Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Analyst: US could pull out aid if military joins drug war | Headlines, News, The Philippine Star | philstar.com

"x x x.

MANILA, Philippines — Involving the military in the government's campaign against the illicit drug trade could force the United States (US) to suspend military aid in the country, an analyst said.

Earlier this year, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he wants to remove the police from the drug war and suggested that he will use the military instead.

Murray Hiebert, senior adviser and deputy director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, noted that the Leahy amendment bars the US Departments of Defense and State from providing equipment or training to foreign military units that commit "gross human rights violations."

"If the military were to join the drug war and participate in extra-judicial killings, congressional regulations could force the United States to suspend military aid and training to the units involved," Hiebert said in an article published on CogitAsia, the blog of the CSIS Asia Program.

This would introduce complications to the bilateral military relationship between the Philippines and the US that could take decades to resolve.

x x x.

The Leahy amendment would come into effect primarily against military units that can be linked to killings and abuses if the Armed Forces will get involved in the drug war.

"That does not mean, however, that killings by the military would not have a broader negative impact on Capitol Hill and prompt Congress to be reluctant to approve significant funding for military ties with the Philippines," the analyst said.

The flagship annual Balikatan exercises between American and Filipino troops would be affected. The joint military exercises have been running for three decades.

The Leahy amendment could also affect International Military Education and Training, which is intended to train the next generation of military officers and may also impact Foreign Military Financing grants to buy US defense equipment.

In September last year, US Sen. Patrick Leahy, author of the Leahy amendment, warned that the American government may take action if the extrajudicial killings and state-sanctioned violence in the Philippines will continue.

The American senator authored the amendment "to ensure that the United States is not complicit in human rights violations committed by forces that might receive U.S. assistance, and to encourage foreign governments to hold accountable perpetrators of such abuses.”

According to Hiebert, the Philippines received $79 million in military assistance focused on boosting the capacity of the Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force.

The country also received $1 billion of military equipment from the US over the past four years. Last year, the Philippines received $42 million under the US maritime Security Initiative.

x x x ."

Should Majorities Decide Everything?

"Under a democratic system of government, how is an individual protected from the tyranny of the majority? According to Professor Munger, democratic constitutions consist of two parts: one defining the limits within which decisions can be made democratically, and the other establishing the process by which decisions will be made. In the United States Constitution, the individual is protected from majority decisions. Professor Munger warns, however, that these protections are slowly being stripped away as American courts of law fail to recognize the limits of what can be decided by majority rule. Professor Munger uses the case of Kelo v. New London to illustrate the dangers of confusing majority rule with a democratic system."

Monday, February 27, 2017

"To facilitate the scam, Enrile, through Reyes, authorized Evangelista, to act for the Senator, deal with the parties involved in the process and sign documents necessary for the immediate and timely implementation of his PDAF-funded projects."

"x x x.

"The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal from service of lawyer Jessica "Gigi" Reyes, former chief of staff of former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, and 11 others involved in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ordered the penalties of perpetual disqualification from holding public office and forfeiture of all retirement benefits of the 12 respondents involved in the scam.

Reyes and 11 others were found guilty of grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and dishonesty.

Also ordered dismissed were the following:

Jose Antonio Evangelista II - Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of Senator Enrile
Victor Roman Cacal - Paralegal, National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR)
Gondelina Amata - President, National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC)
Chita Jalandoni - Department Manager III, NLDC
Emmanuel Alexis Sevidal - Director IV, NLDC
Ofelia Ordoñez - Cashier, NLDC
Filipina Rodriguez - Budget Officer, NLDC
Sofia Cruz - Project Development Assistant IV
Dennis Cunanan - Director General, Technology Resource Center (TRC)
Consuelo Lilian Espiritu - Budget Officer, TRC
Marivic Jover - Chief Accountant, TRC

The penalty for the respondents is convertible to a fine equivalent to one year salary in case of separation from the service.

Reyes and the other respondents are also facing charges before anti-graft court Sandiganbayan for their involvement in the anomalous utilization of the PDAF of Enrile from 2007 to 2009.

From 2004 to 2009, Enrile endorsed the implementation of his PDAF-funded livelihood and agricultural production projects to non-government organizations associated with alleged PDAF scam mastermind Janet Napoles.

From 2007 to 2009, the Department of Budget and Management released a total of P345 million as part of Enrile's PDAF. The former senator identified the NABCOR, NLDC and TRC as implementing agencies.

"To facilitate the scam, Enrile, through Reyes, authorized Evangelista, to act for the Senator, deal with the parties involved in the process and sign documents necessary for the immediate and timely implementation of his PDAF-funded projects," the Office of the Ombudsman said.

The P345 million fund was supposedly allocated for financial grants, printed materials, agricultural livelihood packages and other tools but were not delivered to the supposed beneficiaries, according to investigation.

In the decision, Morales said that "based on testimonial and documentary evidence presented, the widespread misuse of the PDAF allotted to a legislator was coursed through a complex scheme basically involving projects supposed to have been funded by said PDAF which turned out to be nonexistent or 'ghost projects."

x x x."

'DUTERTE FORMED DAVAO DEATH SQUADS (DDS), ORDERED KILLINGS, I WAS THERE' | Lascanas turns confession into sworn statement.

"x x x.

Lascañas said the origin of DDS was the Anti-Crime Task Force allegedly organized by Duterte when he was elected mayor in 1988.

“At the start, Mayor Duterte was serious in going after criminals, especially organized crime. I was a member of this task force. Because of the works of the Anti-Crime Task Force, and with the cooperation of the other police units and the Davao Metropolitan District Command, the crime rate in Davao City went down,” Lascañas said.

He claimed that it was at this time when Mayor Duterte began organizing liquidation squads that later became known as the Davao Death Squad. 

“In the beginning we targeted and killed drug addicts, drug pushers, snatchers, hold uppers and other criminals. Later on, however, we were ordered by Duterte to go after and kill his personal and political enemies,” the former police officer said. 

“We became like hired or contract killers who killed no only criminals but innocent people,” he said. 

He also confirmed his earlier announcement in a press conference organized by Trillanes that he had participated in the killing of Allan Tancio, a known drug pusher; Mr. Sapataja, the alleged leader of a kidnap-for-ransom group, who allegedly abducted a certain Mrs. Susan Abaca.

