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Relatives of the Drug War Victims Alarmed by Philippines Duterte’s Plant To Stay


Philippine activists and the families of victims in a drug war that has killed thousands view with dread the possibility of President Rodrigo Duterte staying on as vice-president for six more years after his time in the top job ends next year.

The constitution bars a re-election bid by Duterte, but he repeated on Wednesday he would run for vice president in 2022 in order to keep up his crusade on insurgency, criminal activities and drug dealers.

For four years, we have been waiting for justice, said Mr. Randy Delos Santos, who believes that if Mr. Duterte succeeds it would make justice even more elusive for families such as his that have lost a member to the anti-drug campaign.

For four years, we have been living in fear, added Mr. Delos Santos, who worries about the prospect of reprisals after the August 2017 killing of his nephew, high school student Kian, led to the first convictions of police officers in the drug war.

Since Duterte unleashed the drugs crackdown in 2016, Philippine security forces say they have killed 6,165 suspected drug dealers because they fought back violently, but rights groups say authorities have summarily executed them.

Three police officers convicted of murder in the killing have said they shot Mr. Kian Delos Santos in self-defence, and appealed to a higher court.

ICC wants to launch inquiry to the Philipine's war on drugs

The death features in a report by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, who seeks to launch a full inquiry into the drug war killings.

Mr. Duterte has accused the ICC of prejudice against him, cancelling the Philippines’ membership of the body in March 2018, just weeks after the prosecutor said the preliminary examination had begun, and later dared it to put him on trial.

I have never denied, and the ICC can record it: those who destroy my country, I will kill you, he said in a state of the nation address last month.

Cabinet secretary Mr. Karlo Nograles, who belongs to Mr. Duterte’s ruling PDP-Laban party, has said his becoming vice president would guarantee continuation of the government’s programmes, including the war on drugs.


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