TOO many killings are happening in our country. Last week the Global Peace Index 2018 ranked the Philippines as the second ‘least peaceful’ country in Asia Pacific after North Korea. What a distinction!
Duterte tried to distance himself from the killings and the acts of violence. But it cannot be denied that these are happening under his watch. He also is a factor in this increase of violence. Violence generates violence. If the president of the land gives out violent words in almost all his talks, violence becomes his message. If he boasts of thousands of killings and that he will exonerate his police force if they kill drug addicts, this robs on the people. If after more than 22,000 killed “under investigation” no one has been held accountable, then the message becomes clear that one can kill--for whatever reason--because the police is either so inept that they will not be able to hold anyone liable, or they can easily be bought so that no one will be caught and put on trial--as long as one is in good odor with the administration. In this sense Duterte has furthered the culture of violence in the country, and with it, the culture of impunity.
The same can be said about the boldness of China to claim our islands, to build on them, and to send military hardware on them. Duterte and his administration have not made any fuss on China’s moves and aggressiveness. He just jokes about them and even makes innuendoes that China will protect him and not allow him to fall. If this is the message he sends out, China on its part will not hesitate to do what it wants. So again we can say that Duterte has a great influence in the Chinese aggression even if he does not have any direct hand in it. There is not even any strongly worded protest against our big neighbor even if our fisher folks are already being harassed in our own territories! The Chinese have even the gall to claim that it is by their own good will that Filipinos fish in their (that is, our) seas.
We have to bear in mind that China is not one given to the defense of human rights nor to the rule of law. In fact it does not accept international law if it is not to its advantage. Unlike other democracies which are accountable to its constituents, China is accountable to none. It is not a democracy. There will not be people who will rally against the government because it has oppressed or been unjust to other small countries. Chinese leaders do not consider the sentiments of its peoples and they are not ruled by any code of ethics. Many leaders of Western countries can still say that they follow the Judeo-Christian ethics. Hence they are so sensitive to human rights. Muslim leaders still follow the ethics of the Qur’an. Chinese leaders do not follow any ethical standard at all, except what is pragmatic and to their advantage. This is clearly seen in the case of Tibet. It really used its might to bully a poor neighbor. It can do the same in the Western Philippine Sea. China can easily bully us too if we allow it to gain any foothold in our territories and in our policies. Duterte too is playing the same game. He has no moral compass to guide him. There is even no love of country. He is plane pragmatic. He uses situations just to his own advantage. He does not care about the Filipinos nor about the future of the country.