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MARCOS BURIAL SPLITS RAMOS AND DUTERTE
(“So there was really a deep wound somewhere in the country. But for those who cannot really forgive, that’s the hard part. You just have to live with your grief, and that grief is hate. That is the problem,” Mr. Duterte told reporters after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Lima.)
[RELATED: FVR - The Yellow Cult’s hidden High Priest?]
[RELATED: FVR my No.1 supporter, critic – says Rody]
NOVEMBER 22 -ADDING HIS VOICE Former President Fidel V. Ramos says in a press conference that the burial of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani was an insult to veterans and trivialized the sacrifices of soldiers. —JOAN BONDOC President Duterte on Sunday acknowledged that the Ferdinand Marcos regime had left a deep wound in the nation’s soul, but he stood firm on his decision authorizing the burial of the dictator at Libingan ng mga Bayani, not as a hero but as a soldier and former President. “So there was really a deep wound somewhere in the country. But for those who cannot really forgive, that’s the hard part. You just have to live with your grief, and that grief is hate. That is the problem,” Mr. Duterte told reporters after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Lima. “There are only two criteria [in law to be buried at Libingan]. And the problem is he fits both counts: as soldier and/or president,” Mr. Duterte said. He said the question of whether Marcos, whose body had been preserved in the family mausoleum in Batac, Ilocos Norte province, was a hero was a case of “a word against their word.” READ MORE...RELATED, FVR: The Yellow Cult’s hidden High Priest?... RELTED(2) FVR my No.1 supporter, critic – Rody...
ALSO: De Lima lauds Ombudsman, assails Aguirre's 'bias'
[RELATED: De Lima’s woes far from over; Senate, Houseleaders urged to hold meeting]
NOVEMBER 26 -Senator Leila de Lima on Saturday lauded the move of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to investigate the various allegations linking her to the illegal drug trade. In a press statement, the embattled former justice secretary said it was "about time that the Ombudsman assert its primary jurisdiction over my case, and oust the DOJ [Department of Justice] of any authority to take over cases cognizable by the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan, especially in this instance where the DOJ has shown its lack of objectivity and interest in pursuing the truth." She said the Department of Justice (DOJ), now headed by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, as well as the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), "have proven themselves to be nothing more than instruments of the present administration against vocal dissenters to the President, such as myself." READ MORE...De Lima’s woes far from over; Senate, HOR leaders urged to hold meeting...
ALSO: Duterte on PNP chief crying - Naintindihan ko si Bato
NOVEMEBR 24 -President Rodrigo Duterte late Wednesday said he understood the emotional outburst of Philippine National Police chief Dir. Gen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa at the Senate earlier in the day. Dela Rosa cried during a Senate hearing after suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa's testimony of giving payola to several top police officials in Eastern Visayas. The police chief said he was overwhelmed after Senator Miguel Zubiri said it was up to him to clean up his ranks. READ MORE...
ALSO: Leila dares accusers to bring case before court; in denial, insists Dayan coerced by accusers; passes up chance to question Kerwin
NOVEMBER 24 -Embattled Sen. Leila de Lima yesterday again dared her accusers to bring before the courts the latest allegations against her, made by her former driver-bodyguard and lover, attesting to her alleged receipt of drug money. De Lima, despite the admissions of Ronnie Dayan during a press conference by Philippine National Police (PNP) Director-General Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa after his arrest the other day on his alleged wrongdoings, remained firm in her belief that was coerced to testify against her. “I’m denying that,” Senator de Lima said, replying to queries on Dayan’s admission that he indeed supposedly acted as her agent and bagman in receiving drug money. “What he (Dayan) says that I ordered him (Dayan) to get drug money (for her campaign kitty in her senatorial run in 2016) from Kerwin Espinosa, that’s a big lie. READ MORE...
ALSO DU30: Let the people judge solons’ handling of House drug probe[RELATED: Filipino senator fears for her safety over opposition to President Duterte]
NOVEMEBR 26 -HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said the Filipino people will be the better judge how congressmen handled the House committee probe Thursday when Ronnie Dayan, the alleged bagman of Senator Leila de Lima, testified on the illegal drug trade. “I cannot answer that because — in deference to our inter-parliamentary [courtesy], I cannot criticize them. I cannot praise them. So, I better keep silent,” Duterte said in an interview in Zamboanga City. “Let the judge — the people of the Republic of the Philippines — judge the event any way they want it. This is a free country,” Duterte added. Vice President Leni Robredo and at least two women colleagues of Senator De Lima criticized the congressmen’s behavior when they questioned Dayan, who appeared as a witness before the House justice committee. Most of the questions, they said, focused on Dayan’s romantic relationship with De Lima, her former boss. Dayan claims his affair with De Lima lasted for seven years. READ MORE...RELATED, Filipino senator fears for her safety over opposition to President Duterte...
