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DE LIMA DARES OPPONENTS: FILE CASES WITH OMBUDSMAN, NOT DOJ
[RELATED by Ramon Tulfo: Palace dignifies Digong bashers; De Lima should resign from the Senate.]
[RELATED(2): Hearing chair Gordon absolves Duterte of involvement in Extra Judicial Killings]
OCTOBER 11 -Opposition Senator Leila De Lima gestures while questioning witnesses at the resumption of the Philippine Senate probe on extrajudicial killings in the continuing "war on drugs" campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte Monday, Oct. 3, 2016 in suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. The Philippine Senate's Committee on Justice and Human Rights, has invited witnesses to look into the possible human rights violations and extrajudicial killings in Davao city when Duterte was still the city mayor as well as the current "war on drugs" campaign by the present administration. AP/Bullit Marquez Sen. Leila De Lima challenged those who want to sue her to file cases directly with the Office of the Ombudsman instead of the Department of Justice. The senator noted that the Office of the Ombudsman is the proper agency with jurisdiction in cases against her for acts done during her term as secretary of Justice. This statement was made after the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption filed a complaint against her before the DOJ over her alleged involvement in the Bilibid drug trade. READ: Drug raps filed vs De Lima, 7 others The VACC claimed that De Lima conspired with seven others in the sale of illegal drugs inside and outside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) from 2012 to 2016. READ MORE...RELATED, by Ramon Tulfo: Palace dignifies Digong bashers; De Lima should resign from the Senate...RELATED(2), Gordon absolves Duterte of involvement in EJK...
ALSO: DOJ to forward findings of probe on De Lima drug charges to Ombudsman[RELATED: Drug lord Sy admits bribing officials for preferential treatment]
OCTOBER 13 -Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said Wednesday findings of the preliminary investigation on the drug trafficking complaint against Senator Leila De Lima and several others will be forwarded to the Office of Ombudsman. While the findings will not be binding on the Ombudsman, Aguirre believes it will have "persuasive effect" to put the case on trial before the Sandiganbayan. "Once we conduct our own preliminary investigation, you can be assured na talagang sasalain natin ang mga ebidensya na ifa-file dito sa Department of Justice," he told reporters. De Lima had said the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) would have wasted time by filing the complaint with the justice department since only the Ombudsman have jurisdiction over cases against high government officials like her. READ MORE...RELATED, Drug lord Sy admits bribing officials for preferential treatment... RELATED, CHR exec under fire for Senate meddling...
ALSO: House Committee on Justice: ‘All roads lead to Leila’
[RELATED: Peter Co: De Lima ‘kin’ demanded millions, cars for senatorial run]
OCTOBER 13 -Senator Leila de Lima THE House committee on justice has found that “all roads led to Leila de Lima” as a recipient of some P65 million from bickering drug lords in the New Bilibid Prison to fund her senatorial campaign, and as a protector of the thriving drug trade inside the national penitentiary. These findings will be contained in the panel report to be submitted to the plenary for appropriate action, said Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, committee chairman. De Lima’s Liberal Party, a minority in the House, disputed the findings.Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said he did not participate in the justice committee hearings because the results were pre-determined to find De Lima guilty of benefiting from the illegal drug trade in the NBP. “Why then should I attend and participate in an obvious and odious vaudeville?” Lagman said. The House probe stemmed from a resolution filed by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, calling for a probe into the proliferation of drugs in the NBP during De Lima’s watch. READ MORE...RELATED, Peter Co: De Lima ‘kin’ demanded millions, cars for senatorial run...
ALSO: Residents, officials agree Baseco Tondo compaound is most drug-affected area in Manila
[RELATED: Senate probe concluded - Trillanes accuses Justice panel chair Gordon of cover-up]
OCTOBER 13 -Metal basins serve as makeshift television antennas for families living in the Baseco compound Residents and barangay officials of Baseco Compound in Tondo, Manila, seem to agree that the use of illegal drugs is more rampant in their area compared to other places in the country's capital, a television report said Thursday. In his report on "24 Oras," GMA News' Raffy Tima said a police official tagged Baseco as the most drug-affected area in Manila during the day's Senate hearing on the extrajudicial killings being linked to the government's war on drugs. During the hearing, Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate justice committee, asked Senior Supt. Joel Coronel of the Manila Police District (MPD) to identify which part of Manila is plagued by illegal drugs. Coronel said based on the report of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Tondo is the most drug-affected area in Manila. "Which part of Tondo?" Gordon asked. "Western part... Baseco," the police official said. READ MORE...RELATED, Senate probe concluded - Trillanes accuses Gordon of cover-up...
READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:
De Lima dares opponents: File cases with Ombudsman, not DOJ
OCTOBER 11 -Opposition Senator Leila De Lima gestures while questioning witnesses at the resumption of the Philippine Senate probe on extrajudicial killings in the continuing "war on drugs" campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte Monday, Oct. 3, 2016 in suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. The Philippine Senate's Committee on Justice and Human Rights, has invited witnesses to look into the possible human rights violations and extrajudicial killings in Davao city when Duterte was still the city mayor as well as the current "war on drugs" campaign by the present administration. AP/Bullit Marquez READ MORE...
MANILA, OCTOBER 17, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Patricia Lourdes Viray October 11, 2016 - Sen. Leila De Lima challenged those who want to sue her to file cases directly with the Office of the Ombudsman instead of the Department of Justice.
The senator noted that the Office of the Ombudsman is the proper agency with jurisdiction in cases against her for acts done during her term as secretary of Justice.
