On September 10, 2016, at around 1:55am, witnesses said they saw a silver Toyota Fortuner come to a complete stop in a sidewalk along Temple Drive in Barangay Ugong Norte, Quezon City. Afterwards, they heard multiple gunshots. Then the vehicle sped away in the direction of White Plains Subdivision.
In a matter of split seconds, they saw the lifeless body of a woman by the road with blood stains near her chest. The policemen who immediately responded in the area found an ID card near the corpse — she was Aurora Ma. F. Moynihan, 45 years old.
Most headlines focused on the fact that she is the sister of actress Maritoni Fernandez. But what’s bothering is that it was yet again another cold blooded murder done under cover of night. The suspects left a cardboard with a cryptic message — DRUG PUSHER ng mga Celebrities KASUNOD na KAYO! (Drug pushers of celebrities, you’re next).
If anything, the cardboard didn’t convince the Quezon City Police District who is investigating the incident with the coordination of the family.
This is a new development in the administration’s war against drugs and how it will take the fight to those with links to celebrities. Just a few days ago, news outlets reported the arrest of Lea Salonga’s half brother and two other people in buy bust operations. They must face due process in their bid to clear their names.
This pursuit to cleanse the country of illegal drugs, especially its high-profile perpetrators, is a necessary campaign according to President Duterte. The administration strongly believes we are in a state of lawless violence. But can we immediately conclude that all summary killings are really connected to this crusade against drugs? For this particular case, the spot report also mentioned the recovery of five cartridges of caliber 40 bullets and four heat-sealed packets of suspected shabu. But what if it was planted? Is a cardboard enough evidence to justify a cold blooded murder? This is not even a police operation! The suspects are men with no names whose motives are unknown.
During the past few weeks, we have covered various extra-judicial killings; it’s almost on a daily basis now. Yesterday, our news team covered four such cases in the same neighborhood in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. Some may ask why I chose to write about this particular story. Is it because they are from a well-off family? Is it because Moynihan is a British national who is the daughter of a baron? That is not so. This is the first time I covered a victim that is a woman, a mother of two. It seems to me it can happen to anyone. It can happen to me. It can happen to you. Encounter someone with guns, goons, golden bank accounts and grudges against you — and you will probably meet the same fate.
Worse, all it takes is for the suspects to put a cardboard in your corpse accusing you of crimes that you can’t defend yourself from and destroying the reputation you have carefully protected throughout the years in just an instant. Some supporters of the drug war — who probably have no time to inspect the details of each case — will just conclude that you likely deserved it. Likely.
There lies a very significant problem. Dead people have no chance to answer all the accusations against them.
Over at Reddit Philippines, there is a thread discussing the case of Moynihan. The following thoughts do not necessarily reflect mine but they are written by a Redditor who once knew the victim and is mourning:
“She’d partied in her youth but had been sober for years. Yet somehow she either wound up on someone’s hit list, or someone with a grudge killed her for personal reasons, knowing that so long as they tied a sign around her neck, there’d be no investigation.
She wasn’t “in the wrong place at the wrong time.” She wasn’t shot while firing on cops (the police weren’t involved at all). This wasn’t a sting gone bad. It was cold-blooded murder. And now her son, whose father died in an accident years ago, will grow up an orphan.
This is the world we live in now. This is what Duterte’s mad crusade has wrought. Whether or not they have ever dealt with drugs in their lives, no one is safe; not so long as there is even one person out there who would like to see them dead. Thanks to the new normal, any asshole with a gun, a piece of cardboard, and a marker has all they need to murder whomever they want.
May god help us all.”