Lascañas likewise said that he and DDS members, upon Duterte's alleged instructions, had killed broadcaster Jun Poras Pala, vocal critic of the former mayor and participated in the bombing of several Muslim mosques in retaliation for the bombing of a Catholic Cathedral in December 1993.

He said he had also killed Jun Bersabal, who led a group of ex-Philippine Constabulary soldiers that engaged in various criminal activities including akyat-bahay, rape and robbery.

x x x."

Duterte’s courting of China as he pivots away from US could reap dividends – or a military coup. - www.raissarobles.com

"x x x.

Most analysts saw this as a reflection of Abe’s determination to match recent largesse from China, which in October pledged US$15 billion in investment and in January agreed to cooperate on 30 projects worth US$3.7 billion. To Duterte supporters, it was proof that his diplomatic pivot away from the United States and into the arms of China and Russia was starting to pay off.

But if Duterte’s pivot – which many see as an effort to play the Philippines’ rival suitors off against each other – has been reaping some early dividends, some experts warn it has the potential not only to undermine US hegemony in the region, but jeopardise the Philippines’ control of its natural resources and even threaten Duterte’s own grip on power.

Those suggestions gained credence this week when the Philippines’ Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay spelled out for the first time the Duterte government’s policy on the South China Sea, telling lawmakers: “My position, which is the official position, is that the disputed part of the South China Sea has never belonged to anyone.”

That came as a marked departure from the country’s previous stance, which saw it take its long-standing dispute against Chinese territorial claims in the sea to an international arbitration court in The Hague. The court ruled in the Philippines’ favour in July and Duterte’s apparent willingness to forgo that advantage has lent weight to suggestions he may be willing to sideline sovereignty claims in return for influence with China.

It’s a dangerous game that [Duterte’s] playing,” said American historian Alfred McCoy, who believes that in accommodating China in the South China Sea, the Philippines is in danger of becoming a pawn in a two-pronged strategy by China to deal a “crippling blow to US global power”.

He argues in a new book, In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power, that China is trying to break out of “US lines of encirclement” that enable Washington to “dominate both ends of the Eurasian land mass”. These lines include its alliance with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries in the West and its Pacific alliances in the East that have let it set up bases in countries including Japan, South Korea and, in particular, the Philippines.

One prong of China’s strategy, according to McCoy, is to become the epicentre of a vast Eurasian continental market through efforts such as the “One Belt, One Road” trade initiative to link economies through infrastructure. The other prong is to break US encirclement with bases on man-made islands in the South China Sea and a US$200 billion Port of Gwadar in Pakistan.

McCoy said that Duterte risked a military coup if he traded financial support from China for silence over Beijing’s build-up of armed forces in the strategically located waterway through which a third of the world’s shipping passes. “There’s a possibility that if [Duterte] moves too far to China,[and] he’s giving away the Philippine territorial waters in the South China Sea, this could produce a very strong nationalist reaction among the ranks of the military,” he said, noting that Philippine military officers had long enjoyed close relations with their American counterparts. “That’s one of the very real threats that he faces. He’s got to be very skilful in the way that he handles the armed forces.”

Even without a coup, McCoy said that in backing away from the arbitration court’s decision the Philippines would be at risk of losing a third of its maritime territory, located in “the richest fishing ground in the world” with a vast potential of hydrocarbon deposits. “And what would they get for it? Low cost loans which would have to be repaid. It doesn’t strike me as a great bargain so far,” he said.

x x x."

Sunday, February 26, 2017

After 56 years as lawyer, Cebuano no longer wants to be called ‘attorney’ | Inquirer News

"x x x.

By: Ador Vincent Mayol - Senior Reporter / @adorCDN
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:05 AM February 26, 2017

CEBU CITY—Lawyer Dionisio Cañete’s statement of protest against widespread corruption in the judiciary and the prosecution service had to have an impact on where it mattered—himself.

Cañete had petitioned the Supreme Court to be stripped of the title “attorney” that he said had brought shame because of widespread corruption perpetrated by his brothers in the legal profession.

Cañete, in his petition to the high court, said he could no longer tolerate “unspeakable injustices” that had been committed in courts and the prosecution service because of corruption.

On Jan. 31, the high court, in a notice issued by the clerk of court, granted his petition and stripped Cañete of the title attorney which he had had for 56 years.

Cañete, 78, expressed elation upon receiving a copy of the high court notice on Wednesday.

Form of protest

He said he hoped his departure from the legal profession as a form of protest could lead to reforms that would reduce, if not remove, corruption in the judiciary and prosecution service.

“I have no regrets,” he said. He said he is, in fact, happy. “I will not be in the same association with corrupt prosecutors and judges.”

He said lawyers were aware of corruption in the legal system but chose to remain silent.

Cañete cited the case of a lawyer, who he did not identify, who lost a case because the opposing party had all the money to “buy” the prosecutor or the judge.

He petitioned to be removed as an attorney because of his “utter disappointment” at corruption being perpetrated by “my brothers in the legal profession who are members of the prosecution and judiciary.”

Cañete passed the bar exams in 1960 and became a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) the next year.

In 1981, he was elected vice president of the IBP Cebu Province Chapter. The following year, he became its president.

Extremely disappointed

He is currently the chair-emeritus of the World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation.

Cañete said he was extremely disappointed when nine of the 10 cases he filed at the prosecutor’s office from 2014 to 2016 were “maliciously dismissed” despite strong evidence.

Three of the nine dismissed cases were overturned by the regional state prosecutor. When he returned to the prosecutor’s office, Cañete said the records of the cases could no longer be found.

Corruption of prosecutors and judges, he said, convinced him that the criminal justice system in the Philippines is “like a spider’s web, wherein only the mosquitoes and flies are caught but the wealthy and government officials” are not.

“With all those cruel and brutal injustices heaped on me, I feel that being a lawyer does not anymore deserve respect and courtesy,” he said.

“There is no more logical and cogent reason for me to remain as a lawyer,” he added.

x x x."

TURNING POINT: The Scent of Duterte's Downfall | MindaNews

"x x x.

It is now evident the Duterte Davao model in fighting criminality, the drug menace and corruption could not work when applied at national scale. Why?

In Davao, Duterte was able to cow his constituents to submission with his strongman tactics using the police and other armed allies. Oppositions and critics could not withstand his fear approach in running the city. Thus he was able to rule the city of Davao, establishing his own political dynasty like any trapo warlord virtually unopposed for more than two decades.

