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Category Archives: War On Drugs

Shahbal to introduce tough laws to curb drug abuse – Daily Nation

Posted: February 10, 2017 at 3:51 am

Friday February 10 2017

Mombasa gubernatorial aspirant Suleiman Shahbal addresses the press at Jubilee Party's office in Nyali on February 9, 2017. He wants the war on drugs to be intensified. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Businessman Suleiman Shahbal told Governor Hassan Joho to stop politicising the war on drugs.

He on Thursday said 6,725 people had died due to the narcotics in Mombasa in the last two years.

Mr Shahbal, the Jubilee candidate for the governors seat, said 96,752 people at the Coast were hooked to drugs.

Among them are 40,000 students aged between 12 and 17 years.

He was quoting a report on narcotics by the National Authority for Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse and US anti-narcotics agency.

Some of his family members are among those who had died due to the drugs, he said.

At least 60 well-known drug lords were on the loose in the country.

Mombasa is gradually turning into another Colombia with militia gangs, armed youths and criminals moving around. Narcotics is driving virtually every sector in Mombasa, he said at the Jubilee offices in Nyali.

Escobar was a very popular person in Colombia at first. He built schools, hospitals and seemed to be the defender of the peoples welfare and their champion.

"But what became of him later? He became one of the biggest drug barons in the world. This is what is happening in Mombasa.

He was referring to Pablo Escobar the head of the notorious Medellin cartel and one of the worlds most wanted fugitives who was killed by Colombian security forces during a shootout in 1993.

The politician said nobody had linked Mr Joho to drug trafficking.

Why does Governor Joho get so worked up about drugs? Nobody has linked him to the drugs trade. What we have linked him with is fake degrees and everybody knows that he has no degree and cannot get one. Let him go back to school, he said.

Mr Shahbal said that a senior ODM official was a beneficiary of proceeds from the sale of drugs.

He declined to name the official, only saying it is obvious.

If elected governor, Mr Shahbal would push the national government to introduce tough laws such as those in Malaysia and US where anybody involved in the illegal trade was hanged and all proceeds accrued from the trade confiscated by the State, he said.

I will push to make the drug trade a capital offence with zero returns. In the county, we will sensitise grassroots citizens and empower them to arrest any user and hand them over to the police, he said.

Governor Joho on Monday accused the Jubilee Government of plotting to end his political career by linking him to drug trafficking.

If Uhuru and Ruto have evidence I am involved in the trade or anybody else for that matter, why dont they arrest them? Mr Joho said.

Separately, Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar accused the governor of criticising the Jubilee government for its poor development record yet he had achieved nothing for the people who elected him.

If you are fighting someone you must ensure that you are accountable. Are you responsible? If (Mr) Uhuru is giving his people tenders then you should not give your relatives tenders, Mr Omar said.

Mr Omar accused Mr Johos government of boasting that it was an efficient revenue collector, saying that was no reason to be proud.

If you hear a country is taking a lot of revenue from its people then that is a country governed by exploitation.

"There is no pride in Mombasa County being the most expensive in terms of doing business, he said in Kizingo.

He said this when he flagged off a caravan to mobilise voters to register.

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Shahbal to introduce tough laws to curb drug abuse - Daily Nation

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Palma: Church leaders will continue to oppose bloody war on drugs … –

Posted: at 3:51 am


CEBU CITYPresident Rodrigo Duterte just cant silence bishops and priests.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma on Thursday said Catholic Church leaders would continue to speak out and oppose the administrations bloody war on drugs as well as plans to bring back the death penalty even if they continued to be lambasted by the countrys top executive.

So what? We are not protecting our image. Our primary concern is to proclaim the truth and to help discern what is good for the people and the community, he said in an interview after celebrating Mass to welcome the international centennial image of Our Lady of Fatima at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

Im sure its not just the President who will castigate the Church. There are other people who will speak ill about us. But in the end, we just cant remain silent out of fear of being criticized. That is not the right way, he added.

President Duterte has been relentless in his criticisms of Catholic Church leaders who have been vocal in condemning the extrajudicial killings that had attended the administrations crackdown on the narcotics trade.

