Philippines ‘a war zone in disguise’ says US NGO report
MANILA, Philippines—”A war zone in disguise.”
This was how a U.S.-based non-government organization (NGO) described the Philippines in 2018, citing the rampant killings of civilians due to the alleged “lethality” of President Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown on illegal drugs.
According to Armed Conflict Location and Event Data (ACLED) Project’s Year In Review: 2018 report, which was posted in its website last Jan. 11, more civilians were killed in the Philippines in the past year than in conflicted-countries like Iraq, Somalia, or the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“The Philippines is a war zone in disguise. More civilians were killed in the Philippines in 2018 than in Iraq, Somalia, or the Democratic Republic of Congo—highlighting the lethality of President Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘War on Drugs’,” the report said.
Though the 47-page report noted that the Philippines recorded a 21 percent decrease in the recorded number of “organized political violence,” the country still has one of the highest number of “civilian targeting events” in 2018.
The Philippines ranked 4th with 933 recorded number of events with civilian targeting, preceded only by Syria (1st), India (2nd) and Yemen (3rd).
The Philippines also ranked 5th in the list of countries with most civilian fatalities reported in 2018.
Furthermore, the report categorized the Philippines where civilians were most at risk of government repression in 2018.
Though the Philippines is “not facing a conventional war on the scale of Afghanistan or Syria,” ACLED said it is still “one of the deadliest places in the world to be a civilian.”
“President Duterte’s War on Drugs, while past its initial, deadly climax, continues unchecked as the world stands by,” ACLED noted.
ACLED is an NGO that records and analyzes data on political violence and protests around the world. /muf
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