A new low in the Duterte era | Inquirer Opinion

A new low in the Duterte era

05:03 AM August 22, 2017

The Duterte administration has reached a new low. With the virtual massacre of alleged suspects in a single night including teenager Kian Loyd delos Santos, the brutal campaign has once again reared its ugly head and revealed itself as—first and foremost — a culling of the defenseless and the poor.

Instead of showcasing this administration’s determination to address the country’s drug problem, the recent killings demonstrate not only the impotence and incompetence of the country’s security forces, but also its established predisposition for senseless violence. The predisposition is the same hand that has pulled the trigger on guns that took the life of countless activists in recent years, in administrations past and present. It is the same predisposition that has led the administration to mistake cooptation and silence for peace and order. It is a predisposition resulting from a pervasive culture of impunity.


Framed against worsening social and economic conditions and degeneration of politics, this is a time to resist and rise. Lawyers led by the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers-NCR have already pledged legal counseling and assistance to “tokhang” victims. We challenge all other lawyers and citizens — compelled whether by regret, shame, or fury — to link arms as well, to work our way out of a crippling culture of impunity. Only a collective culture of resistance can counter gripping fear and servility. Only a groundswell of opposition can displace the change that came, with factual truth and real change.

JULIAN F. OLIVA, adviser, MARIA KRISTINA C. CONTI, secretary general, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers-NCR, [email protected]


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TAGS: culture of impunity, Inquirer letters, Julian F. Oliva, Kian Loyd delos Santos, Maria Kristina C. Konti, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, Rodrigo Duterte, war on drugs
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