In the Philippines, the death toll from President Rodrigo Duterte’s so-called war on drugs continues to rise. Police have killed at least 2,000 people, and vigilantes have killed at least 3,500 more, since Duterte took office this summer. Tens of thousands more have been arrested or turned themselves over to police out of fear they’d be killed. Human rights groups say many of those killed have been summarily shot and had nothing to do with the drug trade. On Wednesday, the White House condemned the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. But a recent BuzzFeed investigation reveals the U.S. State Department has continued to send millions of dollars in aid, as well as training and equipment, to the Philippine National Police. Meanwhile, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte gave an impression of his December 2 phone call with Donald Trump while speaking Wednesday. He imitated Trump praising Duterte and appealing for a closer relationship between the two men.
President Rodrigo Duterte: “'Oh, President Duterte, we should fix our bad relations. It needs a lot of—you know, you just said something good here, and you're doing great. I know what’s your worry about these Americans criticizing you. You are doing good. Go ahead. I had this problem in the border of Mexico and America and this goddamn [bleep] guy.’ So now the way he speaks makes me feel like a saint.”
That’s Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, speaking in Tagalog, saying, “So now the way he speaks makes me feel like a saint,” in reference to Donald Trump.