Workers’ group slam Duterte’s defense of police brutality, holds President accountable
Socialist workers’ group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino today lambasted President Rodrigo Duterte’s response to the violent dispersal of protests in front of the US embassy this week, calling it “an act of violence against the people.”
“Instead of saying the only thing that must be said in the face of what
happened—-i.e. that the violence was unacceptable, the President has instead chosen to lawyer for the police and justify their actions,” the group’s spokesperson Atty Luke Espiritu lamented.
“We at the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino are not entirely surprised by this response: This, after all, is the same President who has repeatedly said that he will protect and pardon any cop accused of committing human rights violations, who has said that he is “happy to slaughter” more than 3,000 criminals, and who wants to bury Marcos—the dictator who ran over the lives of thousands—as a “hero,” Espirutu said.
“But, while not surprising, his response is still shocking and unacceptable. By choosing to lawyer for the cops and refusing to condemn their blatant abuse of power, Duterte is in effect telling cops: “It’s OK to ram protesters. You will just be ‘investigated’ and invited to have coffee with the President. And he is in effect telling us: “Don’t count on the police not to run you over in case you decide to fight for your rights,” Espiritu added.
Unlike other groups who have chosen to hold only the police officials accountable, BMP insisted that responsibility for what happened goes all the way back to the top.
“As commander-in-chief of the country’s police and military, the President bears command-responsibility for the shocking violence that happened this week. He certainly did not create the climate of impunity that now reigns in our country. But by repeatedly shielding abusive cops and now refusing to condemn the shocking violence they had just committed, he has certainly further reinforced it—encouraging many other cops to think they really can get away with attempted murder,” Espiritu said.
“We reiterate our demand for justice and we call for accountability—not just from the cops, but also from the President himself,” Espiritu added.
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino
22 October 2016
Contact person: Atty. Luke Espiritu, BMP Spokesperson @ 0933-0417125
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