PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE: Since 1997 © Copyright (PHNO) http://newsflash.org



HEADLINES NEWS THIS PAST WEEK...
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

SEPT 22: SENATE PROBE ON EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS RESUMES UNDER GORDON['RELATED: Senators grill ‘executioner’ [Matobato] over conflicting statements]


SEPTEMBER 22 -Senator Leila De Lima and Senator Richard Gordon A Senate committee resumed on Thursday its investigation on the wave of killings linked to President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, under its new head, Senator Richard Gordon. Gordon replaced Sen. Leila De Lima, who was ousted by her fellow lawmakers after she presented a self-confessed hitman who claimed Duterte ran a vigilante hit squad in Davao City during his term as mayor. "Iwawasto lang po natin nang walang duda [We will make things right to erase doubts]," Gordon said in his opening statement. The President's allied had criticized De Lima's handling of the hearing as biased. Some senators accused De Lima of coaching witness Edgar Matobato, who said he was a member of Duterte's hit squad. De Lima is being accused by the Duterte and several witnesses of receiving millions in drug payoffs during her term as justice secretary. READ MORE...RELATED,, Senators grill ‘executioner’ over conflicting statements...

ALSO: De Lima eyes revenge; Senator lives in fear, plans legal action vs detractors
[RELATED: De Lima hits back after Lacson says basis enough to back drug charges]


SEPTEMBER 23 -TARGET OF DIRTY TEXTS – At a press conference Thursday, Senator Leila de Lima reads one of the ‘obscene’ text messages she said she has been getting after her mobile phone number was revealed during the House hearing on drug trafficking inside the New Bilibid Prison a day earlier. (Jansen Romero/Manila Bulletin)
Embattled Senator Leila de Lima yesterday said she is now considering several legal actions against her detractors after being subjected to security threats when her contact number and home address were made public during the House inquiry into the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP). “I’m mulling over several actions, including (filing a) writ of amparo, habeas data. I’m a subject of persecution and I’m no longer safe. I don’t feel safe. The truth is I’m not safe,” she said in a hastily called press conference. “I have to temporarily leave my house and I’m now in a temporary place of abode. I’m not the only affected, because I live in a subdivision. Even if there are guards, the whole subdivision is affected,” she said. During the press conference, De Lima disclosed some of the text messages she received were so obnoxious and intimidating – with some containing foul language, while other messages even asked her to commit suicide. Some of the “less offensive” text messages she received she said branded her as “coddler, immoral, ugly.” “Ang kapal ng mukha mo, mahiya ka magbasa ka sa Internet at try mo pakinggan ang mga tao galit na galit na sayo. Coddler, immoral, pangit!” De Lima said, reading one of the text messages to media. READ MORE...RELATED,
De Lima hits back after Lacson says basis enough to back drug charges...

ALSO: De Lima claims ex-PDEA exec Marcelino asked to testify against her
[RELATED: Marcelino: I wasn’t coerced to testify against De Lima]


SEPTEMBER 22 -Opposition Sen. Leila De Lima gestures during a news conference she called at the Senate, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. De Lima, who led an investigation into President Rodrigo Duterte's bloody anti-drug campaign, was ousted Monday from the justice committee in a vote that human rights advocates said could derail accountability in the crackdown. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez
Sen. Leila de Lima on Thursday claimed that former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) official Marine Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino was asked by her detractors to testify against her in relation to her alleged involvement in the proliferation of illegal drugs in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) during her term as Justice secretary. This after the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday filed an illegal drugs case against Marcelino and his Chinese companion, Yan Yi Shou, at a Manila regional trial court, reversing an earlier resolution that dismissed charges against the two. RELATED: DOJ reverses ruling on Marcelino drug case To recall, the DOJ accused Marcelino and Zhou of violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act of 2002 for being in possession of P380 million worth of illegal drugs. De Lima claimed that a “common acquaintance” had forwarded to her messages from Marcelino dated July 19, 2016 and Sept. 5, 2016 which thanked the lady senator for her help when he was in prison and claiming that there were people after his life. Marcelino also assured the lady senator that he would not testify against her. READ MORE... RELATED,
Marcelino: I wasn’t coerced to testify against De Lima...

ALSO: Digong tags Leila as top ‘narco-pol’; Vows to dig deeper if ‘there are people higher than her'

[RELATED: De Lima is dared to clear name in House drug hearing]
[RELATED(2):
Lawmaker defends use of convicted drug lords as witnesses]


SEPTEMBER 24 -President Rodrigo Duterte (left) and Senator Leila de Lima
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said Senator Leila de Lima was so far the highest elected government official to use drug money to win office, but asked government lawyers to see if there were any officials higher than her who condoned the illegal drug trade. “I thought before that narco-politics wasn’t evident in this country, but as the revelations would show, De Lima was elected using drug money,” Duterte said in a chance interview in Davao City. Others who benefitted from drug money could number in the thousands, he said, and include congressmen, judges and barangay captains. Duterte, who asked De Lima to hang herself for “screwing the nation,” said that Justice officials are now starting to probe the accountability of other high officials under the Aquino administration who might have also benefitted from the illegal drug trade. “At that time when I said you better ‘hang yourself,’ I knew already about everything. I had already read the testimonies and talked with the people involved,” Duterte said. He added that he would leave it up to Justice Department officials to conduct further investigations. “I don’t want it to appear that I’m chasing my enemies,” he said. Duterte recently supported a move to postpone the barangay elections for fear that drug money would seep into the process. Earlier, the President accused De Lima of taking money from drug lords inside the New Bilibid Prison when she was still Justice secretary to bankroll her run for the Senate. READ MORE...RELATED,
De Lima dared to clear name in House drug hearing...RELATED(2), Lawmaker defends use of convicted drug lords as witnesses...

