Displaying items by tag: duterte

Is Digong Duterte losing it?

This is not to insult the fans and followers of President Rodrigo ‘Digong’ Duterte, -- I am sure there are still a handful of them out there – but we really have to now ask, Is he still of sound mind?
From his latest words and actions, it would seem that the country’s chief executive is losing it. Literally, losing it.
He appears almost clueless as to what is happening in Marawi now. Mr. Duterte must be reminded that he is also commander in chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. His claim that he was not aware that US troops had joined the AFP in ending the crisis in Marawi is mind boggling.
He has also said in various occasions that the NPA and Nur Misuari’s MNLF should join the fray, then backtracked by saying that the underground Left should not have a part in the government’s efforts to wipe out the Maute group, which remains in control of some parts of Marawi as of this writing.
Recall that the president said the Marawi “incident” would be over by May 31 and that the Maute group was little more than a nuisance, a ragtag band that had been created by a group of drug dealers.
Not true, of course. The ISIS-linked Maute group has proven itself to be a major thorn on the side of the AFP, and driving them out of Marawi could take a few more weeks, perhaps months.
Yes, Mr. Duterte has paid tribute to the AFP’s men who have fallen in the ongoing battle for the city. He has attended their wakes and promised to help their families. This is all well and good, and is part of the job of the president. He must not only condole with the country’s fallen heroes, he must be seen by the people to be doing so.
Being commander in chief involves so much more than public perceptions though. To admit that he was not aware that foreign troops were actively engaged in the battle against homegrown terrorists means that he is no longer totally in charge of his mental facilities.
That the Marawi attack happened at all indicates that there was a failure of the intelligence community to keep tabs on what was already a known terrorist organization that was active in the area.
In the private sector, when a chief executive officer is no longer able to perform the task of running the company, the course of action to be taken is obvious. That CEO is asked to resign, or is relieved of his post if he fails to admit that he is no longer able to run the company.
Digong Duterte’s absence during this week’s Independence Day rites is yet another reason to believe that he is no longer fit for office. The poor excuse that he was “not feeling well” is lame, at best, and was an outright lie, at worst.
All he needed to do was to wake up early, head for Rizal Park, and give a short speech. He was not being asked to deliver a Gettysburg address. It was nothing more than a photo op to show the people that their president is alive and well and in control.
One day after he missed that very important event, Malacanang had the temerity to announce that the president was in excellent health and only needed some rest.
Already, there is talk that Mr. Duterte should simply be allowed to play the role of president by cutting ribbons and showing up at public events on a regular basis, while letting his Cabinet run the country as some kind of cabal whose only goal is to stay in power until the end of the president’s term.
This same cabal has already gotten used to disseminating false news and getting away with it.
As the latest proof, so-called Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre showed “evidence” that opposition senators were behind the Marawi attack by displaying an old picture of those lawmakers having lunch. After his falsehood was exposed, Aguirre was not even man enough to admit his mistake.
Meanwhile, the Palace’s spin doctors announced that the injustice sec was doing a terrific job and had the full confidence of the president.
For ordinary citizens, it can be downright scary to see a president losing control, all the while surrounded by yes men and sycophants telling him – and us – that all is well and good.
This is what it was like during dictator Ferdinand Marcos’s waning years of misrule. A sick man is the head of state and he is now lost.
Why we are back to this sorry state is difficult to fathom. But this is exactly where we are.

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Duterte 'ignorant' about drugs, says neuroscientist

By TJ DIMACALI, GMA News

 

Columbia University neuroscientist Dr. Carl Hart hit back anew at the Duterte administration's war on drugs, calling the president "ignorant" for the latter's understanding of drugs and drug abuse.

"When you have a president making such ignorant comments about drugs (as if) he's a pharmacologist—and when society allows that? And the scientific community doesn't say it's wrong? They have much bigger problems," Hart said in an interview with PRI.org's GlobalPost.

"Duterte's ignorance is only surpassed by those who support him on this issue," he added. "He is way out of his league when he talks about drugs."

'Duterte's most abhorrent claim'

Hart, who chairs  Columbia University's Department of Psychology, challenged Duterte's claim that methamphetamine—locally called "shabu"—shrinks people's brains.