This statement was made after the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption filed a complaint against her before the DOJ over her alleged involvement in the Bilibid drug trade.
READ: Drug raps filed vs De Lima, 7 others
The VACC claimed that De Lima conspired with seven others in the sale of illegal drugs inside and outside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) from 2012 to 2016.
"Although the DOJ may initially take cognizance, this case against me would eventually only be filed by the DOJ with the Ombudsman for another round of fact-finding investigation," De Lima said in a statement.
De Lima welcomed the complaint filed against her but stressed that the complainants only wasted time by filing it before the DOJ.
"Unless they have other reasons for filing it with the DOJ instead of the Ombudsman. Maybe because that is the domain of [Justice Secretary Vitaliano] Aguirre, the master of fakery. Justice under Aguirre is fake," the senator said.
The DOJ earlier issued an immigration lookout bulletin order against De Lima for her alleged involvement in the proliferation of the illegal drug trade at the NBP.
The order requires the senator to get a permit from the DOJ for trips outside the country.
READ: Leila hits lookout order, ‘men without balls’
RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER
Palace dignifies Digong bashers By: Ramon Tulfo / @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:20 AM October 11, 2016
By Ramon Tulfo
After being implicated in the drug trade by several New Bilibid Prison (NBP) inmates, including “government asset” Jaybee Sebastian, the accusations against former justice secretary and now Sen. Leila de Lima are shaping up to be true.
If there were only one or two inmates accusing her, perhaps their statements could be considered as tainted.
But many inmates are saying the same thing about her— spontaneously and unfalteringly—casting doubt on De Lima’s integrity and uprightness.
De Lima should resign from the Senate.
Under her watch as justice secretary, the NBP became a venue for bacchanalian feasts instead of a reformatory for convicted criminals.
Drugs and booze flowed freely, shows featuring famous showbiz personalities such as Sharon Cuneta were held regularly, and prostitutes were allowed into the NBP.
Those shenanigans never happened at the national penitentiary on such a large scale.
True, drugs and booze and women were allowed into the NBP during the watch of other justice secretaries but they were so insignificant as to be ignored.
De Lima allowed the shenanigans inside the NBP, even permitting the illicit drug trade to be run from inside the national prison, for monetary gain, according to testimonies against her.
She earned hundreds of millions of pesos, according to estimates by her successor, Justice Secretary Vit Aguirre.
De Lima is lucky she’s a senator; otherwise, she may suffer the same fate as hapless drug pushers.
Jaybee Sebastian’s testimony at the House committee on justice showed that many policemen contributed to the spread of illicit drugs when they didn’t turn over the narcotics they had seized and instead sold them.
These errant policemen, also referred to as “ninja cops,” should be identified, dismissed from the service and jailed indefinitely.
There’s a better way to deal with them: include all of them in the homicide statistics.
But then they’re so many, the Philippine National Policemight be decimated.
The latest bashers of President Digong are a French newspaper and a local singer-actress.
The French newspaper branded the President a “serial killer” and the showbiz personality called him a “psychopath.”
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella dignified the bashers by commenting on their statements.
The best way to deal with bashers is to ignore them as if they don’t exist.
Some 1,000 fishermen and their families at Barangay Inhobol, Masinloc town in Zambales province, received an early Christmas treat on Sunday.
The Philippine Coast Guard and Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center (CGHMC) played Santa Claus.
The fishermen of Masinloc have been deprived of their livelihood because their fishing grounds at Scarborough Shoal have been taken over by the Chinese government.
Coast Guard personnel and doctors, dentists, nurses and other staffers of CGHMC conducted the medical, dental and relief mission on the remote barangay, which is more than five hours from Manila by car.
Food packs were distributed to each family while doctors, dentists and nurses treated the poor folks.
Dr. James Dy, a well-known philanthropist who owns the CGHMC and heads the Philippine Chinese Charitable Association, personally led the medical-cum-relief mission after he learned about the abject condition of the fisher families from Rear Adm. William Melad, Coast Guard chief.
Where have the Department of Health and Department of Social Welfare and Development been all this time?
RELATED FROM MALAYA
Gordon absolves Duterte of involvement in EJK By JP LOPEZ October 14, 2016 THE
Senate committee on justice and human rights yesterday wrapped up its investigation on the extra-judicial killings (EJKs) in the government’s war against illegal drugs, with panel chair Sen. Richard Gordon practically absolving President Duterte of involvement in alleged summary executions during his incumbency as Davao City mayor.
Gordon said the testimony of self-confessed hit man Edgar Matobato, who had linked Duterte to the so-called Davao death squad (DDS), could not be taken at face value because his statements were riddled with inconsistencies.
Even the existence of the DDS, Gordon added, was not corroborated.
“I can show you even now the many inconsistencies of Matobato. Trinabaho na rin namin ‘yan,” Gordon said during a briefing after announcing the termination of the hearing jointly held with the committee on public order and dangerous drugs.
He said he could even recommend the filing of perjury charges against Matobato.
“Di pa kami nakakapag-usap diyan (with panel members) pero gumagalaw (na) ang (mga) pulis. Kita nyo, hinuli siya dun sa illegal possession of firearms. Meron pala syang kaso, and he was turned over to the PNP. May perjury dun (sa testimonya nya),” he said.
Gordon also said the cops called to testify by Sen. Leila de Lima, who were allegedly members of the dreaded group, denied the existence of the DDS and Duterte’s knowledge of its existence.
He said the cops were witnesses invited by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and De Lima, who used to chair the justice committee.
