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MYSTERIOUS DAVAO CITY BLAST FUELS DUTERTE'S 'HATRED' FOR U.S.
[RELATED: DUTERTE IN TIME MAG COVER - Duterte did not pose for TIME contrary to earlier reports.]


MAY 14 -HE PUNISHER – The prestigious Time Magazine will have president-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte on the cover of its May 23, 2016 issue. Duterte posed for Asian Dragon Magazine in July, 2015 and licensed this photo to Time for one-time use only. (Edwin Tuyay, courtesy of Asian Dragon Magazine)
For more than a decade, a mysterious explosion at the Evergreen Hotel in Davao City has been a footnote in the long, checkered history between the Philippines and the United States. But among those who never let it go was the city’s mayor, Rodrigo Duterte — who is now poised to become the Philippines’ new president.
In an interview last year before he announced his candidacy, Duterte went so far as to acknowledge “hatred” for the United States stemming from the obscure episode, when an American named Michael Terrence Meiring was charged with possession of explosives but managed to flee the Philippines. Meiring called himself a treasure hunter and joked about being with the CIA, meaning “Christ in Action.” He told the hotel staff not to touch a metal box in his room, apparently with good reason. On May 16, 2002, the box exploded, mangling his legs and damaging the hotel. But three days later, despite severe injuries and the charges against him, Meiring vanished from his hospital room. Philippine officials later said that men waving FBI badges had taken him in the dark of night and flown him out of the country without their permission. Duterte expressed outrage that the United States would help a criminal suspect leave the country without regard to Philippine law. He also fanned speculation that Meiring was involved in covert operations conducted by the United States in the Philippines. Fourteen years later and scheduled to be sworn in as president on June 30, Duterte is still angry. Last month, he threatened to cut ties with Washington in response to critical comments from the US ambassador to the Philippines, Philip Goldberg. “Go ahead and sever it,” Duterte snapped, referring to diplomatic relations. His spokesman, Peter Laviña, explained that Duterte’s hostility originated with the Meiring case. “Mayor Duterte has his own personal experience in Davao,” Laviña said in a television interview. “We were able to capture a bomber, a suspect in the bombing in Davao. He was an American. He was spirited away by the US embassy. I think that’s when the bad relations started.” READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte did not pose for TIME contrary to earlier reports...

ALSO: Running after VP not a priority, says Duterte; vindictiveness not his cup of tea


MAY 14 -VP BINAY
Indicating that vindictiveness is not his cup of tea, presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte told erstwhile rival Vice President Jejomar Binay that pursuing graft cases raised against him which Binay said were all politically-motivated will not be a priority. In a television interview, Duterte said in his phone conversation with Binay he told the Vice President that filing charges against him will not be a chief concern of a Duterte administration. Last thursday, Binay called up Duterte to congratulate him and called the Davao City mayor as “Mr. President” but did not mention conceding to him. Duterte currently leads the presidential tally comprising more than 90 percent of the ballots with 15,958,999 votes with a lead of more than 6 million votes on administration candidate Mar Roxas. Binay is fourth with 5,317,866 votes. “VP called up, then he greeted me saying congratulations, and I replied thank you,” Duterte said. “I told him, Mr. Vice President, you won’t have any problem with me, I will not go around finding faults that would put me into something which I would rather spend my hour looking for solutions,” Duterte said. The Office of the Ombudsman has threatened to file plunder cases against Binay over the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II when he steps down as Vice President, losing his immunity from suit.United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) Communications Director and Binay spokesman Joey Salgado said Binay called up Duterte around 6 p.m. last Thursday during which Binay addressed Duterte as “Mr. President.” “We confirm that Vice President Binay has talked to preumptive President-elect Duterte. He extended his congratulations and wished Duterte all the best,” Salgado said. He added that dismissed Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, the Vice President’s son, was present during the phone conversation. Cordial talks The younger Binay described the conversation as “cordial, filled with laughter, which is not surprising considering their ties.” The Vice President had said that Duterte is a long-time friend. Duterte’s spokesman Peter Laviña expressed gratitude to Binay. He said Duterte has offered friendship and cooperation to his political rivals and has called for “national healing and national unity” and the vice president’s gesture supports this process. Despite Binay’s phone call to Duterte, Binay counsel Rico Quicho said it was not a categorical concession. Earlier, Roxas and independent presidential bet Sen. Grace Poe had conceded to Duterte.READ MORE...

ALSO: Conflict or cooperation- What will a Duterte-Robredo or Duterte-Marcos tandem look like?


