By: Elena Grace Flores
Like always, most Filipinos are only fond of reading titles that was why when President Rodrigo Duterte, landed on first page of the New York Times, his supporters immediately posted via social media with very proud captions that the President is already popular overseas. Little do they know that the Filipinos has nothing to be proud of on such kind of news. It highlighted that human rights groups have filed complaints about the President for violating human rights.
President Duterte’s war on drugs was featured with front page photo and the details on the rise in killings of street-level drug personalities since Duterte became president. The image was the one mentioned by Duterte during the SONA as a Mother Mary like portrait used to get sympathy from people to destroy his anti drugs campaign. A woman assumed to be his mother was cradling the body of Michael Siaron, a 29-year-old pedicab driver who died when unidentified gunmen fired at him.
The New York Times disclosed a letter of the International Drug Policy Consortium asking the United Nations drug control agencies “to demand an end to the atrocities happening in the Philippines” and to declare that extrajudicial killings “do not constitute acceptable drug control measures.”
The group also asked UN’s hand in the Philippine government promotong an “evidence-based and health-focused strategy” to drug dependents, abusers and criminals in respect to the rule of law and right to due process.
Duterte is very vocal about his belief in human rights and that he respect that – but his actions show otherwise. Political analyst Ramon Casiple told the newspaper to give Duterte 100 days to see if his approach in solving the country’s drug menace is effective.
440 drug suspects have already been killed since the launch of the government’s initiative as noted by the media. Duterte’sfighting spirit is being fueled by the 16 million votes he got last election but he should remember that the number of Filipinos who did not vote for him is more than thta. Therefore, it was not a landslide win.