I just really find it so unfair that the international press is so quick to publish all those allegations that were blurted out by the fake witness Matobato but until today, they still haven’t published any accounts relating to the cross examination that happened right after which revealed that Matobato is a fake.
While we Filipinos who speak English and Tagalog (and Cebuano or some other local language in addition to English and Tagalog) are able to get the raw footage of cross examinations and understand instantaneously what’s going on, the international press is limited to what is fed to them by their local contacts – most of whom are in the employ of local Philippine news offices owned by oligarchic families opposed to Duterte and his administration.
And this is why it can be so frustrating.
The international community is limited to the articles in English, most of which are one-sided and critical of Duterte and his war on drugs. One key issue is where the international reports reinterpret the “deaths under investigation” as necessarily attributable to the government and thus considered “extra-judicial killings”, never mind that some of them are not even drug-related but may in fact include murders resulting from love-triangles/jealousy/crimes of passion, murders due to non-payment of debt, rape-slays, robbery-slays, or murders by drug cartels/organized crime.
Without really looking at the details, some articles just outright make it seem like these deaths are the result of the government’s actions in the prosecution of the War on Drugs. They forget that there is a separate category of deaths resulting from legitimate police operations: deaths that happen when during an operation aimed at arresting pushers/dealers, a fight ensues where the police are forced to defend themselves and the suspect being arrested gets killed. It also includes people killed due to stray bullets (from the drug criminals or police) and other unfortunate collateral damage.
No one is happy at all when innocents get killed. But the other side that many don’t see is that the primary objective of the government’s war on drugs is NOT TO KILL THESE CRIMINALS or anyone in particular but instead is aimed at having them surrender or get arrested.
After all, having them in custody IS BETTER because it means they can be interrogated and can point to their big bosses. Wasn’t that the whole point? To get to who the top people are in the drug trade?
But alas, the international news is being led to believe that Duterte is a “mass murderer”, totally ignoring the fact that killing criminals is not the objective. It does not help at all that a huge amount of the raw footage of the Senate inquests are not in English. It makes it harder for the international community to get the full story.
In the end, the international community gets a pre-curated version of the news that shows only one selectively translated side and leaves the other side untranslated and thus ignored on the international stage.
Originally written by: Orion Perez