Truth-telling in Duterte land

Duterte during the 121st anniversary of Jose Rizal’s martyrdom
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Almost every government official has the same message whenever the birth or death anniversaries of the country’s heroes are marked: it is to remember what they did for the country, and to emulate their patriotism and devotion to the welfare and betterment of the nation.

On the 121st death anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal, for example, President Rodrigo Duterte told Filipinos to remember the national hero’s “ultimate sacrifice for the sake of our country,” and to “reflect on his patriotism as we strive to continue his work of building a more united, peaceful and prosperous Philippines.”
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The U.S. Trump card

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The United States has announced that President Donald Trump will take up human rights issues in the Philippines with President Rodrigo Duterte in their one-on-one meeting sometime during the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit this November. It’s hardly likely that the meeting with Trump will result in any immediate change in the state of compliance with human rights standards of the Duterte regime. But Trump’s bringing them up now is a reminder that those issues can be used later when it suits US interests.
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A global disgrace

Duterte at MassKara 2016
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President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed his displeasure over the continuing attention being paid by various groups and organizations such as Amnesty International and other human rights groups and the United Nations, to the extrajudicial killings (EJKs) in the country, particularly those identified with the regime’s murderous “war” on drugs.
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An illusion and a fraud

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
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The argument that such values as human rights and the right to life are alien to Asian culture and impositions from the West, is not new. But not since the martial law period (1972-1986) and only recently has any Filipino functionary or politician demanded that other countries refrain from criticism of the policies and acts of the Philippine government on precisely that basis.

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Clueless in Brussels

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In the course of his visit to several European countries, President Benigno Aquino III rejected, during a forum in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, what he called “blanket statements”—and proceeded to make some blanket statements of his own.

Mr. Aquino was responding to the claims of protesters and some forum participants that human rights violations including extrajudicial killings have been continuing during his administration despite his 2010 campaign promise to put a stop to them, and that the government’s counter-insurgency program endangered people’s rights and lives.
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No bragging rights for Aquino

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President Benigno Simeon Aquino III is leaving for several European countries this Sunday, September 13, during which he’s expected to enhance those countries’ support for the Philippine position in its dispute with China over the West Philippine Sea. Having just submitted to Congress the draft of the long-awaited Bangsamoro Basic Law, Mr. Aquino is also likely to brag before the leaders of Spain, Germany, France, and Belgium how he has made peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

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