Days have passed, killings have occurred, night foretold. It has been months since the election of Rodrigo Duterte as Philippines’ President. His relentless and brutal anti-drug campaign, one of his key tasks as commander-in-chief, is to eradicate one of the states’ disastrous sufferings that have plagued the population within his term. Drug dealers, users and those who are affiliated with the devil’s advocate are to be prosecuted by the law enforcers, and he also stretched out his hands to the public for assistance, of enforcing a ‘shoot to kill’ policy to bring these infidels to justice.
Questions were raised about his government’s tactics, of neglecting the innocent lives that were caught between the crossfires of the good and evil. The United Nations has condemned his actions of not going through a process of a fair trial, but instead perpetuating the endless slaughter of human lives. The complete disregard for international law, fuels Philippines’s solidarity and most importantly the notion of keeping its own security within its borders; the desperate call for respect for his country’s sovereignty.
Not afraid of using explicit content, the charming character that he is, in press conferences he continuously reassures the sovereignty of Philippines. The idea of the state should not be subjected to any foreign power, and he has the supreme authority within its territorial jurisdiction. His adamant rhetoric on foreign powers to ‘mind their own business’, and his assumptions on past vindications of colonial powers, does not justify their actions on what is an internal conflict rather than a security issue.
“Forget the laws on human rights. If I make it to the presidential palace, I will do just what I did as mayor. You drug pushers, hold-up men and do-nothings, you better go out. Because I’d kill you”, Rodrigo Duterte.
International actors such as the UN and amongst countries, the United States, condemn the actions of Duterte, of carrying out extrajudicial killings. The view of Philippines’ security comes under the careless noose of jurisdiction, is compromised. Despite unanimous pressure from members of international society, his actions come under scant domestic scrutiny.
His centralized rule over its sovereignty is branched out through layers of bureaucracies, which he holds complete trust to his law enforcers, while maintaining a firm support from his multi-party system government. He has the support of his people, of polls showing 84% of Filippinos who stand by him in his anti-drug campaign.
Why has it been so successful? The salient issue of the drug epidemic has lingered for decades: the presence of poverty and culmination of economic downturn. The faith that the people of Philippines entrust on the shoulders of the charismatic figure of Duterte, as a legitimate confrontation against drug abusers, comes with his unique ability to build a relationship with his citizens and subjects.
His immense contradictory stance of humanitarian intervention, of disregarding the international law and the outcries of human rights groups, that his affairs will be reinforced with an iron will. His shift of political correctness, by aligning to Russia and China, bows out Philippines’s close allegiance to U.S.A.; the former binaries of which support the anti-drug war, the optimal solution to an abrupt end.