Duterte to rights group: You are all hypocrites
DAVAO CITY—Mayor Rodrigo Duterte cried foul over the call of the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) to have him investigated for his probable role in the extrajudicial killings carried out by the so-called Davao Death Squad here.
HRW particularly cited Duterte’s public endorsement of execution of criminals.
“The Philippine government should take a zero-tolerance approach to any public official who publicly endorses extrajudicial killings as an acceptable means of crime control,” Phelim Kine, HRW deputy Asia director, said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
Kine said Duterte’s public statements confirming that he is in favor of vigilantism should already be enough for the government to start an investigation.
“Duterte’s public support for the extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals should prompt a long overdue investigation into Duterte’s possible role in those deaths,” Kine said, adding that under Duterte’s nearly continuous term since 1988, over 1,000 suspected criminals had been executed.
In a media statement sent from Hong Kong, where he spoke for federalism before some 5,000 overseas Filipino workers, Duterte said it was ironic that the HRW criticizes human rights conditions in the Philippines when its hands are full in the recent racist attacks on African-Americans.
“You are all hypocrites! You cannot even protect the human rights in your own country, (of) the African-Americans and other minorities, not to mention your inutility in dealing with the genocide going on in Africa and other countries,” he said.
Maintaining his firm stand against criminality, Duterte instead posed a challenge to HRW and other human rights groups, which have been criticizing Davao City and his leadership style.
“To all the bleeding hearts of US-based crime watch: You want a taste of justice, my style? Come to Davao City, Philippines, and do drugs in my city. I will execute you in public. And finally, you S.O.B’s, I offer no excuses nor do I apologize. So be it,” Duterte said.
Netizens, meanwhile, have taken up the cudgel for Duterte and urged human rights group to leave the mayor alone.
Reacting to the Inquirer story on the HRW call for the government to investigate Duterte, reader Rommel Senga said: “The CHR should focus its energy and resources for the benefit of the taxpaying and peace loving citizens of this country. Criminal minds have long discarded the idea of respecting the law and that alone should be enough reason for the law to be tough on them. Give them due process but that should be just about it. Leave Duterte alone… The man is doing us a favor actually.”
“This world will never be safe as long as (these) human rights group is there to protect and side with criminals, murderers, rapists, drug pushers, smugglers, robbers, thieves. These criminals should not have human rights. What about the victims? The ordinary decent citizens, don’t they have human rights, too? Protection from destructive and evil people?” Sans Tecav posted.
Other readers, however, sided with the HRW.
“We should be glad the HRW has always been there … in the time of Marcos, Aquino up until now and tomorrow. We ought to be grateful that we have a group that represents a more civilized, cultured, educated mind that values life and the way life should be treated within an imperfect society, under a flawed governance and with an unjust justice system. HRW has a profound sense of peace and order, not through fear and barrel of a gun, not the peace of the graveyard nor an order in the cemetery, but a caring, compassionate people who know the means of rehabilitating the misfits of society,” reader “Ian” wrote. Karlos Manlupig, with a report from Allan Nawal, Inquirer Mindanao
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