Palma clarified that bishops and priests fully support the Presidents war on illegal drugs but abhor means to end human life.

Palma said Catholic Church leaders have always kept communication lines with the President opened to bridge the gap between the two institutions.

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DERMODY: War on Drugs requires more than ‘quick-fix’ | The Daily … – RU Daily Targum

Posted: at 3:51 am

Imagine that a disease broke out, the flu for instance, and killed 50,000 Americans in just one year. You would probably be concerned, right? Wouldn't you agree that something must be done, to help those who are sick and prevent any future infection? That would be the most sensible response. Heres the problem that deadly disease that I just mentioned is not hypothetical.

America has a drug problem and it has become disturbingly deadly. Last year, for the first time, drug overdose accounted for more deaths in the United States than fatal car accidents. To put it bluntly, that is a lot of casualties almost one every 19 minutes to be exact. So yes, this is a very real and infectious disease. An epidemic, you could say, that is creeping into households of all income levels and tearing families apart in both urban and suburban settings.

Alright, so this overdose epidemic is real, we know that much. Now comes the panic and the urgency to help, right? Wrong. I say that because this is not a new problem. Despite recent spikes in drug overdose, drug addiction has plagued America for quite some time. Over 40 years ago, for example, former President Ronald Reagan declared a war on drugs in an attempt to address this problem. Today, we are still fighting and clearly losing that war.Death by overdose was actually more prominent in 2016 than any year prior. Clearly, something is not working. Despite continuous funding and increased awareness, the drug problem in America is as widespread as ever.

So why have the efforts of countless presidents and other political leaders not been enough to end, or even control, this overdose epidemic? The answer is quite simple: America is obsessed with quick-fix solutions to complex problems. Overweight? Dont change your diet, just get surgery. Can't get your kids to focus? Dont increase their exercise and vitamin intake, just get them a prescription. Crashing economy? Dont restructure, just print more money. As you can see, there is a trend here.

America has adopted this culture that is notorious for ignoring the causes and treating the symptoms. As consumer health advocate Mike Adams said, For every problem that demands a mature, well-planned solution, there's a much more seductive quick-fix that completely ignores the problem but temporarily makes the symptoms go away. With that being said, America has certainly been seduced by the idea of a quick-fix solution. Through the media and advertisements, we are constantly bombarded with the misconception that there are fast and easy solutions to our most complex problems. As a result, we oftentimes take the easy way out, sweep our problems under the rug and fail to address our real issues. This is one reason why so many Americans have become addicted to drugs in the first place. Getting high, whether from a prescribed or an illicit drugs, is a quick, but only temporary, fix to our problems.

This quick-fix culture has not only fueled drug addiction in America but has simultaneously prevented us from fixing the complex problem. What does a quick-fix solution to the drug problem look like? Exactly what has been going on for the past 40 years. Poorly planned attacks that are as misguided as they are superficial. At first, in theory, these quick-fix solutions sound great. They are bold, convincing and promise to eradicate all drug use, but it should not have taken this long to realize that these solutions are hollow. The War on Drugs, for instance, placed policemen at the forefront of this battle against addiction. This may have sounded foolproof at the time seeing as there is a drug problem in America and drug use is often illegal. But by cracking down on drug dealers and users, we are being reactive rather than proactive. By the time the user is addicted, its too late, and the problem has already occurred. That is why the War on Drugs was nothing more than an attempt to cover up the symptoms of drug addiction. Consequently, the underlying problems that actually fuel drug addiction were ignored and therefore left to became worse.

Drug addiction is a problem that, demands a mature, well-planned solution. This solution is not going to be some glamorous war. Its going to be a long, slow but steady battle. We need leaders who, "have the courage to address core solutions rather than settling for short-term symptom reductions. We wont fix this problem with smooth rhetoric and bold executive orders, but with local and realistic efforts. These efforts will involve law enforcement reform, cooperation from health care providers and educators and an end to the stigma against drug addicts none of which are quick-fixes.

