Retiring or not, Duterte must be held accountable for killings, human rights violations — groups

Published October 5, 2021, 12:10 PM

by Gabriela Baron

Two groups on Tuesday, Oct. 5, said “retiring” President Rodrigo Duterte should be held accountable for continuous killings and human rights violations in the Philippines.

President Rodrigo Duterte (Malacañang photo)

Duterte on Saturday, Oct. 2, announced his retirement from politics and dropping plans to run for vice president in the May 2022 elections.

In a joint statement, the Council for People’s Development and Governance (CPDG) and Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) believed that Duterte’s withdrawal from the 2022 elections is the “fruition of the years of clamor against his administration and governance.”

CPDG Spokesperson Liza Maza pointed out that it is not only “immoral” for Duterte to run as vice president, but “disrespectful and contradictory to our Constitution.”

“Retiring or not, Pres. Duterte must be held accountable. The International Labor Organization and International Criminal Court investigations must immediately take place,” EILER Executive Director Rochelle Porras said.

“The victims of human rights violations and their families have not been yearning for justice for years now and it is unacceptable to have them wait any longer,” she added.

The ICC is set to investigate the alleged crimes committed by the Duterte administration in the course of its War on Drugs.

Aside from the Duterte “drug war,” the Hague-based tribunal said it will look into the alleged summary executions committed in Davao between 2011 and 2016.

Maza, meanwhile, asserted that the entire political dynasty system across the country should “retire and be ended” too.

“The decades of this type of rule has only proven that there is no hope for change if the same political families are to stay in power,” she added in reaction to the possibility of a Duterte-Duterte tandem in the upcoming elections.

“The same names and faces, especially those who have committed crimes against the people should be kept away from holding public office. We should elect pro-people leaders than can pave the way for a truly democratic governance,” Maza ended.