Oops! President Duterte issues ultimatum to “narco-judges” “narco-congressmen”: One is dead (8 years now), another never a congressman. Oops…
In the news graveyard shift, after 12 midnight this day, during the wake of soldiers killed in battle, before their corpses and widows, with flores para los muertos literally as his backdrop, President Duterte recited a macabre list and issued an ultimatum to “narco-judges” to report to the Supreme Court within 24 hours or else face consequences.
(photo rightclicked from abscbn-news, used here non-commercially for academic purposes)
one of them will be receiving the ultimatum literally from the graveyard, and would have to be raised literally from the dead – having been interred eight years ago.
From the Inquirer: “Samar judge tagged by Duterte as drug protector died 8 years ago xxx One of the alleged drug protectors named by President Rodrigo Duterte has long been dead. xxx Judge Roberto Navidad of Regional Trial Court 32 in Calbayog City, Samar was killed by a lone assailant on Jan. 15, 2008 inside his vehicle after he bought his medicines in Calbayog. xxx “
An ultimatum was also given to “narco-congressmen” . Except that… one was never a congressman nor a partylist representative. Ever. He was the executive assistant of a mayor. Close? Not even distant.
From the Inquirer: “‘Narco-congressman’ named by Duterte never a legislator xxx — Jeffrey Celiz, who was erroneously identified by President Rodrigo Duterte as a “congressman, partylist, Panay chapter,” has never been a legislator. xxx He was former chairman and spokesperson of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in Panay before he left the militant group several years ago and served Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog as his political consultant, spokesperson and executive assistant.”
If this had happened to President Duterte when he was City Prosecutor –- a police witness handing him a list with serious factual errors and testifying with serious factual errors — here’s how City Prosecutor Duterte would have responded: “P!*#xψϠϗ mo, pѪᴤᴪ₦ᶑ y_ wa ka! Pinahamak mo ko, patyon ta ka” (in English: profanities followed with “you made a fool out of me, I will kill you”).
He would then have lost his case as City Prosecutor.
And now he is surrounded by the same kind of people — staffmembers and “intel agents” who provide him with factually wrong “reports” — the same sort of people who disenchanted him as City Prosecutor now surround him as staffmembers. (by the way, staffmembers who provide false information to the President can be proceeded against under the Administrative Code, Civil Service Rules, and other laws).
Without conceding that any of the other items in the list is supported by evidence, and without detracting from the fact that he is abetting vigilantism and lawlessness with this kind of tactic, President Duterte should seriously examine how he is playing God by greenlighting death warrants, except that they are apparently based on false information, his mandate of 16 million votes not being an authorization to be the angel of God, or of death.
And being a lawyer, he knows that if a document is given to him and it contains basic factual errors, the entire document is rendered not credible, even spurious and false. And more fundamental than that, he knows that a mere “intelligence report” without the agent who has first-hand knowledge of the “facts” stated therein not authenticating it, is a mere scrap of paper (“a mere scrrrap of paper”, as Filipino lawyers love to roll the rr’s when they say this).
More important, as Commander-in-Chief of all the armed forces, and the Chief Executive of all civilian units and operatives, the safety of the populace is in his hands. A decision based on serious factual errors could lead to an all-out war triggered by a hoax; the loss of millions of civilian lives premised on a rumor; panic, stampede, destruction sparked by a prank; an order to attack or fire artillery set off by a practical joke.
At the very least, he should investigate how this list was foisted upon him — Ipinahamak siya (he was embarassed before a worldwide audience). And…
Without meaning to be facetious, at the very least, he should have an answer to tomorrow’s questions from reporters. Unless he plans to do a Jesus Christ and call out the judge as Lazarus to comply with his ultimatum: “Judge! Come forth! Or be killed again. Come forth!” (Apologies to St. John, John 11:43)