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EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:
(Mini Reads followed by Full news commentary)
FROM THE MANILA TIMES

By RICARDO SALUDO: WHO WANTS DUTERTE OUT?


SEPTEMEBR 20 -Ricardo Saludo
 Who wants President Rodrigo Duterte ousted? Now, don’t everyone slam the reply button all at once. Let’s give way to those admitting they are among the factions and interests hurt or threatened by his nearly three-month-old administration. Are you a drug or crime boss? Then your ilk was first to wish Davao City’s crime-busting mayor stayed south. Your narco-business has shriveled to one-tenth its mammoth size under past President Benigno Aquino 3rd, as reported by Philippine National Police chief Ronald de la Rosa. Indeed, incarcerated narco-kings were said to have offered P50 million for contract killers to take out Duterte and de la Rosa. The convicts quickly denied it, but they certainly wouldn’t mourn if the two join the 3,000-plus narco-suspects killed in the bloody anti-drug campaign. Nor would their cohorts in government. President Duterte has named dozens of officials allegedly protecting narco-syndicates, from former Justice Secretary and now-Sen. Leila de Lima and other lawmakers to provincial governors, city and town mayors, police generals and judges. Not a few would back Duterte’s removal. De Lima has spearheaded a Senate inquiry into drug-related killings. Duterte has accused her of protecting drug lords in the national penitentiary that she supervised when she was Justice chief, and allegedly getting millions of pesos in payoffs. Duterte’s campaign has also squeezed all manner of criminals, with incidence down 30 percent to 50 percent from a year ago, after tripling under Aquino to more than 1 milion annually since 2013. READ MORE...

ALSO: Russia? China? Who hacked Yahoo, and why?


SEPTEMBER 26 -Yahoo says information stolen through a hack may have included email addresses and scrambled passwords,
PARIS: Yahoo’s claim that it is the victim of a gigantic state-sponsored hack raises the question of whether it is the latest target for hackers with the backing of Russia, China or even North Korea, experts say. The US Internet giant was under pressure Friday (Saturday in Manila) to explain how it sustained such a massive breach in 2014, which possibly affected 500 million accounts. Yahoo said the stolen information may have included email addresses and scrambled passwords, along with both encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers that could help gain access to victims’ other online accounts. Sometimes the link between the target of a hack and a particular state may suggest itself easily. READ MORE...

ALSO: By Rene Saguisag - 11-21-1972: Healing and killing


SEPTEMBER 23 -RENE SAGUISAG  It is plain wrong to mark September 21, 1972 as the notorious Day of Infamy. For me it was just another day in the office. As head of the San Beda Free Legal Aid Clinic, I monitored from my Mendiola office a rally in Plaza Miranda, that Thursday, just in case I’d need to rush over. Ka Pepe Diokno, Charito Planas, Bal Pinguel, et al.. spoke. September 22, Friday, ho-hum, again, save that on my way home that night from San Beda, to our rented Sandejas, Pasay City apartment, my Beetle radio announced the spurious ambush of Manong Johnny Ponce Enrile, who admitted the falsehood on February 22, 1986. 44 Septembers ago, when Macoy (Marcos) inflicted martial law, the following describes how I felt as an uhugin lawyer and saw other panyeros/as like – “The German lawyer [who]was . . .particularly prepared to accept as `law’ anything that called itself by that name, was printed at government expense and seemed to come `von oben herab.” L. Fuller, Positivism and Fidelity to Law – A Reply to Professor Hart, 71 Harv. L. Rev. 630, 659 (1958). “Hitler did not come to power by a violent revolution. . . . The exploitation of legal forms started cautiously and became bolder as power was consolidated. The first attacks on the established order were on ramparts which, if they were manned by anyone, were manned by lawyers and judges. These ramparts fell almost without a struggle.” Id. CONTINUE REAING...

ALSO: EDITORIAL - Why drop the term ‘extrajudicial killings?’


