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Apple removes games glorifying PH drug war

MANILA, Philippines – Apple has removed a number of games from its storefront that presented either President Rodrigo Duterte or Philippine cops killing drug users.

The Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD), a safe drug use advocate, spearheaded a campaign to send a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook about the games, which they said were "promoting murder, extrajudicial killings, violence, and the war on drugs in the Philippines." 

In the process, they got 131 organizations to sign on. 

The letter was sent to Tim Cook and made public in October

ANPUD specifically called out a number of games, including Duterte knows Kung Fu: Pinoy Crime FighterDuterte Running Man Challenge Game, Fighting Crime 2, and Tsip Bato: Ang Bumangga Giba! 

The games featured Duterte or Philippine National Police chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa shooting down criminals.

An inspection of the iTunes Store showed far fewer Duterte-related apps, and very few games with Duterte as a theme on the store. Here are some of the results when searching for Duterte apps on the store:

FEWER DUTERTE APPS. A screenshot of the Apple App Store on November 29 shows far fewer games related to Rodrigo Duterte on the app store.

While Tim Cook did not personally respond to the letter, it appears the games were taken down for one reason or another. While Apple hasn't made any public statement on the said games or whether the petition had a direct influence on the games' removal, the ANPUD is considering their petition a success. 

"The petition was a successful advocacy effort in that the letter was able to generate huge media attention and some of the games were removed from the App Store. The case study is intended to document the story of victory and disseminate the detailed set of actions performed in the process," ANPUD said in a statement on their website. – Rappler.com