Rodrigo Duterte, the recently-elected president of the Philippines, delivered his State of the Nation Address, and in it he vowed to show “no mercy” in his violent war on drugs and crime as he warned criminals that human rights advocates and priests cannot protect them from being murdered.
Duterte was elected in June, after promising to stop crime and corruption throughout the country by killing anyone who uses or sells drugs, reports Drug Policy Alliance.
Duterte has even encouraged law enforcement officers, and civilians, to kill drug addicts and anyone suspected of selling drugs. He said, “If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.”
“I strongly suspect that Filipinos will come to regret their election of a president who expresses such contempt for basic principles of due process and human rights,’ said the Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “A government that condones extra-judicial killings of people who use or sell drugs will eventually turn its terror on others – it’s just a matter of time.”
The Philippines has always had a draconian approach to drug policy and upheld strict drug laws, such as 20 years in jail for possession of 5 grams or more of any type of drug. But Duterte’s tactics are unprecedented. He has intensified an already-harsh drug policy to the extreme, provoking terror and violence throughout the country.