Duterte: wait for investigations to finish

During his “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa” (From the Masses, for the Masses) television program this morning, the mayor said he does not believe (“dili ko mutuo”) that Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, his friend and spiritual adviser, was behind the killing.

“I know Pastor Quiboloy for the longest time,” he said, adding that their friendship dates back to the 1980s when Quiboloy was still a pastor of a chapel in Agdao and he was still a prosecutor having his guns fixed near the chapel.

Duterte said he saw Quiboloy’s rise from pastor of a chapel to having his own huge flock here and abroad and that he has been to places outside the country where Quiboloy has properties.

But he is a “gentle person,” Duterte stressed, adding he cannot believe that the Pastor, who would by now have billions of pesos to his name, would “risk his honor and privilege just for a measly two hectares of land.”

“Let me lay the predicate. Do not misconstrue my statement, my declaration. I am not saying this was practiced in Manuel Guiangga,” Duterte said, as he narrated a history of how the killings in Cotabato and Davao during the days of the Ilaga (paramilitary elements) started.

“Yuta,” (Land), he said.

“Naay mga tawo diha sa bukid nga ibaligya nila ang yuta. Pagkahuman nakitan nila nag sprout na tanum naa na nitubo, productive na, mubalik na para kuhaon kay ang igsoon daw angnagbaligya… ” (There are people in the mountains who sell their land but when the plants start to sprout and the land now becomes productive, they return and claim it was their brother who sold that land, etc…).

He did not name those who sold the lands and want them back

“I did not say this happened in Guiangga,” he said, although he acknowledged this was “kasagaran” (usual).

“It would do well for every team to go there, to live in the environment there, start to investigate, find out what the truth is. Kanang patay (The killing), there has to be many strong reasons, very powerful motive for another person to kill.”

“Pastor Quiboloy would risk his honor and prestige for a measly two hectares?” he asked.

He said the public should wait for the investigating bodies to submit their reports.

He urged sectors not to point accusing fingers at the other. The military and NPA earlier traded accusations the other party killed the Datu, the relatives of the Datu say it was the military allegedly at the behest of the Pastor.

”The better practice,” he addressed the public, is “distance yourself and allow the investigating body to do their work.”

“It is not wrong to know to know Pastor Quibooy but it would be wrong for me to interfere if there is evidence against Pastor Quiboloy,” he said.

He then spoke about proof of land ownership. “Everybody’s bound by Torrens Title; he who owns the document, owns the land.”

“Of course we protect the oppressed. Of course we are there to protect those who cannot protect themselves,” he said, adding his government is for the “defenseless and helpless.”

Duterte said he was not able to meet the family and relatives of the slain Datu on May 8 because he arrived in Davao from Manila late evening of May 10.

Also, he added, the relatives “did not convey previous notice that they wanted to see me.”

He said they can “ask the police to escort you to where you want to go.”

Duterte said if there is evidence against his friend, then they should present the evidences and if there are, he would tell him, “Sorry Pastor if this is true, that’s it. You do not cease to be my friend,  I will still be your friend until kingdom come …. but you answer for this.”

“Whether or not he did it or did not do it, he will be my friend. Ang masama (What is bad is) if you cover up for your friend… or you manipulate evidence against your friend.”

He urged viewers to “wait for NBI to finish” as he urged investigators to “go back in time how this thing started. Trace from the beginning. Why fight over a land kung hindi iyo (if it’s not yours) or you claim as yours?

He hinted at transactions in the village “so investigate and find out first what is the reason this happened.”

“There has to be a reason, there has to be a motive, there has to be a cause,” Duterte said. (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)