“‘Di kami nag-imbita ng pulis… tinuloy ko lang ‘yung imbestigasyon ni Sen. De Lima at ni Sen. Trillanes,” said Gordon, who was named the panel chair after De Lima was ousted.
He also explained that De Lima had investigated extrajudicial killings when she chaired the Commission on Human Rights for four years and when she was Justice secretary for six years but failed to file charges against Duterte.
Even the current EJKs under Duterte’s war against illegal drugs could not be concluded as state-sponsored, Gordon said.
“You’d be a fool to say he’s sponsoring killings… he’d be a fool and I don’t think he’s a fool,” he said.
“President Duterte is inspired to kill drug dealers because he really means to eradicate drugs. But I don’t think he’s really going to push anybody to kill. Wala akong nakukuhang folder galing sa kanya, even from (police chief Director General Ronald) Bato (dela Rosa) na nagpapatay siya ng tao,” he added.
The committee, Gordon said, plans to come up with its report next week.
LACSON MOVES TERMINATE HEARING
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chair of the committee on public order and illegal drugs, made a motion to terminate the hearing.
“We have enough to report. We will try to get it out by Monday, so that the public will be assuaged that we are all watching each other here. It may not be perfect but we will try,” Gordon said before terminating the proceedings.
There were still nine witnesses of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) who have yet to give their testimonies.
Gordon rejected the presentation of three witnesses and instead moved that the committee start taking up the proposed measure seeking to restore the death penalty in the country introduced by Sen. Manny Pacquiao.
Gordon resented the “disrespectful” statements made recently by CHR Commissioner Roberto Eugenio Cadiz who called the senator a “coward” for terminating Matobato’s testimony last October 4.
“I challenge him (Gordon) as a commissioner, the only way for him to recover his credibility as chair is to continue with the hearing and listen to the other witnesses. Otherwise, there is every reason to believe he is the coward here and not Matobato or De Lima,” Cadiz had said.
Gordon said the CHR leadership should disassociate itself from the unauthorized statement of Cadiz.
“We are not taking the human rights out of the question. I just said, under the circumstances, kung pinagdududahan ninyo ang committee, huwag na kayo pumunta dito,” Gordon said.
GMA NEWS NETWORK
DOJ to forward findings of probe on De Lima drug charges to Ombudsman Published October 13, 2016 2:43am BY VIRGIL LOPEZ, GMA News
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said Wednesday findings of the preliminary investigation on the drug trafficking complaint against Senator Leila De Lima and several others will be forwarded to the Office of Ombudsman.
While the findings will not be binding on the Ombudsman, Aguirre believes it will have "persuasive effect" to put the case on trial before the Sandiganbayan.
"Once we conduct our own preliminary investigation, you can be assured na talagang sasalain natin ang mga ebidensya na ifa-file dito sa Department of Justice," he told reporters.
De Lima had said the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) would have wasted time by filing the complaint with the justice department since only the Ombudsman have jurisdiction over cases against high government officials like her.
However, Aguirre said he was only following De Lima's practice when the latter allegedly launched during her time preliminary investigations on cases against some government officials like former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former senators linked to the pork barrel scam.
“Bakit hindi nya finorward sa Ombudsman during her time tapos ngayon wala na sya, dito ayaw nya dito?" he said.
Aguirre earlier said the DOJ might form a panel composed of three or five prosecutors to handle the complaint against De Lima, who is accused of tolerating drug syndicates inside the New Bilibid Prison when she was DOJ chief in exchange for funds for her senatorial campaign.
The complaint also listed former Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III, former Bureau of Corrections chief Franklin Bucayu, high profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian and four other people as respondents.
Aguirre said the VACC complaint may be consolidated with the one being prepared by the National Bureau of Investigation, an attached agency of the DOJ which is currently doing a fact finding probe. — BAP, GMA News
RELATED, FROM THE INQUIRER
Drug lord Sy admits bribing officials for preferential treatment By: Marc Jayson Cayabyab / @MJcayabyabINQ INQUIRER.net / 07:21 PM October 10, 2016
Peter Co and Vicente Sy
Convicted drug lord Vicente Sy on Monday admitted bribing officials with millions of pesos to receive preferential treatment inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
During the last day of the House of Representatives hearing into the drug proliferation at the NBP, Sy in his affidavit, said that his fellow Chinese inmates in 2013 asked him to bring in appliances to the maximum security compound.
Sy said he gave P1 million to then National Bureau of Investigation Deputy Director General Rafael Ragos through the latter’s right hand man named only as George.
Sy added that this amount was for then Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, as told to him by George.
Sy said another P500,000 was paid for De Lima.
“Humihingi sa akin si George ng P1 million. Ang halagang ito ay sinabi ni George na para kay Justice Secretary Leila De Lima para papasukin ang mga appliances at para payagan ang paggamit ng mga ito sa loob ng Bilibid,” Sy said in his affidavit, which was read by his lawyer. Sy could not speak fluent Filipino.
Sy said he was also approached by De Lima’s alleged favored inmate Jaybee Sebastian to raise campaign funds for her.
Sebastian called a meeting among gang leaders before the end of 2014 to give orders to raise campaign funds for De Lima, Sy said.
Sy added that De Lima was present in that meeting.
Sebastian denied giving the orders to gang leaders.
READ: Sebastian denies ordering gang leaders to raise funds for De Lima
Sy said he did not follow Sebastian’s orders and that was the reason why he was among the 19 inmates pulled out of the maximum security compound after the December 2014 raid.
Sy said they were removed after the “Oplan Galugad” to allow Sebastian to monopolize the drug trade inside the Bilibid. Sebastian denied being De Lima’s favored drug lord.
