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Philippines Police Killed 60 People This Week, and Their President Is Happy About It

Bullit Marquez/AP

The deadly drug war in the Philippines got way, way worse this week.

Sixty people were killed by police and government officials this week as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown on drugs, according to Reuters.

And Duterte cheered the killings, promising to promote officers who pulled their triggers.

Duterte has launched a deadly war on those involved in buying, selling, or consuming drugs since his election. The strongman leader has come under fire from human rights groups for his use of force on his population.

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Duterte, in turn, has threatened that police should shoot human rights activist if they obstruct justice, according to Reuters.

The Philippine Commission on Human Rights said Duterte's approval of the killing spree this week would allow police "to do their worst."

"The police are essentially free to do what they will because they are almost guaranteed that they will not be investigated or charged," Chito Gascon, the chairman of the group, told Reuters.

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In the raids this week, police in the capital city of Manila and the adjoining province of Bulacan both said they were conducting “one-time, big-time” operations to round up suspects. The raid in Bulacan resulted in 32 deaths Monday night, and 28 more individuals were killed Wednesday night in Manila.

More than 200 others were arrested in drug-buying sting operations in both areas, according to Reuters.

And while police said that Duterte himself did not order any killings, police chief Ronald dela Rosa said “the president is very clear that our war on drugs is unrelenting. Those who were killed fought back.”

Duterte said Wednesday that it was good that 32 individuals were killed in Bulacan.

"Let's kill another 32 every day. Maybe we can reduce what ails this country,” he said.