When the guy was to rule the entire nation, he could not muster the same reliable allies from his previous domain. He noticed that his new constituency was so huge, varied and intractable. His strongman and fear approach to governance was treated with contempt and was condemned not so much by his political opponents but by the mainstream churches, the media, the academe, by Western countries and international organizations. His government spends more precious time and resources in fending the blows of critics here and there, and soon in cleansing its ranks from misfits and scalawags rather than in promoting its development programs.

While his policy of co-existence with the NPA worked in Davao, it was a disastrous failure when duplicated nationwide. In Davao, he had to deal only with the local NPA command; nationwide he has to deal with the CPP NDF top echelon which are unfortunately in far away foreign lands or urban centers, detached from their armed elements, the NPA in the countryside.

While the different NPA units throughout the country may have shared the same ideology and purpose to overthrow the government, by their geographic fragmentation and isolation they inescapably vary in operational strategies, such as in recruiting new members and in raising funds for logistics and operations.

It seems the government unilateral ceasefire at the advent of the Peace Talk is only good and observable when it is to the advantage and serves the interest of each NPA unit in the context of the unique situation where each one is found. In the battlefield, pragmatism and survival from a perceived threat rules over any prescribed convention.

The difficulties and setbacks may have likely forced Digong to retreat often from the capital to Davao, his enclave and comfort zone to recharge in an atmosphere where he feels he has absolute command and unwavering local adoration that continuously gives him an intoxicating high.

The public confession of SPO3 Arthur Lascañas of his heinous crimes as Davao Death Squad administrator and hitman committed on order of then Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte has become an unstoppable wrecking ball rammed into the facade and walls of Digong’s comfort zone. It may only be a matter of time when everything would crumble around him and expose him vulnerably naked.

The de Lima arrest offers nothing but a brief consoling respite from the media’s voracious undivided attention over the devastating Lascañas bomb.

Like a copyrighted refrain, the automatic response of PRRD tax-money-paid apologists was to claim that the bomb dropped by Lascañas was part of the scheme to destabilize the Duterte government or oust the very popular president. Uncannily, Senator Gordon, Chair of the Senate Committee on Human Rights, was quick to jump to the aid of the embattled President claiming, as if he was there when the transaction was made, that the retired police officer was paid for the demolition job; that there’s no need for the Senate to resume the EJK hearing and that if Lascañas has really the goods on the former mayor he could just directly charge him in the proper court.

Also as expected, other supporters of Digong have gone to work in destroying the credibility of Lascañas, saying that he is an unreliable witness, having perjured the testimony he gave in the Senate in October 2016 that there was no death squad in Davao contrary to the allegation of self-professed DDS member, Edgar Matobato. A perjured witness or resource person is no longer acceptable to give testimony anywhere for it is useless to believe a confirmed liar. If he will be allowed to testify, his testimony, accordingly, has no probative value.

The acceptability and validity of a person’s testimony is for any hearing legal forum to decide. If a testimony is a variation or turn-around from one made earlier, the reason for being will have to pass rigorous scrutiny. There could be one thousand and one reasons why a person has to take back what he earlier said. As said, only fools don’t change their mind. The reason for the about face, however in this regard, ought not to be whimsical or one arising plainly from the demand for self-preservation but one that serve greater or higher purpose, notwithstanding the risk, such as truth and justice and which is logical, experientially possible and believable for the new testimony to gain probative value.

Whatever, the Lascañas revelation is not an issue reserved only for the proper court to look into and examine closely but for the entire nation to decide and make a stand.

In the light of the 31st People Power Revolution anniversary tomorrow, will the explosive damning expose of Lascañas and the controversial drug charges and arrest of Sen. De Lima provide fuel and fire to the celebration? 

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan is a retired professor and former chancellor of the Mindanao State University Naawan campus in Misamis Oriental).

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Lascañas: ‘Superman’ (Duterte) ordered death of political enemies, innocents | Headlines, News, The Philippine Star | philstar.com

See - Lascañas: ‘Superman’ ordered death of political enemies, innocents | Headlines, News, The Philippine Star | philstar.com

"x x x.

Lascañas: ‘Superman’ ordered death of political enemies, innocents
By Charmaine Deogracias 
(Vera Files) 
Updated February 26, 2017 - 4:15pm

Alleged Davao Death Squad leader Arthur Lascañas breaks down after a public confession at the Senate. Senate PRIB/Released

MANILA, Philippines —They called him Superman.

That was the code the Davao Death Squad allegedly gave former Davao City mayor now President Rodrigo Duterte while they were killing criminals on his orders, according to police officer and the DDS’ self-confessed team leader Arthur Lascañas.

In his 12-page affidavit signed and notarized on Feb. 19, 2017, Lascañas said the squad initially targeted “drug addicts, drug pushers, snatchers, hold-uppers and other criminals.”

“Later on, however, we were ordered by Mayor Duterte to go after and kill his personal and political enemies,” he continued. “We became like hired killers who killed not only criminals but innocent people.”

Lascañas emerged last week to accuse Duterte of involvement in at least three murder cases, the massacre of a family and the bombing of Davao mosques, which in his affidavit he referred to as just the tip of a “bloody iceberg” that “Superman” had knowledge, directly ordered, consented, tolerated and acquiesced.

“The decision to erase and kill the entire family was cleared by ‘Superman,’ which was the code name our group gave to Mayor Duterte,” Lascañas said in his affidavit.

VERA Files tried to get a statement from Press Secretary Martin Andanar who referred us to Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella. As of presstime, Abella has not replied to our request for a statement.

Lascañas also formally identified at least 12 police officers and three other civilians in least five cases he said the DDS was allegedly involved in. These are the raid on the residence of Alan Tancio, allegedly a known drug pusher, in which a housemaid was killed, the massacre of the Patasaja family, the bombing of Davao mosques, and the murders of rogue Constabulary soldier Jun Bersabal and broadcaster Jun Pala.

He did not however include in his affidavit the murder of his two brothers that he had publicly confessed to, supposedly in “blind obedience and loyalty” to Duterte.

While Lascañas narrated how the DDS operated and executed its missions, and murdered and buried its victims, absent in his affidavits were the dates when these incidents actually happened. This while he claimed that the events contained in his affidavit are some of the “most significant killings” that he and those he tagged did together.

