Human rights lawyer calls on Filipinos to stand on the side of good

Expose Duterte’s demonic lies, brutality to protect all Filipinos

By: Ted Laguatan – @inquirerdotnet US Bureau / 02:57 AM December 15, 2016

When we sincerely seek to do good, when we speak the truth, when we try to prevent evil, when we are kind to people, when we help them, when we seek justice, when we seek a kinder gentler world, there are those who will still hate and harm us, even those whom we are trying to help.

Nevertheless, we should continue to do all these good things. God’s command to us is to love Him above everything else and to love our fellowmen as ourselves. Our faithfulness to Him should be our main concern. This is what our existence is all about.

Whether we will suffer or not for what we truly believe, we leave in God’s hands. Whatever He wills is for our ultimate good.


Can we believe President Rodrigo Duterte is sincere when he says that he is killing thousands of drug addicts and dealers because he only wants what is for the common good? His position is that many of these drug addicts are beyond help, that their minds are already impaired and that their craving for drugs causes them to commit crimes.

His speeches almost always contain this one theme: These drug addicts and dealers will destroy the next generation of Filipinos. “I will not allow them to destroy my country. I will kill them.” And indeed, his killers are brutally, mercilessly murdering thousands of human beings.

With his “putang-inas,” his native charm, his Visayan accent laced with a little bit of humor, and the fear he has induced he gets a lot of applause in his speeches when he presents his program of mass killings as an instrument of national policy. He has persuaded and charmed many Filipinos to believe that his position is correct.

Like the rest of the world, Filipinos have seen enough families suffer because a member has become a drug addict. Some have been victims of crimes or read of crimes which may have been perpetuated by drug addicts. And, of course, which country and which people do not want to get rid of deadly illicit drugs? And so, even if the whole civilized world condemns him for violating universal moral human rights, he has convinced many Filipinos of the righteousness of his position. He continues to have wide popularity, but this may evaporate like smoke when people realize that he has duped them.

Presently, many tacitly or even openly approve of the slaughter of more than six thousand people during his less than six months in office. Every day, many people are being summarily killed. Forget human rights. Forget due process. Forget rule of law. For many Catholics and other Christians, forget God’s “Thou shalt not kill (murder)” commandment. Forget also His commandment to love your neighbor as yourself.

“Anyway, the ones he are killing are all drug addicts and dealers” is a common excuse when Duterte’s mass murder policy is discussed in parties, coffee shops and other gatherings.

Is Duterte correct in utilizing these extrajudicial killings as an instrument of national policy? Will it create a better society, a better country?

Let’s look at the truth and the reality of the bigger picture. Is Duterte telling the truth or is he peddling a big brutal, deadly lie?

Let’s start with the population of the Philippines. According to the latest United Nations data, it’s a little bit over 103 million.

How many of these are drug addicts?

According to the latest survey of the Dangerous Drugs Board, there are presently around 1.8 million drug addicts in the Philippines. That’s only 1.78 percent of the population. This is a lower percentage than those in countries like the U.S., Thailand, Indonesia, United Kingdom, Italy and so many other countries.


In his speeches, Duterte sometimes says there are 3 million and sometimes he says 4 million drug addicts in the Philippines.

But never mind his stated inaccuracies for the moment. The real main issue is this: Is he telling the truth when he claims that these drug addicts and drug dealers will destroy the next generation of Filipinos? This is his main justification for these mass killings. Duterte wants people to believe that these extrajudicial killings are necessary to save the next generation of Filipinos.

Here’s the situation and the reality: It is not the case that the entire next generation of Filipinos will become drug addicts even if Duterte does not resort to these illegal and immoral mass murders. In fact, even if these illicit drugs are available for free, only a very small percentage of the population will become drug addicts. Why is this so?

Individuals prone to drug addiction for various reasons are a very small percentage compared to the rest of society. This is true for every country in the world. There is not a single country where there are more addicts in the population than non-addicts. This is because there will always be more responsible people who know enough of the deadly consequences of illicit drugs and will avoid them and teach their children to stay away from them.

Duterte is absolutely lying when he claims that if he does not kill drug addicts and drug dealers now, the entire next generation of Filipinos will be destroyed as practically all will be drug addicts.

Duterte is smart enough to know this. But why is he peddling this snake oil?

How we live and how we die depend on what we value most. To Duterte, it’s all about power. This is the end all and be all of his existence. Absolute power is his version of nirvana. He comes from a political family and has been a politician for a long time.

For a career politician, if possible, the possession of the highest office in the land is the objective. Once obtained, if he (or she) has no qualms about good or evil issues; he will do anything and everything to possess more power. Absolute power is the ultimate orgasm for this kind of man or woman.


The late greedy dictator Ferdinand Marcos was this kind of politician. Duterte idolizes him and is using the same kind of people and events manipulation model to gain absolute power.

