Tag Archives: Duterte

Napoles is “getting away?”- power of connections

“ASIDE FROM being colleagues in the legal profession, Solicitor General Jose C. Calida and the lawyers of Janet Lim Napoles have one other important thing in common: They are supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte.

In fact, just two weeks after he was sworn in as the country’s chief executive, Duterte appointed one of them, Lanee Cui-David, as a deputy commissioner at the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

In 2003, Cui-David and husband Stephen founded the David, Cui-David, Buenaventura and Ang Offices, the law firm that Napoles hired in 2014 to defend her in her pork-barrel cases at the Sandiganbayan, as well as in her tax evasion cases at the Court of Tax Appeals.

Graduates of the San Beda College of Law, Duterte’s alma mater, the Davids are the chief legal counsels of Napoles and her children Jo Christine and James Christopher, who are also respondents in the Sandiganbayan cases.”

The Benedictines at San Beda must be thinking profoundly by now.

Source: http://pcij.org/stories/lawyers-duterte-napoles-what-gives/



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Speechless in the face of injustice and uncertainty




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SOLIDARITY MASS Relatives of victims of killings in the antidrug war condole with each other during a Mass held at the Our Lady of Victory Chapel in Malabon City. —NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/867783/kin-of-police-victims-share-tales-of-woe#ixzz4XfWzMzfQ
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We are in Crisis

I am both looking at mainstream news and also gathering information from my friends living and working in squatter’s area. Also, I try to get news from friends in the South. In addition, some of my friends have policemen friends.

I don’t have to tell this in details, I am sure you are also gathering information, if not, getting some news. This boils down to one thing – we are on a killing spree. The policemen and the vigilante are. No one is investigating.

One case I heard from a driver that never get into news – many deaths don’t get into news! – one drug-user-suspect, from their neighborhood, was about to be taken by a group of men. The suspect’s wife would not let them arrest her husband without warrant. So she insisted to go with them. She was was young and pretty. The next day both are dead. The wife naked, raped, and slashed in the neck. No report. But the neighborhood knows. No one filed a case. Just dead. All dead. No one speaks.

This is not a war on drugs. We are simply on a killing spree.


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We all “feel safe”: outside justice

We do. When Robin Padilla said that Duterte should withhold publicizing the list of actors and actresses involved in drugs, I got a little apprehensive. I want those names too. Actors and actresses influence the public. Good or bad. If de Lima is a public figure, are not actors and actresses? When Karen Bordador and her bf were arrested, I mean, everyone’s excited over the upcoming events – now everyone’s drooling over celebrity names. Big news. For after all big drug pushers my friends include our “artistas.”

But, so far, no names. Because they are more human! They are beautiful! They can speak english! The law protects them. People protect them. They have friends. People give them second chances. People give them second thoughts – “She? She’s from a Catholic school right? Awwww, I hope the accusation’s wrong” – they have sympathizers.

However, bodies of nameless people, poor peddlers under big bosses die. They are scums. “Junkies are not humans.” When they die, we feel safe.

We Filipinos are elitists too. Between the small time peddlers and “artistas who are drug peddlers” or let us just say, people of influence – who get the brunt of the people? The poor. I am not saying the brunt of law. Extra-judicial killing, is outside justice.There is no law here. It is not within law. By definition, when people support extra-judicial killings, people condone lawlessness. And do you know what is at stake? I mean, seriously?

I want drugs to end. Syndicates torn down. I like Gen. “Bato.” But when it comes to policies, I think we should all have a say. We should analyze. Wrong short term plans have catastrophic consequence in the future. Extra-judicial killing is a short term plan. It does not strengthen the law. It strengthens militia men.We are training future syndicates who are willing to kill. We are training a group of 5 to 10 men team who are operating outside the law, willing to kill for money. When Duterte or Bato step down, we have how many different groups of mercenaries outside the law? This is a serious problem in the not so long future. I mean 10 years?

Remember my friends, Mexican drug cartels weren’t born overnight. Iraqi rebel groups weren’t born overnight. Many of them were just groups in the beginning. Willing to kill. They kill one another first, then they build strength. Foreign governments are telling us this! This is based on experience! And we are not listening when they tell us, that we are breeding militiamen! WE ARE making them stronger! We are making “killing” for them so easy.

The means does not justify the end. Well, our means today, will turn back at us if we don’t STOP EXTRA-JUDICIAL KILLING NOW. Please listen. Make our laws stronger. Make it stronger now. But let us not “hire” militiamen or vigilantes or killers to make “us feel safe.”

Here is a BBC article of what is going on “underground.”



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Duterte to Philippine Journalists: you are dead because you are guilty

Not yet taking an oath to the Office of the President, Duterte is talking uninhibitedly, hitting snag after snag, that he’d suffer so much injury by June 30.

Just last night, he hit on the already fledgling Philippine journalists. We all admit, besides the Catholic Church, our media has its share of corruption. But to say that “murdered journalists are corrupt,” that is a sweeping generalization.

