President Duterte has threatened to kill human rights supporters if the country’s drug problem increases. Speaking in response to criticism of his war on drugs, he said: “Fine, let’s stop and let the number of drug personalities increase. When harvest time comes and there are many of them, I will include you — because you made the problem bigger.”
No matter what the context, that’s not ok.
The Punisher President has often shared his idiosyncratic views on human rights, taking aim at the UN, Amnesty International, the European Union and the United States. His premise appears to be that drugs are a bigger issue than human rights. His response to any criticism has never been to engage in debate, but rather to throw down the gauntlet, and go into attack mode, highlighting the crimes and shortfalls of his critics.
The thing that seems to be lost on him is that being criticised isn’t always a bad thing. It gives you a chance to respond to that criticism, to justify your actions and clarify your approach.
Mr Duterte hasn’t done that. In fact he’s done little more than roll out the same old bull — “three million drug addicts” and “saving a generation”.
What the president (and his supporters) seem to forget is that there are humane ways to deal with criminals. But he refuses to even consider them, preferring to incite violence and offer protection to anyone who goes out on a “righteous” shooting spree.
Sort the police force out, engage in the spirit of habeas corpus and attack corruption. Put the bloody guns down and start governing.
That’s why you were elected — you were elected because there were so many people in the country that were upset. They wanted change, they wanted something positive for their country. What you have delivered is little more than a lot of angry words and a growing pile of dead bodies.
How can it be a good thing to say you want Manila Bay to run red? The people of this country have seen more than enough bloodshed in their history. How about the Japanese Army? The Marcos Regime?
With the discovery of a bomb in a Roxas boulevard rubbish bin this week, conveniently near the US embassy, I fear that things are about to get very bad here.
Why do I fear that?
The alleged Islamic terrorists who are charged with the attack have now been quoted as saying that the American outpost wasn’t the intended target, that it was instead destined for Lunetta. One of the bombers said he had an attack of conscience and so dumped it in a bin to save lives.
Now, this incident has been used to drag the entire country up into “terror threat level 3”. I fear Martial law is not far behind. After all, the president has been hinting at it for some time.