READ: Sebastian denies being De Lima’s ‘favored’ drug lord
Sy also said he saw De Lima at Sebastian’s kubol inside the NBP. Sebastian denied that De Lima paid him a visit in there.
Sebastian, however, admitted that De Lima was his protector from the drug trade, adding that he raised P10 million campaign funds for De Lima from the sale of shabu.
READ: Sebastian: De Lima was my protector in Bilibid drug trade
Sy also admitted he paid then Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan P1 million for him to be transferred back to the maximum security compound. In 2013, Sy was relocated to the Sablayan Prison Farm and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro.
Baraan was included in the Bilibid drug trade matrix of President Rodrigo Duterte. Baraan has left the Philippines even before the House probe began due to health reasons.
READ: Colangco: Ex-DOJ USec Baraan got kickbacks for transferring inmates
| Ex-DOJ official in Bilibid drug mess left PH ‘for health reasons’
De Lima bill seeks to redefine Extra-Judicial Killings October 13, 2016
SEN. Leila de Lima yesterday sought to re-define extrajudicial killings to include summary executions perpetrated by private individuals or vigilantes in line with a campaign or policy of government.
De Lima filed Senate Bill 1197 following questions raised by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on the definition of extrajudicial killings (EJKs), and resentment raised by the PNP to the tagging of killings by unidentified suspects as EJKs.
The bill defines extrajudicial killing as the “unlawful, and deliberate killing of targeted individuals or groups thereof, carried out by agents of the State and under its order or acquiescence in lieu of arrest, investigation and prosecution.”
“Extrajudicial killing includes summary killing perpetrated by private individuals for purposes of carrying out on their own or in the context of vigilantism, a campaign or policy of the State,” the bill said.
De Lima also sought the creation of an Inter-Agency Council against Extrajudicial Killings (Anti-EJK Council) to ensure that government law enforcement agencies adhere to minimum standards in the prevention and investigation of extralegal killings.
Official figures showed that as of October 10, a total of 3,844 persons have died since the government’s war against drugs was formally launched on July 1. Of the fatalities, 1,550 died in police operations and 2,294 in extrajudicial or vigilante-style killings.
Under SB 1197, the Anti-EJK Council shall coordinate with the PNP and National Bureau of Investigation, and Commission on Human Rights to adhere to minimum standards in the conduct of regular police intervention operations, such as but not limited to arrest, raid, search and seizure. --JP Lopez
RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE
CHR exec under fire for Senate meddling Written by Angie M. Rosales Thursday, 13 October 2016 00:00
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) yesterday came under fire from senators, on the eve of their scheduled appearance on possibly the last public hearing on the issue on extrajudicial killings, after a CHR commissioner castigated Sen. Richard Gordon for suspending the hearing last week.
Sen. Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri took it upon himself to bring to the floor what he branded as insulting and one of the worst attacks on the Senate, which he said threatened even to undermine the independence of the institution.
Zubiri was referring to the pronouncement made by CHR Commissioner Roberto Eugenio Cadiz who slammed Gordon, chairman of the justice and human rights committee and overall lead in the probe on extrajudicial killings in the Senate, for “prematurely suspending” last week’s proceedings following a verbal tussle with Sen. Leila de Lima.
Commissioner. HON. ROBERTO EUGENIO T. CADIZ
“That is a bit too much and unfair. That kind of cavalier attitude and scathing statement against our very own committee chair and other members of the committee including myself, is an insult to the Senate and its history. I cannot let this pass,” Zubiri said in his manifestation on the floor.
As a constitutional body, the CHR,he said, should respect the Senate as an institution as well as its processes and time-honored traditions.
“The commissioner’s statements are truly, truly unfair because the committee even devoted hearings on (self-confessed hitman Edgar) Matobato’s testimony. The credibility of the chair is now being challenged,” he said.
“We can say that this is an interference on our exclusive realm, a break of our jurisdiction. I would like to hear an explanation or at least demand an apology from the CHR for the statements made by them on Oct. 4, 2016. I leave it to the chairman, I would like to see that they apologize or explain before we have a hearing tomorrow,” Zubiri added.
The senator was reacting to Cadiz’s published statements in defense of De Lima whom Gordon said seemed to have committed material concealment, during last Oct. 4 Senate hearing, for failing to reveal the information that Matobato had been charged by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) of kidnapping with ransom in 2000.
“So who’s running away from the Senate hearing? De Lima, Matobato or Gordon and the other senators in the majority? Who’s closing this hearing? Under the circumstances, there is every reason to believe it is Gordon who is afraid of this hearing. I challenge him as a commissioner, the only way or him to recover his credibility as chair is to continue with the hearing and listen to the other witnesses. Otherwise, there is every reason to believe he is the covered here and not Matobato or De Lima,” Cadiz was quoted as saying.
Gordon, following a manifestation by Zubiri who brought up the issue, demanded an apology from the Cadiz, saying that they will not entertain the CHR and its witnesses if they do not make any apology.
The CHR, which is set to present its own set of “witnesses” to supposedly attest to the existing extrajudicial killings under the present administration stand to lose its chance in proving the allegations if they fail to apologize and make amends for the comments made by the said CHR official.
“If they want, they can attend the hearing. If they attend, I will recognize them but I don’t have to call them (to testify) anymore. They should apologize first. This is no joke. This is the Senate, 24 senators were elected by the whole country. There are no extra powers except that we are representing the country,” Gordon said in an interview with reporters after the plenary session.
Gordon said CHR chairman Chito Gascon had extended an apology to him and even did it repeatedly but Gordon said it is Cadiz who should say sorry to him.
