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Prosecute Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in the International Criminal Court.

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Since Duterte took office in late June, more than 6,000 people have been killed in his campaign to purge the Philippines of illegal drugs and those associated with them, according to reliable estimates by local media.  The ­victims—­suspected users and ­pushers—do not enjoy due process, and they are always killed at night, sometimes inside their own homes. The perpetrators are vigilantes, hired guns and likely cops too.

Duterte made no secret that this would happen. “All of you who are into drugs, you sons of bitches, I will really kill you,” he said last April, a month before he was elected. On September 30th 2016, controversial President Duterte likened his deadly crime war to Hitler’s efforts to exterminate Jews. He declared he was “happy to slaughter” millions of drug addicts. 

With prisons already crowded and a justice system so broken that drug cases could take a decade, Duterte argued successfully for another, quicker way. Dealers and addicts are being shot by police or slain by unidentified gunmen in mysterious, gangland-style murders taking place at night. Their bodies dumped on highways in the rain, curled in pools of blood in the slums. Some were found tied up, with masking tape plastered across their faces. Some were draped with cardboard signs that warned, “I’m a pusher. Don’t Be Like Me.” There are no trials, so there is no evidence that the people being killed are in fact drug dealers or drug addicts. This situation shows the weakness of human rights institutions and discourse in the face of a popular and skilled populist leader. 

It didn’t matter that this rate — an estimated 2 percent of Filipinos using drugs — was no higher than that of other countries like the United States or Australia in recent years, according to United Nations figures. It didn’t matter that drug wars mounted in countries like Thailand or Colombia or America had miserably failed.

The methods used by President Duterte in fighting crime and curbing problems associated with the drug war in the Philippines are totally insane. To take human lives in the name of justice is despicable.

I am shocked and appalled by the actions of the President and I think it is imperative that he is removed from office, prosecuted and put in jail. Although the war on drugs is important, it is not right to allow people to attack and kill drug users without it being proven in a court of law.

Thousands of people killed, and for what, to spread fear and increase the President's power. A man like that should not be President, I want him to be removed, I demand change.



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