SEPTEMBER 19 -he contrast between the Senate and the House of Representatives cannot be more stark than this. While the two houses are both investigating aspects of the illegal drug trade and the war on drugs, the Senate has focused its inquiry on the phenomenon of extrajudicial killings in the country, whereas the House for its part will address particularly the issue of alleged drug dealings by Sen. Leila de Lima in its probe, which begins today. In a clear message to the Senate, the members of the House committee on public order and safety have decided to drop the use of the phrase “extrajudicial killings” in all its future hearings, investigations and reports, and will instead refer to them as “death under investigation,” as used by the Philippine National Police. The committee, chaired by Antipolo City Rep. Romeo Acop, approved the motion raised by House Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia, who questioned the use “extrajudicial killings” in the absence of capital punishment or death penalty in the country. “I am really curious what the definition of extrajudicial killing is because extrajudicial would mean outside of the parameters of a judicial killing. But do we have such a thing as judicial killing in the Philippines? As far as I know, the last law that was passed that imposed the death penalty by lethal injection was Republic Act 8177. But this was repealed by RA 9346. And therefore right now, we don’t have the death penalty in the Philippines. How could we have such a thing as a judicial killing? And yet it is now so commonly used, that even in the Senate, there was an investigation conducted by the committee on justice as regards extrajudicial killing,” Garcia said. READ MORE...

ALSO: By R. Tiglao - Casualty not only de Lima, but what’s left of the Yellow Cult


SEPTEMBER 21 -RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO
I don’t think anybody was expecting it, I didn’t: the Duterte camp’s quick and bold move to end Sen. Leila de Lima’s exploitation of hearings of her justice committee as a propaganda weapon to demonize the President. Killer Edgar Matobato had only one day of fame, unlike alleged whistleblowers of the past. It was even a brilliant move to have Sen. Emmanuel Pacquiao propose that the posts of chair and members of the justice committee be declared vacant. The masses still idolize the world boxing champion, and he exudes such innocence that few would suspect he simply played a role in a well-executed operation to remove de Lima. Sen. Antonio Trillanes had gleefully taunted President Duterte’s silence on Matobato’s accusations in the Senate hall when he was Davao City’s mayor, and that he, himself, as such killed a suspected criminal. On Monday at the Senate, Duterte responded in action not words, and Trillanes then has been in shellshock, pulling his hair that he demonstrated in front of national TV his arrogance and lack of civility defending de Lima and her fake “witness.” The Yellow Party senators were stunned, with only four voting against Pacquiao’s motion: President Aquino’s former factotum in the Senate, Franklin Drilon; his nephew Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th; Risa Hontiveros who owes her post entirely to the Liberal Party’s campaign war chest; and to the mostly invisible Francis Pangilinan. De Lima defaulted by foolishly walking out of the Senate during Senator Alan Cayetano’s privilege speech. Trillanes and Senator Ralph Recto abstained, a portent perhaps of at least the latter’s decision not to antagonize Duterte. (Offer him the NEDA post, Mr. President, for god’s sake!). READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Who wants Duterte out?


Ricardo Saludo

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 19, 2016 (MANILA TIMES) BY RICARDO SALUDO ON SEPTEMBER 19, 2016 ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY - Who wants President Rodrigo Duterte ousted? Now, don’t everyone slam the reply button all at once. Let’s give way to those admitting they are among the factions and interests hurt or threatened by his nearly three-month-old administration.

Are you a drug or crime boss? Then your ilk was first to wish Davao City’s crime-busting mayor stayed south. Your narco-business has shriveled to one-tenth its mammoth size under past President Benigno Aquino 3rd, as reported by Philippine National Police chief Ronald de la Rosa.

Indeed, incarcerated narco-kings were said to have offered P50 million for contract killers to take out Duterte and de la Rosa. The convicts quickly denied it, but they certainly wouldn’t mourn if the two join the 3,000-plus narco-suspects killed in the bloody anti-drug campaign.

Nor would their cohorts in government. President Duterte has named dozens of officials allegedly protecting narco-syndicates, from former Justice Secretary and now-Sen. Leila de Lima and other lawmakers to provincial governors, city and town mayors, police generals and judges. Not a few would back Duterte’s removal.

