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

'DRUG LORD' PETER LIM SURFACES IN DAVAO, SURRENDERS TO DUTERTE[Duterte told Lim if he wants to clear his name, he should submit himself for investigation before the NBI and warned him to steer clear of narcotics. However, the President told him during the meeting that if investigation shows he is involved in illegal drug activities, “I will execute you… I will finish you off!”]
[RELATED: Palace: List of gov't officials with alleged drug links 'will make you vomit']


JULY 17 -CONVINCE ME – President Duterte (right) talks to Cebu businessman Peter Lim (left) at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) office in Davao City Friday night. Lim, who was earlier tagged by Duterte as one of the top drug lords in the country, came forward to deny the allegations. (Presidential Communications Office /mb.com.ph) Davao City — Peter Lim, a Cebu-businessman tagged by police as a “drug lord” in the Visayas, surrendered to President Duterte at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) office here shortly before midnight Friday supposedly to clear his name following threats to his life. Lim denied he was the Chinese-Filipino drug dealer Peter Lim singled out in a national address last July 7 whom the President vowed would be killed on sight. The Cebu businessman denied any involvement in illegal drugs but admitted he was investigated in 1997 for alleged links to narcotics. Peter Lim is a fairly common name in the Philippines, where part of the population claims ethnic Chinese descent. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has recorded thousands of people with the name Peter Lim in the Philippines. Duterte told Lim if he wants to clear his name, he should submit himself for investigation before the NBI and warned him to steer clear of narcotics. However, the President told him during the meeting that if investigation shows he is involved in illegal drug activities, “I will execute you… I will finish you off!” “We want to help you. Help us clear you. We are not here to pin down innocent citizens; pero drug lord, talagang mainit ako (but when it comes to drug lords, I am really incensed),” Duterte added. In the video of the meeting, Lim was heard telling the President: “I could clear up everything because my family is really in deep problem now in Cebu. In any way, I will help, in all my ways I can.” Lim runs a string of business in Cebu. But Duterte shot back: “I will not say I’m sorry because the reason you’re here is you’re a suspected drug lord.” Duterte built a fearsome anti-crime reputation as long-time mayor of Davao City, where he would read out the names of drug suspects on his local radio program and the shamed personalities would later turn up dead on city streets. READ MORE...RELATED,
Palace: List of gov't officials with alleged drug links 'will make you vomit'...RELATED(2) Speaking before Muslim group: Duterte accuses US of 'importing' terrorism...

ALSO: De Lima denies partying with 'drug lord'
[ALSO: Drilon wants turncoats penalized]


JULY 17 - Senator Leila De Lima on Sunday denied online speculations that she made merry during two occasions with an alleged drug lord. De Lima said there is no truth to the viral video clip and photo claiming that she was spotted with Herbert Colangco, a convicted robbery gang leader, at two parties in Manila and Quezon City.
She said the video supposedly showing her with Colangco was actually taken during her own birthday party at the Department of Justice (DOJ) quadrangle back in August 2015. The person sitting next to her and who was speculated to be Colangco is actually Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas, De Lima added. She also noted that the other individuals shown in the 40-second clip were emcee Imelda Papin, former Justice Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar and other DOJ employees. De Lima also belied another "maliciously circulated" photo in Facebook supposedly showing her singing at the party of a drug lord. The photo, she said, was taken during the birthday party of her campaign supporter, Zaldy Aquino, at the Zirkoh comedy bar in Quezon City last December 28. READ MORE..ALSO, Drilon wants turncoats penalized...

ALSO Palace: Freedom of Information order ready for Duterte's signature [RELATED EDITORIAL: Big fat irony]


JULY 17 -Advocates have been pushing for the passage of a freedom of information law since the 12th Congress. File photo
MANILA, Philippines -- So, what caused the delay of the executive order on freedom of information that President Rodrigo Duterte was expected to sign last week? There were no contentious issues, according to Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, but Duterte was preoccupied with the ruling on the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) row issued by the international arbitral tribunal last Tuesday. The Hague-based court ruled that China’s expansive territorial claims have no legal basis and that Beijing had violated Manila’s rights when it constructed artificial islands in disputed areas. “What happened last week was we were overtaken by the event. Like, for instance, the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. We were focused on that,” Andanar told state-run radio station dzRB yesterday. “But this week, we will try to have it signed by the president,” he added. Duterte said the draft EO has been reviewed by Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. “As a matter of fact, it (EO on FOI) has been finalized,” Andanar said. READ MORE...ALSO,  EDITORIAL -Big fat irony...POLITICAL TURNCOATS AND SENATOR DRILON...

