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Human rights group calls for investigation into Davao City mayor Duterte


Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte In Hot Water After Human Rights Group Calls for Investigation – Photograph by Rude Dolfo  of Davao City –

American-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on the government of the Philippines to investigate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s role in summary executions by the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS) since he became mayor in 1988.

HRW says they believe that at least 1,000 people have been executed under the regime of the mayor – many involving illegal drug trade – saying he “continued to espouse the killing of criminal suspects.”

In a statement, HRW called out Duterte’s latest speech on how the city has become the ninth safest in the world – in the speech he said his secret was to “kill them all.”

Duterte also noted that he couldn’t care less if someone filed a case against him for his actions, saying: “Why should I be afraid to go to prison?

“When you start to be soft in this country and allow Western thoughts to seep in, that’s when you start to have problem,” he said, referring to the abolition of the death penalty and the concept of rehabilitation for criminals as ideas “imported” from the West. “They want to rehabilitate instead of just killing the idiots,” he said.

“The Philippine government should take a zero-tolerance approach to any public official who publicly endorses extrajudicial killings as an acceptable means of crime control,” Phelim Kine, HRW deputy Asia director, said.

Mr Kine added that the mayor’s long-standing support for extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals “should prompt a long overdue investigation.

HRW said it had documented the existence of the DDS and Duterte’s role in the killings as early as 2009. The Commission on Human Rights conducted a similar probe, which resulted in the implication of police officers. Duterte has never been charged and 21 police officers were found guilty by the Ombudsman of simple neglect of duty and fined the equivalent of a month’s salary. Later the court of appeals overturned the verdict.

Recently the Philippines has rounded up ex-Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy for his part is a massive killing spree closely aligned with Duterte’s DDS Squad. He is being charged with killing business competitors along with a large number of his employees, business associates and police officers.

Duterte has been lambasted for his part in making public statements which to many encourage the killing of suspected criminals – to date nobody has been charged for any crime associated with the DDS.

6 Comments on "Human rights group calls for investigation into Davao City mayor Duterte"

  1. David Martin | May 20, 2015 at 9:22 pm |

    Keep up the good work. American leaders should follow his example. Those against the mayor should be drug tested.

  2. Let’s be honest, it’s about time!

  3. Let’s be honest it’s about time!

  4. People die everyday. There is no perfect place. The only difference between Davao and other cities is that 90% of people who were killed are criminals while in other cities, they have 90% good citizens are either raped/murdered. In Davao, you also have less prisoners to feed and more support for the victims while in other cities, they have more prisoners to feed and less support for the family and victims.

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