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Tag Archives: extra-judicial killings

Iloilo police ‘task force’ once linked to EJK

“Even in killing men, observe the rules of propriety.”
–CONFUCIUS

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Even before the alleged Davao Death Squad (DDS) terrorized criminals in Davao City, the territory of President Rodrigo Duterte, a police “task force” in Iloilo City was already making headlines in the late 80’s and early 90’s for links to the now infamous tagline “extra-judicial killing” or EJK.
The dreaded “Task Force Iron Eagle” led by one Colonel Rolando Maclang, operated under the tutelage of the Metrodistrict Police Command (Metrodiscom), now Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO).
Maclang had been convicted for the kidnapping and murder of a woman Filipino-Chinese cockfighting habitue, Obing Cocjin, and is now serving a jail term in the New Bilibid Prison.
Bodies of EJK victims were mostly dumped in the now Sen. Benigno Aquino Avenue, formerly known as Iloilo Diversion Road when it was still grassy, muddy and dark.
Under the watch of the late former city councilor Achilles Plagata, Metrodiscom earned notoriety for alleged involvement in EJKs where the victims were mostly thieves, rapists, drug pushers, and members of the underworld.

COUNCILOR

Plagata was a former police colonel who became a city councilor in the 90’s after his retirement. He was swashbuckling and tough-talking and had no mercy for criminals.
Well-loved and feared by police scalawags, he could have been “Iloilo City’s Rodrigo Duterte” had he ran and won for city mayor.
Like Duterte, Plagata also used cuss words and diatribes to torment bad elements in society.
His mere presence in police offices would strike fear in the hearts of lousy policemen who got dressed down like kindergarten pupils.
Task Force Iron Eagle crossed my mind when I leaned that alleged former executioner, retired SPO3 Arturo Lascañas, corroborated the testimony of fellow hitman Edgar Matobato linking President Duterte to the so-called DDS.
When Plagata retired in police service until his stint as elected city official, nobody from among his former henchmen ratted against their former operations.
In other words, Plagata took good care all his minions even during his civilian life.
The likes of Lascañas and Matobato were unheard of during Plagata’s “reign of terror.”

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Posted by on February 23, 2017 in CRIME, NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!

 

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Death sentence for Iloilo mayors in ‘narco’ list?

“Do I favor the death penalty? Theoretically, I do, but when you realize that there’s a four percent error rate, you end up putting guilty people to death.” — Gary Johnson

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW JERSEY — I bumped off two stories over the weekend to pave the way for an article I deemed to be more urgent and relevant in the heels of President Duterte’s speech during the swearing in of several newly-appointed cabinet officials on January 9 in Malacanang.
President Duterte called “narco-politicians” as “dead men walking.”
He vowed to kill big time “shabu” dealers, and the next batch, reports quoted him as saying, would be the city and municipal mayors engaged in illegal drugs and whose names he mentioned weeks after he assumed office in July 2016.
I was so alarmed because some of the mayors President Duterte had linked to illegal drugs based on the list provided by his intelligence men were from my place in Western Visayas.
They were Jed Patrick Mabilog of Iloilo City, Alex Centena of Calinog, Iloilo; Siegfredo Betita of Carles, Iloilo; and Mariano Malones of Maasin, Iloilo.
Except for Betita, the three are known to me personally. Malones was our former business manager in the News Express; Centena is a friend way back in the 80’s when he was not yet a public official; and Mabilog is our mayor in Iloilo City.

DEATH LIST

Are they among those included in President Duterte’s so-called death list?
We want to know. We need to know especially because there has been no solid evidence linking them to illegal drugs.
They could only be victims of political black propaganda or vendetta. They were never convicted by any competent court.
In fact, no formal charges have been filed against them yet. They were vilified, along probably with several others who could be innocent in the Duterte list, without any formal trial.
What if the president erred or the list he was reading was a sham and contained falsehood? Since July 2016 when their names were disclosed as alleged drug protectors, the government has failed to substantiate the allegations.
Therefore it’s premature to condemn them; it’s not fair to punish them with a harsh “death sentence” which could become only another case of extra-judicial killing, God forbid.

LAW

While most Filipinos who elected President Dutere in the May 2016 polls support his campaign to stamp out criminality in the country especially the president’s “all-out” war policy against illegal drugs, pressures from human rights advocates, including the United Nations and other international organizations, continued to hound the president as dead bodies piled up in the streets.
Most of those killed in “shootouts” with police were drug addicts and small-time peddlers of illegal substance. Their families claimed the dead were victims of summary execution.
The Philippines doesn’t have any law on death penalty. Convicted criminals spend time in jail and are not killed.
If these mayors are executed when their guilt was not yet proven beyond reasonable doubt–and in the absence of any law that supports the death penalty–the president becomes an executioner and violator of the law, not the dead mayors.

