Did Duterte Lie About Jacqueline Hamill?

Much has been said and is still being said about Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s joke about his state of mind when he saw the dead body of ststage-taking victim, Jacqueline Hamill. I won’t talk about whether those jokes—said on at least two occasions and to different audiences—were indeed jokes. Rather, we shall be taking the mayor at his word as recorded in this video uploaded by Youtube user ‘Rody Duterte.’

It seems the mayor has some more explaining to do about the role he played during the events of the hostage crisis of August 1989.

Around the 9 minute mark of the video, the mayor says that, after the first exchange of gunfire with the prisoners had subsided, soldiers retrieved the near-dying bodies of the hostages from the first firefight with the prisoners. Hamill’s body, he says, was one of them and she eventually died and was covered.

The mayor says he lifted the sheet partially to look at Hamill’s dead body. What he saw, he says, drove him to rage—and to finally give up on the waiting game and go head-on with the assault, on his own if it came to it.

‘Kinuha ko yung uzi ko tapos tuloy-tuloy na ako. “O,” — referring to the soldiers — “sumunod kayo, ayaw niyo?” Tapos ako ang unang nag… I first did… I first…’

It was hard to make out what he says at this point but it was clear from his gesture what he meant.

‘Isang magasin. Inubos ko. Brrt. Ayun… Bakbakan na kami. Patay lahat.’

However, his narrative’s sequence of events do not match most reports at the time. Some members of the media were on the scene and their accounts say that there was a first apparent attempt by the hostage-takers to escape by using the hostages, including Hamill, as shields. This resulted in the first firefight and Hamill’s body was seen slumped and abandoned in the area previously occupied by the hostage-takers. Her body remained there for at least four more hours, as reported in The Age.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 1.00.29 AM
A soldier walks over Jacqueline Hamill’s body after the prison assault. This contradicts Duterte’s claim that he saw the body and was motivated by this to lead the charge. (The Age, August 16, 1989)

It wasn’t until the conclusion of the second exchange of fire—the first and only assault on the compound—when the soldiers prevailed, killing all of the hostage-takers in their wake. Only then did they clear the way for the safe retrieval of bodies, and only then was the Australian’s body was recovered. A photo exists and appears to support this: of a member of the responding troops, walking over the still unretrieved body of Hamill.

Moreover, to take the mayor’s account of events at face value would put the leading negotiators and commanding officers in an awkward position. By the sounds of Duterte’s aggrieved hero narrative, the soldiers were forced into the assault, perhaps prematurely, by him.

If not Duterte, then either Congressman Jesus Dureza or Davao del Sur Governor Douglas Cagas has some explaining to do as to how the mayor’s brash actions ostensibly undermined their efforts. As reported in the Manila Standard,

‘Initial military reports said Hamill and the four other dead hostages were killed by inmates even before the assault was executed by combined elements from the Constabulary Metropolitan District Command of Davao City and the Special Reaction Force.

However, questions have been raised about Hamill’s death. An official autopsy report in Davao suggested that a military sniper’s bullet might have killed Hamill, who was hit in the back and died from loss of blood.’

According to most of these reports, Mayor Duterte could not have lifted the covers off the body of Hamill until after the assault.

And yet Mayor Duterte says differently.

Furthermore, far from being the hero, it seems as though he has a few more failures to answer for than just his rape remarks:

  • As mayor, was he responsible for the state of Davao Metrodiscom jail? The security lapses cited in the Manila Standard, along with the failed promise to transfer the prisoners were seen as two reasons that allowed and drove the hostage-takers to their actions.
  • Was the mayor in charge of the Davao Metrodiscom assault team?
  • And going back to the question we started with, is he aware that he contradicts many of the independent reports at the time, including a photograph, that say Hamill’s body was inaccessible until after the assault, at least four hours after she had been seen slumped and motionless on the compound grounds?

As I write this, versions of the story have started to surface. It is not only for the mayor to address them—to his credit, he implored members of the media to check their archives—but for the other personalities from the government’s side who were involved in the resolution of the incident to help settle some of the glaring inconsistencies.


  1. A woman was brutally assaulted and killed. She was a sister and a human. I thought compassionate is what is needed. The only way to get through this difficulty is compassionate. We must rethink what we are doing.

