It was in 2016 when the former Daanbantayan mayor Vicente Loot was named as one of the narco-generals in Duterte’s drug hit-list. Bear in mind that this is the same list where thousands of innocent civilians were being rounded up and killed by riding-in-tandem which eventually turned out to be policemen on duty. It is also that one tragic moment in his life when masked men opened fire using high-powered firearms as he and his family attempted to disembark from a chartered boat from Malapascua Island in New Maya wharf, Daanbantayan.
Fortunately, he and his family narrowedly excaped the ordeal and since then had been in hiding fearing for his safety. Also, this was during the height of Duterte’s brutal drug-war campaign which hunted down known criminals and butchered them as ordered by the Philippine President and under the supervision of the now newly elected senator Bato De La Rosa.
“Loot was ambushed twice but could not be killed. I did not order the ambush. It was Roxas. Roxas ordered his ambush, not me,” – Duterte (December, 2016)
In an interview Duterte blamed Roxas for attempting to silence Loot backing up fascist humdrums that the supposed ”yellows” were in cahoots with known drug personalities including the former Loot. Thus, for quite sometime — this picked up well in social-media reinforcing public bias and falsely imputed controversy over the previous administrations drug connections.
Duterte’s pattern of speeches and warnings even orders the police and the military to shoot-to-kill suspects without court trial is direct admission of state-backed extra-judicial killings in the Philippines yet many of his swooned supporters defended this policy of butchery as if Duterte was no longer just a political personality but a mythical being of political perfection — a strongman, a protector of their egos.
“Ano kasalanan ko? Nagnakaw ba ako diyan ni piso? Did I prosecute somebody na pinakulong ko? Ang kasalan ko lang ‘yung extrajudicial killings,” Duterte said during the oath taking of new Career Executive Service Officers in Malacañang.
Many of Duterte’s admissions connects with the recent spate of mass-murders in the country which has so far caught the attention of the United Nations Human Rights Council and many countries calling out to Duterte to stop the policy of butchery and allow impartial investigations regarding the abuse of state-powers to commit crimes against humanity. Though at first, Duterte was open to foreign investigation but then after a year later he reneged on his tough-talking stance and cowardly ordered the haste withdrawal of the Philippines in the International Criminal Court without Congress approval.
But the ICC stated that even if the Philippines withdrew from ICC. The case has already been endorsed and is currently under close scrutiny by the tribunal officials long before the withdrawal was to set to take effect a year later after. Pretty, disappointing for most human-rights advocates since the Philippines signed the Rome Statute on December 28, 2000 but it took a bit of time and it was not until August 23, 2011 that the Senate gave its concurrence to ratify the treaty. The Philippines deposited its instrument of accession on August 30, 2011 and the Rome Statute entered into force in the country on November 1, 2011.
Now going back to his recent statements pinning the ambush angle over former DILG Chief Mar Roxas against Loot all turned out to be a farce since he just now called out Loot in a burst of expletives saying that actually ordered the ambush after all and that he was pissed that the man were still alive.
“General Loot, potangina mo, nanalo pa na mayor. Inambush kita, animal ka, buhay pa rin (General Loot , you son of a whore, you even won as mayor. I ambushed you, you animal, you’re still alive), — Duterte (September, 2019)
Though as expected, his Presidential spokesman immediately came forward to offer his own justification regarding Duterte’s statements. He said that it is “absurd and silly” to conclude that Duterte is behind the ambush of Loot just because he “misspeaks the (F)ilipino language which is not his native tongue or first language.”
“The Filipino nation by this time is already familiar and used to the language of the President who invariably uses a mixture of English, Bisaya (Cebuano dialect) and Filipino in communicating with the nation,” — Salvador Panelo (September, 2019)
But sorely disagree with Panelo. I am a Cebuano and sure enough I heard the speech and it was pretty clearn when he said that (here’s the speech)
General Loot, potangina mo, nanalo pa na mayor. Inambush kita, animal ka, buhay pa rin
There’s no twist or justification to this. Even I were to re-word this in Bisaya say :
General Loot, potangina mo, nidaog pa gyud ka, Gi-ambush teka, anemal ka, Buhi pa ka?
So clearly the translation of both sentence does not diminish its meaning and intent. Thus, Panelo’s stupid justification does not help cloud public reactions against his boss since clearly — Duterte’s own statements alone is pretty clear. He admitted the ambush of General Loot and also clearly in the same manner admitted in many of his recent speeches that he wantonly ordered the butchery of his citizens under his pretense of Oplan Tokhang.
That in itself should catapult a country into a massive public outrage. But what have we become? A country pre-dominantly Christian and endowed in Wester liberal values — finds itself lost and desensitized by the Chief Executive who simply has not respect for his people and the flag that he took his oath to protect and preserve. Worst, the glaring irony of freeing big-time Chinese drug-lords to wrongfully avail of GCTA under the watch of his trusted appointee Faeldon and now Senator and former BuCor Chief Bato De La Rosa.
The patriotic people of this country should drag that deranged dotard out of Malacañang and have the rest of his allies rounded up and locked-up. Truly then, are we able to cleanse and restore this nation back to its feet.