On the very same day he assumed office, President Rodrigo Duterte personally went to the slums of Manila and urged residents to “go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.”

Two months have passed since then and true enough, nearly 2,000 alleged drug pushers and users have been killed. With this, Duterte is not facing criticisms from rights activists, international bodies, and outspoken Filipinos, including the top judge herself. In return, Duterte stuck to his guns and even threatened to declare martial law if the Supreme Court continues to butt in.

Last month, a survey showed that he has the support of 91% of Filipinos. However, no new surveys have been released since then.

Photo by Joven Cagande/PhilStar file photo
According to police chief Ronald dela Rosa, the police records show that there are more than 1,900 have been killed, including 756 suspected drug dealers and users who the claimed to have resisted arrest. More than 1,000 deaths are already under investigation and some may not even be drug-related.

A doctor of sociology and director of Ateneo de Manila University’s Development Studies Program, Jayeel Cornelio, said that there might only be a few Duterte supporters who are actually disillusioned by the killings and his rhetoric because of the promises he made during the campaign period which was to kill criminals and end drugs. They also take comfort in his cursing and no-holds-barred comments.

On the other hand, Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said that the killings “may be a necessary evil in the pursuit of a greater good”. The same sentiment is always echoed by Duterte supports in the comments section.

“The killings are OK so there will be less criminals, drug pushers, and drug addicts in our society,” said a 25-year old cleaner in Manila.

Meanwhile, Kim Labasan, a Manila shopkeeper, expressed her dislike of Duterte’s constant swearing, his “stepping on too many toes”, and his decision to have the former President Ferdinand Marcos to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Despite this, she supports the anti-drug campaign even with the spate of drug-related killings because accrodingt o her, she has personally seen the effects of drugs. 

“A battle of moralities is being waged right now by this administration—before, if you were a human rights advocate you are a hero of the country, now you are seen as someone who can destroy the country,” Cornelio explained.

Furthermore, he said that Duterte promotes ‘penal populism’ which is a process wherein he identifies a particular enemy and then hunts him down to death. The results of this is visible and felt by people so “it becomes more important than many other things to the ordinary person.” ASCS

Source: Philstar

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Filipinos still support Duterte despite drug killings Filipinos still support Duterte despite drug killings Reviewed by Kristian S. on 28 August Rating: 5

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