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DUTERTE-DE LIMA WAR

LEILA's DILEMMA: DRUG LINKS BARED
[RELATED June 2, 2015 REPORT: Govt has witness linking Duterte to Davao Death Squad- De Lima]
[RELATED(2): Aug 21: Duterte links De Lima to Napoles case]


AUGUST 18 -ALLEGATIONS DENOUNCED. Senator Leila de Lima, Secretary of Justice in the Aquino administration, denounces in her privilege speech Tuesday on the floor of the Senate allegations of coddling and protecting detained high profile drug lords at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City in the past six years. Ey Acasio
Senator fires back: Character assassination -“Here is a senator complaining [about the spate of drug-related killings],” Duterte told policemen at Camp Crame in Quezon City, without naming De Lima. “One day I will tell you that her driver who was her lover was the one collecting money for her during the campaign.” “She’s politicking and posturing when… [she herself has] a very sordid personal and official life,” he added. In a press briefing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport later in the afternoon, Duterte named the “crusading lady of human rights” that he referred to in his speech as De Lima, with whom he has had a long-running feud. “She thinks she is the conscience of the country. You want to know the name? De Lima,” Duterte said. Philippine National Police Director-General Rolando dela Rosa said he will order a probe on De Lima’s driver. “I will conduct my investigation,” dela Rosa said. De Lima accused Duterte of character assassination. “My first reaction is I don’t want to dignify that. It’s so foul. It’s character assassination,” said De Lima who was on the verge of tears. “We are both professional. We are both public servants. He should not have resorted to such foul means. That’s very foul,” said De Lima. She said Duterte should have double checked the source of his information. She also vowed that Duterte’s attack would not stop her from pursuing the Senate investigation on the spate of killings of drug suspects under his watch. During his speech, Duterte accused De Lima of commuting adultery with her “driver and lover,” claiming that she used illegal drug money from the New Bilibid Prison to bankroll her successful 2016 senatorial bid. READ MORE...RELATED,
June 2, 2015 REPORT -DOJ Chief De Lima: Witness links Duterte to Davao Death Squad... RELATED(2) Aug 21: Duterte links De Lima to Napoles case...

ALSO Rody: Unrelenting war on drugs forges ahead
[RELATED: Exposing narco-judges, Duterte may let SC decide]


AUGUST 18 -President Rodrigo Duterte
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday urged the Philippine National Police to continue the unrelenting war against illegal drugs. In his speech at the PNP 115th anniversary celebrations in Camp Crame, the Chief Executive said the fight against crime and criminality is eternal.“In every generation, in every political body, whenever there is a congregation of men, human beings would have problems about establishing law and order. Filipinos are no exemption,” he said. “We have our share of our agony and misery. In my generation especially now we are seeing our country devastated by drugs. It has not only affected millions, but a lot of them are no longer viable as human beings in this planet,” the President said. And yet, he said despite statistics which showed the large number of drug dependents and the devastation wrought by drugs to our society, “we see a lot of ranting about human rights in my campaign against [illegal] drugs.” Critics say the war on drugs has already caused the deaths of some 1,000 suspected drug pushers, while others have accused the government of being behind the extra-judicial killings. “Let me be frank with you this afternoon. The fight against [illegal] drugs will continue and [be] unrelenting until we destroy the apparatus operating in the entire country,” the President said. “A lot of bleeding hearts, including senators of this republic are complaining about the death rate in the fight against drugs. You know, it is very easy to complain,” he said. “We in government, and I myself who ordered the campaign against [illegal] drugs, take full sole responsibility for it and for those who are killed in a police operation and a firefight, we are willing to submit ourselves for an investigation before anybody,” Duterte said. The President also asked why the UN could be so easily interfere in the affairs of the republic while not lifting a finger in other countries whose human rights records are far much worse. On Aug. 3, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) issued a statement expressing great concern about reports of extra-judicial killing of suspected drug dealers and users in the Philippines. The President said that while there are drug pushers killed in the country, there are a lot of people, innocent women, children, young women, young men, old men, old women being killed elsewhere without even seeing the slightest justice. READ MORE...RELATED, Exposing narco-judges: Duterte may let SC decide...

ALSO De Lima to Duterte: I can’t fight you
[RELATED: Ex-FG M. Arroyo: De Lima gets own dose of selective justice]


AUGUST 18 -Sen. Leila De Lima said she will not fight the president but called to be granted due process. Philstar.com/Jonathan Asuncion, file
Sen. Leila De Lima on Thursday said despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s attack against her she would not fight the chief executive as she is only a senator. De Lima who faced the media admitted she was unable to sleep due to the issues she is facing. She cried foul against the allegations, saying the president’s act “is no less than abuse and misuse of the executive power.”  She, however, said she would not fight the president and instead called for due process. “Hindi po ako lalaban. Hindi ko po kaya labanan ang pangulo. Unang una, hindi ko nga po alam ang kasalanan ko sa kanya,” the senator said in a televised press briefing. "How does one defend oneself, when the attacker is immune from suit and has all the backing of executive power to support him in his personal attack? This is no less than abuse and misuse of executive power. I don't think the Constitution has ever contemplated such abuse of power on such scale, as it assumes every president to conduct himself in a manner befitting the office he holds,” she said. De Lima divulged that she thought of stopping the Senate probe into the extrajudicial killings and summary executions, which is being blamed on the president’s war on drugs, to stop the personal attacks against her. However, she stressed that she will not back down as Senator, will continue to fulfill her duties and launch a fair probe against the drug killings. READ MORE...Watch De Lima on embedded video below .....RELATED,
Ex-FG: De Lima gets own dose of selective justice...

ALSO:
VP Robredo on Duterte, De Lima row - Let’s respect each other
[RELATED AUGUST 19 -De Lima slams abuse of presidential power]


AUGUST 18 -Vice President Leni Robredo is calling for respect amid an emotional row between President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Leila de Lima. INQUIRER FILE / RICHARD REYES
Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday said she was saddened by the exchange of personal attacks between President Duterte and Senator Leila de Lima. “Nakakalungkot na kailangang personalan ang laban,” said Robredo in an ambush interview in Naga City. (It saddens me that the argument has turned personal.) “Puwede naman na nag-disagree tayo on issues pero sa diskusyon … kailangang pakinggan natin ang bawat isa. Magrespetuhan,” she added. (We can disagree on issues, but in the discussion … we need to listen to each other. Respect one another.) Kaya tayo nandito para to bring out the best in people. Pag binababa natin ang discourse sa personalan, baka ang nabi-bring out natin ay ang worst in people,” she said. (We are here to bring out the best in people. If we lower the discourse to the personal, we might draw out the worst in people.) President Duterte on Wednesday publicly lambasted De Lima in his speech before the Philippine National Police, calling the lady senator an “immoral woman” who was having an affair with her driver. He further claimed that the driver collected money from drug lords in the National Bilibid Prisons which might have funded De Lima’s senatorial campaign. Robredo said all government officials, especially the President, should serve as an inspiration to their subordinates and the people. READ MORE...RELATED, AUGUST 19 -De Lima slams abuse of presidential power.....

ALSO: DOJ starts fact-finding probe on De Lima, driver on drugs
[RELATED: Rody eyes Leila’s former driver as state witness]


AUGUST 19 -Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the DOJ will conduct a fact-finding investigation, but gave assurance that it would not focus on specific persons or former officials. Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV
She went after corrupt officials and criminals as justice secretary in the previous administration. Now Sen. Leila de Lima finds herself the subject of a criminal investigation after being accused by President Duterte of benefitting from money given by convicts operating as drug lords. De Lima and other former officials of the Department of Justice (DOJ) are being investigated over the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City. The NBP is under the supervision of the DOJ. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has confirmed receiving information that at least two former ranking officials of the department benefited from millions in drug money from high-profile inmates in NBP. These two past DOJ officials allegedly connived with the NBP inmates so the latter could have their way and continue narcotics operations from inside the penitentiary. They allegedly allowed the daily meal budget for NBP inmates to be brought down to P40 from the previous budget of P50 so that the P240,000 “savings” per day could be pocketed by these officials and their cohorts at the state penitentiary. The justice chief also said some NBP officers were liquidated upon the order of some inmates. “Everybody in the DOJ from the past administration – at all levels – will be investigated. Our objective really is to find out what happened in the previous administration and why did illegal drugs proliferate in Bilibid,” Aguirre stressed. READ MORE...RELATED, Rody eyes Leila’s former driver as state witness...

