Duterte’s Kill Zone

Filipinx anti-fascists take to the streets.

If the four years under Trump felt like dangerous times to be an American antifascist, you would not believe what being a Filipinx antifascist under Duterte was like. Duterte compared himself to Hitler and, expressing his wish to literally exterminate the over 3 million people involved in the drug trade in the Philippines, gave a green light to police, paramilitaries, and far-right vigiliantes to start indiscriminately murdering people. We may never know the resulting death toll, but some put it as high as 27,000 people murdered.

Imagined for a second what it would be like opposing a fascist national leader whose police and military are on a state-sanctioned killing spree of “drug dealers” and “junkies” (which means anyone they say are either of those things). “Xx” can tell you all about that. As someone with years of activism under her belt, Xx has done organizing work with young people, labourers, and others. This work put her and her colleagues squarely in the crosshairs of Duterte’s extermination campaign as his thugs worked to wipe out opponents to his brand of fascism. After being forced underground when her colleagues were rounded up, “Xx” lived with one eye open at all times, which saved her from an attempt to kill her and her colleagues at a children’s literacy class they were conducting. Two years later, nearly all of her colleagues were murdered by the military – a fate she escaped only because of her being away at an appointment at the time.

This last incident made it clear that staying in the Philippines would be a death sentence for Xx, so she attempted to secure a temporary visa to come visit relatives in a safer country. Unfortunately, her request was denied and she remains in danger while she appeals that decision. The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund sent her some support to help with that appeal and we hope she gets out and finds safe haven as soon as possible.