Showing posts with label Corruption International. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Corruption International. Show all posts

November 28, 2017

In One of The Most Corrupt Govs in Asia The Police Caught on Video Committing Murder


 
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Police tell one story of what happened in Barangay 19. Security cameras tell another.

Chilling surveillance footage of a drug-war operation in Manila raises fresh doubts about police actions in President Rodrigo Duterte's brutal anti-narcotics campaign. Reuters obtained the footage, which shows the deadly operation from start to finish 

BARANGAY 19, Manila – The police report was clear. 
Anti-drug officers shot and injured three men in this poor
 district of the Philippine capital, then “rushed” them to
a hospital where they were pronounced dead on arrival.
But security camera footage obtained by Reuters tells a different story of what happened just after midday on October 11 in Barangay (district) 19. It shows that police took at least 25 minutes to haul away the men they had shot. The victims show no signs of life; police are seen carrying them by their arms and legs and loading their limp bodies onto pedicabs to take them to hospital.
The footage casts new doubts on the official accounts of police killings in President Rodrigo Duterte's 17-month war on drugs.
In June, Reuters revealed that police have shot hundreds of people during anti-drug operations, then taken them to hospitals where they are declared dead on arrival. Police say they're trying to save lives. Bereaved relatives and other witnesses allege police are sending corpses to hospitals to disrupt crime scenes and cover up extrajudicial killings. 
Police have shot dead at least 3,900 people in anti-narcotic operations since Duterte took power in June 2016 - always in self-defense, police say. Human rights activists blame the police for thousands of more killings attributed to vigilantes, but authorities deny any involvement.
A witness to the Barangay 19 killings told Reuters that the three men were executed and not, as the police claim, shot in self-defense. Police say they only use deadly force in self-defense, but a series of investigations by Reuters suggest they are summarily executing people.
The security camera footage not only contradicts the police account of the Barangay 19 killings. It also provides further evidence of another drug-war tactic: the disabling of surveillance cameras at crime scenes by the police. In the footage, filmed simultaneously by four security cameras, an officer is seen turning the camera that captured the action away from the scene.
The police understand the dangers posed by such footage, which can expose their actions. An active-duty commander involved in the drug war told Reuters earlier this year that police collude with local officials to unplug security cameras in areas where they plan to carry out a drug-war killing.
Reuters has obtained footage from all four security cameras, each capturing the episode from a different angle. Together, the cameras provide a unique record of a police operation from start to finish. Some of the Barangay 19 footage was previously aired by Philippine broadcaster GMA.
“The operation was legitimate,” said Santiago Pascual, the commander of the station that conducted the raid, in a statement to Reuters. A station investigation showed that his officers had followed correct operational procedure, said Pascual, and eyewitness testimony that they had opened fire on unarmed men was “untrue and unfounded.” Police carried out the Oct. 11 raid a day after Duterte ordered them to leave anti-drug operations to the state-run Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. The October memo marked the second time that Duterte has publicly told police officers to stop waging his drug war. He announced a halt to their operations in late January after news emerged that police had kidnapped and murdered a South Korean businessman. He lifted that ban one month later, saying drugs were returning to the streets.
In his latest order, Duterte said he wanted "to bring order to the operation/campaign against illegal drugs, thus pinpointing precise accountability.”
The announcement came amid escalating public criticism of alleged police atrocities. Recent surveys by Manila-based pollster Social Weather Stations have shown rising distrust of the police and unease with their brutal methods, which have been criticized by the influential Catholic Church.
The circulation online of security camera footage of police operations and vigilante killings has spurred public disquiet with Duterte’s bloody anti-drug campaign. Outrage followed the August release of a video that seemed to back up eyewitness accounts of how teenager Kian Loyd de los Santos was killed that month.


Explore the killings in an interactive graphic: Click here.

Police said they shot the 17-year-old in self-defense after he opened fire. Eyewitnesses said police took the unarmed boy to a trash-filled alley in northern Manila and shot him in the head. Footage emerged showing two officers marching a figure toward the spot where delos Santos’ body was found. His funeral procession turned into the biggest protest yet against the drug war.
The officers in the Barangay 19 footage belong to an anti-drug unit from Police Station 2 in Manila, according to a police report of the incident. Of the 15 officers who appear clearly on the footage, only one is wearing a mask.
The report said Rolando Campo, 60, sold drugs to an undercover officer, who signaled for back-up. Campo "sensed the presence" of the police officers and ordered his two associates - Sherwin Bitas, 34, and Ronnie Cerbito, 18 - to draw their guns and open fire on them, the report said.
The police retaliated, leaving the three men "fatally wounded," it said.
But the footage shows Campo chatting with people in the neighborhood in the minutes before the police arrive, and not, as the report said, selling drugs to an undercover officer.


