Pubdate: Wed, 03 Aug 2016
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
Copyright: 2016 PG Publishing Co., Inc.
Author: Jason Gutierrez, The New York Times


MANILA, Philippines - Since Rodrigo Duterte became president of the 
Philippines just over a month ago, promising to get tough on crime by 
having the police and the military kill drug suspects, 420 people 
have been killed in the campaign, according to tallies of police 
reports by the local news media.

Most were killed in confrontations with the police, while 154 were 
killed by unidentified vigilantes.

Addressing Congress last week in his first State of the Nation 
address, Mr. Duterte reiterated his take-no-prisoners approach, 
ordering the police to "triple" their efforts against crime.

"We will not stop until the last drug lord, the last financier and 
the last pusher have surrendered or been put behind bars or below the 
ground, if they so wish," he said.

Indirectly acknowledging criticism that his policies trample over the 
standard judicial process, he added that human rights "cannot be used 
as a shield to destroy the country."

He has called for drug users and sellers to turn themselves in or 
risk being hunted down, a threat apparently backed up by the bodies 
piling up near daily on the streets of Philippine cities.

The threat to surrender or die has prompted 114,833 people to turn 
themselves in, as either drug addicts or dealers, since Mr. Duterte 
took office, according to police logs.

Filipinos, pummeled by years of violent crime and corrupt, 
ineffective law enforcement, handed Mr. Duterte an overwhelming 
victory in the May presidential election.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom