Getting Away with Murder

The presidential election in 2016 crowned the then controversial candidate, Rodrigo Duterte as the 16th president of the Philippines. Now, rounding to one year of his presidency, news of massive brutality is coming to light. In an article by Kate Lamb published in the Guardian, she writes about the many alleged murders ordered by the president himself. President Duterte’s “gangster-like” ways are known to the public because it comes with basis, although without concrete evidence. With most of the alleged murders conducted by the police, there has yet to exist substantial evidence to incriminate him. He has even admitted in an interview in May 2015 that he is the death squad (referring to the Davao Death Squad (DDS)) and in last December that he has personally done the deed. His actions and policies are a response to his promise to curtail the drug problems in the country. Conditions in the Philippines are troubling as more people are admitting having worked for the president. Most recently, Arturo Lacansas, a 56-year old retired officer who initially denied any existence of the DDS, recanted his testimony to the Philippine senate while under oath. Claiming to have found a spiritual awakening under the guidance of the nuns of Davao, he admits to killing over 200 people while acting under the president’s command. In some of those years, he became the head of the DDS believing at the time he was servicing his country. Many of the victims come from the lower-income background as small dealers and their families are killed silently. News on the president’s violent nature is not new, but his approval rate despite it all should be a concern.