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The Morning News The widening gyre that is Rodrigo Duterte's criminal career.
Kawit Cavite, Philippines. Credit: Jill Encarnacion.

Ressa and Duterte have been crossing paths for over 30 years. She first interviewed him in the 1980s when he was Mayor of Davao. In 2015, during his election campaign, she conducted a now infamous interview with Duterte in which he confessed to killing three people.

A brief profile of Maria Ressa, the Philippines news site editor who’s now been arrested twice by Duterte’s government.

↩︎ The Guardian
Feb 14, 2019
At least 10 mayors in the Philippines have been killed since Duterte's rise—he may be targeting political opponents.
Duterte boasts that as a teenager he stabbed someone to death "over a look."
Two days after his police killed 32 in drug raids, Duterte says they can kill human-rights activists who interfere.

I’d go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around, and I would just patrol the streets, looking for trouble also. I was really looking for a confrontation so I could kill.

Duterte says he personally killed suspected criminals when he was mayor of a southern Philippine city to set an example for police.
↩︎ Manila Times
Dec 15, 2016

Duterte dumps the US

While in China, Duterte broke up with the US. "I announce my separation from the United States," he said to applause. "America does not control our lives. Enough bullshit,"

Oct 20, 2016

In Duterte's war, local residents draw up hit lists

Philippines police are doing deadly door-to-door raids on neighborhood "hit lists" drawn up by local officials without any due process.

Oct 10, 2016

After the Praise for Hitler, This Seems Reasonable

President Duterte told a sympathetic audience Wednesday that Obama and the State Department should "go to hell," intimating that he would take steps to replace American influence with Russian or Chinese support.

The United States has repeatedly put the Phillipines on notice over Duterte's encouragement of extrajudicial killings. The country's national police chief reported that Duterte's pressure has led his office to a state of war, though it's unclear against whom; police have killed 1,375 in anti-drug operations, but it's not specified how many were users or dealers, and more than 2,000 more deaths have been attributed to vigilantes.  

Oct 5, 2016

International Criminal Court, Here I Come

Citing Hitler as a role model, Duterte vows to kill three million drug addicts. As the Guardian notes: “If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have...” he said, pausing and pointing to himself.

Sep 30, 2016

The purpose of President Duterte’s open calls for violence, rather ironically, is for peace—to end crime and corruption perceived as endemic in the Philippines. He offered a simple, horrifying solution that tens of millions of Filipinos elected him to implement through unrestricted police operations, death squads, and hired assassins.

Duterte has a 91% trust rating in the Philippines right now. To understand why, you have to understand what the Philippines have been through.
↩︎ GQ
Sep 15, 2016

Bye Bye, USA

Continuing his pivot away from American allies, Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte ordered the US military out of the nation's unrestful southern zone of Mindanao, despite a January high court ruling that they should stay, and without any prior consultation with the United States.

Sep 14, 2016

Duterte Threatens to Eat Terrorists

Duterte has made waves for targeting drug users, but he also plans to go after Abu Sayyaf, a jihadist group that has pledged allegiance to ISIS. Recently they beheaded a teenage ransom, and affiliates claimed responsibility for a bombing in Duterte's hometown that killed more than a dozen. In response, the president threatened the terrorists with retaliatory cannibalism: "When the time comes, I will eat you alive in front of people. If you make me mad, in all honesty, I will eat you alive, raw." 

Sep 14, 2016

Meet a woman who kills drug dealers for a reward from the Filipino government. "It began when her husband was commissioned to kill a debtor by a policeman—one who was also a drug pusher." She now makes $430 a head, but fears she has no way out of the terrible business. Another assassin, hired by Duterte while he was mayor of Davao, recently professed that he fed bodies to crocodiles on his boss' orders.

Statistics show what any visitor to the country may easily see: Filipinos are not degenerates, who need to be protected from themselves, but are mostly a nation of decent, sober, law-abiding and God-fearing people.

Opiate abuse is a hundred times greater a problem in the United States than in the Philippines, where it can get you killed today.
↩︎ TIME
Sep 14, 2016

Duterte's crackdown and its reliance on armed pseudo-governmental forces acting beyond the scope of the law recall the nearby example of Suharto, whose purges were harrowingly relived in the award-winning documentary The Act of Killing

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