To advocate fairness, we also received this information from the NCRPO through spokesperson Kimberly Molitas:
“Re death of AURORA MOYNIHAN, sister of actress MARITONI FERNANDEZ, for info, she was arrested by Taguig SAID on Feb 28, 2013 in Sta Ana, Taguig City together w/ other drug personalities of Taguig namely: Joana Tinga, Henry Tinga, Crayon Ong, all 8 of them. Moynihan was able to post bail but the Tinga group is still in jail up to now. Recovered from them were shabu, marijuana & ecstasy. Cases of Sec 5 (pushing), Sec 12 (paraphernalias), & Sec 15 (drug den) were filed against them.”
But according to the QCPD, Moynihan wasn’t in their drug warchlist.
[Entry 170, The SubSelfie Blog]
About the Author:
Bam Alegre is the founder of SubSelfie.com and writes from time to time as a guest contributor. He is a News Reporter for GMA News (2012) and a Special Lecturer for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of the East (2015). He was also part of the team that won GMA News the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for the news coverage of super typhoon Yolanda (2013). Previously, he worked behind the scenes as a Segment Producer for State of the Nation with Jessica Soho and 24 Oras (2009-2012). He is also the vocalist, pianist and guitarist of the band No Parking (2005). BA Broadcast Communication 2007, UP Diliman. Read more of his articles here.
37 Comments Add yours
During election, i campaign for Duterte to b our next president. I even cried after knowing that he really is the next president of the country. After all, he is one of us. But after recent events of vigilante killings and insult of foreign leaders, i can no longer connect to Duterte that we campaiged for. I dont feel safer under this administration and even have worries to the family i left in Philippines.. The country is not getting better after all. If anyone truly love his country. We should never ever accept vigilante killings as a new normal. The filipino people deserve better than this..
I want one. Even just ONE of those responsible for this kind of killings to be arrested and brought to justice! Even just for show. Even just as a symbolic gesture that the government is not letting these murders go unanswered. JUST ONE! Otherwise people will continue to believe that these murders are done and protected in the name of this so-called “drug war”. Give us one justice. You can choose between the killers of children innocent children who chose to be born to the wrong parents. Of the college students whose promising lives were cut short by a piece of cardboard. Give us justice even for just one of them!
I think you missed or forgot about the news item 2 weeks ago where the police shot and killed some suspects who were in an Innova or van (details escape me now). During the mop-up operations, the cops discovered inside the van a corpse wrapped in tape and a cardboard with a sign that the corpse was an alleged pusher.
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I wish they let one of those suspects survive so they can ask him who they killed and why they did it.
Sir, I think the Redditor believes that as long as you are killed and tagged with a cardboard saying you’re a drug pusher that no investigation ensues after that. Is that true? If so, that’s very troublesome. I know that a lot of my friends in FB share the same sentiment with the Redditor. They think that no investigation ensues and that it is okay to kill that’s why they do not like Pres. Duterte’s war on drugs.
Personally, I believe that the police are doing their job and investigating these incidents. But, shouldn’t they speak up to clear this and shouldn’t the media help them not only clear their name and the president’s but also to alleviate the fear of the people?
More bothersome than the summary killings is the thought that our country is being torn by this misunderstanding.
Most sensible comment here. From my experience, no cardboard related death under investigation has been solved yet. And these are growing in number. We have always asked Gen. Bato and Duterte about it and they always say that they are against all these vigilante killings na nakikisabay sa war on drugs. Sadly, misunderstanding really exists in a lot of people. Some believe that of you’re not with them, you’re automatically against them. It’s quite divisive.
Thank you bam ..
Bam, I’m not sure if the Redditor you quoted here knew that Aurora was arrested on a buy-bust operation in Taguig just 3 years ago. She was out on bail pending the resolution of her case.
Informed him already: Re Death of AURORA MOYNIHAN, sister of actress MARITONI FERNANDEZ, for info, she was arrested by Taguig SAID on Feb 28, 2013 in Sta Ana, Taguig City together w/ other drug personalities of Taguig namely: Joana Tinga, Henry Tinga, Crayon Ong, all 8 of them. Moynihan was able to post bail but the Tinga grp is still in jail up to now. Recovered from them wer shabu, marijuana & ecstasy. Cases of Sec 5 (pushing), Sec 12 (parapernalias), & Sec 15 (drug den) wer filed against them.
