Rodrigo Duterte's August 7, 2016 speech

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made a speech at the Naval Station Felix Apolinario in Camp Panacan, Davao City on August 7, 2016. In the speech, delivered shortly after midnight during his wake visit to four NavForEastMin soldiers killed during clashes with the New People's Army in Compostela Valley, Duterte revealed the names of 150 public officials, including mayors and other local government executives, legislators, police, military and judges, found to be involved in illegal drug trade.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8] He described the drugs situation in the country as "pandemic" after 600,000 drug dealers and dependents have surrendered to the police in just one month since he took office.[2][9]

Background[edit]

Duterte, 2016

Rodrigo Duterte ran his presidential campaign on a ruthless anti-crime and anti-drugs platform. Following his landslide victory in the May 2016 elections, the Philippine Drug War was launched to fulfill his campaign promise of wiping out criminality in the country within six months.[10]

The speech was not the first time that Duterte named and shamed government officials with links to illegal drugs. In his speech before military personnel at the 69th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force in Clark Air Base on July 5, 2016, he read out the names of five Philippine National Police (PNP) generals who he said "contributed to the deterioration of law and order in this country."[11] They were retired Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr., National Capital Region Police Director Chief Superintendent Joel Pagdilao, Quezon City Police Chief Superintendent Edgardo Tinio, Western Visayas Police Chief Superintendent Bernardo Diaz, and retired Chief Superintendent and now Daanbantayan Mayor Vicente Loot.[2] Saying he was "compelled by sense of duty" to inform the public, Duterte also ordered the five generals relieved from service and to report to PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa within 24 hours to undergo investigation.[2]

Ten days later, on July 15, 2016, Duterte revealed that a list of politicians with links to the narcotics trade was presented to him by intelligence agencies and that he would announce their names once the information was validated.[12]

On August 1, 2016, Duterte through a statement read by Malacañang Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella identified the first "narco-politician" as Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. whom he ordered to surrender to PNP General dela Rosa within 24 hours together with his drug lord son after the mayor's staff were arrested during a buy-and-bust operation where police seized P1.9 million worth of methamphetamine.[13] Four days later, three local government officials, Maguing Mayor Mamaulan Abinal Molok, Ampatuan Mayor Rasul Sangki, and former Marantao Mayor Mohammad Ali Abinal, voluntarily surrendered to the PNP ahead of the announcement of Duterte's "narco list".[14]

Speech[edit]

In the early hours of August 7, 2016, during his visit to the wake of four soldiers killed by the New People's Army (NPA) at the NavForEastMin headquarters in Davao, Duterte criticized the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), whom his administration was pursuing peace talks with, for using land mines. He began his speech by citing the Geneva Conventions.

Even as the government and the CPP-NPA have earlier stated their commitment to seek an end to the CPP-NPA-NDF conflict, Duterte had also earlier expressed his disappointment at CPP founder Jose Maria Sison for failing to reciprocate his government's ceasefire declaration made during his First State of the Nation Address. Duterte warned the CPP that if they fail to include the prohibition of land mines in the scheduled peace talks in Oslo, his government would pull out from the talks and continue the war for another 45 years.[1][3]

Right after his short address to the CPP, Duterte proceeded to his report on the "narco list" which he promised earlier to reveal and which he claimed to have come from military and police intelligence. Duterte said:

Noting that he is only performing his sworn duty as President to inform the public on matters of their own security and doing it as part of his campaign to cleanse and purge the government of illegal drugs and corruption, Duterte then presented the enormity of the drugs problem in the Philippines. He stated that there were 3 million drug dealers and users in the country in 2014 based on a report from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. He added that this number has gone up in the last two years and that 92% of all villages in Metro Manila are now contaminated with drugs.[1]

Before announcing the names of narco officials on the list, Duterte narrated how some of those officials he would be naming had been his friends and some even supported him in the presidential campaign. However, he also said that he would rather resign as President than be tied to them.[1] Duterte blamed the government officials for what he called a drug pandemic by saying:

Duterte then began reading the names of the 150 public officials while also describing the specific cases or involvement in the illegal drug trade of some of those politicians.[1][3][4][15]

