Posts Tagged ‘Ronald dela Rosa’

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte: Health Rumors Persist

June 20, 2017
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President Rodrigo Duterte is welcomed by Philippine Air Forces officials during his visit at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on June 15, 2017. Palace/Released

President Rodrigo Duterte skipped the Independence Day rites on Monday, June 12, 2017 and canceled public appearances set until Friday. The absence fueled speculations about his health, but Malacañang insisted that he was “well.”

To dispel the rumors, his office released on Thursday a video of him the day before at the Villamor Air Base where he is seen alighting from a chopper to fly to his hometown Davao City.

READ FULL STORY: Out of public eye, Duterte seen at Villamor Air Base

Video at link:

http://www.philstar.com/news-videos/2017/06/16/1711895/watch-palace-drops-video-duterte-amid-health-rumors

A close observer in the Philippines said the president “looked stoned — or at least under the influence. You know. Sedated.”

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Philippine President Duterte Out of Public View for 5 Days — Claims He Went on Secret Trip — “I cannot divulge it. I have to go there incognito.”

June 17, 2017
President Duterte speaks during the 50th founding anniversary celebration of the province of Agusan del Norte at the Caraga State University in Cabadbaran City yesterday.
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MANILA, Philippines – Dispelling rumors about his health, President Duterte said yesterday he was not seen in public in the last five days because he went to Mindanao on a secret trip.

“I went on a trip somewhere. I cannot divulge it. I have to go there incognito. That’s the truth,” the President told reporters yesterday in Butuan City.

The trip, he said, lasted for two days.

“I traveled like a private citizen so I can go to that place,” he added.

Duterte also confirmed that he spent a few days taking a rest and denied that he suffered from an illness.

“Sa kama lang naman ako, kayo naman (I was just in bed)…Coma? Kama (bed),” the President said. “Kung coma ako, di ako nandito para mamut**g i** (If I were in coma, I would not be here to curse).”

Officials said Duterte skipped the Independence Day rites in Manila last June 12 because he was not feeling well. They claimed that Duterte needed to rest because his schedule had been “brutal” since he declared martial law in Mindanao last May 23.

Duterte did not have any public engagement until last Friday, sparking speculations he was sick.

Asked about his state of health, Duterte said: “How do I do it? My last examination was last year. My state of health is what you see is what you get.”

“You must learn from the Davao media. I’m like that. I don’t need anybody to ask me where I’m going,” he added.

Duterte said his health condition is “immaterial” because the Constitution has a mechanism for succession in the event that he can no longer perform his functions.

“We have (Leni) Robredo. We have the Vice President. If I do not come out in a month because I am in a coma and someone verifies you no longer have a president, it’s time for change,” he said.

“The only (time you will have a) problem is when there is no successor because there will be a struggle. If that’s the case, there will be a vacuum in leadership, the military will always take over to control, put things in order and maybe set an election. But we have a Vice President. So what’s the problem?”

Duterte also urged the public not to worry too much about him.

“To my countrymen, do not worry too much. Ayaw pa ninyo niyan isang taon lang bago na naman (Don’t you want a new president after a year)? I’m good. I’m alive.”

Duterte was his old self yesterday when he visited the troops of the 4th Infantry Division in Butuan City.

During the visit, he told soldiers that he loves them all and that he is ready to provide them everything they need to fulfill their mission.

Duterte also returned with his trademark curses, chiding the United States anew for supposedly imposing its views on Filipinos.

“These Americans approached me, they are crazy, those sons of b******, they cannot understand the problem,” he said at the 50th anniversary of Agusan del Norte in University of Cabadbaran also yesterday.

“They want us to follow their style. My point is they should not underestimate the Filipino,” he added.

Love for soldiers

In Butuan City, Duterte met with soldiers for the first time since his “private rest time” to assure them of his love “that is from the heart.”

“I am filled with nice feeling. I love you all. Mahal ko kayong lahat. Nasasaktan ako tuwing may nadidisgrasya. Ang konswelo ninyo, hindi kayo madedehado,” the President said in his “talk to men” remarks at the 401st Infantry Brigade headquarters in Barangay Bancasi.

The President emphasized to the men and women in uniform how much they mean to him. Duterte stressed he was not fooling the soldiers with his words.

“I talk from the heart and hindi ako bulador (I’m no flatterer) and when I say it, that is from the heart,” the President said.

Duterte said death is every man’s destiny as he talked about soldiers and police personnel who lost their lives in the battle against terrorism and criminality.

The President lamented the loss of lives on the government side in the campaign against the Maute militants in Marawi City.

The battle to retake Marawi City has claimed more than 200 lives, including 59 soldiers and policemen. It has also displaced thousands of residents.

He said he will do everything in his power to provide for the needs of the soldiers and that they should be war-grade materials and not the low quality that could not be used.

The President reiterated that he is putting up a P50-billion trust fund for the education of the children of uniformed personnel.

“Just be a clever soldier to survive so that you will have the time to see your grandchildren,” the President added.

Duterte also said that he wants the wives of soldiers to avail themselves of the small and medium industries entrepreneur program of the Department of Trade and Industry.

The President left the Air Force Tactical Operations Group XI in Davao City on a helicopter at around 3:15 p.m. for Cabadbaran town in Agusan del Norte, where he attended the 50th anniversary celebration of the province before proceeding to Bancasi.

Image result for Ronald dela Rosa, photos

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Earlier yesterday, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said Duterte’s being rarely seen in public in the past days should not be a cause for alarm.

“He has no problem. Don’t believe in some reports that he is sick,” he said in an ambush interview at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) in Cavite.

The national police chief said Duterte – as city mayor – used to make himself scarce whenever he felt he had to rest. – With Edith Regalado, Jose Rodel Clapano, Emmanuel Tupas, Jess Diaz

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Philippine Government suspects negligence by Resorts World Manila — More questions than answers after deadly fire and shooting

June 3, 2017

Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella also denies a claim by ISIS that the terror group was behind the deadly Resorts World Manila attack

Published 3:29 PM, June 03, 2017
Updated 3:29 PM, June 03, 2017

FIRST AID. Guests of Resorts World wait for first aid treatment inside the nearby Remington Hotel in Pasay City on June 2, 2017. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

FIRST AID. Guests of Resorts World wait for first aid treatment inside the nearby Remington Hotel in Pasay City on June 2, 2017. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang said it suspects that possible negligence by Resorts World Manila led to the shooting incident that killed 37 people and injured 54 others in the posh casino hotel.

