Press Release
February 26, 2018

Dispatch 247
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's statement on the DILG report on the 20,322 dead so far in Duterte's drug war


The data released by the DILG as cited in Senator Trillanes's recent privilege speech is troubling. The DILG data mentioned a total of 20,322 killed in the War on Drugs. Of these, 16,335 are classified as deaths under investigation, PNP's cold-hearted euphemism for vigilante killings and targeted assassinations.

These gruesome statistics, coming from no less than the government in charge of the drug war, clearly show that Duterte's drug war is meeting his quota of at least 1,000 dead nationwide for every month that his regime is in power.

This means that for Duterte's 18 months in office when the data was released, with 20,322 dead cited as an accomplishment of the drug war, an average of 1,129 Filipinos are killed every month, or 37 human beings per day. Multiplied by six years, this means that Duterte would be near his figurative target of 100,000 dead bodies turning Manila Bay red by the year 2022. I say figurative in the sense that back then during the campaign, we were thinking that certainly, he must be exaggerating.

With these statistics, it becomes clear that 100,000 dead turning Manila Bay red with blood was not merely a figure of speech for Duterte. It was a campaign promise, the only campaign promise that Duterte is delivering on like clockwork.

Apparently, 16 million voted for this, some of the 20,322 dead included in those who voted for Duterte. We now wonder how many more of those 16 million voted for their own murder as the death squads continue to meet Duterte's quota. More importantly, we wonder how many more of those who did not vote for this mass murder are going to end up dead.

Not that it matters. Murder is murder, regardless of who the victim is. This is what we have forgotten as a nation. We welcomed death into our homes, and he is not leaving anytime soon.

By the time the total body count is finally in, whether 80,000 or 100,000, we must ask if there is still anything left of us as a nation, one with a soul, other than one consisting of 100 million accomplices led by a single mass murderer.

In the end, this is what the world will remember us for, unless we put a stop to this madness by bringing the principal and his enablers to justice, whether in our own courts, or the one in The Hague.

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