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PHNO PRESIDENTIAL (DU30) NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

ANDANAR BARES UNVERIFIED PLOT BY FIL-AM GROUP TO OUST DUTERTE BY 2017; NO NAMES, NO DETAILS
[RELATED: Palace to Rody ouster plotters: We’re watching you
]
(“We have names. We know who they are. We are studying it. The warning is – just be careful in what you plan because it’s against the law,” he added.)


SEPTEMEBR 19 -PRESIDENTIAL Communications chief Martin Andanar on Monday claimed a group of Filipino-Americans were plotting to oust President Rodrigo Duterte by 2017. Andanar, in a radio interview, cited information from a fellow Cabinet member in New York, but did not go into details. “I will just not mention his name. He also heard in New York that there are Filipino-Americans who are planning, they are hatching a plan to oust the President by January 2017,” Andanar said. The Palace official, however, said that the government had yet to verify the supposed plot. “I told my colleague, ‘Buddy, verify it first.’ Because, I said, such report is no joke. We have to be very careful … But then again, if you have all of this news going around internationally, it does not help,” Andanar said. But he expressed confidence the ouster plot will not prosper because Duterte obtained a 91 percent trust rating early in PRESIDENTIAL Communications chief Martin Andanar on Monday claimed a group of Filipino-Americans were plotting to oust President Rodrigo Duterte by 2017. Andanar, in a radio interview, cited information from a fellow Cabinet member in New York, but did not go into details. READ MORE...RELATED, Palace to Rody ouster plotters: We’re watching you...

ALSO: 'Killer' tag a ploy by political rivals to discredit me, Duterte says
("You must have heard, because it's a popular issue, at that time [as  Davao Mayor] and until now, that killer daw ako. That I kill men, and they want me in prison," Duterte said during a visit to the Philippine National Police's Camp Vicente Alagar in Cagayan de Oro.)
[RELATED: Philippines tells world: Don’t interfere in drug war]


SEPTEMBER 22 -President Rodrigo Duterte. Presidential Broadcast Staff/Released
President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday addressed allegations that he was involved in summary executions while he was mayor of Davao City, saying political rivals used his tough stance on crime to try to discredit him. "You must have heard, because it's a popular issue, at that time and until now, that killer daw ako. That I kill men, and they want me in prison," Duterte said during a visit to the Philippine National Police's Camp Vicente Alagar in Cagayan de Oro. Edgar Matobato, a witness at the Senate inquiry into the drug-related killings said last week that Duterte, while mayor, formed the so-called Davao Death Squad vigilante group and ordered several killings of suspected criminals. Matobato said he carried out around 50 killings himself. Duterte, speaking to police officers on Thursday, said that Davao City was in chaos during the transition between the administrations of Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino. Duterte was appointed officer-in-charge vice mayor after the 1986 People Power revolution and was elected mayor in 1988. The president said that, at the time, the government gave guns to people who identified themselves as anti-communist. "A lot of tao sa Davao halos may armas. And it became an anarchy for everybody," Duterte said. READ MORE...RELATED, Philippines tells world: Don’t interfere in drug war...

ALSO: De Lima names cops allegedly members of ‘Davao Death Squad’ (DDS)[RELATED: ‘De Lima screwing not only her driver but also the nation’]


SEPTEMBER 20 -Sen. Leila De Lima on Tuesday revealed the names of some Davao police officers allegedly members of the Davao Death Squad, supposed vigilante groups blamed for unexplained killings. Senate PRIB/File photo
Sen. Leila De Lima on Tuesday revealed the names of some Davao police officers who are allegedly members of the Davao Death Squad (DDS), the vigilante group blamed for unexplained killings. De Lima said the names are similar to those mentioned by Edgar Matobato, confessed hitman who testified before the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights last Thursday. Matobato tagged President Rodrigo Duterte as the one who ordered the killings of suspected criminals and terrorists in Davao City. “Mr. President may mga binanggit na pong mga opisyal ng kapulisan ang ating witness. Nasaan na po ang mga opisyal na ito ngayon? Masarap pa ba ang kanilang tulog sa kabila ng mga binitawang testimonya ni Edgar Matobato? Kung nakakatulog pa sila, marahil sila ay inosente. Pero papaano kung sila ay hindi inosente?” De Lima said in her privilege speech at the Senate. “Nagtutugma po ang ilang mga kuwento sa kuwento ng ating witness na si Edgar Matobato. Katunayan noong 2009, may mga pangalan nang mga opisyales ng Davao City Police ang lumabas na mga miyembro ng DDS sa heinous crime section ng DCPO (Davao City Police Office) mga pangalan na binanggit na rin ni Matobato sa kanyang testimonya,” she said. Below appears the list of names of officials allegedly involved in DDS: READ MORE... RELATED,
‘De Lima screwing not only her driver but also the nation’...

