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FEATURING AURORA VICTORIA DAVID – The controversial president of the Philippines just gave his third annual State of the Nation address, and in it, Mr. Rodrigo Duterte dug his heels in on the deadly drug war his government has fought. Duterte mocked human rights advocates for targeting the extrajudicial killings that have cast an international spotlight on the Philippines. Duterte said his concern wasn’t human rights, it was human lives.

The group Human Rights Watch released a statement offering some numbers for the horrors that Duterte has visited upon his country since his rule began in 2016: “more than 4,500 people have been killed in what the Philippine National Police (PNP) calls lawful anti-drug operations, alleging that the suspects fought back during raids. Thousands more have been killed by unidentified assailants throughout the country.”

The Philippines is an ally of the US and under President Donald Trump, Duterte has enjoyed greater impunity. Trump visited the Philippines last year and said nothing about Duterte’s bloody drug war.

Aurora Victoria David, Secretary General of the National Alliance of Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), and a co-convenor of the MALAYA Movement.

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