Human rights organisations continue to express concern at the growing body count in the “war on drugs” launched by President Duterte in the Philippines. Impunity for extrajudicial killings and death squads has been a fact of life long before Duterte’s election and under successive government administrations when they were mainly targeted at militant left activists. However, Duterte’s “war on drugs” has resulted in around 4,000 killings since July. The “war on drugs” is easily used as a cover for police and private death squads to still target union and community activists. Patricio Tago Jr vice president of the union at De Luxe Bags Philippines which is affiliated with the Association of Labor Unions (ALU) was abducted at gun point on Sunday 25 September by police and armed men linked to Mayor Rey Catacutan of Capas in Tarlac province. Mayur Catacutan has accused Tago of selling drugs to fellow workers but witnesses say his abductors were haranguing him for his union activities before taking him away in a car.

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