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

NEW APPROACH TO PEACE: TIME FOR U.S. TO STEP ASIDE AND LET THE PHILIPPINES GIVE PEACE A CHANCE -COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
[RELATED: Pres. Aquino remains hopeful for passage of BBL in next Congress]


JUNE 7 -As peace advocates, the last month has been encouraging. Incoming President Duterte continued to underscore his intention to pursue peace in our nation, most immediately by resuming Peace Talks with the National Democratic Front-Philippines (NDFP). In fact, Duterte’s negotiating panel chair Secretary Silvestre Bello III, peace adviser Secretary Jesus Dureza and panel member Hernani Braganza are being sent to Oslo, Norway to engage in preliminary talks on June 16, 2016, even before our new president’s inauguration to office. Given these positive efforts, we must protest the June 2016 US “terrorist” listing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA). As reported, such listings are based on US interests in our country—we are tired of US interests been peddled as priority over the interests of our people, most especially when we are gearing up for reinvigorated peace negotiations.
This so-called “terrorist” listing is nothing new and we must not let it influence our openness to the pursuit of a just and enduring peace in the Philippines. As has been done for generations, United States intelligence groups regularly label and tag those who do not capitulate to their agenda and primacy in the world; after the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City, the US launched an intensified campaign of foreign domination under the guise of a “War on Terror.” Sadly, such campaigns are often successful in bending Philippine policies and priorities to the benefit of US interests in our nation. READ MORE...RELATED, Pres. Aquino remains hopeful for passage of BBL in next Congress

ALSO: Mindanao Catholic prelate calls on Duterte to address peace process; 'Church is not your enemy, consider church your ally'
[ALSO: Moving forward by Former Press Secretary Hector R. Villanueva]


FLASHBACK MAY 13, 2016 -Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato delivers a talk in Manila. (Photo by Mark Saludes)
A leading Filipino church official has called on the country's newly elected president to immediately address peace issues in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao. "Implement the doable ... that does not need constitutional revisions," said Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato. Presumptive presidential nominee Rodrigo Duterte, mayor of the southern city of Davao, said he would work on revising the country's constitution to switch to a parliamentary and federal form of government. Cardinal Quevedo, however, said federalism is a long-term project. "What needs to be done is in the nature of urgent and short term," he added. The prelate said Duterte should start working on how to improve the proposed basic law for Muslims in the south that has been rejected by the Philippine Congress. Cardinal Quevedo has been a vocal advocate for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which peace advocates hoped would bring a formal end to four decades of war in Mindanao. The prelate said that among all the presidential candidates, Duterte has the "credibility and knowledge" when it comes to issues concerning peace in the southern Philippines. The cardinal also suggested that the Duterte administration should immediately work on the revision of school textbooks that perpetuate misinformation about the Moros and other tribal people in Mindanao. READ MORE...ALSO: Moving forward by Former Press Secretary Hector R. Villanueva...

ALSO: Lacson - Peace & Order problem can worsen; PNP - 'Philippines no Wild, Wild West'
[RELATED: Media boycott temporary – Duterte aide]


JUNE 7 -AQUINO'S PNP GENERALS: Philippine National Police chief Director General Ricardo Marquez (center) joins other PNP generals in a flag-raising ceremony at Camp Crame yesterday. Marquez claims he has no information on three generals involved in illegal drugs. Peace and order problem can worsen – Ping MANILA - Allowing citizens to arrest suspected drug traffickers in exchange for reward money might turn the country into a “Wild, Wild West” that will only worsen peace and order problems. The warning was issued by senator-elect Panfilo Lacson, himself accused in the past of involvement in summarily executing kidnapping and robbery suspects and who is also known for his tough stance on criminality. Lacson, a former chief of the Philippine National Police, also expressed opposition to Duterte’s call for three PNP generals suspected of involvement in the illegal drug trade to resign or be identified and humiliated in public. The PNP is inclined to allow Duterte to expose and relieve the police generals he believes are involved in the illegal drug trade, but officials are not daring him to name names. Lacson issued the warning after Duterte urged citizens with guns to shoot and kill drug dealers who would resist arrest and fight back. He said the call could cause confusion among law enforcers and civilians who might take the law into their hands so they could claim the bounty. “While the Revised Penal Code allows citizen’s arrest and self-defense as a valid legal reason to kill a person, law enforcement authorities might lose control of the situation as civilians are not trained to gather and process intelligence or conduct overt operations against armed criminals,” Lacson said in a text message to The STAR. He said the situation might escalate into a serious peace and order problem. “No peace-loving citizen needs or deserves a Wild, Wild West environment,” he said. READ MORE...RELATED, Media boycott temporary – Duterte aide...

