It seems unfair that past errors can ruin job prospects and social standing in the future. However, the case of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, a man with a background of gang violence, shootings, drug use, and strongly-alluded murder, illustrates the dire repercussions of putting men with criminal backgrounds into seats of power.

Inaugurated in 2016, Duterte has shown no concern for social etiquette or respect. Notorious for publically flipping off the European Union, calling former President Obama and the Pope “son[s] of a whore,” joking about rape and murder, bragging about his womanising tendencies, and praising Hitler for the Holocaust, Duterte’s corrupt past translates into his impulsive attitude. While his bold demeanor can be attributed to an overzealous character, Duterte’s true, unethical behavior emerges in his policies concerning drug addicts.

While international political figures contend against the war on drugs with stricter policies, enforcement, or consequences, Duterte encourages every citizen to “go ahead and kill them [drug addicts] yourself.” Totalling over 12,000 murders by officers and vigilantes, Duterte’s decrees have even caused the deaths of children.

In addition, Duterte uses these illegal executions and other suppressive forces to subdue political rivals, journalists, and activists. Backed by a team of corrupt police forces, judges, and lawyers, Duterte has run rampant without any consequences. The protection of human rights and ethical behavior in the Philippines seems to be a lost cause.

With the Filipino government and people under Duterte’s control, it is up to international influences to pressure the Philippine government to  reform. This movement has already begun: former President Obama met personally with Duterte at the 2016 Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit (ASEAN) over extrajudicial killings. Although Duterte expressed his distaste and disregard for Obama’s stance afterwards, more conversations on human rights issues with foreign relations will not only begin to constrain the Philippine government but will also allow the activist movements in the country to gain support and momentum. It is imperative that global powers such as the U.N. take a firmer step in this direction.