For President Rodrigo Duterte, ensuring the safety of Filipinos in a country “rocked with rebellion and extremism” and “flooded with drugs” can be “hell” and nightmarish.
“You know countries like the Philippines, you do what is right, it is wrong. You do what is wrong, it’s still wrong,” Duterte said in his speech during the 80th founding anniversary of the National Bureau of Investigation in Manila.
“And that’s how I balance governance. Whether to do wrong or to do right, to commit a wrong or do a wrong thing, to make it right,” he added.
Duterte, who is waging a bloody war on drugs that has made global headlines due to alleged human rights abuses, said the rule of law can sometimes be a “stupid proposition” because of disobedience.
“The rule of law is good, if the rules are followed. Very easy to say rule of law. And it applies not only to the government and to us — it applies to all citizens,” he said.
Recalling his experience as a prosecutor and mayor of Davao City, Duterte said he had to make a choice whether to “innovate” the rule of law or let his people suffer because “shabu was flowing in and out.”
“I would like to follow the rule of law. It is rules which make up the law. But when shabu was coming in, strong and fast, we had to make a choice. We innovate the law, the rule of law, or we let our people suffer. That’s the choice,” Duterte said.
“The rule of law and the obedience of the law are just principles of the law and they are really good if everybody follows. The problem here is, there is no obedience of the law, and sometimes the rule of law becomes a stupid proposition,” he added.