ALSO:
I knew de Lima would unleash Matobato against me – Duterte


SEPTEMBER 20 -The surprise witness at the Senate investigation on extrajudicial killings was not that much of a surprise, according to President Rodrigo Duterte.
The president on Tuesday claimed that he already knew that Senator Leila de Lima would have supposed hitman Edgar Matobato testify against him. “I knew that Matobato was there with her. Mas matagal ako sa gobyerno eh. Kumbaga mas maraming may utang na loob sa akin kaysa kanya, lalo na sa law enforcement pati sa military,” Duterte explained during the Sulong Pilipinas-Local Governance Dialogues at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City. “Marami akong kaibigan kasi tinuturing ko iyan silang—I do not look at these guys maybe as subordinates. I deal with them just like a co-worker in government, except for the fact that the supervisory powers belong to the mayor. So marami akong nalaman,” he added. READ MORE...

ALSO: In another privileged speech - De Lima firm, says Motabato raps vs Du30 credible


SEPTEMBER 21 -Embattled Sen. Leila de Lima stood her ground and insisted in a privilege speech yesterday on the substance and credibility of the charges hurled at President Duterte by self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato.
De Lima said the testimony of her witness, Matobato, in last Thursday’s hearing of the committee on justice and human rights, can stand against the evidence presented by the President against her, even as some of her colleagues questioned the legitimacy of raising alleged extrajudicial killings during the term of Duterte as Davao City Mayor when the Senate probe was supposedly about summary killings committed under the Duterte administration.
The conduct of the probe under her committee on justice and human rights cost de Lima the chairmanship of the panel after his colleagues held an unprecedented vote to oust her. There was no plot, only a concensus on De Lima’s lack of objectivity, a Senator said on the unprecedented vote to oust theircolleague, de Lima as chair of the committee on justice and human rights last Monday, effectively crippling her from steering the probe on alleged extrajudicial killings happening under the Duterte administration.
“There was a general sentiment. There was no agreement but there was a general sentiment among the senators,” said Sen. Win Gatchalian, who was the first to dismiss insinuations that some members of the majority bloc, particularly those known supporters of President Duterte, plotted De Lima’s ouster. Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III rebuffed de Lima’s claims on Duterte having a hand on what transpired Monday saying that her removal from the committee was brought about by a confluence of events surrounding the conduct and those that had taken place in the panel’s investigation on extrajudicial killings in the last three public hearings.READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Andanar bares plot to oust Duterte by 2017

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016 (MANILA TIMES) BY CATHERINE S. VALENTE ON SEPTEMBER 20, 2016 - PRESIDENTIAL Communications chief Martin Andanar on Monday claimed a group of Filipino-Americans were plotting to oust President Rodrigo Duterte by 2017.

Andanar, in a radio interview, cited information from a fellow Cabinet member in New York, but did not go into details.

“I will just not mention his name. He also heard in New York that there are Filipino-Americans who are planning, they are hatching a plan to oust the President by January 2017,” Andanar said.

The Palace official, however, said that the government had yet to verify the supposed plot.

“I told my colleague, ‘Buddy, verify it first.’ Because, I said, such report is no joke. We have to be very careful … But then again, if you have all of this news going around internationally, it does not help,” Andanar said.

But he expressed confidence the ouster plot will not prosper because Duterte obtained a 91 percent trust rating early in PRESIDENTIAL Communications chief Martin Andanar on Monday claimed a group of Filipino-Americans were plotting to oust President Rodrigo Duterte by 2017.

Andanar, in a radio interview, cited information from a fellow Cabinet member in New York, but did not go into details.

READ MORE...

“I will just not mention his name. He also heard in New York that there are Filipino-Americans who are planning, they are hatching a plan to oust the President by January 2017,” Andanar said.

The Palace official, however, said that the government had yet to verify the supposed plot.

“I told my colleague, ‘Buddy, verify it first.’ Because, I said, such report is no joke. We have to be very careful … But then again, if you have all of this news going around internationally, it does not help,” Andanar said.

But he expressed confidence the ouster plot will not prosper because Duterte obtained a 91 percent trust rating early in his presidency.

Duterte had accused the “Yellows”—members of the erstwhile ruling Liberal party—of being behind a supposed plot to impeach him, but Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo denied this.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Palace on Rody ouster plotters: We’re watching you By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 21, 2016 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0


Presidential communications secretary Martin Andanar declined to provide any clue about the identities of people involved in the alleged conspiracy to overthrow President Duterte, but he stressed that “credible sources” provided the relevant information.
AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, file

MANILA, Philippines – While they may be miles away, they are neither nameless nor faceless and thus may be held accountable under the law, presidential communications secretary Martin Andanar said yesterday of the Filipino-Americans reportedly plotting to oust President Duterte.

