Posts Tagged ‘Catholic Church’

Philippines President Duterte Puts Philippine National National Police (PNP) Back Into Drug War — They have a human rights app now — Returning to dead body counts?

December 6, 2017
The Catholic Church sees the President’s order as a ‘bad move,’ but presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says the PDEA remains the lead agency in the war on drugs, with the police only providing active support
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 / 07:28 AM December 06, 2017
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PNP, other law enforcement agencies ordered to help PDEA in drug war

Saying there was a “notable resurgence in illegal drugs,” President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday ordered the Philippine National Police to actively support the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the war on drugs.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the PDEA remained the lead agency in the war on drugs.

The PNP, the military and other law enforcement agencies would only provide “active support” to the PDEA, Roque told a news briefing.

Mr. Duterte’s order on Tuesday, he said, “supersedes the earlier memorandum that designated the PDEA as the sole agency that will deal with the entire illegal drug operations.”

Roque said that if the PNP wanted to revive “Oplan Tokhang,” it should coordinate first with the PDEA.

“Well, it’s very clear the PDEA is the lead so if Tokhang will be implemented by the PNP, I would suppose there would have to be coordination with the PDEA,” he said.

“If they want to resume Tokhang, they need to confer with the PDEA on how to implement it. The PDEA must be consulted and the PDEA must not be deprived of its role in the implementation of the Dangerous Drugs Act,” Roque added.

Thousands of people have been killed in the PNP campaign, drawing expressions of concern from the United States, European Union, United Nations and international groups about human rights violations in the Philippines.

Mr. Duterte badmouthed them all, accusing them of meddling in Philippine internal affairs.

On Oct. 11, Mr. Duterte designated the PDEA as the “sole agency” in the antidrug campaign after a series of killings of teenagers in northern Metro Manila, which was blamed for the drop in the President’s public approval ratings.

It was the second time that the PNP was stripped of its lead role in the drug war.

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In January, the President ordered the PNP to suspend its antidrug operations after narcotics police allegedly kidnapped South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo and killed him inside Camp Crame, where the PNP headquarters is located.

The President allowed the PNP to resume the war on drugs after more than a month due to reports that the country’s drug problem had worsened.

This time around, Mr. Duterte said the PDEA had made significant strides but there was a resurgent drug problem and crimes related to it.

“PDEA has made significant strides in the government anti-illegal drug campaign since Oct. 11, 2017, with only one drug suspect killed in the course of its anti-illegal drug operations,” the President said.

“[However, it] has been seriously hampered in performing its huge mandate by the lack of resources, specifically agents and operatives, who can penetrate drug-infected areas down to the municipal and barangay levels,” he said.

The President noted that the PDEA had only about 2,000 personnel to deal with the drug problem in the entire country.

“There is a clamor from the public to restore to the PNP and all other law enforcement agencies the responsibility of providing active support to PDEA in the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations,” he said.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque INQUIRER PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC

The President directed the PDEA to submit a monthly report on the progress of the campaign while the Dangerous Drugs Board would remain the policymaking and strategy-formulating body.

“So now, the President clearly wanted the PDEA to take the lead but it wants to avail [itself] of the manpower resources of all other agencies of government, not just the PNP,” Roque said.

‘Bad move’

The Catholic Church warned that Mr. Duterte’s allowing the police to rejoin the war on drugs was a “bad move.”

Speaking on Church-run Radio Veritas, Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez called the faithful to pray.

Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani said Mr. Duterte’s decision raised questions, especially after the PDEA had achieved gains and implemented reforms in the war on drugs.

“After all, the President said 40 percent of the PNP was corrupt and he replaced them twice. There have not been significant reforms. He is interested in dead body counts,” Bacani said.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said the decision only showed Mr. Duterte’s fickle-mindedness.

“Didn’t he see that the PNP was already a failure? He did not give the PDEA a chance to prove itself. He did not even give it time,” Pabillo said. —With a report from Tina G. Santos

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/950179/duterte-orders-pnp-back-to-drug-war#ixzz50USinOTF
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President Rodrigo Duterte and PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa. PhilStar photo

Jee Ick-joo, a South Korean businessman in the Philippines, was abducted by police from his home in October. It took his wife, Choi Kyung-jin, three months to learn his fate. Video: Eva Tam; photo: Jes Aznar for The Wall Street Journal
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Lebanese church leader hails Saudi ‘friendship and support’

November 14, 2017

BEIRUT/RIYADH: The unbreakable link between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon was reinforced on Monday when Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi, head of the Maronite Church, received a red-carpet welcome on a historic and unprecedented visit to the Kingdom.