In an interview with state-run dzRB on Saturday, June 3, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said the Palace shares this view with Duterte ally Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III.

“While tightening anti-terror measures, we share the Senate President’s concern of a possible negligence by Resorts World not only in casino security, but also in building design and safety protocols,” Abella said.

He added that as gaming regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) “will do a full audit of all casinos.”

“On the security lapses of Resorts World Manila, let us allow authorities to finish the investigation, and we’ll begin to look into the security breach of Resorts World Manila. Once the investigation is completed, they will submit their findings and recommendations,” the presidential spokesman said.

Resorts World Manila earlier denied the alleged security lapses in Friday’s incident. Meanwhile, relatives of those who died in Friday’s attack complained that Resorts World Manila has not helped them enough.

Abella made his remarks not long after a lone gunman opened fire and burned part of the Resorts World Manila casino – an act claimed by the terrorist Islamic State (ISIS), but dismissed by the Philippine National Police as a case of robbery.

On ISIS’ claim that their “fighters” launched the Resorts World Manila attack, Abella said, “They may claim credit but according to our evidence, it is not so.”

At the same time, Abella urged “the police, the media, and the public to please avoid speculations.”

Official sources have contradicted each other, however, since the shooting incident broke out on Friday.

Authorities themselves have even fueled speculations about the gunman’s motive, with investigators citing an unconfirmed report that the suspect lost as much as P100 million* ($2.02 million) from gambling. – Rappler.com

*$1 = P49.38

http://www.rappler.com/nation/171856-palace-negligence-resorts-world-manila-attack

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After 37 Die in Attack at Manila Resort, Questions Mount

MANILA — The gray smoke that belched for hours from a popular hotel-casino in Manila was initially dismissed by the police as the work of a disgruntled gambler with a bottle of gasoline. But as day broke over the Philippine capital on Friday, investigators discovered dozens of bodies, upending the government’s explanation of the fire and raising questions about the identity and motives of someone responsible for one of the country’s largest mass killings.

The first victims, identified as 22 guests and 13 employees of Resorts World Manila, appeared to have died of smoke inhalation, the police said, though autopsies had not yet been conducted.

The fire was started in the early hours of Friday morning, when a man carrying an assault rifle and a two-liter soda bottle filled with gasoline fired shots at a television and set gambling tables ablaze, sending patrons and workers into a panic. Some fled through the exits, and others jumped from second-floor balconies. But others hid in restrooms and gambling rooms, where they were overcome by smoke.

“This is also a very difficult time for all of us here in Resorts World Manila,” Stephen Reilly, the resort’s chief operating officer, told reporters. “We consider our guests, patrons and employees as our family.”

Hours after the first reports of an attack, the police and casino officials declared that the building had been cleared and all guests accounted for. But some victims’ family members waiting outside the hotel told a different story as they waited in vain for loved ones to exit.

By midday Friday, as reports of the discovered bodies trickled out, conflicting narratives emerged. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the assault through its Amaq News Agency. In a brief message in Arabic, it said, “Islamic State fighters carried out the Manila attack in the Philippines yesterday.”

President Trump has called the assault terrorism. But the police discounted that possibility and blamed one irate gambler for it. And American military intelligence officials said they had no credible indication that it was a terrorist attack.

“He could have inflicted maximum casualties, but he did not,” said Oscar Albayalde, a police spokesman, noting that the man passed scores of unarmed, fleeing patrons, who were easy targets if he aimed solely to kill and frighten.

Instead, Mr. Albayalde said, the police were investigating whether robbery, rather than terrorism, was the motive.

One account from the authorities said the attacker took 130 million pesos in chips, worth about $2.6 million, during his spree. How he intended to cash them was not explained.

Grieving relatives of a victim left the Resorts World Hotel in Manila on Friday. Credit Rody/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The police have not publicly identified the attacker. Rappler, a news site, reported that the gunman had been a longtime hotel guest who had a room on the fifth floor and was known to security personnel, which may have made it easier for him to sneak weapons into the resort.

Mr. Reilly, the resort executive, said the gunman had entered the resort’s mall on the second floor from the parking wing and made it past a security checkpoint and X-ray machine by firing shots into the air.

Mr. Reilly corroborated the police accounts that only one gunman was involved, adding that the motive was unclear.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/02/world/asia/shooting-resorts-world-manila.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fworld&action=click&contentCollection=world&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=4&pgtype=sectionfront

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Editorial from the Philippine: How Does a Lone Gunman Ger Into a “Secure” Manila Hotel-Casino for a Rampage ? The nation is supposed to be on alert

June 3, 2017

EDITORIAL – Security breach

Toting an assault rifle and a handgun, a tall man who looked Caucasian and reportedly spoke English walked into the Resorts World hotel-casino complex from the basement parking late Thursday night. Eyewitnesses said he waved away people at the casino before pouring gasoline on a baccarat table and setting it on fire.

Shot and wounded by two Resorts World security guards, the gunman fled to the upper floors and entered a room on the fifth floor, where police said he covered himself with a blanket doused with gasoline before setting himself on fire. He died clutching his M4 Carbine, which police said he apparently also used to shoot himself. While the gunman didn’t shoot anyone, the fire he started emitted toxic fumes that suffocated scores of hotel guests and employees. As of last night, the death toll stood at 38 including the gunman.

The rampage happened while the entire Mindanao is under martial law to contain the Maute and Abu Sayyaf threat. President Duterte has even warned that martial law could be extended to the Visayas and Luzon. The nation is supposed to be on alert for a spillover of the violence, including diversionary attacks.

Despite IS claims that the gunman was a lone wolf inspired by the terrorist group, police have ruled out terrorism in the casino rampage. Still, security concerns can only be heightened by the fact that a man who looks like a foreigner can lug around an M4 Carbine and a .380 pistol and effortlessly enter a hotel-casino complex just across the road from the NAIA Terminal 3.

In the early hours yesterday, the casino rampage was being reported around the world as a terrorist attack near the Philippines’ main airport in Metro Manila. Even if it is established conclusively that the gunman was simply a robber or a sore loser in the casino, his attack inflicted nearly as much damage to the nation as an act of terrorism. Security officials clearly need to get their act together, starting with tighter enforcement of gun laws.

http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2017/06/03/1706076/editorial-security-breach

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News

38 dead in casino rampage

Smoke rises from the Resorts World Manila complex in Pasay City early yesterday after a gunman set fire to gambling tables in the casino area, creating suffocating smoke that killed dozens of people. At left, relatives grieve as they receive news of the death of their loved ones. AP

PNP: No IS hand in Resorts World attack

MANILA, Philippines – Thirty-eight bodies were found inside a casino in Pasay City after a masked man burst in with an automatic rifle and set fire to a gaming room early yesterday.

