[JURIST] Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte [official profile] promised Monday to continue to escalate the war on drugs in his country despite international concern over human rights violations. The war on drugs, which has been a staple aspect of his presidency and his public rhetoric, has been met with strong opposition from the international community, which has pointed to the increase in extrajudicial killings [JURIST report] since Duterte took office. Duterte responded to the critics [Reuters report] by stating that they are “trivializing” his efforts by discussing the need for due process and the protection of human rights. He also added that critics are unjustly laying blame on Philippine authorities for the killings of alleged drug users.
During Duterte’s campaign last year, he had stated 100,000 people would die [Guardian report] in his crackdown on crime. In December the UN rights chief urged [JURIST report] a murder investigation into Duterte after Duterte stated that he had killed three suspected criminals while he was mayor. In October the International Criminal Court [official website] expressed concern [JURIST report] over the rising occurrence of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines in connection with the ongoing war on drugs. In September Duterte declared a “state of lawlessness” [JURIST report] in the Philippines, which would allow police and military personnel to frisk individuals and search cars. In August Duterte named [JURIST report] 150 serving and former state officials connected to the nation’s illegal drug trade and ordered them to either surrender to the authorities or risk being hunted down. Duterte has stated that he disregards criticisms from the UN and human rights groups. Also in August Duterte threatened to withdraw [JURIST report] the country from the UN following criticisms against his controversial crackdown on illegal drugs.