Bioethics News

What can be done about Duterte?

Yes, the American president is the most powerful man in the world. Yes, he has the launch codes. But there is something unhealthy in the preoccupation of the world’s media with the US presidential campaign at the expense of other world crises.

Donald Trump, who must be the worst major party candidate ever, seems to have incited violence at some of his rallies and has even made vague threats to Hillary Clinton. If you Google “Trump violence”, you will get 82,700,000 results. It’s a live issue, at least in the media.

Google “Duterte violence” and you will get only 971,000 results – about 1% of the figures for Trump. But Mr Duterte has incited thugs, vigilantes and police to kill drug dealers and since he took office on June 30. The Filipino president now has the blood of 3,500 of his own countrymen on his hands. And he is not a buffoon running for President. He is the President.

But it could get worse. This week he cheerfully compared himself to Hitler. “Hitler massacred three million Jews … there’s three million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them,” he told a press conference. “You know my victims. I would like (them) to be all criminals to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition.”

The number of murders in July, August and September is more or less equivalent to the number of civilians killed in Syria. Why doesn’t the world care? It’s probably because Duterte’s victims are drug addicts and dealers.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.