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HEADLINES NEWS THIS PAST WEEK...
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

THOUSANDS FLEE RISING FLOODS AS MORE RAINS EXPECTED
 [RELATED: 200 families flee Maguindanao flash floods]


AUGUST 13 -Residents take shelter at a covered basketball court after their homes were destroyed by floods that was brought by monsoon rains in San Mateo, Rizal. Erik de Castro, Reuters
Rising floodwaters chased thousands to evacuation centers on Saturday as more monsoon rains threatened Luzon and Western Visayas until next week. Some 3,300 people were to spend the night on straw mats in eight evacuation centers in Bagong Silangan village in Quezon City. Dozens others fled to covered courts in San Mateo town in Rizal province.
Authorities warned of flooding in the capital and surrounding suburbs after several days of heavy rains pushed the La Mesa Dam close to overflow level. All eight floodgates at the Marikina river were also opened. In neighboring Bulacan province, residents of Calumpit and Hagonoy towns were alerted for possible evacuation after the Ipo Dam opened at least one gate. A tropical storm and a weather system east of Luzon will not hit land but will stir the southwest monsoon, bringing rains to large portions of the country for the next three to five days, the state weather bureau said.  Several villages in Pampanga province were submerged in knee-deep to waist-deep floods snarling traffic and stranding commuters. Flash floods also hit busy streets in the capital. People push a jeepney out of a flooded street in Manila on August 13, 2016. Floods inundated major thoroughfares in the capital after days of monsoon rains. Noel Celis, AFP. READ MORE...RELATED, 200 families flee Maguindanao flash floods...

ALSO PAGASA: Heavy rains to continue until midweek
[RELATED: Monsoon swamps Metro Manila; evacuation ordered]
[RELATED(2):
Monsoon rains kill 5 people, displace 70,000]


AUGUST 14 -The state weather bureau said heavy rains enhanced by the southwest monsoon (habagat) may prevail for the next five days. Philstar.com/Stock
MANILA, Philippines (Philippines News Agency) — The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the country might continue experiencing heavy rains until midweek. In an interview with PAGASA forecaster Aldczar Aurelio on Saturday, he said the heavy rains enhanced by the southwest monsoon or "habagat" may prevail for the next five days. A low pressure area (LPA) which is outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) enhances the southwest monsoon," Aurelio explained. He added that for Sunday's forecast, PAGASA expects more monsoon rains over Metro Manila, Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Batangas. Aurelio emphasized that these areas must be cautious about possible floods and landslides. Occasional rains will prevail over the rest of Ilocos region, Cordillera Administrative Region, the rest of central Luzon, Mimaropa and western Visayas. Cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and thunderstorms will be experienced over the rest of Luzon and Visayas. Mindanao will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms, PAGASA added. Moderate to strong winds will blow from southwest over the entire archipelago, and the country's coastal waters will be moderate to rough. READ MORE...RELATED, Monsoon swamps Metro Manila; evacuation ordered...RELATED(2) Monsoon rains kill 5 people, displace 70,000...

ALSO: Palace welcomes SC suit over Marcos burial
[RELATED OPINION:
Duterte’s judgment call}


AUGUST 15 -File photo MALACAŃANG on Saturday said it would welcome any petition before the Supreme Court questioning President Rodrigo Duterte’s authority to allow the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo made the remark as former President Fidel Ramos explained that the only reason Marcos was not buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani was because the “wounds of the 1986 People Power Revolution was still fresh at that time.” “We welcome any move but law is very clear that the former President is entitled to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, as a soldier and as a former President,” Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo told reporters. “We will respect any decision of High Court,” Panelo said as anti-Marcos groups threatened to petition the Supreme Court to stop Marcos’ burial at the national cemetery. On the other hand, Ramos, who was one of the three leaders of the 1986 revolution, said one of the key considerations when he allowed the return of Marcos’ body to the Philippines in 1992, three years after his death in 1989, was possible destabilization.” During our time 1992 to 1998, you must understand that we allowed the remains of the late President Marcos to return to the Philippines under certain conditions because of the possible destabilization of the country unless there were certain safeguards adopted. You will recall that he died in 1989, he came in 1992, [the] wounds of the People Power Revolution of 1986 which ejected the Marcos Martial Regime [were still fresh], “ he added. “So we were very careful enough to make sure that the welfare of the people of the Philippines would be protected by the prevention of any angry or tension-filled peoples’ movement,” Ramos stressed. READ MORE...RELATED OPINION, Duterte’s judgment call...

ALSO: MILF on alert, probes possible ISIS infiltration
[RELATED: ISIS threat on Miss Universe pageant?]