ALSO:
Trail leads to Noy? Aguirre won’t say
(JUSTICE CHIEF: ‘IT CAME FROM HORSE’S MOUTH’)
[RELATED: Palace mum after solon warns not to drag PNoy in drug controversy]

 
SEPTEMBER 25 -Will the series of narcotic exposés end up with former President Benigno Aquino III? Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre won’t tell yet but he said imputing Aquino’s name in the drug’s trade was the handiwork of de Lima.
Aguirre said it was de Lima who metioned the name of the former President in her defense amid the ongoing investigation and that the involvement of Aquino in the drugs protection racket came “from the horse’s mouth.” “Nobody pointed to (Aquino). It was in fact Senator De Lima who mentioned him. It seems that she’s soliciting his support,” Aguirre told the Daily Tribune in a text message, adding that President Duterte never made any reference to his immediate past  predecessor. Aguirre, however, underscored the apparent fears of de Lima and the LiberalParty (LP) that Aquino might soon be linked in the illegal drugs trade that proliferated during his administration. During the course of the House inquiry on the syndicated drugs operations inside the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP), Aguirre implied that there is “someone higher than De Lima” who benefitted from the drugs trade, which wa a statement that was a source of discomfot for de Lima and some LP House members, with some saying that the one being referred to could be no less than Aquino. “Nobody from President Duterte’s government mentioned President Noynoy’s name. You can review all news items about drugs,” he added as a response to the query if there’s in deed a bid to directly tag Aquino. True enough, De Lima, on Thursday, was the first to implicate Aquino’s name in the narcotics network. “When they said that there is somebody higher than me, are they trying to say that... is my president also a beneficiary of these things? You know? PNoy!? (These accusations are) very outlandish, very outrageous. They are becoming so reckless…it’s getting to be laughable,” the embattled lady Senator said. READ MORE...RELATED, Palace mum after solon warns not to drag PNoy in drug controversy...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Senate probe on extrajudicial killings resumes under Gordon


Senator Leila De Lima and Senator Richard Gordon

MANILA,
SEPTEMBER 26, 2016 (ABS-CBN) ABS-CBN News Posted at Sep 22 2016 03:48 PM - A Senate committee resumed on Thursday its investigation on the wave of killings linked to President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, under its new head, Senator Richard Gordon.

Gordon replaced Sen. Leila De Lima, who was ousted by her fellow lawmakers after she presented a self-confessed hitman who claimed Duterte ran a vigilante hit squad in Davao City during his term as mayor.

"Iwawasto lang po natin nang walang duda [We will make things right to erase doubts]," Gordon said in his opening statement. The President's allied had criticized De Lima's handling of the hearing as biased.

Some senators accused De Lima of coaching witness Edgar Matobato, who said he was a member of Duterte's hit squad.

De Lima is being accused by the Duterte and several witnesses of receiving millions in drug payoffs during her term as justice secretary.

READ MORE...

During Thursday's hearing, senators again questioned Matobato's credibility after De Lima said he just volunteered to appear before the Senate.

"There is a security issue here. The witness just appeared here, he testified here, nobody invited him," said Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

De Lima explained that she was contacted by Matobato's representative last August 29 and was told that the former DDS hitman wanted to meet with her.

"[The person] told me that 'remember the self-confessed DDS hitman that was taken in by the DOJ under the Witness Protection Program when you were still secretary of justice? [He said] he wants me to tell you that he now desires to [testify]'," she said.
She then met with him last October 2 in a safehouse and confirmed his desire to surface.

When Senator Alan Peter Cayetano asked why the justice department wasn't able to file any case while they still had Matobato in custody, De Lima said she had formed a special team to look into his claims but that there was no update yet when she left the department.

VIDEO: MATOBATO GRILLED BY CAYETANO UNDER CHAIR GORDON

 
https://youtu.be/oWk_Cz2PPRU
UMINIT ANG ULO NI GORDON PINAGALITAN SI DE LIMA AT TRILLANES DAHIL SA PAGDEDEPENSA KAY MATOBATO PRESIDENT DUTERTE UPDATES Published on Sep 22, 2016 Like Our FB Page Here @ www.facebook.com/atvreplay PLS SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

UMINIT ANG ULO NI GORDON AT PINAGALITAN SI DE LIMA DAHIL SA PAG DEDEPENSA NYA KAY EDGAR MATOBATO SENATE HEARING SA PATAYANG NAGAGANAP SA PILIPINAS - SEPTEMBER 22, 2016

-------------------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Senators grill ‘executioner’ over conflicting statements By Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 23, 2016 - 12:00am 1 5 googleplus0 0


Witness Edgar Matobato, center, who claimed to be a member of the dreaded assassination squad of the then Davao city Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, is shown some documents by questioning Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, left, as he testifies before the Senate's Justice and Human Rights Committee on the killings in President Rodrigo Duterte's so-called "War on Drugs" Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, in Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines. The senate hearing resumed Thursday with the new chairman Sen. Richard Gordon following the ouster of its Chair Senator Leila De Lima Monday. At right is counsel Jose Marcos Babia. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines - The newly organized Senate committee on justice and human rights grilled self-confessed Davao death squad (DDS) hit man Edgar Matobato yesterday, putting his credibility as witness on the line in the inquiry on alleged extrajudicial killings.

Seeing many inconsistencies in the witness’ statements, the committee agreed in the end to invite alleged DDS members, as identified by Matobato, to also testify in the next hearing.

At the start of yesterday’s hearing, newly installed committee chairman Sen. Richard Gordon and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano took turns in cross checking the details of Matobato’s testimony in the previous hearing.

With a copy of the affidavit that Matobato executed before the National Bureau of Investigation when he was still under the Witness Protection Program of the Department of Justice, Cayetano confronted the witness with the alleged killing of a terrorist identified as Sali Makdum.

Cayetano pointed out that Matobato and Makdum knew each other before he was killed and that they were business partners based on a report of CNN Philippines. It was also reported that Matobato’s wife and the wife of Makdum were cousins.

Matobato said he had real estate dealings with Makdum and that he only found out about his being a terrorist from the heinous crimes division of the Davao City police.

Asked if the killing of Makdum was ordered by President Duterte when he was still mayor of Davao City, Matobato said the order did not come directly from Duterte, but from SPO4 Arthur Lascañas, whom he described as the head of the DDS.

Cayetano noted the inconsistencies in Matobato’s statements on how Makdum was killed based on his affidavit and his testimony before the Senate.

In the affidavit, Cayetano noted, Matobato saw a group of policemen slitting the throat of Makdum before taking turns stabbing him.

But in his Senate testimony yesterday, Matobato said he and Lascañas hanged Makdum, then Lascañas chopped up Makdum’s body.

According to Matobato, he was aware that the orders handed down by Lascañas were coming from the President.

In the case of a certain NBI agent known only as Amisola, whom Matobato claimed engaged 30 armed men in a firefight and was eventually shot dead by Duterte himself, Cayetano maintained that the narration was incredible.

Cayetano said it was hard to believe that 30 armed men were unable to put down a single person. Matobato said there was difficulty in hitting Amisola because he was hiding behind his vehicle and shooting back at them.

On Matobato’s claim that he was also involved in the killing of the bodyguards of former House speaker Prospero Nograles, Cayetano noted that in his affidavit, he claimed that several policemen gave the order to kill them, but in his testimony yesterday, he said the instruction came from Lascañas alone.

Gordon also noted that Matobato gave conflicting testimonies about whose men exactly they killed. Matobato explained that the bodyguards were men of generals Matillano and Jovito Palparan but were detailed to Nograles, who was running for mayor against Duterte.

