7,080 ‘EJKs’ and so much outrage; only three cases with details?

32
RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO

RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO

To journalists and NGOs: Get the who, where, what, how!
THERE have been an alleged 7,080 extra-judicial killings (EJKs) committed under President Duterte’s administration, and even purportedly under his direction.

Advertisements

What is astonishing is this. The Liberal Party, the Aquinos and Cojuangcos, Senator Leila de Lima, the CBCP, US billionaire Loida Nicolas, Vice President Leni Robredo—all of which have made this their biggest issue against Duterte—as well as NGOs such as the Human Rights Watch, the Free Legal Assistance Group, and the failed-institution PCIJ have huge resources amounting to hundreds of millions of pesos, which they can even combine.

Yet they can’t even present to us a single case of such EJKs—the names of the police killers, who they received orders from, the names of those killed, where the killing took place, that is, the usual, the normal information one needs to prove a fact.

Details on only three EJKs have been uncovered so far (listed below) but no thanks to these people and groups.

Instead, they have uncovered details on alleged EJKs that occurred in the late 1980s, more than 28 years ago in Davao City—virtually impossible to prove by this time—of course with the purported mastermind being the mayor then, Duterte.

DRAMATIC PHOTO IN HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH REPORT: Pulitzer Prize-worthy photo? Notice the drizzling rain? The camera’s filter tint? But what’s the name of the policeman, of those who were involved in the operation?

Senator Antonio Trillanes III, the Philippine political world’s character assassin par excellence (remember his project vs. Jojo Binay?), FLAG, and even the PCIJ have devoted their resources to exposing EJKs in Davao City 28 years ago, instead of those that occurred just within the past three months. (An easier investigation would be the Hacienda Luisita massacre in November 2014, in which seven striking workers were killed.)

Not surprising
That is of course not surprising, if one concludes that these groups aren’t really champions of justice, but merely want to use the issue to take down Duterte as soon as possible.

A recent article in a US magazine even glorified “night-shift” reporters in police beats. “A lot of the world learned about the carnage…is due largely to the night-shift reporters,” the article said.

But why can’t these police reporters provide us with the who-why-where-what-how of EJKs they’ve photographed, which after all are the info basic journalism courses say they should get?

A photographer in that article was quoted:

“Things picked up the first week of July. By the second week, we were going to many raids, ‘buy-bust’ operations. The police would always tell us the alleged drug dealer was dealing with undercover policemen and he shot it out. We were getting maybe three deaths a night … and then mid-July it intensified. It became 12 a night, sometimes more.

“I did a tally every night: the ‘legitimate’ ones, which we call the buy-bust, the drug raids [by the police]. And then you have the deaths that’s under investigation, the ones done supposedly by the death squads, these are the persons whose hands and feet were bound, [their]heads wrapped in packing tape. I don’t have my personal list now. When I hit 2,000, I stopped counting.”

He witnessed 2,000 operations, and let’s assume a third of that resulted in EJKs by police, in which the they claimed that the suspects fought back, and they had to shoot to kill, so this would be about 600 killings.

Yet the photographer didn’t bother to get details on these EJKs, info that could be used to file charges against the killers? Among such info: Exactly who were the policemen involved, who their team leader was, who was the overall commander of what police precinct? What are the names of those killed, what kind of weapons they supposed to have tried to fire, and where the alleged EJK killing occurred. He just wanted his photograph, composed with the best angle and even using filters to make it more dramatic.

Or is it the fault of the editors of these photographers, who didn’t bug them to get details on each EJK?

Not their jobs
But of course, photographers could say that that is not their job, which is just to take photos. Even if people are getting killed in front of their eyes by law enforcers?

Or maybe it is still another reflection of the massive failure of the Philippine press, whose members have been aping their broadcast colleagues who pursue only images—as sensational as possible—rather than facts.

At the very least, if these journalists were doing their jobs, maybe we can shame the police who would as a consequence hesitate undertaking more EJKs. For instance, we could have a tally that “Tondo Police Precinct No. XX under precinct commander so-and-so and his Police Officers A, B, and C have killed 20 alleged drug addicts in buy-bust operations in January. ”

What we have now are anonymous police killers — even if they can be identified — with the face of Duterte looming. Or is this precisely the propaganda strategy?

The recent report by the US Human Rights Watch—sensationally titled “License to Kill”— boasted that it investigated 24 incidents, resulting in 32 deaths involving Philippine National Police personnel between October 2016 and January 2017. The report gave the names of the victims and details on how they were killed.