Andanar said the administration has identified the people behind the plot to have the President removed from office by next year.

“We are aware of this and we have names, I’ve received names, but I’m not going to mention them because you know, I was also a journalist and we might be charged with libel,” Andanar told a press briefing yesterday.

“We have names. We know who they are. We are studying it. The warning is – just be careful in what you plan because it’s against the law,” he added.

Andanar declined to provide any clue about the identities of people involved in the alleged conspiracy to overthrow Duterte, but he stressed that “credible sources” provided the relevant information.

“We are looking into it very seriously,” Andanar said.

“It should be serious for the entire nation, for the 91 percent of the Filipinos who trust the President. Remember that the President was also elected with over 16 million votes,” the Palace official said. Andanar said he is optimistic that any attempt to oust Duterte would never succeed.

“We have to confirm, we have to vet, but whatever they’re planning, just think twice because it is not lawful when you bring down a government. And rest assured that we will protect our President,” he said.

Last Monday, Andanar claimed that some Filipino-Americans were working to have Duterte removed from office by January 2017. He cited information relayed by a fellow Cabinet member who allegedly had received reports about the ouster plot in New York.

Duterte has drawn flak from local and international human rights groups for the spate of drug-related killings in the country. About 3,000 suspected drug offenders have been killed since the president assumed office on June 30.

The United States, the European Union and the United Nations have expressed concern over the killings and called on the Philippine leader to uphold human rights.

The President was unfazed by the criticisms, saying his bloody war on illegal drugs would continue until the last drug pusher is arrested or killed.

In his speeches, Duterte has said he is putting at stake his life, honor and his presidency in his vigorous campaign against illegal drugs. He said he does not mind losing even the presidency, as failure to curb the drug problem would compromise the future of the next generation. 


Duterte has also alleged that “yellows” are out to discredit him so he would be removed from office. The President was referring to the supporters of former president Benigno Aquino III, who backed the failed presidential bid of his rival Manuel Roxas II.

Duterte claimed the tirades against his anti-drug war were part of the effort to impeach him.

Aquino’s allies at the Liberal Party have denied plotting an impeachment case against Duterte, saying such move is unlikely to gain the support of the public.


PHILSTAR

'Killer' rep a ploy by political rivals, Duterte says By Kristian Javier (philstar.com) | Updated September 22, 2016 - 6:34pm 6 69 googleplus0 0


President Rodrigo Duterte. Presidential Broadcast Staff/Released

MANILA, Philippines - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday addressed allegations that he was involved in summary executions while he was mayor of Davao City, saying political rivals used his tough stance on crime to try to discredit him.

"You must have heard, because it's a popular issue, at that time and until now, that killer daw ako. That I kill men, and they want me in prison," Duterte said during a visit to the Philippine National Police's Camp Vicente Alagar in Cagayan de Oro.

Edgar Matobato, a witness at the Senate inquiry into the drug-related killings said last week that Duterte, while mayor, formed the so-called Davao Death Squad vigilante group and ordered several killings of suspected criminals. Matobato said he carried out around 50 killings himself.

Duterte, speaking to police officers on Thursday, said that Davao City was in chaos during the transition between the administrations of Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino. Duterte was appointed officer-in-charge vice mayor after the 1986 People Power revolution and was elected mayor in 1988.

The president said that, at the time, the government gave guns to people who identified themselves as anti-communist.

"A lot of tao sa Davao halos may armas. And it became an anarchy for everybody," Duterte said.

READ MORE...

He said that to maintain order in the city, he told criminals there to surrender peacefully and to not offer violent resistance or they would die.

"Sabi ko sa pulis, just do your work. Arrest them, overcome the resistance and if there is violence, kill them."

This, he said, was used against him by political rivals.

"Every time may mamatay, aking kasalanan," Duterte said.

In December 2015, Duterte said in an interview over DZMM that he had killed suspected criminals in the past, including three kidnappers who refused to surrender when he ordered them to put their hands up.

He also previously admitted links to the DDS, but reversed himself and said that this was not true.

"I always use the word. Walang DDS dyan. That is Davao Development System. That is my guiding principle," he said in May 2015. He also denied an earlier admission that he had people killed as mayor.

Duterte also said Thursday that the government will invite officials of the United Nations and European Union, which have been voicing concerns on a rise in drug-related deaths in the country since June, to look into the situation in the Philippines. He said, however, that the representatives should be ready for a debate, saying the investigation would not be a "one-way street."

READ: Duterte invites EU, UN rapporteurs to debate on drug menace

"Fair is fair," Duterte said.

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Philippines tells world: Don’t interfere in drug war By Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 26, 2016 - 12:00am 0 288 googleplus0 0


Philippines' Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay addresses the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. AP Photo/Andres Kudacki

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. told the United Nations on Saturday President Duterte had an “unprecedented” mandate and the world should not interfere in his crackdown on crime.

