Posts Tagged ‘death squads’

Philippines among worst offender of press freedom in Asia Pacific — Corruption Perception Index 2017 predicts trouble for the Philippines

February 22, 2018
 
Members of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines stage a rally criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila. The STAR/KJ Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines, along with India and the Maldives, are the worst offenders of press freedom in the Asia Pacific region, according to an international organization against corruption.

In its Corruption Perception Index 2017, Berlin-based Transparency International noted that the three countries score high for corruption and have fewer press freedoms.

“In the last six years, 15 journalists working on corruption stories in these countries were murdered, as reported by the Committee to Protect Journalists,” the report read.

The Philippines, with a score of 34, also dropped its ranking in the global corruption index from 101st in 2016 to 111th in 2017.

The survey further noted that the results of the 2017 index show that corruption in many countries in the region is still strong.

“In some countries across the region, journalists, activists, opposition leaders and even staff of law enforcement or watchdog agencies are threatened, and in the worst cases, even murdered,” Transparency International said.

The results of the survey indicate that countries with least protection for press and non-governmental organizations also have the worst rates of corruption.

“Every week at least one journalist is killed in a country that is highly corrupt,” the report read.

The results of the 2017 index also show the variance in public sector corruption in Asia Pacific as the region has an average score of 44 out of 100 despite top scorers like New Zealand and Singapore.

Among the worst scorers in the region are Afghanistan, North Korea, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.

“With a scale of 0 to 100, where 100 means very clean and 0 reflects a deep-rooted, systemic corruption problem, the Asia Pacific countries, on average, are failing,” the survey read.

The index ranked 180 countries and territories based on perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople. Countries were scored from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

“This year, the index found that more than two-thirds of countries score below 50, with an average score of 43. Unfortunately, compared to recent years, this poor performance is nothing new,” Transparency International said.

http://old.philstar.com/headlines/2018/02/22/1790300/philippines-among-worst-offender-press-freedom-asia-pacific

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 (No man is above the law…)

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‘Justice will come’: jailed critic of Philippines’ Duterte says — “He’s got a dark psychology. He cannot stand strong-willed women. He has a misogynistic character. He is a damaged man.”

February 22, 2018

AFP

© AFP / by Ayee Macaraig | Senator Leila de Lima has been pursuing Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte for almost a decade
MANILA (AFP) – A year after being jailed on charges she insists were concocted to silence her, a top critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says she believes justice is coming.Senator Leila de Lima has been pursuing Duterte for almost a decade, beginning with allegations he directed a death squad against suspected criminals while mayor of the southern city of Davao.

But now that the International Criminal Court has opened an initial probe into the deadly anti-drug war Duterte launched after becoming president 20 months ago, she says she has new reason to hope.

“I see the day justice will come. I hope for that day. The preliminary examination will eventually get to an indictment,” De Lima told AFP at national police headquarters in Manila, where she is being held.

“I feel this is the start of my vindication, but true vindication comes when I am absolved of the charges,” added the 58-year-old, who was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2017.

De Lima’s detention, which began with her arrest on February 24, 2017, stems from allegations she took bribes from imprisoned drug lords while justice secretary from 2010-2015 under then-leader Benigno Aquino.

The charges are serious enough that no bail is permitted, and it is common for even minor cases to take years to work their way through the Philippines’ creaking justice system.

De Lima says the allegations were cooked up to stifle her criticism of Duterte, and she has earned the support of international legislators as well as rights watchdogs.

Amnesty International considers De Lima a “prisoner of conscience” and in its annual report released Thursday tagged her as “the most prominent critic of the ‘war on drugs'”.

“She is a symbol of the coming signs of the times where it will be dangerous for any Filipino citizen to speak out against the government,” Amnesty International Philippines country director Jose Noel Olano told AFP.

After being elected to the Senate in the same 2016 election that handed Duterte the presidency, De Lima led an inquiry into the thousands of people killed by police in his anti-drugs war.

But Duterte’s allies in the Senate shoved her aside from the inquiry and subsequently concluded he was not involved in any wrongdoing.

– ‘A damaged man’ –

The senator is not being held in the horrific conditions of the Philippines’ jam-packed jails, and is instead in a compound with other high-profile detainees where they have some privileges.

She has access to outdoor space where she can exercise, garden and feed stray cats. But continuing with her work has been a challenge.

