Dispatch from Crame No. 232: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s statement on Malacañang’s cover-up of corruption scandals


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Last week Human Rights Watch exposed the Duterte government’s style of misdirection and cover-up, classic squid tactics that distract from the regime’s accountability for the extra-judicial killings perpetrated by the PNP and Duterte’s death squads.

Such misdirection applies as well to corruption scandals that continue to pile up one after another in the current administration. For every corruption scandal involving Duterte’s men, Malacañang comes up with counter-propaganda to obfuscate and deviate from the issue.

Mostly, the lame distractions that wish to divert people’s attention from government scandals are recycled issues against the opposition or the past administration.

Recently, the Administration has set its sight on Senator Drilon with its investigation on Napoles’s donation claims. The latest is the rehashed call of Solgen Calida and PACC/VACC Chairman Jimenez before the Supreme Court for the filing by the Ombudsman of charges against President Noynoy Aquino for the death of the SAF 44.

Malacañang resurrects these old and stale issues with its army of internet trolls in order to suppress attention on its own fresh scandals, like Bong Go’s questionable actions on the Navy’s Frigate acquisition program that are proscribed under our anti-graft and corruption laws.

This is not to mention the yet unresolved issue on the smuggling of 6.4 billion pesos of shabu by the Davao group of Paolo Duterte, even while her daughter lavishly spends millions for an intercontinental birthday celebration with Hermes giveaways.

Most recently, it was also reported that Duterte ordered a change in airport service providers due to supposed theft, only to favor a close associate of Speaker Alvarez who is poised to corner the airport contract.

Malacañang has turned into an ink factory with these squid tactics. More and more, accountability and transparency are obfuscated. This is only the logical resort of a leader and an administration that we have allowed to get away with the murder and human rights violations of thousands of drug war victims. If we let them get away with murder, they are confident that they can definitely get away with plunder and thievery.

Kung sa pagpatay nga ng tao at mga bata nakalusot, sa pagnanakaw pa kaya? This seems to be Malacañang’s mantra nowadays.

This is the consequence of absolute impunity. The sky is the limit in the abuse of power and privilege, or even beyond, for every day that we let this regime get away with its crimes against the people.

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
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