Lacson to Cayetano: Hurl facts, not insults, in drug war
Instead of throwing insults, hurl back facts, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on Sunday advised government officials mishandling the response to criticisms of President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal war on drugs from the international community.
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV also warned the officials that they could be held liable for crimes against humanity by defending the extrajudicial killings in the President’s crackdown on narcotics.
Lacson was apparently irritated by the response of Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and presidential spokesperson Harry Roque to the call by the European Parliament and the US Department of State for an end to the killings.
Cayetano and Roque on Friday accused the European Parliament of interfering in Philippine affairs by passing a resolution condemning the extrajudicial killings, the detention of Sen. Leila de Lima and the threats against human rights defenders.
The European Parliament also urged the European Union and its member-states to “consider calling for” the removal of the Philippines from the United Nations Human Rights Council, an action that Cayetano described as “crossing a red line.”
“We do not need others who think they know better than us Filipinos to tell us what to do,” Cayetano said. “As a sovereign nation, the Philippines deserves the same kind of respect we have been extending to our friends in the international community.”
Aping the President
“This kind of reactions won’t help any. Instead, let us correct or seek a dialogue to find out the basis [of their statements],” Lacson said in a radio interview.
Lacson noted that many Cabinet officials were talking tough like the President, perhaps because they see the President’s show of toughness as “effective.”
But it is difficult to ape the President, especially if one does not look and sound tough, he said.
“You cannot be what you are not,” Lacson said. “It will just show you are just trying hard to copy [the President].”
Apparently referring to Cayetano, Lacson said a foreign secretary should be diplomatic.
For his part, Trillanes warned defenders of the brutal drug war, saying “these deaths have been witnessed and documented by multiple credible sectors, individuals and organizations both foreign and domestic.”
“As to the Duterte administration’s talking heads or defenders, they should familiarize themselves with the Rome Statute’s definition of crimes against humanity because it penalizes even the enablers of [these crimes],” he said in a statement.
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