Loose cannon at CHR
“Yes (he should apologize) definitely and then the chairman of the CHR should totally disassociate thimself from the statements which are completely unauthorized and were not even talked upon by them. Maybe the guy wanted to be senator some day. I hear he’s really a loose cannon, that’s what I hear,” Gordon commented.
The senator expressed his gratitude to Zubiri on the floor saying that the latter was thinking more of the institution.
“Sometimes there could be altercations here but we do not lose our dignity for that,” he said.
But even before Gordon could wrap up the proceedings on their inquiry into the extrajudicial killings, De Lima seemed to have jumped the gun on the panel chair in introducing remedial legislations.
De Lima eyes anti-EJK body
De Lima filed a bill seeking the creation of an inter-agency council against extrajudicial killings (Anti-EJK Council) to ensure that law enforcement agencies adhere to minimum standards in the prevention and investigation of extralegal killings.
Ironic as it may seem, the senator proposed to have the said council chaired by the Department of Justice (DoJ) secretary. De Lima has been at odds for quite some time now with Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, accusing him of coming up with alleged baseless and manufactured pieces of evidence against her on her supposed drug links.
De Lima, a known human rights advocate, filed Senate Bill 1197 which seeks to address institutional barriers to efficient, independent and impartial investigation of extrajudicial killings among concerned government agencies.
“The Filipino as a nation cannot negate that EJK is a clear and present phenomenon of the times, boldly challenging our constitutionally-protected human rights against taking of life, transgression of due process, and presumption of innocence of criminal suspects,” she said.
“Extrajudicial killing has become a grave concern in our homes, within Philippine shores and around the world that demands only the most certain effort through legislation,” she added.
Official figures showed that, as of last Oct. 10, about 3,844 people have so far died since the government’s war against drugs was launched last July 1, of whom 1,550 died in police operations while 2,294 in extrajudicial or vigilante-style killings.
“This incidence of kills and deaths is reminiscent of the country situation that prompted the mission to the Philippines of Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings,” the neophyte senator said.
In 2007, Alston noted 100 to 800 death of leftist activists between 2001 and 2007 in his State Report on the implementation of the Philippines’ commitment under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The former justice secretary also noted how the international community and multilateral organizations have expressed grave concern over the unabated spate of recent extrajudicial killings carried out under the government’s all-out campaign against drugs.
“Besides the United Nations, (foreign) governments have also spoken on the unacceptability of extrajudicial killings,” she said, pointing out that the Philippine government has been put to task to put an end to these drug-related killings.
Under SB 1197, the Anti-EJK Council shall coordinate with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and Commission on Human Rights (CHR), to adhere to minimum standards in the conduct of regular police intervention operations, such as but not limited to arrest, raid, search and seizure.
Chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Justice, the Anti-EJK Council shall be composed of heads of various concerned law enforcement agencies, such as PNP, NBI, CHR, and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
It shall also be composed of the respective chairmen of the Philippine Commission on Women and the National Youth Commission and shall be represented by two non-governmental organizations as appointed by the President.
The proposed measure also seeks to define and provide penalty for acts that qualify as extrajudicial killings in order to ensure accountability of state and non-state actors as well as paramilitary groups in compliance with government drive for public order.
Under SB 1197, life imprisonment without parole shall be imposed for any public officer, person in authority, agency of a person in authority or private individual who would be found guilty of extrajudicial killing.
Except in conflict-stricken communities, the local chief executive and chief of police shall also be presumed administratively negligent when there is a notable increase of extrajudicial killing cases within their area of jurisdiction
De Lima, Aguirre trade barbs anew
More shots were fired between beleaguered Senator de Lima and Justice Secretary Aguirre who has confirmed plans to indict the opposition lawmaker for her complicity in a billion peso drug trade syndicate operating from behind the bars at the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) when she was still the secretary of justice.
“I may be losing my hair but I think she is losing her mind,” Aguirre quipped yesterday in response to Senator De Lima’s allegation that he is the “master of fakery.”
Aguirre, who has personally pursued the congressional inquiry against De Lima ahead of a formal finding by prosecutors claimed his predecessor. De Lima, did not specify which evidence against her was falsified.
“Ni hindi sinabi kung ano finake ko pati daw buhok ko fake,” Aguirre said “Sen. De Lima ang pagdepensa mo ayusin mo,” he said.
De Lima accused Aguirre of pressuring and torturing witnesses to testify against her.“Hindi ganyan ang pagdepensa. Isa kang magaling na abogado,” Aguirre said.
The Justice Chief said De Lima should respond why she should not be called the protector of the Bilibid drug lords.“You have been the Justice Secretary for six years, what did you do? You should tell us what did you do to stop the drug proliferation inside the New Bilibid Prision,” Aguirre said. Benjamin B. Pulta
House Committee on Justice: ‘All roads lead to Leila’ posted October 13, 2016 at 12:01 am by Christine F. Herrera and Rey E. Requejo
Senator Leila de Lima
THE House committee on justice has found that “all roads led to Leila de Lima” as a recipient of some P65 million from bickering drug lords in the New Bilibid Prison to fund her senatorial campaign, and as a protector of the thriving drug trade inside the national penitentiary.
These findings will be contained in the panel report to be submitted to the plenary for appropriate action, said Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, committee chairman.
De Lima’s Liberal Party, a minority in the House, disputed the findings.
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said he did not participate in the justice committee hearings because the results were pre-determined to find De Lima guilty of benefiting from the illegal drug trade in the NBP.
“Why then should I attend and participate in an obvious and odious vaudeville?” Lagman said.