The police officers he named were Maj. Ernersto Macasaet, Maj. Ildefonso Asentista, SPO4s Fulgencio Pavo, Jun Naresma, Sanson Buenaventura, Ben Laud, Desiderio Cloribel, SPO3s Gerry Baguhin, Teodoro Paguidapon, SPO1 Jim Tan, Insp. Rommel Mitra and a certain Patayan. All except Mitra allegedly participated either in the killings or the bombing of Davao mosques or both.

Mitra was mentioned as involved in the alleged cover-up of the murder of Bersabal, who led a group of Philippine Constabulary soldiers engaged in criminal activities such as “akyat bahay (breaking and entering), rape, and robbery.” 

Together with Edgar Matobato, who first confessed to be a member of the DDS, Mitra faced an investigation before the Commission on Human Rights, but was later exonerated.

Lascañas also named at least five civilians: Cris Lanay, brothers Valentin, Alan and Roland Duhilag and Jerry Trocio who allegedly acted as DDS accomplices. The name of a certain “Miguel” appeared in the affidavit as having helped strip naked the dead bodies of Patasaja family before burying them in a deep quarry.

A certain “Joy” of Bacaca Heights, Davao City was mentioned among the “players” or hitmen in the assassination of radio broadcaster Pala that included the Duhilag brothers and Trocio.

Lanay was a former member of the New People’s Army belonged to the Rebel Returnees Association (RRA) which Lascañas claimed they used as force multipliers in their operations. He was allegedly with the DDS from the first operational plan to kill Tancio, a known drug pusher in his residence at Bacaca, Davao City.

Lascañas recalled that Duterte won as mayor of Davao City in 1988 and immediately organized the Anti-Crime Task Force headed by Macasaet, who was reportedly Duterte’s “very close friend.” Lascañas became a member of the Task Force, which went after criminals and organized crime.

Encouraged by the resulting drop in the crime rate in the city, Duterte then began organizing liquidation squads. Eventually, Lascañas said the group also targeted Duterte’s personal and political enemies as well.

It was the raid at Tancio’s residence that gave the group the name DDS, he said. Originally they wanted to make it appear the NPA was behind the killings, by leaving a note that said, “Wag pamarisan mga salot ng lipunan (Don’t imitate the dregs of society).”

Somebody in the group protested the use of the name of the NPA, who would deny it, and could irritate Mayor Duterte. “So Asentista and Lanay inserted another name – the Davao Death Squad,” Lascañas said.

The raid on Tancio’s residence yielded no firearms or illegal drugs. No arrest was made but the house was peppered with bullets, and no one returned fire. The only occupant was a housemaid who was killed in the operation.

Lascañas recounted in detail revealed the killing of the Patasaja family whose head, identified only as “Mr. Patasaja” was believed to be behind the kidnapping of a certain Mrs. Abaca, wife of a local banker in Davao City named Dante Abaca. Mrs Abaca was eventually released.

Their initial investigation revealed that the person behind it was a certain Edwin Angeles, who Lascañas described in his affidavit as part Muslim, and believed to be the leader of an organized kidnap-for-ransom group from Basilan and Zamboanga Peninsula.

A check on Angeles’ background showed he was a police asset who had infiltrated the Abu Sayyaf group and introduced kidnap-for-ransom activities to destroy the group’s Islamist foundations. A former Marine colonel who led operations against the Abu Sayyaf told Vera Files Angeles was the nephew of the wife of a Marine general.

Angeles was arrested but escaped detention at Camp Crame together with Khaddafy Janjalani, who succeeded his brother Abdurajak as leader of the Abu Sayyaf.

The DDS, according to Lascañas, exhausted all means round the clock for weeks in different provinces in South and North Cotabato but failed to find Angeles. Several months later, “A-1” information revealed that it was Patasaja who was behind the Abaca kidnapping, but Angeles’ name continued to appear as financier even if they were zeroing in on Patasaja already.

Duterte was briefed about the abduction of the whole Patasaja family and his guidance sought. In his affidavit, Lascañas said Duterte gave the go signal to have the whole family “erased” and make sure “limpio lang (Visayan for clean or without trace)."

And so it was done, muffled gunshots of a firearm with suppressor were heard from a small house where Patasaja, his father-in-law, a male helper and a housemaid were being held.

“I then heard the loud screams of the wife and then silence after several gunshots were fired. I did not know then how the child was killed because it was dark,” Lascañas said in his affidavit.

In his public confession on February 20, Lascañas narrated how the group overruled him after he appealed to them to spare the boy’s life. He included this incident in his affidavit.

“After all their bodies were lined up on the ground, their personal belongings removed and burned including the Quran of the wife. All the bodies were then loaded into two vehicles and brought deeper into the Laud quarry where Miguel and two other trusted men of SPO4 Laud stripped them naked before burying them,” Lascañas narrated in his affidavit.

He said his team claimed and received the reward money of P200,000 from Duterte several days after that. Macasaet then instructed them to go back to the Laud quarry to check the area where the bodies were buried.

“We returned to Laud quarry and brought used oil which we put on top of the places where the bodies were buried to keep the flies away,” Lascañas said.

Lascañas also put in writing what he confessed publicly on the Bersabal murder, the Davao mosques bombing and the assassination of Pala.

“I do not expect forgiveness from the families and relatives of the people we killed. I do hope that they would at least find comfort in knowing what really happened to them and who was truly responsible for their disappearance and murder,” Lascañas said.

Lascañas said the incidents in his affidavit are just some of the many involving Duterte of which he had personal knowledge. He took part in them, together with police other police officers, rebel returnees and others with the prior knowledge, direct orders, consent, tolerance or acquiescence of then Mayor Duterte of Davao City.

“I know it’s not enough to say sorry, but I am truly sorry for what I have done and I am ready to face the consequences of my action,” Lascañas said.

(VERA Files is put out by senior journalists taking a deeper look into current issues. VERA is Latin for true.)

x x x."

Thirty one years after 1986 Edsa revolt, the fight continues - inquirer.net

Duterte hallucinates that the people have forgotten the spirit and sacrifices of Edsa I (1986) that restored democracy and freedom in the Philippines. (It was through Edsa 1996 that Duterte tasted the opportunity to attain political power in Davao City. He has entrenched his dynasty there for almost thirty years now). 

