Opposition solons slam Duterte admin in counter-Sona
Opposition lawmakers in the 17th Congress on Sunday gave their assessment on the first year of President Rodrigo Duterte during an alternative State of the Nation Address (Sona) “So Ano Na,” ahead of the President’s Sona on July 24.
Senators Antonio Trillanes IV, Risa Hontiveros, and Bam Aquino, as well as Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat and Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano delivered their assessment in the alternative Sona held at the Bahay ng Alumni in the University of the Philippines Diliman, where they slammed the rising number of extrajudicial killings in the administration’s war on drugs, and Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao.
Trillanes also read on behalf of Senator Leila De Lima the latter’s statement for the event.
Trillanes blamed President Duterte for detaining De Lima over the drug trade charges filed against her in connection with her alleged involvement in the Bilibid drug trade.
“Ginawa ito ni Duterte para manindak, hindi lang patahimikin si De Lima, para sindakin ang oposisyon at ordinaryong mamamayan,” Trillanes said.
Trillanes also read from De Lima’s statement from detention, where the detained senator slammed the rising count of summary killings in the administration’s war on drugs.
Detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Genter, De Lima in her statement also lamented the sense of apathy on the slain drug pushers and users.
“Human rights is under attack, and not just by killings in the streets. The battle is also being waged in the people’s minds. And that’s where the war will be won or lost. For no human rights abuses can be perpetrated with impunity if people are active and vocal in claiming such rights for themselves, even against the most repressive of regimes,” De Lima said.
On the issue of women, Senator Hontiveros said Duterte’s first year is a most dangerous one for women, what with the President’s rape jokes that only perpetuate misogyny.
Duterte’s latest rape joke involved the Miss Universe, when he joked that he would congratulate a rapist who molested a Miss Universe, in illustrating how he won’t tolerate rape of children.
“The first year of the Duterte administration is a dangerous year for being a woman. It’s a year of resurgent misogyny, and endless killings. It is a dangerous year for ordinary Filipinos. It’s a year of living dangerously,” Hontiveros said.
Hontiveros also slammed Duterte’s “rising authoritarianism” and his “Marcos-inspired” national security policy, pertaining to the war on drugs.
While the dictator Ferdinand Marcos used the communist insurgency to declare martial law that resulted in human rights violations, Duterte used the drug menace as a justification for his brutal narcotics crackdown.
“Now, Duterte’s communists are drug pushers and users. We can’t allow this to continue unchallenged,” Hontiveros said.
Alejano meanwhile delved into Duterte’s martial law declaration in Mindanao, which, though declared valid by the Supreme Court, only legitimized the terror group Maute whose attack in Marawi City prompted the martial law imposition.
Alejano said the Mindanao martial law is only a “test case” for the eventual nationwide imposition of martial rule.
“Pag titingnan natin ng maigi, tila nagtulungan si Duterte at ang Maute para makamit ang kani-kanilang adhikain,” Alejano said.
The soldier-turned-lawmaker added that Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao following the Maute’s attack in Marawi City only legitimized the Maute group to gain recognition of the international terror group Islamic State (ISIS).
“In effect, binigay ito ni Duterte sa pagitan ng pagdeklara ng martial law. Ang Maute mula sa isang maliit na local terrorist group ay isa nang international terrorist organization sa ngayon. Maraming salamat kay President Duterte,” Alejano said, rousing boos from the crowd. JE
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