De Lima’s numbers



In a span of nine days, from October 5 to October 14, Senator Leila De Lima has delivered five different speeches. Four of those were in schools, after her coming-out-speech as victim, invoking #EveryWoman at a Commission on Human Rights Forum (CHR) on October 5.

One imagines a senator of the land would have better things to do.

But then again, what’s better than galvanizing support for oneself in a time of crisis?

A question on numbers
In her speech on October 6 at St. Scholastica’s College Manila, Senator De Lima kicked off her speech by talking about hashtags, and how she’s been told those hashtags in support of her are trending. In another speech she actually likened herself to Harry Potter who was chosen by Voldemort – of course anyone who reads Harry Potter would know that he was not “chosen” at all.

She also mostly talks about how she is being silenced because she seeks to investigate the killings happening in relation to the drug war.

In that October 6 speech, she brandished a number: 3,675 dead in the first 100 days of President Duterte. Thirty people dead each day, the senator declared.

Yet a look at the PNP Annual Report for 2015 under the government De Lima served as Secretary of the Department of Justice would reveal 9,643 murders under her watch for the year. That’s about 26 murders a day.

The published numbers for the Daang Matuwid years are not classified according to which murders are drug-related, and which aren’t. There is also no sense of whether or not these murders happened during police operations.

What one also realizes upon reading the previous PNP reports in fact, is how we don’t really have baseline data for anything at all here, and as such we cannot really tell whether or not the number of murders are extraordinary, or if these are pretty much the same numbers we’ve dealt with all these years – drug war or no drug war.

The following day, October 7, in her speech at Adamson University, the number the senator was brandishing had risen from 30 killed a day to 40. “So almost 40 persons a day, and everyday <sic>, wala pong araw na walang nire-report na mayroong namamatay o mayroong pinapatay—either in the course of purportedly legitimate police operations or just victims of vigilante-style of killings.”

A question on media
The latter of course is the point.

When Senator De Lima says, and I’m paraphrasing her here, that there is no day that there is no report of killings – we presume she means on TV and radio and online media, where there is a renewed interest in crime on our streets given the drug war.

But if reportage is what we are dependent on, then this begs the question: is it that there are more killings now, or is it that media is just more interested in reporting these killings now?

I’ve asked this from the moment President Duterte won and the news started covering the killings on our streets: has it always been this violent on our streets and it just was not being covered? It is possible that there was a level of violence we were not aware of, cloistered as we are in our middle class/elite spaces, that is now finally being covered in the news like never before?

Is it possible that our shock at the numbers is also borne of the fact that we had no idea that our peg was at 26 murders a day in 2015, and so now when Senator De Lima announces 30 a day – which rose to 40 in a just a day! – we cannot help but be overwhelmed by emotion?

Because it is possible that we feel this way about the killings because it is only now that the news is covering every death – and not just murder but homicide, too. And whereas before these killings would be carried in tabloids and maybe a segment in “TV Patrol” and “Saksi,” now it is the meat of the news, the reason for being, the centerpiece of the news discourse.

A question of truthfulness
These questions do not in any way justify the current killings, and I am certain that many of these deaths since July had to do with the President’s stance on killing anyone at all who resists arrest, or shoots or threatens to shoot at police.

But in order to actually get to the truth, in order for us to understand better what those numbers mean, we need baseline data to measure and compare the numbers of dead across years – including those years when Senator De Lima was Secretary of Justice. In that sense only she is in a position to explain what it was like for five years under Daang Matuwid, given the data on crime that is available to the public.

Senator De Lima herself is in a position to explain if the 9,643 murders in 2015 were drug-related or not. And if not, then what were these murders about? President Duterte is saying that the numbers for drug-related crimes like rape, robbery, theft have gone down. But how would we know this to be true if the previous government itself won’t explain to us their numbers?

In 2015, there were 10,298 cases of rape, 82,751 cases of theft, and 31,741 cases of robbery. Senator De Lima is in a position to break this down for us, between those that are drug-related cases, and those that are not.

