Posts Tagged ‘Hitler’

Far-right extremism probe into elite German army unit opens

August 18, 2017

State prosecutors in the city of Tübingen have begun investigating whether right-wing activities took place at a farewell party for special forces in the Bundeswehr. It is the latest scandal to rock the German army.

German special forces

A prosecutor spokesperson from the state attorney’s office in the German city of Tübingen confirmed to DW on Thursday that it had begun looking into whether right-wing extremist behavior took place among Germany’s Special Force Commando (KSK), the nation’s elite military troops.

“We are examining the incident,” Nicolaus Wegele said via phone. He added that the investigation may eventually be taken over by the Stuttgart attorney since the alleged incidents took place near to that city in the town of Calw.

Stuttgart lies some 45 kilometers north of Tübingen in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg.

Read more: The Bundeswehr’s image problem – is it overrun with right-wing extremists?

The badge of the KSK Special Forces Commando of the German armyThe badge of the KSK (above), the German army’s elite special forces

Hitler salutes and pig heads

According to research undertaken by public German radio stations Radio Bremen, NDR, ZDF and ARD, KSK troops allegedly displayed extreme right-wing behavior at a goodbye party that took place on April 27, 2017 at a shooting range near Stuttgart. The troops reportedly gave the Hitler salute, listened to right-wing extremist rock music, and also organized a pig’s head toss.

Slaughtered pig heads are commonly used in right-wing extremist activities due to the animal’s association with the Kosher and Halal dietary restrictions for Jews and Muslims respectively.
Read more: German army sees spike in internal abuse complaints

Testimony from an eyewitness present at the events lead the Tübingen office to open its probe. The eyewitness said that a soldier friend of hers had invited her to the goodbye party so she could be the “main prize” for the head of the military company. She also reported having WhatsApp messages on her phone as proof.

The elite KSK troops were founded in 1996 in order to free and evacuate German hostages in war zones. Their operations are secret and have included missions in Afghanistan and the Balkans. Very little information about the KSK is made public due to the need to protect the soliders and their families.

Germany's Special Forces Commando KSK practice in Calw The KSK practice hostage rescue at their base in Calw in 2014

Read more: The German military and its troubled traditions

Bundeswehr criticizes Bundeswehr

The Bundeswehr has also opened an internal investigation into the matter, a military spokesperson confirmed to German news agency dpa, while emphasizing that none of the acts had yet been confirmed. The army reportedly knew of the incident in Calw as early as July 13.

On Thursday, military commissioner Hans-Peter Bartels on Thursday questioned why the Bundeswehr did not notify the state prosecution themselves once the incident became known rather than wait for the eyewitness to come forward independently.

“Showing the Hitler salute is not a question of taste. Playing music that disparages a democratic Germany is not a question of taste,” Bartels said. He called upon any soldiers with information to come forward. “Soldiers should defend democracy, not disparage it,” he added.

Read more: What draws right-wing extremists to the military?

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 Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen

The Bundeswehr’s latest far-right extremism scandal

The alleged far-right extremist incidents in Calw lengthens the list of scandals that the Bundeswehr has faced in recent months.

In April 2017, authorities arrested Franco A., an army lieutenant who was reportedly planning a terrorist attack and had been posing as a Syrian refugee. The odd case put the Bundeswehr on the defensive since it allegedly knew of Franco A.’s right-wing leanings as early as 2014 but did not intervene.

Just a few week’s after the arrest, investigators also uncovered Nazi memorabilia in troop barracks in Donaueschingen, including helmets from the Wehrmacht – the German military under Hitler. The Bundeswehr was founded in 1955, and many once-soldiers in the Wehrmacht began serving in the Bundeswehr.

Other scandals to rattle the Bundeswehr this year including allegations of hazing and sexual abuse. The scandals have led to tensions between Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and top army brass.

http://www.dw.com/en/far-right-extremism-probe-into-elite-german-army-unit-opens/a-40138355

Donald Trump’s Charlottesville Comments Draw the Attention of Cartoonists

August 13, 2017

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BY HAGAY HACOHEN, SHOSHANA KRANISH
The Jerusalem Post
 AUGUST 13, 2017 07:58

 

After violent clashes in Charlottesville in which one woman died, US president denounced violence ‘on many sides.’