ALSO: UN experts slam Duterte - Stop instigating deadly violence!
[RELATED: Rody - 35 local execs in illegal drug trade]


JUNE 7In this photo provided by the Office of the City Mayor, Davao City, presumptive president-elect Rodrigo Duterte answers questions from the media during a news conference at dawn Thursday, May 26, 2016 at his hometown of Davao city, southern Philippines. King Rodriguez, Office of the City Mayor Davao via AP
Two United Nations (UN) independent experts called on President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to stop instigating deadly violence following his recent comment on media killings. Duterte earlier said that some journalists in the Philippines who were killed were also corrupt. Related Stories UN experts told: Duterte condemns media killings UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions Cristoff Heyns said that Duterte's remarks amounts to incitement to violence and killing in a nation ranked as the second-deadliest country for journalists. "These comments are irresponsible in the extreme, and unbecoming of any leader, let alone someone who is to assume the position of the leader of a country that calls itself democratic," Heyns said. Meanwhile, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye said that justifying media killings based on how they conduct their professional activities can be understood as a signal to potential killers that killings journalists is acceptable. "This position is even more disturbing when one considers that Philippines is still struggling to ensure accountability to notorious cases of violence against journalists, such as the Maguindanao massacre," Kaye said. READ MORE...RELATED,  Duterte camp: Unfortunate UN’s Ban Ki Moon believed ‘incorrect news’ on media killings ALSO, Rody: 35 local execs in illegal drug trade...

ALSO: UN experts told - Duterte condemns media killings
[RELATED: Media covering Rody still left out in the cold]


JUNE 7 -President-elect Rodrigo Duterte does not condone media killings, his spokesman Salvador Panelo argues. Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV, file
The camp of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte stressed that the next Philippine leader does not condone the killing of journalists. Duterte’s spokesman Salvador Panelo said the next Philippine leader acknowledges that some journalists lost their lives because of their advocacies.
Related Stories UN experts slam Duterte: Stop instigating deadly violence “He (Duterte) also condemns all killings, harming of journalists regardless of who these personalities are, whether or not they are for or against any administration,” Panelo told the ABS-CBN News Channel. Panelo said the UN experts’ statement that Duterte’s comment amounts to incitement of violence and killings is based on a wrong premise. “What he was saying at that time was you don't have to be a journalist to get killed. You can be a lawyer, you can be a doctor, anyone else, you will be killed because you committed a grievous wrong to another individual,” the incoming presidential spokesman said. “So when a journalist is killed, it doesn't mean that he was killed because he was advocating, a particular cause,” he added. READ MORE...RELATED, ALSO, Media covering Rody still left out in the cold...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:


ABOUT NCCP: he National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) is the largest aggroupation of non-Roman Catholic churches in the Philippines. For over four decades, the NCCP has kept abreast with and is continually responding to the signs of the times, ever focused on its vision for itself and the wider church and following the example of Jesus. Founded in 1963, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) is an ecumenical fellowship of non-Roman Catholic denominations in the Philippines working for unity in faith and order. This implies providing the churches opportunities for common prophetic witness and service in responding to the people’s issues, specifically justice and peace, human dignity and rights, and the integrity of creation. It finds its theological basis on the fact of the incarnation – of God in solidarity with us, especially with those who suffer and the vulnerable – for the affirmation of just and inclusive communities. It also compels the church to bring about Christian hope in to the realm of the possible in a society weighed down by systemic violence and degradation. With ten member-churches and nine associate members, it is the largest non-Catholic church organization in the Philippines. SOURCE http://nccphilippines.org/about-us/

MANILA, JUNE 13, 2016 (NATIONAL CHURCHES FOR CHURCHES) PRESS RELEASE - Jun 6 at 7:32 PM - As peace advocates, the last month has been encouraging.


SONA: Press conference ni President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte (Part 3) YOU TUBE VIDEO LIVE GMA NEWSTV

Incoming President Duterte continued to underscore his intention to pursue peace in our nation, most immediately by resuming Peace Talks with the National Democratic Front-Philippines (NDFP).

In fact, Duterte’s negotiating panel chair Secretary Silvestre Bello III, peace adviser Secretary Jesus Dureza and panel member Hernani Braganza are being sent to Oslo, Norway to engage in preliminary talks on June 16, 2016, even before our new president’s inauguration to office. Given these positive efforts, we must protest the June 2016 US “terrorist” listing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA).

As reported, such listings are based on US interests in our country—we are tired of US interests been peddled as priority over the interests of our people, most especially when we are gearing up for reinvigorated peace negotiations.

This so-called “terrorist” listing is nothing new and we must not let it influence our openness to the pursuit of a just and enduring peace in the Philippines.

As has been done for generations, United States intelligence groups regularly label and tag those who do not capitulate to their agenda and primacy in the world; after the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City, the US launched an intensified campaign of foreign domination under the guise of a “War on Terror.”

Sadly, such campaigns are often successful in bending Philippine policies and priorities to the benefit of US interests in our nation.


Silvestre Bello III and Jesus Dureza' COMPOSITE POHOTO FROM RAPPLER.COM

Incoming President Duterte seeks to address historical injustices and to address the roots of armed conflicts through peace negotiations; thus, his plan to establish independent, foreign-relations strategies is essential. The United States is undoubtedly concerned about their interests.

