Duterte talking about Hitler and the Jews. (CNN
Duterte’s mouth may have set a world record for traveling the longest
distance in the shortest time. In a span of just six days, the mouth
went from doubting God in Heaven to condemning Obama to Hell and they
were not even the most outrageous remarks uttered that week.
On September 27, 2016,
addressing journalists in Malacanang Palace, Duterte justified the
restoration of the death penalty as necessary to “make up for divine
inconsistency”. (“Duterte: I can teach God about justice”, 9/28/16). In
his speech, Duterte criticized the “bleeding hearts” in the Catholic
Church for their opposition to the death penalty because of their belief
that “only God can kill”. Duterte said he did not want to have to wait
until Judgment Day. “What if there is no God?” he asked.
Six days later, in an
October 3 speech to local officials, Duterte complained that the United
States was refusing to sell weapons to his government and, therefore,
President Obama “can go to hell.” He had been angered by Washington’s
criticism of his take-no-prisoners crusade against drug addicts and
threatened to turn to China and Russia for weapons purchases.
Duterte may not
realize that the funds used by the Philippines to purchase weapons from
the US come from US military assistance ($340 million since 2001) and
they can only be used to purchase US arms, not arms from Russia or
with Chinese Ambassador
Jianhua (File photo)
Contrary to Duterte’s
assumption, Pres. Obama’s refusal to authorize the Philippine purchase
of US arms was not to get back at him for his “son of a whore” insult,
but to comply with the Leahy Law, named after principal sponsor Sen.
Patrick Leahy of Vermont, which prohibits the U.S. Department of State
and Department of Defense from providing military assistance to foreign
military units that violate human rights with impunity.
In the same week that
Duterte had cussed Obama, Sen. Leahy denounced Duterte on the floor of
the US Senate for “advocating and endorsing what amounts to mass
murder.” Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland echoed Leahy’s sentiment: “Senator
Leahy is absolutely right when he said that a lack of respect for rule
of law and democratic governance breeds instability, distrust, and
Obama has no choice
but to comply with the “rule of law”, the Leahy Law, a problem that
doesn’t exist for the despots in Russia or China.
There is a way to get
around the Leahy Law, as US Major General Paul Eaton explained: "The
value of the Leahy Law is that it serves as a moral guide to the
application of U.S. military engagement. Some in the U.S. armed forces
have argued that the law frustrates U.S. partnership at precisely the
moment we need most to influence better behaviors. This dilemma has a
solution embedded in the amendment itself, which provides that if human
rights remediation has begun, U.S. assistance can be brought to bear."
rights “remediation” is not likely to happen any time soon under Duterte.
In fact, it may only get exponentially worse.
On September 30, after
arriving back in Manila from a brief official visit to Vietnam, Duterte
complained that he had been "portrayed or pictured to be a cousin of
Rather than objecting
to it, Duterte reveled in the comparison. "Hitler massacred 3 million
Jews ... there's 3 million drug addicts,” he said. “There are. I'd be
happy to slaughter them."
appointed Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations, Teddyboy Locsin,
Jr, posted a tweet in support of his boss: “I believe that the Drug
Menace is so big it needs a FINAL SOLUTION like the Nazis adopted. That
I believe. NO REHAB.”
The pushback was
immediate. German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer denounced
Duterte's comments as “unacceptable” stating: "It is impossible to make
any comparison to the unique atrocities of the Shoah and Holocaust."
World Jewish Congress
President Ronald Lauder said Duterte's remarks were "revolting” and
added: "Drug abuse is a serious issue. But what President Duterte said
is not only profoundly inhumane, but it demonstrates an appalling
disrespect for human life that is truly heartbreaking for the
democratically elected leader of a great country."
Rep. Teodoro Baguilat
asked Duterte if his policy means that "it's open season now for all
addicts, no more rehabilitation, just kill them systematically like what
the Nazis did with the Jews."
After Duterte attended
the ASEAN conference in Laos, he visited Indonesia where the country’s
anti-drugs chief, Budi Waseso, held a press conference declaring that
Indonesia would launch a Duterte-style drug purge in Indonesia. Later,
however, a spokesman for the national narcotics agency clarified that
Indonesian “punishments have to be in accordance with our law and with
national and international standards.”
REHABILITATION FOR DRUG ADDICTS
evaluating its treatment of drug addicts. In an article in The Jakarta
Post on March 20, 2014 (“Should drug addicts be jailed or
rehabilitated?”), Kartono Mohamad, the chairman of the Indonesian Public
Health Scholars Association, wrote that “the idea of treating drug users
as criminals came from the fact they use or are in possession of drugs,
which by law are declared illegal…On the other hand, drug addiction is
also considered a form of social disease, like prostitution. Not so long
ago HIV was also regarded a social disease. That is why Law No. 35/2009
on narcotics and addictive drugs provides treatment and rehabilitation
for drug addicts, but not for drug traffickers or dealers.”
“In that case, we are
inclined to differentiate between those who intentionally hook other
people to become addicts and those who are the victim of the former
group. Here starts the idea of treating drug addicts as victims. As
victims they deserve empathy, treatment and assistance to get rid of
their addiction through rehabilitation.”
The same reevaluation
of the treatment of drug addicts is taking place in the United Arab
Emirates where Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, the Minister of Interior and
Deputy Prime Minister, had ordered all concerned authorities to evaluate
current anti-drugs laws and suggest reforms.
Brig Gen Maktoum al
Sharifi, the head of the Abu Dhabi Capital Police, welcomed the idea of
reforms, saying the law should not consider a drug offender a criminal,
as it currently does.
"A drug addict is a
sick person and he should be treated as such," Brig Gen al Sharifi said.
"Alternative punishment would be more effective. A drug offender could
be just an addict, not a criminal, but after locking him up for years he
could come out involved in crimes such as stealing, drug dealing, et
cetera." The Abu Dhabi Police has proposed alternative punishments which
include community service, such as cleaning the streets, schools or
KILL THREE MILLION”
To cap a strange week,
Duterte visited a Jewish Synagogue in Manila on Sunday October 2 to
apologize to the Jewish people for his remarks. In a speech that was
televised nationally, he explained that his comments were a reaction to
negative criticism. "So I said, 'Sure, I am Hitler, but the ones I will
kill are these drug addicts ... but it is not really that I said
something wrong. But rather, they do not really want to tinker with the
memory so I apologize profoundly and deeply to the Jewish people."
"I would like to make
it clear, here and now, that there was never an intention on my part to
derogate the memory of six million Jews murdered. The reference to me
was, I was supposedly Hitler, who killed many people ... But I was very
emphatic. I will kill three million," he said.
He said: "The
Americans, I don't like them ... they are reprimanding me in public. So
I say: 'Screw you, f--k you, everything else. You are stupid."
And that’s how
President Duterte ended an incredible week.
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