Gordon also tried to verify Matobato’s claim that he was a member of the CAFGU (Civilian Armed Force Geographical Units) before Duterte recruited him into his so-called Lambada Boys, which eventually became the DDS.

Gordon pointed out Matobato’s name was not in the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ list of CAFGUs.

Matobato clarified that he was actually part of the Civilian Home Defence Forces (CHDF), CAFGU’s predecessor, starting from 1982.

Matobato said in his testimony yesterday he decided to quit the DDS in September 2013 because he was already old and no longer wanted to take part in killings.


PANEL CHAIR GORDON

But Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III had relayed to him the claim of a regional adjudicator of the Department of Agrarian Reform in Davao that Matobato made an attempt to kill him in October 2014 in Davao.

Lacson said DAR’s Abeto Salcedo Jr. saw Matobato on television during the previous Senate hearing and recognized him right away as the person who tried to kill him.

Matobato denied the claim, insisting he was in Manila in 2014.

Asked by Cayetano if the affidavit he executed at the NBI was about the DDS, Matobato said it was about how he was tortured and not about the DDS.

Cayetano pointed out that the affidavit was full of details about the DDS, contrary to Matobato’s claim.

According to Ferdinand Laviña, officer-in-charge of the Office of the Deputy Director for Forensic Investigation Service of the NBI, the DOJ, then headed by Sen. Leila de Lima, had sent Matobato to the NBI.

NBI’s Anti-Illegal Drug Division chief Joel Tuvera admitted no lawyer assisted Matobato when he executed his affidavit.

Tuvera said Matobato opted against getting a lawyer and refused when he was ordered to go to Davao with them to present proof of the killings, allegedly for fear for his life.

As such, Tuvera explained, the NBI was not able to build a case regarding the DDS claims of Matobato.

CREDIBILITY, VERACITY

Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara said it was important for the Senate committee to test the credibility of Matobato and the veracity of his allegations during the hearings.

“Matobato’s allegations are so grave,” Angara said. “But in my opinion, these seem to be full of inconsistencies and conflicted with his statements in the past two hearings. But then, we must let the committee decide on what recommendation or action to take. What’s important is this issue is in the public eye.”

In the end, the committee agreed to summon the alleged DDS members named by Matobato, although invitation was already sent to 23 of them, when De Lima was still heading the committee.

To be summoned are: Lascañas, SPO4 Sanson Buenaventura; Chief Insps. Jacy Francia, Fulgencio Pavo and Ronald Lao; SPO3 Jim Tan, Jun Laresma and Donito Ubales; SPO2 Enrique de los Reyes Ayao; SPO1 Reynante Medina, Bienvenido Furog, Vivencio Jumawan, Jun Bisnar and Gaston Aquino; Senior Supts. Isidero Florivel/Florobel, Rey Capote, Tony Rivera and Dionisio Abude; and certain Bienvenido Laud, Alvin Laud, Roly Engalia and Arnold Ochavez

No CHR representatives For yesterday’s hearing, the committee invited officials of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to attend, but they did not make it due to short notice.

“It is not the case of being more comfortable with one or the other senator,” CHR chairman Chito Gascon said yesterday.

“Due to lack of time, we failed to make appropriate arrangements for security and transport concerns for the witnesses,” Gascon said.

CHR had sent representatives to the previous committee hearings, then headed by De Lima.

But Gascon stressed the commission is always ready to cooperate with the Senate and ready to assist in shedding light on the matter.

“But we also need to ensure that our witnesses are secure,” he added.

The CHR chief said the absence of their officials was because of miscommunication between the committee secretariat and the agency, partly due to the change in leadership.

Following the ouster of De Lima as committee chair, Gascon said the CHR is ready to work with Gordon and other officials to ensure that human rights and the rule of law are upheld.

No corroboration, no investigation Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is not inclined to investigate policemen linked to the DDS by Matobato without a sworn statement that validates his allegations.

PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos said the PNP sees no basis for such investigation yet, as Matobato’s testimony in the Senate remains unconfirmed.

But Carlos said the PNP would go ahead with it once there is a sworn affidavit validating Matobato’s allegations.

“What we are looking for is an affidavit, sworn statement or evidence that would corroborate the statement of one person,” Carlos said.

In his testimony at the Senate last week, Matobato said some members of the Davao City Police took part in the killing of criminals in Davao during the term of then mayor now President Duterte. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe, Janvic Mateo, Paolo Romero


MANILA BULLETIN

De Lima eyes revenge Lady senator lives in fear, plans legal action against detractors by Hannah Torregoza September 23, 2016 Share3 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share22


TARGET OF DIRTY TEXTS – At a press conference Thursday, Senator Leila de Lima reads one of the ‘obscene’ text messages she said she has been getting after her mobile phone number was revealed during the House hearing on drug trafficking inside the New Bilibid Prison a day earlier. (Jansen Romero/Manila Bulletin)


Embattled Senator Leila de Lima yesterday said she is now considering several legal actions against her detractors after being subjected to security threats when her contact number and home address were made public during the House inquiry into the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

“I’m mulling over several actions, including (filing a) writ of amparo, habeas data. I’m a subject of persecution and I’m no longer safe. I don’t feel safe. The truth is I’m not safe,” she said in a hastily called press conference.

“I have to temporarily leave my house and I’m now in a temporary place of abode. I’m not the only affected, because I live in a subdivision. Even if there are guards, the whole subdivision is affected,” she said.

During the press conference, De Lima disclosed some of the text messages she received were so obnoxious and intimidating – with some containing foul language, while other messages even asked her to commit suicide.

Some of the “less offensive” text messages she received she said branded her as “coddler, immoral, ugly.”

“Ang kapal ng mukha mo, mahiya ka magbasa ka sa Internet at try mo pakinggan ang mga tao galit na galit na sayo. Coddler, immoral, pangit!” De Lima said, reading one of the text messages to media.

READ MORE...

“Hoy Delimaw, kelan ka magbabaril sa ulo mo? Kahit katiting wala ka na ba konsensiya? Kahihiya, buking na buking ka na tell the truth.

“Matanda ka na, konti na lang life mo sa earth. Di ka ba scared die sinful. Puwera na lang hell gusto mo go,” De Lima further said, narrating contents of the text messages.

Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Martin Andanar appealed to the President’s die-hard supporters not to harass De Lima online after the former justice secretary complained of foul messages she has received in recent days.

“For the supporters of the President, let us be responsible in our text messages. It is not good that we are threatening our own. Senator De Lima is a senator, she’s an elected official of the land,” he said in Filipino.

ADDITIONAL SECURITY

De Lima said she is considering asking the Senate leadership, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel II, for additional security since she feels she can no longer depend on law enforcement authorities to secure her safety.