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On Tuesday, Al-Rahi will meet King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who will host a lunch in his honor. He will also meet the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who is in Riyadh.
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“The Patriarch represents all the Patriarchs and Christians of the East. He is carrying a message of love and openness to Saudi Arabia, which is now witnessing further openness and positive changes,” Al-Rahi’s spokesman Walid Ghayyad told Arab News in Beirut.
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“We thank the Kingdom for inviting the Patriarch on this momentous visit, especially since it complements and activates historical relations between the two countries.
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“King Saud bin Abdulaziz visited the Maronite Patriarchate in Bkirki in Mount Lebanon in 1953 and exchanged encouraging messages at the time. So what is happening today is not new, but rather a renewed step that has further aspects in light of the openness of the Kingdom.”
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Before leaving Beirut, Al-Rahi said: “The Kingdom has long supported Lebanon … relations between us are based on friendship and brotherhood.”
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Al-Rahi heads the Maronite sect, Lebanon’s largest Christian community and the Middle East’s largest Catholic church. He took office in March 2011 and was made a cardinal by Pope Benedict in 2012.
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His views on tolerance, moderation and cultural communication have long chimed with those of Saudi Arabia. In April 2011, Al-Rahi pledged “to establish a sincere and complete dialogue” with the Muslim world “and build together a future in common life and cooperation.”
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The Lebanese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Abdul Sattar Issa, said the patriarch’s visit demonstrated the important steps taken by Saudi Arabia to modernize its institutions and to reinforce perceptions of Islam as a religion of moderation.
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There are about 300,000 Lebanese expatriates in Saudi Arabia. The patriarch addressed more than 1,500 of them at the Lebanese Embassy on Monday at a community event hosted by the ambassador.
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He said he was happy that his countrymen were treated well in the Kingdom and the peoples of the two countries were dealing with each other in a friendly and brotherly manner because of their historical relations.
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On his first day in Saudi Arabia, the patriarch also had a private meeting with Saudi Minister of State for Arab Gulf Affairs Thamer Al-Sabhan. After meeting Saad Hariri on Tuesday, he will leave Riyadh in the evening to attend ecclesiastical meetings in Rome.
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Philippine bishops lead thousands in call to end killings

November 5, 2017

AFP

November 5, 2017

About 3,000 people — including opposition lawmakers, students and church groups — joined the event, according to police. They carried candles and placards reading, “Stop the Killings. Start the Healing”.

 Stop-the-Killings-Start-the

MANILA: Catholic bishops on Sunday led thousands of Philippine worshippers in calling for an end to killings in President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war as they urged police and troops to stop the violence.

The killing of three teenagers in August triggered rare public protests against Duterte’s anti-drugs campaign, with rights groups accusing him of committing crimes against humanity in a crackdown that has claimed thousands of lives.

The Catholic Church, which counts 80% of Filipinos as followers, has been one of the leading critics of the war on drugs and has launched campaigns to stop the killings, including one starting on Sunday dubbed “Heal Our Land”.

The church organised a mass and procession along a historic Manila highway called EDSA, where a bloodless popular revolt ended the iron rule of dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.

About 3,000 people — including opposition lawmakers, students and church groups — joined the event, according to police. They carried candles and placards reading, “Stop the Killings. Start the Healing”.

“Peace to you in the armed forces and the police. Stop the violence and uphold the law,” Archbishop Socrates Villegas, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said at the mass.

“If we do not stop the killings, there will be a punishment for a nation that kills its own people.”

Duterte, 72, won elections last year after campaigning on a law-and-order platform and since then police have reported killing more than 3,900 “drug personalities”.

Duterte’s spokesman on Sunday said he did not condone extrajudicial killings, adding the government was investigating another 2,243 deaths in unsolved “drug-related” cases.

“The president himself made a clear stance that any violation committed by the police during operations would be dealt with accordingly,” Harry Roque said.

Critics say that Duterte’s frequent public pronouncements on the drug war have been direct incitements to kill.