AUGUST 14 -DUREZA
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has expressed alarm over the possible infiltration of the international terrorist group Islamic State in its ranks “We have formed a special MILF group that is probing the possible penetration and inspiration of some MILF members by ISIS (or IS),” MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim told reporters in a press conference alongside Malacańang’s top representative Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Jesus Dureza. Verifying what President Rodrigo Duterte previously spilled in one of his Army camp visits, Ebrahim said there are already ISIS-inspired groups operating in Mindanao but clarified that these organizations are not ISIS per se. “There are groups that are inspired by ISIS. But as far as we’re concerned, there is still no ISIS organization in Mindanao,” the MILF leader said. Tengku Dato Ab Ghafar Tengku Mohamed, Malaysian third party representative in the GRP-MILF talks, for his part, suggested that once the insurgency issues are resolved soon, the ISIS threat will eventually be toned down. “Peace in Mindanao will deter radicalization of people. We call on all groups in Mindanao to reject extremism,” Dato Tengku said. READ MORE... RELATED,
ISIS threat on Miss Universe pageant?...

ALSO: Reds pull out of Duterte’s 'anti-people' drug war
[RELATED EARLIER REPORT: Duterte to Reds: Land mines or talks]


AUGUST 14 -
The Communist Party of the Philippines tagged the anti-drug war of the Duterte administration as anti-people and undemocratic. ​Joven Cagande, File BAGUIO CITY — The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has pulled out its participation in President Rodrigo Duterte's war against drugs. The CPP tagged Duterte's anti-drug war as a “frenzied campaign of extrajudicial killings and vigilante murders.”  “[T]he rights of tens upon thousands of people are being violated as the criminal justice system is upturned,” it added. The CPP earlier vowed to work hand-in-hand with Duterte and run after big-time drug lords in areas where its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA), operates. It, however, said the drug war has become anti-people and anti-democratic. “Human rights are being violated with impunity by police personnel, emboldened by Duterte's assurances of 'I got your back' and his public declarations of contempt against human rights,” the CPP explained. Although no longer participating in the administration’s drug war, the CPP maintains its orders to the NPA “to continue to intensify its operations to arrest and disarm drug trade operators and protectors.” As before, the NPA said it will continue to exercise due process in dealing with suspects, such as the case of Philippine National Police (PNP) officers presently under its custody in Compostela Valley and Surigao del Sur. Frenzied Attacks The CPP also criticized the administration's drug campaign saying it “has unleashed unmitigated violence and threats of violence against the people, mostly victims, and people at the lowest rungs of the criminal syndicate ladder.” READ MORE...RELATED EARLIER REPORT, Duterte to Reds: Land mines or talks...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Thousands flee rising floods as more rains expected


Residents take shelter at a covered basketball court after their homes were destroyed by floods that was brought by monsoon rains in San Mateo, Rizal. Erik de Castro, Reuters

MANILA, AUGUST 15, 2016 (ABS-CBN) Posted at Aug 13 2016 09:50 PM - Rising floodwaters chased thousands to evacuation centers on Saturday as more monsoon rains threatened Luzon and Western Visayas until next week.

Some 3,300 people were to spend the night on straw mats in eight evacuation centers in Bagong Silangan village in Quezon City. Dozens others fled to covered courts in San Mateo town in Rizal province.

Authorities warned of flooding in the capital and surrounding suburbs after several days of heavy rains pushed the La Mesa Dam close to overflow level. All eight floodgates at the Marikina river were also opened.

In neighboring Bulacan province, residents of Calumpit and Hagonoy towns were alerted for possible evacuation after the Ipo Dam opened at least one gate.

A tropical storm and a weather system east of Luzon will not hit land but will stir the southwest monsoon, bringing rains to large portions of the country for the next three to five days, the state weather bureau said.

Several villages in Pampanga province were submerged in knee-deep to waist-deep floods snarling traffic and stranding commuters. Flash floods also hit busy streets in the capital.


People push a jeepney out of a flooded street in Manila on August 13, 2016. Floods inundated major thoroughfares in the capital after days of monsoon rains. Noel Celis, AFP

LOOK: Floods swamp Metro Manila, nearby provinces

READ MORE...

In Manila, two teenagers died after they were buried by a firewall that collapsed under heavy rains overnight.
Another wall collapse in Mariana village, Quezon City left one man killed.

“Maging handa po tayo. Maging alerto tayo sa mabababang lugar na prone sa landslide at flash flood [Let’s get ready. Let’s stay alert, especially in low-lying areas that are prone to landslides and flash floods],” Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said in a televised briefing.

Referring to the two weather systems east of Luzon, Aurelio said: “Sila yung parang magnet. Pag may LPA dito, parang magnet automatic itong habagat ay pupunta sa atin [They act like magnets. If there is a low pressure area, it acts like a magnet and the monsoon goes towards our direction],” he said.

The La Mesa Dam was just 0.11 meter below its overflow level of 80.05 meters and an evacuation order was issued as early as 11 a.m., PAGASA hydrologist Sonia Serrano told DZMM.

