In a post-electoral United States, we are faced with a President-elect who openly discriminates any person of color, categorizes women, and desires to “Make America Great Again”. News flash: it never will, especially with that rhetoric. But to most Filipino’s having a socially destructive, woman oppressing, power hungry leader is not new.
In June 30, 2016 Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte was made the President of the Philippines and will be for the next 6 years. He is a man who has made casual rape jokes, ordered deaths of petty criminals because he said so, called the Pope and President Barack Obama “a son of a whore”, and boasted about his extramarital affairs to reporters citing that he has two wives and two girlfriends of vary ages all over the country.
His election run has garnered much support through his main point of cracking down on the war on drugs in the Philippines and putting those who are involved in drugs to justice. While it might sound great and logical, since the start of Presidency the war on drugs has amassed some 730,000 suspected drug users and dealers who have turned themselves in or arrested have overrun and overcrowded the local jails all over the country. But here’s the kicker, “close to 2,000 suspected drug dealers have been killed in encounters with police over the past four months. And that number doubles when you add unexplained killings that human rights groups blame on vigilantes, the police or both” (NPR).
The amount of aggressiveness brought forth by the Duterte administration and the fear of these vigilantes hunting down suspected criminals is enough to cause such a chaos and over population of the jails. I’m going to focus on a word here: suspected. As of right now, these people locked up in jail or those that have been killed are and were suspected of doing drugs or committing narcotics trafficking. Suspected. And yet they are being locked up or being killed through executive order of the President to shoot and kill those suspected of committing drug related crimes and actions (CNN).
He has built a platform on fear mongering and openly wanting to kill and wipe out the criminals he believes the people of the Philippines wish to get rid of. If these past six months are anything to go by, the Presidency of Duterte will be bloody and non-transparent. I fear for what is to come not only those who are being directly targeted by him and his administration but for those he will come for next.
American should watch their backs, Duterte might seem far and distant to you but words and actions filled with hate and discrimination got him the Presidency, just as it for Donald Trump. Duterte might be half way across the world but his ideas and his beliefs are very similar of that of the man about to be sworn in on January. I say watch out America, we are in for a long four years.