I AM starting to think that because of his obsession to take down President Duterte, which he calculates would be his big feat that would catapult him to the presidency someday, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and his Yellow allies have lost touch with reality.
Trillanes has become so deluded that his plot would succeed that he believes that the accusations against Duterte by an admitted serial* murderer, ex-police sergeant Arthur Lascañas whom he brought to the Senate, would spark so much outrage against the President, that he would be toppled soon.
In his TV interview with a rabidly anti-Duterte talk show host after the Senate hearing, Trillanes claimed that Lascañas’ accusations would lead to the President’s ouster through impeachment in just two months.
In his wishful, yet handicapped, thinking, Trillanes thinks he can replicate what happened to President Estrada in 2000, against whom public outrage built up after his friend and accomplice in graft, Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson, exposed the details of his corruption involving jueteng and the tobacco taxes.
The attempt at creating an Erap scenario was indeed obvious to Senator J.V. Ejercito who remarked in jest during the Senate hearing that he felt a sense of déjà vu, in that the same cast of characters—the FLAG lawyers—that helped oust his father in 2000 have suddenly emerged.
Indeed, why would a group of lawyers dedicated to providing free legal service to the poor and the oppressed suddenly devote their resources to help a professional assassin who had earned millions of pesos from murdering people? Are they thinking it is another episode for them to help oust a President for the second time? Or has past President Benigno Aquino III managed to convince them to join the plot through FLAG member Alex Padilla, who was his peace negotiator with the communists and his Philhealth president?
How on earth could Trillanes and the Yellow Cult think that Lascañas could damage severely Duterte’s popularity and political base, that he could inspire other members of the alleged Davao Death Squad to come out and not only bolster his accusation but even add to it?
But who in his right mind would believe that Lascañas had, as he claimed, a “spiritual renewal” that prodded him “to clean his conscience” and expose Duterte’s complicity in the killings in Davao when he was mayor? The Senate hearing in which he declared under oath the President’s innocence was in October last year was after his religious encounter in 2015! His tale of the Devil appearing to him—whether in a dream or in his waking hours he wasn’t clear—was so obviously, a work of bad fiction.
The more credible, and obvious explanation would be that he turned against Duterte, probably because of money, when the President could not or would not help him in four business deals he was involved in that required government support.
The biggest of these was a franchise in the Cavite and Batangas provinces—known to be lucrative areas for jueteng—for his Davao cronies to operate a so-called Small Town Lottery, which the PCSO authorizes but which has been used as cover for the illegal, popular numbers game.
Why am I so presumptuous as to claim that he turned against Duterte probably because of money? Because this is a person who has, by his own admission under oath, killed at least 200 human beings since 1989 – for money, the biggest loot of which, according to him, was his group’s murder of notorious broadcaster Jun Pala for P3 million. Do you think he would testify against the President just to “clear his conscience”?
Watching Lascañas on TV in the Senate hearing sent shivers down my spine.
Even if just on TV, this is the first time I’ve watched a murderer, who killed at least 200 human beings by himself or with others. I thought serial killers like Hannibal Lecter and the Zodiac murderer in movies could never exist in real life. Yet Lascañas killed even more people than Lecter or the Zodiac killer!
Asked by Senator Grace Poe how many people he has killed, he said “about 200 maybe even 300,” without batting an eyelash, and showing no remorse at all in any way, like eyes getting misty. By his own admission. he says he even ordered his two brothers killed, and he doesn’t even say if Duterte or his superior ordered it. By my count from his testimony, he alleged only about 20 of his “kills” to have been under Duterte’s direct orders to him and his group. What were the reasons for killing the other 180 people? He himself admitted that his group of killers later became paid assassins.
Senator Sonny Angara asked him, shocking people in the Senate hall: “Masarap bang pumatay?”, which could be loosely translated as “Do you enjoy killing people?” Most listeners would have expected him to just say something like, “No, but it was my job.”
Instead he answered in the affirmative, even revealing that one of his motives, aside from money, would be that it boosted his ego. “A policeman known to have killed and is a killer gets respect, even by his superiors, who consider him a Class A policeman,” he testified without batting an eyelash.
How many murderers in the world—excluding those who undertook genocides and soldiers in war — in the modern period have been reported to have killed at least 200 people? Wikipedia reports only two: A Colombian accused of killing 300 people, mostly street children in the 1990s and another Latin American dubbed “Monster of the Andes” accused of killing over 300 young women in the 1970s.
Lascañas is a monster that has no place in our society at all, Yet Trillanes brought and the Yellow Cult brought him to the halls of Senate, to boast over nationwide TV there that he killed over 200 people—and has gotten away with it. He even managed to get his P3 million government pension, which has been denied in many cases to state employees found to have violated some minor regulation, such as failure to liquidate a few thousand pesos.
Senator Manny Pacquiao moved, but withdrew, a motion to cite Lascañas in contempt for admitting to have lied to the Senate in 2015. A more responsible Senate would instead have passed a resolution condemning Lascañas as as serial killer, and asked in the strongest possible terms the police and the justice department to prosecute and throw him into the worst prison in the country.
Yet, Trillanes, the Yellow Cult, and unnamed “priests” thought this monster, who has really committed crimes against humanity, would inspire a revolution to topple Duterte? What were they thinking?
*(Is Lascañas a mass or a serial killer? An article in the prestigious Psychology Today magazine explains: “A mass murderer kills at least four people in a single incident and in a specific location, while a serial killer tends to keep killing over a period of days or weeks, and at different locales. The magazine however noted: “As more research was devoted to serial murder, some experts reserved the definition exclusively for sexually compelled offenders, while others included nonsexual goals such as financial gain.” That would put Lascañas who explained the huge income he got from his kills, as a serial killer.)