Aquino misunderstands PRRD’s “human lives” | Foreign political expert wrote a guide to understanding the popularity of Duterte - The Daily Sentry

Monday, July 30, 2018

Aquino misunderstands PRRD’s “human lives” | Foreign political expert wrote a guide to understanding the popularity of Duterte

Adam Garrie | President Rodrigo Duterte | Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino

President Rodrigo Duterte’s most powerful line during his 3rd State of the Nationa Address (SONA) saying, “your concern is human rights – mine is human lives”, is now being feasted upon by the opposition in an effort to turn it against the President.

Former President Benigno Aquino III in particular questioned the rationale and idea behind this statement of Duterte saying, 

“can you separate them[human rights and human lives]? Is it possible not to have basic rights that are universal and the same in whatever part of the world? I remember what my father[Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.] once said, if you allow the rights of another person to be violated, you are paving the way for your own rights to be trampled upon.”

For geo-political analyst Adam Garrie, Aquino is just really going out of his way to misconstrue what Duterte meant when he said this.

“What the former President seems unable or unwilling to understand is that Duterte was saying that the rights of all do matter but that when fighting crime, the right to protect the innocent trumps all considerations for the comfort of the criminal,” Garrie said.

The justice system of punishing the criminal has long been practiced, all the way since the age of Hammurabi.

On top of that, Garrie points out that Duterte never gives a “shoot to kill” order, but rather, enjoins the police force to takedown any criminal who resists arrest and poses as a threat to authorities and innocent bystanders.

Garrie wrote a guide to understanding the popularity of the Philippine President where he enumerated six key points that has contributed to the public support of Duterte.

Firstly is his war on illegal drugs, which had been Duterte’s battle cry since he started his campaigns during the 2016 elections.

President Rodrigo Duterte | Photo from Eaglenews

Firstly is his war on illegal drugs, which had been Duterte’s battle cry since he started his campaigns during the 2016 elections.

"Duterte is most well-know outside of The Philippines for his drug war. While many only discovered the Philippine President’s hard-line against what ought to be called narco-terrorism in 2016, in reality Duterte has been waging a war on the drug trade and drug culture since he first became mayor of his hometown of Davao City in 1988. Duterte realised early on in his political career that drugs not only destroyed individuals but had a negative effect on society as a whole."

Some critics contrast how Duterte is implementing a backwards style in taking down illegal drugs at a time when developed countries like the US are legalizing it, but Garrie argues that what Duterte is focused on is shabu whereas the US had worked on legalizing marijuana.

Shabu and marijuana are far different from each other, with the former having more negative impacts on healthy, family and society compared to the latter which Duterte even expressed support in legalizing for medical use.

Secondly, Duterte’s plans for economic revival through tax reforms and Build, Build, Build programs are meant to generate jobs and provide more available and accessible basic services to the citizenry while building better international relations to, eventually, allow the Philippines to compete and engage in an international market.

"The Philippine economy continues to grow under Duterte’s reforms. By expanding trade, aid deals and investment partnerships with countries as diverse as Russia, Japan, China, South Korea and fellow ASEAN members, The Philippines secured its position as the world’s number one investment destination according to US News and World Report."

Thirdly, Duterte’s efforts for anti-corruption by axing out corrupt politicians and efforts for poverty relief by reforming tax laws, business permit transactions, and labor laws in order to empower the working class.

"Duterte has taken the same zero-tolerance/no-nonsense approach to corruption among business oligarchs and public employees as he has with drug traffickers, dealers and users. Nearly 500 public servants including corrupt police, bureaucrats and politicians have been arrested for their involvement in the drug trade under Duterte, while the business oligarchs operating illegally on the tourist island of Boracay have had their illegally consecrated property seized while the government continues to work on fixing the environmental disaster caused by their black market operations."

"Duterte has further reformed tax laws, business permitting and labour laws in order to empower workers, small businesses and entrepreneurs while cutting down on red tape and waiting times at government offices. Duterte has also modernised the passport of the Philippines thus making life easier for foreign workers and frequent travellers, all the while investing more money into education and poverty relief."

Fourth is advocating peaceful foreign relations such as his move to negotiate and mutually benefit from an alliance with China rather than heading to war over maritime disputes.

“Duterte has taken an historically tense situation and transformed it into a new meaningful win-win relationship which links China to a rapidly growing south Asian partner. In return, Duterte has stated that China has pledged to come to the aid of The Philippines should its sovereignty be threatened,” Garrie explained.

The signing of the Bangsamoro Organic Law is also a manifestation of Duterte’s pledge to peace.

Fifth is taking on a new multipolar/non-aligned foreign policy towards Russia, China, and ASEAN neighbors where he is settling several territorial disputes with other countries while fortifying old and new relations.

"In addition to opening up a “golden era” of relations with China, President Duterte also made an historic visit to Moscow where Russian President Putin pledged to work with The Philippines on security issues. Russia has already given The Philippines multiple shipments of free modern weapons to help the armed forces tackle terrorism and heavily armed organised crime syndicates."

"Duterte has also taken a lead in ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) through his pioneering of a win-win cooperative format to the South China Sea dispute. Here, even Vietnam has begun to slowly embrace such a format for dropping hostility among Asian partners."

Lastly is the Church and state where Duterte takes on a stance that is often frowned upon by the traditional Catholics, such as the stance on same-sex union and divorce.

"While most nations have a deep state, The Philippines has a deep church. The Roman Catholic Church in The Philippines which itself is a legacy of Spain’s colonial subjugation of The Philippines, continues to actively undermine the rule of a temporal (legally secular) democratically elected government all the while playing a role in society that is more akin to a fifth column than an organisation intended to provide spiritual guidance."

"As a victim child abuse by a paedophile priest, Duterte has taken it upon himself to maintain the legal separation of church and state while encouraging Filipinos to cease from blindly following the dogmas of an institutional church that has all the signs of corruption, maleficence and hypocrisy that are normally associated with deep state organisations whether it be central banks, intelligence agencies or a secret police force."

President Rodrigo Duterte | Photo from MAnila Bulletin

Duterte may be a controversial figure and the Yellows love to play on his words, but his radical efforts only translate into genuine service to the Filipinos, as Garrie interprets.

“Rodrigo Roa Duterte is humble in his lifestyle, courageous in his service to his country and answerable not to anyone but his electorate. It is for these reasons why millions of Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike find Duterte to be an inspirational figure who leadership is not only respected but admired,” the geo-political analyst said.


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