“JLS – Reporting from overseas”
Unless you turn off the TV, close your internet account, it’s nearly impossible as a foreigner living in the Philippines not to be exposed to this conversation. I was going to use the word debate, however it’s really not a debate at all.
In a very clever move by someone who herself is being questioned for her involvement in the drug trade, Leila de Lima was given the go ahead to investigate “present or current” extra judicial killings, however she has turned this into a review of an already investigated review of the DDS (Davao Death Squads).
“The HRW in 2009 said there were 124 targeted killings in Davao City from 1998 to 2008 alone.
It published a 103-page report which includes accounts of people with insider knowledge of the so-called Davao Death Squad, the victims’ families, witnesses, lawyers and local government officials.
It also called on the CHR to investigate Duterte and other government officials allegedly involved in death squad killings.
But the Office of the Ombudsman early this year wrote a letter to CHR chairman Chito Gascon dismissing the alleged involvement of Duterte and police officials in Davao City.
It said “there is no evidence to support the killings attributed to or attributable to the DDS.”
(emphasis added by JLS)
So recapping, after an extensive investigation there was a 103 page report that concluded there was no evidence to support the existence of any Davao Death Squad.
- First you must understand electoral protocol of the Philippines, the Liberal Party was last in power under Benigno S. Aquino III, and he was required under their law to step down after completing his term in office. Under Filipino law the elected vice president Leni Robredo (also a Liberal) would become president in the case of the death of elected president Duterte, or if he is impeached, the Liberals could once regain control over the country. (That’s a very big incentive to get Duterte impeached after losing the election to him) If it’s proven that Duterte is guilty, he will be impeached and the Liberals will regain the power they lost in the last election.
- Second you must also understand that the newly elected president Duterte named Senator Leila de Lima as someone connected to the drug ring in the Bilibid Prison. That’s a whole other story in itself, but considering that there is also a senate hearing into her connection to the drug trade, its worse than comical she gets to chair a senate committee that is by design intended to impeach President Duterte. In the latest breaking news the witness was brought into the hearings by the (not so neutral) chair of the committee, Leila de Lima herself.One has to ask, is it not a chairs job to sit as a neutral observer that guides both opposing sides to follow the rules of order? Since when does a chair become the prosecutor? I can only surmise they simply don’t adhere to the laws of conflict of interest in the Philippine Senate.
There are some reporters who do call it as it should be as is in the case of this one by Ramon Tulfo, it was a breath of fresh air in a stinking story where one could use their position in senate to fight a dirty underhanded election campaign to fix a failed one, and get off the hook for charges of being connected to the drug syndicate at the same time. Read – A coached witness. I am stunned at the international press who seemed to relish in the dirt throwing contest at the new Philippine President by headlining what someone who might be committing perjury said. Instead of saying the word alleged, they used the word accused, and in many cases they simply reported to the public that Duterte is all but impeached for the crime of extrajudicial killings and murder. Even CBC in Canada ran the condemning headline of “Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte ordered killings of hundreds, committee told” how incredibly appalling, and with a complete disregard for the presidents innocence. Its not like CBC was talking about a convicted killer, they were talking about a publicly elected president, imagine if any other national news did that to our elected Prime Minister?
CBC is a TV station I am normally proud of, what happened to investigative journalism vs tabloid journalism? So it appears the public is buried in “he is guilty” stories, and discerning adults now have to dig to find the truth in the press. Thank God for internet, or we would simply have to believe anything and everything they say, even if it’s all lies and fat bank accounts.
Let me steal a quote from another not so told story in the international press.
“A replay of the demolition telenovela” by the Liberal Party against former Vice President and defeated presidential candidate Jejomar Binay, was how a Binay spokesperson described the explosive testimony in the Senate of a confessed hit man about President Rodrigo Duterte’s alleged links to the Davao Death Squad (DDS).
“Thursday’s hearing (was) a page from the Liberal Party playbook,” Binay spokesperson Joey Salgado said in a statement on Friday, adding that the Senate investigation was conducted “in aid of demolition, not legislation … in which every rumor, half-truth, and hearsay was broadcast or published; every accusation accepted and presented as truth—complete with dramatic pauses and gestures—by some senators.”
Full story here “Binay camp sees replay in Senate hearing”
One of the best lists I have seen regarding the witness ability to tell the truth, something the international press has pretended not to notice.