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Marcos’ burial splits Ramos, Duterte
ADDING HIS VOICE Former President Fidel V. Ramos says in a press conference that the burial of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani was an insult to veterans and trivialized the sacrifices of soldiers. —JOAN BONDOC
LIMA/MANILA, NOVEMBER 28, 2016 (INQUIRER) By DJ Yap @deejayapINQ November 22, 2016 -President Duterte on Sunday acknowledged that the Ferdinand Marcos regime had left a deep wound in the nation’s soul, but he stood firm on his decision authorizing the burial of the dictator at Libingan ng mga Bayani, not as a hero but as a soldier and former President.
“So there was really a deep wound somewhere in the country. But for those who cannot really forgive, that’s the hard part. You just have to live with your grief, and that grief is hate. That is the problem,” Mr. Duterte told reporters after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Lima.
“There are only two criteria [in law to be buried at Libingan]. And the problem is he fits both counts: as soldier and/or president,” Mr. Duterte said.
He said the question of whether Marcos, whose body had been preserved in the family mausoleum in Batac, Ilocos Norte province, was a hero was a case of “a word against their word.”
In Manila on Monday, former President Fidel V. Ramos joined the chorus of protests against the burial, carried out with stealth by immediate members of the Marcos family three decades after his death while in exile in Hawaii, declaring that move was “an insult to veterans” and a trivialization of the sacrifices of uniformed men.
“Why did the sneaky burial happen without you knowing too much about it? Because there was advance planning, call it connivance, led by the Marcos family, together with some local police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines officials,” Ramos told reporters.
Because of this, he said, the Duterte administration was “losing support, they are losing friends.”
More than an apology
Ramos, 88, also addressed criticism by Marcos’ daughter Imee that he himself should apologize for martial law atrocities because he was the chief of the Philippine Constabulary at the time.
He said he had atoned for his sins by leading the Edsa People Power Revolution in 1986 that ousted Marcos.
“I hope you people remember your history. My apology was more than an apology. In the Christian tradition, you confess and then you atone,” said the former general.
Ramos rejected Imee’s claim that she and her siblings were still young during the martial law years and had nothing to apologize for.
He said that Imee was one year older than his eldest daughter, who was 18 at that time, and was even elected president of Kabataang Barangay a few years after the declaration of martial law.
Asked what should now be done, Ramos said, “The ball is now with the Supreme Court.”
Relatives of victims of martial law abuses on Monday petitioned the high tribunal to exhume Marcos’ body.
They said they had not been given enough time to appeal the high tribunal’s 9-5-1 ruling upholding Mr. Duterte’s decision to authorize the burial.
“How can a plunderer and despot and violator of human rights be given that honor of being buried in the memorial of good men?” said Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, brother of an abducted anti-Marcos labor leader who was never seen again.
All about law
Mr. Duterte took exception to a newspaper article that noted the irony of the President’s own late mother Soledad Duterte, a leading figure of Yellow Friday Movement in Davao City, having protested Marcos’ rule during the final days of martial law.
“You know, I am a public employee. I decide on what is lawful and what is not. I am now called upon or I was called upon to decide whether it would be lawful for Marcos to be buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani or it would be an illegal act,” he said.
“My mother’s cause or the causes she fought in her life, that’s hers. But just because she is my mother I cannot state to you that Marcos cannot be buried because according to my mother he was a dictator,” Mr. Duterte said.
The President insisted that he had not known about the date of Marcos’ burial at Libingan, which had been marked by secrecy and triggered street demonstrations.
“In all honesty, I’m telling you: I knew nothing about it. They only asked me when the appropriate time for me would be. I said, ‘Do as you wish,’” he said.
Being a hero not a criterion
“I didn’t ask them, and why would I ask? I allowed it already so what’s it to me? What would I get if I have known in advance whether he will be there for the interment on that day?” Mr. Duterte said.
He said as much as 98 percent of Ilocandia, or Ilocano-speaking Filipinos, harbored sentiments about why Marcos was being treated “unfairly.”
“To me, again, I have only two answers: He was a President; he was a soldier. His name appears on the record, it was recognized, he had a valor medal for his deeds,” said Mr. Duterte, whose campaign platform when he ran in the May presidential election included a closure to the Marcos burial issue.
Peaceful, private burial
In a press briefing, Col. Edgard Arevalo, Armed Forces spokesperson, said the military was merely acceding to the wish of the Marcos family to keep the burial peaceful, solemn and private.
“It’s not secrecy … its primary consideration is the wish of the grieving family,” he stressed.
Arevalo said the burial should not come as a surprise, citing the chronology of events that led to it.
He said even the spokesperson of the Supreme Court acknowledged that there was no motion for reconsideration filed in court, thereby removing all or any prohibition with regard to the full implementation of the burial. —WITH REPORTS FROM JOCELYN R. UY, CYNTHIA D. BALANA AND AFP
RELATED FROM THE MANILA TIMES (ANALYSIS)
FVR: The Yellow Cult’s hidden High Priest? BY RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO ON NOVEMBER 23, 2016 OPINION ON PAGE ONE
RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO
In opposing the burial of Marcos remains at the Libingan ng mg Bayani, fomer President Fidel Ramos said things that are so absurd that these border on the surreal.
Ramos’ First Claim. “I felt very bad especially for the veterans, as well as the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, as well as members of the PNP which I commanded then,” Ramos said in the press conference. “It was an insult, [a]trivialization of the sacrifices of our Armed Forces, PNP, Coast Guard, veterans – retired and active.”
