It is hardly surprising that 78% of Filipinos worried about being victimized in the government's war on drugs, regardless whether they are actual drug users. Given President Duterte's confession of personally killing suspects, commitment to kill drug suspects until the end of his term, promising pardon for police who kill during operations, enforcing death penalty on 6 convicts daily and considering children as collateral damage, Filipinos see no legal shelter in this environment of relentless violence.
International Human Rights Day , December 10, 2016
Attempts of the Duterte administration to link the drug trade with a supposed rebellion in Mindanao to justify a nationwide terror alert level 3, the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, the railroading of the death penalty bill in Congress, lowering the age of criminal responsibility of children from 15 to nine (9) years old, revisions in the anti-wiretapping law, attacks on human rights values & principles, misogyny, derogation of the rule of law and due process, and death threats to human rights defenders, have revealed a dangerous political direction which the people must resist.
In response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s blatant attack on human rights, continuing and rampant killings, railroading of death bills (bills to restore death penalty and lowering of the age of criminal liability), ordering the Marcos Burial in LNMB, sexist attack on women, while failing to fulfill campaign promises like end of ENDO, genuine FOI and the lack of decisive programs to end poverty etc. iDEFEND (In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement) enjoins all human rights defenders and the public, including Filipinos and solidarity groups in different countries to unite and creatively protest against the rampant killings and violent governance of Duterte while failing to fulfill campaign promises on economic and social wellbeing of the Filipinos to a Global campaign to defend the RIGHT TO LIFE in the Philippines.
On Monday this week President Duterte threatened to kill human rights defenders criticizing his war on drugs. And so it is revealed. The main program of the President for this country is to kill. Kill suspected drug peddlers yesterday, human rights activists today, kill all opposition voices tomorrow.
President Duterte’s paradigm of change rests solely on a framework of Peace and Order that promises a development agenda which, five months into his term, is slowly being revealed as the same anti-poor, pro-oligarch, neo-liberal agenda. The peace and security purportedly being felt in our communities are nothing more than the silent terror of a bullet through our doors and bullets delivered by those “riding in tandem”. Duterte’s brand of change is grimly familiar with former President Ramos’ “Philippines 2000” development aggression, and Gloria Arroyo’s “Strong Republic” with its own body count of extrajudicial killings and internal displacement. It is most familiar of course, with the Marcos family, the architects of Martial Law.