Impeachment complaint against Duterte an exercise in futility

 

Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano showing his file of impeachment charges against Pres. Duterte.

The writing on the wall clearly points to Sen. Antonio Trillanes as the master mind in Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano’s impeachment complaint filed against Presdent Rodrigo Duterte.

Not only have the duo been together in the infamous Oakwood mutiny in 2003 that was intended to topple down the Arroyo presidency, but the three main charges in the complaint just sounds too familiar that it is simply irrational not to mention Trillanes as the one behind it.

The fact alone that the House has the exclusive power to initiate the impeachment process only shows that Trillanes has used a loyal yes-person in Alejano to file the following charges against Duterte accusing him of:

  • betrayal of public trust, culpable violation of the Constitution, and other high crimes for his war on drugs which, according to the complaint, the President has used to “induce” policemen into killing alleged drug dealers and users without regard for the law, and making this as basis for their promotion in the police.
  • betrayal of public trust, bribery, graft and corruption, and culpable violation of the Constitution for allegedly creating the Davao Death Squad (DDS) when he was mayor of Davao, citing the testimonies of self-confessed DDS members retired policeman Arturo Lascañas and Edgar Matobato.
  • of graft and corruption and other high crimes for his alleged unexplained wealth and his hiring of contractual employees as mayor. Among the annexes in the complaint are the alleged bank accounts of Duterte and his family.

If these Madalo pair of lawmakers is not grandstanding and ego tripping for their own selfish agenda, I do not know how else to describe it since they know very well that the 1987 Philippine Constitution sets specific grounds for impeachment of the president which are treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes or betrayal of public trust.

What I am saying and asking is: Do this pair of former renegade soldiers have enough solid evidences that would substantiate their allegations/charges so that they could nail Duterte to the cross?

Or are these former comrades in arms solely dependent on what is more commonly used phrase now – the alternative facts – which in reality are false facts or what is bluntly called as lies, especially coming from questionable, if not unreliable, witnesses against Duterte?

I am not even asking if both Trillanes and Alejano have enough followers in the House to muster enough votes to make the case against Duterte prosper.

No wonder Sen. Panfilo Lacson wished them good luck!

But what we should be asking really are:

  • Was there treason, betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption, and high crime committed by Duterte while still the mayor of Davao City?
  • How does Davao City now compare with other major cities in the country?
  • What does the Commission on Human Rights have to legally uphold Duterte’s human right violation?
  • Wasn’t the reason Duterte won overwhelmingly the presidential race is because the people want the country to be transformed the way he changed Davao city into a safe and livable place?

Thus, I would say that the impeachment complaint against Duterte is nothing but noise and an exercise in futility.

 

Advertisements

Lascañas and Matobato are ventriloquist dummies of Trillanes

 

Self-confessed killers Edgar Matobato and Arthur Lascañas.

I wonder what impression the others have on self-confessed hitmen, former Special Police Officer 3 (SPO3) Arthur Lascañas and Edgar Matobato, but for me I see them all as Sen. Antonio Trillanes’ ventriloquist dummies.

In his ardent quest to oust Pres. Rodrigo Duterte from Malacañaang, Trillanes has been moving heaven and earth searching for testimonies  and smoking guns that will convince the populace that the man they have overwhelmingly voted for president is corrupt and a killer as well pretending to be a righteous person.

This of course coming from an ambitious man whose career in the military was cut short, thank goodness, because of his own narcissistic approach to life which can easily be observed glaringly the way he talks and carries himself.

Until Duterte came along, Trillanes thought that his notoriety coupled with his grandstanding in the Senate during the height of the corruption probe of the Binays would make him a shoo-in in the vice presidential election of 2016 placing him just a heart-beat away from the presidency if he wins.

Divine Providence made sure Trillanes won’t get his wish with Duterte’s entry in the presidential race and the rest is history.

Now Trillanes is and has been on the warpath against Duterte and for a reason – the spoiler of his political dreams and aspirations has to be avenged.

Not being able to prove that Duterte has billions of pesos in the bank as he alleged, Trillanes, with the assistance of Sen. Leila de Lima, made sure that he would go hammer and tongs after Duterte on the latter’s dark past with the much ballyhooed Davao Death Squad (DDS) when he was still the mayor of Davao City which reportedly killed over a thousand people.

This Trillanes made by coddling and using both Matobato and Lascañs as his main witnesses to nail Duterte on the cross.

Despite the questionable credibility and utter inconsistencies of both witnesses, killers in their own rights, Trillanes continues to believe they have the testimonies, the goods, the smoking gun that will finally unmask Duterte, as criminal.

