Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte hasn’t slacked in touting his drug war.
Even an audience of young children doesn’t seem to have tempered Duterte’s posture toward the drug trade and the people in it.
“I am angry,” Duterte said at an event for 4- to 6-year-old Kid Scouts and 7- to 10-year-old Cub Scouts. “I will kill people if they destroy our youth.”
Duterte’s anti-drug campaign was blamed for more than 7,000 killings between when he took office on June 30, 2016, and when the Philippine National Police were suspended from the effort at the end of January.
More than 2,500 suspected “drug personalities” were killed in what Philippine authorities say were police operations, while 3,600 deaths are under investigation. Police have also been accused of conducting extrajudicial killings. (Their suspension came after police officers killeda South Korean businessman in a kidnapping attempt.)
Duterte, who was accused of involvement in extrajudicial killings during his time as mayor of Davao City in the southern Philippines, has not shied in promoting his bloody campaign against drugs, nor from threatening alleged drug pushers.