Newsbrief: Death Squad Killings Spike Upward in Davao 2/11/05

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!


http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/374/davao.shtml

As DRCNet reported two weeks ago, the US military is on a training exercise with Philippine military and police in the violence-ridden southern city of Davao. While the US military reports that the training includes a human rights component, that part of the program apparently has not yet sunk in for anti-drug and anti-crime death squad killers widely linked to the city's flamboyant mayor, Rodrigo Duterte.

Balikatan 2004 US-Philippine joint exercises
The Mindanao Times reported last week that the number of summary executions in the city had reached an all-time monthly high last month, with 45 people being shot dead by motorcycle-riding gunmen in plain clothes. Not a single arrest was made in the killings, the Times noted. At least three more people were killed by the shadowy "Davao Death Squad" in the first week of February, the Times reported.

Davao police officials attempted to pin the blame for the killings on intramural fighting among drug traffickers, a tactic also used by Thai authorities last year as they sought a "final solution" to that nation's drug problem by killing an estimated 2,500 people. Regional police director Simeon Dizon issued a statement in mid-January saying the murders were the result of a "drug war" and telling the public to expect more killings. At least Dizon was correct on the latter score.

Davao City Mayor Duterte remains unabashed and barely bothers to deny his involvement in the killings. At a press conference Monday, Duterte, reacting to accusations that the killings are government-sponsored, responded "so be it." If he had to kill 200 criminals to protect the city of 1.4 million from harm, he would do so, he said. "I don't give a shit on what they would say about me, I don't give a shit about my image. If I stand alone in this belief, so be it; if I rise and fall because of this image, it's okay," he said.

Duterte blamed public concern about the vigilante killings on media hype, adding that the Davao Death Squad "does not exist as far as city hall is concerned." Nor, said Duterte, did he care that the Integrated Bar of the Philippines had asked President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to intercede in the murderous rampage.

Duterte also suggested that press critics should investigate the killings, but bar association Davao City president Carlos Zarate retorted that that was supposed to be the job of the police. "If the heads of our law enforcement offices cannot do it [find the killers], then decency demands they resign and let someone else do the job," he said in a statement last week.

The deputy ombudsman for Mindanao is adding to the pressure. According to the newspaper Sunstar Davao, the ombudsman has asked the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation to look into the murders. That request received a positive response from NBI chief Reynaldo Wycoco, who agreed to investigate. Now, the question is whether the NBI will be any more efficient than local police in finding the executioners.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #374 -- 2/11/05

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!

Editorial: A Cautious First Step | First North American Heroin Maintenance Study Now Underway in Vancouver | DRCNet Interview: Marijuana Policy Project Director Rob Kampia | DRCNet Book Review: "It's Just a Plant," by Ricardo Cortes (2005, Magic Propaganda Mill, $17.95 HB) | Drug War Chronicle's Phil Smith Featured in New Book -- "Under The Influence" Available as DRCNet Premium | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Newsbrief: Memphis Taxpayers to Pay Big Time for Police Drug Raid Killing | Newsbrief: Bush Budget Slashes Funds for Local Police, Increases DEA Funding | Newsbrief: What Meth Epidemic? National Survey Shows Amphetamine Use Unchanged from Year Earlier | Newsbrief: Death Squad Killings Spike Upward in Davao | Newsbrief: Indian Government Blinks in Face of Threatened Drug Shortage | Newsbrief: Marijuana Reform Under Attack in Western Australia | Newsbrief: Bob Marley Birthday Bash in Addis Ababa Comes Off Without a Hitch | Newsbrief: London Police Chief Ramps Up Rhetorical War on Middle-Class Cocaine Use | Web Scan: Debra Saunders, Drug War Carol, DPA Web Chat, Drug Truth Radio | This Week in History | Errata: Meth Bill Sponsor | The Reformer's Calendar

Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]