Duterte team should get their act together, avoid ‘outlandish, provocative’ remarks – lawmaker

Opposition lawmaker Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman urged President Duterte’s team to hold consultations and discussions first before issuing statements. He also urged the team to “put their acts together” and avoid issuing “provocative and outlandish” statements.

This came after Duterte’s remark citing Hitler drew international backlash.

Lagman said that Duterte’s remark drawing comparison between his war on drugs and Hitler killing Jews cannot be misinterpreted because its “essence and context” was “vivid and undeniable.”

“Duterte’s apologists cannot again incant that the President was ‘quoted out of context.’ The defenders of Duterte maliciously demeaned media, both local and foreign, by accusing them of misreading the President’s clear statement,” Lagman said.

He added that there are instances when a remark is “unmistakable.”

“There is a principle in law that when the language of the statute is clear, there is no need to construe. In the same manner, when the utterance is unmistakable, there is no justification to interpret or mitigate,” he added.

Lagman’s statement came after Duterte said on Friday, September 30, upon arriving from his visit in Vietnam, that he would be “happy to slaughter” three million addicts in the Philippines, after stating that Hitler massacred three million Jews.

Duterte’s remarks drew condemnation from the United Nations, the Pentagon, German, Israeli governments, and international rights groups.


Duterte should be mindful of his ‘use of language’

The UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng urged Duterte to be careful in his “use of language.”

“The Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide called upon President Rodrigo Duterte to exercise restraint in the use of language that could exacerbate discrimination, hostility and violence and encourage the commission of criminal acts which, if widespread or systematic, could amount to crimes against humanity,” said Dieng’s office in a statement.

“The Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, expressed alarm at public comments by President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, in which he reinforced a campaign to kill millions of drug addicts in the Philippines and compared it to the massacre of millions of Jews by Hitler during the Holocaust in Nazi Germany during World War II,” the statement added, as reported by GMA News Online.

Dieng also reminded how the “Holocaust was one of the darkest periods of the history of humankind and that any glorification of the cruel and criminal acts committed by those responsible was unacceptable and offensive.”

‘Deeply troubling’

Pentagon chief Ashton Carter said on Friday, September 30: “Speaking personally for myself, I find those comments deeply troubling.”

US Embassy press attache Molly Koscina also called Duterte’s remarks the same thing.

“America’s partnership with the Philippines has long been based on a foundation of shared values, including our shared belief in human rights and dignity. President Duterte’s recent comments depart from that common tradition and are deeply troubling,” Koscina said.



The German government described Duterte’s remarks “unacceptable.”

“Any comparison of the singular atrocities of the Holocaust with anything else is totally unacceptable,” German ministry spokesperson Martin Schaefer told reporters.

Germany has also expressed concern over Duterte’s campaign against drugs.

Human rights groups

Human Rights Watch condemned Duterte’s remarks.

“Those killings – and the government’s celebration of them as evidence of a successful ‘war on drugs’ – are nothing less than mass killings disguised as ‘crime control,’” said Phelim Kline, HRW’s director in Asia.

Amnesty International (AI) also criticized Duterte’s statement.

“With this latest outburst, President Duterte has sunk to new depths. Governments – both in region and around the world – should speak out immediately and condemn these outrageous statements,” Josef Benedict, AI deputy director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said in a statement on Friday.

Benedict added: “They serve no discernible purpose other than to put more lives at risk. Since coming to power, there has been a surge of state-sanctioned violence and unlawful killings across the Philippines. Instead of stopping and condemning these human-rights violations, and ensuring those responsible are held to account, he has vowed to escalate them.”

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