Press Release
July 6, 2020

Dispatch from Crame No. 839:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's Further Thoughts on the Signing of the Anti-Terror Bill within the Context of the Jolo Rubout


On the same day that Duterte signed the Anti-Terror Bill into law, he flew to Zamboanga City to try to appease the officers and enlisted personnel of the AFP on the matter of the summary execution of Major Marvin Indammog and his men by elements of the Jolo Municipal Police last Monday.

In his familiar folksy macho style, he basically told the soldiers "Ibigay ninyo na sa akin 'to." He pleaded for the soldiers' understanding, and in so doing enumerated the list of things that he has supposedly done for them, like raising their salaries, buying them equipment, appointing their retired generals to the Cabinet, and even giving them sidearms with which the soldiers are supposed to shoot themselves when their rifles run out of bullets.

This is not the gesture of a President. This is the style of a Mafia Godfather who comes knocking on the door asking for payback on a favor.

The favor supposedly is all of those he enumerated which, incidentally, were paid for by the taxpayers of course. The payback is the AFP's patience and understanding on the massacre of their men (it was, indeed, a massacre, if we go by one definition that says four killed in one incident constitutes a mass killing), and to let whatever "justice" is in store for the 9 PNP men.

So this is how Duterte's week went. On Monday, 9 policemen massacred 4 Army soldiers--summarily executed, extra-judicially killed, neutralized, eliminated, etc. Friday, he signs the Anti-Terror Bill into law then flies off to Zamboanga to basically ask the AFP for their forgiveness on behalf of the PNP.

I don't know how exactly messed up our security forces are right now, but I don't think that any objective observer would consider them in tip-top shape at the moment. These are the security forces, the AFP and the PNP, who are supposed to enforce the Anti-Terror Law on a population of 110 million, when they cannot even prevent 9 of their policemen from wiping out from the face of the earth four of their Army troopers. If that is not messed up, then I don't know what is.

God help us if these are the policemen and soldiers who will implement the Anti-Terror Law, people who cannot even recognize among themselves who the friendly forces and who the terrorists are.

Kung ang kapulisan mismo ang pumapatay sa ating mga sundalo na tumutugis sa mga teroristang Abu Sayyaf, aba eh good luck na lang sa atin at manalangin tayo sa Diyos na alam ng mga pulis sa ating mga komunidad kung sino ang kakampi at kung sino ang mga terorista.

Sa ating mga kasundaluhan, sapat na ba ang mga regalong armas, suweldo at puwesto sa gobyerno ni Duterte para magkibit-balikat kayo kung sino ang tunay na mga terorista ngayon sa ating lipunan? Pagkatapos ratratin ang inyong mga mistah at kasamahan sa serbisyo ng mga pulis, sadyang malinaw na ba sa inyo kung sino ang terorista at kung sino ang kakampi sa paggamit ninyo ng bagong Anti-Terror Law?

Parang hindi, parang malabo. Mga sundalo na kayo, niratrat pa kayo ng mga pulis. Paano pa kaya ang mga sibilyan na walang mga armas at kalaban-laban?

Sinabi ni Duterte nung Biyernes na ang tunay na kalaban ng mga sundalo ay mga NPA at terorista, hindi ang mga pulis. Pero si Duterte na rin ang kumupkop sa NPA sa Davao noong mayor pa siya, at nagsabi pagkaupo niya bilang Pangulo na hindi kriminal ang mga Abu Sayyaf. Hanggang kailan ba kayo magpapaloko sa tao na yan?

(Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 839 here:

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