The University of the Philippines Diliman added another voice to the groups of people condemning the rising cases of extrajudicial killings in the country through a rally held at the campus. Student councils, members of the administration, and several political formations attended the rally held behind the Oblation statue.
This photo was posted on the Facebook page “Philippine Collegian” on August 18.
It was captioned “EARLIER: UP Diliman student councils, various political formations, and members of the administration joined forces to condemn the growing number of victims of extrajudicial killing under the term of President Rodrigo Duterte. The UP community, together with Amnesty International Philippines and Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Chito Gascon, demanded to uphold due process and defend the rights of all citizens in the current administration’s war on drugs.”
As of writing, it has earned 1,400 reactions, 674 shares, and 112 comments.
And most of the comments were bashing the students for condemning the killings of drug pushers and users who victimize innocent people, for allegedly being paid to hold a rally, and other unkind words, and for wasting their time for the gathering.
As if the criticisms were not enough, someone edited the banners to make them seem like the UP rally was held in support of President Rodrigo Duterte and chastising Senator Leila de Lima.
The same photo with the edited banners was actually uploaded to a Duterte fan page, “Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte News,” although it was later taken down.
One banner in the original photo said “Batas hindi Dahas,” which was edited into “Batas De Lima ahas!”
Another banner originally said “NO TO EXTRA-JUDICIAL KILLINGS,” but was edited into “NO TO DRUGS WE SUPPORT PRESIDENT DU30.”
A smaller banner from the UP rally said “RESPECT DUE PROCESS,” but it was cleverly edited to say “RESPECT DU30 PROCESS.”
But even at first look, it is obvious that the banners were edited. All you need to do is to compare the differences in the font type and font color used in both the original and edited photos.
Unfortunately, many of Duterte’s avid supporters still fell for the false photos, judging from their comments on Facebook.
One commented how great the sight is, given UP’s support for Duterte.
Another wished to join the rally.
Then some netizens tried to correct those who believed in the edited photo by posting the original one in the comment section.
Aside from the photo of the UP gathering with the banners, the members of the UP community also signed a statement condemning the cases of extrajudicial killings of suspected drug personalities in the country.
“While we recognize the exigent need to end all criminality, including drug-related offenses, we do not accept that this can be accomplished with utter disregard for human dignity and rights,” the over 400 signatories said in the statement.
“Human rights are inherent entitlements of all individuals – there are qualifications, and no disqualifications. When these protections are lost, it is usually the poor and marginalized who become the victims,” they added.
There were 411 UP students, teachers, staff and UP alumni who signed the statement on August 17. Among the prominent signatories were former socioeconomic secretary Solita Monsod, professor emeritus of the UP School of Economics, and Sylvia Estrada Claudio, chairwoman of UP’s Department of Women and Development Studies.
“We demand that President Rodrigo R. Duterte put an end to all extrajudicial killings posthaste, ensure their immediate investigation, and arrest and prosecute the perpetrators. We enjoin the government to adhere to the due process that is every citizen’s entitlement, including suspected criminals,” the UP community members wrote in their statement.
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