>> Thank you.>> Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte promised on Monday to keep up his assault on narcotics across the country.>> It would be as relentless and chilling, if you will, as so today began.>> Duterte made the vow during an annual address to the nation telling a joint session of Congress his bloody crackdown was quote far from over.
Duterte's war on drugs has been criticized by human rights groups around the world. Police have killed more than 4,500 suspected drug dealers and users since he came to power. And on Monday, the streets of Manila saw thousands protest against a range of the President's policies, the drug war among them.
Duterte, however, was not put off by the crowds.>> Your concern is human rights.
Mine is human lives.>> But continuing the drug war isn't Duterte's only priority. A Reuters report from Tuesday showed thousands of poor people across Manila are being locked up in what's being called an anti-loitering drive. Each night, police have been fanning out across run down areas of the capital, arresting slum dwellers in the streets and teenagers who play in makeshift computer shops.
Duterte launched to so called war on loitering out of the blue on June 13th saying people in the streets should be ordered home. During the same speech, he threatened to personally tie loiterer's hands and drop them into a river. Since then, Manila police have arrested around 59,000 people.
Duterte's critics have called the campaign terrorizing the poor, but for now, it seems law and order will remain a key theme of Duterte's time in office.