Facebook groups add meaning to DDS
DAVAO CITY—Yes, the DDS does exist. In fact, there are many DDS groups sprouting on the social networking site Facebook that were created by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s supporters.
But these are not in any way linked to the so-called Davao Death Squad, a vigilante group believed to be responsible for over 1,000 summary killings of suspected criminals here since 1988.
On Monday, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said in Manila that Duterte should be held accountable for his ties with the DDS—the vigilante group. She also urged Filipinos not to idolize the mayor and branded his statements on killing criminals “annoying and definitely disturbing.”
Duterte has said in his Sunday television program that “Am I the death squad? True. That is true.” But the “admission” was only a challenge to human rights organizations to come to the city to personally defend their allegations that the mayor was involved with the DDS.
He said he would personally cross-examine those who would file cases against him for the killings, “and I will show the world how stupid you are.”
The mayor warned criminals that if he decides to run for President and wins, the number of killings attributed to the DDS will increase. “It will reach 50,000,” he said. “I would kill all of you who make the lives of Filipinos miserable.”
One of the Facebook groups, Duterte Defense Squad, was created on July 5, 2011, to defend the mayor against criticisms. Another, Digong Duterte Supporters-Registered Nurses Group, has 1,013 members and has been pushing for the tandem of Duterte and Sen. Grace Poe in the 2016 presidential elections.
A third, Duterte’s Destiny is to Serve the Country, has more than 6,000 members. Its timeline carries all sort of things about Duterte—from his statements to interviews with other government officials who support the mayor’s bid for the presidency.
Digong Duterte Swerte was created apparently to push for a health product, but it has since been overwhelmed by posts and comments on why Duterte should become President.
It even featured a poster, titled “Taken 4,” a play on the popularity of the Liam Neeson film franchise, that has Duterte’s image and the lines “It ends here, criminals, corrupt, drug lords … your day has come” and “coming soon 2016.”
Another poster carries Duterte’s now (in)famous statement: “I do not care if I burn in hell for as long as the people I serve live in paradise.”
Other groups that have sprouted on Facebook included Davsur Duterte Supporters, which has only a few posts, as well as memes and posters that offer new meanings to the DDS.
One is Digong Duterte Supporter, showing an image uploaded by former Councilor Peter Laviña of Davao City. Laviña is a staunch Duterte supporter and works as volunteer for the federalism movement.
Despite Duterte’s alleged poor human rights record, supporters are pushing for a Duterte presidency in any way they can, such as another poster that reads “Si Digong Duterte ang Solusyon (Digong Duterte is the Solution).”
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