The Ipo Dam in Bulacan opened one gate at 1:30 p.m. and aside from Calumpit and Hagonoy along the mouth of Manila Bay, floods could also affect Norzagaray, Angat, San Rafael, Bustos, Baliwag, and Plaridel, Serrano said.

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RELATED FROM ABS-CBN

200 families flee Maguindanao flash floods ABS-CBN News Posted at Aug 07 2016 06:25 PM

MANILA - Flash floods spawned by heavy rains ravaged five villages in Sultan Mastura, Maguindanao early Sunday.
Some 200 families were affected as knee-high flood waters rose in barangays Solon, Kirkir, Takirin, Simuay Seashore and Nemuken.

Jun Galan Sultan of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) said the dike in Simuay River collapsed due to incessant rains brought by an Intertropical Convergence Zone.
The MDRRMC and ARMM humanitarian emergency action distributed food packs among the families who left their homes for safer grounds.

LOOK: Heavy rains, floods flog Metro Manila
ABS-CBN News
Posted at Aug 12 2016 06:17 PM

Strong winds, heavy rains and flash floods were reported by netizens all around Metro Manila within an hour after the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) declared a yellow alert Friday.


PHILSTAR

PAGASA: Heavy rains to continue until midweek (philstar.com) | Updated August 14, 2016 - 9:50am 34 148 googleplus0 0


The state weather bureau said heavy rains enhanced by the southwest monsoon (habagat) may prevail for the next five days. Philstar.com/Stock

MANILA, Philippines (Philippines News Agency) — The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the country might continue experiencing heavy rains until midweek.

In an interview with PAGASA forecaster Aldczar Aurelio on Saturday, he said the heavy rains enhanced by the southwest monsoon or "habagat" may prevail for the next five days.

A low pressure area (LPA) which is outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) enhances the southwest monsoon," Aurelio explained.

He added that for Sunday's forecast, PAGASA expects more monsoon rains over Metro Manila, Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Batangas.

Aurelio emphasized that these areas must be cautious about possible floods and landslides.

Occasional rains will prevail over the rest of Ilocos region, Cordillera Administrative Region, the rest of central Luzon, Mimaropa and western Visayas.

Cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and thunderstorms will be experienced over the rest of Luzon and Visayas.

Mindanao will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms, PAGASA added.

Moderate to strong winds will blow from southwest over the entire archipelago, and the country's coastal waters will be moderate to rough.

READ MORE...

In its Sunday advisory, PAGASA said monsoon rains will still be experienced over Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Mimaropa, while occasional rains will prevail over Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region and Western Visayas. Monsoon rains may trigger flashfloods and landslides in the said areas.

Luzon and Visayas will have cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and thunderstorms while Mindanao is expected to experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms.

In a radio interview, Georgina Garcia, public information officer of the Office of Civil Defense in Calabarzon, said they are still monitoring the effects of monsoon rain in the region but it has already slightly stopped.

She said there are no reported landslides in their region.

“Sa monitoring namin ng ibang probinsiya, tumila na po iyong mga pag-ulan sa kanila,” Garcia said.

Meanwhile, moderate to strong winds blowing from the southwest to west will prevail throughout the archipelago and the coastal waters will be moderate to rough. ​— With reports from Philstar.com/Rosette Adel

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Monsoon swamps Metro Manila; evacuation ordered By Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 14, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Vehicles pass children frolicking along a flooded Espańa Blvd. in Manila yesterday. Continuous rains brought by the southwest monsoon resulted in floods across Metro Manila, suspending classes and causing traffic disruptions. Inset shows rescuers pulling out a resident from the rubble after a firewall collapsed on a row of shanties amid heavy rainfall. Two people were killed and 15 were hurt. FERNAN NEBRES/KRIZJOHN ROSALES

MANILA, Philippines - Residents living in low-lying areas and near waterways in Metro Manila were ordered evacuated yesterday as torrential rains caused by the southwest monsoon continued to affect the capital and nearby provinces.

The Quezon City government recommended emergency evacuation of residents living along Tullahan River as the La Mesa Dam neared its spilling level yesterday afternoon.

According to Laging Handa Philippines, the government’s crisis communication center, La Mesa Dam was at 80.5 meters as of 2:30 p.m., or 10 centimeters below overflow level.

The Marikina City government also ordered the mandatory evacuation of residents near the Marikina River as it reached Alert Level 4 or over 18 meters, well above the 15-meter critical level.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the rainy weather experienced in Metro Manila and nearby provinces is expected to persist until tomorrow.

State weather forecaster Samuel Duran said a low-pressure area and a tropical depression outside the Philippine area of responsibility have enhanced the southwest monsoon.

Duran said the low-pressure area, which was located north of Batanes, exited the country yesterday but would continue to indirectly affect the country’s weather.

