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PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

ERAP: PHL NEEDS HELP FROM CHINA FOR MODERNIZATION OF OUR COUNTRY
["Philippines needs China more than China needs the Philippines. It is necessary for the Philippines to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. I hope China will help us," he said.]


AUGUST 27 -In this April 23, 2014 file photo, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada talks on mobile phone while his assistance passes a mobile phone to him before a news conference in Hong Kong. Hong Kong and the Philippines reached a compromise Wednesday over Hong Kong's demands for an apology for the families of eight tourists killed in a bungled response to a 2010 Manila hostage-taking that soured relations. AP/Kin Cheung
Former President Joseph Estrada on Thursday said the Philippines needs China's help to modernize the country, and expressed his hope that Sino- Philippines relations will improve in the near future. "The Philippines needs China more than China needs the Philippines," said Estrada, also the current mayor of the city of Manila, during an exclusive interview with Chinese media, including state-run outfit Xinhua. He said the Philippines's infrastructure construction lagged behind other Asian countries. This is truer especially in the transportation sector as the country's airport was once rated the worst in Asia and its citizens suffer a lot from inconvenience caused by traffic jams, he added. READ MORE...

ALSO: Village councilor, 4 others gunned down in Cotabato


AUGUST 30 -COTABATO CITY — Police authorities here, backed by Army Special Forces, are hunting down six heavily armed men who killed a village councilman and three village watchmen Friday here. Senior Supt. Rex Anongos, Cotabato City police director, said the suspects on board a four-wheel vehicle with two motorcycle back up opened fire on the Barangay Bagua Mother patrol vehicle parked atop a bridge, just beside the Barangay Tanod outpost. The incident happened at 5 p.m. atop Tanghal bridge, where the victims were manning a village outpost, on busy Salipada K Pendatun Avenue extension. Anongos identified the slain village councilman as Misuari Karim of Barangay Bagua Mother, along with “Barangay Tanods” Mamanta Kalim, Theng Wahab and Omar Abo, all residents of Barangay Bagua Mother. Responding policemen recovered empty shells for AK-47 rifle, M-16 Armalite rifle, cal. 45 pistol and 9mm pistol. Anongos said the victims were inside a parked government issued red multi-cab when the attackers arrived and opened fire. READ MORE...

ALSO: RP world’s ‘killing fields of journalists’ — Koko


AUGUST 30 -Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III
(photo) yesterdaday said the Philippines would continue to be ingloriously dubbed as the “killing fields of journalists” of the world unless the culprits are immediately brought to justice in order to restore public faith in the country’s criminal justice system.Pimentel made his observation as he renewed his call for concerned authorities to exert with civic spirited promptness in taking action to identify, arrest and eventually prosecute the suspects behind the killings of three local journalists recently in Sorsogon, Davao and Misamis Occidental.Teodoro “Tio Dodoy” Escanilla, 59, a radio anchor for station dzMS, chairman of Anakpawis, and spokesperson of the human rights group Karapatan in Sorsogon, was gunned down in his home in Barangay Tagdon, Barcelona, Sorsogon last Aug. 19.Gregorio “Lolo” Ybanez, 65, a writer for the local newspaper Bagting sa Katilingban, and a member of the board of directors of the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative, was shot dead by unknown assassins while he was on his way home on Aug. 18. READ MORE...


ALSO: NPC eyes meetings with Binay, Roxas, Duterte


AUGUST 31 -The Nationalist People’s Coalition intends to invite Vice President Jejomar Binay, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to hear their platforms of government. Philstar.com/File
The Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) intends to meet with other presidential candidates to listen to their plans for the country.
“We want to listen to the platforms and programs of action of every candidate so that we will be guided accordingly before eventually deciding on who to support in the next elections,” Quezon Rep. Mark Enverga, one of the party’s spokesmen, said yesterday. Enverga said they intend to invite Vice President Jejomar Binay, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to hear their platforms of government. “We will only select candidates whom we believe would best represent and work for the aspirations of our people while also advocating a clean, dedicated and transparent governance,” he said. The NPC is considered as the second largest political group after the ruling Liberal Party. Billionaire businessman Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. founded it in 1992 for his unsuccessful presidential run. He is now its chairman emeritus. The Cojuangco party has listened to the plans of potential 2016 candidates Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero at least three times. It invited them two to get-to-know-you-better meetings. READ MORE...