De Lima has spearheaded a Senate inquiry into drug-related killings. Duterte has accused her of protecting drug lords in the national penitentiary that she supervised when she was Justice chief, and allegedly getting millions of pesos in payoffs.

Duterte’s campaign has also squeezed all manner of criminals, with incidence down 30 percent to 50 percent from a year ago, after tripling under Aquino to more than 1 milion annually since 2013.

READ MORE...

Based on 2014 figures found online in the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Philippines In Figures 2015 book, the crime reduction reported by PNP chief dela Rosa would mean some 3,000 murders prevented over one year, 4,000 rapes, 20,000 robberies, 50,000 thefts and 75,000 assaults. The perpetrators and masterminds behind such lawlessness would want Duterte and de la Rosa taken out.

So would Mindanao extremists supporting the barbaric Islamic State: the Abu Sayaff Group (ASG), a brutal kidnap-for-ransom gang based in Basilan and Sulu; and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a splinter group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) talking peace with Duterte.

The Abu Sayaff and drug lords are suspected masterminds of the recent Davao City market bombing, which killed at least 15 and injured dozens. Duterte has ordered the Armed Forces to wipe out the ASG; it wants to get him first.

The BIFF broke away from the MILF, which itself splintered from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). Both the MILF and the BIFF went on their own after their mother insurgencies engaged in autonomy talks. These radicals wanted to continue fighting for secession.

Aquino’s once and future power?
Besides lawless groups, elements of the past administration are plotting ouster, according to President Duterte himself. He said recently that “yellows” were behind machinations to remove him—referring to politicians and media linked to Aquino. His emblem is the yellow ribbon popularized by his late mother, democracy icon and former president Corazon Aquino.

Duterte’s predecessor sought to continue Liberal Party rule, but LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas lost, along with erstwhile survey topnotcher Sen. Grace Poe, widely seen as Aquino’s Plan B. But Roxas’s running mate Leni Robredo won, fueling speculation that the LP could oust Duterte and install his vice president.

VP Robredo denies the purported plot, saying she has a good working relationship with Duterte, and any impeachment move would not prosper.

For an official to be impeached and sent to the Senate for trial and possible removal, one-third of the House of Representatives must approve the Articles of Impeachment. That is deemed unlikely, given Malacañang’s immense clout among congressmen, who have mostly allied withDuterte.

Moreover, his Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno now has pork barrel records of all legislators, many of whom benefited from the tripling of pork under Aquino to more than P20 billion a year, plus his illegal P157-billion Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

Notably, as the Senate moved to probe anti-drug killings, Duterte announced a deeper pork barrel probe, which had mainly implicated Aquino opponents. That would give pause to ouster plans by lawmakers who got pork and DAP in the past regime.

Still, if Duterte’s 91 percent trust rating crashes, he may yet see a sudden House revolt. That happened to then-President Joseph Estrada in 2000 after his crony then-Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson admitted giving him jueteng payoffs. The House impeached Estrada in a lightning petition signed by most congressmen–including dozens of his own allies.

If that happens to Duterte, VP Robredo’s Liberal Party and the Aquino camp return to power, to be cheered no doubt by the crime, jueteng and smuggling syndicates, which flourished under LP rule and are now under threat by Duterte.

If Duterte falls, America stands
Also likely to gain from an LP comeback is the United States and its allies. Washington wants Duterte to continue Aquino’s pro-American policies, including the confrontational stance toward Beijing and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.

The EDCA would escalate US forces in the archipelago and grant them use of Philippine bases. It is crucial to Washington’s pivot to Asia policy to move 60 percent of naval assets to the region.

If Duterte drops EDCA, American forces would be hard put to find another vast host nation close to Asian flashpoints.

That’s why his conciliatory moves toward China and recent rough talk toward America and President Obama worry the West, which now shows growing antipathy toward Duterte.

The US and the European Union have criticized the anti-drug killings, in contrast to their muted response to abuses by regimes they back, like Egypt’s brutal suppression of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. Western aid and investment may sour, as warned by Western business chambers in the Philippines.