What is appalling was the way Duterte spoke about the journalists when he was asked about his stand regarding the alarming numbers of murdered media men. If you are following their plight, I think the question is personal as it is professional. It’s like saying, am I safe in my job?

Duterte had some shocking answers, these are my transcriptions of the video-interview of Duterte. The youtube link is below the article.

“Hindi ka naman papatayin kung wala kang ginawa e…..tapos yung mga tumatanggap sa mga sugarol, binibira pa rin. You want the truth yun ang truth!”

He mentioned Jun Pala, and Duterte said, “I know who killed him, because binastos n’ya ang tao e.” When a journalist asked “Sino ang binastos?” Duterte evaded the question.

“Prangka, prangka, yan, kayo, karamihan ganun, kasi kung journalist ka na “tama” wala namang gagalaw sa ‘yo. Especially if it is true. You cannot hide the truth, by the way. ”

“…not all journalists are clean, kaya namamatay. Taking sides or nasosobrahan ang atake. Pero kaming mga pultiko, ok yan, praktisado kami, pero may mga tao, …private, tapos sirain mo, yung anak, babuyin mo, papatayin ka talaga…. Ganun yan!”

There are two noticeable themes in Duterte’s manner of answering.

First, he seems to know more than the journalists. “You want the truth yun ang truth!” or “Ganun yan!” This show of mentality is not an isolated incident. He exhibited it in the way he judged the Catholic bishops and priests – sweeping. He seems to know more about the Catholic Church than Catholics themselves. In the same vein, he knows more about journalists than journalists themselves.

Second, he always comes from a judgment. He already has a judgment on journalists, on priests and so basically anyone. Probably, a judgment on you too. Which he will impose, regardless of what you say.

I don’t think, we should expect a listening president from Mayor Duterte. He already has his own answers. The problem is, where is he getting his answers, if he is not listening to anyone?

You can watch the video-interview over and over again, and a lot of questions can come up. For example, Duterte was so angry at Mr. Jun Pala, a journalist-politician who was murdered in Davao in 2003. Duterte was fuming in recalling Mr. Pala and he even called him “rotten,” “son of a bitch.” Question: what was Mr. Pala’s sin that he deserved to die? Duterte can only mention two, he accused Mr. Pala of receiving bribes and second that he offended (may binastos) someone. When a lady journalist asked “Sino ang binastos?” Duterte did not dare answer. But he said he knew who killed Mr. Pala. Given this the crime remains unsolved. The accusation of bribery and offending someone is now punishable by death. But, many are now asking, was it Duterte who was offended by Mr. Pala?

The most glaring of all, during the interview is that Duterte again, has a very simplistic answer to a complex problem – murder of journalists. Primarily, he equated dead journalists to corrupt journalists. Literally, he was saying that those who killed the journalists are right in killing them? I don’t think it works that way. Most journalists who died, I presume, were the ones who boldly said the truth. Precisely, they offended someone because the told the truth. The truth hurts. It ought to hurt before it could set someone free. The problem is those who get offended got guns and goons. Now, given that we still have a lot of honest journalists, are you empowering them to give a brave, balanced report on any development, no matter how small, on Maguindanao Massacre, when you appointed the Ampatuan lawyer Atty. Salvador Panelo as your spokesman? Will any reporter, in their right mind, still pursue the case? Now, it is ok to kill journalists if they offend the rich and powerful.

In the end, it is not a question of journalism and truth, as you watch Duterte answer the journalists. In fact he was evading the truth himself. And the best way to evade is to give a simplistic answer. Duterte says, you are dead because you are guilty.


Rappler video, published May 31, 2016.


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Duterte Questions

  1. Is Duterte a Marcos loyalist?
  2. But he is friends with CPP NPA, who really hates the Marcoses, how will he toe the line?

In Davao he can deal and make concessions with NPAs, but he has not done this at the national level. If he is a Marcos loyalist and at the same time secretly dealing with the NPAs during his term in Davao, doing so as a President will be a very dangerous experiment.

  1. Who is more powerful, Duterte or Bongbong Marcos?

Marcos cronies are still in power and owning businesses all over the country. The Floriendos for instance who owns unbelievably sprawling banana plantations in Mindanao. Banana plantations as far as your eye can see. Imagine, businessmen like that, whose products are not being sold in the Philippines, and always ridden with labor issues. Let us just say, these cronies are not very patriotic businessmen. Now imagine these businessmen are in food, media, energy and so on. Well, question answered: BBM. Duterte? Who are his friends? The Balimbings?

  1. Too many Communists in the government?

Cory Aquino made that mistake in her term. Because of this, and probably something else, Gringo Honasan and his men made around 9 coup attempts! I was an elementary student back then, and you could just watch fighter jets shooting at each other right above Manila! Violence leads to bad economy. So kids, we are not poor because of the Church, nor because of Cory alone. There are many factors and events that lead to poverty and injustice – that includes the 25 Billion Dollar debt left by Marcos which we all have to pay until, by estimate, year 2025. Marcos cronies, on the other hand, they never knew poverty.

