TRIAD CONNECTION. President Rodrigo R. Duterte shows a copy of a diagram showing the connection of high level drug syndicates operating in the country during a press conference at Malacañang on July 7, 2016. KING RODRIGUEZ/Presidential Photographers Division
The new bombastic and brash president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte is undertaking a war on drugs like no other country on earth. In the last few months, hundreds of alleged drug offenders have been killed on the streets, many by vigilante groups empowered by the government. Meanwhile, Duterte has released a list of hundreds of public officials that he claims are involved in the drugs trade.
It’s a human rights disaster unfolding in real time and another indication that Duterte is a singularly unique–and some may say threatening — individual in global affairs.
My guest today Dr. Tom Smith of the University of Portsmouth at the Royal Airforce College Cranwel describes how Duterte, a long serving mayor of the city of Davao unexpectedly emerged as president of the Philippines in elections this year, and how he is applying harsh anti-crime tactics honed at the municipal level on a national scale.