Since taking office on June 30, 2016, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has carried out a “war on drugs” resulting in the deaths of over 7,000 suspected drug dealers and users by January 2017. The government has attributed nearly half the killings to the Philippine National Police, and the remainder to “unidentified gunmen.” Cases investigated by the media and rights groups invariably found unlawful executions by police or agents of the police typically acting as “death squads.” Duterte has been outspoken in support of the anti-drug campaign and has sought to silence its critics, notably Senator Leila de Lima. No meaningful investigation into the killings has been undertaken.
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