ALSO Bulletin Opinion: ‘Narco-cracy’


BY ERIK ESPINA - President Rodrigo Duterte touring several AFP camps revealed that an estimated 600,000 Filipinos are drug addicts, victims of this pernicious trade. Other references put the toll higher. The Dangerous Drugs Board of 2012 estimated 1.3 million; Bridges of Hope 2015, at 1.7 million addicted to drugs. US government figures are more startling. There is, to be theoretical about substance abuse, a horizontal and vertical menace that influences the widest swathe of our people, from the mountain barangays to far-flung municipal huts. The deadly claws of the contraband shabu implanted in the gilded gates of private villages, with suspected political mammals in national office, e.g., former Cabinet members and alleged legislators, as users. At those levels of megalomania, it has to be a combine of marijuana and the egoism of “can-afford” cocaine as a “harmless” apertiff for the richy-rich. The in-between party drug of “exctasy pills,” is readily available for lesser cretins. President Duterte imposed a six-month time-line to rid Philippine society of the purveyors of a R200-B (2009 figures) illegal trade. Radical intervention is required, e.g., exposing suspected protectors and users, so they can defend/surrender themselves. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Leila’s dilemma: Drug links bared


ALLEGATIONS DENOUNCED. Senator Leila de Lima, Secretary of Justice in the Aquino administration, denounces in her privilege speech Tuesday on the floor of the Senate allegations of coddling and protecting detained high profile drug lords at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City in the past six years. Ey Acasio

Senator fires back: Character assassination

MANILA, AUGUST 22, 2016 (MANILA STANDARD) posted August 18, 2016 at 12:01 am by John Paolo Bencito - “Here is a senator complaining [about the spate of drug-related killings],” Duterte told policemen at Camp Crame in Quezon City, without naming De Lima. “One day I will tell you that her driver who was her lover was the one collecting money for her during the campaign.”

“She’s politicking and posturing when… [she herself has] a very sordid personal and official life,” he added.

In a press briefing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport later in the afternoon, Duterte named the “crusading lady of human rights” that he referred to in his speech as De Lima, with whom he has had a long-running feud.

“She thinks she is the conscience of the country. You want to know the name? De Lima,” Duterte said.

Philippine National Police Director-General Rolando dela Rosa said he will order a probe on De Lima’s driver.

“I will conduct my investigation,” dela Rosa said.

De Lima accused Duterte of character assassination.

“My first reaction is I don’t want to dignify that. It’s so foul. It’s character assassination,” said De Lima who was on the verge of tears.

“We are both professional. We are both public servants. He should not have resorted to such foul means. That’s very foul,” said De Lima.

She said Duterte should have double checked the source of his information.

She also vowed that Duterte’s attack would not stop her from pursuing the Senate investigation on the spate of killings of drug suspects under his watch.

During his speech, Duterte accused De Lima of commuting adultery with her “driver and lover,” claiming that she used illegal drug money from the New Bilibid Prison to bankroll her successful 2016 senatorial bid.

READ MORE...

“Here is an immoral woman, flaunting. Well of course, in so far as the wife of the driver was concerned, it’s adultery,” Duterte said.

“Here is a woman who funded the house of her lover and yet we do not see any complaint about it. That money came readily from her,” he added.

Administration allies have accused De Lima of being in cahoots with the drug lords in the national penitentiary.

Duterte also brought up De Lima’s attempts to pin him to the Davao Death Squads when she was still commissioner on human rights.

“Until now she keeps on yapping,” Duterte said.

In his press briefing at Naia, Duterte said that he is not joking about his revelations against De Lima.

“It is not the business of a President to lie to the public,” he said.

He also reiterated that the ongoing war against drugs will continue whether they like it, or not.

“We will overcome the resistance, but if the resistance is violent, shoot. Can I be more clear than that?” Duterte said.

“Be careful with me because if I say I will do it, I will do it, even if have to kill you or be killed in the process,” he added, referring to the senators who are set to investigate the spate of drug-related killings.

Duterte was at the airport to condole with the widow of Petty Officer 3 Darwin Espallardo whose wife Cleofe and son Dwyndyll John Espallardo flew from Legazpi City to fetch his cadaver.

Duterte told newsman during an impromptu interview that the family of Espallardo will receive a burial assistance of P250,000 cash and other benefits while the son will get a full scholarship grant until he finishes his college degree.

Also on Wednesday, one of the so-called narco-judges named by Duterte denied any involvement in the illegal drug trade.

Judge Exequil Dagala of the Dapa-Socorro, Surigao del Norte Municipal Circuit Trial Court said he has served the judiciary in the last 10 years with integrity.

He said his income was barely enough to sustain the needs of his family as he submitted himself to lifestyle check by the Supreme Court, which already initiated an administrative investigation against him and the three other active judges.

Dagala admitted owning a “small island” off Del Carmen town in Siargao, but said that he bought the property years ago for only about P40,000.

The island, known in the town as “Isla Verde,” was inspected by local police earlier this week even without court warrant on suspicion that it was housing a drug laboratory. With Eric B. Apolonio

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LAST YEAR's HEADLINE NEWS FROM THE INQUIRER (JUNE 2, 2015)

DOJ Chief De Lima: Witness links Duterte to Davao Death Squad By: Tetch Torres-Tupas
@T2TupasINQ INQUIRER.net 03:03 PM June 2nd, 2015

THE government has a witness to link Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to the vigilante group Davao Death Squad (DDS).

DDS has been tagged as responsible for the summary executions of some 1,020 to 1,040 people between 1998 and 2008.

“Iyong witness namin pinangalanan niya kung sinu-sino yung mga gumagawa nyan allegedly on order of Mayor Duterte. Pinangalanan niya,” de Lima said.

De Lima said the witness, a former member of the DDS, claimed to be responsible for the death of some of DDS’ victims.

“He even claims to be responsible for the death of a number of victims as part of the DDS and purportedly on orders of Mayor Duterte,” de Lima added.

Earlier, de Lima said the witness’ testimony is the basis of the National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) case buildup against the group.

“The NBI is already doing a case buildup on the Davao Death Squad on the basis of what was disclosed by this witness,” De Lima told reporters.

De Lima said the case buildup on the DDS started almost simultaneously when the NBI filed with the DOJ multiple murder and frustrated murder charges against former Tagum City Mayor Rey “Chiong” Uy and 29 others, including retired and current police officers, former local officials and alleged hitmen.

The charges were filed in connection with 82 extrajudicial killings and two murder attempts in Tagum City, the town of Dujali in Davao del Norte, Maco and Wahab in Compostela Valley and Butuan City. AC

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RELATED(2) FROM PHILSTAR

Duterte links De Lima to Napoles case By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated August 21, 2016 - 4:17pm 6 643 googleplus0 0


President Rodrigo Duterte said he seeks to revisit the case of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles. File photo

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE 1 5:20 p.m.) — The plot thickens.

After accusing Sen. Leila de Lima of benefiting from drug money, President Rodrigo Duterte Sunday vowed to disclose “revealing” details about the pork barrel scam case that he said would “horrify” the lawmaker.

Duterte said the case of Janet Lim Napoles, the businesswoman tagged as the brains behind the multi-billion peso fund scam, deserves a second look.

“Wait until we revisit the Napoles case, Secretary or Senator De Lima, and I assure you, you will be horrified,” the president said in a press conference in Davao City.

“It involves corruption and De Lima,” he added without elaborating.

Napoles has been accused of diverting congressional allocations or “pork barrel” to dummy non-government organizations for ghost projects worth more than P10 billion. She has denied the allegations and insisted that all of her earnings came from legitimate means.

De Lima was Justice secretary when the investigations into the scam started.

Several officials have been charged in connection with the scam, prodding some groups to question the legality of the pork barrel before the Supreme Court (SC).

The pork barrel, formally known as the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), was declared unconstitutional by the SC in 2013.

