Philippines under Rodrigo Duterte Part V
Rambo in the Supreme Court
President Rodrigo R. Duterte (75) has managed to get rid of almost all critics and opponents who stand in his way on the way to dictatorial rule. One of the last hurdles was cleared on “Black Friday”, May 11th, 2018, when the Supreme Court of the Philippines unceremoniously removed its own court president, Maria Lourdes Sereno, and declared her position vacant. In a previous vote, eight judges voted for and six judges against the removal of Sereno. At the instigation of the Attorney General José Calida, a so-called “quo warranto” petition was brought against Sereno, according to which the president of the court had been accused of not providing any information about her assets and debts in the past few years.
According to franciscogardening, the actual “offense” of the President of the Court was that she had made a name for herself as a sharp critic of the drug policy and the “anti-drug campaign” of President Duterte and had repeatedly publicly insisted on the independence of the judiciary. This had so aroused Duterte’s anger that in the run-up to Sereno’s removal by her colleagues, he had blatantly described the chief judge as an “enemy” and threatened her with a beating if she did not resign. After Sereno’s dismissal, Duterte immediately washed his hands into innocence and protested that he had not personally worked on it. If someone were able to produce such evidence, the President said, they would resign from office.
Members of the opposition in the House of Representatives, such as Edcel Lagman, described the removal of Sereno by a majority of the Supreme Court justices as “hara-kiri”, which has “desecrated” himself. The active Benedictine, women’s rights activist and veteran activist Sister Mary John Mananzan became even clearer and spoke in this context of a “fight between good and evil”. “Now comes the test,” said the nun at a protest rally in Manila in mid-May 2018, “if we can no longer trust the executive, legislative and judicial branches, we will be on our own. We will act like an atom bomb, if we build a corresponding critical mass. All that is needed is an ignition. ” Meanwhile, Sister Mananzan is repeatedly denounced as a “red” and “terrorist” in the country’s social media. Such “red-tagging” is openly supported by the government and has in the past led to activists in environmental protection and in the human and civil rights movement falling victim to cold-blooded “extrajudicial executions”. Most recently, the social activist and human rights activist Zara Alvarez was hit on the island of Negros, who was fatally struck down with six bullets in Bacolod City in mid-August 2020 when she was on her way home after shopping.
“Who is this stupid god?”
After more than four years in office, it is absolutely clear that the 16th President of the Philippines is an unbeatable world champion among the ruling heads of state in insulting and cursing his – actual and / or supposed – political opponents. Whoever arouses his resentment is given the F *** word, disgraced as a “son of a bitch” or harshly asked to “shut up”.
Before moving into Manila’s Malacañang presidential palace, Duterte had steered the fortunes of Davao City in high-handed sheriff fashion and fostered fantasies of omnipotence for more than two decades. To date, however, all research and investigative commissions of national and international human rights organizations – including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch – have found that during “Digong’s” rule well over a thousand victims of the violence of a death squad, the so-called “Davao Death Squad” (DDS), fell victim to harm the man. On the contrary: Huge armies of pro-Duterte trolls are busy around the clock on social media today,d iehard D Uterte s upporters “(” sworn Duterte-supporters “).
to clean his overwhelming election victory in May 2016 owed Duterte to großmundigen promises, all the land of” drugs, crime and corruption “and transform it according to the image of Davao City. This request was underpinned by the demand, which was very popular at the time, to grind the bastion of Manila, which was perceived as imperial from a distance, and the influence of the local “trapos” – an abbreviation for “traditional politicians”, which in Spanish mean “smear” or “cleaning rags “means – to push back.
Although the scolded “trapos” have so far remained unmolested or have gone to the Duterte camp themselves and allegations of corruption are raised primarily against political opponents, the “anti-drug war” and the “fight against crime” continue with undiminished severity. Since Duterte’s inauguration on June 30, 2016, this “anti-drug war” has claimed thousands of deaths – the numbers vary considerably between 8,000 and almost 20,000. Almost without exception, the victims are poor swallowers from the slums who were suspected of taking drugs or acting as small dealers on their own.
Civil rights activists and human rights organizations find it difficult to speak out critically under such conditions and circumstances. They are then quickly denounced by the former human rights lawyer and current government spokesman, Harry Roque, as “unwitting instruments” by drug lords. In February the Hague International Criminal Court (ICC) responded to a pending lawsuit and opened an investigation into crimes against humanity against the Philippine government. Thereupon Duterte accused the ICC of breaking its legal jurisdiction and got out of the International Criminal Court ad hoc.
Since the Catholic Church is an important and powerful institution in the predominantly Christian island state, which the Duterte camp, in contrast to the legislative and judicial branches, is not (yet) able to control, the President recently brought up heavy guns and fierce broadsides against God and fired the clergy. At this year’s annual conference of National Information and Communications Technology in his hometown of Davao, the President declared on June 22nd, with a view to his church critics and opponents: “Who is this stupid God, who first of all was so beautiful and, with Adam and Eve, the first people created on earth, only to destroy it with a forbidden fruit? What kind of logic is that? That is not my God! ” This aroused great resentment even among those who were loyal to the President. Senator Panfilo Lacson, for example, who belongs to the Dutertes political camp, was ashamed of the president and wished in a brief statement that “God may forgive him and forgive his sins”.