Calling out America’s double standard

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Atty. Dodo Dulay

Atty. Dodo Dulay

President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirade against the US for criticizing his tactics to wipe out the country’s illegal drug trade is a legitimate push back at America’s “double standard” not just on human rights but also on the treatment of its so-called allies.

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Echoing the sentiment of many American civil rights activists that the rash of high-profile police killings of unarmed blacks across the US also violate human rights, Duterte asked: “Why are you shooting the black people there when they are [already lying]on the ground?”

Duterte also lashed out at the US, saying it should “not pretend to be the moral conscience of the world” and pointing out that America and its allies have likewise violated the human rights of other countries when they invaded Iraq “on the flimsy excuse that there was a weapon of mass destruction there.”

America certainly cannot claim any high moral ground when it comes to human rights.

For instance, a 53-page report by the Human Rights Watch entitled “No Blood, No Foul: Soldier’s Accounts of Detainee Abuse in Iraq, ” revealed that torture and other abuses against prisoners in American custody in Iraq were authorized by the U.S. military chain of command, even after the 2004 Abu Ghraib scandal. Interviews of American soldiers described how detainees were routinely subjected to severe beatings, painful stress positions, severe sleep deprivation, and exposure to extreme cold and hot temperatures.

We also recall that after Wikileaks exposed some 400,000 U.S. military documents containing accounts of torture, summary executions and war crimes, the United Nations called on President Barack Obama to order a full investigation of American forces’ involvement in human rights abuses in Iraq. The once secret papers revealed how U.S. authorities failed to investigate hundred of reports of abuse, torture, rape and murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be “systematic and generally unpunished.”

And just last year, Reuters got hold of two previously unpublished investigations showing that “the United States has consistently overlooked killings and torture by Iraqi government-sponsored Shi’ite militias.”     The U.S. government has turned a blind eye to the abuses committed by its Iraqi allies, all in the name of fighting the Islamic State. Worse, the victims have no way of getting justice because both the U.S. and Iraq refused to ratify the international criminal convention that would have brought American or Iraqi officials before the international courts for war crimes.

America’s muted response to the human rights abuses of its soldiers or allies is no different outside the war zone, such as the drug-infested towns and cities of Mexico.

The U.S. publicly supports Mexico’s campaign against drug cartels, and scarcely ever criticizes or chides Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto for a growing list of abuses and injustices at the hands of government forces. Despite Mexican security forces being implicated in repeated, serious human rights violations – including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and torture – in the course of its drug war, the U.S. continues to give Mexico more than $100 million per year in military and police assistance, including world-class weapons, training and intelligence. In fact, in the past 8 years, Mexico has received some $2.5 billion in American aid for its fight against drug cartels.

And just two years into Peña Nieto’s term, at least 41,000 people (versus the Philippines’ 3,500) have reportedly been killed in drug-related violence, many of them involving Mexican security forces. One of the more infamous cases is the kidnapping and murder of 43 students who were mistaken for rival drug traffickers and turned over by corrupt policemen to the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel.

But when Peña Nieto visited the White House last year, US President Barack Obama refused to call out the Mexican president over mounting allegations of human-rights crimes on the part of Mexican security forces, from the military down to municipal police units, choosing instead to talk about trade, immigration, and other “shared priorities.”

Yet, here is the U.S. warning Duterte ahead of last month’s Asean summit that Obama “is certainly not going to pull any punches in raising well-documented and relevant concerns when it comes to human rights.” Can you blame Duterte then for calling America a “hypocrite?”

Of course, thinking Filipinos know why America applies different standards for its allies.

In the case of Iraq and neighboring Middle Eastern countries, the presence of ISIS and other extremists groups pose a direct and serious threat to U.S. national security, and America’s “war on terror” provides a convenient pretext to “neutralize” its enemies by all means possible, with little or no regard for human rights.

In the case of Mexico, its drug cartels have cornered the American market and are responsible for more than 80 percent of the drugs entering the United States such that the US Drug Enforcement Agency now considers Mexican narco gangs as the most significant criminal threat to the United States in decades.

On the other hand, at 8,500 miles away from Washington, local terrorist groups and drug syndicates do not present any real or imminent threat to the U.S. At least not yet to deserve the kind of support – and leniency – bestowed by America on its more favored allies.

And the most valuable leverage the country had over America, PNoy practically gave away for a song when he ratified the Washington-sponsored Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and allowed American troops to operate in at least five military bases in the country for a decade.

So when Duterte blasts the U.S. (with matching expletives), isn’t he really just calling a spade, a spade?

