Dispatch from Crame No. 461: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s statement on the twin bombings and pattern of lies


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The recent bombings in Mindanao shattering houses of worship and killing innocent worshippers are nothing but savage, senseless and barbaric acts that warrant an independent probe. That the culprits attacked more than the symbolism of the place than the faithful who happened to be there makes the act extremely vicious. They assailed peace, targeted particularly no one, but sowed fear to everyone. To what end?

It is the height of irony that the bombings happened at the time when Mindanao has been in the grip of Martial Law, the Bangsamoro Organic Law is under plebiscite, and the Cathedral in Jolo has been walled by security forces for several months prior to the bombing.

There is something more to this than meets the eye as bereaved families raise doubts on the suicide bomber theory of the government and no less than the City Mayor of Jolo is calling for an independent investigation for fear of cover-up and whitewash. They are from the area and understand the place; their doubts must be valid.

If, indeed, it was the terrorists who did the bombings, it also proves one thing: That the gangster-like antics of Duterte cannot protect the people against terrorists and neither can he scare them away to curb their agenda. The first was Marawi, now Jolo and Zamboanga. His threats are nothing but empty words to real terrorists. To put it bluntly, he is mighty in words, but inept in action. What are our intelligence assets doing, or where are the funds to run the intelligence gathering?

I also do not understand why Duterte is making such hasty pronouncement that suicide bombers were behind the attacks without waiting for the results of official investigation and validation from experts. His statements achieve nothing but add more confusion and fear among the people. It is highly irresponsible, especially coming from the top official of the land.

I am seeing here a pattern wherein Duterte makes premature and specious statements often in too serious a situation. He did this in the case of the seized magnetic lifters in Cavite which, based on PDEA’s investigation, were used to smuggle billions worth of shabu. At first, Duterte dismissed the agency’s initial findings as “pure speculation.”

In these bombings in Mindanao, is he again misleading the public and selling us the wrong story?

Kaya sinusuportahan ko po ang panawagan sa isang hiwalay at malayang imbestigasyon sa nangyaring pambobomba sa Jolo at Zamboanga. Kailangang lumabas ang katotohanan. Maraming namatay at naulila at ang insidente ay nagdulot ng lubhang pangamba sa publiko.

Ayaw kong isipin na isa na namang palabas ito para linlangin tayo. Ngunit hindi mapagkakatiwalaan ang gobyernong mahilig mag-imbento ng kuwento, mag-akusa ng kung sino-sino at ang bukambibig ay “Kill! Kill! Kill!”

An act of violence is one too many. I urge the discerning public to also monitor the situation in Mindanao. We must always demand for the truth against the backdrop of lies and fake news by this deceptive regime. We cannot all too often be taken for a ride. ###

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