“We are not that bad policemen or bad individuals. We are just a tool, we are just angels that God gave talent to, you know, to get these bad souls back to heaven and cleanse them.”

The words flow unnervingly from the mouth of the policeman, a senior officer in the Philippines national police [PNP], as he explains his role in 87 killings in the past three months.

It’s not about killing for pleasure, or being a “homicidal maniac”, he says. There is a higher purpose at play. 

“We are here as angels. Like St Michael and St Gabriel, right,” he says.

Well in excess of 3,600 people have been killed in the Philippines since 1 July this year, when Rodrigo Duterte was inaugurated as president and initiated his war on drugs and crime. More than half of those murders have been perpetrated by unknown vigilantes.

The mass killings have sparked international concern; from the United Nations, to Barack Obama and his US administration, as well as from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Amnesty has issued warnings about the “climate of lawlessness and fear that has gripped the country”.

Read More- The Guardian

Image courtesy of Getty

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