Luke Dermody is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in political science and criminal justice with a minor in economics. His column, "Under the Radar," runs on alternate Fridays.

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Increasing opposition in Philippines to war on drugs: UN official – Reuters

Posted: February 9, 2017 at 6:47 am

BANGKOK A United Nations human rights investigator says there are signs of mounting opposition within the Philippines to President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, with police operations on hold and the Church getting critical of the campaign.

Agnes Callamard, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, however said the thousands of killings in the campaign had given rise to a sense of impunity, which could lead to increased lawlessness and violence.

More than 7,600 people, mostly drug users and small-time dealers, have been killed since Duterte took office on June 30, about a third of them in police operations. Callamard said she knew of only four court cases seeking justice for the victims.

"The difference between the number of reported killings and the number of court cases is unbelievable," she told Reuters in Bangkok. "It's very unusual for that degree of impunity to remain restricted to one kind of crime or one type of community."

Spokesmen for Duterte could not immediately be reached for comment.

The war on drugs has been a signature policy of Duterte, who remains popular in opinion polls.

But Callamard, a human rights expert from France who took up the U.N. post in August, said opposition to the drug war was increasing and had reached a "tipping point."

"There is an increasing awareness on the part of the Filipino people that the war on drugs could hurt them," she said. "The surveys that are being done indicate support for the president...but critique the war on drugs."

One of the Philippines' top polling agencies, Social Weather Stations, said after a survey of 1,500 people in early December that most were satisfied with Duterte's rule. But 78 percent said they were worried that they or someone they knew would be a victim of an extra-judicial killing.

In a series of reports last year, Reuters showed that the police had a 97-percent kill rate in their drug operations, the strongest proof yet that police were summarily shooting drug suspects.

Both the government and police have strenuously denied that extra-judicial killings have taken place.

The Church in the Philippines, Asia's largest Catholic nation, had been a muted critic of the campaign but slammed it earlier this month for creating a "reign of terror" among the poor.

The bloodshed had also generated growing unease and criticism from Philippine civil society groups and media, Callamard said.

Her remarks come as Duterte and his police chief Ronald Dela Rosa face intense criticism for the October kidnap and killing of a South Korean businessmen by anti-narcotics officers inside national police headquarters.

He was arrested for drug offences that his wife said was an official cover for kidnap for ransom.

The case, which came to light in January, prompted dela Rosa to announce the suspension of anti-drug operations to purge the police force of what he termed "rogue cops." Duterte has however vowed to maintain his anti-drugs campaign until his term ends in 2022.

Callamard said real opposition to the drugs war would come from within the Philippines rather than international bodies such as the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In October, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda warned the Hague-based tribunal could prosecute if the killings were "committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population."

Duterte has threatened to withdraw from the ICC, calling it "useless," and said in a November speech: "You scare me that you will jail me? International Criminal Court? Bullshit."

(Reporting by Andrew R.C. Marshall, Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

TOKYO Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will propose new cabinet level U.S.-Japan talks on trade, security and macroeconomic issues, including currencies, when he meets U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday, a Japanese government official involved in planning the summit said.

SEOUL Lawyers for South Korean President Park Geun-hye have rejected a plan by a special prosecutor investigating a graft scandal to question her, citing a media leak, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office said on Thursday.

STOCKHOLM Eight countries have joined an initiative to raise millions of dollars to replace shortfalls caused by President Donald Trump's ban on U.S.-funded groups around the world providing information on abortion, Sweden's deputy prime minister said.

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Trump Watch: Emboldened cops and border patrol agents, a more ‘ruthless’ war on drugs, and threats against the … – Washington Post

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Trump Watch: Emboldened cops and border patrol agents, a more 'ruthless' war on drugs, and threats against the ... - Washington Post

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How Much is the War on Drugs Costing Us? – Los Cerritos News

Posted: at 6:47 am

The war on drugs has been going on for decades now and it costs the average person a fortune. While you may not be directly contributing to this crusade, your taxes and other bills do. Just how much is this costing you?

