Duterte: ‘We planted evidence … (and) the intrigues’
In his early morning news conference Sunday, President Duterte provided a glimpse of what he said he had learned during his 10 years as a city prosecutor: To bend the law to get the desired outcome.
“I’ve learned a lot during my prosecution days,” the President said. “We planted evidence. We arrested persons but we released them. But [the President then switches to an example] telling him that it was this person who squealed on him and then when he goes out but killing we would say it was this fellow who really did it, who did you in.”
He explained the reason for the tactic: “We first planted the intrigues, so that we would know where they were or where they came from.”
The President’s clinical view of what prosecutors and policemen need to do to fight crime is counter to what the law allows. It is possible that he misspoke; during the conference he could not recall certain names and mistakenly called Senator Leila de Lima the chair of the Commission on Appointments. (She was the chair of the Commission on Human Rights when the long-time Davao city mayor became, in his words, her “favorite whipping boy.”)
But the context of the first 15 minutes of another rambling, revealing news conference seems clear.
The implications will also likely become a matter of concern.
Early in the conference he denied that police officers were involved in the extra-judicial killings where the dead were bundled up in plastic or cardboard: “It is not the work of the police to be wrapping people with plastics and putting them in bags. That is not the job of the police! I just told him that one bullet will do. Why do you have to wrap it and waste your time?”
Then he added: “But we know at the start that we planted the intrigues there.”
There was also this extended passage, about 13 minutes into the conference:
“The reason I called for this conference is I wanted to disabuse the minds of many women criticizing me. I said I have to mention the connect between De Lima’s driver and her, otherwise I would look stupid ….
“So, that is one round.
“Wait until we present these guys. They can well maybe deny it initially, but you know, there are a lot of ways of doing it. Allow me to ask you seven questions, and I will get the truth from your mouth. I’m not saying I’m the best, but 10 years as a prosecutor was a learning process of arriving at truths.”/rga