In Anti-Marcos Burial Rally, Martial Law Tales Come Alive

Not A Hero (Burial)

Of the hundreds that gathered to oppose the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, a sizeable number at the Luneta on Sunday, August 14, were old enough to have lived through martial law. Members of religious groups, non-governmental organizations, as well as civilians stood in the crowd amid an on-and-off downpour, rallying against what they deemed a betrayal of history.

(This article was originally posted at Rappler by Janelle Paris. She is a student from the Ateneo de Manila University and a Rappler intern.)

Away from the center of it all was Ping Martija, 76, holding up a placard that read, “Ilibing na lang sa La Loma ang diktador! Dating pangulo Ferdinand Marcos (Bury the dictator, former president Ferdinand Marcos, in La Loma instead).”

La Loma Cemetery, located in Caloocan City, is where some notable Filipino figures like Josefa Llanes Escoda and Victorino Mapa are buried.

Martija is a member of the non-violent organization Aksyon sa Kapayapaan at Katarungan (AKapKa). The group fought against the dictatorship through nonviolent means.

“Kaya nandito ako [ay dahil] buong puso kong sinusuportahan ang pagkakaisa laban sa paglibing [kay Marcos] sa Libingan ng mga Bayani. Hindi siya karapat-dapat…hindi naman siya tunay na bayani,” Martija said.

(I am here to wholeheartedly oppose the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. He is not deserving…he is no hero.)

Martija hails from San Miguel, Leyte, the home province of former first lady and now Congresswoman Imelda Marcos. Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr won big in the province in the 2016 vice presidential race, claiming 49.5% of the votes.

“[K]ababayan ko si Imelda…subali't hindi ako sumusuporta sa kanya dahil lumalaban ako [para sa] kalayaan ng mamamayan. Noong panahon na ‘yon, walang demokrasya,” Martija said.

(Imelda Marcos and I come from the same province, but I do not support her because I am fighting for the freedom of my countrymen. At the time, there was no democracy.)

He said he fears we might lose democracy again. It will start, he said, by burying the dictator and recognizing him as a hero. “Papaano naging bayani si Marcos? Noong panahon niya, walang puwedeng magsalita laban sa kanya; aakusahan ka na NPA [New People's Army] at dudukutin ka.”

(How could Marcos be a hero? In his time, no one could speak against him; you would be accused of being an NPA and would be abducted if you were.)

He also shared his dismay at how the martial law years is taught in schools. He said it is erroneous to downplay the Marcos dictatorship. The Department of Education promised in early 2016 to address this matter in the K-12 program. (READ: DepEd: K to 12 curriculum allows in-depth discussion on martial law)

“Nakakalungkot. Kailan natin makakamtan ang tunay na kalayaan (It's very sad. When will we attain true freedom)?” Martija asked.

‘False ending’

“I was somewhere in Metro Manila, being sad because I knew that it was a false ending,” Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation trustee Carolina “Bobbie” Malay, 76, said of her whereabouts during the EDSA People Power Revolution of 1986.

Malay was part of the communist resistance during martial law, and remained underground for almost two decades until her arrest, along with husband Satur Ocampo, whom she wed in revolutionary rites.

Satur co-founded the National Democratic Front (NDF), which represented the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA), while underground.

Both he and Malay were part of the NDF’s negotiating panel during peace talks with the government of Corazon Aquino. They would again be arrested in 1992 after the collapse of negotiations between the government and the Left.

While underground, Malay wrote for Taliba ng Bayan, an alternative newspaper published by the NDF from 1972 until the early 1980s, during the dictatorship. Before that, she wrote for The Manila Times and Evening News.

“What I joined the movement for was to have change in society. Marcos was a big part of what we were fighting, but it was not the entire thing. I was aware of the injustice and the poverty, the unequal distribution of privilege and power…and I wanted to be part of changing that,” Malay said.

While she thought the fall of the dictatorship at EDSA was a “job [that] was not yet done,” she said she still felt nostalgic for people power, witnessing the assembly at Luneta on Sunday.

“I think many of the people who are here (in Luneta) today were part of that (EDSA) – a very significant part of it has remained in our hearts, in our minds. [It is] very encouraging to see that the fight continues, [that the] people are ready to rise to the occasion,” Malay said.

