Philippines’ Duterte Has Been Called to Account Over Violence, Not the US
By Daily Bell Staff - August 22, 2016


President Duterte kicks out all presidential appointees in government … Duterte on Sunday lashed out at the U.S. police killings of black men in his latest outburst against critics of his anti-drug campaign, which has left hundreds of suspects dead. – Inquirer

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday that he would be firing thousands of federal officials. Duterte is operating a violent campaign against drugs and corruption since coming to power two months ago.

Some 500 or more “drug dealers” have been killed in gun-battles with the police. A huge number – some 600,000 –  have surrendered and are likely in jail.

He’s done this, he says, to cut down on crime in the Philippines. But he is receiving considerable criticism as a result.

Many countries including the US have indicated their disapproval. The US State Department and two UN human rights experts have told Duterte that he needs to ensure law enforcement is compliant with human rights obligations.

The UN’s Agnes Callamard, a Special Rapporteur has informed Duterte that his government could be held liable for his actions.

“Claims to fight illicit drug trade do not absolve the government from its international legal obligations and do not shield state actors or others from responsibility for illegal killings.”

The result? Duterte has indicated he may withdraw from the United Nations. And he  has responded with criticisms of his own aimed at the US.


“Why are you Americans killing the black people there, shooting them down when they are already on the ground?” he asked. “Answer that question, because even if it’s just one or two or three, it is still human rights violations.”

He also criticized US involvement in Middle Eastern wars, especially Syria and indicated that if the UN continued to threaten him that he would go to Russia and China and suggest they form an alternative body to the UN.

As regards the US, Duterte’s response is surely an effective one. The US is suffering from a plague of police violence. Too often, US police shoot suspects rather than arrest them. And, too often, individuals are assaulted or even shot as a result of mistaken identity.

When it comes to overseas wars, the US in particular has killed millions in serial confrontations with Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria. Duterte has been called to account. Not so the US.

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  • mary

    DB, is it accurate that 600k surrender and are in jail? How can they house all those people all of a sudden?

  • esqualido

    Even in WWII propoganda films, the evil Nazi SS troops pounded on the door demanding it be opened. The rule today, as portayed in ever single maladroitly labeled “Law and Order”program is for the head of a riot-gear-clad operation to holler, “Search Warrant!” and then ,with no further ado, smash someone’s (hopefully the right someone) door in, maybe throwing a few “flash-bang” grenades in for good measure. No waiting for a response or slipping the warrant under the door- that might give someone time to flush the toilet, but more to the point, always remember that the police are the ones dispensing violence. Never mind that an innocent resident, hearing a home invasion in progress, and having been shown no identification (anyone can wear a fluorescent jacket that says POLICE), who legitimately believes he is under attack can be expected to defend hilmself and his family. This sort of thuggishness was not always the norn in America, and it is up to us to demand respect and civility in a civil society.