Written by Staff Writer, CNN
“World’s most wanted: hotel-lady killer,” reads the headline on the website of Philippine television station RCN News, and the reporter accompanying them is Danilo Lim.
It’s on that site that Lim describes how he helped establish Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s presidential bodyguard, reports News.com.au . Today, Lim is featured on CNN Philippines, accused of complicity in the kidnapping of a Japanese man, who Philippine prosecutors claim was forced to pay “hundreds of thousands of dollars” for his freedom.
Speaking to the site ahead of his sentencing, Lim claims that the incident in question was a set-up. His aunt has sent a letter to RCN News asserting that her nephew would not hurt anyone.
“I hope you will not make any allegation against him,” Danilo’s aunt wrote. “My nephew is a friend and a professional. He is not a criminal, he is a lawyer in the service of the people.”
Duterte supporters often claim that the downfall of corrupt Philippine officials — including various cabinet members and high-ranking police officers — is a clear indication of the country’s peace.
Particularly since the war on drugs began in Duterte’s first term in 2016, supporters have pointed to high-profile arrests and convictions as proof of the country’s corruption-free governance.
That supposed crime fighter, Duterte, is accused of engaging in some of the worst elements of human trafficking.
A Philippine court has charged Duterte ally Danilo Lim with facilitating the torture and murder of an illegal drug drug dealer in 2010.
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In 2017, CNN Philippines interviewed citizens who alleged the Philippines government funded the increased number of deaths in the war on drugs. Their accusations included involvement in drug trafficking rings.
Nine months later, the Philippine National Police, the police force assigned to lead the drug war on the ground, insisted that the allegations were baseless.
The government denies the allegations, and says that death squads were initially the only method used by officers to crack down on the sale of illegal drugs. However, the military has also been called in to help with the drug war, making the government’s attempts to claim that there were no drugs being sold in the country appear untenable.
In October 2017, an on-air broadcast with CNN Philippines revealed that local authorities may have killed “at least 2,500 suspected drug addicts” between October 2016 and October 2017.