Friday, June 10, 2016

Philippines President Elect Rodrigo Duterte is hell- bent on reducing the Philippine population as he plans to hang around 50 criminals every month or over one criminal a day for hanging during his six-year administration

Philippines President Elect Rodrigo Duterte is hell- bent on reducing the Philippine population as he plans to hang around 50 criminals every month or over one criminal a day for hanging during his six-year administration

The plan was disclosed by Quezon Representative-elect Danilo Suarez after meeting with Duterte and incoming  Speaker Pantaleon “ Bebot” Alvarez in Davao City last Tuesday.Suarez said Duterte had asked the support of lawmakers to revive the death penalty in the House of Representatives when it opens its First  Regular Session on July 25.

Also present during the meeting were Ilocos Norte Rep. Rudy Farinas, outgoing Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr.
Suarez said the lawmakers were receptive to the proposal of the incoming President even as Andaya, who is reportedly being groomed to be the chairman of House committee on appropriations, said that Congress would have to allot funds for the rehabilitation of the facilities for lethal injection.
The lethal injection was last used on convicted rapist Leo Echagaray in 1999.
Suarez, for his part, proposed the use of firing squad instead of death by hanging as proposed by Duterte.
Suarez noted that Duterte wanted death by hanging as a deterrent to crime.
The death penalty was abolished by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on June 24, 2006.
Arroyo’s move had effectively commuted the sentences of 1200 people on death row to life imprisonment.
But with the entry of the Duterte government some 3,600 criminals are in danger of being hanged aside from those who are going to be summarily executed.
Suarez: Passing death penalty
law needs 3 to 4 months
The House of Representatives can pass a bill resurrecting the controversial death penalty in three to four months after Duterte marks the bill as urgent.
Duterte believes that bringing back the death penalty will help his administration curb illegal drugs and criminality and restore law and order.
Rep. Danilo Suarez on Thursday said passing the bill “is doable in three to four months,” adding that he expects around 80 percent of his colleagues to vote for the bill during congressional deliberations.
Suarez was among the lawmakers Duterte met in Davao City last Tuesday to discuss the bills he would certify as urgent.
Suarez said the proposed measure reinstating capital punishment was the first priority bill of  Duterte, known for his strong anti-crime stance, that he wants passed.
“The first priority bill is the reimposition of the death penalty. He mentioned how serious this problem (of criminality) is already,” he said.
The Quezon lawmaker, a stalwart of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), is eyeing to become the Minority Floor Leader in the incoming 17th Congress, while Alvarez has picked Fariñas as the incoming Majority Leader.
Since Duterte’s allies in the Senate and House of Representatives have clinched the support of a “super majority” of their colleagues, Suarez said the legislative branch should be able to fast track the passage of a measure on capital punishment: Death by hanging.
During their meeting in Davao City, Suarez recalled that Duterte expressed preference for carrying out the death penalty through hanging rather than lethal injection.
He said the President-elect is  convinced that bringing back capital punishment would go a long way in curbing criminality.
“He articulated on the death penalty, saying it will be a strong deterrent if we will be hanging 50 convicted criminals a month,” Asked on how Duterte would be able to carry out his goal of executing 50 convicts monthly considering that obtaining a conviction for death penalty takes years, Suarez said what Duterte  likely meant is the swift elimination of drug lords.
“What he (Duterte) is saying is the elimination of big drug lords ASAP. If I can read between the lines, I think that regardless of how he’ll do it, he will do it the Machiavellian way, or the  end justifies the means,” he said.
Drug lords cough up P100-M
for heads of Digong, Bato
Drug lords have supposedly raised to P50 million the bounty offered for the heads of  incoming Duterte and incoming Philippine National Police (PNP) head Chief Supt. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.
Dela Rosa, in a broadcast interview, said that drug lords have put up P50 million bounty each for him and Duterte — citing latest information he received on Wednesday.
“As of yesterday (Wednesday), they increased the bounty to P50 million. Fifty million for Mayor Duterte, P50 million for me,” dela Rosa said.
“They increased it because there were no takers for the P10 million, so they increased it to P50 million,” he added.
Much earlier, dela Rosa claimed that the drug lords have gone on a bargain sale on their drugs, fearing Duterte’s presidency. Now dela Rosa claims drug lords are offering hit men P100 million for his, and his boss’ head. He mentions no names, though.
Earlier too, the incoming PNP chief said that drug lords detained at the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City met and agreed to offer P10 million for his head and Duterte.