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Yasay said Duterte was “determined to free the Philippines from corrupt and other stagnating practices,” including the manufacture, distribution and use of illicit drugs.

“Our actions, however, have grabbed both the national headlines and international attention for all the wrong reasons,” Yasay said, urging “everyone to allow us to deal with our domestic challenges in order to achieve our national goals without undue interference.”

Duterte won by a landslide in the May 9 elections after vowing to wipe out drugs and crime. Police said this week that in the past 11 weeks, nearly 3,000 people had been killed in Duterte’s war on drugs, a figure adjusted from the 3,800 they cited last week.

The killings have drawn widespread international criticism, including from the UN, triggering angry responses from Duterte.

On Thursday, Duterte hurled insults anew at UN Secretary-General Ban ki-moon and the European Union, then invited them to come to investigate his crackdown.

Yasay said Duterte had won “an unprecedented and resounding electoral mandate” and now enjoyed a 92 percent approval rating. As such, the President had to deliver on a “sacred” call for change.

“To him, this trust is sacrosanct,” Yasay said. “It cannot be breached, under no circumstance must it be compromised.”

WORRIED FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS

Duterte’s defiance of high-profile organizations and his insults directed at anyone – from United States President Barack Obama to Pope Francis – have amused many Filipinos, but worried foreign governments – not the least the US, which sees Manila as a vital partner in Asia in the face of a rising China.

Some analysts predict Duterte will seek to diversify foreign relations beyond Washington, including seeking better ties with erstwhile maritime foe China.

Yasay said core values enshrined in the Constitution included the mandate “to pursue an independent foreign policy, to promote the national interest.”

He explained that the Philippine government’s campaign to rid the country of criminality, lawlessness and disorder, including the all-out war against illicit drugs, would also remain strictly in accordance with the Constitution, the international norms and human rights treaties and covenants the Philippines was a party to.

Two UN-appointed human rights experts expressed concern last month about measures instituted in the Philippines to crack down on drug offenders.

The UN also lambasted Duterte for a “striking lack of understanding of human rights” and the killing of thousands of Filipinos allegedly involved in drug dealing.

But Yasay said Duterte had declared that the rule of law and respect for due process should prevail at all times.

“We have not and will never empower our law enforcement agents to shoot to kill any individual suspected of drug crimes. And yet, under our established rules of engagement, our police have the right to defend themselves when their lives are threatened,” Yasay said.

“Extrajudicial killings have no place in our society and in our criminal justice system,” he added.

Due to corruption in high and low places, Yasay stated that the Philippines for far too long had not been able to fully address the worsening crime situation and the prevalence of illegal drugs.

“Our people recognize the peril these evils pose to our development and our democracy,” he said.

Corruption, he said, had become the breeding ground for the illegal drug trade, which seriously threatened the country’s peace and order and impeded sustainable development.

“It has torn apart many of our communities, destroyed our families and snuffed out the hopes and dreams of our people – young and old – for a bright future,” Yasay said.

Arbitral award

At the same time, Yasay said Manila would remain “a responsible partner of the international community,” committed to the rule of law – including an international court ruling this year in favor of the Philippines and against China over competing claims in the South China Sea.

In spite of Duterte’s criticisms of the world body, Yasay said the UN had demonstrated “continuing resilience and relevance” and added an apparent reference to the US alliance: “Our domestic concerns compel us to partner with like-minded countries in the areas of maritime security, counterterrorism, disaster response and transnational crime.”

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague handed down a decision in July upholding the primacy of international law as the cornerstone for a rules-based regional and international order.

“The arbitral award, which is final and binding on all parties, is a clearly established fact and is now part of international jurisprudence in the maritime domain,” Yasay said.

“We must not overlook the importance of non-militarization and self-restraint in the conduct of all activities, maintaining freedom of navigation, the full and effective implementation of the Declaration (on) Conduct (of Parties in the South China Sea or DOC) and the adoption of an effective code of conduct (COC),” he said.

Climate justice

Turning to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Yasay said the Philippines continued to enhance the delivery and quality of basic social services to its people, based on a human approach to development and governance.

The Philippines is among 22 pioneer countries that volunteered at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) to share its initiatives in the first year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

As one of the most disaster-prone and vulnerable countries to the adverse effects of climate change, Yasay reiterated a call for climate justice and the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities in the implementation of obligations under the Paris Agreement.

Duterte said in July that his government would not honor commitments made under the Paris climate change deal, agreed upon by 195 countries, including the Philippines, last December, that aimed to limit global warming to below two degrees Celsius and strive to keep temperatures at 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

Duterte believes the deal is blocking the progress of developing countries like the Philippines.