But the report doesn’t give the names of the policemen involved and their units which means that even if the government decides to prosecute these cases, the Human Rights Watch report would be useless.

If that NGO were really concerned about the plight of Filipinos, it would have submitted to the justice department or the Ombudsman’s Military and Other Law Enforcement Office their case studies, complete with the names of the killer-policemen.

Even during martial law, when the press was closed down, the religious NGO “Task Force Detainees” meticulously compiled thousands of cases of arrests and killings, with the names of the victims, and sometimes the names of the military units involved. (Never mind if an Amnesty International report would later on conclude that 85 percent of the cases involved those either with the NPA or with communist party fronts.)

Why can’t these people and groups shouting to high heavens against EJKs with all their resources do similar investigative work in this day and age when we have the freest media, so that they can help the poor people get justice for their loved ones?

If they can’t do it themselves, they can fund some sort of “Task Force EJKs” staffed with experienced journalists and lawyers to investigate each and every EJK and file cases in court.

That would be a disincentive to killer-cops, who would worry that their higher-ups could very well decide to abandon them if there are cases filed against them.

Hypocrisy
Why haven’t they done this obvious thing to be done, if they were really against EJKs? In a word, hypocrisy.

They really don’t care about stopping EJKs, but are just using this issue to demonize this President, or in the case of some reporters, to portray themselves as excellent investigative journalists or great news photographers with the Pulitzer in sight.

For instance, the PCIJ has been devoting resources on the EJK allegations of a police sergeant Arthur Lascañas against Duterte when he was Davao city mayor, rather than investigating just one recent case of an EJK. But of course the latter requires tedious investigative work, and hardly sensational.

The only three cases of EJKs—one didn’t succeed—on which we have details, and which appear to be moving through the legal system are as follows:

The killing of Albuera mayor and suspected drug lord Rolando Espinosa last November in his prison cell in Baybay City, by a team of the Philippine National Police’s Region 8 Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, allegedly as he shot at the police who were serving a search warrant on him in his jail cell.

The kidnapping and attempted murder in February in Calaca, Batangas of Amante Valdos, a suspected drug suspect, by Police Officer 3 Abmar Mohammed.

The attempted murder in August last year of Efren Morillo, when he refused to confess he was a drug dealer, allegedly by Senior Police Inspector Emil Garcia, PO3 Allan Formilliza, PO1 James Aggarao, and PO1 Melchor Navisaga, all of Quezon City Police Station No. 6 in Batasan Hills.

Those people and groups protesting to high heavens about EJKs under Duterte had nothing to do in bringing these cases to light. The Espinosa killing was uncovered by a Senate committee, which prompted the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate it and file charges. The second case was pursued by the suspected cop-killer’s colleagues themselves in the Las Piñas police force. The third was investigated by the Ombudsman’s Military and Other Law Enforcement Office.

E-mail: tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
FB: Bobi Tiglao and Rigoberto Tiglao
Archives: rigobertotiglao.com

Share.
loading...
Loading...

Please follow our commenting guidelines.

32 Comments

  1. why is tony lavina doing an about face on the duterte war on drug?

    because his broterh was fired at the NIA???

  2. A think that, to a large extent, the intended target audience of the sensational coverage of the Philippine press on EJKs is the international media, thus the world. The New York Times, Time Magazine, Yahoo News, BBC etc. have all been very quick to pick up on the sensational accusations against Duterte regarding EJKs, added their own spin without validating the facts, and created their own headline news. That dramatic picture you mentioned of a dead body on the street looks pretty similar to a headline cover on Time Magazine; and I cannot tell you how upsetting the inside text of the accompanying article was because the American author was discussing it like an authority on the subject when clearly he had not done any investigative work on the ground. To the Philippine journalists who don’t do their work and put things out there that are clearly false, inaccurate or incomplete, you do a disservice not only to your readers/audience, but also the entire Philippine nation because our reputation before the entire world is at stake.

  3. “Extra-judicial killing is the killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process”.

    So goes their definition of extra-judicial killing. Why in the world that it should be defined as a “government killing”?
    Look at the definition , it looks as if it is an ‘original sin’ that can be pass on to the next generation. And can be inherited by the unborn. The term , itself , insinuates that all government are evil , and that all government must be evil.

    So a would-be president will have extra-judicial killing as an inheritance. Is this fair justice?
    If this is the case with the term ‘extra-judicial killing’ , then it is extremely evil!
    So why crucify an innocent man upon a crime which is bequeath to him as an inheritance?

