Screenshot from Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, July 24, blasted his critics who allegedly turn a blind eye on crimes in the country while supporting "Western experts" who have condemned his bloody drug war.
The President was referring to international human rights organizations and institutions that have called him out over alleged human rights violations in carrying out his war on drugs, one of the topics he discussed in his second State of the Nation Address (SONA).
“Kapag maraming namatay diyan na maraming masaker, rape mga bata, hindi kayo umiimik pero pagdating nitong mga Western expert, you give them so much premium and importance. Nasaan ba mga utak ninyo? Bakit kayo bilib diyan sa mga puti?” he added.
(When so many die in massacress, rape of children, you do not say a word but when these Western experts come, you give them so much premium and importance. Where are your brains? Why are you so impressed with these white guys?)
This tirade comes 4 days after US lawmakers held a hearing on human rights complaints against his administration – the latest action from the international community in connection to his drug war. (READ: Two U.S. lawmakers slam Duterte in drug war hearing)
Duterte said in his SONA that his drug war will continue despite international pressure, adding that critics only stand to embarrass themselves in front of Filipinos. (READ: Duterte: War on drugs 'will be unrelenting’)
“Talk about it in the same time when there is a carnage then you begin to blabber, talk about human rights, lalong nagagalit ang mga tao (People will get angrier),” he said.
“When you talk about an incident, talk about it then condemn, condemn the police, but do not connect with due process and human rights, magmukha kang gago sa harap ng mga Filipino (You will look like a fool infront of Filipinos)," Duterte added.
The President also hit international groups for visiting detained Senator Leila de Lima, his fiercest critic, who is facing drug charges.
On July 22, Liberal International (LI) Human Rights Chair Markus Leoning also paid De Lima a visit. LI is a network of over a hundred liberal and democratic parties in the world.
To this, Duterte said: “Ang pupunta dito, ang tatanungin ang nasa presyo… Binibigyan niyo importansya si De Lima (You consult someone who is in jail. You give importance to De Lima)."
“You all here, you conducted the investigation. You heard the witnesses, you saw the videos. Is she a credible woman? Can she be a moral person?” she asked the lawmakers, referring to the congressional inquiry on the proliferation of drugs at the New Bilibid Prison when the senator was justice secretary. – Rappler.com
Jodesz Gavilan is a writer and researcher for Rappler and its investigative arm, Newsbreak. She covers human rights and also hosts the weekly podcast Newsbreak: Beyond the Stories. She joined Rappler in 2014 after obtaining her journalism degree from the University of the Philippines.