How could Marcos’ burial insult men in uniform, alive or dead, when the strongman’s rule for 13 years had been based on the support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Constabulary, with so many soldiers and police killed in firefights (or by assassination) by the communist New People’s Army and the Moro insurgents? It wasn’t called “martial law” for nothing.
Cleverly demonized by the Yellow Cult when it was dubbed the “Rolex 12” who planned and executed martial law, the group’s members were the top brass of the military and police, including Ramos who commanded the Philippine Constabulary, AFP Chief of Staff Romeo Espino, and all the commanders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. (“Rolex,” as they were reportedly given Rolex watches on their last meeting before martial law was declared. Gen. Espino was later to claim that they were nothing but the cheapest Rados.)
The alleged human rights abuses during martial law—the issue that has roused melodramatic millennials at elite colleges against Marcos’ burial—were not committed by vigilantes, or by the civilian National Intelligence Security Authority, but by the military and mostly by the police, such as the dreaded Constabulary Anti-Narcotics Unit and the 5th Constabulary Security Unit that were all under Ramos.
Isn’t the burial of their commander in chief for 20 years (1965-1985) in the official military cemetery a way of honoring those buried there, as well as living veterans?
Man for all seasons? Left, photo from Presidential Museum with caption: “In January 1972 at the height of the First Quarter Storm of the angry Filipino youth, Brigadier General Ramos was appointed Chief of the Philippine Constabulary — his first, last and only assignment with the PC, having spent his first 20 years in the Army.” Right, with his second boss, February 1986.
Of course, a faction of the military led by Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramos rebelled in 1986 against Marcos to oust him with the help of the US.
But it’s certainly very inaccurate to say that the entire AFP and PC were against Marcos even at that time. From the highest-ranking general to the lowest ranking soldier, the military were ecstatic over martial law. Hasn’t Ramos noticed that not a single retired general, or military or police of any rank has protested Marcos’ burial at the Libingan?
Responding to Marcos’ eldest daughter Imee’s exhortation that he should also apologize for the human rights abuses during martial law because he headed the PC all those years, Ramos said: “My atonement was leading the military and the police during the EDSA People Power Revolution. From the 22nd to the 25th of February 1986 and I stand by that record. It’s there in history books.”
For that of course, Ramos demonstrated heroism of the highest order. But just as valid though would be a claim that he abandoned his cousin whom he supported for 13 years, after realizing—perhaps even through leaks from his West Point classmates in the Pentagon—that the US, the world’s superpower had made a decision to remove Marcos, and would in fact be intervening to oust him, as it in fact did.
For whatever reason though, the real point is that he has not really bothered to explain to the nation whether the accusations of human rights abuses mostly undertaken by the PC, were true or not.
His refusal to do so of course was because of his political opportunism: Cory Aquino and her Yellow Cult would not have supported him to become president in 1992, if even just a hint came from his mouth that much of alleged human rights allegations are exaggerated or were the usual expected casualties of war. The network of secret police during martial law— if we may call it that —was the PC’s Constabulary Security Units (CSU) which had units in all regions of the country, under the command of Ramos.
Pick any instance of horrific alleged human rights abuses, those that the Left have been presenting as their exhibits, and the chances are that it was PC units that were involved.
A few examples: Liliosa Hilao raped and murdered by the Constabulary Anti-Narcotics Unit; anti-burial coalition leader Bonifacio Ilagan’s sister Rizalina’s killing, by the 2nd Constabulary Unit; congressman Edsel Lagman’s brother Hermon’s kidnapping and killing, by the PC’s Metropolitan Command; and congressman Neri Colmenares arrest and torture, by a PC unit he hasn’t identified. These horrific abuses all happened when Ramos was head of the PC: Did he ever bother to investigate these cases? If he did, what did he do about it?
There hasn’t been a single case of human rights abuses filed against Gen. Romeo Espino, who was AFP Chief of Staff for almost the whole duration of martial law.
In order to bolster his accusation that the military and police had not received orders from their superiors to allow the burial, Ramos blurted out in his press conference:
“‘Di ganyan ang Armed Forces noong panahon namin. Meron kaming chain of command, di langpara sa military at police, pati intelligence service,” he said. “Higher ups knew everything their subordinates were doing.” (The Armed Forces during our time was nothing like that. We had a chain of command, not just for the military and the police, but also for the intelligence service.)
Isn’t that a confirmation from Ramos himself, that he knew about the human rights abuses committed by the PC during martial law, and that he had command responsibility over the PC units accused of these crimes?
Third Claim. Ramos painted the Marcos family as cheats when he distributed copies in his press briefing of the signed agreement between him and the Marcos family in 1993, in which they agreed that the strongman’s remains be buried in his home province. But Ramos seems to believe, as Louis XIV of France did (“L’Etat, c’est moi”, “I am the State”) that he is the Philippine state. The agreement though was between the Marcos family and him, when he was president at the time. Obviously, as it is their right to do, the Marcoses got another agreement from the present president, Rodrigo Duterte.