The House probe stemmed from a resolution filed by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, calling for a probe into the proliferation of drugs in the NBP during De Lima’s watch.
During the hearings, drug lord Jaybee Sebastian claimed he had given De Lima a total of P10 million in drug money for her senatorial bid.
Sebastian’s bitter rival Herbert Colanggo testified that he, too, gave De Lima a monthly P3 million “PR [campaign] payola” from drug sales that his talent manager summed up to “more or less P45 million.”
Colanggo said De Lima also received a P1-million kickback from his P3-million income from the concerts he was holding and the booze he was smuggling inside the prison that happened every weekend.
Former Bureau of Corrections chief and now National Bureau of Investigation Deputy Director Rafael Ragos also testified he had delivered P5 million twice to De Lima at her house and that the drug money came from Chinese drug lord Peter Co.
Ragos said he had turned over the money to her trusted driver-bodyguard and alleged lover, Ronnie Dayan, in De Lima’s presence.
At some point, Sebastian said it was De Lima who received the P2 million he had given because her trusted security aide Joenel Sanchez was not around at the time the money was collected.
Umali found drug lords Sebastian and Colanggo and other high value inmates pointing to De Lima, through her bagmen Dayan and Sanchez, as having ordered the drug syndicates to raise funds for her senatorial campaign.
All of the inmates who testified corroborated one another’s sworn affidavit and testimony that De Lima was aware the funds given to her were proceeds from the illegal drug trade inside and outside of the NBP maximum security compound.
The members of the LP-Minority wing–Lagman, Caloocan Rep. Edgardo Erice and Ifugao Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat said even as members of the panel, they chose not to participate because the hearings were a “foregone conclusion,” that they were politically motivated and that De Lima would be found guilty of the allegations.
Lagman insisted the panel has no jurisdiction in finding De Lima culpable of the proliferation of drugs at the NBP.
But Umali said the testimony against De Lima had gone uncontested.
“At this point, we have heard all of the witnesses said that there are different ways to get there but all roads led to Senator Leila de Lima and that is the problem because all of these testimonies remain… uncontroverted. All of this would only say one thing and that is, all roads led to Leila de Lima. Unfortunately, she did not participate and so [the testimony against her] remains uncontroverted,” Umali said in a television interview.
While the inmates were under the control of the Justice Department, there can be no better witness on the proliferation of illegal drugs because they had “personal knowledge” about what occurred in the prison, Umali said.
“I don’t want to down play their credibility,” he added.
Umali also noted that Sebastian was a witness suggested by De Lima herself, and said his testimony remained consistent.
“He did not budge. He said the same story. And he is not even referring to his notes. So in terms of credibility, he ranks high. As a trial lawyer, as a litigator, to me, he would rank high. Well, as I said he was straightforward,” Umali said.
The Liberal Party’s Erice said he did not not join the hearings because they were “garbage.”
PROPAGANDA TOOL - ERICE
“It’s a propaganda tool to cover up the investigation on the extrajudicial killings,” said Erice, referring to the Senate probe initiated by De Lima that earned the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Baguilat said he believes everything was a “publicity stunt” and to intimidate critics of the President’s war on drugs.
“Their goal is to destroy De Lima. That’s the only goal of this committee,” Erice said.
“They succeeded in ousting De Lima as Senate justice committee chairman and now they suspended the hearing. Of course it has a chilling effect on us definitely,” Erice added.
Umali said the House probe would resume once Dayan was found, after the panel cited him in contempt and issued an order for his arrest to compel his attendance to the hearing.
Lagman said it was not necessary to investigate the existence of a drug enterprise in the NBP because this has been previously validated and raids were even conducted.
It was an open secret and the only thing lacking is the prosecution of the culpable convicts, he added.
“The secretary of Justice brought in witnesses like inmates and officials of the NBI who are under his jurisdiction because the Bureau of Corrections and the NBI are both attached agencies to the Department of Justice,” Lagman said.
He also pointed out that many of the witnesses were assisted by lawyers from the Public Attorney’s Office, which is another agency under the secretary of Justice.
The active participation of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, in introducing his witnesses and propounding questions to them violated the rules of the House on legislative inquiries in aid of legislation, which limit the role of resource persons, like the secretary of Justice, to making their statements and answer questions from the committee chairman and members.
“Any eventual prosecution arising from the inquiry will be submitted to the secretary of Justice and investigated by the prosecutors under him to determine probable cause. Consequently, the secretary of Justice is both inquisitor and judge,” Lagman said.
Aguirre on Wednesday said his department is ready to conduct a preliminary investigation into a complaint filed against De Lima and seven others for their alleged involvement in the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the NBP.
Aguirre disputed De Lima’s argument that the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruptions should have filed their case against her before the Office of the Ombudsman instead of the Justice Department.
DOJ, OMBUDSMAN, VACC
“The DOJ has concurrent jurisdiction with the Ombudsman to hear in preliminary investigation cases filed against government officials that are cognizable by the Sandiganbayan,” the Justice secretary said, in an interview.
“Since the DOJ was chosen by the complainants, DOJ has no alternative but to conduct a preliminary investigation,” he added.
Nonetheless, Aguirre said prosecutors would be fair in resolving the criminal charges against his predecessor in the department and seven others—just as the DOJ handled pork barrel scam cases during De Lima’s time.
Under De Lima as secretary in the previous administration, the DOJ conducted investigation on the Priority Development Assistance Fund cases against incumbent lawmakers and forwarded its findings to the Ombudsman, which also conducted its own probe.
Ferdinand Topacio, lawyer of VACC in this case, agreed with Aguirre.