An unprincipled power-oriented individual may be an unstable evil sociopath but may still possess savvy, people-smart intelligence. Duterte has this intelligence. He is deviously using this convenient drug war excuse to do his mass killings, which he knows will induce fear among the people. He will use this widespread fear as an instrument to enable him to consolidate his power so that he can rule as a dictator with absolute powers.

He obviously wants people to know that he is behind these murders so he can intimidate them. He openly promotes this policy in repeated speeches, constantly urging police and military elements to summarily kill and kill while assuring them of his protection. But at the same time, he evades legal responsibility for these extrajudicial killings by saying: “Where’s your proof that I am behind these killings.”

The very clear proof that Duterte is involved in these extrajudicial killings speaks for itself, which lawyers refer to as Res Ipsa Loquitor. If Duterte is not president, would these massive extrajudicial killings of thousands have happened? Absolutely not.

The repeated statement of his spokespeople to the media — “The president does not approve of extra judicial killings and adheres to the rule of law” — is as about as truthful and valid as an announcement that he will be canonized as a saint by the Vatican.

The next big lie that Duterte is preparing to present to the people — again in order for

him to have an excuse to kill or imprison more people in his quest for absolute power — will be his declaration of war against terrorism. He is already setting the stage for this move using strategies similar to those used by his idol, Marcos, and other tyrant dictators. Staged terrorist bombings and attempted assassinations of public officials will take place. Then he will suspend the Writ of Habeas Corpus, followed by his possible declaration of Martial Law.

This may not even be necessary. Today, he already owns not only the presidency, but also the Supreme Court and Congress. In the terrible Philippine political culture it is common practice for legislators, whose primary loyalty is to their pocketbooks and retention of power, to easily shift from their previous party to the new president’s party. As for judges, including a number of those in the Supreme Court, the same thing goes. In exchange, they sell their souls and services to the new president, at least until a new president is elected in the next elections. Then they again shift their loyalties. Utterly disgusting but true.

I cry for the Philippines at times when I am there and see these things happening. It’s especially painful when I see an innocent emaciated dirty-looking innocent child digging into smelly garbage cans for scraps of food, condemned to a life without a decent future. There are so many children whose talents and innate gifts are stifled, gifts that could have benefited humanity in the sciences, the arts, in intellectual pursuits and other fields.

So much human potential wasted as a direct result of the social injustice brought about by the corruption of Philippine officials and inhumane, insensitive selfishness on the part of those who can afford to help but do not.

Duterte is channeling a road to hell for himself with all these murders and all his lies. And those supporting him who are carrying out these killings or covering up for his evil ways in the Executive Branch, Congress or in the Judiciary — or even ordinary people who tolerate and even espouse his mass murders as well as those who remain silent in the face of evil — ] are all in danger of losing their immortal souls, as Duterte will drag them with him to hell.

Below is an article from the New York Times with grisly photographs of Duterte’s victims taken by a photojournalist. Download it and see the brutal merciless killings of helpless victims where many are slaughtered in front of their families and loved ones. These killings have been happening daily throughout the Philippines ever since Duterte became president. Prior to that this signature killings were happening only in Davao City where he was Mayor.

Duterte is blatantly violating universal moral values and human rights laws, not respecting the sanctity of life and the right of individuals to prove their innocence. Mankind has developed this universal values and human rights laws through time in order to create a better world.

Duterte brings out the worst in human beings. He is establishing a culture of death and setting a terrible example to Filipinos who now will tend to think that murdering other human beings is all right as long as you can get away with it.

He has admirers, including fanatical morally challenged troll followers talking and acting like him, also lacing their language with constant “putang-inas” and threatening his critics with bodily harm or death. Fanatics have closed minds and do not listen to reason. You are either with their mob or against them. But I pray for them hoping that they see the truth which will set them free. I even pray for Duterte hoping that some miracle takes place that will change him and save his soul, and which will spare thousands from his brutality.


There are enough decent, good Filipinos who want to save the Philippines and their fellow Filipinos from Duterte’s butchery and his plan for absolute power. But it is necessary for people of goodwill to accept individual responsibilities and courageously speak out and act against the obvious terrible evil that the nation faces.

Immoral, demonic chaos presently rules in the Philippines and Duterte is it’s prince.

This is a critical time in the history of the Philippines. One reason God allows evil rulers to rise is to challenge and test human beings’ sincerity in truly loving Him and His command to love our neighbors as ourselves. God often places us in very difficult, even very dangerous situations where we need to exercise the freedom he has given us, to decide to be on His side and the side of good or on the side of Satan and evil. This is such a time in the Philippines where all Filipinos everywhere in the world must make a decision.

Those who choose on the side of good even if it means risking their security and even their lives, He will welcome into His Kingdom. And those who choose to be on the side of evil because of their greed and cowardice will suffer dire consequences, if not on Earth, in the afterlife. This essentially is what our temporary short existence on Earth is all about. We all die sooner or later.

Atty. Ted Laguatan is a San Francisco-area based human rights lawyer. He is also one of only 29 lawyers continuously officially certified by the California State Bar as an Expert-Specialist Immigration Lawyer for more than 25 years now. Email

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