The President also claimed that industrialized countries were “dictating the destiny” of developing ones by requiring them to cut carbon emissions.

The Philippines accounts for less than one percent of the world’s emissions and has not ratified the deal.


PHILSTAR

De Lima names cops allegedly members of ‘Davao Death Squad’ By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated September 20, 2016 - 5:17pm 0 1 googleplus0 0


Sen. Leila De Lima on Tuesday revealed the names of some Davao police officers allegedly members of the Davao Death Squad, supposed vigilante groups blamed for unexplained killings. Senate PRIB/File photo

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Leila De Lima on Tuesday revealed the names of some Davao police officers who are allegedly members of the Davao Death Squad (DDS), the vigilante group blamed for unexplained killings.

De Lima said the names are similar to those mentioned by Edgar Matobato, confessed hitman who testified before the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights last Thursday. Matobato tagged President Rodrigo Duterte as the one who ordered the killings of suspected criminals and terrorists in Davao City.

“Mr. President may mga binanggit na pong mga opisyal ng kapulisan ang ating witness. Nasaan na po ang mga opisyal na ito ngayon? Masarap pa ba ang kanilang tulog sa kabila ng mga binitawang testimonya ni Edgar Matobato? Kung nakakatulog pa sila, marahil sila ay inosente. Pero papaano kung sila ay hindi inosente?” De Lima said in her privilege speech at the Senate.

“Nagtutugma po ang ilang mga kuwento sa kuwento ng ating witness na si Edgar Matobato. Katunayan noong 2009, may mga pangalan nang mga opisyales ng Davao City Police ang lumabas na mga miyembro ng DDS sa heinous crime section ng DCPO (Davao City Police Office) mga pangalan na binanggit na rin ni Matobato sa kanyang testimonya,” she said.

Below appears the list of names of officials allegedly involved in DDS:

READ MORE...

•SPO4 Arthur Lascanas
•Police Chief Inspector Jacy Jay Franca
•Police Chip Inspector Ronald Lao
•SPO3 Jim Tan
•SPO4 Samson "Sonny" Buenaventura
•SPO1 Reynante Medina
•SPO1 Bienvenvenido Furog
•SPO1 Vivencio Jun Junawan
•SPO2 Enrique Jun Delos Reyes Ayao
•SPO3 Jun Laresma
•SPO2 Rizalino "Bobong" Aquino
•SPO3 Donito "Pogi" Ubales
•SPO1 Jun Bisnar
•SPO1 Gaston Aquino
•Police Senior Superindent Isidero "Dick" Florivel/Florobel
•Police Senior Superintendent Rey Capote
•Police Senior Superintendent Tony Rivera
•Police Senior Superintendent Dionisio Abude
•Bienvenido Laud
•Alvin Laud
•Roly Engalia
•Arnold Ochavez

'MATOBATO TESTIMONY'

De Lima insisted Matobato has a basis on his testimony unlike Duterte’s drug matrix, she claimed was announced without any evidence. She said the implication is that there is a group of serial killers and mass murderers right within the ranks of the organization which is supposed to protect and serve the people.

“Malakas pong ebidensya sa mga testimonya ni Edgar Matobato. Hindi ito katulad ng drug matrix na nailabas ng Pangulo na walang gustong umamin sa NBI, PNP, o PDEA kung kanino galing sa kanila ang mga impormasyon na laman nito. Kung ang pamantayan ng ebidensya ni Senator Cayetano ay katulad ng drug matrix ni Pangulo na parang dindrawing ng isang dose anyos na bata, di hamak na lampas lampas naman ang testimonya ni Matobato sa pang-dose anyos na standard ng kanyang mahal na Pangulo,” De Lima said.

“Kung minsan po talaga, ang pinakamahirap gisingin ay ang mga nagpapanggap na tulog,” she added.

The senator urged the alleged DDS members to come out and clear their names.

In her speech, De Lima said the process of vetting witnesses on the DDS case has started since 2009 when she was a Commission on Human Rights chair. She said she conducted the inquiry on the DDS at that time but alleged DDS members failed to testify fearing for their lives.

De Lima conducted a Senate inquiry into the rising number of drug-related killings under the Duterte administration. She was unseated as the Senate panel chair on Monday.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

‘De Lima screwing not only her driver but also the nation’ By Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 23, 2016 - 12:00am 0 38 googleplus0 0


President Duterte’s berating of Sen. Leila de Lima has intensified, as he accused her yesterday of “screwing” her driver and the nation while she raised human rights issues against him. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PPD

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Duterte’s berating of Sen. Leila de Lima has intensified, as he accused her yesterday of “screwing” her driver and the nation while she raised human rights issues against him.

“De Lima is not only screwing her driver, she is also screwing the nation. She has been building a name at my expense to become popular,” the President said in remarks at the inauguration of Filinvest’s power plant in Misamis Oriental.

