War on drugs continues to take a toll on Filipino citizens

Since the election of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines have been going through a violent war on drugs, resulting in the deaths of many Filipino citizens.

The war on drugs in the Philippines began because of President Duterte’s desire to crack down on all crime since his election in May of 2016. Although he has attempted to put a stop to many different crimes, his main targets have been not only drug dealers, but drug users as well.

The war on drugs in the Philippines has become fatal, causing over 7,000 deaths since July of 2016. Over 2,500 people were killed by police and over 3,600 people were killed by “unidentified gunman.”

Many people do not agree with how the President has handled his attempts to crack down on crime, including Philippine Vice President Maria Leonor Leni Robredo. She feels that the way the President is handling the drug war the complete wrong way.

“I think people are coming out against Duterte now more than before. During the first three or four months of this administration, it felt like no one was willing to make known their opinions on many issues, for fear that they would become vilified in social media. Because that’s what happens, all the time. But we have to fight it out,” said Robredo.

Robredo, along with many other political figures, feels that the way the situation is being handled will only make the issue more complex. Robredo resigned from the cabinet in December because of her differing views and reportedly receiving a message excluding her from attending meetings.

Father Amando Picardal has also spoken out against the president’s violent tactics.  He is faced daily with the bloodshed from the war and wants to put an end to the killings.  

"We have to put a stop to [the killings] because if this continues it will destroy us as a country, as a nation," says Father Picardal.

Many Filipino citizens are trying to take a stand against the president and what he is doing. Catholic citizens in Manila have joined together to march against Duterte and his presidency.

Thousands have gathered in the “March for Life” and are showing their opposition against Duterte’s attempts to revive the death penalty. 

I'm a junior at Delaware Valley High School and I am a staff writer for the school newspaper.

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