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Published on Oct 4, 2016
The illicit drug trade in the Philippines, and its associated criminal activities, is clearly a menace to its domestic – and the wider, global – population. President Duterte’s pledge to crack down on the trade is therefore naturally welcomed. His methods to date, however, are not. A policy that fails to distinguish between users and distributors is but one problem. The indiscriminate killing of thousands of drug users and dealers without any due process is to be absolutely condemned. The arrest of thousands more suspects on the basis of spurious allegations and hearsay is also of concern. Duterte’s comments that we will not stop until the last drug lord and pusher have surrendered or are put either behind bars or below the ground, if they so wish, is far from the tone that I would expect or wish to see from an elected president. I welcome this House’s resolution and call for an investigation into the extrajudicial killings. But EU Member State governments must also do more to put pressure on the government of the Philippines to re—evaluate its totally unacceptable policies and practices in this area.