Apple takes down games featuring Duterte's drug war

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This story has been updated to include a reaction from police chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 29) — Mobile games featuring President Rodrigo Duterte and police chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa shooting criminals are out of Apple's app store.

The tech giant took down apps like "Duterte knows Kung Fu: Pinoy Crime Fighter," "Duterte Running Man Challenge Game," "Fighting Crime 2," and "Tsip Bato: Ang Bumangga Giba!"

The removal was noted by the Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD), who appealed to Apple CEO Tim Cook to take down the games for depicting violence.

"We did not receive a direct response from Mr. Cook or Apple Inc. however, most of the apps (games) no longer appear in the search result of app store," ANPUD said in a statement.

Dela Rosa on Wednesday said he was not connected to the games, and while he did not mind Apple's move — he also felt singled out.

"Yung [Angry Birds] ba, violent 'yun? 'Yung aking paborito, 'yung Clash of Clans, pag lumipad 'yung kanyon, pagbagsak, sabog ang kalaban. Bayolente din 'yun," said Dela Rosa. "Ok lang kung tanggalin nila 'yun. Kung sinabi mo sini-single-out... Hindi ba obvious?" he added.

(Translation: Isn't Angry Birds violent too? In my favorite [game], Clash of Clans, canons are launched and explode on enemies. That's violent too... It's okay with me that they have the games removed. If you ask if I'm singled out... Isn't it obvious?)

However, AMPUD pointed out in the Apple App Store Review Guidelines,  the company seeks to prevent "realistic portrayals of people or animals being killed, maimed, tortured, or abused, or content that encourages violence."

"'Enemies' within the context of a game cannot solely target a specific race, culture, real government, corporation, or any other real entity," the guidelines read.

Apps featuring the President that remained on the Apple store include a zombie-fighting game called "Duterte Vs. Zombies" and an endless runner game called "Duterte Run 3D Game."

The apps were also mostly removed on the android app store Google Play, save for "Tsip Bato: Ang Bumangga Giba!" Other games featuring fighting or shooting criminals remained are "Duterte Shooting Crime," "Duterte Fighting Against Criminal," and "Bato Fighting Kotong Cops."

The remaining apps featuring the President that stayed on Google Play featured the President fighting zombies, particularly "Duterte Vs. Zombies," "Duterterador," and "Duterte Fighting Crime 2."

In October, a total of 131 human rights groups, rehabilitation centers, and organizations representing drug users signed onto the letter by ANPUD, a Thailand-based foundation.

The network said the games "valorized and normalized the emerging tyranny of Duterte's presidency and his government's disregard for human rights principles."

Related: Over 100 organizations write to Apple: Take down apps promoting EJKs, war on drugs

Duterte's controversial drug war has seen the deaths of about 4,000 in police operations, according to government figures. However, human rights watchdogs estimate as many as 13,000 dead in both police operations and vigilante-style killings.

Various international institutions, including members of the United Nations and the International Criminal Court, have raised their concern and condemned the war on drugs.

CNN Philippines correspondent Gerg Cahiles contributed to this report.