Nicknamed “Bato” or “the Rock”, dela Rosa said that he is not affected by the bounty offered for him as he vowed to kill drug lords who will resist arrest.
“I am ready to die anytime. Even if you give me a battalion of body guards. If it is your time to go, you can go anytime. When the Lord says you’re finished, you have to go,” said Dela Rosa.
“Bring it on really…anytime of the day, any place. Bring it on,” he added.
But the incoming chief PNP said that he is always alert.
“Even if they don’t air death threats I have action against them because of their sin of  being into drugs…nothing personal here, it’s just a job,” said Dela Rosa.
Dela Rosa, however, maintained that the PNP will not resort to “murder” in dealing with drug lords.
“I want them dead if they fight back. But if there’s no ground to kill them, that’s murder,” said dela Rosa.
Earlier, Duterte announced that there are three police generals involved into illegal drugs and urged them to just leace the service before he humiliates them publicly.
Incumbent PNP Director General Ricardo Marquez said there is still no evidence to link any police general to illegal drugs but admitted there is “work in progress” regarding the issue.
Dela Rosa vowed to pursue the investigation against the senior PNP officials tagged by Duterte. He refused to name names..
Suarez confirmed yesterday that, indeed, 35 local executives are involved in illegal drug trading.
Talking to reporters yesterday in a media forum in Quezon City, Suarez, without identifying names, said that a disappointed Duterte referred to a handful of provincial governors and city or municipal mayors who could be either protectors of drug lords or syndicates themselves.
“What’s worse is that they’re the ones who are expected to impose the laws and yet they’re the ones who are actually the protectors. He strongly emphasized it,” Suarez said.
The President-elect described the drug menace as a “clear and present danger” to society, the lawmaker said.
Suarez said that given Duterte’s tough stance against the illegal business, it’s apparent that his legislative track that prioritizes punishment against syndicates will have to roll faster in Congress.
“But for the record, despite my allegiance to Mrs. Arroyo, I was one of those who opposed her ban on death penalty,” he explained, saying that Congress will provide a “serious series of debates” regarding the manner.
More than just 3 PNP
generals in drug trade
Former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) enforcer Jonathan Morales said Duterte’s previous list  of about only three PNP generals based in the National Headquarters is “too short”.
In an interview with the Tribune, Morales emphasized that apart from generals in the active service and are retired are gangs of colonels belonging to the PNP Academy Batch 1996 who are holding “strategic posts” in different PNP units such as the Highway Patrol Group, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and the Criminal Investigation and Detention Group (CIDG).
“There are too many of them who are operating either as protectors or lords themselves. Particularly that gang made up of PNPA 1996 batchmates,” Morales said.
“And, as backed by the evidence I’ve gathered during my stint in PDEA, these guys were designated well by their previous bosses that are obviously generals and who  are also deeply connected to the drugs business,” he added.
The former PDEA agent said that there is a former member of the Magdalo Group - the mutineers led by now Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV - who is now holding a top office in PDEA whom he alleged is a “notorious drug coddler who sells and recycle evidence”.
Morales claims that his being fired from PDEA was pushed by “Malacañang tentacles” after briefing no less than outgoing Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa who, he says, “might have been offended with the evidence and personalities cited”.
It was Ochoa himself who ordered him to stop pursuing the case and the investigation he made.
“It is very clear that Secretary Ochoa and (PDEA Director Arturo Cacdac) neglected their duties in drug enforcement for reasons that are unknown yet fishy,” he said.
During the campaign period, it should be recalled that one of Duterte’s campaign managers actually named a retired PNP general who is allegedly involved in the illegal business deeply.
Incoming Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol had identified retired police general Marcelo Garbo whose links to known drug lords like Peter Co is “public knowledge in Camp Crame.”
Co, now a detainee in the NBP, is believed to be the head of the multi-billion peso illegal drugs operations in the country, one of the police officers said.
But former PDEA Director Dionisio Santiago, in a separate interview with the Tribune, said  Duterte’s crusade against illegal drugs is too risky.
“You know what, when you’re fighting illegal drugs, your life is on the line. President Duterte knows it and his courage is commendable and necessary because it will have to scare those who are in this unlawful venture,” Santiago said.

With Mario J. Mallari and PNA


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