Rights Groups Condemn Biden For Inviting Murderer Rodrigo Duterte to Summit

On Thursday, rights groups condemned US President Joe Biden for inviting President Duterte for his two-day Summit for Democracy. They emphasized that Duterte’s six-year-old “reign of terror,” does not qualify him to talk about democracy.

Karapatan and International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP), in separate statements, called the invitation a “complete farce” considering that his administration was being investigated for crimes against humanity for the brutal war on drugs.

Biden’s statements that he “looks forward to welcoming Duterte and hearing his ideas on how we can foster a more democratic, equitable, inclusive and sustainable world is a sick joke,” said ICHRP chair Peter Murphy.

“Duterte’s reign of terror and mass murder, which have provoked an ICC (International Criminal Court) investigation of crimes against humanity, would seem to disqualify him from providing advice on anything except fascist populism, repression and human rights violations,” Murphy added.

Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, cautioned Biden that permitting human rights abuser Rodrigo Duterte to take part in the summit “is tantamount to enabling his lies and undemocratic rule in the Philippines.”

Karapatan and ICHRP have lobbied the US government to stop military aid to the Philippines until it improves its human rights situation. Palabay urged Biden to heed these calls and pass the Philippine Human Rights Act.

“The United States’ aid, funded by the taxes of the American people, has only been used by Duterte’s administration to engender human rights violations and war crimes for the past six years. It is high time for the United States to end its support for Duterte’s tyrannical rule,” Palabay said.

Under the Philippine government’s “war against drugs”, extrajudicial executions and other human right violations have plagued the nation since Duterte took the reins. Political activists and human rights defenders were harassed, killed, detained, and unfairly charged. 

The government passed an anti-terror law that is can be used to curtail dissent while clamping down on media freedom. Numerous groups have condemned the government’s draconian approach to the COVID-19 epidemic. Not content with the bloodshed, President Duterte also reiterated his call for Congress to restore the death penalty.

Drunk with power, Duterte even threatened to withdraw the Philippines from the International Criminal Court (ICC) “effective immediately.” The deranged head of state’s dangerous pronouncement was in response to the ICC’s attempt to launch a preliminary examination on the extrajudicial killings that transpired during his despotic rule.

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