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Philippines’s President Duterte
accused of endangering lives
of opposition mayors

Manila, 25 March 2019
: Two months before Filipino voters go to the polls in local and mid-term parliamentary elections, President Rodrigo Duterte has publically named 33 mayors and eight deputy mayors accusing them of being linked the drug trade. Most of those politicians named by the President belong to opposition parties and are running for office. Critics have accused Duterte of trying to frighten his political opponents. When he read out the list of names in Davao City, where he was mayor for many years and which is now run by his daughter Sara Duterte, the President added comments like “you are on the narcotics list every year” or “why aren’t you dead yet…”. The New York Times reported that in the past many of those accused by the President or his agencies were killed by police officers or vigilantes.“

The Philippine’s Commission on Human Rights warned against releasing the list, believing it could lead to violence ahead of the elections in May. City Mayors has seen the full list but will not publish it.

President Duterte maintained that his list had been validated by the country’s drug agencies. But a number of those politicians included have said they would sue the government for defamation. One member of Congress, who was named by the President, accused him of playing a deadly game of politics. Shortly after Duterte took office in June 2016, he released his first narcotics list. Many on those originally listed, including judges, members of the military and local government officers, were shot down by pro-government vigilantes. Among those killed were more than a dozen mayors and vice mayors.

Answering his critics, President Duterte said “Since my assumption in 2016, I have been committed to eradicate the drug problem. I have done that. My decision to unmask these drug personalities was anchored on my trust in the government agencies, who have vetted and validated the narco-list.”

Mayors accused of links to the drug trade are not the only ones who are facing the wrath of the Philippine government. The Department of the Interior and Local Government warned candidates in the south of the country against any contacts to Muslim and ‘communist’ rebels. The Interior Minister said some 350 local government officials were being watched. Among those on the watch list are 55 mayors and at least eleven governors. They are accused of paying guerrillas for permits, allowing them to campaign in rebel areas. Last November, President Duterte gave the interior minister the power to replace local government officials who were found to ‘temporarily incapacitated.’

The World Mayor Project honours
women mayors from around the world

London / Berlin, 13 March 2019: The 2018 World Mayor Project was dedicated to women in local government. It featured the achievements of women mayors from across the world and honours the best of them. The all-women long- and shortlists included mayors from towns and cities of all sizes who have served with integrity, determination and imagination. The 2018 World Mayor Prize and Commendations as well as the title Mayors of Distinction were conferred on female mayors who have instigated outstanding and long-lasting improvements to their communities and contributed new thinking to local government. The mayors' achievements are recognised beyond their cities and even countries. Winner of the 2018 World Mayor Prize: Valeria Mancinelli, Mayor of Ancona, Italy. World Mayor Commendations awarded to: Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, UK; Nathalie Appéré, Mayor of Rennes, France; Charlotte Britz, Mayor of Saarbrücken, Germany; Beng Climaco, Mayor of Zamboanga City, Philippines. 2018 Mayors of Distinction: Henriette Reker, Mayor of Cologne, Germany; Betsy Prize, Mayor of Fort Worth, USA; Martine Aubry, Mayor of Lille, France; Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, France; Jasna Gabric, Mayor of Trbovlje, Slovenia; Souad Abderrahim, Mayor of Tunis, Tunesia. FULL RESULTS