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DUTERTE SAYS HE WILL NOT HONOR PARIS CLIMATE CHANGE
[RELATED: President Duterte and the Paris Agreement]
[RELATED(2): RP reviewing ‘crazy’ climate pledges – Duterte]


JULY 19 -The historic Paris climate deal seeks to limit global warming “well below” two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. TOTO LOZANO/PPD
A historic climate agreement pushed by the previous administration will not be honored by President Rodrigo Duterte, who believes the deal is blocking the progress of developing countries like the Philippines. Duterte claimed that industrialized countries are “dictating the destiny” of developing ones by requiring them to cut carbon emissions. “We have not reached the age of industrialization. We are going into it. But you are trying to (cite) agreement that will impose limitations on us. We maintain the present emission. That’s stupid,” Duterte said during the sendoff of the Philippine delegation to the Rio Olympics on Monday in Malacañan Palace. “I will not honor that,” he added. Last April, more than 150 countries signed the historic Paris climate deal that seeks to limit global warming “well below” two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. World leaders have also promised to continue efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. RELATED: Historic pact to slow global warming celebrated in Paris The signatories are also required to step up measures that will stop the increase in greenhouse gas emissions. The Philippines under then President Benigno Aquino III committed to reduce carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2030 even if it is not a major source of greenhouse gases. The Paris agreement, however, does not say what will happen to countries that will fail to meet their emission reduction goals. RELATED: Philippines signs Paris climate accord at UN The agreement was crafted during the 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in France last December. During the conference, Aquino said the survival of island nations depends on the international community’s commitment to act on climate change and to reduce greenhouse emissions. Duterte said he has expressed his refusal to honor the Paris agreement in a conversation with an ambassador whom he did not name. READ MORE...RELATED,
President Duterte and the Paris Agreement...RELATED(2), RP reviewing ‘crazy’ climate pledges – Duterte...

ALSO:
‘HEART-RENDING’ ADDRESS -Duterte’s SONA speech made his communications secretary cry


JULY 24 -Presidential Communications Office chief Martin Andanar. Press secretary ...President Rodrigo Duterte's self-written speech for his first State of the Nation Address on Monday made his communications secretary cry. "The address of the President, personally written by the President, will be a very powerful speech that will awaken the patriot in every Filipino," Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar told the media Sunday, during a press conference at the Royal Mandaya Hotel in Davao City. Andanar said that the Presidential Broadcast Staff Radio Television Malacañang spent hours reviewing the speech, which has been revised at least 10 times. "When I read the speech, ayaw ko pong mag-exaggerate pero the first time I read the speech, it made me cry. Ganoon po kaganda, ganoon po ka makabagbag-damdamin iyong speech ng Pangulo natin," the communications secretary said. He said Duterte's address will last at least 38 minutes. Duterte will deliver his first SONA at 3 p.m. on Monday, July 25. —Joseph Tristan Roxas/ALG, GMA, WATCH VIDEO...RELATED, MMDA bares traffic management plan for Duterte’s first SONA, July 25...RELATED(2) House to prioritize emergency powers on traffic ...

ALSO: Duterte meets with military, Mangudadatu on peace-building, dev’t programs


JULY 23 -Major Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan watch President Rodrigo Duterte register on a log book for visitors in Camp Siongco in Maguindanao, which he toured on Friday for dialogues with soldiers and Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu (inset), who escorted him to Davao City after his sortie in the province. Philstar.com/John Unson
MAGUINDANAO, Philippines - The tour in Maguindanao on Friday of President Rodrigo Duterte was markedly more of an emotion-filled “family reunion” with soldiers and the ruling Mangudadatu clan in the province than a traditional presidential sortie.
Officers and enlisted personnel of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (ID) gave the president a rousing applause when he praised them for their peace-building programs, complementing the government’s peace overture with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, during a traditional “talk to the men” session in Camp Siongco in Datu Odin town. The camp is Central Mindanao’s largest military Army installation, where 6th ID’s command base is located and from where its commander, Major Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, supervises the operations of more than a dozen Army field units scattered in the provinces of Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato and in several towns in Lanao del Sur. Duterte assured members of 6th ID of Malacañang’s protection as he called on them to help him fight the drug problem besetting the country. “As long as you are on the right direction, you need not worry because I will protect you,” Duterte told them during the dialogue that lasted for about two hours. Visayan soldiers present in the dialogue cheered and applauded Duterte each time he quipped and spoke Cebuano in encouraging them to perform their duties efficiently and support the peace process. READ MORE...

ALSO PNP: Crime slips as drug war intensifies
[239 DRUG SUSPECTS SLAIN IN POLICE OPS AS OF JULY 22]
[RELATED: Duterte: ‘Big fish’ in drug trade not in PHL]

[RELATED(2): SAF raids Nat'l Bilibid Prison drug lords’ den]