Villegas said the killings tested the nation and cited the case of 17-year-old student Kian Delos Santos, who died in a police anti-drug raid in August.

“Please stop. I still have a test tomorrow,” Villegas quoted Delos Santos as saying following witness accounts that he had begged for his life.

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Philippines: Mass protest against extrajudicial killings, President Duterte’s war on drugs

November 5, 2017
Relatives hold photos of victims of extrajudicial killings as they pose with priests following a mass at the Our Lady of Victory Chapel in Malabon last February 2, 2017. Miguel de Guzman, File
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MANILA, Philippines — The Duterte administration is one with the nation in seeking “true healing,” Malacañang said Sunday, as hundreds of people join a mass against extrajudicial killings in the historic EDSA Shrine.
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Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Filipinos should unite to build a nation that is free from crime, corruption and illegal drugs.
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“We are one in the true healing of this nation that has long been divided by politics. We must come together as one country and one people and help the government in building a nation free from drugs, criminality and corruption,” Roque said in a statement.
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The Catholic Church, the religious affiliation of more than 80 percent of Filipinos, organized the “Lord Heal our Land Sunday” to pray for the victims of the administration’s crackdown on illegal drugs.
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Sunday’s mass at the EDSA Shrine was attended by civil society groups critical of President Rodrigo Duterte but organizers claimed that the event had nothing to do with politics.
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Roque said organizers of the religious event have the right to express their opposition to the government’s policies.
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“The president has repeatedly mentioned that he allows constructive dissent and that he would even give protesters the democratic space and time to enjoy the rights to peacefully assemble, seek redress and air their grievances,” the presidential spokesman said.
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Roque stressed that the administration does not endorse the summary execution of drug suspects. He said authorities have been probing 2,243 incidents with drug-related motives as of the end of September.
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“We reiterate that this administration does not—and will never—condone extrajudicial and vigilante killings,” Roque said.
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“The president himself made a clear stance that any violation committed by the police during operations would be dealt with accordingly. Accountability is essential to good governance,” he added.
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Malacañang is hopeful that the Catholic Church will help the government in its campaign against the drug menace in the country.
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“We wish to build better rapport with the Catholic Church and seek the cooperation of its leaders, even as we call on our Catholic brethren to pro-actively help government in our anti-illegal drug campaign, particularly in the rehabilitation and treatment of drug dependents,” Roque said.
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Duterte previously hit Catholic bishops for speaking out against the killings tied to his war on illegal drugs and chided them for their supposed failure to solve the sex scandals involving priests.
Despite the president’s tirades. Church officials have vowed to continue speaking out against extrajudicial killings and other social ills hounding the country.
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Competing protests have been held in the Philippines both for and against the president's war on drugs. '

Bishop Barron’s New Book: “To Light a Fire on The Earth”

October 31, 2017
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Friends,

It gives me great joy to announce my newest book: “To Light a Fire on the Earth: Proclaiming the Gospel in a Secular Age”!

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“To Light a Fire on the Earth” was written in collaboration with John Allen, Jr., an award-winning Vatican journalist, and touches on a wide range of subjects including God, atheism, prayer, beauty, and why the Church matters today.

Also, in the final chapter, entitled “From Ministry To Movement”, I share my vision for the future of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries.

The book will not be released until Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, however, if you click the link below, you can pre-order right now and be one of the first to get the hardcover book when it is released.

Peace,
Bishop Robert Barron  Founder, Word on Fire

 

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Page 169

“I’m not a Republican or a Democrat, I’m a Catholic.”

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Bt saying these words you are invoking a whole different set of criteria. Politics and economics are only part of life. Christianity inculcates a bigger worldview….
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Catholics in the 21st Century have to be able to discuss the Bible intelligently. Most can’t…..

To Light a Fire on the Earth: Proclaiming the Gospel in a Secular Age

Order from Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Light-Fire-Earth-Proclaiming-Secular/dp/1524759503

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(A story about the loss of everything and then finding God and recovery)

Duterte to return police to drug war ‘if things get worse again’

October 21, 2017

Rappler

7:53 PM, October 21, 2017

‘Okay, let us see, 6 months from now. If things get worse again, I will say to these apes: “Go back to this job. You solve this problem of ours,”‘ says President Rodrigo Duterte, referring to the police

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has warned that he may bring the police back to the frontlines of his deadly war on drugs.

