House opposition lawmakers on Friday said President Rodrigo Duterte’s admission that he was a “dictator” confirms what he has been doing under his administration, including “massive” human rights violations and martial law declaration.
“There you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth. President Duterte is a self-confessed dictator,” ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said in a statement on Friday.
Tinio said Duterte’s latest statement “accounts for his disrespect for human rights and due process, antipathy towards a free press, contempt for institutional checks and balances, and dislike for competitive bidding for public infrastructure projects.”
In a separate statement, opposition lawmaker Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin said the admission by President Duterte that he is a dictator, is a confirmation of what he has been doing since the first day of his administration.
“From extrajudicial killings in his drug war, martial law declaration, contempt for the rule of law, harassing constitutional officers, quashing legitimate dissent, rude and violent language, being a misogynist, among others, are hallmarks of a dictator,” Villarin said.
“Dictators bring down a country, bring pain and untold sufferings to people and the children who will have a traumatized future. And this is no joke nor a trivial matter that can be spinned by Malacanang,” Villarin added.
In a speech on Wednesday before ex-communist rebels, Duterte said that if he would not lead like a dictator, there would be no progress in the country.
“If you say dictator, I am really a dictator. Because if I don’t [act like a] dictator, son of a bitch, nothing will happen to this nation. That’s true,” said Duterte.
“If I don’t [act like] a dictator—my style now—nothing will happen to this country,” he said.
Tinio likened Duterte to the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, who he said, also allowed massive human rights violations and graft and corruption to happen under his dictatorship.