JULY 22 -A body of a man with a sign “Holdaper Ako Wag Tularan” is investigated by Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) that was discovered early saturday morning along Bonifacio Drive in Manila. INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZ
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday reported a downward trend in crime in the first half of 2016 amid the government’s relentless war against illegal drugs. PNP said a total of 46,060 crime incidents were recorded in June, down from the 52,950 incidents reported in January. Chief Superintendent Camilo Pancratius Cascolan attributed the decrease to the government’s ongoing drive against illegal drugs, namely Project Double Barrel and Project “Tokhang.” READ: Drug monster bigger than expected Oplan Double Barrel is the Duterte administration’s blueprint for its drug war, which supposedly involves exposing the “upper barrel” to capture “high-value” and supply-side targets; and the “lower barrel” to eliminate “low-value” and demand-side targets. Tokhang, which was first launched in Davao City in 2012, is a combination of “toktok” or knock and “hangyo” or to plead or request. Cascolan said there was a correlation between drug use and other forms of index crimes against persons and properties. “Over the last 21 days since Project Double Barrel was implemented in July 1, 2016, the PNP has recorded a national total of 3,213 arrested drug personalities during separate police operations by local and national PNP Units,” the PNP said in a statement. “Under Project ‘Tokhang’ or house visitations on residences of suspected drug personalities, a total of 120,038 voluntarily yielded to authorities, among them, 112,902 drug users and, 7,107 pushers,” it added. READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte: ‘Big fish’ in drug trade not in PHL...RELATED(2), SAF raids Nat'l Bilibid Prison drug lords’ den...

ALSO: President Duterte signs EO on FOI
[COVERS EXECUTIVE BRANCH ONLY]


Duterte signs Executive Order on Freedom of Information. (PCO photo) President Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order (EO) on Freedom of Information, Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar announced Sunday morning. At a press conference in Davao City, Andanar said the EO was finalized and signed Saturday night after discussions with Presidential Legal Counsel Secretary Salvador Panelo, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, and Undersecretary Jesus Quitain. "We are now holding a final copy of an EO on the FOI... After 29 years and only 25 days of President Rodrigo Duterte, this is already a record breaking speed of a cornerstone or milestone or landmark executive order being signed," he said. See here the copy of the EO Andanar recalled that the first resolution for FOI was submitted to Congress by the late senator Raul Roco at least 29 years ago. Then Camarines Sur representative Roco submitted House Bill 498 or the Right to Information bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives Committee on Public Information in 1987. “On the first day of President Rody Duterte on June 30, we already pushed for the executive order on the Freedom of Information. There were substansive pushing and pulling additions to this executive order for a more transparent executive branch of government and there is no planned timing of signing it yesterday,” Andanar said. The EO was signed two days before Duterte delivers his first State of the Nation Address on Monday. Executive branch The EO states that all government offices under the executive branch are encouraged to observe and be guided by the order to enable every Filipino access to information, official records, and other public documents. "This order shall cover all government offices under the Executive Branch, including bot not limited to tha national government and all its offices, departments, bureaus, offices, and instrumentatlities, including government-owned or -controlled corporations, and state universities and colleges. Local government units are encouraged to observe and be guided by this Order," the EO says. "Every Filipino shall have access to information, official records, public records and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for public-development," the order adds. Process of getting information Andanar said any person who requests for information will write to the duly authorized personnel assigned by the head of the government agency and should possess the requested information not longer than 15 days. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Duterte says he will not honor Paris climate deal


The historic Paris climate deal seeks to limit global warming “well below” two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. TOTO LOZANO/PPD

MANILA, JULY 25, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Alexis Romero Updated July 18, 2016 - A historic climate agreement pushed by the previous administration will not be honored by President Rodrigo Duterte, who believes the deal is blocking the progress of developing countries like the Philippines.

Duterte claimed that industrialized countries are “dictating the destiny” of developing ones by requiring them to cut carbon emissions.

“We have not reached the age of industrialization. We are going into it. But you are trying to (cite) agreement that will impose limitations on us. We maintain the present emission. That’s stupid,” Duterte said during the sendoff of the Philippine delegation to the Rio Olympics on Monday in Malacañan Palace.

“I will not honor that,” he added.

Last April, more than 150 countries signed the historic Paris climate deal that seeks to limit global warming “well below” two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. World leaders have also promised to continue efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

RELATED: Historic pact to slow global warming celebrated in Paris

The signatories are also required to step up measures that will stop the increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

The Philippines under then President Benigno Aquino III committed to reduce carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2030 even if it is not a major source of greenhouse gases. The Paris agreement, however, does not say what will happen to countries that will fail to meet their emission reduction goals.

RELATED: Philippines signs Paris climate accord at UN

The agreement was crafted during the 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in France last December. During the conference, Aquino said the survival of island nations depends on the international community’s commitment to act on climate change and to reduce greenhouse emissions.

Duterte said he has expressed his refusal to honor the Paris agreement in a conversation with an ambassador whom he did not name.

READ MORE...

When the ambassador reminded him that the Philippines signed the Paris deal, Duterte said: “That was not my signature. Somebody else’s, not mine.”

“We’ll make a new one or we do not honor (it) at all,” he added. 'Absurd' Duterte, who vowed to honor international agreements during his inauguration, noted that developed countries harmed the environment while they were undergoing industrialization.

“Now that we are about to develop, you (developed countries) will set limits,” the president said.

“Kalokohan yan (That’s absurd). So that is how very competitive and that is how very constricted our lives now. It’s being controlled by the world. It’s being imposed upon us by the industrialized countries. They think that they can dictate the destiny of the rest of the nation,” he added.

Last May, Duterte said industrialized nations should help developing ones to comply with the Paris agreement by providing financial assistance.

“I don’t have (a) problem with that. I will cooperate with whatever it takes to cut emission but look at history,” Duterte said in a press briefing.

“They (developed nations) were enjoying the booming (economy) and flooding the air with contaminants. Now that they are rich because of coal and industrialization, we are being asked to cut emission and limit our activities,” he added.

“If you have qualms, pay us or give us time to catch up.”

Frequent natural calamities have been blamed on climate change, which in turn, has been attributed on greenhouse gas emissions produced by human activities.

