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Duterte leaves a bloody trail

The Philippines newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte, when he launched his controversial anti-crime crusade with offers of rewards for killing drug traffickers, also said – as we recently reported on this website – that corrupt journalists were legitimate targets of assassination.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Photo: NIB-MALACANANG

Duterte’s campaign pledge to end crime within six months seems to be well on track… with some 852 having been killed to date. Of those, 249 were killed by vigilantes as the country’s state-sponsored (sic) anarchy continues.

President Rodrigo Duterte presents a chart illustrating the network of high level drug syndicates in the Philippines at a press conference in July. Photo: Presidential Communications Operation Office: King Rodriguez

The Philippines is one of the most dangerous nations in the world for journalists, with 174 murdered since mid-1980s. “Most of those killed, to be frank, have done something. You won’t be killed if you don’t do anything wrong,” Duterte said, adding that many journalists were corrupt.

A chaotic and corruption-plagued democracy replaced the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos three decades ago.

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