He also said the senator has a “propensity for sex.”

De Lima’s driver Ronnie Dayan was himself being linked to the alleged illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison.

De Lima has initiated a Senate investigation into rising cases of summary executions in the country, seen triggered by Duterte’s stepped up campaign against illegal drugs.

As chairman of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) during the Arroyo administration, De Lima launched an investigation into extrajudicial killings in Davao City allegedly carried out by the so-called Davao death squad (DDS) at the behest of Duterte, then city mayor.

A man who claimed to be a former DDS member, Edgar Matobato, told the Senate committee on human rights of Duterte’s links to the killings in the city when he was still mayor.

The President has repeatedly denied the existence of the death squad, which he said is a creation of human rights groups that investigated the killings in Mindanao.

The President said De Lima has been persistently complaining about his human rights record without filing an appropriate case against him.

He said even when she was justice chief, De Lima had never bothered to file cases against him for his alleged links to the DDS.

He said he was getting attention from the CHR and other human rights groups for his vicious and uncompromising approach to fighting criminality. He has repeatedly declared his wish to have criminals, especially drug offenders, killed.

The President said rival politicians have been dredging up the DDS and human rights issue to destroy his reputation since he was still city mayor.

“The opposition rode on the issue especially during the election, and now there’s a Senate investigation,” he said in Filipino.

He added he has evidence to prove De Lima’s alleged involvement in the drug trade at the NBP when she was still DOJ chief.

De Lima is shown at the center of Duterte’s matrix of officials with supposed drug links.

The President said Dayan was De Lima’s link to the drug lords at NBP. He also claimed that Dayan had collected drug money to bankroll De Lima’s senatorial bid.

According to the President, the senator’s “immorality” had made her violate the law and grant special privileges to drug lords at the NBP.

Some drug convicts told lawmakers at recent House hearings that the penitentiary became a “little Las Vegas” during De Lima’s stint as justice secretary.

De Lima has denied the allegations and claimed that Duterte and his allies were out to assassinate her character. – Alexis Romero


GMA NEWS ONLINE

I knew de Lima would unleash Matobato against me – Duterte Published September 20, 2016 11:26pm


The surprise witness at the Senate investigation on extrajudicial killings was not that much of a surprise, according to President Rodrigo Duterte.

The president on Tuesday claimed that he already knew that Senator Leila de Lima would have supposed hitman Edgar Matobato testify against him.

“I knew that Matobato was there with her. Mas matagal ako sa gobyerno eh. Kumbaga mas maraming may utang na loob sa akin kaysa kanya, lalo na sa law enforcement pati sa military,” Duterte explained during the Sulong Pilipinas-Local Governance Dialogues at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City.

“Marami akong kaibigan kasi tinuturing ko iyan silang—I do not look at these guys maybe as subordinates. I deal with them just like a co-worker in government, except for the fact that the supervisory powers belong to the mayor. So marami akong nalaman,” he added.

READ MORE...

The president, in his speech, also mocked the allegations Matobato made against him. “So ang puntada ng mga gaga dito it’s almost 1,700, sabi ko napaka-gago naman ninyo. Eh kung talagang killer ako, I am mayor here 23 years. Iyan lang ang ipakita ninyo sa akin? Karami kong tinapon diyan sa Samal Island ng Davao Gulf. Iyan lang makikita mo? I must have been just, I raised the level of… into a sarcasm. Pero ako, papatay… Totoo iyan. Pero hindi naman ganoon karami. 1,700. Mga 1,400 siguro,” Duterte said.

Matobato testified during the Senate probe that he took part in the kidnapping and killings of four bodyguards of former House Speaker Prospero Nograles, an old rival of Duterte in Davao City.

“Noong 2010, tumakbo po si Prospero Nograles na mayor ng Davao City. Naglaban sila ni Mayor Duterte so hinuli nila at pina-kidnap ang mga bodyguard ni Nograles. Kinidnap namin at dinala sa island city of Samal,” Matobato recalled.

He said he carried out the kidnappaping and killings upon Duterte’s orders. — DVM, GMA News


TRIBUNE

De Lima firm, says Motabato raps vs Du30 credible Written by Tribune Wires Wednesday, 21 September 2016 00:00 By Angie M. Rosales and Joyce Ann L. Rocamora



Embattled Sen. Leila de Lima stood her ground and insisted in a privilege speech yesterday on the substance and credibility of the charges hurled at President Duterte by self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato.

De Lima said the testimony of her witness, Matobato, in last Thursday’s hearing of the committee on justice and human rights, can stand against the evidence presented by the President against her, even as some of her colleagues questioned the legitimacy of raising alleged extrajudicial killings during the term of Duterte as Davao City Mayor when the Senate probe was supposedly about summary killings committed under the Duterte administration.