ALSO: Meet the boy who sings for the world Lance So
[The only Filipino in the prestigious Vienna Boys Choir, on singing, living in a palace, and meeting an emperor]


JULY 18 -Images by Jansen Romero MB FILE
What did you do when you were 11 years old? At this age, young Filipino singer Lance So is already part of the world-renowned Vienna Boys Choir, the perks of which allow him to live in a palace and sing for an emperor. That palace is called Palais Augarten. Located in Vienna, Austria, it serves as the rehearsal venue and boarding school of the choir. The emperor he serenaded recently is Japanese Emperor Akihito. The choir performed for him as part of their Asian Tour. The young singer has also performed with the choir in Italy, Germany, Iceland, and more. With all of these achievements, Lance is also a source of Filipino pride as he is currently the only Filipino in the Vienna Boys Choir. Seems like such a full life for someone so young. To follow this young jetsetter, Filipinos need not travel all the way to Vienna as he and his fellow choir members will have a concert in the Philippines. “It just feels special that I’ll be able to perform for my home country,” he said. This is a rare occurrence as the last time the choir came to Manila was 12 years ago. The event will be held on Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. at the PICC Plenary Hall, and it will be a night of Italian songs, mass songs, and one Filipino song. As to what that Filipino song will be, it will be a surprise. READ MORE...WATCH VIDEO...

ALSO: Mysterious sinking of cargo ship attracts crowds at Manila Bay


JULY 18 -HELD AT BAY – Only the starboard side of the M/V Captain Ufuk remains visible after it sank Saturday in Manila Bay when it suddenly took in water. The ship has been anchored at the bay since 2009 when it was confiscated by the Bureau of Customs in a gun smuggling case. (Ali Vicoy / mb.com.ph)
A Panamanian-registered cargo ship involved in attempted arms smuggling seven years ago sank in Manila Bay yesterday in full view of the morning crowd on the Baywalk of Roxas Boulevard in Manila. Commander Armand Balilo, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesman, said “M/V Captain Ufuk” started sinking Saturday night and by 10:30 a.m. Sunday, three-fourths of the ship had submerged in Manila Bay. Balilo said seven crew members tasked with maintaining the 49-year-old vessel abandoned ship at 9:40 p.m. Saturday after failing to stop water from entering. “Tinry pa nila na tanggalin ’yung tubig pero ’di na nila kinaya (The crew tried to bail water out of the ship, but to no avail),” he said. Balilo quoted the crew as saying that water could have entered through busted pipelines, a claim subject for confirmation. “Ang report ng crew, baka may nasira daw na pipes tapos doon pumasok ’yung tubig (The crew reported a possible breakage of pipes that became the entry point of seawater),” he said. The PCG said initial inspection showed that no oil has leaked from the vessel. Balilo said they are now coordinating with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to remove the ship as soon as possible. “Before hindi naman siya delikado kasi may tao naman sa vessel. Ngayon nalang siya naging delikado para sa mga naglalayag dahil sa kalagayan niya (It had a crew onboard so it posed no danger to other vessels, but now it has to be taken off the bay),” he said.
SHIP HAS A BACKSTORY The ship was moored outside the breakwater in 2012, three years after it was seized for carrying cache of assault rifles reportedly worth P100 million. READ MORE...