Western media too is increasingly negative, decrying killings but hardly mentioning the crime explosion Duterte inherited, and his campaign’s dramatic gains. Compare them with the more balanced Middle East network Al-Jazeera.

Plainly, if Duterte is taken out, the big gainers wouldn’t be the Filipino people.


Russia? China? Who hacked Yahoo, and why? BY AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE ON SEPTEMBER 25, 2016 COLUMNISTS BY GUY JACKSON, LAURENCE BENHAMOU


Yahoo says information stolen through a hack may have included email addresses and scrambled passwords,

PARIS: Yahoo’s claim that it is the victim of a gigantic state-sponsored hack raises the question of whether it is the latest target for hackers with the backing of Russia, China or even North Korea, experts say.

The US Internet giant was under pressure Friday (Saturday in Manila) to explain how it sustained such a massive breach in 2014, which possibly affected 500 million accounts.

Yahoo said the stolen information may have included email addresses and scrambled passwords, along with both encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers that could help gain access to victims’ other online accounts.

Sometimes the link between the target of a hack and a particular state may suggest itself easily.

READ MORE...

One of the highest-profile hacks came when North Korea is thought to have targeted entertainment titan Sony in 2014, apparently in revenge for producing the comedy film “The Interview” about a CIA plot to assassinate leader Kim Jong-Un.

More recently, a mysterious group calling itself Fancy Bears hacked the medical records of athletes held by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). It is still dripping the information out.

Commercial motives

Many experts believe that the cyber attack was carried out by Russia after its track and field athletes were banned from the Olympics and its entire Paralympics team turfed out of their Games over evidence of state-sponsored doping.

While motivation for those cyber attacks seems clear, it might initially appear less obvious why countries such as Russia, North Korea or even China would target a company like Yahoo.

Chinese hackers have been accused of plundering industrial and corporate secrets and of orchestrating a breach of US government files on its employees that affected more than 21 million people and reportedly led to the hasty withdrawal of US intelligence operatives from China to protect their lives.

But political motives can be as strong as commercial ones, analysts note.

“Would, for example, Russian intelligence wish to conduct a large-scale hack on a major Internet company like Yahoo? Absolutely they would,” Shashank Joshi, senior research fellow at the London-based Royal United Services Institute, said.

“It is an incredibly valuable commodity. The ability to access email addresses for US persons, perhaps a Russian dissident — any intelligence agency worth its salt would want that sort of data, although it is very hard to use because of the encrypted passwords,” he said.

Julien Nocetti, of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), said the hack was too big for an independent group to carry out.

“Given the scale of the revelations about Yahoo, it indicates that a lot of resources, technical equipment and coordination were required — this definitely comes from a state,” he said.

Given the tensions between Russia and the United States over the Syrian war “you could put forward the theory that this could be a Russian attempt to test the Americans’ cyber defenses,” he said.

Finding the source

Yahoo has so far given no evidence to support its claim that it has been targeted by a state.

RUSI’s Joshi said finding the source “is the most fundamental problem when it comes to cyber-attacks.”

“This completely bedevils even the most well-resourced people,” he said.

However, he believes Yahoo would only have pointed the finger at state involvement if it had some evidence.

“The way you identify responsibility for a hack is to look for signatures that correspond to earlier known facts and then see what you know about them,” he said.

For example, in case of the hacking of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails this year which exposed bias within the party in favor of Hillary Clinton, cyber-security experts found evidence of a so-called Advanced Persistent Threat (APT).

“That is a code word for state hackers who were clearly operating in a system and matched up with earlier such hacks” carried out by Russia’s state and military intelligence agencies, Joshi said.

But in Russia, so often accused of state-sponsored hacking, one expert said it was naive to immediately blame a state and scoffed at the suggestion the hackers were sophisticated spies.

“Anyone could have hacked a database of users like Yahoo because it’s a classic commercial server,” said Oleg Demidov, a consultant at the Moscow-based independent think-tank PIR Center.

