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Philippines moves towards more powers for its President who doesn't believe in God

Philippines wants to crackdown against terror suspects but many feel changes to Human Security Act of 2007 is only to get Rodrigo Duterte more power.

Philippines moves towards more powers for its President who doesn't believe in God
Reuters File Photo

Rodrigo Duterte has made international headlines as much for his aggressive policies as for his aggressive statements which range from questioning the existence of God and desire to slaughter drug addicts to hurling extremely offensive expletives towards former US President Barack Obama.

Now, the President of the Philippines could be armed with even more power, power that could make him virtually invincible in his country.

The country's Congress is on the cusp of approving amendments in the existing Human Security Act of 2007. What this means that soon, Philippines could jail people for their posts on social media, death penalty could be brought back and torture could be made a state-approved tactic against accused.

If the approvals do come, groups which have been highlighting violation of human rights in the country could be even more enraged but many feel their voices would be curtailed even further. And while state officials say that the amendments are necessary due to terror threats that the country faces, opposition leaders have claimed that these are the false pretext on the basis of which, Duterte is hegemonizing his rule and power.

In the past, Duterte has angered more than just his political rivals due to his statements. The most criticised of his quotes, perhaps, was when he said he would resign if anyone could prove that God exists. This evoked a sharp reaction with a Catholic bishop terming him a 'psycopath.'