Local government officials and legislators identified by the President as being involved in illegal drug trade[1]
Official Position LGU
Afdal, Abubakar Abdul Karim Mayor Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur
Aguilera, Jessie Mayor Alegria, Surigao del Norte
Ali, Omar Solitario Mayor Marawi, Lanao del Sur
Alingan, Bobby Mayor Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte
Amante, Vicente Mayor San Pablo, Laguna
Amboy, Francis Ansing Mayor Maasin, Iloilo
Bietbeta, Wilfredo Mayor Carles, Iloilo
Cañamaque, Beda Mayor Basay, Negros Oriental
Castillo, Felix Mayor Langiden, Abra
Celeste, Jesus Mayor Bolinao, Pangasinan
Celis, Jeffrey Congressman ?
Dadayan, Muhammad Ali Abinal Jamal Mayor Buadiposo-Buntong, Lanao del Sur
De Guzman, Martin Mayor Bauang, La Union
Dimaukom, Nida Vice Mayor Datu Saudi-Ampatuan, Maguindanao
Dimaukom, Samsudin Mayor Datu Saudi-Ampatuan, Maguindanao
Dolor, Ryan Mayor Bauan, Batangas
Echavez, Nova Princess Parojinog Vice Mayor Ozamiz, Misamis Occidental
Eriguel, Eufranio Congressman[note 1] Agoo, La Union
Espinosa, Rolando Mayor Albuera, Leyte
Flores, Reynaldo Mayor Naguilian, La Union
Garcia, Dante Mayor Tubao, La Union
Janihim, Gamar Ahay Mayor Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte
Mabilog, Jed Mayor Iloilo City, Iloilo
Macabago, Rasmiyah Congressman Lanao del Sur
Macabago, Sabdullah Mayor Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur
Macadatu, Muslim Aline Mayor Lumbatan, Lanao del Sur
Malones, Marcelo Mayor Maasin, Iloilo
Miranda, Jose Mayor Santiago, Isabela
Montawal, Otto Vice Mayor Datu Montawal, Maguindanao
Montawal, Vicman Mayor Datu Montawal, Maguindanao
Morales, Marino Mayor Mabalacat, Pampanga
Nava, JC Rahman Congressman Guimaras
Navarro, David Mayor Clarin, Misamis Occidental
Ong, Hector Mayor Laoang, Northern Samar
Ong, Madeleine Mayor Laoang, Northern Samar
Pacificador, Julius Ronald Mayor Hamtic, Antique
Parojinog, Reynaldo Mayor Ozamiz, Misamis Occidental
Parojinog, Ricardo Board Member Ozamiz, Misamis Occidental
Pesina, Antonio Mayor Iloilo City, Iloilo
Plagata, Erwin Tongtong Mayor Iloilo City, Iloilo
Rama, Michael Mayor Cebu City, Cebu
Ramin, Yusufa Munder Bobong Mayor Iligan, Lanao del Norte
Romarate, Guillermo Jr. Congressman Surigao del Norte
Sabal, Abdul Wahab Vice Mayor Talitay, Maguindanao
Sabal, Montaser Mayor Talitay, Maguindanao
Sabalones, Fralz Mayor San Fernando, Cebu
Salasal, Norodin Mayor Datu Salibo, Maguindanao
Salazar, Marjorie Apil Mayor Lasam, Cagayan
Salik, Arafat Vice Mayor Marawi, Lanao del Sur
Salik, Fahad Mayor Marawi, Lanao del Sur
Sangki, Rasul Mayor Datu Saudi-Ampatuan, Maguindanao
Sentina, Alex Mayor Calinog, Iloilo
Trinidad, Edgardo Vice Mayor El Nido, Palawan
Tulawie, Benahar Mayor Talipao, Sulu
Violago, Goto Mayor San Rafael, Bulacan
Note: The list includes both incumbent and former officials.
Judges identified by the President as being involved in illegal drug trade[1]
Judge LGU
Casiple Kalibo, Aklan
Dagala, Ezekiel Dapa, Surigao del Norte
Gonzales, Rene Iloilo City, Iloilo
Mupas Dasmariñas, Cavite
Natividad Calbayog, Samar
Reyes Baguio, Benguet
Savilo Iloilo City, Iloilo
Note: The list includes both active and retired judges.

After expressing his thoughts on earlier criticisms from non-governmental organizations against the campaign, Duterte then began revealing the names of 95 law enforcement and army officers, both active and retired.[2] He reiterated that performing police officers who killed in the performance of their duty will get his protection and pardon, while those that have "allowed themselves to be used" will not get any deliverance from him. He further warned:

By the time he had reached over a hundred drug personality names, Duterte paused for breath, and with a sad tone, he continued:

Duterte announced that those he named are relieved of their assignments and that their firearms licenses and permits had also been revoked. He also instructed the police to report to their mother units in PNP and the army to the AFP Chief of Staff within 24 hours for their investigation.[2]

The local government officials named were ordered to report to the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the congressmen to their Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the judges to the Supreme Court, all within 24 hours. They were also told that their firearms licenses and permits had been cancelled and that the local government officials were being stripped of their supervision powers over local police.[2]

Towards the end of the speech, Duterte reiterated that he was taking full responsibility for the listing and the revalidation of the list submitted by his intelligence officers.[1][2]

Reaction[edit]