Dozens of others were injured in a stampede as they rushed to leave Resorts World Manila after the man fired what police said was an M4 assault rifle and started the fire around midnight.

The burnt body of the gunman was found in a hotel room inside the complex about five hours later, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa said the gunman only fired at a television screen and did not take aim at anyone.

Responding lawmen initially found 36 bodies in the casino, who they said died from inhaling smoke that had become toxic because of the carpet on the gaming room floors.

“The victims who suffered from suffocation went up to 36,” National Capital Region Police Office director Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde told reporters.

“Practically, (the bodies were found) in the gaming area of casino. They were all recovered from the gaming area. None were found in the rooms,” he said.

Two more victims were later found in the second floor of the building  yesterday afternoon. One of the victims was buried by debris from a portion of the ceiling that fell, while the other was found in one of the rooms covered with a blanket.

The gunman initially disappeared into the chaos of smoke and running people, leading to a manhunt through the complex that ended just after dawn when he was found dead in Room 510, according to Dela Rosa.

“He lay down on the bed, covered himself with a thick blanket, apparently poured petrol on the blanket and burned himself,” Dela Rosa said.

Police said it appeared the suspect had killed himself after firing at officers searching the still-smoking building.

“Our assessment is he burned himself. He committed suicide,” Albayalde added.

Police said earlier the man’s motive was likely robbery and that the incident was not terror-related.

Security footage showed the gunman ignoring a guard who tried to question him at the complex’s entrance, then going straight to the casino. He stuffed a backpack with gambling chips, fired his assault rifle at TV screens and set gambling tables on fire by pouring gasoline from a two-liter bottle he carried.

It was not clear how he smuggled the gasoline and rifle into the crowded casino.

“We are looking into a robbery angle because he did not hurt any people and went straight to the casino chips storage room. He parked at the second floor and barged into the casino, shooting large TV screens and poured gasoline on a table, setting it on fire,” Dela Rosa said.

“He went crazy and ransacked the storage room,” he stressed.

Police described the gunman as tall with pale complexion and a mustache and spoke English.

The gunman, who was initially described as a foreigner, carried no identification documents. The bag of high-value gambling chips that he carried – with an estimated value of P113 million to P130 million – was later found in a toilet.

Terrorism fears

Before the gunman had been killed and police had confirmed possible motive, there were fears that the incident was a terror attack.

Albayalde and military spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla downplayed the incident as a mere “police matter,” not a terror attack.

Albayalde and Padilla told a press briefing at Malacañang that they have not monitored any terror threat in Metro Manila.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella also downplayed insinuations of a terror attack.

“Initial findings of police investigation of the Resorts World incident… show that there are no indications of terrorist activity,” Abella said.

“All indications point to a criminal act by an apparently emotionally disturbed individual. Although the perpetrator gave warning shots, there apparently was no indication that he wanted to harm or shoot anyone,” he said.

Abella also said the casino incident is not connected to the ongoing military campaign against the Islamic State-inspired Maute group in Marawi City.

Abella noted the gunman tried to grab millions worth of gambling chips before he died.

He said authorities are looking into the robbery angle.

“We really could not tell the motive of the perpetrator but apparently, he is mentally disturbed and as we can see, that’s why we could not relate it to… We cannot relate it to terrorism is because he did not shoot anybody,” Albayalde said.

“He just went inside, he burned the gaming tables … opened fire at the doorknob of the storage where the chips were kept and he stole P113 million worth of casino chips,” he added.

Albayalde said CCTV footage showed how the gunman entered the casino complex through the parking level and into the gaming area past midnight.

No lapses

The attack sent hundreds of people fleeing through the complex and out into the night. More than 70 people suffered mostly minor injuries in the stampede to escape.

Resorts World Manila chief operating officer Stephen Reilly said 22 guests and 13 employees initially died in the incident.

“It is with deep regrets that we confirm there were 35 casualties in this tragic incident, of which 13 are employees and 22 are guests,” Reilly read from a prepared statement.

Reilly said they are doing everything to extend assistance to the families of the victims.

“This is also a very difficult time for all of us here in Resorts World Manila. We consider our guests, patrons and our employees as family,” he said.

According to Reilly, the gunman initially figured in a firefight with casino security men. He said the gunman managed to escape though severely wounded, and was later found in a room where he had set himself ablaze.

Reilly stood firm that there were no security lapses on their part.

He said the security guards inside the complex were not provided firearms as a rule.

“We had an armed intruder who entered into the property. He fired his firearm. He was in combat attire. Security inside the premises do not carry firearms only on the outside of the premises,” Reilly said.

“They (security guards) did not engage because you’ve seen that it would escalate the situation. Unfortunately, the situation did escalate a bit further, moving towards gaming areas,” he added.

Reilly also maintained their fire safety measures “had worked as it should do.”

He pointed out the issue was not about the fire, but the thick smoke that engulfed the gaming section of the establishment and eventually killed their patrons.

“There is proper ventilation in the property. Unfortunately, I think a lot there was a degree of panic, which I understand when people hear gunshots they are going to hide for cover, evacuating the property quickly. They seek shelter and that is why they were overwhelmed by smoke,” Reilly said.

“Unfortunately, those victims suffer from smoke inhalation,” he added.

Resorts World officials led by Reilly read the names of the victims.

Among the fatalities were P Ling Hung Lee, Lai Wai Chung and Lai Yu Cheeh while the other 15 identified guests are Filipinos. They are Caccam Katherine Cervantes, Pacita Comquilla, Pomenciano Vargas Jr., Susan Abulencia, Jaime Gaboy Jr., Ariel Abrogar, Cliff Reyneira, Rolando Sison, Eluterio Reyes, Antonina Alanigue, Sheila Malicse, Carmelita de la Cruz, Mielle Oliveros, Pamela Silvestre and Elizabeth Gonzales.

Four of the victims remain unidentified, Reilly said.

He also identified 11 of the dead casino employees as Hazel Yangco, Jallah Ramos, Melvin Herrera, Arvi Gavino, BJ Pagsibigan, Rojie S Uy, Jessica Alindogan Merylle Gwen Ala, Lea Grace Mozo, Loudette Santos and Kay Nuguerra.