US President Donald Trump holds a rally with supporters in an arena in Youngstown, Ohio, US July 2

US President Donald Trump holds a rally with supporters in an arena in Youngstown, Ohio, US July 25, 2017. (photo credit:REUTERS)

In a televised announcement, Trump told reporters that he condemned the “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” Trump’s decision not to specifically condemn the white supremacy rally where the violence occurred has earned him scorn.

We must remember this truth: No matter our color, creed, religion or political party, we are ALL AMERICANS FIRST.

John Cole, a Pennsylvania-based editorial cartoonist, tweeted four drawings. One depicted a man wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat – a hallmark of Trump’s campaign and presidency – with a Hitler-esque mustache, standing in front of an American flag while performing a Nazi salute. Another showed Trump standing in front of a crowd of KKK members and other assumed white supremacists, with his arms opened to a Black couple, encouraging them to join him. One of the cartoons was a play on the film The Producers, in which a Jewish accountant helps produce a play about the ‘happy home life of Hitler.’

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

I’ve drawn a few cartoons about @POTUS‘ normalization of white nationalism/neo-nazism. Here are a few. 

Trump’s statement that ”we are all Americans” drew criticism from many people.

The original rally, called ”Unite the Right,” was headlined by prominent white nationalists and neo-Nazis, including Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler. The organizers called the protest against what they saw was an infringement on the rights of white Americans, and a perceived special treatment of people of color and immigrants. The organizers also made explicit their support of the confederacy movement, a modern reincarnation of the original Confederacy.

The Confederacy was a union of slave-holding states that sought to secede from the United States, which led to the American Civil War.

Virginia was an important state in the Confederacy and throughout the South, the memory of the Civil War is a complex issue that deals with states’ rights, racial relations, and politics.

One of the more famous cartoons associated with the alt-right and the neo-Nazi movement during Trump’s campaign was Pepe the Frog, who reportedly made a few appearances at this weekend’s rally.

An alt-right protestor holds a sign depicting Pepe the Frog

An alt-right protestor holds a sign depicting Pepe the Frog
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Philippines’ Duterte announces ‘dead or alive’ bounties — Calls for police officers to kill their colleagues

August 9, 2017

AFP

August 9, 2017

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte inspects a police honour guard

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte inspects a police honour guard

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday announced “dead-or-alive” bounties worth $40,000 each for policemen he accused of helping an accused narco-politician, and said he prefered they be killed.

The call for police officers to kill their colleagues is the latest inflammatory comment by Duterte in his controversial drug war, which has claimed thousands of lives, and comes shortly after a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Duterte made the offer during a speech at national police headquarters, offering two million pesos ($40,000) for an unspecified number of officers who allegedly helped a mayor killed in an anti-drug operation on July 30.

“Each of those policemen carry on their heads now, I am announcing, two million per head and you are free to go on leave (to pursue them),” Duterte told the officers in the audience.

“I’ll cut short my speech so that you will have a chance for a crack at the two million for those idiots.”

Duterte added the bounty would be paid if the policemen were found “dead or alive — better dead”.

He said the unidentified policemen had worked with Reynaldo Parojinog, the mayor of the southern city of Ozamiz, who was killed in the pre-dawn raid along with his wife, his brother and 13 other people.

Police said they were forced to kill the 16 people in self-defence, but Parojinog’s lawyer has insisted the mayor and others had not resisted arrest.

Duterte had accused Parojinog of being a major drug trafficker.

As he has done in similar cases of alleged extrajudicial killings, Duterte on Wednesday also vowed to give legal protection to the policemen who killed Parojinog and the other 15.

If they were found guilty of murder, he would pardon them, he vowed.

Duterte easily won presidential elections last year after promising an unprecedented war on drugs in which tens of thousands of people would be killed.

Since he took office in the middle of last year, police have confirmed killing more than 3,400 people in anti-drug operations.

More than 2,000 other people have been killed in drug-related crimes and thousands more murdered in unexplained circumstances, according to police data.

Rights groups say many of those victims have been killed by government-backed vigilantes, and Duterte has boasted that he would be “” three million drug addicts.

Former US president Barack Obama was among the many international critics of Duterte’s tactics.

But criticism from the United States, the Philippines’ former colonial ruler and mutual defence partner, has been toned down under the administration of Donald Trump.

Tillerson met Duterte in Manila on Monday on the sidelines of a regional security forum. Duterte said American officials did not raise any concerns with him.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous anti-drug campaign featured in Video — “One of the world’s most brazen human rights catastrophes.”

