In the Phillippines Duterte says the drug trade I will banish
From the streets of all my cities it must absolutely vanish.
Other countries fill their prisons, for us that’s too expensive
And some try toleration which to me is quite offensive.

 I’m ending the debate, all the pros and all the antis,
I’ll order the police and I’ll call on vigilantes.
Exterminate the dealers! The law, just rise above it!
That isn’t democratic? But the people seem to love it. .   

             Even Trum is not as outrageous as the recently elected Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte. During the election campaign last may he made a joke about a horrifying rape and murder of a lay minister in 1989: “I was angry because she was raped, that’s one thing. But she was so beautiful, the mayor should have been first. What a waste.” The mayor in question was himself. John Oliver was beside himself, devoting his Sunday evening satirical show to Duterte, calling him  “the Trump of the East.”

            Once elected Duterte remained in character. He had warned that if he were elected fish would grow fat in Manlia Bay from eating the bodies of criminals. In particular, this would result from his war on drugs – a war conducted by police and vigilante groups against alleged dealers. Within a few weeks of his election reports indicated that close to 1800 had received summary justice.

                        All of this was received with outrage by human rights organizations. But not by the Phillippine public. After his rape joke during the campaign his polls went up. They rose to close to 90 per cent approval after the post-election extra-judicial killings.  
            So perhaps we should not be surprised that many Duterte supporters were jubilant when an on-line magazine reported that Duterte had been named the best leader in the world and had been tipped as the next UN Secretary-General. The magazine had to explain that it was, after all, a satirical publication and the report was a hoax.

Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 (Archive on Monday, May 27, 2019)



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