Decades from now, Duterte will only be a small footnote in Philippine history. But the history of Edsa 1986, which restored the dignity of the Filipinos in the eyes of the whole world, will forever be remembered in world history books, more particularly: 

* how the death of one man (Ninoy Aquino) could unseat a brutal and corrupt tyrant and his family and cronies, 

* how a modest housewife (Cory Aquino) could mobilize the sincerest support of the world to restore Philippine democracy despite the political and economic cancers that Marcos had inflicted on the country, and 

* how a son of a martyr (Noynoy Aquino) could transform the global image of the Philippines from the "sick man of Asia" to a "tiger economy" by good governance, accountability, prudent economic management, and courageous and wise foreign policy (e.g., Unclos arbitral ruling against the bully China to assert our exclusive economic zone [EEZ] rights).

Any attempt by Duterte, the Marcoses, and other government officials, who are now drowning in fear and opportunism, to revise the historical truths of our country will be in vain.

- Atty. Manuel J. Laserna Jr.
Laserna Cueva-Mercader Law Offices
Las Pinas City

Video - 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZC820ndiaI - www.inquirer.net.

31 years after 1986 Edsa revolt, the fight continues

Duterte hallucinates that the people have forgotten the spirit and sacrifices of Edsa I (1986) that restored democracy and freedom in the Philippines. (It was through Edsa 1996 that Duterte tasted the opportunity to attain political power in Davao City. He has entrenched his dynasty there for almost thirty years now).

Decades from now, Duterte will only be a small footnote in Philippine history. But the history of Edsa 1986, which restored the dignity of the Filipinos in the eyes of the whole world, will forever be remembered in world history books, more particularly:

* how the death of one man (Ninoy Aquino) could unseat a brutal and corrupt tyrant and his family and cronies,

* how a modest housewife (Cory Aquino) could mobilize the sincerest support of the world to restore Philippine democracy despite the political and economic cancers that Marcos had inflicted on the country, and

* how a son of a martyr (Noynoy Aquino) could transform the global image of the Philippines from the "sick man of Asia" to a "tiger economy" by good governance, accountability, prudent economic management, and courageous and wise foreign policy (e.g., Unclos arbitral ruling against the bully China to assert our exclusive economic zone [EEZ] rights).

Any attempt by Duterte, the Marcoses, and other government officials, who are now drowning in fear and opportunism, to revise the historical truths of our country will be in vain.

- Atty. Manuel J. Laserna Jr.
Laserna Cueva-Mercader Law Offices
Las Pinas City

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The many faces of boy-man Rodrigo Duterte - The Manila Times Online

"x x x.

"The many faces of boy-man Rodrigo Duterte"
May 5, 2016
Columnist, The Manila Times Online

A lot of people may be wondering why I call Rodrigo Duterte a boy-man. The simple explanation is that Duterte has a body of a man but a mind and mouth of an obviously uneducated and ignorant boy – loving his filth and living in a quagmire of Malabanan residue. There cannot be any other explanation if you listen to the dirt that comes out of his mouth habitually and his daily behavior in public display.

If this boy-man Duterte were educated, I would be going for him for several reasons. First, he is purportedly from Mindanao and I, too, am a blue-blooded Mindanaoan. Second, even as a kid at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, I have long dreamed, as an act of justice for us in Mindanao, of a Mindanaoan presidency. Third, as editor-in-chief of the Philippine Collegian in UP, I have been an intense exponent of a federal and parliamentary system for the Philippines as the best possible system for Filipinos, so much so that when I was elected Opposition Provincial Governor of Misamis Oriental, Mindanao in 1980 during martial law, one of my best remembered slogans was Today Mindanao, Tomorrow the Philippines.

Fourth, possibly the best among the array of reasons why I should have come out supporting Duterte and as I have stated over and over again, the salvation of this country is not through elections but through a revolution – the euphemistic term of which is a constitutional transition government. But Duterte, like Cory Aquino, has no intelligent understanding of what is a revolutionary government except that, according to him, he would become a dictator if he gets elected.

But I am not for Duterte. Why? Because what comes out of his mouth habitually is an insult to human intelligence, a scandal for Filipinos, a total denigration of democracy and the human condition, and an absolute rejection of the basic value of the inviolable character of the human person, and an absolute denial of simple moral rules. It is not just filth in and from the mouth; it’s a confirmation of a sick mind and a diseased heart. That should be simple enough for a nincompoop to understand.

‘King Of Liars,’ says VP Binay of Duterte

VP Jojo did not amplify on his charge that Duterte is the “King of Liars.” This is understandable because during the second presidential debate in Cebu City, in full view of national television, Duterte and Binay endorsed each other for the presidency, shook each other’s hands and almost ended in a brotherly embrace. Their behavior is easily understandable because they are birds of a feather flocking together – as the examples of disgusting traditional politicians, always denying all possible accusations against them and when boxed into a corner lying through their teeth without any twinge of conscience. In effect, the charge of VP Binay against Duterte is correct. But Duterte is not the only “king of liars” as Binay can ably compete against Duterte for the crown.

Here are some of the glaring examples:

First, Duterte claims he comes from a poor family. This is a pathological lie because his father, Vicente Duterte, was governor of Davao when Davao was only one province and his mother was a schoolteacher who retired as supervisor, belonging to one of the elite families in our province. By any possible standard – Davao City or Cagayan de Oro City – Duterte cannot be considered coming from a poor family but from the elite.

Second, Duterte asserts that he has no money to mount a presidential campaign. Before his final decision to run for President, he told a crowd in Bonbon, Catarman, Camiguin that he had FIFTEEN BILLION PESOS worth of gold and he was in the process of converting them into cash. That’s how poor he is. If he were in the United States of America, he would be dubbed as Lying Digong, just like lying Ted, who Speaker John Boehner characterized as “Lucifer in the flesh.”

Third, Duterte is viewed by almost everyone who has heard of him long before he was candidate for President as the leader and organizer of the Death Squads of Davao (DSD) but despite overwhelming evidence he denies that he had something to do with DSD, yet when interviewed by media to explain the rationale behind the killing of 700 persons by the DSD, Duterte even boasted that the DSD killed no less than 1,700 – all summary killings, without due process. As an exclamation point to this Duterte boast, he even claimed before media that he did some of the killings himself and finally sealed by the recent statement of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV that Duterte admitted to him that he killed even some of the boys who were begging for their lives.

