Posts Tagged ‘Duterte’

Opinion: Philippine President Duterte, in Annual State of The Nation, Did Everything Expected of a Mad Emperor

July 26, 2017
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte addresses thousands of protesters following his state of the nation address outside the Lower House Monday, July 24, 2017 in Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Philippines. Thousands of protesters march towards the Lower House with an effigy of Duterte to demand that he deliver on a wide range of promises he made in his first state of the nation address last year, from pressing peace talks with Marxist guerrillas, which is currently on hold, to upholding human rights and the rule of law. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez
 / 05:10 AM July 26, 2017

One image kept recurring in the two-plus hours I spent watching and listening to the second State of the Nation Address of President Digong. And this was a scenario from a movie-in-my-mind born of watching moviesabout mad Roman Emperors.

The scenario involves any one of the many drunken, debauched orgies over which an Emperor like Nero or Caligula would preside. The toga-clad Emperor is perched on a lounger, surrounded by fawning acolytes while all around him Roman senators and officials are frolicking with nubile ladies. In the course of the festivities the Emperor would let go of one outrageous remark or the other, or else order his Praetorian Guard to usher in a hapless prisoner or citizen who for one reason or the other had earned the Emperor’s ire. The hapless subject is flogged, if not killed, outright, while everyone at the party laughs in amusement, cruelty and delight.

I’m sure the Emperor Caligula’s cohorts enthusiastically cheered him on when he lavished honors and luxuries on Incitatus, to whom he gave marble quarters, a jeweled collar and even a house. (There is even a rumor that Caligula married Incitatus.) All par for the course for a self-indulgent ruler, except for the fact that Incitatus was a horse!

Anyway, our dear leader, it seems to me, did everything expected of a mad Emperor during last Monday’s Sona. And if he chose to marry a horse in the course of proceedings, I’m sure the pro-Duterte crowd in and out of the Batasan would have unblinkingly cheered him on. After all, they had sat stoically through his long-winded address, peppered liberally with cuss words that had never, or very rarely, been heard in the august halls of Congress, and even applauded from time to time.

An alert netizen counted the times curse words emanated from the mouth of our fearless leader. He counted five p—– ina, one g–o, two son-of-a-b—h, one s—, one tarantado, one ’ny—, and one gunggong. Another observer said “leche” was also used, while the one word that still managed to shock the public, given how “used” we have become to the stream of garbage flowing out of the President’s mouth, was “lulo” a Visayan vulgarity meaning “masturbation.”

I leaned closer to the TV set whenever the cameras were directed towards the diplomats. US Ambassador Sung Kim kept a straight face through much of the President’s rants, until at one point he yanked out his ear phones. I was wondering if this was a sign of irritation until I realized Mr. Duterte had shifted to English, airing his demand that the States return the bells of Balangiga.

Being diplomats, the ambassadors present at the Sona managed to maintain neutral expressions throughout this two-hour rant. As a Filipino, I was chagrined, wondering what these ambassadors would be reporting to their home offices when they returned from the Batasan. I hope they see the President and his followers as just a portion (although quite substantial) of the populace. That not all of us are like that.

There was only one country towards which Mr. Duterte was reconciliatory, and that is of course the Philippines’ new BFF, China. Jim Paredes, never a friend of the administration, put it sardonically but perfectly: “The U.S. has our bells. China has his balls. Kawawang bayan! (Our poor country!)”

But there were parts of the Sona I did like. One was the aforementioned demand to return the bells of Balangiga. It’s about time, and the American government should start thinking whether the sentiments of a few veterans and soldiers and relatives of the troops who turned Samar into a “howling wilderness” is a fair counterbalance to the historical grievance of generations of Filipinos. We are, after all and despite what the President says, friends.

The other part was President Duterte’s calling out of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to lift the TRO on the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law. Though I have misgivings about this violation of the principle of independence of the three co-equal branches of government, I do hope Sereno and the justices were not just listening but taking the “appeal” to heart.

Read more: http://opinion.inquirer.net/105846/like-mad-emperor#ixzz4nw5pqhLF
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Related:

Residents and police gather near the blanket-covered body of a man killed, along with four others, in an alleged police anti-drug operation in Manila, Philippines Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. Authorities said 3,200 alleged drug personalities have died in police operations from July 1, 2016 to June 20, 2017. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez
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What Philippine President Duterte Gets Wrong About Commission on Human Rights — Newspaper Begging to keep Human Rights voice in the Philippines?

July 26, 2017
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte addresses thousands of protesters following his state of the nation address outside the Lower House Monday, July 24, 2017 in Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Philippines. Thousands of protesters march towards the Lower House with an effigy of Duterte to demand that he deliver on a wide range of promises he made in his first state of the nation address last year, from pressing peace talks with Marxist guerrillas, which is currently on hold, to upholding human rights and the rule of law. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines (First Published July 25, 6:59 p.m.) — President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to abolish the Commission on Human Rights, which has been critical of his sexist jokes and the killings associated with his brutal war on drugs.