“At the moment, this looks like a traditional hack aimed at making money or carving out a reputation by selling a load of personal data,” he added. AFP


Healing and killing BY RENE SAGUISAG ON SEPTEMBER 23, 2016 COLUMNISTS


RENE SAGUISAG

It is plain wrong to mark September 21, 1972 as the notorious Day of Infamy. For me it was just another day in the office.

As head of the San Beda Free Legal Aid Clinic, I monitored from my Mendiola office a rally in Plaza Miranda, that Thursday, just in case I’d need to rush over. Ka Pepe Diokno, Charito Planas, Bal Pinguel, et al.. spoke.
September 22, Friday, ho-hum, again, save that on my way home that night from San Beda, to our rented Sandejas, Pasay City apartment, my Beetle radio announced the spurious ambush of Manong Johnny Ponce Enrile, who admitted the falsehood on February 22, 1986.

44 Septembers ago, when Macoy (Marcos) inflicted martial law, the following describes how I felt as an uhugin lawyer and saw other panyeros/as like –

“The German lawyer [who]was . . .particularly prepared to accept as `law’ anything that called itself by that name, was printed at government expense and seemed to come `von oben herab.” L. Fuller, Positivism and Fidelity to Law – A Reply to Professor Hart, 71 Harv. L. Rev. 630, 659 (1958). “Hitler did not come to power by a violent revolution. . . . The exploitation of legal forms started cautiously and became bolder as power was consolidated. The first attacks on the established order were on ramparts which, if they were manned by anyone, were manned by lawyers and judges. These ramparts fell almost without a struggle.” Id.

CONTINUE READING...

Tañada, Diokno, Salonga, Ordoñez, Garchitorena, Arroyo, Gonzalez (Raul), Bobbit Sanchez, et al. were grossly outnumbered by the Fil-German types, as the ramparts fell with little struggle. So newbies such as the Jojo Binays, Odie Melchors, By Bocars, Ed Araullos, Boy Ellas, Jimmy Malanyaons, Jun Factorans, Boyet Fernandezes, Hessie Mallilins, and a few others, including myself, tried to fill in the breach. Macoy failed to heed the advice in Shakespeare’s Henry VI on what take-over plotters should do: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,” in supreme tribute to those who would ask the foolish questions of the day, and hang the costs and consequences, and not let the ramparts fall without any struggle. (Of course St. Ives was a lawyer and yet became a saint, and the people were astonished.)

Ka Pepe organized the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), after being detained from 1972 to 1974 without being charged! I joined. In 1980, some of us who thought lawyers should take public stands aside from traditional lawyering, formed MABINI (Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood, Integrity and Nationalism Inc.) but kept our warm ties with FLAG and iconic Ka Pepe. I am among the relics and antiques left, MD, Masamang Damo, marching again to the beat of a different drummer (Thoreau), taking the less traveled road (Frost), sailing against the wind (the Kennedys), and asking “why not?” while seeing things that never were (others may ask “why”, seeing things that are – GB Shaw).

We are now forming a new group, with new blood, while we watch what the quiet Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Philippine Bar Association, the Philconsa, the big bufetes, and others will do in the wake of the extrajudicial executions far exceeding what happened in late 1972. Population reduced violently by 3,000 in weeks!

In the late 1980s we were delighted to gain vocal support from interlopers President Jimmy Carter, State Assistant Secretary Patricia Derian, Amnesty International, atbp. Pakialameros/as.

1986

In 1986, alien interference was capped by divine intervention. The world was shocked and awed by People Power, which saw the nearly bloodless end of the reign of a kleptocratic gross human rights violator who Digong idolizes and would now want him to rest with heroes. Digong should consult FVR, who the Marcoses put one over on, in 1993.

I am on the side of fellow Bedan Leila de Lima against fellow Bedans Vit Aguirre (our hardworking colleague in the case of Hubert Webb) and Digong Duterte (with whose courageous principled Mom I marched in Davao after Ninoy was “salvaged”). I was flabbergasted to see Vit acting like the Speaker or committee chair of the House he seemed to own last Tuesday. Usually, outside counsel is not much more than part of the furniture, while the elected lawmakers dominate and scintillate.

Of course litigators walk through with their witnesses on their testimony. And no lawyer should ask a question the answer to which he doesn’t already know, particularly on cross. Trial Technique 101.

