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Dirty Harry Alive and Well





nickfyoung
If you Google Dirty Harry Davao City Philippines, you will read the story of the mayor of that city. Named Dirty Harry by the many ex-pats living there because of his hard line approach to crime in 'his' city. Consequently the crime rate is now the lowest of any other city in the Philippines.
Davao used to be one of the most lawless cities until Dirty Harry took over the reigns. Nearby rebel groups would visit town at night and knock on doors and demand at gunpoint a hot meal and their laundry done. The day the new mayor started work there was an armed hold-up and the robbers escaped by car. The mayor knew a short cut and took a car load of armed police to a bridge on the way out of town. They waited there for the bandits and in the following gun fight killed them all. That was his introduction to Davao City.
His hard line approach is zero tolerance towards crime. Another time he discovered a drug lab in operation in a city warehouse. He arrived with a load of armed police and eliminated them all. That way he reckons it saves on court time and frees up space in jails. To this end their have been several thousand unexplained or unsolved murders in town over a period of years. This is the result of the so called Davao Death Squad, who usually ride tandem on a black motor cycle and shoot victims. Rumour has it that these guys are police officers getting a little extra pay after work and all they get is a name and address from 'above' and are paid when the job is done.
Recently the Human Rights people were in Davao for quite a while trying to pin this activity on the mayor but to date have been unsuccessful. The short story is that this mayor is very popular and the people just keep voting him back into office. Whether you agree with his tactics or not at least the city is a very safe place to live, unless you are a criminal.
chasbeen
I did not google it but it's an interesting story.
Wonder how long that's going to last without someone getting killed that's on the 'good side'
Justice by this method is dangerous and could backfire badly.
nickfyoung
chasbeen wrote:
I did not google it but it's an interesting story.
Wonder how long that's going to last without someone getting killed that's on the 'good side'
Justice by this method is dangerous and could backfire badly.


That has probably happened because as you say it is not the best of systems. I think he has toned things down a bit now since the human rights investigation. However, due to a resent increase in petty crime I noticed that he got onto his police departments and told them to start shooting petty criminals. There was a news story a while back where a robber was taking flight when he was shot and killed in the back. At subsequent inquiry he said he was firing a warning shot over his head and missed. That was OK. An interesting place.
chasbeen
I don't think I want to go there on holiday ...
nickfyoung
chasbeen wrote:
I don't think I want to go there on holiday ...


Wonderful place for a holiday. Very safe for foreigners and I know of several ex pats from Canada living there now. A packet of smokes will cost you 50cents and a bottle of really good rum is $2. Lunch can be had from $1 in most food courts in malls. Plenty of shopping at the same sort of prices and Davao gulf is the best kept dive secret in the world if you are into diving. Coral reefs and cliffs and more than 30 Japanese war ships on the bottom from WW2. The highest mountain in the Philippines is just behind the city and you can take a 3 day guided trek to the top if you are into that sort of thing and some of the best white water rafting about is right there too. I took my wife and two daughters out to dinner at a pretty swank restaurant adjacent to a casino and we had the works. Prawn entrées and suburb mains and desserts all round The girls had some fancy cocktails and I had a few bourbons and the whole lot was less than $50. The girls wanted some dental work done before leaving the country and both had a couple of extractions and a couple of fillings. That was less than $50 too. All in all, it is a great place for a holiday.
ocalhoun
nickfyoung wrote:
eliminated them all. That way he reckons it saves on court time and frees up space in jails.

And that's where he's gone wrong.

He's taken the role of judge, jury, and executioner... and he has no right to do so.
I'm betting that if any of those criminals surrendered, they were just shot anyway, a summary death sentence with no trial and no appeal.

Seems it would be easy there to get killed by law enforcement just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time... And who would ever know (or care) that you're innocent? Just another drug dealer shot down, no big deal.

Sure, it's effective at keeping crime down... but this kind of 'justice' can go so very, very wrong... It's very dangerous. To everyone.
nickfyoung
ocalhoun wrote:
nickfyoung wrote:
eliminated them all. That way he reckons it saves on court time and frees up space in jails.

And that's where he's gone wrong.

He's taken the role of judge, jury, and executioner... and he has no right to do so.
I'm betting that if any of those criminals surrendered, they were just shot anyway, a summary death sentence with no trial and no appeal.

Seems it would be easy there to get killed by law enforcement just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time... And who would ever know (or care) that you're innocent? Just another drug dealer shot down, no big deal.

Sure, it's effective at keeping crime down... but this kind of 'justice' can go so very, very wrong... It's very dangerous. To everyone.


The human rights people spent a long time there trying to get to the bottom of it and pin it all on him but they couldn't. Seems that people just wont talk. You would think that in a city that size someone would come forward with some evidence. The two thousand victims must have all had families.
ocalhoun
nickfyoung wrote:
Seems that people just wont talk.


Maybe they know that talking is the way to end up as the next recipient of a 'drug raid'... especially if the mayor has a few friends in with the people investigating.

As I said... this type of justice can go very, very wrong.
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