READ: Duterte vows to keep drug war amid human rights concerns

At a press conference following his State of the Nation Address on Monday, Duterte went on to rebuke the CHR lengthily, while asking it to perform activities outside its mandate.

Duterte’s statements against the CHR repeat and reinforce common misconceptions among his officials and supporters who have defended his anti-narcotics campaign, controversial off-color remarks and views on rights.

READ: Rape ‘jokes’ normalize objectification of women, CHR tells Duterte

1. That the president can block CHR investigations

Duterte said on Monday that he would not allow members of the military to be investigated for possible human rights violations, saying the body should go through him before getting to his men.

“Padaanin niyo sa akin lahat. Lahat. Maski sino. Pulis o imbestigahin niyo, padaanin niyo dito. You address it to the [Department of the Interior and Local Government], to me. Attention DILG. Pag sinabi kong huwag kayo magpa-imbestiga, huwag kayong magpapaimbestiga,” Duterte said.

READ: Duterte: Troops, cops need clearance to appear before CHR

The president, clearly irked by human rights defenders’ disapproval of some of his policies, also urged the CHR to instead investigate an ambush that hurt members of the Presidential Security Group and speak out on atrocities committed by terrorists locked in an urban combat with the military in Marawi City.

“Better do an equal job here. It does not say that your investigations will be solely focused on government men,” Duterte said.

It is the Constitution, under Section 17, and not the executive that grants the CHR independence from any branch of government, while Section 18 mandates it to probe “all forms of human rights violations involving civil or political rights.” This is why the body calls out perceived violations of the rights of due process of an accused.

2. That speaking out vs crime by non-gov’t actors is not CHR’s main function

In the same media conference, the president also challenged the CHR to investigate into attacks committed by non-state actors like the New People’s Army.

Particularly irritating for the irascible Duterte was the alleged non-action of the CHR on attacks against Philippine security forces, with the latest being an attack by suspected communist militants on his security detail in Arakan, Cotabato province that hurt several Presidential Security Group personnel.

READ: Duterte ‘lowest of the low’ over threat to bomb lumad schools, Reds say

The president said that sans these investigations, which he said fairness dictates, the human rights commission should not interfere with the government’s affairs and operations.

“Imbestigahin na muna ng Human Rights yung ambush nung sa Presidential Security Group pati yung pulis. Pag wala kayong report niyan, huwag mo kaming [anong tawag diyan?] Huwag mo kaming guguluhin diyan. Itapon ko uli, yan sa mukha ninyo. Better do an equal job here,” the president, known to utter colorful and oftentimes offensive remarks in public, said.

“Patas tayo. Justice for all. What is sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose,” the chief executive told the media after his yearly national address before the joint session of Congress.

However, the president, a lawyer, seems to miss the legal mandate of the government agency usually at the end of his public tirades.

The CHR said that its mandate is to be the watchdog against government abuses and not to implement laws that would stop crime.

It reiterated a previous statement by CHR Chairman Chito Gascon, who pointed out that they are not a law enforcement agency unlike the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, assists the police.

“The CHR is concerned about the rights of all persons, and in particular, we are concerned when the state violates the rights of people in the exercise of their function,” said Gascon.

“You have to ensure that the police comply with the established provisions of the bill of rights and to ensure that no abuse occur. That’s what we do,” he added.

The commission has also shared infographics explaining the difference between their role and that of law enforcers.

“It is the responsibility of the CHR to protect the rights of the people from abuse by state agents such as the government, police and the military. The CHR is mandated to ensure that the government will not abuse and violate its duty to protect the primary rights of the people,” the agency said in Filipino.

The CHR said every government agency has an obligation to protect the rights of the people—the PNP on the right to life and property, the Department of Health on the right to health, and the Department of Education on the right to education.

“But if it is the state that violated the human rights, it is the responsibility of the CHR to act as the conscience of the government,” it said.

This does not mean however that the commission cannot probe cases involving non-state actors.

The CHR can investigate into issues that involve vulnerable sectors, according to Jacqueline De Guia, spokesperson of the agency.

“We do that [investigation] kapag vulnerable sector at tsaka yung IHL (International Humanitarian Law),” she said. The commission has, in the past, condemned the Abu Sayyaf for beheading hostages.

She said that government agencies should be allowed to do their work in other cases, emphasizing that they are better equipped and have more resources to deal with them.

“We cannot respond to all incidents of rights violations” considering their resources and manpower, she said.

READ: Activists chant Duterte off rally stage

3. That the CHR was created by and is protected by the Constitution

The president also expressed his desire to abolish the CHR, which was created by the 1987 Constitution to prevent human rights abuses seen during the dictatorship ousted strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

“Yung CHR, you are better abolished,” Duterte said.

Abolishing the Commission on Human Rights will require an amendment to the 1987 Constitution, the commission said Tuesday amid threats by President Duterte to close down the independent body. The CHR, like other constitutional commissions, the Office of the Ombudsman, and the judiciary, also enjoys fiscal autonomy. That means they cannot be defunded or given a budget of a peso as lawmakers sometimes threaten agencies at budget hearings.

