20,860 women, lesbians, bisexuals ‘surrender’ in Duterte’s drug war

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By Vino Lucero
Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism

THE PINK BLOTTER of the Women and Children Desk that should exist in every police station tells not only the story of children in conflict with the law, but also of the women, lesbians, and bisexuals linked to alleged violations of the law.

From July 1 to Aug. 28, 2016, data from the Philippine National Police (PNP) showed that a total of 20,860 women had “surrendered” to the PNP on account of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs. This number is apart from the 20,584 minors who also reportedly surrendered to local police offices, during the same period.

It is in the PNP’s pink blotter that the story of the women and the children who have been dragged in the drug war can be found.

Of the women surrenderees, the bulk or 17,683 reportedly surrendered in the month of July, and the rest — 3,177 — in August.

The regions of Luzon island led the tally of women surrenderees: Metro Manila, 3,605; Central Luzon, 2,685; and Calabarzon, 2,555.

The rest of the regions follows:

  • Central Visayas, 1,766 women drug surrenderees;
  • Northern Mindanao, 1,670;
  • Bicol Region, 1,244;
  • Davao Region, 994;
  • Zamboanga Region, 840;
  • Caraga, 770;
  • Ilocos Region, 754;
  • Negros Island, 735;
  • Mimaropa, 632;
  • Eastern Visayas, 624;
  • Western Visayas, 539;
  • Soccsksargen, 501;
  • Cagayan Valley, 345;
  • Cordillera Administrative Region, 319; and
  • Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, 282.

According to PNP data, 17,757 of the women or 85.12 percent surrendered for having used illegal drugs; 2,740 or 13.14 percent for being drug sellers; 337 or 1.62 percent for delivering drugs; and 26 or 0.12 percent for being drug financiers or protectors.

More than 70 percent of the women were listed to be jobless; 3,928 or 18.83 percent were self-employed; and 1,288 or 6.17 were working in the private sector. Another 161 surrenderees said they were government workers, making 0.77 percent of the total.

Of the total, just slightly a third of the women (39.20 percent) or 8,177 were married, 7,621 or 36.53 percent were single, 3,540 or 16.97 percent had live-in partners, and 512 or 2.45 percent were widows.

It was the first time for over half or 11,220 of the women to be enrolled in the PNP’s pink blotter on account of their surrender. The rest, 1,745 or 8.37 percent, were repeat offenders.

The PNP dataset classified the women surrenderees by gender: 96 percent or 20,026 were listed as “female”;” 655 or 3.14 percent as “lesbian,” and 137 or 0.66 percent as “bisexual.” For some reason, however, 42 other women surrenderees were not included in the gender classification.— PCIJ, September 2016

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  1. The Rome Statute defines murder or persecution that is knowingly “committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against any civilian population” as a crime against humanity. The wide-scale extrajudicial killings carried out under Duterte’s orders meet that definition. Duterte will soon stand trial in the International Court of The Hague for the unlawful murder of many thousands of civilians.

    Dear people of the Philippines:

    An elected government should not declare war and militarize against its own people. Historically, the use of deadly force to address/prohibit peaceful, consensual transactions between adults, such as gambling, prostitution, drug use/sales, has only ever produced negative results. Such a violent crusade against civilians invariably evolves into a full-blown civil war.

    It is now obvious (at least to the rest of humanity) that you have foolishly elected a psychotic despot for president. This means that you no longer have due process, constitutionally protected rights or fair trials in a public forum. Suspicion or rumor is now all that’s required to terminate the life of any citizen.

    Nowhere on this planet has any nation ever had success with the policy of drug prohibition. Many of your villages, towns and cities will be turned into killing fields. Hundreds of thousands of you may now die. Your most precious institutions and possessions will be destroyed—but the drugs, the corruption and the violence will still be there and the world will finally realize how dangerous and utterly destructive prohibition really is.

    You are actually in the process of destroying your own society and nothing can change your fate. Every one of you is now vulnerable to deadly attack; world-wide drug prohibition has finally reached its inevitable conclusion.

    Thank you for helping to teach the world this powerful lesson with the blood of your own families!


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