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‘Drug lord’ Peter Lim surfaces in Davao, surrenders to Duterte


CONVINCE ME – President Duterte (right) talks to Cebu businessman Peter Lim (left) at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) office in Davao City Friday night. Lim, who was earlier tagged by Duterte as one of the top drug lords in the country, came forward to deny the allegations. (Presidential Communications Office /mb.com.ph)

DAVAO CITY, JULY 18, 2016 (MANILA BULLETIN)  July 17, 2016  By Keith Bacongco and AFP - Davao City — Peter Lim, a Cebu-businessman tagged by police as a “drug lord” in the Visayas, surrendered to President Duterte at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) office here shortly before midnight Friday supposedly to clear his name following threats to his life.

Lim denied he was the Chinese-Filipino drug dealer Peter Lim singled out in a national address last July 7 whom the President vowed would be killed on sight.

The Cebu businessman denied any involvement in illegal drugs but admitted he was investigated in 1997 for alleged links to narcotics.

Peter Lim is a fairly common name in the Philippines, where part of the population claims ethnic Chinese descent. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has recorded thousands of people with the name Peter Lim in the Philippines.

Duterte told Lim if he wants to clear his name, he should submit himself for investigation before the NBI and warned him to steer clear of narcotics.

However, the President told him during the meeting that if investigation shows he is involved in illegal drug activities, “I will execute you… I will finish you off!”

“We want to help you. Help us clear you. We are not here to pin down innocent citizens; pero drug lord, talagang mainit ako (but when it comes to drug lords, I am really incensed),” Duterte added.

In the video of the meeting, Lim was heard telling the President: “I could clear up everything because my family is really in deep problem now in Cebu. In any way, I will help, in all my ways I can.” Lim runs a string of business in Cebu.

But Duterte shot back: “I will not say I’m sorry because the reason you’re here is you’re a suspected drug lord.”

Duterte built a fearsome anti-crime reputation as long-time mayor of Davao City, where he would read out the names of drug suspects on his local radio program and the shamed personalities would later turn up dead on city streets.

READ MORE...

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director Isidro Lapena said, “there is no specific instruction but the President told him (Lim) to have his case probed.” Lim was not detained and was allowed to return to Cebu. He then pledged cooperation in Duterte’s anti-crime campaign.

“Our nation is very lucky to have you. You’re the only President who could save our nation. You really mean business,” Lim told the President during the meeting.

But when he was about to leave and offered to shake the President’s hand. “I’m sorry I cannot shake your hand,” Duterte said.

DECEMBER DEADLINE

Meanwhile, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Ismael “Mike” Sueno warned governors and mayors Friday that they may be charged with neglect of duty if they fail to address the problem of illegal drugs in their areas.

Aside from this, Sueno said ‘inept’ local executives may also lose their National Police Commission (Napolcom) deputation which gives them direct operational supervision over police units in their jurisdiction.

“We are giving them six months from now up to December. If they cannot lower the number of people with drug addiction in their area, they may be faced with serious neglect of duty,” said Sueno.

“The Department is prepared and persistent in making our communities safe by first eliminating drug menace. We are checking and ensuring that mayors are our partners in this law-given mandate in maintaining peace and order,” he added.

He said that under the law, local chief executives (LCEs) are mandated to eradicate problems on drugs in their area of jurisdiction.

“It is one of the reasons why mayors of cities and municipalities are deputized by the Napolcom vis-a-vis the Philippine National Police (PNP) so they can have a direct operational supervision over PNP personnel assigned in their respected areas,” he explained.

CONGRESSIONAL PROBE

In the Lower House, incoming Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez is cold to proposals to probe drug-related killings in the House of Representatives.

“Congress needs to pass too many laws to waste its time on an investigation on something that should be left in the hands of the Department of Justice and the NBI,” said Alvarez.

“I don’t want any insinuation that the drug lords are using members of Congress to investigate the police so the latter would go slow on their campaign against illegal drugs,” said Alvarez.

Alvarez said that if indeed some of the killings may prove to be instances of summary executions, he sees no new laws that may be passed by Congress to address what may already be illegal acts.

