Filipinos Give Bizarre Answers To Duterte Drug War Survey

REUTERS/Erik De Castro

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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While most Filipinos support the president’s war on drugs, they worry that they will be killed in the crossfire, a recent survey revealed.

Seventy-eight percent of 1,500 participants in a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey said they feared that they or someone they know will become a victim of an extrajudicial killing in President Rodrigo Duterte’s shoot-to-kill drug war.

“Fear is a clear indication belying what the government has been trumpeting all along that people now feel safe to roam around because policemen are weeding the streets of thugs and drug users and pushers,” explained friar Jerome Secillano, parish priest at the Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro Church in Manila.

Duterte’s drug war has ended the lives of an estimated 6,000 people in only a matter of months. A little over 2,000 were killed in standard police operations; the others died in extrajudicial or vigilante killings.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan told reporters that since Duterte took office, one person has been killed, on average, every 40 minutes. “Fear for one’s safety is bound to surface,” he explained.

“The poll results are proof that people do not feel safe in the streets,” Pangilinan added. “The only way to address this is to stop the daily killings.”

Ninety-four percent of the survey participants said they would prefer to see drug suspects captured alive rather than “slaughtered like animals” in the street.

While Filipinos fear death in Duterte’s drug war, a shocking 85 percent of respondents in the survey said that they were satisfied with the campaign. Duterte himself has a “very good” approval rating of 63 percent; some observers argue Filipinos may be afraid to criticize the president, who has personally admitted to killing people.

Duterte promised Friday that he would not stop “until the last drug pusher and the last drug lord are…” He then used a hand gesture to signal death by execution.

Speaking about the possible return of the death penalty, Duterte said Saturday, “Give it back to me, and I will perform daily executions. Five, six.”

Duterte believes capital punishment failed as a crime deterrent because it was not used regularly.

“You destroy my country, I destroy you,” he said.

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