The Philippines’ Disturbing new President

Via Guardian:  Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte urges people to kill drug addicts

Following a measured speech after taking his oath before a small audience inside the presidential palace, the outspoken leader paid an evening visit to a Manila slum and unleashed profanity-laden threats against drug traffickers in front of a crowd of about 500 people

“These sons of whores are destroying our children. I warn you, don’t go into that, even if you’re a policeman, because I will really kill you,” the head of state told the audience.

“If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.”

Duterte has been accused of linkages to death squads when he was mayor of Davao and these types of public statements, which are not uncommon, certainly makes one take those accusations rather seriously.

On the subject of killing drug dealers, he said the following last month:

“Please feel free to call us, the police, or do it yourself if you have the gun, you have my support,” Duterte said in his speech, which was televised nationally.

He warned about an extensive illegal drugs trade in the country that involved even police. If a drug dealer resisted arrest or refused to be brought to a police station and instead threatened a citizen with a gun or knife, “you can kill him”, Duterte said. “Shoot him and I’ll give you a medal.”

It is more than disturbing that Duterte has openly campaigned with such statements and yet won the presidency.  For example:

During the election campaign, Duterte picked fights with the envoys of key allies the US and Australia after they criticised his joke about wanting to rape a “beautiful” Australian missionary who was sexually assaulted and killed in a Davao prison riot.

He won handily in May.

Meanwhile, I am sure nothing could go wrong here (via Time):    The Philippine Communist Militia Has Joined President Duterte’s War on Drugs

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said in a statement on Saturday that it had authorized its in-house militia, the New People’s Army (NPA), to “disarm and arrest” drug lords, local news site GMA News reports

“The CPP reiterates its standing order for the NPA to carry out operations to disarm and arrest the chieftains of the biggest drug syndicates, as well as other criminal syndicates involved in human rights violations and destruction of the environment,” the statement said.

FILED UNDER: Asia, Environment, Policing, The Presidency, World Politics, , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. CSK says:

    Sounds as if it’s straight out of the Donald Trump playbook.