“For if in the course of an investigation, the evidence should point to extra-judicial killing — that’s already illegal. So, what new law may be passed in relation to that?” he asked. (with reports from Yas D. Ocampo, PNA, Chito A. Chavez and Elena L. Aben)

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Palace: List of gov't officials with alleged drug links 'will make you vomit' By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated July 17, 2016 - 4:35pm 94 10.9K googleplus6 1


A police officer inspects firearms and shabu confiscated during a drug raid in the vicinity of the Golden Mosque in Quiapo, in April. EDD GUMBAN, file

Unbelievable. Hard to look at. Enough to make you vomit.

Those were the words used by Communications Secretary Martin Andanar to describe the matrix submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte showing government and police officials with alleged ties to drug syndicates.

“What I know is that I’ve seen the drug matrix of those who are allegedly involved in the sale of illegal drugs. What I can only tell you, that if you see the matrix, you’ll probably say that it is really unbelievable that such a high number of people are already involved,” Andanar told state-run radio station dzRB yesterday.

“Masusuka ka pag makikita mo (It will make you vomit),” he added.

Citing conservative estimates from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Andanar said about 1.8 million people are involved in illegal drugs.

“If you see some of the personalities involved the sale of illegal drugs, it (matrix) is really hard to look at,” Andanar said without elaborating.

Duterte will reveal the names of other persons of interest “in time,” the communications chief added.

On July 15, the president revealed that he has a matrix of local officials and policemen who are allegedly involved in the narcotics trade. He said he would announce the names of drug coddlers once he validates the information linking them to the illegal activity.

Duterte’s shame campaign against people allegedly involved in illegal drugs started last July 5 when he accused five retired and active police officers of protecting drug lords.

Accused of being involved in narcotics were retired police deputy director general Marcelo Garbo, Jr., retired police general and newly-elected Daanbantayan, Cebu mayor Vicente Loot, former National Capital Region Police Office head Chief Supt. Joel Pagdilao, former Quezon City Police District director Chief Supt. Edgardo Tinio, and Western Visayas regional director Chief Supt. Bernardo Diaz.

All of them have denied the allegation and claimed that the president was just given wrong information. They have also expressed readiness to subject themselves to investigations.

Two days later, Duterte announced the names of three people whom allegedly belong to the top tier of the drug trade in the country.

The president identified the alleged drug bigwigs as Wu Tuan alias “Peter Co,” and Herbert Colangco alias “Ampang,” both of whom are detained at the National Bilibid Prison; and Peter Lim alias “Jaguar.”

Duterte said Lim, who reportedly goes in and out of the country, would be killed once he sets foot in the Philippines.

A Cebu-based businessman named Peter Lim met with Duterte in Davao City last Friday to deny his involvement in the sale of illegal drugs. The president, however, threatened to kill him if it is proven that he is a drug lord.

Duterte, nevertheless, told Lim to hire a lawyer and allow himself to be investigated by authorities.

“We are not here to pin down innocent citizens,” Duterte told Lim.

‘Clear your name’

Andanar encouraged other Peter Lims to emulate the Cebu-based businessman and to present their side to authorities.

“The alleged drug lord Peter Lim has come out in the open. He cleared his name and he has expressed his intention to the president that he will do just that. Now, the burden now is on Peter Lim and we do encourage the rest of the suspects to do the same,” Andanar said.

Asked if Duterte would apologize once it is proven that the Peter Lim who surfaced is innocent, Andanar said: “Let’s just wait until the final investigation comes out. Let’s just wait for Mr. Peter Lim’s evidence and what he can show to clear him from this allegation.”

Pressed why Duterte allowed Lim to live despite his previous threat that he would be killed if he returns to the country, Andanar replied: “Peter Lim has already expressed his intentions to clear his name, let’s leave it at that.”

Andanar also belied allegations that only poor drug pushers or users are being killed while big-time drug lords are still free. He said such claims should be backed by evidence.

“As far as I can remember in the history, I have not seen a president who has been so brave in announcing to the public the people who have been or allegedly are behind this menace of drugs,” Andanar said.

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

ALSO FROM NEWS ASIA NIKKEI ONLINE

Duterte accuses US of 'importing' terrorism Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Mail July 9, 2016 12:30 am JST MIKHAIL FLORES, Nikkei staff writer


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte © Reuters

MANILA -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday blamed the U.S., his country's main ally and treaty partner, for creating an environment that has encouraged radicals to wreak terror worldwide.