    • Reposting cropped link:


  2. Lahat ng kandidato sinungaling walang hindi para lang magmukang maganda sa paningin ng mga tao.. Kaya wag na magtalo talo.. Lahat ng mga yan uhaw sa kapangyarihan.. Kya wag nyo iaasa sa magiging presidente ang magiging buhay nyo

    • Heheh..sir,bakit di nyo basahin kung ano nakasulat dun sa ibaba ng photo…at malaman nyo kung sinong Idiot! O baka naman nahihirapan kng maintindihan un nakasulat dahil english! Bwaahahahh

  3. I agree with bernard… Dapat alamin natin ang mga nagawa ng mga kumakandidato… Not only in the time of the hostage taking… Di pwedeng maging bulag na taga suporta tayo ng kung sinong poncio pilato tapos magsisisihan sa huli… Tama na yung mga katangahan at kabobohang pagsuporta… Matuto tayo sa nakaraan… Tanong ko lang… Ano ba nangyari sa bansa natin dahil madali tayong magpadala sa mga gustong mamuno sa bansa?? Sino ba ang nagdurusa?? Isa pang issue bukod dito, bakit kinukumpara natin ang nagawa sa isang malaking lugar na may maliit na populasyon sa isa na maliit na lugar na may malaking populasyon?? Lawak ba ng lupa ang basehan ng katahimikan?? O kung papaanong maiorganisa ang maraming tao?? Oo, lahat tayo nagkakamali… Pero kabobohan na kung paulit ulit na lang ang isang pagkakamali… Publicity stunt ba ang makapagbabago ng buhay milyon-milyon nating mga kababayan na naghihirap?? Binola lang, nagpabola naman… A hero that did nothing… Change isn’t coming… Change start within us… Tayo ang dapat gumawa ng pagbabago, di ang mga politiko… Habang minamanipula nila tayo, walang pagbabago… Mag isip, magmasid, magsaliksik… Di yung konting pangako, sapat na…

  4. Common people magmalinis kayong lahat, sabihin na natin na marumi,liar,at kong ano ano pa, ang tanong, sino kaba? Malinis ka ba? Wala kabang nagawang kahit isang kasalanan kong makapanghusga kayo perpekto na kayo!.. Ni isa sa inyo di maka sagot dahil pariparuho kayong lahat! Ang tanung kong may guts ba kayo para sa bayan!… Kahit ano pa sabihin nyo sa kay DUTERTE wala pa kayo sa katiting sa kangyang nagawa sa davao.. Kaya shut up! Puro kayo mga dilaw puro pahid ng mga ng tae nyo sa iba!… Tingnan nyo sarili nyo kong may nagawa ba kayo ….#DI MATITINAG SOLID DUTERTE KAMI!

  5. anu ba pinaglalaban nyo? o di kung wala di ba masmaganda ibig sabihin hindi nya sinabi yun rape remark nya nun na yun.. wala nga sya di ba..masyado focus nyo dit pero yun st hostage taking where he risk his life nasaan ang article? baka dun wala din sya? free thinker daw naman to di ba

  6. Wala naman si duterte noon dun. Check the inquirer article about this incident. Duterte’s story about his heroics is pure fabrication. He was not even with the negotiating panel.

    • What do we expect.. Lahat nman ng sinasabi nya mga hindi kapanipaniwala… Baka bandang huli sabihin nya na joke lang yun… Di na kayo mabiro..

  7. We support Duterte if you don’t like him express it in your ballot by not voting to him. Do not tell us who to vote for! Fuck you!!!

  8. maraming mga taong ayaw kay mayor duterte. Dahil hindi nila kilala yung taun nasa davao. Makikilala lang nila kung ano at kung sino si mayor kung mismo sila nakatira doon sa davao. Siya lang yung taong nagbigay ng lupa sa mga taga skuwater area. Hindi na dinaan pa sa davao city council para lang mabigyan ang mga mahihirap. Siyang lang ang mayor na kung gusto mo siyang makausap. Makakausap ka niya kaagad. Hindi katulad sa mga ibang mayor na magpapascedule kapa sa kanila kung gusto mung humingi ng tulong sa mga mayor na yan. Mahirap manghusga kung hindi naman kilala yung mayor namin. Tumira muna kayo sa davao. Para makilala niyo siya. Maraming mga propanganda na panira at hindi makakatutuhanan na mga balita. Kaya magusisa bago manghusga. god bless philipinas… Salute….

    • So, Kailangan tumira kami sa Davao para lang makilala siya… Hindi ba kaya nga siya nagkacampaign sa iba’t ibang lugar para makilala namin siya. The fact na sinasabi mo na iba si Duterte pag nasa Davao siya compared sa Duterte na nasa campaign trail means na hindi siya genuine na tao.

    • Saang banda ng article nakasaad na pinuri nila ang LP. Sana, imbis na i-brand mo silang biased/propagandist, inargue mo na lang yung points na ginawa nila.