Phones are banned and she does not have internet, so De Lima communicates the old-fashioned way — handwritten statements picked up by her aides.

“I have to keep fighting,” she said, smoothing her floral print shirt.

“If I keep quiet and fade away into oblivion, people will think I deserve this.”

De Lima started her career as an election lawyer and first tangled with Duterte as the head of a national rights commission in 2009.

She investigated allegations he used a death squad to kill suspected criminals in Davao, but no charges were brought.

“He has never forgotten that and he has never forgiven me,” De Lima said. “This (detention) is his vendetta.”

Duterte and his allies have launched campaigns to sideline other critics, including the anti-graft prosecutor and the Supreme Court chief justice — both of whom are women.

“He’s got a dark psychology. He cannot stand strong-willed women. He has a misogynistic character. He is a damaged man,” she said.

De Lima fills the hours reading, alternating between “Fire and Fury”, the incendiary book on US President Donald Trump, and election rival Hillary Clinton’s “What Happened”.

“Duterte and Trump are the epitome of how populism has infected the global order. They are of the same kind except for the propensity to kill.”

Nights are lonely, De Lima says, when she misses her sons, two grandchildrens and ailing 85-year-old mother.

As a guard knocked signalling visiting hours were over, her thoughts turned to Duterte. “If he escapes justice in this world, he cannot escape divine justice.”

“No one escapes divine justice.”

by Ayee Macaraig
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 (No man is above the law…)

Philippines: President Duterte ‘counts killing of Filipinos among accomplishments’ — Creeping dictatorship, disregard for human rights and rule of law

February 21, 2018
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV slammed President Rodrigo Duterte anew over his persecution of his political and media critics. Combination Photo, File

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday slammed the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte anew over its alleged political persecution of political and media critics and the mounting number of drug-related deaths in the country.

In a privilege speech, Trillanes claimed there were already more than 20,000 drug-related deaths in the country based on the administration’s year-end report in December 2017.

He said that under the accomplishments of the Department of Interior and Local Government the administration listed 3,967 drug deaths in anti-narcotics operations from July 2016 to November 2017.

It meanwhile said that there were more than 16,000 homicide cases still under investigation from July 2016 to Sept. 30, 2017.

“It is only in this country where the president counts the killing of his countrymen as among his accomplishments,” he said.

Duterte has faced local and international criticisms over the rights violations and extrajudicial killings allegedly marring his flagship war on drugs.

Trillanes also condemned the order of the president barring Rappler and its palace reporter Pia Ranada for supposedly losing the trust of the chief executive over allegations that it was publishing so-called “fake news.”

The opposition lawmaker said that was Duterte’s retaliation for Rappler’s critical coverage of his administration.

“This is a violation of our Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights that guaranteed press freedom,” Trillanes said in Filipino. “Duterte is doing all these out of political vendetta and to send a chilling message to other reporters and media outfits that they should tow Malacañang’s propaganda line or else.”

Trillanes also cited the administration’s efforts to intimidate other news organizations such as the Philippine Daily Inquirer and ABS-CBN.

The ban on Rappler on Palace grounds is the latest woe to strike the news website. Just weeks ago, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the government’s corporate regulator, issued a shutdown order on the media outfit following allegations that it was not 100 percent Filipino owned.

Rappler has disputed the order and is questioning the directive before a court.

Trillanes also urged his Senate colleagues to help and defend Sen. Leila De Lima, who is currently detained in Camp Crame on drug charges she claimed were trumped up.

Trillanes said that De Lima, who was arrested in February last year, was a victim of “political persecution” and not a drug queen as the administration would like to paint her image.

“She is a symbol of injustice and violation of human rights, rule of law and democracy in our country,” the opposition lawmaker said, adding that her incarceration was due to her strong insistence on investigating alleged extrajudicial killings that happened in Davao City during Duterte’s time as its mayor and in the country now that he is the chief executive.

http://old.philstar.com/headlines/2018/02/21/1790121/trillanes-duterte-counts-killing-filipinos-among-accomplishments

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 (No man is above the law…)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte “Wins” Person of the Year — Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project Says Duterte “Empowed Corruption“ and “Made a Mockery of Rule of Law” Nation-Wide

December 30, 2017
By: – Reporter / @JhoannaBINQ
 / 03:14 PM December 30, 2017
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President Rodrigo Duterte. PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

A network of nonprofit investigative centers and several major regional news organizations around the globe has named President Rodrigo Duterte as its “Person of the Year” for his crackdown against illegal drugs.

