Group says Duterte faces arrest if he visits US

PDP-Laban presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will likely be arrested if he travels to the United States, an online foreign investigative group said, citing State Department documents released by Wikileaks.

Open Source Investigations said the US Government has solid evidence that Duterte is responsible for the extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in Davao City and is considered a criminal.

Based on "solid evidence," the State Department established that "Mayor Duterte of Davao City is clearly behind a group called the Davao Death Squad."

The State Department is convinced that Rodrigo Duterte "supports" and "encourages" the extra-judicial killings, the group said.

He is the one who decides "to green light" the Davao Death Squad (DDS), it added.

The leaked documents said it was Duterte himself who privately "acknowledged his active support of the Davao Death Squad (DDS) group."

"He did it during a 2003 meeting with Political officers of the US Embassy in Manilla. And he did it again, two years later during a conversation with an official from the Embassy of Australia in Manila," it said.

The US documents stated that Duterte told the Australian officer that "killings were what criminals understood" and that this was "the way things are done here."

The State Department has "documented evidence of hundreds of vigilante-style killings of civilians in Davao City" since the late 90s. The Davao Death Squad, a vigilante group "formed by the mayor," carried out many of the killings. DDS is an underground network made up of former criminals and militants, perpetrating killings in exchange for payment, it added.

The victims are "usually street children and petty criminals," the documents showed.

The State Department assessed that the local police failed to investigate these crimes and protect witnesses.

In fact, the Davao police, "who are controlled by the mayor," supported the killings, it added.

The investigations of the Philippine National Police (PNP) have been to no avail and the killings have been spreading to other localities, it added.

The US deplores the Davao killings and privately urges the Philippine government to undertake thorough investigation, the documents said.

"A separate investigation into Mayor Duterte's connection to the killings" should be opened. US Government believes Duterte needs to be brought to justice and held responsible for "his involvement in the killings," it said.

Duterte son tagged anew

The head of Coalition of Filipino Consumers (CFC) dared the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) to join his fight against Duterte, whose son Paolo was tagged into alleged wide spread smuggling in Davao City.

Perfecto Tagalog, head of the Coalition of Filipino Consumers (CFC), said that instead of backing the presidential ambition of Duterte, standard-bearer of PDP-Laban, the VACC should help him in his exposes involving Duterte and his close aides.

Tagalog, a former Duterte supporter, said it is the right time for VACC to help voters choose their candidates by exposing allegeds anomalies of the Dutertes.

According to Tagalog, CFC and VACC successfully stood up against former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima.

Tagalog charged Purisima with plunder during incumbency as director general of the 150,000-strong police. Purisima was subsequently suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman before resigning as chief PNP.

Tagalog said it was VACC founding chairman Dante Jimenez who called him at that time and offered assistance in CFC's fight against Purisima.

"During the fight of CFC against the corruption activities of Purisima, I was personally called by Ka Dante and helped me regarding my security. Since then, we have been together in fighting corruption," Tagalog said.

But in his latest fight against Duterte, Tagalog said that VACC abandoned him.

"It's saddening now that in my fight against smuggling, he (Jimenez) condemned me," Tagalog lamented.

He urged the VACC to come out and support him in his bid to stop the alleged smuggling activities of the Dutertes in Davao.

Earlier, Tagalog identified Duterte's son Paolo, alias Polong the incumbent Davao City vice mayor, and his wife January as the "lords" of smugglers operating in Davao port. Tagalog accused the younger Duterte of involvement into smuggling of rice, electronic products, luxury vehicles, canned goods and "ukay-ukay."

Tagalog cited reports by the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) during the time of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as basis in his allegations against the Dutertes.

Tagalog said Pulong's partner in smuggling is one Glen Escandor, supposedly a son of a military official, who owns the Mandaya Hotel and a big security agency.

Duterte's spokesman Peter Lavina, however, dismissed Tagalog's allegations against the Dutertes as part of the black propaganda against the PDP-Laban standard bearer. He questioned the timing of the accusation.

Aside from the younger Duterte and Escandor, Tagalog also linked former National Food Authority (NFA) administrator Lito Banayo, who is Duterte's political strategist, and Davidson Bangayan, alias David Tan who was previously probed by the Senate in its inquiry into rice smuggling, as Duterte's cohorts.

Different side of Duterte

Duterte, meanwhile, showed a completely different side of himself to graduating students of the Lyceum of the Philippines (LPU), giving a speech that was bereft of the usual cuss words that pepper his campaign appearances. Almost.

In a speech that lasted almost an hour, Duterte, who graduated from the LPU with a Bachelor of Arts, major in Political Science, degree in 1968, explained that he is actually taking "the posture of a radical" when he speaks in a brutally frank manner.

"I talk like this on purpose. I am testing the elite in this country because, historically, we are fundamentally a feudal country," he said.

Duterte said the ruling class has kept the country in "eternal poverty," and even those elected into public office only take care of the elite.

"This elite wants to chart the history of our country in their eyes, in their mind. E yung iba pumapalag (But some fight back)," he said.

"I am testing the waters of radicalism. (I act) as if i am irreverent, (but) it's not really true. I pray to God always. The other two candidates might kill me," he said, referring to fellow presidential candidates Roxas and Binay.

Duterte also took a swipe at Manila-based media, saying these are controlled by vested interests.

"In this country (the ruling class) wants everything to be prim and proper. They control the media, they control television and all, and they want to do governance in accordance with their interest. That's how it is. It has been like this for a long time," he said.

Duterte said in reality, he does not have such a bad mouth. He said he uses foul language because he is fed up with journalists who twist his statements.

"I am not this foul-mouthed, but I am doing this on purpose because, you know, they would really slant, and every statement I make they would slant. That's why I purposely curse them," he said.

Duterte, however, made a promise to the new graduates. "If I become President I will be prim and proper," he said.

Duterte almost made it through the entire speech without cursing, but three minutes before closing, as he recounted the hostage-taking incident in Davao City in 1989, he let out a curse word as he described the criminals who killed some of the hostages.

Source: Tribune

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