“The CHR has a constitutional mandate and will continue with its responsibilities of fact-finding and documenting of human rights violations as well as inform the public about the importance of human rights in society,” said Gascon.

“Any discussion to abolish CHR or any other institution for that matter can be taken in the proposed constitutional reform process. In other words, we shall cross the bridge when we get there,” he added.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/07/26/1721380/what-duterte-gets-wrong-about-chr

Related:

Residents and police gather near the blanket-covered body of a man killed, along with four others, in an alleged police anti-drug operation in Manila, Philippines Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. Authorities said 3,200 alleged drug personalities have died in police operations from July 1, 2016 to June 20, 2017. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez
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Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting

Credit: Raffy Lerma—Philippine Daily Inquirer

 (Contains links to several related articles)

Image may contain: outdoor
Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl — killed in President Duterte’s war on drugs — looks like it has been put out with the trash….. Presidential spokesman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.
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Philippines: North Korean delegation visits Manila ahead of regional security meeting — ASEAN Joining China and North Korea?

July 26, 2017

Reuters

July 26, 2017

MANILA (Reuters) – North Korea’s vice foreign minister met with his Philippine counterpart on Wednesday ahead of a regional security meeting in Manila, where Pyongyang is expected to face pressure to halt its intermediate-range missile tests.

Vice Foreign Minister Choe Hui Choi led a delegation for a one-day visit to discuss preparations for the ASEAN Regional Forum meeting on Aug 7, Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said. The Philippines is the chairman of the Association of South East Asian Nations this year.

Image result for Choe Hui Choi, photos, north korea

North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Choe Hui Choi in Beijing, China in June of 2016. Kyodo Photo

“The purpose of the visit is to discuss Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong participating at next week’s meeting,” he said, adding the talks were mainly focused on logistics after Philippine officials gave the North Koreans a tour of meeting venues.

The North Korean visit was not publicized until afterwards.

Two diplomats from the foreign ministry said the North Koreans were worried ASEAN may issue a strongly-worded statement about the situation on the Korean peninsula to pressure Pyongyang to abandon its planned missile tests.

U.S. officials said on Tuesday they have seen increased North Korean activity at a site in the western city of Kusong that could be preparations for another missile test within days.

Pyongyang said it tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4, following numerous other missile tests since February.

“This is the not the first time North Korea sent its top diplomats to appeal to ASEAN and to the Philippines as chair this year to go slow on them,” a diplomat familiar with the visit told Reuters.

Pyongyang sent diplomats early this year to Manila to appeal to the ASEAN chairman not to embarrass North Korea during the regional meeting, which foreign ministers of Japan, Russia, China, South Korea and the United States are due to attend. It also sent a letter to ASEAN’s secretary-general asking for help.

A North Korean diplomat also met with the Philippine ambassador in Beijing to make a similar appeal and invite Cayetano to Pyongyang.

“They wanted me to go there straight from China,” he told a news conference. “As of now, there’s no plan. We really have to consult with ASEAN, Japan, South Korea, China, Russia and the United States.

“It’s a concerted effort on the Korean peninsula,” he said, referring to efforts to de-escalate tensions, which ASEAN foreign ministers voiced concerns about in a statement at the ASEAN leaders’ summit in April.

“Our stand has not changed,” he added.

Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Martin Petty

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.  AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

Philippines: After President Duterte’s state of the nation speech he threatened to order troops and police to shoot left-wing protesters who commit civil disturbance, “even if I have to bury thousands of Filipinos.”

July 25, 2017
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President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his state of the nation address, July 24, 2017.

 

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Latest on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s state of the nation speech (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, in a rare move, has met with thousands of left-wing protesters after his annual state of the nation address, but was angered when some heckled him.

“Shut up first. I don’t want to face you if you are like that,” Duterte told the activists, a few of whom interrupted him several times. Some shouted, “We want peace talks!”

They were referring to preliminary peace talks with communist rebels that Duterte halted following rebel attacks on security forces, including an ambush last week of presidential guards in the south. Five of his security men were hurt, but Duterte was not in the area.

“You can shout at me here and disrespect me but this is the last time that I will talk to you,” said Duterte, who in the past has called himself the first leftist Philippine president. He called for mutual respect, adding he was once like the activists.

In a news conference after his confrontation with the protesters, he said he was categorically putting an end to peace talks with the communist rebels.

He said the left should understand that “You cannot ambush me and ask me to talk to you.”

___

6:30 p.m.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he will not talk to communist guerrillas because of recent attacks and is threatening to order troops and police to shoot left-wing protesters who commit civil disturbance “even if I have to bury thousands of Filipinos.”

The tough-talking leader used his second state of the nation address before Congress on Monday to explain his decision last week to scrap preliminary peace talks with communist rebel leaders in Europe as a result of the attacks, including one that wounded five presidential guards last Wednesday in a southern town.

“You in the left, I will not talk to you. Why should I?” he said, accusing the Maoist insurgents of insincerity. He also vented his anger toward a group of poor slum dwellers who took over a housing project intended for government security forces.

