MANILA, Philippines – There is no need for the Duterte administration to worry about a possible coup plot, since it is already doing an excellent job at self-destruction, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said yesterday.
Trillanes, a former naval officer, said he has not heard about any movement against the administration, which was why he has no idea where the rumors of an alleged coup plot originated.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines had said it is taking the reports of a brewing coup seriously, though it also has no clue as to their origin or credibility.
“That is not true. There is no need to stage a coup against this government because it is doing fine on its own,” Trillanes said yesterday.
“They are self-destructing. What’s unfortunate is they’re dragging the whole country down,” he added.
Since assuming office last June 30, President Duterte has initiated a brutal and bloody campaign against illegal drugs.
More than 3,500 people have died in his unprecedented crackdown, drawing widespread international condemnation over an apparent wave of extrajudicial killings.
Critics are alarmed at the sheer number of deaths attributed to vigilantes, with Duterte’s apparent support.
Allies of the administration have blamed the Senate inquiry on extrajudicial killings initiated by Sen. Leila de Lima for the negative coverage of the country.
De Lima said the bad press is not her doing, but is due to the unabated killings taking place in the country, an opinion shared by Trillanes.
“Now they are telling us that the hearings are the source of the negativity here in the Philippines. That is not the case, it is the President. He has the habit of foul-mouthing his critics,” Trillanes said.
Sen. Richard Gordon on Monday said Duterte is becoming “too noisy” in his repeated pronouncements that he hates illegal drugs.
He said Duterte should not say he would kill drug offenders.
“That’s not right. He is falling on his own sword, tripping on his own sword because he talks and talks so the country is being accused, that is what’s happening,” Gordon said.
He said Duterte’s repeated endorsements of the killing of drug suspects if they resist arrest has led to a misconception that he is supporting the use of unnecessary violence. – With Christina Mendez, Gilbert Bayoran
A friend in the Philippines spoke to Peace and Freedom yesterday, wondering if President Duterte has in mind a total dictatorship for the Philippines. President Duterte has often expressed his admiration for his disgraced predecessor Ferdinand Marcos. And while talking about the criticisms and accusations from human rights groups around the globe coming at the Philippines, the PNP and Mr. Duterte, our Filipino friened wondered, “They couldn’t kill all the witnesses, could they?”
MANILA — Francisco Santiago is a rare and dangerous thing in a state-led killing rampage: a witness.
In the early hours of Sept. 13, on a dark street in the heart of the city, Santiago was shot through the chest and arms in what Philippine police called a drug bust gone wrong but that Santiago insists was a setup.
When the bullets hit, he played dead, lying still until he felt the bright lights of the media upon him. With cameras rolling, he raised his blood-slick arms in surrender — alive, for now.
President Rodrigo Duterte swept to power in June promising war, and he has delivered.
Just over three months into his tenure, more than 3,300 people are dead, with 1,239 gunned down in police raids and 2,150 shot by unknown assailants, according to the Philippine national police.
Duterte ‘happy to slaughter’ drug addicts like Hitler ‘massacred’ Jews
The victims include suspected drug dealers and users, as well as people misidentified as such. They also include at least two children, ages 4 and 5, felled by bullets meant for others.
Bodies are hastily pulled from crime scenes or dumped in ditches, often alongside cardboard signs that say “pusher” — as if a word alone were proof enough.
The European Union, the United Nations and the United States have called for an end to the violence, but to no avail. When President Obama raised the issue, Duterte lectured him on colonialism and used a slang term that translates, approximately, as “son of a whore.”
Local critics fare worse. Leila de Lima, a Philippine senator who this summer launched an investigation into extrajudicial killings, was ousted as chair of the Senate’s human rights committee in what Human Rights Watch called a “craven attempt to derail accountability.”
She has since been publicly accused of sleeping with her driver and taking bribes from drug lords, and her phone number and address were leaked.
Eyewitnesses to killings stay silent, terrified that they could be targeted next.
Duterte denies that these are state-backed crimes, saying Philippine police act in self-defense and for the good of society.
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