The network, through its investigative reporting platform known as the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), gives the title to an individual every year “who has done the most in the world to advance organized criminal activity and corruption”.

Drew Sullivan, editor of the OCCRP, said Duterte “has made a mockery of rule of law” in the country for empowering corruption “in an innovative way.”  Sullivan is one of the nine judges who made the selection from nominations submitted by journalists and the public, according to the OCCRP website report published on Dec. 28, 2017.

“While he is not your typical corrupt leader, he has empowered corruption in an innovative way. His death squads have allegedly focused on criminals but, in fact, are less discriminating,” Sullivan said.

“He has empowered a bully-run system of survival of the fiercest. In the end, the Philippines are more corrupt, more cruel, and less democratic,” he added.

Palace reaction

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar disputed the award on Saturday, saying that Duterte has done the complete opposite of the OCCRP’s claim.

“Parang kabaliktaran ata dahil ang ating Pangulo ay ginawa naman niya lahat para kalabanin, para labanan ang organized crime para mapuksa ang [inaudible] drugs, ipinagbabawal na gamot, para matigil na ‘yung drug trafficking dito sa ating bansa at para mahinto ang gawin nilang transshipment ng droga ‘yung ating bansa,” Andanar said in an interview over state-run Radyo Pilipinas.

(It appears that it’s the other way around because our President has done everything to fight organized crime, suppress illegal drugs, eradicate drug trafficking in the country, and stop making the Philippines as the transshipment point of illegal drugs.)

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, on the other hand, did not comment on OCCRP’s “recognition”, saying he has “never heard of that award.”

Duterte beat out two African strongmen for the title–South African President Jacob Zuma and recently-ousted Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.

The OCCRP had given the distinction before to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Montenegro Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, and Russian President Vladimir Putin for their “iron-fisted rule.”

Groundbreaking investigative reports

OCCRP has also spearheaded several groundbreaking investigative reports, including the controversial ‘Panama Papers and Offshore Leaks” database in collaboration with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). It’s most recent work is the $3-billion secret slush fund of Azerbaijan’s ruling elite.

It is also the only full-time investigative reporting organization that specializes in organized crime and corruption.

The panel of judges of the Person of the Year 2017 award is composed of nine corruption-fighting journalists, scholars and activists, including Luis Manuel Botello of Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists./asu

Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/956256/global-investigative-journalism-network-names-duterte-its-2017-person-of-the-year#ixzz52jMe3Xcc
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Will Filipinos rise up against President Rodrigo Duterte?

October 29, 2017

In the face of President Rodrigo Duterte’s lethal drug policy to kill users and dealers at the slightest excuse, Philippine society is gradually daring to push back. Florian Neuhof reports from Manila.

A banner on a hut in the Philippines

In Manila’s sprawling North Cemetery, paved roads are lined with the sumptuous tombs of the wealthy. Multi-storied and ornate, they resemble comfortable family homes. In narrower alleyways, chest-high graves and towering tombstones remind of the deceased. Occasionally, a funeral procession clogs a lane, a nuisance to the graveyard’s living inhabitants.

Around 5,000 squatters have settled amidst the graves, their small shacks of plywood and corrugated iron nestled in between the ostentatious final resting places of the rich. In the evenings, they gather to drink beer and listen to music. Young men play basketball on a concrete patch near one of the entrances.

A little further inwards, 70-year-old Elvira Miranda leans on a grave and points to a vacant plot. It was on this spot that her son Leover, a 39-year-old mentally-handicapped man, was gunned down by police officers after visiting his mother.

A woman holds up a photograph of her dead sonLeover is one of an estimated 13,000 casualties of Duterte’s lethal war on drugs

“He encountered members of the police and was handcuffed. Our neighbor overheard that he was being asked his name, and why he was here. And then he was shot,” Mrs Miranda says with a feeble voice.

The police did not explain their actions, says Miranda, who did not witness the shooting but was told by neighbors how her son had died. Most likely, they mistook Leover’s deranged behavior for signs of intoxication, making him another casualty of the lethal war on drugs kicked off by hard-line President Rodrigo Duterte.