According to the court, the PDAF violated the principle of separation of powers because it allowed lawmakers “to wield, in varying gradations, non-oversight, post-enactment authority in vital areas of budget executions.” Duterte: I'm just doing my job Duterte brought up the issue on Napoles after announcing that he would reveal more names of Philippine National Police personnel and senior officials as well as judges involved in anomalies.

"JUST DOING MY JOB"

He reiterated that he is just doing his job of telling the truth to the Filipino people, which he said he would do throughout his term.

Duterte lamented that “a lot of billions and billions of pesos” were lost because of the pork barrel scam. He noted that some lawmakers were placed behind bars only because the accusation against them is non-bailable. Plunder is a non-bailable offense unless the court views the evidence against the accused as weak.

“In the meantime, they (lawmakers) are in prison but is not enough vindication for the Filipino people,” Duterte said.

Former Sens. Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla and Juan Ponce Enrile were detained due to plunder charges in connection with the scam. Enrile, however, was released last year after the Supreme Court granted him bail due to health reasons.

Last week, Duterte accused De Lima of having an illicit affair with her married driver, whom, he said, collected drug money to support her senatorial bid this year.

De Lima, who has been criticizing the Duterte administration’s anti-drug war, has denied any involvement with narcotics and even claimed that the president would lose face for making such allegation.

Duterte said he made the expose because De Lima made herself popular at his expense. He cited De Lima’s effort to link him to the Davao Death Squad, the vigilante group believed to be behind the killing of suspected criminals in the city.

“I have to quarrel with you (De Lima). It was you who started this ruckus many years ago,” Duterte said during Sunday's press conference.

“Now that you are at the receiving end of all of these, you should not be heard complaining because there are serious matters already arrayed against you,” he added. — Rosette Adel


MANILA STANDARD

Rody: Unrelenting war on drugs forges ahead posted August 18, 2016 at 12:01 am by Francisco Tuyay and Macon Ramos-Araneta


President Rodrigo Duterte

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday urged the Philippine National Police to continue the unrelenting war against illegal drugs.

In his speech at the PNP 115th anniversary celebrations in Camp Crame, the Chief Executive said the fight against crime and criminality is eternal.

“In every generation, in every political body, whenever there is a congregation of men, human beings would have problems about establishing law and order. Filipinos are no exemption,” he said.

“We have our share of our agony and misery. In my generation especially now we are seeing our country devastated by drugs. It has not only affected millions, but a lot of them are no longer viable as human beings in this planet,” the President said.

And yet, he said despite statistics which showed the large number of drug dependents and the devastation wrought by drugs to our society, “we see a lot of ranting about human rights in my campaign against [illegal] drugs.”

Critics say the war on drugs has already caused the deaths of some 1,000 suspected drug pushers, while others have accused the government of being behind the extra-judicial killings.

FIGHT VS ILLEGAL DRUGS TO CONTINUE...

“Let me be frank with you this afternoon. The fight against [illegal] drugs will continue and [be] unrelenting until we destroy the apparatus operating in the entire country,” the President said.

“A lot of bleeding hearts, including senators of this republic are complaining about the death rate in the fight against drugs. You know, it is very easy to complain,” he said.

“We in government, and I myself who ordered the campaign against [illegal] drugs, take full sole responsibility for it and for those who are killed in a police operation and a firefight, we are willing to submit ourselves for an investigation before anybody,” Duterte said.

The President also asked why the UN could be so easily interfere in the affairs of the republic while not lifting a finger in other countries whose human rights records are far much worse.

On Aug. 3, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) issued a statement expressing great concern about reports of extra-judicial killing of suspected drug dealers and users in the Philippines.

The President said that while there are drug pushers killed in the country, there are a lot of people, innocent women, children, young women, young men, old men, old women being killed elsewhere without even seeing the slightest justice.

READ MORE...

The President then called on the police force not to be intimidated by the UN’s statements on human rights and urged them to increase their efforts in the fight against drugs.

PNP chief Ronaldo dela Rosa on Wednesday told his lieutenants to take a more aggressive stance against drug dealers and threatened to relieve three regional directors whom he said turned in a poor performance in stamping out illegal drugs in their jurisdiction.

600,000 HAS SURRENDERED

Dela Rosa also said he was worried because the number of drug users and pushers surrendering to the police had plateaued at about 600,000.

“In our command conference yesterday (Tuesday) there are still barangays, based on the drug mapping and drug profiling, that are highly drug influenced and yet there are zero surrenderees,” Dela Rosa said.

It appeared, Dela Rosa said, that the chiefs of police of Regions 5 (Bicol), 6 (Western Visayas), and the National Capital Region need to shape up as illegal drug activities are still rampant.

Bicol region is headed by Chief Supt Melvin Buenafe, Region 6 by Chief Supt. Jose Gentiles, and NCRPO by Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde.

Aside from the regional directors, Dela Rosa also included provincial police directors, chiefs of police of a town or municipality, and their respective men who are not performing their duties well, particularly their mandate of eradicating illegal drugs.

RECTO: BOTTOM LINE DUTERTE IS SERIOUS, WE NEED TO HELP HIM

Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto said it was clear Duterte was serious about his war on drugs, and said the senators were not out to embarrass the PNP.


RECTO

“The bottom line, he is serious in fighting the drug problem. That’s very, very clear to us so we need to help him,” said Recto when asked what the President told them after showing a list of supposed narco-politicians.

Recto recalled that during a meeting in Malacañang Monday night, the President was holding the list which contains the names of mayors, councilors, and former congressmen, many of whom come from Mindanao, Duterte’s home island.

Recto said there were local officials, former officials and policemen on the list.

LACSON TO CONDUCT PUBLIC HEARING TO BEEF UP WAR ON DRUGS


LACSON

The Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, chaired by Senator Panfilo Lacson, will conduct a public hearing today (August 18) to discuss several proposals to beef up the administration’s war on drugs.

Lacson said the committee would tackle Senate Bill No. 48, which aims to amend the Anti-Wire Tapping Law (Republic Act No. 4200), thus allowing law enforcement officers, with a court order, to wire-tap on violators of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Senator Gregorio Honasan II filed a similar bill (Senate Bill No. 21) to authorize the “wiretapping, interception, surveillance and recording of communications of pushers, manufacturers, cultivators, importers and financiers of dangerous drugs.”

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, meanwhile, said hearings on the extrajudicial killings of drug suspects would be fair and impartial.

“All those invited to the hearings will be treated with due courtesy,” Pimentel said.

He said he will not tolerate grandstanding by his fellow senators at the expense of police officials.

He also affirmed his support for the President’s war on drugs and his confidence in PNP chief Dela Rosa. With PNA

SUPPLEMENTARY NEWS FROM UPDATE PHILIPPINES ONLINE

Proposed measures to help Duterte’s war on drugs roll in Senate August 17, 2016 Ace dela Cruz Nation 0 ShareTweet

The Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drug will conduct a public hearing tomorrow, August 18, to tackle several proposed laws aiming to beef up President Rodrigo Duterte administration’s war on drugs. The said Senate committee is being chaired by Senator Panfilo Lacson.

Among the bills to be tackled are Senate Bill No. 48 and Senate Bill No. 21 that seeks to amend the Anti-Wire Tapping Law (Republic Act No. 4200) and authorize the “wiretapping, interception, surveillance and recording of communications of pushers, manufacturers, cultivators, importers and financiers of dangerous drugs.”

Senator Lacson said aside from violations of Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, crimes of coup d’etat, conspiracy and proposal to commit coup d’etat, robbery in band, brigandage/highway robbery and violations of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 (Republic Act No. 9160) will also be included to the list of offenses wherein law enforcement officers with a court order will not be penalized under the Anti-Wire Tapping Law.

Majority Floor Leader Senator Vicente Sotto III’s Senate Bill No. 8, seeking to provide “affordable drug rehabilitation treatment” for Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) beneficiaries.

Senate Bill No. 3, also filed by Sotto, which aims to create the Presidential Anti-Drug Authority (PRADA) and Senate Resolution No. 19, filed by Senator Bam Aquino, directing the appropriate Senate committees to conduct an inquiry on effective drug prevention and intervention for the youth will also be tackled.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Exposing narco-judges: Duterte may let SC decide By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 19, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


President Duterte, who has launched a shame campaign against officials who are allegedly protecting drug lords, said it would be up to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to respond to questions about the identities of the judges. AP/Bullit Marquez, file

MANILA, Philippines - A week after apologizing to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, President Duterte said he may just let the Supreme Court decide whether to reveal the names of judges believed to have ties with illegal drugs.

