Opinion | President Duterte’s War on Drugs Is a Pretense


MANILA — Since taking workplace simply over three years in the past, President Rodrigo Duterte has not solely overseen a murderous marketing campaign on drug customers and sellers. He has additionally unleashed a brazen assault on the nation’s democratic establishments — at instances, utilizing his so-called struggle on medication as a pretense for going after his political adversaries and dissenters.

I ought to know: I’m one in all its victims. I’m scripting this essay from a jail cell in Camp Crame, the nationwide Police Headquarters in Manila. I’ve spent the previous two years right here, after being arrested on fabricated drug-trafficking fees. But the one crime I dedicated was to make use of my platform as a senator to oppose the brutality of this administration’s marketing campaign in opposition to medication. And I hardly am the one goal.

Mr. Duterte’s authorities has orchestrated the removing of a Supreme Court chief justice and harassed and sidelined Vice President Leni Robredo (she belongs to a completely different celebration). Independent media homes have been bullied with bogus legal fees; one was successfully pressured into being bought to Duterte allies. The president has publicly threatened human rights activists and others with dying — by no means thoughts that he or his aides usually then downplay his statements as lighthearted banter.

But most worrisome, maybe, is the administration’s effort to cow what little stays of the formal political opposition, usually via politicized legal instances.



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