MAY 13 -Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — In contrast to Rodrigo Duterte's more than 5 million-vote lead in the partial and unofficial results for the presidency, the vice-presidential race has gone down the wire.
The presumptive winner of the presidential race will lead an administration without his chosen running mate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano. The vice presidential race, has essentially boiled down to two candidates — Nacionalista Party member Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., and Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo of the Liberal Party (LP). As of Friday afternoon (May 13), Robredo showed a slim lead of more than 200,000 votes over Marcos. In contrast to Duterte's lead, the vice presidential race is still too close to call. Marcos has openly said he wants to head the Department of Labor under a new president while Robredo has expressed her desire to take charge of streamlining all of the government's anti-poverty programs. Both have said they are willing to work with any president elected by the Filipino people. CNN Philippines takes a look at the possible areas of cooperation, conflict and agreement within a Duterte-Marcos or a Duterte-Robredo administration, based on crucial issues addressed by the candidates during the campaign and their statements. READ MORE...

ALSO: Who is Honeylet Avanceña, the woman behind Duterte?

[RELATED: TIMES COLUMN SUNDAY READ - The Holy Spirit and the rise of Rodrigo Duterte]


MAY 15 -PRESUMPTIVE President Rodrigo Duterte’s domestic partner, Honeylet Avanceña. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ
Although the camp of presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte has announced that his daughter Sara will serve as first lady in official functions, his partner of 20 years, Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña, will be likely running the presidential household, wherever that turns out to be.
She is reportedly shopping for a more “presidential” wardrobe for the Davao City mayor, who has favored jeans and striped polos that don’t exactly flatter his beer gut. “He doesn’t like itchy fabrics, he’s sensitive that way,” she told Lifestyle when we caught her early in the campaign. “That’s why he matches his barong Tagalog with maong denim. He doesn’t like polyester; it makes him itch. It has to be cotton.” READ: Duterte’s secret weapon gets ready for prime time As a public figure, he doesn’t have time to go shopping, so she was the one who bought his clothes for him, she said. As for the presidential diet, she said Duterte was a man of simple tastes who preferred a frugal meal of fried tamban fish and ginamay (menudo), and that he tended to lose his appetite when too many dishes were set before him. The 46-year-old Avanceña, with whom Duterte has a 12-year-old daughter named Veronica (nickname: “Kitty”), stayed largely under the radar, until the campaign shifted to high gear. She then became a fixture in Duterte’s campaign sorties in Luzon, even as his ex-wife Elizabeth Zimmerman and daughter Sara covered Mindanao. READ: Duterte’s ex-wife joins ‘Biyaheng DU30’ campaign in VisMin CONTINUE RADING...RELATED, SUNDAY READ - The Holy Spirit and the rise of Rodrigo Duterte...

ALSO: Duterte camp to critics - Dialogue instead of ‘black propaganda’


MAY 15 -Duterte spokesperson Peter Laviña on the campaign trail. Facebook/Peter Tiu Laviña
The spokesman for presumptive president and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte called on critics to hold a dialogue with the mayor instead of resorting to what he called black propaganda.
“Here is an unsolicited advice to them - dialogue with the incoming government instead of mounting black propaganda to be heard. And listen to your units in Mindanao. Otherwise, you will be proving to be yet another bunch of trapos,” Duterte’s spokesperson Peter Laviña said on his Facebook account. Laviña was reacting to groups criticizing the incoming administration after it announced its eight-point economic agenda last Thursday. Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Secretary General Renato Reyes and Ibon Foundation earlier pointed out that the Duterte administration seems poised for a “continuation of the neoliberal economic policies” of past administrations. Ibon Foundation said Duterte is no different from other candidates. “Many believe that Duterte’s win is an affirmation of the people’s disenchantment with 'daang matuwid', the embodiment of the Aquino government’s neoliberal policies – that it is best to move forward rather than look back. But a second look at Duterte’s economic plans reveals that the failed 'daang matuwid' of the past will remain a significant part of the country’s future,” a report from Ibon Foundation stated. “The proposed Duterte eight-point economic agenda is a continuation of the neoliberal poison imposed on the people by the Aquino regime,” Reyes said in a statement. Broadly, neoliberalism emphasizes free trade and free markets, cutting public spending on social services, deregulation and privatization. On the other hand, Laviña said the Leftist group failed to recognize the friendship and cooperation extended by the incoming Duterte administration. He said these critics made a “patented error in reading the national situation and made a grave one in pulsing the mood of our people.” READ MORE....


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Mysterious Davao City blast fuels Duterte’s ‘hatred’ for US


THE PUNISHER – The prestigious Time Magazine will have president-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte on the cover of its May 23, 2016 issue. Duterte posed for Asian Dragon Magazine in July, 2015 and licensed this photo to Time for one-time use only. (Edwin Tuyay, courtesy of Asian Dragon Magazine)

MANILA, MAY 16, 2016 (MANILA BULLETIN)  by The New York Times May 14, 2016 - For more than a decade, a mysterious explosion at the Evergreen Hotel in Davao City has been a footnote in the long, checkered history between the Philippines and the United States. But among those who never let it go was the city’s mayor, Rodrigo Duterte — who is now poised to become the Philippines’ new president.