 
 

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Iloilo biggest winner in anti-drugs war; biggest loser in shame campaign

“A good reputation is more valuable than money.”
— Publilius Syrus

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW JERSEY –– In the government-led battle against illegal drugs in the Philippines in 2016, Iloilo City could be the biggest “winner” if the number of murdered and “neutralized” drug lords, small-time traffickers, and drug addicts is used as the barometer.
With a population of 424,619, Iloilo City could also be the biggest “loser” when it comes to the “shame campaign” initiated by President Rodrigo Duterte immediately after he assumed office in July.
Among those slain in the brutal crackdown against drug pushers was the Odicta couple, Melvin and Meriam, of Iloilo City. They were killed by unidentified gunmen in Caticlan Port in Aklan on their way back after “surrendering” to Interior and Local Government Secretary Mike Sueno in Quezon City in August.
The Odictas were the country’s biggest names in illegal drug trafficking to fall in 2016. Following their death, some of the couple’s top runners were either killed in “encounters” with police or arrested.

‘SHABULIZED’

Aside from naming Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, ranked No. 5 in the 2014 World Mayor, as alleged protector of illegal drugs, Duterte also called the “City of Love” the “most shabulized city” in the country.
The tag, strongly belied and disputed by Mabilog and other local officials, demoralized some Ilonggos, especially those living in other parts of the world who suspected politics behind the “smear” drive.
Duterte also named three other prominent Iloilo mayors as “narco-politicians”: Alex Centena of Calinog, Siegfredo Betita of Carles and and Mariano Malones of Maasin.
Like Mabilog, they all cried foul.
Duterte based his accusations on the list provided by his intelligence henchmen who had been tipped off by narcotics agents, some of them were reportedly allies of political rivals of those on the list.

SHAME

The shame campaign, which caught many local chef executives whose names were on the list flat-footed, didn’t prove the guilt of the maligned mayors and governors.
Duterte, in fact, had flip-flopped and apologized to some of those he mentioned in the list, underscoring suspicions that he was fed with half-baked if not unverified reports from the field.
Two of them, Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom of Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao and Mayor Rolando Espinosa of Albuera, Leyte, however, were killed by police in separate encounters–all related to Duterte’s nationwide campaign against illegal drugs.
Some three thousand suspected drug traffickers and drug addicts have been summarily executed since Duterte and his national police director, Chief Supt. Ronaldo “Bato” Dela Rosa launched the “all-out” war against illegal drugs in the country.

RIGHTS

Human rights advocates in the Philippines and abroad have criticized the apparent state-run extra-judicial killings (EJKs) and asked the president to halt the carnage.
They expressed alarm that some of those killed by lawmen in alleged “shootouts” were suspected pushers and young drug addicts and not convicted criminals.
Senator Leila De Lima, a former Commission on Human Rights commissioner, questioned the EJKs saying criminals are presumed innocent until proven by the court.
Duterte, who vowed to wipe out criminality in the country within six months starting in July, responded with derision and called his critics “SOB.”
When the president and Dela Rosa could not meet the six-month deadline, Duterte asked for extension.
Killings are feared to escalate anew in 2017.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2016 in NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!, POLITICS

 

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Pinoy victims of EJKs, ‘You’ve got a friend’ in James Taylor

“When you stop growing you start dying. An addict never stops growing. A user is a continual state of shrinking and growing in his daily cycle of shot-need for shot completed.”
― William S. Burroughs

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW JERSEY — When a visiting friend asked me in September this year to accompany her to the place where John Lennon was assassinated in New York City 37 years ago, I first pointed to her the former residence of James Vernon Taylor in the Upper West End Avenue in Manhattan.
Taylor lived in the next building from Lennon.
“I’m interested on John Lennon’s apartment. Bring me there,” the friend badgered me.
We walked from Central Park’s Strawberry Fields (where Lennon’s ashes had been scattered by Yoko Ono after cremation and where Lennon’s “Imagine” song had been playing non-stop) before proceeding to Dakota, in the gate of Lennon’s apartment where he was shot in the head by Mark David Chapman on December 8, 1980.
It was Taylor who first had an eerie encounter with Chapman, then 26-year-old Texan, 24 hours before Lennon’s murder.
Could he have prevented the assassination of one of music industry’s most talented, charismatic and highly-regarded artists in history?

