Philippines’ Duterte escalates drug war, threatens martial law

By Anya Palm

As the Philippine war on drugs, launched and staunchly defended by President Rodrigo Duterte, continues to draw praise from supporters and criticism from onlookers, the President now escalates the effort.

Earlier this week Duterte unveiled a list of 150 public officials, which he believes to be involved in illegal drug business, causing several of the named officials – and media – to publicly question why their name appeared on the list? When pressed on the issue the President countered that as a tool to help eradicate crime in the country the list of offenders was preferable to declaring martial law.

Since Mr. Duterte took office on June 30 this year, about 300 people linked to drug criminality have been killed and 600.000 suspected offenders have turned themselves over to the authorities.