By Marc Jayson Cayabyab / @MJcayabyabINQINQUIRER.net / 11:35 AM October 07, 2016
A militant youth lawmaker in the House of Representatives gave a failing mark to the administration’s drive to uphold human rights in its bloody crackdown on drugs and criminality.
Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago made this statement on Friday to mark the first 100 days of President Rodrigo Duterte in office.
She said youth groups, including the League of Filipino Students, Anakbayan, National Union of Students of the Philippines, and the College Editors Guild of the Philippines, gave Duterte an “incomplete” mark because of the administration’s failure to fulfill its campaign promises this early.
She said in the first 100 days, there are cases of extrajudicial killings related to the war on drugs, as well as politically motivated killings of farmer activists.
Since Duterte waged his war on drugs, at least 3,500 suspected drug criminals have been killed, mostly vigilante murders of suspected pushers whose bodies were dumped on the streets of the metropolitan with their faces covered in tape beside a poster declaring, “Huwag tularan (Don’t emulate).”
“Under the President’s first 100 days, not only have we seen hundreds of cases of extrajudicial killings relating to the war on drugs, but also politically-motivated killings, including the death of several farmer-activists. For this, we give the President a failing mark on human rights,” Elago said.
Elago also gave a “poor” grade to Duterte’s policy in addressing the rising costs of education, on top of the President’s refusal to stop the K to 12 Program.
“When it comes to education, we rate the President’s performance as ‘poor.’ There were no significant advances or even pronouncements as regards tuition and other school fee increases, the high cost of education, commercialization, and even privatization of educational institutions. Worse, the president backtracked on his campaign promise of discontinuing the K-12 program,” Elago said.
The K to 12 only posed additional financial burdens to the families of students who would be compelled to study two more years in secondary education, Elago said.
Under the K to 12 program, there will be one year of kindergarten, six years of elementary and six years of secondary education (the latter includes four years of junior high and two years of senior high school).
“The K-12 program poses added burdens, both on part of the government and the families of students. Two more years of education is tantamount to two more years of torture. Yet the President has done nothing to stop it,” Elago said.
“All in all, the youth sector rates the President’s performance for his first 100 days as ‘incomplete.’ While there are significant strides, there are also areas for improvement, especially when it comes to education and human rights,” Elago added.
Elago also gave an incomplete mark to Duterte’s policy on labor to end contractualization, on the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines which are still marred by violations of the unilateral ceasefire and the avowed independent foreign policy with the President’s declarations of breaking away from the US and seeking an alliance with China and Russia
“We need to acknowledge the great strides the President has done in rekindling the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. It is a quantum leap that his predecessors failed to do. Now, the peace process is advancing towards discussing fundamental socio-economic reforms, reforms that will benefit not only the rebels but all Filipinos. This achievement is the saving grace of the President’s 100-day performance,” Elago said.
Elago said the President has an incomplete mark on independent foreign policy because “lopsided” agreements such as the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, which are still in place. The agreements increased rotational presence of US troops in the Philippines.
Duterte has hinted at scrapping the EDCA to boot out US forces in the Philippines and has said this year’s joint war games with the US would be the last.
“We laud the President’s nationalist stance, and his bravery in calling out the empty promises of the US, especially when it comes to military support. Yet we still give him a grade of ‘incomplete,’ since lopsided deals such as the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement are still in force,” Elago said. RAM/rga
From Human Rights Watch:
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took office on June 30, 2016. Duterte, who as Davao City mayor had been linked to “death squads,” had campaigned on a platform that advocated violent measures, including killings of criminal suspects, to “solve drugs, criminality, and corruption in three to six months of taking office.” His campaign against illegal drugs prompted him to publicly praise extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers and drug users. The “war on drugs” he proclaimed has been followed by the killing of thousands of people by police who claim to be acting in self-defense and unidentified gunmen. The killings, for which few details are known and no efforts are made at accountability, have been a profound setback for human rights and the rule of law in the Philippines.
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Tags: 500 suspected drug criminals have been killed, Anakbayan, and the College Editors Guild of the Philippines, at least 3, Catholic Church, crackdown on drugs and criminality, Duterte, Duterte gets a failing mark on human rights, extrajudicial killings, Former President Ramos, human rights, League of Filipino Students, National Union of Students of the Philippines, Philippines, politically motivated killings, Rodrigo Duterte, The end justifies the means