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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:37 pm 
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CHR probes 800 kills by Davao death squad
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerhe ... eath-squad
De Lima airs concern over public acceptance

By Nikko Dizon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:25:00 03/30/2009

MANILA, Philippines—The killings have gone on for too long and it’s time to hold those responsible to account.

With this message, Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chair Leila de Lima is set to open on Monday a public inquiry into a wave of unexplained killings of more than 800 people in Davao City since 1998.

Many of the victims were people purportedly with criminal records, giving rise to suspicions that the killings were the work of the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS), a shadowy vigilante group.

For De Lima, what is “most alarming … is the growing culture or mentality of public acceptance of the executions.”

“This is worse than apathy and indifference,” she told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in an interview before she left for Davao City, noting that the killings had been justified as one way of making the place crime-free.

De Lima said she had also received several e-mail letters from abroad raising concern about the unabated killings in the country’s largest city.

“Local authorities have the duty to protect society from killings like that. They should find out who the perpetrators are, prosecute and punish them,” De Lima said.

Inexplicable killings

A total of 814 deaths have been attributed to vigilante strikes since 1998. The victims included 73 children.

In February alone, 33 killings occurred. A month before that, on Jan. 20, seven people were inexplicably shot, stabbed or found dead in different parts of the city.

Among the Jan. 20 victims was a tricycle driver allegedly involved in a money scam and in illegal drugs. He was shot dead by two men on a motorbike.

That same day, a carpenter and another tricycle driver were found stabbed dead in a cemetery, a matchbox of dried marijuana leaves found on the carpenter’s body and sticks of marijuana leaves on the other body.

A few days later, De Lima spoke in Davao and mentioned the DDS.

“I noticed the audience were looking at each other. During lunch break, two judges approached me and said there were hardly any cases filed with them because there were no witnesses and the investigations did not progress. They are also worried that people seem to accept or like the situation,” she said.

Hired killers

De Lima said the CHR inquiry would attempt to find out the truth about the existence of the death squad and the possible liability of local officials for failing to stop the killings.

“There is still a factual issue if the DDS really exists. Some say it’s a media creation. Others say it’s real, that there is such a group of hired killers. I am inclined to believe that there is such a group because how can we have cases of mysterious, almost serial, killings,” she said.

The CHR regional office has listed more than 300 summary killings from 2005 to January 2009, but De Lima said it was being “validated” if they were indeed carried out by the death squad.

De Lima said Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte had pledged to cooperate in the inquiry.

She said Duterte, once President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s consultant on peace and order, and the local government as a whole might be asked why the killings had gone unabated for 11 years.

Disturbing statements

De Lima noted that Duterte himself was known to have issued “disturbing statements” that appeared to tolerate, if not entirely sanction, the killings.

In a multisectoral meeting in Davao City last February, Duterte said he would not be involved in any extrajudicial killings but stressed that when he was voted mayor, his promise to the people was to restore peace and order in the city.

In that meeting, Duterte also said: “What I want is to instill fear … If it will send the wrong signals, then I am sorry. But what wrong did I commit?”

He went on: “If you are doing an illegal activity in my city, if you are a criminal or part of a syndicate that preys on the innocent people of the city, for as long as I am the mayor, you are a legitimate target of assassination.”

At the slightest show of resistance, Duterte also said he would order the police to “shoot you and aim for your head to make sure that you are dead.”

Gang wars blamed

Duterte has denied that the government was behind the group and denied its existence, blaming the killings on gang wars, rivalries in the illegal drugs trade and personal grudges.

In a letter to the Inquirer earlier this month, De Lima said the aims of the inquiry were to determine the extent of human rights violations, examine the causes of the killings and study measures to address them, and seek the support of government agencies and civil society groups in order to expedite an investigation.

On Tuesday, the CHR is expected to conduct consultations with nongovernment organizations (NGOs), the Church, the academe, and the local media.

Philippine National Police Director General Jesus Verzosa is expected to attend the inquiry. For the CHR and local human rights groups, it remains a big question why the local PNP has failed to stop the killings.

Local and international human rights organizations have raised concern that some of the victims were not only minors but without any criminal record as well. Others were victims of mistaken identity, it is claimed.

