Mark Ruffalo’s tweet about Duterte’s drug war gains traction after asking prayers for typhoon-hit Philippines

November 3, 2020 - 7:20 PM
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Mark Ruffalo
Mark Ruffalo poses in this photo uploaded on his official Facebook page on April 26, 2020. (Photo from Mark Ruffalo via Facebook)

A 2017 tweet of “The Avengers” star Mark Ruffalo about President Rodrigo Duterte‘s “War on Drugs” campaign resurfaced after he prayed for the safety of the Filipinos amid Super Typhoon Rolly‘s onslaught.

The Hollywood actor, known for portraying the character of “The Hulk” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, shared an article in June 2017 titled “Trump’s mass-murdering buddy Rodrigo Duterte is killing even more people than anyone knew.”

The story featured a glimpse of Duterte’s bloody anti-narcotics campaign launched when the former Davao City chief had taken office as the country’s highest-ranking official in 2016.

Ruffalo shared the article’s link three years ago but it found itself on the social media feeds of Filipinos once more when he urged his followers to pray for the typhoon-battered nation and send in donations.

RELATED: ‘Avengers’ star Mark Ruffalo appeals for prayers as Super Typhoon Rolly batters Philippines

Last weekend, the world’s strongest tropical cyclone of 2020 slammed parts of Southern Luzon and displaced lots of families in Catanduanes and Albay. It also affected people from Regions 2, 3, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Region V and the National Capital Region.

Meanwhile, some Filipino social media users retweeted Ruffalo’s 2017 tweet following his recent concern for the Philippines.

Another Twitter user quipped that Ruffalo’s tweet “is still up to date nowadays,” referencing recent reports of drug-related killings done by the police under the Duterte administration.

Duterte last month claimed that he has not killed anyone despite personally admitting in past speeches and interviews of killing “bad guys.”

“I killed about three of them… I don’t know how many bullets from my gun went inside their bodies. It happened and I cannot lie about it,” he said in an interview with BBC in December 2016.

Duterte also recently denied being involved in the extrajudicial killings of suspected drug users and hardened criminals.

Meanwhile, another online user commented that Ruffalo’s tweet indicates the latter “has been watching over the Philippines since 2017.”

As of this writing, the Hollywood actor’s tweet has 1,900 likes, more than 200 quote tweets and more than 900 retweets.

Since he rose to presidency, Duterte made it his goal to eliminate illegal drugs in the country, believing it to be the number one problem in society.

He initially utilized the police force to lead the “Oplan Tokhang” operations which aims to crack down on narcotics use and trade.

The bloody campaign saw thousands of urban poor killed, including women and children.

It also prompted the United Nations Human Rights Council to approve a resolution that launched an investigation about the human rights crisis in the country.

BBC News in a June 2020 article quoted a 26-page report by Michelle Bachelet, the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, which notes that the Philippine police’s key policy note contained “ominous” and “ill-defined language” such as “neutralising” suspects.

Coupled with the “rhetoric at high levels calling for the killings of drug offenders”, the news outlet says that it was “taken as a permission by the police to kill.”

“In the context of the campaign against illegal drugs, there has been near impunity for such violations,” BBC says, quoting Bachelet.