ROUGH CUTS| Who’s footing the bills?

THE PEOPLE taking care of self-confessed alleged Davao Death Squad (DDS) hitmen Edgar Matobato and retired SPO3 Arthur Lascanas must be wallowing in cash.

Imagine a lawyer of theirs claiming that he is mulling bringing his client’s case up to the International Court the headquarters of which is in The Hague, Netherlands! Where is this group getting all the money it is now using to secure and sustain the two men who they think could put an end to the Presidency of Rody Duterte?

We cannot be faulted if we entertain some thoughts that it is funded by money coming from drug lords who may be appearing the most socially responsible persons in the country or, are owners of legitimate corporations that are serving as their legal front businesses.

We are also hoping that we are mistaken with our belief that some sectors in the powerful churches in the Philippines are chipping in contributions taken from money they collect from their members to help fund the “safe-keeping” of their two main assets against the administration.

Now we are reminded of the pronouncement of Sen. Antonio Trillanes over television when he was interviewed by Winnie Monsod in her “Bawal ang Pasaway” program over GMA News TV recently.

According to the opposition senator his group is hoping that the Lascanas reversal of testimony will impact on the people who are still seemingly fanatical followers of President Duterte by May at the latest. And he added that this change of attitude on the President will weigh in on the people’s representatives in the Lower House which is considered a bastion of the Duterte political support. When this happens, according to Trillanes, the next thing that his group is expecting is the snowballing of an impeachment proceeding against the President.

There is barely a month and a half before May sets in. Meanwhile, we could so far, not see any strong acceptance by the public of the Lascanas and Matobato allegations on Duterte’s direct involvement in the so-called extrajudicial killings that happened in Davao City when he was still mayor, and in the country now that he is President and has launched his all-out war on drugs and those engaged in its manufacture, trading and dealing of the illegal substance.

That both the self-confessed hit men may have told the truth that they were dreaded killers, their claims that they did it all upon instruction of then mayor Duterte is somehow met with skepticism. The two themselves established as fact that for every assassination they made they did it the “jukebox” way. That is, that money was involved from the casing to the execution up to their safe-housing. So, how could they disabuse the minds of the public that some other people with evil motive against another like doing away rivalry in business, persons with so much knowledge in illegal operations, or even personal grudge including elimination of rivals over women (or men), hired their services? And using the DDS tag could just be their convenient cover.

In fact we knew of one some years back. The person who was a familiar fixture in coffee shops whose regular clients are politicians, businessmen, and media people was one of the most respected habitués in establishments like that, and in Davao City especially in one downtown barangay.

While we had our coffee session that respectable man had a “slip of tongue.” The person started telling us his humble beginning going back to as far down the dreaded years in the old Dadiangas (now General Santos City). The person nonchalantly told us of bloody “exploits” including the ones that happened when he finally moved to Davao.

And we squirmed on out seat when the person told us of incidents where the victims were killed upon satisfactory agreement of certain amount as cost of service.

We could not believe it. That man who was as dignified looking as any Davao businessman and politician and whose language was as soft as any well-meaning father confessor or spiritual adviser, was after all, virtually “confessing” to us rather proudly of crimes that he facilitated through his contact hit men.

But as the saying goes, a person who lives by the gun dies with the gun. The police need not bother asking us the name. That person died a long time ago — from the barrel of a gun.

We wish the man’s soul can still rest in peace despite the many sins he had committed while still in the world of the living. We are pretty certain of that person’s failure to have a “spiritual renewal” as SPO3 Lascanas claimed to have done. That man’s death came to him like a thief of the night.

Posted in Opinion