In the dark

Rose Hidalgo remembers caring for her newborn child in the dark. “Nanganak ako noong September 19, 1972…noong 21 nag-blackout (I gave birth on September 19, 1972…on the 21st there was a blackout),” she recalled.

“Talagang dark era [noon] (It was truly a dark era),” Hidalgo said. Her child would spend the first few days of life in a dark hospital ward, at the dawn of martial law; it was a portent of things to come.

“Masama ang loob ko na maraming kabataan ang nagsasabing kalimutan na lang [ang nangyari noon] (It pains me that many young people today say that we should just forget what happened before),” she added.

She made it a point to always tell her children about the wrongs of the Marcos regime as they were growing up.

Hidalgo came to Luneta with her husband Fred to relive the two EDSAs they took part in. “[Kapag nailibing si Marcos sa Libingan ng mga Bayani], parang mababale-wala ang pagsali namin sa EDSA,” she said. (If Marcos ends up being buried a hero, EDSA will have been for naught.)

For Martija, Malay, and Hidalgo, the fight does not end at the Luneta. They are only 3 among the thousands of Filipinos who lived to tell their tales about the martial law regime. More stories remain undocumented and untold to this day.

War Veterans Oppose Marcos Burial at Libingan

A Los Angeles-based organization of Filipino WW II war veterans added its voice opposing to the burial of Philippine President Marcos in the country’s national heroes cemetery.

In a press release, the group Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) said that Marcos was a fake hero. “He does not deserve to be honored as a hero and buried in the heroes’ cemetery.” JFAV has at least 30 allied organizations in the US.

The US Veterans Administration recently released its findings that Marcos had manufactured his own military medals.

The JFAV, headed by Arturo Garcia, issued the statement as various social groups in the Philippines have created a Citizen’s Assembly on Sunday August 14, to protest the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on September 18, 2016.

Garcia criticized newly elected Pres. Rodrigo Duterte for having allowed his burial at the heroes’ cemetery. “Duterte insults the 250,000 Filipino American veterans who fought for democracy during World War II and the 73,000 victims of human rights violations during martial law, which includes his own mother,” he said.

Duterte, a close friend of the Marcoses, is bent on making true his promises to the late president’s family as a way for the country to heal. He called those who opposed his plan as “yellow oppositionists” who are identified with his predecessor, Pres. Benigno Aquino Jr.

“Duterte is a Marcos loyalist. He is not healing the nation, he is dividing the nation by siding with the dictator. We will never accept that Marcos was a hero,” Garcia said.

Those who concur with Pres. Duterte said that it was no big deal for Pres. Marcos to be buried in the heroes’ cemetery because there had been Filipino leaders who were guilty of treason and betrayal and were buried in the said cemetery. Others said it was better for Marcos to be buried in his home province in Ilocos Norte.

“Let him be buried in his birthplace, where he wished to be buried. The Marcoses are such power players and ego-trippers,” said a teacher in a rally at the Citizen’s Assembly in Manila.

The remains of the late Pres. Marcos is currently preserved in a refrigerated glass crypt inside his family mausoleum in Batac.

Heroes Don’t Steal or Kill

(Originally posted  at the Inquirer: Heroes don't steal or kill and written by Tarra Quismundo. Photo from ABS-CBN.)

WHERE the nation built monuments to its heroes, hundreds of Filipinos gathered in stormy weather on Sunday to protest President Duterte’s plan to honor the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos with a state burial.

More than a thousand survivors of martial law, human rights activists, legislators, artists, clergy, students and ordinary citizens held a three-hour program at the foot of the Lapu-Lapu monument at Rizal Park in Manila and urged
Mr. Duterte to reconsider his plan to move Marcos’ remains from his hometown in Ilocos Norte province to Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City next month.

“We would be the laughingstock of the entire planet,” said Sen. Risa Hontiveros, one of the legislators who took part in the “citizens’ assembly.”

She called Marcos an “unrepentant enemy of our heroes.”

Marcos’ family has kept his preserved body on display in a mausoleum in Batac, his hometown in Ilocos Norte, after his death in exile in Hawaii in 1989, demanding that it be buried with full honors at Libingan ng mga Bayani despite a 1992 agreement with the government that bars his burial at the heroes’ cemetery.

Marcos, who was elected President in 1965, declared martial law in 1972, allowing him to rule as a dictator while he, his family and allies enriched themselves through massive corruption and his troops brutally stamped out dissent.

