UNHR: “The President-elect (Duterte) fools no one when he says he is not calling on people to be killed.”
Journalists’ killings: UN experts urge Philippines president-elect to stop instigating deadly violence
GENEVA (6 June 2016) – Two United Nations independent experts on summary executions, and on freedom of expression today urged Philippines president-elect Rodrigo Duterte to stop instigating deadly violence immediately. The experts strongly condemned Mr. Duterte’s recent statements suggesting that journalists are not exempt for assassination.
Speaking at a press conference, Mr. Duterte reportedly stated that most journalists killed in the country have done something wrong. ‘You won’t be killed if you don’t do anything wrong,’ the President-elect said, suggesting that victims were partly to blame for their fate.
“A message of this nature amounts to incitement to violence and killing, in a nation already ranked as the second-deadliest country for journalists,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions, Cristof Heyns. “These comments are irresponsible in the extreme, and unbecoming of any leader, let alone someone who is to assume the position of the leader of a country that calls itself democratic.”
For the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom opinion and expression, David Kaye, “justifying the killing of journalists on the basis of how they conduct their professional activities can be understood as a permissive signal to potential killers that the murder of journalists is acceptable in certain circumstances and would not be punished.”
“This position is even more disturbing when one considers that Philippines is still struggling to ensure accountability to notorious cases of violence against journalists, such as the Maguindanao massacre,” the human rights expert added.
Mr. Duterte is further reported to have questioned the legal guarantees to journalists who are perceived to have made defamatory comments. ‘That can’t be just freedom of speech. The constitution can no longer help you if you disrespect a person,’ the President-elect stated.
“Such provocative messages indicate to any person who is displeased by the work of a journalist or an activist, for example, that they can attack or kill them without fear of sanction,” Mr. Kaye stressed.
The President-elect has also been reported as promising to pay bounties to police and military officials for every drug lord they turn in. ‘I’m not saying that you kill them, but the order is dead or alive,” Mr. Duterte reportedly said in a televised news conference.
“Talk of ‘dead or alive’ has no role to play in any state that claims to uphold human rights in law enforcement,” Special Rapporteur Heyns stressed, while recalling the limits imposed by international instruments on the conduct of law enforcement forces.
“Intentional lethal use of force may only be made when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life and not for common policing objectives,” he said. “The President-elect fools no one when he says he is not calling on people to be killed.”
today, June 3, 2016 is a news day in the philippines. you may not feel it yet but you can certainly read it off at today’s issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
for the first time in this country’s history and history of Philippine journalism, a national newspaper has used the word “fuck” on the title of an article on its front page. no bleeps, no asterisks but good old, plain “fuck” in all it’s four letter glory.
not only was it used on the front page, it was used on the second lead article in the newspaper, right below the lead article for the day.
beyond the initial shock or glee from reading the word on the newspaper, we think there is a deeper reason for its use.
we are describing it as poetic. in simple terms, it can be described as PDI is making a point here.
first the poetry in today’s PDI issue – look at the whole front page. top of the page is a big photo of outgoing president Noynoy Aquino beside the losing LP presidential candidate and Aquino’s cabinet members having wholesome fun on the videoke.
from that giant wholesome picture, right below it is the headline: “Seek to understand Duterte, aides urge” accompanied by a photo of Duterte here he seems to be smirking and close to looking arrogant and below it the magic word “fuck” in the article “Don’t fuck with me, he tells media”. then on the far left is the article explaining the wholesome picture on top of the newspaper “P’noy. Mar lead LP in singing blues away”
next, we think all that was intentional. it was designed and laid out that way with exact purpose. these are the messages :
- draw contrast between the outgoing and incoming presidents of the country
- the outgoing president ad administration is all about fun and wholesome
- the incoming president and administration of Duterte is all about “fucking” (“we are all fucked”?)
- if not that, well at least the incoming president Duterte is not wholesome
- the big irony of it all is that as the headline says, we are supposed to “understand” the incoming president
the contrast that PDI painted is clear, done in words and pictures that we all understand even if we didn’t think about it too much. it is obvious and plain to see.
but none of this is PDI’s fault – they are just giving it to us in words and pictures the thoughts that we have been suspecting specially in the past few days if not thoughts we have known all along and all that based on actual words and actions by Rody Duterte.
PDI’s front page just might be the signs of the times. and the sign starts with the word “fuck”.