Manila has dirty hands in the Mass Murder of Filipino citizens

“If the Marcos/Duterte regime controlling Manila had clean hands in the alleged mass murder of Philippines’ citizens it allegedly did not like, including the killing of political opponents, critics, journalists, mayors, clergymen, and alleged drug users, it would have nothing to fear from the International Criminal Court,” says a Filipino lawyer interviewed on condition of anonymity.

Besides massive human rights violations including the right to life, Rodrigo Duterte accomplished many worthwhile things for the people of the Philippines. Civil society has been blinded however, by the enormous numbers of killings which Duterte initiated with a Duterte Death Squad (DDS) infrastructure and then completely lost control over that nightmare as murder became viral in the Philippines. “You don’t like somebody, kill them and plant some Shabu (amphetamine) on them,” one killer said in an anonymous-call interview, then added with chagrin, “then we get the blame.”  True enough. Read: Duterte and China help Philippines Babies and Moms.

Real hired killers, men and women, who have been willing to sit through a media interview after being promised anonymity, have been very clear about where the murder instructions they received have come from: Malacañang Palace.

Read: Botched Philippines EJK of Brandon Lee. Duterte denied hit was for Journo work.


This is not democracy! Oppress the people, suppress the protests, kill the human rights defenders—repeat.

Patrick Kyle Adeva writes in the ‘Philippine Collegian’, “Duterte’s peasant arrests and red-tagging sprees spared no man, woman, or child. Amanda Echanis and her baby are two among hundreds of political prisoners still detained even after his reign.

“Oppress the people, suppress the protests, arrest the dissidents—repeat. This has become the long-established tactic under the authoritarian playbook of former President Rodrigo Duterte. Under this strategy of quelling any opposition, over a thousand activists have been jailed, 82 of whom are women, including peasant organizer Amanda Echani.

“Ranmill, Amanda’s half-brother, laments at the persecution his sister and two-year old nephew are braving—a situation he is all too familiar with. “Kaya nga ako’y napapaiyak, ganito din ako noong bata ako. Nakikita ko nanay ko gano’n din na nasa kulungan,” he said.

“Amanda and Ranmill were barely a year old before being imprisoned on two separate occasions with their parents—Erlinda and Randall, who were members of peasant organizations Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and Anakpawis. It was within the confines of concrete walls and iron bars that the two children learned how to walk, talk, and say their ABCs, said Ranmill.”

(Patrick Kyle Adeva is a Features writer for the Philippine Collegian since 2022. He is currently studying B Public Administration at NCPAG UPD.)

The heartbreak continues as most of 110 millions of an oppressed tax-paying people suffer in near silence and their leaders’ dynasties mine this population for every peso they can steal.

Read: Philippines Drug War is Cop Rape-Fest

“Dynastic politicians may behave like ‘roving bandits’ by extracting wealth and resources indiscriminately as a way to optimize their own economic interests at the expense of their constituents,” notes a School of Government, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines and ScienceDirect study.

Political dynasties in the Philippines are exceptional in persistence and scope. Almost 80% of the Philippines’ Congress far more than 50% of all elected local government officials, are from political families that can be counted on one hand.

Studies in the Philippines established a strong dynasty-poverty link (McCoy, 1994Olson, 1982Acemoglu and  Robinson, 2006Acemoglu and Robinson, 2008Mendoza et al., 2016).

Yet these do not explain why the effect is strongest in areas farther from the national capital (non-Luzon provinces).

 Mendoza et al., (2016) posit that this is due to economic activity, governance practices, and strong civil society/human rights participation in Luzon compared to non-Luzon provinces.

Acemoglu and  Robinson (2008) find the presence of economic elites who have no direct link to local politicians can also provide a counterforce to temper the negative development impact of political concentration. This exposes an interesting factor—the presence of independent and presumably competitive business groups—that potentially ease the effects of dynastic rule.

Duterte / Marcos dynasties are headed for trouble and some members may be headed for prison. That may be a long time off, however.

The slow-functioning Internatinal Criminal Court (ICC) is currently investigating alleged mass murder crimes that occurred on the territory of the Philippines while it was a State Party to the ICC, from 1 November 2011 up to and including 16 March 2019, the date of the Philippines effective withdrawal from the International Criminal Court.

“What about the tens of thousands of political prisoners including the desaparecidos among the estimated 130,00 detainees held in the worst imaginable hell-holes on the planet? What about the Duterte-ordered rapes of Mindanao-women? And what about the two dozen journalists Duterte had killed?” asked rhetorically Ms. Karinna Angeles of The RINJ Foundation. 

Current Marcos/Duterte authoritarian regime is a matter of pure convenience with the two exploiting each other. None of Duterte’s crimes have been undone by Marcos like releasing political prisoners or rejoining human rights institutions.

Some “70,000 detained, 35,000 tortured, 3,200 killed—represent the victims of President Ferdinand E. Marcos’ era of martial law, from 1972 to 1986. They mark one of the darkest periods in the Philippines’ history,” writes Valmina May and Joy Sales in the Los Angeles Times.

Civil society estimates suggest the number of recent extrajudicial killings with numerous motivations of Malacañang from 1 July 2016 through December 2018 is 29,000 unexplained violent deaths including two dozen journalists who covered these crimes. That number could be much higher, say statisticians who have agreed to resume their investigation continuing from the end of 2018 until the current time. The Duterte murders have continued.

Besides murder, there are other crimes against humanity.

Read: Sexual Violence in Dictatorships like North Korea / Philippines


“A forced disappearance (desaparecidos), on the other hand, as form of extrajudicial punishment is perpetrated by government officers, when any of its public officers abducts an individual, to vanish from public view, resulting to murder or plain sequestration. The victim is first kidnapped, then illegally detained in concentration camps, often tortured, and finally executed and the corpse hidden.” Wikipedia: Extrajudicial Killings and forced disappearances in the Philippines

The Philippines’ Marcos/Duterte regime reaction to the IC Court’s actions has been extreme protest with numerous threats and to ban ICC investigators from the Philippines. This is mimicry of American sanctions against the ICC and is fully supported by the Biden White House which is under extreme critique for its crimes against humanity most recently in Afghanistan but also in Iraq.

The governments of the Philippines and the government of America are both human rights pariahs. Both are at odds with all the human rights institutions of the human race.

How does Europe fit into the picture? It is at war with human rights defenders.


Rodrigo Duterte

“Hitler massacred three [sic] million Jews. There are three million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them,” said Rodrigo Duterte in 2016. Malacañang photo.
Art/Cropping/Enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto / Feminine-Perspective-Magazine