In open letter, Atty. Rivera tells New York Times “your hypocrisy sickens me”


MANILA, Philippines – Atty Bruce Rivera, one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s most vocal supporters expressed his indignation against New York Times for the series of editorials it published calling the global community to take a stand against Duterte for his alleged extrajudicial killings.

On April 25, New York Times hits Duterte anew in an editorial “Let the World Condemn Duterte” which took the case of crime against humanity filed against him before the ICC by lawyer Jude Josue Sabio, counsel of confessed Davao Death Squad hitman Edgar Matobato. The article referred Duterte as “a man who must be stopped.”

Rivera, in a strongly worded open letter, addressed to the New York Times cited three main reasons why the article deserves indignation and anger of the people who support Duterte’s “drug war”.

“Your hypocrisy sickens me,” Rivera further said in his letter posted on Facebook. “While you claim to be in the land of the free and berate dictators who oppress his people, let me remind the NY Times it has also supported despotic and murderous regimes by its silence numerous times in the past,” he added.

Here’s the open letter in full:


To the New York Times,

There are basically three reasons why your editorial against our President deserves our indignation and anger,

FIRST, if we had a despotic leader you claim has to be stopped because he kills, are you not wondering why a lot of those who report it are alive to report it. Are you a bit suspicious why these so-called witnesses are allowed to leave the Philippines, report it to you and enter the Philippines without incident. If he is really a killer, do you think he would have allowed a lot of them the chance to talk to you? It took years before Milosevic was exposed as a genocidal maniac. Why? He killed everyone so no one reported.

SECOND, all foreign journalists can come and go as they please. Have they been barred entry like what they have done in North Korea or Myanmar? Nope. They are here. Some even come here, take pictures of police operations in Quezon City and leave without even asking questions as to the nature of the police operations. Said pictures winning Pulitzer Prizes with captions like “they are slaughtering us like animals? Was there an attempt to hide said police operations? Again no. Why? There is nothing to hide. It is not full-proof but with the brutality of the police in the US towards blacks and the minority, you have no right to castigate a foreign state when your own backyard has more disturbing skeletons.

THIRD, your hypocrisy sickens me. While you claim to be in the land of the free and berate dictators who oppress his people, let me remind the NY Times it has also supported despotic and murderous regimes by its silence numerous times in the past. Its double-standard dictated by the financial interest of its stakeholders and those willing to pay the cost places the newspaper in a position of doubt and suspicion. The newspaper stood quietly as the US supported brutal dictators of Brazil, Honduras and Panama so that communism will not prosper in Latin America. The newspaper stood quietly as Pol Pot murdered Cambodians because he was pro-American and anti-Communist. And when the US invaded Panama to arrest a sitting president Manuel Noriega (a man the US supported before) in their own war on drugs, the newspaper did not cry foul. It applauded the gutsy move. And yes, Panamanian soldiers and civilians were killed in said invasion.

This is my piece and I said it.

Atty. Bruce V. Rivera

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Lorenzo Caballes, Jr.
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Lorenzo Caballes, Jr.

Lorenzo is a full time English Language Teacher to high school students in Phitsanulok. He reads and travels for self-enrichment. He also writes at where he shares his struggles and joys of being a teacher in Thailand for almost a decade now.