Although there is no “smoking gun” that proves that the DDS operates as Duterte’s hit squad, he often speaks quite favorably and enthusiastically of summary executions and extrajudicial killings, and documents published by Wikileaks even reveal that U.S. State Department personnel believe that Duterte is “clearly behind” the vigilante group.
Duterte’s signature method of fighting crime with crime had been the most prominent issue of his presidential campaign. He has promised to kill hundreds of thousands of those he deems criminals, and to make the fish of Manila Bay fat from feeding on their corpses.
.. On the matter of the free press, I should first explain that the Philippines is considered one of the world’s most dangerous country for journalists. It is common for journalists who do investigative work into the corrupt dealings of politicians and businessmen to end up as victims of assassination, and the bulk of those murders go unsolved. When asked about this problem, Duterte responded that if you’re a journalist and you get offed, it’s probably because you were doing something wrong!
.. His reputation as a strong man who can get things done has made him a hero to many of his supporters, and thus to many average Filipinos, having such a savior lead their country to the promised land greatly overweighs any concerns about human and constitutional rights, the rule of law, or the due process of law.
.. Thus, as bad as having Duterte occupy the Philippine presidency is, his popularity is merely a product of a breakdown in Philippine politics and society as a whole.
.. Some dismiss his extreme rhetoric as just the hyperbole of a flamboyant politician who is simply intentionally projecting a caricature of himself, and his spokespersons often defend him by saying his controversial remarks are just jokes or cases of the press taking his words out of context. I, however, believe that the man is a psychopath who probably suffers from delusions of himself as a “Dirty Harry” type who can clean up the streets simply by slaughtering all the bad guys. Such a person obviously has no business being the head of state of any nation.
.. However, even if Duterte is successfully defeated, or even ousted, the societal and political climate that produced him will remain, and the country could go simply back into the hands of the corrupt oligarchs.