Duterte is no dic­ta­tor – Palace


MALA­CAÑANG on Wed­nes­day de­nied that Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte is res­ur­rect­ing the tools of dic­ta­tor­ship.

In a state­ment, Pres­i­den­tial spokesman Ernesto Abella said that Duterte’s dis­play of “strong po­lit­i­cal will” is not equiv­a­lent to dic­ta­tor­ship.

“The Pres­i­dent has dis­played strong po­lit­i­cal will but this does not nec­es­sar­ily fol­low he would be­come a dic­ta­tor,” Abella said.

“The sce­nar­ios listed by the Fe­bru­ary 25 Coali­tion, such as the Pres­i­dent’s ref­er­ences against some mem­bers of the clergy, the lowering of age of crim­i­nal li­a­bil­ity, among oth­ers are not signs of a loom­ing dic­ta­tor­ship but firm re­sponses to the pre­vail­ing is­sues of the day,” he added.

The Fe­bru­ary 25 Coali­tion, in its unity state­ment, said there was a “clear and present danger” be­cause of the de­ci­sions made by the Pres­i­dent, in­clud­ing al­low­ing for­mer Pres­i­dent Fer­di­nand Mar­cos’ burial at the Libin­gan ng mga Bayani.

“Clearly, the tools of dic­ta­tor­ship are be­ing res­ur­rected – from the open threat to sus­pend the priv­i­lege of writ of habeas cor­pus to the con­stant danger of hav­ing mar­tial law de­clared, to the sub­ver­sion of civil­ian and demo­cratic rule to the gross vi­o­la­tion of hu­man rights,” the Fe­bru­ary 25 Coali­tion said.

“Al­ready, over 7,000 men, women, and chil­dren have lost their lives in killings pa­tiently with­out re­gard for their fun­da­men­tal rights as cit­i­zens. Th­ese events are akin to the bru­tal­i­ties un­der the Mar­cos dic­ta­tor­ship. We now face the resur­gence of noth­ing less than au­thor­i­tar­ian rule,” it added.

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