Hardline presidents ascension to office is followed by wave of shootings, prompting outcry over serial summary executions of users and petty drug lords

Thirty drug dealers have been killed since Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as Philippine president on Thursday, police said, announcing the seizure of nearly US$20m (15m) worth of narcotics but sparking anger from a lawyers group.

Duterte won the election in May on a platform of crushing crime, but his incendiary rhetoric and advocacy of extrajudicial killings have alarmed many who hear echoes of the countrys authoritarian past.

Oscar Albayalde, police chief for the Manila region, said five drug dealers were killed on Sunday in a gun battle with police in a shanty town near a mosque near the presidential palace.

My men were about to serve arrest warrants when shots rang out from one of the houses in the area, Albayalde told reporters, saying police returned fire and killed five men.

Four guns and 200 grams of crystal methamphetamine were recovered. Three other people were killed in other areas in Manila on Sunday and 22 were killed in four areas outside the capital.

More than 100 people have died said to have been mostly suspected drug dealers, rapists and car thieves in stepped up anti-crime police operations since the election on 9 May.

Edre Olalia, secretary general of the National Union of Peoples Lawyers, said the killings must be halted.

The drug menace must stop Yet the apparent serial summary executions of alleged street drug users or petty drug lords which appear sudden, too contrived and predictable must also stop, he said in a statement. The two are not incompatible.

In the north of the main island of Luzon, drug enforcement agents and police seized a shipment of 180kg (400lb) of shabu (methamphetamine) worth about 900m pesos ($19.23m) from either China or Taiwan, said national police chief Ronald dela Rosa said.

The shipment was unloaded at sea and brought to shore by small fishing boats before delivery to Manilas Chinatown, he said.

On Sunday the Maoist-led New Peoples Army rebels issued a statement supporting Dutertes all-out war against drugs, saying it might conduct its own drug operations against soldiers, police and local officials.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/05/philippines-police-boast-of-30-drug-killings-under-punisher-duterte

Philippines police boast of 30 drug killings under ‘punisher’ Duterte
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