Make Duterte pay for bloody crimes against the people


The families of tens of thousands of victims of the sham “war on drugs” welcomed the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor to continue its investigation of Rodrigo Duterte’s “crimes against humanity” over the thousands upon thousands of police killings from 2016 to 2019.

To be convicted and thrown into jail by the ICC is one of Duterte’s worst nightmares. Thus, if victims were elated by the ICC move to pursue the cases against him, Duterte was thoroughly irked by it. It was denounced by Malacañang and declared it would never cooperate with the investigation into the tens of thousands of police killings since 2016.

Victims consider the development in the ICC case as a step forward in their quest for justice and to make Duterte pay for his systematic attacks and rampant killing of civilians under his tyranny. Democratic forces also consider this as part of efforts to put the regime to account for widespread abuses of human rights in its war of suppression against the Filipino people and war against the Moro people.
In addition to the ICC announcement, the democratic forces also welcomed the Philippine Human Rights Act filed by some US representatives. This proposed bill will compel the US government to suspend military aid to the Duterte regime over widespread violations of human rights.

It is correct that the ICC cases against Duterte be pursued and to make him account in different ways. Killings perpetrated with impunity behind the veil of the “war on drugs” has served as foundation for his tyranny where police and soldiers are incited to kill and kill without fear of punishment. He used his fake “narcolist” to make his rivals (such as Sen. Leila de Lima) appear involved in drugs, to force them to bow, or be repressed or assasinated.

Over the past five years, the police’s justification that victims of killings “fought back” has daily become a trite excuse in the “tokhang” operations of the Philippine National Police (PNP), typically conducted late at night or early morning. In almost all cases, stories woven by police are contradicted by families and witnesses who prove that victims were cold-bloodedly killed in liquidation operations. There are also thousands upon thousands of murders perpetrated by death squads believed to be directly controlled and funded by Duterte and key military and police officers.

What is claimed to be a “war on drugs” is in fact a war to make the local syndicates bow and pay for “protection,” and get their supplies from Duterte’s cohorts in the Chinese syndicates. Duterte has controlled the smuggling of drugs and other contraband by placing the Bureau of Customs under military control.

If Duterte used his “narcolist” in his “war on drugs,” he has employed “red tagging” to depict activists as “involved in the armed movement” and thus subject them to armed oppression. Police and soldiers have adopted “tokhang”-style liquidation or extrajudicial killings in their “joint operations” against civilians since 2018.

Such is the case in Negros, Panay, Southern Tagalog, Bicol and other places where police openly target known mass leaders and activists for mass murder. Across the country, the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) used “tokhang” methods to claim that murdered community leaders, activists and members of mass organizations “fought back” as they were being served warrants of arrest. Death squads are also employed to kill activists, human rights defenders, lawyers, witnesses and critics of the regime and the AFP and PNP.

After five years, Duterte-ordered killing operations remain unabated. Expect this to intensify as the 2022 election approaches targetting the political opponents and rivals of Duterte and his minions, such as what happened in the police killing of the Calbayog City mayor (a leader of the Liberal Party in Eastern Visayas) behind the veil of “counterinsurgency.” There is also information of plans at the very top of the AFP and PNP to mount false flag operations or killing operations that will be blamed on the New People’s Army. There can also be more rounds of mass murder and arrests against activists in the desperation to paralyze the legal democratic movement.

Duterte’s five-year regime is five years of terrorism in the form of widespread killings and abuses of human rights in the name of the “war on drugs” and in the context of the dirty war against the people. Because of this, the Filipino people aspire for justice and to see Duterte pay for his direct role in the campaign of killings, as well as for his corruption, betrayal of the country’s sovereignty and other crimes against the people.

Duterte’s mortal fear of being made to account for his crimes after his term as president is one of the biggest reasons for his desperation to cling to power. He wants to die sitting on top of the throne and not chained to a dungeon. Thus he is busy with various schemes to perpetuate his hold on power, directly or through his daughter or minions.

The Filipino people must continue to unite and amplify the demand to have Duterte account, prosecuted, tried and punished for his biggest crimes against the people. They must vigorously carry forward the struggle to frustrate his schemes to remain in power and evade accountability, and to end his bloody tyrannical rule at the soonest possible time.

Make Duterte pay for bloody crimes against the people