Duterte made the comments late Friday, October 21, following his announcement more than a week earlier to withdraw the police from his anti-drug war after they were accused of rights abuses in killing thousands of people while following his orders to eradicate illegal drugs.

He replaced them with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), which has about 2,000 officers compared with the 165,000-strong police force.

Duterte has repeatedly insisted he has not ordered or incited police to murder drug addicts or suspects, while at other times he has said he would be happy to slaughter them or have tens of thousands killed.

On Friday, Duterte said he was already considering bringing the police back to run the drug war.

“Okay, let us see, 6 months from now. If things get worse again, I will say to these apes: ‘Go back to this job. You solve this problem of ours,'” he said, referring to the police.

Barely a week after Malacañang released the President’s memo removing the PNP from the helm of the anti-drug campaign, top cop Director General Ronald dela Rosa said he would ask Duterte to reverse his decision if there would be a spike in drug-related crimes. (READ: If crimes rise, I’ll ask Duterte to order PNP back to drug war – Dela Rosa)

The President also said Friday night that he would be prepared to kill criminals himself, as he raised doubts about the PDEA being able to contain illegal drugs.

“Those who rape children, who rape women, those sons of – if you don’t want the police, I am here now. I will shoot them. That’s true! If nobody would dare it, I will pull the trigger,” he said.

Duterte was elected to office in 2016 after vowing during the campaign that 100,000 people would die as he eradicated illegal drugs in society.

Since then, police have reported killing more than 3,900 “drug personalities.” Another 2,290 purple have died in unsolved “drug-related” killings, government figures show.

Many Filipinos continue to support the charismatic Duterte, seeing him as the solution to crime and corruption.

But human rights and Catholic Church leaders charge thousands of extra-judicial killings have been carried out by police and vigilantes as part of the drug war. (READ: The Impunity Series)

Authorities insist police only kill in self defense. While a majority of Filipinos support the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, most of them also fear ending up as collateral damage in the campaign like teenager Kian delos Santos, whose death sparked public outrage.

Duterte in January made a similar move to give the appearance of sidelining the police from the drug war after revelations that officers murdered a South Korean businessman in the police headquarters under the guise of an anti-drug operation.

He had then described the police as “corrupt to the core” and gave PDEA the lead role in the drug war.

But Duterte quickly reinstated the police without making any major reforms. Police officials swiftly announced a revitalised anti-drug campaign named “Double Barrel Re-Loaded.”

Asked for a reaction to Duterte’s latest comments, PDEA spokesman Derrick Arnold Carreon conceded the agency faced a tough battle and was prepared to stand aside for the police.

“If the president so decides, we will welcome that,” Carreon told Agence France-Presse.

“We are strained. Definitely it will be an uphill climb.”

PDEA chief Aaron Aquino himself had earlier said that the police was still needed in the government’s war on drugs because of the lack of manpower of his agency. – with reports from Agence France-Presse / Rappler.com

https://www.rappler.com/nation/185992-duterte-return-police-war-drugs-crimes-worsen

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Philippines’ Duterte says he will shoot criminals — Not bothered by his own illegal activities

October 21, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has offered to shoot criminals himself, while warning he may bring police back to the frontlines of his deadly war on drugs

MANILA (AFP) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has offered to shoot criminals himself, while warning he may bring police back to the frontlines of his deadly war on drugs.Duterte made the comments late Friday following his announcement on October 11 to withdraw the police from his anti-drug war after they were accused of rights abuses in killing thousands of people while following his orders to eradicate illegal drugs in society.

He replaced them with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), which has about 2,000 officers compared with 165,000 for the police force.

Duterte has repeatedly insisted he has not ordered or incited police to murder drug addicts or suspects, while at other times he has said he would be happy to slaughter them or have tens of thousands killed.

On Friday he said he would be prepared to kill criminals himself, as he raised doubts about the PDEA being able to contain illegal drugs.

“Those who rape children, who rape women, those sons of… if you don’t want the police, I am here now. I will shoot them. That’s true! If nobody would dare it, I will pull the trigger,” he said.

Duterte said he was already considering bringing the police back to run the drug war.

“Okay, let us see, six months from now. If things get worse again, I will say to these apes: ‘Go back to this job. You solve this problem of ours’,” he said, referring to the police.

