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Philippines Drug War, Joel Montallana

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I haven't said all that much about reign of President Duterte in the Philippines. He enjoys a high popularity rating in his nation and many will say 'who are you a foreigner to criticize him?' This president's drug war, which has killed thousands, affected my family personally.

On May 30th my brother in-law Joel Montallana was killed in a buy-bust police operation. His story reads like nearly all others on the nightly news. The police pose as buyers for drugs. The suspect pulls out a gun, forcing the police to shoot the suspect, and there are never any witnesses.

It may be virtually impossible to prove Joel's innocence. However, the way he died reads like a script. A process for murdering people and getting away with it.

In the United States 1 police officer dies for every 20 suspects killed. In the Philippines 1 police officer dies for every 119 suspects. When suspects fire back, police die too. The lack of police dead bodies proves the official narative of these encounters where all these people are firing at the police to be a lie.

It is also remarkable just how few people survive an encounter with the police in the Philippines. Over 97% of those shot at by the police die. The police make sure that few if any live to tell the tale about their encounter. There is also a lack of witnesses in cases involving police. These shoot-outs take place in secluded areas or they are dragged off the street with no record of being arrested and shot elsewhere.

Before Duterte the police were corrupt and would shake you down for a bribe. Some say they have less fear today of criminals in the streets today. When the crooks were the ones killing you though, at least there was someone you could go to however imperfect that you could seek justice from. When the police kill you, backed up by policy of the government, there is no one you can turn to for justice.

My brother in-law never owned a gun. Again, sticking to the same script repeated over and over as reported on Reuters the gun was a .38-caliber revolver with no markings. For all the thousands of people accused of firing a .38-caliber at the police I have my doubts there are thousands of .38-caliber revolvers being held in evidence lockers.

 

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Eric Severson graduated Briarcliffe College in 1997 and has worked in architectural design for almost 20 years. In his formative years he became a political activist, deeply believing in human rights. He is married to his wife Luzby and they (more...)
 

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