De Lima hits Duterte’s ‘staggering duplicity’ in human rights policy


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has slammed President Duterte’s duplicity in his government’s human rights policy following his order for troops to kill all communist rebels in the country.

De Lima, a known human rights defender here and abroad, said Duterte’s order only proves that his previous declaration that he will protect human rights is nothing but a big lie.

“When he spoke before the UN months ago, Duterte tried to deceive the world with a barefaced lie that he and his government respect and uphold human rights. Now, he flaunts his true self: ‘Kill them. Finish them off. Don’t mind human rights,’” De Lima said in a Twitter post.

“The duplicity of the man is staggering!” added De Lima, the most prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime.

During his speech at the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2020, Duterte vowed to continue to protect the human rights of Filipinos, especially from “the scourge of illegal drugs, criminality, and terrorism.”

However, just recently, Duterte told the police and military to “ignore human rights” in going after communist rebels as he particularly ordered them to “kill” and “finish [them] off”.

Prior to these, it can be recalled that Duterte in 2018 admitted that his only sin are the extrajudicial killings as part of his war on drugs, saying, “Sabi ko nga sa military, ano kasalanan ko? Nagnakaw ba ako diyan ni piso? Did I prosecute somebody na pinakulong ko?  Ang kasalanan ko lang ‘yung mga extrajudicial killing.”

De Lima, a former justice secretary, said that Duterte keeps on contradicting himself because the only thing consistent about him is his malicious and shameless lies.

The International Criminal Court (ICC), in a report issued by Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda last year, said it found “reasonable basis to believe” that crimes against humanity were committed under Duterte’s anti-narcotics campaign.

Note that in March 2018, Duterte ordered the withdrawal of the Philippines from the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the ICC, and while the withdrawal was formalized on March 17, 2019, Bensouda proceeded with her probe.          

“The blood of the thousands of EJK victims are already in Duterte and his enablers’ hands. They will never be able to wash it with empty rhetoric, lies, and repeated denials that EJKs are not state-sponsored,” De Lima said. (30)

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