In an interview last year before he announced his candidacy, Duterte went so far as to acknowledge “hatred” for the United States stemming from the obscure episode, when an American named Michael Terrence Meiring was charged with possession of explosives but managed to flee the Philippines.

Meiring called himself a treasure hunter and joked about being with the CIA, meaning “Christ in Action.” He told the hotel staff not to touch a metal box in his room, apparently with good reason. On May 16, 2002, the box exploded, mangling his legs and damaging the hotel.

But three days later, despite severe injuries and the charges against him, Meiring vanished from his hospital room. Philippine officials later said that men waving FBI badges had taken him in the dark of night and flown him out of the country without their permission.

Duterte expressed outrage that the United States would help a criminal suspect leave the country without regard to Philippine law. He also fanned speculation that Meiring was involved in covert operations conducted by the United States in the Philippines.

Fourteen years later and scheduled to be sworn in as president on June 30, Duterte is still angry.

Last month, he threatened to cut ties with Washington in response to critical comments from the US ambassador to the Philippines, Philip Goldberg. “Go ahead and sever it,” Duterte snapped, referring to diplomatic relations. His spokesman, Peter Laviña, explained that Duterte’s hostility originated with the Meiring case.

“Mayor Duterte has his own personal experience in Davao,” Laviña said in a television interview. “We were able to capture a bomber, a suspect in the bombing in Davao. He was an American. He was spirited away by the US embassy. I think that’s when the bad relations started.”

READ MORE...

The Philippines has long been the United States’ closest ally in Southeast Asia. The two nations have a mutual defense pact, and the Philippines recently agreed to allow the Pentagon to station troops and weapons at bases in the country. For more than a decade, US forces have also trained and advised Philippine soldiers hunting the Abu Sayyaf, a gang of rebel kidnappers operating in the southern islands that recently swore allegiance to the Islamic State.

Davao City is the most populous city in the south, and a pair of bombings there killed 38 people in 2003. But Duterte, its mayor for the past 20 years, has long expressed skepticism about US military presence. In 2013, he said he had blocked a US proposal to base drones at Davao City’s old airport, citing his concerns about the Meiring case.

“I do not want it,” he was quoted saying in local news media. “I do not want trouble and killings. They will only add to the problem.”

Aides to Duterte did not respond to requests for comment. But in the interview in which he discussed the case last year, Duterte said that his “hatred” for the United States was a “personal” sentiment that he could set aside in the national interest. He also said, though, that his anger over the Meiring case had not diminished.

A spokesman for the US embassy, Kurt Hoyer, said it would have no comment on the drone proposal, the Meiring affair, or how the episode might affect relations with the incoming president. He said an embassy press statement in 2002 was the final word on the case, but was unable to provide it.

In the statement, according to published reports, the embassy acknowledged that FBI agents went to the Evergreen Hotel to investigate the explosion but “categorically” denied that the agency “had any role in Mr. Meiring’s departure.”

The Meiring affair has long been the subject of conspiracy theories in the Philippines. Much remains unexplained, including why there were explosives in Meiring’s room and who mounted the operation that helped him escape.

“Why should the US take him out of the country? That’s the puzzle,” said a former high-ranking Philippine intelligence official who declined to be identified because he was not directly involved in the case.

According to news reports, Meiring had been going to Davao City for many years, usually staying in the same suite at the Evergreen. He had documents allowing him to hunt for treasure – which was believed to have been left by occupying Japanese forces during World War II – and an identity card allowing him to travel in territory held by separatist Islamic rebels.

At the time, the southern Philippines was plagued by armed conflict with the rebels and occasional bombings, including a blast a month earlier that killed 15 people in the city of General Santos, about 90 miles south of Davao City.

When the police first questioned Meiring about the explosion at the Evergreen, he said someone had thrown a grenade into his room. But investigators quickly found conclusive evidence that the blast was caused by explosives in his room, according to the police file, including the remains of two 6-volt batteries, an electric blasting cap, and a circuit board.

Doctors amputated one of Meiring’s legs, but he was taken from the hospital and flown from Davao by charter plane, the police said at the time. He received medical treatment in Manila and left the country soon after.

Witnesses said that the men who took him from the hospital displayed FBI badges. The hospital’s owner told reporters that he agreed to release Meiring despite his injuries after US officials promised to issue a work visa for his daughter, a nurse.

-----------------------------

RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

[Duterte did not pose for TIME contrary to earlier reports.]

Duterte, ‘The Punisher,’ on the cover of TIME Magazine Asia Published May 14, 2016 3:22pm


FROM SOCIAL MEDIA: Mayor Rodrigo Duterte can't decide whether
to run or not in the next presidential elections. He tells Asian Dragon
why he has no intentions of doing so, but expounds on what to expect
if he wins. "A lot of my friends have been spending already, and I said
that  the thought of being a president has not sunk in yet. The problem
with being president is, whether you do right or wrong, by default
it's wrong. As a mayor, I work 30 hours a day, not 24 hours. If you
are president, you work 50 hours a day. I wonder why so many
people want the presidency?" Know more about him and his thoughts
on running for president and running the country inside Asian Dragon
Magazine's July-August issue. 2.2K 141 1.5K
----------------------------------------------------

Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte is front and center on the May 23 issue of TIME Magazine Asia.