ALSO INC protests: Potential 2016 bets take sides


AUGUST 29 -Interior Secretary Mar Roxas II, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Grace Poe - potential contenders in the 2016 presidential race - gave their opinions on the ongoing mass mobilization by members of Iglesia ni Cristo.
As thousands of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) followers took to the streets of Manila to protest the alleged overreach of the Department of Justice into their religion's internal affairs, three potential contenders in the 2016 presidential race took the opportunity to take sides and have their say on what is turning out to be a divisive issue among the public. Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Grace Poe and outgoing Interior Secretary Mar Roxas II - potential presidential candidates in 2016 - sent out their statements over the weekend as the public witnessed a religious show of force that has so far blocked traffic along Padre Faura in Manila and EDSA in Mandaluyong. INC, the third largest religion in the Philippines, is known for endorsing election candidates among its members through bloc voting. In a statement, Binay said the Aquino administration "chose to trample on (the) sacred right" of INC members to religious freedom. "We cannot fault the INC for resorting to mass action to protect the independence of their church from a clear act of harassment and interference from the administration," Binay said on Friday, adding that religious right is protected by the Constitution. Poe, the current frontrunner in presidential preference surveys, said the INC members on the streets are just defending their belief. "Nirerespeto natin 'yan at kailangan pangalagaan din ang kanilang karapatan," Poe said.Poe added that it would be best for Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to explain the situation to the INC members. On the other hand, Roxas invoked the rule of law, saying while the INC has the right to protest, they should consider other people as well who will be affected. "While all citizens have the right to be heard and to peaceful assembly, the exercise of these rights cannot impinge on the rights of others or cause inconvenience to anyone. Lalo na yung mga kababayan nating pauwi sa kanilang mga tahanan para magpahinga at makasama ang kanilang mga pamilya," Roxas said. Roxas, whose department oversees the Philippine National Police (PNP), said the PNP is duty-bound to ensure that the safety and general welfare of the public is maintained. READ MORE...

ALSO: Poe, Binay, Roxas hit for reaction to INC protests


AUGUST 30 -WALDEN BELLO  Politicians who try to appease the leaders of the politically influential Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) must be condemned, a former ally of the administration said. Former Akbayan party-list Rep. Walden Bello, who earlier severed ties with President Benigno Aquino III and quit as Akbayan representative, said he is disappointed that Senator Grace Poe, Vice President Jejomar Binay, and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas are conciliating the INC leadership. ''The INC disruption of Metro Manila is simply unacceptable and politicians conciliating these fanatics must be condemned,'' Bello said in an interview with ABS-CBN News. ''A religious sect has Metro Manila by the throat, and Poe, Binay, and Roxas are conciliating it.'' The INC came under fire on social media after thousands of motorists and commuters got stranded due to its members' protest action which started in Manila on Thursday and continued along EDSA on Friday. Bello also scored the government for easily giving in to the powerful sect's whims. He noted how members of the Left are not given this kind of accommodation when they hold mass actions. ''The government, always quick to act against the Left, has the authority to peacefully clear EDSA but it declines to exercise that authority citing 'respect for the right to protest," Bello said. The INC leadership has been riled by the move of expelled INC minister and Pasugo editor-in-chief Isaias Samson Jr. to file illegal detention charges against the INC leadership, triggering INC protests at the Department of Justice against De Lima. The INC members are invoking separation of state and church in demanding that De Lima not meddle in the affairs of INC. They accused De Lima of ''selective justice." READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Philippines needs help from China for modernization, says Erap; PHL needs China more than China needs PHL


In this April 23, 2014 file photo, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada talks on mobile phone while his assistance passes a mobile phone to him before a news conference in Hong Kong. Hong Kong and the Philippines reached a compromise Wednesday over Hong Kong's demands for an apology for the families of eight tourists killed in a bungled response to a 2010 Manila hostage-taking that soured relations. AP/Kin Cheung

MANILA, AUGUST 31, 2015 (PHILSTAR) Former President Joseph Estrada on Thursday said the Philippines needs China's help to modernize the country, and expressed his hope that Sino- Philippines relations will improve in the near future.

"The Philippines needs China more than China needs the Philippines," said Estrada, also the current mayor of the city of Manila, during an exclusive interview with Chinese media, including state-run outfit Xinhua.

He said the Philippines's infrastructure construction lagged behind other Asian countries.

This is truer especially in the transportation sector as the country's airport was once rated the worst in Asia and its citizens suffer a lot from inconvenience caused by traffic jams, he added.

READ MORE...

"It is necessary for the Philippines to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. I hope China will help us," he said.

Xinhua also reported that Estrada, who paid a state visit to China 15 years ago as the president of the Philippines, will attend China's V-Day celebrations on September 3 in Beijing.

"Our relations will improve," Estrada was quoted as saying. He stressed it is always beneficial to maintain the two countries' long-time friendship. "I'm going to renew the sister city relationship with Beijing."

