The Philippine police has released some statistics confirming the extensive reach of the government’s “war on drugs.”
Dubbed as “Project Double Barrel Alpha,” the anti-drug campaign is a top priority of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, who assumed power last July 1.
Could this mean more deaths, arrests, police visits, and extrajudicial killings until 2022? Fighting illegal drugs and criminality deserves public support but how can the people approve the killing of innocent children? How can justice prevail if impunity involving state forces is elevated as a de facto doctrine of the government?
Impunity and Death Under a Duterte Presidency
In less than six months after becoming president, the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte has gained global notoriety for launching a bloody ‘war on drugs’. But actually, and frighteningly for Filipinos, this is only one facet of Duterte’s blatant disregard for human rights.
But as things stand today, Duterte’s reformist outlook is overshadowed by his brutal rejection of human rights concerns under his administration. The specter of death has become an everyday reality for ordinary Filipinos targeted by the ill-conceived ‘war on drugs’. Many activists and rural villagers continue to be accused of being communist sympathizers, political prisoners are held hostage by a government that refuses to correct the injustices of the past, and the president himself threatens to undermine the civil liberties of the people in order to achieve total victory in the so-called ‘war on drugs’.