“You do anarchy, I will order the soldiers and the police to shoot. Even if I have to bury thousands of Filipinos. Do not do that to me,” Duterte said. Some police officials in the audience applauded.

It’s the latest discord that has hampered talks between the guerrillas and Duterte’s administration. The communist rebellion has raged for 48 years, making it one of Asia’s longest-running insurgencies.

Image may contain: 7 people, crowd and text

___

6 p.m.

Taking a snipe at the United States in his state of the nation address, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte asked America to return three church bells seized as spoils of war from the eastern Philippine village of Balangiga more than a century ago.

“Give us back those Balangiga bells,” Duterte said in his speech at the House of Representatives, attended by the U.S. ambassador and other diplomats. “They are part of our national heritage … return it to us, this is painful for us.”

Duterte, who calls himself a socialist, has had an antagonistic attitude toward the U.S. while bolstering ties with China and Russia.

Filipinos revere the Balangiga bells as symbols of their long struggle for independence. The bells gave the signal for insurgents to attack American soldiers who were occupying Balangiga after the U.S. took possession of the Philippines following the Spanish-American War.

Two of the three bells are displayed at the F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming. They are part of a memorial to 46 U.S. troops killed by Filipino insurgents in 1901. A third bell is with a U.S. Army regiment in South Korea.

Talk about returning the bells has been a perennial issue in U.S.-Philippine relations.

___

5 p.m.

Despite international and domestic criticism, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he will not stop his deadly crackdown on illegal drugs and warns that addicts and dealers have two choices: jail or hell.

Thousands of suspects have perished during the anti-drug campaign he launched after being sworn into office in June last year, sparking widespread criticism and threats of prosecution.

“Do not try to scare me with prison or the International Court of Justice,” he said Monday in his annual state of the nation address. “I’m willing to go to prison for the rest of my life.”

He reiterated his plea that Congress reimpose the death penalty for drug offenders and others.

“The fight will not stop until those who deal in (drugs) understand that they have to stop because the alternatives are either jail or hell,” Duterte said, to applause from his national police chief, Ronald del Rosa, and other supporters in the audience.

___

4 p.m.

Waving red flags, several thousand left-wing protesters have marched with an effigy of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to the House of Representatives to demand he deliver on promises made in his first state of the nation speech last year, from holding peace talks with communist insurgents to improving internet speed.

Riot police, without batons and shields to underscore a policy of maximum tolerance toward demonstrators, separated the protesters from a smaller group of Duterte supporters outside the heavily guarded building, where Duterte delivered this year’s state of the nation speech on Monday.

Inside the hall, left-wing legislators sought ingenious ways to protest. Rep. Emmie de Jesus, who represents the Gabriela women’s party-list group, wore native clothes with beadwork reading “Regular Jobs Now,” a criticism of contractual work without benefits.

Another lawmaker, Arlene Brosas, wore a black dress with a hand-painted message by a former political prisoner saying “No to Martial Law.” Duterte won congressional approval on Saturday for an extension of martial law in the south to deal with the siege of Marawi city by pro-Islamic State group militants, the worst crisis he has faced since taking power last year.

Related:

Residents and police gather near the blanket-covered body of a man killed, along with four others, in an alleged police anti-drug operation in Manila, Philippines Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. Authorities said 3,200 alleged drug personalities have died in police operations from July 1, 2016 to June 20, 2017. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez
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Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting

Credit: Raffy Lerma—Philippine Daily Inquirer

 (Contains links to several related articles)

Image may contain: outdoor
Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl — killed in President Duterte’s war on drugs — looks like it has been put out with the trash….. Presidential spokesman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.
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Philippine President Duterte Wants To Abolish His Own Constitutionally Mandated Human Rights Commission — Step Toward Dictatorship?

July 25, 2017
NEWSINFO / NATION
By:  – Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
 / 09:31 AM July 25, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to abolish the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), which has been critical of his administration’s war on drugs and alleged human rights abuses.

“And when the time comes, ‘yung CHR, ‘yung opisina dito (the CHR, this office), you are better abolished,” Duterte said in a press conference after his second State of the Nation (Sona) at the House of Representatives in Quezon City on Monday.

He said he would not allow the police or the military to be investigated by the commission without asking a request from him.

“I will not allow my men to go there to be investigated. Human Rights Commission, you address your request through me because the Armed Forces is under me and the police is under me. Kaya ‘pag kinuwestyon ninyo sila for investigation, dadaan muna sa akin (That’s why if you have to question them for investigation, they will have to go over me),” he said.

READ: Duterte to CHR, Ombudsman: Tell me before you probe cop or soldier

The CHR, created under the 1987 Constitution, was tasked to investigate all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights.

The CHR has earned the ire of Duterte after it investigated alleged police abuses under his administration’s brutal crackdown on illegal drugs.

Ombudsman not exempted

Aside from the CHR, Duterte also warned the Office of the Ombudsman to refrain from citing in contempt government officials.

“And for the Ombudsman to refrain from citing them in contempt for what. Because I have the authority to give the final say whether they will attend or not. Takot-takutin nila ‘yang ano. So huwag ninyo akong pilitin na pati kayo, babanggain ko (They may try to intimidate (my people). So don’t force me to go against you),” he said.