Lies, lies and more lies

Fourth, Duterte claims that he loves women, yet he treats women like playthings – as objects, to quote his own words, in the exercise of “biology.” So in love is he of women that in the gang rape and murder of a beautiful Australian woman Christian missionary, he exclaimed that he should have been first in the gang rape because he was mayor and the woman was beautiful. He loves women so much that at the sight of a beautiful or attractive woman, he could not help embracing her or kissing her – in full view of the public and national television. Models and beauty contestants run the risk of being seduced or raped, if, by the intervention of the devil voters in this country, he gets elected President of the Philippines. I don’t mind Duterte getting elected president of the patients in the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) in Mandaluyong.

Fifth, Duterte maintains that he is an honest man and he has never cheated the government or the people. Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV presented documentary evidence that Duterte has deposited MILLIONS OR BILLIONS OF PESOS in his account in the bank together with his daughter. He never reported this in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN). This is a violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019) and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Government Officials and Employees (Republic Act No. 6713), not to speak of the law on unexplained wealth.

His claim in Bonbon, Catarman, Camiguin that he has FIFTEEN BILLION PESOS worth of gold was not reported in his SALN, too. This by itself is a violation of law. The other laws he has violated are provisions in the Internal Revenue Code, the law on unexplained wealth, Republic Act No. 3019 as well as Republic Act No. 6713.

There are no honest liars

There is a chain of lies coming out of Duterte because almost every time he speaks, a Duterte lie is born. So I will not bore the readers with a bowler of lies. There are no honest liars – to borrow Gertrude Stein’s alliteration on a rose: a liar is a liar is a liar. Whether it is Duterte or any other liar, he or she remains a liar – even the smell remains the same. A liar cannot be trusted even with the lowest position in the hierarchy of public officials. And you want him to be President of the Philippines? You must be kidding! Or you must either be insane, stupid or just ignorant. Take your pick and whatever is your choice will do.

‘Psycopath’ or ‘Sick in the head,’ says Trillanes of Duterte

Sen. Trillanes has an indisputable point in describing Rodrigo Duterte as “psychopath” or “sick in the head.” Trillanes has a telling point. I used to think of Antonio Trillanes as unfit to be a senator of the realm. But his performance in the Senate investigation of Binay and his family and now his unmasking of Duterte deserves a medal for courage, dedication and intensity. Trillanes has made a fool of Duterte and rightly so.

The evidence supporting this Trillanes claim starts with the psychological report on the mental state of Duterte in the annulment case against him. The report shows that Duterte suffers from a serious mental imbalance and the following rhetorical questions sustain that report.

Cursing Pope Francis for traffic congestion, isn’t this insane, especially in a Catholic country like ours?

Confessing to murders, isn’t this insane?

Publicly admitting that he will become a dictator if he gets to be President of the Philippine in a country that says “Never again!” to dictatorship, isn’t this sick?

Openly asserting that he should have been the first in the gang rape of the Australian woman because he is mayor and the woman is beautiful, isn’t this insane?

Saying to media that if he gets to be President and there is an attempt to impeach him, he will dissolve Congress to prevent his impeachment, isn’t this sick?

Telling the complainants of human rights violation to Go to hell, isn’t this sick?

In the course of the campaign, asking his audience to kill criminals and he would be responsible for the act, isn’t this insane?

Shaming the country before the world for his tomfooleries, isn’t this sick?

Isn’t creating international problems against our allies, America and Australia, sick?

Duterte said that he will destroy the Catholic Church, isn’t this the height of insanity characterized by hallucination?

Duterte said that if he becomes President he would ride a jet ski and plant the Philippine flag on the Scarborough Shoal and challenge the Chinese to do what they must with him. If the Chinese are not stupid, and they certainly are not, before Duterte reaches within smelling distance of Scarborough, he would be blown to bits by Chinese weapons. He thinks this is heroic? This is insane and would make the Philippines a laughing stock of the international community for his behaving like an insane or stupid President.

I could go on and on with the enumeration, but at the rate Duterte is going he would make everybody sick except his avid campaigners and followers who will continue to dog him like the rats who followed the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

Treasonous behavior of Duterte and PNoy

Duterte openly claims friendship with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and, at times, praises them. He admits he is a personal friend of Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, the founder of the CPP-NPA courtesy of Ninoy Aquino, the father of PNoy Aquino, the incumbent claimant to the presidency. Duterte shares the same communist views of Joma but hastens to add that he is not a communist but a socialist, as if he knows the difference between the two ideologies. He also claims friendship with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and endorses the constitutionally infirm and treasonous Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which would establish a Bangsamoro state in the Mindanao heartland. All these acts of Duterte constitute treason under Article 114 of the Revised Penal Code because by his statements and behavior he gives aid and comfort to the enemies of the Republic. The CPP-NPA and MILF are the friends of Duterte and Praisident PNoy but they are enemies of the Republic, thus within the ambit of treason.

Treason is an impeachable offense under Section 2 of Article XI of our Constitution because their statements and actions are culpable violations of the Constitution, treason, graft and corruption, and other high crimes. PNoy did not get impeached because of the stupidity and incompetence of the current political opposition and PNoys control of the House majority. In the case to impeach Duterte, the Senate and the Lower House would not be under the thumb of Duterte as PDP-LABAN will have an inutile minority in both Houses. Abolish Congress as Duterte threatens? He will not reach square two before he gets thrown out of the Palace. Congress is not the City Council of Davao City – in size and composition.

When they are both convicted, as they surely will be unless the prosecutor and the judge are stupid or bought or both, the duo should share a common prison cell – busy playing trombone or Mary Palmer, the authority on palmistry.

The bravest boy-man in town

Even in Davao City where he was mayor for more than 20 years, he cannot move around without a platoon of bodyguards. The reason is simple: he is the bravest boy-man in town. Here are glaring instances of his bravery.

When Waldy Carbonnell – intellectual, professor, journalist, commentator – was commissioned by the National Press Club (NPC) to investigate the killing of journalist and commentator Jun Pala in Davao City, Duterte was so pissed off that he challenged Waldy to a duel near the Davao City Hall at 9 o’clock in the morning, to bring two magazines for his pistol and with Duterte having only two bullets. Waldy, who has braved all sorts of dangers throughout his whole life, was on time at 9 o’clock in the morning as directed by Duterte. Fifteen minutes passed and not even the shadow of Duterte appeared. Waldy, together with members of Davao City media, waited for another 15 minutes, still not even the shadow appeared. So Waldy left with media members while the bravest boy-man Duterte had turned tails. He did not show up because he was the bravest boy-man in town with the longest tail.