Speaking before a gathering of Muslims in the southern Philippines at the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, Duterte said jihadis are people who have been "driven to desperation."

"There was no sufficient semblance of governance, and that is why they [were] pushed to the wall," the president said of extremists in the Middle East. "Then they became radicalized."

He continued: "It is not that the Middle East is exporting terrorism to America. America imported terrorism."

The president, who is known for courting controversy, made the remarks in the wake of a series of deadly terrorist attacks around the globe.

READ MORE...

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for an attack at an upscale cafe in Dhaka earlier this month, in which 22 people were killed -- 20 of them civilians. Suicide bombers also opened fire and blew themselves up at Istanbul's main international airport on June 28, killing more than 40 people and wounding hundreds more.

On Sunday, a powerful explosion in a crowded commercial area of Baghdad killed more than 200 people, making it one of the deadliest attacks in war-torn Iraq.

Duterte appeared to draw parallels between the grievances of Middle Eastern insurgents and those of the Philippines-based militants he must contend with. Local terrorist group Abu Sayyaf beheaded two Canadian hostages in April and June, after its ransom demands were not met. A Norwegian remains in captivity, while the Filipina girlfriend of one of the Canadians was released last month.

Duterte's remarks could strain Manila's long-standing alliance with Washington, which includes a defense cooperation pact that allows for a renewed American military presence on Philippine soil.


ABS-CBN

De Lima denies partying with 'drug lord' ABS-CBN News Posted at Jul 17 2016 05:54 PM Share Facebook Twitter GPlus LinkedIn Pinterest

MANILA -- Senator Leila De Lima on Sunday denied online speculations that she made merry during two occasions with an alleged drug lord.

De Lima said there is no truth to the viral video clip and photo claiming that she was spotted with Herbert Colangco, a convicted robbery gang leader, at two parties in Manila and Quezon City.

She said the video supposedly showing her with Colangco was actually taken during her own birthday party at the Department of Justice (DOJ) quadrangle back in August 2015. The person sitting next to her and who was speculated to be Colangco is actually Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas, De Lima added.

She also noted that the other individuals shown in the 40-second clip were emcee Imelda Papin, former Justice Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar and other DOJ employees.

De Lima also belied another "maliciously circulated" photo in Facebook supposedly showing her singing at the party of a drug lord.

The photo, she said, was taken during the birthday party of her campaign supporter, Zaldy Aquino, at the Zirkoh comedy bar in Quezon City last December 28.

READ MORE...

She said this may be verified with the file videos and record of the establishment.

President Rodrigo Duterte last week named Colangco, Peter Lim and Peter Co as three alleged leaders of drug trafficking operations in the country.

Colangco earlier made headlines as a member of the so-called "Bilibid 19," a group of high-profile convicts who reportedly enjoyed perks while behind bars at the New Bilibid Prisons.

De Lima had pushed for tighter security at the national penitentiary during her stint as Justice Secretary.

More recently, she lauded Duterte's anti-narcotics campaign but also said she suspects that some of those slain in the campaign were victims of extra-judicial killings.

She has pushed for a Senate investigation on the alleged summary executions of drug suspects all over the country.

(READ: De Lima to SolGen: I will not be intimidated)

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

ALSO: FROM PHILSTAR

Drilon wants turncoats penalized By Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 18, 2016 - 12:00am 1 3 googleplus1 0


Sen. Franklin Drilon has filed a bill seeking to strengthen the political system, prevent party switching and level the playing field among parties. PRIB Photo/Joseph Vidal

MANILA, Philippines – With the once ruling Liberal Party hemorrhaging from defections to the new majority, Sen. Franklin Drilon wants political turncoats penalized as part of an overhaul of the party system.

Drilon has filed a bill seeking to strengthen the political system, prevent party switching and level the playing field among parties.

“It’s about time that we pass a measure that will institutionalize and strengthen political parties as pillars of the country’s democratic system,” Drilon said in a statement.