The Ombudsman is tasked to investigate and prosecute government officials accused of crimes, particularly graft and corruption.

“Pagka nagkabanggaan tayo dito tapos ganito na ang nangyari sa Pilipinas, may problema tayo sa totoo lang (If we lock horns, and this happens to the Philippines, we will have a problem). Do not ‘yung paborito ninyong (resort to your favorite) swan song that you will be investigated by this, by that,” Duterte said.

The President said investigations against the police and military should be addressed to him through the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“Attention DILG. ‘Pag sinabi kong huwag kayo magpa-imbestiga, huwag kayong magpapaimbestiga (If I tell you not to subject yourselves to an investigation, do not),” he said. IDL

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Abolish CHR? Take it up in Charter change talks – CHR chair

By:  – Reporter / @jgamilINQ
 / 04:03 PM July 25, 2017

Commission on Human Rights Chairman Chito Gascon (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/ GRIG MONTEGRANDE)

MANILA — In response to President Duterte’s statement that the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is “better abolished,” the chair of the constitutionally created body has issued a gentle reminder that it would take constitutional amendments or Charter change to do that.

“Any discussion to abolish CHR or any other institution for that matter can be taken in the proposed constitutional-reform process… In other words, we shall cross the bridge when we get there,” CHR chair Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon said in a text message to media on Tuesday, when sought for his reaction to Duterte’s rants against human rights advocates during his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) and his subsequent press conference on Monday evening.

Duterte  said in the press conference that the CHR, which has kept a watchful and disapproving eye on state-perpetrated abuses in the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs and declaration of
martial law in Mindanao, was “better abolished.”

“I will not allow my men to go there to be investigated. Human Rights Commission, you address your request through me because the Armed Forces is under me and the police is under me,” Duterte  warned.

Gascon, in his statement, simply responded that “The CHR has a constitutional mandate and will continue its responsibilities of fact-finding and documenting of human rights violations as well as
inform the public about the importance of human rights in society.”

“I remain hopeful human rights will be affirmed,” Gascon said, although he also admitted that Duterte’s statements during the SONA and the press conference “remove any doubt regarding the attitude his administration will take towards respecting the human rights guarantees enshrined in the Constitution.”

“The actions during the first year of his presidency coupled with his words said over the same period exhibits an utter disregard for due process, equal protection, and other civil liberties. This has encouraged the deepening of impunity,” Gascon said.

“The CHR asks the public to continue to remain steadfast in advancing human rights,” Gascon added.  SFM/rga

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Ombudsman Morales amused by Duterte rant

Anti-graft prober tells President to review what she really said about his ‘kill threat’ to criminals
By:  – Reporter / @VinceNonatoINQ
 / 08:19 PM July 17, 2017
Image may contain: 3 people, people sitting

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales. (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / VINCE NONATO)

MANILA — Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales was only “amused by so much ado about something she did not say.”

This was in response to President Duterte’s challenge for her to point to a law barring him from threatening to kill criminals.

In a terse statement on Monday, the Office of the Ombudsman saw the need to correct his misimpression on Morales’ view of his threats.

“She did not say anything about any law against threatening criminals. The president should review what she said first,” the Ombudsman said.

Besides saying Morales “stands by” her remarks in an interview with NHK World aired Thursday night, the statement noted that “the Ombudsman does not find it necessary to say anything more.”

It may be recalled that in her NHK World interview, Morales said Duterte was “goading people to kill people.”

“The directive to kill people under any situation irrespective of the context to me, that’s not acceptable,” she said on Thursday.

Although Morales’ remarks this time were scathing, she acknowledged during the Meet the Inquirer Multimedia forum in December that “it’s not illegal to say I will kill you.”  SFM

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President Rodrigo Duterte during the mass oathtaking of presidential appointees and officers of various organizations at Malacanang on July 17, 2017. (PHOTO BY JOAN BONDOC / INQUIRER)

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Opinion: No Time For Peace in the Philippines with “President of Death”

July 25, 2017
AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File

While waiting for the Second State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte, I was tuned on ANC TV, which had a Mukha Special entitled “Di Ka Pasisiil” done some two weeks ago. Though it was a replay, it was the first time I saw it and let me say that the narrator Chiara Zambrano did a great job few journalists are given a chance to do… cover a real shooting war. It gave you an idea of the intensity of the Battle for Marawi and the suffering of the civilians who like the Maute terrorists are their fellow Muslims. Indeed, this was not a religious war… rather it was a war to raise the black foreign ISIS flag in Philippine territory.

At the end of this TV special on Marawi, it was during the June 12th Independence Day, which was supposedly the day Marawi would have celebrated its independence from the clutches of the Maute terrorists. The TV Footage showed Filipino soldiers singing the National Anthem while explosions could be heard in the background and Chiara Zambrano said something unforgettable, “Together with the National Anthem… boom, boom, (the sound of bombs), I will never take the National Anthem or any Flag ceremony for granted, ever again!”