But of course Trillanes has to believe and be convinced by the detailed account of his witnesses for after all both Matobato and Lascañas are his ventriloquist dummies, which means that he is the source of what needs to be heard by the public.

And it pleases no one’s ears but his!

Trillanes, de Lima and Lascañas

 

Senators Trillanes and de Lima.

Senators Trillanes and de Lima.

Senators Antonio Trillanes and Leila de Lima have been hogging the limelight lately for the obvious reason that both want President Rodrigo Duterte out of the presidency.

Like mad dogs both Trillanes and de Lima are going after Duterte with the former alleging that the president has hidden bank accounts, together with his family, that runs in billions of pesos and the latter calling the president murderer and sociopathic serial killer.

The noises that both senators are making are in the hope that their anger against Duterte will rub off on the Filipino people so that an uprising would ensue that could be the start of the president’s downfall.

But what is outrageous and sickening about the Trillanes and de Lima scheme is that both are also hinging their success on the come-backing, now retired police officer SPO3 Arthur Lascañas, who on October 3, 2016 appeared in the Senate that was investigating the alleged existence of the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS) and, under oath, swore that he was never connected with the heinous organization because in the first place it never existed.

Self-confessed members of the DDS: Edgar Matobato and Arthur Lascañas.

Self-confessed members of the DDS: Edgar Matobato and Arthur Lascañas.

This time, however, Lascañas resurfaced singing a different tune, to the delight of Trillanes and de Lima no doubt, and flanked by well known human right lawyers from the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) claimed, nay, confirmed that the DDS indeed existed under Duterte’s term as mayor of Davao City and confessing further that Duterte paid them between P20,000 to P100,000 for each kill.

Needless to say that, like Edgar Matobato who was Trillanes’ and de Lima’s ward, Lascañas has now joined his comrade in arms in accusing Duterte as the mastermind behind the killings in Davao.

But what does this make of Lascañas really?

And what does this speak of Trillanes and de Lima who are now coddling a retired policeman who has not only admitted having killed people but who has breached the sanctity of the Senate by lying after having been sworn to tell the truth?

Wasn’t Lascañas’ behavior an affront to the institution that its members were taken for a ride by a felon?

And yet we have now Trillanes and de Lima approving and defending Lascañas’ reappearance and confession simply because it provides something that both think will strengthen their cases in ousting Duterte from the presidency.

But how wrong can they be.

Even with Matobato and Lacañas as their aces against Duterte, Trillanes and de Lima don’t have a Chinaman’s chance in ousting the latter for it is not just about Duterte ordering/doing the killings, but it is more about proving that Duterte did the ordering/killing.

Worse still is that Trillanes and de Lima do not have the Filipino people behind them.

De Lima’s gambit against Duterte boomeranged on her

 

Embattled Sen. Leila de Lima

Embattled Sen. Leila de Lima

Senator Leila de Lima thought she had an ace in Edgar Matobato when she had the self-proclaimed assassin and former member of the dreaded Davao Death Squad (DDS) testifying in her former Justice committee investigating the alleged extra-judicial killings in the Duterte administration’s current war on drugs.

De Lima may have successfully restrained her euphoric emotions from being noticed by the public but deep inside her she surely was head over heels at what she was hearing when Matobato directly implicated President Rodrigo Duterte and to some extent his son Paolo, now vice mayor of Davao City, over the gruesome killings said to have been perpetrated by the DDS, most of which were allegedly ordered by former Davao City mayor and now President Duterte.

But it was very obvious, however, that the Senate inquiry, then chaired by de Lima, made an oblique turn by allowing Matobato to narrate his horrid and beastly experiences while a member of the DDS simply with the sinister purpose of putting the President Duterte in bad light.

What was disgusting about the whole proceedings was not that Sen. Antonio Trillanes showed his rotten ass-hole character against Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, but it was the senseless, idiotic and vengeful attitude of de Lima, as chair of the committee, to allow Matobato to proceed with his horrific tale knowing that in the process de Lima was no longer looking for flaws in aid of legislation but rather relishing at the verbal barbs directed personally at Duterte mainly for her self-satisfaction and political realization.

Apparently this gaffe did not pass unnoticed by most senators supporting Duterte and they were all saying that Matobato’s heinous DDS tale was a separate subject not covered by the resolution authorizing the inquiry, which was looking into alleged extra-judicial killings in the current war on drugs.

Thus, the result was that after the Senate next convened, Sen. Cayetano delivered a privilege speech denouncing how the Senate Justice committee had been used, not for an inquiry in aid of legislation but for an apparent “demolition job” on the President.

