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Philippine president says “kill the drug traffickers”

Caitlin Ashworth




“If it’s drugs, you shoot and kill. That’s the arrangement.”

Philippine police have been ordered to kill those caught trafficking drugs. Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte said publicly during a Cabinet meeting that he wanted a revised crackdown on the country’s drug trafficking. The country’s leader is known for his strong anti-drug and hard-ball stance on drug dealing and trafficking, backed by the national police, where more than 5,700 alleged drug suspects have been killed.

The president gave the order to Bureau of Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrer, who is a retired army general and former military chief of staff. While the commissioner did not attend the meeting, Duterte reiterated to the Cabinet what he told the commissioner in a previous meeting. The president mentioned he approved the commissioner’s request for firearms, but no one has been killed yet using the new guns, telling the customs officer to “shape up.”

“Drugs are still flowing inside the country through customs … I approved the purchase of firearms and until now you haven’t killed even one? I told him, ‘Shape up’ … I told him straight, ‘Drugs are still flowing in. I’d like you to kill there … anyway, I’ll back you up and you won’t get jailed. If it’s drugs, you shoot and kill. That’s the arrangement.”

The president has a history of threatening drug dealers, but has also denied ordering the extrajudicial killings. More than 5,700 drug suspects were killed during the 4 year anti-drug campaign. Most of the suspects were poor. Duterte claims those killed by police during the campaign threatened the lives of police officers.

Human rights groups got involved and the alleged crimes were reviewed by the International Criminal Court. In independent investigations by human rights groups, they found that some police killings were allegedly covered up by authorities. They say the scene was altered and police officers allegedly placed firearms in the victims’ hands to make it look like they fought back.

Police have responded by saying, if the human rights groups do have evidence of the alleged misconduct, then they should file criminal complaints in court.

In 2018, President Duterte placed the military in control of the customs bureau after large shipments of methamphetamine entered the country through Manila. Duterte says he will continue the crackdown in his remaining two years as president.



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  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    I was there in February.
    The newspapers were full of what the police called a buy bust.
    The police ordered drugs, and when they arrived, just shot the drug dealers. Well that is what the newspapers say.
    Apparently the drug dealers did not expect to be survive and just opened fire.
    No:”You have a right to a lawyer. You have a right to remain silent.”
    The police gave them the right to remain silent by shooting them.
    One was a town mayor and son. The drug dealers I mean not the policemen.

    • Avatar

      S. Sparde

      Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 2:03 am

      wtf, I love Duterte now.

  2. Avatar


    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    so selling drug is worst than murder a drug dealer ? for the first you die for the second you get a reward from the president, what a F*** up world we live in !

    • Avatar


      Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 3:57 am

      Found the degenerate druggy. I hope Duterte comes for you next.

  3. Avatar


    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    Duterte is a murderer. He admitted that. When he needs someone new to blame, he’ll kill your family members. And in the end, the relatives of those murdered by Duterte and his supporters will be the target of a mass kill off. A desire for revenge is the result of murderous regimes like Duterte’s.

  4. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 7:34 pm

    It’s been a few yrs since I’ve been to the Philippines.

    • Avatar


      Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 2:04 am

      Fascinating story. Really worth making a comment for.

  5. Avatar


    Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 9:23 am

    Yet we place sanctions on Russia and China. Government don’t care about human rights. Not going to visit the Philippines or any other shithole countries that kill the poor.

    Also if you give poor people enough heroin and rip them of their opportunities, the matter will take care of it self.

  6. Avatar

    Preesy Chepuce

    Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 9:49 am

    The whole place sounds like a trap house.

  7. Avatar


    Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 10:08 am

    Without any trial , that is a murder !

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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