“Monsoon rains which may trigger flashfloods and landslides will be experienced over Metro Manila and the provinces of Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna and Batangas,” PAGASA said.

“Occasional rains will prevail over the rest of Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, the rest of Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog and Western Visayas. Cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and thunderstorms will be experienced over the rest of Luzon and the Visayas, while partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms is expected over Mindanao,” it added.

READ MORE...

Meanwhile, Duran said the tropical depression over the Pacific Ocean is not expected to enter the country but may also enhance the southwest monsoon.

The weather forecaster said some parts of Metro Manila recorded as much as 39 millimeters of rain in one hour, which is classified as torrential.

PAGASA yesterday issued an orange rainfall warning in Metro Manila, Cavite, Rizal, Zambales and Bataan, warning residents of possible flashfloods.

On the other hand, a yellow rainfall warning, which could cause flooding in low-lying areas, was issued in Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Laguna.

Flooded areas Malacańang said President Duterte is monitoring the areas affected by heavy rainfall.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella and presidential special assistant Christopher Go said the defense department has been mobilized for rescue and evacuation operations.

“They are getting reports from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on the status of the Marikina River and are preparing for preemptive evacuations,” the Palace said.

As of 3:30 p.m. yesterday, monitoring by the MMDA reported 18 flooded areas in Manila, Quezon City, Caloocan and Pasay City.

These were Espańa Boulevard to Lacson Street (northbound and southbound), Espańa-Antipolo Street and Rizal Avenue-R. Papa, all in Manila; EDSA-P.Tuazon, EDSA-Quezon Avenue, EDSA-Santolan, Araneta Avenue-Victory, EDSA-Kaingin, E. Rodriguez Avenue- De los Santos and E. Rodriguez-Araneta Avenue intersection, all in Quezon City and EDSA-MCU in Caloocan.

The Sapang Balas tunnel along the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway in Dinalupihan, Bataan was also not passable to light vehicles due to heavy flooding.

Classes suspended, flights cancelled Classes in all levels were again suspended yesterday in Manila, Malabon, Quezon City, Valenzuela, Caloocan, Taguig, Marikina, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Olongapo and Subic in Zambales, Antipolo in Rizal, Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga and Tarlac.

The media affairs division of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) yesterday said there is no runway closure at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), contrary to reports.

Jess Martinez, assistant media affairs division head, said the diversion of some domestic and international flights last Friday was due to poor runway visibility brought about by the prevailing bad weather.

Eight domestic and seven international flights were diverted to Clark International Airport in Pampanga on Friday night.

These flights arrived at the NAIA yesterday morning.

However, another five flights were diverted to Clark while several flights were again cancelled yesterday due to the bad weather.

Meanwhile, MIAA and Manila Electric Company (Meralco) personnel are fixing a Cargohaus billboard that collapsed in front of NAIA Terminal 4 and affected power supply.

Meanwhile, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) officials said they were monitoring the situation and were ready to provide assistance to concerned local government units.

As of yesterday, the DSWD said there were a total of 195,845 family food packs ready for distribution, aside from the 10,000 brown rice bars given to the agency by the DWD-National Resource Operations Center. – With Christina Mendez, Rhodina Villanueva, Rudy Santos, Ding Cervantes, Ramon Efren Lazaro, Mike Frialde, Rainier Allan Ronda

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS

Monsoon rains kill 5 people, displace 70,000 Published August 14, 2016 12:31pm

Five people have been killed and more than 70,000 people were displaced due to monsoon rains in Visayas.

In its 8 a.m. report on Sunday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said four of the fatalities were recorded in Metro Manila.

It said a body was found floating at the Nagtahan Pumping Station late Friday, two died after a firewall collapsed in Sta. Cruz, Manila and one person died after his shanty was hit by a collapsed wall in Quezon City.

The fifth fatality was recorded in Janiuay, Iloilo. The 68-year-old victim drowned after being swept by the strong current of the Malbug River.

The NDRRMC also reported one missing person, a certain Ruben Pahilagmo, 57, of Barangay Bognuyan, Gasan, Marinduque. He was reported missing after he went fishing last August 8.

Meanwhile, the agency said a total of 15,665 families or 70,665 people were affected by heavy rains brought on by the southwest monsoon in Metro Manila, Negros Island Region, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Western Visayas.

The NDRRMC said at least seven road sections in Benguet, Bulacan, Pampanga and Batangas were rendered impassable due to flooding and landslides.

A total of 21 houses have been damaged due to flooding incidents in Pontevedra and Pulupandan in Negros Occidental.

The NDRRMC said its operations center remained on red alert as the monsoon rains are expected to continue until Monday.

Local government units in Quezon City, Marikina city and Rizal province have also been on full alert due to the elevated water level at the La Mesa Dam and the Marikina River.

Evacuations were ordered in these areas on Saturday due to the raised water level due to continuous rains.