Ramos may believe that he is opposing what he claims is an insult to the military that the Marcos burial at the Libingan is.
But as I argued in my column on Monday, Marcos’ burial at the Libingan where three other presidents of the Republic lie, shatters the narrative of an evil, ruthless dictator that ruled the country who killed “thousands of Filipinos.”
And with that fiction unraveled, thrown to the garbage are the self-righteousness of the Yellow Cult, the mythology of Cory Aquino as Philippine democracy’s saint, and the legitimacy of the Communist Party as the vanguard party that fought a ruthless dictator.
That is the reason why the Yellows and the Reds have been apoplectic over the burial. If Marcos’ demonization ends, which will happen if his remains are buried at the Libingan, who would be blamed for the human rights abuses during martial law?
How could we have missed that Ramos, after all, has been a pillar, the hidden High Priest of the Yellow Cult?
How could we have missed the reason why Cory junked Ramon Mitra, the candidate of the ruling party that supported her regime, and instead chose Marcos’ cousin Ramos? How could we have missed the fact that if not for the “Black Swan” that was Joseph Estrada,Ramos’ candidate in 1998 would have won the presidency, starting an unending era of Yellow Rule? Was Ramos’ support of Duterte the Yellow Cult’s Plan B?
RELATED(2) FROM PHILSTAR
FVR my No.1 supporter, critic – Rody By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 28, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0
President Rodrigo Duterte has described former president Fidel V. Ramos as “my number one supporter and critic” for openly criticizing him on some of his decisions and policy pronouncements.
MANILA, Philippines – President Duterte has described former president Fidel Ramos as “my number one supporter and critic” for openly criticizing him on some of his decisions and policy pronouncements.
Duterte said the presence of critics is an indication that democracy in the country remains healthy.
“Former president Fidel Ramos (is) my number one critic and number one supporter and that is good. You know, decent criticism would make this democratic country healthy,” Duterte said during the San Beda College of Law alumni homecoming in Taguig last Saturday.
Despite his differences with Ramos – who was in the audience – on some issues, Duterte was all praises for the former president during the event.
He said unlike other former presidents, Ramos did not neglect the problems posed by terrorists.
“I would rather deal with terrorism because actually, it’s just violence for a moment,” he said.
“After the encounter, at least you know that you’ll suffer some wounds or you die, but we neglected it except during the time of president Ramos.
“I’m not saying this because he’s here but because simply it’s the truth. Because during his time, policemen are working and are afraid. They are afraid because he was a PC chief. He used to head the Philippine Constabulary. But I’m sorry to say, during the two administrations, it was neglected. It was really neglected and they were just paying lip service. They knew.”
Duterte also backed Ramos’ decision to hold peace talks with Moro rebels in Mindanao.
“I agree with president Ramos. There can never be a real fight, you just have to talk,” he said.
“I was asking pointblank questions. The media then asked, ‘Mr. President, this is your sixth visit to the wounded and slain soldiers. When will you finish the Abu Sayyaf?’ I said ‘What do you want? I mean I could do it, I could burn Jolo now, I could bomb the place.”
De Lima lauds Ombudsman, assails Aguirre's 'bias' ABS-CBN News Posted at Nov 27 2016 01:47 AM | Updated as of Nov 27 2016 02:42 AM
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales
De Lima says Morales is trusted, competent, impartial
MANILA - Senator Leila de Lima on Saturday lauded the move of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to investigate the various allegations linking her to the illegal drug trade.
In a press statement, the embattled former justice secretary said it was "about time that the Ombudsman assert its primary jurisdiction over my case, and oust the DOJ [Department of Justice] of any authority to take over cases cognizable by the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan, especially in this instance where the DOJ has shown its lack of objectivity and interest in pursuing the truth."
She said the Department of Justice (DOJ), now headed by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, as well as the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), "have proven themselves to be nothing more than instruments of the present administration against vocal dissenters to the President, such as myself."
De Lima praised the Ombudsman for being the "most trusted and respected investigation office of the government" at present.
"To investigate such matters is the constitutional mandate of the Ombudsman. The public, including me, expects no less from the Ombudsman, especially Ombudsman Morales, who has time and again proven her competence, impartiality and capability to live up to our expectations insofar as making public officers accountable to the public is concerned. As a public officer, I am accountable to the people in both my past and present official capacities as DOJ Secretary and as Senator," she said.
De Lima she had expected the Ombudsman to conduct a fact-finding investigation, but described the allegations linking her to the drug trade as being in the "most absurd contexts."
She said the Ombudsman's probe will give her a chance to clear her name.
"I am not exempt from any Ombudsman investigation, as no public officer is, which is the clear intent of the Constitution. As one of the guarantees of the Constitution to assure accountability of public officers, I welcome the Ombudsman investigation, both as a regular undertaking of said office and as an opportunity for me to clear my record of any allegations of wrongdoing," she said.
On Friday, Ombudsman Morales said her office had given due course to the complaint against De Lima.
"There have been some leads. We're giving it due course by conducting fact-finding," said Morales at the homecoming event of the University of the Philippines (U.P.) College of Law.
