By Fidel V. Ramos
Former Philippine President
“Tough talking macho PNP Chief Bato de la Rosa has again turned ‘Crying Cop.’…— Atty. Ignacio Bunye, Manila Bulletin, 11 September 2017
In recent weeks, there has been no better experienced journalist-public servant to articulate our citizenry’s concerns about Government policy and strategic direction than Atty. Ignacio “Toting” Bunye, former mayor of Muntinlupa City, legislator, BSP functionary, and journalist. This is remarkably true, says FVR, not only in terms of Bunye’s long years of public service as city mayor, legislator, cabinet official, and BSP Monetary Board member, but also as adventurous reporter and corporate talent.
“During a Senate inquiry last week, Bato gave, what to me was an award-winning performance, as he became emotional defending the all-out drug war.”
Bato was allegedly hurt by accusations that policemen have turned into indiscriminate killers. He counters a good majority of his men are even willing to die while in the performance of their duties. “Masakit!,” he said.
“The charges against those involved in the killing of Albuera Mayor Espinosa have been downgraded from murder to homicide. This appeared to be a fulfillment of P.Du30’s promise that no policeman (or soldier) will ever go to jail for doing his job in the anti-drug war.
“Requests by the Senate for copies of spot reports of ‘deaths under investigation’ have been repeatedly ignored by Bato, allegedly upon instructions from P. Du30. And how do you interpret these words from Bato’s Commander-in-Chief?: ‘Pag walang baril, lagyan mo.’
“President Duterte only has himself to blame. His actions, body language, and messages not only tend to encourage but also reward bolder-than-normal actions by the police.”
In fact, President Duterte recently conferred a rare medal on Police Chief Inspector Espenido who executed the bloody operations that killed Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog plus some relatives last 30 JULY 2017.
Revisiting “Tiger” Toting
It is not too well-known that toting bunye was an enterprising war correspondent for The Philippine Daily Star from 1966 TO 1968 in South Vietnam. He authored a documentary entitled “the other war,” a first-person account of the activities of The Philippine Civic Action Group (PHILCAG) In Tay Ninh, South Vietnam, of which Colonel FVR was Chief of Staff during 1966-1968.
When Corazon Aquino assumed the presidency after the EDSA People Power Revolution in 1986, Bunye was designated OIC mayor of the municipality of Muntinlupa, Rizal.
He was elected mayor of Muntinlupa from 1988 to 1995, and also served in a concurrent capacity as chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Authority (forerunner of MMDA) from 1991 to 1992.
In 1995, Bunye was reelected as Muntinlupa mayor. During his 12-year stewardship, Muntinlupa metamorphosed from a fifth-class municipality into a highly urbanized city. Adopting proven corporate best practices gained from working with Ayala Inc., Bunye – among others — initiated the computeratization of Muntinlupa, streamlined operations and cut corruption, thus making Muntinlupa City the business-friendly community it is today.
He founded the Muntinlupa Polytechnic College, which has since become the Pamantasang Lungsod ng Muntinlupa. Toting upgraded public health services and also established the cemetery for Muntinlupa’s poor.
Before finishing his tenure as mayor, Bunye initiated the establishment of the “Ospital ng Muntinlupa” on a 5-hectare lot within Filinvest Corporate City, which is also the site of the future Civic Center.
In the 11th Congress, Bunye championed the cause of local governments and became an effective fiscalizer. He served as press secretary from July 2002 to early 2003, before becoming the presidential spokesman in January, 2003.
What is not too well known is that toting has been a stalwart fvr colleague from way back to the PHILCAG (Vietnam War) and EDSA-UNO years. As Mayor, Bunye was among the steadfast assets in blockading Muntinlupa’s streets against military rebels trying to infiltrate Metro Manila to access government targets from 1987-1989.
Who was that boy??
In her Op-Ed article titled “Repackaging,” Ana Marie Pamintuan observed that the PNP cannot be absolved of the bloodbath; there are simply too many instances, caught on surveillance video, of cops abusing their authority and committing criminal acts in the name of the war on drugs.
