We should not allow the government to replace justice based on reason with injustice from the barrel of the gun.
The dean of the College of Law of De La Salle University has a mouthful to say against the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte which he accused of being determined in ostracizing those who oppose it through violence.
Atty. Manuel “Chel” Diokno issued a strongly-worded statement after Ozamiz City Executive Judge Edmundo Pintac was ambushed in broad daylight last Monday and after the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) made a dangerous allegation of massive recruitment activities inside the campuses of leading universities and colleges in the metropolis.
He also cited the unusual “visits” made by provincial officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) at the Bacolod and Cebu offices of the media entity SunStar.
“The Duterte administration is hell-bent on using fear and violence to silence those who dare speak the truth to power,” Diokno said.
“The recent attacks on judges, lawyers and ordinary citizens, and the veiled threats against students, teachers and journalists, unmasks the real nature of this government: anti-democratic, anti-life, and anti-justice,” Diokno further stated.
Diokno is a son of former senator and statesman Jose “Pepe” Diokno, founder of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) and a prominent opposition leader during the martial law years. The law dean is the present chairman of FLAG.
In his statement, Diokno claims that the killing of Judge Pintac, the fourth judge and the fourteenth lawyer to be attacked since Duterte assumed office, is just part of the same design for the government to take over our lives.
“He joins more than 20,000 other men, women and children who have fallen victim to a regime that has no respect for human lives,” Diokno remarked.
The veteran human rights lawyer averred that the present government is built on a foundation of lies.
He specifically mentioned the administration’s repeated denials of the existence of extrajudicial killings, China’s incursion of our territorial and sovereign rights and the persecution of the perceived political enemies of the president.
“They tell us we have a right to speak freely when we see those who criticize the administration attacked by trolls, shut down, or put in jail,” Diokno asserted.
The law dean is apparently alluding to Senator Leila de Lima who is detained for trumped up and politically motivated drug charges. He is one of the lawyers providing legal assistance to the opposition senator.
There is also a brazen attempt on the part of the administration to put behind bars another outspoken critic, Senator Antonio Trillanes, by nullifying the amnesty granted to the maverick senator by the administration of former president Noynoy Aquino.
“The truth is that this government is mounting a total war on our entire way of life, our freedoms that we fought so hard for, and our humanity,” Diokno declared.
Diokno called on the people to defend humanity and protect our way of life from being destroyed by the government.
Directly quoting his father, he said that “truth is the power of the powerless.”