Some sectors, however, doubt the connection between emissions and climate change and scored what they described as “climate alarmism” that benefits the interests of green technology and renewable energy investors.

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA STANDARD (COMMENTARY)

President Duterte and the Paris Agreement posted July 23, 2016 at 12:01 am by Tony La Viña


by Tony La Viña

I am not upset with President Duterte’s comments last week, which media has interpreted as a rejection of the Paris Agreement. Frankly, he made important and good points—in particular, that developed countries must take the lead in addressing climate change and should not pass on this obligation to developing countries.

President Duterte just reiterated a pillar of climate justice, which our country has advocated since the climate negotiations began in 1990 and did again up to the Paris conference last December 2015.

President Aquino himself spoke about this in Paris and in New York in 2014. President Arroyo included this in her speech in Copenhagen in 2009 and President Fidel V. Ramos made sure he instructed Secretary Victor Ramos to advocate this in Kyoto, Japan in 1997. I was the chief negotiator of the Philippines then and made sure our delegation would take the lead in pushing the point.

Secretaries Manny de Guzman, Lucille Sering, and Heherson Alvarez, who have alternatively been Vice-Chairs of the Climate Change Commission since 2009, have repeated this demand in all recent climate change summits. Our negotiators have done the same in technical and other meetings. It is certainly a staple of all the books and articles I have written or statements I have drafted or delivered myself for the Philippines in 25 years of being engaged in climate diplomacy.

The ambassador that President Duterte cited in his speech either misinformed him about the Paris Agreement. This, or he was misunderstood. That ambassador certainly mischaracterized the agreement as a carbon reduction agreement when it is much more than that. In fact, it is a sustainable development accord where adaptation, support and loss-and-damage provisions are just as important.

Every country, under the Paris Agreement, is allowed to offer its own program—called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)—based on its strategic and long-term interests. We should only make commitments that redound to our benefit. We should certainly not do things that restrict our ability to develop our economy, including to industrialize.

The Paris Agreement is the most differentiated climate and environmental agreement. It allows countries to join based on their own interests. The differentiation in the agreement is flawed because it means developed countries and big developing countries like China and India cannot be pressured to do more about reducing their emissions. This kind of differentiation is good for countries like the Philippines so we can choose our own path to low-emission development.

The previous administration decided to offer an ambitious NDC but it made it contingent on support by developed countries. That was a strategic decision and it was done with care. It’s a no-harm commitment because we said we are bound only to the target to the extent that developed countries provided finance and technology for us to achieve it. We have already been spending money on climate change and will continue to do that. If we need to do more, it must come from our partners.

The 70-percent emission reduction we committed to is a reduction from business as usual (BAU) emissions by 2030, meaning from the increase we would have had if we didn’t do anything.

If we did nothing, our emissions would double or even triple. What we have offered is to reduce what that doubled or tripled amount would be by 70 percent.

And as I said, we also made our commitment contingent on support—finance and technology—provided by developed countries and if no money or technology were forthcoming, we cannot be held to account for that target. So there is little risk for us and a lot to gain. And the time frame allows us to plan properly.

In the climate negotiations, we have been pushing all countries to reduce emissions. This is especially so for developed countries which are historically responsible for the early emissions and majority of current emissions and big developing countries who are increasing their contribution (China is now the number-one country in terms of annual contributions).

We belong to neither group—as a middle-income country, we are in the group of countries that contribute less than one percent each of the total emissions (we contribute 0.34 percent, similar to the Czech Republic’s contribution).

Majority of countries actually emit even less than us—small island states, least developed countries, etc.—with many of them already having zero net emissions or contributing less than .01 percent. Thirty-four countries emit more and160 countries emit less than what we do.

Added together, those of us who are in the one-percent-or-less emissions group still would total a fifth or a sixth of total global emissions. This is why even the small emitters also have to reduce emissions. If they don’t, the problem won’t be solved. For a country that suffers climate change, that is not acceptable.

And a country that suffers climate change should also not contribute to the problem, even if very little. That’s like suicide —contributing to your own destruction. This explains why many vulnerable countries offered ambitious NDCs.

As to the reduction goal preventing us from being industrialized, it should not. From a practical point of view, it simply means we need to transform our energy system to rely more on renewables rather than on coal. There are many other reasons we should do that—economic, environmental, health—other than climate reasons. It also means we also have to take care of our forests and land better so that it does not emit carbon. Other sectors can also help—waste, transportation and industry, and eventually agriculture.

All these are consistent with our sustainable development; all the measures we should take must be no-regrets and good for us.

The Paris Agreement can actually give us the means to do all of these and more. If we were smart, we would use the agreement to transition to a clean energy system, protect our forests and improve land use, make our cities more sustainable, and support environmentally friendly industrialization.

The Paris Agreement has a life of its own, regardless of what we do. We can certainly decide to isolate ourselves and be the only country in the world that does not ratify the Paris Agreement.

If we decide to do that, we must be ready to address climate change on our own with our resources and with no one to help us. Among others, we will not be able to take advantage of the Loss-and-Damage mechanism that the Paris Agreement establishes.

The Paris Agreement is imperfect.

It is certainly flawed from a climate justice point of view. While we succeeded in integrating human rights and ecosystems integrity into the agreement, the language could have been stronger. Its support provisions on finance, technology transfer, and capacity building could have been more legally binding.

But imperfect as it is, the Paris Agreement is the only one possible at this time if we want global cooperation. Thankfully, it is not the least common denominator agreement but the optimum possible with an opening for improving it in the years to come. For sure, it is the only multilateral game in town for the next 10 years.