Reilly branded as speculation reports that the suspect was a previous guest at the casino who lost in gambling. He noted the police claim that the motive could have been simple robbery since the gunman tried to grab casino chips.

Reilly also hailed the police and security forces for immediately responding to the scene.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) said the incident was an isolated case of random violence “and was caused by a foreign-looking man who appeared to be deranged.”

Pagcor said it will coordinate with operators of other casinos to ensure the safety of all guests and employees to prevent a similar incident from happening. – Christina Mendez, Robertzon Ramirez, Perseus Echeminada, Iris Gonzales, AFP, AP

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/06/03/1706184/38-dead-casino-rampage

At least 37 dead in attack on Philippines casino — “All indications point to a criminal act by an apparently emotionally disturbed individual.”

June 2, 2017

Reuters

Fri Jun 2, 2017 | 2:17am EDT

By Manolo Serapio Jr and Neil Jerome Morales | MANILA
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At least 36 people died after a gunman burst into a Manila casino, firing shots and setting gaming tables alight, a spokesman for the Philippine president said on Friday, in what officials believe was a botched robbery attempt.

There was no evidence linking the attack at the Resorts World Manila entertainment complex to fighting between government troops and Islamist militants in the country’s south, said Ernesto Abella, a spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte.

Police patrol outside a hotel at the Resorts World Manila complex, early Friday, June 2, 2017, in Manila, Philippines. Gunshots and explosions rang out early Friday at a mall, casino and hotel complex near Manila’s international airport in the Philippine capital, sparking a security alarm amid an ongoing Muslim militant siege in the country’s south. AP Photo/Aaron Favila
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“All indications point to a criminal act by an apparently emotionally disturbed individual,” Abella told a media conference. “Although the perpetrator gave warning shots, there apparently was no indication that he wanted to do harm or shoot anyone.”

Most of the dead suffocated in the chaos as guests and staff tried to flee choking smoke at the complex after the drama that began shortly after midnight (1600 GMT).

Oscar Albayalde, chief of the capital’s police office, said those that died were in the casino’s main gaming area.

Pictures from the scene show wounded people being led out of the hotel

Pictures from the scene show wounded people being led out of the hotel CREDIT:TWITTER/JAMES AGUSTIN

“What caused their deaths is the thick smoke,” he told reporters. “The room was carpeted and of course the tables, highly combustible.”

A Resorts World Manila official said the dead included 13 employees and 22 guests.

DEATH IN ROOM 510

Around dawn, the body of the suspected gunman was found in a hotel room in the still-smoking complex, which is close to Ninoy Aquino International Airport and an air force base, police said.

“He burned himself inside the hotel room 510,” national police chief Ronald dela Rosa told a media conference. “He lay down on the bed, covered himself in a thick blanket and apparently doused himself in gasoline.”

The bodies of two of the victims had been taken to the Veronica funeral parlor, staff member Leni Domingo told Reuters.

Resort owner Travellers International Hotel Group Inc, a joint venture of the Philippines’ Alliance Global Group Inc and Genting Hong Kong Ltd, said authorities were still seeking details.

A injured policeman is seen at the entrance of a hotel after a shooting incident inside Resorts World Manila in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

“We have been informed of several casualties, the number and identities of whom have yet to be determined,” it said in a statement. Its shares were down 7 percent.

Officials said at least 54 people were hurt, some seriously, as they rushed to escape what at first had been feared as a militant attack.

“Don’t panic, this is not a cause for alarm. We cannot attribute this to terrorism,” national police chief dela Rosa told DZMM radio.

“We are looking into a robbery angle because he did not hurt any people and went straight to the casino chips storage room. He parked at the second floor and barged into the casino, shooting large TV screens and poured gasoline on a table setting it on fire,” he said.

Police said the gunman was tall with a pale complexion and spoke English.

Kimberly Molitas, a spokeswoman for the capital’s police office, said 113 million Philippine pesos ($2.27 million) worth of casino chips stolen during the raid had been recovered.

GUNSHOTS, PANIC

Videos posted earlier on social media showed people fleeing as several loud bangs were heard.

“Even the security personnel panicked. Maybe because of the heavy firearm, they can’t put up a fight so they prioritized life and safety,” Jeff Santos, a high roller at Resorts World Manila, told a Philippine radio station. “Definitely us patrons we did not expect that, everyone ran away.”

Jeri Ann Santiago, who works in the emergency room at the San Juan de Dios hospital, said patients were suffering the effects of smoke inhalation and some had injuries such as fractures. None had gunshot wounds, she said.

The Philippines has been on heightened alert amid a crisis in the south of the country, where troops have been battling Islamist rebels since May 23.

Duterte declared martial law on the southern island of Mindanao last week and has warned it could become a haven for supporters fleeing Iraq and Syria.

Earlier, U.S. President Donald Trump said Washington was closely monitoring what he described as a “terrorist” attack unfolding in Manila.

Dozens of police trucks and several huge Special Action Force vans and armored personnel carriers lined side streets near the hotel, casino and shopping mall complex as the drama unfolded.

Gil Yonco, 54, stood weeping in the street at around 5 a.m. His daughter had been on the second floor inside Resorts World and called her father for help because she was being suffocated by smoke.

He tried calling back but there was no answer. “I am very worried as a parent, I need to find her,” he said.

Relatives of victims gathered later in a parking area could be heard crying.

A South Korean foreign ministry official said one South Korean died at the casino after the unidentified person was evacuated. The official said the person likely suffered a heart attack but an autopsy would be carried out to determine the cause of death.

Three South Koreans suffered minor injuries from smoke inhalation or during the evacuation, the official said.

A casino worker named Julio from the third floor of the complex told DZMM radio he heard many gunshots and saw people running up the stairs from the second floor.

One man, who declined to give his name, told reporters how he and others used curtains to clamber down from the second floor.

Maintenance worker Ronald Romualdo told DZMM he saw a woman fall from an upper floor while trying to escape. “Several people were injured,” he said.

(Reporting by Manole Serapio Jnr and Neil Jerome Morales; Additional reporting by Peter Blaza, Clare Baldwin, Karen Lema, Manuel Mogato, Enrico Dela Cruz and Martin Petty in MANILA and Ju-min Park in SEOUL; Writing by Alex Richardson and Lincoln Feast; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt, Andrew Heavens and Paul Tait)

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MANILA, Philippines — (1st update 12:25 p.m.) The number of fatalities in the attack of a Pasay City hotel and casino on Friday morning rose to 37, including the lone gunman, as authorities continue to clear the establishment.

