May 26, 2017, 1:41 pm
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Duterte back from state visits to the Middle East

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Roa Duterte is back home from state visits to three Middle Eastern kingdoms and brought home bountiful pledges in investment pledges, and held separate meetings with Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulazis Al Saud, Bahrain King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani.

Before he left for the Middle East, Duterte reacted to reports that a case of crimes against him was expected to be filed at the ICC. “I will not be intimidated and the campaign will be unrelenting and brutal,” he said. “I am on the right track regarding human rights...I shall not be stopped. The drive against corruption, criminality and drugs will continue and it will be brutal.” 

He also said he would never “condone the killing of criminal persons arrested with outstretched arms, begging for his life, or what is known as extra-judicial killings.”

“Follow the law and we are alright,” he added, “Drop shabu and nobody will die.” Shabu is the street name for the highly addicted crystal methamphetamine e that the government blamed for most of the serious crimes.

Two men, including the one expected to file the ICC case, have testified before a Senate committee, but the legislators found not proof of extra-judicial killings and death squads.

The death squads and allegations of drug-related were among the reasons for an impeachment complaint against Duterte filed by an opposition lawmaker in Congress. 

In reply, Duterte said he was not ruling out the possibility of “scalawags in government who are trying to silence guys dealing with them” were behind these extra-judicial executions. 

Incidentally, Ambassador Teddy Locsin, Jr., the country’s permanent representative to the United Nations, has denounced the European Union for interfering in the government’s brutal drug crackdown.

“The EU’s high-handed with the Philippines because it needs nothing from us and we need nothing from them,” Locsin noted.

His comment came after acting Foreign Secretary of Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo accused the EU of failing to double check the country’s situation before criticizing the government’s war against illegal drugs.

Manalo said the EU “did not seem to take into account the legal processes that are taking place here.”

“Instead of interfering the EU should offer cooperation to help us reform the criminal justice system and combat transnational crimes, especially drugs,” political analyst Rafael Alunan III said.

“I agree with Locsin that we’re dealing with a horribly constipated bloc that would not dare do the same to countries that can hurt them in return,” Alunan added.

He also said Secretary Manalo is correct, despite our challenges with our criminal justice system we are using the processes prescribed by law to bring criminals to justice. 

President Duterte should refrain from coming down to their level, Alunan concluded.

These are the counter attacks against the EU.

***

Quote of the Day: “Tous pour un, un pour tous. All for me, and one for all!” – Alexander Dumas
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