Flooding have also been reported in the provinces of Pampanga, Bulacan and Bataan. —ALG, GMA News


MANNILA STANDARD

Palace welcomes SC suit over Marcos burial posted August 14, 2016 at 12:01 am by John Paolo Bencito


File photo

MALACAŃANG on Saturday said it would welcome any petition before the Supreme Court questioning President Rodrigo Duterte’s authority to allow the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo made the remark as former President Fidel Ramos explained that the only reason Marcos was not buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani was because the “wounds of the 1986 People Power Revolution was still fresh at that time.”

“We welcome any move but law is very clear that the former President is entitled to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, as a soldier and as a former President,” Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo told reporters.

“We will respect any decision of High Court,” Panelo said as anti-Marcos groups threatened to petition the Supreme Court to stop Marcos’ burial at the national cemetery.

On the other hand, Ramos, who was one of the three leaders of the 1986 revolution, said one of the key considerations when he allowed the return of Marcos’ body to the Philippines in 1992, three years after his death in 1989, was possible destabilization.”

During our time 1992 to 1998, you must understand that we allowed the remains of the late President Marcos to return to the Philippines under certain conditions because of the possible destabilization of the country unless there were certain safeguards adopted. You will recall that he died in 1989, he came in 1992, [the] wounds of the People Power Revolution of 1986 which ejected the Marcos Martial Regime [were still fresh], “ he added.

“So we were very careful enough to make sure that the welfare of the people of the Philippines would be protected by the prevention of any angry or tension-filled peoples’ movement,” Ramos stressed.

READ MORE...

The former president also added they decided to allow the return of Marcos’ body as they believed that the latter should not be forever detained in Hawaii since it is not his homeland.

The four conditions set by the then Ramos government in exchange for the return of the remains of the former president were: that it would be flown straight from Hawaii to Paoay, Ilocos Norte; that he would be given honors befitting a major in the AFP, because it was his last rank in the AFP; that he would not be paraded in Metro Manila because at that time anti-Marcos sentiments were still fresh; and that he would be buried in Ilocos Norte, not in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Ramos said these conditions were explained to the Marcos family, who were then represented by Ilocos Norte Rep. Roquito Ablan and former First Lady Imelda Marcos, by then Interior and Local Government Secretary Rafael Alunan III.

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

RELATED OPINION FROM PHILSTAR

Duterte’s judgment call AS A MATTER OF FACT By Sara Soliven de Guzman (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 15, 2016 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0


By Sara Soliven de Guzman

When leaders make decisions we either agree or disagree. They can make good or bad judgments. When they seem irrational, we shake our heads and ponder. We ask ourselves what made them think that way. Why didn’t they use reason?

When Civil Wars, World Wars not to mention Gulf Wars were launched many were upset because lives would be at stake by the weapons of mass destruction. When the United States with the consent of the United Kingdom dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki questions arose about its ethical justification.

When China decided to take over the West Philippine Sea without respect to the convention on the law of the seas; claiming that those islands belong to them, we were aghast in total disbelief.

When President Benigno Aquino prioritized the cutting of the ribbon at the Mitsubishi car plant opening over going to the arrival honors of the slain cops (SAF 44), we were appalled by his insensitivity.

Today, we are faced with the decision the new president has made on the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

People who study the situation using the basic truth, the law, will right away agree with the president. But a man who thinks beyond this basic tenet will look for a higher level of reasoning, that is, the president’s ethical considerations.

The president shouldn’t just look at the small picture. He should look at the bigger picture where he predisposes the morale of the people.

* * *


Maximo Soliven with Ferdinand Marcos, who will eventually have him imprisoned (from Maximo V. Soliven: The Man and the Journalist) FROM WIKIPEDIA

Hours before the declaration of Martial Law, my father, Max V. Soliven, invited as guest in his television show “Impact,” Ninoy Aquino, where they discussed Oplan Sagittarius, the top-secret military plan that would then propel President Marcos to absolute power.

At 2 o’clock in the morning of September 23, 1972, my father was arrested by the soldiers of the dictatorship and was incarcerated for months until his release on probation.

He was to report weekly at Camp Crame, banned to travel outside Metro Manila, and was prohibited to write for years. His friends would say – this was like preventing a singer from singing.

His passion for writing however made his anti-Marcos sentiments known in every little way he could find, until he again went full-blast against the dictator when Ninoy was assassinated.

I wonder how my father would have reacted if he had known then that on September 18, 2016, President Marcos will be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) with full military honors.

Naturally, those who were hurt by Martial Law would find allowing a most-hated president buried at the LNMB outrageous, even if the order comes from the most-popular President Digong.

My personal bias aside, the relevant issue, as I see it now, is no longer the entitlement of Marcos to a burial lot at the LNMB, but whether or not President Digong is correct in allowing the burial for the country to move on from this lingering political issue. He said the “yellows” should have amended the law to expressly prohibit the burial of Marcos at the LNMB.

