Duterte is the Law
Duterte had just arrived from his side trip to Thailand when he first said that nothing was irregular in the killing by the CIDG-8 of detained Mayor Rolando Espinosa and Raul Yap on November 5. “Utos ko iyon.” (It was upon my order.) He said after getting only the report of the CIDG saying that they killed Espinosa in a shootout.
Now, December 7, after the NBI reported their findings that it was a rubout, that no shootout between Mayor Espinosa and the policemen took place and that “the killing was premeditated and that the victim was defenseless when he was killed,” Duterte insists, he will not allow those involved in the killing of Espinosa to go to jail.
“Ang findings ng pulis, murder, ay NBI. Good. Ako, naniniwala ako sa police. Ang mga mayor, sino ba ng pinaniniwalaan nila? Police o ang mayor? Kung ano ang sinasabi ng pulis, iyan ang tutuo sa akin.” (The findings of the police, murder, I mean, the NBI. Good. I believe in the police. Who do mayors believe? In the Police or in the mayor? Whatever the police say, that for me is true.)
“I will not allow these guys to go to prison maski sabihin ng NBl murder. Tutal, under ko man ang NBI. Under ko rin iyan, ang department of Justice. But I do not interfere.” (…even if the NBI says it was murder. After all, the NBI is under me. It is also under me, the Department of Justice. But I do not interfere.)
“May finding sila? Good. File nila ng kaso? Pero hindi ko pabayaan ang mg pulis na ito kasi ako ang may utos eh.” (They now have their findings? Good. But I will not abandon these policemen because I was the one who gave them the order.)
Is Dutere merely expressing his sympathy and support for police officers who are in hot water after faithfully performing their task in line with his administrations’ gory war on drugs?
Duterte will find it difficult now to make it appear so. The implications of his words and actions especially now that the NBI has given a more credible report following some senators’ pointing out of the signs of irregularity in the operation, are definitely beyond Duterte’s “compassion” for the police officers.
He is the president of the Philippines, supposedly a democracy, and is duty-bound to see to the proper carrying out of duties and obligations of both government and state primarily to protect the interests and welfare of the people. He is not an anti-drug czar whose primary duty is to oversee measures to minimize if not totally eradicate the drug problem.
He is duty-bound to uphold the Constitution and other laws, rules and duly established processes. He has to uphold these so that government and state institutions and agencies function in harmony and complement each other, so that these serve and do not abuse the people, people get redress whenever abuse happens, so that the people can live and work in peace and security to fully enjoy the fruits of their labor and happily support their government back. Human rights, after all, cannot exist without rule of law
But we have a president who does not listen to appeals for due process of law.
We have a president who shows to the world that he owns the Philippine National Police (PNP) that he is now turning into a killing machine purportedly to end criminality and the drug problem. He expects the chief PNP, and everyone under him to obey. Undoubtedly, he is turning the Philippines into a police state.
This is the latest of the menacing words and acts by Duterte after earlier threatening to include human rights activists in the drug hit list. Both these came after burial of the late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos’ at the Libingan ng mga Bayan, which is still being protested by an increasing number of people.
Everyone who upholds democracy should be alarmed and should work to stop Duterte’s madness for tyrannical rule!
Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (Kilusan)
December 10, 2016