The cover story titled "The Punisher" was penned by Charlie Campbell and echoes an earlier article published by the magazine in 2002.

In a phone call with GMA News Online, photo journalist Edwin Tuyay said that the magazine is now out on news stands, confirmed by his friend and fellow photographer Tammy David.

Tuyay clarified that Duterte did not pose for TIME contrary to earlier reports.

TIME purchased the photo from Tuyay as one-time-use-only, chosen from a series of portraits for the Asian Dragon Magazine's August 2015 issue. Duterte was still at odds about running a campaign at the time, but Asian Dragon had prophetically dubbed him "The Man Who Would Be President."

In the US Edition of the magazine, Campbell also wrote "Why the Philippines Elected 'The Punisher’ as President" and "Rodrigo Duterte: The Trump of the East?" —Aya Tantiangco/ALG, GMA News


TRIBUNE

Running after VP not a priority, says Duterte Written by Tribune Wires Sunday, 15 May 2016 00:00


MAY 14 -VP BINAY

Indicating that vindictiveness is not his cup of tea, presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte told erstwhile rival Vice President Jejomar Binay that pursuing graft cases raised against him which Binay said were all politically-motivated will not be a priority.

In a television interview, Duterte said in his phone conversation with Binay he told the Vice President that filing charges against him will not be a chief concern of a Duterte administration.

Last thursday, Binay called up Duterte to congratulate him and called the Davao City mayor as “Mr. President” but did not mention conceding to him. Duterte currently leads the presidential tally comprising more than 90 percent of the ballots with 15,958,999 votes with a lead of more than 6 million votes on administration candidate Mar Roxas.

Binay is fourth with 5,317,866 votes. “VP called up, then he greeted me saying congratulations, and I replied thank you,” Duterte said. “I told him, Mr. Vice President, you won’t have any problem with me, I will not go around finding faults that would put me into something which I would rather spend my hour looking for solutions,” Duterte said.

The Office of the Ombudsman has threatened to file plunder cases against Binay over the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II when he steps down as Vice President, losing his immunity from suit.United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) Communications Director and Binay spokesman Joey Salgado said Binay called up Duterte around 6 p.m. last Thursday during which Binay addressed Duterte as “Mr. President.” “We confirm that Vice President Binay has talked to preumptive President-elect Duterte. He extended his congratulations and wished Duterte all the best,” Salgado said.

He added that dismissed Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, the Vice President’s son, was present during the phone conversation.

Cordial talks

The younger Binay described the conversation as “cordial, filled with laughter, which is not surprising considering their ties.”

The Vice President had said that Duterte is a long-time friend. Duterte’s spokesman Peter Laviña expressed gratitude to Binay. He said Duterte has offered friendship and cooperation to his political rivals and has called for “national healing and national unity” and the vice president’s gesture supports this process.

Despite Binay’s phone call to Duterte, Binay counsel Rico Quicho said it was not a categorical concession.

Earlier, Roxas and independent presidential bet Sen. Grace Poe had conceded to Duterte.

READ MORE...

We do not use the word concede. What the vice president wanted is to finish the whole counting process because it is the integrity of the electoral process at stake, Quicho said.

In another statement, Salgado called on the public to set aside partisanship and help the incoming administration move this nation towards unity and healing.

Quicho said Binay’s public service will not end with the results of the 2016 elections.

“In a few days we will regroup then we start a new fight for the people. In his private capacity, he can still serve,” Quicho said.

Junjun Binay said his father is not scared of being jailed.

If they’re threatening my father with imprisonment, I don’t think they’re going to succeed because my father has been imprisoned several times. In fact, he was imprisoned during Martial Law, Binay said.



The Palace, meanwhile, said Filipinos must maintain an optimistic mindset as the country transitions from one administration to another after the conduct of presidential election this month

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said he was asked if the Palace worries about losing economic momentum as the Aquino administration hands over the leadership to the incoming administration.

As a response, Coloma said that in the last six years, the Aquino government has strived hard to maintain investors’ confidence for the Philippines.

“President Aquino had repeatedly said good governance translates to good economics, staying positive will be good for the country, he added.

With regards to the plan of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to retain some Cabinet members from the Aquino government, Coloma said it is up to the newly elected president to decide.

Duterte must be given a free-hand in choosing the composition of his Cabinet for him to get the best and the brightest, Coloma said.


CNN PHILIPPINES

Conflict or cooperation: What will a Duterte-Robredo or Duterte-Marcos tandem look like? By CNN Philippines Staff Updated 22:29 PM PHT Fri, May 13, 2016

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — In contrast to Rodrigo Duterte's more than 5 million-vote lead in the partial and unofficial results for the presidency, the vice-presidential race has gone down the wire.