Then we would be closer to the truth about crime in this country, regardless of whether or not it was being covered by media from 2010 to 2015, regardless of whether there was a drug war or not.

And until Senator De Lima starts leveling up the discourse, admits to the previous government’s numbers and the limitations of their anti-crime and anti-drug drive, then this shaming won’t end because she herself has proven she cannot get beyond it and start talking facts – including that of her time as SOJ.

It seems to be the only way for us all to get out of this slump: ask questions, demand answers. Including of De Lima herself.


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  1. dring the 1st sona duterte went to delima and shake her hands..i think it i a sign that deterte wnts to have a peaceful working relationship w/ her..but de lma did not notice it, she should have told duterte what she knew about the drug trades in the bilibid and work hand n hand w/ the government…

  2. It is the obligation of CHR to investigate all the arrest and killings made by our policemen and if they found some irregularities in the procedures on how they arrested or killed the suspect then it is the role of CHR to file a complaint. Are they doing their job? Where are the reports of the CHR on the arrested and killed suspected addicts and drug pushers. Did CHR made some investigations on all these cases? If none, then why the CHR keep on criticizing President Duterte on all these killings?

  3. I can not imagine how Delima could face the camera, students, audiences, her colleagues at the Senate after what she had done. Nakaksuka ka Delima.

  4. A very good analysis. I agree 100% . Madam De Lima, tama na po… just stop. Admit your crimes, say sorry to us and please go to jail.

  5. Leodegardo Pruna on

    The fact is De Lima is digging her own grave. Who would believe that she has nothing to do with the drug mess and even trying to protect her boss when in fact the largest shabu laboratory was discovered in a town in his province. She has found a knight who would stop her from further destroying the nation via drug. God bless the Philippines.

  6. the nuance here is that journalists should do their jobs in getting the facts right. they should dig, ferret, fact checks everything. not to rely on press releases, and whatever comes out of the mouth politicians and their ilk.
    because they are the fourth estate, the other part of a system of checks and balances.
    especially now when the legislative operates like the lap dog of Ernst Stavros Blofeld

  7. When Delima was the head of the CHR she did nothing. When she was appointed the head of the DOJ, she did organize the prisons and their gangs for “contributions” to her campaign and those of the yellow team. But again that only hurt the nation. We all want her to come clean and talk about the facts. We do not want to hear about women being repressed by men or her failed term at the CHR.

  8. The theory of the big picture is what most people fail to see, except perhaps for the likes of a bright pundit like you. I wish you can apply this big picture theory on the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani also. Let me say this again, you should be Duterte’s press secretary, and Tony Contreras his spokesman. Between the two of you, magmamukhang tanga lahat ng kalaban ni Digong, hindi lang yung mga dilaw dito kungdi pati na yung mga western critics niya.

  9. Unfortunely for us, Pinoys, Ms Katrina, Sen. Liela loves to lie. Behold she said, all those 20 or so witnesses were forced and tortured. Can we believe her? All fingers point to her. But she cried she is innocent. Can we believe her. Men, by nature, are not tsismoso. But they spilled the beans, who is babes, who is sweetie. But she denies that. Can we believe her? She blames the President for cornering her; she can’t see herself cornering the President. While Com Chair Gordon is still speaking, she butts in. Tell me, is that good manners and right conduct? So, there are two voices overlapping, how can we listen well enough?
    Fortunately for the senator, she can hold colegialas’ attention well enough, or is that given? The Church being yellow-tinted, too? You’re expert in statistical analysis, Ms Kat! Carry on!

  10. I have just read an article in international media about the ten best places to retire on one’s social benefits where among these places Indonesia, malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, were mentioned. Sadly the Philippines was not. Perhaps we need to look at ourselves to blame the way our media highlights so many negative things in our country. I often wonder why our media’s penchant for giving so much emphasis on killings, foul mouthing this or that person etc. and then I realize that news of this sort are what sells and media is in for the money and not much else.

    • I’d say don’t mind the rankings on that list. For us Filipinos, the Philippines is still the best way to retire. I’m just hoping our President Duterte would succeed in rebuilding this nation for our future children and grand childrens.

