Killing hope

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The killing of young people, minors and children that have been blamed on the police of the Duterte regime is not without precedent.

The same atrocities were committed by the then PC-INP (Philippine Constabulary Integrated National Police) and the military of which it was then a part during the Marcos terror regime, which even before the declaration of martial law in 1972 was already abducting and murdering youth activists. Both are crimes against the future that is the youth’s promise. There is a difference between the intent of one and that of the other, but their consequences are the same.

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Descent to barbarism

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The wanton killings by the police and their surrogate assassins that are the main, in fact the only, component of the brutal and misdirected “war” on drugs that’s targeting the poor while the drug lords are treated with kid gloves and evade prosecution began almost as soon as Rodrigo Duterte assumed the Presidency last year.

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Class warfare

Dela Rosa and Duterte puppets
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The Philippine National Police (PNP) says that “only” 1, 398 individuals have been killed in the course of the Rodrigo Duterte regime’s “war” on the illegal drug trade out of a total of 6,011 killings in the country from July 1, 2016 when Mr. Duterte began his watch as President, until March 24, 2017, or a little more than eight months into his six-year term.

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Murder, he said

Rodrigo Duterte
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About extrajudicial killings (EJKs) in Davao city there have been rumors for over a decade. The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) looked into them in 2003 and found that the killing of dozens of people, most of them male, and under both Philippine and international standards, children — some of the victims were as young as 14 — apparently had to do with Davao’s reputation as a low-crime city. The implication was that the killing of who were then described as mostly petty criminals was the chosen strategy of the administration of then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to rid the city of crime.

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Reckless endangerment

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EIGHT out of ten Filipinos, a December 17 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey has found, fear that they or someone they know could be a victim of extrajudicial killings or EJKs.

As Senator Grace Poe has observed, the fear is understandable in view of the epidemic of killings in the course of the Duterte anti-illegal drug campaign. The police killing spree has claimed not only the lives of drug pushers and users; it has also victimized both those individuals who have nothing to do with the drug trade as well as drug addicts driven to the habit by poverty and desperation.

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Deterring crime

Detail from Pisanello's Saint George and the Princess
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PRESIDENT-ELECT Rodrigo Duterte’s reiteration of a campaign promise to have Congress restore the death penalty resonates among most Filipinos who’re justly concerned with,  and are in fact terrified by, the crimes that almost daily threaten their homes, their property and their lives and those of their kin. The number of rapes has nearly doubled, say women’s groups, and murders, kidnappings, assaults, and robberies have been multiplying, even as the drug trade destroys entire families. Outrage over these crimes’ persistence and their going unpunished is not limited to the survivors and kin of the victims. The demand for retribution cuts across classes but is especially strong among the students, professionals, office employees, and graveyard shift workers who feel they’re most vulnerable, and who are the most common crime victims.

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