The presumptive winner of the presidential race will lead an administration without his chosen running mate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.

The vice presidential race, has essentially boiled down to two candidates — Nacionalista Party member Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., and Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo of the Liberal Party (LP).

As of Friday afternoon (May 13), Robredo showed a slim lead of more than 200,000 votes over Marcos. In contrast to Duterte's lead, the vice presidential race is still too close to call.

Marcos has openly said he wants to head the Department of Labor under a new president while Robredo has expressed her desire to take charge of streamlining all of the government's anti-poverty programs. Both have said they are willing to work with any president elected by the Filipino people.

CNN Philippines takes a look at the possible areas of cooperation, conflict and agreement within a Duterte-Marcos or a Duterte-Robredo administration, based on crucial issues addressed by the candidates during the campaign and their statements.

READ MORE...

Death penalty

Duterte
– During the second presidential debate on March 20, Duterte gave a "thumbs up" to the restoration of the death penalty. Duterte wants the death penalty to be reintroduced for drug trafficking and other heinous crimes.

Marcos – The senator has expressed support for the re-imposition of the death penalty, but only for convicted drug lords because “it is clear that they are destroying the future, our youth.”

Robredo – Robredo opposes the death penalty. She has been quoted saying that no statistics show that crime diminished when the country had the death penalty. She said there have been cases of convicts sentenced to death but later acquitted because of wrong evidence or they were later proven to be innocent.

Labor contractualization

Duterte
– Duterte said in the last presidential debate it will only take him a week as president to put an end to contractualization. He said he will tell Congress leaders: “You need to pass this bill immediately. I need it first week of my administration."

Marcos – On Labor Day (May 1), Marcos said he will end contractualization. He said the Labor Department, to which he wants to be appointed as head, has been turning a blind eye to “end of contract” schemes and contractualization. He says he wants to “restore the rights of workers.”

Robedo – Robredo also wants to end contractualization. She said she will push the security of tenure law and impose many penalties on employers that violate it. She said it is not enough to create jobs. These should be regular jobs with sufficient compensation.

Income tax

Duterte
— Duterte disagrees with reducing taxes. He said he needs money to raise the salary of state workers and run the country. He told the state-run Philippine News Agency last November that people are complaining about being “taxed to death” only because they don’t see or feel that there are enough public services. He said money also is needed for programs to create jobs, solve crime, end hunger and restore law and order.

Marcos — During the vice presidential debate, Marcos showed a "thumbs up" sign expressing approval to lower income taxes. He earlier said the Philippine tax structure “is simply out-dated that even those in the middle class are now in the bracket of the rich, paying tax for the rich. It’s time we do something to correct the situation.”

Robredo — The Camarines Sur representative also showed a "thumbs up" sign in favor of lowering income taxes during the vice presidential debate. About four months earlier, she told reporters that lowering income tax is a "social justice issue” – the smaller the income, the smaller the tax burden; those who have more should carry a heavier burden.

Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL)

Duterte
— The Davao City Mayor has expressed support for the Bangasmoro Basic Law and was disappointed when Congress failed to pass it. However, he is strongly pushing for federalism, believing that “nothing short of federalism would bring peace to Mindanao.”

Marcos — Marcos told CNN Philippines that the BBL bill in its original form, will not ensure lasting peace in Mindanao and claimed that the peace negotiators did not consult “so many stakeholders” in crafting the law. He has sponsored a substitute “Bangsamoro Autonomous Region Law” that he said would make the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) more inclusive and give representation in the BTA to other sectors — like the sultanates, indigenous people, and women, and youth groups.

Robredo — The Camarines Sur lawmaker was one of 50 representatives from the House ad hoc committee on the BBL that approved the proposed legislation with some amendments and was one of 19 representatives who called for passage of the bill to “fulfill the promise of change in Mindanao in the form of a just and lasting peace."

Libingan ng mga Bayani burial for Marcos

Duterte
— During the second presidential debate on March 20, the Davao City mayor gave a "thumbs up" when candidates were asked if Marcos should be buried at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani. "If you are the president, you have to unite the country… For as long that issue hangs, it will remain a divisive factor in our society," Duterte said after the debate. "Someone has got to give … ilibing mo na lang para tapos na. [Just bury him to get it over with.]"

Marcos — In September 2014, the younger Marcos said in a television interview it is his father’s right to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani “because he is a soldier and he served in the military and his record speaks for itself. And he was the longest sitting president in our history. By right, he should be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani."

Robredo — She disagrees with Duterte and Marcos, believing the late president doesn’t deserve to be buried in the cemetery for heroes. “The question now is whether or not the late President Marcos is deserving to be buried there. Was he an exemplary Filipino who gave his life, who sacrificed so much for our country? I don’t think he was,” she was quoted in a newspaper report as saying.