July 29, 2017

By 
The Intercept

President Donald attracted bipartisan criticism in April for enthusiastically endorsing one of the world’s most brazen human rights catastrophes: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous anti-drug campaign. Since Duterte took office last June, police and vigilante death squads have killed more than 7,000 people, and devastated poor in communities in cities across the country.

Now, a new film shows the human toll of Duterte’s campaign. “Duterte’s Hell,” by Aaron Goodman and Luis Liwanag and produced with the documentary unit Field of Vision, shows graphic images of Philippine police examining and carting off dead bodies, and grieving communities struggling to cope with the government-sanctioned murders.

The president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has also likened himself to Hitler

President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte

In 2016, Duterte campaigned on a policy of mass extermination for anyone involved in the drug trade — not only drug traffickers, but addicts as well. “Hitler massacred three million Jews,” Duterte said in September. “Now there is three million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”

In April, Trump stunned observers of the crisis by placing what his aides described as a “very friendly” call to Duterte, inviting the Philippine president to the White House. Weeks later, The Intercept, in partnership with the Philippine news site Rappler, obtained and published a transcript of that call, showing that Trump heaping praise on the drug campaign. “I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem,” he told Duterte.

Human rights groups have documented how small groups of plainclothes police or vigilante assassins will gun down subjects on the street or burst into the roadside shacks in urban slums. Uniformed police frequently show up later and routinely plant drugs or guns on the corpses to justify the killings.

“I swear on my family, my son is not a pusher, my son had no gun,” one mother wails, turning to the camera. “Please! Tell [this] to the whole world. Please help me! He’s not a dog, my son. He’s not a dog or a pig to kill like them.”

Set in Manila, Field of Vision’s film demonstrates the impact the war has had on urban slums — an effect so disproportionate it lead Amnesty International to label the campaign a “murderous war on poor.” “Duterte’s Hell” intimately portrays crowds gathering around grieving mothers in the slums, watching as police load the corpses into trucks and cart them off.

Duterte has an answer for why his killing campaign has overwhelmingly focused on cities’ slums, not affluent drug users: Duterte once explained to anti-poverty groups that he can’t go after rich drug users because they fly around on private jets and he “cannot afford the fighter planes,” according to a profile in the New Yorker.

Duterte was infamous for extrajudicial killings long before he became president. As early as 1996, as mayor of Davao city, a port city on the southern island of Mindanao where he is still wildly popular, Duterte relied on several-hundred member death squad to kill criminals and suppress opposition. Multiple former members of the group have come forward and said Duterte personally ordered the assassinations, and the now-president has even bragged about killing people himself from the back of a motorcycle.

In many ways, Duterte is a product of political environment he grew up in. He is the first Philippine president from the island of Mindanao, which has a long and troubled colonial history. For hundreds of years, the Muslim community in the south of the island resisted the Spanish, who had conquered the northern part of the island and tried to spread Catholicism. After the Spanish-American war, thousands died under U.S. military rule as the result of a “pacification” campaign in Mindanao.

The legacy of that history is that Mindanao has been the home to several armed rebel and terrorist groups over the years, as well as mafia-like criminal organizations. It was Duterte’s bloody approach to fighting back against those organizations that earned him a nickname he still embraces: “the death squad mayor.”

Video at the link:

https://theintercept.com/2017/07/29/duterte-hell-philippines-drug-war-goodman-liwanag-field-of-vision/

Related:

In this Monday, July 24, 2017, photo, young Indigenous People known as Lumads form the words “Save Lumad schools” as they join a march of thousands of protesters to coincide with the state of the nation address of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Philippines. Human rights groups asked Duterte Wednesday, July 26, 2017, to retract a threat to order airstrikes against tribal schools he accused of teaching students to become communist rebels, warning such an attack would constitute a war crime. U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said international humanitarian law “prohibits attacks on schools and other civilian structures unless they are being used for military purposes,” adding that deliberate attacks on civilians, including students and teachers, “is also a war crime.” AP/Bullit Marquez

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 (Contains links to several more related articles)

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

Philippine President Duterte In “Genocidal War,” Critic Claims — “Yes, he will go down for those crimes.”

July 29, 2017
 / 03:44 PM July 29, 2017
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Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes. NOY MORCOSO/INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

“Yes, he will go down for those crimes.”

This was what Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Secretary General Renato Reyes had to say on Saturday to President Rodrigo Duterte who threatened to bomb Lumad schools he accused of propagating subversive ideas.