Duterte, who has launched a shame campaign against officials who are allegedly protecting drug lords, said it would be up to Sereno to respond to questions about the identities of the judges.

“Well, I can have a choice. I can send the list to the Supreme Court insofar as the judges are concerned,” Duterte said in a press conference in Pasay City on Wednesday.

“(It’s) fine with me. It will be up to her to decide if she is asked, ‘Who are the… judges?’” he added.

Duterte has tagged more than a hundred incumbent and former local officials, policemen, soldiers and judges in the narcotics trade as part of his relentless war against illegal drugs and criminality.

Seven judges were part of the list of the so-called “narco officials,” namely Lorenda Mupas, Antonio Reyes, Adriano Savillo, Domingo Casiple, Rene Gonzales, Exequil Dagala and Roberto Navidad.


SERENO

In a letter, Sereno had informed Duterte that Mupas was dismissed in 2007 for gross ignorance of the law and misconduct while Navidad was killed in 2008.

Gonzales retired from the judiciary last June while Dagala and Savillo do not handle drug cases.

Casiple, meanwhile, is a judge of a court of general jurisdiction while Reyes presides over the designated drugs court in the Regional Trial Court Branch 61 in Baguio City.

In the same letter, Sereno reminded Duterte that a premature announcement on allegations of involvement would render the judges “veritably useless” in discharging their role.

The Chief Justice also told judges not to surrender without any arrest warrant.

Sereno’s statement did not sit well with Duterte, who warned the Chief Justice that he would order his officials not to honor her if she meddles with his anti-drug campaign.

He also threatened to declare martial law if Sereno interfered with his war on narcotics.

Duterte later apologized for his “harsh words” that he claimed were unintended but maintained that as President, it is his duty to inform the public about the country’s condition.

He vowed to reveal more names of officials involved in illegal drugs but did not say when he would do so.


PHILSTAR

De Lima to Duterte: I can’t fight you By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated August 18, 2016 - 11:55am 9 5656 googleplus3 0


Sen. Leila De Lima said she will not fight the president but called to be granted due process. Philstar.com/Jonathan Asuncion, file

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Leila De Lima on Thursday said despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s attack against her she would not fight the chief executive as she is only a senator.

De Lima who faced the media admitted she was unable to sleep due to the issues she is facing. She cried foul against the allegations, saying the president’s act “is no less than abuse and misuse of the executive power.”

She, however, said she would not fight the president and instead called for due process.

“Hindi po ako lalaban. Hindi ko po kaya labanan ang pangulo. Unang una, hindi ko nga po alam ang kasalanan ko sa kanya,” the senator said in a televised press briefing.

"How does one defend oneself, when the attacker is immune from suit and has all the backing of executive power to support him in his personal attack? This is no less than abuse and misuse of executive power. I don't think the Constitution has ever contemplated such abuse of power on such scale, as it assumes every president to conduct himself in a manner befitting the office he holds,” she said.

De Lima divulged that she thought of stopping the Senate probe into the extrajudicial killings and summary executions, which is being blamed on the president’s war on drugs, to stop the personal attacks against her. However, she stressed that she will not back down as Senator, will continue to fulfill her duties and launch a fair probe against the drug killings.

READ MORE...

“Your Excellency, naisip ko na rin po na itigil na ang imbestigasyon sa mga summary executions kung iyon ang gusto ninyo para lamang matigil ang mga personal na atake sa akin… Pero kapag ginawa ko po ito ay parang tinalikuran ko na rin ang sarili kong pagkatao, at itinatwa ang sarili kong mga paninindigan at paniniwala,” De Lima said.

“Mas nanaisin ko na kayo at inyong gobyerno ang magbaon sa akin kaysa ako ang magbaon sa aking sarili,” she added.

De Lima to face possible cases

The senator said she has been receiving information and threats that there would be modified evidence to come out against her if she pursues the fight against summary executions. De Lima said she is ready to face these allegations but asked Duterte to spare her colleagues, friends and family from his attacks.

“Tama na po ang pananakot at panghihiya. Bumalik na po tayo sa kaayusan na dulot ng pag-iiral ng batas at simpleng respeto sa kapwa tao.

“I have always been loyal to my oath as a public servant. I am not the enemy here. Stop portraying me as one,” she concluded.

An emotional De Lima refused to answer any questions from the media saying she is “hurting a lot.” She confessed she thought of not facing the media due to the criticisms but knows that she must address these eventually.

“Ano pa kaya ang mas lalala sa mga ginagawa nila sakin ngayon? Sinisira nila ang aking dangal. Nilalapastangan nila ang aking pagkababae mayroon pa kayang lalala diyan?” the senator asked.

RELATED: Leila cries foul; Senate probe on killings to continue

| LP stands by De Lima amid Duterte's tirades

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RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

Ex-FG: De Lima gets own dose of selective justice Written by Ted Tuvera Friday, 19 August 2016 00:00



'HOW DOES KARMA FEEL?'

The fate of beleaguered Sen. Leila de Lima whom President Duterte accused the other day of being involved in the drug trade with her lover is a requital as she received her own dose of “selective justice” which she had practiced during her stint as Justice Secretary under former President Aquino.

Former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, in a Facebook post, said what is happening to De Lima, who claims to have been offended by the President’s “very foul” attacks on her person, was divine vindication and a recompense for the harassment she employed against his wife former President Gloria Arroyo.

“Senator De Lima complained that which President Duterte did to her was ‘very foul.’ How about when you violated (Mrs. Arroyo’s) human rights by not allowing her to leave? You willfully disobeyed the (Supreme Court’s Temporary Restraining Order). Wasn’t that ‘very foul’ also?” Arroyo said.

The Arroyo couple was barred by De Lima, then Department of Justice (DoJ) chief to leave the country to seek medical treatment in Hong Kong in 2011 before she was served arrest orders.


Published November 15, 2011 8:17pm (Updated 10:20 p.m.) Former President and incumbent Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo attempted but failed to leave the country Tuesday night after Immigration officials at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal I (NAIA-I) barred her from boarding the day's last flight to Singapore. This developed hours after the Supreme Court stopped the Aquino government from enforcing watch list orders barring Arroyo and her husband, Jose Miguel, from traveling abroad, and an order by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima for Immigration and airport officials to keep Mrs. Arroyo from leaving the country. GMA NEWS NOVEMBER 20

“How about when you said I escaped when I left for Hong Kong? You said flight is proof of guilt. Although the CCTV showed I went through the regular process, you never apologized. And I came back. Wasn’t that ‘very foul’ also?” he said.

“Now that the shoe is on the other foot, how does karma feel?” the former First Gentleman added.

As for known whistle-blower Sandra Cam, who first exposed De Lima’s illicit affair with her alleged “driver-lover” who turned out to be a drug-money collector, said that there are more “skeletons in her closet.” In an exclusive interview, Cam said De Lima may have in the offing more public shaming from Duterte as there are more “immoralities” that will eventually be made public.

“She should not try to make herself appear as if she’s prudent. Everybody in the DoJ and in the National Bureau of Investigation knows of her affair with her driver who collected funds coming from drugs to fund her Senate bid,” Cam told the Daily Tribune.

“De Lima is not in the position to be morally upright. Her scandalous affairs and manners of handling the DoJ is beyond love affairs. She coddled illegal activities. She is connected with other criminals,” she added.

Cam further dared the lady Senator, who called her a gossipmonger after exposing supposed immoral grounds to disqualify her as a senatorial candidate and from being a competent government official, to quit begging for emotional appeals.

“Come on, Leila. Quit your drama. Everybody knows that you’re a notorious scalawag in government. You should be ashamed of yourself,” Cam said.

“Why were you with (detained gangster) Jaybee Sebastian, who is now the kingpin in Bilibid, in that photo? Who else are you protecting? I know who, but now that it’s the President himself that’s shaming her, let it be,” she added.


Cam even identified De Lima’s lover as Ronnie Palisoc Dayan, her personal driver who was the alleged “fixer” for transactions in the DoJ.