National Capital Region Police Chief Oscar Albayalde confirmed the number of deaths after the still unidentified gunman set fire inside Resorts World Manila.

The bodies were found at the second and third floor of the gaming area of the casino where the floor is carpeted and tables and chairs are highly combustible.

Albayalde said that none of the dead bodies had gunshot wounds and their death was due to suffocation because of thick smoke.

Meanwhile, around 54 people were wounded and have been brought to nearby hospitals, including the security guard who accidentally shot himself.

Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa earlier said that the gunman acted alone, contrary to witnesses’ claims that there were a group of armed men.

Casino officials, meanwhile, expressed regret over the incident which they described as a “cowardly act of a deranged mind.”

The charred body of the gunman was found on the fifth floor of Maxim’s Hotel.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/06/02/1706011/least-37-killed-due-suffocation-resorts-world-attack

President Duterte Once called The Philippine Police “Corrupt To The Core” — When will it get better? — Maybe When China Takes Over

May 23, 2017

By 
Philippine Inquirer

police

The streets of Manila are stressful to drive in on a daily basis. The heavy traffic is enough to make anyone groan, and bad drivers can get pretty ruthless. While there needs to be better law implementation and effective enforcement from the police, we don’t see any progress at all.

Recent incidents also heightened calls for safer and organized streets, especially when police officers are either confused or ignorant of the law. As concerned citizens, we want to bring up a few points on what can be improved when it comes to driving.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa (R) during a press conference at the Malacanang palace in Manila on January 30, 2017. © NOEL CELIS / POOL / AFP

When the Anti-Distracted Driving Law was put into motion, I thought it was about time that drivers were told to not use their phones. But mere days after its implementation, both police and drivers are dumbfounded by the law’s grounds. There were stories that ride-sharing vehicles were being stopped because they were looking at Waze from their dashboards. This is despite the fact that it’s allowed as long as it doesn’t obstruct your view.

Not only that, even rosaries and other religious icons were being banned under the law. Of course, this garnered a reaction from the church, saying that the LTFRB “is absolutely missing the point.” And they’re not wrong.

This prompted senators to call for the law’s suspension until it’s fixed and made less complicated. “We rarely hear of road accidents that result from the use of navigational apps,” said Sen. JV Ejercito. Definitely, texting and tinkering with a mobile phone while driving is a no-no. But when it is used as a navigational aid and it is properly place, it is okay.”

However, that’s not the only issue that citizens face with the police. Coleen Garcia recently recounted how an ex-cop harassed her driver and scratched her face. What made the ordeal worse was that police officers were merely watching and not helping the actress. “I’m still disappointed by the way the marshals handled (or failed to handle) the situation, but the police officers at the station were very helpful with everything,” she wrote on her Facebook account.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fcoleengarcia.x%2Fposts%2F1392395414162218&width=500

She also emphasized how ex-cops in the Philippines “can get away with anything he wants” regardless if they throw threats or pull out a gun.

This is just a few instances wherein the police force somehow doesn’t do their job right to ensure our safety. This should open our eyes to the reality that there still needs work to be done with these matters, be it traffic regulation or abuse of power.

 

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

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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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Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kline 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.”

Image may contain: text

No automatic alt text available.

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)

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and beard

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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Mass Murder in the Philippines Reaches The International Criminal Court — Duterte’s anti-crime campaign is about murder of mostly poor young men, lawyer says

April 25, 2017
 2  21 googleplus0  1

Lawyer Jude Sabio holds a 77-page complaint outside the International Criminal Court in The Hague yesterday.

MANILA, Philippines – The lawyer of a self-confessed hit man of the so-called Davao death squad (DDS) yesterday filed a complaint before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague against President Duterte and 11 other officials for alleged crimes against humanity in the course of a nationwide crackdown on drugs.

Jude Josue Sabio, the lawyer of ex-DDS hit man Edgar Matobato, filed the 77-page complaint titled “The Situation of Mass Murder in the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte: The Mass Murderer” before the office of ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

In a Senate inquiry last year, Matobato accused Duterte of masterminding the killings of over a thousand criminal suspects and opponents when the latter was mayor of Davao City.

Aside from Duterte, other officials included in the communication for violating different provisions of the Rome Statute are Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II; Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa; Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez; former interior secretary Ismael Sueno; Supt. Edilberto Leonardo; Senior Police Officer 4 Sanson Buenaventura; Supt. Royina Garma; National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Dante Gierran; Solicitor General Jose Calida and Senators Richard Gordon and Alan Peter Cayetano.

The Rome Statute is the treaty that established the ICC, the first permanent international court responsible for trying perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression, which are the Statute’s four core international crimes.

The Philippines is a state party to the Rome Statute, together with 123 other state parties, after ratifying it in August 2011.

The ICC steps in only when the state is unable or unwilling to stop the perpetration of the crimes.

Sabio said he filed the complaint to hold Duterte accountable “in the name of international criminal justice, and to once and for all end this dark, obscene, murderous and evil era in the Philippines,” as key government institutions had failed to act on the cases of extrajudicial killings.

“All in all, the ‘repeated, unchanging and continuous’ mass murder being conducted by Duterte has already resulted in the deaths of not less than 1,400 individuals in Davao City under his Davao death squad and not less than 7,000 individuals in his war on drugs (on) the national level,” the complaint read.

“His strategy, system or policy of crime control then in Davao City was to ‘erase’, eliminate or kill suspected criminals such as snatchers, robbers, and drug pushers/addicts through his now infamous Davao death squad. Even while Duterte is already President of the Philippines, his system or strategy of erasing, eliminating and killing persons suspected of crimes is still, in fact, being undertaken in Davao City up to the present,” it stated.

Sabio asked the ICC prosecutor to conduct a preliminary examination and a formal investigation leading to the issuance of a warrant of arrest against Duterte and the 11 other officials for their detention pending their trial “in order to prevent them from continuing with the commission of mass murder and to prevent them from killing potential victims and witnesses.”

The complaint cited 10 similarities in the extrajudicial killings done in Davao City by the DDS and the summary executions happening now, including “the element of police participation and command”; the presence of a hit man or an unknown armed assailant; the inclusion of a cash reward system for every killing and the existence of a “kill watchlist.”