He was toppled from power in the Edsa People Power Revolution in February 1986 and was succeeded in office by President Corazon Aquino, who refused to allow the return of his body to the Philippines.

1992 agreement

The succeeding administration of President Fidel V. Ramos, however, allowed the body’s return after the Marcos family agreed in 1992 to fly it straight to Ilocos Norte where it would be buried with honors befitting a major in the military, not to parade it in Metro Manila, and never to transfer it to Libingan ng mga Bayani.
That agreement had been unknown to the public until last week, when opponents of Mr. Duterte’s plan disclosed it and Ramos, through his adviser Rafael Alunan, one of the signatories to the deal, confirmed its existence and said it remained binding.

The administrations of Presidents Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III had refused to allow the transfer of Marcos’ remains to Libingan.

But Mr. Duterte, a friend of the Marcos family, decided to allow the transfer, saying Marcos deserved to be honored as a soldier and President, regardless of his misdeeds.

Survivors of martial law atrocities denounced the plan as a travesty and betrayal of history.

“Burying Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani would be rewarding deceit, greed and crimes against humanity. Its message would be that dictatorship is OK. It would give the wrong signal to the young,” former Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello said during the protest at Rizal Park on Sunday.

Heroes die for democracy

“Instead of healing the country, it would perpetuate dissension and division. It would subject the country to international ridicule, [as] it would be seen as an act akin to burying Al Capone at Arlington Cemetery,” he added.
Acclaimed film director Joel Lamangan could not help spewing expletives as he denounced Mr. Duterte’s decision.
“Heroes do not steal, do not kill. They are not shameless and do not betray the country,” he said in Filipino. “Heroes are those who die fighting for democracy without demanding recognition, those who die in the mountains, the minorities who die to defend our freedom.”

“Let’s stop this plan. Let’s all wake up,” he added, noting that the Marcos family had managed to keep “fooling” the nation, with the dictator’s son and namesake, ex-Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., nearly winning the vice presidential race in May’s national elections.

Lamangan said the dictator should be buried at “Libingan ng mga Taksil sa Bayan,” not at a graveyard for heroes.
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, among the legislators opposed to Marcos’ burial at Libingan, vowed to fight Mr. Duterte’s plan all the way to the Supreme Court.

“Through rain or storm, we will continue mass actions, not just in Metro Manila but [throughout] the country so that Marcos’ burial [at Libingan ng mga Bayani] will not push through,” said Lagman, whose brother Hermon, a human rights lawyer, was killed during martial law and whose body was never found.

“We will do that with a petition [to] the Supreme Court to throw out the plan. [The rules say] only deserving soldiers and Presidents should be buried at Libingan—those who gave the people inspiration and [served as models for them to emulate],” Lagman said.

A group of martial law detainees said during the weekend it would challenge Mr. Duterte’s decision in the Supreme Court this week.

Memory of a monster

Sen. Leila de Lima, a former chief of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), said burying Marcos at Libingan would be tantamount to “erasing the memory of the monster that was the Marcos regime.”
“This burial is not for Marcos. This is our burial. We will be the ones buried, along with the history of our fight against dictators and butchers. We will be buried under the ground, just like how the dictatorship buried thousands of victims of martial law,” De Lima said.

She said allowing the burial of Marcos at Libingan would be like “killing the remaining strength of the Filipino to stand up against the return of dictatorship.”

Former Sen. Wigberto Tañada said Marcos was “not a hero.”

“What are we still debating here? This is an insult,” he said.

Former CHR Chair Loretta Ann Rosales, who was imprisoned and tortured during martial law, called Marcos a “thief, criminal and traitor,” and said he should not be buried in hallowed ground.

“We will not allow that. We will not let the youth be blinded from the truth,” she said.

Protests against Mr. Duterte’s plan were also held in other parts of the country, including his hometown, Davao City.

Keep it in Batac

Chanting “Galing sa Batac, ibalik sa Batac,” a reference to Marcos’ hometown in Ilocos Norte, survivors of martial law gathered in front of San Pedro Church in Davao City, urging Mr. Duterte in an open letter to drop his plan and instead ensure that the dictator’s remains stay in Batac, where he is loved and honored by the Ilocanos.
In Cebu City, about 50 people from various organizations converged on Plaza Independencia to oppose Mr. Duterte’s plan.