“Don’t ever try to deny that, Leila. I can vividly remember how you approached me, telling me that I’m your friend after I exposed your affair. And I’m standing by it,” she emphasized.


Based on de Lima’s press statement, it seems that the lady senator herself did not deny her supposed affair with Dayan.

No ethics probe on De Lima



Duterte’s charges against De Lima cannot be used to sanction her as a senator, ranging from censure to expulsion, for whatever offenses she may have committed, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said.

“The charges on De Lima is not within the scope of the ethics committee’s jurisdiction which are only supposed misdemeanors or violations of a senator. Those which she did before being a senator is not within the ambit of the ethics committee. So there is nothing that the Senate can do regarding the allegations,” Lacson said.

“So the only advice I can give de Lima is to defend herself within her discretion,” he said.

The ethics and privileges committee, which Lacson is willing to sit as its chairman, remains vacant. Its jurisdiction covers all matters relating to the auditing and adjustments of all accounts chargeable against the funds for the expenses and activities of the Senate.

Lacson, however, said it’s within the prerogative of the President in naming De Lima as the senator he was referring to as having supposedly received campaign funds from convicted drug lords in the last elections.

DUTERTE's CALL

“It’s the President’s call. We all know, for lack of a better word, the character of President Duterte when it comes to this issue. In my view, it is the right of de Lima to defend herself,” he said.

Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III and Sen. Richard Gordon stood against the position of some of their colleagues sympathetic to de Lima in enjoining the upper chamber leadership in taking a stand and to defend one of their ranks from the attacks of the President.

By doing so, Sotto said it will only provoke the impression that the Senate is an “old boys club”, encircling their wagons and protecting themselves.

He also noted Lacson’s position on the issues against de Lima being taken up in the Senate.

“(Besides) I don’t think the Senate has anything to do with the allegations said or done when De Lima was not yet a senator,” he said.

The LP issued a statement calling on Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel “to uphold the independence of the Senate whose membership must always be vigorously supported as they fulfill the people’s mandate to make inquiries in aid of legislation.”



“I don’t think we should take a stand. Why should we take a stand? That is her problem. It the first place it could be personal. It could be there is a basis because the past show that she was the secretary of justice when all these things were going on. By the way in the Senate the other day I said even the past secretaries of justice should be prosecuted because they were doing these even before. we cannot cherry pick. So should we take a position?,” said Gordon in an interview with reporters.

“I don’t think we should take a position. The President is a very different president. He is unique if not unorthodox. He is using what we call the bully pulpit. He stands up and says I cannot solve the problem but I have a duty to my countrymen to tell them that the following people have drugs. Sure, he is immune from suit or he could be impeached, he is taking that risk, in fact we are giving him credit for that. When he leaves, he could be sued later on, so if that is the case, then he is using it to good effect,” he added,

Gordon also disputed claims made by Sen. Risa Hontiveros that the President’s tirades against their fellow senator smacks of an awful display of “ad hominem politics” and mysoginistic.

“What is presidential and what is unpresidential? In the old days, presidents even took a swipe at other people, I think it was Andrew Jackson. In the old days, secretaries of state had duels,” Gordon added.

Mere drama

The Palace considers the word war between Duterte and de Lima as mere “drama” since both have been going at it for a long time now.

Andanar said that the President’s outburst against the former Justice Secretary came out because the President was heavily offended by criticisms coming from De Lima who initiated senate probes on the rampant extra judicial killings attributed to his declared war on drugs.

“With all of the negative comments of de Lima on the war against illegal drugs, maybe the Presidente had too much,” he said.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, in a text message to reporters, challenged teh senator to respond to the accusation, admitting or at least denying it, in a frank manner.


PANELO

“The question that the good senator should respond to is: Is the information given by President Duterte on her true or not? In her press conference she did not deny nor refute the information. Character assassination predicates the adverse information on the conduct of a person as being false,” Panelo said.

The President’s top lawyer also insisted that which Duterte did was not an accusation as it was rather a mere information that should be shared to the public.

“The naming of President Duterte of the government officials involved in the illegal drug trafficking and coddling is an information and not an accusation. Hence the [the President’s remarks] on Senator de Lima is an information reported to the nation on the questionable behavior of a public official,” he noted.

De Lima lover up for probe

Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald dela Rosa, meanwhile, vowed to conduct an investigation into the alleged links of the driver of Senator de Lima to illegal drugs.

“To satisfy you, I will conduct an investigation,” Dela Rosa told Camp Crame reporters late Wednesday afternoon in Camp Crame.

No less than the President, in his speech during the 115 anniversary of police service, revealed that the driver-lover of De Lima collected money for the senator during the campaign.

The President also accused de Lima of funding the construction of the house of her alleged driver-lover using money from illegal drugs.

Dela Rosa maintained that the information revealed by the President did not come from the PNP, stressing that Duterte as the country Chief Executive and Commander in Chief has access to all intelligence information from government agencies.
The chief PNP also expressed belief that Duterte’s information is reliable.

Dela Rosa said the PNP will have no choice but conduct its probe if the President would order them to.
“We will just do our job,” he said.

Duterte’s latest tirades against De Lima came a few days before the senator will conduct a Senate inquiry into the rising extra judicial killings resulting from the all-out campaign against illegal drugs of the present administration.

Dela Rosa, who vowed to attend the hearing, expressing hopes that they will not be subjected to bad treatment during the inquiry.

PNP-IAS chief now must be tough —Bato

While he supports calls to have a civilian chief of the PNP-Internal Affairs Service (IAS), Dela Rosa said that at this time when the PNP is at the height of war against illegal drugs, IAS needs to be headed by a tough guy.

IAS is the primary unit investigating cases involving active policemen.

“I myself like that (civilian as IAS chief) but at this time when we are at war with drug syndicates and many of these syndicates have police on their payroll, many police are involved into drugs, I am not comfortable having a civilian chief at IAS,” said Dela Rosa.

“I need a general police officer not only an ordinary police officer but an officer who is not easily threatened that’s why I chose General Bong Leuterio because right now many high-ranking officers who can easily threaten civilian lawyer…I need a tough officer,” he added.

Dela Rosa assured there will be no white wash in all IAS probes of active PNP personnel under his watch.

“Don’t worry, there will be no coverup…do you think if a civilian is at IAS, he cannot cover up especially if he is threatened?

He (Leuterio) will never be threatened, he can go against any scalawag,” he added. Angie M. Rosales, Mario J. Mallari


INQUIRER

Robredo on Duterte, De Lima row: Let’s respect each other By: Julliane Love De Jesus
@JLDejesusINQ INQUIRER.net 01:53 PM August 18th, 2016


Vice President Leni Robredo is calling for respect amid an emotional row between President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Leila de Lima. INQUIRER FILE / RICHARD REYES

Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday said she was saddened by the exchange of personal attacks between President Duterte and Senator Leila de Lima.

“Nakakalungkot na kailangang personalan ang laban,” said Robredo in an ambush interview in Naga City. (It saddens me that the argument has turned personal.)

“Puwede naman na nag-disagree tayo on issues pero sa diskusyon … kailangang pakinggan natin ang bawat isa. Magrespetuhan,” she added. (We can disagree on issues, but in the discussion … we need to listen to each other. Respect one another.)

READ: Duterte blasts female senator: She’s ‘immoral’, an ‘adulterer’

| De Lima bewails Duterte ‘abuse, misuse of power’

“Kaya tayo nandito para to bring out the best in people. Pag binababa natin ang discourse sa personalan, baka ang nabi-bring out natin ay ang worst in people,” she said. (We are here to bring out the best in people. If we lower the discourse to the personal, we might draw out the worst in people.)

President Duterte on Wednesday publicly lambasted De Lima in his speech before the Philippine National Police, calling the lady senator an “immoral woman” who was having an affair with her driver. He further claimed that the driver collected money from drug lords in the National Bilibid Prisons which might have funded De Lima’s senatorial campaign.

Robredo said all government officials, especially the President, should serve as an inspiration to their subordinates and the people.

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“Dapat tayo, kaming lahat, si Presidente, ako, si Senator Leila, ang lahat ng government officials kailangan maging inspiring,” she said. (All of us: I, the President, Senator Leila and all government officials need to inspire.)

