Stray Bullets: Guns in the Philippines – Fikrikadim

Stray Bullets: Guns in the Philippines

Ten years ago, in November 2006, Al Jazeera English was launched. To mark that anniversary, we’ve created REWIND, which updates some of the channel’s most memorable and award-winning documentaries of the past decade. We find out what happened to some of the characters in those films and ask how their stories have developed in the years since our cameras left.


In 2014, 101 East went to investigate gun culture in the Philippines, where love for firearms is not restricted to the country’s most crime-ridden neighbourhoods.

In “Stray Bullets”, the question at the time was whether recently introduced guns laws were going to put an end to the gun violence then plaguing the Philippines.

As REWIND discovers, it is an issue that current events have made just as relevant today – with a new Philippines government taking an uncompromising line on crime.

Steve Chao returned to Manila to see what has changed since the documentary was made, and especially since President Rodrigo Duterte came to power. He talks to Jose Manuel Diokno, a human rights lawyer, about Duterte’s war on drugs and its effect on gun violence.

“What we are seeing is really justice dispensed from the barrel of a gun. Overnight, the country has been transformed into a police state, and every day you open the newspapers and all you see is that people are being killed,” Diokno says.

“These steps will in the end lead to more chaos and anarchy in my view. The Philippines has a weak legal system … If the problem is a weak legal system, then taking the law into your own hands is going to make that system weaker. And the weaker it gets, the more there will be a need to maintain order, and that order will only come from an authoritatian form of government.”

Source: Al Jazeera

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