“If Duterte makes true his threat to bomb the Lumad and their schools, he will reap domestic and international condemnation, the likes of which he has never seen before. No amount of red-tagging will justify a genocidal war,” Reyes said.

The president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has also likened himself to Hitler

President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte

Duterte, however, clarified that he did not intend to harm the people, more so students, but the establishment that disseminate subversive ideas and involved in the brainwashing of young minds.

READ: Duterte: I’ll never hurt lumad kids, I want to save them from NPA hatred

Duterte, at a press conference after his second State of the Nation Address on Monday, threatened to bomb Lumad schools he accused of “operating illegally and teaching subversion and communism.”

The president’s threat later drew flak from different groups, prodding him to retract his statement.

READ: NGO hits Duterte over threats against lumad schools

Reyes added that this could permanently end the peace talks between the Philippine government and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

“It could be the last nail on the coffin for the peace talks. It will galvanize a broad united front against his regime and hasten its demise,” said Reyes. “Yes, he will go down for those crimes.”

The militant leader also pointed out that the President should retract his statement, apologize to the Lumad, and address their just demands, as his pronouncements are seriously taken by his troops.

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READ: Duterte told: Retract threat to bomb Lumad schools

“It behooves him to recall his troops who are terrorizing Lumad communities. His daily patutsada (innuendo) against the revolutionary movement is not the least entertaining nor productive. His tirades are already being taken as policy by his fascist troops,” he said.

Reyes also advised Duterte to consult his peace panel and the progressives in his Cabinet on how to move forward from his latest debacle.

“That is, if he still wants to move forward. It’s starting to look like quicksand for him, from where we’re sitting,” added Reyes.

“Duterte is positioning himself to fight a war on different fronts—backed by the US war machine—against a struggling people who have history on their side,” Reyes warned. “It is a war he cannot possibly win.” JPV

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/918658/militant-leader-duterte-may-account-for-crimes-if-lumad-schools-destroyed#ixzz4oCxEOabD
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In this Monday, July 24, 2017, photo, young Indigenous People known as Lumads form the words “Save Lumad schools” as they join a march of thousands of protesters to coincide with the state of the nation address of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Philippines. Human rights groups asked Duterte Wednesday, July 26, 2017, to retract a threat to order airstrikes against tribal schools he accused of teaching students to become communist rebels, warning such an attack would constitute a war crime. U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said international humanitarian law “prohibits attacks on schools and other civilian structures unless they are being used for military purposes,” adding that deliberate attacks on civilians, including students and teachers, “is also a war crime.” AP/Bullit Marquez

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 (Contains links to several related articles)

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

In The Philippines, Fear Mounts That President Duterte Means What He Says — The Future Looks Dark

July 27, 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. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

The address of PRRD last Monday, July 24, 2017 is more about his plans and projects for the country than about the state of the nation, one year after he became president. It really sounds so hopeful but not as frank as his drumbeaters describes it. There are quite a number of contradictions that create doubt and confusion as to what he really intends to achieve during his term as President.

At the top of his agenda is still his war against drugs which he promised to be “unremitting and unrelenting.” He said he will not stop his daily crackdown on drugs and warned the drug addicts and drug lords that they only have two choices – jail or hell. Undoubtedly, he is really the only President who is so resolute and determined to lick this evil in our society that has caused so much harm especially to the youth of our land. His unrelenting and persistent fight against this problem that tends to destroy the “future generation of our country” is truly laudable and commendable. It shows his care and concern for our young people who are easy preys to this pernicious menace which has not been given the same kind of attention by past administrations.

Time and again however it has been pointed out that no matter how laudable is his purpose in waging this war he should employ justifiable and legal means to achieve it. Notable and alarming in this connection is the rise in the number of suspected drug addicts, dealers and pushers mostly belonging to the poor sector of our society who are killed during the one year period of his administration. These killings which are called Extra-Judicial Killings (EJKs), are mostly done by the members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) allegedly because the suspects resist arrest and/or assault them. So far no investigation has been conducted to find out if they are really done in self-defense or if there is reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel the unlawful aggression. On the contrary, it seems that our policemen are even encouraged to go on with such killings with a promise that they will be protected and or pardoned if charged and convicted. So, expect more of these EJKs in the coming years. In fact they have also proliferated into shooting to death done by unidentified motor-cyclers riding in tandem.