Climate change is real and will continue to grow in intensity regardless of us. That’s why principled engagement with the government and continuous cooperation with the international community is the only option. Facebook Page: Dean Tony La Viña Twitter: tonylavs

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RELATED(2) FROM THE TRIBUNE

RP reviewing ‘crazy’ climate pledges – Duterte Written by Tribune Wires Sunday, 24 July 2016 00:00


DUTERTE

The government is reviewing its “crazy” commitment to severely cut greenhouse-gas emissions in the Paris climate deal, President Rodrigo Duterte has warned.

The government of predecessor Benigno Aquino had pledged to the United Nations to cut the Asian country’s emissions by 70 percent by 2030 from 2000 levels if it got support from developed nations to convert to clean technologies.

“I have misgivings about this Paris (climate deal).... The problem is these industrialized countries have reached their destination,” Duterte said in a series of speeches during a visit to the southern island of Mindanao on Friday. The international deal aimed at curbing emissions was signed in Paris in December last year, but only 19 countries including France and island-states threatened by rising sea levels have so far ratified the agreement.

It cannot become effective until 55 countries accounting for 55 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions have fully approved it.

“There is no treaty to honor. We have not signed the treaty,” Duterte said, according to transcripts of his comments released by Malacañang yesterday.

Duterte also said poor countries such as the Philippines should be allowed to pursue industrialization to improve the lives of their people.

“My plan is to put up industrial zones everywhere,” said Duterte, with China an “easy market” for such a move.

“If you will not allow us to reach parity, you are already there and we are still here, then I’m saying that’s crazy. I will not agree to that.”

Duterte said the treaty restrictions would be difficult to implement and the legislature was already reviewing the document.

The previous government had said the reductions were conditional on sufficient financial resources, technology development and transfer being made available to Manila.

The Paris pact calls for capping global warming at well below two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and 1.5 Celsius if possible, compared with pre-industrial levels.

The accord — which could enter into force later this year, far sooner than expected — sets ambitious goals for capping global warming and funneling trillions of dollars to poor countries facing an onslaught from climate damage.

Meanwhile, an economic think tank said the government should engage in promoting the steel and iron industry for the Philippines to succeed in its bid to be an industrialized country.

“A genuinely Filipino iron and steel industry is a vital strategic element for Philippine socioeconomic development, stability and national security. It can still serve as the backbone of manufacturing and national industrialization even amid the hyped globalization of the 21st century,” Ibon Foundation Chairman Sonny Africa said.

He added the Philippines can capitalize on its steel reserves as other neighboring Asean countries are into the trade which has proved itself to be a worthy investment.

“The Philippines is among the most open countries to metal imports in the region. The number of anti-dumping measures in the base metal sector is an indicator of how much a country protects its steel industry,” he said.

Ibon noted that the Philippines initiated no such measures in the period 2013-2014 compared to 11 by Indonesia, 11 by Thailand, seven by Malaysia, and four by Vietnam.

With the abundant resources in the country, the Philippines can achieve its goal of industrialization if its going to be utilized, it stressed.
AFP and /Tuvera


GMA NEWS ONLINE

‘HEART-RENDING’ ADDRESS Duterte’s SONA speech made his communications secretary cry Published July 24, 2016 11:29am


Presidential Communications Office chief Martin Andanar. Press secretary ...

President Rodrigo Duterte's self-written speech for his first State of the Nation Address on Monday made his communications secretary cry.

"The address of the President, personally written by the President, will be a very powerful speech that will awaken the patriot in every Filipino," Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar told the media Sunday, during a press conference at the Royal Mandaya Hotel in Davao City.

Andanar said that the Presidential Broadcast Staff Radio Television Malacañang spent hours reviewing the speech, which has been revised at least 10 times.

"When I read the speech, ayaw ko pong mag-exaggerate pero the first time I read the speech, it made me cry. Ganoon po kaganda, ganoon po ka makabagbag-damdamin iyong speech ng Pangulo natin," the communications secretary said.

He said Duterte's address will last at least 38 minutes.

Duterte will deliver his first SONA at 3 p.m. on Monday, July 25. —Joseph Tristan Roxas/ALG, GMA News

WATCH VIDEO...

 

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

MMDA bares traffic management plan for Duterte’s first SONA by Anna Liza Vilas-Alavaren July 22, 2016 (updated) Share1 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share26


Photo courtesy UNTVWeb.com / (mb.com.ph) MMDA Chairman Emerson Carlos (Photo courtesy UNTVWeb.com) / (mb.com.ph)

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) bared its traffic management plan for the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, July 25 to be held at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.

MMDA Chairman Emerson Carlos said 1,220 traffic personnel will be deployed along Commonwealth Avenue and nearby thoroughfares to help out in manning traffic flow in the area as early as 12 midnight.

They will also serve as augmentation force to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Presidential Security Group (PSG).

He said they do not expect the traffic flow to be heavy on Commonwealth Avenue on Monday as President Duterte only wishes for a simple and normal SONA so as not to upset the public, particularly commuters.

“We see no need to close a portion of Commonwealth Avenue like the previous SONAs,” said Carlos.

However, Carlos said the MMDA is prepared to enforce zipper lane should there be a need to manage the number of vehicles that may be affected.

Ahead of SONA, Carlos said traffic enforcers are busy decongesting the designated alternate routes for motorists who want to avoid Commonwealth.

“Illegally parked vehicles are being removed to ensure unimpeded flow of vehicles,” said Carlos.

