President Rodrigo Duterte with his police and military officers. Photo: Inquirer photo
(Note: The following article came out in the Inquirer barely 3 1/2 months after Rodrigo Duterte sat in office as President of the Philippines. The author had immediately intuitively sensed that something was terribly wrong about this man who would lead the country for the next six years. Given the recent vicious attacks of Duterte against Catholics and the Catholic Church, the author feels his article is just as relevant today.)
he world’s good and decent people should force President Rodrigo Duterte to resign. It’s also for his own good. I don’t hate Duterte. But I hate his terrible sins. For his own sake, I hope that he amends his evil ways and saves his soul as his days are numbered. No one is beyond redemption if he turns to our Lord Jesus Christ.
A terrible dark evil presence now engulfs the Philippines. We have a leader who is not leading our people to a better life. But a leader full of demons who brings death and sufferings to so many – and expresses vicious hostility to world leaders and other nations.
As human beings, our most important priority is to reach our highest spiritual potential and save our immortal souls. For what indeed does it profit a man to gain the whole world but suffer the loss of his soul. This involves obeying God’s command to sincerely love Him above everything else — meaning an absolute commitment to the truth and to what is right and good. It also involves following God’s command to love our neighbors as ourselves. This is what our existence is all about.
But our egos, fear, greed, anger, sensual appetites, love for money and power – often blind us from listening to God and obeying His commandments. And for those who do not really believe in God including many who go to church simply out of superstition or fear of bad things happening to them if they do not — these commandments are meaningless. As such, we have terrible demonic human beings with dark spirits on this planet. They murder, torture, steal and do all kinds of evil acts.
From the first man to the last, the history of the world has to do with the unending conflict between good and evil.
How is it that cruel evil leaders like Stalin, Hitler, Marcos, Mugabe, etc. are able to rise and even thrive for long periods of time and have so many people supporting and serving them?
How is it that the Philippines, which is supposedly a Catholic country, now has so many people supporting mass murder as an instrument of national policy? And why do they support a leader who expresses so much hatred and disrespect against other human beings, against other nations and even against God — with the darkness and hatred in his heart repeatedly spewing out of his foul mouth?
Duterte is no different from other tyrants in proclaiming his love for country. Tyrants justify their evil actions by saying that the people whom they oppress, torture and murder deserve these. Love, for one’s country is essentially love for one’s fellowmen. Duterte’s coercing, brutalizing and murdering so many Filipinos clearly exposes his insincerity.
What’s happening in the Philippines?
Hitler did horrible things, but the German people cheered and idolized him. He cleaned the streets and made the trains run on time while he slaughtered his enemies, millions of innocent Jews, Gypsies, and homosexuals.
The German people who were mostly Christian Protestants and Catholics closed their eyes to these mass murders refusing to see the terrible evil involved and even insisting that Hitler was doing a good thing because he was supposedly eliminating those who were the cause of all of their country’s troubles and that these people needed to be eliminated. Hitler fueled intense nationalism and a sense of pride and so many Germans supported him.
The same thing is now happening in the Philippines. Political manipulation backed by force in the guise of seeking a desired good is now a darkness that engulfs the whole nation.
Many politicized Filipinos, tired of the mass poverty, corruption and crime are mesmerized by Duterte’s siren calls for peace and order and constant calls for the summary killings of drug addicts, drug dealers and criminals. But they fail to heed God’s commands when it comes to their politics. Forget human rights, forget the sanctity of life, forget due process rights provided by the Constitution to prove one’s innocence — forget God’s commands to love Him and our neighbors as ourselves. A madness fueled by the thirst for blood now reigns in the Philippines. Duterte is like Dracula who victimizes Philippine society and has converted many Filipinos to also now lust for blood.
With their politicization, many have forgotten that they are Catholics and Christians. They have stifled and silenced the sacred voice within them that tells them that using mass murder as an instrument of national policy is an abhorrent monstrosity that cries out to heaven for justice. A mass murderer can never be on the side of God whose command is “Thou shalt not kill (murder).”
Like Marcos, Duterte brings out the worst in people. Not surprisingly, the politicians and others who were with Marcos are now with him. They support, endorse and cover up his murdering ways.
People’s fear of being victims to the violence of this tyrant and his killers cause them to be on his side much like many Germans during Hitler’s time. They close their eyes and praise him and cooperate with his evil instead of condemning and fighting against his darkness, to soothe their internal pain of shutting the truth and the internal anguish of their own moral cowardice. They too are in great danger of losing their immortal souls.
So many innocent lives are now being snuffed out and their families suffer so much. Life is sacred and from God. The right to be alive is the most basic human right. The evil of drugs cannot be fought with a greater evil. Mass murder as a state policy is worse than drugs.
Duterte’s constant campaign and promotion of the culture of death among policemen and among our military people–offering financial rewards and promotions for them to murder fellow Filipinos–reveal much of his evil.
Well-meaning men and women of good will can no longer wait and must now fight this terrible violence and the promotion of the culture of death that Duterte is promoting and inflicting on the Filipino people, as more innocent people will be killed or hurt by him if they do not. Filipinos need to summon courage from within and speak out and act against the brutality and insanity of the present situation.
I and other journalists receive a continuous barrage of “putang-ina” curses and threats from Duterte trolls. These escalated when I called for the resignation of Duterte in an ABS-Cbn TV interview after his repeated dirty mouth crude insults and tirades against world leaders and other nations and the continuously increasing everyday extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.
Even if the murder victims are supposedly drug dealers, addicts or criminals — they are human beings with the basic human right to prove their innocence — and not simply executed like stray dogs by the police or private Duterte organized killers at their discretion. Many drug addicts and even drug dealers have been rehabilitated and turned out later to be productive decent human beings. Anthony Bourdain and Robert Downey Jr. are among many former addicts who recovered.
