Duterte must be stopped!
Shortly after being sworn into office on June 30, 2016, Durterte ramped up the war on drugs with a campaign called ‘OPLAN TOKHANG’ – a portmanteau of two words meaning ‘to knock’ and ‘to plead’. Suspected drug users and pushers were hunted at all hours; and mostly shot dead. Their corpses were mummified and displayed in the streets with placards reading “Pusher or drug user – don’t be like me” as a warning.
One year on, the word has been witness to over 12,000 murders, 1,200,000 surrenders and 64,000 arrests of people who use or are suspected of using drugs. More than 60% of these killings have reportedly been carried out by masked vigilante gunmen. Prisons are cramped and those in prisons are subject to an extremely slow-moving national judiciary system.
Duterte’s war on drugs has effectively given him a license to kill and promoted a culture of impunity. It has disproportionately affected low-income and marginalized communities in the Philippines. Duterte’s war on drugs has not only led to mass murder and incarceration, but has destroyed peace, security and the lives of families and communities. It has hurt the dignity of individuals who believe that every human life is valuable and their rights must be protected.