Source: NCRPO spokesperson Kimberly Molitas
The “free for all” killings are only coming to light now with the advent of media biases and writer opinions from various editorial outlets, and recently social media ang blogs – where most of the citizens actually thrive for information now. In fact, these killings (whether drug related or not) have been on going for over 40 years now… beginning with Martial Law, Mendiola Massacre, Davao hostage crisis, Visconde, Antipolo, Hacienda Lusisita massacre, Maguindanao etc… and some are just highlighted because of media biases and most iportantly, lack of social media coverage such as the alleged white washing activities back in the days of Lacson in 2003 – note: no social media yet, no cellphone with good cameras, and home broadbands. Now media and people are flocking just now with the series of killings on the streets that has been on going with little or no political will from other Presidents.
Must I say as well that in the media room, it’s also a “free for all” in terms of putting out strong biases for the sake of business. After all these big names in the media are all in for the ratings and money. They will figuratively “kill” anyone with bad journalism for the sake of ratings isn’t it? And with the apparent “popularity” of the current administration, these veteran journalists (of we know who can edit and twist truths for sake of controversy and rating) will pig on it.
Im not in agreement to these summary killings as well, but I do consider this to be a cause-effect scenario, come to think of it, most of the victims are indeed tied up whether current or past, to drug related crimes or just crimes in general, putting truth to the theory of “if your good, you have nothing to worry about” philosophy.
If people just avoid selling and using drugs in general, there could be less killings since for all we know, the violence we see now are because of drugs and its side effects i.e. need money to buy drugs, need to hide from police, need to kill potential information leakage, revenge because a relative was killed by an addict, drug-intoxicated driver, gun owner etc… so many.
I’m guessing that if we want to stop the killings, it would be either we totally stop all efforts to track down the narcs and let the crime “thrive in peace”, or we wait ignore the biased media, and let the government do its job within the limits of the law.
Your article is respectable, but I understand that its tough to remove our personal biases when writing articles as such… but sometimes the reason why people are being misinformed is because of tagging the administrations for these henious crimes and causinge an “Post hoc ergo propter hoc”. We didnt see these kinds of crimes int he past because no one lifted a finger to seriously curb drug crimes. Not that we finally have a “strong” political will to curb it, here we are pointing back at the administration about lawless violence.
What kind or resolution do we want to happen? Have you read about biographies of narcs like El Chapo Guzman and Pablo Escobar? This drug war will not end unless people unify against it.
Haven’t people considered the fact that the narcs are killing ALL their minions (past and present, active and sober) to prevent the govt intelligence to gain evidences and finally pin them down?
Where is our stand here?
What’s the resolution?
and why are the socio-political analyst charlatans not seeking office in the government? <- this is more bothersome in my opinion.
Thanks Darren for the inputs. I understand the quote of the Redditor I included in the end may have been confused as my own thoughts. My only biases here are my choice of this case as the subject of this article and my concern that it has become a free-for-all a la Wild Wild West. Like all citizens, I want the administration to succeed and I am not blaming the President for this murder. I pointed out that the war on drugs has become an easy excuse for others with vested interests (drug groups) to ride the violence in the streets so that people can easily blame the admin. Again, it’s a free for all now. The lawless elements are taking advantage of this bloody battle now against drugs. That’s my cause for concern. And the President and Gen. Bato are aware of these situations as well.
Patunay lang yan na malala na talaga sindikato ng druga….
Technically you’re right. But it’s apart from the police and lawless criminals, what other entity will have done this? Definitely the police are not claiming it and they are investigating it.
You don’t have to worry if you are not in the drug business. This is bad journalism. You cannot say this is a summary killing because you have not investigated these cases. You should support the President that is actually working for the people.