“Kailangang maibalik sa issue ang usapin. Hindi nakakatulong ang personalan,” she added. (We need to bring the discussion back to the issue. Personal attacks won’t help.)

Both Robredo and De Lima ran under the “Daang Matuwid” coalition of the Aquino administration-backed Liberal Party in the May elections.

 
https://youtu.be/O0_tBIvM1Jo  DE LIMA ANSWERS DUTERTE's  TIRADE

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

De Lima slams abuse of presidential power By Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 19, 2016 - 12:00am 1 74 googleplus0 0


Sen. Leila de Lima speaks during a press conference at the Senate. GEREMY PINTOLO

MANILA, Philippines - She was emotional and admitted to having “some degree of fear,” but Sen. Leila de Lima yesterday vowed not to be silenced as she decried the “abuse and misuse” of executive power by President Duterte when he came out with personal and other attacks against her.

De Lima, after delivering her statement to reporters at midmorning, caught up with the Senate hearing on the multisectoral campaign against illegal drugs.

She vowed to continue with her investigation next week into the apparent extrajudicial killings in the course of the Chief Executive’s war on drugs.

Duterte the other day alleged De Lima’s married driver, whom he also branded as her lover, collected money from illegal drug operators at the New Bilibid Prison. He said the senator seemed to have benefited from it but did not provide evidence to back his accusations.

De Lima maintained she would answer the allegations against her before the proper forum and that she would continue to fulfill her duties, though some people advised her to keep quiet so not to fan the controversy. Others, she said, expressed support and asked her to defend herself.

“Tama na po ang pananakot at panghihiya. Bumalik na po tayo sa kaayusan na dulot ng pag-iiral ng batas at simpleng respeto sa kapwa tao (Enough with threats and shaming. Let us go back to civility by allowing the law and simple respect for a fellowman to prevail). I have always been loyal to my oath as a public servant. I am not the enemy here. Stop portraying me as one,” De Lima said.

LP: DE LIMA DESERVES FACTS NOT INUENDOS

The Liberal Party, under whose banner De Lima ran and won in the last elections, and some other lawmakers came to her defense, saying there must be respect and civility in public discourse.

De Lima and “our people deserve the facts, not innuendo,” the LP said.

In a press conference held at the Senate yesterday morning, De Lima expressed fear and concern for her family and loved ones as a result of current developments and said she had second thoughts about pushing through with the inquiry she set in relation to the alleged summary executions of drug suspects.

But she decided she must not be cowed.

Reading a prepared statement, De Lima, her voice at times quivering, said she never expected to be up against the country’s highest official, a battle which she said was clearly lopsided.

“How does one defend oneself, when the attacker is immune from suit and has all the backing of executive power to support him in his personal attack? This is no less than abuse and misuse of executive power,” De Lima said.

“I don’t think the Constitution has ever contemplated such abuse of power on such scale, as it assumes every President to conduct himself in a manner befitting the office he holds. It seems that this is not the case for this President,” she added.

De Lima aired her suspicion that the attacks against her by the President was his way of trying to put a stop to the inquiry she initiated as chairman of the Senate committee on justice and human rights.

The hearing, set on Aug. 22 and 23, goes into the heart of the anti-illegal drugs campaign of the President. Over a thousand deaths, both involving police operations and extra-legal means, have been recorded since Duterte assumed the presidency last June 30.

De Lima has raised alarm over the killings, some of which she said bore telltale signs of summary executions.

“If this is his way of stopping the Senate’s investigation on the extrajudicial killings, he can try until he finally silences me or the Senate. But I think it is already clear that what is being done to me is what will happen to anyone who does not bow to the wishes of the President,” De Lima said.

De Lima said that she considered cancelling the inquiry to avoid personal attacks, but said doing so would be a betrayal of her principles.

She said it “would mean turning back on my own person and denying my own principles and beliefs.”

“I will no longer stand as the people’s representative in the Senate. That would be my fake figure standing there. It’s like burying my own whole being,” she added.

NEITHER CONFIRMED NOR DENIED ALLEGATIONS

De Lima neither confirmed nor denied the allegations made by the President, as she was expecting the administration to file cases against her. It is only then that she will respond, if she is allowed to do so, the senator said.

“Mas nanaisin ko na kayo at inyong gobyerno ang magbaon sa akin kaysa ako ang magbaon sa aking sarili (I would rather let you and your government bury me, rather than me burying myself),” De Lima said.

“I will respond in a proper forum. I cannot engage publicly with the President sa mga ganyang punto (on these points) because that’s too foul, that’s too personal,” she added.

De Lima appealed to the President to keep an open mind and hear her side of the story before engaging in more attacks against her.

“Kahit iyon lang po sana ay ibigay ninyo sa akin, ang pagkakataon na ipagtanggol ang aking sarili, lalo na po sa isang kalagayan na ang Pangulo na ng bansa ang nagdeklara na siya ang aking kalaban at personal na nag-aakusa sa akin (Please just give me that, the opportunity to defend myself, especially since this is a situation where the President of the country himself declared that he was my enemy and personally accused me),” she said.

“Pangulo po kayo. Senador lamang po ako. Patas na laban lamang po ang aking hinihingi (You are president. I am just a senator. A fair game is the only thing I ask),” De Lima said.

If the President is intent on pursuing his tirades against her, De Lima appealed that he spare her colleagues, friends and family.

Give her due process

In backing De Lima, the LP called on the Senate to uphold its independence and stressed that the party “stands for free and open debate, for due process of law.”

The LP said De Lima was doing her job as a senator and “she deserves support, not condemnation; respect, and not gutter language.”

“Nakakalungkot ang mga salita at mga paratang na naninira sa kanyang pagkatao at pagiging lingkod bayan (The words and accusations destroying her character and standing as public servant are sad),” the LP said.

To this end, LP called on Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III to uphold the independence of the Senate whose membership, it said, must always be vigorously supported in fulfilling the people’s mandate to make inquiries in aid of legislation.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros, who also ran under LP, branded the President’s remarks against De Lima as “misogynistic.”

“His statements depart from the government’s commitment to transparency since one of the best ways to pursue truth is through healthy deliberations driven by facts,” Hontiveros said.

“Moreover, the remarks were extremely unpresidential and a breach of parliamentary courtesy. It unnecessarily sets the executive and Senate on a dangerous collision course,” Hontiveros added.

Hontiveros called on her colleagues in the Senate to “rise to the challenge and defend the integrity of one of its members.”

But Sen. Richard Gordon said that there was no need for the Senate to take a stand in defense of De Lima because it was her personal problem.

Akbayan Rep. Tomasito Villarin said Duterte’s verbal assault on De Lima “is unbecoming and uncalled for” as the President resorted to “putrid and vitriolic language” against the senator’s personality instead of “boldly facing criticism, raising the level of discourse and arguing on the basis of policy.”

He said if Duterte intended to stop the senator from pursuing her inquiry into alleged extrajudicial killings, “we remind the President, using his own words in the campaign trail, that if one has nothing to hide, one has nothing to fear.”

“Being popular does not give anyone the excuse, much less the right, to intentionally inflict personal harm upon others. No one can ever be right in doing something that is inherently wrong, not even the President,” he added.

Villarin pointed out that by looking into reportedly extrajudicial killings, De Lima was just doing her job as a senator.

Rep. Arlene Bag-ao of Dinagat Islands also said De Lima should not be discouraged by “insults.”

“We should show the strength of women in building a nation that is morally upright and that values the life and dignity of its people. I stand with you, Sen. Leila de Lima,” she said. With Jess Diaz


PHILSTAR

DOJ starts fact-finding probe on De Lima, driver on drugs By Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 19, 2016 - 12:00am 0 16 googleplus0 0


Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the DOJ will conduct a fact-finding investigation, but gave assurance that it would not focus on specific persons or former officials. Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV

MANILA, Philippines - She went after corrupt officials and criminals as justice secretary in the previous administration.

Now Sen. Leila de Lima finds herself the subject of a criminal investigation after being accused by President Duterte of benefitting from money given by convicts operating as drug lords.

De Lima and other former officials of the Department of Justice (DOJ) are being investigated over the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.

The NBP is under the supervision of the DOJ.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has confirmed receiving information that at least two former ranking officials of the department benefited from millions in drug money from high-profile inmates in NBP.

