MANILA — Partido Lakas ng Masa vice presidential aspirant Walden Bello on Friday said President Rodrigo Duterte will leave a legacy of weakening human rights and a "culture of lies" in the Philippines.
In a webinar with New York University’s John Gershman, Bello said these are the result of Duterte’s victory achieved through “electoral insurgence”. He claimed Duterte tried to please the elite and the poor with a promise of the war on drugs.
“I think the weakening of the culture of human rights … the sympathetic nature of Filipinos and the ability to understand suffering … Duterte has somewhat bastardized that. He has made killing of people without due process legitimate,” Bello said.
“I think what he has done is against traditional Filipino focus that is life and I think that is the worst legacy he’s leaving the country is to say that the value of Filipino life, the value of lower-class life is no more than that of a chicken. And I think is that is kind of a gangster mentality that, unfortunately … he promoted that thing,” he added.
Bello added that he doesn’t see anything positive in the incumbent president’s legacy as he has imposed the culture of lying according to his convenience and the weakening of institutional process and separation of powers.
“The culture of lying where basically he thinks that it is natural to be able to lie and to say later on that oh I was just joking. … The way that he has made truth a flexible commodity is that you meant the truth or destroy the truth whenever it suits you. I say good riddance and I hope to see in the Hague,” Bello said.
“There is the weakening of the institutional process, the separation of powers, these are negative legacies of this administration. Positive legacy, I don’t see any,” he added.
Bello said he is not in favor of the return of a Marcos in Malacañang.
He, however, noted concern for the opposition coalition 1Sambayan led by Vice President Leni Robredo, claiming it is surrounded by a circle of "traditional politicians".
As he runs for the country's second top post, he hopes to lay down a platform supporting the needs of the Filipino instead of personality politics, and educate the public on how to reform public governance.
“We’re definitely looking forward to using this election as an educational process for the people and we’re looking forward … about how to actually reform politics in the Philippines.”
Bello is currently an adjunct professor of sociology at the State University of New York at Binghamton, according to Laban Ng Masa.
The former lawmaker is among 29 vice presidential aspirants next year, including Dr. Willie Ong, Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza, and senators Kiko Pangilinan, Tito Sotto, and Bong Go. The list will be trimmed in the coming months to remove those found to be nuisance candidates.
The official campaign period for national position candidates for the May 9, 2022 elections will start only on Feb. 8, 2022.
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