It’s not my work to investigate but I have been coordinating with the policemen who are tasked to do it and this is a death under investigation. Again, this case is not a police operation. The unnamed suspects left an accusation and casted doubt on the victim by leaving a cardboard. And they immediately killed her without any fair trial. That is the definition of a summary killing.
That is the argument that I’ve encountered a lot of times. You have nothing to fear if you are not in the drug business. Fair enough. But with the way things are going, anyone can just kill someone and put a cardboard on them, indicating they are in the drug business. A free-for-all. That’s cause for concern. The PNP knows it and they are addressing this.
Asking questions is not the equivalent of attacking the President. Even President Duterte said it is our duty to ask questions for the country (in his speech at the Davao Airport upon his arrival from Indonesia). Hindi po sana ito… “kung hindi ka namin kakampi, kalaban ka namin.” Hindi po masama magtanong ayon sa Pangulo. Dahil bago makapagtanong nang maayos kailangan din muna mag-isip. At ang ganitong mga tanong, pinapakinggan ito ng Pangulo dahil nakakatulong ito sa mga susunod niyang hakbang. He encourages it. One should not stop thinking critically. Have a good day.
Philippines the killing fields of Rodrigo Duterte!
Hey Bam, you can’t just blame these happenings to Duterte. He didn’t have any direct involvement with this murder afterall. Just because he started a war against drugs, you can safely assumed that all killings were because of him? People should always think that there would always be challenges like these because of his campaign for the benefit of the greater ones — the victims of drug crisis. Now, along with other similar incidents, we really don’t know w—h—o made these right? Do you? Who is in the right mind to kill someone and put a cardboard stating something about drugs? So most have thought it’s either the policemen, the government, or Duterte himself? How malicious it is! Afterall, Duterte himself has human rights too! You can’t just throw everything to him where the only thing that he wanted was to help our nation overcome these long term crisis. To everyone — instead of ranting, blaming, judging, let’s help and support this new government. You Bam, have you ever thought what’s your contribution to our nation except for paying taxes?
Hey too, good morning. If you read intently, I wasn’t blaming the President for the murder. I said that it wasn’t even a police operation. These were people whose motives are unknown and are riding the war on drugs. This is the scenario right now. It has become a free-for-all. Anyone with a grudge can just ride the war. The President and General Bato know this and they have strongly condemned extra-judicial killings. Yet they know they need to do this to cleanse the country.
Before digong there were so many killings similar to these except for d cardboard n no one attribute it to Pinoy why is it now all kinds of killing is blame on war on drugs. Lets be fair n objective.
But if you read, that was one of my points. We can’t attribute all summary killings to the administration’s war on drugs. Posibleng may mga sumasabay. Mga nag-onsehan sa droga. Asking questions today is not meant as an attack to Duterte, nor it is a means to protect Aquino. PNoy also had extra-judicial cases during his term and it included journalists. But we need to ask questions today.
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That’s exactly the point, why is it only now? Bakit tikom ang bibig nyong mga media noon? Or is it sumasabay lang din kayo? Buti nalang hindi ka Inquirer, first time ko makabasa ng ganito sa isang GMA news reporter. To give my cents to this article at sa ibang nagtatanong kung anong klaseng kultura meron tayo ngayon. As before, elites can live well and peacefully cos you have the money while those below the margins have their ironic way of living (safety and security), now, a comment above is wondering “How did this culture of death and violence become acceptable and embraced by society in general???” – “In general” – he’s talking about the masses, the one who “walks” on the majority of streets, alleys, and highways. Did the minority of elites already experienced going home late everyday waiting for jeepneys, pujs worrying if they could still arrive home safe? Criminals are just lurking around. Nasasabi nyo yan kasi mas mataas ang bracket nyo in terms of safety and security cos you all have the resources.
