THE infamous Davao Death Squad, a vigilante group accused by Amnesty International and local human rights advocates of committing widespread summary executions in Davao City must have been in the mind of President Rodrigo Duterte when he announced that he would create his own hit squad, if that is what it takes to counter the sparrow units employed by the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
Naming it the “Duterte Death Squad,” the President said it will try to match the communist rebel’s “talent in assassinating people.” An eye for an eye, as the saying goes. As if this is what is legally meant by extracting justice from the rebels.
Perhaps tired and exasperated that to this day government soldiers and policemen continue to be sitting ducks of the NPA’s hit men and hopeless that there will ever be peace while Duterte and exiled-Communist Party of the Philippines head Joma Sison continue to bicker, the former could not help but express his frustrations this way in his speech during the turnover of housing units for the military and police at Camp Rajah Sikatuna in Carmen, Bohol recently.
The reality is the plan is better said than done.
It is bad enough that to this day also there has not been any let-up to the killings in the government’s fight against drugs and if we have to believe that the formation of the “Duterte Death Squad” is bound to happen then we simply have to admit that the country will no longer be governed by the rule of law.
Suffice it to say, Duterte’s announcement was just a metaphor and should not be taken seriously.--Jesus Sievert