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“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms, by truth when it is attacked by lies, by faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, in the final act, by determination and faith.”

― Archibald MacLeish

Monday, August 29, 2016

Should Duterte Be Declared a National Hero in Asia's New Shoot-To-Kill Republic?

Should Duterte Be Declared a National Hero in Asia's New Shoot-To-Kill Republic?
Duterte: "Wag ako. If I become pres. ang kaso ko will never be corruption, it will be multiple murder!"  ABS-CBN
Rodrigo "Rody" Roa Duterte, also known as Digong, is a Filipino lawyer and politician who is the 16th and current President of the Philippines. He is the first Mindanaoan to hold the office, and the fourth of Visayan descent. Wikipedia
Duterte (Like Hitler) Supported by Moral Leaders
Reasons why HE rose to power
He was a great speaker, with the power to make people support him.
The moderate political parties would not work together, although together they had more support than him.
There was widespread poverty and unemployment, which made people angry with the government. People lost confidence in the democratic system and turned towards the extremist political parties .
The death squads attacked his opponents.
The propaganda campaign was very effective and it won support for him. They targeted specific groups of society with different slogans and policies to win their support.
He was given power in a seedy political deal by a political party who foolishly thought they could control him.
Industrialists gave him money and support.
The above description is NOT about Duterte. This is a BBC article on how HITLER rose to power! Isn't it eerily similar to the Duterte story in the Philippines?
The Pros and Cons of  Rodrigo Duterte 
PROS:
  • Duterte has been mayor for seven terms, presiding in total for more than 22 years. He has also served as vice mayor and congressman in the city.
  • Supporters like Duterte's "straight-talk" and his record of achievement in Davao, the largest city in the Philippines by geographic size, which ranks as one of the most progressive areas in the country.
  • “A lot of Filipinos like Rody’s charisma and they believe he brought down the murder rate. People see him the way that, say, Wyatt Earp [a wild west lawman] would have been seen in Tombstone, Arizona.
  • Duterte’s fans span the political spectrum: from arch-conservative senators in Manila to Jose Maria Sison, the exiled leader of the communist New People’s Army. 
CONS
  • It is outrageous that a man running for president can openly boast about illegal extrajudicial killings that he committed instead of being held accountable. 
  • His most controversial policy is what some call a “zero tolerance approach to crime”. Others, particularly human rights activists, prefer to term it an “endorsement of summary executions”.
  • Contrary to expectations, the Davao Death Squad has not reduced crime. In the decade since the squad began operating, crime in Davao City has mushroomed ten times faster than the population.
  • People who applaud extrajudicial responses to crime are the same people who will demand due process when it is their turn to feel the state’s boot on their neck.
From New York Times
MANILA — Since Rodrigo Duterte became president of the Philippines just over a month ago, promising to get tough on crime by having the police and the military kill drug suspects, 420 people have been killed in the campaign, according to tallies of police reports by the local news media.
Most were killed in confrontations with the police, while 154 were killed by unidentified vigilantes. This has prompted 114,833 people to turn themselves in, as either drug addicts or dealers, since Mr. Duterte took office, according to national police logs.
Addressing Congress last week in his first State of the Nation address, Mr. Duterte reiterated his take-no-prisoners approach, ordering the police to “triple” their efforts against crime.
“We will not stop until the last drug lord, the last financier and the last pusher have surrendered or been put behind bars or below the ground, if they so wish,” he said.
But human rights groups, Roman Catholic activists and the families of many of those killed during the crackdown say that the vast majority were poor Filipinos, many of whom had nothing to do with the drug trade. They were not accorded an accusation and a trial, but were simply shot down in the streets, the critics say.
“These are not the wealthy and powerful drug lords who actually have meaningful control over supply of drugs on the streets in the Philippines,” said Phelim Kine, a deputy director of Human Rights Watch in Asia.
Critics of the president’s campaign have rallied around the case of Michael Siaron, a 29-year-old rickshaw driver in Manila, who was shot one night by unidentified gunmen as he pedaled his vehicle in search of a passenger. When his wife rushed to the scene, a photographer took a picture of her cradling his body in the street, and the photograph quickly gained wide attention.
Scribbled in block letters on a cardboard sign left near his body was the word “pusher.” His family members insist that he was not involved in the drug trade, though they said he sometimes used meth.
Indirectly acknowledging criticism that his policies trample over the standard judicial process, Mr. Duterte said that human rights “cannot be used as a shield to destroy the country.”
He has called for drug users and sellers to turn themselves in or risk being hunted down, a threat backed up by the bodies piling up near daily on the streets of Philippine cities.
"If I obey the 10 Commandments or listen to priests, I would not be able to do anything as a mayor." Duterte
Consider for a moment the possibility that you, yes you dear reader, have incurred the ire of someone who has the ear of Duterte and that someone spreads the lie that you are a murderer, a rapist, a drug lord, or whatever it is that gets the juices of Duterte going. 
The real problem comes when it is not a knock on the door that comes but a kick that busts the door open. What happens to your family? Have you amply provided for them? The legal system has many infirmities and failures. For the most part it may not even be working. But the small part of it that works is enough to give us a fair shake. Better than descending into the rule of the jungle. The Philippine Star
From The Economist (London)
THE Philippines’ kill-list of suspected drug-pushers shot by the police or unknown gunmen gets longer by the day. By one count more than 600 people have died since Rodrigo Duterte was elected president on May 9th; another puts the total at nearly 1,000. Inaugurated on June 30th, Mr Duterte has taken to naming senior officials publicly as suspected narcos: generals, policemen and judges have been told to resign and submit to investigation. Or else? The kill list speaks for itself.
Mr Duterte is unabashed at international criticism, boasting that he does not care about human rights or due process. He was elected on a promise to eradicate crime, even by killing 100,000 gangsters and dumping their bodies in Manila Bay. More worrying still is that the bloodletting is popular with Filipinos, many of whose lives are blighted by poverty and crime. 
That satisfaction will not last. Wholesale extrajudicial killing is no solution to the Philippines’ many problems. Instead, it will lead only to more misery.
Mr Duterte would have the world believe that the Philippines’ corrupt and ineffective police have suddenly become omniscient—able to tell innocence from guilt and decide who may live and who should die. When he menacingly read out the names of more than 150 officials deemed connected to the drug trade, at least two of those whom he fingered were already dead. It would be comical were the consequences not so horrifying. One recent picture shows a distraught woman cradling her husband lying dead next to a sign, pusher ako (“I am a drug pusher”)—a tropical version of Michelangelo’s “Pietà”.
Right now Mr Duterte seems beyond restraint. When the chief justice demanded proper arrest warrants, Mr Duterte threatened to impose martial law. And when the American ambassador expressed misgivings, Mr Duterte labelled him bakla, a pansy. But Filipinos and their foreign friends must keep exerting pressure on him.
The lesson of the drug wars in Latin America, and of previous dirty wars, is that extrajudicial violence resolves nothing and makes everything worse. Innocent people will be killed; and denunciations will also be used to settle scores and exploited by gangs to wipe out rivals. Filipinos’ desire for instant retribution will, surely, turn to horror, hatred and revenge. The rule of law will erode. Investors, who have made the Philippines one of globalisation’s winners in recent years, will flee. The only winners will be the still-lurking insurgents. Mr Duterte’s ill-conceived war on drugs will make the Philippines poorer and more violent.