Manila, Aug 3: The world is fearing a possible presidency of Donald Trump in the US but a more sinister regime has already begun giving its countrymen sleepless nights in the eastern world. ['Donald Trump of East' Rodrigo Duterte takes over as Philippines president]
In the Philippines, over 400 people have been killed as the country's newly elected president, Rodrigo Duterte, has started backing his words of handling crime with tough hands by unleashing the police and military forces to eliminate the drug suspects.
Some reports, however, said that the death tally could touch 700 in less than three months. Other reports also said the police have arrested 2,700 people on charges if having links to illegal drug activities.
Most lost their lives in clashes with the police while around 150 were killed by unidentified vigilantes, said a New York Times report.
Duterte, 71, who took over as the president of the Philippines in June, reiterated his no-soft approach during his address to the Congress last week and asked the law-keepers to "triple" their efforts against crime. A former mayor, Duterte has been known for his hard ways against petty criminals and drug dealers and was also nicknamed "The Punisher" in the past.
In his speech, Duterte said his authorities will not stop till the last drug lord, financier and pusher surrendered or jailed or eliminated.
However, human rights groups and families of many of the victims of the crackdown said several of them were poor Filipinos and had nothing to do with drug-related activities. They were just shot in streets without any charges or trial, the critics of Duterte's policy said.
Duterte, however, has shown little concern for the human rights activism. He said human rights could not be used as a shield to destroy the country.