Now, he must apply the rule of law as it is.

Indeed, Section 1 of RA 289 mandated the construction of the national pantheon (LNMB) as burial place of the mortal remains of ALL presidents of the Philippines, national heroes and patriots.

On April 9, 1986, then General Fidel V. Ramos and President Corazon C. Aquino issued the AFP Regulation on allocation of cemetery plots at the LNMB stating that those who have been dishonorably discharged from service, or personnel convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude, do not qualify for interment at the cemetery.

As it is apparent from the words used that the disqualifications would apply to military personnel, they should have included “ousted presidents” if that was the intent, so that there will be no debate as to the honorable people worth emulating who deserves a burial lot at the LNMB.

As it stands now, President Marcos was not dishonorably discharged as a soldier, and he was never convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude since the damage suits filed in the US were civil cases.

Will rallies of anti-Marcos activists influence President Digong to call off the LNMB burial?

Did he not say he would allow them to rally as long as they want?

President Digong will be remembered for his willingness to put on the line his reputation, life and the presidency, for what he believes to be right. I think his “political will” cannot be broken by any amount of public pressure, especially now that even the public is divided on the issue.

There might even be more people at the LNMB interment than the anti-Marcos burial protesters in all rallies taken collectively.

At the end of the day, the Palace can say that the law mandates the LNMB burial and that the Filipino custom of giving honor to the dead knows no political boundaries. Whether President Digong is right or wrong in allowing this burial to happen, it is his duty as a leader to make himself clear to the youth of the land. What message does he want to impart?

It is expected that petitions will be filed with the Supreme Court for a restraining order, but on what legal basis?

A friend opined that even a creative interpretation of “dishonorable discharge” or “offense involving moral turpitude”, may not do the trick because these disqualifications are not in the law itself, and besides, the present Commander-in-Chief may amend the AFP Regulation. With the law appearing to side with the President, would the Supreme Court step in with an injunction and create a real constitutional crisis?

It would be interesting to find out, but with the recent exchange between the President and the Chief Justice on the narco-judges, I do not see any crisis coming. It is good for the country that the Chief Justice, who aired a valid concern, opted to resort to an honorable silence, and the president followed with a statesman apology for his harsh words in reaction to the letter of the Chief Justice.

The public announcement of government officials with possible links to drugs, based on intelligence reports, is even more legally controversial than the Marcos burial as the former involves a constitutional due process issue.

It is evident that the president continues to enjoy the support of most Filipinos notwithstanding his unorthodox style and “nothing to lose” attitude in effecting the changes he wants.

Reasonable or unreasonable as it may sound, we will need to deal with it. Right or wrong? It remains to be seen, but to the president’s credit, change is already happening.

May he not fail the people’s confidence!


TRIBUNE

MILF on alert, probes possible ISIS infiltration Written by Ted Tuvera Sunday, 14 August 2016 00:00


DUREZA

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has expressed alarm over the possible infiltration of the international terrorist group Islamic State in its ranks

“We have formed a special MILF group that is probing the possible penetration and inspiration of some MILF members by ISIS (or IS),” MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim told reporters in a press conference alongside Malacańang’s top representative Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Jesus Dureza.

Verifying what President Rodrigo Duterte previously spilled in one of his Army camp visits, Ebrahim said there are already ISIS-inspired groups operating in Mindanao but clarified that these organizations are not ISIS per se.

“There are groups that are inspired by ISIS. But as far as we’re concerned, there is still no ISIS organization in Mindanao,” the MILF leader said.

Tengku Dato Ab Ghafar Tengku Mohamed, Malaysian third party representative in the GRP-MILF talks, for his part, suggested that once the insurgency issues are resolved soon, the ISIS threat will eventually be toned down.

“Peace in Mindanao will deter radicalization of people. We call on all groups in Mindanao to reject extremism,” Dato Tengku said.

READ MORE...


Duterte fears “Arab missionaries” may contaminate Moro rebels with “ISIS disease” Posted on August 11, 2016 by Abner Macolor Image capture of video by GMA News Online via YouTube channel

Relatedly, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) will be coordinating with law enforcement and security agencies in connection with the President’s order to arrest and deport alleged ISIS indoctrinators in Mindanao.

“Given the pronouncement of the President we coordinate with law enforcement and security agencies such as if they want us to identify a certain person,” said BI spokesman Antonette Mangrobang.

“We coordinate with law enforcement and intelligence when it comes to anti-crime,” she added.

Mangrobang noted that the bureau remains committed to enforce its mandate against undesirable aliens especially terrorists.

With this, the BI official called on the people to report to them any suspicious individuals in their areas.

“We are asking the public if they see any suspicious presence in their area to inform the BI,” she added.

