Yesterday, part of a confidential transcript of Donald Trump’s discussion with Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, was made public. In the transcript, which has been confirmed as an “accurate representation,” the president commends the Philippines for their ability to handle the nation’s drug problem – but that isn’t a good thing.
The comments were part of a Philippine transcript of the April 29 phone call that was circulated on Tuesday. The transcript was labeled as “confidential” on the cover sheet by the American division of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs. In Washington, a senior administration official confirmed that the transcript was an “accurate representation” of the call between the two leaders but the official was not authorized to publicly discuss the call and only confirmed it on the condition of anonymity. According to the anonymous administration official, Donald Trump was quoted as saying:
I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem. Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that. –President Donald Trump
Allegedly, the president told Duterte that he’s done an “unbelievable job on the drug problem” in the island nation. The Philippines has instituted a policy there, in which the government has sanctioned gunning down drug suspects in the streets. Since taking office not even a year ago, Duterte has instituted one of the bloodiest drug wars in history.
During his 22-year tenure as mayor of Davao City in southern Mindanao, Duterte was a vocal supporter of a death squad that perpetrated hundreds of extrajudicial killings of so-called “undesirables,” including children as young as 14. The Davao Death Squad, as it was known, was organized, financed, and directed by elements of the local police and government officials, as detailed in the 2009 Human Rights Watch report, “‘You Can Die Any Time’: Death Squad Killings in Mindanao.”
The extrajudicial killings have taken thousands of lives without arrest or trial. In March (under Donald Trump’s leadership), the program was criticized in the State Department’s annual human rights report, which referred to “apparent governmental disregard for human rights and due process.”
It’s safe to say that Duterte’s approach to the “war on drugs” isn’t the moral one, yet Trump praised the Philippine president for it nonetheless. That’s honestly a very disturbing thing to praise a fellow dictator for doing.
The White House also keeps transcripts of such calls, but they are (for the most part) kept secret. Trump allegedly began the confidential phone call with the congratulatory tone for the handling of the “war on drugs” in the Philippians. In that same transcript, President Trump also reportedly boasted that the United States has “two nuclear submarines” off the coast of North Korea but said he does not want to use them.
Donald Trump’s praise of a bloody war on drugs is nothing less than intolerable. And Duterte’s handling of the drug problem in his country is nothing short of tyrannical. This bloody drug was is also democide and an egregious violation of human rights. Human rights violations shouldn’t be praised at all especially considering Duterte is looking a lot like the tyrannical fascists of the past – killing off those he finds “undesirable.”
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Contributed by Dawn Luger of The Daily Sheeple.