Teody Navea, coordinator for the group Sanlakas, said the protest was just the start of a series of activities planned to fight the President’s decision to allow the burial of Marcos at Libingan. (With reports from Germelina Lacorte, Inquirer Mindanao; Michelle Padayhag, Inquirer Visayas; and AFP)

August 20: Musical Journey with Heroes


The first Musical Journey with Heroes event will happen on August 20, 7-10 PM at the Auditorium of the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation EDSA corner Quezon Avenue and will feature acoustic performances from LAPIS musician-composers Chickoy Pura, Jana Garcia, Ada Marie Tayao, Dedong Marcelino, Karl Ramirez at ang Pordalab, and more.

This is a collaborative series of music events initiated by the League of Authors of Public Interest Songs - LAPIS and the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation. Through a coming together of composers and musicians - from luminaries of protest music in the Philippines to the new generation of singer-songwriters, we aim to celebrate the lives of those who fought tyranny and dictatorship as we continue to educate more people, especially the Filipino youth, why we must #NeverForget.

Amidst the planned burial of the late dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, this initiative is in solidarity with the groups, communities, families, and individuals who protest the burial and assert that #MarcosIsNotAHero.

Join us on August 20, 2016, 7-10PM at the Bantayog Auditorium, Bantayog complex, the first in a series, as we fill the night with music celebrating real Filipino heroes who stood up for freedom and democracy.

FORTICH, Antonio Y.

Fortich Antonio Yapsutco

Antonio Fortich was one of the Catholic bishops who opposed martial law, convinced that it was devastating to the structure of social and human life in the Philippines.

Fortich served in the 1960s  in the troubled diocese of Bacolod in Negros Occidental. The province was known for its vast sugarcane haciendas, a system of landownership that ensured great wealth for the few landowners (hacenderos) and extreme poverty to the sugarcane workers (sakadas). Thus the diocese was a direct witness to the direst situations of poverty, hunger, ignorance, and social tension and unrest.

As soon as he became bishop in 1967, Fortich started several wide-ranging reforms. One of his first acts as bishop was to call his official residence in Bacolod City (the Bishop's Palace) as "the house of the people" to stress that he was taking the people’s problem seriously. He introduced radically new policies, including the immediate implementation of land reform on church properties in the diocese. He pushed for the establishment of pro-poor programs, including a social action center and legal aid for the poor in the diocese. He allowed and even encouraged his priests to get involved in initiatives for sugarcane workers, including the organization of the National Federation of Sugarcane Workers and the Dacongcogon Sugar, Rice and Corn Cooperative.

Fortich even convinced several hacenderos and businessmen to support his advocacy. He infected  them with his enthusiasm, and encouraged them to get involved in his social action projects.

Fortich sought to ensure the freedom and safety of his priests, many of whom were active in social action and a good number actually supportive of NPA guerrillas operating in their parishes, while at the same time keeping the trust and support of the landowners who were at least initially supportive of martial law.

Fortich openly supported the cause of the poor people during a land conflict in Bago City. Villagers came to a meeting at Fortich’s invitation, convinced that he would plead their cause. But when the meeting was over, the police arrested everyone, including the children.

Fortich supported  Fr. Brian Gore, one of the priests in his diocese, and eight others falsely accused of killing a mayor. Fortich attended almost all the 50 court sessions called to hear the case.

He supported the activist priests in his diocese and those involved in social action, while constantly reminding them their sacramental duties. "It's great to be talking about social issues and to feel you are part of the national struggle. But if someone is sick in your parish, are you there to (give them the sacrament)?" he reminded his priests.

The military suspected the bishop of supporting the communists. But Fortich knew where he stood. "I have no problem with a world in which there are rich and poor. You have an automobile, and I have a bicycle, so what? But I cannot accept that some people have to live by scavenging for food in the garbage cans of others."

The bishop liked to say, "there can be no peace if there is no justice."

Fortich is a 1973 recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for public service, and a nominee of the Nobel Peace Prize.

He died in 2003 of natural cause. He was 89.


Born 11 August 1913 in Sibulan, Negros Oriental

Died July 2, 2003 in Bacolod City

Parents: Ignacio Fortich and Rosalla Yapsutco

Open Letter of Kilosbayan to President-elect Estrada



Historical Commission Objects to Marcos Burial at Libingan

(This is a re-post of Rappler's National Historical Commission of the Philippines objects to Marcos burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani by Michael Bueza. Photos and text from Rappler)

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) is against the burial of former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

The dictator's remains are reportedly set to be transferred from Ilocos Norte to the Heroes' Cemetery on September 18.