Ana Marie amplified: “cops are becoming objects of fear, especially among the poor where Du30 enjoys support. Just look at the terror now gripping the neighborhood of De Guzman and Carl Angelo Arnaiz In Cainta, Rizal…
“Surely the administration has noticed that people not only continue to ignore but occasionally even cheer the killing of notorious personalities who, thanks to political power or drug money or both, managed to put themselves above the law…
“This campaign will gain more credibility if the same brutal treatment would be applied to well-connected individuals who are seen as the new untouchables…” (, 11 Sep.).
In her article titled “CBCP Calls for Prayers for Drug War Victims,” Julie Aurelio reported (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 13 Sep. 2017): “Catholic bishops have urged the faithful to offer prayers for the victims of President Duterte’s war on drugs…”
In a Pastoral statement titled, “Lord Heal Our Land,” The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) expressed horror at the deaths of three teenagers in recent weeks, all victims of the Duterte Administration’S campaign against illegal drugs and crime.
Archbishop Soc Villegas speaks: “Stop the Killings!”
“We are appalled by the remorselessness by which even the young are executed,” the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has declared.
“We stand firmly against drugs and the death drugs have caused, but killing is not the solution to the problem,” the bishops said, adding that the wounded need hands to help them up, not feet to trample on them.
“The relentless and bloody campaign against drugs that shows no sign of abating impels us your bishops to declare: ‘In the name of God, Stop the Killings!’” the statement was signed by CBCP President, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas.
The prelates urged the Catholic faithful to offer prayers for 40 days starting 23 September for all victims of violence, the war on drugs, and the anti-terrorism operations in Marawi City.
The CBCP also called for the tolling of church bells every 8P.M. – in the tradition of “De Profundis” – during the same 40-day period in remembrance of those killed.
Sabotage or Self-Inflicted Problem?
The recent killings allegedly targeting the youth “should be viewed with suspicion and urgency,” A Palace Spokesman said, referring to the death of Kian Loyd Delos Santos, 17, on 16 August; Carl Angelo Arnaiz, 19, on 18 August; and Reynaldo “Kulot” De Guzman, 14, Arnaiz’s last known companion, probably also on 18 August.
Frequently, as is the case with P. Du30, we are uncertain about what he truly means. Does he mean that there are politicians who are capitalizing on these deaths and using them as an issue against him?
On the other hand, the more alarming interpretation of the President’s remarks is that he was clearing the police of responsibility for the killings, and blaming instead “shadowy saboteurs” who go around killing teenagers and pinning the deaths on policemen to derail P. Duterte’s anti-drug war.
Such a notion would be absurd, had it not come from the mouth of the President himself, who told PNP Director-General Bato to examine the deaths more closely because he was being sabotaged.
Referring specifically to the 14-year-old “De Guzman,” who was found floating in a creek with 30 stab wounds and his face wrapped in packaging tape, the President declared this could not have been the work of police.
“You know the police, they will shoot… but they wouldn’t wrap a suspect’s head – that is not the job of the police. It’s nonsense.” P.Du30 said in Filipino.
We respectfully remind the president that it was also not the job of the PNP to kidnap South Korean Businessman Jee Ick-Joo, strangle him inside police headquarters in Camp Crame, cremate his body to get rid of incriminating evidence, then still try to extort money from his widow by making her believe he was still alive. But they still did it.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella claimed duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs had “adversely affected” the operations of Narco-Politicians and drug lords, who were conniving to create a negative perception against the president’s bloody drug crackdown.
“It should not come as a surprise that these malignant elements would conspire to sabotage the president’s campaign to rid the Philippines of illegal drugs and criminality, the centerpiece program of the administration, to succeed, which may include creating scenarios creating public anger against the government,” Abella said. (Manila Standard, 10 Sep. 2017).
In essence, it is not only the anti-illegal drug drive and the entire pnp but also p.du30 himself that are losing heavily in this war against illegal drugs, criminality and terrorism. Have we forgetten the 2015 Fiasco of PNP Dir-Gen Alan Purisima, His Commander-In-Chief P.Noy and the “Fallen 44” PNP-SAF Commandos???
And, what about the CHR P1000 budget, the rebuilding of devastated Marawi City, and the 400,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees??? These are all PH-ASEAN commitments –– Abangan!!
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