Since Rodrigo Duterte took office as president of the Philippines in June 2016, there has been a surge in extrajudicial killings for drug-related allegations. Duterte’s controversial “war on drugs” now has a death toll of at least 20,000 Filipino citizens. Over the course of the hour, Allen discusses the current political situation in the Philippines with Filipino activist Edwin Batongbacal, including his work in building opposition to the resurgence of authoritarianism under President Duterte’s regime.
Edwin Batongbacal is a lifelong Filipino activist. As a young student, he joined the struggle against the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s. Upon immigrating to the U.S. in 1980, Edwin joined the U.S.-based Filipino-American opposition and became an executive committee member in the San Francisco and Los Angeles chapters of the Union of Democratic Filipinos. He now works as an organizer within the Filipino-American community in San Francisco.