MANILA, Philippines – Days after he slipped to fourth spot in a survey on presidential candidates, Vice President Jejomar Binay slammed poll front-runner Rodrigo Duterte for boasting that he would “continue extrajudicial killings” if elected president.
It was the first time for Binay himself to personally attack the Davao City mayor, whom he had even spared from questioning at the second presidential debate in Cebu last month. (READ: Binay-Duterte ‘bromance’ at 2nd presidential debate)
“Patuloy po siya nang pagyayabang at pinagmamalaki na ipagpapatuloy po niya ang extrajudicial killing (He continues to boast and be proud that he will continue extrajudicial killings,” the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard-bearer said at the radio show of Energy FM’s Mr Fu on Thursday, April 7.
Binay echoed the sentiment of his other rival, administration standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, and others that Duterte’s promise to end crime in a matter of months is impossible.
“Ngayon, ‘yung sinasabi ng isang kandidato na 6 months, kahit ilang taon pa ho ‘yun, hindi po maso-solve ‘yun [through extrajudicial killing]. ‘Yun pong extrajudicial killing ay napapatunayan po ‘yun na hindi po ‘yun ang isang dahilan upang mapababa ang crime incidence,” Binay added.
(What this candidate is saying about ending crime in 6 months, that can’t be solved through extrajudicial killings even if you count a number of years. Extrajudicial killing has been proven not to cause lower crime incidence.)
Duterte has gained traction among voters for promising to end crime within 3 to 6 months of his presidency, even if he has failed, so far, to explain how he plans to do this. He has only said that his anti-crime campaign would be “bloody.”
The Vice President called out Duterte for boasting about his eagerness to kill criminals without due process, and then segued into cases of extrajudicial killings in Davao
“Unlawful po ‘yang extrajudicial killings. Bale ba naman ang pinapatay diyan, gruesome ha, if you can only see a picture noong isang batang 14 years old, pinagsasaksak ‘yon, tapos may apat na magkakapatid, pinagpapapatay ‘yon. Ang hukuman lamang ang hahatol,” said Binay.
(Extrajudicial killings are unlawful. It’s gruesome. If you can only see the picture of a 14-year-old boy who was knifed to death, just like his brothers. The court should be the only one to judge.)
He was alluding to Bobby Alia from Davao, who was among the 4 brothers killed in the city between 2001 and 2002 because they were minors in conflict with the law. (READ: The Bully)
The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism said little has been done to investigate the murder of the Alia brothers, among the extrajudicial killings plaguing Davao in the past years.
At some point, Duterte seemed to have softened his stance on extrajudicial killings saying “there is no honor in it.”
But the latest statement from his camp on Wednesday quoted him as saying that he was not joking when he said he would kill criminals himself. “Ginawa ko na ‘yan noon, gagawin ko ulit (I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again),” Duterte said. (READ: ‘Am I the death squad? ‘True’)
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The Vice President, who used to be a human rights lawyer, said victims of extrajudicial killings are executed based on suspicion, not facts.
“‘Pag napagtsismisan ka, ‘yung papatay sa iyo na taong gobyerno ay naniniwala, papatayin ka na agad. Mali naman ‘yon. Wala na tayong proseso roon,” said Binay.
(When people spread rumors about you, authorities would believe them and you’d be killed immediately. That’s wrong. We’re not going to have due process if that happens.)
Even before he launched his presidential bid, Binay had personally attacked Roxas, and later, Senator Grace Poe, but avoided criticizing Duterte himself until Wednesday.
The first time his camp hit Duterte was in March, when UNA spokesperson Mon Ilagan alleged that Duterte failed to keep Davao City graft-free. Two days later at the Cebu presidential debate, Binay gave up a chance to ask Duterte about the allegation and instead said the mayor was “qualified” to run for president.
In the recent The Standard survey, Duterte shared the top spot with Poe, while Binay sank to 4th place.
On Thursday afternoon, Binay is scheduled to hold dialogues with voters residing in North Fairview and East Kamias, Quezon City. – Rappler.com