The commission said it studied President Rodrigo Duterte's basis for allowing Marcos' burial at the cemetery. In May, days after his election victory, Duterte said he would allow it "because he was a Filipino soldier, period."

This claim supposedly makes Marcos eligible for interment there, in accordance with guidelines set by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

However, in a 26-page pamphlet entitled, "Why Ferdinand E. Marcos Should Not Be Buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani", the NHCP disputed Marcos' record as a soldier during World War II, saying that it is "fraught with myths, factual inconsistencies, and lies."

The commission said that Marcos "lied about receiving the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, and Order of the Purple Heart", a claim he supposedly made as early as 1945.

The NHCP earlier said it was the US Medal of Honor that Marcos claimed he received, but the commission on Monday, August 8, clarified it was the Distinguished Service Cross, along with the two other awards.

Marcos' supposed guerrilla unit, Ang Mga Maharlika, was also "never officially recognized and neither was his leadership of it," said the NHCP.

US officials, added the NHCP, "did not recognize Mr. Marcos' rank promotion," from major in 1944 to lieutenant colonel by 1947.

The former president's actions as a soldier during WWII were likewise "officially called into question" by the US military.

Along with other sources, the NHCP referred to two documents from the Guerrilla Unit Recognition Files (1942-1948) in the Philippine Archives Collection.

The Ang Mga Maharlika file "contains letters, memoranda, reports, and accounts relating to the guerrilla unit Maj. Marcos claimed to have founded and led."

Meanwhile, the Allas Intelligence Unit file "pertains to the organization led by Cipriano Allas, which claimed to be the intelligence unit of Ang Mga Maharlika."

When a historical matter is doubtful, like Marcos' WWII record, the NHCP wrote in the study's executive summary that it "may not be established or taken as fact."

"A doubtful record also does not serve as sound, unassailable basis of historical recognition of any sort, let alone burial in a site intended, as its name suggests, for heroes," the NHCP added. (READ: Netizens campaign against Marcos burial at Heroes’ Cemetery)

Published on July 12, the pamphlet was the result of NHCP's study as part of its mandate under Republic Act 10086 "to conduct and disseminate historical research and resolve historical controversies."

SANCHEZ, Augusto S.

Sanchez Augusto Santos

Augusto Sanchez, popularly called Bobbit, started to practice law in the early 1960s in the law office of Senator Jovito Salonga. He later established his own law office.

At the same time he published and edited a weekly newspaper which circulated in his hometown of Pasig. The weekly Post became such an irritant with Pasig politicos they were soon calling the paper the Weekly Pest.

Bobbit first came to public notice when he was elected delegate to the 1971 constitutional Commission. However, his hopes for constitutional reform, shared by thousands of his countrymen, were dashed to bits when Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law in 1972.

Bobbit went into hiding for a while but eventually resumed his law practice. However, abuses under martial law could not keep him quiet and so eventually he and other human rights lawyers put up Mabini, which took an openly critical stance against martial law while defending victims of its abuses. Bobbit was Mabini’s first chair, becoming the “epoxy”, in the words of fellow human rights lawyer Rene Saguisag, that glued together lawyers with conscience as well as monumental egos.

As Mabini chair, Bobbit became active in other causes spawned by martial law abuses, and he was later seen heading marches and protest rallies against the Marcos dictatorship.

In 1984, a year after Senator Benigno Aquino’s assassination, Bobbit ran for the Batasang Pambansa, the puppet Congress under the martial law government. He surprised himself and everyone else by winning. He served up to 1986. He would later say that he decided to run as a way of biding for time and as a counter-offensive against plans to arrest and silence him.

When he won his seat, Bobbit realized then the public’s increasingly open disenchantment with martial law. EDSA 1 was bound to happen.

After the dictatorship was dismantled and Corazon Aquino became president in 1986, Bobbit became the new president’s labor secretary, but only for a few months. Cory Aquino relieved him of the post, sacrificing him to appease persistent military pressures, who suspected Bobbit of being a communist, and to please her business supporters, who thought that Bobbit as labor secretary leaned too much on the side of the labor.

