In a privilege speech on Wednesday, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano slammed two known critics of Duterte's antidrug campaign for “discrediting” the Philippines before the international community by insinuating that extrajudicial killings were rampant in the country.
He cited in particular Sen. Leila de Lima’s resolution seeking an inquiry on the killings, saying she did not use the word “alleged” when referring to the words “extrajudicial killings.”
“This effort to discredit the President has reached the international news. In fact, dahil walang suporta dito sa ating bansa … pero people feel safe e. Nararamdaman ng tao ang pagbabago. Dati ang takot tao, ang hindi takot kriminal. Ngayon, ang kriminal takot. Ang tao, ang mamamayan hindi po takot. They feel safe or at least they are beginning to feel safe,” Cayetano said.
He also accused De Lima of misleading the international community when, in an interview, she placed the number of drug-related deaths to almost 2,000 during the first two months of the Duterte administration.
After that, Cayetano criticized Commission on Human Rights Chair Jose Luis Martin Gascon for quoting United Nations special rapporteur Philip Alston’s 2008 report, which defined extrajudicial killings as “any killing by government forces as well as the killing by any other groups or individual, which government failed to investigate, prosecute, and punish when it’s in a position to do so.”
“Talagang itong kaibigan natin na si Chairman Gascon, may pinaghuhugutan at talagang galit na galit sa ating Pangulo,” Cayetano said.
The senator also wondered why the Duterte administration is being criticized for its antidrug campaign when in fact the number of deaths was the same during the past administration.
“Pero ngayon po lahat ng patay, para bang ang Pangulo natin ang may-ari ng lahat ng punerarya sa ’ting bansa, na-charge parati po lahat kay Pangulong Duterte,” he said.
“Ikaw po ay member ng cause oriented group—aktibista ka against coal, against mining , aktibista ka na journalist, investigative journalist—pag may nangyari sa iyo at napatay ka, dyan ka babagsak,” he added.
“But let me ask our journalists today, let me ask our labor activists, our environmental activists, don’t you feel safer today than six years ago?” he further asked.