The Liberal Party (LP) on Monday hit President Rodrigo Duterte for his remark that he is truly a “dictator,” saying that his admission is a sign of “worse things to come.”
“Oprah Winfrey says believe people when they describe themselves. That’s why when the President says he’s a dictator, we believe him,” the opposition party said in a statement.
“Apart from that, he does what he says, like the numerous times he said he wanted to impose martial law long before he actually did so in Mindanao, his threats against media, his jailing of Senator Leila de Lima, and the silencing of those who disagree with him,” it added.
The LP responded to Duterte’s statement wherein he said that the country would not make any progress if he did not act like a “dictator.”
“You say I’m a dictator, I really am. Because if I will not be a dictator, son of a bitch, nothing will happen to this country,” he said in a speech during a meeting with former communist rebels.
“Fear and control of information are ways to keep people in a tight grip,” LP said, adding that Filipinos have lived under a dictatorship and do not want it to happen again as the public knows that it would prompt a widespread plunder and “the restriction of our basic rights.”
In a speech during the launch of an agriculture program for troops in Compostela Valley last January 22, Duterte ordered military forces to shoot him if he dares to go beyond his six-year term. He issued the statement amid allegations that he would use charter change (cha-cha) to build up a dictatorship.
“Ako sinasabi ko sa inyo ngayon, pag ako sumobra sa aking termino, isang araw lang (I tell you now, if I exceed my term even for a day), I am now asking the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the PNP not to allow me or anybody else to mess up with the Constitution,” the Chief Executive said.
“Kaya ako ‘pag sumobra, gusto kong mag-diktador, barilin ninyo ako. Hindi ako nagbobola (If I go beyond my term and I would want to be a dictator, shoot me. I’m not kidding),” he added.
ICC’s job simpler
Meanwhile, Senator Risa Hontiveros said Duterte’s admission that he is a dictator may have “incriminated himself on criminal charges filed against him before an international tribunal.”
“I am sure that the ICC [International Criminal Court] is taking due notice of the President’s latest statement, especially as it conducts its preliminary examination into his alleged crimes,” Hontiveros said.
“Duterte just made the ICC’s job simpler,” she added.
According to the senator, the ICC was formed to prosecute those who violated humanity, many of whom were dictators.
“The international court will now refer to his public admission, together with his other documented undemocratic practices, as proof of his utter disregard for democracy and human rights that resulted in colossal abuses in our country,” Hontiveros said.