  11. Madam D5 its very its very clear on the col, of ms k. s. Santiago how you exagerate facts and mixed up things for your advantage to enable you to convince the audience to feel sorry on your situation. But no matter what you say with matching famas crying acts seems nobody believe. Many consider what you do either a comedy or a vaudavile of horror. Ms laila explain first to us how come since 2012 when you wer the queen at doj and mr lover boy carries strong power on your side, can peddle influence, decision, juicy position, transfer convicts to ant hill, as part of his profession for a fee. You said you never partied with inmate but there are footages showing you rubbing elbow with gollanco while laughing. You also render a very nice song like a diva. How did it happen that during your time nbp munti became RESORT CASINO LAS VAGAS with all the finest amenities SIN CITY COULD OFFER, ALAK, CALL GIRLS, SUGAL AND DRUGS , the kicker Munti became the head office of the centralize marketing & distribution of SHABU nationwide. Nobody cares about your love life its you human right but until now you failed to realized that your office carries with it high standard for moral value and dignity that should be wel kept and protected, did you do that. Get to the point of explaining this.

  12. Another great article for a stormy Sunday. Nowhere can you find anything similar among the daily’s except from Manila Times. Please continue to enlighten our people more specially those who are still afflicted with “yellow” virus.

  13. Yahoo search PNP-DIDM Report to get the link to this news item
    “Philippine crime rate up by 46%” in the First 6 Months of 2016.

    NO ONE COMPLAINED IN THE MEDIA about the Average 6,826 murders & homecides in 3 months during the first 6 months of 2016.

    Murders and criminal homecides from January 2016 to June 2016

    “Murders increased from 5,004 cases to 7,245 cases this year while homicides were up to 6,607 from 4,091 last year.”

    7,245 + 6,607 = 13,852 <<<<<>>>>6,826 – 3 months

    3 Months from July 2026 to September 2016

    – 3,000+ is less than 4,000, or 5,000 and greatly less than 6,826

    “Philippine crime rate up by 46%”

    “MANILA, Philippines – While the Philippine National Police (PNP) claimed a 60 percent decrease in crimes in Metro Manila, the number of crimes committed nationwide increased by about 46 percent during the first six months of the year as compared to the same period last year.

    Records from the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) showed that theft, car theft, physical injuries and rape were among the crimes that had a huge increase.

    The PNP said 885,445 crimes were reported from January to June, compared to 603,085 cases during the same period last year.

    There were 352,321 index crimes for the first six months of the year, which is 37.3 percent more than the 256,592 cases reported in the same period last year.

    Index crimes include murder, homicide, rape, robbery and theft while non-index crimes include estafa, prostitution, kidnapping and car theft.

    PNP-DIDM records indicated that from 86,451 thefts recorded in the first six months of 2014, this ballooned to 105,229 cases this year while cases of car theft jumped to 10,039 from 5,599 last year.

    Murders increased from 5,004 cases to 7,245 cases this year while homicides were up to 6,607 from 4,091 last year.

    Cases of physical injury increased to 182,886 from 122,084 last year while rapes increased to 8,288 this year from 5,069 last year.

    The PNP said 172,959 index crimes were “cleared” – settled between the complainant and the respondent – and 100,938 last year.

    Index crimes “solved” – meaning charges were filed in court – were reported at 134,074 cases this year compared to 74,172 last year.

    The PNP earlier announced that crime rate in Metro Manila was reduced by 60 to 70 percent due to the systematic implementation of Oplan Lambat-Sibat, an anti-crime drive supervised by Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II.

    Roxas and the PNP announced a plan to implement Oplan Lambat-Sibat in Central Luzon and Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon).

    Under Oplan Lambat-Sibat, police officers set up surprise checkpoints, raid or visit the homes of delinquent gun owners, intensify intelligence-gathering and operations against organized crime groups and aggressively pursue fugitives.

    The PNP also puts pressure on officials who head city and municipal police forces as well as station and precinct commanders to produce results in the fight against crime.”