Duterte’s Human Rights Record Criticized

With Rodrigo Duterte taking the lead in the latest surveys, issues against the PDP-Laban candidate are now coming under closer scrutiny. Amnesty International raised an alarm over Duterte’s plan to revive the death penalty and use it on a weekly basis to deter crime. It noted that his human rights record as Davao City mayor is already distressing. Former justice secretary Leila de Lima, a senatorial candidate under administration bet Mar Roxas’s party, also said that she would dedicate herself to advocating the opposite of what Duterte stands for. Arguing that the country is under a system of law, it is therefore necessary to follow a process in going after suspected criminals.

Voters, however, may be flocking to Duterte precisely because of his tough stance against crime. His supporters are more convinced of the need to instill discipline even through extra judicial means than the importance of due process. Thus, the human rights issue might not really dent his ranking; on the contrary, it may help him attract more voters.

Curiously, progressive groups have been quiet regarding the issue. Duterte, who has attracted the support of some left-leaning groups, has been known to be friendly to the…

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