Drug War

Philippines President Says He Won't Let Cops Charged With Jail Raid Killing of Mayor Go to Prison

National Bureau of Investigation suggests "rub out" could've been part of a wider conspiracy.



After the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Philippines' national law enforcement agency, announced it was criminally charging a number of officers in connection with the killing of a mayor during a raid of a jail, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said he would not let the officers serve any time in prison.

"I will not allow these guys to go to prison, even if the NBI says it was murder," Duterte said in a speech this week, ABS-CBN reported. "After all, the NBI is under me, the Department of Justice." Nevertheless, Duterte insisted he wasn't interfering with the process itself. "To tell you, I don't interfere," he said. "They have findings, good. File the case but I won't leave the policemen implicated in the killing."

Marvin Marcos, the officer in charge of the squad that raided the jail, and who was re-instated by Duterte the same day he was released, as well as other members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Region 8, face charges of murder, robbery, planting evidence, maliciously procuring a warrant, and perjury.

The group raided the jail based on allegations that Rolando Espinosa, a local mayor facing drug-related charges, was involved in drug sales at the jail, although according to the NBI the officers did not investigate the claim themselves prior to getting a warrant, and apparently did not find much during the raid. The NBI noted a previous raid at the jail yielded little contraband and it "was therefore impossible for Espinosa and Yap [Espinosa's cellmate, also shot and killed] to possess these firearms and illegal drugs inside their respective cells on the night of the supposed implementation of the search warrants." Other inmates claim seeing police plant a gun in the cell—surveillance footage from the jail that would have captured the shooting is missing.

An NBI statement suggested it was possible for the killings to have been part of a wider conspiracy. "it is patently clear that the acts of the CIDG 8 operatives showed a community of purpose or an implied conspiracy," the statement read, according to ABS-CBN. hDuterte could be involved as well, unwittingly or otherwise. Ronald dela Rosa, the national police chief, said he had suspended Marcos (who Duterte re-instated the same day), because of allegations Marcos was being paid by drug dealers, dela Rosa told a Senate hearing last week.

State-sponsored and state-sanctioned violence in the war on drugs can easily be used to cover the government involvement that is inevitable in any illicit trade that is sustained by sufficient demand. No law enforcement system can be totally immune from the incentives involved in bypassing a prohibition on an inherently non-violent product. The more fervor the campaign against drugs is waged with, the easier it is to commit violence that might benefit a particular drug network under the guise of indiscriminate anti-drug killing.

Previously: Duterte says Trump supports his murderous anti-drug campaign.

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  1. I’m beginning to suspect the Philippines might be close to descending into something unpleasant.

    1. What? You mean just because this guy wants to execute 3 million people and is well on his way to doing it? Bah!

    2. Honestly, I really hope we close down our base there and bring our sons and daughters home, as well as cutting ties with Philippines until Duterte is ousted. There just is no reason for our military to be there, let alone risk their safety for this clown.

    3. Stop shitting your pants. Duterte is a masterful troll.

    4. The Philippines has be something unpleasant for years. American news just did not cover it. The Philippines is super poor, corrupt and technically still has a civil war going on on the southern islands by muslim fighters. The Filipinos have a very militarized police force because their rule of law is very weak.

      It was much easier to be popular killing druggies than corrupt police, government officials and military members. The people think, as long as I don’t use drugs the government won’t come after me. Of course, we know from history that first they came for the drug sellers, then the drug users….

    5. Close? Descending? It’s already there.

  2. Just wait until Duterte starts advising Trump and Sessions. They’ll show you dopers a thing or two! You’re not supposed to be smoking that marijuana anyway. If you were supposed to smoke it, it wouldn’t be illegal!

  3. I hope the people of the Philippines vote this guy out of office.

    And I hope my fellow Americans realize the importance of our strategic relationship with the Philippines.

    For instance:

    “China’s recently activated nuclear-armed submarines are located at Hainan Island in the South China Sea. For these submarines’ missiles to pose a first or second strike threat to the continental United States, they must transit the South China Sea and enter the Western Pacific. Their most suitable route would be through the Luzon Strait between the Philippines and Taiwan. This year’s Malabar naval exercise with the United States, Japan and India took place around this strategic passage and focused on anti-submarine warfare.”


    How childish would it be to squander a relationship of strategic importance to the United States over the internal policies of a foreign government?

    How contradictory would it be to oppose foreign interventions and yet hold our own security interests hostage to the internal policies of other sovereign nations?

    1. You are way too kind, Ken. I do not want them to vote this clown out. I want them to give him the full Gaddafi treatment, only threefold.

      1. It would be much better for Filipinos if they didn’t need to resort to revolution. They have a democratic process that’s driven other strongmen from power, and hopefully they’ll put it to good use.

        Our interests in the region will remain what they are regardless.

        1. You and I have interests in the Philippines?

          1. I am very interested in what is going on there…..oh, you meant like strategically and stuff…

        2. What happens when the Filipinos use the democratic process to murder thousands of innocent people? That’s about where we stand now. How do we respond when our President Elect endorses those murders? This shit makes me sick to my stomach. I realize the world is an ugly place filled with injustice and none of this is new but it’s sickening nonetheless. Fuck.

          1. “How do we respond when our President Elect endorses those murders?

            The prospect of the President Elect endorsing murder is ridiculous.

            You should go somewhere warm and sunny for Christmas.

            1. So your answer is put my head (in) on some sand?

              1. Yeah, those are the only alternatives.

                1) Either President Elect Trump is about to endorse murder.

                2) Or we should put our heads in the sand.


  4. Are these authoritarians not endorsing their own assassinations when they endorse extrajudicial murder in the name of “doing good”?

    1. Not explicitly….but, yes, they may want to rethink that position.

  5. You can’t have a war on islam, illegals, blacks AND drugs – all at the same time. Can you??

    1. Yes, but it requires a lot of stimulus spending. A whole awful lot of stimulus spending.

      1. Lots and lots of vacations, too.

  6. Other than the drug war, has Duterte showed any other signs of seizing power or persecuting opposition? Like does he have the potential to strong-arm his way into a dictatorial presidency or does he simply really not like drugs? Also, what is his approval rating? I know as mayor he was stupidly popular. Do the Filipinos support this violent drug war? Just interested.

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