HRW, drug cartels afraid of Duterte? PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 23 May 2015 09:04

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is indignant. The Human Rights Watch groups are again mounting a concerted campaign to attribute to him what they claim are summary killings in Davao City. They did it before. Local and US-based HRWs joined forces along with the political adversaries of Duterte one year before the scheduled elections to cripple the mayor by having him investigated on allegations that he is the brain of the so-called extra-judicial killings in Davao City. No less than then  Commission of Human Rights Chairperson Leila Delima conducted a probe which lasted for weeks. Even as Duterte took a leave of absence as City Mayor to give the probe team a free hand, Delima did not take chances. She organized a special joint team of investigators from Manila and filed cases against Duterte with the Regional Trial Courts of Makati because according to her she cannot trust the  local police and judges.

The issues raised by HRW against Duterte  today are no different from what they raised before. The only difference is that the ones mouthing the issue now are different characters. But obviously their motives are the same. Given the timing I cannot help but suspect that this is another multi-million fund-raising activity of this notorious NGO who panders to corrupt politicians in the Philippines and who will not stop at cavorting with drug syndicates to stop the Davao City Mayor from  running after them now that he is gaining more grounds in the Presidential race.

Why? The CHR charges against Duterte which was initiated by its Chairperson Delima never gone beyond first base. It took them eons to conduct investigation and dug several suspected graveyards of EJK victims and using as witnesses relatives of the victims recruited by local HRW. They failed. Eventually, they evicted an inmate in  nearby Panabo City without proper authority from the Court  then brought the poor guy to Davao City to lead them to a graveyard where the probe team was so sure was their quarry. The inmate, a certain Jonathan Balo, who was facing a complaint in Samal Island , thought that he was to be salvaged by the team. He was blindfolded and was made to hear conversations that should he not cooperate would mean something bad would happen to him. But Balo, obviously oblivious about what the team was up to, cannot be of any help to the probe team. He was brought to the suspected graveyard anyway. True enough they were able to unearth one human skeletal remains which must have been buried there for several decades the bones had become so badly decayed. The probe team, with Delima herself personally directing the digging, barred the media from the event but they failed to prevent some nosy members of local media who clandestinely took photos of what they were doing.  Aside from the badly rotten remains they also recovered relatively brand new license plates. One cannot help but doubt that the skeletons and the car plates were planted evidence.  To make the story short, even the trial court in Makati threw out the pieces of evidence presented to it by the CHR probe team and dismissed outright the charges against Duterte.

Did HRW and CHR apologized for the damaged done on Duterte? For its part the US-based HRW even went ahead by printing a book entitled “You Can Die Anytime”. The writers were Asian-based counterparts of HRW who stupidly translated Duterte’s caution, in the vernacular, to teenagers who are being inveigled by drug syndicates. “Ayaw mo og apil-apil diha sa mga naga payuhut og druga kay naa na sila’y panagbangi ug basi og mamatay mo og dili oras”. Roughly translated: “Stay away from drug pushers for they are at odds against each other and you might die even it is not your time”.  HRW foreign writers shortened the piece of advice to dovetail with their devious propaganda: “You Can Die Any Time”.

The HRW conjured everything that their devious minds can create. Among them they attributed  the so-called the Davao Death Squads to Duterte. DDS was actually a phantom created by a Police General  at the height of communist insurgency in Davao to counter the New Peoples Army  executioners called the “Sparrows”. Aside from DDS, the General also phantomized counter-revolutionaries like “Contra Force” and “Christian Soldiers for Democracy”.  But I am not actually surprised why HRW believed the existence of DDS. Not even Duterte, who, during the communists regime in Davao from mid 70s to mid 80s was city prosecutor, must have known about the background of these police phantoms. Not a few journalists then and now believed that these were actually warm bodies. But I for one knew these were figments of the mind of the police general.

DDS became a popular phantom because of a rabid anti-communist commentator Jun Pala. It is rather odd that after the end of the Communist control of Davao City, the acronym DDS persisted. With the exit of the NPA Sparrows who had targeted military and police operatives and village thugs criminal and drug syndicates emerged with impunity. Some victims took the law into their hands and in not a few cases corpses were seen with tags. “Rapist huwag tularan-DDS” or “Dorugista, salut sa bayan-DDS” to recall a few. By this time Duterte was an unwilling vice mayor but was forced into it because his mother, Nanay Soling Duterte refused to accept the appointment (she being one of  the main pillar of the Yellow Friday movement in Davao).  Years after, even the street sweeper would call themselves DDS, short for “Dala Dala’g Silhig”.

Duterte branded HRW a bunch of hypocrites and idiots. Can’t blame the guy. HRW which is based in New York for example have closed their eyes on the many murders committed in that cement jungle. Innocent school children are summarily killed by demented gunmen high on drugs in the US. South of California in Mexico, hundreds of innocent men, women and children are slaughtered. Multi-billion dollar drug trade is flourishing between mainland US and Mexico but you have yet to hear HRW raise a word of condemnation about the summary killings which are happening right under their noses.

In Thailand, more than 2,000 drug pushers and members of drug syndicates were summarily killed following the publication of names of suspects. Who were behind the execution? Not the Thaksin Shinawatra government or police. It was proven later  that the heads of the drug cartels ordered the silencing of their own drug pushers to keep their identity.

What happened in Thailand happened in Mexico and too in America with the thriving Mafiosos.  But the  Human Rights Watch of New York and their Asian counterparts would rather have  Duterte investigated. For what? Because political season is just around the corner, some wags are asking for how much? I do not think however that HRW have become a pan-handling NGO. By the way, it might help HRW to know that Davao City has been listed by Numbeo, an international rating agency, the 9th safest city in the world. You might want to argue against that.