"Crimes against humanity vs Duterte ?
Nasaan ang ebidensiya ginagawa niya?" Panelo
Does he not deserve to be judged on his record and his actions?
Senator Alan Peter CayetanoBackgrounder:
Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are deliberately committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population or an identifiable part of a population. The first prosecution for crimes against humanity took place at the Nuremberg Trials. Crimes against humanity have since been prosecuted by other international courts - such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Court, as well as in domestic prosecutions. The law of crimes against humanity has primarily developed through the evolution of customary international law. Crimes against humanity are not codified in an international convention, although there is currently an international effort to establish such a treaty, led by the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative.
Unlike war crimes, crimes against humanity can be committed during peace or war. They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy (although the perpetrators need not identify themselves with this policy) or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority. Murder, massacres, dehumanization, extermination, human experimentation, extrajudicial punishments, death squads, forced disappearances, military use of children, kidnappings, unjust imprisonment, slavery, cannibalism, torture, rape, and political or racial repression may reach the threshold of crimes against humanity if they are part of a widespread or systematic practice. From Wikipedia
Philippine President Duterte ‘Ordered Extrajudicial Killings When He Was a Mayor’
The claim is being made by a witness at a Senate inquiry
Edgar Matobato, 57, told the hearing — part of an inquiry being conducted by Senator Leila de Lima — that he conducted at least 50 operations during his time with the death squad and witnessed Duterte order killings himself, the Associated Press reports.Duterte has been dogged by allegations of extrajudicial killings during his 22 years as mayor, and has adopted contradictory stances on them, officially denying involvement while also boasting that he was responsible for “1,700” deaths as opposed to the 700 documented by human-rights groups.
The allegations have now followed him into the country’s highest office, and been renewed thanks to his merciless war on drugs in which over 3,000 people have been killed since July. The drug war is the primary focus of de Lima’s inquiry, in which Matobato testified on Thursday. Duterte’s spokesperson Martin Andanar refuted Matobato’s testimony, saying previous government inquiries into Duterte’s mayoral tenure yielded no evidence of wrongdoing.
According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Matobato also said Duterte had ordered a hit on de Lima herself, when she visited Davao in 2009. The Senator, who previously served as Secretary of Justice and chaired the Philippine Commission on Human Rights, has been the President’s staunchest critic since he took office at the end of June this year.
"Violence is a crime against humanity, for it destroys the very fabric of society. "
Pope John Paul IIFrom The New York Times
MANILA — He was a member of a hit squad that killed hundreds over the years, taking part in about 50 of the murders himself. One victim was fed to crocodiles, he recalled, and four others were hanged and thrown into the sea.
The self-described hit man, Edgar Matobato, said that Rodrigo Duterte, the new president of the Philippines, presided over the extrajudicial killings of about 1,000 criminals and political opponents when he was mayor of Davao City for most of the past two decades — even ordering some of the killings himself.
“We were tasked to kill criminals every day,” Mr. Matobato said Thursday at a televised Senate hearing investigating extrajudicial killings under Mr. Duterte in Davao City.
Mr. Duterte’s promise during his presidential campaign to pursue his antidrug push nationally has alarmed human rights groups, which fear that extrajudicial killings are eroding the rule of law in the Philippines, an important American ally in Asia.
International leaders have also expressed concern, including President Obama, who urged Mr. Duterte to observe the rule of law and human rights.
In his testimony, Mr. Matobato, 57, said he was appointed to the death squad, originally known as the Lambada Boys, after Mr. Duterte was elected mayor of Davao in 1988. He said that the squad operated with the tacit approval of the Davao police.
In his most explosive remarks, Mr. Matobato said that he had heard Mr. Duterte personally order some of the killings carried out by the so-called Davao Death Squad.
A spokesman for the president, Martin Andanar, denied the charges on Thursday, saying of Mr. Duterte: “I don’t think he is capable of giving those orders.”
Mr. Duterte has a history of provocative remarks about criminal justice, including his assertion in 2009 that crime suspects were “a legitimate target of assassination.”
Rights groups have long accused him of being complicit in hundreds of extrajudicial killings in Davao. The Philippine Commission on Human Rights said that from 2005 to 2009, the Davao Death Squad had killed 206 people, including 107 who had criminal records or were suspected of crimes.
The hearing on Thursday was led by Senator Leila de Lima, a former chairwoman of the Philippine Commission on Human Rights, an independent government body that has investigated police killings in Davao and is looking at a new spate of deaths nationwide.
Ms. de Lima, a former secretary of justice, has also criticized Mr. Duterte for a nationwide spike in extrajudicial killings since he became president that he has encouraged — vowing, for example, to kill 100,000 criminals within six months of taking office.
“Perhaps we can link what is happening now to what happened in Davao City in the 1990s until the present, and how the Philippines now mirrors the city of Davao under the two-decade rule of Mayor Duterte,” Ms. de Lima said at the hearing Thursday.
Mr. Matobato testified on Thursday that his hit squad had even been ordered to “ambush” Ms. de Lima, but that they were not able to get to her for logistical reasons.
Ernesto Abella, a spokesman for Mr. Duterte, said that the hearing was “a rehash of issues that have already been addressed in 2009” under Ms. de Lima, and that “even then no case was filed against then-Mayor Duterte.”
He added, “Aside from indications that this is a perjured witness, one wonders at the timing of the case, when de Lima is about to face the Senate inquiry on her alleged involvement in the illegal drug case.”
The national police said in a statement on Thursday that 1,506 people suspected of being drug dealers or users had been killed by the police in the campaign since Mr. Duterte took office and that 1,571 additional murders over the same period were under investigation.
Mr. Duterte has responded to criticism by going on the offensive. This month, he called Mr. Obama a “son of a whore” and threatened to repeat the slur in person if Mr. Obama challenged him on extrajudicial deaths as the two crossed paths at a regional meeting in Laos.
Joseph Franco, a research fellow at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore who has studied the Philippine military establishment, said that allegations about the Davao Death Squad had never been aired so publicly at a high-level Senate hearing.
“This will be a test case,” he said in an email. “We shall see if Matobato’s testimony creates the condition to remove the chilling effect” that Mr. Duterte’s “clan” had long exerted on potential witnesses.
Death squads have also killed gang members and children in Davao, the New York-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch said in a 2009 report on extrajudicial violence in the Philippines, citing interviews with dozens of the victims’ relatives. The report said impunity for such crimes in Davao and elsewhere was “nearly total.”
But Mr. Duterte has long denied any direct knowledge of government-sanctioned death squads, and the Davao police say they have not found evidence that the squads exist.
In his Senate testimony, Mr. Matobato also said his squad worked with government security forces to target a mosque, adding that Mr. Duterte ordered the attack to avenge the 1993 bombing of a cathedral.
Mr. Matobato testified that he threw a grenade into the mosque but it turned out to be empty, so Mr. Duterte personally ordered the squad to round up Muslim suspects in the cathedral bombing.
“We pounced on them and later killed them, and buried them in a quarry,” Mr. Matobato said.
He said Mr. Duterte was also personally involved in the killing of Juan Pala, the spokesman for a vigilante group that once defended Davao and neighboring communities from attacks by members of a Communist insurgency.
Mr. Pala had accused Mr. Duterte of corruption before he was shot in 2003, Mr. Matobato said, and the killing was made to appear like the work of Communist rebels.
In 2013, Mr. Matobato said, he tried to leave the death squad. “I wanted to work decently, and my conscience was bothering me,” he said. “Innocent people were being killed.”
His handlers tortured him, he added, but eventually let him go.