INTERVIEW

In a 2010 interview with BBC, the now 68-year-old American singer-songwriter and guitarist, revealed that Chapman “…had sort of pinned me to the wall and was glistening with maniacal sweat and talking some freak speak about what he was going to do and his stuff with how John was interested, and he was going to get in touch with John Lennon. And it was surreal to actually have contact with the guy 24 hours before he shot John.”
After Lennon was officially declared dead in the nearby Roosevelt Hospital, Taylor alleged he heard Chapman “shot–five, just as quick as you could pull the trigger, about five explosions.”
Taylor, born in Boston, Massachusetts, stayed in New York City as he was on a methadone maintenance program to cure him of his drug addiction.
Yes, fellas. The singer who popularized “You’ve Got a Friend”, “Fire and Rain”, “How Sweet It Is (to be loved by you)”, “Handy Man”, “Your Smiling Face”, was a former drug addict.
Taylor was in the news in the Philippines after he cancelled his Manila concert in February 2017 in protest of the extra-judicial killings (EJK).

MESSAGE

In his personal blog (www.jamestaylor.com), the five-time Grammy Award winner, wrote dated December 20, 2016:
I’ve been eagerly looking forward to playing for my Philippine audience ever since we added Manila to our tour of the Pacific this coming February. So it saddens me to cancel our concert there. I don’t think of my music as being particularly political but sometimes one is called upon to make a political stand.
The scourge of addiction is a worldwide problem and does serious harm, not only to the addict but to our society. For a sovereign nation to prosecute and punish, under the law, those responsible for the illegal trade in drugs is, of course, understandable, even commendable; but recent reports from the Philippines of summary executions of suspected offenders without trial or judicial process are deeply concerning and unacceptable to anyone who loves the rule of law.
I offer my heartfelt apologies for any inconvenience or disappointment this may cause my Filipino friends but I must now announce that I will not be performing in Manila this February. All tickets sold will, of course, be fully refunded. I am grateful to my promoter, Renen de Guia, for his patience and understanding.
This decision will, in no way, affect my plans to perform as announced in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
James Taylor

-o0o-
To all victims of EJKs in the Philippines, as well as other drug dependents targeted by summary executions, let’s listen to a song from “a friend”:  You’ve Got A Friend
By James Taylor
When you’re down and troubled
And you need a helping hand
And nothing, nothing is going right
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night
You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running, oh yeah baby, to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you’ve got to do is call
And I’ll be there, ye, ye, ye
You’ve got a friend
If the sky above you
Should turn dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind should begin to blow
Keep you head together
And call my name out loud now
Soon you’ll hear me knocking at you door
You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running, oh yes I will, to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall, ye
All you have to do is call…

 

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If we can’t hurt a fly we can’t kill a human being

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”― Voltaire

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Let’s approach the problem from the spiritual point of view. I learned from my 70-year-old Indian-American chess rival in Queens that in order for the EJK or extra-judicial killings in the Philippines to end, Filipinos may embrace the religion of Janism.
“Master Sam” said followers of this ancient religion wouldn’t even hurt a fly–literally.
He was saddened by reports that more than 2,000 suspected Filipino drug addicts and traffickers of illegal substance “have been murdered like animals” in the streets and in their houses in raids since the Duterte administration launched a “no-non sense” battle against illegal drugs in the Philippines.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) boss, Chief Supt. Ronald “Bato” De la Rosa, handpicked by President Duterte to “cleanse the country with criminal elements,” denied the PNP had initiated the mass killings saying “they adhere to the due process and respect the human rights of the suspects.”
Janism is one of India’s three ancient religions, along with Buddhism and Hinduism.

MAD

“Master Sam” said because of this religion, he could not even get mad at chess hustlers in the park who bilked him.
“I’m a peaceful person. When I beat you in a chess match once, I felt I humiliated you in front of your friends. When it was your turn to beat me (eight times in another meeting), I felt it was necessary to compliment you and tell people around that you are a better chess player,” enthused “Master Sam,” who once lost $1,500 to Filipino chess hustlers at Elmhurst Park in Queens.
Despite the fact that it has only a few million adherents and is confined almost entirely in Southern India, Janism’s philosophy of non-violence has spread throught the world, according to “Master Sam.”
To Janists, he said, the world is divided into the living (or the soul) and the non-living.
They believe that the soul is invaded by karmic matter, or negative passions, that can dominate people’s lives. These include violence, greed, anger, and self-indulgence.
This karma reportedly bonds to the soul and impedes the search for perfect understanding and peace.

STAGE

To reach the heavenly stage, “Master Sam” said Janists must stop the inflow of bad karma and shed the karmic matter that has already bonded to their souls.
Once this has been accomplished, he explained, they reach moksha or a level of pure understanding where the soul is liberated from all earthly matter.
Master Sam said achieving this heavenly stage is quite an ordeal. An individual must spend 12 years as a Janist monk and go through eight reincarnations in order to get there.
Along the way, each must also adhere to the Three Jewels of Right Faith, Right Knowledge, and Right Conduct. More extreme worshippers deny themselves even the most basic of life’s pleasures by fasting and wearing only the simplest clothing.

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2016 in CULTURE AND HERITAGE, HISTORY, RELIGION

 

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