On Thursday, Duterte ordered the military to validate reports about the presence of Arab-looking missionaries in the southern part of the country. PNA

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RELATED FROM CNN PILIPPINES

ISIS threat on Miss Universe pageant? By Eimor P. Santos, CNN Philippines Updated 08:37 AM PHT Fri, August 12, 2016 AddThis Sharing Buttons1.8K9

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Thursday said it is “seriously” validating reports terror group ISIS is threatening to bomb the country’s hosting of the 2016 Miss Universe pageant.

“We are giving it a serious look. We're taking it into account. We will continue to validate it,” Col. Ed Arevalo, chief of the AFP Public Affairs Office, told CNN Philippines.

“We are taking any kind of threat seriously,” Arevalo added.

SITE Intelligence, a US-based group that tracks online terrorist activity, said on Monday a pro-ISIS social media channel posted a tutorial video for making an explosive belt and timed hand grenade. It said the video “suggested” making a bomb for the Miss Universe pageant in the country on January 30, 2017.

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SITE Intel Group @siteintelgroup
A #Filipino jihadi Telegram channel posted a video for making an explosive belt and suggested "Create bomb for miss universe" #MissUniverse
7:19 AM - 8 Aug 2016
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SCREENGRAB

CNN Philippines cannot independently verify the authenticity of the video.

It shows an unidentified person demonstrating steps to make explosives, with subtitles apparently written in Arabic. The voice is inaudible while the music, which sounds like a chanted prayer, is loud throughout the 18-minute video.

Arevalo warns against believing reports of threats from ISIS.

“We even would like to caution some people na wag basta maniwala sa ganitong balita [don't immediately believe such news] because anybody could just claim that they are member of ISIS or that they are ISIS sympathizer, simply because they would like to ride on the notoriety of the ISIS,” Arevalo said.

The military is denying the presence of ISIS in the country.

“Ang paniniwala namin [What we believe] is still there is no ISIS in the Philippines,” Arevalo said.

But he said the military is always on alert.

Terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna earlier told CNN Philippines that the Basilan faction of the Abu Sayyaf led by Isnilon Hapilon is reporting to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Read: "Who are the Abu Sayyaf?"

Speaking to troops of the 1st Infantry Division in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur on Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte said ISIS is a nagging problem in the next three to four years.

"May taong puti and I suppose mga Arabo na. They are here as missionaries. Wala silay armas [There are Caucasians, I suppose Arabs, who are here as missionaries. They have no weapons],” Duterte said.

He said the supposed ISIS members are in the country to conduct “indoctrination.”

The President said they must be arrested before they could gain followers among Moro rebels and "contaminate [them] with ISIS disease.”

The ISIS, or Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, is claiming high profile terrorist attacks. A Reuters report said the ISIS admitted to the bloody April 9 clashes between the military and the bandits which killed 18 soldiers in Basilan.

Related: AFP raises doubts on ISIS claim in Basilan clash

ISIS Miss Universe Armed Forces of the Philippines Eimor P. Santos


PHILSTAR

Reds pull out of Duterte’s 'anti-people' drug war By Artemio Dumlao (philstar.com) | Updated August 14, 2016 - 12:52pm 30 143 googleplus0 0


The Communist Party of the Philippines tagged the anti-drug war of the Duterte administration as anti-people and undemocratic. ​Joven Cagande, File

BAGUIO CITY — The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has pulled out its participation in President Rodrigo Duterte's war against drugs.

The CPP tagged Duterte's anti-drug war as a “frenzied campaign of extrajudicial killings and vigilante murders.”

“[T]he rights of tens upon thousands of people are being violated as the criminal justice system is upturned,” it added.

The CPP earlier vowed to work hand-in-hand with Duterte and run after big-time drug lords in areas where its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA), operates.

It, however, said the drug war has become anti-people and anti-democratic.

“Human rights are being violated with impunity by police personnel, emboldened by Duterte's assurances of 'I got your back' and his public declarations of contempt against human rights,” the CPP explained.

Although no longer participating in the administration’s drug war, the CPP maintains its orders to the NPA “to continue to intensify its operations to arrest and disarm drug trade operators and protectors.”

As before, the NPA said it will continue to exercise due process in dealing with suspects, such as the case of Philippine National Police (PNP) officers presently under its custody in Compostela Valley and Surigao del Sur. Frenzied Attacks The CPP also criticized the administration's drug campaign saying it “has unleashed unmitigated violence and threats of violence against the people, mostly victims, and people at the lowest rungs of the criminal syndicate ladder.”

READ MORE...

Suspected big drug lords and their protectors, however, “are afforded courtesy calls to Malacańang, accommodations in Camp Crame's guest house and preliminary investigations by the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation),” it said.

The worst that they have been made to undergo is to suffer the lectures of the PNP chief, it added.