Morales said the investigation is being carried out by the Deputy Ombudsman for Visayas.
Albuera, Leyte police chief Jovie Espenido filed a complaint against De Lima before the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas.
He accused De Lima of receiving payola from suspected Eastern Visayas drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.
De Lima has been critical of President Rodrigo Duterte's heavy-handed leadership even when he was still mayor of Davao City. As head of the Commission on Human Rights, she investigated extra-judicial killings by the so-called Davao Death Squad linked to Duterte.
RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN
De Lima’s woes far from over; Senate, HOR leaders urged to hold meeting 0 SHARES Share it! Published November 28, 2016, 12:08 AM by Ben R. Rosario, Ellson A. Quismorio, and Hannah L. Torregoza
Congressmen, including a senior official of the House of Representatives (HOR), called on leaders of both the Senate and the Lower House to meet and settle differences over the latter’s bid to hold Senator Leila de Lima accountable for allegedly trying to sabotage the House Committee on Justice inquiry into the reported illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
Deputy Speaker and Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro and ABS Partylist Rep. Eugene De Vera said a meeting between Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and other key leaders of their respective chambers has become increasingly necessary in order for them to resolve the controversy.
The two solons made the recommendation as a show-cause order is expected to be sent to De Lima this week and directing her to explain why she should not be held in contempt of a co-equal legislative assembly when she allegedly encouraged her former lover and aide, Ronnie Dayan, not to honor invitations for him to attend the justice committee hearings.
Pimentel and other senators have assailed statements of congressmen over the issue even as they cited the significance of inter-parliamentary courtesy in resolving the issue.
“The leaders of both Houses and the Senate to discuss what to do with the obstructive act of Senator De Lima is a welcome move. Perhaps, the leaders could discuss the procedure to be followed so as to avoid unnecessary discussion on it which may result in its simplification and/or abbreviation,” said Castro, who has been playing an active role into the investigation of the NBP drug trafficking operations during De Lima’s term as Department of Justice (DOJ) secretary.
During the meeting of House and Senate leaders, Castro said they may also “stipulate on how the proceedings maybe conducted to guarantee order.”
Thus, the two sides will avoid “relinquishing material and substantial prerogatives and authority at the expense of the other,” he added.
De Vera, who forwarded the motion for the issuance of the show-cause order on De Lima, described the proposed meeting as a “wise and classic observation of inter-parliamentary courtesy.”
For his part, Castro is leaving it up to the House leadership to decide whether or not the Chamber would issue a precedent-setting show-cause order against De Lima.
In an interview on DZBB radio yesterday, Castro said he believes the House Justice Committee would release the show-cause order on De Lima, who is a member of a co-equal body.
Last Thursday, the Justice panel chaired by Oriental Mindoro 2nd District Rep. Rey Umali carried a motion that seeks to compel De Lima to explain why she shouldn’t be cited for contempt.
Traditionally, the two branches of the legislature — the HOR and the Senate — go through great lengths to observe what they call inter-parliamentary courtesy. This basically means minding each other’s business, no matter how serious the matter is.
But Castro said that it’s really serious this time. Pointing to De Lima’s alleged attempt to stop Dayan from heeding earlier subpoenas of the HOR, he said: “Ito din lamang ang unang pagkakataon na nakita siguro ng liderato o ng mga kasapi ng HOR na ang isang senador ay walang takot na labagin ang rules ng HOR (This is the first time the leadership and members of the House have seen a senator undaunted in violating the rules of the HOR).”
NO IMMUNITY for Dayan
Castro also said that Dayan ought to be stripped of his immunity from suit for not fully cooperating with authorities in the probe.
“Kung ako ay bibigyan ng pagkakataon na makapagsalita sa bagay na ito, ako ay magpapahayag ng aking posisyon na dapat bawiin (If I may be allowed to speak on this, then I will express my position that the immunity must be revoked),” Castro told DZBB radio in an interview.
“In fact… irerekumenda ko o ipapaabot ko sa Department of Justice (DOJ) na hindi nagsasabi ng katotohanan, hindi nakikipagtulungan, hindi nagbibigay ng kanyang kooperasyon si Dayan kaya hindi siya dapat tanggapin sa Witness Protection Program,” he said.
APPEAL TO SC
Yesterday, De Lima called on the Supreme Court (SC) to act with dispatch her petition for writ of habeas data to put an end to the continued acts of slut-shaming, sexual harassment and psychological violence done to her by the Duterte administration.
In a Memorandum ex abundanti cautela (out of an abundance of caution) in the habeas data case she filed at the SC, De Lima reiterated there are several grounds by which the High Court can issue a writ of habeas data against President Duterte and his allies.
“President Duterte is not immune from being sued in habeas data for collecting and publicizing information about her private life and alleged private affairs because his acts constitute slut-shaming, sexual harassment and psychological violence,” De Lima said in a statement.
De Lima filed a petition last November 7 urging the SC to stop Duterte and several Cabinet officials from securing private details about her personal life and using them to degrade her dignity as a human being, a woman and as senator.
