After the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte’s declared a bloody war on illegal drugs and gave the directive for the police to kill drug dealers, it has been a free for all for the Filipino police and vigilantes.
In his first state of the nation address to parliament Mr Duterte, said that drugs were ‘drowning his country’ and had to be stopped at all costs. ‘Double your efforts. Triple them if need be,’ Mr Duterte told police.
‘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,’ he said.
In the streets, are the bodies of men killed by the police. Some men are seen stripped to their underwear, with their hands, feet and faces tied. Others have their faces covered in tape before been shot in the head. Wives and family members are seen crying and clutching the lifeless bodies of their loved ones who were killed in the summary executions carried out by police officers, without the benefit of a full and fair trial.
According to human rights groups, the statistics obtained from the police showed Mr Duterte’s violent crackdown has claimed the lives of 293 suspected users and pushers in police operations between July 1 and July 24. This figure does not include drug dealers killed by vigilante groups and those working outside the law.
The president also made it clear that he would pardon police if they were charged with human rights violations.