In total, our drugs control programme costs $100 billion per year to upkeep and enforce. Thats a massive chunk of the overall federal budget on something that experts say may not even be effective. The sheer size of the budget being spent on this programme is shocking and some believe it could be better spent elsewhere.

The result of the war on drugs isnt a higher price for drugs or scarcer supply, its legacy is the mass incarceration of a number of offenders. While what these offenders have done is illegal, we simply dont have the right amount of leniency and rehabilitation in place. Weve all heard of the straight A students in crime summaries, arrested and charged for a relatively small amount of a lower class drug, which can ruin their lives. Should these people be placed in a prison?

The costs dont stop with the incarceration either, the loss of productivity and workers also affects our national earnings. If someone is imprisoned for a period of a few years then they simply cost the country money, instead of generating it.

Thats why alternate solutions are cropping up for those that dont want to fund this war on drugs. Addiction rehab centers such as, are opening their doors to those that suffer with drug problems. They want to rehabilitate instead of just imprisoning, which has been shown to be much more effective.

The high rate of drugs within our prison system is also alarming, as prisoners may not be protected from these influences while incarcerated. Instead, they may be used as leverage between prisoners and could lead to higher mortality, as they are being taken in an unsupervised environment. Experts that help with the detoxification process have spoken against just how dangerous this can be.

Our drug users are being forced underground by that $100 billion budget but theyre not actually being deterred from taking drugs. Their health is put at risk because of the staunch zero tolerance policies. In other developed nations, health providers give out fresh needles and a place to dispose of used ones, which dramatically reduces the transmission of HIV.

We should be working with these experts to pioneer our own campaign in the war on drugs that is actually effective. There are more than enough examples all over the world of the way that healthcare providers can better work with those in the throes of addiction. They mustnt be punished and incarcerated unless they are actively supplying other users or posing a risk to the public.

These latest figures show a really damming picture of the war on drugs, as they make it clear it is a cash eating machine without a lot of results. Simply throwing money at the problem doesnt seem to be enough and law makers need to start thinking outside the box, only then will they be able to mount a decent attack on illegal drugs. With other nations leading the way in this regard this outdated system is sadly falling behind at a huge cost to our taxpayers and vulnerable people.

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Trump’s ‘Great Wall’ and the ‘Drug War’ – Consortium News

Posted: at 6:47 am

Exclusive: The argument for President Trumps Great Wall across the U.S. southern border would be severely undercut if America expanded legalization of personal drug use, reports Jonathan Marshall.

By Jonathan Marshall

Attention deficit disorder isnt usually a welcome presidential attribute, but Mexicans can be thankful that Donald Trump has temporarily shifted his focus away from their country to start fights instead with Iran, the European Union, China, California and the U.S. news media.

The last time Trump addressed Mexico, right after the election, the peso fell 17 percent. Within days of his inauguration, Trump demanded that Mexico pay for a border wall, prompting cancellation of his planned summit meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

As former Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan lamented, it took only one week of bilateral engagement between the new U.S. administration and Mexico to throw the relationship into a tailspin. That relationship would be better if Trump had stuck to the view he expressed in November 2015: I dont care about Mexico, honestly. I really dont care about Mexico.

Someday soon, however, Trump will rediscover his interest in Mexico, and relations will likely suffer again. But Mexico need not take his abuse lying down. As the buyer of more than a quarter trillion dollars in U.S. exports the second-largest market in the world for U.S. goods Mexico has some leverage if Trump tries to play rough with tariffs and trade.

And if Trump persists in sending a bill to Mexico City for his wall, Pena should seriously consider sending a bill in return to Washington to pay for the U.S. drug war.

High Cost to Mexico

For years now, Mexico has paid an extraordinarily high price in lives and social disruption for Washingtons insistence that North Americas drug problem be tackled south of the border, where the drugs are grown and transported, rather than primarily in clinics and halfway houses at home to treat the medical and psychological issues of users.

Successive administrations, starting with President Nixon, have demanded ever-tougher border controls, aerial-spraying programs, and DEA-backed anti-cartel operations in Mexico. All those efforts and sacrifices have been for naught. U.S. residents currently export up to $29 billion in cash to Mexican traffickers each year to buy marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines and heroin.

