Far from rethinking his bloody all-out war on drugs, the Philippines’ president, aka “The Punisher,” has threatened to pull out of the United Nations if it continued to criticize his rule.
He even pointed out the fatal police shootings in the United States to defend his controversial — often lethal — methods.
Since Rodrigo Duterte’s election in May, drug-related killings have doubled to a staggering total of 1,800.
In addition, as per the count stated by Ronald Dela Rosa, Philippines’ national police chief, at a recent Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings related to Duterte’s war on drugs, at least 712 people have been killed in “police operations” since July 1 and 1,067 others were killed by vigilante groups.
In fact, in the beginning of August, the bodies of drug dealers reportedly started piling up on the streets.
But the tragic consequences have not been able to discourage Duterte’s murderous campaign in any way, apparently, as was made clear to reporters at a bizarre and long-drawn-out press conference in Davao City.
In a scathing response to recent U.N .and U.S. criticism over human rights violations, Duterte threatened to “separate” the Philippines from the U.N.
He then defended his anti-drug war by comparing it to the latest spate of killings of unarmed black men at the hands of U.S. police.
"Why are you Americans killing the black people there, shooting them down when they are already on the ground?" he asked in response to a journalist’s question. "Answer that question, because even if it's just one or two or three, it is still human rights violations."
While Duterte’s retort about U.S. police brutality in no way serves as an excuse for his draconian drug war, police brutality in the U.S., especially against the African-American community, is more commonly being cited by other countries when accused of committing rights abuses.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Ezra Acayan