceasefire had been announced against the communist rebels, Duterte said during his first state of the union address.
Army spokesman Brigadier Restituto Padilla told the press: “After our beloved president mentioned the ceasefire declaration, messages were sent to all units down to the last, informing them of the president’s instruction.”
Duterte’s “effective immediately” ceasefire with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), along with its political wing, calling on them to respond accordingly.
Padilla said he hoped communist groups, who have been fighting Manila for almost 50 years, would reciprocate the ceasefire announcement.
“The president’s ceasefire declaration is the desire of all soldiers and Filipinos that the armed conflict with groups fighting the government will end and peace will reign across the country,” he said.
“Hopefully President Duterte’s unilateral ceasefire declaration will stay permanently because it will open the door for ongoing conversations to have sustainable peace throughout the country.”