The Mukha special ended with the last sentence of the National Anthem, “Ang mamatay nang dahil sa iyo!”After watching the Mukha Special, I decided not to wait until the 4 p.m. SONA of Pres. Duterte and finish this column without the speech of the President which our readers can read in the headline news of The Philippine Star. But we are elated by the fact that Martial Law in Mindanao was overwhelmingly extended by a Joint Session in the Senate and House of Representatives until December 31, 2017 with 261 lawmakers voting in favor of extending Martial Law, while only a measly 18 were against this extension.

This only shows that the majority of our politicians know and trust Pres. Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law, more so that there have been no reports of abuses by the military, except those presented by the opposition who had no evidence to show.

As expected, the leftist organization Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) vowed that they will be holding a series of protests against Martial Law because they know too well that after the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) clears Marawi City of the remaining Maute terrorists, the focus of the military will be the New People’s Army (NPA) who have been staging numerous attacks against the military in so many places all over the country. Bayan is the above ground supporter of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)… but the Filipino people know that Bayan and the NPA are one!

Last week, some 50 NPAs attacked a convoy of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) in Arakan, Cotabato. The NPAs disguised themselves as soldiers of Task Force Davao conducting a checkpoint and peppered the Ford van that the PSG used with bullets, wounding four soldiers. If you ask me, those NPAs might as well have targeted or attacked Pres. Duterte himself. This incident incensed Pres. Duterte so much that he ordered the backchannel talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the National Democratic Front (NDF) and the NPA stopped.

Image result for Presidential Security Group, Philippines, bulletriddled van, photos

Presidential Security Group (PSG) vehicle after the latest attack

Then a few days ago in the town of Guihulngan, Negros Oriental, the NPAs ambushed a Philippine National Police (PNP) convoy on its way to respond to reports that a Provincial Board member of Negros Oriental was under attack. That ambush resulted in the killing of six soldiers including Supt. Arnel Arpon the Police chief of the town of Guihulngan while wounding two other policemen. Clearly the CPP/NDF/NPA delegation talking peace with the Philippine government peace coordinators are not serious in their efforts to promote peace in the country.

Pres. Duterte said in the news, “Don’t be too confident because there is a strong resurgence…The NPA is coming back again. After this (Marawi siege), we will re-orient and target the NPA. They owe us huge debt. I don’t want to talk to them. They killed many of my soldiers. They killed many of my policemen.”Indeed if the Communists are not interested in peace, then by all means let’s give them a war.

The CPP has waged a terrorist campaign in our towns and cities for more than 40 years since the time of Pres. Ferdinand Marcos until the time of Pres. Duterte, who have bended back to accommodate his leftist friends. He even allowed the release of many NDF who were captured by the military in the past few years so they could participate in the Peace Talks. But unfortunately, the Communists do not want peace in this country.

Pres. Duterte added that the government had done nothing good in the eyes of the communist rebels. “So, to the enemies of the state – No. 1 is the Communist Party of the Philippines. No more talk, let us fight.” The President also said the NDF consultants who were temporarily released to participate in the peace talks would be re-arrested. It’s no time for Peace in this country!

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Email: vsbobita@moscom.com or vsbobita@gmail.com

http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2017/07/25/1721258/its-not-time-peace-our-land

This doesn’t even include the “war on drugs” ….

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Related:

Residents and police gather near the blanket-covered body of a man killed, along with four others, in an alleged police anti-drug operation in Manila, Philippines Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. Authorities said 3,200 alleged drug personalities have died in police operations from July 1, 2016 to June 20, 2017. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez
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Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting

Credit: Raffy Lerma—Philippine Daily Inquirer

 (Contains links to several related articles)

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Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl — killed in President Duterte’s war on drugs — looks like it has been put out with the trash….. Presidential spokesman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.
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Philippines President Duterte Thanks China For Free Bridges they Promised

July 24, 2017
President Rodrigo Duterte shakes hands with Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua as he arrives in China for a four-day state visit. Also in the photo is Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Presidential Photo/Released, file
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MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday again expressed his gratitude to China for committing to build two bridges in the Philippines for free.

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In his second State of the Nation Address, the president personally thanked Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua, who was in the session hall of the House of Representatives, for Beijing’s help.
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“China has committed to build two bridges to span Pasig River free of charge so that you will be comfortable in crossing Pasig,” Duterte said.
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Duterte stressed that China was willing to assist the Philippines when he visited Beijing to ask for funding.
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The president also said that China may fund additional airports that will be built in the country.
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“We are building new airports. We might get some money from China,” the president said.
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The comments, which were made while the president was talking about traffic on Epifanio delos Santos Avenue, the capital’s choked main thoroughfare, were actually a reiteration of remarks the president already made in March.
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Duterte stressed that the relationship between the Philippines and China has gotten better through a bilateral consultation mechanism on the South China Sea.
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The two countries have been engaged in a maritime dispute over the West Philippine Sea or the South China Sea.
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“We have cultivated better relations with China through bilateral dialogues and order mechanisms leading to easing of tensions between the two countries and improved negotiating environment in the West Philippine Sea.” Duterte said.
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In 2014, the Aquino administration filed an arbitration case before a United Nations-backed tribunal, becoming the first country to openly challenge China’s excessive claims in the South China Sea.
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On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration issued a landmark ruling invalidating China’s nine-dash line claim over the disputed waters. The international tribunal ruled that Beijing violated its commitment under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea upon building artificial islands and installing military facilities within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
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The Duterte administration, however, opted to set aside the arbitration and entered into direct negotiations with China to settle the dispute.
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 http://www.philstar.com:8080/headlines/2017/07/24/1721123/duterte-thanks-china-promise-free-bridges-across-pasig

