Philippines antidrug crackdown

Since he took office last June, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has launched a nationwide antidrug campaign that has so far reportedly led to the deaths of more than 6,000 people, who were allegedly killed in police raids or at the hands of vigilante groups. National and international human rights groups have condemned the campaign and called on Duterte to stop the extrajudicial killings and ensure the protection and rights of people who use drugs. According to media reports, Duterte has rejected that the killings constituted a “crime against humanity”. Filipino presidential spokesperson, Ernesto Abella, while speaking on the administration’s accomplishment over the first six months of its crackdown on drug dealers and cartels, said that President Duterte’s anti-crime campaign had resulted in the surrender of more than 900,000 drug addicts and the confiscation of billions of worth of illicit drugs. Abella added that the government had come to regard drugs not only as a national security threat but also a “public health issue” which resulted in the building of rehabilitation facilities all over the country. — By European Pressphoto Agency

Bystanders look on as funeral parlor workers prepare to transport the body of an alleged drug user who was shot down by unidentified men in Mandaluyong City, east of Manila, on Nov. 21, 2016. (Mark R. Cristino/EPA)

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