The conduct of the probe under her committee on justice and human rights cost de Lima the chairmanship of the panel after his colleagues held an unprecedented vote to oust her.

NO PLOT, DUTERTE HAS NOTHING TO DO, JUST SENATORS' CONSENSUS ON OUSTER

There was no plot, only a concensus on De Lima’s lack of objectivity, a Senator said on the unprecedented vote to oust theircolleague, de Lima as chair of the committee on justice and human rights last Monday, effectively crippling her from steering the probe on alleged extrajudicial killings happening under the Duterte administration.

“There was a general sentiment. There was no agreement but there was a general sentiment among the senators,” said Sen. Win Gatchalian, who was the first to dismiss insinuations that some members of the majority bloc, particularly those known supporters of President Duterte, plotted De Lima’s ouster.

Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III rebuffed de Lima’s claims on Duterte having a hand on what transpired Monday saying that her removal from the committee was brought about by a confluence of events surrounding the conduct and those that had taken place in the panel’s investigation on extrajudicial killings in the last three public hearings.

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“President Duterte has nothing to do with what happened. It was a consensus reached by the Senate. I would not even use the word ‘planned’. It was not planned. Maybe others would see it that way but to be accurate about it, it was discussed, what was happening in the Senate. The feeling of most senators was that the committee (is not being) handled properly,” he said.

DE LIMA COUNTER CAYETANO

“The evidence presented in testimony of Matobato was strong, unlike the drug matrix shoiwn by the President the source of which the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), PNP (Philippne National Police) or PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) have refused to acknowledge,” she said in her privilege speech, countering an earlier speech delivered the day before by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.

Matobato’s testimony, which is now reported to be contained in a judicial affidavit, that now included what de Lima claimed in her speech as the “core group” of Duterte’s infamous supposed vigilante group, Davao Death Squad (DDS), will likely be further investigated in the Senate.

In yesterday’s plenary session, Majority Leader Sotto said the issue concerning Matobato will now be taken up by the committee on justice and human rights now under a new chairman, Sen. Richard Gordon, amending an earlier referral made to the committee on public order and dangerous drugs under Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV had initiated the filing of resolution 151 last Monday to look into the issue surrounding the supposed crimes committed by the DDS after Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel said a new resolution should be filed to accommodate Matobato’s testimony.

Minority Leader Ralph Recto, who inquired on the status of the said resolution, was told that the Matobato issue will still be pursued but will now be under the justice committee and will likely be tackled on the continuing proceedings on Thursday.

“They’re holding a hearing anyway. There was a huddle earlier (on the floor) during the break and they all agreed (to take it up in the hearing),” Sotto said, referring to Gordon, Lacson and Trillanes.

“We agreed to just proceed on Thursday as scheduled. We will call him again just so we can finish with his testimony and address the resolution of Trillanes,” Lacson said in a text message to reporters.

Trillanes’ move, which is in aid of legislation, is with the intention of ensuring the protection of the people’s basic human rights as well as their rights to life and to due process of law, in the face of the intensified campaign of the government and the PNP against terrorism, drugs and street crimes not only in Davao but throughout the country.

“The continuing pattern of killings and the failure of the authorities to stop the same and to conduct meaningful investigations of such incidents ‘can be construed as tolerance on the part of the authorities of the crimes, thereby contributing to the climate of impunity,” the senator said in his resolution.

In her speech, de Lima lashed back at those who tried to belittle Matobato’s testimony, the likes of Lacson and Cayetano, who criticized her for failing to vet the witness before presenting him in the hearing.

“The vetting process of witnesses on the DDS has started since 2009, when as CHR (Commission on Human Rights) chair, I conducted the inquiry on the DDS. At that time, we were able to interview and get statements from several DDS members who chose to talk but not to testify for fear of their lives. In fact, as early as 2009, Matobato had already been identified by one DDS witness as a companion of said witness in one of his DDS operations,” she said.

NAMES MEMBERS OF  DDS

In fact, de Lima said, Matobato’s testimony corroborates the claims of other witnesses in earlier investigation especially some officials of the Davao City police who were supposed to be members of the heinous crime section, namely: SPO4 Arthur Lascanans, Police Chief Insp. Jacy Sanson “Sonny” Buenaventura, SPO1 reynante B. Medina, SPO1 Bienvenido Furog, SPO1 Vivencio “Jun” Jumawan, SPO2 Enrique “Jun” delos Reyes Ayao, SPO3 Jun Laresma, SPO2 Rizalino “Bobong” Aquino, SPO3 Donito “Pogi” Ubales, SPO1 Jun Bisnar, SPO1 Gaston Aquino, Police Senior Supt. Isidero “Dick” Florivel/Florobel, Police Senior Supt. Rey Capote, Senior Supt. Tony Rivera, Senior Supt. Dionisio Abude, Bienvenido Laud, Alvin Laud Roly Engalia and Arnold Ochavez.

