Fire and fury in the Philippines"Among the most skilled and lyrical correspondents that I know: Jonathan Miller describes the grim actions of one of the most INFERNAL leaders of the 21st Century. DuterteHarry -A shocking book — but one that demands to be read." Jon Snow.
This is the first biography of Rodrigo Duterte, who was elected President of the Philippines in 2016, and in whose first 18 months in office, 12,000 people were killed on the streets.
Duterte is a self-confessed killer, who has called both Barack Obama and Pope Francis 'sons of whores'. He is on record not caring about human rights. Yet he is beloved of the 16.6 million Filipinos who voted for him, seen as vulgar but honest, a breath of fresh air, and an iconoclastic, anti-imperialist rebel.
About the author:
Jonathan Miller is Channel 4's Asia Correspondent based in Bangkok. Three months after Rodrigo Duterte was elected in the President's southern home city of Davao, Jonathan became the first foreign journalist to challenge him face-to-face on the devastation wrought by his controversial and deadly war on drugs. Jonathan was born in Derry, Ireland, and has lived much of his life in Southeast Asia, including correspondent postings with the BBC.
“Fire and fury” is the mentality of despots everywhere. Miller has terrifyingly captured that condition — bullying, threatening, vengeful, and lethal ”
Michael Wolff, author of Fire and Fury‘This book will piss off the powerful, which is why you should read it … With unflinching prose and the rigour of a veteran journalist, Jonathan Miller disrobes Rodrigo Duterte for all to see. Beyond the myths and propaganda of [Duterte’s] supporters, the Filipino politician is here paraded nakedly, with his contradicting good intentions that involve bloody violence, broken promises, and the brazen perpetuation of dynastic patronage politics that continue to dismantle Asia’s oldest free republic … This portrait presents a cautionary tale of the kind of authoritarian rulers that stand to hijack any democracy if we citizens do not participate in protecting it while we still can.’
Miguel Syjuco ,Author of Illustrado
Rodrigo Duterte was elected President of the Philippines in 2016. In his first 18 months in office, 12,000 people were murdered on the streets, gunned down by police officers and vigilante citizens — all with his encouragement.
Duterte is a serial womanizer and a self-confessed killer, who has called both Barack Obama and Pope Francis ‘sons of whores’. He is on record as saying he does not ‘give a shit’ about human rights. Yet he is beloved of the 16.6 million Filipinos who voted for him, seen as vulgar but honest, a breath of fresh air, and an iconoclastic, anti-imperialist rebel.
In this revelatory biography, Channel 4 News’ Asia Correspondent Jonathan Miller charts Duterte’s rise, and shows how this fascinating, fearsome man can be seen as the embodiment of populism in our time.
"If I obey the 10 Commandments or listen to priests, I would not be able to do anything as a mayor." DoDirty
Duterte has projected the image of an action-oriented, results-driven executive who can address people’s fears about an environment perceived as dominated by criminal elements. In the process, he has broadly, almost boastfully hinted that he had indeed ignored human rights and legal norms, enforcing the law by violating the law.
Philippine Daily InquirerPerhaps, Duterte might not have done any killing himself, though he may suggest even this to burnish the Dirty Harry brand. But as mayor, he had people ready and eager to follow his orders. As president, he would have even more people to do his bidding.
According to a newspaper report, Duterte said that, as president, he would allow policemen on duty to kill criminals and would protect them against charges of human rights violations. He also said that the policemen would “go first, should they commit wrongdoings.” He referred to three rogue policemen who were recently killed, but “did not directly respond to the question if he was the one who killed the police officers.”
Duterte is not infallible. Neither are the subordinates on whose information he depends. The execution of policemen who make mistakes offers small comfort to families of the victims. People will make mistakes, but these should not lead to irreversible consequences. Summary executions permit no room to appeal possibly erroneous decisions.
The issue is whether the police should have the power to execute people they arrest on the basis of their suspicions, without due process of law. And, whether mayor or president should have the power, by direct order or by insinuation and promise of protection, to effect these executions.
A president accustomed to act with impunity places everyone on a slippery slope. Where would Duterte draw the line on crimes he can punish without regard for constitutionally guaranteed human rights? Philippine Daily Inquirer
“While it would be imprudent for me to say with certainty that President Duterte has already committed a crime against humanity, it would be a disservice to this entire nation if I did not warn him to be careful. Neither the Rome Statute nor general international law prescribes a minimum number of victims for an indictment. So long as the [International Criminal Court] believes that the war on drugs is ‘widespread’ and ‘systematic,’ [it is] likely to investigate.”
2016 Kabayan party-list Representative
(now Duterte's Spokesman)
On Aug. 11, 2016, Kabayan party-list Rep. Harry Roque delivered a privilege speech in which he said: “It is clear that the civilian population is being attacked—news reports all around us overwhelmingly establish that hundreds of Filipinos have been killed either directly by governmental forces or with their support or tolerance. It is also clear that the President is aware that these acts are ongoing. Even without proof of a directive on his part, he has, in many instances, spoken about the use of violence against drug syndicates.From Inquirer:
The possibility that the current EJKs will be considered by the International Criminal Court as amounting to a crime against humanity is a liability risk that our President is miscalculating.
Ruben Carranza, director of the New-York-based International Center for Transitional Justice, points out that “[w]hen over 500 civilians have been killed by both police and vigilantes with the clear goal of targeting them in a ‘war against drugs,’ with their impunity explicitly guaranteed by the president, then the elements of EJKs as a ‘crime against humanity of murder’ are already there—(a) widespread or systematic killings, (b) civilians are targeted, and (c) the perpetrators know or intended their conduct to be part of a widespread or systematic attack.”
On Aug. 11, Kabayan party-list Rep. Harry Roque delivered a privilege speech in which he said: “It is clear that the civilian population is being attacked—news reports all around us overwhelmingly establish that hundreds of Filipinos have been killed either directly by governmental forces or with their support or tolerance.”
Roque likewise said: “It is also clear that the President is aware that these acts are ongoing. Even without proof of a directive on his part, he has, in many instances, spoken about the use of violence against drug syndicates.”
Roque cited the decisions of international criminal tribunals which prosecuted political and military officials for crimes against humanity committed in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. These tribunals declared that “it is not necessary to show that [the crimes committed] were the result of the existence of a policy or plan” and that the plan “need not be declared expressly or even stated clearly and precisely. It may be surmised from the occurrence of a series of events.”
The President enjoys immunity under Philippine law, but he has no similar immunity for crimes under the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction. Carranza says “the presidents of Sudan and Kenya were charged” in the court even during their incumbency. And there is no expiration of liability for ICC crimes, so he can be charged even long after he leaves Malacañang.