After more than a century as colonial and neo-colonial subjects of US Imperialism, the Philippines still struggles to break free from US interests and express our right to self-determination as a people. Duterte is sending a message that instead of pandering to the directives and dictates of the United States, the Philippines will be going our own way in prioritizing Peace Talks with the NDFP. Both Duterte and the NDFP express a daring desire to work for peace based on justice that promotes the interests of the Filipino people and values the sovereignty of the Philippines.

If the United States cares, even an iota, for the peace of our nation and people, they will remove their “terrorist” tagging. Such can impede travel and make it dangerous for Professor Jose Maria Sison, founding chair of the CPP, to attend any activity related to the talks in the Philippines, as requested by our incoming president.

But even more than this, the United States should have the decency to let the Philippines tread our own course in the pursuit of the peace we want. If they desire to be our ally, they should see that Filipinos long to develop a more inclusive, democratic, and economically vibrant nation.

Dr. Jose Rizal’s plea “Noli Me Tangere” still echoes across the archipelago to insist that the United States step aside, so that our nation can give peace a chance, even as Andres Bonifacio spurs us forward, “Panahon na ngayong dapat na lumitaw ang liwanag ng katotohanan; panahon ng dapat nating ipakilala na tayo’y may sariling pagdaramdam, may puri, may hiya, at may pagdadamayan.”

Let us give peace a chance.

Reference: Rev. Rex R.B. Reyes, Jr. Convenor, Pilgrims for Peace 0928-385-4123
-- 3rd Flr, National Council of Churches in the Philippines, 879 EDSA, Quezon City We work for peace that is based based on justice. Peace where there is freedom, democracy and social justice. - Pilgrims for Peace

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

RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Pres. Aquino remains hopeful for passage of BBL in next Congress by Philippines News Agency June 10, 2016 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share8 By Jelly F. Musico


President Benigno S. Aquino III (MB File)

President Benigno S. Aquino III (MB File) Outgoing President Benigno Aquino III is hoping that the next 17th Congress will pursue the peace process in Mindanao by passing the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

“We remain hopeful for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law in incoming Congress,” the President told the audience who witnessed the launching of ‘Junctures’, a compilation of the President’s speeches and statements about the peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Thursday night at the Malacańang Palace.

Aquino promised to continue supporting the peace process even that his administration started not too many years ago when he decided to fly to Tokyo to meet with the MILF leaders headed by its chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim.

“In 21 days, I will be stepping down from office, but to all of you in attendance today, and to each person of goodwill who wishes to fulfill the promise of Mindanao, I will remain your friend and ally. Tell me how I can help this process, even as an ordinary citizen, and I will be by your side,” the President said.

“The book we launch today tells of the journey we have taken these past six years. We launch it fully aware that the journey is still ongoing—that there are more challenges we must overcome, and triumphs that await all of us,” he added.

The President said the people of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) have been enjoying the dividends of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed between the government and the MILF in 2012 and 2014, respectively.

“We have been able to give those in ARMM a significant boost up to catch up; and we are seeking to build a structure that promotes true leadership and public service in the region, as opposed to the previous status quo, where strongmen addressed only their own families’ needs, and, by chance, the needs only of their own tribe,” he said.

From 2011 to 2016, Aquino said the national and regional government invested a total of 61.64 billion pesos in roads, bridges, and flood-control projects in the ARMM.

The coverage of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) has also skyrocketed from only 37,564 households in 2010 to 442,924 as of 2016 aside from improving education and health care in the region.

The Aquino administration has also spent P 2.60 billion pesos for the 1,133 poverty-reduction projects in ARMM.

Aquino reported that the total investments in the region have reached to P 13 billion while the tourists in Tawi-Tawi have significantly increase from mere 200 to tens of thousands in 2014.

“These are only a few pieces of good news from ARMM; and there is a lot more to come if we continue along the road to a true and lasting peace,” the President said.

“This is the right path. It is a path that has benefited those in the margins of society; and it is a path that heals the fractures within the country we share. And the message that we now send to our countrymen is: We must continue along this path,” he added.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives failed to pass the BBL in the last 16th Congress due to time constraint and proximity of the last May 9 national and local elections.

The BBL is a codification of the CAB signed on March 27, 2014 with the main goal of ending the four decades of conflict in Mindanao.

Last February, the Philippine government peace panel (GPH) and the MILF signed a joint agreement in Kuala Lumpur for renewed commitments to pursue the peace process, including the enactment of BBL and the setting up of a new governance framework.