These two past DOJ officials allegedly connived with the NBP inmates so the latter could have their way and continue narcotics operations from inside the penitentiary.

They allegedly allowed the daily meal budget for NBP inmates to be brought down to P40 from the previous budget of P50 so that the P240,000 “savings” per day could be pocketed by these officials and their cohorts at the state penitentiary.

The justice chief also said some NBP officers were liquidated upon the order of some inmates.

“Everybody in the DOJ from the past administration – at all levels – will be investigated. Our objective really is to find out what happened in the previous administration and why did illegal drugs proliferate in Bilibid,” Aguirre stressed.

READ MORE...

Duterte, in a speech last Wednesday, alleged that it was De Lima who benefited from drug money collected from NBP inmates by her supposed driver-lover.

Vitaliano said the DOJ will conduct a fact-finding investigation, but gave assurance that it would not focus on specific persons or former officials.

He said a fact-finding panel would be tapped for the probe.

De Lima has publicly criticized the administration for its supposed disregard of human rights in its anti-narcotics campaign. She initiated the Senate investigation on the police operations and the reported vigilante killings.

During her term at the DOJ, De Lima pursued the fact-finding probe against lawmakers involved in the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam perpetrated by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.

The DOJ filed the charges, which led to the plunder indictment of former senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr.

GRUDGE STARTED IN 2009


Senator Leila de Lima. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/LYN RILLON --HEADLINE -De Lima: Killings may lead to charges of crimes against humanity.Senator Leila de Lima on Monday said that President Rodrigo Duterte may be charged with crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for the spate of drug-related deaths which have increased since Duterte assumed the presidency. INQUIRER NEWS REPORT AUGUST 12, 1026  

Grudge started in 2009 The grudge between Duterte and De Lima did not happen overnight.

According to Aguirre, it could be traced way back to 2009 when De Lima, then chair of the Commission on Human Rights, filed charges against Duterte, at the time Davao City mayor, over alleged involvement in killings by the Davao death squad (DDS).

“That’s where it all started,” he told The STAR.

Aguirre, who served as Duterte’s lawyer in the criminal investigation, recalled that the insinuations linking his close friend and fraternity brother to the DDS were “baseless” and “trumped up.”

Aguirre recalled that De Lima pointed to a supposed gravesite of victims of extrajudicial killings by the death squad, which turned out to be a gravesite for victims of atrocities during the Japanese occupation.

“There was no evidence ever found, only baseless allegations. That’s why it never reached the court,” he pointed out.

Aguirre also recalled how De Lima revived the issue last year when she was secretary of justice and initiated a fact-finding investigation on the DDS.

De Lima even publicly announced that the National Bureau of Investigation was able to secure a witness who used to be a member of the DDS and had knowledge of the killings.

The move triggered a word war between the two. De Lima threatened to prosecute Duterte, who in turn called her gaga (foolish) for thinking he could commit murder, being a lawyer and former prosecutor.

“She claimed having a supposed witness, but where is that witness? Is there really a witness? Because if that’s the case, there should have been a development on that,” Aguirre pointed out.

DEATH SQUAD PROBE A DEAD END

Last May, then justice secretary Emmanuel Caparas revealed that the probe on the DDS hit a dead-end after it lost the lone witness who surfaced last year and executed an affidavit detailing the supposed operations of the vigilante group.

Caparas said there was nothing to pursue anymore as the male witness, whom he did not name, had left the witness protection program.

Aguirre said the allegation that Duterte was behind the DDS was an “old issue that has never been proven” but which De Lima continued to pursue.

“The President is a lawyer and former prosecutor so he knows for a fact that murder is a crime,” he assured.

Police probe driver

The acting director of the provincial police in Pangasinan has ordered an investigation on the controversial driver of De Lima, including his alleged properties.

Senior Supt. Ronald Lee told reporters yesterday during the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (Pangasinan chapter) forum that based on pronouncements by President Duterte, “it seems they (Malacañang) have gotten more valuable information than us here.”

Lee was referring to information on De Lima’s driver Ronnie Palisoc Dayan.

The President disclosed last Wednesday that De Lima and Dayan were lovers and that the driver allegedly collected money from convicted drug lords at the NBP in Muntinlupa City.

Duterte also claimed that De Lima funded the construction of a house for her driver.

Lee said investigators are also verifying reports of Dayan’s indiscriminate firing of a gun two years ago to check on the status of the incident and why he was not charged.

“There are rumors there were persons who went to the (police) station, prosecutors who talked to the police about this,” Lee said.

He said the files involving Dayan are at the police station.

Lee said there is no order yet for them to do such gathering of information about Dayan but they did so “in anticipation in case we would be asked to provide information.”


AUGUST 19, 2016 INQUIRER FILE RAY B. ZAMBRANO/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON -- DRIVER’S HOUSE: Neighbors of Ronnie Dayan, driver of Sen. Leila de Lima, are keeping mum about President Duterte’s allegation that this house in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan province, was a gift to Dayan from the senator. URBIZTONDO, Pangasinan―A narrow road cutting through green fields leads to a two-story white house in Barangay Galarin here where the driver of Sen. Leila de Lima allegedly lives. On Wednesday, President Duterte linked De Lima to the illegal drug trade by claiming that her driver, Ronnie Palisoc Dayan, was her bagman who allegedly collected drug payoffs for her. He also claimed that the senator was in a relationship with Dayan. The former human rights commissioner and former justice secretary had previously denounced then Davao City Mayor Duterte for his alleged links to the Davao Death Squad. MORE PHOTOS OF HOUSES BELOW IN RELATED REPORT....

Asked about the house in Barangay Galarin in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan that the President revealed was allegedly built by De Lima for Dayan, Lee said the house is just there and based on what police say, it has a high fence.

“The talk is who funded the construction of the houses,” he said.

“There is no order for us to conduct lifestyle check (on Dayan) but it’s open knowledge in the area who shouldered the expenses because the guy is known to have no financial capability to build such,” he added.

“Some say it’s a mansion but I said is that already a mansion? But it’s just big, not really something to be called mansion, it’s concrete, has high walls and they are seen using it as a vacation house,” he said.

Meanwhile, a relative of Dayan in Urbiztondo who spoke on condition of anonymity told The STAR that it is public knowledge that De Lima is a frequent visitor in their town.

“You cannot hide something that is very vulgar because look at the houses,” he said.

He said one was new while the others were built many years ago in the same area.

He said Dayan also reportedly has at least three “nice” vehicles but they are not sure if De Lima’s driver owns them. Dayan also reportedly owns several properties.

Dayan is a cockfight aficionado, he added.

“He might be investigated by Bato,” he said, referring to Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa.

He said Dayan came from a poor family and found a job in Metro Manila. He became a toughie in their town when he became close to De Lima, the source added.

Dayan became influential and was approached by people seeking promotions or transfer of assignment in their jobs, especially in the National Bureau of Investigation and other agencies under the DOJ.

When he is in Urbiztondo, he shares his blessings with the poor, especially the children, by giving them food and money, the source added.

During fiestas, he is also a star as he supports candidates in popularity contests for fund-raising projects, he said.

But many hate him because when he is drunk, he is uncontrollable, the source said.

Dayan’s uncle Alfredo Dayan Lomibao said De Lima’s driver is a nice guy.

“Mabait si Ronnie,” Lomibao told reporters who went to Barangay Galarin in Urbiztondo.

Lomibao said he has no knowledge of the controversies that have surfaced about his nephew, who is now into farming. With Eva Visperas, Gilbert Bayoran, Cesar Ramirez

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Rody eyes Leila’s former driver as state witness By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 19, 2016 - 12:00am 0 34 googleplus0 0


The orange and the white houses, both located in Barangay Galarin, Urbiztondo, Pangasinan, are occupied by Ronnie Palisoc Dayan's children. GILBERT BAYORAN

MANILA, Philippines - From driver to lover to accuser?

Sen. Leila de Lima’s former driver and alleged lover, who reportedly collected money from convicted drug lords to support her senatorial bid, may turn witness against her, President Duterte said yesterday.

“He can become a witness. Why would I file a case?” Duterte told reporters in Cotabato City when asked why cases have not been filed against De Lima’s driver.

“I can use many people. I can use a prisoner. I can use her lover who is her driver,” he added.

