How on earth can the recent death of a lawyer be linked to the “culture of impunity,” extrajudicial killings (EJK) and President Rody Duterte?
The yellow spins fed to foreign media make it look like the death of Benjamin Ramos was a hit job from Rody and that it was part of a continuing cycle of EJK that, in turn, the reports would never fail to mention, was the basis of the “crimes against humanity” case filed against Rody with the International Criminal Court (ICC).
EJK, however, is not even a factual term since it does not have any legal definition and was just coined primarily to harass the administration of Rody.
The weaponizing of the term EJK started after the overwhelming victory of Rody at the polls in 2016 when deaths of drug traffickers soared following the launch of the war on drugs.
The term was then used against Rody at every available chance following the arrest of Sen. Leila de Lima on drug trafficking charges.
De Lima and his tag team partner against Rody, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, then traced back to the President’s term as Davao City mayor the start of the EJK.
De Lima even issued a challenge to Rody to shed his immunity from suit as President and face the EJK charges against him.
A series of Senate investigations organized by the yellow coalition in the Senate and Trillanes already discredited the whistle-blowers against Rody — Edgar Matobato and SPO3 Arturo Lascañas — who are the senator’s pawns.
The allegation of both was that Rody created the Davao Death Squad (DDS) which is composed of policemen and former communist rebels. Both also claimed to be DDS assassins and their targets were criminal suspects and enemies of the Duterte family.
The confessed DDS hit men, however, relied on a script provided by Trillanes which senators found to be full of loopholes. The same script was recycled and used in the ICC case.
Highlighted in the ICC suit was the claim that “almost” 9,000 people have been killed since Duterte took office and started the war on drugs and the same drive against criminals which he led as Davao City mayor.
Yet it was also De Lima who was the first to conduct a probe on the concocted DDS hits, which were rebranded as EJK, when she was Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chairman. Her investigations found nothing.
Former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, who was Rody’s lawyer in 2009 when De Lima conducted the probe, attested to CHR coming out empty-handed after an extensive inquiry.
He said De Lima even ordered the exhumation of bodies of alleged DDS victims in Laud Quarry but found only “skeletons of those who died during the Japanese occupation and bones of some animals.”
The failure to prove EJK against Rody did not deter Vice President Leni Robredo to send a “palit-ulo” (switching of drugs suspects) video message to a United Nations meeting on extrajudicial killings to say the war on drugs had left Filipinos feeling “hopeless and helpless” and that the trust in the police is being eroded by thousands of EJK.
Hopeless and helpless can’t be the emotions felt by 76 percent of Filipinos in a survey who supported Rody’s anti-narcotics campaign.
Rody had egged on the allegations with his scathing rhetorics on drug offenders and his threat to kill all criminals he can lay his hands on.
The EJK yarn, however, needed to be kept going since the trail of the drugs operations that detained De Lima maintained at the New Bilibid Prison is expected to inevitably lead to the yellow doorsteps of the LP and Noynoy.
The myth is being propagated as a survival measure of the yellow mob.