5 Comments Manila Bulletin Login 1 Recommend Share Sort by Best Avatar Join the discussion…

Avatar JJF724 • an hour ago Hindi nga puede dahil best friend ni Duterte si Marcos at sasama ang loob. • Reply•Share ›

Avatar patriotic filipino® • 3 hours ago Hopeful na makulong ka.😯 • Reply•Share ›

Avatar redsnapper1 • 4 hours ago Puwede naman pala yung ARMM, bakit ipinipilit pa yang BBL na yan?? Magkano kaya ang kikitain kapag natuloy yan? • Reply•Share ›

Avatar JJF724 redsnapper1 • an hour ago parang ang kakayahan lang nang ARMM ay katulad nang isang batang nasa Elementary School at yong sa BBL ay nagging Engineer na. Mas malaki na ang kakayahan at kaalaman. • Reply•Share › −

Avatar redsnapper1 JJF724 • 18 minutes ago Another yellow-turd. • Reply•Share ›


Mindanao prelate calls on Duterte to address peace process; Church is not his enemy, Cardinal Quevedo tells new president  Mark Saludes, Manila Philippines May 12, 2016


Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato delivers a talk in Manila. (Photo by Mark Saludes)

A leading Filipino church official has called on the country's newly elected president to immediately address peace issues in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao.

"Implement the doable ... that does not need constitutional revisions," said Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato.

Presumptive presidential nominee Rodrigo Duterte, mayor of the southern city of Davao, said he would work on revising the country's constitution to switch to a parliamentary and federal form of government.

Cardinal Quevedo, however, said federalism is a long-term project. "What needs to be done is in the nature of urgent and short term," he added.

The prelate said Duterte should start working on how to improve the proposed basic law for Muslims in the south that has been rejected by the Philippine Congress.

Cardinal Quevedo has been a vocal advocate for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which peace advocates hoped would bring a formal end to four decades of war in Mindanao.

The prelate said that among all the presidential candidates, Duterte has the "credibility and knowledge" when it comes to issues concerning peace in the southern Philippines.

The cardinal also suggested that the Duterte administration should immediately work on the revision of school textbooks that perpetuate misinformation about the Moros and other tribal people in Mindanao.

"The new president should recognize and support the efforts of educational and religious institutions that focus some of their work on interreligious dialogue," said Cardinal Quevedo.

Consider church as an ally

The cardinal also urged Duterte to "consider the church not as an obstacle or as an enemy, but as a positive force and a partner for national development."

Duterte has repeatedly drawn the wrath of Catholic bishops for using bad language and even cursing Pope Francis for causing a traffic jam in Manila in 2015.

Church and religious leaders also criticized Duterte for his unabashed claim of being a murderer and a womanizer.

During the election campaign, several church officials tried to convince the public not to vote for Duterte because of his "anti-life" pronouncements.

Cardinal Quevedo said Duterte should understand that "the church will be critical on the basis of moral and religious values and not on the basis of political partisanship."

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

FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN (COMMENTARY)

Moving forward by Former Press Secretary Hector R. Villanueva May 16, 2016 (updated) Share1 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share17


Villanueva was the longest serving press secretary of former President Fidel Ramos.(PHILSTAR NEWS FILE)

“It is much safe for a prince to be feared than loved, if he is too fair in one of the two.” — Machiavelli

At this point in time, very little is known about the motorcycle riding President-elect Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

The great unwashed are wondering what is in store for them while the rest speculate what makes Duterte tick, or what makes him dangerous, or what makes him different.

To assuage the hesitation and apprehensions of the business sector and foreign investors, the people concerned would want to know the attitude and direction the new government will be following.

The masses too would want to know whether Pres. Duterte is for real.

For starters, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, while busy rounding up or exterminating drug lords, corrupt officials, and criminals within six months, should avoid the hubris, political vendetta, and vindictiveness of Pres. Noynoy Aquino which resulted in irrecoverable loss of time and discord.

First, unlike P-Noy, Pres. Duterte should minimize surrounding himself with classmates, batch mates, motorcycle buddies, neighbors, and compadres.

Not all of them will be honest and competent, and when mistakes are made, it becomes heartbreaking to tell them that they are fired.

Moreover, resentment will set in when a “Mindanao Mafia” emerges, to the exclusion of the rest of the country.

Thus, professionalism and meritocracy should be established from the beginning, and not slide down again to political patronage.

Hence, a high-powered economic team composed of finance, budget, foreign affairs, trade and agriculture, with Bangko Sentral as advisory, should be known earlier for the guidance of business, foreign investors and multinationals.

For these reasons, the prospective choice of former Secretary Sonny Dominguez as finance head coupled with a good Secretary of Budget and management, and a seasoned businessman in trade and Industry will calm the market.

The NEDA has become ineffectual.

Second, while being preoccupied with neutralizing drug merchants and criminals, President Duterte will not only need an effective and well-known presidential liaison official of Cabinet rank to liaise with both Houses of Congress but also a judicial team for the Judiciary as needs necessitate.

Moreover, as the South China Sea becomes an area of contention and growing security concern, the territorial dispute should be given more serious consideration and earnest effort.

Third, there are serious and portentous peripheral issues, such as, pending plunder cases, the restoration of the death penalty, the release of Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from continued incarceration, the long delayed burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos, and the passage of a comprehensive and “inclusive” Muslim autonomy law should be prioritized.

When all is said and done, while busy with the six months timeline to eradicate crime and the drug menace, the economy, job creation, law and order, and urgent legislation, the country needs to more simultaneously if it is to rise to a new level of sustainability that a Duterte administration is expected to achieve.