DE LIMA APPLAUDS OMB
Meanwhile, De Lima said she welcomes the Office of the Ombudsman’s (OMB’s) decision to organize a fact-finding probe into her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.
“The Ombudsman’s decision to conduct a fact-finding investigation on the various allegations concerning the drug trade, including those that attempt to link me to said trade in the most absurd contexts, is only expected,” de Lima said in a statement.
“To investigate such matters is the constitutional mandate of the Ombudsman. The public, including me, expects no less from the Ombudsman, especially Ombudsman (Conchita-Carpio) Morales, who has time and again proven her competence, impartiality and capability to live up to our expectations insofar as making public officers accountable to the public is concerned,” De Lima said.
The embattled senator earlier tried to ward off allegations she is involved in the drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) at the time she was the Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary.
But with the recent testimonies of suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and her former bodyguard and driver Dayan, who accused her of directly accepting P8-million drug money to finance her senatorial campaign during the May 2016 elections, De Lima is now facing repeated calls for her resignation and her ultimate removal from the Senate office.
GMA NEWS NETWORK
Duterte on PNP chief crying: Naintindihan ko si Bato Published November 24, 2016 12:32am
President Rodrigo Duterte late Wednesday said he understood the emotional outburst of Philippine National Police chief Dir. Gen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa at the Senate earlier in the day.
Dela Rosa cried during a Senate hearing after suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa's testimony of giving payola to several top police officials in Eastern Visayas. The police chief said he was overwhelmed after Senator Miguel Zubiri said it was up to him to clean up his ranks.
Duterte, meanwhile, said he knew where Dela Rosa was coming from.
"It was just an expression of a human being with a burden on the entire shoulders on the peace and the law and order of this country," he said.
BATO CRIES FOR ERRING COPS PHILSTAR FILE
"Naiintindihan ko si Bato."
Duterte said he was able to relate to Dela Rosa given his campaign promise to rid the country of drugs and corruption.
"You want at this age to be closer to the beauty of life, closer to God," said Duterte, adding that he couldn't because of his sworn duty. --JST, GMA News
Leila dares accusers to bring case before court Written by Angie M. Rosales Thursday, 24 November 2016 00:00
Embattled Sen. Leila de Lima yesterday again dared her accusers to bring before the courts the latest allegations against her, made by her former driver-bodyguard and lover, attesting to her alleged receipt of drug money.
De Lima, despite the admissions of Ronnie Dayan during a press conference by Philippine National Police (PNP) Director-General Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa after his arrest the other day on his alleged wrongdoings, remained firm in her belief that was coerced to testify against her.
“I’m denying that,” Senator de Lima said, replying to queries on Dayan’s admission that he indeed supposedly acted as her agent and bagman in receiving drug money.
“What he (Dayan) says that I ordered him (Dayan) to get drug money (for her campaign kitty in her senatorial run in 2016) from Kerwin Espinosa, that’s a big lie.
Apparently, he (Dayan) has been accessed (by the DoJ/PNP) who really want to destroy me. They pressure the witnesses. So I’m sure there is a reason he was forced to lie,” she said in an interview with reporters.
She, however, has no proof to back up her claims of witnesses being coerced at all. During the resumption of the Senate probe on the Espinosa killing, de Lima merely dismissed as baseless Kerwin’s testimonies against him.
“They are all lies, which is how I call it” the senator said.
Leila passes up chance to question Kerwin
De Lima yesterday passed up the opportunity to have a face off with alleged Eastern Visayan drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, refusing to confront him to validate his claims that he delivered to her, through her former driver-bodyguard P8 million “protection” and “campaign contribution.”
“May I just say this (to Kerwin), may God forgive you for all your sins and may God forgive you for all your lies about me. And I forgive you,” she said, after lead prober, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, gave her the floor immediately after Espinosa recounted in detail the alleged payoffs that took place during the last quarter of 2015, when de Lima was already a senatorial candidate.
Being the lone senator openly accused and implicated by Espinosa, Lacson who is the chair of the committee on public order and dangerous drugs, gave her the opportunity to address the charges but de Lima, refused and instead merely issued a blanket denial.
“I actually have no intention to confront this person. I have no intention to ask questions from him even if I want to because I think it would be a cross-examiner’s dream. But I feel that it would be pointless, useless, futile for me to do so, given a very nice script, at least insofar as the portions of his testimony about me are concerned.
“But let me say to my colleagues here and everyone in this hall and to everyone listening and watching these proceedings, I say this to you: I categorically, firmly and absolutely deny having known Mr. Kerwin Espinosa. I do not remember any instance or occasion of having met him. I categorically, firmly and absolutely deny having received any money, any case from Mr. Kerwin Espinosa, either directly or indirectly through anyone else, on any occasion at any time, whether that money is supposedly for either protection or fund-raising for campaign expenses,” she said.
De Lima, without seeking any confirmation from Kerwin, son of slain Albuera Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., on his testimony surrounding her supposed links to him, including the circumstances that of her personally meeting him in Baguio City sometime between Nov.19 to 22 two years ago said they were “total fabrications.”