Free reign against drug users

Vowing to rid the Philippines of drugs, he gave the police free reign to kill users and dealers at the slightest excuse. Death squads with murky ties to the police and vigilante groups have added to the bloodshed.

Since he assumed office in June 2016, activists estimate that 13,000 people have fallen victim to his brutal crackdown. It is the poor, packed into the slums of the cities, who are bearing the brunt of the onslaught.

“Most of the victims are innocent, young poor people who can’t defend themselves,” says Benjamin Cordero, an activist for the ‘Stop the Killing’ movement that is campaigning against the extrajudicial killings.

“People die here every other day,” says Romelito Jimenez, the husband of Mrs Miranda’s niece, who also lives on the cemetery. Only two weeks after Leover was gunned down, the police killed a cousin of his wife, says Jimenez. He had occasionally smoked “shabu,” as crystal meth is known in the Philippines.

It is not just police officers pulling the trigger. In a modest neighborhood in the Sampaloc district of Manila, 51-year-old Ernesto Tapang sat in front of his home one night in January, waiting for his son to return from a long shift driving a truck through Manila’s congested streets.

Map of the Philippines

Random killings

A surveillance camera installed nearby captured how a SUV pulled up at his door, and several armed men got out of the vehicle. Raising their pistols, they began to shoot, the muzzle flashes illuminating the grainy camera footage. The footage shows how Tapang scrambled to his feet and tried to escape. An incident report from the local authorities would later state that his lifeless body was delivered to the hospital with 18 gunshot wounds.

The family says that Tapang never took drugs, and local authorities confirm that he was not on their drugs watch list that Duterte’s henchmen use to track down their victims.

“We think it was a case of mistaken identity. He was friends with the tricycle drivers, and some of them take drugs. A few days earlier, a guy was gunned down nearby,” says Emilita Tapang-Pantado, Tapang’s youngest sister. She believes that her brother fell victim to a death squad that was called into life by the president, and who are known as the “Davao Death Squad” after the city that Duterte hails from.

Duterte won last year’s elections in a landslide victory, and his tough stance on drugs proved populareven in the poor sections of society.

“They are pro-Duterte as long as it doesn’t happen to them. My bother even voted for him. He agreed with his policy on drugs,” says Tapang-Pantado.

But as the death toll began to rise, opposition to his ruthless anti-narcotics drive grew.

Opposition to Duterte grows

There was outrage when police killed three unarmed teenagers in separate incidents over the summer. Thousands marched in protest when video footage emerged of 17-year-old Kian Santos being marched down an alley and shot by police, who later claimed he was resisting arrest.

Mourners in the Philippines display a bannerPhilippine society is slowly but gradually finding its voice against President Duterte

Kian’s death prompted the influential Catholic Church to take a clear stand against the extrajudicial killings. When the police came to take two under-aged witnesses that had sought shelter in the San Roque Cathedral in Manila, Bishop Pablo David refused to hand them over.

The church has been slow to criticize Duterte’s drug war, having been cowed into silence by the president’s ferocious attack on the institution, which centered on child abuse scandals committed by the clergy.

Buoyed by the the protests, the church is now finding its voice.

According to Carlos Conde, a Philippines researcher for Human Rights Watch, opposition to Duterte is growing slowly but surely.

“A lot of people thought that Duterte was invincible. The death of those kids and the public outcry will encourage civil society and the church to speak up. The [church] will play an even more significant role in the months and years ahead.”

http://www.dw.com/en/will-filipinos-rise-up-against-president-rodrigo-duterte/a-41103558

After Philippine Police Kill 32 Drug Suspects in One Day; President Duterte Urges Them To Kill 32 More The Next Day

August 16, 2017
Duterte yesterday said authorities should kill more pushers to reduce the drug problem plaguing the country. PPD/File

MANILA, Philippines –  President Duterte welcomed the killing of 32 drug suspects in simultaneous raids in Bulacan last Tuesday and defended policemen from critics who questioned the way the operations were conducted.

Duterte yesterday said authorities should kill more pushers to reduce the drug problem plaguing the country.

“Yung namatay daw sa Bulacan, 32 (Thirty-two people reportedly died in Bulacan) in a massive raid. Maganda yun (That’s good),” the President said at the 19th anniversary of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption at Malacañang.

“Pumatay tayo (Let’s kill) another 32 everyday, maybe we can reduce what ails this country,” he added.