NAMED: This list, provided by police in response to questions from Reuters, names the officers who shot Campo, Bitas and Cerbito.

The police operation doesn’t seem to be undercover. The footage shows mainly plainclothes officers, most of them visibly armed and some wearing body armor, entering the area through the alley on which Campo and Bitas lived. The officers pass in full view of the victims’ house seven minutes before the shooting starts.
Arlene Gibaga, Bitas' wife, told Reuters that she witnessed the shooting and the three men were unarmed. "We don't have the money for guns," said Gibaga, who has three young children with Bitas. She said her husband didn’t deal drugs.
Police detained the men in an alley next to her house, she said, and asked her to get Bitas' ID. When she produced it, said Gibaga, one officer shouted "Positive! Positive!" and then the officers fired on Bitas.



“Don't do that to my husband!" she screamed, as the police shot Bitas. "I will report you! There are CCTV cameras here!"
One of the officers then aimed his gun at Gibaga and ordered her inside, she said.
The footage doesn't show the police shooting the three men, but does show an officer appearing to open fire on an unseen target. Campo then falls backward into the frame, his body hitting the ground. His arms move for a while before resting motionless.
Less than a minute later, the camera that captured the scene of the shooting is effectively put out of action: someone turns it to face the wall. A second camera shows a police officer reaching up and turning it away.
Station commander Pascual said the camera was averted for a “valid security reason” and to ensure the operation wasn’t compromised. His statement reiterated the police report’s version of events - “that the suspects first drew firearms and shot the operatives,” who returned fire in self-defense.
Later that day, at Police Station 2, Gibaga said officers told her it was useless to complain. “It’s the government you will be fighting against,” she recalled one officer saying. “Don’t get angry at us. We are just following orders.”


RESTING PLACE: The wake of Rolando Campo and Sherwin Bitas was held only 
a few paces from where police shot them. REUTERS/Dondi Tawatao

Duterte’s War
By Clare Baldwin and Andrew R.C. Marshall
Video: Ryan Brooks
Graphic: Jin Wu and Simon Scarr
Photo Editor: Thomas White
Design: Catherine Tai
Edited by Peter Hirschberg  

September 7, 2017

USA Today Investigation Shows Trump's Lobbyists and Government Contractors are All Members of Trump's Gulf Clubs and They Put $ in His Pockets







USA Today investigation on Trump and His lobbyists found that dozens of lobbyists and government contractors are among the members of President Trump's private golf clubs

