On Duterte’s 6th State of the Nation Address

President Rodrigo Duterte’s last State of the Nation Address only confirms his deranged desire to continue his kill, kill, kill policy with his long and shameless apologia for the drug war and the bloody counterinsurgency crackdown — even going as brazen as giving the order “shoot them dead” in the halls of Batasan.

Duterte knows the day of reckoning is coming for him with the International Criminal Court Office of the Prosecutor’s request to investigate him for his crimes against the Filipino people. He may brag and pretend not to care, but his quip to “add another” dead body amid the calls for accountability is an insidious — and serious — threat: he will stop at nothing to sate his blood lust, and we can only expect his order to translate to actual killings as they have done in the past five years.

His lies to justify the shutdown of ABS-CBN only once again shows his contempt for press freedom.

While offering no other meaningful steps to address the COVID-19 pandemic, he threatens to continue to impose the same harsh lockdowns that have been marked with violations on basic rights and freedoms driven by a military-led IATF.

All these and more only make the calls to end Duterte’s murderous regime and to prosecute him for his atrocities even more urgent. One more year of Duterte is too long. We cannot let another dead body be added to this regime's death toll. We cannot allow this tyrannical and incompetent governance to continue to claim lives and freedoms.

Cristina Palabay
Karapatan Secretary General