In April last year, Estrada took a trip to Hong Kong to visit families of victims of the Manila hostage crisis in 2010 and offer compensation for the botched police rescue operation.

Hong Kong, an administrative region of China, then lifted sanctions imposed on the Philippines including the resumption of visa-free access for Filipino officials, resolving the four-year diplomatic dispute. — Philstar.com, based on reports from Xinhua


TRIBUNE

Village councilor, 4 others gunned down in Cotabato
Written by PNA Sunday, 30 August 2015 00:00



COTABATO CITY — Police authorities here, backed by Army Special Forces, are hunting down six heavily armed men who killed a village councilman and three village watchmen Friday here.

Senior Supt. Rex Anongos, Cotabato City police director, said the suspects on board a four-wheel vehicle with two motorcycle back up opened fire on the Barangay Bagua Mother patrol vehicle parked atop a bridge, just beside the Barangay Tanod outpost.

The incident happened at 5 p.m. atop Tanghal bridge, where the victims were manning a village outpost, on busy Salipada K Pendatun Avenue extension.

Anongos identified the slain village councilman as Misuari Karim of Barangay Bagua Mother, along with “Barangay Tanods” Mamanta Kalim, Theng Wahab and Omar Abo, all residents of Barangay Bagua Mother.

Responding policemen recovered empty shells for AK-47 rifle, M-16 Armalite rifle, cal. 45 pistol and 9mm pistol.

Anongos said the victims were inside a parked government issued red multi-cab when the attackers arrived and opened fire.

READ MORE...

Quoting witnesses, Anongos said the victims who were also armed, were caught unaware and failed to return fire on the attackers who quickly sped away.

“This is personal and the victims knew the suspects,” Anongos said.

He said about 30 minutes earlier, Karim visited the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group office at PC Hill, Cotabato City where he sought assistance after receiving death threats.

Karim heads a peace and order committee of the Barangay Council. He has spearheaded the aggressive campaign against big time illegal drugs dealers in the village.

Since 4 p.m. Thursday until Friday’s ambush in Barangay Bagua, a total of six persons have been killed in five shooting incidents in what residents described as “shooting season.”

In August alone, at least 15 shooting incidents were recorded by the Cotabato City police office.

Saada Karim, the councilman’s wife, said her husband knew the attackers.
She vowed to pursue the case against the suspects so justice will be served on her slain husband.

Anongos admitted that the suspects belonged to an organized crime group operating in the city and involved in illegal drug activities.


TRIBUNE

RP world’s ‘killing fields of journalists’ — Koko
Written by Tribune Wires Sunday, 30 August 2015 00:00



Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III (photo) yesterdaday said the Philippines would continue to be ingloriously dubbed as the “killing fields of journalists” of the world unless the culprits are immediately brought to justice in order to restore public faith in the country’s criminal justice system.

Pimentel made his observation as he renewed his call for concerned authorities to exert with civic spirited promptness in taking action to identify, arrest and eventually prosecute the suspects behind the killings of three local journalists recently in Sorsogon, Davao and Misamis Occidental.

Teodoro “Tio Dodoy” Escanilla, 59, a radio anchor for station dzMS, chairman of Anakpawis, and spokesperson of the human rights group Karapatan in Sorsogon, was gunned down in his home in Barangay Tagdon, Barcelona, Sorsogon last Aug. 19.

Gregorio “Lolo” Ybanez, 65, a writer for the local newspaper Bagting sa Katilingban, and a member of the board of directors of the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative, was shot dead by unknown assassins while he was on his way home on Aug. 18.

READ MORE...

Cosme Diez Maestrado, a hard-hitting broadcaster and anchor of dxOC, an affiliate of station dzXl Radio Mindanao Network, was killed after he was shot 10 times by unidentified gunmen only on Thursday in downtown Ozamiz City.

“It is unfortunate that such tragedies have befallen these local journalists,” said Pimentel, who is also the chairman of the Senate committee on justice and human rights.

“The first step in obtaining justice is solving the crime and arresting the suspects,” Pimentel said.

Pimentel said the Philippines has already earned that derided tag as one of the most dangerous places for journalists in the world, recalling the so-called Maguindanao Massacre when 52 journalists were killed by the henchmen of the late Gov. Andal Ampatuan five years ago.

He said the rampant media killings and continued extrajudicial killings along with disappearances of known activists have ruined the country’s image, worsened by the impunity that these heinous crimes were carried out by what police believed to be hired killers.


