civilian killings of drug lords and traffickers. “Do it yourself if you have the gun,” he said, before adding that he would give mercenaries medals for their murders.
The government has said that these speeches are to be taken figuratively, but with the staggering number of civilian vigilante killings, it appears as if the Filipino people are taking his suggestive, sanctioned comments literally.There are also claims that mercenaries are the police themselves, as a part of a giant underground killing ring, which Duterte has denied.
Duterte has vowed to end crime and to get rid of his country’s drug problem and the many drug lords and traffickers.
Cesar Gaviria, former President of Colombia, stated in an op-ed for the New York Times that Duterte has been repeating the same mistakes he made in a similar war on drugs in Colombia.
Drug rehab clinics are opening in the Philippines, but few people can afford to pay the ₱40,000 for treatment. More efforts are needed to serve the people who can’t pay for addiction treatment and to eliminate the drug market that has prospered. Until then, the killings of the drug war will continue.