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Philippines President Threatens To Kill Drug War Critics

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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is waging war against activists who believe his drug control laws batter human rights.

Duterte has enforced a brutal stance against drugs in his country. That policy has resulted in the deaths of at least 5,000 people since July, according to Filipino news site, Inquirer.

Of the 5,000 people killed since the war on drugs began in July, the Philippines National Police said 2,000 were killed in encounters with police and 3,000 in extrajudicial or vigilante-style killings, reports NPR.

Duterte's war on drugs has been described as a brutal campaign against nonviolent drug users and drug dealers.

During a recent speech, Duterte said activists will be blamed if police execute more drug users and dealers.

“The human rights (defenders) said I ordered the killings. I told them ‘OK. Let’s stop. We’ll let them (drug users) multiply so that when it’s harvest time, more people will die,” Duterte said, according to the Inquirer.

“I will include you because you are the reason why their numbers swell,” he added.

The United States government gives millions of dollars to the Phillipines for its law enforcement programs. But ABC Online news reported that much of that money has now been shifted away from the controversial policing initiatives.

"We decided the prudent thing to do was to refocus the way that assistance was being spent," said State Department spokesman John Kirby.

Sources: Inquirer, ABC Online, NPR / Photo credit: Presidential Communications Operations Office/Wikipedia

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