You be the judge.


PHILSTAR

Lacson - Peace and order problem can worsen PNP - 'Philippines no Wild, Wild West' Share Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - June 7, 2016 - 12:00am


AQUINO'S PNP GENERALS: Philippine National Police chief Director General Ricardo Marquez (center) joins other PNP generals in a flag-raising ceremony at Camp Crame yesterday. Marquez claims he has no information on three generals involved in illegal drugs.


PING LACSON

Peace and order problem can worsen – Ping

MANILA, Philippines - Allowing citizens to arrest suspected drug traffickers in exchange for reward money might turn the country into a “Wild, Wild West” that will only worsen peace and order problems.

The warning was issued by senator-elect Panfilo Lacson, himself accused in the past of involvement in summarily executing kidnapping and robbery suspects and who is also known for his tough stance on criminality.

Lacson, a former chief of the Philippine National Police, also expressed opposition to Duterte’s call for three PNP generals suspected of involvement in the illegal drug trade to resign or be identified and humiliated in public.

The PNP is inclined to allow Duterte to expose and relieve the police generals he believes are involved in the illegal drug trade, but officials are not daring him to name names.

Lacson issued the warning after Duterte urged citizens with guns to shoot and kill drug dealers who would resist arrest and fight back.

He said the call could cause confusion among law enforcers and civilians who might take the law into their hands so they could claim the bounty.

“While the Revised Penal Code allows citizen’s arrest and self-defense as a valid legal reason to kill a person, law enforcement authorities might lose control of the situation as civilians are not trained to gather and process intelligence or conduct overt operations against armed criminals,” Lacson said in a text message to The STAR.

He said the situation might escalate into a serious peace and order problem.

“No peace-loving citizen needs or deserves a Wild, Wild West environment,” he said.

READ MORE...

During a thanksgiving party in Davao on Saturday, Duterte urged the three generals based at Camp Crame to resign. Lacson said the generals should be allowed to defend themselves against any allegation.

“If the information is baseless, unverified or not validated, it would be unfair not to give them a chance to defend themselves,” he said, noting he was himself a victim of trial by publicity.

The returning senator said private citizens should be encouraged instead to report to authorities the presence of major drug lords and traffickers in their communities.

“That is where the incentive of monetary reward should come into play,” Lacson said as he outlined the process of verifying the list of drug suspects and other criminal syndicates.

“The process entails a series of exchanges of information among the different intelligence agencies.”

After this, the drug suspects are placed in the Order of Battle (OB) of the authorities.

“The OB is a classified document and declassifying it follows a defined procedure and timeline. The public has no direct or indirect access to it,” he said.

About a decade ago, Lacson was accused of having links with the illegal drug trade by former anti-narcotics agent Mary Ong alias “Rosebud” and alleged informer Ador Mawanay.

He had denied the allegation, which became the subject of a Senate inquiry and turned out to be not supported by evidence.

PNP won’t dare Rody

The PNP won’t officially dare Duterte to name the generals, as it would be improper for them to do so, being his subordinates.

“The PNP is under him. Let’s just give him the chance to implement his programs,” PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor told The STAR.

Mayor earlier said they sent anti-drug counterintelligence agents to dig into the alleged involvement of some PNP generals in the drug trade.

He said what they had gathered so far was raw and unverified information.

PNP chief Director General Ricardo Marquez said no evidence to validate the accusation has been collected yet.

“We deployed special teams from the AIDG (Anti-Illegal Drug Group) to the Visayas. But up to now, the work is in progress. No evidence has been gathered to support the information on the three active generals,” Marquez said.

Mayor urged the public to give Duterte a chance to implement his programs in getting rid of the illegal drug trade.

He said Duterte would have the chance to audit the PNP’s intelligence funds and how it is used once he assumes the presidency.

“He will be our president in the next few days, he will have all the power and prerogative to direct all the anti-crime efforts,” Mayor said.

Free legal assistance

The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill providing free legal assistance to police officers or soldiers who face charges in connection with their job.

Camarines Sur Rep. Felix William Fuentebella, author of the bill, said the measure aims to help police or military personnel facing administrative or criminal case arising from an event related to official duty.

The bill requires the chiefs of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, PNP and National Police Commission (Napolcom) to authorize any lawyer, with the assistance of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO,) to provide free legal assistance to any AFP and PNP personnel within 24 hours after the charges are filed.

Expenses for the provision of such assistance will be charged to these agencies’ budgets.

The Department of Justice, in coordination with the AFP, PNP, Napolcom and PAO, will issue the implementing rules and regulations once the bill is signed into law. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe, Marvin Sy, Jess Diaz

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

RELATED FROM THE MANILA TIMES

Media boycott temporary – Duterte aide June 7, 2016 10:40 pm by JOEL M. SY EGCO, SENIOR REPORTER

THERE is no bad blood between the media and incoming President Rodrigo Duterte, who holds no grudge against any journalist and whose threat of boycott is only “temporary”, according to one of Duterte’s senior Cabinet officials.