“Sixth, there is collaboration between barangay and police officials; seventh, there is the cardboard sign and the face/body wrapped in packing tape; eighth, there is the use of ‘riding in tandem’ motorcycle-riding assailants; ninth, there is the use of hooded or masked assailants and tenth, there is the planting of a gun and drugs,” it said.

The complaint also cited Duterte’s “‘I will kill you’ mental state,” as well as his claimed “best practices” in fighting crime through summary executions.

To bolster the allegations, the complaint also relied on the testimonies of retired police officer and self-confessed DDS member Arthur Lascañas, who also testified last March before the Senate, confirming Matobato’s claims.

Senators, however, found Lascañas as having no credibility after he testified last year and denied the existence of the DDS when Matobato accused Duterte of spearheading extrajudicial killings.

Lascañas left the country earlier this month for Singapore with his family, saying he feared for his life.

The complaint also cited the petition filed by a certain Ernesto Avasola, who petitioned the courts in 2009 to exhume alleged remains of victims of the DDS in Davao City.

‘Wild’

The complaint also lamented that the Senate had failed to act as a check against the extrajudicial killings despite having conducted at least two inquiries into the summary executions connected to Duterte’s war on drugs.

Sabio contended that the Senate is not expected to seek Duterte’s accountability, as it is dominated by his allies even as he recounted in detail the political shifts in the chamber, including the events leading to the detention of Sen. Leila de Lima on drug charges, the stand of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV against extrajudicial killings and the ouster of members of the Liberal Party from the majority bloc.

“In turn, this unwillingness or inability of the Senate can be interpreted to mean as a direct intention to obstruct justice with the aim of shielding Duterte from being exposed to criminal liability,” Sabio stated.

Except for Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, who described the complaint as “wild,” other senators declined to issue statements or could not be reached for comment.

“Crimes against humanity? Drug pushers fighting back against police operations are now called humanity?” Sotto said in a text message.

Bensouda said that last year, her office was following developments in the Philippines “with a view to assessing whether a preliminary examination needs to be opened.”

“I am deeply concerned about these alleged killings and the fact that public statements of high officials of the Republic of the Philippines seem to condone such killings and further seem to encourage state forces and civilians alike to continue targeting these individuals with lethal force,” she said.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/04/25/1693669/matobato-lawyer-files-case-vs-rody-icc

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JAKARTA, Indonesia — A Filipino lawyer asked the International Criminal Court in The Hague on Monday to charge President Rodrigo Duterte and 11 other Philippine officials with mass murder and crimes against humanity in the killings of thousands of people over three decades.

The lawyer, Jude Josue Sabio, said in a 77-page complaint that Mr. Duterte was the “mastermind” of a campaign that has killed more than 9,400 people, mostly poor young men, since 1988, when Mr. Duterte was first elected mayor of Davao City in the southern Philippines.

“The situation in the Philippines reveals a terrifying, gruesome and disastrous continuing commission of extrajudicial executions or mass murder from the time President Duterte was the mayor of Davao City,” the complaint says.

Mr. Sabio represents two men who say they were paid assassins for Mr. Duterte when he was mayor of Davao City, but filed the case on his own. The court has the authority to accept cases brought by individuals as well as by nations and the United Nations Security Council.

Mr. Duterte was elected president last year after pledging to kill criminals as part of what he called a war on drugs. Since taking office last June, he has repeatedly urged the police to kill suspects and has promised to protect or pardon police officers who are prosecuted.

According to police statistics, more than 4,000 people have been killed by the police in antidrug operations or by vigilantes in drug-related cases since Mr. Duterte became president. Mr. Sabio’s complaint puts that number at more than 8,000.

In addition, the complaint cites the killings of more than 1,400 people who Mr. Sabio and rights advocates say were killed over 28 years in Mr. Duterte’s anti-crime campaign in Davao City.

The complaint also names Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre; the national police chief, Ronald dela Rosa; House of Representatives Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez; and two senators, Peter Cayetano and Richard Gordon.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/24/world/asia/rodrigo-duterte-philippines-icc-complaint.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fworld&action=click&contentCollection=world&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront&_r=0

Read the rest:

Philippines: Presidential Spokesman Calls 7,000 Extrajudicial Killings “Fake News” (It’s actually more like 9,000) — Further Erodes Credibility of Philippine Government, Philippine National Police (PNP)

April 21, 2017
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella called reports on more than 7,000 extralegal killings “false news.” PCOO/King Rodriguez

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesperson on Friday called reports of nearly 9,000 drug-related deaths “false news,” months after media organizations and international groups used the figure in their reports.

Ernesto Abella, the presidential spokesperson, said that the persistent reports of more 7,000 killed, which is now said to be nearly 9,000, was “false news” as the Philippine National Police (PNP) said that the figure was much lower.

“On the number of extrajudicial deaths, the persistent news reports of 7,000 killed, which is now being said to be close to 9,000, is false,” Abella said.

The president’s spokesperson said that based on official police data there were only 6,011 homicide cases being investigated. Of the figure, only 1,398 cases were found to be drug related, contrary to reports that 9,000 have already been killed in anti-illegal drugs operations, Abella said.

Abella, meanwhile, called on organizations which report on drug incidents to be fair and not to rush to judgment as he emphasized that people appreciated the changes being implemented by the administration and the way these were carried out.

“We ask to be understood not just from a single perspective, but from the point of view of Filipinos who desire change, stability and fairness,” Abella said.

The number of murders and homicide cases, however, have risen dramatically at the start of the Duterte administration last year despite government’s denial that they are related to the brutal war on drugs. Drug experts also acknowledge that stringent law enforcement policy against narcotics have historically resulted in unnecessary violence and deaths.

Abella’s comments came days after a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed that public satisfaction with the government’s conduct of the war on drugs plunging by 11 points, from +77 in December 2016 to +66 in March 2017.

He also assuaged American concern on the increasing extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, saying that those who breached protocol would be made to account.

“We share the concern of US Assistant Secretary of State for Southeast Asia Patrick Murphy, who has been quoted in the media saying ‘there are elements of the drug war that are operating outside the rule of law,’” the spokesperson said.

Abella said that the PNP has an Internal Affairs Service which would probe into cases of police violations.

“This body can suspend or dismiss PNP personnel based on violations incurred and can recommend the filing of criminal charges,” he said.

He said that security forces followed procedures in conducting their operations although force may be used to protect the safety of the police.

“Local authorities follow operation protocols and the proper enforcement of our laws requires the use of reasonable force merited by the attendant circumstances,” he said.