Thirty-two suspected drug offenders died and 107 others were nabbed during simultaneous law enforcement operations, which began last Monday in the province. Police recovered illegal drugs, grenades and firearms during the raids.

The President said he is expecting human rights advocates to criticize the law enforcement operations.

“There will be outcry again over the 32 who were killed. They would grieve again for justice,” he said.

“Many are being killed because policemen are working. They are protected under my watch.”

Duterte said he has ordered security forces to destroy the apparatus of the drug trade, which he said is “taking a toll on the lives of the people.”

“My order is to destroy the apparatus. Kung napatay ka, pasensya ka (If you get killed, sorry). We will finish this for the next generation,” he said.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/08/17/1729961/rody-bulacan-drug-deaths-kill-32-more-daily

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Duterte says drug problem can’t be solved in just one term

President Rodrigo Duterte vowed during the campaign period that he can fix the country from illegal drugs in three to six months. File photo

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that the country’s illegal drugs problem is so severe that a six-year term for a president is not enough to solve it.

“Look itong shabu, ang drugs, etc., cannot be solved by one man, for a president for one term,” Duterte said in his speech at the Philippine Development Forum: Sulong Pilipinas 2017 forum last Wednesday.

“It has bugged nations, hindi nga kaya ng Amerika, tayo pa,” he added.

READ: Duterte vows to keep drug war amid human rights concerns

 

During the campaign period, Duterte vowed to solve the problem in three to six months.

Three months after assuming presidency in July, the president asked for an extension of another six months.

READ: Rights groups want tougher stance on Duterte’s drug war from Trump

http://www.philstar.com/news-videos/2017/08/11/1727928/watch-duterte-says-drug-problem-cant-be-solved-just-one-term

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Photos obtained by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism show the body of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. lying flat on his back with his eyes half-open, and both of his hands empty. He was killed while in police custody during a “jail house shoot out” with police. All the police involved were exonerated and returned to duty. Image obtained by PCIJ/Nancy Carvajal
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Credit: Raffy Lerma—Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Philippine drug war. Credit: Alecs Ongcal

 (The Philippines seems to be siding with China, Russia and Iran)

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Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl — killed in President Duterte’s war on drugs — looks like it has been put out with the trash….. Presidential spokeman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.
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Image result for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

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Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kine also said the numbers of fatalities in the drug war launched by President Rodrigo Duterte when he assumed office on June 30, 2016, are “appalling but predictable” since he (Duterte) vowed to “forget the laws on human rights.”

Image result for Boy Cruz, philippine policeman, photos

Philippines Policeman found tortured and strangled after some fellow police said he was involved in the illegal drug trade. Photo Credit Boy Cruz

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/08/1600763/cop-linked-drugs-tortured-killed

 (December 23, 2016)

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 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

“They are afraid the incident could cause President Duterte to declare martial law. I talked with some sultans and ulamas and elders here… and that’s what they have told me,” Ponyo said.

 (November 30, 2016)

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High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo, Jean-Marc Ferré

Summary executions of supposed drug dealers and other criminals have become a common occurence in recent weeks. The STAR/Joven Cagande, file

 (November 16, 2016)

 (August 10, 2016)

Davao City’s Ronald dela Rosa has been appointed to become the next chief of the Philippine National Police to lead President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s planned crackdown on illegal drugs. Facebook/Dela Rosa
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Crime scene investigators examine a vehicle used by two drug suspects killed during an alleged shootout with officers along NIA Road in Quezon City on June 21, 2016. JOVEN CAGANDE/file
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President Rodrigo Duterte's crusade against drug users and dealers is controversial

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry's Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry’s Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Health officials closed Henry's Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Health officials closed Henry’s Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Amnesty: Indonesia waging its own ‘war on drugs’

August 16, 2017

Police killings of suspected drug dealers have spiked, with 60 recorded deaths so far this year compared to 18 in 2016. The trend has led Amnesty International to warn that the country could be emulating the Philippines.

Indonesien Beschlagnahmte Drogen nach einer Razzia (Getty Images/AFP/Ricardo)

The dramatic spike in the number of unlawful killings carried out by Indonesian police against suspected drug dealers is the latest signal that the country could be sliding into a “war on drugs” similar to that seen in the Philippines, rights group Amnesty International warned on Wednesday.