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21 Comments

  1. This article has touched the nerves of our American friends not considering that probably Filipino sentiments are different from theirs. As a country, America never considered us as co-equals. As America’s closest allies from the 1900’s when we were ceded by Spain after the American-Spanish war, we remained poor, while the rest of Asia such as smaller countries like Singapore became prosperous. America only wants us as a pawn to China and Russia in case of a war. They want a strategic location in SE Asia where they can keep they’re arsenals. Why can’t countries like America keep all their wars and military arsenals in their own turf and refrain from starting wars in different countries of the world?

  2. Right and perfect. The late President Quezon said,” I would rather have a government run like hell by Filipinos than a government run like heaven by the Americans” ( with your correction) We don’t hate the U.S. because we are friends and allies. But when it comes to our domestic problems leave us alone. Let the Filipinos clean their own backyard. Respect our President and our government. We eat rice and not bread. We like America as our friend and brother but not as our master and benefactor.

    Philippines is for Filipinos . . .Mabuhay ang Filipino at ang ating Pangulo!

  3. I wonder if the CONSTITUTION is still believe to be the guiding document of law and order? Is the Constitution still respected in the country?

  4. The author is right! America’s tendency for boasting about taking the moral high ground on things like democracy, freedom, and human rights while committing acts that run contrary to it or allowing another country to get away with human rights violations if it helps their interests (*cough* Saudi Arabia, etc *cough*), while crucifying others guilty of much lesser sins just because the said countries don’t want to put Washington’s interests above their own grates the nerves of many thinking people around the world!

    When you keep trumpeting your so-called moral ascendancy, people eventually learn to expect and demand you behave up to what you proclaim to be, or else they’ll (rightly) criticise you harshly! Even the Lord Jesus HATED hypocrisy with a passion (any serious Bible reader will know this)! If they want to avoid such criticism and be given the respect they feel they deserve, America either has to STOP trumpeting those things, and/or learn to actually behave better and more in accordance with what it claims to believe in whether internally or externally!

    I hope this is not too complex for all the Little Brown Brothers/Sisters that live in this country to understand!

  5. Barry Robichaud on

    The difference is simple, a President who actively encourages the killings of drug addicts and pushers, who are primarily poor. This is what is the issue, and what many developed countries with human right laws and values are concerned. I think everyone respects the WHY; it is the HOW which is the issue. I am not a fan of the US, and certainly nor am I a fan of Russia or China’s human rights records and well-documented atrocities. What people are not pointing out about the US is that those policemen are being held accountable and the laws respected. We don’t see a state of the lawlessness of people being tagged and then a targeted. Above all, a President condoning and encouraging these actions AND willing to protect these criminals.

    It seems there is a premeditated movement towards a communistic form of government with a win at all cost and dismissing what would not be tolerated in most developed society. Regardless if how you see the US, this is not an excuse for what is occurring in the Philippines. The spinners can only “spin” things and fool people, at some point reality of false promises and accountability hopefully will prevail.

    What is unfortunate is the Philippines had a chance to emerge as a potential leader, and even possibly play a balancing role between East and West as the Philippines has a rich history and connection to both, more than any other South East Asian nation, a Canada of South East Asia. Yes, I am Canadian. Canada is for the most part (at least now) is friends with all nations. This is not to say we don’t have our issues with human rights, but we do not excuse them nor blame other nations to deflect our accountability. It is about values, the WHY; this is what needs to guide our leaders. Unfortunately, the Filipino leadership is more concern with the HOW and EGO, as well appeasing an ideology which is not in step with the people. I have two sons who are Filipino Candian; this is one reason I care enough to reply and speak up.
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  6. The difference is simple, a President who actively encourages the killings of drug addicts and pushers, who are primarily poor. This is what is the issue and what many developed countries with human right laws and values are concerned about. I think everyone respects the WHY, it is the HOW which is the issue. I am not a fan of the US, and certainly nor am I a fan of Russia or China’s human rights records and well documented atrocities. What people are not pointing out about the US is that those policeman are being held accountable and the laws respected. We don’t see a state of lawlessness of people being tagged and then a targeted. Above all, a President condoning and encouraging these actions AND willing to protect these criminals.

    It seems there is a premeditated movement towards a communistic form of government with a win at all cost and dismissing what would not be tolerated in most developed society. Regardless if how you see the US, this is not an excuse for what is occurring in the Philippines. The spinners can only “spin” things and fool people, at some point reality of false promises and accountability hopefully will prevail.

    What is unfortunate is the Philippines had a chance to emerge as a potential leader, and even possibly play a balancing role between East and West as the Philippinnes has a rich history and connection to both, more than any other South East Asian nation, a Canada of South East Asia. Yes, I am Canadian. Canada is for the most part (at least now) is friends with all nations. This is not to say we don’t have our own issues with human rights, but we do not excuse them nor blame other nations to deflect our accountability. It is about values, the WHY, this is what needs to guide our leaders, unfortunately the leadership is more concern with the how and ideals and appeasing an ideology which is not instep with the people. I have two sons who are Filipino Candian, this is one reason I care enough to reply and speak up.

