Just finished watching Day 1 of De Lima's senate hearing on "extra-judicial killings".
It was very informative, but I think not in the way De Lima expected. If her goal was to discredit Duterte's war on drugs, I think it may have backfired because the two witnesses she presented ended up confirming many of the things Duterte has been saying.
The first witness was a woman whose live-in partner and his father were killed. The second witness was a woman whose mother and father were killed.
1. Both Witness 1 and Witness 2 confirmed that all the slain victims—yes, ALL, including the dead parents—had a history of selling drugs, and only planned to stop after Duterte won the election. Witness 1 actually stressed several times that "si Noynoy pa ang presidente" when her slain live-in partner was actively dealing drugs. I don't think De Lima meant to include this in her script.
2. Both Witness 1 and Witness 2 confirmed that the killings took place just before or just a few days after Duterte assumed office on June 30, 2016. This is consistent with the belief of many people that it is the drug lords themselves and the crooked cops from the previous administration who are behind the killings, because they are cleansing their ranks and permanently silencing their pushers before the new PNP chief's team can go after them.
3. Both Witness 1 and Witness 2's testimonies confirmed what Duterte has been saying all along that drug use, drug dealing, and drug-related corruption within the police and LGUs had grown to epic proportions under the previous administration, and nothing was done about it.
De Lima did her best to appear neutral, but there were telltale slips that showed, like:
1. Whenever the witnesses would start elaborating on the mechanics of the drug supply chain and the remittance of the money collected, she would stop the witnesses and tell them to just stick to her original question.
2. She avoided asking a very glaring, very obvious question: Witness 1 admitted that she bribed police with P20,000 then P10,000 in two instances in the past so her live-in partner would not be arrested. Witness 1 also said her live-in partner only earned about P300 each time he "occasionally" sold drugs "para lang pantawid gutom" and had no other source of income. So who gave Witness 1 the P20,000 and P10,000 for bribing the cops in the past? De Lima did not probe this.
3. De Lima was unable suppress her gleeful cackle when the new PNP official who took over the station where Witness 1's live-in partner was detained said that the CCTV cameras at the station were not working when the live-in partner was detained there. There was this "huli ka!" expression on De Lima's face, like she was glad that she finally fished something out of the witness that could paint the police in an unflattering light. (She seemed to forget that said new PNP official only took over the station after Duterte became president.)
1. Alan Cayetano questioned the media's use of the term "extra judicial killings" and "vigilante killings" which are kind of biased. "Unexplained deaths" or "deaths under investigation" are more neutral. Agree, let's all stop using the term "extra-judicial killings", it's bad for the image of the country.
2. Ping Lacson had a similar comment about the CHR's use of the name "Team Rubout" for their task force on unexplained killings. Lacson said the name alone already suggests the CHR is pre-judging the PNP. Absolutely correct. The head of CHR, Chito Gascon, is an Aquino appointee after all.
3. Risa Hontiveros put her background as a theater actress to good use, asking pseudo-intellectual questions in a contrived "little girl" voice designed to camouflage her true nature as one of the most vicious rottweilers of the yellow camp. It's embarrassing to listen to, actually, and it's not fooling anyone, so she should just go back to her real speaking voice.
4. The people in the room visibly flinched whenever the word "driver" was mentioned. De Lima to Witness 1: "Anong trabaho ng ka-live in mo?" Witness 1: "Driver po." Audible gasps in the room. De Lima to Witness 2: "Anong trabaho ng tatay mo na namatay?" Witness 2: "Nagmamaneho po." Muffled gasps.
5. Trillanes could not pass up the chance to get some airtime, so he lectured the police about the world being round, and basically told them that someday when Duterte is no longer president there will be no one to protect them. Don't worry, Sonny, karma is coming for you too.
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