Speaking on condition that he will not be identified, the incoming Cabinet secretary said Duterte’s penchant for making “preposterous” statements should not be taken literally.

“We now know his style. He talks tough and thinks tougher. He had said that people should not believe in everything that he says, especially the preposterous ones. If you would read between the lines and understand what he meant by boycotting the media until his term ends, he was talking about his term as mayor,” the incoming official told The Manila Times.

“We can all expect a lot of things to change by June 30, when he sheds the mayor persona and assume the role of President,” the source added.

Duterte on Tuesday clarified his earlier statement that he will no longer grant media interviews until the end of his term.

“If there are interviews, there will be many mistakes, there will be many criticisms. So no interview, no criticism, no wrong statements, no nothing,” he said when interviewed in Davao.

But in a statement on Tuesday, Duterte explained that his remarks is only for “ambush interviews.”

“It was not an interview. An ambush to which I replied that I will not allow interviews anymore now or in the future. That will be the drill until the last day of my term of office,” the mayor said.

Duterte recently drew flak for saying that some of the slain media workers had received payoffs or were involved in shady deals.

Some media outlets reported that Duterte had regarded corrupt journalists as “legitimate targets” but the incoming president’s designated officials claimed his statement was misinterpreted and taken out of context.
WITH CATHERINE VALENTE


PHILSTAR

UN experts slam Duterte: Stop instigating deadly violence 0 Share Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) - June 7, 2016 - 9:39am


In this photo provided by the Office of the City Mayor, Davao City, presumptive president-elect Rodrigo Duterte answers questions from the media during a news conference at dawn Thursday, May 26, 2016 at his hometown of Davao city, southern Philippines. King Rodriguez, Office of the City Mayor Davao via AP

MANILA, Philippines — Two United Nations (UN) independent experts called on President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to stop instigating deadly violence following his recent comment on media killings.

Duterte earlier said that some journalists in the Philippines who were killed were also corrupt.

Related Stories UN experts told: Duterte condemns media killings UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions Cristoff Heyns said that Duterte's remarks amounts to incitement to violence and killing in a nation ranked as the second-deadliest country for journalists.

"These comments are irresponsible in the extreme, and unbecoming of any leader, let alone someone who is to assume the position of the leader of a country that calls itself democratic," Heyns said.

Meanwhile, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye said that justifying media killings based on how they conduct their professional activities can be understood as a signal to potential killers that killings journalists is acceptable.

"This position is even more disturbing when one considers that Philippines is still struggling to ensure accountability to notorious cases of violence against journalists, such as the Maguindanao massacre," Kaye said.


The Palais Wilson, the headquarters of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. US Mission Geneva / Eric Bridiers

Kaye noted that provocative messages such as Duterte's recent statements indicate that he is displeased by the work of a journalist or an activist and that they can attack or kill them without fear of sanction.

Heyns also criticized the president-elect's plan to pay bounties to police and military officials for every drug lord that they turn in whether dead or alive.

"Talk of ‘dead or alive’ has no role to play in any state that claims to uphold human rights in law enforcement," Heyns said, adding that Duterte "fools no one" when says he is not ordering people to be killed.

Last week, Duterte lashed out against the UN and told it to "shut up" when he was asked about for his comment on a statement by international media organizations who want to file a suit against him.

"The UN? P******** kang UN, hindi mo ma-solve solve yung patayan dyan sa Middle East, they're killing people like... you cannot even lift a finger in Africa, they're butchering the black people there. Tumahimik nga kayo, pareho rin pala kayo ng Pilipinas," Duterte said in a press conference.

On Monday, Duterte said that he will no longer grant interviews until the end of his term to avoid criticisms.

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RELATED FROM  GMA NEWS ONLINE

Duterte camp: Unfortunate UN’s Ban believed ‘incorrect news’ on media killings Published June 11, 2016 10:35am

The camp of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said it was "unfortunate" that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon believed "incorrect news" that the incoming Philippine leader endorses extrajudicial killings.

"Obviously the UN Secretary-General believed the incorrect news reports that gave rise to such wrong perception (that Duterte endorses extrajudicial killings," incoming presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

Panelo reiterated: "The President-elect has not endorsed - can not - and will never endorse extrajudicial killings they being contrary to law."

In a statement released Friday, Ban said he "unequivocally condemn" Duterte's endorsement of extrajudicial killings, "which is illegal and a break of fundamental rights and freedoms."

"Such comments are of particular concern in light of on-going impunity for serious cases of violence against journalists in the Philippines," the statement quoted Ban as telling UN correspondents at a New York reception on Wednesday.

Ban's statement came after Duterte told two UN rights and summary executions experts to "go home and get some sleep."

Special Rapporteur on summary executions Cristof Heyns and Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye scored Duterte's recent statements on media killings.

Duterte said that the comments of the two UN experts are made on the wrong premise.

Panelo reiterated that Duterte does not condone the killing of journalists and clarified that the incoming president "chastises media persons who practice irresponsible journalism."

Duterte had said that some media persons who were killed are corrupt journalists.

"He does not condone the killing of journalists nor any citizen for that matter, regardless of its purpose. As President he is bound by his constitutional duty to enforce the law, and under no circumstances will he deviate from it. His utterances on media killings were reported incorrectly giving rise to the wrong perception that he was encouraging lawless violence," Panelo insisted.

The incoming presidential spokesperson said Duterte will uphold the Constitution in fighting criminality in the country.

He also assured that "the Bill of Rights as enshrined in the Constitution shall be in full bloom" during the Duterte administration. —report from Ian Cruz/ALG, GMA News

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ALSO  FROM PHILSTAR

 Rody: 35 local execs in illegal drug trade Share Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - June 9, 2016 - 12:00am


Whether the 35 will be arrested or eliminated as part of president-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown on drugs is unclear. Philstar.com file

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – There are at least 35 local officials involved in illegal drugs, president-elect Rodrigo Duterte told lawmakers here on Tuesday.

Whether the 35 will be arrested or eliminated as part of Duterte’s crackdown on drugs is unclear.

Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez said Duterte talked about the “clear and present danger” of the country’s drug problem during the meeting held at the Malacańang of the South in Barangay Panacan.

He said Duterte urged his allies in Congress to support his campaign against crime.

“(He said) top officials of the PNP (Philippine National Police) and 35 local executives (are involved in the illegal drug trade),” Suarez said yesterday.

“It’s like he is giving them leeway to confess. Perhaps they will get a lighter sentence if they confess, but he is not saying clemency or pardon,” Suarez added.

Suarez said Duterte did not name the local officials involved in drug deals. The incoming president, however, identified one police general allegedly involved in the sale of narcotics. Suarez declined to elaborate.

He said Duterte was visibly disgusted and frustrated by the fact that some local officials condoned and even supported the sale of illegal drugs instead of suppressing it.

“It’s a double whammy. You are not stopping, you are even protecting (the drug trade),” Suarez said.

It remains unclear what Duterte would do if the 35 local officials refuse to admit their wrongdoing. He has said he would not hesitate to kill to protect the country from the drug menace.

PNP GENERALS

Earlier, Duterte asked three police generals with alleged ties to the illegal drug trade to quit from their posts or be humiliated.

“Corruption must stop. I will ask three generals there in (Camp) Crame to resign. Do not wait for me to name you in public because I will only humiliate you,” Duterte said during his victory party at Crocodile Park last Saturday.

Duterte has also bared plans to review the cases against policemen that have been dismissed. He said some crooked police officers were able to avoid punishment because the prescription period of their cases has lapsed.

Suarez said Duterte is also planning to tap the military for his anti-drug campaign.

“He (Duterte) even mentioned that he might need the support of the Armed Forces in the cleansing method, eliminating those men in uniform who are involved in this drug issue,” the lawmaker said.

On the other hand, Chief Supt. Ronald dela Rosa, Duterte’s choice as the next PNP chief, said he would personally talk to the three police officials linked by the incoming president to illegal drugs.

Dela Rosa refused to identify the three police generals, but said they are on the take in the operations of illegal drugs.

“We will exhaust all legal means. But I will personally ask them first to leave the organization,” he said.

“Maybe they would listen. I would just ask them to resign instead of them being humiliated or being hurt.”

Dela Rosa admitted he could not just terminate the three police officials when he assumes the top PNP post.

He said the three police generals are still entitled to due process before summary dismissal proceedings.

Another option, Dela Rosa said, is to conduct a lifestyle check on the three police officials to obtain evidence that could bolster the case against them.

PNP chief Director General Ricardo Marquez said he has sent out a team to dig into the alleged involvement of police generals in illegal drugs but there is no evidence so far to validate the accusations.

Use the rope

During the meeting, Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. proposed the allocation of budget for lethal injection rooms, according to Suarez.

The proposal was made after Duterte informed the lawmakers in the meeting that the restoration of death penalty is one of his priorities.

Andaya, a former budget secretary, is poised to become the next chairman of the powerful House appropriations committee.

“Congressman Andaya proposed that in the budget for the remaining (days of the year), they would amend the 2016 budget. They would allocate funds for the improvement of the lethal injection room,” Suarez said.

But Duterte responded by citing the need for an implementing law on capital punishment.

“We can put it (funding for lethal injection rooms) in the appropriations, that we are setting aside the implementing features. It seems that he (Duterte) does not like it. He wants to do it by hanging,” Suarez said.

“He said the lethal injection is not frightening enough because you will just let the convict sleep. With hanging, you can see the convict wiggling,” he added.

Suarez, an ally of Vice President Jejomar Binay, said he has no objections to the restoration of death penalty.

“If ever I’ll get the minority (leadership), we might even approve it ahead of the majority,” he said.

Suarez said he prefers a more “dramatic” method of executing criminals.