Topacio said the move of De Lima to question DOJ’s jurisdiction on their complaint “shows her desperation and her lack of knowledge of legal processes.”
Topacio, also lawyer of high-profile inmates led by Colanggo who testified against De Lima in the House of Representatives inquiry, cited the 2004 decision of the Supreme Court which gave the DOJ concurrent jurisdiction with the Ombudsman on cases against public officials involving violations of penal laws.
According to him, the senator cannot invoke a 2012 memorandum of agreement between the DOJ and Ombudsman in which the DOJ bargained away its jurisdiction over specific criminal complaints.
Topacio said the agreement forged by De Lima and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales was illegal and meant “to protect political allies of the former administration by restricting the jurisdiction of the DOJ and transferring it exclusively to the Office of the Ombudsman.”
Also on Wednesday, NBI Director Dante Gierra said the alleged nephew and security aide of De Lima has denied allegations that he was involved in the illegal drug trade.
According to Gierran, Jose Adrian Dera alias Jad De Vera voluntarily went to the NBI last Monday to give his side, denying all the allegations, GMA News Online reported. With Sandy Araneta
RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER
Peter Co: De Lima ‘kin’ demanded millions, cars for senatorial run By: Yuji Vincent Gonzales / @YGonzalesINQ INQUIRER.net / 06:27 PM October 10, 2016
High profile inmate and drug lord Peter Co confers on his lawyer for translation as he testifies before the Congress’ Committee on Justice on drug trade inside National Bilibid Prison in House of Representatives, Quezon City.INQUIRER PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES
Convicted drug lord Peter Co on Monday said a supposed nephew of Sen. Leila De Lima had asked for millions and vehicles for the latter’s senatorial campaign in exchange of the release of his niece and her husband, who were arrested in an anti-drug operation in 2014.
In his testimony during the House probe on drug proliferation in the national penitentiary, Co said De Lima’s nephew, which he identified as “Jad,” demanded P5 million as exchange for his relatives’ release.
“Noong March 25, 2016 dinalaw ako ng aking pamangkin. Matapos nilang umalis, nakatanggap ako ng tawag at sinabi na hinuli daw ang aking pamangkin, kasama ang kanyang asawa at 4 na tao pa. Nasa Bicutan daw at kung hindi ako magbibigay ng P5 million ay kakasuhan sila ng paglabag sa droga,” Co said in his translated affidavit.
“Dahil hindi ako magaling mag-Tagalog, nagpatulong ako kay Hans Tan at siya ang nakipag-usap doon sa tao. Napag-alaman ko na pamangkin ito ni DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima at “Jad” ang pangalan. Tinawaran ko ang halaga na hinihingi at umutang ako sa kaibigan ko ng P1 million. Sa panahong iyon, nagka-casino ang kaibigan kon ito at doon mismo sa casino ibinigay ang cash na isang milyon kay Jad. Dinagdagan ko pa ito ng P1 million na idineposito sa bank account ng kapatid ng isa nilang dinukot,” he added.
Tan, a murder convict, earlier identified De Lima’s alleged nephew as a certain Jose Adrian Dera, who also supposedly served as her security aide. Tan, who also testified in the congressional inquiry, said he had evidence of his transactions with Dera.
Co said Dera also demanded vehicles and an additional P3 million for De Lima’s senatorial run, with the assurance that his relatives will no longer be arrested.
“At dahil kailangan nila ng sasakyan para sa kampanya ni Secretary De Lima ay kinuha din ang apat kong sasakyan. Ang mga sasakyang ito ay isang Honda Civic na kulay silver, isang Honda City na kulay itim, isang Toyota Vios na kulay itim at isang Toyota Innova na kulay black,” he said.
“Noong March 26, 2016, tumawag si Jad sa pamangkin kong si Sally na magdagdag pa ng tatlong milyong piso para sa pagtakbo sa Senado ni dating DOJ Sec. De Lima. Kapalit nito sinuguradi nila na hindi kikidnapin uli ang pamilya ko at magiging ligtas ako sa loob ng Bilibid,” Co added. JE
Peter Co tags Sebastian in ‘centralized’ Bilibid drug trade
Sebastian: De Lima was my protector in Bilibid drug trade
GMA NEWS NETWORK
Residents, officials agree Baseco is most drug-affected area in Manila Published October 13, 2016 9:21pm
Metal basins serve as makeshift television antennas for families living in the Baseco compound
Residents and barangay officials of Baseco Compound in Tondo, Manila, seem to agree that the use of illegal drugs is more rampant in their area compared to other places in the country's capital, a television report said Thursday.
In his report on "24 Oras," GMA News' Raffy Tima said a police official tagged Baseco as the most drug-affected area in Manila during the day's Senate hearing on the extrajudicial killings being linked to the government's war on drugs.
During the hearing, Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate justice committee, asked Senior Supt. Joel Coronel of the Manila Police District (MPD) to identify which part of Manila is plagued by illegal drugs.
Coronel said based on the report of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Tondo is the most drug-affected area in Manila.
"Which part of Tondo?" Gordon asked.
"Western part... Baseco," the police official said.
Baseco resident Wahida Ampatuan agreed with the testimony, even saying that drug syndicates had killed her husband last year and are now targeting her and her family.
"Ang gusto nilang ipapatay, ako, anak ko at kapatid ko. Kaya yung mga anak ko po nasa probinsiya ngayon... Hindi na ako natatakot, pinatay na nilang asawa ko," she said.
Meanwhile, barangay officials in Baseco admitted that their area is a favorite among drug syndicates because many drug users live there.
