State sanctioned death squads

The Herald reports:

Philippine President Rodrigo “The Punisher” Duterte is set to name up to 50 officials allegedly involved in drugs as state-sanctioned street executions of civilians soar to 600.

Mr Duterte’s lawyer Salvador Panelo said that 27 local executives identified in intelligence reports would be unmasked this week that figure had almost doubled.

“My God, you will be shocked,” Mr Panelo said last night, according to thePhilippine Inquirer.

He declined a request to give examples, citing operational reasons, but revealed many on the list were from prominent families and included provincial mayors and police generals and military figures.

The extraordinary development comes a day after Mr Duterte issued a “shoot on sight” order for Mayor Rolando Espinosa of Albuera and his son Rolando “Kerwin” Espinosa after three mayoral staffers were caught with ice, known as shabu in the .

The Radyo Inquirer said that the mayor surrendered on Tuesday after police shot dead six bodyguards during an early morning raid at the heavily fortified family compound.

Authorities have vowed to hunt down and kill his son, who vanished weeks ago after learning Duterte was coming after him.

No need for evidence or a trial. The President names you, and pays people to kill you. It’s like Judge Dredd, but not a comic.

More than 120,000 drug addicts – most of them shabu (ice) dependent – have been forced to “surrender” to police since Duterte took office in May.

Users are required to attend mass ceremonies where they register as drug criminals and pledge to never take drugs again.

Those who don’t register, or break their contract, do so at the risk of being hunted down and killed, either by police or at the hands of vigilantes.

Again no evidence or trial. Just guilt and death upon accusation.

Mr Duterte, whose “death squads” were linked to dozens of unexplained murders during his 20 year reign as mayor of Davao, has given police and civilians the power to kill users and pushers on sight.

“Rehab is no longer an option,” Mr Duterte told a cheering audience in Davao City.

“So those of you in your neighbourhood, feel free to call us, the police, or do it yourself if you have a gun. You have my support.”

In another well-received speech, he told the crowd: “In an arrest, you must overcome the resistance of the criminal. You must really overcome it. And if he fights, and he fights to death, you can kill him.

“Then I’ll give you a medal.”

Sadly his approval ratings are sky high.

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