“Can I rely on government authorities in government? Can I rely on the Philippine National Police (PNP) for my security? Can I rely now on the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for my security? I’m referring to them as institutions. Can I rely on the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as an institution? I think you know the answer to that already,” De Lima said.

She also dismissed anew calls for her resignation.

“Should I? I’m the one they are persecuting for non-existent accusations and then I will be the one to resign?” she asked.

“I don’t want to speak further, I might say something else and they (Duterte followers) would just all the more get enraged,” she lamented.

With De Lima living in fear, Malacañang said it does not wish her any harm.

Andanar assured the government would provide safety and protection to the senator just like other Filipinos.

“Everyone is assured. We are all Filipinos. We are citizens of this beloved country. We have a right to be given security by the police and the military,” Andanar said in a Palace press conference.

GOV’T ASSET

De Lima also said that high-profile inmate and drug lord Jaybee Sebastian was a government asset during the Aquino administration’s anti-drug campaign.

In a hastily called press conference, De Lima categorically said “yes” when asked if reports are true that Sebastian was a government asset. It was De Lima who launched a raid inside the NBP when she was Department of Justice secretary during the Aquino administration.

“The reason I’m saying that he’s an asset is to dispel malicious insinuations that the reasons he was not among the Bilibid 19 (who were transferred jail cells) was because he was favored and protected and that he was collecting money for me,” De Lima explained to reporters.

When pressed for more details, De Lima, however, said she would rather that Sebastian answer the allegations himself in case he decides to appear before the House probe.

Besides, other witnesses have been targeting Sebastian to testify against her.

“Let him address that. If he wants to testify, let him address that,” de Lima said adding that she would no longer be surprised if the drug lord testifies against her.

“But just to dispel those insinuations that the reason why he wasn’t transferred is because he was in cahoots with us,” she said.

“But the truth is he was working with us, sharing information to us,” she pointed out.

MARCELINO’S REVELATION

De Lima also revealed that there is an ongoing effort to get Marine Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino, whom the Department of Justice (DOJ) had charged with illegal possession of drugs, to testify against her.

She likewise scored the decision of the DOJ to reverse its earlier ruling dismissing the charges against him and a Chinese national said to be involved in the illegal drug trade.

According to the senator, a “common friend” had sent to her a text message purportedly coming from Marcelino, saying there were some groups pressuring him to testify against her.

The text message, dated July 19, 2016, said Marcelino was having difficulty going out of his residence fearing for his safety because some questionable people are lurking around his house.

In the text message, Marcelino apologized to his “mistah” because he cannot personally visit De Lima because there are some groups bent on coming out with fabricated stories about them.

“There are also some groups who are trying to convince me to speak against her. But rest assured na hindi ako pagagamit sa kanila mistah, not only because I really appreciated and forever indebted sa inyo ni Ma’am, but because the people deserve no less than the truth and justice,” Marcelino’s text message read.

“With my knowledge and brief encounter with her, I never doubted whatsoever her integrity mistah. Magpasalamat din sana ako sa kanya (I want to thank her) personally when everything settles down,” the message further read.

Last September 5, Marcelino sent a text message to his “mistah” telling him that “pressures against me are mounting and they would even reopen my case.”

But Marcelino assured he would never give in to their plans. “Rest assured that I will never give in to them, mistah. Please tell Sen. L to keep faith and be strong,” the text read.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) arrested Marcelino and the Chinese national Yan Yi Shuo in a raid in a townhouse in Sta. Cruz, Manila, on Jan. 21.

During the preliminary investigation, Marcelino claimed he was working as an undercover conducting a surveillance operation of the suspected drug den when he was arrested.

“I want people to know that these things are happening now. I’m privy to other reports but I haven’t got any clearance from them if I can disclose this information to you,” she told the media.

But she asked their common acquaintance for permission to disclose Marcelino’s text messages when she woke up and saw the report on the DOJ’s reversal of their previous ruling.

“I asked him permission to disclose Marcelino’s text messages and he said yes… He is secretly, privately communicating with me. That’s the situation now,” De Lima said.

-------------------------------

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

De Lima hits back after Lacson says basis enough to back drug chargesINQUIRER.net By: Maila Ager, September 21st, 2016 10:23 AM


Another word war has ensued, this time between Senators Leila de Lima and Panfilo Lacson.

De Lima confronted Lacson on Wednesday over the latter’s statement that there was enough evidence to file a case against her based on the affidavits of some witnesses, who testified at the Senate linking her into the illegal drug trade.

“Akala ko ba pinagtatawanan lang ni Sen. Ping (Lacson) itong persecution and harassments being done to me, as he recalls his own harrowing experience with the Mawanay episode,” the lady senator said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Why is Sen. Ping saying now, based on media reports, that there’s enough basis to now file charges against me prescinding from what transpired at yesterday’s House hearing? Is he convinced of the authenticity and veracity of the ‘stories’ of those obviously perjured witnesses?”

“I’m aghast by some people’s propensity for doublespeak,” de Lima said.

But Lacson stood by his statement, saying there was probable cause to charge her in court, which could also lead to the issuance of a warrant of arrest against her.

“I can bet on that,” he said in a text message when asked if he was standing by his statements.

“Based on the affidavits that I read and other pieces of evidence once the preliminary investigation against her is concluded at the DOJ (Department of Justice), we will see that probable cause exists, hence a warrant for her arrest will be issue,” Lacson said.

READ: Senate body to tackle form, substance of complaint vs De Lima

He said de Lima also “got it all wrong” when he said that he was just “laughing” at what she is going through now.

“She got it all wrong. When I said pinagtatawanan ko lang yung pinagdadaanan niya ngayon compared to what I experienced before, I wasn’t referring to the credibility of evidence being presented against her now and against me before but the degree of harassment that ex PGMA and her cohorts in practically all the agencies of government were throwing against me,” Lacson said.

PGMA is former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“I was all alone at that time. I had practically nobody on my side except probably my family, while she has her LP (Liberal Party ) allies supporting her now. She shouldn’t be twisting my statement to suit her purpose,” Lacson added.

It was during the time of the former leader and de Lima as Justice Secretary when Lacson went into hiding in 2010 in connection with 2000 double murder of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver.


PHILSTAR

De Lima claims ex-PDEA exec Marcelino asked to testify against her By Azer N. Parrocha (philstar.com) | Updated September 22, 2016 - 4:24pm 1 2506 googleplus0 0


Opposition Sen. Leila De Lima gestures during a news conference she called at the Senate, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. De Lima, who led an investigation into President Rodrigo Duterte's bloody anti-drug campaign, was ousted Monday from the justice committee in a vote that human rights advocates said could derail accountability in the crackdown. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines (Philippines News Agency) — Sen. Leila de Lima on Thursday claimed that former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) official Marine Lt. Col. Ferdinand Marcelino was asked by her detractors to testify against her in relation to her alleged involvement in the proliferation of illegal drugs in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) during her term as Justice secretary.