Also, emergency personnel will be on standby, including fire trucks and ambulances in case of any untoward incident that may happen.

READ MORE...

The MMDA advised motorists and commuters going to Commonwealth Avenue can take the following alternative routes:

Private/ public utility vehicles (PUJs)along Epifanio Delos Avenue (Edsa) may turn right to Mindanao Avenue, turn right to Don Julio Gregorio, straight to Republic Avenue, turn left to Fairlane or Regalado Avenue to destination and vice vesa.

Private vehicles may take Mindanao Avenue, turn right to Quirino Highway to destination and vise versa

Private vehicles along Commonwealth Avenue may turn right to Dahlia Avenue, left to Chestnut, right to Republic Avenue, Don Gregorio Road, Old Sauyo to Mindanao Avenue and vice versa or along Commonwealth Avenue, turn right at Regalao Avenue, right at Republic Avenue, Don Gregorio Road, Old Sauyo Road to Mindanao Avenue and vice versa.

Government officials, members of the diplomatic corps and other VIPs are expected to attend the first SONA of Duterte at the House of Representatives building.

The Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) or the “number-coding” system will remain in effect, said MMDA.

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RELATED(2) FROM PHILSTAR

House to prioritize emergency powers on traffic By Mike Frialde (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 23, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


“We have a lot of priority bills that we have to pass the soonest possible time, including those that seek to address the traffic crisis in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu,” Alvarez told members of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) during the party’s fellowship in Makati. STAR/File photo

MANILA, Philippines – Incoming House speaker and Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez yesterday stressed the need to grant President Duterte emergency powers to solve the worsening traffic problem.

“We have a lot of priority bills that we have to pass the soonest possible time, including those that seek to address the traffic crisis in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu,” Alvarez told members of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) during the party’s fellowship in Makati.

But he clarified that the granting of emergency powers would only be limited to the solution of the traffic problem, which he said has become huge.

He said Congress would retain oversight functions to check any abuses of the emergency powers.

Alvarez said the deteriorating traffic situation in Metro Manila is most felt by employees who commute daily from their homes to their places of work.

Alvarez said even he is not exempt from the traffic gridlocks as he travels daily from his house in Makati City to the House of Representatives in Quezon City where he holds office.

READ MORE...

“Every day, I need a minimum of two hours to travel to work,” he said.

“We really have to address this problem because the employees do not have a choice. They leave their houses so early in the morning to arrive at the office on time. At night, they get home late also because of the traffic. They no longer have time for their families,” he said.

‘Take cue from Rody’ On Thursday, Alvarez also challenged rookie members of the House of Representatives to work hard and help him restore the people’s faith in Congress by taking their cue from President Duterte’s 91 percent trust rating.

Based on the latest survey of Pulse Asia, 91 percent of Filipinos said they have “big trust” in the President.

“You should attend sessions and committee hearings religiously. Let us not waste our time doing other things. We have to keep up with the trust rating of our President, which is at a record high,” Alvarez told the neophyte legislators, numbering over a hundred, at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City.

“You can learn a lot from these, and these are also part of our mandate, and of course our duty to our constituents,” he added.

The first-time congressmen – including actress Vilma Santos who represents Batangas, Ruel Pacquiao of Sarangani and transgender Geraldine Roman of Bataan – got the same message from San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora.

Zamora will head the 12-man House contingent in the bicameral Commission on Appointments while Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas will be designated as the House majority leader in the incoming 17th Congress on Monday. – With Delon Porcalla


PHILSTAR

Duterte meets with military, Mangudadatu on peace-building, dev’t programs By John Unson (philstar.com) | Updated July 23, 2016 - 4:04pm 4 11 googleplus0 0


Major Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan watch President Rodrigo Duterte register on a log book for visitors in Camp Siongco in Maguindanao, which he toured on Friday for dialogues with soldiers and Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu (inset), who escorted him to Davao City after his sortie in the province. Philstar.com/John Unson

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines - The tour in Maguindanao on Friday of President Rodrigo Duterte was markedly more of an emotion-filled “family reunion” with soldiers and the ruling Mangudadatu clan in the province than a traditional presidential sortie.

Officers and enlisted personnel of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (ID) gave the president a rousing applause when he praised them for their peace-building programs, complementing the government’s peace overture with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, during a traditional “talk to the men” session in Camp Siongco in Datu Odin town.

The camp is Central Mindanao’s largest military Army installation, where 6th ID’s command base is located and from where its commander, Major Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, supervises the operations of more than a dozen Army field units scattered in the provinces of Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato and in several towns in Lanao del Sur.

Duterte assured members of 6th ID of Malacañang’s protection as he called on them to help him fight the drug problem besetting the country.

“As long as you are on the right direction, you need not worry because I will protect you,” Duterte told them during the dialogue that lasted for about two hours.

Visayan soldiers present in the dialogue cheered and applauded Duterte each time he quipped and spoke Cebuano in encouraging them to perform their duties efficiently and support the peace process.

READ MORE...

Lt. Col. Markton Abo, an ethnic Maguindanaon officer, said Moro soldiers also became emotional when he mentioned his concern for Mindanao’s underdeveloped Muslim communities and his desire for the peace process to succeed.

“It was a very different experience. We’ve hosted the visits of past presidents, but this is something new and so different. He seemed more of a relative to all of us, a blood relative, because of his Maranaw ancestry,” Abo said.

Visayan soldiers broke through the security cordon laid by members of the Presidential Security Group around Duterte to take “selfie” photos with him using their mobile phones, something they have never done before with past presidents.