Forcing that trade underground has taken a terrible toll on Mexico in terms of violence, corruption and social upheaval. Since 2006, when President Felipe Caldern ordered his military to join the war on drug traffickers, Mexico has lost about 200,000 lives and 30,000 more have disappeared, dwarfing the civilian death toll in Afghanistan and Iraq over that period.

The majority of those killed and disappeared were victims of criminal organizations, but human rights organizations also report soaring rates of human rights violations, including torture and killing, committed by security forces.

The 2016 Global Peace Index, prepared by the Institute for Economics and Peace, estimates the total cost of violence in Mexico at $273 billion, or 14 percent of GDP, with no end in sight. Direct fiscal costs of fighting the war on crime were about $32 billion in 2015 alone. Yet the United States has contributed only about $2.5 billion since fiscal 2008 to Mexicos drug war, under the so-called Merida Initiative.

Mexicos pain shows no signs of easing. The New York Times reported in December that Mexico suffered more than 17,000 homicides in the first 10 months of last year, the highest total since 2012.

The relapse in security has unnerved Mexico and led many to wonder whether the country is on the brink of a bloody, all-out war between criminal groups, it said.

Time for an Alternative

In his last phone call with Mexican President Pena, Trump reportedly complained, You have some pretty tough hombres in Mexico that you may need help with. We are willing to help with that big-league, but they have to be knocked out and you have not done a good job knocking them out.

According to one disputed account, Trump threatened to send U.S. troops south of the border if Mexico doesnt do more to stop the drug problem.

Pena can continue to do Washingtons bidding, ensuring his political demise, or he can challenge Trump by asking why Mexico should fight North Americas drug war on its own soil and at its own expense. If he goes the latter route, hell have plenty of good company.

Former heads of state from Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, along with other distinguished members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, have called for normalization of drugs eliminating black markets and incentives for violence by legalizing individual possession and cultivation of drugs while instituting public health regulations. They note that such programs have succeeded admirably in Portugal and the Netherlands at reducing both the criminal and public health costs of drug abuse.

The harms created through implementing punitive drug laws cannot be overstated when it comes to both their severity and scope, the former heads of state assert in their 2016 report, Advancing Drug Policy Reform.

Thus, we need new approaches that uphold the principles of human dignity, the right to privacy and the rule of law, and recognize that people will always use drugs. In order to uphold these principles all penalties both criminal and civil must be abolished for the possession of drugs for personal use.

Change in Attitudes

Support for decriminalization is growing in Mexico, where the Supreme Court in 2015 approved growing and smoking marijuana for personal use. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox now advocates legalizing all drugs over a transition period of up to a decade.

Jorge Castaneda, a former Mexican foreign minister, recently opined,Mexico should take advantage of Californias decision to legalize recreational marijuana. Regardless of Mr. Trumps victory, the approval of the proposition in the United States most populous state makes Mexicos war on drugs ridiculous. What is the purpose of sending Mexican soldiers to burn fields, search trucks and look for narco-tunnels if, once our marijuana makes it into California, it can be sold at the local 7-Eleven?

Critics rightly point out that what works in the Netherlands wont necessarily solve Mexicos problems. Its powerful drug gangs have diversified into a host of other violent criminal enterprises. They control territory, intimidate or corrupt law enforcement, and kill with impunity.

Legalizing drug sales wont end their criminal ways, but it could erode their profits and let police focus on universally despised crimes with direct victims murder, kidnapping, extortion and the like.

As Mexican journalist Jos Luis Pardo Veiras remarked last year, Decriminalizing drug use will not fix a deeply rooted problem in this country, but it will allow Mexicans to differentiate between drugs and the war on drugs, between drug users and drug traffickers. This is the first step in acknowledging that a different approach is possible.

As for Trump, let him build his wall and see if that keeps out all the drugs. If not, maybe by then Mexico will be able to offer some useful advice on how to fight the drug problem not with guns, but with more enlightened policies.