    Those individuals who created this evil term must be tied with huge millstones on their necks , and they be thrown into the depths of the sea!

    Look at how extremely wicked those people are—they keep on summing up the figures of casualties from Operation Tokhang , and the figures born out of still unexplained killings.
    Take note that the second account has produced more deaths than the government’s.
    This shows that the second group is having a heyday for they are winning the war in terms of casualties. The government is lagging far behind.

    You wicked media , every time you make a report—please do not add these two figures that are produced by the two warring entities , the government and the enemies.

    Let the pie be divided , divide the 7080 deaths appropriately—giving the larger portion to the extra-judicial killers which are the drug lords and protectors and financiers. Give the smaller portion to the government.

    It is biblical principle that in order for the truth to come out—it must be DIVIDED. That is why it is testified : RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD OF TRUTH.
    If you keep them singularly bundled-up , then you are misleading the world to make it appear that this government is the doer of the killings outside of Tokhang.
    You are very much like your father the Devil who wanted everything to remain covered in the shadows.
    DIVIDE everything , because in dividing , the cloud of doubt is parted and the whole truth is thereby manifested.

    Let the 7,080 head counts be divided and separated so that we can easily distinguish the two accounts.
    When you consistently produce a single figure , you are able to hide the truth from the eyes of the undiscerning public. You are managing the accounts of casualties in such a way that everyone is unable to recognize the truth. In so doing you become children of the Devil!

    You are not practicing “due process” if you automatically add them up , you are actually murdering the innocent , and become accomplices in bringing down a government duly empowered by the people.

    You try scoring a basketball game like the way you are scoring against the government : try adding up the scores of the competing teams and put the aggregate scores under the name of one team. The other team will have no scores even though they keep on scoring , even if they are the higher scorers.
    With this set up , who do you think will win the game? Of course , the team which got all the scores including what is not theirs. The team in which the scoreboard remains blank , loses.

    What would happen to the government if all the accounts of deaths are scored in their name? While the enemies , though scoring much higher , are allowed to have a scoreless tally , then they are winning the game!
    If you want your own government to lose in this manner , then you belong to the enemies!

    You wicked media , you are playing a silly game when you put all the scores under the name of the government while leaving the enemies scoreless!
    Are you not damned serpents , the children of the Ancient Serpent , the DEVIL?

  4. ARJUNA ATIENZA on

    If Lascanas is fond of writing journals…Where are the rest? Don’t tell me he only wrote about his DDS. He must present the entire content of his so called diary. Why not ask him to write an essay of this childhood to counter check the differences in grammar with his journal. Tsk! Tsk! Ang hirap, puro Bolahan na lang pinakikita sa taong bayan. I was also a 75% student but I would know if something was fabricated.

  5. Its a good analysis Mr. Tiglao. I hope more people (Filipinos) like you from all sectors saw these flawed story and allegations of EJKs. Hopefully there will be some forces or groups that will counter them, that will expose them sooner.

  6. Duterte bakya on

    Maybe, you will only emphathize with the victims of EJKs (who are mostly part of the marginalized poor, btw) once it happens to one of you. Just because you feel “safe” and comfortable in you middle class cocoons doesn’t make injustice OK. This is well written BS in my opinion. This kind of comformity is why we will always be a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY. Wake up.

  7. Saludo ako lagi sa mga pananaw mo Mr. Tiglao…
    pero nagtataka lang ako, bakit yang si Tatad eh parang laging magkasalungat ang mga statement nya… di ba sya marunong magkumpuni ng statement o sadyang nalilito na rin dahil kailangang may itwist, for the sake of “kusing”… idunno…

  8. I totally agree with you that those who are protesting to high heavens against the EJK killing have not done themselves any actions or efforts to bring the culprits to court. You are very correct that they should have at least tried to do so in cases where they had leading evidence that could have prompted official investigations.

    But why is it that you are silent on what in my view is outright incompetence and criminal negligence of police officers themselves for not being able to solve at least one or many up to at least 10 of these 7,000 or more killings whether by the police, vigilantes or just plain criminals. Why Mr. Tiglao? Why are you so silent on that?

  9. We can can say that we are now leaving on a very ill/sick Nation which require a Duterte’s kind of medicine. Yes killing of criminals is not good! but if this is the only way in order to protect Innocent from harm, I prefer to see criminals lying in the ground than the innocent.