This after the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday filed an illegal drugs case against Marcelino and his Chinese companion, Yan Yi Shou, at a Manila regional trial court, reversing an earlier resolution that dismissed charges against the two.

RELATED: DOJ reverses ruling on Marcelino drug case

To recall, the DOJ accused Marcelino and Zhou of violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act of 2002 for being in possession of P380 million worth of illegal drugs.

De Lima claimed that a “common acquaintance” had forwarded to her messages from Marcelino dated July 19, 2016 and Sept. 5, 2016 which thanked the lady senator for her help when he was in prison and claiming that there were people after his life.

Marcelino also assured the lady senator that he would not testify against her.

READ MORE...

“I can never thank you enough, hindi pa ako masyadong makagalaw dahil ang daming gustong kumatay sa akin. ‘Di ko pa rin mapuntahan si Senator LD kasi ginagawan kami ng mga fabricated stories (I cannot come out in the open because there are people after me. I cannot visit Senator LD because they are making fabricated stories about us),” De Lima said, reading the first text message.

“There are also some groups who are trying to convince me to speak against her but rest assured na hindi ako pagagamit sa kanila, not only because I really appreciated and forever indebted sa inyo ni ma’am but because the people deserve no less but the truth and justice (I won’t allow them to use me, not only because I really appreciated and am forever indebted to you and ma’am but because the people deserve no less but the truth and justice),” she continued.

According to De Lima, a more recent message from Marcelino dated September 5, also forwarded by her source, meanwhile read: “Pressures against me are mounting and they would even reopen my case but rest assured that I will never give in to them. Please tell Senator L to keep faith and be strong.”

She said that there were more text messages from her source coming from Marcelino but she has not yet been given clearance to disclose it to media.

“They have been accessing certain personalities, who they know were my former workmates. The question would be, why would they access Col. Marcelino?” she asked.

The former Justice secretary claimed that aside from Marcelino many others whom she did not name were blackmailed or paid to testify against her.

“The central idea of all these testimonies were really to pin me down, although wala naman sa kanila is able to say na diretso sa akin binibigay ang mga pera na yan (although none of them was able to confirm that the money from illegal drugs was given directly to me),” De Lima said.

De Lima said that she has been receiving a lot of harassing and intimidating texts from trolls and fanatics of President Rodrigo Duterte after her mobile number and home address were publicly disclosed by a witness during the probe in the House of Representatives.

RELATED: De Lima: I am no longer safe

She further said that she is mulling several legal actions against them and her detractors.

--------------------------

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Marcelino: I wasn’t coerced to testify against De Lima SHARES: 7222 VIEW COMMENTS
INQUIRER.net By: Tetch Torres-Tupas, September 22nd, 2016 08:49 PM


COURTESY OF ABS-CBN

THE former head of the Special Enforcement Service Unit of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Marine Lieutenant Colonel Ferdinand Marcelino, denied on Thursday night that he was being pressured by the government to testify against Senator Leila de Lima.

De Lima earlier said a common acquaintance forwarded to her Marcelino’s text message saying that there are groups convincing him to speak against her and he is a victim of fabricated allegations.

“Categorical ko pong dini-deny na pini-pressure ako o may nananakot o nagko-coerce sa akin on the side of the government upang magsalita laban sa kanya [Senator De Lima],” Marcelino said at a press conference.

He said he texted his mistah or classmate from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) who is a relative of De Lima.

Marcelino said part of his text message was a word of encouragement for De Lima but nothing about being coerced.

“It is a privileged communication between me and my classmate,” Marcelino said adding that his message to De Lima was about staying strong and keeping the faith.

However, he admitted that there is someone who approached him and asked him if there he can say something negative against De Lima.

“I told the person that I will always side with the truth. Wala akong masasabing labag sa katotohanan,” Marcelino said. The person who approached him, he said, was a retired government officer.

“I do not even know who he represents,” Marcelino said.

Last June, the Department of Justice (DOJ) dismissed the illegal drugs case against him and Chinese companion Yan Yi Shou.

But in a recent resolution, the DOJ reversed its earlier ruling and filed the case in court.

Marcelino’s lawyer, Public Attorneys’ Office Chief Persida Rueda-Acosta, said they will ask the Manila Court to suspend the issuance of a warrant of arrest. They will also file a motion to quash the criminal information and determination of probable cause.

Marcelino maintained his innocence, insisting that his presence at the house in Manila where P380-million worth of shabu was seized was known to PDEA.

“Hindi ko alam bakit yan hinuli,” Acosta said.

“Walang-wala na po ako. Pangalan na lang ang meron ako sinira pa nila,” Marcelino said.

Marcelino’s intelligence works have led to the arrest of several drug traffickers including the so-called the Alabang Boys, the raid in Camiling, Tarlac that yielded billions worth of drugs and the raid inside the New Bilibid Prisons led by then Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

VIDEO: De Lima admits meeting Marcelino

 
https://youtu.be/4ni63KChvwE
De Lima admits meeting Marcelino INQUIRER.net INQUIRER.net Subscribe64,213 Add to Share More 164 views 0 0 Published on Sep 22, 2016 Sen. Leila de Lima says reports that she met Col. Ferdinand Marcelino in jail were true, explaining she went there to hear the former drug buster's complaint about the slow-pace of his case. Video and editing by RYAN LEAGOGO Category News & Politics

VIDEO: Marcelino's change of tune baffles De Lima

 
https://youtu.be/JhwIdauJJFE
Marcelino's change of tune baffles De Lima INQUIRER.net INQUIRER.net Subscribe64,216 Add to Share More 175 views 0 2 Published on Sep 22, 2016 Sen. Leila de Lima maintains the authenticity of a text message to her by Col. Ferdinand Marcelino's mistah as she wonders the sudden change of tune of the former drug buster. Video and editing by RYAN LEAGOGO


MANILA STANDARD

Digong tags Leila as top ‘narco-pol’; Vows to dig deeper if ‘there are people higher than her' posted September 24, 2016 at 12:01 am by John Paolo Bencito


President Rodrigo Duterte (left) and Senator Leila de Lima

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said Senator Leila de Lima was so far the highest elected government official to use drug money to win office, but asked government lawyers to see if there were any officials higher than her who condoned the illegal drug trade.

“I thought before that narco-politics wasn’t evident in this country, but as the revelations would show, De Lima was elected using drug money,” Duterte said in a chance interview in Davao City.

Others who benefitted from drug money could number in the thousands, he said, and include congressmen, judges and barangay captains.