Duterte was elected to office last year after vowing during the campaign that 100,000 people would die as he eradicated illegal drugs in society.

Since then, police have reported killing more than 3,900 “drug personalities”. Another 2,290 purple have died in unsolved “drug-related” killings, government figures show.

Many Filipinos continue to support the charismatic Duterte, seeing him as the solution to crime and corruption.

But human rights and Catholic Church leaders charge thousands of extra-judicial killings have been carried out by police and vigilantes as part of the drug war.

Authorities insist police only kill in self defence.

Duterte in January made a similar move to give the appearance of sidelining the police from the drug war after revelations that officers murdered a South Korean businessman in the police headquarters under the guise of an anti-drug operation.

He had then described the police as “corrupt to the core” and gave PDEA the lead role in the drug war.

But Duterte quickly reinstated the police without making any major reforms. Police officials swiftly announced a revitalised anti-drug campaign named: “Double Barrel Re-Loaded”.

Asked for a reaction to Duterte’s latest comments, PDEA spokesman Derrick Arnold Carreon conceded the agency faced a tough battle and was prepared to stand aside for the police.

“If the president so decides, we will welcome that,” Carreon told AFP.

“We are strained. Definitely it will be an uphill climb.”

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Philippines: ‘Paranoid, insecure’ President Duterte blasted for threatening to declare revolutionary government

October 14, 2017
In a same statement, Tindig Pilipinas said President Rodrigo Duterte is threatening to “annihilate” the country’s democracy by “playing his ultimate power game.” Presidential Photo/Richard Madelo 

MANILA, Philippines — A coaltion of cause-oriented groups and individuals on Saturday slammed President Rodrigo Duterte and called him a “paranoid” for threatening to declare a revolutionary government to quell efforts of the Left and his critics.

“Only a paranoid and insecure little man afraid of losing power will rationalize the need to impose a revolutionary government upon the people,” Tindig Pilipinas said in a statement.

“Like any abuser sensing that his victims are seeing him as the abuser that he is, he senses doom. He knows he is an empty can once he loses control,” it added.

“We call on all democratic forces within and outside the state to resist this move to subvert our nation for the interests of one man, his family and his cohorts.”

Duterte on Friday said he would not hesitate to impose a revolutionary government to quell alleged destabilization moves against his administration—a claim that the country’s top security officials already dismissed.

He added that he would use the revolutionary powers to avert the country from falling into chaos as he accused the Communist Party of the Philippines of playing a key role in the destabilization efforts.

Once the military government is restored, Duterte said he would order the security forces to arrest all destabilizers and go on a full-scale war against the communist rebels.

A lawyer, Duterte noted that his hands would not be tied in case he declares a revolutionary government – unlike when he imposes martial law, which mandates the reporting to Congress within 60 days upon declaration.

With the military and the police on his side, he doubted whether any effort to take over the government would be successful.

In the same statement, Tindig Pilipinas said Duterte is threatening to “annihilate” the country’s democracy by “playing his ultimate power game.”

“He is playing for survival. Let no one see this as anything else but weakness. There is nothing reformist, much less revolutionary in this,” the group said.

For their part, Liberal Party senators also on Saturday criticized the Duterte administration for insisting that the party has a plan to destabilize government.

They also pointed out that criticism is not tantamount to destabilization efforts.

“Ang kritisismo at pagpapahayag ng saloobin ay mga haligi ng demokrasya at hindi dapat ituring na destabilisasyon laban sa pamahalaan,” said Sen. Francis Pangilinan, the president of the former ruling party.

Based on Article 3, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution, “No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.”

Fundamental rights such as freedom of speech are recognized by the Constitution in building and maintaining a democratic society.

Last week, the firebrand leader accused the LP of conspiring with communists to oust him from office—an allegation that both entities denied.

READ: LP senators, Reds deny conspiracy to oust Duterte

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“Revolutionary Government” — Philippines President Duterte issues new threats than sound like dictatorship, one day after botched expelling of EU diplomats

October 14, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Duterte said he would resort to a revolutionary government, as opposed to martial law that would require congressional approval, if communists and other opponents tried to destabilise his rule

MANILA (AFP) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned he is prepared to establish a “revolutionary government” to fend off alleged efforts to oust him, fuelling fears of a looming dictatorship.He issued the warning on state television late Friday as he railed against the press, European lawmakers and other critics of his drug war that has left thousands dead and led rights groups to warn of a crime against humanity.