    • CORRECTED …. Fingers on an IPAD … :)

      The difference is simple, a President who actively encourages the killings of drug addicts and pushers, who are primarily poor. This is what is the issue, and what many developed countries with human right laws and values are concerned. I think everyone respects the WHY; it is the HOW which is the issue. I am not a fan of the US, and certainly nor am I a fan of Russia or China’s human rights records and well-documented atrocities. What people are not pointing out about the US is that those policemen are being held accountable and the laws respected. We don’t see a state of the lawlessness of people being tagged and then a targeted. Above all, a President condoning and encouraging these actions AND willing to protect these criminals.

      It seems there is a premeditated movement towards a communistic form of government with a win at all cost and dismissing what would not be tolerated in most developed society. Regardless if how you see the US, this is not an excuse for what is occurring in the Philippines. The spinners can only “spin” things and fool people, at some point reality of false promises and accountability hopefully will prevail.

      What is unfortunate is the Philippines had a chance to emerge as a potential leader, and even possibly play a balancing role between East and West as the Philippines has a rich history and connection to both, more than any other South East Asian nation, a Canada of South East Asia. Yes, I am Canadian. Canada is for the most part (at least now) is friends with all nations. This is not to say we don’t have our issues with human rights, but we do not excuse them nor blame other nations to deflect our accountability. It is about values, the WHY; this is what needs to guide our leaders. Unfortunately, the Filipino leadership is more concern with the HOW and EGO, as well appeasing an ideology which is not in step with the people. I have two sons who are Filipino Candian; this is one reason I care enough to reply and speak up.

  7. I dont’ think US government condones human right abuses to their people. There might be human right abuses in both private and government institutions committed by individuals, but this does not mean that the government is condoning human right abuses to happen. What I do hear about US government is doing a lot of support to people in need even to those undocumented or having immigration irregular status, so much so that they can be accepted in the hospital though undocumented and don’t have money to pay. They can have access to free food in the food bank or food pantry when they are in need of; they can file a case when they are abused, and the government agencies and security are there to support. We heard sometimes ago that there were clamors or protest from the black community because of the offense committed by individual, but this does mean committed by the government. There is a complete line of distinction between the human right abuse committed by the mandate of the head of the state and the human right abuse committed by the individuals. What happens here in the Philippines is this: the mandate to kill illegal drug users and peddlers is coming from the president himself, and therefore the human right abuses that is taking place over and again is a human right abuse that is committed by president DU30 himself or by the philippine government being the president himself is the head of the state, a case that we don’t hear in US president to their people in their land. Mr. President DU30 and Mr. Dulay story of human right abuse to the US is out of context and deceptive to peole who don’t read the line of distinction to see the difference.

  8. Don’t these American-brainwashed Pinoys who call out the government for “human rights violations” realize that they are actually guilty of sabotage because they are effectively helping those enemies of the State who are attacking the security and welfare of the larger society, like the NPA insurgents and now the drug dealers? The Americans use this issue as their tool to subvert countries like China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela and the others who refuse to bow to their will? Why do they use this weapon of mass political destruction against us when we are suppose to be a friend and ally? To paraphrase Goethe: ” The Americans operate on the principle that as long as there is order and harmony in the Philippines, they have nothing to gain.” Duplicity has always been the hallmark of America’s 100 year old relationship with our country. Many Filipinos, and they are mostly the yellows, have been conned into believing that what the West wants here is good for us, like Smartmatic, PPP, hostility towards China, the BBL, the TPP, human rights, just to mention a few in a very long list, and those who think otherwise like Gen. Aguinaldo, Macario Sakay, Marcos and now Duterte are enemies of the West. To paraphrase again: “I have seen the enemy, and it is actually the West.” Duterte is merely waking us up to this reality. To pray for Duterte is to pray for the people.

  9. Double standards? You must be out of your mind! There is no US policy in condoning human rights abuses. You mentioned “blacks being shot when they are already in the ground” never happened.

    Mr. Dulay, repeating a lie is like saying the lie yourself. I would expect more from a lawyer (as you claim that title), or should I?

    • then you are not reading news articles from CNN,BBC,Fox News,Al Jazeera and other local American News Network of your beloved USA and you say Mr. Dulay is a liar. Check first what he mentioned if it is true or not, don’t make a comment that you cannot prove your statement … maybe an AMBOY like you must migrate to USA so we will not miss you … good riddance…

    • I agree. Mr. Dulay does not know the facts of the case.

