President Rodrigo Duterte revealed the names of public officials allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade, now dubbed as the narco-list, on early Sunday, August 7. The list included judges, local government officials, and active and retired police officers.
The public went right into fact-checking mode, only to find that there are several errors in Duterte’s narco-list, starting with the first revelation about a Samar judge who died in 2009 after being shot dead by an unidentified assailant.
After this revelation, litigation lawyer Raymond Fortun posted on his Facebook page, with an observation that Duterte’s people are making him look bad by giving him an erroneous list.
“Wow Mali. Mr. President, please. It is clear you are being fed wrong info. I believe you are pure in going after illegal drugs, but your people are making you look bad,” Fortun said.
He also urged Duterte to lead the Filipinos instead of being misled.
“Please lead us, do not be led nor be mis-led,” he added.
His comments section, as usual, showed some interesting exchanges between Fortun and other Facebook users.
Someone said Duterte already said there might be some mistakes in the list, which Fortun has a ready reply to.
And some more arguments on the matter continued.
Another Facebook user tried to defend Duterte’s name-and-shame campaign, saying that those accused in the list were at least given a chance to clear their name, which Fortun disagreed with.
One user also complained about how Fortun was silent during the killings in former President Benigno Aquino’s administration, and the lawyer responded to that comment point by point.
In his response to one of the commenters, Fortun explained just why Duterte was being misled, by saying that the fact that the list included a judge who has been dead for 8 years clearly means the list is outdated.
Someone made a speculation about the dead judge, saying that he could be involved with drugs while he was still alive.
One commenter even accused Fortun of wanting to go viral for making this Facebook post about Duterte.
And of course, just like anyone who goes against Duterte, Fortun was also branded as a “yellow zombie,” but Fortun said that his post only seems bad to people with “rose-colored glasses.” This is an idiom used to refer to people who think that what they are looking at is more pleasant than it really is.
This is not the first time Fortun has spoken about the President, even if he has repeatedly said that he voted for him during the 2016 elections. Fortun previously said that Duterte violated the 5 police officials’ Constitutional rights and subjected them to trial by publicity. He also addressed the well-used excuse by cops for drug suspects who were killed – ‘Nanlaban kaya binaril.” More recently, he posted about why Duterte was wrong when he said that he can’t be jailed for being over 70.
Mistakes in Duterte’s list of narco-officials
There was one judge named who has been dead for eight years (Judge Roberto Navidad) and another who was dismissed from service in 2007 (Judge Lorenda Mupas).
It was also found out that one of the cops in Duterte’s list died in January 2014 of a kidney ailment (Superintendent Ranie Hachuela) and was cleared by his police unit from being involved with drugs.
Another name on Duterte’s list was that of a former mayor of Tulawie, Suli, spelled in the list as “Benahar Tulawie.” However, the ex-mayor’s name is actually spelled as “Benhajar Tulawie.” It turned out that the said former local executive died in 2004.
The inclusion of a certain “Congressman Partylist Jeffrey Celis, Panay Chapter” was also put in question, seeing as how Rappler reported that there was no congressman of such name in the official roster of the House of Representatives, even in the past years. However, Rappler pointed out that Duterte’s narco-list may be referring to a certain “Jeffrey Celiz,” who served as the spokesperson of alleged drug personality Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog. Celiz never served as a legislator, although he was appointed as chairman and spokesperson of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in Panay.