The Chief Executive believes De Lima has no one to blame but herself for the exposé.

“She created the scandal. She knows she is a public official,” the President said.

Asked to react to De Lima’s appeal for him to spare her family, Duterte replied: “if you are in public office, De Lima, your life is an open book.”

Duterte insisted he did not go overboard when he revealed the scandalous affair of De Lima, who has been critical of his war against illegal drugs.

“I did not but she did. She accused policemen of a lot of things. P** ina, the policemen are dying,” the President said.


The house of Ronnie Palisoc Dayan in Manapla, Negros Occidental is reportedly rented by a teacher. CESAR RAMIREZ

Reports identified De Lima’s alleged lover as one Ronnie Palisoc Dayan. Duterte alleged De Lima had built a house for him in Pangasinan.

“Here is an immoral woman, flaunting… well of course insofar as wife of the driver was concerned, it’s adultery. Here is a woman who funded the house of her lover and yet we do not see any complaint about it,” the President said in a speech at Camp Crame last Wednesday.

A bungalow house allegedly built by De Lima for Dayan is located in Barangay Galarin in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan, The STAR reported yesterday.

Malacañang officials, meanwhile, justified Duterte’s tirades against De Lima.

Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said Duterte was angered by De Lima’s allegations that he was behind the extrajudicial killings in Davao City.

“She had it coming. She has been repeatedly warned because she was defaming the President,” Panelo said.

“Remember, the information given by President Duterte is in relation to her being a public (official)… So that encompasses the duty of the President to serve and protect the people and to inform the nation of whatever is being done by government officials and whatever situation we are in now,” he added.

Despite criticisms that the President was being misogynistic when he criticized De Lima, Panelo said there is no need for Duterte to apologize.

“Under the Constitution, all public officials are accountable for their acts. So if you do an illegal act or an act which is contrary to the demeanor of a public official, then you open yourself to criticism,” Panelo said.

Report to the nation

He also said Duterte’s tirade against the senator was a “report to the nation” and not an abuse of power.

Panelo said De Lima should even be thankful to Duterte for making his accusations public as this has given her the opportunity to dispute the “rumors” once and for all.

“I think she should be happy that the President has made that information to her because if she does not know it, everybody is talking about her. This is her opportunity to dispute whatever chismis is circulating around her,” he said.

Duterte, in his speech at Camp Crame, spoke about a lady senator whose married lover-driver collected money from convicted drug lords at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) during the election campaign season.

De Lima, Panelo said, “had it coming” as the revelation is part of the continuing State of the Nation Address by the President, including naming public officials linked to illegal drugs.

He said the President has said his piece and is not sharing more details.

The public should presume the President’s allegations are not just plain rumors as he has sources.

ATTACKS ON DE LIMA NOT MEANT TO SILENCE DUTERTE CRITICS

The presidential counsel emphasized the attacks on De Lima were not meant to silence Duterte’s critics. “Many have expressed opposition to the President’s policies but he did not say anything about them. I think what the President is saying is if you want to appear as righteous, you better be sure that what you’re doing from the very start is righteous too,” he said.

When reminded that Duterte himself had two partners, Panelo replied: “He never denied having girlfriends. He was open to the public. Besides, he is a bachelor. He has not committed any crime.” Duterte’s marriage with his former wife Elizabeth Zimmerman has been annulled.

In his speech before soldiers in Cotabato City yesterday, Duterte said he had three wives.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella, for his part, said Duterte did not like De Lima’s approach when she linked the spate of killings with his war on drugs.
“(The President) is appalled by Senator De Lima’s history of jumping to conclusions about the President’s culpability without sufficient evidence, lack of appreciation of the magnitude of the menace and taking the opportunity to grandstand in spite of the gravity of the situation,” he said in a statement.

Telenovela


ANDANAR

Presidential communications secretary Martin Andanar said Duterte’s tiff with De Lima has become a “national telenovela.”

“He (Duterte) has immunity. We do not have immunity on this table, neither do you have immunity. So if you say something that is libelous, then you can go to jail because you are not the President of the Republic,” Andanar said in a press conference in Davao City.
“The President fully understands his power, the power of immunity.”

Duterte had claimed that the money collected by De Lima’s driver at the NBP came from illegal drugs and may have been used to fund her senatorial bid last May.

He admitted though that he could not tell yet whether De Lima was aware about her lover’s activities at the NBP.

De Lima has been vocal against Duterte’s crackdown on illegal drugs and has vowed to investigate allegations of human rights abuses by law enforcers.

Last Monday, the senator wrote a letter asking Duterte to monitor the Senate hearings on the killing of suspected drug personalities, scheduled on Aug. 22 and 23.

“It’s him, love him or hate him, but that’s him,” Nueva Ecija Rep. Magnolia Antonino said when asked if the President may have gone overboard with his revelations about De Lima.

“He (Duterte) always speaks what is on his mind. He’s always like that even in Davao. I don’t think that’s an issue of moral ascendancy,” she said in a press briefing.

Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles, chairman of the House appropriations committee, said “everything can be settled amicably among honorable servants of the people.”

“Step back and relax. It takes a lot of moral courage and restraint to do that, but as officers of government, I believe he will do the right thing,” he said, referring to Duterte.

MIKE ARROYO

Former first gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo said De Lima deserved the humiliation she got from President Duterte.

“That’s karma,” Arroyo said in a telephone interview as he cited instances where De Lima not only publicly humiliated him and his wife – former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo – but also flouted the law to persecute his family.

“Now that the shoe is on the other foot, how does karma feel?” he said in his Facebook post.

He recalled in 2011 De Lima defied a Supreme Court order and barred his wife, who was in a wheelchair, from leaving the airport to seek medical treatment abroad.

De Lima also maligned him a few years ago when she accused him of trying to escape when he went to Hong Kong while there is pending criminal case against him even when CCTV cameras showed he went through regular departure process.

“She never apologized when I came back a few days later,” Arroyo said.

Arroyo, a lawyer, also defended Duterte from criticisms the latter was hitting De Lima at the gutter level.

“There’s nothing personal in the President’s statements. All he was saying is that she was receiving money from illegal drugs, it so happened that the conduit is her lover,” he said. With Delon Porcalla, Romina Cabrera, Paolo Romero


MANILA BULLETIN OPINION

‘Narco-cracy’ by Erik Espina August 19, 2016 Share1 Tweet1 Share0 Email0 Share12


BY ERIK ESPINA -

President Rodrigo Duterte touring several AFP camps revealed that an estimated 600,000 Filipinos are drug addicts, victims of this pernicious trade. Other references put the toll higher.

The Dangerous Drugs Board of 2012 estimated 1.3 million; Bridges of Hope 2015, at 1.7 million addicted to drugs. US government figures are more startling.

There is, to be theoretical about substance abuse, a horizontal and vertical menace that influences the widest swathe of our people, from the mountain barangays to far-flung municipal huts.

The deadly claws of the contraband shabu implanted in the gilded gates of private villages, with suspected political mammals in national office, e.g., former Cabinet members and alleged legislators, as users.

At those levels of megalomania, it has to be a combine of marijuana and the egoism of “can-afford” cocaine as a “harmless” apertiff for the richy-rich. The in-between party drug of “exctasy pills,” is readily available for lesser cretins.

President Duterte imposed a six-month time-line to rid Philippine society of the purveyors of a R200-B (2009 figures) illegal trade. Radical intervention is required, e.g., exposing suspected protectors and users, so they can defend/surrender themselves.

READ MORE...

More often, families are helpless dealing with relatives hooked or pushing drugs. Maternal instincts intervene over “voluntary surrender.” Duterte’s list covers the extensive spectrum of governance infested with the habit.

I hope the President in his next engagements will update the people with current figures – how many hundreds of billions of pesos are involved in the lucrative business of what I suspect is also an encouraged “opium war” of China in the Philippines.

Noticeable in the President’s expose is the inter-marriage of “jueteng/swertres” with politicians and drugs for a greater war chest every election time to buy public offic, brutalizing our democracy.

This is aside from co-opting police officials, investigating agencies, e.g., PDEA? Crooked Comelec operators? With such great sums of money exchanging hands, we become a “narco-cracy.”

Drugs at this amplitude require a declaration as “national security threat.”


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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