For people who are basically charming, decent, and gentle, Filipinos spend a lot of time killing each other. After a lull in the extrajudicial killings that were attributed to the Armed Forces of the Philippines by the report of UN special rapporteur Philip Alston in 2007, another atrocity has been reported from Davao
Believed kidnapped by military agents only 24 hours earlier, the daughter of a ranking communist guerrilla has turned up dead with stab wounds and torture marks. A farmer found the body of teacher Rebelyn Pitao, 20, late on Thursday near an irrigation ditch in Purok 5 in Barangay San Isidro, Carmen, Davao del Norte. She was the younger daughter of Leoncio Pitao, aka Commander Parago, of the New People’s Army (NPA).
The President has announced an investigation into the killing, which will no doubt prove to be as effective as all the previous commissions and inquiries into brutal killings that might lead to inconvenient places.
Still, everyone knows it is very hard to receive justice in Philippines unless you have powerful friends, and there is one intriguing element to the despicable killing of this young woman:
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, a close friend of Pitao or Commander Parago, called Rebelyn's murder "a deed most foul." "Kung galit sila (NPA), mas galit ako (If the NPA is angry, I’m more angry)," he said.
Duterte is a pretty big man in Davao and this killing of the daughter of one of his friends on his home turf is big loss of face. Let’s see how he responds.