Copycat executions

The Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is among the organizations that have prodded the CHR to investigate the killings—said to be the first by any governmental institution or agency since the killings started in 1998.

The AHRC has expressed fear the vigilante-style killings have spilled over to Davao’s neighboring cities.

Danilo Reyes, head of the group’s Philippine desk, told the Inquirer by phone that murders similar to the Davao executions were recently recorded in the cities of Tagum and General Santos and that the “targets” had not been limited to criminals.

An Inquirer source said the DDS was composed mostly of former communist rebels. A DDS assassin, in an interview several years ago, refused to say who was behind the group.

When it started operating in the 1990s, the DDS used motorcycles as mode of transport and firearms in killing their victims. In the past few years, the killings were done by stabbing, apparently to prevent innocents from getting hit by stray bullets.

There were cases in which the victims, previously arrested for petty crimes, were killed minutes after their release from jail. There were also cases when the killings were done days after a gruesome crime had occurred in the city. With reports from Inquirer Mindanao and Inquirer Research

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:39 pm 
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http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... 80,00.html

8)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:48 pm 
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800? wow, DDS having a heyday.

no, it does not stand for Duterte Death Squad. :?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:26 pm 
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doubleblade29 wrote:
800? wow, DDS having a heyday.

no, it does not stand for Duterte Death Squad. :?




konti pa daw yung 800 8)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:40 pm 
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konti pa daw yung 800 8)[/quote]

still few? maybe 1k is enough :D

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:56 am 
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Before 2010, aabot na siguro yan ng 1K. ika nga 100pax/year ang tinutumba nila by average. :?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:33 am 
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800 people committed suicide.

CHR should investigate the police departments all over the country.
How come Davao is so much safer? :shock:


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:02 pm 
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JoeyInCali wrote:
800 people committed suicide.

CHR should investigate the police departments all over the country.
How come Davao is so much safer? :shock:


Yes Davao is a very safe place to reside.I have cousins in davao and they proudly said that you can count thousands of money in the streets,wear expensive gold necklaces or using the newest nokia celfons in public places without any fear that a bandit would steal it.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:34 pm 
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Quote:
There were cases in which the victims, previously arrested for petty crimes, were killed minutes after their release from jail. There were also cases when the killings were done days after a gruesome crime had occurred in the city. With reports from Inquirer Mindanao and Inquirer Research

The justice system in the Philippines is bankrupt.
Sadly, judicial executions will go on.
Murder cases around the country are mostly unsolved and stay that way.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:26 am 
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choosing from lesser evil is what the Davaoweños is doing in relation with the "summary killings". we feel sorry about the souls which were killed by "DDS", but its better them than an innocent soul will be at risk or die.

lhddennis wrote:
Yes Davao is a very safe place to reside.I have cousins in davao and they proudly said that you can count thousands of money in the streets,wear expensive gold necklaces or using the newest nokia celfons in public places without any fear that a bandit would steal it.


try asking your cousins if they could do the things that you've mentioned during the time of De Guzman.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:37 pm 
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^
It was pretty bad during De Guzman's tenure.
The police dept. was corrupt. The snatchers killed people for their cell phones.
Kinda like what is happening in Manila now.
When Duterte took over, he put an end to lawlessness in Davao.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:31 pm 
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Yeah, mayor Duterte restored the peace and order in Davao City...

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:29 pm 
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JoeyInCali wrote:
^
It was pretty bad during De Guzman's tenure.
The police dept. was corrupt. The snatchers killed people for their cell phones.
Kinda like what is happening in Manila now.
When Duterte took over, he put an end to lawlessness in Davao.


No **** it was pretty bad during that time. I lived in Obrero during that time and let me tell you, there were riots almost every night. My older brother and almost all the guys there were in gangs banging with rival gangs from Agdao and Mapa. Every time I went to clubs there were always fights by gangs and there was no curfew and no liquor ban. Man those were good times. LMAO

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:53 pm 
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Ano na nangyari sa investigation? :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:56 pm 
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Davao is the best city in the phil IMHO.hehehe...dacaohugger ko eh... :lol:

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