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte: Human Rights Groups “Trivializing” his Campaign Against Illegal Drug Use With Rights, Law Complaints

July 24, 2017

MANILA — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday promised an unrelenting war on drugs, defying critics who were “trivializing” his campaign with human rights concerns and unjustly blaming the authorities for the bloodshed.

Duterte wasted little time in his annual state of the nation address to defend a crackdown that has killed thousands of Filipinos. He said that though he valued human life, he needed to tackle “beasts and vultures” that were preying on helpless people and stopping foreign investment from pouring in.

“The fight will be unremitting as it will be unrelenting despite international and local pressure, the fight will not stop,” he said.

“I do not intend to loosen the leash in the campaign or lose the fight against illegal drugs, neither do I intend to preside over the destruction of the Filipino youth by being timid and tentative in my decisions in office.”

The crackdown on drugs is the signature campaign that has defined Duterte’s presidency and caused an international outcry, with rights groups condemning his administration for a campaign that has overwhelmingly targeted drug users from poor communities, and left narcotics kingpins untouched.

Critics say Duterte has turned a blind eye to thousands of deaths during police operations that bear all the hallmarks of executions. Police say they have shot dead suspects only in self defense and deny involvement in a spree of killings of drug users by mysterious vigilantes.

Duterte said critics were wrongly blaming police for most of the deaths and “trivializing” his campaign by talking about the need for due process and to protect human rights.

He said his detractors at home and abroad should help him instead.

“Your efforts will be better spent if you use the influence, moral authority, moral ascendancy of your organizations over your respective sectors to educate the people on the evil of illegal drugs, instead of condemning the authorities, unjustly blaming for every killing that bloodies this country,” he said.

Duterte’s annual address lasted nearly two hours, during which he frequently deviated from a prepared speech that was eventually reduced to brief talking points.

Some 7,000 protesters from numerous groups gathered outside the venue to demonstrate against Duterte. After his speech, he listened to their complaints for several minutes.

DEATH BY TAXES

He lashed out strongly at mining companies he said were destroying the environment and threatened to tax them heavily, or close the sector completely.

He said he would consider stopping exports of raw materials until they could be processed domestically, adding it was a “non-negotiable” policy that mining firms would repair damage they had caused, or “I will tax you to death”.

Duterte called on the Senate to pass a tax reform bill to help finance a multi-billion infrastructure program key to his economic agenda.

The lower house passed a leaner version of the proposed measure, the first of five tax reform packages Duterte is pushing to boost state coffers and make the tax system fairer and more simple.

Expected revenues from the original draft, which seeks to cut the personal income tax rate, raise excise taxes on fuel and automobiles, amounted to 162 billion pesos ($3.2 billion).

Duterte also said he would press the legislature to pass a law to grant autonomy to a predominantly Muslim region in Mindanao, a move experts say could help arrest the spread of extremist ideology.

He also said he was prepared to “wait it out” before retaking Mindanao’s Marawi City from Islamic State-inspired rebels, because he was concerned hostages might be killed. He acknowledged there had been intelligence failures and mistakes in assessing the initial threat.

Duterte told reporters he would add 35,000-40,000 new troops over the next two years and buy planes and high-altitude drones to “build an armed forces that can fight all fronts, everywhere”.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, a critic of Duterte, described the president’s much-anticipated address as “a bad open mic performance”.

(Additional reporting by Neil Jerome Morales, Enrico dela Cruz and Manuel Mogato; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Philippine President Duterte Promises To Continue War on Drugs — Average of nine alleged drug suspects killed daily in the Philippines

July 24, 2017
Residents and police gather near the blanket-covered body of a man killed, along with four others, in an alleged police anti-drug operation in Manila, Philippines Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. Authorities said 3,200 alleged drug personalities have died in police operations from July 1, 2016 to June 20, 2017. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez
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MANILA, Philippines — In his second State of the Nation Address on Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated his vow to continue his controversial war on drugs campaign.