“His presence in the camp boosted our morale. He is a Mindanaon president who is so friendly to people despite his being known for being so hard on criminals,” a Visayan soldier, Sgt. Dante Dalagan, said in heavy Cebuano accent.

Dalagan said what touched them most was Duterte’s promise to protect them as long as they perform their bounden duty to protect the local communities from hostile aggressions and from criminalities as well.

Dalagan’s companions, Cpl. Janice Saavedra and Private 1st Class Donna Jane Balladares, were both as elated.

Saavedra, also a Visayan, said Duterte’s commitment to put an end to the Mindanao secessionist conflict were “touching,” expressed in Cebuano and in English, tacitly indicating that he will fail without public support.

Duterte was accompanied to Maguindanao by his newly-appointed defense secretary, Delfin Lorenzana, and top officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

While in Maguindanao’s provincial capital, Buluan town, Duterte expressed gratitude to Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, his politician-siblings and all local executives for his having won overwhelmingly in the province during the May 9 presidential race.

He hinted that he would not politically persecute local executives in areas where he lost to rivals in the final tally of votes for president during the elections.

Duterte was in Buluan on Friday after his engagement at Camp Siongco to launch the 4.5-megawatt biomass power plant established jointly by the Mangudadatu clan and a private developer, the Green Earth Enersource Corp.

Duterte, in a message after the symbolic launching of the power plant, to operate using only wastes from oil palm trees, directed impromptu his agriculture secretary, Emmanuel Piñol, to allocate P300 million to sustain the propagation of oil palm trees by peasants in Maguindanao.

The Mangudadatus had helped developed more than 2,000-hectares of contiguous oil palm plantations in the province in the past five years through the provincial government’s continuing seed dispersal program benefiting the local agricultural communities.

Piñol, who accompanied the president to Buluan, said he can immediately facilitate the release of the P300 million allocation once documentary requisites have all been complied with.

Mangudadatu said the assistance will complement his eight-point development agenda, centered on agricultural productivity, normalization in conflict-stricken areas and empowerment of farmers by providing them with free agricultural inputs that are for them so expensive.

“There is no reason now for the Mindanao peace process to fail because we have someone in Malacañang who is a native of Mindanao, who understands the root causes of the Moro issue,” Mangudadatu said.

The Mangudadatus are long-time friends of Duterte, a friendship started by their patriarch, the late Datu Powa, and the president while he was still a neophyte mayor in Davao City.

In fact, the governor and his siblings, Khadafeh, a member of the Regional Assembly in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and Freddie, who is mayor of Mangudadatu town, talk to the president in fluent Cebuano, which they learned when they studied in schools in Davao City.

Duterte’s top campaigner in Maguindanao during the recent campaign period was Mangudadatu’s younger brother, Ibrahim, most known in the province as “Datu Jong,” a wealthy businessman engaged in agricultural ventures and tilapia propagation projects in the vast Lake Buluan.


INQUIRER

PNP: Crime slips as drug war intensifies
[239 DRUG SUSPECTS SLAIN IN POLICE OPS AS OF JULY 22]

By: Yuji Vincent Gonzales
@YGonzalesINQ
INQUIRER.net
04:53 PM July 22nd, 2016


A body of a man with a sign “Holdaper Ako Wag Tularan” is investigated by Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) that was discovered early saturday morning along Bonifacio Drive in Manila. INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday reported a downward trend in crime in the first half of 2016 amid the government’s relentless war against illegal drugs.

PNP said a total of 46,060 crime incidents were recorded in June, down from the 52,950 incidents reported in January.

Chief Superintendent Camilo Pancratius Cascolan attributed the decrease to the government’s ongoing drive against illegal drugs, namely Project Double Barrel and Project “Tokhang.”

READ: Drug monster bigger than expected

Oplan Double Barrel is the Duterte administration’s blueprint for its drug war, which supposedly involves exposing the “upper barrel” to capture “high-value” and supply-side targets; and the “lower barrel” to eliminate “low-value” and demand-side targets.

Tokhang, which was first launched in Davao City in 2012, is a combination of “toktok” or knock and “hangyo” or to plead or request.

Cascolan said there was a correlation between drug use and other forms of index crimes against persons and properties.

“Over the last 21 days since Project Double Barrel was implemented in July 1, 2016, the PNP has recorded a national total of 3,213 arrested drug personalities during separate police operations by local and national PNP Units,” the PNP said in a statement.

“Under Project ‘Tokhang’ or house visitations on residences of suspected drug personalities, a total of 120,038 voluntarily yielded to authorities, among them, 112,902 drug users and, 7,107 pushers,” it added.

READ MORE...

The PNP said a total of 239 drug suspects were slain in police operations as of 6 a.m. July 22.

READ: Duterte to troops: Be not afraid to kill drug traders, criminals

A count by INQUIRER.net’s “Kill List,” however, notes 378 deaths between May 10, the day after President Rodrigo Duterte won the elections, and July 21. IDL/rga

READ: THE KILL LIST

 
NCRPO CHIEF SAYS 'OPLAN TOKHANG' CRIME RATE LOWERED IN NCR

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS ONLINE

Duterte: ‘Big fish’ in drug trade not in PHL Published July 22, 2016 8:33pm

Reacting to criticims that only small-time drug peddlers and users are affected by the government’s efforts against illegal drugs, President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday that big-time drug lords are not exactly based in the Philippines.