Barangay Captain Kristo Hispano said eight high-profile drug suspects reside in the area although lack of resources is hindering their movements. Others, he said, have already left Tondo.
"Yung sinasabi ko sa inyong high personalities, yung iba wala na dito. Pero continuous yung kanilang aktibidades dito gamit yung kanilang mga taong pinagkakatiwalaan," Hispano said.
The departure of the suspects has resulted in the decrease in drug-related crimes, including murder, in the area, the report said.
Despite this, Hispano still urged the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Philippine National Policeto conduct a major drug raid in the compound.
"Baka puwede niyo kami tulungan dito dahil talagang kelangan namin ng tulong dahil hirap kami dito dahil hindi lang basta simple ang nakakabangga namin," he said.
JR Cabrera, a Baseco resident, said it hurts him to know that his community is notorious for illegal drugs.
"Ang nagdo-droga aaminin natin marami dito, pero ang source nun hindi natin alam kung saan... Sobra hong [nasaktan] kasi dito kami nakatira," he said.
Two drug suspects were killed on Tuesday in Baseco in a police buy-bust operation, the report said. —Joseph Tristan Roxas/KBK, GMA News
RELATED FROM PHILSTAR
Trillanes accuses Gordon of cover-up By Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 15, 2016 - 12:00am 19 877 googleplus1 2
Now that the Senate inquiry into alleged extrajudicial killings of suspected drug pushers and addicts has been concluded, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said that Sen. Richard Gordon should be remembered as someone who tried to cover up the issue. File photo
MANILA, Philippines - Now that the Senate inquiry into alleged extrajudicial killings of suspected drug pushers and addicts has been concluded, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said that Sen. Richard Gordon should be remembered as someone who tried to cover up the issue.
Reacting to the decision of Gordon, chairman of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, to end the hearings, Trillanes said there is no way for Gordon to “prove what he did not attempt to investigate in the first place.”
“He can go on a monologue again to justify his actions, but he won’t be able to convince the people who witnessed what transpired during the hearings,” Trillanes said.
Trillanes and Sen. Leila de Lima have butted heads with Gordon during the hearings due to disagreements on how to proceed with the investigation.
De Lima, before she was ousted as chair of the committee, spearheaded the probe on the killings perpetrated by the alleged Davao death squad (DDS) when now President Duterte was still the city’s mayor.
A self-confessed member of the DDS, Edgar Matobato, was presented by De Lima and Trillanes to testify about the killings, which he said involved over 1,000 victims.
After Gordon took over as committee chairman, Matobato was dismissed as an unreliable witness because of supposed inconsistencies in his testimony.
During last Thursday’s hearing, Gordon also refused to allow the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to present its witnesses who were supposed to testify about the killings perpetrated by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“Eventually, the truth would come out and when that day comes, Senator Gordon should be remembered as one of those who tried to cover it up,” Trillanes said.
Trillanes said Matobato was able to post P30,000 bail yesterday and is now back under his protective custody.
Matabato was temporarily freed from detention at the Camp Crame Custodial Center in Quezon City after posting bail for illegal possession of firearms charges filed against him in Davao City.
He was recently turned over by Trillanes to PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa after an arrest warrant was issued against him for failing to appear in his arraignment in Davao City for his illegal possession of firearms case.
“Mr. Matobato was able to post bail at the QC RTC (Quezon City regional trial court) this morning through his lawyer, attorney (Jude) Sabio. He was processed for release at the Camp Crame Custodial Center. Thereafter, around 3:30 p.m., my office has resumed providing protective custody to him,” Trillanes said.
The CHR yesterday said it respects the decision of the Senate committee on justice and human rights to end its probe on alleged extrajudicial killings that happened under the present administration.
“In the interest of justice, we will submit a written affidavit of the witnesses as suggested by (Sen. Richard Gordon),” CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said yesterday.
Gordon turned down requests for the presentation of additional CHR witnesses during the hearing on Thursday after he took offense at an earlier statement of CHR commissioner Roberto Cadiz, who supposedly called the senator a “coward” for not allowing the presentation of self-confessed hit man Matobato.
Gordon had sought an apology from Cadiz and called on CHR chairman Chito Gascon to disassociate the body from the statement of a “rogue” commissioner.
Cadiz has yet to respond to Gordon’s statement.
Earlier, the CHR maintained that the statements made by Cadiz were not representative of the entire body “as the commission en banc has not deliberated any position on the matter.”
“The commission respects the independence of the Senate and recognizes its authority to conduct hearings, in accordance with its own rules,” read the statement.
“The commission hopes that the Senate will come up with fair and credible results, cognizant of the latter’s independence and competence. The commission continues to be ready to assist the Senate and its committees in shedding light on matters pertaining to human rights,” it added.
De Guia said the commission will continue with its investigations on the alleged extrajudicial killings and is ready to provide assistance to any other forum that would seek to tackle the matter.
Meanwhile, Matobato was fetched by his lawyer Sabio from Camp Crame at around 3:22 p.m.
Matobato was ordered arrested by the Davao City court for failing to attend his arraignment last Oct. 6 in connection with the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition charges that were filed against him in 2014.
At the time of the arraignment, Matobato was in Manila as a resource person in connection with the Senate inquiry on extrajudicial killings in the country.
In the course of his testimonies, Matobato not only implicated a number of policemen in connection with the unsolved killings in Davao but also tagged Duterte as the brains behind the existence of the so-called DDS.
His lawyers have appealed to the Davao court to transfer the trial of Matobato’s case to Manila. – With Janvic Mateo, Jaime Laude
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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