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Duterte said the crackdown against illegal drugs will continue because for him it is “the root cause of evil.” This was despite several criticisms received from both local and international human rights groups.
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“The fight against illegal drugs will be unrelenting. Despite international and local pressures, the fight will not stop until those who deal in it understand that they have to cease, they have to stop because the alternative is either jail or hell,” Duterte said in his SONA speech with the theme of “comfortable life for all.”
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The president said he does not intend to lose the fight against illegal drugs while he shrugged off human rights and due process concerns.
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Duterte said that instead of condemning the authorities and blaming the government for every killing in this country, his critics should just use their authority to educate the public about illegal narcotics.
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“To the critics against the fight [against illegal drugs], your efforts will be better spent if you use the influence, moral authority and ascendancy of your organizations over your respective sectors to educate the people on the evil of illegal drugs,” Duterte said.
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“Don’t get me wrong, I value human life the way I value mine,” he added.
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A total of 3,200 alleged drug personalities have died in police operations from July 1, 2016 to June 20, 2017. On average, nine alleged drug suspects were killed daily during the eleven-month period.
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The United States Congress last Thursday conducted a hearing into the human rights consequences of the war on drugs in the Philippines.
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In his first year in office, Duterte received several criticisms even from international leaders. He threatened to cut ties with nations which criticized his war on drugs including the European Union and the United States under former President Barack Obama.
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Despite this, Duterte continued his call on the public to join his crackdown against drugs.
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“That is why I ask you to join me in this fight against illegal drugs and all forms of criminality. The government equipped with legal authority and your moral ascendancy over the sector you represent can do so much and hopefully eradicates the social scourge that plagues us to no end,” he added.
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Related:
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Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting

Credit: Raffy Lerma—Philippine Daily Inquirer

 (Contains links to several related articles)

Image may contain: outdoor
Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl — killed in President Duterte’s war on drugs — looks like it has been put out with the trash….. Presidential spokeman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.

Philippine President Duterte Used an Army of Paid “Opinion Shapers” And Social Media Manipulators To Influence Elections, Polls, Policy

July 24, 2017
 
In this March 12, 2017 photo, President Rodrigo Duterte renews his promise to eradicate the illegal drug trade and end corruption in government in his speech during the 35th anniversary celebration of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan at the Philippine International Convention Center Grounds in Pasay City. King Rodriguez/Presidential Photo
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MANILA, Philippines — A University of Oxford study found that $200,000, around P10 million, was spent to hire trolls who would spread propaganda for President Rodrigo Duterte and target his opposition.

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The study titled “Troops, trolls and troublemakers: A global inventory of organized social media manipulation” looked at how political parties and candidates across 28 countries deploy “cyber troops” who use a variety of strategies, tools and techniques to shape public opinion.
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Countries included in the research were Argentina, Azerbaijan, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Germany, India, Iran, Israel, Mexico, North Korea, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Korea, Syria, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, Venezuela and Vietnam.
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The study said that Duterte’s team of 400 to 500 cyber troops post nationalistic and pro-government comments and interact with dissenters through harassment and individual targeting. Membership in cyber troop teams in the Philippines is “liminal” but with some coordination.
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Popular forms of individual targeting involve “verbal abuse, hate speech, discrimination and/or trolling against the values, beliefs or identity of a user or a group of users online” usually over a long duration.
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Fake accounts, which, in many cases, are “bots”—bits of code designed to mimic human users—were also found to have been deployed in the Philippines. These were often used to flood social media networks with spam and fake news—propaganda made to seem like legitimate news articles—and inflate the number of likes, shares and retweets to create “an artificial sense of popularity, momentum or relevance.”
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“This is different to traditional digital campaign strategies, which have generally focused on spreading information about the party or candidate’s platform, or sent advertisements out to voters.”
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The study showed that Duterte’s online machinery is composed of his party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan, his campaign’s social media manager Nic Gabunada, volunteer groups and paid citizens.
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“Social media has become a valuable platform for public life. It is the primary medium over which young people, around the world, develop their political identities and consume news. However, social media platforms—like Facebook and Twitter—have also become tools for social control,” the study said.
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The study listed 2016 as the year of the earliest report of organized social media manipulation in the Philippines. During that year “keyboard trolls” were hired to spread propaganda for then presidential candidate Duterte and many of them continue to amplify messages in support of the president’s policies now that he’s in power.
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Ronwald Munsayac of PDP-Laban’s Public Information Committee on Sunday, however, said their party never hired or used online trolls.
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Oxford study finds PDP-Laban used bots, individual targeting, and 400-500 hired trolls with a budget of $200,000… http://fb.me/19FnpLUXd 

For the record, and I am speaking for the party @PDPLABAN, we NEVER hired nor used online trolls.

You emphasize that you speak for the PDP LABAN party.
Implies you cant give assurance the ENTIRE Dutz campaign did not use trolls.

Because I can only speak for the party which this study, that you are sharing, alleges.

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In a series of tweets, he said that the allegations by the study were “plain and simple ignorant.”
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The study was conducted in three stages. First, through a systematic content analysis of news media articles. The researchers then supplemented the content analysis with other sources from think tanks, government agencies, civil society groups, universities and other credible research. Finally, they consulted with country experts to check facts, find additional sources in multiple languages and assist in evaluating the quality of sources.
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Editor’s Note: Conversion from US dollar to Philippine peso used Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ exchange rate for today of $1=P50.76.
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 http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/07/24/1721044/duterte-camp-spent-200000-troll-army-oxford-study-finds