It was bad enough that Sen. Manny Pacquiao, a lesser star of a senator, removed a much heralded senator in de Lima from the chairmanship of the powerful Justice committee after the former moved to declare the chairmanship and the memberships vacant, but what is even worse is that Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre is preparing 12 high-profile inmates/drug lords from New Bilibid Prison (NBP) and other penal colonies to testify against de Lima in a hearing at the House of Representatives, which is scheduled to investigate the proliferation of illegal drugs at  NBP and how money was collected to allegedly bankroll de Lima’s senatorial run.

De Lima should have handled her boomerang intelligently and expertly. Now it is coming back hard at her.

Probing de Lima better for the nation than probing killer witness

 

Edgar Matobato and Sen. Leila de Lima

Edgar Matobato and Sen. Leila de Lima

What could have been an enlightening investigation/hearing on extrajudicial killing related to the Duterte administration’s relentless war on drugs by the Senate Committee on Justice chaired by Sen. Leila de Lima became instead a gruesome tale of killings as narrated by a surprise witness of the latter and self-described assassin belonging to the infamous Davao Death Squad (DDS) during President Rodrigo Duterte’s term as mayor of Davao city.

Edgar Matobato, the 57-year-old killer witness, who admitted he only finished Grade I, testified under oath that he and a group of policemen and ex-communist rebels killed about 1,000 people between 1988 and 2013 on Duterte’s orders — one of them an alleged kidnapper fed alive to a crocodile.

Matobato acknowledged that he himself carried out about 50 deadly assaults as an assassin and admitted having garroted, burned, quartered and then buried at a quarry allegedly owned by a police officer who was a member of the DDS. Others were dumped to be eaten by fish.

It was bad enough that Matobato’s testimony was full of holes but it was even worse that he directly implicated Duterte under oath in a public hearing about the latter’s participation in the killings, not to mention that he also accused Duterte of masterminding the unsuccessful ambush planned for de Lima when she chaired the Commission on Human Rights and was investigating the mayor’s possible role in extrajudicial killings in 2009 in Davao.

Note that as senator, de Lima has been a staunch critic of Duterte’s anti-drug campaign that has left more than 3,000 suspected drug users and dealers dead since he assumed the presidency in June.

Duterte in turn has accused de Lima of involvement in illegal drugs, alleging that she used to have a driver who took money from detained drug lords.

It is in this context that Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre branded as ‘lies and fabrications’ the testimonies made by Matobato when grilled by some senators, thus, prompting him even to say that the attestations by the witness were all product of a ‘fertile and coached imagination’.

What Aguirre was simply trying to point out is that in choosing to entertain and heralding the coming forward of Matobato to testify, de Lima was simply trying hard to divert the public’s attention from her supposed involvement with the illegal drugs trade inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) which is scheduled to be investigated by the House of Representatives pretty soon.

Aguirre said that he will be presenting ‘explosive’ witnesses against de Lima into her alleged role in the proliferation of illegal drugs in the NBP.

I find probing de Lima, a VIP, more interesting, relevant and beneficial for the country than pursuing in probing somebody that is simply used for personal interest and satisfaction.

Honeymoon over for Duterte and netizens

 

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte

Whether the heading is made as a statement or a question I think the response of many will still be either negating it or disagreeing with it.

I still would like to think that President Rodrigo Duterte is leading this nation in the right direction and many are still behind him.

If Duterte’s attack on Sen. Leila de Lima as an ‘immoral’ person and an illegal drug cartel beneficiary drew the ire of a number of individuals or groups of people, especially those against sexism, then I would like to believe that they are simply expressing their rights on that particular issue and does not mean that they are now turning their backs on Duterte’s overall program and aspirations for the country.

One should understand by now who Duterte is and if he seems to go overboard on some issues I think it is simply because he is a bullheaded advocate of unrestrained candor, transparency and bluntness the way he has been known for and got respected as mayor of Davao City.

Duterte is one scrupulous dude who is fearless, who is his own boss, who is beholden to nobody but the Filipino people and who calls spade a spade regardless of who you are for as long as it serves the interest of the country.

That is who Duterte is and the realization of the enormity of the country’s problem in terms of drugs, corruption and criminality is what makes him passionately engaged to the extent that it does not matter to him anymore if he is up against a public official, an oligarch, a scum or the head of the UN.

Either you are with him or you are against him.

That is the long and short of it.

One thing going for Duterte is that he is a lawyer and he knows his law and because of this factor it makes the people all the more confident that he knows whereof he speaks.

Duterte may have his own issues of transgressions as a married man but people turned a blind eye about it anyway and made him an overwhelming choice for the presidency, so why the unnecessary furor about his attacks on de Lima?

Not because Duterte is now president that he is prohibited already from exacting revenge at de Lima for what she did to him when she accused the then Davao City mayor as being connected the DDS, Davao Death Squad, which to this day remains unproven.

Payback time and more is all there is to it!