Much of the World Stays Silent as People Are Mass Murdered in the Philippines in the Name of Prohibition
In 2002, the Philippines passed the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act. The Act made the possession of 500 grams of cannabis flower, or 10 grams of cannabis 'resin' or 'resin' oil, punishable by the death penalty.
As an Oregonian, I cannot fathom such a thing. Every household with a resident over 21 can possess up to 227 grams of flower without even a license, and up to 28.375 grams of what I would assume Philippines authorities would consider to be 'resin' or 'resin oil.'
Somewhat fortunately, the death penatly was abolished in 2006. I say somewhat fortunately, because the death penalty was re-instituted recently by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, for all drug use and the distribution of drugs.
A human rights crisis unfolding
Rodrigo Duterte campaigned as a 'tough on crime' candidate, and vowed to show no mercy to drug users and sellers. He even went as far as encouraging law enforcement and even civilians to kill people suspected of dealing drugs and/or struggling with addiction.
“If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.” said President Duterte.
Since taking office, President Duterte has made good on his promise, and many lives have been lost to his policies.
While campaigning, then candidate Duterte estimated that 100,000 people would die as a result of this policy.
Putting government workers on notice
This week the crisis was extended to government officials that President Duterte claims need to surrender within 24 hours or be hunted down. Officials include judges, mayors, lawmakers, military personnel and police officers.
There is no due process afforded those that are accused. People are simply being murdered based upon suspicion and hearsay alone.
There has been an outcry from human rights groups and reform activists and organizations, but for the most part world governments have been silent while the atrocities continue.
It makes my heart sad to read the stories coming out of the Philippines right now. It's a tough situation and I don't know that there's an easy solution, but something obviously has to be done.
Should the international community intervene in the Philippines to prevent more human rights violations?