Duterte, who asked De Lima to hang herself for “screwing the nation,” said that Justice officials are now starting to probe the accountability of other high officials under the Aquino administration who might have also benefitted from the illegal drug trade.

“At that time when I said you better ‘hang yourself,’ I knew already about everything. I had already read the testimonies and talked with the people involved,” Duterte said.

He added that he would leave it up to Justice Department officials to conduct further investigations.

“I don’t want it to appear that I’m chasing my enemies,” he said.

Duterte recently supported a move to postpone the barangay elections for fear that drug money would seep into the process.

Earlier, the President accused De Lima of taking money from drug lords inside the New Bilibid Prison when she was still Justice secretary to bankroll her run for the Senate.

READ MORE...

He said she used her long time driver and bodyguard, Ronnie Dayan, as a bag man.

Recently, the President said he had a list of some 1,000 politicians and public officials involved in the drug trade, including policemen, judges, barangay captains, mayors and governors.

Duterte also dismissed De Lima’s accusation that the government was fabricating evidence against her, saying the testimony of so many witnesses could not be orchestrated.

DUTERTE DEFENDED GOVT ANTI-DRUGS  CAMPAIGN

Duterte again defended his campaign against illegal drugs, which has drawn widespread international condemnation for the rising death toll of drug suspects, now numbering more than 3,000.

Some of these killings, he said, were carried out by rival drug gangs.

On Thursday, Duterte challenged the United Nations and the European Union to send their observers to the Philippines to investigate his administration’s war on drugs.

The invitation however, would be made on the condition they also agree to be grilled by him personally.

NBI INVESTIGATION

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, meanwhile, said the National Bureau of Investigation would investigate the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison after the Justice Department received bank documents from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) related to possible drug transactions.

Aguirre said the NBI has been ordered to determine if the proceeds from these transactions went to people linked to the drug trade, such as De Lima.

He also hinted that some private corporations may also have benefitted from the drug trade, but declined to say which companies might be involved.

De Lima has consistently denied government charges against her.

Also on Friday, Aguirre said he doubted De Lima’s claim that NBP drug lord Jaybee Sebastian was a government asset that was working for the Justice Department.

Aguirre said Sebastian could not be considered a government asset since he was involved in the illegal drugs trade inside the New Bilibid Prisons.

“How can I believe that Jaybee Sebastian is an asset when you allowed him to lead the drug trade inside [the NBP in] Muntinlupa?” Aguirre said.

He added that if Sebastian was government asset, his name should be on the list of agencies such as the NBI or the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, not under the office of the Justice secretary.

In December 2014, De Lima personally led the raid at the maximum-security compound of the NBP where authorities recovered contraband items such as illegal drugs, arms and ammunition, cellular phones, pornographic materials, luxury items and cash. She then ordered the transfer of 19 high-profile inmates to the NBI as part of the crackdown on illegal drug trade inside the NBP, but Sebastian was not among those transferred.

Witnesses presented before the House Committee on Justice hearing on the proliferation of the illegal drugs inside the NBP testified that Sebastian was given preferential treatment by De Lima because he was tasked to collect drug money to help finance her senatorial bid.

--------------------------

RELATED FROM ABS-CBN

De Lima dared to clear name in House drug hearing ABS-CBN News Posted at Sep 24 2016 05:50 PM | Updated as of Sep 24 2016 05:51 PM



MANILA - A lawmaker leading an investigation on alleged illegal drug operations in the national penitentiary dared on Saturday Senator Leila de Lima to testify in the inquiry to clear her name.

Convicted crime lords told the House of Representatives committee on justice this week that they sold illegal drugs from behind bars from 2013 to help fund then justice secretary De Lima's senatorial campaign.

"If she really wants to clear her name and help government stop the proliferation of illegal drugs not just in the NBP but also in the entire country, then she may wish to appear in our next hearing instead of casting aspersions on the integrity of our probe through media," said Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali.

De Lima refused to attend the hearings, calling it a sham. She also dismissed the witnesses' statements as "perjured."

"May I ask?: Does she expect angels to squeal?" said Umali, who chairs the House justice committee.

"We summoned witnesses who have first hand-knowledge of the illegal activities in prison. Who else can they be but convicted criminals themselves?" he added.

The House hearings came a week after De Lima led a Senate investigation on the mounting deaths linked to President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.

She presented self-confessed assassin Edgar Matobato, who claimed Duterte ran a vigilante hit squad during his term as Davao City mayor.

------------------------

RELATED(2) FROM PHILSTAR

Lawmaker defends use of convicted drug lords as witnesses By Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 25, 2016 - 12:00am 10 299 googleplus0 0


Former police officer and convicted kidnapper Rodolfo Magleo, 3rd from right, and other high-profile inmates are watched under tight security as they attend an investigation at the House of Representatives in Quezon City, north of Manila, Philippines on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. Congress has began investigations on the alleged involvement of Sen. Leila De Lima to illegal drugs. AP/Aaron Favila

MANILA, Philippines – The chairman of the House of Representatives committee on justice defended yesterday the use of convicted drug lords as witnesses in its inquiry into the illegal drugs trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

“Sen. Leila de Lima seems to talk out of turn when she complains that convicted criminals have testified against her,” Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali said. “We summoned witnesses who have first-hand knowledge of the illegal activities in prison. Who else can they be but convicted criminals themselves?”

Umali said his committee’s inquiry in aid of legislation focuses on the extent of the illegal drug trade “right within the biggest prison facility in the country.”

The Bureau of Corrections that oversees the NBP is under the Department of Justice, which De Lima headed during the previous administration, he pointed out.

“If she really wants to clear her name and help government stop the proliferation of illegal drugs not just in the NBP but also in the entire country, then she may wish to appear in our next hearing, instead of casting aspersions on the integrity of our probe through media,” he said.


COLANGCO

Convicted drug lords led by Herbert Colanggo testified in the first two days of hearings of the justice committee.

They claimed to have given tens of millions of pesos to De Lima for her senatorial campaign last year.

De Lima has denied receiving drug money or having anything to do with the illegal drug trade.

Colanggo admitted before the Umali panel that he and fellow convict Jaybee Sebastian are rivals in the Bilibid drug trade.

De Lima said the government used Sebastian as an asset to crack down on drug activities in the penitentiary.

Rep. Gary Alejano of party-list group Magdalo, a former Marine officer, confirmed De Lima’s revelation on Sebastian.

He said he has information that the justice department, Philippine National Police and the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission had convinced Sebastian to tell on his collaborators and their illegal activities.

“That is why Colanggo and the other convicts are angry at Sebastian and Sen. de Lima,” Alejano said.

He stressed their decision to testify could be their way of getting back at their rival and the former justice secretary.

