17 May 2016

Newly-elected President of the Philippines depicts Filipinos as barbarians

Malacañang, Residence of the President of the Philippines
Pasig River, Manila [Wikipedia]

Philippines' President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has said he aims to bring back death by hanging.
Mr Duterte said he will ask his country's congress to reimpose the death penalty, which has been suspended since 2006 following opposition from the Catholic church.
The controversial presumptive president, who was making his first policy pronouncements since winning last week's election based on an unofficial count, said that capital punishment by hanging should be imposed for crimes such as murder, robbery and rape.
Mr Duterte went on to say that those convicted of more than one crime would be hanged twice.
"After the first hanging, there will be another ceremony for the second time until the head is completely severed from the body," he said in the nationally televised news conference.
The above is from a report in the Irish Examiner dated 16 May.
In other words, the President-elect whose surname, appropriately, rhymes with 'too dirty', is declaring to the world that Filipinos are barbarians. After 45 years in the country I know that such is not true, though there is considerable violence. There are currently more than 1,400 unsolved murders in Davao City, allegedly 'peaceful' after 22 years of the Duterte dictatorship there which will continue courtesy of his daughter and son, newly-elected as mayor and vice-mayor. The President-elect has acknowledged his links to the 'Davao Death Squad' which has probably carried out most of these murders, including the killings of the four sons of Clarita Alia.
The Independent (England) has this story by Samuel Osborne today: Philippines president-elect RodrigoDuterte pledges to bring back death penalty and shoot to kill powers. It adds, He said he preferred hanging to firing squads because he does not want to waste bullets. Hanging has never been used as a form of execution in the Philippines.
Tom Smith writes in The Guardian (England) 10 May: Don’t compare Trump and Duterte – the Philippines leader is far worseSmith notes: The 71-year-old has been allowed to run as an anti-establishment figurehead due to a lack of media scrutiny. This is in spite of the fact that he has been mayor of Davao (the largest city in Mindanao) for 22 years and has served as a congressman. Trump is the political outsider and while Duterte cultivates a similar image it simply isn’t true. He is a trained lawyer and he and his family are developing into a powerful political clan.

Not all in the media here in the Philippines have been uncritical of the man who will become President on 30 June.

Lindsay Murdoch in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald has this story: Philippines' Rodrigo Duterte to urge Congress to introduce public hangings. Murdoch reminds us: Only a handful of countries carry out public executions, including Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Somalia. Yes, the Philippines will be in good company.

And if 
Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipina whose execution was postponed in Indonesia in April last year at the last minute will come before the firing-squad again, is the new President of the Philippines going to plead on her behalf?

Some newspapers, here in the Philippines and abroad, have used the term 'landslide' to describe the victory of the Mayor of Davao. While it is true that he is 15 percentage points ahead of the next of the five candidates, he got only 38.6 percent of the votes. (That unofficial count is almost complete and nobody has questioned its accuracy).

In other words, more than 60 percent of those who voted - 8o percent of those eligible did so - did not want this man as President of the Philippines. However, he has been lawfully elected and has a term of office of six years.

In Ireland, where I'm from, the abiding symbol of the Philippines is that of the Filipino nurse, who is found in almost every hospital in the country, a symbol of caring, of professionalism, of kindness, of healing.

The symbol of the Philippines that the President-elect is now promoting around the world is that of the Filipino as barbarian.

God help the Philippines!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is very, very worrying indeed. Like the devil has assumed the throne.