In terms of killing which leads for a child to be an orphan, I’m against it, but that’s one of our community’s biggest sacrifice and the only thing we could do is to take part in honing this child’s future as a member of the community where he lives in.
Maybe tama lang yung ganito may pros and cons para balance din at hindi susobra, pero meron lang tlagang mga OA mag comment na akala mo sobrang lala na ng patayan, as of now, namumuhay pa kami ng normal, sa 100m + population ng bansang to, ano ang 3k na buhay ng mga drug pushers/users compared to the rest? Have the elites made their move to contribute in eliminating our society’s biggest menace? Yes? by contributing taxes? lol. I paid my taxes too but that doesnt end there, inspiring someone on how to be good must be a good way. Eh pano kung drug user yung nakausap mo? Aminin man natin o hindi, we stereotype them. Nilalayuan natin diba? So pano masosolve yon? Masosolve yon ng kakacomment at criticize sa gobyerno? o masosolve yon kung makikipag tulungan kayo sa gobyerno? Wag puro reports at comment lang kasi hindi naman tayo bulag, nakikita natin nangyayari. Ngayon nagkaron ng gobyernong aaksyon tsaka naman kayo eepal. Yan yung kasabihan, when you complain you suggest. Make sure it is effective and efficient.
Now don sa mga articulate mag comment, I knew you are part of the elites, kayo kayo lang din nagkakaintindihan. Try to understand those below you by putting yourselves in their shoes. Wag tayo magpaka righteous dito. Kung gusto nyo maging righteous, follow the way of Jesus Christ, ibigay nyo sa nangangailangan ang sobra nyong pera.
Sometimes cleansing is painful, really painful most especially if it is already soaked of dirt.
My views do not reflect the stand of the organization where I work, just to be clear. I also appreciate listening and reading the thoughts of different people and I won’t make it in such a way that I’ll prove you’re wrong or that my views are better. More importantly, I’m not as rich or elite as you think 🙂
I’ll leave it at that. Thank you for expressing your thoughts. They are constructive.
why then did you say “This is what Duterte’s mad crusade has wrought”? you were putting the blame on him. in fact the rampant killing has been happening before. only now killers have a scapegoat…put a card board and it will be tagged under war on drugs. blame goes to du30. we are being sidetracked by the killers and you blaming it on du30’s campaign is not helping.
It was a quote from a Redditor who knew the victim. Those are not my thoughts.
Excellent piece Bam. Keep it up.
BUT where did the killers get the idea that putting cardboards on the victims will automatically be tagged and accepted by the people that it should be part of the “kill list” in the first place? who reported to the public that all the victims, without results first from a valid investigation, should be a part of the “statistics on war on drugs”? who gave that idea to the people? who dragged the international community on this issue and pointed fingers to the government prompting all killers to just put cardboards on their victims because it will be reported anyway as the government’s fault? every Tom Dick and Harry who were found dead on the street are automatically shown in public as “war on drugs” victims. Whose fault is that?
Good sir, are you suggesting a blackout of these incidents? Ignoring it happened? If no one will report it, will the killers stop?
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Killing is wrong. WRONG…. is kiling!
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Just keep writing in our behalf. We share the same feeling except you do it better. EJK is nonsense.
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Thank you sir.
Count too and publish reports of the number of victims of hienous crimes perpetrated by drug addicts…
We do that in news. But with your comment, are you justifying these summary killings? Are you even sure the victim is a confirmed drug personality? Is a cardboard enough to convince you?
How did this culture of death and violence become acceptable and embraced by society in general???
Simply baffling….there is something evil happening to our moral fiber ….
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BECAUSE THE 6 MILLION PEOPLE LOVE DUTERTE AND DO NOT EVEN SAY A WORD REGARDING THIS WAR ON DRUGS
Kawawa naman tsk tsk…
Something is really wrong in this so called war on drugs…
Looks like we live in the “wild wild west” where those with big guns are mighty.
May the Good Lord intervene and end this madness… soon….
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