Duterte can’t use influence to justify killings—opposition solons
Opposition lawmakers chided President Rodrigo Duterte for winning the TIME Magazine’s online poll for most influential leader and yet losing public satisfaction over his brutal war on drugs.
In a statement, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano said Duterte’s lead in the TIME poll does not mean his pronouncements of killing drug pushers and users are justified.
Duterte got five percent of the total votes cast. He was followed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Pope Francis, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
“Duterte is indeed famous worldwide in his brutal war on drugs which already claimed thousands of Filipino lives in the country. He is also widely reported by media for consistently cursing and cussing the UN, the EU and the US. Even Pope Francis was not spared,” Alejano said, referring to Duterte’s usual tirades against the US, United Nations, European Union, and Pope Francis.
“These made people believe Duterte as an influential person that landed him on the top of Times magazine’s most influential person. But it does not necessarily mean that what he has been doing would become right and good that warrants pride for Filipino people,” he added.
Alejano said the fact remains that his war on drugs “violates the constitutional due process [of law] and respect for human rights.”
“His rough and brash attitude towards other countries runs counter to the values of honor and respect which we Filipinos are known for globally,” Alejano said.
He noted that Duterte now joins dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in TIME’s magazine’s notable leaders, who ended up being the “most despised leaders of mankind.”
Alejano is the first to file an impeachment complaint against Duterte over extrajudicial killings and his inaction over the West Philippine Sea.
For his part, Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin said the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey which noted that the public satisfaction ratings on the drug war fall by 11 points shows that more Filipinos are seeing the “senselessness” of the killings.
“The latest survey showing that fewer Filipinos are satisfied with Duterte’s war against illegal drugs indicates that such policy is a failure and that extrajudicial killings (EJKs) must be stopped,” Villarin said in a statement.
Villarin said it is time police should investigate the killings of drug users and pushers by vigilantes or rogue cops, adding that the murderers should be haled into court, not praised by President Duterte.
“After more than 8,000 deaths, people have come to realize that killing drug addicts is senseless and inhuman. It is a clear message that EJKs have no place in our society,” Villarin said.
The latest SWS survey, conducted from March 25 to 28, showed that public net satisfaction rating of the government’s war on drugs declined to +66 in the first quarter of 2017, an 11-point decline and one grade down from the “excellent” +77 that the campaign received in December last year.
The poll showed that majority or 73 percent of Filipinos were worried that they or someone they know would be a victim of summary executions. This figure was steady from the 78 percent recorded in December 2016 who said they were afraid they or someone they know would be killed in the drug war.
An overwhelming majority or 92 percent said it was important to capture drug suspects alive. It was 94 percent in the September 2016 and December 2016 surveys. IDL
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