Mar Roxas, whom Duterte challenged to a slapping match, refused the challenge because slapping is only good for sissies (“para sa bayot lamang”) and enraged women. So Mar challenged Duterte to a boxing match but Duterte refused the challenge because he is the bravest boy-man in town with the longest tail.

Again, Mar challenged Duterte, in full view of national television during the last presidential debate. Mar made the challenge in the light of Duterte’s claim that the national government has not helped a single Davao City resident through Philhealth. If Mar proved that there are thousands of Davao City residents who were helped by the national government in their health needs through Philhealth, would Duterte withdraw his candidacy for President? Duterte refused the challenge because he is the bravest boy-man in town. When Mar presented him later with documents showing that indeed the national government has helped tens of thousands of Davao City residents, all Duterte could do was mumble that usual stupid excuse that the documents were fake. Silly boy-man!

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV challenged Duterte to waive his secrecy rights to his bank accounts in BPI and to meet him at the BPI Branch at Doña Juana in Ortigas Center on Monday morning. Trillanes was there on time together with the affidavit that Duterte required of him, but as usual, the shadow of Duterte was nowhere in sight. The boy-man Duterte did not show up because he is the bravest boy-man in town with the longest tail.

There is something indisputably brave with boy-man Duterte – his lying big mouth and his overflowing saliva.

His son Paolo and daughter Sara

The bravest boy-man in town and the most powerful man in Davao City keeps denying the claim by some sectors that his son Paolo is the king of Davao City rice smugglers with involvement in drugs. Why did not the boy-man Duterte investigate the persistent information? His daughter Sara claimed she was raped. As the boy-man Duterte is the most powerful man in his city, how could the daughter of the most powerful man be raped in his own city? If his daughter could not even be protected by him, how can he protect the country?

Where Duterte and his followers should be

It is obvious even to a fool that Duterte is the most unfit candidate for President of this country. But there is a hysterical crowd that follows him wherever he goes and considering that he has for his avid friends and sympathizers the Communist and Muslim rebels, he should invade Sabah with his followers behind him just like the rats following the Pied Piper of Hamelin, and establish the Muslim Communist State of Sabah with Rodrigo Duterte – the bravest boy-man in town with the longest tail – as President. Hail Duterte – the crown prince and President of the MCSS.

x x x."

The Best Defense for Senator Leila de Lima – the Proof of her Innocence | mciwordpresscom

"x x x.

The Best Defense for Senator Leila de Lima – the Proof of her Innocence

Her enemies from Senator Lacson, through Sandra Cam, to President Duterte claim that this lady is so ambitious that she even colluded with drug lords just for campaign funds for her senatorial bid. Now, could this be true? Let us analyze.

First, remember this is the lady who charged and jailed very popular and powerful political personalities for the PDAF fund scam, led by Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada, aka Tanda, Pogi at Sexy. Will an overly ambitious lady do that, fighting powerful politicians and risking her nascent political career? And now she is fiercely fighting the incumbent administration. Again, will an ambitious neophyte politician antagonize this supposedly very popular administration and risk her political career?

Second, she charged the proud Senator Panfilo Lacson, a former intelligence officer who could give anybody who mess with him a big trouble – like the Arroyo’s, where he brought in his double-agent Ador Mawanay to get back at them, and Sandra Cam to point an accusing finger at their son Mikey for allegedly receiving jueteng payoff. Will an overly ambitious lady risk that? (For a background on this please click the link below.)

And now for the best defense for Senator de Lima – the I.N.C case. Now I will show you that it is far from truth that Senator Leila de Lima is so awfully ambitious that she would receive illegal campaign fund even from drug lords. Senator de Lima is the only person running for a political position who dared to antagonize Iglesia ni Cristo (I.N.C.), something no other politician ever dared to do. The reason being that the Iglesia’s have 1.3 million members who vote as one, or simply said, they have 1.3 million votes! This is the reason that almost all politicians shamelessly lick their boots trying to win their votes; praising and thanking them at every possible instances, putting up expensive advertisements congratulating them during all their important occasions, like their anniversaries, birthdays of their founder or leader. So the big question is, will any lady supposedly so awfully ambitious that she would collude with the criminals – drug lords – for campaign funds, antagonize the I.N.C.? Of course not! but that’s exactly what this senator did! Instead of kowtowing to the I.N.C. this upright lady unflinchingly charged its top leaders for kidnapping, a case which, because of it’s ambiguous nature, could have easily been dismissed if she wanted to curry favor with them. She could have easily gotten those 1.3 million votes if she had made a compromise with them, but she did not! Instead she threw them away just like that.

“She could have easily gotten those 1.3 million votes if she had made a compromise with them, but she did not! Instead she threw them away just like that.”

So what does this mean? It simply means that Senator Leila de Lima is not the ambitious lady that the President and his henchmen want us to believe, and so it is very clear that all the accusations against her regarding her involvement in drug operation just for campaign fund is simply not true…

“It simply means that Senator Leila de Lima is not the ambitious lady that the President and his henchmen want us to believe, and so it is very clear that all the accusations against her regarding her involvement in drug operation just for campaign fund is simply not true…“

But do not despair my kababayan. This is just a part of the process of our contemporary history that we must go through or that must be accomplished in order for us to reach the ultimate stage – the fall of this brutal and mad government. Read:

You can trust me on this as I predicted pretty accurately how this mayor president will fare the very day he took office, something no other person that I know of was able to do:

In the meantime, let us support this upright and brave lady, Leila de Lima. Go Leila, fight Leila! #onewithLeila #labanLeila

x x x."

