A group of Filipino migrants in the MSAR gathered on Sunday to express their dismay over the actions of The Philippines’ Vice-President, Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, and to add their voices to the global rally calling for her impeachment.
In the context of the country’s current controversial war on drugs initiated by President Rodrigo Duterte, the Vice President sparked controversy after the broadcast of a video message at the annual meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, Austria.
In the video, she claimed that the crackdown on drug trafficking being conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) has resulted in over 7,000 deaths, many of them extra-judicial killings. These allegations sparked rage amongst Duterte supporters, because her claims were reported to be unverified. These supporters consequently called for a global rally to impeach Robredo, with a slogan “PalitBise,” meaning ‘change of Vice President’.
In Macau, Jonathan Marigsa, a migrant worker, organized a small group of people to participate in the global movement.
He stressed their dismay over Robredo’s claims, adding that the Vice President presented a bad image of The Philippines to the UN.
“We didn’t like Leni Robredo’s statements regarding human rights. It was even showed to the UN but we don’t believe her claims,” Marigsa told the Times on a phone interview.
According to him, of the over 7,000 deaths recorded by the PNP, only one third are related to drug trade.
“Not all those deaths are related to extra-judicial killings. The calculations are wrong because it included other criminalities such as kidnapping, robbery and such,” he said.
“It gives the Philippines a bad image due to the statement she gave to the UN. She should instead be of help to the administration,” the Duterte supporter criticized.
Although the gathering only attracted a few dozen, Marigsa believed that majority of the Filipinos residing in the region are Duterte supporters, recalling that Duterte’s win during the elections in May last year was a landslide victory. LV