Data obtained by the group showed a more than 200-percent rise in drug-related killings carried out by Indonesian police so far this year, with the number of deaths rising up to 60 from just 18 last year.

Read more: Why Jakarta presses forward with drug executions despite global outcry

Amnesty’s director in Indonesia, Usman Hamid, said in a statement: “This shocking escalation in unlawful killings by the police sounds serious alarm bells. While Indonesian authorities have a duty to respond to increasing rates of drug use in the country, shooting people on sight is never a solution. Not only is it unlawful, it will also do nothing to address the root causes that lead to drug use in the first place.”

Most of the violence has been concentrated around the capital city of Jakarta or the well-known drug trafficking hub of Sumatra.

Indonesia officials back tough stance

Indonesian police forces have justified the increase in killings, saying victims were shot for resisting arrest. However, Amnesty said it found no evidence that authorities had conducted even a single independent investigation into the shootings.

That data also reflects the Indonesian government’s increasingly tough rhetoric on drug-related crime, with President “Jokowi” Widodo openly endorsing the use of unrestrained force against suspected foreign traffickers, especially those resisting arrest. “Be firm, especially to foreign drug dealers who enter the country and resist arrest,” he said at a speech in Jakarta in late July. “Enough, just shoot them. Be merciless.”

Indonesia Joko Widodo (Reuters/Beawiharta)Indonesia’s Joko Widodo has endorsed the use of force in policing drug-related crimes

Police chief hails Duterte’s “war on drugs”

The president’s remarks came after the country’s national police chief, General Tito Karnavian, ordered officers “not to hesitate shooting drug dealers who resist arrest” and praised Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal “war on drugs” as an effective means of making drug dealers “go away.”

Since coming to power in May last year, Duterte has waged a brutal war on drugs in a bid to wipe out the use of narcotics in the Philippines. According to police data, some 3,500 so-called “drug personalities” have been killed by Duterte’s anti-drug squadsover the past year, as well as a further 2,000 people linked to drug-related crimes.

Read more: Alleged hitman links Duterte to ‘death squad’ killings

Earlier this year, Amnesty documented that anti-drug forces had grown to resemble a criminal enterprise more than a police force.

“President Duterte should not under any circumstances be considered a role model for Indonesia,” said Amnesty’s Hamid. “Far from making the Philippines safer, his bloody ‘war on drugs’ has led to the deaths of thousands without any form of accountability.”

http://www.dw.com/en/amnesty-indonesia-waging-its-own-war-on-drugs/a-40110231

dm/kms (AFP, Amnesty)

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Photos obtained by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism show the body of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. lying flat on his back with his eyes half-open, and both of his hands empty. He was killed while in police custody during a “jail house shoot out” with police. All the police involved were exonerated and returned to duty. Image obtained by PCIJ/Nancy Carvajal
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Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting

Credit: Raffy Lerma—Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Image may contain: one or more people, shoes and outdoor

Philippine drug war. Credit: Alecs Ongcal

 (The Philippines seems to be siding with China, Russia and Iran)

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Image may contain: outdoor
Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl — killed in President Duterte’s war on drugs — looks like it has been put out with the trash….. Presidential spokeman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

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Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kine also said the numbers of fatalities in the drug war launched by President Rodrigo Duterte when he assumed office on June 30, 2016, are “appalling but predictable” since he (Duterte) vowed to “forget the laws on human rights.”

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Philippines Policeman found tortured and strangled after some fellow police said he was involved in the illegal drug trade. Photo Credit Boy Cruz

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/08/1600763/cop-linked-drugs-tortured-killed

 (December 23, 2016)

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 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

“They are afraid the incident could cause President Duterte to declare martial law. I talked with some sultans and ulamas and elders here… and that’s what they have told me,” Ponyo said.

 (November 30, 2016)

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and beard

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo, Jean-Marc Ferré

Summary executions of supposed drug dealers and other criminals have become a common occurence in recent weeks. The STAR/Joven Cagande, file

 (November 16, 2016)

 (August 10, 2016)

Davao City’s Ronald dela Rosa has been appointed to become the next chief of the Philippine National Police to lead President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s planned crackdown on illegal drugs. Facebook/Dela Rosa
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Crime scene investigators examine a vehicle used by two drug suspects killed during an alleged shootout with officers along NIA Road in Quezon City on June 21, 2016. JOVEN CAGANDE/file
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President Rodrigo Duterte's crusade against drug users and dealers is controversial

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry's Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry’s Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Health officials closed Henry's Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Health officials closed Henry’s Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Philippine mayor linked to drugs killed in raid, police say

July 30, 2017

AFP

© AFP | War on drugs in the Philippines

MANILA (AFP) – A Philippine mayor named as being involved in the narcotics trade was shot dead in a police raid Sunday, authorities said, the latest official to be killed since President Rodrigo Duterte launched a drug war.