Political dynasties

Duterte —
Duterte's father, Vicente, was governor of what was then the single Davao province during the 1960s. His son, Paolo, is the current vice mayor of Davao City and was reelected in the May 9 polls. His daughter, Sara, served as city mayor from 2010 to 2013 and won the 2016 election. In a television interview, Duterte said that the anti-political dynasty notion is "undemocratic." "How can you prevent a person from running?" he said.

Marcos — The senator's grandfather, Mariano Marcos, was a congressman. His mother, Imelda, is the current representative of Ilocos Norte's Second District. His sister, Imee, is the incumbent governor of Ilocos Norte. His late father and namesake ruled the country for 20 years. During the vice presidential debate, Marcos said that political dynasties are "generational" in a political environment like the Philippines. But he said Congress has a mandate from the constitution to pass an anti-dynasty bill.

Robredo — Robredo's late husband, Jesse served as Mayor of Naga City from 2001 to 2010. Before his death in 2012, he headed the Department of the Interior and Local Government. She is against political dynasties and co-authored the Anti-Political Dynasty Bill (HB 3587). She said there have been good and bad political dynasties, but the real issue is equal opportunity for all who seek public office.

Philippines-China Relations

Duterte —
Unlike the current administration's solely multilateral approach of pursuing an end to the country's territorial dispute with China, Duterte is open to engaging Beijing in bilateral talks. “I don’t believe in solving the conflict through an international tribunal. China has said it will not abide by whatever that tribunal’s decision will be. That’s the same case with me, especially if the ruling will be against the Philippines,” he was quoted in a newspaper report. However, if Beijing refuses to honor the tribunal’s decision he will plant a Philippine flag on one of the artificial islands built by Beijing to claim “this is ours.”

Marcos — Marcos said the country must be open to all approaches in order to reach an agreement with China. He said arbitration is a good approach, but ultimately the problems between China and the Philippines won’t be solved until there is an agreement between the two countries, and that can’t be concluded without bilateral negotiations.

Robredo — The Camarines Sur representative supports the Aquino government's approach in filing the case against China as it is in accordance with the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. The approach has garnered the support of several countries including the United States.


INQUIRER

Who is Honeylet Avanceña, the woman behind Duterte? By: Eric S. Caruncho @inquirerdotnet
Inquirer Lifestyle 02:20 AM May 15th, 2016


PRESUMPTIVE President Rodrigo Duterte’s domestic partner, Honeylet Avanceña. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

Although the camp of presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte has announced that his daughter Sara will serve as first lady in official functions, his partner of 20 years, Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña, will be likely running the presidential household, wherever that turns out to be.

She is reportedly shopping for a more “presidential” wardrobe for the Davao City mayor, who has favored jeans and striped polos that don’t exactly flatter his beer gut.

“He doesn’t like itchy fabrics, he’s sensitive that way,” she told Lifestyle when we caught her early in the campaign. “That’s why he matches his barong Tagalog with maong denim. He doesn’t like polyester; it makes him itch. It has to be cotton.”

READ: Duterte’s secret weapon gets ready for prime time

As a public figure, he doesn’t have time to go shopping, so she was the one who bought his clothes for him, she said.

As for the presidential diet, she said Duterte was a man of simple tastes who preferred a frugal meal of fried tamban fish and ginamay (menudo), and that he tended to lose his appetite when too many dishes were set before him.

The 46-year-old Avanceña, with whom Duterte has a 12-year-old daughter named Veronica (nickname: “Kitty”), stayed largely under the radar, until the campaign shifted to high gear. She then became a fixture in Duterte’s campaign sorties in Luzon, even as his ex-wife Elizabeth Zimmerman and daughter Sara covered Mindanao.

READ: Duterte’s ex-wife joins ‘Biyaheng DU30’ campaign in VisMin

CONTINUE READING...

With Duterte announcing that he will most likely divide his time between Davao and Manila in the first few months of his term, where Avanceña will keep house is anybody’s guess.


HONEYLET Avanceña leads a gathering of women supporters of presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte at the
Manila Golf Club. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

Mister Donut franchises

If she had her way, she’d probably choose to remain in Davao so she could continue to look after her businesses, which consist of a meat shop, a canteen catering service and 11 Mister Donut franchises.

Veronica is also reportedly adamant about staying in her current school in Davao.

“Bahala na ang Diyos kung saan kami ilagay,” said Avanceña when we asked her if saw herself living in Malacañang.

A former nurse, Avanceña spent four years working as a health professional in the US until 2004, when she returned to Davao after giving birth to Veronica.

Although they are not legally married, Duterte, she says, was her first serious relationship, although she was hazy on how and when their romance began. Duterte’s first marriage ended in annulment in 1998.

When asked what the basis of their relationship was, she replied, “Asawa. Kung ano ang gawain ng asawa.”

