Filipinos give thumbs up to Duterte’s ‘excellent’ drugs war: poll

Alleged dealers stand next to drug paraphernalia confiscated during a police operation conducted in Manila in this March 15, 2018 file photo. (AFP)
Updated 23 September 2019

Filipinos give thumbs up to Duterte’s ‘excellent’ drugs war: poll

  • Survey: around 82 percent satisfied due to a perception of less drugs and crime in the country
  • ‘If it’s true that there are human rights violations then the people of this country will rise against this administration’

MANILA: Philippine citizens are overwhelmingly satisfied with President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs, a survey showed, giving a boost to a government outraged by an international push to investigate allegations of systematic murders by police.
The quarterly poll of 1,200 Filipinos by Social Weather Stations returned a rating of “excellent” for Duterte’s three-year campaign, with 82 percent satisfied due to a perception of less drugs and crime in the country.
That compared to 12 percent dissatisfied, because they believed the drug trade was still flourishing and there were too many killings and police abuses. The survey conducted by the independent pollster in late June had 6 percent undecided.
It was released two days after the leak of a presidential memo ordering departments and state-run firms to decline loans or aid from the 18 countries of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) — among them Spain, Britain and Australia — that backed a resolution to investigate Duterte’s crackdown.
Police say they have killed more than 6,700 suspected drug dealers who all resisted arrest, and deny involvement in the mysterious murders of thousands more drug users.
Police reject allegations by human rights groups that they have executed targets, falsified reports and tampered with evidence and crime scenes.
Presidential spokesman, Salvador Panelo, said the poll showed that the international community had a warped understanding of what was happening.
“If it’s true that there are human rights violations then the people of this country will rise against this administration,” Panelo said on Monday.
“It’s not true that policemen just kill at will, they cannot do that,” he added.
The 47-member Council approved a resolution in July to compile a comprehensive report on the killings, which Manila’s foreign secretary said will not be permitted in the Philippines.
Panelo said domestic investigations had been undertaken already, and the UN resolution was “not only unfair, it’s an insult.”
The International Criminal Court has since last year been conducting a preliminary examination to determine if there are grounds to investigate Duterte. He has responded by canceling the Philippines membership of the court.
Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch, said domestic surveys showing support for Duterte and his campaign were exactly why an international probe was needed.
“It’s ridiculous to say there is any sort of serious national investigation into these crimes. It’s laughable,” he told news channel ANC.
“We have total impunity that continues to surround those who are involved in this,” he added.


France’s yellow vests stage new protests for anniversary

Updated 30 min 54 sec ago

France’s yellow vests stage new protests for anniversary

  • Fresh protests were held across France to mark the birth last year for the movement
  • Authorities said about 28,000 people marched across France on Saturday, including 4,700 in Paris

PARIS: Yellow vest activists are staging fresh protests across France to mark the birth last year of their movement for economic justice, a day after scuffles between Paris police and activists marred the anniversary.
Interior minister Christophe Castaner deplored Saturday’s violence on CNews television. He said Paris police had detained 173 people.
Authorities said about 28,000 people marched across France on Saturday, including 4,700 in Paris. Yellow vest activists said there were 44,000.
On Sunday, dozens of protesters briefly gathered under the dome of Paris’ Galeries Lafayette store to denounce consumer culture.
On Nov. 17, 2018, hundreds of thousands of people blocked traffic around the country to protest a fuel tax hike. The sometimes-violent protests have increasingly vented anger at President Emmanuel Macron’s policies, who is seen as favoring the rich.