Not a single cop, however, has been accused by police investigators before a court of unjustifiably killing drug suspects in police operations. President Rodrigo Duterte himself said he will defend and pardon cops accused of wrongdoing in the field.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/04/21/1692511/abella-calls-7000-extrajudicial-killings-fake-news

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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 Kline 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.”

Image may contain: text

No automatic alt text available.

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)

 

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and beard

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

Philippines: National Police killings ‘committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population’ — ‘Reign of terror’ — ‘Extermination’ — Insiders talking to evidence gatherers for the International Criminal Court

April 18, 2017
At least 39 people were killed in police operations during Holy Week as Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa proved true to his word that there would be no Lenten break in the war on drugs. AP/Bullit Marquez, file
  • Almost 9,000 people killed since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in June
  • Two senior officials have claimed that police orchestrated many of those killings 
  • Police paid to kill drug suspects and – for 10,000 pesos ($200) a head – rapists, pickpockets, swindlers, gang members, alcoholics and other ‘troublemakers’

The Philippine police have given bonuses for killing drug suspects, planted evidence at crime scenes and carried out most of the murders they blamed on vigilantes, said two senior officers.

The officials, who are critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘war on drugs,’ challenged the government’s explanations of the killings in interviews.

Almost 9,000 people, many small-time users and dealers, have been killed since Duterte took office on June 30. Police say about a third of the victims were shot by officers in self-defence during legitimate anti-drug operations.

Human rights monitors believe the remaining two thirds were killed by paid assassins working with police or by police disguised as vigilantes – a charge the police deny.

Philippine police have received cash payments for executing drug suspects, planted evidence at crime scenes and carried out most of the killings they have long blamed on vigilantes, claim officials critical of President Rodrigo Duterte's (pictured) 'war on drugs'

Philippine police have received cash payments for executing drug suspects, planted evidence at crime scenes and carried out most of the killings they have long blamed on vigilantes, claim officials critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s (pictured) ‘war on drugs’

The two senior officers, one a retired police intelligence officer and the other an active-duty commander, claimed the killings are in fact orchestrated by the police, including most of those carried out by vigilantes. They spoke on the condition of anonymity.

‘It is the Philippine National Police doing it,’ said the retired intelligence officer.

‘This killing machine must be buried six feet under the ground.’ He said he was angry about the impact of the killings on police discipline and wanted ‘to put Duterte on the defensive.’ Reuters was unable to independently verify if the police are behind vigilante killings.

The president’s office and the Philippine police did not respond to questions from Reuters.

The intelligence officer has authored an unpublished 26-page report on the conduct of the drug war in an effort to organize opposition to Duterte’s campaign.

The report, titled ‘The State-Sponsored Extrajudicial Killings in the Philippines,’ provides granular detail on the campaign’s alleged methods, masterminds and perpetrators. The document has been shared with leaders of the Catholic Church in the Philippines and with the government-funded Commission on Human Rights.

Some of the report’s accusations against individuals could not be confirmed by Reuters; the news agency is therefore not publishing the full document.

Many of its findings, however, support and expand upon previous investigations of the drug war by Reuters and independent human rights monitors.

Human rights monitors believe paid assassins operating with police backing or by police disguised as vigilantes killed two thirds of the 9,000 people who have died since June 30 - a charge police deny

Human rights monitors believe paid assassins operating with police backing or by police disguised as vigilantes killed two thirds of the 9,000 people who have died since June 30 – a charge police deny

The report claims that police are paid to kill not just drug suspects, but also – for 10,000 pesos ($200) a head – rapists, pickpockets, swindlers, gang members, alcoholics and other ‘troublemakers.’

It also claims that civilian members of the so-called Davao Death Squad, which rights activists allege killed hundreds of people in Duterte’s hometown of Davao, were drafted to ‘augment and assist’ the police’s current nationwide anti-drug operation.

The report doesn’t provide documentary evidence for its accusations, which the intelligence officer said were based on accounts from 17 serving or former policemen, including the commander Reuters interviewed. The police commander said he agreed to talk because he was upset that authorities are targeting only petty drug suspects. ‘Why aren’t they killing the suppliers?’ he asked. ‘Only the poor are dying.’

The second half of the report is largely political in nature, asserting that Duterte has close ties to Communist forces in the Philippines. Many in the military and police are concerned by what they see as Duterte’s leftist sympathies. Since taking office, the president has released Communist rebels from prison to restart peace talks.

The report also calls the drug war a ‘social cleansing’ campaign similar to that launched in Mao Zedong’s China, with Duterte aiming to have drug addicts ‘physically eliminated.’

The Commission on Human Rights has reviewed the report and the accounts could open up new leads in ongoing investigations, said chairman Chito Gascon. Church officials confirmed receiving the report as well.

A report claims that police are paid to kill not just drug suspects, but also - for 10,000 pesos ($200) a head - rapists, pickpockets, swindlers, gang members, alcoholics and other 'troublemakers' (pictured, police interrogating local residents in operation against drugs

A report claims that police are paid to kill not just drug suspects, but also – for 10,000 pesos ($200) a head – rapists, pickpockets, swindlers, gang members, alcoholics and other ‘troublemakers’ (pictured, police interrogating local residents in operation against drugs

‘We should do all we can to follow any lead that could ultimately shed light on these killings with the view to ultimately holding the perpetrators to account,’ said Gascon.

The fresh claims come amid growing criticism of the drug war. In February, the country’s influential Catholic Church called it a ‘reign of terror.’ The campaign has also sparked street protests and lawsuits.

Duterte’s police chief, Ronald Dela Rosa, halted police operations for most of February after it emerged that an anti-drug unit had kidnapped and murdered a South Korean businessman last year. The killings continued but at a slower pace. On March 6, Dela Rosa announced that the police were resuming their drug operations.

In March, a former policeman, Arturo Lascanas, testified in the Philippine Senate about his role in vigilante-style killings in the southern city of Davao, where Duterte was once mayor. Lascanas was the second Senate witness to link Duterte to the Davao Death Squad. Duterte denies ordering any killings, either as president or mayor.

In a subsequent interview, Lascanas told Reuters that for over a decade he was paid for carrying out the liquidation of drug suspects and criminals. In the early 1990s, he said, he was paid 3,000 to 5,000 pesos ($60-$100) for each of the ‘jobs’ he performed.

By the early 2000s he was earning tens of thousands of pesos for each operation, he said. Lascanas said he had no documentary proof of the payments. He has since left the country.