He said it is imperative that the country’s political party system be strengthened in order to achieve genuine political development and democracy.

Drilon said there have been many attempts to reform the orientation of political parties “to veer away from the concept of traditional politics.”

“Such attempts remain unsuccessful because of lack of legal institutional framework to govern system of political parties,” he said.

Drilon’s Senate Bill 226 or the proposed Political Party System Act aims to promote party loyalty, discipline and adherence to ideological principles, platforms and programs.

Most political aspirants change political parties for convenience, rather than out of conviction.

This shows the lack of ideological commitment of party members because their choices are based on the “rise and fall of the tide of opportunity.”

The measure seeks to penalize political turncoats by disallowing them to run under any party for any elective position in the next election after changing party affiliation.

It also requires them to refund any and all amounts they received from the party, plus a 25 percent surcharge.

“Political parties in our country are normally used as vehicles to win an election. Political party system is centered on personalities rather than ideology and political platform,” Drilon said.

If enacted into law, a state subsidy fund will be established to augment the campaign expenditures and party development expenses.

The funds can be used to augment the operating expenses of the accredited political parties for their development, including administration and recruitment, research and policy development, and education and training of members.


PHILSTAR

Palace: Freedom of Information order ready for Duterte's signature By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated July 17, 2016 - 3:03pm 12 135 googleplus0 0


Advocates have been pushing for the passage of a freedom of information law since the 12th Congress. File photo

MANILA, Philippines -- So, what caused the delay of the executive order on freedom of information that President Rodrigo Duterte was expected to sign last week?

There were no contentious issues, according to Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, but Duterte was preoccupied with the ruling on the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) row issued by the international arbitral tribunal last Tuesday.

The Hague-based court ruled that China’s expansive territorial claims have no legal basis and that Beijing had violated Manila’s rights when it constructed artificial islands in disputed areas.

“What happened last week was we were overtaken by the event. Like, for instance, the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. We were focused on that,” Andanar told state-run radio station dzRB yesterday.

“But this week, we will try to have it signed by the president,” he added.

Duterte said the draft EO has been reviewed by Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

“As a matter of fact, it (EO on FOI) has been finalized,” Andanar said.

READ MORE...

Early this month, Malacañang officials announced that Duterte would issue an EO requiring agencies under the executive branch to release information about their transactions and their projects.

The EO seeks to promote transparency and accountability in government and to encourage greater citizen participation in governance.

The working title of the draft EO is “Operationalizing in the Executive branch the people's constitutional right to information and the state policies of full public disclosure and transparency in the public service and providing guidelines thereof of the freedom of information.”

A law, however, is needed to implement FOI in all branches of government including the judiciary and legislature.

Right to information bills have been filed since the 12th Congress but they were not enacted partly due to fears that they may be used to destroy reputations. Duterte previously said that it would be up to Congress to decide whether to pass an FOI law.

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

RELATED FROM THE MANILA STANDARD (EDITORIAL)

POLITICAL TURNCOATS) Big fat irony posted July 18, 2016 at 12:01 am



ANYONE with a knowledge of recent history will appreciate just how ironic it was for Senate President Franklin Drilon to file a bill seeking to penalize political turncoats.

Drilon, no doubt, was motivated by the recent defeat at the polls of the presidential candidate of his Liberal Party—and the ensuing hemorrhage of members from the erstwhile ruling party to President Rodrigo Duterte’s winning PDP-Laban.

While some in the LP saw the defections as understandable acts of political survival, Drilon would have none of it. His bill would either stem the exodus or make the turncoats pay.

“It is about time that we pass a measure that will institutionalize and strengthen political parties as pillars of the country’s democratic system,” Drilon declared as he filed Senate Bill No. 226 or the Political Party System Act.

In the past, Drilon said, attempts to reform political parties “away from the concept of traditional politics” had failed because there was no legal institutional framework to govern political parties.


STILL WANTS HIS LOSING PARTY LP TO BE PART OF MAJORITY BLOC

Drilon said his bill was aimed at promoting party loyalty, discipline and adherence to ideological principles, platforms and programs.