PHILSTAR

NPC eyes meetings with Binay, Roxas, Duterte By Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 31, 2015 - 12:00am 1 0 googleplus0 0


The Nationalist People’s Coalition intends to invite Vice President Jejomar Binay, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to hear their platforms of government. Philstar.com/File

MANILA, Philippines - The Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) intends to meet with other presidential candidates to listen to their plans for the country.

“We want to listen to the platforms and programs of action of every candidate so that we will be guided accordingly before eventually deciding on who to support in the next elections,” Quezon Rep. Mark Enverga, one of the party’s spokesmen, said yesterday.

Enverga said they intend to invite Vice President Jejomar Binay, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to hear their platforms of government.

“We will only select candidates whom we believe would best represent and work for the aspirations of our people while also advocating a clean, dedicated and transparent governance,” he said.

The NPC is considered as the second largest political group after the ruling Liberal Party.

Billionaire businessman Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. founded it in 1992 for his unsuccessful presidential run. He is now its chairman emeritus.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

The Cojuangco party has listened to the plans of potential 2016 candidates Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero at least three times. It invited them two to get-to-know-you-better meetings.

READ MORE...

At least 11 NPC members met early this month with outgoing Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, President Aquino’s preferred successor, but it was upon the latter’s invitation.

NPC supported Aquino in the 2010 presidential election.

“We already heard the platforms and programs of Sen. Poe although she is yet to make a decision on whether to run for president or not, and we believe that it’s now about time that we also hear from other candidates before making our final decision,” he said.

“We are still in the process of consultation and we will surely use the opinions of our members as guide before arriving at a consensus on the candidate the party will support in 2016,” he said.

Another NPC spokesman, Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian, earlier said the party’s options for 2010 are still open despite the three meetings with Poe and Escudero.

As for Binay, he said some members have expressed reservations over the corruption allegations against the Vice President.


PHILSTAR

INC protests: Potential 2016 bets take sides By Jovan Cerda (philstar.com) | Updated August 29, 2015 - 1:53pm 19 1051 googleplus0 2


Interior Secretary Mar Roxas II, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Grace Poe - potential contenders in the 2016 presidential race - gave their opinions on the ongoing mass mobilization by members of Iglesia ni Cristo.

MANILA, Philippines - As thousands of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) followers took to the streets of Manila to protest the alleged overreach of the Department of Justice into their religion's internal affairs, three potential contenders in the 2016 presidential race took the opportunity to take sides and have their say on what is turning out to be a divisive issue among the public.

Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Grace Poe and outgoing Interior Secretary Mar Roxas II - potential presidential candidates in 2016 - sent out their statements over the weekend as the public witnessed a religious show of force that has so far blocked traffic along Padre Faura in Manila and EDSA in Mandaluyong. INC, the third largest religion in the Philippines, is known for endorsing election candidates among its members through bloc voting.

In a statement, Binay said the Aquino administration "chose to trample on (the) sacred right" of INC members to religious freedom.

"We cannot fault the INC for resorting to mass action to protect the independence of their church from a clear act of harassment and interference from the administration," Binay said on Friday, adding that religious right is protected by the Constitution.

Poe, the current frontrunner in presidential preference surveys, said the INC members on the streets are just defending their belief.

"Nirerespeto natin 'yan at kailangan pangalagaan din ang kanilang karapatan," Poe said.

Poe added that it would be best for Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to explain the situation to the INC members.

On the other hand, Roxas invoked the rule of law, saying while the INC has the right to protest, they should consider other people as well who will be affected.

"While all citizens have the right to be heard and to peaceful assembly, the exercise of these rights cannot impinge on the rights of others or cause inconvenience to anyone. Lalo na yung mga kababayan nating pauwi sa kanilang mga tahanan para magpahinga at makasama ang kanilang mga pamilya," Roxas said. Roxas, whose department oversees the Philippine National Police (PNP), said the PNP is duty-bound to ensure that the safety and general welfare of the public is maintained.

READ MORE...

"This includes making sure opportunists do not try to take advantage of the situation for personal ends. Let us remember that ours is a Rule of Law and not of men," he said in a statement.

De Lima initiated the National Bureau of Investigation's probe on the alleged illegal detention of expelled INC officials following a fallout between Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo and members of his family.

Former INC minister Isaias Samson Jr. filed illegal detention raps against INC executives after claiming that his family was placed by the religion's officials under house arrest after speaking against the alleged abuses in the church.

Protesters accused the Justice secretary of violating the principle of separation of the church and the state, and using selective justice in running after suspects.

In a statement read by INC General Evangelist Bienvenido Santiago on Wednesday, the religious group said De Lima egged on Samson to file the complaint.