Dozens of lobbyists, contractors and others who make their living influencing the government pays President Trump’s companies for membership in his private golf clubs, a status that can put them in close contact with the president, a USA TODAY investigation found.
Members of the clubs Trump has visited most often as president — in Florida, New Jersey and Virginia — include at least 50 executives whose companies hold federal contracts and 21 lobbyists and trade group, officials. Two-thirds played on one of the 58 days the president was there, according to scores they posted online.
Because membership lists at Trump’s clubs are secret, the public has until now been unable to assess the conflicts they could create. USA TODAY found the names of 4,500 members by reviewing social media and a public website golfers use to track their handicaps, then researched and contacted hundreds to determine whether they had business with the government. 
The review shows that, for the first time in U.S. history, wealthy people with interests before the government have a chance for close and confidential access to the president as a result of payments that enrich him personally. It is a view of the president available to few other Americans.
Among Trump, club members are top executives of defense contractors, a lobbyist for the South Korean government, a lawyer helping Saudi Arabia fight claims over the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the leader of a pesticide trade group that sought successfully to persuade the Trump administration not to ban an insecticide government scientists linked to health risks.
Members of Trump’s clubs pay initiation fees that can exceed $100,000, plus thousands more in annual dues to his companies, held in a trust for his benefit.
The arrangement is legal, and members said they did not use the clubs to discuss government business. Nonetheless, ethics experts questioned whether it’s appropriate for a sitting president to collect money from lobbyists and others who spend their days trying to shape federal policy or win government business.
“I think we’re all in new territory,” said Walter Shaub, who recently resigned as director of the Office of Government Ethics after repeated clashes with the White House. “We never thought we’d see anyone push the outer limits in this way.”
Citing privacy and national security, the White House has moved to keep secret the president's interactions. Unlike the Obama administration, the Trump White House does not disclose the president’s golf partners, or whether he played. The Trump team also ended an Obama administration practice of releasing White House visitor logs. In July, a federal court ordered the government to release visitor records from Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., to a watchdog group. The deadline is Friday.
Trump’s U.S. golf clubs are among the most lucrative outposts in his empire, bringing in about $600 million in 2015 and 2016, according to his financial disclosure reports. It is unknown how much of that is profit because, unlike other recent presidents, Trump has not released his tax returns
Some members find themselves in close proximity to a president who has visited his golf clubs on about a quarter of the days that he has been in office. Many describe Trump as surprisingly approachable, welcoming advice on everything from the state of the tee boxes to the course of his administration.
Trump marked his 100th day in office by visiting a factory owned by a company run by a member of his New Jersey golf club.
Standing behind Trump as he signed two executive orders was Robert Mehmel, president of the company that owns the Harrisburg, Pa., factory and another company that sells radars and electronics to the military, including about $54 million worth of contracts last year.
Like millions of golfers, Mehmel registered his handicap on a public U.S. Golf Association website that golfers use to track their handicaps and check the scores of other players. The site requires golfers to sign up for a club and lists when and where they played. Only members are allowed to associate their handicaps with Trump’s clubs, said Kyle Littlefield, a pro at Trump National Golf Club-Bedminster.
Mehmel registered his handicap there. He posted scores from seven rounds of golf at the club this year. Five were in days in May, June, and August when Trump was visiting. Mehmel did not respond to phone calls or emails.
The White House and Trump’s companies did not respond to questions about members’ access to the president.
At the clubs, Trump visits most often, the list of members reflects a cross-section of wealthy suburbanites: corporate executives, investment bankers, real estate agents, doctors, and their families.
The list includes dozens of people who either seek to influence the federal government or sell it things. It includes the chief executives of defense and technology contractors, the head of the Dell unit that sells information technology services to the federal government, the chief of a trade group representing rural utilities and lobbyists who represent energy companies and foreign governments.
One lobbyist for U.S. and Canadian airports mentioned his membership to Trump at a White House meeting in February. “I’m a member of your club, by the way,” Kevin Burke said, in an exchange captured by C-SPAN. “Very good, very good” Trump replied.
Other club members work in industries closely regulated by the federal government, including the CEO of pharmaceutical maker Allergan and the chairman of the Estée Lauder cosmetics empire.
Trump has long afforded his clubs, and their members, a unique status.
Before he took office, Trump told guests at a dinner at his Bedminster club that they were “the special people” and joked they “might want to come along” as his team interviewed potential Cabinet secretaries. Guests at Mar-a-Lago snapped photos in February as he huddled around an open-air dinner table with security aides and the Japanese prime minister after a North Korean missile launch.
In interviews, several dozen members described a president who remains the chief host and resident celebrity during his visits. He speeds through 18 holes of golf, then lingers in the clubs’ restaurants and seldom refuses to shake a hand or pose for a photo, sometimes snapped by his Secret Service detail. Senior aides regularly accompany him. Advice flows freely.
“Access to this president has been different than it has been in the past, and everybody thinks they have an opportunity to provide information that could be helpful to the country,” said Ed Russo, a longtime member of the Bedminster club who has worked as an environmental consultant for several of Trump’s courses.
Others said the club was merely a place to play. “I’ve done zero business. I go there to play golf,” said Thomas Spulak, a member of the Trump National Golf Club in Washington’s suburbs and a partner at the law firm King & Spalding, who represents the Saudi government in its efforts to fight claims by families of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Experts on government ethics and federal contracting said there’s no prohibition on executives from companies with federal contracts spending money at Trump’s golf properties, as long they pay the going rate for their memberships and don't hand over money to seek an official favor or to thank the president for taking action on their behalf.
Lobbyists face no legal restrictions on golf memberships.
Jay Vroom, CEO of the pesticide trade group Crop Life America, said he had encountered Trump once since he became president. The group sought for months to keep the Environmental Protection Agency from banning an insecticide called chlorpyrifos that the agency’s scientists linked to neurological delays in children and other health problems. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in March that the government would not impose new restrictions on the insecticide’s use.
Vroom said in a statement that he had not spoken to Trump about the issue. Those fighting to ban the insecticide said they were troubled by the prospect of his having access to the president at all.
“Not surprising, I’m sad to say, especially with the current president. And I’m tempted to say — and oh, God help me — par for the course,” said Kristen Boyles, a lawyer for the environmental non-profit group Earthjustice, which is suing to force the EPA to ban chlorpyrifos.
Shaub, the former Office of Government Ethics director, said even conversations that have nothing to do with the government can raise ethics concerns. The Washington lobbying and contracting worlds are built on access, and that makes any opportunity to meet the president valuable, he said.
“Face time is everything when it comes to Washington,” Shaub said. “The president bopping around his properties gives them access to him.”
Presidents have long socialized with the wealthy and well-connected, including campaign donors. But although the Kennedys visited country clubs in Palm Beach and the Roosevelts “were hobnobbing with the moneyed rich in the Hudson Valley or in Manhattan, the very people (Trump) is hanging out with are paying to be there in that setting with him,” said Barbara Perry, director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.
“This is unprecedented on so many levels,” she said.
Contributing: Sara Wise in McLean, Va.; John Kelly in Melbourne, Fla.; Gregory Korte in Bedminster, N.J.
HOW WE REPORTED THIS STORY
USA TODAY set out to identify as many members of Trump’s private clubs as possible. We found more than 4,500 names by scouring social media posts, news stories and a public website golfers use to track their handicaps.
Our reporters then reviewed many hundreds of members’ names and used information available online and public documents such as lobbying registrations, corporate records, property deeds and medical licenses to determine the members' jobs and if they make their living trying to influence the federal government or win contracts with it. Reporters also interviewed dozens of members, though much more declined to comment.
We prioritized reviewing and interviewing members at clubs where the President has spent the most time since taking office. Those are in Bedminster, N.J., Washington’s suburbs in Virginia; and in and around Palm Beach, Fla.

