Duterte included in US political org’s video warning against ‘normalization of hate’

December 1, 2022 - 2:18 PM
Rodrigo Duterte
Screengrab of former president Rodrigo Duterte in this video by The Lincoln Project as seen on their YouTube video "Bloodlines" in January 2022 (Screengrab by Interaksyon from YouTube/The Lincoln Project)

A former Philippine president is among those included in an old pre-election video by a political organization based in the United States.

Film director Quark Henares shared a Twitter post by The Lincoln Project originally posted on Jan. 7, 2021, after a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol Building.

“We made this pre-election, thinking that we’d never have to release it. After the events of today, we decided to post, #Bloodlines,” the organization said before.

The Lincoln Project describes itself as a “leading pro-democracy organization in the United States” that is “dedicated to the preservation, protection, and defense of democracy.”

It reshared the video last Saturday in response to a news item about former U.S. president Donald Trump — who has bared plans to run in the U.S. 2024 polls — having dinner with a prominent white supremacist and antisemite.

“It’s happened before. It can happen again. Good people must act against this normalization of hate to stop it,” The Lincoln Project said.

Henares was among those who saw the video after it was reshared on Twitter.

“Kinilig ako nung lumabas si Du30 [Duterte] dito,” he quote tweeted with irony.

“Duterte is included in the company of Hitler, Mussolini, Putin, Mao, Chavez, Brezhnev, Ceausescu, Milosevic, Franco, Castro, Stalin, etc. This is how people outside of the Philippines view him,” another Twitter user wrote.

“Woah. Digong aligned to Hitler,” a different Pinoy commented.

The video shows Duterte and other populist leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin, the late Italian prime minister Benito Mussolini and late German dictator Adolf Hitler, among others.

“They dismissed the experts, demonize[d] the press, promise[d] they alone can deliver better lives and brighter futures,” the video voiceover says.

It specifically features Duterte while campaigning for president in the 2016 national elections under the slogan, “Change is coming.”

The former president was labeled a “strongman” by TIME magazine in 2018 and described as a “former mayor who talked more like a Mob boss than a President.”

“These are all leaders who’ve won elections in their countries while restricting basic freedoms to tighten their hold on power,” political scientist Ian Bremmer wrote in a follow-up article before.

Justifying his “strongman” tag, he added that Duterte enabled extrajudicial killings by the police and encouraged vigilante justice in his bloody “war on drugs” campaign that killed an estimated 12,000 people.

“As for not sending anyone to jail for criticizing him, Senator Leila de Lima, Duterte’s most forceful critic, has been detained on drug charges that HRW says are ‘politically motivated,'” Bremmer said in May 2018, referring to the Human Rights Watch.

“Just this week, the Philippines’ Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, another fierce Duterte critic, was removed from her post following an 8-6 vote by her fellow justices; Duterte pushed hard for her ousting, calling himself an ‘enemy’ of hers and threatening to forcibly remove her should it come to that,” he added.

“His government dismisses evidence of his drug war death toll, substantiated by international rights organizations, as ‘alternative facts.’ He has tried to harass and intimidate United Nations officials charged with investigating the evidence,” Bremmer continued.

The term “strongman” is defined by Merriam-Webster as ” one who leads or controls by force of will and character or by military methods.”

The dictionary lists “dictator, despot, tyrant” and “oppressor” as among its synonyms.