“If I would be asked, I’d rather go for firing squad. It’s more dramatic. Imagine facing the musketry while blindfolded. It can be a serious deterrent to criminality,” he said. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe


PHILSTAR

UN experts told: Duterte condemns media killings 0 Share Alexis Romero (philstar.com) - June 7, 2016 - 8:55pm


President-elect Rodrigo Duterte does not condone media killings, his spokesman Salvador Panelo argues. Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV, file

MANILA, Philippines — The camp of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte stressed that the next Philippine leader does not condone the killing of journalists.

Duterte’s spokesman Salvador Panelo said the next Philippine leader acknowledges that some journalists lost their lives because of their advocacies.

Related Stories UN experts slam Duterte: Stop instigating deadly violence “He (Duterte) also condemns all killings, harming of journalists regardless of who these personalities are, whether or not they are for or against any administration,” Panelo told the ABS-CBN News Channel.

Panelo said the UN experts’ statement that Duterte’s comment amounts to incitement of violence and killings is based on a wrong premise.

“What he was saying at that time was you don't have to be a journalist to get killed. You can be a lawyer, you can be a doctor, anyone else, you will be killed because you committed a grievous wrong to another individual,” the incoming presidential spokesman said.

“So when a journalist is killed, it doesn't mean that he was killed because he was advocating, a particular cause,” he added.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Media covering Rody still left out in the cold SHARES: 3992 VIEW COMMENTS By: Marlon Ramos @MRamosINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:42 AM June 9th, 2016


Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte PHOTO BY JEOFFREY MAITEM / INQUIRER MINDANAO

DAVAO CITY—At least Digong proved to them he’s for real, even for once.

Journalists covering President-elect Rodrigo Duterte got a taste of what it felt like being snubbed by arguably the most loquacious occupant of Malacańang.

Members of the media, among them Rico Hizon, the Filipino anchor of the BBC World News, were barred from entering the presidential guesthouse compound in Barangay Panacan where Duterte met with outgoing Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and other members of the Liberal Party on Tuesday night.

“He’s just being consistent,” Duterte’s spokesperson, Salvador Panelo, told the Inquirer on Wednesday.

“He did not call a press conference (anyway). Why would you be allowed to go inside?” he said. “There will be no more press conferences. Go blame your flippant colleagues who were asking wrong questions and attributing wrong quotes.”

Panelo, lawyer until December of the family blamed for the murder of 58 people, including 32 media workers, in Maguindanao province in 2009, said some journalists who were attending Duterte’s late-night news briefings “should study journalism again.”

Security was tight outside Duterte’s temporary office, popularly known as Malacańang of the South, which is located inside the regional office of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Since his proclamation as winner of the May 9 presidential balloting, Duterte has been holding meetings and press briefings at the guesthouse.

But the situation has changed drastically. On Tuesday, only the crew of the state-owned People’s Television Network 4 (PTV 4) were allowed entry by members of the Presidential Security Group and private security personnel manning the main gate.

Reporters and crew of other news agencies spent more than six hours waiting for an official statement about what had transpired during Duterte’s meeting with Belmonte’s group.

A Manila-based television reporter, who flew here to report on Duterte’s activities, said the outgoing Davao City mayor’s decision to ban journalists was tantamount to “restriction” on the freedom of the press.

“Journalists and politicians are expected to be hostile to each other because they have different interests,” said the TV reporter, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal from his superiors.

“He may not like our reports, but we have the duty to inform the public. President-elect Duterte should understand and recognize the important role of the media in a democracy,” he said. “Is this part of the change that he has promised us?”


DUTERTE'S CHOICE FOR SPOKESMAN: Atty. Salvador S. Panelo -- former lawyer of one of the suspects in Maguindanao massacre ...BUSINESS WORLD ONLINE PHOTO

Panelo said the incoming President, who has been flip-flopping on his public statements since the campaign, was keen on keeping his word to boycott the media “for the rest of his term, unless he changes his mind.”

“He said that he will do that for the rest of his term. There will be no more press conferences,” Panelo said.

On Sunday, Duterte told a television network that he had decided to spurn media interviews in an apparent retaliation for the call of an international media watchdog to boycott his news briefings until he issues a public apology.

“That’s it. I don’t want to be interviewed. If I commit a mistake, there will be more criticisms,” Duterte said. “So it’s better (if there’s) no interview, no criticisms, no wrong statements, no nothing. (I will just) shut up. I really don’t want it.”

Panelo said Duterte’s order not to let reporters enter the guesthouse compound should not be taken as a restriction on the movement of the media.

He said there were other ways to get information about the incoming Duterte administration.


File:PTV 4 Telebisyon ng Bayan.PNG

For one, he said PTV 4 would be releasing video footage of Duterte’s official functions.

Panelo said reporters may also interview him and the heads of government agencies and departments. He said Duterte’s media team would likewise issue official press statements regularly.

“How can that be a restriction?

In fact, it would be better because we will now have official statements of (Duterte). You can no longer distort it, you cannot deviate from it. You can only quote it,” he said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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