Did police designate killers to help in Duterte's anti-drugs campaign?
Buying justice has topped one of the things you can buy in the Philippines, now that President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-drugs campaign has reached new heights.
Rose, whose name has been changed for privacy reasons, admitted in a video released by Al-Jazeera that she and her partner were hired by the police to kill criminals. She said that they are paid almost P10 000 (around $200) for their tasks. It has been apparent that the president's war against illegal drugs has focused on targeting those who live in poor communities, with the police going in their areas with a list rounding up these suspects in a so-called 'saturation drive'. According to Colonel Orlando Yebra from the Philippine National Police, their efforts are not only focused on the poor.
"We are not sparing all those rich communities because we still have a plan for them. They will also be subjected to some knock and plead operations," he said.
Critics were quick to point out that the police have not intervened the operations of those who are rich and also presumably in power, deeming their 'saturation drive' against the poor to be unjust. The war against illegal drugs started before the president's inauguration, and statistics show that more than 400 people have been killed since he assumed his position. The rate is alarming, considering that Duterte has only been in power for two months. It has been reported that these executions have become normal for some communities already.
Netizens in the comments section of the video continue to speak their mind about the matter, to which they have separated themselves in different camps. The majority believe hat the president's anti-drugs campaign is the right thing to do since it would prevent more crimes from happening. It has been believed that the root of all heinous criminal acts is illegal drugs. However, there are those who side with Senator Leila de Lima, who has been very vocal to look into these killings since we do not know if most of the suspects were killed without due process.
But there will always be those who are skeptical of such statements, saying that the media is to be blamed for shaping the consciousness of the public on how they should view the issue. On which side are you on? Do you completely agree or disagree with the Duterte administration's purge on drug users and pushers, regardless of their status in life? Or do you think this revelation is just black propaganda or as real as it gets?