      Shooting incidents in the USA of civilians have been the subject of much controversy. Their origins have been domestic violence when they respond to the call. The person suspect resisted the police and refuses to follow lawful command to surrender. In some cases the suspect had a weapon that endangers people and the responding police officers.
      Other incidents were traffic-related violations where the driver was involved in high-speed chase that endanger the lives of pedestrians and motorists.
      Other police response is on a call regarding a person making public nuisance, rubbery that scares people in the vicinity. And there are many others that require police response to public’s call for help.
      Police shootings were the result of black men refusing to submit to police and obey lawful orders. They taunt the police and call them names. The rule of thumb is you don’t know this person and his hands must always be visible to the police to sure make the hands don’t reach for a weapon to use against the responding police officers. Any move that constitute flight or attempt to reach for a weapon is considered hostile. Police have only seconds to process the situation and must make a quick decision what to do.
      I have a Concealed Carry Weapon permit and I carry that permit all the time with my driver’s license. If I’m stopped by police, the protocol is stay in the car, keep my hands on the wheel, don’t make any moves and follow police instructions when approached. Any hand movement away from the wheel is construed to be a NO-NO, and the police can get alarmed. So stay put. Follow police instructions and answer questions in civil manner. The police will check check my driver’s license with dispatch or in his car computer, and ask where my weapon is located in the car to check it, etc. When all things are ok my weapon is returned to me, I get a traffic ticket (if that’s the issue) and let go.
      Police shootings on protests by Black Lives Matters, supported by the money of leftist George Soros, are liars whose goal is to create chaos in the USA. They knew the shootings were in response to disturbance and refusal to submit peacefully and the criminal becomes a hero. Personal responsibility is thrown out the window and common sense doesn’t apply. You can’t reason with ignoramus. Many of them were paid by Soros to show up in rallies against the police and the leftist media is in cahoots with them.
      But the USA is a democracy and they have the right to stage protests and make fools of themselves if they choose to do so. Disagreeing with the government is NOT A CRIME even when it is absurd. However, in PI, dissent is getting restrained and the President says, “I KNOW WHAT IS GOOD FOR YOU SO DON’T QUESTION WHAT I SAY AND DO.” Well, that’s the difference between PI and USA. Duterte is following the road to dictatorship and his foreign policies are not in the best interest of the country. He must listen to reason and not say in public “kill” citizens he believes are problems of society. It’s not presidential demeanor.
      In the US, President Obama is fanning racial divide by continuously defending blacks accused of crimes as being victims of an unjust society. He says there is no equal opportunity for blacks and their access for education, wealth and jobs is hard. The truth is Obama is the textbook example of equal opportunity that if a person has a goal in life, work hard to achieve it, and has the talent to back it up, can be what he wants to be, even becoming a black president! There are many successful black Americans who work hard to pursue their dreams and rewarded like Winfrey et. Al. However, all social programs are done by white people than rich blacks. Obama is the president of black people only. He fans the hate for the white people being a socialist in his upbringing and training. He’s a dismal failure and gets no respect from other leaders in the world. They laugh at him.

    • Wow, stupid is as stupid does. The author just gave you a lot of instances showing how the US applied different standards for human rights abuses to different countries, and all you can come up with is this? How about putting up facts to refute what was written on the article and then say that he’s out of his mind.

    • Dude it happened. I saw it myslef on CNN. The black man was evwn asking why did you shoot me I was laying on the ground with hands raised to show he wasn’t holding anything.

    • John Diefenbaker on

      It is interesting. I submitted a rebuke to this article and the Manila Times has chosen not post it… so much for freedom of speech. Censorship and it seems a movement towards further restriction of freedom of rights, as President Ramos said: “What gives?” a communist state state in the making? How left tilting is the Philippines becomming? TIme to listten to the alarms and wake up!

  10. Kind of twisted logic. What yo could say though is that the global war on drugs is a failure in the US and the Philippines…

    Duterte told policemen at Camp Amendan in Mercedes, Zamboanga City on Monday October 10, 2016:
    “Ladies and gentlemen, may I tell you now: This (drug menace) is an ongoing and a recurring problem, which will never be stopped by any. It cannot really. We can only slow it down,” he added.

    • The war on drugs has just begun. For years it was never given priority, played down as irrelevant to the country’s quest of economic prosperity and sadly been exploited by soulless corrupt top honchos of the government and its implementing agencies as a means to aggrandise themselves rather than eradicate its many ill effects to society..

      At least the present dispensation has the political will to take the challenges head on for the future generation.

  11. Herman P, Hondojare on

    Atty. Dodo Dulay,

    You are a true columnist for telling true & facts on US government double standards, filipinos must support and unite to eradicate drug menace in our country for just a bitter and peaceful leaving in the future of our generation.

    God Bless The Philippines
    Mabuhay Tayong Filipinos