“Colanggo and Jaybee Sebastian head rival gangs at the Bilibid—the Commando and Presidio gangs,” Alejano pointed out. “They have their respective fiefdoms and followers. Above them are their bosses – the Chinese drug lords.”

He said the government crackdown on the NBP started in 2013 with a series of raids.

“Unfortunately, the illegal drugs business did not stop because these convicted drug lords are well entrenched in the Bilibid,” he lamented.

Alejano said prison officials once had to isolate Sebastian from other inmates after a grenade was thrown into his cell.


TRIBUNE

Trail leads to Noy? Aguirre won’t say Written by Tribune Wires Sunday, 25 September 2016 00:00 By Ted Tuvera and Charlie V. Manalo


JUSTICE CHIEF: ‘IT CAME FROM HORSE’S MOUTH’

Will the series of narcotic exposés end up with former President Benigno Aquino III?

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre won’t tell yet but he said imputing Aquino’s name in the drug’s trade was the handiwork of de Lima.



Aguirre said it was de Lima who metioned the name of the former President in her defense amid the ongoing investigation and that the involvement of Aquino in the drugs protection racket came “from the horse’s mouth.”

“Nobody pointed to (Aquino). It was in fact Senator De Lima who mentioned him. It seems that she’s soliciting his support,” Aguirre told the Daily Tribune in a text message, adding that President Duterte never made any reference to his immediate past predecessor.
Aguirre, however, underscored the apparent fears of de Lima and the LiberalParty (LP) that Aquino might soon be linked in the illegal drugs trade that proliferated during his administration.

During the course of the House inquiry on the syndicated drugs operations inside the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP), Aguirre implied that there is “someone higher than De Lima” who benefitted from the drugs trade, which wa a statement that was a source of discomfot for de Lima and some LP House members, with some saying that the one being referred to could be no less than Aquino.

“Nobody from President Duterte’s government mentioned President Noynoy’s name. You can review all news items about drugs,” he added as a response to the query if there’s in deed a bid to directly tag Aquino.

True enough, De Lima, on Thursday, was the first to implicate Aquino’s name in the narcotics network.

IMPLICATED

“When they said that there is somebody higher than me, are they trying to say that... is my president also a beneficiary of these things? You know? PNoy!? (These accusations are) very outlandish, very outrageous. They are becoming so reckless…it’s getting to be laughable,” the embattled lady Senator said.

READ MORE...

De Lima’s worry was echoed by an LP ally in the House, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat who said that it is disturbing if ever the incumbent administration drags Aquino among those involved in the drugs trade.

“Who was higher than De Lima? They have to really be careful. If ever they imply PNoy (in the drugs trade), we won’t know what will happen,” Baguilat said.

The LP stalwart added that there might be yellow legislators and other government officials from the previous administration that could be accused of involvement in the illegal drugs trade.

“I don’t know how other legislators will react, except for a few of us whose mindset are set to keep our mouths shut,” he said.

Comelec to bare De5 SOCE

Meanwhile, after Duterte’s allegation that de Lima’s Senate bid was bankrolled by drugs money, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said that it is willing to publicly disclose her statement of contributions and expenditures (SOCE).

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said the Comelec is prepared to immediately submit de Lima’s SOCE once the Senate or the House will ask for it, adding that there’s no legal hindrance from publicizing the statement since it is a public document.

“The SOCE is a public document, so if this is asked of us by the committees in the House of Representatives or the Senate, we’re ready to furnish them a copy,” Bautista said.

De Lima’s SOCE showed she received a total of P86,831,095 contributions against expenditures of P88,153,300.

COLANGCO

During the recent House probe, NBP inmate Herbert Colanggo confessed raising funds, amounting to millions of pesos, for the former Justice Secretary’s campaign.

Bautista, however, said that they do not have any method to identify drug lords from any candidate’s list of donors or contributors.

“The Comelec does not know who are the drug pushers or drug kings, we don’t have a list of that. We don’t receive any confidential information on that. So we don’t have the technical know-how to make that determination,” he said.
Umali defends use of cons

The chairman of the House committee on justice yesterday lashed back at de Lima for accusing the administration of turning to drug convicts just to pin her on allegations of profiting from illicit drug operations at the NBP.


NBP PROBER UMALI

In a statement, Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali justified the use of convicted felons in the congressional probe on the ilegal drug trade in the NBP, saying they hold first-hand information on the matter, being directly involved in drug dealing.

“Sen. Leila de Lima seems to talk out of turn when she complains that convicted criminals have testified against her in the ongoing hearing of the House Committee on Justice investigating the illegal drugs trade in the New Bilibid Prison,” said Umali.

“May I ask?: Does she expect angels to squeal?” he added.

“We summoned witnesses who have first hand-knowledge of the illegal activities in prison. Who else can they be but convicted criminals themselves?” Umali stressed.

The other day, de Lima, who convicts pinpointed as the one who allegedly pushed the to drug dealing in order to raise funds for her election bid, slammed the Duterte administration on the use of the convicts to testify against her despite the fact that no less than President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte had revealed that drug lords were plotting to assassinate him.

“Because now, the drug lords and criminals in Bilibid are the allies of the President in his war on drugs. (Justice Secretary Vitaliano) Aguirre doesn’t even notice how laughable their situation is now. The President has on his side the drug lords who, according to them (the administration), had chipped in to raise a billion pesos to have him killed,” de Lima was quoted saying
“What was that? A change of heart? How stupid of them to miss how skewed their statements are,” she added..

The House panel through Aguirre had summoned convicted criminals in the probe including convicted robber Herbert Colanggo, whose gang is tagged in the 2008 Cabuyao bank massacre, and murder convict Jojo Baligad.

DE LIMA QUESTIONS USE  CONVICTS TO TESTIFY

But while de Lima is questioning the use of convicts to testify in the House probe, she herself had admitted that convicted kidnapper Jaybee Sebastian was a government asset, which Aguirre said is stupid.

De Lima earlier said that Sebastian was a government asset. She said he has given the government useful information that led to the December 2014 raid in the Bilibid.

De Lima claimed Sebastian provided information to the government which led to the “Oplan Galugad” or the series of raids inside the NBP, commencing on Dec. 15, 2014 where members of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) seized firearms, illegal drugs, cash, jewelries and posh appliances inside the prison.

With Sebastian’s information, nineteen high-profile inmates were then transferred to the NBI to prevent them from continuing with their illegal activities, according to de Lima.

NBP DE LIMA RAID A 'MORO-MORO'

However, Philippine National Police (PNP) deputy chief for operations Director Benjamin Magalong, in his testimony before the House, claimed the raid was nothing but a moro-moro as it did not put a stop to the illegal drug trade in the prison facility but have only worsened it, aside from the fact that the government, through the Department of Justice (DoJ) which de Lima used to head, failed to dismantle the “luxurious mansions” maintained by the drug lords.

