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Rodrigo Duterte

President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. (Internet photo)

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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves says St. Vincent and the Grenadines cannot approach crime-fighting like Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, whom human right groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have linked to extrajudicial killings of over 1,400 alleged criminals and street children by vigilante death squads

“We can’t fight crime like how Duterte, the president of the Philippines fight it you know.  We can’t do that you know. We have a charter of rights — fundamental rights and freedoms,” Gonsalves told a press conference last Monday at which he responded to opposition comments about crime in SVG.

In 2017, the investigative journalists’ network OCCRP reported that Duterte, who is also known as “The Punisher”, has “overseen the killing of more than 7,000 and possibly as many as 12,000” since coming to office in 2016.

The group said: “The statistics are hard to pin down because Duterte’s National Police suppress all critical reports. And police are spared from any accountability or legal consequences for a campaign that has left bodies in the streets.”

Gonsalves noted that in SVG, everyone is entitled to certain fundamental rights.

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“And even the most wicked man has his fundamental rights and freedoms which we have to protect. So, you have to fight crime within a liberal democratic order.

“Look, if the police know a number of bad eggs, they could do like in some other places. Sure, you can send them and they can just kill them, execute them. But you know what will happen? That will give rise to an even bigger problem: an uncontrollable police force because if they kill Tom Browne without due process even though he is a criminal, they can kill you, a law-abiding citizen without due process, too,” the prime minister said.

“Let’s have a mature conversation, please,” said Gonsalves, who, as Minister of National Security, is responsible for the police force.

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4 replies on “SVG can’t use Philippines’ ‘Punisher’ president’s anti-crime methods — PM”

  1. I am certainly not stating or implying that the Prime Minister has ever given as much as a wink or a nod to any illegal police activity but Dr. Gonsalves surely knows that there have been concerns about the possibility of extra-judicial killings by the Black Force, including the following incidents reported by the media:

    1. https://www.iwnsvg.com/2011/12/13/slain-escaped-prisoner-had-murdered-dentists-gun-police-say/ (The unarmed wanted man was reported by some to be exiting the window of the van in the Mt. Wynne and shot dead by a policewoman as he was fleeing.)

    2. https://www.iwnsvg.com/2016/12/21/man-dies-after-being-shot-by-police/ (In another media story, his girlfriend claimed that this wanted man, a habitual but not violent or dangerous thief was unarmed and seeking shelter under a neighbouring house.)

    3. https://www.iwnsvg.com/2013/05/14/prisoner-was-in-handcuffs-moments-before-police-shot-and-killed-him-journalist/

    4. There was a homicide in the Leeward of Layou several years ago in which it was reported in the media that an unarmed man on the run (who may have escaped custody or imprisonment) with the last name of “Vincent” exited his aunt’s house allegedly with his hands in the air but was still executed by the black squad.

    I have to assume that there are other alleged extra-judicial murders like this. To the best of my knowledge, unlike the United States, Canada, and other progressive countries, not a single police officer in backward little St. Vincent has ever been charged, let alone convicted, of manslaughter.

    To be sure, St. Vincent is far from being the most crime ridden or violent place in the Caribbean, but most citizens believe that the selection, training, diligence, intelligence, professionalism, and competence of the police is rock bottom.

  2. Avatar Of Urlan AlexanderUrlan Alexander says:

    And in what way Ralph Gonsalves will agree to have a national conversation without chastising anyone who doesn’t see things from his view point?

    1. If they need chastising because they are talking f*rt and sh*t, he has a duty to put them in their place for their nonsensical untterances about the causes of crime.

  3. Servant of the Lord disappeared and Glen Jackson assassinated, other as well. Philippines is a big place with big numbers, SVG is a small place with small numbers.

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