September 15, 2021 – The International Criminal Court has finally authorized the investigation into the alleged extra-judicial killings in the Philippines under the administration of Rodrigo Duterte. The investigation will cover the time of Duterte’s reign as Davao Mayor up to March 16, 2019 when his administration seemingly tried to escape accountability by withdrawing from the ICC.
The murders are all part of Duterte’s campaign promise in 2016 – a promise that was backed by a history of murders in his own hometown. When brought up during the campaign, the Duterte camp dismissed the death squad association as mere propaganda, conveniently leaving out the fact that these stories surfaced long before his bid for the presidency.
The thing about fighting for human rights is you cannot nitpick and support only what benefits your politics. You cannot claim to be a rights advocate and speak for the LGBTQIA+ community if you support misogyny, abuse, and murder – all of which are represented to the very core by Duterte.
Of course, people are free to support abusive madmen and murderers but they should do so under their own name. They should not drag the name of an entire group of people whose struggles may be aligned with those who are oppressed and victimized by this administration. We cannot forward our own agenda while maintaining support for the rotten politicians whose words and deeds have claimed the lives of thousands of FIlipinos.
LGBT Pilipinas Party-list group claims to be “a grassroots alliance and national network of LGBTQ+ individuals and organizations, including allies, that seek to campaign LGBTQ+ human rights and non-discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.” The page has consistently supported Duterte since it was created in 2017. It registered the group name – Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgenders Pilipinas Inc. at the SEC in 2016.
In 2021, they have dedicated several posts campaigning for the presidential daughter. On September 4, 2021, a propaganda page based in Davao mentioned the group in an article saying, “LGBT Pilipinas and its allied and network organizations are collectively throwing their “unflinching loyalty” and “all-out support” to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte if she decides to run for President in the 2022 national elections.” Because of the name of the group, it can be deceptively construed that they speak for the LGBTQIA+ community in the country. This cannot be further from the truth and a cheap attempt at using the community for their appalling choice of politicians.
Read below the full statement of over 40 LGBTQIA+ organizations and personalities that stand against what this group supports.
July 10, 2020 – 70 members of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Legislative Franchises delivered the most stunning blow to PH Press Freedom after Martial Law by refusing to renew the franchise of the country’s largest and most trusted television network. The decision came after 13 days of deliberations over allegations that have all been cleared by the Department of Justice, National Telecommunication Commission, and Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Allies and propagandists of Duterte maintain that this is an issue of violations of a private company and has nothing to do with politics. But as it goes, the only “offense” of the network seems to be their unwillingness to bow down to power even as the president repeatedly threatened that he would make sure that the renewal of their franchise would not happen.
In 2016, we went into the elections knowing exactly what we would lose should Duterte win – the soul of the nation. The campaign was a dark preview of what his regime would be like and Duterte more than delivered on his promise of dead bodies – countless of them executed in cold blood in their homes in the dead of night.
When I was in college, I joined the League of Filipino Students (LFS), a group known for protesting against state injustices and fighting for the rights of the poor and marginalized Filipinos. It never felt like it was a good fit for me.
During discussions about how certain laws were supposed to be unjust, I found myself being the devil’s advocate. I would always argue for the debated law and how it could be beneficial if only it were implemented properly. I further affirmed that I was wrong for the movement on the first rally that I attended when we had not even gone beyond University Ave in UP Diliman and I thought, “Ay, ang init. Kayo nalang.” I then promptly left, enjoyed a cake at the Chocolate Kiss Cafe, and ended my rather short stint as an activist. Or so I thought.
In the digital age, both information and misinformation are readily available for anyone with a computer or a smartphone. Discerning what is real and what isn’t is not always easy especially for digital novices because there are websites and social media pages that are created with the intent to deceive.
This kind of deception has proven effective in getting politicians elected both in the country and abroad. The profile of the victims cover pretty much all academic and social standing. Social media savvy individuals aren’t even immune. I have personally seen friends that have fallen prey to fake articles posted by paid political influencers that forward their agenda by promoting half-truths.