Respect for the lives of human beings and their right to prove their innocence are universally recognized values which every decent human being should respect. It is an inherent part of God’s command to love one’s neighbor as ourselves. Love of God and neighbor also includes forgiving our fellowmen when they err and help when they need it. People can change for the better.
Duterte does not believe in forgiveness and that people can change. So he exterminates them.
Murderous individual police elements and organized private so called vigilante killers now have practically a blanket authority to kill at their discretion – even if government spokesmen may give lip service to the rule of law. On record, more than 3,500 people have already been killed including many innocents who would still have been alive today if Duterte had not become president. Off record, much more have been killed. And more will be killed. This abuse of power is a terrible crime not only against the Filipino people but against humanity.
If this state sponsored killing spree continuous and good hearted well-meaning Filipinos just passively and silently accept this situation, it means that nobody will be safe from being murdered anytime by the police or by anybody. Just label the dead victim as a criminal, a drug addict, a drug dealer and this everyday occurrence becomes a part of the norm. This terrible culture of death will destroy the fabric of Philippine society. Friends and families will be turning on each other.
Corrupt policemen will also use their now terrible unbridled power to extort money from innocent victims accusing them of being drug addicts or dealers, which was recently done to an Australian and fortunately CCTV camera videotapes showed that he was innocent.
Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon, President Barack Obama, all the heads of the European Union and other world leaders have been made aware of the daily rampant killings in the Philippines. As part of the human family, they are disturbed by the mass murders and are aware of the kind of terrible terror in Philippine society that this would lead to. In good faith, they are trying to help Filipinos and have tried to influence Duterte to stop these killings.
Duterte’s response to leaders in the international community critics is to insult them with vulgar slurs against their mothers or call them fools and for them not to interfere in Philippine affairs. He has not spared even the Pope with his dirty mouth calling him the son of a whore during his Philippine visit.
In a speech, he stated that like Hitler who murdered millions of Jews, he also wants to slaughter millions of Filipinos who are drug addicts. He later apologized to the Jews who were much offended by his statements, but many Jews doubt his sincerity. Duterte’s remarks regarding his insensitivity to the Holocaust will have lasting consequences.
The state of Israel and Jews all over the world recognize a debt of gratitude to the Filipino people for saving over a thousand Jews from Hitler’s crematories and giving them refuge in the Philippines. Filipinos are viewed by Jews with respect and affection. Filipinos all over the world are liked and respected. The Jews and other nationalities will help in the Filipino people’s struggle against the present tyranny and moral depravity of Duterte. His evil ways are not the ways of good decent people.
It is the moral obligation of the Catholic Church and other Christian churches and all sincere genuine Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and all good human beings to protest and fight against the violence and fear that Duterte has inflicted and will continue to inflict on the Filipino people. To remain silent in the face of pure evil is tantamount to supporting and abetting that evil.
Edgar Matobato, a former member of Duterte’s Davao Death Squad, just recently gave a chilling but very credible detailed testimony in the Philippine Senate on how they killed over a thousand victims upon orders of Duterte. He even named some of the victims and detailed how and where they were killed. He also testified that Duterte’s son, Davao Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte – is a drug user who also ordered some of the killings including that of Richard King, a wealthy owner of hotels who was Paolo’s rival over a woman.
Even if the Senators and sycophantic journalists allied with Duterte tried their best to discredit and silence Matobato, millions who heard and saw this courageous man – believed him more than they believed the Senators who were obviously covering up for Duterte. Matobato’s description of the mode of operation of Duterte’s Davao Death Squad is consistent with the report of Fr. Amado Picardal of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines.
All good men and women should push for Duterte’s immediate resignation. But be prepared to be labeled and maybe even falsely charged as traitors and subversives. In the end, our commitment to God’s truth and genuine concern and love for our fellowmen will bear much fruit.
If 16 million Filipinos voted for Duterte, 25 million did not. Of the 16 million, so many have now realized that they voted for a monster and regret their vote. His present popularity is an illusion – which will quickly vanish like smoke when more people suffer because of his unpredictable depravity. The economy will spiral downward as investors are fast exiting. More poverty and hunger will take place.
Even former President Fidel Ramos who supported Duterte’s candidacy sincerely believing that he would do good – now express deep honest concerns about Duterte’s murderous drug campaign and lack of policies that really improve people’s lives. Ramos found his True Self when he went against Marcos and have become a true patriot since then. Within a very short time, Ramos will inevitably come to the conclusion that his loyalty to Duterte ends where his loyalty to God and country begins.
The many good hearted decent Filipinos who want Duterte removed from office are not without support in this fight between good and evil. The whole civilized world is with us in this noble endeavor. Filipinos will soon realize that their worst enemy and the worst criminal in the Philippines is Duterte himself.
Let us fight evil with prayers to our Lord Jesus Christ and to our Blessed Mother – and with every other moral justifiable means available to us. Filipinos have fought long and hard for their freedom and dignity. We cannot now allow one man who serves the forces of evil – to take control of our lives and the nation.
Because I am a Catholic, a human being, a Filipino American and a global citizen involved in creating a better world, I have expressed my thoughts and feelings that concern the well-being and future of all Filipinos – including Duterte himself. His soul needs salvation.
For those with the same thoughts – please air these viewpoints far and wide and ask recipients to do the same. Thank you. Republished 6/14/2018
Ted Laguatan is a human rights lawyer based in the San Francisco area. He is one of less than 30 U.S. lawyers officially certified continuously for more than 25 years by the California State Bar as an Expert-Specialist in Immigration Law. Tel 650 634 8668 Email firstname.lastname@example.org.