Apple Pulls App Store Games That Glorify Philippine President Duterte's Violent Drugs War

Apple has taken down games from its App Store that glorify the Philippine government's deadly drugs war, according to a regional organization supporting victims of illegal drugs (via The Philippine Star).

Last month, the Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD) sent Apple CEO Tim Cook a letter demanding that the company remove several iOS games which it said valorized "the emerging tyranny of Duterte's presidency and his government's disregard for human rights principles".

Tsip Bato by Ranida Games

The group named 131 organizations from several countries as supportive of the letter of complaint, with groups working on human rights, youth and drug policy reform among them.

In a statement posted on its website yesterday, ANPUD said that it never received a direct response from Cook, but the runner games that its letter accused of promoting murder, extrajudicial killings and violence appeared to have been removed as of Tuesday.

They include Duterte knows Kung Fu: Pinoy Crime Fighter, Duterte Running Man Challenge Game, Fighting Crime 2, and Tsip Bato: Ang Bumangga Giba!, all of which featured Duterte or Philippine National Police chief (Ronald) Bato dela Rosa shooting down criminals while evading obstacles.

Despite their removal from Apple's App Store, the games remain available for Android users to download from the Google Play store.

Police chief Ronald dela Rosa told the Philippine Star that the removal of the games was a good idea, and that the government's operation to tackle drug users was not about killing or the use of violence. His comments were made despite Duterte openly endorsing extrajudicial killings in his drugs war campaign.

"They made the wrong interpretation. Tokhang [the campaign] is not about shooting people," dela Rosa told reporters. Rather, he said, it involved policemen knocking on people's doors and urging suspects to stop illegal drug-related activities.

As least 7,000 suspected drug dealers and users were killed in the first six months of Duterte's crackdown, according to estimates from The Human Rights Watch group. Many of the killings are attributed to "unidentified gunmen".

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.



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25 weeks ago
Meanwhile Grand Theft Auto remains on the app store. Not that I dislike GTA but if you're going to start pulling games for morality of the subject matter there is a long list that will go away.
Rating: 13 Votes
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25 weeks ago

I wonder where were these human rights activists when the drug mafia kidnapped and murdered the citizens.


A big problem with extra-judicial killings is the lack of due process. You are hopelessly naive if you think extra-judicial killings only results in the deaths of super evil drug cartel soldiers.

Many people killed in Philippine extra-judicial killings are outspoken opposition figures such as politicians, activists, journalists, human rights advocates, and clergy. Killing opponents is not controversial vigilantism, it is straight-up murder and political purging.

Duterte doesn't even hide this fact. He publicly threatens to kill human rights activists if they stand in his way.
Rating: 5 Votes
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25 weeks ago

I wonder where were these human rights activists when the drug mafia kidnapped and murdered the citizens. I guess some humans (criminals) have more rights than regular people?

The Philippines is a sovereign democratic country. The people voted for Duterte. There has to be a reason for that. These human rights activists should be focusing what the damage and terror the drug cartel had done in the past that resulted in the people of the Philippines voted for Duterte, instead of simply becoming an armchair critic of Duterte's policy.



Why do we do this all the time when issues are brought up?

When someone mentions something, there is always this “what about that” reaction. It’s as if, if all issues aren’t mentioned by the first party. Somehow their views are null and void. That the issue shouldn’t be raised.

I am very certain other organizations are actively dealing with violence of drug trafficking. No one can focus equally on all of the issues on our planet. This does not make their area of focus illegitimate.
Rating: 4 Votes
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25 weeks ago

Meanwhile Grand Theft Auto remains on the app store. Not that I dislike GTA but if you're going to start pulling games for morality of the subject matter there is a long list that will go away.

I do not expect that this will hit games like GTA. What I see as the problematic thing is the connection between real life public persons, the politic they are running, and the consequences this have. Extrajudicial actions should not be something which is encouraged, so the pulling here do not seams to be for an outright moral reason. if that was the case we would have had a lot more apps pulled more frequently.
Rating: 3 Votes
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25 weeks ago
Just re-upload but this time call the character Tuderte, and with a footnote saying "Any persons depicted in this game are purely fictitious..." etc etc
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GTA should also be pulled out


No. Just...no.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
25 weeks ago
I wonder where were these human rights activists when the drug mafia kidnapped and murdered the citizens. I guess some humans (criminals) have more rights than regular people?

The Philippines is a sovereign democratic country. The people voted for Duterte. There has to be a reason for that. These human rights activists should be focusing what the damage and terror the drug cartel had done in the past that resulted in the people of the Philippines voted for Duterte, instead of simply becoming an armchair critic of Duterte's policy.
Rating: 3 Votes
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25 weeks ago
I'm surprised that no one has reacted to the point that the letter was sent by the Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD).

First, isn't it a little bizarre that there is a group set up as an advocacy group for drug users? Is there an AAOA group (American Association of Opioid Abusers)?

Second, isn't their complaint a little self-serving?

I would imagine that they are not happy that their dealers are being gunned down, but that wouldn't make me particularly sympathetic toward them.
Rating: 3 Votes
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25 weeks ago

I wonder where were these human rights activists when the drug mafia kidnapped and murdered the citizens. I guess some humans (criminals) have more rights than regular people?


As I understand it, human rights activists stand up for moral principles or norms that describe certain standards of human behaviour that are regularly protected as legal rights in national and international law. It's law enforcement's job to prevent mafia crimes, not the job of human rights activists.
Rating: 3 Votes
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25 weeks ago

Even if they did, sounds like nothing is happening for the people, thus Filipinos voted for Duterte. The Philippines is a democratic country, the people voted for Duterte for a reason. It is very offensive when an external body from privileged country suddenly talking about human rights of the criminals.
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Is whining against the policy of a sovereign country going to solve the actual problem? If Duterte was not elected, what do these Human rights activist could offer to the people to solve the problem? Filipinos can see for themselves, and they can vote accordingly. No need for an agenda-ridden body with biased news making noises in the name of human rights.


History is full of leaders who were democratically elected then turned out to be brutal murderous despots. And the “privileged countries” are often asked along the lines of:“how did you allow this to happen?”
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Well, Duarte has pretty high approval ratings......


Yeah... Hitler had high approval ratings also.
Rating: 3 Votes
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25 weeks ago

Meanwhile Grand Theft Auto remains on the app store. Not that I dislike GTA but if you're going to start pulling games for morality of the subject matter there is a long list that will go away.


While I agree with GTA should also be pulled out, however, this particular game was based on actual events.
Rating: 3 Votes
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