“To me, that portion of his testimony was done under gunpoint, under duress. So it’s pointless for me to question him on those points. And I also feel that it would not be appropriate for me to do so because there would be questions on my objectivity, on my interest because I’m being implicated expressly as having received that money.
This is why I will not question him. I would want to give my colleagues a free hand, full liberty in questioning Mr. Kerwin Espinosa about any part of his testimony,” de Lima said.
De Lima said said her decision not to interrogate Kerwin was the advice given to her by her lawyers.
“They told me that I should not say anything to know what are the deficiencies of Kerwin’s testimony, the inconsistencies in his testimony. We will just use these in the proper proceedings,” she said.
“I didn’t feel like questioning him since I know this probe is not the proper proceedings. It’s not criminal proceedings. It’s just an inquiry in aid of legislation, which is why this is what I did. I merely manifested,” she explained.
Espenido, when confronted by Lacson if he indeed introduced Dayan to Kerwin, the former denied this, adding that he has no idea why the alleged drug lord tried to get him into the picture when they’re not in good terms.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Rolando “Bato” dela Rosa did not hide his disappointment at Espenido amid the allegations made by Kerwin despite being the one who managed to have a crackdown supposedly the drug operations of the Espinosas in the Eastern Visayan region.
Asked by Sen. Richard Gordon, co-chair in the proceedings and chair of the committee on justice and human rights, dela Rosa said “I have information that he also got money that’s why I want this investigated.”
Senators too soft on Leila
The senators appeared too soft on de Lima, despite Kerwin’s testimony, made under oath on her alleged collections from drug money through her bodyguard-lover, said to be her bagman and despite the photograph she had with Kerwin and his wife in Burnham Park in Baguio City.
Based on what the senator dubbed as Kerwin’s “script”, it was actually Albuera Municipal Police chief Jovie Espenido, the same police official who arrested his father for drug charges and illegal possession of firearms, who introduced Dayan to him by giving the latter his contact number.
This, despite Kerwin’s own admission that he and Espenido has not been supposedly seeing eye to eye with him due to political differences in the past, with the former supporting a candidate opposing that of that latter’s supposed political bet.
But even before entertaining Dayan, Kerwin claimed that he did a background check with his supposed “bosses”, a convict whom he identified as Peter Co and another alleged big-time drug lord Jeffrey Diaz alias Jaguar.
Kerwin then proceeded to narrate how he “delivered” a total of P8 million to Dayan, with two of the alleged transactions taking place in a parking lot in a giant mall in Pasay City and one in Baguio City where he claimed to have had the chance to meet personally de Lima, already using the codename “Batman.”
GMA NEWS NETWORI
Duterte: Let the people judge solons’ handling of House drug probe Published November 25, 2016 5:59pm By KATHRINA CHARMAINE ALVAREZ, GMA News
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said the Filipino people will be the better judge how congressmen handled the House committee probe Thursday when Ronnie Dayan, the alleged bagman of Senator Leila de Lima, testified on the illegal drug trade.
“I cannot answer that because — in deference to our inter-parliamentary [courtesy], I cannot criticize them. I cannot praise them. So, I better keep silent,” Duterte said in an interview in Zamboanga City.
“Let the judge — the people of the Republic of the Philippines — judge the event any way they want it. This is a free country,” Duterte added.
Vice President Leni Robredo and at least two women colleagues of Senator De Lima criticized the congressmen’s behavior when they questioned Dayan, who appeared as a witness before the House justice committee.
Most of the questions, they said, focused on Dayan’s romantic relationship with De Lima, her former boss. Dayan claims his affair with De Lima lasted for seven years.
Dayan appeared before the House panel two days after he was arrested in La Union. It was the House panel that issued an arrest warrant against Dayan for repeatedly snubbing invites for him to attend the proceedings.
According to Robredo, there were questions irrelevant to the issue being investigated by the House justice committee, which is the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison.
“Parang napaka-unnecessary [nung ibang tanong],” Robredo told reporters at the sidelines of the Philippine Commission on Women's launch of its 18-day campaign against violence against women. “May mga nadaanan akong questions na hindi ko nakikita 'yung relevance niya sa kaso.”
“Kami kasing mga public officials, 'yung mga buhay namin open book naman, pero tinitingnan ko online 'yung mga klase ng questions na tinanong, parang ano 'yun, totally unnecessary, Bastos na talaga 'yung iba... Wala siyang lugar dapat sa isang institusyon na dapat nirerespeto natin,” she added.
Senator Grace Poe, for her part, tagged Thursday's hearing as “national voyeurism.”
“Just yesterday, during a congressional investigation, a lot of the questions were geared towards voyeurism—national voyeurism as opposed to 'in aid of legislation.' And this is quite upsetting,” she said.
Meanwhile, Sen. Risa Hontiveros said the House of Representatives “hit a lowest of the low.”
“It was not an investigation in aid of legislation. It was a public lynching in aid of misogyny and sexism,” she said. — RSJ, GMA News
RELATED FROM CBC CANADA (EARLIER NEWS REPORT SEPTEMBER 2016)
Filipino senator fears for her safety over opposition to President Duterte By David Doyle, CBC News Posted: Sep 29, 2016 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Sep 29, 2016 2:30 PM ET
David Doyle Myanmar correspondent; David Doyle is a freelance reporter and videographer based in Yangon, Myanmar. He covers conflict, refugees and human rights.