In the past nine months, police acknowledge having shot dead more than 2,600 suspects during their operations. They say such shootings occur after suspects open fire on undercover officers trying to catch them dealing drugs.

It also claims that civilian members of the so-called Davao Death Squad, which rights activists allege killed hundreds of people in Duterte's hometown of Davao, were drafted to 'augment and assist' the police's current nationwide anti-drug operation. Pictured, Duterte with Trade Secretary Liam Fox)

It also claims that civilian members of the so-called Davao Death Squad, which rights activists allege killed hundreds of people in Duterte’s hometown of Davao, were drafted to ‘augment and assist’ the police’s current nationwide anti-drug operation. Pictured, Duterte with UK Trade Secretary Liam Fox

But these so-called ‘buy-busts’ are actually well-planned executions, said the commander interviewed by Reuters. The commander said targets are chosen from lists of suspects drawn up by police and local officials, who later coordinate to unplug security cameras in the neighbourhood where a killing is planned. According to the report, street lamps are also switched off.

‘There is no such thing as a legitimate buy-bust,’ the commander said. ‘The dealers know the cops and won’t sell to them.’

Instead, he said, a team of police operatives will execute the target, who is almost always unarmed, then plant guns and drugs at the crime scene to justify the use of deadly force.

‘We have to plant evidence for the legality of the operation,’ the commander said. ‘We are ordered to do these operations, so we have to protect ourselves.’

The commander said officers put the gun in the dead suspect’s hand and pull the trigger with the victim’s finger so forensic testing will show that the suspect fired a gun.

Late last year, he said, police crime-scene investigators told their fellow officers to place the guns at a slight distance from the suspects, rather than in their hands, to make things look more realistic.

Most drug suspects in his precinct are shot by rookie cops who are either eager for the experience or nominated by their superiors, the commander said. The superiors refer to this as a ‘baptism by fire.’

Each member of the team is quickly paid according to two factors, said the commander: his role in the killing and the target’s value.

According to the report, the cash ‘reward scales’ for drug killings range from 20,000 pesos ($400) for a ‘street level pusher and user,’ to 50,000 pesos for a member of a neighborhood council, one million pesos for ‘distributors, retailers and wholesalers,’ and five million for ‘drug lords.’

Police officers kill for money, said the commander, but also out of fear: Even the police are afraid of being included on a ‘watch list’ of drug suspects drawn up by police and local officials.

Officials have been killed for not cooperating, he added. He said he was aware of two cases but did not provide details on exactly what happened.

Most drug suspects in his precinct are shot by rookie cops who are either eager for the experience or nominated by their superiors, the commander said. Pictured, armed Filipino policemen stand guard next to the wall of a prison facility

Most drug suspects in his precinct are shot by rookie cops who are either eager for the experience or nominated by their superiors, the commander said. Pictured, armed Filipino policemen stand guard next to the wall of a prison facility

Reuters reported last year that the watch lists were effectively hit lists, with many of those named ending up dead. Another Reuters investigation showed that police officers were killing 97 percent of the suspects they confront in violent buy-bust operations, the strongest evidence yet that the police were summarily executing suspects.

Officers also cooperate because they know the police force’s flawed disciplinary system, which fails to adequately investigate even a fraction of the killings, means there is little chance they will get caught, said the intelligence officer.

One sign of the drug war’s success, says the government, is that more than a million users and pushers have voluntarily registered with the police, a process known as ‘surrendering.’

But the commander said police are given a quota of ‘surrenderers,’ and fill it by using city ordinances to arrest men who are drunk or shirtless – a misdemeanor known as ‘half-naked’ – then forcing them to register as drug suspects.

Reuters learned of the intelligence officer’s 26-page report from him and interviewed two Catholic priests in Manila who said they had encouraged him to compile it. One of the priests said he edited the report; the other said he helped distribute it among a small group of clerics and human rights activists. Both are helping organize opposition to Duterte’s drug campaign.

The Church’s initial reluctance to criticize Duterte’s drug war was prompted by a desire to ‘give him a chance’ when he took office, said one of the priests. But the killings, along with the president’s overtures to Communists, made many in the Church feel their values were under attack, he said.

The intelligence officer said he hoped the report would be used as evidence at the International Criminal Court. In October, the Hague-based tribunal said it could prosecute suspects if the killings were ‘committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4421430/Police-kill-rewards-staged-crime-scenes-Dutertes-drug-war.html#ixzz4ecS4W7LE
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

Image may contain: 1 person

Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kline 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.”

Image may contain: text

No automatic alt text available.

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)

Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl looks like it has been put out with the trash…..
.

 

 (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)

 

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and beard

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

Philippines: 39 dead in Holy Week drug war

April 17, 2017
At least 39 people were killed in police operations during Holy Week as Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa proved true to his word that there would be no Lenten break in the war on drugs. AP/Bullit Marquez, file

MANILA, Philippines – At least 39 people were killed in police operations during Holy Week as Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa proved true to his word that there would be no Lenten break in the war on drugs.

The PNP National Monitoring Center reported a total of 131 persons killed during operations against illegal drugs from March 1 to April 16 or in the last 47 days.

Of that number, 39 were killed in the government campaign in the last nine days or from April 7 to 16. This brought the average to four deaths daily.

In the report, 92 people were killed – an average of 2.4 individuals per day – since the PNP conducted Oplan Double Barrel Reloaded from March 1 to April 7.

Although the Roman Catholic church started observing the Holy Week on April 9, Palm Sunday, Dela Rosa warned drug pushers and addicts that the war against illegal drugs would continue.

“No, it won’t stop. Continuous, no letup,” said Dela Rosa, who was quick to clarify that he neither encourages nor discourages any police officer who chooses to do certain Catholic practices, like carrying the cross or performing similar acts of penitence, which he considers a “personal vocation according to their own volition.”

“If they want to do it, go ahead,” the police chief said.

Of the 131 drug personalities killed, 44 were from Central Luzon; 24, National Capital Region (NCR); 17, Southern Tagalog; 8, Central Visayas; 6, Western Mindanao; 5, Eastern Visayas; 5, Central Mindanao; and 4, Bicol.

The regions of Western Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, Caraga and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) each had three people killed while the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Negros have one each.

Under Oplan High-Value Target Revalidated, police operatives conducted 6,025 operations and arrested a total of 9,692 drug personalities. Most of them were from NCR (2,122) and Southern Tagalog (2,089).

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/04/17/1691058/39-dead-holy-week-drug-war