Philippines. According to
Countryaah.com, thousands of Filipinos have been shot by
police since the summer of 2016 under President Rodrigo Duterte's tough policy against the drug trade. An additional
thousands of people have been killed "under unclear
circumstances". Police have claimed they are shooting in
self-defense, but in a report by Amnesty International at
the beginning of the year, witnesses described how police
simulate evidence to legitimize fatalities. According to the
testimony, the police also stole victims' valuables and
fabricated reports to get extra pay based on performance.
In January, Duterte temporarily halted the drug war to
reorganize the drug police after it was revealed that a
South Korean businessman for kidnapping was kidnapped and
killed by eight men, three of whom were police. According to
the president himself, 40% of police forces were corrupt.
When the drug war resumed in February, it was with a
reinforcement of close to 5,000 soldiers from the army,
which would help the anti-drug authority PDEA chase
high-level drug syndicate.
During the summer, Duterte took another step in the fight
against the drug when he called on police officers to kill
other police officers who worked for a mayor of the city of
Ozamiz. The mayor and 14 others were shot dead in a raid in
July after suspicions of extensive drug trafficking. For
every police officer who was arrested "dead or alive -
preferably dead", Duterte offered a reward of SEK 320,000.
In August, more than 80 people were killed in just three
days in the capital Manila. One of the victims was a
17-year-old boy. His case was noticed when a film from a
surveillance camera showed that the boy had been taken away
by police before they shot him. Another notable case was a
movie that revealed that police officers in a so-called drug
raid robbed an elderly woman in her home. The cases were
criticized by both the Catholic Church and people in
Duterte's own government and led to the dissolution of the
entire police force in the Caloocan area of Manila in
At the same time, an intense fight was fought against
Islamist extremists with links to the terrorist group IS on
the southernmost island of the Philippines Mindanao. It was
the groups Maute and Abu Sayyaf that took part of the city
of Marawi in May. To regain control, President Duterte
introduced martial law throughout Mindanao, at the same time
as the government army attacked Marawi from the air and with
forces on the ground.
In July, Parliament extended the state of emergency in
Mindanao to the end of the year and the United States
provided military efforts to fight IS supporters on the
island. Among the extremists were combatants from countries
such as Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Malaysia, according to
the country's defense minister Delfin Lorenzana.
At the same time, it was reported that around 350,000
people left Marawi and surrounding areas. Those who fled
testified about beheaded people lying in the streets of a
ghost town, whose center was largely destroyed.
After five months of fighting, the defense minister
stated that the leader of Abu Sayyaf, Isnilon Hapilon, and
Mautegerillan leader Omar Maute in October had been killed
by the military. Shortly thereafter, Duterte declared that
Marawi was liberated. Despite this, the state of emergency
in Mindanao was extended by one year in December after the
military announced that new jihadists were being recruited
for more offensive in the area.
At the end of the year, Mindanao was ravaged by the
Tembin storm that swept across the island just before
Christmas. Around 240 people died while further fatalities