Every tyranny has used fear and hate to take power and to keep it. Coercion and the use of force have never been enough. A gun can only kill, but fear can make entire nations tremble, and hate lead them into committing the worst of crimes.
Adolf Hitler used anti-Jewish
sentiments to stoke German fears so effectively he convinced even learned men,
among them the philosopher Martin Heidegger, that their country and Western
civilization itself were on the verge of annihilation and needed a strongman to
save them. German fears for the future found in the Jews of Europe a convenient
target of hate, and a “problem” that required a “final solution.”
Like the American invasion and
conquest of the Philippines at the turn of the 20th century, the Duterte watch
has been as bloody and as blundering.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) complaint of sedition/inciting to sedition, cyber libel, libel, obstruction of justice and harboring a criminal against lawyers, priests, Vice President Leni Robredo and several opposition candidates for senator last May is likely to make it to the courts. If it does, it will be one more instance critics of the Duterte regime can cite to validate their view that only an international body can check human rights abuses in the Philippines because the justice system is not working as it should.
Parliament of Singapore passed last May a law against uploading and spreading
false information. It requires online
media platforms any government ministry accuses of carrying “fake news” to
correct or remove the offending material, and penalizes those responsible with
10-year prison terms and fines of up to one million Singapore dollars (about
US$740,000). The bad news is that the Philippine Congress could do the same
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro
Locsin, Jr. unwittingly said something at odds with what his boss, President
Rodrigo Duterte, has been saying since he came to power in 2016.