Was Duterte really in the August 1989 Davao crisis?

Did he make things up to justify his necrophiliac joke?

Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte hasn’t at all apologized for his horrific rape comment, the latest version of which he said in his April 7 interview: After he saw the corpse of Australian Jacqueline Hamill, raped several times and her throat slit, he raged: “Putangina ang mga ito. Naunahan pa ang mayor. Puking-ina nila.

Patayin ninyo lahat.”

He justified it though by claiming “there was a story to it,” and said that he cannot apologize for it: “I said it in the heat of anger.”

Assuming this happened (which I show below didn’t happen) i.e., he saw Hamill’s body and then blew his top , it is not what he said in that incident that happened 27 years ago but how he turned it into a sick joke in two occasions this year which has horrified Filipinos and the world.

He most probably said that joke — “naunahan pa ako [they even had her first]” several times in his kingdom of Davao City, thinking in his depraved mind that it was funny, and demonstrated his machismo. (“Ganyan magsalita ang lalaki,” he said in his long April 7 interview.)

That he is lying, trying to wiggle out of his monumental disclosure of his necrophiliac fantasies, is evident in that his joke made in campaign rallies recently do not show him at all angry, but grinning from ear-to-ear as if he was happy he cracked a good joke.

Was it a joke or what? Duterte, left, in April 7 interview right after saying his “comment” was made in the heat of anger, and indeed expressed anger. Right, grinning as his audience laughed after he made his “comment” in campaign speech recently.
Was it a joke or what? Duterte, left, in April 7 interview right after saying his “comment” was made in the heat of anger, and indeed expressed anger. Right, grinning as his audience laughed after he made his “comment” in campaign speech recently.

How can he say now that he was “in the heat of anger” when he said that “naunahan pa si Mayor [they had her before Mayor]” remark, when he was grinning — his sick audience guffawing — when he made a sick joke out of it in his two recent speeches?

Duterte’s sick mind though has been put in public display because that incident — after he saw Hamill’s corpse, he then ordered the attack in anger — didn’t happen at all, and is a figment of this sick candidate’s imagination.

His narration of the fiction is straight out of an action movie: After he saw Hamill’s corpse, he said he ordered: “Patayin silang lahat. Sabi ko shoot to kill. [Kill them all. I said shoot to kill.]” And “Kinuha ko ang Uzi ko sa trailer ko, at nilusob sila. Brtt. Inubos ko nga ang magazine ng Uzi. Ayon. Patay sila. [I got my Uzi from my trailer. I emptied the whole magazine in the Uzi. Brtt. There. They were all dead.”

This did not happen. Duterte is lying.

First, we have photographic proof, thanks to an article by the Filipino Freethinkers Association, citing the report of the prestigious Australian newspaper The Age. The group included in its article a photograph by The Age showing a soldier walking over the Hamill’s body, which was lying at the prison gates, after the military assaulted it. The Age reported that the body remained there for three hours.

Photo from The Age (thanks to Filipino Freethinkers Association) showing a soldier entering the Davao Metrodiscom stockade after their assault, passing Hamill’s body. So how could Duterte claim he ordered the assault after he saw Hamill’s corpse?
Photo from The Age (thanks to Filipino Freethinkers Association) showing a soldier entering the Davao Metrodiscom stockade after their assault, passing Hamill’s body. So how could Duterte claim he ordered the assault after he saw Hamill’s corpse?

Hamill was killed in the assault itself. So how could Duterte claim that after he saw Hamill’s body brought to where he was, presumably hundreds of meters away from the stockade, he ordered the assault?

Since it was a bloody hostage incident involving Australians, the international press extensively covered the crisis.

We have retrieved four of these reports on August 16 and 18, 1989, by the Associated Press, the Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Virginia), the Chicago Tribune, the United Catholic Action News (UCANEWS.com), and another report by the Associated Press by-lined by Robert Reid.

The last three accounts, with their URLs provided, were provided in the Facebook account of Colonel Mike Logico, the Armed Forces intelligence officer at that time in Davao CIty. Logico’s post, made April 18 or after Duterte boasted he led the charge in that crisis read (with a photo of the military official he mentions):

“Meet Lt. Col. Franco Calida , the hero behind the Davao City Prison hostage drama.

“These three archived articles were written within the 3rd week of August 1989. They are about as close as you can get to any article written on the incident. All articles point to the man in the picture as the officer in charge of the operations. Conspicuously missing from the three narratives is the name of a certain public official who claims to have been there, negotiating with the hostage takers, and getting involved in the shootout.”

Indeed, there is no mention at all of Duterte in any way in these lengthy articles that one could reasonably conclude he was not even there. Not only several military officials were mentioned by name, but also then Congressman Jesus Dureza, whom Corazon Aquino ordered to negotiate with the convicts.

All of the accounts agree nearly on all details, and on the major fact: The military, led by Col. Calida, stormed the convicts on the third day of the crisis, after it received reports that the criminals were killing the hostages one by one. All of the 16 hostages — including Hamill — were killed in the assault.

There is no report at all of the Mayor with his Uzi ordering or leading the charge, not even (I was told) in the Davao papers. How could he have led the assault when the military had assumed full authority over the crisis, and ordered Duterte’s police to secure a perimeter several kilometers away?

So how could Duterte claim that he blew his top when he saw Hamill’s corpse, whom he said was beautiful, and then ordered the assault?

Duterte even taunted the other presidential rivals, referring to the assault he claimed he led: “Kung walang kang pinatay, hindi ka dapat maging presidente. Ako pinatay ko lahat doon. [If you have not killed anyone, you should not be president. Me? I killed all of them there.]”

So how could Duterte have created his fiction, and narrated it as a joke in his campaign speeches years later?

One explanation is that at 71 years of age he has started to have a confused mind. This is evident in that in the April 7 interview, he taunted again the other presidential candidates. “Galit kayo sa joke ko, e tinaya ko buhay ko doon, nang na-hostage ako? [You hate my joke, and yet I gambled my life there, when I became a hostage?]”

He did manage to get himself taken as hostage. But this happened in another hostage incident in April, in the Davao Penal Colony or four months before the August carnage, which was ended peacfully. His sick joke involved the August 13-15 crisis at the Davao Metrodiscom stockade, in which Hamill and 15 others were killed.

I can understand Duterte’s confusion since the August convicts were those he convinced to surrender and be brought to the Davao Metrodiscom stockade. He had told them he would meet their demand to have them transferred to the Muntinlupa penitentiary. When it was obvious Duterte was fooling them, they seized and held as hostages the Joyful Assembly of God preachers who were regularly ministering to them. Duterte indeed played a leading role in the April incident. But had no role in the August crisis.

But how could he have concocted the fiction that after seeing Hamill’s body, he ordered the assault, with him leading the soldiers, his Uzi blazing?

I’m afraid there could be only one explanation. After the smoke of battle cleared in the August crisis, civilians like Duterte were allowed into scene.

And when he saw Hamill’s body, and told she was raped several times, necrophiliac fantasies crossed his mind, “Dapat nauna ang mayor.” Those thoughts had been etched in his mind, yet buried, for 27 years that he had to take it out of his chest, using it as a joke in his speeches. If you’re obsessed so much with killing that you boast that you have killed many people and the other candidates haven’t, necrophiliac fantasies take over.

tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com