By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has chided Mr. Duterte
for falsely claiming that the Filipino people benefited from the
killings in his bloody war on drugs.
De Lima said that what she finds absurd is the fact that Duterte
thinks that his drug war is beneficial to the people “when it is the
very reason for their pain, suffering, and trauma.”
“Pinatayan ka na, gusto pa magpasalamat ka. What a twisted mind!” said
De Lima, a staunch social justice and human rights champion.
“Duterte and his family benefited from all these senseless killings in
the country, not the Filipinos, and definitely not those innocent
victims whose lives were lost, as well as the thousands of poor widows
and orphans whose dreams were shattered, in this bloody and murderous
war on drugs,” she added.
During his talk to the nation last Aug. 2, Duterte slammed human
rights advocates and their criticisms against his administration’s
drug war, saying that it was Filipinos, and not him or his family, who
“benefited” from all these deaths.
“Palagay na natin na totoo ‘yan sinabi ng human rights, p— ina sinong
nakinabang diyan? Ako? Ako ang nakinabang? Pamilya ko? Nakinabang sila
diyan sa p— inang diyan sa mga patay na ‘yan?” Duterte said. “Sino
nakinabang? Kayo! Ang anak ninyo! Ang bayan natin ang nakinabang!”.
Duterte’s war on drugs has been receiving worldwide condemnation for
killing suspected drug offenders and for largely targeting small-time
drug peddlers, but allowing big-time drug lords to run scot-free.
The lady Senator from Bicol said that most of the victims of EJKs are
from the poor families who do not have the capability to ask for legal
assistance, or defend themselves before a proper court.
“This reality should be more than enough to remind us to not allow
Duterte to brainwash anyone into believing that his drug war is good
for us and that we should tolerate all this violence because we
should not, and we should never,” she said.
“Kahit ano pang sabihin ni Duterte, hindi na kailanman maibabalik ang
libo-libong buhay na pinaslang ng drug war—mga inosente, walang
kamuwang-muwang na mga bata at walang kalaban-labang maralita,” she
The Senator concluded that “When you have but one house to live in,
what you need is a competent caretaker who would clean up and fix the
house and secure the safety of the inhabitants; not someone who burns
it all down while cursing at the people burning to death inside. It
seems Mr. Duterte cares very little about the devastation he leaves
Filipino families in because he counts another nation as his sovereign
and brethren. To him, we, Filipinos, aren’t human, but pests to get
rid of the only way he knows how: through violence.”
Last June 14, then outgoing ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda
announced that she has sought permission for a full-blown
investigation to follow her office’s preliminary examination into the
allegations against Duterte and others involved in the current
administration’s drug war, committed from July 1, 2016, to March 16,
2019, or prior to Duterte’s withdrawal of the country from the Rome