Rodrigo Roa Duterte
“A leader must be a terror to the few who are evil in order to protect the lives and well-being of the many that are good” quoted Rodrigo Duterte the 16th and current President of the Philippines.
Duterte, a former lawyer and previously the Mayor of Davao City is the man of the hour in Philippines. He has been the longest serving mayor in the country serving massive seven terms that amount to 22 years in Office. On May 9, 2016, Duterte won the Philippine presidential election with 38.5% of the votes.
With an approval rate of over 86% (the highest ever as compared to any other president of the Philippines) Duterte is the oldest person to assume the office of the President. At the ‘young’ age of 72, Duterte is completely cognizant of the fact that he does not have many years left to fulfill the promises he made to the bloke. Reducing crime rate, abolishing drug menace and providing employment were the much highlighted promises in his campaign for the presidential post. Political observers claim that his unequivocal statements and blunt way of expression captured the audience attention and winning the presidential post was the ultimate corollary. But he is known to have taken one of these factors too seriously or you may call brutally i.e. curbing the drug racket.
Dutere’s war on drugs has led to critics terming him as a dictator. He rather calls himself a hardliner. His crackdown on the drug network in Philippines has been one of the most lethal step ever taken by a leader to sort a problem. As per the records there are over 3 million drug addicts in the country. As recently reported by the guardian, the 15 month campaign of Duterte has led to the killing of 3900 drug personalities and over 2000 in drug related crimes. However the Human Rights Watch claim that over 7000 Filipinos have been killed till date in this war out of which 2555 killings are attributed the national judicial Police.
Edgar Matobato claims to be a former aide to the president. He once created a controversy quoting that Duterte had employed him to kill drug peddlers. Duterte however quashed the allegations. On the issue raised by Human Rights groups for the creations of Death Squads in the city of Davao, Duterte was given a clean chit due to lack of solid evidence. On the Contrary Duterte himself claims that he killed 3 Drug Dealers. Duterte admits to Extra Judicial Killings and goes on to say “If you destroy my Country, I will kill you”. He further adds that the drug menace is a serious threat for the future generations. He expresses that his prime interest is to safe guard law abiding and God Fearing Citizens.
Duterte might receive mixed reactions from the global community but his work in the Philippines is more than commendable.
- Davao, once known to be the poorest and the most violent cities across the globe has now been ranked as the 4th safest city in the world.
- Emergency care services are available in an unimaginable 8 minutes from the time of incident, which is better than most countries in the world. On top of all these services are free of cost.
- The vitriolic Philippines – Chinese ties are turning out to be positive since Duterte has assumed office.
- Economic growth in the Philippines in 2016 was the fastest in Asia due to strong domestic demand following six months of President Rodrigo Duterte in office.
- The foundering industrial sector grew at 7.6% in last October to December Period.
- Drug Trade has reduced significantly under his regime.
- Duterte openly expresses his will of accepting refugees on Humanitarian grounds.
There are many more examples to be put out under his regime, but his critics tend to make him accountable and answerable for his Extra Judicial Killings and brutal tactics in the drug war. His draconian approach has been highly condemned by Human Rights Groups.
Understanding the implications Duterte recently directed the police to end operations in the war of drugs. The Philippines Drug enforcement agency has been given the charge. The PDEA comprises of only 1800 people which is just over 1% of the 1, 60,000 national judicial police force. This could heavily impact the reduction in killings as the factor of legitimacy may improve.
It’s the dawn of a new era for the Filipinos, but it is too early to decide whether it’s the dawn of uncertainty or a revolution. He is unabatedly working at his promise to end the drug menace. He acknowledged the plaudits of the crowd in his fierce speeches. With an ingenuous appearance Duterte is sure to surprise the global community even more.
And Most Importantly : Does India need a Rodrigo Duterte?
The Huffington Post
Human Rights Watch
RT Business News
Image Courtesy: TIME Magazine