BATASANG PAMBANSA, PHILIPPINES — “Genuine change is what this country truly needs. I believed then, as I believe still, that progress and development will sputter if criminals, illegal drugs, illegal users of drugs… are allowed to roam the streets freely.”
That is President Rodrigo Duterte’s doctrine, as reiterated by the 16th President of the Philippines in his state of the nation address, at the Batasang Pambansa Monday in Manila.
The former Davao mayor said he has learned that a potent force and mechanism for the protection of locals and foreigners are needed for investor confidence.
The president vowed the Philippine war on drugs will continue in the name of “peace.”
“That is why, I have resolved that no matter how long it takes, the fight against illegal drugs will continue — because that is the root cause of so much evil and so much suffering.”
Members of the US Congress recently promised to investigate further into alleged human rights violations under President Duterte’s war on drugs.
“Duterte his campaign of vigilanteism, and extra judicial execution, is unacceptable in a modern society, it is critical that both the congress and the President Trump condemn President Duterte’s unacceptable human rights abuses in the strongest possible terms,” said Se. Jackie Speier.
In his SONA address, the president hit back against those who are planning to pressure his government to stop the bloody war on drugs.
The president also landed jabs against all those critical of his war on drugs.
“Your efforts will be better spent if you use the influence, moral authority and ascendancy of your organizations over your respective sectors to educate the people on the evils of illegal drugs, instead of condemning the authorities and unjustly blaming for every killing that bloodies this country.”
But last week, Phelim Kine of human rights watch said the mounting international pressure and concern on what he described as the “bloody killing campaign” is taking its toll on the Duterte administration.
Kine says he believes the Duterte administration is possibly implicit and complicit in crimes against humanity.
“So they will do anything to try to defer, to deflect, and deny what’s going on,” Kine said. “Duterte is doing nothing less than deploying the big lie technique by saying this is not happening, that we respect rule of law when in fact they are throwing rule of law under the bus.”
Human rights advocate Elecer Carlos said that a human rights violation against one Filipino, is a human rights violations against all Filipinos.
“If we allow violations to occur, if we allow this to become the norm, if we allow the kill rhetoric, allow this condition that our president has created to be sustained, and to persists this will endanger everyone, every Filipino,” Carlos said. “So sana manindigan po tayo, basagin na ang katahimikan, at manindigan tayo para sa karapatang pantao para sa lahat.”
From east coast to the west , protests actions against Duterte’s state of the nation address are expected Monday night.