President Duterte claimed that convicted criminals cannot be reformed because prison turns them into “monsters” and homosexuals.
The president made the claim during a speech to mark the 23rd anniversary of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) yesterday (Wednesday, August 30).
During the rambling speech, he defended the Philippine justice system, describing it as “retribution based” rather than “positivist”.
“Those western countries believe in the positivism,” he said. “You can make useful human beings out of him when he gets out. It has been debunked as negative
“An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. That’s the basic law of the jungle. If you did kill someone, you pay for it with your life. It is retribution.
“Ours is unlike positivist theory wherein those who served time in prison can be rehabilitated.
“I will tell you, if a prisoner has been used to six, 10, 15, 20 years in jail, no matter what you [Tesda] teach them, they will just look for trouble, and then they will go back to Muntinlupa. They will be happy there,” Duterte said.
Muntinlupa is the location of the New Bilibid Prison.
“Ex-convicts do not want to be out of prison because they have ceased to be productive.
“They will just steal, enjoy, get drunk, do cockfights, and they are willing to go to prison all over again.”
Despite the president’s words, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) is legally mandated to institute reformation programmes for inmates.
Love behind bars
The president also claimed that prisoners lose their “gender identity”.
He said: “Most of them already lost their gender identity. Even girls, they have relationships among themselves, to a point where they would have acquired latent homosexuality.
“You can’t rehabilitate them at Tesda. That’s nothing to them. They have lost their sense of humanity. And they are monsters in a sense that they are incapable of establishing a relationship with a woman… and they develop aberration of the mind.
“They do not want to get out of prison because they get free food there. And they have lovers, they want to return to prison to be with their lovers. And they are into masochism.”
Earlier in the same speech, the president mistakenly claimed that those charged with crimes in France are “guilty before proven innocent”.
As we reported yesterday, the French Embassy swiftly released a statement correcting the president. It read: “We have to point out that, as in the Philippines, the presumption of innocence until proven guilty is at the core of the French judicial system, based on the principles enshrined in the French Declaration of Human and Civic Rights of August 26, 1789.”