Logically inconsistent Sona

05:01 AM August 01, 2018

I nearly fell off my seat when President Duterte in his third State of the Nation Address (Sona) said: “You are for human rights (referring to human rights advocates), I am for human lives.”

This was after he promised that his drug war would continue to be as “relentless and chilling” as before. Then he proceeded to say that human rights to him means “giving Filipinos, specially those at the society’s fringes, a decent and dignified future, etc.”


These statements are self-contradictory. I would have failed any student in my class in logic, which I have taught for 10 years, if he/she ever indulged in such self-negating assertions.

Mr. Duterte should know that “human rights” as a political term is an inclusive general concept that incorporates the right to a decent life, right to freedom, right to justice (due process) and right to happiness. All democratic constitutions recognize these rights and protect them with laws. Therefore, you cannot assert that you believe in human rights but not in the right to live. This would be logically inconsistent.


The victims of Mr. Duterte’s drug campaign, as well as the poor with whom he purports to empathize, are both entitled to due process and a decent existence. Either Mr. Duterte should change his ghostwriter, or try to understand what he is reading.

DON VILLAR, [email protected]

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TAGS: politics, Rodrigo Duterte, Sona, State of the Nation Address
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