Duterte has singled out local officials, policemen and judges as part of a crackdown that has made him popular with many Filipinos but has been condemned by human rights groups and other critics.

Among those Duterte named was Reynaldo Parojinog, mayor of Ozamiz city, who was killed along with 11 others in a dawn raid on his home, police said.

“Police were serving a search warrant when the security guards of the mayor fired at them so our policemen retaliated,” police regional spokesman Superintendent Lemuel Gonda told AFP.

Officers recovered grenades, ammunition as well as illegal drugs in the raid, according to police provincial chief Jaysen De Guzman.

Duterte won the presidency last year promising to kill tens of thousands of criminals to prevent the Philippines from becoming a narco-state.

Since he took office, police have reported killing nearly 3,200 people in the drug war.

More than 2,000 other people have been killed in drug-related crimes, according to police data.

Rights groups say many of those victims have been killed by vigilante death squads linked to the government, and that Duterte may be overseeing a crime against humanity.

In a speech last year, Duterte said Parojinog was among mayors involved in the illegal drug trade.

Police said Sunday they had conducted surveillance on Parojinog based on the president’s remarks.

“He has many security personnel who carry unlicensed firearms,” regional police chief Timoteo Pacleb told radio DZMM.

Two other mayors Duterte mentioned in his so-called “drug list” were killed last year.

In November, Rolando Espinosa, the mayor of Albuera town, was killed during a night-time raid in a provincial jail.

Duterte had defended the officers involved in the raid and ordered their reinstatement, with critics saying the decision would worsen the nation’s “culture of impunity”.

In October, Samsudin Dimaukom, the mayor of the southern town of Saudi Ampatuan, was killed in a shoot-out in a police checkpoint on suspicion he and his security personnel were transporting illegal drugs, authorities said.

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Photos obtained by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism show the body of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. lying flat on his back with his eyes half-open, and both of his hands empty. He was killed while in police custody during a “jail house shoot out” with police. All the police involved were exonerated and returned to duty. Image obtained by PCIJ/Nancy Carvajal
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Credit: Raffy Lerma—Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Philippine drug war. Credit: Alecs Ongcal

 (The Philippines seems to be siding with China, Russia and Iran)

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Image may contain: outdoor
Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl — killed in President Duterte’s war on drugs — looks like it has been put out with the trash….. Presidential spokeman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

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Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kine also said the numbers of fatalities in the drug war launched by President Rodrigo Duterte when he assumed office on June 30, 2016, are “appalling but predictable” since he (Duterte) vowed to “forget the laws on human rights.”

No automatic alt text available.

Philippines Policeman found tortured and strangled after some fellow police said he was involved in the illegal drug trade. Photo Credit Boy Cruz

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/08/1600763/cop-linked-drugs-tortured-killed

 (December 23, 2016)

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 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

“They are afraid the incident could cause President Duterte to declare martial law. I talked with some sultans and ulamas and elders here… and that’s what they have told me,” Ponyo said.

 (November 30, 2016)

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and beard

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo, Jean-Marc Ferré

Summary executions of supposed drug dealers and other criminals have become a common occurence in recent weeks. The STAR/Joven Cagande, file

 (November 16, 2016)

 (August 10, 2016)

Davao City’s Ronald dela Rosa has been appointed to become the next chief of the Philippine National Police to lead President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s planned crackdown on illegal drugs. Facebook/Dela Rosa
.

Crime scene investigators examine a vehicle used by two drug suspects killed during an alleged shootout with officers along NIA Road in Quezon City on June 21, 2016. JOVEN CAGANDE/file
.
.

President Rodrigo Duterte's crusade against drug users and dealers is controversial

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry's Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry’s Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Health officials closed Henry's Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Health officials closed Henry’s Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Philippine President Declares Martial Law in Mindanao: Spokesman

May 23, 2017

(Reuters) – Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday declared martial law in southern Mindanao province after fighting raged in southern Marawi City between the army and militants linked to Islamic state.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella made the announcement in Moscow, where the president is on a visit.