Speaking before the Army's 6th Infantry Division at Camp Siongco in Maguindanao, Duterte said in a report by GMA News' Cedric Castillo on 24 Oras: “Kaya huwag kayo masyadong maniwala diyan sa mga sasabihin nila na, ‘Where is the big fish?’ Iyong malalaki? Ang malalaki wala rito. Dili [Hindi] natin kaya abutin. Makipag-giyera ka pa sa labas bago mo makuha sila.”

“Hindi mo matapos ito kapag hindi mo putulin lahat kasi galing sa labas,” he added.

Duterte also reiterated in his speech that he will talk to China about the proliferation of drugs in the country. He did not elaborate.

“Sabi ko I will confront China with that. Mas galit ako diyan eh,” he said.

On Sunday, Duterte told his San Beda Law batch mates in a fellowship dinner in Malacañang that he will raise his grievances to China over the involvement of Chinese nationals in drug trade in the country.

The Chinese Embassy in a Manila immediately responded that it will cooperate with the Philippine government in its anti-drug drive.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Dir. Gen. Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, on the other hand, warned that more drug lords will be killed in the coming days.

Duterte once again reminded the uniformed services that they got his back in case the other agencies of the government question their anti-drug operations.

“Don’t let it bother you, basta trabaho lang. Kung may magpakulong, ako. Sagot ko kayong lahat, basta sa trabaho. Pati mga pulis lahat iyan. Basta law enforcement,” he said. — Trisha Macas/RSJ, GMA News


MANILA STANDARD

SAF raids NBP, drug lords’ den posted July 21, 2016 at 12:01 am by Rey E. Requejo and John Paolo Bencito


Takeover. National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa inspects a battalion of Special Action Force commandos who have taken over the National Bilibid Prison while armored personnel carriers and other police vehicles gear up for action. DANNY PATA

A BATTALION of Special Action Force police commandos has been deployed to secure the New Bilibid Prison and to guard against illegal drug operations inside the national penitentiary, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said Wednesday.

Aguirre said the 320 SAF commandos will be scattered around the maximum security compound where life-term prisoners, political prisoners and other notorious criminals are detained.

“We will begin with the maximum security and Building 14 with 1 battalion or 320 troops. But the whole of NBP will be taken over,’’ Aguirre said in an interview.


INCOMING DOJ SEC AGUIRRE

Aguirre earlier said 75 percent of drug transactions in the country are happening inside the NBP.

The mobilization of the SAF troops is part of the government’s plan to use “shock and awe” tactics to paralyze the criminal operations inside the country’s national penitentiary.

The Justice Secretary said the country’s penal facility remains as a drug den despite the series of raids by the past administration.

Since November last year, the Justice Department led by then Justice secretary and now Senator Leila de Lima, the National Bureau of Investigation and elite police forces conducted a total of 30 raids under Oplan Galugad.

The department is also looking at isolating high-profile inmates on a remote island to prevent them from conducting their illegal operations while serving their sentences.

READ MORE...

Aguirre also revealed that drug lords detained in Building 14 have put up a P50 million bounty for his assassination.

He made this revelation during a visit to the NBP to oversee the deployment of SAF personnel.

The Interior Department on Wednesday created an inter-agency task force to help the National Police Commission investigate government officials alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.

The task force, called the DILG Inter-Government Operations Network Group or Digong will build up evidence against such officials, said Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno.

“With so many top government officials being linked to illegal drugs, Task Force Digong will seek to find the truth so that those who are guilty will face the full force of the law, while those who are innocent will be cleared,” Sueno said.

The Task Force will be represented by members from the Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Fire Protection, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, the Philippine Public Safety College, the Local Government Academy, and local government officials.

Sueno will head the task force, while DILG Undersecretary for Operations John Castriciones will be its deputy chairman.

The task force can make recommendations to the Napolcom for the filing of appropriate criminal or administrative charges, Sueno said.

“The President has imposed a three- to six-month deadline against illegal drugs. Task Force Digong will help make this happen through better cooperation among agencies and faster, immediate action,” Sueno said.

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RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

Alvarez eyes De Lima probe over drug links Written by Gerry Baldo and Angie M. Rosales Saturday, 23 July 2016 00:00


FAR RIGHT -DE LIMA

Incoming Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez yesterday vowed to investigate Sen. Leila de Lima over the proliferation of illegal drugs at the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) during her stint as justice secretary.

“Let us investigate why during the term of now Senator De Lima, illegal drugs proliferated inside the Bilibid, that’s what should be investigated,” he told reporters during yesterday’s PDP investigated,” he told reporters during yesterday’s PDP-Laban meeting in Makati City.

“I will file a resolution to probe it,” stressed Alvarez, after no less than Solicitor General Jose Calida showed a photograph showing De Lima “socializing” with convicted drug lord Jaybee Sebastian.

The Davao del Norte lawmaker also maintained his position to reject a congressional investigation on extrajudicial killings and summary executions amid the war on drugs of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Alvarez said there is no need to investigate the killings as he stressed a probe in aid of legislation is not needed.

According to him, the investigation should be conducted by the Department of Justice.

It was during De Lima’s stint at the DoJ when the operations of drugs lords inside the prison were uncovered following the launch of the Oplan Galugad.

De Lima was one of the lawmakers who had wanted to investigate the string of extrajudicial killings that started soon after Duterte won the presidency in May.

Observers, however, said Alvarez’s action constitutes a breach of inter-parliamentary courtesy.

At the upper chamber, apparent attempts by Calida to link de Lima to high-profile inmates, that included convicted drug lords, will not result in an inquiry in the Senate, as far as the latter is concerned, unless there will be a complainant, senators said.