Also, the convicts who testified before the House bared that the transfer of the 19 inmates to the custody of the NBI, was facilitated by Sebastian so he could monopolize the drug trade in the NBP.

In refuting de Lima, Aguirre said if Sebastian was a government asset, he should have not been separated from the 19 inmates transferred to the custody of the NBI so he could gain more information and not be sbjected to suspicions by his co-inmates
Umali said it is only justified to use the convicts to divulge everything they know on the illegal drug trade as the House is conducting an investigation in aid of legislation on the extent and magnitude of the illegal drugs trade right within the biggest prison facility in the country.

“The Bureau of Corrections that oversees the NBP is under the Department of Justice which she headed during the previous administration,” said Umali.

If de Lima really wants to clear her name and help government stop the proliferation of illegal drugs not just in the NBP but also in the entire country, Umali said she might consider appearing in the next hearing.

“She may wish to appear in our next hearing instead of casting aspersions on the integrity of our probe through media,” said Umali.

More needed to be done — DILG

The anti-drug drive of the administration of President Duterte will take a different track as it was discovered that the drug problem is very big contrary to what is expected.


Bilibid drug probe: Docu shows inmate's photos with de Lima, 'President' ABS-CBN News Posted at Sep 20 2016 01:37 PM | Updated as of Sep 20 2016 02:04 PM HEADLINE NEWS REPORT FROM ABS-CBN

According to Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary John Castriciones the reason Duterte sought a six-month extension to his self-imposed deadline to weed out illegal drugs was that the problem was very serious that needed the help of all sectors to end it.

“There are 3.7 million drug addicts in our country thus we are urging different sectors including the church to help the government in this anti-drug fight,” Castriciones told mediamen at the Balitaan sa Hotel Rembrandt.
 

750,000 SURRENDERES

At present there are 750,000 surrenderers according to Castriciones which should also undergo rehabilitation, thus adding to the burden to the government due to the lack of rehabilitation centers nationwide.

He said that a person would need P40,000 per month or P240,000 for six months for rehabilitation which is very big amount of money.

“From there we really have a very big problem, so we are asking help from all sectors for this and at the moment these surrenderers are out patients,” Castriciones said.

These people would be given different rehabilitation program in their respective areas or barangays that would include greening program or farming in the case of people in the provinces or rural areas.

In the urban areas those who surrendered would be tapped to clean esteros and canals, undergo alternative learning system of education or to undergo skills training at Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

The help of the church is also needed in the campaign against illegal drugs because they can be utilized in the faith-based rehabilitation.

In the case of community based rehabilitation, the families of the drug addicts and pushers would also be enjoined to be part of the program so there would be a smooth return to the community.

Castriociones revealed that there are many groups and individuals that are willing to help in the anti-drug program which is now entering the three month period.

On the other hand, according to Ameron “Andy” Andoga a Muslim leader the government should focus the anti-drug campaign to the suppliers of raw materials for making shabu, manufacturers, financiers and protectors or simply cut-off the root cause of the problem.

But the DILG official said they are encountering difficulties against these because these people are very high-tech thus what they are doing at the moment is to destroy the supply apparatus to weaken bigtime drug peddlers.

“If you can observe many of those apprehended users are all poor people living in poor communities. These people are seeking palliative solutions to escape poverty and many of them are pushers and users,” Castriciones explained.

He said these people who are engaged in peddling drugs has discovered that it is very lucrative and they are willing to fight to their death in order to protect their newfound job, that is to peddle illegal drugs in their neighborhood.

“They really resist and fight with authorities because they don’t want to part with the money they earned from selling shabu,” Castriciones reiterated. Alvin Murcia

-----------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Palace mum after solon warns not to drag PNoy in drug controversy By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated September 25, 2016 - 2:55pm 62 611 googleplus0 1


In this June 30, 2016 photo, then outgoing President Benigno Aquino III met with now President Rodrigo Duterte prior to the latter's inaugural ceremony. Last week, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre claimed that a member of “yellow” who is higher than Sen. Leila De Lima benefitted from the corruption and the sale of narcotics inside the New Bilibid Prison. Yellow is the campaign color of the Liberal Party, to which De Lima and Aquino belongs. Presidential Photographers Division, File

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang kept mum Sunday on a lawmaker’s warning to the Duterte administration not to drag former President Benigno Aquino III to the illegal drugs controversy following the Justice department’s claim that an official higher than Sen. Leila de Lima had profited from the payoffs at the national penitentiary.

“I would rather not react to those comments because we know that the relationship of the executive and Sen. Leila de Lima is sensitive,” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar told state-run radio station dzRB Sunday.

Pressed if he is expecting other higher government officials to be unmasked during the succeeding congressional inquiries, Andanar replied: “I don't really know what the plans of Congress [are]. I also do not know the plans of DOJ (Department of Justice) Secretary (Vitaliano) Aguirre.”

“But he (Aguirre) did mention that he has some aces up his sleeve,” he added.

Last week, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre claimed that a member of “yellow” who is higher than De Lima benefitted from the corruption and the sale of narcotics inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

Yellow is the campaign color of the Liberal Party (LP), the political affiliation of Aquino and De Lima, during the 2016 polls.

READ: Noy keeps vow of silence on current affairs

Aguirre declined to identify the official, saying his agency is still conducting an investigation. He claimed, though, that the evidence they have gathered point toward the official.

De Lima, who has been accused of using drug money to bankroll her senatorial campaign, said Aguirre’s statement was “very outrageous” and “very outlandish.” She said the Justice department appears to be linking Aquino to the issue because the only official higher than her when she was Justice secretary was the former president.

Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, a member of LP, said the Duterte administration should be careful about tagging Aquino in the illegal drugs trade, saying he does not know how people close to the former president would react if that happens.

Andanar also refused to answer when asked whether Malacañang is convinced by the testimonies of NBP inmates who claimed that De Lima reaped millions from drug lords inside the penitentiary.

“It is up to the Lower House and the members of that committee to decide,” the Communications chief said.

“The expectation is for Congress to do its job and its mandate to have all of these in aid of legislation investigation.”

De Lima is one of the more than 160 government workers accused by Duterte of having links to illegal drugs.

The government has launched a shame campaign against suspected drug protectors as part of its brutal campaign against illegal drugs, a problem that the president said has reached “pandemic proportions.”

The drug lists disclosed by Duterte also included names of incumbent and retired local executives, uniformed officials and members of the judiciary. Another list containing about 1,000 names has been submitted to Duterte but he has yet to make it public.

Last Saturday, incoming Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman Martin Diño revealed that about 50 celebrities are included in the list but declined to reveal their identities. Andanar, however, said he has no direct knowledge about the matter.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2016 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE 
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE