By Nikos Tsinakis
President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines issued a statement earlier this week to confirm he is currently considering giving out state-issued military quality firearms to ‘clean’ community leaders in order to further ramp up the ongoing war on drugs in his country.
Rodrigo Duterte was elected president back in June 2016, promising to eradicate the illegal drug trade in the country, plagued by the shabu – local slang term for methamphetamine. In a span of nearly 2 years since his inauguration, the war on drugs has taken the lives of more than 4000 people, the vast majority of which are serial offending drug dealers. Human rights groups never ceased filing complaints and claim the actual numbers of people killed are at least triple the official data.
The community leaders, also known locally as “Barangay Captains” will be the recipients of the firearms under this decision announced on Wednesday. The Philippines’ barangay communities vary in size and may be described roughly as districts or neighborhoods. To expand on the comparison of these communities are similar to neighborhoods, it’s important to point out these leaders are appointed democratically but usually come from families that have traditionally been in a leading position among these communities.
It’s likely that most Barangay Captains already have firearms due to the relatively relaxed gun laws in the Philippines, as well as citizens, in general, have been encouraged to acquire guns on their own to ‘hunt’ down drug dealers for bounties. However, these new state-issued firearms could be a game-changer in the war on drugs due to superior quality and reliability, but mostly, it serves as a clear indication that the killing of drug dealers are sanctioned by the state.
The main condition to acquire a gun for barangay captains is to be willing to fight crime and to not be engaged in illicit activities themselves. The said guns will be provided free-of-charge or the state will subsidize a private purchase of a captain’s gun of choice.
“The condition is that the captain should fight drugs and crime. If he is conniving with criminals, he could be the one shot,” the interior department undersecretary Martin Dino, who oversees the country’s barangays, told Reuters.
Globalist Human Rights groups including the UN Human Rights Watch, have been infuriated by Duterte’s administration ever since the inception of war on drugs, leading to a probe that investigated alleged extrajudicial killings. The Philippines government soundly brushed off all of the accusations from the UN and Duterte’s popularity has grown exponentially in both his country and overseas as a result of it. The United States could borrow some aspirations from this South East Asian country as America currently experiences a never before seen opioid crisis among its youth. American patriots already have the guns, it’s now up to POTUS to give the go ahead.