Thursday, September 22, 2016

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Columnist Francisco Tatad: 'Duterte Now More Powerful Than Marcos'

President Duterte, who has been facing criticism from local media and experts, is currently buzzing around International media and has caught the attention of leaders including the United Nations. Recently, the European Union, has vocalized their opinion on the current state of the Philippines. The death toll related to illegal drugs has increased significantly over the past months as the administration aggressively waged war against drugs. Duterte remains unfazed.

This was the concern of the columnist Francisco Tatad who describes Duterte as the most powerful President to sit in Malacañang, even beating Ferdinand Marcos, the late dictator, who reigned for 20 years. He compared how Marcos had to declare Martial law to monopolize power yet Duterte had done the same even without declaring Martial Law. He gets what he wants and merely dismisses any criticisms by expletives and strong statements.

He noted how Marcos needed to abolish congress so that he can get rid of anyone who can oppose him but Duterte made them part of his team-- adopted PDP-Laban to legalize certain things such as death penalty, lowering criminal responsibility to nine, and to the controversial revision of the Constitution.

While Marcos had to have military tribunal for the trial of Lim Seng, illegal drugs manufacturer, Duterte has simply ordered the police to "finish" drug pushers. And just as martial law victims criticizes Marcos, Duterte remains unintimidated and apathetic towards the deaths.

Many have also called him out for his actions but he has always refused to back down and acknowledge the faults in his campaign. “Claims to fight illicit drug trade do not absolve the government from its international obligations and do not shield state actors or others from responsibility for illegal killings."said UN rapporteur Agnes Callamard on the summary executions.

The US Department, The White House and Amnesty International, Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, former CBCP President and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar V. Cruz, and Manila Cardinal-Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle have spoken of their objection to his methods.

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