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Apple removes Duterte drug-war video games

Advocacy group say app store games that show president shooting criminals promote killings

Apple removes Duterte drug-war video games

Games in which Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is seen shooting criminals have been removed from Apple's app store (Photo supplied)

November 30, 2017

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Apple has removed from its app store video games in which players are put in the shoes of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte or the country's police chief as they kill criminals

Several games with titles such as "Duterte knows Kung Fu: Pinoy Crime Fighter" were quietly taken down from the company's digital shop recently.

A drug users' advocacy group said it had campaigned for their removal.

Activists say thousands of people have been killed during the president's crackdown on illegal drugs.

The Asian Network of People Who Use Drugs (Anpud) said it had previously written to Apple's CEO Tim Cook asking him to remove the games, adding that they were "promoting murder, extrajudicial killings, violence, and the war on drugs in the Philippines".

All the games featured either President Duterte, or Philippines police chief Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa shooting criminals, the group said.

The police chief told the Philippine Star newspaper that he backed the removal of the games as the drug crackdown was not about killing or using violence.

They created the wrong impression as the crackdown is not about shooting people, he said, adding that the operation was about urging suspects to stop illegal drug-related activities.

Groups such as Human Rights Watch, however, say at least 7,000 people were killed in the first six months of the war on drugs

Duterte has publicly backed extrajudicial killings in the anti-drug drive.

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