Leila de Lima says she has been harassed, threatened since heading inquiry into country's war on drugs
Filipino Sen. Leila de Lima initiated an inquiry into the 'extrajudicial' killings that have taken place since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office at the end of June (David Doyle/CBCCanada)
"It's been hell," she says.
De Lima is the Philippines' fiercest critic of the country's new strongman president Rodrigo Duterte, and she says his "personal vendetta" has her scared for her safety.
Duterte, referred to in the media as "Duterte Harry," has implemented an internationally condemned war on drugs in which more than 3,400 alleged drug dealers and users have been killed. But there is also a battle at the heart of government between Duterte and de Lima, stemming largely from de Lima's opposition to the way the war on drugs has been carried out.
Filipino demonstrators mimic an extrajudicial killing crime scene as police officers stand guard during a protest in front of the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City, northeast of Manila, on Aug. 26, 2016.
'These are crimes'
In August, as chair of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, she initiated an inquiry into the spate of killings that has taken place since Duterte assumed office at the end of June.
She told CBC News: "When is the proper time to tell the truth? When is the proper time to put him [Duterte] to task for these crimes? These are crimes, because this is murder — extrajudicial killings are murder."
Duterte's office and the police deny any wrongdoing. The police say that most of the killings have been carried out by vigilantes, hit men and drug gangs, whilst the approximately 1,500 killings at the hands of police were carried out in "self-defence."
A week after de Lima began the inquiry into the drug war killings, Duterte claimed the senator was having an affair with her married driver. He then claimed money was being given to de Lima by drug lords imprisoned in the New Bilibid prison — the Philippines' main penitentiary — to fund her senatorial campaign.
'It is because I dared speak, I dared question and oppose the methods being employed in this war on drugs.' - Filipino Sen. Leila de Lima
"It is so absurd it is almost surreal," she said. "It is because I dared speak, I dared question and oppose the methods being employed in this war on drugs."
Two government inquiries have since served as courts for the accusations from both sides. On one side, de Lima's Senate committee hearings, and on the other an inquiry into the drug trade at the New Bilibid prison.
The hearings into the killings took a dramatic turn last week with the testimony of Edgar Matobato, a self-confessed former assassin from the Davao Death Squad vigilante group that has allegedly killed thousands of criminals in the city of Davao.
Matobato said Duterte, who spent more than 20 years as mayor of Davao, had ordered the killings of criminals and his opponents by the group. Matobato also claimed that Duterte had personally killed a justice department official with an Uzi submachine gun and had even ordered a (failed) assassination attempt on de Lima in 2009.
Duterte's office has denied all the claims and says there are inconsistencies in Matobato's evidence. The president has said he does not know Matobato.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has implemented an internationally condemned war on drugs in which more than 3,400 alleged drug dealers and users have been killed since he assumed office at the end of June. (Manman Dejeto/AFP/Getty Images)
One week later, de Lima was ousted from her position as chair of the Senate committee after Manny Pacquiao, the boxing superstar turned Filipino senator and close ally of Duterte, tabled a motion saying she was biased.
De Lima's removal is "a craven attempt to derail accountability for the appalling death toll from President Duterte's abusive 'war on drugs,'" said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
"The Senate is imperiling the Philippine public by covering up allegations of state-sanctioned murder rather than exposing them."
The inquiry into New Bilibid prison has heard from 10 drug convicts who linked de Lima to the drug trade in the prison.
De Lima questions the motives of these witnesses after, as justice secretary in 2014, she raided the prisons to end the "luxury" lifestyle of incarcerated drug lords.
'I was hounded'
During the inquiry, de Lima's address and mobile phone number were also publicly released.
"That was a blatant violation of my rights," she said. "I was hounded — almost 2,000 threatening and harassing text messages, very, very foul, the vilest language, calling me names and all that.
She said she is no longer sleeping at home, instead "taking temporary refuge in other areas and in other places."
She adds: "I am scared, of course. I am more than scared."
Duterte is not known for holding his tongue, having called U.S. President Barack Obama a "son of a bitch" (or "son of a whore," according to some translations) and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a "devil."
Rodrigo Duterte, the Filipino Donald Trump
He has accused de Lima of being an "immoral woman" and said, "If I was Senator de Lima, I would hang myself." He has said that charges will be filed against de Lima and that she will end up in prison.
De Lima said: "His whole attitude of not being open and forgiving to any opposition, any dissent, any contrary voice is very revealing…. If you stifle liberties, if you stifle dissent, if you make a mockery of our bill of rights, isn't it clear? Isn't there creeping authoritarianism?"
And though she says friends have asked why she does not stop her campaign, she has no intention of giving up.
"I have a choice," she said. "Surrendering everything and just keeping quiet and probably resigning from this post [as senator] and just waiting for all of those cases to be filed against me — or fight.
"I choose to fight, for as long as I can, for as long as I will be allowed to do so, for as long as I am alive."
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