“Most political aspirants change political parties for convenience, rather than because of conviction. This only shows the lack of ideological commitment of the members of party because they choose parties based on the rise and fall of the tide of opportunity,” the Senate president said.

Under the Drilon bill, political turncoats will be disallowed from running under any political party for any elective position in the next succeeding election after changing affiliations.

They will also refund any amounts they received from their political party, including a 25 percent surchage.

“Political parties in our country are normally used as political vehicles to win an election. The political party system is centered on personalities rather than ideology and political platform,” Drilon declared. “Political turncoatism should never be encouraged nor tolerated.”

In championing his bill, however, Drilon may have overlooked the biblical admonition that it is he who is without sin that should cast the first stone.

Loyalty, if we go by his track record, has not been one of Senator Drilon’s strong suits.

In 1995, Drilon ran and won under the Lakas-Laban coalition, but bolted Lakas in 1998 to join the Laban ng Makabayang Masang Pilipino and supported Joseph Estrada in the presidential race. While he was installed as Senate president in July 2000, he turned on Estrada in October of the same year. In 2001, he was one of the senators who voted in favor of opening a second bank envelope that was expected to pin President Estrada down in his impeachment proceedings—then cried when he was outvoted and impeachment lawyers walked out of the session hall in protest.

Returning to the Senate presidency in July 2001 after Estrada’s ouster, Drilon joined the Liberal Party in 2003.

He actively supported President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo when she sought a fresh mandate in 2004, but broke with her in 2005 when her election to office was stained by allegations of cheating.

On July 8, 2005, Drilon joined the so-called Hyatt 10—Arroyo Cabinet members who resigned to protest the alleged cheating—and demanded that she resign. The turnaround must be among the most abrupt in Philippine political history: just a few days before that, he famously told Mrs. Arroyo at a rally in his hometown of Iloilo that if Manila didn’t want her, she should consider moving Malacañang to Iloilo “where we love you.”

As far as ironies go, that’s a big, fat one.


MANILA BULLETIN

Meet the boy who sings for the world Lance So
[The only Filipino in the prestigious Vienna Boys Choir, on singing, living in a palace, and meeting an emperor]
July 18, 2016 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share2 By Jasmine Agnes T. Cruz


Images by Jansen Romero MB FILE

What did you do when you were 11 years old? At this age, young Filipino singer Lance So is already part of the world-renowned Vienna Boys Choir, the perks of which allow him to live in a palace and sing for an emperor. That palace is called Palais Augarten. Located in Vienna, Austria, it serves as the rehearsal venue and boarding school of the choir. The emperor he serenaded recently is Japanese Emperor Akihito. The choir performed for him as part of their Asian Tour. The young singer has also performed with the choir in Italy, Germany, Iceland, and more. With all of these achievements, Lance is also a source of Filipino pride as he is currently the only Filipino in the Vienna Boys Choir. Seems like such a full life for someone so young.

To follow this young jetsetter, Filipinos need not travel all the way to Vienna as he and his fellow choir members will have a concert in the Philippines. “It just feels special that I’ll be able to perform for my home country,” he said.

This is a rare occurrence as the last time the choir came to Manila was 12 years ago. The event will be held on Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. at the PICC Plenary Hall, and it will be a night of Italian songs, mass songs, and one Filipino song. As to what that Filipino song will be, it will be a surprise.

READ MORE...


/mb.com.ph

As we wait for their concert, a tidbit. It’s interesting to know that Lance’s journey was somewhat of an accident. He and his parents were living in Shanghai when his friends decided to audition for the school’s Dulwich choir. Lance decided to simply tag along. “I wasn’t nervous because I didn’t even think that I’d get in,” he said. He was the only one who was picked to join the choir.

In 2015, the Vienna Boys Choir came to their school to conduct their yearly workshop, and that was when Lance was discovered. Though he was invited to the choir, his parents were hesitant and said no. Then, they saw their son sing a solo during the school’s Founder’s Day, which was the only time that they realized that their son could in fact sing. “I was dumbfounded to hear Lance sing so well,” said his mother Raquel.