A meeting with Dmitry Medvedev will be canceled on Wednesday but Duterte will remain in Russia, Foreign Minister Alan Peter Cayetano said in a televised news conference.

(Reporting by Martin Petty; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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Philippine President Duterte talks About a “Junta.” He’s just joking, right?

May 22, 2017
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/ 12:09 AM May 22, 2017
OPINION

Just before leaving for Cambodia last May 10, President Duterte announced the appointments of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano as secretary of foreign affairs and Gen. Eduardo Año as secretary of the interior and local government. Earlier, the President named Gen. Roy Cimatu, a former AFP chief of staff, as environment and natural resources secretary.

Año is scheduled to assume his new post on June 2. Although up for compulsory retirement in October yet, Año will take early leave from the service to allow for his move to the Department of the Interior and Local Government. That makes four former military officers in President Duterte’s Cabinet which already has retired generals Delfin Lorenzana and Hermogenes Esperon Jr.

All four are graduates of the Philippine Military Academy and served continuously in the military organization throughout their professional careers. None of them are lawyers. But what they bring to the table are the old-fashioned values of discipline, a capacity for hard work, a willingness to place community interests above self, and most of all, a love of country. They also have their share of critics. Upon leaving the service, they automatically became civilians bringing with them their military background and experience.

In the Duterte Cabinet, there are two key groups that oversee and control government operations. One is the triad of economic managers made up of Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez, Socioeconomic Secretary Ernesto Pernia, and Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno. The other group is the other triad of former military officers that include Lorenzana, Esperon, and incoming Interior Secretary Año.

When the President jokingly announced that Año’s appointment completes his “junta,” perhaps he was not joking. With Año taking over the DILG, a key Cabinet position will be in the hands of a professional soldier with no political attachments and a reputation for getting the job done while instilling discipline in the organization. You will note that in Año’s short stint as AFP chief of staff, a more effective offensive was waged against the Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, resulting in greater casualties inflicted on those terror groups.

General Año’s unusually early appointment also closes the door to interested parties who would have used the office for political advantage.

This move of the President reveals an aspect of his character that has escaped earlier notice. When we speak of a “junta,” the image it conjures is that of a military group controlling government operations, especially after a revolutionary seizure of power. The best example of such a group would be the Egyptian military led by Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. After overthrowing the civilian government of President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, the junta called for elections with El-Sisi running for president. He won with 96 percent of the vote in an election international observers described as rigged.

Closer to home is the Thai military junta known as the National Council for Peace and Order that overthrew Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in 2014. After a few years, elections were held with the junta leader Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha being appointed prime minister by a military-dominated legislature with the blessings of the Royal Palace.

A junta can also be civilian in composition and can come about in a peaceful setting. The word “junta” is derived from the Latin “jungere” meaning “to join.”

In theory the three branches of our government serve as a system of checks and balances to make sure no one branch becomes too powerful. But the reality in the Philippines is that the legislative branch is practically an adjunct of the executive. After every presidential election, most elected representatives, regardless of original party affiliation, move over to the administration party or the party in power, citing all kinds of reasons. This provides the administration party with a supermajority to ensure that what the president wants the president gets. Even the official House minority bloc is often referred to as a company union. This supermajority also provides insurance against any impeachment complaints filed against the president.

The other branch, the judiciary, has often been described as “dysfunctional” with all pillars of the criminal justice system in disarray. Justice moves in painfully slow steps with cases often requiring many years before decisions are made. It is a system that favors the moneyed and the influential. And so our detention facilities are overcrowded with mostly the poor and marginalized; and often they are not even facing charges, but unfortunately they have no access to legal help for the paperwork that would get them released.

It is a system where the word “temporary” as in “temporary restraining order” (TRO) can sometimes mean eternity. Even the President has expressed alarm and displeasure with the issuance of TROs that delay the speedy implementation of infrastructure projects. It is a system crying out for reforms.

In truth, we do not have a working system of checks and balances. Whether we like it or not, what we do have is a powerful junta within the executive branch composed of six civilians under the President. This is the body that will make and implement the most important decisions affecting the nation and the lives of our people.

Read more: http://opinion.inquirer.net/104192/was-it-a-joke-or-the-reality#ixzz4hp1bTrMG
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

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