President Rodrigo Duterte’s making the cancellation of the US visa of the former enforcer of his murderous “war on drugs” the basis for the revocation of the Philippines’ Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States may be as absurd and as mindless as the rest of his so-called policies. But among its unintended consequences is the opportunity it provides for the country to seriously look into its foreign relations as a domestic concern. The public attention Mr. Duterte’s unashamed decision to make the interest of one person the basis of the Philippines’ dealings with another country will hopefully also knock some sense into his stubborn constituency and encourage the engagement in the debate over public issues of some of the uninformed millions who make up the majority in this benighted land.
Debates between candidates for public office are among the means some media and civil society organizations are using to help voters decide who deserve their support. They’re specially useful in the Philippines, where those running for this or that post are often hardly distinguishable from each other in terms of platforms and programs, if at all they have any.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) says that “only” 1, 398 individuals have been killed in the course of the Rodrigo Duterte regime’s “war” on the illegal drug trade out of a total of 6,011 killings in the country from July 1, 2016 when Mr. Duterte began his watch as President, until March 24, 2017, or a little more than eight months into his six-year term.
Almost always inaccurate are generalizations about any group, whether a race, a social class, an ethnic community, a profession — or, for that matter, a government agency and its personnel. There’s always someone who’s an exception to a rule widely presumed to be true. Stereotyping can also be dangerous, and often is.