A friend described her as “the supportive, quiet and prayerful wife of 20 years. I can describe her as the gentle and comforting soul behind [presumptive] President Rody. She is very feminine and soft-spoken. The woman doesn’t involve herself in politics but busies herself caring for her husband and child and their home. Being a nurse, Honeylet also cares for the health and well-being of her husband.”

However, as a businesswoman, she also prides herself in being independent and not relying on her husband for support.

All of this, of course, was before Duterte’s landslide victory in the presidential polls, and it remains to be seen how that will affect the state of their affairs.

When the 70-year-old Duterte’s health was placed under scrutiny, she said that his blood pressure was better than hers, and that she had to take two medications to keep her blood pressure under control.

She might have to keep a closer eye on that, now that her partner is poised to take the highest office in the land, with all the accompanying stress it entails.

Regardless of their personal life, however, Avanceña is convinced that Duterte will live up to his campaign promises, or die trying.

“Mabibigyan ko kayo ng assurance na magtatrabaho siya,” she said. “Doon ako takot, kasi alam ko na magtatrabaho siya.”

Even when he was mayor, she said, Duterte often went without sleep to stay on top of problems. One time when a kidnapping occurred, she recalled, he didn’t sleep until the victim’s body was found.

Although the interview took place before a Duterte victory at the polls was anything but certain, Avanceña predicted that “if he is going to be president of this country, he will use all the powers of the president.”

She did allow for the possibility of a higher power at work behind the scenes.

“I think God’s hand is at work in him,” she told Lifestyle. TVJ

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FROM THE MANILA TIMES

SUNDAY READ - The Holy Spirit and the rise of Rodrigo Duterte May 14, 2016 9:36 pm Ricardo Saludo



by RICARDO SALUDO

Jesus said to his disciples: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always. … the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”  — The Gospel of Saint John, 14:15-16, 26

JUDGING from their pronouncements before last week’s polls, Catholic prelates might not see much of the Holy Spirit in the election of Rodrigo Duterte as President.

How in heaven could the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity be instrumental in the triumph of “one whose thoughts, speech and demeanor are diametrically opposed to the demands of submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ,” God’s Second Person, to quote the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines?

On the other hand, as the saying goes, God writes straight with crooked lines.

Is there divine inspiration in the nation’s choice of Davao’s gun-toting, rapid-cussing mayor as the next President? Let’s go figure.

As the above Sunday mass reading says, the Holy Spirit reminds the faithful of all that Jesus Christ conveyed in His teachings and His life, death and resurrection. Those messages are summed up in one declaration about Himself, His mission, and His gift to the world, from the Gospel of Saint John, 11 verses before the above lines:

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

As expounded in volumes of theology and exegesis, Jesus affirmed that He alone brings salvation—faith in Him and fidelity to His way of thinking, living and loving.

Christ’s coming to earth and His preaching, acts and sacrifice also convey the fundamental truth about the universe: everything is created, sustained and loved by God, Who sent His Son to bring all creation to perfection in Him.

Finally, Jesus Christ is the primal source and ultimate end—Alpha and Omega—of all that are. We exist through Him as the creative Word of God, and our final goal is eternal life with Him, through Him and in Him.

Okay, so what has all that to do with Mr. Duterte going from maybe candidate to landslide victor in the elections. Well, as the Lord said, come along and see.

The ugly truth

If the Holy Spirit reminds us of Christ’s message as The Way, The Truth and The Life, perhaps those inspired words can help us divine what the Spirit may be hinting in the polls.

First, the truth. Public and media have largely swallowed the line that President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s administration has been a resounding success in its avowed goals of fighting corruption and alleviating poverty. Indeed, its presidential and vice-presidential candidates, banking on Daang Matuwid’s appeal, even added those words to their names in the ballot.

But the Duterte landslide belies the claims of Aquino-era gains; so does the strong showing of Sen. Bongbong Marcos in the VP race marred by cheating allegations (see Rigoberto Tiglao’s column yesterday, at http://www.manilatimes.net/plan-b-yellows-throw-roxas-under-the-bus-again-so-robredo-becomes-vp/261705/ ).

“Duterte’s win is an indictment of the administration’s failure,” said a key figure in the mayor’s camp. For while economic growth has accelerated since 2010, helped by the preceding decade of unbroken expansion, public works, and fiscal reform, millions of Filipinos reaped nil palpable benefits, with poverty hardly changed, crime and smuggling at record levels, and ordinary folk burdened by sleaze at the capital’s trains and airport.

Thus, the Descent of the Holy Spirit celebrated in churches today may have also happened in our land this past week, with Duterte’s victory making plain the ugly truth: For all the hype about Daang Matuwid, things have not improved much for the poor, and they have gotten worse for millions hurt by crime, drugs and graft.

