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PALAYAIN SI LEILA

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MABIBIGYAN ng kahulugan ng papasok na bagong gobyerno ang diwa ng demokrasya kung ipapahayag ang hangarin na palayain si Leila de Lima. Hindi kailangan gamitin ang poder ng panguluhan upang mapalaya si de Lima. Sapat na sabihin ni BBM na hindi siya sang-ayon na manatili sa piitan si de Lima. Pakikinggan ng hukom ang pahayag at hindi mangingiming tapusin ang mga walang kuwentang kaso na inihain ni Rodrigo Duterte laban sa kanya. At palayain si Leila de Lima sa mahigit na limang taon na pagkakakulong.

Walang batayan ang pananatili ni de Lima sa kulungan. Walang malinaw na mga ebidensiya ang mga paratang sa kanya. Tanging si Duterte ang may nais na ikulong si de Lima. Maiging lumayo si BBM sa imahe publiko ni Duterte na isang pabigla-bigla at hindi nag-iisip na lider. Maiging ipakita niya na hindi siya katulad ni Duterte na lumalabag sa karapatan pantao ng mga kritiko. Maiging patunayan niya na hindi siya paparis kay Duterte.

Marapat lumayo siya kay Rodrigo Duterte at patunayan na hindi siya tatahak sa direksyon ng tila nababaliw na lider mula Davao City. Kailangan ipakita niya niya na hindi siya madidiktahan at naimpluwensyahan ni Duterte. Tanging siya ang magpapasya ng dapat sa bansa at gobyerno ang hindi ang paalis na si Duterte.Kahit paano mapapahilom ni BBM ang sugat ng matinding labanan noong halalan. Palayain kaagad si Leila de Lima.



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MASIDHING posisyunan ang makikita sa kampo ni BBM May apat na paksyon na naghahangad ng puwesto sa gobyerno: Nacionalista Party ng mga Villar; National Unity Party (Lakas-NUCD) ni GMA; Grupong Davao ni Sara; at paksyon mismo ni BBM. Ngayon, matunog si Cynthia Villar bilang presidente ng Senado at Martin Romualdez bilang ispiker ng Kamara de Representante. Pinsan buo ni BBM si Martin. Anak ni Benjamin “Cocoy” Romualdez si Martin. Magkapatid si Imelda at Cocoy. Paborito ni Imelda si Cocoy.

Nakatakdang hirangin ni BBM si Cesar Purisima bilang kalihim ng pananalapi. Tinanggihan ni BBM si Gary Tevas na nais ng grupo ni GMA na pumalit. Hindi rin nais ni BBM na manatili sa puwesto si Sonny Dominguez. Masyado malaki ang iniwan na utang ng national government at inaaasahan ang ibayong hirap sa mga darating na buwan. Kailangan palakasin ng susunod na hepe ng DoF ang koleksyon ng buwis at bawasan ang pangungutang.

Malaking katanungan kung ano ang mga puwesto ni Jonathan dela Cruz at Yen Makabenta sa gobyerno ni BBM. Malapit ang dalawa kay BBM. Sila ang may malalim na kaalaman sa kampo ni BBM. Kabisado nila kung paano mag-isip si BBM Si Jonathan kaya ang magiging executive secretary? Si Yen kaya ang susunod na presidential spokesman?

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HALAW ang mga sumusunod sa aming aklat “KILL KILL KILL: EJKs in the Philippines; Crimes Against Humanity vs. Duterte Et. Al. At the ICC.” Nasa huling yugto na ako na pagsusulat.



FIRST INSIDERS

THE importance of civilian Edgar Matobato and Police Officer3 Arthur Lascanas in the probe of Duterte’s war on drugs is undeniable. They constitute the first insiders, who have emerged from the cold to provide first-hand information and valuable insights on the DDS operations. As insiders, they participated in the planning and implementation of the summary executions of persons, whom Duterte identified for murder. There were not mere lookouts, which stayed in the periphery of the crime scene. They were the actual assassins, who pulled the trigger to kill and execute victims in compliance with Duterte’s orders. Hence, their testimonies as insiders carry a lot of weight. They are firsthand information.