"A year or more of shabu use would shrink the brain of a person and therefore he is no longer viable for rehabilitation," Duterte said in his keynote speech at the Philippine National Police's (PNP's) 115th Police Service anniversary in August last year.

"This is the most abhorrent claim made by (Duterte). Millions of people around the world take this drug. For a variety of conditions. We don't see anyone's brain shrinking," Hart said.

Myth of shrinking brains

"We've never seen, in the methamphetamine doses humans take, any shrinking brains or destroyed brain cells. It's a ridiculous notion," he underscored.

Hart pointed out that brain shrinkage has not been seen in relation to most drugs other than alcohol—and even then, he argues, it only happened with extremely large doses and not as a direct result of the alcohol itself.

He said that with the very high doses used in lab experiments—as much as 80 times the normal dose—some brain damage can be expected, even from such a mundane drug as ibuprofen, an off-the-counter medicine used to treat fever and pain.

Medical uses of amphetamines

Hart said he is no stranger to the effects of methamphetamine on people.

"I've given out hundreds of doses of methamphetamine, approaching thousands. I've never seen anyone become violent," he said.

Hart stressed that methamphetamine is "essentially the same drug as" amphetamine, a medicine commonly and legally prescribed by doctors around the world to treat a wide variety of diseases including ADHD, depression, narcolepsy, and obesity.

"In the United States, (amphetamines are) the number one drug for attention deficit disorder—prescribed to children as young as five years old," he said.

"Amphetamines are used widely but you don't see all this violence that people are claiming. It's just a myth," Hart underscored.

Earlier brush with Duterte

This is not the first time that Hart has butted heads with the country's head of state over the drug war.

Last May, Hart flew in to give a talk on drugs and drug abuse at the University of the Philippines.

At the event, he maintained that shabu use alone does not lead to violence nor causes brain damage by itself. He also said that drug abuse should be countered by public education and alternative solutions for would-be drug abusers.

Hart's views were shared by United Nations special rapporteur Agnes Callamard, a move which prompted the Philippine president to snap back at the pair:

"She should go on a honeymoon with that black guy," Duterte said.

"They have prejudged shabu and announced—ewan ko kung scientific (or) not—(that) it is not a virulent chemical. Pagka ganon, wala na tayong pag-uusapan," he added.

Hart said that he had received death threats in the wake of his controversial talk and left the country shortly thereafter. — GMA News

 

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Hang in public ASG supporter Nobleza? Duterte can't do that

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte's own chief legal counsel said Superintendent Maria Cristina Noblezacan’t be hanged in public for reportedly aiding terrorist groups in Mindanao.

“That is not the penalty imposed by the Constitution,” said Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo told Palace reporters on Monday, June 5, after being asked why Nobleza cannot be executed by public hanging.

“What [President Duterte] is saying is that this Nobleza has to be given the severest penalty imposed by law but that is not hanging, definitely not hanging,” he said.

Duterte, a lawyer, made the threat during a media interview on Saturday, June 3, in Cagayan De Oro. “The President, as we have known him by this time, he is fond of hyperbole because he wants some drama in some statements, to dramatize anything that he says, to get the attention of the people,” weighed in Panelo.

On Saturday, Duterte said he would order the public hanging of Nobleza for betraying the country.

Dapat bitayin at public hanging siya (She should be executed by public hanging). And I will not hesitate to do it if it comes to that. I will hang every traitor here in government,” said Duterte.

Nobleza is the police official who was arrested for an alleged attempt to rescue a terrorist involved in the foiled Bohol terror attack. 

A police investigation revealed that Nobleza was romantically involved with Renierlo Dongon, brother-in-law of several terror leaders in Mindanao.

Duterte claimed Nobleza accepted money from the Islamic State or ISIS in the Middle East and channeled the funds to terror groups in the Philippines.

“We looked at the remittances. The name always surfacing is that of the woman, Nobleza, the police woman who was being sent funds by one of the terror groups fighting in the Middle East. She is really the lady that is a traitor to her country,” said the President on Saturday.

Aside from public hanging not being in the Constitution, Congress has not yet passed any law reviving death penalty in the country. 

In the death penalty revival bill passed by the House of Representatives, House Bill Number 4727, hanging is one of the allowed methods of execution, aside from firing squad and lethal injection. – Rappler.com

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