Duterte said he would resort to a revolutionary government, as opposed to martial law that would require congressional approval, if communists and other opponents tried to destabilise his rule.

“If your destabilisation is taking place and there is chaos already, I will not hesitate to declare a revolutionary government until the end of my term and I will arrest all of you and we can go to a full scale war against the reds,” Duterte said, in reference to communist rebels who have waged a nearly 50-year insurgency.

Duterte cited the precedent set by Corazon Aquino, who established a revolutionary government soon after leading a “People Power” uprising in 1986 that ended the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

Aquino sacked all elected officials, abolished Congress and tore up the 1973 constitution in favour of a provisional charter.

She handpicked a commission to write a new constitution, which was ratified by plebiscite in 1987 and paved the way for elections. She is revered by many Filipinos who continue to see her as a heroine of democracy.

Under the post-Aquino constitution, presidents are limited to a single term of six years.

Duterte’s critics fear the 72-year-old, who has repeatedly threatened to impose martial law, is intent on dragging the country back into dictatorship and allow himself more freedom in prosecuting his drug war.

Duterte was elected last year largely on an incendiary law-and-order platform in which he promised to eradicate illegal drugs in society by killing 100,000 people.

Since he took office 15 months ago, police have reported killing 3,850 people in anti-drug operations while thousands of others have been murdered in unexplained circumstances.

Many Filipinos continue to support Duterte, seeing the charismatic politician as a saviour fighting corruption and crime.

But opposition has started to build, with the influential Catholic Church and leftist groups taking a prominent role in speaking out against his drug war.

Rare street protests broke out last month after police involved in the drug war killed two teenagers in controversial circumstances.

The Philippine military, which backed Marcos until the last days of his dictatorship, did not respond to AFP’s request for comment on Duterte’s warning.

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Malacañang admits Duterte ‘being fed wrong info’ on EU

While stressing the need ‘for correct reportage,’ Malacañang fails to acknowledge its responsibility to relay correct information to President Rodrigo Duterte

Published 5:40 PM, October 13, 2017
Updated 6:31 PM, October 13, 2017
WRONG INFORMATION. Malacañang admits that President Rodrigo Duterte 'was being fed the wrong information' on the EU. Malacañang file photo

WRONG INFORMATION. Malacañang admits that President Rodrigo Duterte ‘was being fed the wrong information’ on the EU. Malacañang file photo

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang admitted that President Rodrigo Duterte was “being fed the wrong information” after the Chief Executive threatened to expel European diplomats based on the wrong premise.

Because Duterte’s statement was based on wrong information, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella then clarified on Friday, October 13, that “there’s no directive” for ambassadors of the European Union (EU) to leave the Philippines within 24 hours.

“It’s not a question of being misinformed. That means to say he was being fed the wrong information,” Abella said in a press briefing on Friday.

Abella said Duterte “was reacting to what he was reading,” as Duterte wrongly believed that the European Union wants to have the Philippines expelled from the United Nations.

He then called on the media to “heed” Duterte’s request “for correct reportage.”

In the same speech where he launched his misguided tirade against the EU, the President himself had urged all government workers to give truthful information.

“To my fellow workers in government, especially those who form part of the Communications Office, I enjoin you to remain committed to your duty to upholding the truth at all times. Never exaggerate, never misinterpret, never agitate as you communicate our platform of governance. In other words, do not be arrogant,” he said, shortly before lashing at the EU on Thursday.

While stressing the media’s job to report correctly, Abella failed to say that the highest official of the land is ultimately responsible for the decisions he makes.

Abella also did not say that Malacañang is responsible for ensuring that correct information reaches the President.

This is part of complete staff work, where staff members handle the nitty gritty of solving a problem, and all the superior has to do is approve or disapprove the staff’s recommendation.

Complete staff work is crucial in any president’s decision making.

This is important especially when it involves a warning to kick out all diplomats of the EU – the second top destination of Philippine exports, a major donor of the Philippines, and the fourth biggest source of overseas Filipino workers’ remittances. (READ: FAST FACTS: How important is the EU to the Philippines?)

Guidelines on complete staff work

The Malacañang bureaucracy, especially during the time of former president Fidel V Ramos, has always been expected to be keen on complete staff work.