  1. Does Duterte hate the Catholic Church because it is a hypocritical institution?

Two things. First thing, obviously Duterte was hurt because the Catholic hierarchy did not endorse him. He said it himself. Hands down, that’s the real issue on why he rants against the church! Second, everybody loves to hate the Catholic Church. Simply, join the bandwagon, mention frailocracy, Inquisition (which is European history), Crusades (which is European history), child molestation (mostly done by white men, Americans / Europeans, so Bishop Oscar Cruz asks Duterte for names if there are any Filipino abusers, just say it and it will be dealt with, simple) and Church money. Then ask the people, what do you know about them? They can’t answer, except “Basta, nakakainis talaga ang mga pari at bishops na ‘yan! Mga Hipokrito!” Then they go on debating like that for several days, based on allegations and emotions. Now do they have time to ask more relevant issues aside from sex? Nope. Now, what is the rhetoric. When he attacks the Catholic Church he appears to be a hero of Church and State separation thing. But many politicians, even himself, goes to INC, Quiboloy and other religious sects. Any church but not Catholic church? Besides, INC can influence and is influencing who to put in a government post! So who’s partially running our government?

What I see is this. People buy Duterte because of “Oh, My God, I hate drugs,” “If you go to Davao and smuggle I will kill you,” so on and so forth. Second, people are expecting that under Duterte administration Philippine wealth will trickle down to the poor. But one of the sources of poverty is the crony system, or the oligarch system. Numerically, we can have high GDP, but it does not necessarily have to benefit the rest of the Filipinos. The numbers stay among the few. After EDSA I, our governments did not have the heart to dismantle the reigning oligarchs in the Philippines. I think, it amounts to an economic vacuum. So they are still there, well placed. And rich and in control of the economy and our politicians.

I propose a logic. The main source of poverty is Oligarchy. The Oligarchs that Marcos placed are still there, they have expanded their businesses. Duterte for all we know has a very special attachment to Bongbong. Bongbong still has the loyalty of the cronies. Duterte will not touch the cronies. Duterte wants to make the Catholic Church unpopular. But he likes Iglesia ni Cristo and Quiboloy, they supported him and the latter gave him money. So they are silent about moral issues that are supposed to be religious concerns: divorce, death penalty, business ethics, political ethics, human rights violation (by the way INC was “with” Marcos during martial law) and so on. Only the Catholic Church openly speaks about them. Duterte will in the end need the power of INC, to which he will be exposed on the national level, and that will be a game changer. So he   will not touch these religious sects, for after all, INC and the Marcoses have had good friendships in the past. Separation of Church and State, nada.

CPP NPA in government? A thorny issue.

So where does our logic go? Duterte is giving us the impression that he is grassroots guy. But in the end Duterte is surrounding himself with elitist power. He needs them. The foolish thing will be is this, to think that he is in control.

Duterte, it seems, is playing a game of hide and seek, shock and awe. That is why analysts find it hard to read him. A little patience and you will be able to “read” him. Mine obviously is just one among the many ways of reading.

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separation of church and state: Philippine election

Still writing my thesis, except that I am willfully derailed by the current noise of our upcoming May 9 Philippine election.So I am here writing a very short entry.

For these past weeks the best I could do is ask the opinion of friends regarding the Presidential candidates. I’m quite perplexed now: Poe? Roxas? Duterte? Binay? Abstention is not an option, I just try to be as informed as possible.

But what I have in mind now is Duterte’s statement about Catholic vote. Which rests on this superficial presumption: When it comes to matters of separation of Church and State what comes to mind is Catholic Church versus Philippine Government.

We’re Filipino Catholics. All of our presidential candidates are Catholics. Your grandparents and our forefathers were Catholics. Catholicism was already here organizing our communities, educating us, forming our ancestors even before there was Philippine Republic. Now that we have imported a Democratic way of governance from United States, we have pronounced the separation of Church and State, which the American people had debated among themselves. Well, no problem with that.

My problem is why go to Iglesia ni Cristo or Quiboloy or El Shaddai or any Protestant denominations present in the Philippines. Aren’t they religious groups? What’s at stake when Iglesia ni Cristo endorses a candidate? Are they not influencing anyone by their endorsement? I mean come on guys.

The bishops are vocal because it is clear to them that their business is different from the State no matter how unpopular their stances were or are. Iglesia ni Cristo is silent on most issues! But when election comes everyone cowers over this religious group whose power and influence over our government is obvious. I don’t know – are they rigging our elections?

Now. My fellow countrymen, I am for separation of Church and State. I fully appreciate what Manuel Quezon and our forefathers had done to ensure we had a smooth transition to a Democratic government under the guidance of US. But they were Catholics too. They staunchly defended the independence of State from Church. But how about our candidates now? Can we sincerely say that by their actions they are upholding this tenet? No. The Catholic Church isn’t the only church / religious group in the Philippines. However, we see our candidates blatantly violating this Democratic ideal by courting other influential religious groups. For what favor?



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