Friday, February 24, 2017

Robredo’s most stinging message to Duterte so far as the nation celebrates EDSA 1986

“Some leaders would like us to forget the atrocities of martial law…Some leaders are too happy to glorify the dictatorship of Marcos, to revise the history so that he is remembered a hero, and not the thief and murderer that he was…Some leaders want to raise the fist of authoritarianism, to sow fear and discord among ourselves, to divide us with lies, violence, and bloodshed…It has begun….So on Friday the nation woke up to a worrying scene: A senator and a staunch critic of the President was escorted into police custody…The message was loud and clear: Anyone who dares speak dissent is not safe….Mr. President, we call you to task. In behalf of the Filipino people, whose daily struggles are escalating, we ask you to focus on the war that really matters – the war on poverty. Our people are hungry, jobless and poor. Be the leader you promised to be, and stop the lies that are distorting the truth in our society today…Use your leadership to point the nation towards respect for rule of law, instead of disregard for it; to uphold the basic human rights enshrined in the institution, instead of encouraging its abuse.”

This is, so far, the sharpest and most stinging message that Robredo has issued in condemnation of Duterte.

Read more: 

FULL TEXT: Archbishop Villegas' open letter to Cardinal Sin on EDSA

"x x x.

(Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates "Soc" Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, wrote the following open letter to his mentor, the late Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, for the 31st anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution of February 25, 1986. Villegas was the long-time private secretary of Sin.)

Dear Cardinal Sin,

It is you I miss most these days.

I do not mean to disturb your peace. You already have passed from this valley of tears to the House of the Father, but please Cardinal Sin, do not forget us in our present travails as a nation. I know you can receive this message. I believe. Nothing can separate you from us in the Lord. You love this country so much. You will not let us lose our hope. 

I know you can hear me, and I know you are here. As I know your love for this country, I also believe that in heaven your heart pleads to the heart of God to embrace this beautiful land. Cardinal Sin, embrace us and ask God to embrace your God loving people. Do not look at the blessings we have squandered and the heroism we have ridiculed. Do not look at the news we have faked and the people we have cheated. Do not look at our uncaring attitude about the victims of extrajudicial killings now exceeding the number of victims during martial law. 

Look at us in our fears and pray for us to God to heal our land. Give us courage. Give us hope. Shake us up from our timidity.

Thirty one years after EDSA 1986, I hear our people ask: What shall we celebrate? What is there to celebrate? By the corner of EDSA and Ortigas, I want to sit and weep as I remember the four glorious days of February 1986 now dimmed. The glory now flickers in the darkness of fear and terror again. The songs of peace now drowned by the cuss words of hate that invite murder. The bloodless revolt now stained by the blood in our streets and street gutters. The statistics of unresolved murder continues to rise, and not a single one has been investigated and brought to justice.

Four days of bloodless revolution! Wow!

Now 8 months of relentless killings of the poor in the name of "change"! It is a nightmare, Your Eminence! It is a shame.

'Did you also cry quietly?'

The dictator ousted by People Power is now buried among heroes. The Lady of 1,200 pairs of shoes is now Representative in Congress. History books are rewritten. Historical memory is revised. The hero is a villain. The plunderers are now heroes. Thank God, Eminence, you did not see these days we are going through.

Tears flow. Uncertainties choke us. It is hard to choose silence and take the blows. How long can we endure? It is hard to fight for the right without question or pause and be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause. You remember that song Eminence? That was your favorite line I remember. Singing it again makes me smile and makes me tear.

Did you also cry quietly in the dark years of the dictatorship? Were you ever discouraged and did you also question yourself if what you were doing was right? Were you ever afraid or did you ever feel the urge to stay in your zone of comfort instead of fighting the unbeatable foe?

Cardinal Sin, I feel the same and you know that. I know many feel this way. Teach us how to cope. Teach us your courage. Teach us your humor. Teach us your faith. Teach us righteous indignation. Wake us up from our pacifism and pull us into the fire of passion and courage again.

x x x."

Thursday, February 23, 2017

To the Integrated Bar of the Philippines: Filipino lawyers who keep silent in the face of oppression, tyranny and injustice due to ignorance, indifference, fear, or greed, are unworthy of their professional licenses to practise law and to dispense justice.

Many ask why the IBP has been silent and inactive in the face of the seven thousand victims of summary executions/extrajudicial murders that Duterte's deadly war on drugs has inflicted in the past seven months (a gruesome death toll of one thousand per month).

So far, the IBP's only feat has been to issue a routine statement (2016) asking the PNP (the main suspect) to investigate the killings. That's all.

It must be noted that the IBP is receiving millions of pesos annually from the Supreme Court to fund its national and local free legal aid committees and their pro bono lawyers.

As a lifetime member and a former director, secretary and vice president of the IBP Pasay Paranaque Las Pinas Muntinlupa Chapter (1993-2005) and as the founder and past chair/president of the Las Pinas City Bar Association (2001), I exhort the IBP national board to speak up, move, organize and fund its pro bono human rights lawyers nationwide to handle the litigation of the cases in behalf of the victims of the war on drugs and their hapless families.

Filipino lawyers who keep silent in the face of oppression, tyranny and injustice due to ignorance, indifference, fear, or greed, are unworthy of their professional licenses to practise law and to dispense justice.

By their silence, they have abandoned their oaths of office as advocates of truth, freedom, and justice and have disowned the legal profession, a major pillar of the justice system, and their sacred role as officers of the courts.

Below are excerpts from a news item on De Lima's exhortation to the IBP national leaders to mobilize and move as one national voice of Filipino lawyers.

"SENATOR Leila de Lima has appealed to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and the public to “voice out their outrage” against extrajudicial killings (EJKs), but she maintained that she is not calling for a “people power” revolt against the Duterte administration.

"De Lima made the remark as she deplored the unabated EJK of suspected drug dealers and drug users despite the pronouncement of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa that he had temporarily stopped the implementation of “Oplan Tokhang” or the government’s all-out war against illegal drugs.

"x x x.

"Asked to qualify her call to the IBP, De Lima said: “To IBP and the lawyers, kasi napapansin ko po, mukhang malabnaw palagi ang mga nagiging reaction nila. They should be more proactive. Tulungan po nila ‘yung mga pamilya ng biktima ng EJKs.”

“Huwag ho nilang ipaubaya lang sa mga groups like FLAG (Free Legal Assistance Group). We are fortunate enough na may grupo katulad ng FLAG na umaasikaso ng mga usapin na ‘yan, sa mga kaso na ‘yan ng EJKs,” she said."

“But I’m appealing to the professional organizations, to the lawyers, to the IBP: lend a hand in terms of exacting justice and accountability,” said De Lima."

SENATOR Leila de Lima has appealed to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and the public to “voice out their outrage” against extrajudicial ki...