Senator Risa Hontiveros criticized President Rodrigo Duterte on his recent statement, saying that drug addicts are worst than African slaves. The Liberal Party (LP) senator released her statement Friday, January 20 via her official Facebook page, noting that the president’s statement is racist, that he should not trivalize the suffering of these people.
“Actually ang kawawa nito is they are slaves. Mabuti pa ang slave, kasi kung mabili mo sa African market, magamit mo pa sa trabaho mo.” President Duterte said in his speech at Rizal Hall in Malacañang this Thursday, January 19 during the oath-taking ceremony of the newly-promoted officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“Ito, they are slaves eternally to a chemical sponsored by a criminal, his pockets full of money at the expense of the Filipino. Iyan ang masakit sa akin.” The tough-talking president added, who once again showed the public a stack of papers with the names of the alleged narco-politicians in the country, and warned them to stop they will be killed.
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Meanwhile, Sen Risa Hontiveros said that President Duterte should not compare drug addiction to slavery, emphasizing that they are not the same. She also urged the president to stop ostracizing drug addicts, saying that it will only make it more difficult for the government to rehabilitate them, and reintegrate them back into society where they belong.
“This is the height of absurdity. The president tries to make light of slavery, which is universally frowned upon and condemned. His remarks were callous, insensitive and uninformed. Abuse is abuse. Whether drug addiction or slavery, the lives of the people that are trapped in these circumstances are incomparable.” Sen. Risa Hontiveros said.
“What they need are appropriate health care interventions to manage and stop their addiction. The government should also recognize their right to decent work as a response to the roots of their dependence. The president should stop making it seem like drug dependents are better off sent to gas chambers or slave ships,” She added.
Credit: Senator Risa Hontiveros Facebook
In the same speech, President Duterte criticized the Catholic Church again for their strong statements on reported extrajucial killings (EJKs) related to his intensified war against illegal drugs. He also questioned the church on their contribution to help prevent the proliferation of drugs, noting that they are receiving millions of money from their members.
“May isang simbahan pa roon ipinapakita ‘yung mga extrajudicial. Anong ginawa ng simbahan? Kayong simbahan ng Katoliko. Milyon ang kita ninyo linggo-linggo all throughout the Philippines, karaming simbahan. Saan ang pera ng tao?…Meron ba kayong isang bahay lang maski limang kwarto para rehab?” The angry president said.