The solution to the rampant and senseless killings is not the re-imposition of the death penalty, which is a brutal violation of the right to life, a serious transgression of human rights, and a patent abandonment of our international commitments against imposing capital punishment, but the dismantling of the culture of violence which no less than the Duterte administration has encouraged, tolerated, and condoned.
Please refer to my press statement dated 18 December 2020, which I am restating as follows:
Whatever are the motives and whoever are the assailants, the rampant and brazen killings of lawyers, media practitioners, politicians, physicians, and ordinary citizens are the result of the culture of violence wittingly created by the Duterte administration.
No less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself in many recorded utterances has encouraged and condoned extrajudicial killings (EJKs).
Violence by example and tolerance has mocked due process and the rule of law.
Early on during the 2016 Presidential campaign, Dutertre boasted that he will kill 100,000 criminals and the fish in Manila Bay will “grow fat” from their corpses.
A few days after being sworn into office in July 2016, he literally gave police officers the license to kill when he told them he would pardon them if they killed drug dealers and addicts: “Do your duty, and if in the process you kill 1,000 persons… I will protect you.”
In Cebu in March 2017, he pronounced that criminals are not human beings: “When you kill criminals, it is not a crime against humanity. The criminals have no humanity, goddamn it.”
In September 2017, he likened himself to Adolf Hitler and said he would kill as many addicts as Hitler did Jews: “I’d be happy to slaughter them. At least if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have me (pointing to himself).”
Only this month on December 3, 2020, the President himself stated without ambiguity and remorse that he does not care about human rights and that, “The game is killing…I say to the human rights (defenders), I don’t give a shit with you. My order is still the same.”
EDCEL C. LAGMAN