“Let us wait for a resolution to be filed on the topic. If none, then, there’s no business looking into it,” said incoming Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III.



Pimentel’s reaction was sought following Calida’s insinuation on alleged protection or accommodation extended by De Lima to Sebastian which was captured in a photograph but was vehemently denied by the neophyte senator.

A resolution would suffice to trigger an investigation on de Lima but Pimentel expressed doubts if one of their colleagues would dare make a move at this point.

“If nobody files, there’s no probe (against De Lima). It must come spontaneously from the senators,” Pimentel, president of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) which is the political party of President Duterte.

Incoming Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III echoed Pimentel’s statement.

An inquiry can only be conducted by senators but only if a complaint is filed, Sotto stressed.

In the event that a resolution or a complaint is filed to inquire into the allegations against de Lima, to include those being raised by Calida, Sen. Richardo Gordon said the matter will likely be referred to the ethics and privileges committee which has jurisdiction on the “conduct, rights, privileges, safety, dignity, integrity and reputation of the Senate and its members.”

The said panel has no committee chairman in the last 16th Congress but is said to be now be eyed by Sen. Panfilo Lacson when the 17th Congress opens beginning July 25.

De Lima, on Thursday, denounced in highest possible terms what she claimed as latest demolition job against her, supposedly perpetrated by Calida, to link her with Sebastian.

“My personal and professional records would belie all accusations hurled against me which are obviously intended to malign my good name and reputation and to undermine the performance of my lawful duties as a senator,” de Lima said in reacting on the surfacing of a photo showing her in the company Sebastian.


GMA NEWS ONLINE

COVERS EXECUTIVE BRANCH ONLY President Duterte signs EO on FOI Published July 24, 2016 10:16am Updated July 24, 2016 12:39pm By JOSEPH TRISTAN ROXAS, GMA News

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order (EO) on Freedom of Information, Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar announced Sunday morning.

At a press conference in Davao City, Andanar said the EO was finalized and signed Saturday night after discussions with Presidential Legal Counsel Secretary Salvador Panelo, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, and Undersecretary Jesus Quitain.

"We are now holding a final copy of an EO on the FOI... After 29 years and only 25 days of President Rodrigo Duterte, this is already a record breaking speed of a cornerstone or milestone or landmark executive order being signed," he said.

See here the copy of the EO

Andanar recalled that the first resolution for FOI was submitted to Congress by the late senator Raul Roco at least 29 years ago.

Then Camarines Sur representative Roco submitted House Bill 498 or the Right to Information bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives Committee on Public Information in 1987.

“On the first day of President Rody Duterte on June 30, we already pushed for the executive order on the Freedom of Information. There were substansive pushing and pulling additions to this executive order for a more transparent executive branch of government and there is no planned timing of signing it yesterday,” Andanar said.

The EO was signed two days before Duterte delivers his first State of the Nation Address on Monday.

Executive branch

The EO states that all government offices under the executive branch are encouraged to observe and be guided by the order to enable every Filipino access to information, official records, and other public documents.

"This order shall cover all government offices under the Executive Branch, including bot not limited to tha national government and all its offices, departments, bureaus, offices, and instrumentatlities, including government-owned or -controlled corporations, and state universities and colleges. Local government units are encouraged to observe and be guided by this Order," the EO says.

"Every Filipino shall have access to information, official records, public records and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for public-development," the order adds.

Process of getting information

Andanar said any person who requests for information will write to the duly authorized personnel assigned by the head of the government agency and should possess the requested information not longer than 15 days.

READ MORE...

“The person who requests for information shall write a letter to the authorized personnel that is duly assigned by the head of the agency. The head of the agency shall review the letter, and if there [are] no questions with the request, then the person assigned should give the information not longer than 15 days,” he said.

Public officials are also reminded under the EO to make available their statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth for public scrutiny.

Andanar added that the question on the legality of the information requested will be forwared to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to ensure it does not violate any laws.

The EO states that requests for access to information are free of charge unless the agency requires to “reimburse necessary costs, including actual costs of reproduction and copying of the information requested, subject to existing rules and regulations.”

Andanar noted that any public official who fails to release the information upon compliance of the requestor will face administrative charges.

"Failure to comply with the provisions of this Order may be a ground for administrative and disciplinary sanctions against any erring public officer or employee as prodived under exising laws or regulations," the EO states.

Exemptions

Andanar mentioned that information exempted from the EO are those that "put our government in danger in terms of national security."

Quoting from the EO, Andanar added: "Access to information shall be denied when the information falls under any of the exemptions enshrined in the Constitution, existing laws, or jurisprudence."

He said the DOJ and the OSG are directed under the EO to submit an inventory of exemptions to the Office of the President (OP) within 30 calendar days.

"The OP shall thereafter immediately circularize the inventory of exemptions for the guidance of all government offices and instrumentalities covered by this order and the general public," Andanar said.

The DOJ and the OSG are also tasked under the EO to update the list of exemptions when the need arises in accordance with existing law and jurisprudence.

Up to Congress to pass FOI bill

Meanwhile, Andanar said Duterte leaves it to both chambers of Congress on passing an FOI bill, being an independent and co-equal branch of government.

“Congress is an independent branch of government and the President believes on the independence of independent branches of government,” he said.

“The most important fact here is the FOI is not only limited to the media, but the FOI that is inclusive to the rest of the hundred million Filipinos who would want to extract and know vital information running the government,” Andanar added. —LBG/ALG, GMA News


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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