Binay to conduct probe on Davao Death Squad if elected president
Under his administration, Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday vowed to create an independent commission that would investigate his newfound rival Davao city Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for his alleged links to the Davao Death Squad.
“Kapag ako ang naging pangulo, bilang manananggol, nasisiguro ko na maparusahan ang Davao Death Squad, kasama na si Mr. Duterte na ilang beses nang umamin na sya ang Davao Death Squad,” Binay said in a statement on Thursday.
“Magtatayo tayo ng isang Independent Commission para imbestigahan ang mga summary executions at paglabag sa human rights ng Davao Death Squad, kasama na si Mr. Duterte,” he added.
(When I become president, as [your] defender, I will ensure that the Davao Death Squad will be persecuted, along with Mr. Duterte who has repeatedly admitted that he is the Davao Death Squad.
We will create an independent commission to investigate on the summary executions and human rights violations by the Davao Death Squad, along with Mr. Duterte.)
Binay said the independent commission would be composed of a retired Supreme Court justice, and representatives from the Commission on Human Rights, human rights groups, and even the National Press Club (NPC).
He said National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) would be the lead agency to investigate Duterte’s links to the vigilante group.
“Maaaring maging bahagi nito ang mga dating justice ng Supreme Court, mga human rights groups, ang National Press Club at Commission on Human Rights. May kapangyarihan itong gamitin ang mga ahensya ng gobyerno para mag-imbestiga, at ang NBI ang syang lead investigating agency,” Binay said.
(Former Supreme Court justices, human rights groups, the National Press Club and the Commission on Human Rights may become part of this. This would have the power to command government agencies to investigate, and the NBI would be the lead investigating agency.
Binay said the NPC would be included because some journalists were also victims of the summary killings for exposing Duterte’s malfeasance as mayor in Davao. Binay named these reporters as Jun Pala, Ferdie Lintuan and Rene Galope who exposed the alleged anomalies and corruption under Duterte’s watch.
“Sa mata ni Duterte ang mga journalist–na tinawag nyang ‘mga maiingay st madadaldal’ – ay kriminal na dapat patayin. Ganito bang presidente ang gusto natin?” Binay said.
(In Duterte’s eyes, journalists–which he called ‘blabbermouths’–are criminals who must be killed. Is this the kind of president we want?)
Binay said the commission would also give Duterte a chance to explain his side–the very chance that Duterte deprived from criminals he allegedly ordered summarily killed through the Davao Death Squad.
“Dahil tayo ay may respesto sa ating batas, bibigyan natin ng pagkakataon si Mr. Duterte at ang Davao Death Squad na depensahan ang kanilang mga pagpatay… Bibigyan natin si Mr. Duterte at ang kanyang death squad ng pagkakataong magpaliwanag sa batas, na hindi nila ibinigay sa kanilang biktima,” Binay said.
(Because we have respect for the law, we will give Mr. Duterte and the Davao Death Squad a chance to defend their killings…We will give Mr. Duterte and his Death Squad a chance to explain to the law, which they did not give their victims.)
Binay renewed his call to the voters not to vote for Duterte lest they regret it when it would be their loved ones who would be summarily killed under a Duterte presidency.
“Maitsismis ka lamang, at sila ay naniwala, papatayin ka na. At kung sa Davao wala silang pinipili – kung pati mga menor de edad, magkakapatid at mga mahihirap ay walang awang pinapatay dahil lamang pinag-suspetsahan- isipin ninyo na gagawin yan sa inyong bayan, sa inyong komunidad, sa inyong kapitbahay, kaibigan, kamag-anak, kapamilya, asawa, anak,” Binay said.
“Dahil lang pinaghinalaan, papatayin sila ni Duterte at ng kanyang death squad. Huwag nating hayaang mangyari ito,” he added.
(When rumors are spread about you and they are believed, then you would be killed. And if in Davao they don’t discriminate–if even those of minor age, siblings and the poor are killed mercilessly because of mere suspicion–just imagine if that would be done in your town, in your community, to your neighbor, your friend, relative, family, wife, child.
