Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has chided Malacañang for branding as yet another supposed intrusion on Philippine affairs the recent remarks from American Actress Bette Midler classifying Duterte as among the world’s most detestable leaders.
De Lima, a former justice secretary, said Mr. Duterte and his allies should realize that Midler’s comment, albeit unfavorable, reek of truth.
“Malacañang is always quick to denounce as a brazen and unpardonable intrusion any move from the international community that is unfavorable to this administration,” she said.
“[These include] the US senators’ proposed travel ban against my persecutors, the UN (United Nations) Human Rights Council’s call to investigate the drug war killings, Ms. Midler’s comment – essentially everything that is true and just,” she added.
In a Twitter post, Midler lumped Mr. Duterte with some of the world’s contemptible leaders, such as United States President Donald Trump and Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler, among others.
“For Americans who think the impeachment hearings have nothing to do with them, think again. Want to leave the door open to a Hitler? A Stalin? A Castro? A Duterte? A Pol Pot? A Putin? An Assad? A Chavez? A Kim Jong Un? A Mussolini? A Mugabe? An Amin?” Midler wrote.
Midler made the statement to express her sentiment on the recent impeachment hearings on Trump and why it should be a concern for Americans.
In retort, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Midler should refrain from giving what he deemed as “judgmental comments on internal affairs of another sovereign state” even as he called her as “incompetent.”
Meanwhile, the lady Senator from Bicol said Duterte’s inhuman drug war policies that promote impunity and killings of small-time drug suspects without due process of the law is enough to justify Midler’s unfavorable comment about him.
“Ms. Midler is right. Rodrigo Duterte is one of the world’s most detestable leaders. Everybody knows this. If killing 27,000 people, including children and minors, while letting big time drug lords go free does not make him one, then we might as well hail Satan as the epitome of everything good and pure in this world,” De Lima said.
“Balat sibuyas ang administrasyong ito sa harap ng katotohanang hindi na ito nagtatagumpay sa pagpapanggap na buhay ang demokrasya sa ating bansa at gumagana ito sa ngalan ng katotohanan at katarungan,” she added.
De Lima, a known human rights defender here and abroad, maintained that history books would be written with Duterte name being tagged alongside the known “mass murderers” who terrorized millions.
“Kaya kung may higit mang kasuklam-suklam pa kay Duterte, ito yung patuloy na pagtatanggol at pagbubulag-bulagan sa mga pang-aabuso sa karapatang pantao na ginagawa ng administrasyong ito,” she said.
“Ms. Midler only speaks the truth. History books will be written with Duterte’s name alongside the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Suharto, Marcos, Pinochet, Idi Amin, and all other mass murderers who terrorized millions,” she added.
In 2017, Midler reportedly called Duterte a “murderous dictator” after the latter serenaded Trump during the Asean Summit gala dinner in Manila. (30)