Philippines secret death squads: officer claims police teams behind wave of killings
Publisher: The Guardian
Date Written: 04/10/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20604
Thousands of people have been killed since Rodrigo Duterte became president and, according to one officer, secret police teams are partly responsible.
"We are not that bad policemen or bad individuals. We are just a tool, we are just angels that God gave talent to, you know, to get these bad souls back to heaven and cleanse them."
The words flow unnervingly from the mouth of the policeman, a senior officer in the Philippines national police (PNP), as he explains his role in 87 killings in the past three months.
It's not about killing for pleasure, or being a 'homicidal maniac", he says. There is a higher purpose at play.
"We are here as angels. Like St Michael and St Gabriel, right," he says.
Well in excess of 3,600 people have been killed in the Philippines since 1 July this year, when Rodrigo Duterte was inaugurated as president and initiated his war on drugs and crime. More than half of those murders have been perpetrated by unknown vigilantes.