SENATOR Leila de Lima has brought to the international stage her disgust at the unabated extrajudicial killings (EJKs) of suspected drug dealers and drug users in the country amid the Duterte administration’s all-out war on illegal drugs.
Speaking at the Annual Conference on Cultural Diplomacy 2016 in Berlin, Germany, De Lima on Sunday noted the rash of vigilante-type killings in the first six months of the administration of President Duterte since his assumption in July.
She said that to date, about 6,095 people were reportedly killed in the government’s all-out war on drugs.
She also took issue at the apparent rush by the administration-dominated Congress to pass a law restoring the death penalty purportedly to deter crimes in the country despite worldwide abolition of the capital punishment.
“That is the true horror of it all: we are fast becoming a nation where killing is seen as the solution to our problems. Not a solution; not the first or the last resort; but the solution,” said De Lima.
“Clearly, the only real solution is to give them a carte blanche (blank card) authority to kill the suspects outright. That is our brand of justice these days. And the true horror is that some of our people will stand up and applaud this reality,” she said.
She has warned against the apparent reconstruction of the Philippine history and the national identity of the Filipino people by the so-called “agents of change.”
De Lima did not identify these individuals but she lamented that they wanted the Filipinos to think and act contrary “to the values and principles we fought hard for.”
She also alluded to “authoritarian leaders who excel at manipulation” and who have been able “to prey on our fears and self-interests in order to divide and conquer us.”
She said there are some “disturbing” events in the past few months of the country’s political history that are being used to manipulate and decimate the national psyche and identity.
“Never could I have foreseen the extent to which the very face and values of my country and my people could have changed in just 12 months, nor the disturbing direction we seem to be hurtling towards from here on,” said De Lima.