Undoubtedly, the value of human life has been seriously degraded under this administration. And it will further be belittled if PRRD will continue to ignore the age-old, time-tested principle observed by leaders worldwide which says that “the end does not justify the means”. The irony in this regard is that in his speech, PRRD has even said that; “I value human life, the very way I value mine.” And further adding to the confusion is the declaration in the same speech that he has asked Congress “to re-impose death penalty on heinous crimes.”

Another confusing and contradictory aspect in his address before Congress in joint session is the attack against the Supreme Court particularly on its alleged penchant in issuing Temporary Restraining Orders. He cited in this connection, the alleged TROs issued against the implementation of the Reproductive Health Law already passed by Congress. Apparently, he, or his advisers have misunderstood the ruling of the SC here. If they will carefully read the SC decision, no TRO has been issued here. The SC has simply clarified and defined the meaning of abortifacients. The court declared that the birth control pills and devices which primarily and secondarily prevent the implantation of fertilized ovum in the mothers’ womb cause abortion and are considered as abortifacients which are punishable under the Revised Penal Code. So the SC tasked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine first which of these pills and devices are abortifacients before distributing them. Up to now however the FDA has not satisfactorily proven that the pills and devices procured by the government will not primarily or secondarily lead to abortion, thus disallowing their distribution. So it is the FDA which has actually prevented the implementation of the RH law, not the SC.

PRRD’s fears about the issuance of TROs against government projects are likewise unfounded. The SC or any court will not and cannot issue any such TRO because it is prohibited by law.

Another contradictory aspect in PRRD’s speech is on the promise of a comfortable life for our people. On the contrary however, regular surveys conducted by pollsters in this regard show that more and more of our countrymen are getting hungry everyday with no food on the table. The more accurate future state of our country in this regard is therefore, that the few rich and oligarchs are getting richer and poor are getting poorer and hungrier.

Ironically the tax reforms being pushed by the administration for raising more money supposedly to help the poor will not however produce such desired result. The poor may really have more money because of this tax reforms package. But the increase in taxes will also result in the increase in the prices of foods and other prime commodities. Hence even with more money to spend, they will also be dissipated in buying their basic needs and daily sustenance.

Coming to mind more vividly upon hearing or reading this “comfortable life” for our people are the numerous residents of Marawi City who have been evacuated and sheltered temporarily in provisional centers provided for them in another city without however the basic facilities. They have been dislodged from their residence for more than three months now and are longing to return home but are not allowed yet because there is still no end in sight to the ongoing hostilities against the rebellious terrorists who attacked the city.

Then in his ending plea, PRRD also asked for an end to corruption in government. It seems however that his plea falls on deaf ears as delay in the processing of papers in government offices persist due to red tape that grow longer and longer.

On the whole therefore, the future painted by PRRD in his SONA remains unclear and still looks dark.

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Email: attyjosesison@gmail.com

http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2017/07/28/1722112/future-state-nation

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

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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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.

Philippines’ Duterte vows unrelenting drug war

July 24, 2017

AFP

© AFP | Philippines’ war on drugs

MANILA (AFP) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte vowed Monday to press on with his controversial drug war that has claimed thousands of lives, as he outlined his vision of an “eye-for-an-eye” justice system.Duterte devoted large chunks of his annual State of the Nation Address to pushing his law-and-order policies that have made him hugely popular with many Filipinos but been condemned by human rights groups and other critics.

“No matter how long it takes, the fight against illegal drugs will continue because that is the root cause of so much evil and so much suffering,” Duterte told lawmakers from both houses of Congress.

“The fight 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 alternatives are either jail or hell.”

Duterte swept to victory in last year’s presidential elections after promising an unprecedented crackdown on drugs in which tens of thousands of people would die.

Since he took office on June 30 last year, police have reported killing nearly 3,200 people in the drug war.

More than 2,000 other people have been killed in drug-related crimes, according to police data. Rights groups say many of those victims have been killed by vigilante death squads linked to the government.

Duterte on Monday also urged lawmakers to reintroduce the death penalty.

“I ask Congress to act on legislation to reimpose the death penalty on heinous crimes, especially illegal drug trafficking,” Duterte said.

He emphasised that capital punishment was about “retribution” as much as deterrence.

“In the Philippines, it is really an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. You took a life, you must pay it to die. That is the only way to get even.”

The lower house of Congress this year passed a bill to bring back the death penalty, but the Senate has yet to approve it.

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.