Dispatch from Crame No. 935: Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the Human Rights Report of Amnesty International and Duterte’s Orchestration of Extrajudicial Killings


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Amnesty International has recently released its amply documented report on the human rights crisis in the Philippines five years into Duterte’s murderous regime.

The report shows the continued persecution and killings of perceived enemies by the Duterte administration with unrelenting impunity. The pattern of execution-style killings has not changed, the tanim-ebidensya in extrajudicial killings persists, and the numbers of people unjustly killed are increasing.

Duterte has cast the net of his human rights abuses and violations even wider when, in addition to EJKs under the guise of a “war on drugs” since 2016, his regime persecutes and even kills critics, activists and journalists and harasses the media and freedom of expression to weaken opposition and dissent.

That’s not, as we all know, to protect the people from the menace of drugs and maintain public order, but to establish his tyrannical authority, accumulate despotic power, and turn the country’s democratic order into a DDS society.

Duterte has no use for verbal sophistication and his March 2020 utterance “It is my job to kill people” is a harbinger of more President-backed brutality and cold blood killings as his term of office winds down. He is still on a ruthless rampage against human rights even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s not the spirit of Bayanihan; that’s the spirit of a Mamamatay-tao.

The sharp facts are there that all this reign of terror and injustice is Duterte’s making and this murderer-in-chief fanned the flame that made the law enforcers trigger happy to slaughter civilians, abandon judicial procedures, and approximate the human rights handling in the country to his very own words and malignant statements.

All the worse for the families of victims and the rule of law, the Duterte regime has stonewalled attempts of international organizations to investigate. It created as a front its own investigation panel (composed of the same agencies that implement his “war on drugs” and mania of red-tagging) to whitewash the cases of killings and abuses, and their culpability, in conducting its own bogus investigation.

Duterte tries to play cat and mouse with the Constitution and international law to dodge the juggernaut of cases that will soon come his way.

And he may be at present almost beyond the hands of justice and accountability. But not anymore when his term ends and now that deep cracks are starting to appear on his pedestal as the weight of gargantuan evidence of his crimes against humanity is piling up.

The reports of various international organizations and documentation works by our CHR and local human rights advocates are all robust and will be instrumental in catching up with the resident murderer in Malacañang and his hatchet men.

I myself have readied and recently filed an anti-EJK bill which I adopted from the paper produced by the UP Law Center Institute of Human Rights (UP IHR).

Duterte’s recent disavowal of the killings – unabashedly claiming that he neither killed nor ordered the killing of anyone – simply bespeaks of this man’s lying nature, his proclivity to falsehoods and deceptions. Only his fanatic minions would believe, or pretend to believe, this latest big lie.

Duterte is too big a criminal and his orchestrated extrajudicial killings a serious crime against humanity for the world and the Filipino people to let him escape the sword of the Lady Justice. ###

(Access the handwritten copy of the Dispatch, here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/dispatch_no._935)

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