In June 2011, then Presidential Management Staff (PMS) secretary Julia Andrea Abad issued the Guidelines on the Conduct of Complete Staff Work for the Presidency.

Based on these guidelines, “the President expects the Departments to have undertaken complete staff work (CSW) on all briefing papers and memoranda submitted to him.”

Several officials of the Duterte administration and even the President himself, however, have used wrong information several times in the past.

In June, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II used a 2015 photo to tag opposition lawmakers in the Marawi crisis that erupted in May this year.

In May, Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson posted a photo of soldiers in Honduras to call for prayers for the Philippine army.

Duterte himself has fallen for so-called fake news, as when he believed the propaganda that Rappler is being funded by the Central Intelligence Agency of the US.

Duterte has also released a matrix of alleged drug personalities, which contained wrong entries, including the name of a certain “Jaguar” who was already dead. – Rappler.com

https://www.rappler.com/nation/185194-malacanang-duterte-wrong-information-expel-european-union-diplomats

Hundreds of Thousands of Polish Catholics are Expected on Saturday to “Pray the Rosary Together on Our Borders For World Peace”

October 6, 2017

AFP

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© AFP / by Maja Czarnecka | A poster promoting the “Rosary to the Borders” initiative fixed in a Warsaw church

WARSAW (AFP) – Hundreds of thousands of Polish Catholics are expected to descend Saturday on the country’s borders to recite the rosary “to save Poland and the world” from the dangers facing them, organisers say, but others claim the event is aimed at protecting Europe from what they term a Muslim onslaught.

The episcopate insists that the “Rosary to the Borders” is a purely religious initiative, but some Catholics view it as a weapon against “Islamisation.”

 The date was not chosen at random. October 7 is when Catholics celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, marking the 1571 victory of Christianity over the Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Lepanto.
                
A victory attributed to the recital of the rosary “that saved Europe from Islamisation”, the Solo Dios Basta foundation said on the website of the event it is organising.

Many Poles see Islam as a threat. The conservative government, which enjoys the backing of a sizeable portion of the population, refuses to welcome migrants to Poland, which has very few Muslims of its own.

Twenty-two border dioceses will take part in the event, whose faithful will congregate in some 200 churches for a lecture and mass before travelling to the border to say the rosary.

The goal is to have as many prayer points as possible along the 3,511 kilometres (about 2,200 miles) that make up Poland’s borders with Belarus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine and the Baltic Sea.

Fishing boats will join in at sea, while kayaks and sailboats will form a chain along rivers and lakes. Prayers will also be said at the chapels of a few international airports.

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Praying the Rosary by Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

– ‘Spiritual barrier’ –

Organisers hope one million people will show for the event. The railways are offering tickets for a symbolic 1 zloty (27 cents, 23 euro cents) to around 40 destinations on the border.

Those who are unable to attend can instead catch the event live on ultra-Catholic broadcaster Radio Maryja.

The goal is to pray for world peace, according to Father Pawel Rytel-Andrianik, spokesman for the Polish Bishops’ Conference.

“The initiative obviously received the approval of Poland’s bishops,” he told AFP, emphasising that it would be wrong to view the event as a prayer against the arrival of Muslim refugees.

“It is not a matter of closing ourselves off to others. On the contrary, the point of bringing the rosary to the borders is to break down walls and open ourselves up to Russians, Belarussians, Slovaks, Ukrainians and Germans,” he said.

But for the nationalist Catholic activist Marcin Dybowski, it is clear “that a religious war between Christianity and Islam is once again underway in Europe, just like in the past.”

“Europe has been invaded by Islam, which doesn’t respect our mores, our civilisation. The (terrorist) attacks leave behind hundreds of victims. Europe only makes a show of protecting borders,” he said.

Dybowski, an editor of religious books, is behind the Rosary Crusade for the Motherland, a religious and political initiative bringing together ultra-Catholic nationalists.

“The reality is that there are no borders. (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel opened them up to a large extent,” he told AFP.

“Poland is in danger. We need to shield our families, our homes, our country from all kinds of threats, including the de-Christianisation of our society, which the EU’s liberals want to impose on us,” he said.

“Austria and Hungary built barbed-wire walls against refugees. We’re using prayer to create a spiritual barrier against the dangers of terrorism.”

by Maja Czarnecka
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Saturday is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary
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