Speaker Bebot Alvarez, who may or may not remember me, is sounding like a Certified Tuta.

Vit and Digong should stop naming and shaming people and instead just file cases against them, particularly the wealthy and well-connected. Not enough to increase the body count of the poorest of the poor who should be rehabbed, with better planning. Packed prisons depress and convert humans into brutes.

I am comfortable with underdogs. Sen. Dick Gordon took ousted Leila’s place. I trust him if only because ang hambog galit sa kapwa hambog. He can stand up to Digong, on principle.

GORDON AND ERAP

When Erap kicked Dick around so needlessly in 1998, I assisted him against my canvassing client Erap. Dick told me that some Jesuit taught him that “in this world, the world laughs with you but, you weep alone.”

As a human being, Christian and lawyer, I say, “If you need me and you have no one else, you’ll never walk and weep alone. I’ll walk and weep with you,

if you will allow me.” When Erap fell from overdog to underdog, I finally heeded his request to join his legal team. I walked and wept with him, along with his friends and wives. I entered my appearance and joined his formidable battery but an accused goes to bat with two strikes against him. Like beleaguered Sen. Leila. Hang in there, Lei! I admire your moral stamina. Let’s see what Vit will do with the names you supplied as elements of the alleged Davao Death Squad.

There is no substitute for due process and no hardline bloody policy has succeeded anywhere in the world. If there is money to be made, the failed drug policy won’t erase trafficking in which Dona Josefa Marcos engaged while teaching in Arellano High School, and arrested by top cop Telesforo Tenorio, according to Tibo Mijares in the Conjugal Dictatorship. Tibo disappeared while his teenaged son, Boyet, was sadistically “salvaged.”

I see a ray of hope in Imee’s seeking forgiveness for her Pop’s abuses and am appalled by Bongbong’s insult of the human rights victims as only after money.

No wonder, poor unknown Leni G. Robredo beat him, and fellow Bicolanos Alan (by marriage), Chiz, Gringo and Sonny, splitting the votes with the Oragons while billionaire BB had his Solid North. Feisty Leila is also Bicolana.

The voters could have chosen a Healing President. But a plurality preferred a Killing One, who gives the rich due process but spares few in unkind naming and shaming. Traffic, after 80 days of Digong is much worse in Metro Manila. What if he and Bato de la Rosa execute ten “resisting” scofflaw drivers? A remedy worse than the disease.

Vit Aguirre can just file charges, if he has the evidence, against Lei and others named and shamed. He should recall how our common client, Hubert Webb, was named and shamed, tried and convicted by publicity, early on, and spent more than 15 years in jail for something I then said I’d carry to my grave he did not commit. He was thousands of miles away but the hooting throng carried the day.

Obsta principiis. Resist the first encroachments.

Oh, yes, kudos to Ted Locsin, who may share with Digong a liking for the dirty finger sign, but the communications guys can always explain they only mean to say, “You are No. 1.” The spin I gave in 1986, if my memory is true.


EDITORIAL - Why drop the term ‘extrajudicial killings?’ BY THE MANILA TIMES ON SEPTEMBER 19, 2016 EDITORIAL


The contrast between the Senate and the House of Representatives cannot be more stark than this. While the two houses are both investigating aspects of the illegal drug trade and the war on drugs, the Senate has focused its inquiry on the phenomenon of extrajudicial killings in the country, whereas the House for its part will address particularly the issue of alleged drug dealings by Sen. Leila de Lima in its probe, which begins today.

In a clear message to the Senate, the members of the House committee on public order and safety have decided to drop the use of the phrase “extrajudicial killings” in all its future hearings, investigations and reports, and will instead refer to them as “death under investigation,” as used by the Philippine National Police.

The committee, chaired by Antipolo City Rep. Romeo Acop, approved the motion raised by House Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia, who questioned the use “extrajudicial killings” in the absence of capital punishment or death penalty in the country.