The senator did not waste time in discrediting those who appeared in the proceedings in the House of Representatives as reports that reached her showed that some inmates and gang leaders were supposedly being taken by the Special Action Force (SAF) deployed at the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP) for overnight interrogation sessions, supposedly, all in an effort to fabricate testimony on her alleged receipt of bribe money from drug lords.

“Prisoners are being selected and isolated just to be intimidated into implicating me and to fit the President’s narrative that I am a drug coddler, aside from being the most evil woman in the planet,” she said.

De Lima also took the opportunity in chiding Cayetano for successfully removing her from being the chair of the justice committee, in an unprecedented fashion at this point when there seems to be an uncanny similarity, as established by the testimony of Matobato, on the current phenomenon of the nationwide extrajudicial killings.

“It was unimaginable. I now resolve to imagine more of what the President’s allies are capable of,” she said.

“Mr. President, it would take more than a committee chairmanship, a House inquiry intended to pillory and crucify me, an ethics committee complaint based on hearsay, a baseless election protest, everyday tirades from the secretary of justice and the solicitor general and vicious personal attacks from the President to take me down. I guess it would take two magazines of an Uzi machine pistol to take me down. As the saying goes, everything has been thrown at me except the kitchen sink. I am still waiting for the kitchen sink,” she said.

De Lima also described as pretentious and hypocritical, Cayetano’s “anecdotal taxi driver stories” that attempt to impress to the public that the country now enjoys a Singapore-like safety amid the killings.

“His President just declared a state of national emergency due to the existence of lawless violence. For the first time since the eve of the declaration of martial law 44 years ago to the day today, the country has not come close to such an admission by the State that it is incapable of enforcing order in society, that the President has to resort to his extraordinary Commander-in-Chief powers under the Constitution in order to maintain public safety, peace and order.

“So we are in a state of safety as claimed by Cayetano? Or are we in a state of lawlessness as declared by the President? Safe lawlessness or lawless safety? That’s ‘oxymoron’ in English, with emphasis on moron,” she said.

Consensus not conspiracy

Sen. JV Ejercito, a member of the majority bloc, echoed Sotto’s and Gatchalian’s statements on the issue of Malacañang being behind de Lima’s ouster, maintaining that it was a collective decision, a difficult decision especially since it concerns a colleague.

The ranks of the Liberal Party (LP) in the majority bloc in the upper chamber, that included de Lima as a member, claimed that they were surprised by the turn of events, practically admitting that they did not see it coming.

“We were not consulted. It was not raised to us. Honestly, if it were raised earlier, probably that might not have been the outcome yesterday. If there were concerns about the way that she was sharing, that could have been raised in a caucus,” said Sen. Bam Aquino, a member of the LP, said.

Aquino said he tried to call for a caucus prior to the afternoon plenary session, immediately after they got wind of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano’s move to deliver a privilege speech.

“There was an attempt. Maybe we can talk about it in the majority. We are part of the majority after all. But, it seems a number of our colleagues were decided to remove her,” he said.

Following a caucus by the LP yesterday led by Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon and attended by Aquino, De Lima, Senators Francis Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros, it was agreed they will remain with the majority bloc despite what happened to one of their members.

“We recognize the removal of De Lima as chairman of the committee of justice and human rights as a political reality. Having said that, our alliance with the majority has always been based on the reforms that we believe will propel our nation to greater economic, political and social heights. We will continue to pursue these agenda. As long as we believe that these reforms can be achieved, we will remain with the majority. Coming from the events that transpired yesterday, we must remain vigilant and continue to assert the independence of the Senate,” they said.

Drilon, in an interview with reporters, stressed that they will continue to remain in the “independent bloc” within the majority and will continue to pursue reform agenda in their respective committees.

“We will criticize if there is basis or need to criticize. We will cooperate where we believe that what is being presented to the Senate is for the benefit of our country. We will not criticize simply for the sake of criticizing. We will continue to assert and be vigilant in guarding the independence of the Senate. We will be active (in the investigation of extrajudicial killing),” he said.

Gatchalian said he can speak for himself that Duterte does not have any involvement in whatever happened to de Lima in the Senate, stressing that he did not even consult or had spoken to the President or any member of his administration before casting a vote last Monday.

“The decision we were faced with on Monday was a difficult one, but in the end I am confident that we made the right choice to protect the integrity of the Senate and to safeguard its reputation as a true and faithful instrument to further the interests of the Filipino people,” he said.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan, a member of the Liberal Party (LP) admitted that they were outnumbered by the majority of their colleagues as shown during Monday’s plenary session, practically dismissing whatever claims made by De Lima on those behind her ouster.
Ted Tuvera


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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