Bobbit also received warnings that elements of the military were hatching plans to kill him. When friend and colleague Orlando Olalia, also a lawyer, was assassinated, Bobbit knew he might be next in the hit list. He left the country for a few days returning only when the military plot to kill progressives in government, called the “God Save the Queen”, was busted. Bobbit took his relief as labor secretary as one battle lost but maybe one life, or several lives, saved.

The following year, Bobbit ran for the Senate, but he lost, many believe, due to cheating, black propaganda and the real politic hounding the Aquino transition government.

After that, Bobbit took no more public positions, reverting to lawyering, and to the legal defense of cases of victims of government abuse, away from the limelight but where his gifts as bar topnotcher and brilliant lawyer best applied.

Bobbit died of natural causes on 15 February 2003. He was 71.

Born 6 August 1932 in Pasig, Rizal
Died 15 February 2003 in Metro Manila
Parents : Fernando K. Sanchez and Josefa D. Santos
Spouse : Lolita Panton
Children : Chito, Irene, Josephine, Anthony and Victor
Education : Elementary - Pasig Elementary School
High School - Rizal High School
College - Bachelor of Laws, College of Law, San Beda College

Over 300 NGOs Call on the United Nations to Take Immediate Action on the Hundreds of Extrajudicial Killings of Suspected Drug Offenders in the Philippines

LONDON (2nd August 2016) – Civil society groups from across the globe, including prominent human rights NGOs, have called on UN drug control authorities to urge an immediate stop to the extrajudicial killings of suspected drug offenders in the Philippines. Since 10th May 2016, more than 700 people have been killed by police and vigilantes in the Philippines for being suspected of using or dealing drugs, as a direct result of recently-elected President Duterte’s campaign to eradicate crime within six months.

Until now, however, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) – the UN agencies responsible for global drug control – have failed to condemn the Philippines for these gross human rights violations committed in the name of drug control.

353 non-governmental organisations today sent an open letter to the UNODC Executive Director, Mr. Yury Fedotov, and the INCB President, Mr. Werner Sipp, asking them to take immediate action aimed at putting a stop to the extrajudicial killings.

“We are calling on the UN drug control bodies to publicly condemn these atrocities in the Philippines. This senseless killing cannot be justified as a drug control measure”, said Ann Fordham, Executive Director of the International Drug Policy Consortium. “Their silence is unacceptable, while people are being killed on the streets day after day”, she continued.

The open letter asks the UNODC and the INCB to call on President Duterte to:

Immediately end the incitements to kill people suspected of using or dealing drugs,
Act to fulfil international human rights obligations, such as the rights to life, health, due process and a fair trial, as set out in the human rights treaties ratified by the Philippines,
Promote evidence-based, voluntary treatment and harm reduction services for people who use drugs instead of compulsory rehabilitation in military camps, and
Not to reinstate the death penalty for drug offences.

Click here to view the IDPC page.

President Duterte, Do Not Kill in My Name


President Duterte, do not kill in my name

The bandwagon that the President has created is a bandwagon of hate

Jose Manuel Diokno

President Duterte’s war on crime has spawned a nuclear explosion of violence that is spiralling out of control and creating a nation without judges, without law, and without reason.

Do we really want to give the man with the gun the power to judge who are criminals and to kill them? To decide who is bad and who is good, who deserves to live and who deserves to die?

We might as well disband our courts, dissolve the Department of Justice, and abolish Congress. For there really is no need for law when the barrel of the gun dispenses justice.

The bandwagon that the President has created is a bandwagon of hate – a mob mentality that not only condones but encourages the taking of lives “because they deserve it.” Yes, drug pushers destroy lives. Yes, criminals behave like animals. But are those who kill them any better? And will the killing stop there?

Our people have seen what a mob can do in the hands of a tyrant who knows no law but his own. Lest we forget, the first person that Marcos executed was a drug pusher. But did he stop there? By the time he was ousted, he was responsible for killing thousands upon thousands of people whose only fault was their belief in justice, the rule of law, and human rights.

President Duterte, do not kill in my name. That is not your mandate, that is not what you were elected for. Yes, go after the drug cartels and criminal syndicates, the corrupt, the criminals among us. But do it as an officer of the law you have sworn to uphold as a lawyer and a President. –

This was first posted on Attorney Diokno's Facebook account. We are publishing it with his permission.

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