OPINION: Rodrigo Duterte’s Actions are Inhumane


Rodrigo Duterte, the current President of the Philippines, has killed many suspected drug dealers over the past couple of months in an effort to finish off the Phillipines war on drugs.

Duterte, from the start of his campaign, boasted about how during his presidency, the Philippines would see the end of crime. Duterte has encouraged many citizens and police officers to kill any drug suspects on sight — this policy has caused about 465 deaths since his inauguration.

Rodrigo Duterte’s actions in the Philippines are unjustified and inhumane. About four hundred people were killed in the first month of him being in office, and this fact alone is very scary. Many say that the approach of killing drug dealers is justified because if drug dealers do things that put normal citizens into harmful situations, they should be punished for their actions. However, this should not give the government the right to flat out kill them all. Not only are these actions inhumane, but they also would inevitably cause more violence inside of the country because it would put more tension into what is already a very fragile situation.

“But as the bodies keep piling up, and anger against the violence that is once again plaguing the Philippines’ cities continues to swell, few opponents to the wild west justice being meted out will find comfort in those words,” CNN Author Euan Mckirdy said.

One of Duterte’s policies is that any police officer or civilian can kill any suspected drug dealer. But just killing off a suspected a drug dealer is not logical. Anybody can murder a man for any reason and then justify his actions by saying that the victim was a “suspected drug dealer.” However, there are some aspects that make this policy a little more humane in that  that if drug dealers or addicts surrender themselves to the government, they will  only go to jail for a reduced amount of time.

There are better ways that the Philippines could solve the problem. In my opinion, making a hierarchical system of suspected drug leaders dictating what punishment each should receive is a better strategy. Drug dealers should have to go to prison for five years but should not be killed. The reason they should not be killed is because many people who sell narcotics in more peripheral areas need money so they can provide for themselves or their family. Instead of killing off drug dealers, the Philippines should try to help diminish the poverty in the country by providing more support systems and jobs to keep people from engaging in illegal activities.