Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs leaves Philippines mayor among 10 dead in gunfight

Police estimate more than 3,600 suspected drug dealers and addicts have been killed since Duterte took office

Samuel Osborne
Friday 28 October 2016 09:32
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte shows the list of government, military and police officials involved in illegal drug trade during a news conference upon his arrival from a state visit in Japan at the Davao International Airport in Davao city, Philippines, 27 October, 2016
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte shows the list of government, military and police officials involved in illegal drug trade during a news conference upon his arrival from a state visit in Japan at the Davao International Airport in Davao city, Philippines, 27 October, 2016

Rodrigo Duterte's latest crackdown on illegal drugs has left the mayor of a town in the Philippines among 10 people killed in a gunfight with an anti-narcotics squad.

Police said Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom, of southern Datu Saudi Ampatuan town, was killed along with nine others before dawn on Friday.

The authorities said they were killed in a gunfight when they fired from three cars on officers at a checkpoint in Makilala town in North Cotabato province.

According to Superintendent Bernard Tayong, the mayor had been named by Mr Duterte as among many politicians suspected to be involved in illegal drugs.

Philippines: President Rodrigo Duterte’s 100 days in office

Police estimate more than 3,600 suspected drug dealers and addicts have been killed since Mr Duterte took office on 30 June.

So far police have launched more than 23,500 raids and arrested 22,500 suspected drug dealers and addicts.

More than 1.6 million houses of drug suspects have been visited by police to invite them to surrender and stop using drugs, or disengage from the drug trade.

Around 732,000 addicts and dealers have surrendered, apparently for fear of being killed. The sheer number has surprised Mr Duterte and the national police, prompting them to scramble for land and money to build rehabilitation centres.

The president said his crackdown on drug dealers and criminals will continue because he "cannot kill them all".

Mr Duterte was elected in May on the promise of preventing the Philippines from becoming a “narco-state” and vowed to kill those involved in importing or selling illegal drugs.

He even likened his national crackdown to the Holocaust and said he would be “happy” to slaughter as many addicts as Adolf Hitler massacred Jews.

The US, the EU, the UN and human rights watchdogs have been alarmed by the brutality of the crackdown.

Amnesty International said Mr Duterte’s “first 100 days as President have been marked by state-sanctioned violence on a truly shocking scale”.

The President has said he intended to extend his crackdown by “maybe another six months”.

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