Duterte's drug war in 2017: The year of deaths and denials

Official data shows that 3,993 people were killed in police operations, yet the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte refuses to tag them as extrajudicial killings. Human rights organizations say the world will not be fooled
Rappler (Philippines)
Tuesday, December 19, 2017

It's been a news cycle of deaths and denials in 2017 in the Philippines. Practically every day TV footages, online posts, and newspaper photos showed blood and grief as policemen raided poor villages and shanties to implement the Duterte administration's war on drugs. (Read: The Impunity Series) Despite official data and eyewitness accounts, the government has repeatedly denied that the dead are victims of extrajudicial killings, such as in official declarations – like the one made before the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in September – that the deaths from police operations "are not extrajudicial killings"; the rejection of calls by United Nations member-states to conduct a thorough and impartial probe; and the intimidation of local and foreign human rights advocates.