IUSY strongly condemns the outright disregard for justice and human rights by the administration of the President of Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. IUSY also expresses deep concerns that the President has chosen to serve his own whims and the fancies of the few, over the good of his citizens and humanity as a whole. Among his worrying actions are:
Ever since President Duterte came into power in July 2016, unspeakable Humanitarian crimes- under the guise of a“War on Drugs”- have been committed. As of 18 December 2016, a total of 6173 Extrajudicial killings linked to Duterte policy have taken place, with the latest casualty being a 5-year old child of a rehabilitated drug user.
In 14 December 2016, he was quoted as saying “I’d go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around, and I would just patrol the streets, looking for trouble also. I was really looking for a confrontation so I could kill.” This admission of murder led to several Philippine Senators’ call for the President’s impeachment. However, Secretary of Justice Vitaliano Aguirre defended the President saying the comments were meant as “hyperbole” and thus dismissed the Criminal admission.
Duterte has also paved the way for the impending reinstatement of the Death Penalty in the Philippines, mooted to including barbaric methods such as public hanging and firing squad. This is coupled with a pronouncement of the age of criminality to be lowered from 15 to 9 years old.
Duterte has also drawn criticism for allowing ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos to be buried in Manila’s Heroes’ Cemetery in 18 November of this 2016. This was explained as a way for the country to finally heal after the horrors of Marcos-declared Martial Law era. The dictator’s remains were flown in from Ilocos Norte using the Armed Forces’ cargo plane, the burial done stealthily, and was given full military honors.
Duterte offered Presidential pardon to the impeached former President Gloria Macapagal – Arroyo, effectively dismissing all pending corruption cases against. He has also refused to investigate police officials who were ruled by National Bureau of Investigation as having caused the murder of incarcerated Mayor Espinosa. Such abuse of power to cover up or absolve serious criminals and fellow abusers of power is despicable.
Duterte has launched a personal vendetta against former Chief Justice, Senator Leila De Lima, stripping her of the role as the Senate Committee Chair on Justice, the very committee holding senate inquiries on Duterte linked extra judicial killings and the Davao Death Squad. The President’s also threatened the Senator with a congressional viewing of a sex tape purportedly featuring her.
Duterte has recently barred the elected Vice President Leni Robredo from attending all Cabinet meetings for being critical of his decisions. This led Robredo to resign from her Cabinet post as Chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.
These and other acts are a far cry from the mandate given to him by the Filipino people as President. We urge President Duterte to listen to the Filipino people, stop the senseless killings, respect the rule of law and democratic institutions.
We also strongly call for The President to refrain from using his power to vilify and silence his critics. IUSY likewise urges President Duterte to heed the advice of the United Nations and cease all acts which undermine justice and human rights of the very people who have elected him.
IUSY calls on the Filipino people to remain united in the face of the current political dark age brought on by Duterte’s presidency.
IUSY urges the Filipinos to choose life over death, justice and due process over instant gratification, The dignity of humanity over one person.
We call on our fellow youth to serve as the beacons of truth in this trying time. We, the presidium of IUSY, are at one with your struggle for peace and security.