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno wrote a letter to Duterte with regards to the judges he named as part of the list of officials alleged to be involved in the illegal drug trade.[16] She expressed her concern on the safety and performance of duty of those judges and called the announcement by Duterte as "premature". In the letter, Sereno also informed the President that Judge Natividad of the Regional Trial Court of Calbayog has been dead since 2008, that Judge Mupas of Dasmariñas had already been dismissed for gross misconduct since 2007, and that Judge Gonzales of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Iloilo City already retired in June 2016. She cautioned those four other judges against surrendering to the police without a warrant of arrest.[17] After a verbal tussle with the President on the legality of his order to the judges and the threat of a martial law arising from a potential constitutional crisis, Sereno eventually agreed to investigate their judges and ordered the PNP and PDEA to submit their formal complaints.[18]

Senator Leila de Lima expressed concerns over the inaccuracies on the President's narco list after a few of those identified have been found to be already dead, or had a different position. She also said there were some names there, "maybe a handful, whom I find hard to believe to be involved in drugs."[19]

Former President and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada expressed his support for the name and shame campaign of President Duterte. He said that if Duterte does not go after and shame these elected officials, "pretty soon we will have top government officials, even senators, who are in cahoots with drug syndicates."[20]

Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz also voiced his support for Duterte's campaign and said he was "slowly being impressed by his leadership because he means business." While maintaining that he still has doubts with the drug-related killings, he also said he is confident that the President "will fix it" and that Duterte is serious about eliminating the drug menace when he said he was "not afraid to die and is even willing to put his friends in jail."[21]

Public reaction[edit]

Public reaction to the speech has been very enthusiastic and largely "supportive," particularly online.[22] On Facebook, where the "narco list" has been published by several national news outlets, many of the Philippines' 47 million Facebook users have expressed their support for Duterte's hard line on drugs and their desire to see justice handed out to institutional backers of the drug trade. The news link from Inquirer.net alone received 40,800 shares on the day it was published.[22]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Eriguel was identified as "Ex-Mayor (of Agoo)" in the speech, but had already finished his second term as Congressman for the 2nd District of La Union at the time.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "FULL TEXT: Duterte's speech linking government officials to illegal drugs". The Philippine Star. August 7, 2016. Retrieved August 24, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Duterte names officials linked to drugs". Rappler. 7 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c "FULL TRANSCRIPT: Duterte's exposé vs drug-tagged officials". ABS-CBN News. 7 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "(TRANSCRIPT) President Rodrigo Roa Duterte speech [Delivered in the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao, Panacan, Davao City on August 7, 2016]". Manila Bulletin. 8 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  5. ^ McKirdy, E. (8 August 2016). "Philippine President names top officials allegedly linked to drug trade". CNN. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "Rodrigo Duterte links 150 judges and politicians to drugs trade". The Guardian. 7 August 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  7. ^ Villamor, F. (7 August 2016). "Rodrigo Duterte, Philippine President, Links 150 Public Servants to Drugs". New York Times. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  8. ^ Dancel, R. (7 August 2016). "Duterte tells 150 Philippine lawmakers, judges, security personnel linked to drugs trade to surrender". The Straits Times. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  9. ^ Gomez, J. (7 August 2016). "Philippine leader links 150 judges, politicians to drugs". Associated Press. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  10. ^ "Duterte sworn in as Philippines president". Reuters. 30 June 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  11. ^ Ranada, P. (5 July 2016). "Duterte names alleged police generals in drug trade". Rappler. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  12. ^ Romero, A. (17 July 2016). "Palace: List of gov't officials with alleged drug links 'will make you vomit'". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  13. ^ Sabillo, K.A. (1 August 2016). "Duterte to Leyte mayor, son: Surrender or 'die'". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  14. ^ Francisco, K. (5 August 2016). "'Drug' mayors surrender to PNP chief". Rappler. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  15. ^ Corrales, N. (7 August 2016). "Rody names politicians, judges, cops allegedly into illegal drugs". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  16. ^ "Sereno writes Duterte about her concerns on judges linked to illegal drugs". GMA News. 8 August 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  17. ^ Punay, E. (9 August 2016). "Sereno to Duterte: No warrant, no surrender". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  18. ^ Adel, R. (16 August 2016). "SC orders PNP, PDEA chiefs to submit drug complaints vs 'narco judges'". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  19. ^ 8 August 2016. "De Lima deplores 'inaccuracies' on Duterte drug list". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  20. ^ Mangunay, K.F. (8 August 2016). "Estrada backs Duterte's shame campaign". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  21. ^ "He means business: Duterte anti-drug campaign gets archbishop's nod". ABS-CBNnews.com. 9 August 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  22. ^ a b Hale, E. (8 August 2016). "Facebook fired up after Philippines' Duterte releases 'narco' list". Forbes. Retrieved 11 September 2016.