Jonathan Marshall is author of many recent articles on arms issues, including How World War III Could Start,NATOs ProvocativeAnti-Russian Moves,Escalations in a New Cold War,Ticking Closer to Midnight, andTurkeys Nukes: A Sum of All Fears.

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Magufuli adds weight to war on drugs – The Herald

Posted: February 7, 2017 at 10:57 pm

John Magufuli

DAR ES SALAAM. President John Magufuli yesterday added weight on the crackdown on narcotics, directing the national security and defence forces to apprehend all suspects irrespective of their status.Nobody should be spared in this war against illicit drugs; no matter how famous or what status that person has in the society, Dr Magufuli ordered. He stressed further, Be it a politician, minister, a police officer, a son or daughter of a big wig, the law should follow its course.

Even if it is my wife dealing in drugs she should face the music.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces commended Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ernest Mangu for his bold move to suspend police officers who were recently accused by Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner (RC) Paul Makonda of cooperating with drugs dealers.

I know there was a lot of pressure on you from some people who made phone calls, but you stood firm, otherwise you wouldnt be here today as the IGP. The drugs have effects on the young workforce but are still being sold like groundnuts.

I usually get very upset when law enforcement agencies are accused for wrongdoing but I am happy that you took actions. The war on drugs is tough but we must fight it, Dr Magufuli told the IGP.

He directed security and defence forces to act tough on the whole chain involved in the illicit drugs, starting with the underdogs and eventually drug barons.

Those using and peddling the narcotics will have to mention the whole supply chain, he stated.

Dr Magufuli also tasked the Acting Chief Justice, Prof Ibrahim Juma, to expedite the trials of drug-related cases currently pending at courts.

There is a suspected drug kingpin currently being detained in Lindi but I wonder why he is not produced in courts for prosecution, wondered the president. Although Dr Magufuli did not mention the suspect he was apparently referring to Ali Khatib Haji, alias Shkuba (46), a suspected drug baron who was arrested in 2014 and is currently remanded in the Lindi prison.

President Magufuli disclosed as well that he had agreed to hand over the MV Dar es Salaam ship, initially meant to carry passengers between Dar es Salaam and Bagamoyo, to the TPDF to enable the army to intercept drugs and smuggled goods in the Indian Ocean.

As per request by the former Chief of Defence Force General Davis Mwamunyange, I decided to hand over the ship to the army to intensify patrols against drug traffickers and smugglers in the Indian Ocean, President Magufuli noted.

The President was speaking at the swearing-in of the newly appointed Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) General Venance Mabeyo and Chief of Staff Lieutenant General James Mwakibolwa at State House in Dar es Salaam.

Dr Magufuli also swore in the Commissioner General of the Prisons Department, Dr Ally Malewa, Secretary of the Public Service Commission, Mr Nyakimura Muhoji and two ambassadors, Paul Mella and Samuel Shelukindo.

Last Friday, IGP Mangu suspended 12 police officers, pending investigations, over their alleged links to drugs dealers in Dar es Salaam. The suspension came only few days after the Dar es Salaam RC had issued a list of suspects of drug dealers and facilitators, including the law enforcers and local celebrities in the music and movie industries. - Tanzania Daily News.

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War on drugs not war vs poor: Cayetano | ABS-CBN News – ABS-CBN News

Posted: at 10:57 pm

Peter Cruz, 24, lies dead on the pavement after being gunned down while he was biking by unknown assailants on Guyabano street in Manggahan, Pasig City on Tuesday. Unexplained killings continue even as President Duterte ordered the halt in police operations against drug suspects on Monday. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano has denied that the Duterte's administration war on drugs is a war against poor people in the Philippines, as claimed by Amnesty International.

In a speech before the Filipino community in New York City on Monday (Philippine time), Cayetano said the Duterte administration's policy against drugs and criminality actually aims to alleviate poverty since "no family with a drug addict as a brother, son, or father can get out of poverty."