I stole this list from the internet (Facebook) but it quite accurately sums up the credibility of the Liberal Party’s Impeachment plan.
17 STRIKES AND COUNTING… FOR EDGAR MATOBATO
1. Nograles did not have any bodyguards that got killed due to politics.
2. Paolo Duterte studied in Philippine Women’s College (PWC) in Davao and not in Ateneo de Davao.
3. He was never a bodyguard to Paolo Duterte as confirmed by a schoolmate.
4. PAOCTF was abolished in 2001 and not in 2002 thus there was no such meeting.
5. Richard King was killed in Vital C office and not in McDo.
6. There is no man named Matobato in CAFGU list as confirmed by the Philippine Army
7. Imagine 200 bullets riddled to a victim and still alive.
8. Paolo Duterte was taking drugs and based his statement on looks and hearsay.
9. Initially said he was a ghost employee by Davao City Hall and receives 3K per month but later changed it to 5K, ano ba talaga?
10. Initial questioning he revealed he killed 50 persons but later on he said it could be 1,000 or more, oh really now?
11. Mr Matobato said on 2003 then CHR Delima had a police operation to dig alleged graves and was planned to be ambushed (killed) but the now Senator Delima immediately corrected that it was 2009, sino ba talaga ang witness?
12. He alleged that he was a ghost employee in Davao City Hall but at the same time works at the police arm office of the City Mayor and receives monthly wage but COA and City Hall officials has already said there is no such ghost employee practices in the city, ano ba talaga?
13. His confusing statement on who brought him to the Senate to become witness, kaibigan daw nya pero di nya kilala, kilala daw nya matagal na pero bago lang, si father daw sa simbahan ang hiningan nya ng tulong; ano ba talaga koyah?!
14. He said he does not have any cellphones, access to tv, newspapers, or radio; but… the wife of Richard King called him, but… when he was hiding in Pangasinan his unknown “friend” went to him to get him as witness; ano ba ang totoo?
15. He said he killed a certain terrorist with a name, Sali Makdum. But such name cant even be googled, ano super secret lang cya?
16. He said “pinapark daw nila yung van na itim na ginagamit nila pang kidnapped sa GAISANO SUBDIVISION”, but there is no such subdivision with that name in Davao, ano imagination lang?
17. He said he executed a notarized affidavit indicating all his revelations being a DDS before he took oath and became witness in the Senate, but that is another lie; there is no such affidavit. All his statement during the committee session is not legally binding but just for show.
I should add, this list is already old, it’s much longer now, because so many more lies have already been established that the senate hearing has now become more of a gong show for the press. In the end the only thing that will happen is the rumor of Death Squads in Davao, will remain just that, a rumor to be used as a political tool.
If they really want to get to the bottom of this matter, they need someone credible to head the investigation, not someone allegedly tied to the drug trade.
There is good news however is more than 16,000 drug suspects have also been arrested while the number of those who surrendered has reached 700,000. This could be the world’s most successful war on drugs. The death toll is primarily fueled by the industry fighting back, and now stands at 1,466 suspected drug pushers and or related criminals that have been killed in PNP operations while 1,490 others were slain by suspected vigilante.
Compare that to the failed American war on drugs.
“The 20-year war to dismantle the Colombian cartels has cost approximately 15,000 lives, many of them innocent victims of narco-terrorism.”
“Between 2000 and 2010, the US spent $7.3bn on a military and economic aid programme called Plan Colombia. Although it was successful at bringing many coca-growing areas under state control and substantially reducing drug-related violence, Colombia remains a major coca and cocaine producing country. Today, the Farc are on the retreat and the big cartels have long gone, but the lucrative trade has been taken over by a network of mini-cartels and demobilised paramilitaries. Plan Colombia also displaced the drug trade back into Peru and Bolivia, as well as north into Central America and Mexico.
Supported by the US-financed Mérida Initiative, in 2006 the Mexican government declared a war on the drug cartels that has killed or led to the disappearance of 100,000 Mexicans so far; 90% of the cocaine that enters the US passes through Mexico, a trade that is now valued at between $19bn and $29bn.”
Could Duterte’s successes in his war on drugs be an embarrassment to the Government of the United States failed war on drugs, is that why they want Duterte to end his war on drugs?
Human rights do not exist in Colombia or Mexico, but God forbid they do in the Philippines.
Thanks for having taken the time to read what I have shared with you,