The administration has come up with one list after another of so-called protectors, narco-politicians and judges without proof nor a clear basis for accusations of their involvement in drugs, the CPP said noting that there were no explanation on how the lists were drawn up.

“Duterte has become so full of himself and intoxicated with the vast power he is not used to handle that he thinks he can get away with upturning the criminal judicial system and denouncing people for defending human rights,” the CPP said. Drug war not addressing root problem According to the CPP, Duterte's drug war is bound to fail “because it does not address the socio-economic roots of the problem.”

“It has been proven in history that no amount of killing will succeed in putting an end to the drug menace.” The CPP cited Mexico “where after 10 years and with almost 80,000 people killed, the intensity of the drug problem remains the same if not worse.”

It said the "drug war" is also fast becoming “one of the facets of the factional struggle within the reactionary ruling classes, for control of resources, territories, police and military units.”

“[M]any of the summary and vigilante killings are being carried out by the criminal syndicates who use the 'anti-drug war' as camouflage for waging [an] all-out war against their rivals and their rival protectors in the police, bureaucracy and judiciary or to rub-out their own men,” it added.

The communist group noted that it would be no surprise that the information made public by Duterte about police protectors, narco-politicians and judges were fed to him by rival criminal syndicates.

The CPP also said that the most effective way of waging war against drugs “is by rousing the people and mobilizing them to become active participants in social revolution.”

“[T]he rampant problem of drug addiction among the people should be addressed in the economic as well as political and cultural fields,” it added saying that drug addiction has been virtually wiped out through mass struggles in thousands of barangays and clusters where it said revolutionary forces exercise governmental authority.

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Duterte to Reds: Land mines or talks By: Allan Nawal, Marlon Ramos @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Mindanao, Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:01 AM August 8th, 2016

PRESIDENT Duterte pays his respects at thewake of one of the four soldiers killed by the NPA. MALACAŃANGPHOTO

DAVAO CITY—President Duterte on Sunday threatened to call off the peace talks with communist rebels scheduled to resume in Oslo, Norway, in a few weeks if they continued to use land mines in their war against the government.

“You better decide now, tonight. I’m here in Davao. Decide now whether you want to continue using land mines and if you say ‘yes,’ I will also order the Armed Forces [of the Philippines] to use ordnance. That would be fair enough,” he said at the wake of four soldiers in Camp Panacan here.

The President issued the call after the New People’s Army (NPA), armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, detonated a bomb that killed the four soldiers and wounded several others in Compostela Valley last week.

He said the use of explosives by the rebels was lamentable as it maimed not only combatants but also civilians, such as the families of soldiers riding in military trucks on their way back to camp or to other destinations.

“What if I would also order the Armed Forces to use land mines against you. Which is which? It cannot be a different rule here for you or the armed forces. It should be even. What if I tell them to start using land mines for offensive or defensive purposes?” he said.

‘Let’s all suffer’

“Why should soldiers be the only ones to suffer? Let us all suffer,”ť he added.

Mr. Duterte said he did not care if the war with the communist rebels dragged on for another 45 years if they continued to choose violence.

“We have been at war for almost 45 years,”ť he said. “Let’s kill each other if you want. I am not difficult to talk to.”ť

The President said he wanted to talk peace, which was why he was calling on the rebels to stop using land mines.

Invoking the Geneva Convention on the conduct of war, the President said the use of land mines, or bombs concealed under or above ground, by entities engaged in armed conflict was prohibited by the international agreement.

Not complete ban

However, the “Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction,” also known as the “Ottawa Treaty,” shows that it does not completely ban land mines.

The agreement, also called the Mine Ban Treaty, prohibits only the use of anti-personnel and victim-detonated land mines, while allowing the use of anti-vehicle and remote-detonated land mines.

Mr. Duterte assailed the communist rebels and their supporters for arbitrarily citing the Geneva Convention “if it is to your advantage.”

“You are the very first to cry foul when something goes wrong even in the handling of prisoners… I cannot understand for the life of me that if it is to your advantage, you invoke the Geneva Convention provisions,” he said.

“It cannot be a different rule for you and a different rule for the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the police. Or would you rather so that we will be equal, I will tell them (military) to start using land mines for offensive or defensive purposes.”

Command-detonated

In earlier statements, the NPA denied using explosives prohibited by the Geneva Convention. It said it used command-detonated explosives in its operations.

The President said the peace talks could not continue while the rebels maimed soldiers and civilians with explosives.

“So what do you want? Either you stop it now or I’m ordering the (government peace panel) to come home,”ť he said.

The President said he would give the fund meant for the government peace panel to the military instead. “I’ll tell the military to buy a shipload of explosives.”

He said if the fight with the communists continued, he would approve the request of the Department of National Defense to recruit 20,000 additional troops.

The President said war was ugly, “that’s why we are talking,” and that it should not be used to further an ideology. “I can be a communist party member but I will never go to war.”


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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