Being in the choir, though, takes a lot of hard work. They stay in school up to six in the evening, and they have to learn languages like German and Italian. When performing for emperors, Lance does feel nervous, but he says that what helps him is looking at the audience. “When I see all of their happy faces, I calm down,” he said. The songs that they are learning also continue to fuel his passion. “They aren’t just songs you want to listen to,” he said. “They are songs that make you want to stand up and have fun with it.”

For tickets, call TicketWorld at 02 891 9999, www.ticketworld.com.ph

 


MANILA BULLETIN

Mysterious sinking of cargo ship attracts crowds at Manila Bay by Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos July 18, 2016 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share2


HELD AT BAY – Only the starboard side of the M/V Captain Ufuk remains visible after it sank Saturday in Manila Bay when it suddenly took in water. The ship has been anchored at the bay since 2009 when it was confiscated by the Bureau of Customs in a gun smuggling case. (Ali Vicoy / mb.com.ph)

A Panamanian-registered cargo ship involved in attempted arms smuggling seven years ago sank in Manila Bay yesterday in full view of the morning crowd on the Baywalk of Roxas Boulevard in Manila.

Commander Armand Balilo, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesman, said “M/V Captain Ufuk” started sinking Saturday night and by 10:30 a.m. Sunday, three-fourths of the ship had submerged in Manila Bay.

Balilo said seven crew members tasked with maintaining the 49-year-old vessel abandoned ship at 9:40 p.m. Saturday after failing to stop water from entering.

“Tinry pa nila na tanggalin ’yung tubig pero ’di na nila kinaya (The crew tried to bail water out of the ship, but to no avail),” he said.

Balilo quoted the crew as saying that water could have entered through busted pipelines, a claim subject for confirmation.

“Ang report ng crew, baka may nasira daw na pipes tapos doon pumasok ’yung tubig (The crew reported a possible breakage of pipes that became the entry point of seawater),” he said.

The PCG said initial inspection showed that no oil has leaked from the vessel.

Balilo said they are now coordinating with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to remove the ship as soon as possible.

“Before hindi naman siya delikado kasi may tao naman sa vessel. Ngayon nalang siya naging delikado para sa mga naglalayag dahil sa kalagayan niya (It had a crew onboard so it posed no danger to other vessels, but now it has to be taken off the bay),” he said.

SHIP HAS A BACKSTORY

The ship was moored outside the breakwater in 2012, three years after it was seized for carrying cache of assault rifles reportedly worth P100 million.

READ MORE...

Bruce Jones, the British captain, was not aboard when the ship was seized by the PCG. He left the ship to attend to his pregnant Filipina wife.

Arrested were Jones’ replacement, South African John Lawrence, and 13 crewmen from Georgia.

Interviewed while being a fugitive, Jones sought government protection, saying that the syndicate behind the arm smuggling is threatening him and his family.

Unfortunately, Jones was shot dead two years later by two unidentified suspects aboard a motorcycle in Angeles City. His wife was wounded during the attack.

In an exclusive interview with Manila Bulletin reporter Mar Supnad in 2009, Jones denied involvement in arm smuggling and terrorism.

“I am not a terrorist and not capable of doing that,” he said.

Jones said he was a victim of the incident, adding that he had documents to support that the guns were legally acquired from P.T. Pindad with address at JI. Jend. Gatot Subroto, 517 Bandung, Indonesia.

“In fact, when they loaded the 20 wooden crates of guns into my ship, these were even supervised and guarded by around 50 policemen or soldiers from Indonesia. So I presumed it was all legally acquired,” he said.

He said he was instructed by his employer to deliver the guns to La Plata Trading, Inc. with office address at 14th floor, BDO Building, Paseo de Roxas, Makati City and was told that the cargo had been cleared by the Philippine National Police (PNP).

According to Jones, a total of 20 wooden crates full of guns were loaded into the ship from Indonesia. He said 19 of the boxes contained assault rifles and only one box contained 9mm pistols. (With quotes from a 2009 story by Mar T. Supnad)


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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