“I am really curious what the definition of extrajudicial killing is because extrajudicial would mean outside of the parameters of a judicial killing. But do we have such a thing as judicial killing in the Philippines? As far as I know, the last law that was passed that imposed the death penalty by lethal injection was Republic Act 8177. But this was repealed by RA 9346. And therefore right now, we don’t have the death penalty in the Philippines. How could we have such a thing as a judicial killing? And yet it is now so commonly used, that even in the Senate, there was an investigation conducted by the committee on justice as regards extrajudicial killing,” Garcia said.

READ MORE...

The House committee has a point, but it is a summary decision of surpassing importance. It opens the door for the wholesale dismissal of charges and criticisms that many deaths engendered by the drug war have occurred outside due process and judicial proceeding.

If House legislators need a definition of extrajudicial killing, we urge them to consider the definition provided by the United States Torture Victim Protection Act, which defines it as: “a deliberate killing not authorized by a previous judgement pronounced by a regular constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples. Such term, however, does not include any such killing that, under international law, is lawfully carried out under the authority of a foreign nation.”

If the House means to say that no extrajudicial killings take place in the country, it would be grossly mistaken because the historical record clearly shows that killings of persons by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process do happen in our midst. Our system of due process, though sacred, is indisputably still imperfect.

If the House means to say that it will in future never probe the problem of extrajudicial killings, it would be tantamount to dereliction of duty – a deliberate refusal to look reality in the eye.

With one eye closed on the drug problem, the House inquiry will not see the problem in its entirety.


Casualty not only de Lima, but what’s left of the Yellow Cult 11BY RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO ON SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY


RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO

I don’t think anybody was expecting it, I didn’t: the Duterte camp’s quick and bold move to end Sen. Leila de Lima’s exploitation of hearings of her justice committee as a propaganda weapon to demonize the President. Killer Edgar Matobato had only one day of fame, unlike alleged whistleblowers of the past.

It was even a brilliant move to have Sen. Emmanuel Pacquiao propose that the posts of chair and members of the justice committee be declared vacant. The masses still idolize the world boxing champion, and he exudes such innocence that few would suspect he simply played a role in a well-executed operation to remove de Lima.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes had gleefully taunted President Duterte’s silence on Matobato’s accusations in the Senate hall when he was Davao City’s mayor, and that he, himself, as such killed a suspected criminal.

On Monday at the Senate, Duterte responded in action not words, and Trillanes then has been in shellshock, pulling his hair that he demonstrated in front of national TV his arrogance and lack of civility defending de Lima and her fake “witness.”

The Yellow Party senators were stunned, with only four voting against Pacquiao’s motion: President Aquino’s former factotum in the Senate, Franklin Drilon; his nephew Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th; Risa Hontiveros who owes her post entirely to the Liberal Party’s campaign war chest; and to the mostly invisible Francis Pangilinan. De Lima defaulted by foolishly walking out of the Senate during Senator Alan Cayetano’s privilege speech. Trillanes and Senator Ralph Recto abstained, a portent perhaps of at least the latter’s decision not to antagonize Duterte. (Offer him the NEDA post, Mr. President, for god’s sake!).

READ MORE...

De Lima’s ouster was a clear demonstration of Duterte’s rock-solid base in the Senate: 16 out of the 24 senators. That should tell the Yellow Party not to waste its time plotting Duterte’s impeachment.

It shocked Drilon that even Joel Villanueva, who was an Aquino Cabinet official (“Tesdaman”) and who ran under the Liberal Party in this year’s elections, voted to oust de Lima. The voting demonstrated the strong multi-party support for Duterte:

• The LDP’s Sonny Angara, who had been an Aquino supporter;

• The Nationalist People’s Coalition’s Vicente Sotto, Win Gatchalian and Loren Legarda,

• UNA’s Nancy Binay, Gregorio Honasan, Manuel Pacquiao and JV Ejercito; and

• Independent senators Grace Poe, Richard Gordon, Panfilo Lacson and Miguel Zubiri.

That such overwhelming majority voted to remove de Lima as justice committee chair really was her undoing.


She rushed it: De Lima, right, with her poorly prepped “star witness.”

