BY ROGER M. BALANZA
(REPOST) First published on November 9, 2012
Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said international human rights bodies are being unfair in zeroing in on his alleged violations while closing their eyes on that of the American government and other countries where human rights violations and killings are rampant.
Duterte said he is being put to task for the drug-related killings in Davao City while the issue of the American government involvement in drug-related killings in Mexico is thrown to the backburner. He said the Mexican executions are handiwork of the US government in a bid to stop flow of drugs to the mainland from Mexico that is the major source of drugs in the US.
To his mind, Duterte said guns used in the killings were supplied by the US government.
To be true to their mission as protectors of human rights, Duterte challenged the human rights groups to widen their vision.
They can start with Syria and Afghanistan where people are being blown to pieces, he said.
In lashing at the human rights groups, Duterte was specifically refering to the New York-based United Nations Human Right Council (UNHRC) and the Asia bureau of the Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Duterte made the charge while guesting in a recent edition of the Give Us This Day television program on ACQ Television, hosted by Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy of the Davao City-based religious congregation Kingdom of Jesus Christ The Name Above Every Name.
A year ahead of the 2010 elections, Philip Alston, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, gave his annual presentation to the U.N.’s Human Rights Council.
In his report, Alston partly focused on extrajudicial killings in Davao City allegedly carried out by the Davao Death Squad that is being tolerated by Duterte.
At about the same time, HRW released a paper entitled “You can die anytime” which detailed the summary executions alleged to have been with the knowledge of Duterte.
The Alston report and the HRW paper drew wide international attention on summary killings in Davao City and Duterte.
The Alston report and the HRW paper came as the Philippine Commission on Human Rights chaired by Leila de Lima now the Justice Secretary was conducting a probe on Davao City killings that the rights body said was being encouraged by Duterte, then the sitting city mayor.
Duterte had disowned any hand in the killings and described the CHR probe as politically motivated and the handiwork of then House Speaker Prospero Nograles, who was running for mayor in the 2010 elections against his daughter, Sara, now the sitting mayor.
The CHR probe followed a visit by then President Gloria Arroyo to the US that Nograles joined. While in the US, Nograles asked the UN rights body to conduct a probe on the Davao City killings.
In the ACQ television program, Duterte also twitted the human rights bodies for not giving a hoot to summary executions in Thailand when Thaksin Shinawatra was the prime minister, where more than 8,000 people were killed in a government-sponsored anti-drug campaign.
In the 2003 Shinawatra anti-drug campaign, local police compiled lists of known or suspected drug dealers and sent the lists to the police headquarters to be combined for ‘central coordination.” Thousands of drug pushers and users were reportedly killed during the campaiign.
Duterte said he never heard about human rights groups or media howling over the Mexico or Thailand killings.
There are also a lot of killings in the Philippines but they zeroed in on me, he said in the program.
He said killing of drug pushers has become universal that could not be stopped until drug is eliminated.
He frowned on the human rights groups, he called them “bleeding hearts,” who, he said, can never understand why drug pushers are being killed in summary executions without due process in violation of human rights.
“The hman rights people can never understand the eternal clash between protecting individual rights—and the rights of the community to be protected, he said in a statement that came closer to admission that human rights may be disregarded if the intent is to protect the community.
It is good to protect human rights but the community has the survival instinct to protect itself from criminals, he said.
We can argue forever with the bleeding hearts over whether extrajudicial killings are wrong or not, but that is the reality, Duterte said.
The human rights people have their mandate, I have mine, he said. Human rights groups say more than a thousand people have been killed by the Davao Death Squad under a state-sponsored anti-drug campaign in Davao City.
(REPOST) First published on November 9, 2012