Senator Leila de Lima continued her attack on President Rodrigo Duterte before the international community, calling him a “self-confessed serial killer” elected by 16 million Filipino people.
“In May of this year, 16 million Filipinos elected a self-confessed serial killer as President,” De Lima said when she spoke at the Annual Conference on Cultural Diplomacy 2016 in Berlin, Germany on Sunday.
She was referring to Duterte, the same candidate, who she said told a rape joke, while on the campaign trail, about an Australian missionary who was raped and killed in Davao City he was then serving as mayor, cursed the Pope for having caused traffic jams during his papal visit, evaded questions about the source of his alleged undeclared wealth amounting to billions of pesos, and “basically promised to employ summary killings as a policy to curtail criminality.”
“In the last five months, he has proven true his blood-soaked promise, at least to the extent that, by the Philippine National Police’s own statistics, we have now recorded a total of more than 6,095 deaths in connection with the Duterte Administration’s so-called “War on Drugs” – which is turning out to be more of a “war on the poor”, while big-time drug lords have thus far been mostly allowed to evade justice,” De Lima said.
Earlier, Duterte told a public audience that he sought “encounters” with criminals and “killed” some of them when he was still Davao City mayor.
De Lima made the attack as a survey of the Social Weather Stations showed that 85 percent of Filipinos were “satisfied” with the performance of the Duterte administration in its war on drugs.
The senator also noted how the President allowed former President Ferdinand Marcos, to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
In one fell swoop, she said, Duterte “obscured the rejection of such dictatorial regime by allowing a plunderer and a killer to be given a hero’s burial.”
“He has also driven the women’s empowerment and gender sensitivity movement several decades back, by himself creating a culture of misogyny wherein female members of the press are catcalled during press conferences, female police officers are touched inappropriately, the vice president’s legs are openly ogled during cabinet meetings, and slut-shaming is employed as a form of political reprisal against women who dare criticize him,” De Lima said.
She also lashed out at the Duterte administration for continually dangling the declaration of martial law and suspension of the writ of habeas corpus to curb threats of drug-related reprisal and possible terrorist attacks.
“He and his men (are) preying on the people’s fears from so-called anticipated reprisals by those involved in the drug trade, or from terrorist attacks, or some other undefined threats that prey upon their feelings of insecurity,” De Lima said.
“(They) are keeping the threat of a declaration of a state of national emergency, martial law and suspension of the writ of habeas corpus perpetually hanging above the Filipino’s heads, thus priming them for malleability for other extreme actions,” the senator added. CBB