Philippines’ President Duterte Admits To Corruption — But Spokesman Says “That Was a Joke” — Not to The Thousands of Filipinos Dead in His War On Drugs and a South Korean Businessman Kidnapped for Ransom and then Murdered by Police

 

Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella claimed that Duterte’s remark about participating in corruption was done in jest. PCOO/King Rodriguez, file
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MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte was just joking when he admitted to having committed corruption, Malacañang said Tuesday as it chided Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV for taking the statement seriously.

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During the 140th anniversary of the Philippine Chinese Charitable Association Inc. last June 29, Duterte said he hates corruption but had no pretensions of being clean.
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“I hate corruption. Hindi ako nagmamakalinis, marami rin akong nanakaw pero naubos na, so wala na (I do not pretend to be clean. I also stole a lot but they have been exhausted),” the president said, apparently in jest.
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Trillanes said the president’s statement confirmed his corruption allegations against Duterte.
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He said the Office of the Ombudsman should probe the “admission” of the president, whom he accused of hiring ghost employees and amassing undeclared wealth.
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Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella claimed that Duterte’s remark was done in jest.
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“I think the senator seems to lack a sense of humor regarding that. It was said in jest, obviously,” Abella said.
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Duterte is known for making remarks that are later explained by his subordinates and spokespersons as jokes, hyperbole or just expressions of his frustration.
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A supposed rape joke in May earned Duterte criticism but he later said that he was not joking when he told soldiers in Iligan city that: “Trabaho lang kayo. Ako na bahala. Ako na magpakulong sa inyo. Pag naka-rape ka ng tatlo, aminin ko na akin ‘yun. (Just work, I’ll take care of it. I will be the one to imprison you. If you have committed rape three times, I’ll take responsibility for it.)”
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He said later that he was instead being sarcastic.
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During the tenth anniversary of the listing of Phoenix Petroleum yesterday, Duterte described Trillanes as “hopeless.”
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He also chided broadcast giant ABS-CBN and broadsheet Philippine Daily Inquirer for believing what he described as “garbage” allegations of the senator against him.
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Trillanes filed a plunder case against Duterte before the Ombudsman a few days before the 2016 presidential elections. He has also accused the president of not declaring P2.4 billion in his bank accounts.
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Duterte has denied Trillanes’ accusations and even vowed to step down if the senator could prove that he has even just a quarter of the amount.
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Credit: Raffy Lerma—Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Philippine drug war. Credit: Alecs Ongcal

 (The Philippines seems to be siding with China, Russia and Iran)

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Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl — killed in President Duterte’s war on drugs — looks like it has been put out with the trash….. Presidential spokeman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

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Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kine also said the numbers of fatalities in the drug war launched by President Rodrigo Duterte when he assumed office on June 30, 2016, are “appalling but predictable” since he (Duterte) vowed to “forget the laws on human rights.”

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Philippines Policeman found tortured and strangled after some fellow police said he was involved in the illegal drug trade. Photo Credit Boy Cruz

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/08/1600763/cop-linked-drugs-tortured-killed

 (December 23, 2016)

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 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

“They are afraid the incident could cause President Duterte to declare martial law. I talked with some sultans and ulamas and elders here… and that’s what they have told me,” Ponyo said.

 (November 30, 2016)

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High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo, Jean-Marc Ferré

Summary executions of supposed drug dealers and other criminals have become a common occurence in recent weeks. The STAR/Joven Cagande, file

 (November 16, 2016)

 (August 10, 2016)

Davao City’s Ronald dela Rosa has been appointed to become the next chief of the Philippine National Police to lead President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s planned crackdown on illegal drugs. Facebook/Dela Rosa
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Crime scene investigators examine a vehicle used by two drug suspects killed during an alleged shootout with officers along NIA Road in Quezon City on June 21, 2016. JOVEN CAGANDE/file
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President Rodrigo Duterte's crusade against drug users and dealers is controversial

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry's Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry’s Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Health officials closed Henry's Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Health officials closed Henry’s Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

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A Little More Background….

Duterte’s war on drugs riddled with corruption: Human rights group

Police officers deployed in President Duterte’s war on drugs are extorting money and getting away with unlawful killings, says a report by Human Rights Watch.

MANILA: Erwina (not her real name) was worried about her transgender son. Ron-Ron sold crystal methamphetamine to friends and neighbours to earn some extra money on top of his beauty salon job. According to his mother, each drug deal earned him between 150 pesos (US$3) and 500 pesos.

But when a war on drugs erupted against drug dealers and runners, Erwina repeatedly told her child to stop.

When he was first arrested on drug charges, Erwina was asked to go to the police station and pay 50,000 pesos to bail him out. She did not have enough so she took out a small loan and gave them around 10,000 pesos. They accepted, but that was not the end of it.

A few days later, masked gunmen, which Erwina alleged to be police, stormed their house and dragged Ron-Ron out. His crumpled body was found hours later in a nearby parking lot with three bullet wounds on his face.

“I felt really weak. I didn’t know what to do,” Erwina explained with tears in her eyes. “I saw Ron-Ron lying on the ground. He was dead.”

After Ron-Ron was killed, she went to the police station to report the murder and discovered that the money she gave for bail was actually a bribe given to the attending policeman. The money was returned to her by the chief policeman at the station, who reprimanded the younger cops for taking the bribe.

Then came the death threats.

Erwina said she was followed after she left the police station. The same day, she began receiving warnings telling her to enjoy the money now because she would be killed next after her child.