Losing the way

What about the way? Well, as CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas rightly laments after Duterte called Pope Francis’s mother a whore in anger over the horrendous traffic during the papal visit, “When a revered and loved and admired man like Pope Francis is cursed by a political candidate and the audience laugh, I can only bow my head and grieve in great shame. My countrymen have gone to the dregs.”

Amen, Your Grace, many of us faithful have indeed lost Christ’s way in our thinking, living and laughing. That may be the second election message from the Holy Spirit: Asia’s Christian-majority nation has lost sight of the very basic Christian tenets, to the point that we can laugh about cussing the Holy Father and wishing to be first in line to rape a missionary violated and killed in a prison riot.

Worse, 15 million-plus elected a leader “who has openly declared indifference if not dislike and disregard for the Church specially her moral teachings,” as the CBCP admonished.

Never mind disdain for the Sixth Commandment. It is the Fifth that Duterte’s methods may wantonly break, with 1,424 deaths allegedly at the hands of the so-called Davao Death Squad, and his threat of 100,000 hoods dumped into Manila Bay.

Some excuse off-color cheers as part of rowdy politicking; others blame the tripling of crimes to more than a million a year for the public’s applause for extreme measures violating Christian teachings.

Still, the Church and other moral authorities must admit failure in instilling in believers fundamental values and tenets upholding life, marriage, and respect for sacred personages and institutions.

The last message about life is partly in the Spirit’s warning that millions of us may have been departing from Christ’s way of upholding life above all.

Besides that, the Spirit cannot but remind us always that Christ is the sole source and end of life and all that makes it good.

So when things start going less divine than many hoped while shading their ballots, the Spirit reminds us that it was not Jesus we voted for.

If we want life in its fullness, it is He who must rule us. Amen.


PHILSTAR

Duterte camp to critics: Dialogue instead of ‘black propaganda’ By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated May 15, 2016 - 7:45pm 24 213 googleplus0 0


Duterte spokesperson Peter Laviña on the campaign trail. Facebook/Peter Tiu Laviña

MANILA, Philippines -- The spokesman for presumptive president and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte called on critics to hold a dialogue with the mayor instead of resorting to what he called black propaganda.

“Here is an unsolicited advice to them - dialogue with the incoming government instead of mounting black propaganda to be heard. And listen to your units in Mindanao. Otherwise, you will be proving to be yet another bunch of trapos,” Duterte’s spokesperson Peter Laviña said on his Facebook account.

Laviña was reacting to groups criticizing the incoming administration after it announced its eight-point economic agenda last Thursday.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Secretary General Renato Reyes and Ibon Foundation earlier pointed out that the Duterte administration seems poised for a “continuation of the neoliberal economic policies” of past administrations. Ibon Foundation said Duterte is no different from other candidates.

“Many believe that Duterte’s win is an affirmation of the people’s disenchantment with 'daang matuwid', the embodiment of the Aquino government’s neoliberal policies – that it is best to move forward rather than look back. But a second look at Duterte’s economic plans reveals that the failed 'daang matuwid' of the past will remain a significant part of the country’s future,” a report from Ibon Foundation stated.

“The proposed Duterte eight-point economic agenda is a continuation of the neoliberal poison imposed on the people by the Aquino regime,” Reyes said in a statement.

Broadly, neoliberalism emphasizes free trade and free markets, cutting public spending on social services, deregulation and privatization.

On the other hand, Laviña said the Leftist group failed to recognize the friendship and cooperation extended by the incoming Duterte administration. He said these critics made a “patented error in reading the national situation and made a grave one in pulsing the mood of our people.”

READ MORE...

The Makabayan bloc of party-list groups affiliated with Bayan declared support for Sen. Grace Poe in the 2016 elections. She conceded defeat hours after the elections as it became clear that Duterte's lead had become insurmountable.

“Leftist groups have rejected the hands of friendship and cooperation by the incoming Duterte administration by mouthing their usual criticism of others but not undertaking their own criticism, self-criticism,” Laviña said.

“I am truly sorry for these Leftist groups which will be left out in the march of history with their dogma and belligerent styles and methods of work. They need to right their wrongs and stop becoming roadblocks to genuine change. They should bring down their utopian dreams closer to reality,” he added.

Laviña said that Leftist groups in Mindanao were more grounded and that the national leaderships of those groups should follow suit.

On Thursday, Duterte’s transition team announced the eight-point economic agenda of the incoming administration which include plans on taxes, infrastructures, social services and rural development and ending contractualization.

Carlos Dominguez, a member of the transmission committee, mentioned public private partnership as well as welcoming foreign investment and continuation and widening of conditional cash transfer as part of these agenda. These drew ire from some groups as it is a continuation of the Aquino administration’s economic policies.

Reyes proposed a different eight-point economic program he claimed is “anchored to real change.” These include ending the neoliberal economic policies of the Aquino regime,pursuit of national industrialization, economic sovereignty, strengthening domestic economy, and ending the import-dependent, export-oriented, pre-industrial economic set-up among others.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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