"Ang pagsulong ng reklamong inihain ni Samson ay napag-alaman naming nagawa sa ilalim ng patnubay ni Sec. Leila de Lima, sapagkat labis at di-pangkaraniwan ang atensyon na iniukol niya - Ano kaya ang motibo niya? - siya pa mismo ang personal na nag-asikaso sa nasabing reklamo," the statement read.

The Palace backed De Lima's decision to investigate the case, insisting that the Justice secretary is only doing her job.


ABS-CBN

Poe, Binay, Roxas hit for reaction to INC protests ABS-CBNnews.com Posted at 08/30/2015 2:26 AM | Updated as of 08/30/2015 3:56 AM


WALDEN BELLO

MANILA – Politicians who try to appease the leaders of the politically influential Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) must be condemned, a former ally of the administration said.

Former Akbayan party-list Rep. Walden Bello, who earlier severed ties with President Benigno Aquino III and quit as Akbayan representative, said he is disappointed that Senator Grace Poe, Vice President Jejomar Binay, and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas are conciliating the INC leadership.

''The INC disruption of Metro Manila is simply unacceptable and politicians conciliating these fanatics must be condemned,'' Bello said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.

''A religious sect has Metro Manila by the throat, and Poe, Binay, and Roxas are conciliating it.''

The INC came under fire on social media after thousands of motorists and commuters got stranded due to its members' protest action which started in Manila on Thursday and continued along EDSA on Friday.

(READ: Rage, laments by netizens as Iglesia members gather at EDSA)

Bello also scored the government for easily giving in to the powerful sect's whims. He noted how members of the Left are not given this kind of accommodation when they hold mass actions.

''The government, always quick to act against the Left, has the authority to peacefully clear EDSA but it declines to exercise that authority citing 'respect for the right to protest," Bello said.

The INC leadership has been riled by the move of expelled INC minister and Pasugo editor-in-chief Isaias Samson Jr. to file illegal detention charges against the INC leadership, triggering INC protests at the Department of Justice against De Lima.

The INC members are invoking separation of state and church in demanding that De Lima not meddle in the affairs of INC. They accused De Lima of ''selective justice."

READ MORE...

Even though one of the main calls in the mass action is respect for the separation of state and church, the INC has without a doubt established itself as a kingmaker during elections because of the potential of its estimated 2 million members to bring victory to election bets who receive the church's precious endorsement.

De Lima, who has hinted on running for senator in 2016, won't likely be able to get this endorsement. This might also become the case for Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Mar Roxas, who ruffled some feathers when he said that the rights of the INC faithful to hold a protest must not impinge on other people's rights.

'DE LIMA WON'T ALLOW HERSELF TO BE USED'

Bello is also not buying theories that the Palace has started a campaign against the century-old sect because the latter had supposedly indicated that it will not support Roxas in 2016.

''I doubt that very much. The administration may be stupid, but it would not be stupid enough to sick De Lima on them for that. And de Lima, for all her shortcomings, would not be stupid enough to allow herself to be used that way."

The Palace itself denied that the government was out to harass the INC.

In a radio interview Saturday, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte pointed out that the DOJ has not yet even acted on the complaint against the eight INC leaders.

"Siguro po let us focus on the situation at hand. Katulad po, let us just emphasize, na 'yung mayroon pong nagreklamo sa DOJ at kakasampa lang po 'nung reklamo. Wala pa hong nagiging aksyon ang DOJ dito... So hindi po natin alam kung ano ho 'yung sinasabing na-co-construe na harassment," Valte said.

She also said she has no information on whether the Liberal Party had courted the INC to support the candidacy of Roxas and De Lima.

'NO DOUBLE STANDARDS'

Bello said what the INC is doing is unacceptable as its members' exercise of its ''freedom of speech'' was already violating a much greater right.

''When the right to free speech is exercised to deliberately wreck public order and create chaos for the vast majority, then the government must place the welfare of the majority in command,'' he said.

Bello said while he had differences with the De Lima in the past, he is siding with the latter on this issue.

''I may have differences with Sec of Justice de Lima on a number of issues, particularly on the DOJ's lack of energy in prosecuting sex for flight and human trafficking cases, but she is right on this one, on extending protection and judicial remedy to INC members who feel their lives are threatened by their Church hierarchy,'' he said.

Bello said the INC is wrong to invoke the separation of church and state in this case. He said any allegation of crime is the business of the state.

''If a Roman Catholic priest is accused of sexual exploitation of minors, he would be subject to secular prosecution by the state and would never be allowed to invoke the separation of Church and State principle to protect him from prosecution. The same in the INC case. No double standards,'' he said.

''The administration must be firm on this one, and both administration and opposition politicians who conciliate the INC must be roundly condemned." - report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News


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