“After Ron-Ron was buried, we did not know where to go,” Erwina said. She explained that during his wake, she would see unfamiliar policemen patrolling her neighbourhood.

Since then, she has been in hiding and is afraid to return to where she used to live.

POLICE OR GANGS?

Erwina’s story has been documented by the Philippine human rights commission and her case is not unique. Many have reportedly received death threats after logging complaints against erring cops.

A Human Rights Watch report released on Wednesday (Mar 3) stated that the police and gangs or vigilantes are often one and the same.

The report said: “In several cases we investigated, the police dismissed allegations of involvement and instead classified such killings as ‘found bodies’ or ‘deaths under investigation’ when only hours before the suspects had been in police custody.”

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An Police Intelligence Officer (R) holds a confiscated pistol during a raid looking for firearms and illegal drugs “shabu” in a slum area in Metro Manila, Philippines May 28, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

A Police Intelligence Officer (right) holds a confiscated pistol during a raid looking for firearms and illegal drugs in a slum area. (Photo: REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco)

“Such cases call into question government assertions that the majority of killings have been committed by vigilantes fed up with the current justice system or rival drug gangs,” it added.

Around 190,000 officers from the Philippines National Police have been President Rodrigo Duterte’s foot soldiers in his war against drugs. They have been tasked with carrying out nationwide drug raids and arrests, and to kill in the name of the drug war.

According to police records, since Duterte became president in June, officers have killed 2,555 drug suspects alleged to have resisted arrest.

Another 3,603 people have been killed by masked gunmen and vigilantes. These victims are often abducted, bound and tortured, and found dead in public places such as on the sides of roads.

RAMPANT CORRUPTION

Rogue police is not a new problem for the Philippines.

Duterte swept into office on the back of a promise to clean up the force and both he and police chief General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa have admitted on several occasions that there is corruption within the police force.

In an interview with Channel NewsAsia, General Bato acknowledged there was a need to clean up the ranks.

“We are investigating them. Some of them are being persecuted right now. We cannot say that we are already a scallywag-free organisation. There are still others that are trying to do their illegal activities but at least they are aware that we are watching them and we are after them,” he said.

image: data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
A policeman stands guard near the body of a suspected drug pusher, whom police investigators said was shot and killed by unidentified men, along a street in Quezon city, metro Manila, Philippines March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

A policeman stands guard near the body of a suspected drug pusher, whom police investigators said was shot and killed by unidentified men. (Photo: REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco)

In July last year, Duterte publicly accused five police generals – two of whom are retired and three still in active service – of being part of the country’s illegal drugs trade. All five denied involvement, but the three active-duty officers were removed from key posts.

None of them have been charged in court.

Duterte has repeatedly promised to support, and even pardon, any police officers accused of unlawful killings.

The Human Rights Watch report laid the blame on Duterte for thousands of drug-related killings.

“Even if not directly involved in any specific operations to summarily execute any specific individual, President Duterte appears to have instigated unlawful acts by the police, incited citizens to commit serious violence, and made himself criminal liable under international law for the unlawful killings as a matter of command responsibility,” the report said.

THE LAST STRAW

The tipping point for Duterte came when rogue drugs squad officers kidnapped and killed a South Korean businessman at the police headquarters in October last year and tried to extort a ransom from the businessman’s wife.

“This incident shows that this campaign is fraught with flaws and it may be susceptible to abuse … there may be some policemen who take advantage of the campaign and use it for their selfish agendas,” said Jackie de Guia, spokesperson for the Commission on Human Rights.

In response to the murder, a furious Duterte sent 287 errant cops to Basilan, one of the most conflict-riddled areas of the Philippines.

“For the erring cops, you have to go hard on them. So that they can feel that you are really serious and they really will be dealt with accordingly,” said General Bato.
Although only 53 of the policemen showed up for the deployment to Basilan, experts said that short-term reforms are happening behind the scenes.

Political scientist Professor Ranjit Singh Rye from the University of the Philippines said: “There’s concerted effort to upgrade equipment and accelerate the filing of administration and criminal cases against errant policemen.”

After the death of the South Korean businessman, Duterte gave the police time to purge and clean up their ranks.

Police examine a sachet of illegal drugs found during a drug buy-bust operation in Manila. (Photo: Ted Aljibe/AFP)

“We will cleanse our ranks … then maybe after that, we can resume our war on drugs. The president told us to clean the organisation first,” said General Bato.

Duterte appointed the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to lead the war, which he has said will continue until his term ends in 2022.

Duterte’s proposal to involve the military has met with concern and criticism.

“I don’t think it would be a wise idea for the military to be brought into the picture because the military mandate is to protect the sovereignty of the country against external enemies and protect the national security of the country,” said Dr Francisco Magno, director of the Jesse Robredo Institute of Governance.

Duterte has announced he is now allowing a small group of policemen he can trust to continue their work.

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Source: CNA/am

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Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/duterte-s-war-on-drugs-riddled-with-corruption-human-rights-grou-8770208

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2 Responses to “Philippines’ President Duterte Admits To Corruption — But Spokesman Says “That Was a Joke” — Not to The Thousands of Filipinos Dead in His War On Drugs and a South Korean Businessman Kidnapped for Ransom and then Murdered by Police”

  1. goldsteinweb Says:

    The headline is really bad. The text explains no link between war on drugs and allegations of corruption. I have no dog in that fight whatsoever, but I only see mud slinging in the reporting of the Philippine government at the moment.

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