"The poor have become common victims of the drug pushers. When they become hooked on drugs, they engage in other crimes to sustain their vices. If the government will not intensify its drug operations, the poor will continue to be exploited by the drug pushers. The poor cannot defend themselves, they need us most," he said.

Cayetano also called on international organizations to help the Duterte administration in its war against drugs instead of "wasting their energy criticizing its strong policies."

""Instead of criticizing us and trying to stop international funding, why don't you give us bullet-proof vests for our police? And why don't you give us cameras like they use in the SEAL teams, so you could see the drug bust and you could see why they fire at these people?"

In its report "If you are poor you are killed: Extrajudicial Executions in the Philippines", Amnesty International detailed how the Philippine police have systematically targeted mostly poor and defenseless people across the country while "planting evidence, recruiting paid killers, stealing from the people they kill and fabricating official incident reports."

In a number of cases witnesses to killings or victims' relatives told Amnesty that the person shot dead was unarmed and had not resisted arrest. Police also planted drugs and weapons that they later "seized" as evidence, Amnesty said.

Amnesty also warned that the lists of drug suspects that police were using to target people were deeply flawed.

This was partly because many people were placed on the lists simply after being reported by fellow community members, without any further investigation, according to Amnesty.

After a series of scandals emerged over the past month in which police were caught committing murder, kidnapping, extortion and robbery, President Duterte week ordered them to stop all activities related to the drug war.

He described the police force as "corrupt to the core" and vowed to cleanse it.

But he also vowed the drug war would continue until the last day of his term, in 2022.

He said police would return to the drug war after he reorganized the force and, in the meantime, the military would become more involved. With Agence France Presse

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President Duterte Threatens to Extend Drug War and Kill Korean … – Newsweek

Posted: at 10:56 pm

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened Korean gangs involved in the countrys illegal drugs trade with death. Duterte, who promised to continue his war on drugs until the last day of his presidency in 2022, told local media that Korean criminals wouldnt be treated differently just because they are not Filipino.

Dutertes aggressive crackdown on drugs he initiated in the summer of 2016 has so far resulted in more than 7,000 deaths across the country according to Philippine National Police records.

In January, Duterte apologized to South Korea for the death of Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo, 53, in October, which rights groups believe was linked to the anti-drugs policy. It was reported by the ABS-CBN news channel that the the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Group ( AIDG) had no evidence Ick-joo was involved in the illegal drugs trade.

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Ick-joo was abducted from his home in Manila in October 2016, and taken to police headquarters where he was strangled. The police officers responsiblewho are now in custodythen tried to extort money from Mr Jee Ick-joos family by pretending he was still alive, according to the New York Times.

After the murder, Duterte called for a crackdown on rogue police elements, promising to bring those responsible to justice and disbanding the AIDG. Police chief Roland Dela Rosa expressed remorse over the death, but emphasized the case of Mr Ick-joo was isolated. However, in a press conference last Friday, Dela Rosa said the Korean mafia were to blame.

As a result of Dela Rosas claim, President Duterte has threatened to apply the crackdown seen in his drugs war to Korean gangs, who supposedly operate out of the southern city of Cebu. The president claims the mafia are known for operating human and drug trafficking rings, prostitution and kidnapping. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) confirmed they are aware of elements of mafia existence in Cebu on Monday morning, but authorities are still searching for evidence that such a crime syndicate which could have carried out the kidnapping of Ick-joo exists. Senator Ping Lacson told the Inquirer, a Filipino newspaper, that the Korean mafia angle might be farfetched.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II of the Philippines told local reporters that he was working with South Korea to determine the nature of the alleged mafia: Our office is coordinating and contacting the Korean embassy if they have a police attach or anyone to that effect that could help us [find out] about this Korean mafia, if ever it exists.

In the meantime, Duterte wants the Koreans to remain friends. South Koreans are the largest group of tourists to the Philippines annually. The Korea Times reported that the president said: "They're always welcome here. Korea is our friend. It has helped us in so many ways. To law-abiding Koreans, you will be protected, treated equally as Filipinos."

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President Duterte Threatens to Extend Drug War and Kill Korean ... - Newsweek

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