Indonesian Mass Killings 1965 And Rodrigo Duterte’s Drug War

Filipinos should learn and read more about the events surrounding the mass killings of communists and their sympathizers in 1965 Indonesia. Most estimates of the number who died at the hands of vigilantes and later from the army units used, state that 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 indonesians and ethnic chinese were killed. The exact number is not known because nobody investigated the crimes, the police never kept records. Some of the executions were public. Some were done with explicit agreement with authorities. Even the United States provided a list of communists to the authorities. Membership to the Communist Party of Indonesia was not secret. When the army came to get them, the communist voluntarily surrendered. Indonesians succumbed en masse to fake news that the communists are going to destroy their country. The hatred of communists were fanned by the indonesian army propaganda using the event of September 30.

The September 30 assassination of Sukarno’s top generals by militants professing support for Sukarno seems ironic enough that even Sukarno himself refused to commit to the militants movement. There was an uneasy coalition between the communists, military and religious sectors under Sukarno’s leadership. The act of these militants on September 30 1965 caused the Indonesian Army Reserves under Suharto to mobilize and start a propaganda campaign against the communists.

In the Philippines the administration of Rodrigo Duterte is waging a drug war using vigilantes. The estimate of people killed in the name of stopping the drug problem since Rodrigo Duterte’s presidency began is at 13,000. A neophyte senator, Leila Delima, is in prison for her links to the drug trade when she was a cabinet secretary in the previous administration. Leila Delima once investigated Duterte when as mayor of Davao City, he was accused of running a death squad. During the senate investigation of the Davao death squads, a witness, Edgar Matobato, testified on oath that Duterte himself run the death squads.

The Philippine Armed Forces has remained professional and steadfast on their duty to the constitution. Their officer corps are far from the officers during the martial law years of Marcos 1972- 1981. Marcos promoted officers loyal to him when he was president in 1969 to 1972 during his two terms as chief executive. The Armed Forces of the Philippines AFP today serves as backbone of a constitutional democracy. To be fair, former officers are now in Congress or serves in the executive in various positions.

Filipinos should note that in the entire martial law years of Marcos, killings were estimated at 3,000 to 4,000, while those who were imprisoned numbered 70,000. Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war is unique in its impunity and its bias against the poor. Most if not all of those who were killed in police operations are living in the poor sections of Manila and other cities.

Until today, the Indonesian Army don’t want to remember what happened in September 1965 to 1966. They have censored everything about the mass killings.


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