August 9, 2014

The Seven Most Corrupt Countries

                                                                                    

                                                                         
                
I understand that you know other nations that are also corrupt. I just wanted to start at the bottom of the barrel and this seven are just that. This is where the usual norm of minimum decency does not exist. Sometimes corruption is hidden even thought it might be wide spread but in this seven it is just out in the open in most cases.


Previous:

youve-heard-of-corrupt-nations-how about the most corrupt US states


Corruption is often cited as one of the biggest problems in governments across the world. Though many would like to dismiss it as a third-world problem or as an issue associated with the mobsters and gangsters of yesteryear, corruption is alive and kicking in more countries than you might think.
Transparency International’s study of corruption found that two-thirds of the world’s nations scored below 50 on their corruption index, with the worst possible score being a 0 and the best, 100. While many developed countries posted fine scores — Denmark and New Zealand led the way, tied at 91 — a number of nations in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas lagged behind.
Oftentimes, the countries that experience the most corruption are those wracked by political and military strife. When conflicts occur, it becomes easier for government functions to break down, as everyone tries to get their hands on a bigger share of the pie at any cost. Let’s take a closer look at the seven most corrupt countries in the world.
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/albazi/

7. Iraq

A score of 16 is the first to crack our list, and the first country to do so is Iraq. Occupied by American forces throughout the previous decade, Iraq was long held under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. The government that emerged from the ashes is — though arguably more humanitarian — in many ways no less corrupt than its predecessor. With many local officials also siphoning off public funds and supplies, as well as religious tensions still going unresolved in the country, Iraq still has a ways to go before progress can be made.
Libyan_bills

6. Libya

Libya is another country where a period of political transition has opened the way for rampant corruption, giving it a score of 15 from Transparency International. While many people may think of Benghazi when asked about what’s going on in Libya, the actual situation is more complex, stemming from the more than 40-year rule of the ousted Muammar Gadaffi.
If corruption is to be reined in, a central authority will have to crack down on the issue, a move that seems far off given the delicate balance of power in the region.

5. South Sudan

South Sudan is a country on the index for the first time this year, and it already has cracked the top five. The achievement was accomplished with a score of 14. As with many other entries on this list, a power vacuum has opened the door to rampant corruption. South Sudan is a new country, and it will take time for the leadership to establish a firm grip.
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/waltercallens/

4. Sudan

Moving just to the north, we check in with Sudan, which posted a value of 11 on the corruption index. Sudan has long been known for its regional conflicts, with massive violence taking place in Darfur and refugees fleeing westward into Chad. Such conditions create a maelstrom for corruption, with local warlords wielding more power than the central government in many parts of the country.
Afghanistan

3. Afghanistan

Another country occupied by foreign forces in the previous decade is Afghanistan, which has not managed to avoid the trap of corruption, either. The nation scored an 8 on Transparency International’s index, placing it in a three-way tie for first place. Afghanistan has long faced the problem of bringing together different ethnic groups, and whether it was the Taliban, the British, the Soviets, or the Americans, any overseer has faced difficulty in uniting the region under one government. Even when somewhat successful, it is evident that massive corruption remains.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fljckr/

2. North Korea

Sharing a score of 8 and first-place honors is North Korea, one of the last countries still ruled by a familial dictatorship. Often cited as one of the most backward countries in the world, North Korea has not only suffered from out-of-control statism, tyrannical conditions, and militaristic overspending, but also from corruption. Dictatorial regimes — though they rule with an iron fist — are often some of the most corrupt governments of all, not hesitating to give positions and funds to friends and family members rather than on merit.
Shipping

1. Somalia

Our final destination is Somalia, another country that scored 8 points on the corruption index. Somalia has a history of conflict, with the Islamic Courts Union battling other factions and violence dating back to an operation in Mogadishu that became the basis for the film Black Hawk Down. The country also has a reputation for piracy, an occupation that surely bears some level of corruption in itself.
adamfoxieblog International 
source:

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