Edgar Matobato was born in 1959 in a community of forest rangers residing at the foot of Mt. Apo, the highest mountain in Mindanao. Because his family was poor, Matobato only reached first grade, which means he was functionally illiterate, as he could not read, write, and compute. Unidentified men killed his father, leading him to perceive to seek justice for his father. In his adult life, he worked first as a cook in Davao City and a member of the auxiliary Constabulary Home Defense Forces (CHDF). When his unit was disbanded, he was recruited to join as a “ghost employee” under Davao City’s civil security unit. But he was not a ghost employee, who received a salary every month, but a feared DDS assassin.

Matobato joined DDS in 1988 out of poverty and for gainful employment. As a ghost employee of the Davao City Government, he received a monthly salary of at least P5,000 ($100), but it was later raised to P7,000 ($130). For an uneducated man, the amount was big. Incidentally, the amount excluded the money, which he received for every successful act of abduction and murder operations. Matobato placed at about 50 persons, whom he personally killed in the course of his 24-year employment as a DDS killer. Except for the important targets, who were prominent in the southern port city, Matobato claimed he did not know the names of their victims, many of whom were petty criminals in Davao City.

According to Matobato, he initially killed petty criminals like thieves, drug addicts, and pushers, among others but he soon found himself engaged in the murder of people, who were identified as political enemies, including their associates, and critics and journalists. Matobato was quoted as saying that, at first, he thought he was doing something justified, which was getting rid of people considered criminal in Davao City. He realized he was on the wrong side, when he was asked to kidnap and kill people, who were political enemies of the Dutertes – father Rodrigo and son Paolo. He recounted how his group kidnapped and killed four bodyguards of a rival politician, the late Prospero Nograles. They dumped their bodies in the sea believing they were all dead, but two resurfaced to live and tell their stories. He was conscience-stricken when his group abducted, beat, raped, and killed three women, all suspects in illegal drug trade.

CHANGE OF HEART. He identified PO3 Arthur Lascanas as his handler. Lascanas reported directly to Duterte, who trusted him. They worked together in a number of operations, most of which Lascanas led and planned. Matobato claimed he did not see Duterte giving personal instructions on whom to murder, but he was made to understand that the orders were coursed through Lascanas. When Matobato first appeared in the Sept. 15 and 22, 2016 Senate public hearings, he made revelations, which Lascanas, under oath, negated when it was his turn to testify in the Oct. 3 public hearing, saying there was no basis on the existence of the Davao Death Squad. But nearly four months later, or on Feb. 19, 2017, PO3 Arthur Lascanas had a change of heart and issued an affidavit, revealing what he knew about the DDS. Lascanas corroborated Matobato’s claim. A day later, or on Feb. 20, 2017, Lascanas gave a press conference flanked by Sen. Antonio Trillanes and lawyers of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG). By that time, Matobato was no longer alone, as Lascanas had joined him.

Matobato said he was involved in various facets of the DDS operations. According to him, the DDS most often abducted their victims and brought them to a quiet part of town, like a quarry, and killed them. They dismembered their bodies, throwing them to the sea or burying them. They doused them in oil to prevent them from smelling as they decomposed. For those bodies dumped at the sea, they hacked open their chest cavities and filled them with rocks and sand to ensure the corpses sank, he said. Most orders came mostly from Lascanas, although he knew Duterte himself gave the orders.

Although Duterte claimed he did not know him, Matobato said DDS members, including him, were summoned to his office in December, 1993, when St. Peter Cathedral was bombed by unknown assailants. Duterte, alleging that the bombing was perpetrated by “extremists” in the Muslim community, ordered them to avenge the Cathedral’s bombing that killed seven persons and injured dozens. Matobato claimed Duterte asked them to go to mosques and kill Muslims in reprisal for the terror attack, which they did after receiving a number of grenades from Duterte himself. Matobato claimed he worked with Lascanas on the reprisal.

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