  9. Duterte is psychologically not fit to be a President. He ‘s brusko attitude will put our country and people in harms way. Base on what i read and heard in 1989 prison crisis during that time, the military is the one in charge of the situation and not DUDIRTY. He is just newly elected Mayor one month in position. do you think he can dictate the activiies in that prison crisis. He maybe has the balls to fight criminals but not the kind of the Pugoy and Samarin group. This group are hardened criminals and ready to die. The story that DUDIRTY is teling to the people is not the same as what transpired during the 1989 hostage crisis. Will you choose this kind of peson to lead our country for the next six years. Kawawa naman mga anak natin thay they will have a president that is psychologically unfit to govern the Philippines. Puro away lang ang alam at patayan. Paano ito haharap sa mga dignitaries na bisista natin.

    • @Enrico Correction: Duterte became the Mayor of Davao City in 1988 (look into wikipedia). The hostage incident happened in 1989. So Duterte had already seated in office for 1 year, not one month, before the crisis occurred.

  10. inquirer also did a look back and found 4 articles about this incident. no mention of duterte in the articles, the paper editor said.

    some people ask “why only now?” why? eh di ba si mayor nagbida nito sa rally niya?

  11. Why only now? This should have been brought up a long time ago prior to him running for a higher position? Is this really legit? Or one of the dirty tactics from our dirty politics to gain control over country. As he also mentioned he cannot do it alone he needs our help on making changes.. he was the only one with the balls to handle crime and corruption on our country… this is not enough to bring him down tried looking to davao city one time and compare it to the other cities on our country?

    • The Filipino Freethinkers are not in any way associated to government. Why can’t you just accept the fact that your ridiculous bet has a lot of inconsistencies not just with this one but also with his other statements? You blind followers and fanatics need to shut up. We’re gaining popularity internationally for all the wrong reasons making the country look shit and possibly lose ties needed for our development. Psh dumb idiot

    • This is a comment below:

      These three archived articles were written within the 3rd week of August 1989. They are about as close as you can get to any article written on the incident. Conspicuously missing from the three narratives is the name of a certain public official who claims to have been there, negotiating with the hostage takers, and getting involved in the shootout.

  12. Ang pagboto sa kanya ay pag bigay ng permiso at suporta para pumatay. Ang dugo ng mga magiging biktima, criminal man o hindi, ay nasa iyong kamay at hindi lang sa kanya. Kaya ba ng konsensya mo?

  13. interesting read, we need more of these, I mean stories from the past, Like what Mar Roxas , Binay , Miriam and Poe are doing during 1989.

  14. Remember the boy who cried wolf? And Pinochio..sad thing is some people still tend to listen and believe all his lies and bullshit..hope Filipinos would realize if they chose this kind of President…the country would be a big joke..nobody would take Philippines seriouslly..

  15. Its already unethical to make a joke on rape. What makes it worse is Duterte made a joke on rape on a dead person. What made it vile is that its being covered up with a lie.

      • Do you know Ringo personally para sabihing nagjojoke siya about rape? And to say na “tayo nagjojoke on rape as well.” Speak for yourself. And by the way, hindi porket maraming gumawa noon tama na yung ginawa niya. Ang defense ni Duterte ay ganoon daw magsalita talaga ang lalake… Well kulang siya, ganoon magsalita ang lalake na walang modo. No one should ever trivialize rape. If may nagawa kang mali then apologize hindi yung gagawa ka pa ng excuses. Lumaki itong issue dahil he refused to apologize.

  16. It was 1989. The Police was still under PC-INP and were independent from politicians. Alsa Masa’s Col. Franco Calida headed the assault, not Duterte nor was he taking orders from him.
    #DuterteTheCreditGrabber #DuterteRapeJoke #DuterteBigJoke

  17. The tale about his heroism in the Hostage Taking seems to have been spruced up greatly by the great story teller Duterte. He reminds me of a fisherman who had caught a tilapia and in the telling the tilapia had turned into a 6 feet lapu-lapu.

    The true story might even be blamed on Duterte and his prison cops who did not do a good job at containing Pugoy and his cohorts in Davao City jail where they were able to free themselves and proceed to rape and kill the innocent Australian preacher.

  18. now, apart from the sick joke that he said about the australian missionary, which he said he wouldn’t apologize, he has now a lot of explaining to do whether he was even part of the negotiators at all which he or his followers now wants to claim.

  19. These three archived articles were written within the 3rd week of August 1989. They are about as close as you can get to any article written on the incident. Conspicuously missing from the three narratives is the name of a certain public official who claims to have been there, negotiating with the hostage takers, and getting involved in the shootout.




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