Perhaps she thought she was still in the Aquino regime when the Senate was a lethal political and propaganda weapon, which was used to remove the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice, drive former Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes to commit suicide, and convict opposition senators by publicity through the pork-barrel scandal. That was during the Aquino regime when he had the support of the majority of senators.

But we are no longer living in the Aquino regime, and the majority of senators do have the natural proclivity to support an incumbent President, at least while his popularity is at its height.

Panicking to thwart Duterte’s moves through the House of Representatives to prove that she coddled drug lords when she was Justice secretary and that she even got money for her election campaign from these criminals, de Lima rushed her plot too much that its motive — to hit Duterte — became as obvious as it was clumsy. Even those who were not really core Duterte supporters moved to avoid getting used by her.

The hearings she called were on the basis of Senate Resolution No. 29, which she herself filed. This resolution explicitly called for the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which de Lima chaired, to investigate “recent rampant extrajudicial killings and summary executions,” starting May 10, 2016.

But de Lima, instead, used the hearings as a propaganda platform, to claim to the world in a sensational way — through the testimony of a “whistleblower,” a purportedly actual participant in the killings — that Duterte himself killed several suspected criminals. Her star “witness,” Edgar Matobato, also claimed that Duterte, as city mayor, organized a clandestine “Davao Death Squad,” which murdered more than 1,000 people in cold blood.

The problem, which most of the senators saw, was that even if these killings were true, they were undertaken ­— the “whistleblower” himself testified — in the 1990s, and way before Duterte became President in 2016. How could these help the Senate implement Senate Resolution No. 29, which asked the committee “to investigate in aid of legislation, the series of recent killings which were done extrajudicially”?

The 16 senators who voted against her most probably thought, why would they be a party to such a scheme, a clumsy one at that, by de Lima to save her skin, to stop Duterte from exposing her support of drug lords?

De Lima also rushed her plot — intended to steal the thunder from scheduled hearings in the House of Representatives on her coddling of illegal-drug dealers — that Matobato was not coached or “prepped” enough that he was obviously telling tall tales. Thirty people shot a poor resident, but who appeared to be still breathing after taking all the bullets, so that it was Duterte himself who finished him off with his Uzi? He, with five other killers, strangled another victim? Duterte ordered the killing of four bodyguards of then rival for the mayoralty race, now Davao City Rep. Prospero? And Prospero, upon hearing of the witness’ story, promptly responded that all his bodyguards are alive and kicking. Duterte whipped with his golf club and later ordered killed a suspected international terrorist, Salim Makdum, who turned out to be nonexistent?

The credibility of de Lima’s “star witness” was quickly shattered after senators grilled him, and the admitted killer’s arrogant comportment didn’t elicit any sympathy from the senators.

The casualty in this episode is not only de Lima. It is also the Yellow Cult, or what’s left of it.

It’s that easy

I’m glad Secretary Jose Ruperto Martin Andanar (his name in the updated Official Directory) moved fast to update the Official Gazette, which since 2010 has been published only in internet form as www.gov.ph. The site was closed down yesterday after I complained in my column that after nearly three months it hasn’t been updated, still showing BS Aquino as our President, with his gang still holding the various high posts in government.

By early evening, the new directory was posted, showing Duterte as President and the President’s own website president.gov.ph was put online after being “under construction” for two months. The directory, though, still isn’t a complete one as top officials of other state entities, such as the chair and board of government corporations, the Director General of the PNP, still don’t have their names in the directory.

Andanar has to instruct his staff to post all public documents signed by Duterte in the Official Gazette. He has to instruct all departments to post on their websites the names of their top officials, and their curriculum vitae, so we will be guided accordingly.

The department of transport, for instance, doesn’t even list who its secretary is, much less its top officials.

It would be very useful, for instance, to know that Rodolfo Salalima, Duterte’s secretary of Information and Communications Technology, was chief legal counsel and senior advisor of Singaporean-controlled Globe Telecoms. That saves us time, so that we don’t have to ask him what reforms he plans to undertake against the telecom monopoly.

It’s that easy when you know your job, isn’t it, Sec. Andanar?


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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