Former Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog (Photo from Facebook page of the Iloilo City government) ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines — Former Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, who fled the country after he was repeatedly tagged by President Duterte in the illegal drug trade, has been cleared of charges related to his supposed ill-gotten wealth. The Court of Appeals (CA) reversed the Aug. 29, 2017, Ombudsman decision that found Mabilog guilty of serious dishonesty for unexplained wealth amounting to nearly P9 million due to lack of merit. In a 22-page decision promulgated on June 11, the appeals court’s 19th Division said Mabilog did not conceal or misrepresent the increase in his wealth by P8,981,082.52 in his 2013 statement of assets, liabilities and net worth. It noted that Mabilog submitted the 2013 tax reassessments of his wife, Marivic, in Canada which showed that she had a net income of C$140,944 or P5,883,002.56. “His wife’s income in 2013 already accounted for ... » Learn More about Ex-Iloilo mayor cleared of ill-gotten wealth rap
Office of the ombudsman
The Duterte government, through its Department of Justice (DOJ), banners a special task force to prove its commitment against a culture of impunity, but the track record of this 7-year-old unit leaves much to be desired. Very few have been convicted, and most perpetrators have been cleared, according to the Philippine government's own report submitted to the United Nations last May. From the creation of the task force in 2012 under former president Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III to December 2019, its latest data, the task force has handled only 385 cases, including those that go all the way back to 2001 when Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was president. Aquino signed Administrative Order (AO) 35 on November 22, 2012, creating a mechanism to investigate extrajudicial killings and other politically-motivated violence. Currently, the AO 35 task force is headed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) with teams led by prosecutors. Of the 385 cases handled by the AO 35 task ... » Learn More about DOJ’s task force vs EJK: Few convicted, most perpetrators cleared
Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap photo by Leo Udtohan, Inquirer Visayas TAGBILARAN CITY––A former mayor of Bohol has filed a plunder complaint against Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap and other provincial officials over alleged irregularities in various transactions. In a 28-page complaint, Dan Neri Lim requested the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate and hold Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap and other provincial officials liable for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Lawyer Nilo Ahat, the Bohol legal officer, said they had yet to receive a copy of the complaint. “We won’t back down. We are ready to answer (the allegations) once we receive a hard copy of the complaint,” said Ahat. For Yap, the complaint against him was a strategy to destroy his name. “I am not surprised with that considering that the elections draw near. I will continue working for the people and face these challenges,” said Yap in a text message to the Inquirer. Named respondents in the complaint were Yap, ... » Learn More about Ex-mayor files plunder case vs Bohol gov
MANILA, Philippines – Retired policeman Arturo “Arthur” Lascañas and Edgar Matobato are not the first ones to come forward and expose the alleged widespread vigilante killings in Davao City. Documents obtained by Rappler from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) indicate that as early as 2009, accusations of summary killings during the mayorship of Duterte were obtained from 4 individuals. The sworn affidavits and depositions were made in different months in 2009. It was also the year when the CHR, led by then chairperson and now detained Senator Leila de Lima, started its full probe into the existence of the Davao Death Squad (DDS). Between 2005 to 2009, the commission conducted public hearings in Davao City on the killings. It identified 206 deaths attributable to the DDS within this period alone. The affidavits of the 4 witnesses cover 3 main things about the known death squad: Only one mention of Duterte While ... » Learn More about Lascañas, Matobato were not the first DDS whistle-blowers
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra. (File photo by Philippine Daily Inquirer) MANILA, Philippines — More “big fish” may be included in the next batch of cases that a task force formed by President Duterte will file in connection with the multibillion-peso corruption scandal in Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told the Senate on Monday. Guevarra made the remarks a day after Sen. Panfilo Lacson claimed that the task force, led by the Department of Justice (DOJ), had already obtained “enough evidence” to pursue criminal and administrative charges against Health Secretary Francisco Duque III. “We have just begun, and we’re still uncovering and gathering more evidence. So who knows if in the future some other big fish may be caught,” Guevarra said at the deliberations in the Senate of the DOJ’s budget request of P22.6 billion for 2021. Duque, who serves as chair of the state health insurer, was left out as respondent in the case ... » Learn More about PhilHealth inquiry may catch more ‘big fish’
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has said, time and again, that even “one whiff of corruption” is enough for him to fire or sanction an official. But a list compiled by Rappler shows presidential or government actions that appear to contradict this “zero tolerance” for corruption. Sixteen officials who have been accused of corruption or abuse of public funds were reappointed, retained in another capacity, or promoted within the Duterte government. Corruption allegations against some of these officials came from Duterte himself. In some cases, it was other government officials – such as lawmakers or the Office of the Ombudsman – who made the allegations, whether based on information from resource persons or an investigation. It seems the President has had no problem overlooking these accusations, even if some of them were made by offices like the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, which he had trusted enough to put them in charge ... » Learn More about LIST: No to corruption? Duterte’s controversial reappointees
There were only 5 cases of lawyer killings that reached the courts out of the 54 murders in the legal profession since 2016, when President Rodrigo Duterte took office, data from the Department of Justice (DOJ) showed. Out of these 54 killings, only those involving the following lawyers – Gerik and Goering Paderanga of Cebu (December 2016); Mia Manuelita Macariñas Green of Tagbilaran City (February 2017); Salvador Solima also of Cebu (June 2018); and Eric Jay Magcamit of Palawan (November 2020) – resulted in charges being filed in court. The 49 other killings have no data from prosecutors' offices nationwide. Prosecutor General Ben Malcontento said it is because "there are no pending cases." "We can assume that perpetrators are not yet identified," Malcontento said, as relayed to Rappler by DOJ Spokesperson Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar. The 54 killings include lawyers, prosecutors, and judges. 21 judges and prosecutors killed in only 4 ... » Learn More about Only 5 cases reached the courts in 54 lawyer killings since 2016
Aside from blood and death, President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war also stirred controversy – from the deadly execution of anti-drug operations, to hundreds of recorded abuses by police officials and other authorities. Even Duterte’s allies became victims of this atrocious campaign. And five years on, some of these controversies and injustices remain unsettled. Below is a list of some of them. Jee Ick Joo case Even foreigners became victims of Duterte’s drug war. Only months into the deadly war on drugs, Korean Jee Ick Joo made headlines after he was reported to be killed by a cop. On October 18, 2016, Jee was abducted from his house in Angeles City, Pampanga by a policeman. The same day, he was brought to Camp Crame, national headquarters of the police, and was allegedly strangled to death by a member of the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG). Jee’s case later became one of the biggest drug war-related controversies ... » Learn More about LIST: Whatever happened to these drug war issues under Duterte?
MANILA, Philippines – Drug allegations are inching closer to Malacañang, this time hitting President Rodrigo Duterte’s longtime acquaintance and former economic adviser Michael Yang . The allegation: Michael Yang has possible links to illegal drugs that could reach up to Duterte’s hometown Davao City, yet police and Palace officials neglected investigating Yang thoroughly. (READ: Ex-cop Acierto speaks out: Duterte, PNP ignored intel on Michael Yang's drug links ) This has raised questions about the Duterte government having different standards in its relentless anti-drug campaign: is the government lukewarm to probing people close to him, while thousands – on mere suspicion of using drugs – have been killed in his violent anti-drug campaign? All these allegations have come from one man: Eduardo Acierto, a former policeman who has zero credibility as far as the administration is concerned, but for the opposition, a new whistleblower. Acierto the good ... » Learn More about Who is Eduardo Acierto: Criminal cop or whistleblower?