Billionaire-Philanthropist Richard Branson: Duterte’s War on Drugs is Not the Answer, Bound to Fail

Richard Branson Duterte

Richard Branson, the famous British billionaire and philanthropist slams President Rodrigo Duterte over the series of reports of drug-related killing incidents in the Philippines. Branson, the founder of Virgin Group which comprises over 400 companies, wrote a lengthy blog post titled, “Duterte’s War on Drugs is Not the Answer” this Friday, August 5.

“Since the President’s inauguration, more than 400 people, alleged to be involved in the drug trade in some way, have been murdered by police or vigilantes, who have been empowered and emboldened by the President’s call for extrajudicial murder.” Richard Branson wrote, adding that 114,000 drugs suspects have already surrendered so far.

“Meanwhile, the President is trying to calm his critics, publicly expressing support for human rights and the rule of law. But there is no question that his statements led to these atrocities. To me, and many others, these are clear and unacceptable violations of international human rights standards the Philippines signed to uphold.” He added.

“All told, President Duterte’s campaign pledge to end crime within three to six months is bound to fail, especially when it comes to drugs. Illegal drugs are a renewable resource. The drug trade is a global trade controlled by criminal organizations who will always find a way to enter the market.” The 66-year old business magnate and investor further said.

As a member of Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP), a commission composed of 22 world leaders, intellectuals and human rights activists fighting against illegal drugs worldwide, Richard Branson expressed his utmost support for the group’s appeals to President Duterte, and PNP Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa as well.

This includes the immediate ending of encouraging policemen and vigilante groups to kill drug suspects; to promote human rights of every Filipino, to ensure that due process is being followed in every anti-drug operation, to promote voluntary treatment of self-admitted drug users, and most of all, not to revive the death penalty for drug offenders.