Karapatan Slams Duterte, Says Abetting ‘Salvaging’ Will Worsen, Not Cure, Lawlessness
December 11, 2015 2:59 PM
MANILA, Philippines — Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s unabashed touting of extrajudicial killings as a cure for crime and corruption will only serve to worsen, not stamp out, lawlessness and the impunity with which human rights violations are committed by the state, Karapatan said Friday.
But the group went beyond condemning the presidential contender, challenging Duterte and “all the candidates now running for national office, to state loud and clear their stand as to the unabated, grievous human rights violations being inflicted on our people in the name of counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism.”
Karapatan said Duterte’s “repeated, unabashed, and categorical statements justifying the state’s use of extrajudicial killings as a solution to social ills as well as to corruption and malfeasance in government” were “an outright affront on human rights, most especially in the light of our people’s horrific experience of the trampling of civil and political liberties that accompanied the brutal suppression of all democratic rights under the US-backed Marcos fascist dictatorship.”
The group noted that Marcos, when he placed the country under martial law in 1974, “promised a ‘new society’ where social discipline is enforced, law and order reigns supreme and peace abounds. This society would supposedly emerge from the sweeping reforms he promised to undertake.”
“But we know what authoritarian rule brought instead,” it added.
Karapatan said Duterte’s frequent pronouncements about executing criminals “curries favor with a public weary and exasperated with the prevailing criminality in the streets and more so in the corridors of power.”
In one of his latest pronouncements, Duterte admitted to personally killing rape suspects. Even earlier, asked about allegedly ordering the deaths of 700 crime suspects, he said the count was short by a thousand.
However, by seeking to “substitute extrajudicial killings carried out by persons-in-authority without clearly addressing the broken criminal justice system skewed in favor of the moneyed and those with powerful friends and connections,” Duterte “abets lawlessness, human rights violations and abuse by state security forces … and the impunity for such state-sponsored violence,” it stressed.
“These issues,” it added, “are at the core of the people’s repudiation of the Aquino administration’s much ballyhooed ‘daang matuwid’ — the kind of governance that has resulted in 304 extrajudicial killings of peasants, indigenous people especially the lumad in Mindanao and social activists including human rights defenders; illegal arrests, torture and detention; the militarization of schools and the forcible evacuation of thousands from communities where the Armed Forces of the Philippines and paramilitary groups spread terror.”