Just because they were suspected, they will be killed by Duterte and his death squad. Let’s not allow this to happen.)
Binay said Duterte’s victims were alleged criminals who come from the ranks of the poor.
“Ang pinapatay nila, puro mahihirap. Sa tagal ng reign of terror ng (Davao Death Squad) ni Duterte, wala kang nabalitaan na pinatay nila na big-time drug pusher o smuggler. Wala kang narinig na pinatay nilang mayaman, puro mahihirap lang na ayon kay Duterte mismo ay mga ‘basura ng lipunan,'” Binay said.
(They kill mostly the poor. During the long reign of terror of Duterte’s Davao Death Squad, we have not heard of any big-time drug pusher or smuggler being killed. You have not heard of any rich being killed, just the poor, who, according to Duterte himself are the filth of the society.)
Binay vowed to put behind bars the alleged executioners, even if it includes Duterte.
“Kapag ako ang naging Presidente, ipapakulong ko ang mga mamamatay-bata at mga pumapatay ng mahihirap. Ipapakulong ko ang mga pumapatay ng journalists o mamamahayag,” Binay said.
“Sa napakahabang panahon, napakaraming murder cases sa Davao. Naging untouchable ang Davao Death Squad dahil inamin mismo ni Mr. Duterte na siya ay bahagi nito, na sya mismo ang Davao Death Squad o DDS. Tunay na si Duterte ang Berdugong pumapatay ng mga bata at mahihirap,” he added.
(If I become president, I will jail those who kill children and those who kill the poor. I will jail those who kill journalists or broadcasters.
In a very long time, there have been many murder cases in Davao. The Davao Death Squad had become untouchable because Mr. Duterte himself admitted that he was part of it, that he himself led the Davao Death Squad or DDS. Truly, Duterte is the executioner who kills the young and the poor.)
Binay made the statement about Duterte after the latter’s camp said Binay is the “big fish” to be sent to jail under a Duterte presidency.
Binay was indicted by the Ombudsman for graft, malversation and falsification of public documents with his son dismissed Makati mayor Junjun over the alleged overpricing of the Makati carpark building. Junjun was charged before the Sandiganbayan for graft and falsification. The vice president is immune from suit until the end of his term in office.
Binay was also the subject of a year-long Senate investigation over allegations of millions of kickbacks from overpriced infrastructure deals in Makati.
“Binay would in all likelihood be the first big fish to be sent to jail with the preponderance of evidence of corruption against him during his stint as Makati mayor for more than 20 years,” Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, the president of PDP-Laban, Duterte’s political party, said in statement.
Duterte and Binay had traded barbs, with Binay calling Duterte “berdugo of the poor,” while Duterte called Binay “berdugo ng pera ng bayan.”
The Vice President launched his fiercest attacks against Duterte after the latter led the latest Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia surveys while Binay only trailed behind.
Binay once praised Duterte as a good candidate for president having years of experience as local government chief executive in Davao City.
But Binay’s admiration for Duterte turned into vilification. He minced no words in urging voters not to vote for Duterte, who he said is a “murderer” and a “butcher” for his alleged links to the Davao Death Squad which killed minors suspected of being criminals.
While he was hailed for his anti-crime crusade, Duterte had been linked to the alleged gang of assassins purportedly responsible for the deaths of 1,000 suspected criminals in the city since he became mayor in 1988.
“They say I am the death squad? True, that is true,” Duterte once said in a television interview admitting his ties to the alleged group.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch has expressed concern for Duterte’s backing of extra-judicial killings amid a rise in summary executions of suspected criminals in Davao City.
The Human Rights Watch in a commentary even called Duterte the “Philippines’ Death Squad Mayor.”
“The Philippine government should take a zero-tolerance approach to any public official who publicly endorses extrajudicial killings as an acceptable means of crime control,” Phelim Kine, HRW deputy Asia director, said in a statement last year.
When rights group Amnesty International in December 2015 issued a statement condemning Duterte’s record of human rights violations, Duterte said the group understated his record and bragged that he had killed 1,700 people, not 700 people. CDG
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