  10. To what purpose is digging up cases that took place 2 to 3 decades ago? As President, Du30 cannot be charged in court bec of immunity, and since the alleged crimes were done while mayor, he cannot be impeached for those (assuming they’re true). They need to find something against him now while he’s president. But they don’t have anything and it is unlikely that the president is stupid enough to give them that pleasure. Hehe. Idiots!

  11. Many of these Duterte Haters still cannot get it into their heads that no matter what dirt they spread bout the guy, people will still stand by him. Why? Because they have long been waiting for a Savior like him. They have been burned so many times by the lies and spins of those who came before him. This time, here is someone ready to die and be thrown in jail for them. He who was able to voice out all the hatred we have for those we used to be afraid of. Duterte is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of leader that we all have voted for to lead us. So, for all those with the dirts to throw, BRING IT ON.

  12. I’ve learned a lot from you Sir Bobi, not only about the true past political history like EDSA 1, but also the real politicians and personalities.More power to to you..

  13. You just unmasked their hypocrisy and utter ineptness. They want prizes and recognition instead of service. They want rewards from the moneyed Yellows. As Lee Kuan Yew once said, the press in the Philippines are highly partisan and have long failed the Filipino people.

  14. The crop of reporters from top-read spreadsheets seem to be mimicking the reporting style of TV newscasters who highlight “presentably sensational” angles of an incident. Getting into details of say, a crime scene, or armed encounter, involves time, effort, and cost. Deadlines have to be “beaten,” otherwise the last report submitted will merit a “no pay” or “delayed, therefore wait-listed” tag, thus “deferred” pay (did I put it right?). In other words, one cannot but suspect that money talks even in the reportorial world. That, at the expense of us readers being deprived of forming our opinions based on evidences/facts.

  15. You are absolutely correct Mr Tiglao. Your articles envisages the true nature of most Filipino journalist… Hypocrisy is the team of the current Filipino journalism…more power to you!

  16. The Great Defiant on

    DU30 had said it before…
    you cannot clean the mess left by previous administration without getting yourself dirty…

    all is fair in war…and in love…

  17. Kung ganon pala na sinasabi nyo ,sa pinatay na more than 7000 na katao bakit wlang ginawa ang gobyerno para imbestigahan yan? Kase yung mga pulis rin naman ang nagbabayad sa mga vigilante para patayin yung mga yan. Hindi ako against sa tokhang, gusto ko nga mamatay na lahat ng drug addict eh, pro kase pwedeng abusuhin yung mga pagpatay ng mga vigilante, pwedeng gamitin ng ibang grupo yung style ng pagpatay at madali ng magparatang sa ibang tao na drug addict yan kaya napatay. Huwag nyong insultuhin ang katalinuhan ng mga pilipino, alam naman natin ang style ng pagpatay ay style na ginawa sa davao na ginagawa ngayon sa buong pilipinas. Again ok ako sa tokhang pero di ako sangayon sa pinapayagan nilang pagpatay ng mga vigilante.

    • Your accusation that the police are paying vigilantes to kill the pushers/users is very serious. I suppose you have an evidence to support that? You can be a great help by providing that information to the CHR, that is if you have.

    • hay naku, isa ka pang walang alam sa balita. INIIMBESTIGAHAN NA PO. mag basa ka naman ng dyaryo o di kaya online news. May internet ka naman di ba? nakaka-post ka dito noh.

  18. Mr. Tiglao, your insights are superior. They also make ordinary people like me think carefully and analyze what I am reading. Thank yoi

    • A typical “tao” although not highly of scholar type despite of the twist and turns on reporting do have in common to make sense of what is reported. The author’s insight is far superior than any reporting meant to confuse. Analysis with supporting data in his articles expands horizons in our understanding and we seek it more.

  19. Jose Samilin on

    President Duterte is ordering cops to kill criminals according to law and explicitly said he takes responsibility. Beware all the NGs and individuals who are engaged in reporting fake alleged EJKs who’s funding ultimately sourced from taxpayers through their respective government budget soon will dry out. Their respective government who licensed these entities will soon ceased to provide funds for their operations for reasons they violated their terms of existence and face legal action. I hope early on that these NGOs and individuals whose fake concerns on human rights violations will honestly admit to their respective government that they have committed wrong by their over zealous in protecting human rights of criminals and drug lords, they have only caused the massive spread of criminality and poverty situation in those countries.

  20. Rudi Miranda on

    Bobi Tiglao maraming salamat at tama po kayo, bakit hindi tinatrabaho ang mga EJKs noong mga sumisigaw lalo na kung sinong mga pulis at para makakasuhan? Wala kasing ‘sensation’ doon! Bwahaha…