June 14, 2018
It’s easy to get guns in the Philippines, and most Barangay Captains probably already have them – but he is giving them a better gun, and most importantly, giving them a right to kill whoever they want with it.
The Philippines’ Interior Ministry has announced plans to provide some 42,000 community leaders with free handguns to ramp up the statewide battle against drugs and crime, which continues to draw the ire of human rights defenders.
The decision to give state-issued handguns to the community leaders – known locally as barangay captains – was announced by the ministry on Wednesday. The Philippines’ barangay localities vary in size and may be described roughly as districts or neighborhoods.
A “barangay” is basically a neighborhood.
It’s a pretty cool concept. They took the idea of a tribal chief and transmitted it to the city, so you have these areas within the city who have their own little mini-mayor/sheriff figure who is able to legally settle disputes without any kind of court. They are elected, technically (or theoretically) but they are usually from the same families who would have been tribal leadership families before urbanization.
Here’s an example map of how Barangays are organized. Basically, everywhere in the country, every area is designated a Barangay and each contains on average 50-150 families (other than in Manila, where the population has become so dense it could be thousands in one Barangay – there have been attempts to break those up into smaller more manageable sections, so the Captain is able to personally know the patriarch of each family).
They are not law enforcement, but law enforcement will generally defer to them, unless they’ve been given orders from the city level to do otherwise.
Some of these people have obviously been bribed and allow drug dealers to operate in their neighborhoods, or even sell the drugs themselves, and those are some of the main people Duterte has been having assassinated by death squads since he became President. But the majority of them are good old guys who want what’s best for the people, and Duterte definitely does a lot to inspire them to be better men.
The main condition to acquire a gun for barangay captains is to be willing to fight crime and to not be engaged in illicit activities themselves. The said guns will be provided free-of-charge or the state will subsidize a private purchase of a captain’s gun of choice.
“The condition is that the captain should fight drugs and crime. If he is conniving with criminals, he could be the one shot,” the interior department undersecretary Martin Dino, who oversees the country’s barangays, told Reuters.
This whole thing is so, so great.
No country in modern history has had this kind of “we will just shoot you on the street” Judge Dredd type rule. And it is working fantastic.
Duterte has like a 95% approval rating.
On Tuesday, the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte stated that he had been considering giving the guns to the barangay captains. Last week he vowed to provide them with the same legal protection as police officers, stating that they “will never go to jail” if they kill suspected criminals. At the same time, the Philippines strongman has repeatedly accused some community officials of being involved in the illicit drugs trade.
The decision to arm the barangay captains was condemned by the country’s opposition figures, who expressed fears it might lead to widespread violence and would effectively turn the Philippines into a “wild west.”
The Philippines is already the wild west.
I’ve lived there. And it’s the only place I’ve ever seen someone get shot dead in the street.
They have the single highest murder rate in all of Asia – by a lot. Over 50% higher than their closest competitor.
This is only Southeast Asia, which is the highest in all of the regions of Asia. In total, Philippines is #1, followed by Laos, Afghanistan and Mongolia. The reason Cambodia is so low despite being about as poor as Philippines is they have had an unofficial Duterte-style “just shoot them” policy forever.
This is just bringing the law to the wild west.
“With the same mindset of killing now, we could expect that the whole country would become a killing field,” opposition lawmaker Gary Alejano said.
Again – it’s already a killing field.
What kike is paying this guy?
Because I guarantee you, no Filipino would naturally come up with this idea.
Alegano is also the guy leading a Queen Maxine-style impeachment campaign against Duterte.
Inspiration comes from strange places.
Philippines is a place I spent a lot of time in my youth, and the place where I read all the books – downloaded as PDFs and printed off at copy shops that focus on counterfeiting textbooks for college students – that lead me to become a neon-nazi. Ironically, while living in the city of Davao, when Duterte was then mayor. I met him once.
The reason I lived there is because it was safe. The Philippines can be a fun place, but it is also just a hassle that you can get mugged everywhere, and you know, these mugging situations can easily turn into “stabbed to death” situations. And that grates on a person.
It is a place that is close to my heart.
And it is strange but not personally surprising that they are leading an ideological revolution in the way that societies are run.
Virtually the whole world was forced to try this liberal democracy thing, and it just didn’t work out, and the Philippines was the first country to say “hey, let’s go back to something that works – let’s have an authoritarian strongman keep order amongst the people, and allow us to live our lives in peace and do the things we want to do.”