Duerte's War on Drugs in the Philippines Another Chapter of Bloodshed in Society

Protest against the Philippine war on drugs at the Philippines Consulate General in New York City. Source: Flickr/Wikimedia Commons, by VOCAL-NY (Voices Of Community Activists & Leaders)

Photo: Protest against the Philippine war on drugs at the Philippines Consulate General in New York City. Source: Flickr/Wikimedia Commons, by VOCAL-NY (Voices Of Community Activists & Leaders).
PHILIPPINES -- In Manila, to be a person addicted to drugs could be a death sentence. If you are a person caught peddling dope, even if you are an impoverished teenager, the government can come and kill you with impunity. In fact, that's the law.

In contrast to the government's role in killing people in places like Mexico, in the Philippines the government leaders aren't bribed crooked narco politicians, they are hardliners that believe the punishment for involvement with drugs should be death. That makes the situation more grim in some ways. It is often the low level drug dealers that end up in prison, addicted or dead. That is true in both Mexico and the Philippines and pretty much any other country for that matter. The government is not just out there killing all the kingpins and putting them away for good. And even if they did, another kingpin would follow. This pattern repeats itself like clockwork globally.

Guns made in the Philippines are also a black market manufacturing good in high demand, as gangsters in the United States, Mexico, Europe, Asia and elsewhere look to get them produced well, for cheap, and virtually untraceable. There are many backyard machine shops producing all types of handguns and other types of weapons for sale on the black market, in tandem with the organized crime surrounding the illicit narcotics industry.

Al Jazeera reported that death tolls from murder the in country are rising and a major percentage of them are attributed to police killing civilians. They also reported that Duterte disregards the alleged 10,000 extrajudicial killings that have taken place during his drug war. He insists that crime has decreased under his watch, crimes such as kidnapping or theft, according to the report.

Duerte recently fired Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) chief Dionisio Santiago for comments he made to the press, saying that his "blabbering to the press" got him canned from his position in the government, according to reports. Duerte said he was offended by the comments. He told reporters this shortly before heading to a regional economic conference. Santiago openly criticised the Nueva Ecija mega drug rehabilitation center as well as the Philippines government's strategy to get addicts clean from drugs. After the firing, Duerte headed to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Vietnam.

According to the Philippine Star, Duerte and his war on drugs will face off now with the country's Supreme Court, their nation's highest court of law. The court will hear oral arguments on November 21, according to the report. Duerte, meanwhile, is pressuring Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to resign instead of facing a trial to be impeached. Polls in the country reveal that the political upheaval in what is seen as the last strike against the checks and balances system of the country is at the teetering point with the news of the judge ouster attempt. Duerte claims she has broke constitutional laws involving her finances and role as a public official, claiming she is corrupt and tried to block the arrest of Senator Leila de Lima, who is now incarcerated, reporting from the Asia Times has revealed.