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NO SEPTEMBER 18 BURIAL FOR MARCOS; SC EXTENDS HALT ORDER TO OCT 18
[RELATED OPINION: A Hero’s Burial for a Long-Dead Dictator]
[RELATED(2): Official Gazette draws flak for 'historical revisionism' on Marcos FB post]


Police block protesters against the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos as they hold placards and shout slogans near their anti-Marcos counterparts as they hold a rally outside the Philippine Supreme Court in Manila, Philippines, to coincide with the oral arguments following petitions filed by various civil society groups opposing the hero's burial of Marcos at the Heroes Cemetery on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Lawyers for the Philippine government and heirs of Ferdinand Marcos said Wednesday the late dictator is qualified to be buried at a heroes' cemetery as a former president and war veteran despite opposition from his regime's human rights victims. AP Photo/Aaron Favila  The Supreme Court yesterday extended until Oct. 18 its order temporarily stopping the burial of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City that was supposedly set on Sept. 18. SC spokesman Theodore Te announced at the conclusion of the two-session oral arguments on petitions against the Marcos burial by martial law victims that the status quo ante order, which was supposed to expire on Monday, was extended to allow the justices to resolve the case on merits. The high tribunal initially issued the order last Aug. 23, effective for 20 days, to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya as the military had started preparations for the burial. In oral arguments yesterday, Solicitor General Jose Calida defended before the high court President Duterte’s decision to allow Marcos’ burial at the heroes’ cemetery, saying the interment would not necessarily rewrite the nation’s history and make Marcos a hero. READ MORE...OPINION: A Hero’s Burial for a Long-Dead Dictator...RELAATED(2) Official Gazette draws flak for 'historical revisionism' on Marcos FB post...

ALSO: ‘Ferdinand Marcos will prevail’ – Imelda
[RELATED Imelda: 'I will not force a burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani']


SEPTEMBER 11 -"Truth and justice sometimes drags very slowly but as a believer, I know truth and justice will eventually prevail," she said during the commemoration of the 99th birthday celebration of the former president on Sunday.
The late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos will prevail over the controversies hounding his planned burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, his widow and Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos said over the weekend. "Truth and justice sometimes drags very slowly but as a believer, I know truth and justice will eventually prevail," she said during the commemoration of the 99th birthday celebration of the former president on Sunday. "Ferdinand Marcos will eventually prevail in all of these controversies," she added. This comes after the Supreme Court (SC) extended the status quo ante order (SQAO) which blocked the preparations for the hero's burial ordered by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on August 7, as instructed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte. The SC last week extended the SQAO to October 18. This was supposed to lapse on September 13, or 20 days after it was first issued on August 23. Duterte supports Marcos' burial at the heroes' cemetery, saying the late dictator could be buried there because he had been a soldier. READ MORE...RELATED, I
melda: 'I will not force a burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani',,,

ALSO: Drug deaths near 3,000 - PNP report
 
[RELATED: Law enforcers ill-equipped to combat economic crimes -study


SEPTEMBER 11 -The PNP reported yesterday that 1,466 suspected drug offenders were killed in the government’s “Double Barrel” drive against illegal drugs since President Duterte assumed office on June 30. Another 1,490 were killed by suspected vigilante groups, which the PNP classified under “deaths under investigation.”Joy Torrejos 1,466 killed in police operations
The bodies keep piling up. As the Philippine National Police (PNP) continues its anti-narcotics crackdown, the number of drug offenders killed has reached nearly 3,000. The PNP reported yesterday that 1,466 suspected drug offenders were killed in the government’s “Double Barrel” drive against illegal drugs since President Duterte assumed office on June 30. Another 1,490 were killed by suspected vigilante groups, which the PNP classified under “deaths under investigation.”  “The number of (police) operations conducted since the launching of Oplan Double Barrel has already reached 17,389, resulting in the deaths of 1,466 drug personalities and the arrest of 16,025 drug suspects,” PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos said. Carlos stressed most, if not all, of those killed fought it out with the police. Carlos added the PNP’s Oplan Tokhang resulted in the surrender of 52,568 self-confessed drug peddlers and 659,959 drug users. THE FULL REPORT. RELATED, Law enforcers ill-equipped to combat economic crimes...

ALSO: CHINA SEA - ‘Shelve sea dispute to save reefs’


SEPTEMBER 12 -PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—As the Philippine and Chinese governments fight for control over territories in the South China Sea, the sustainability of the waterway’s rich marine resources has become the silent casualty in the dispute, according to a marine expert.
“A Scarborough [Shoal] peace park right now could be the foot in the door for the entire [South China Sea] situation,” John McManus, a leading marine scientist from the University of Miami, told the Inquirer during a recent visit to Puerto Princesa City, capital of Palawan province. McManus has proposed to China and the Philippines to set aside their territorial dispute over Scarborough Shoal—known to Filipinos as Panatag Shoal—not only to ease the tensions between them but also to preserve what global marine experts claim to be one of the most beautiful and productive coral reefs in the world. McManus is also behind a proposal to create an international peace park in the Spratly Islands following the conduct of marine studies in the late 1990s on reef and fishery conditions in the disputed region.

ALSO: Rody - PH no lackey; Asserts ‘independent’ foreign policy stance


SEPTEMBER 11 -BACK HOME IN DAVAO FROM ASEAN MEET: Welcome home, Mr. President. President Rodrigo Duterte is welcomed by security officials upon arrival at F. Bangoy International Airport in Davao City on Saturday.
DAVAO CITY—Returning from an overseas trip where he insulted both the president of the United States and the secretary-general of the United Nations, President Rodrigo Duterte declared here Saturday that the Philippines will pursue an independent foreign policy. “In our relations with the world, the Philippines will pursue an independent foreign policy. I repeat: the Philippines will pursue an independent foreign policy,” Duterte said in his arrival statement early Saturday.“We will observe and must insist on the time-honored principles of sovereignty, sovereign equality, non-interference, and the commitment of a peaceful settlement of disputes. Let us serve our people and protect the interests of our country,” Duterte explained. Duterte made the pronouncement after the 28th and 29th summits of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Vientiane, Laos and a working visit to Indonesia. Duterte reported he had bilateral meetings with Japan, Laos, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore and Vietnam at the sidelines of the Asean summit and he said he raised concerns on peace, security and stability in the region. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

No September burial at Libingan for Marcos; SC


Police block protesters against the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos as they hold placards and shout slogans near their anti-Marcos counterparts as they hold a rally outside the Philippine Supreme Court in Manila, Philippines, to coincide with the oral arguments following petitions filed by various civil society groups opposing the hero's burial of Marcos at the Heroes Cemetery on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Lawyers for the Philippine government and heirs of Ferdinand Marcos said Wednesday the late dictator is qualified to be buried at a heroes' cemetery as a former president and war veteran despite opposition from his regime's human rights victims. AP Photo/Aaron Favila

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 12, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Edu Punay September 8, 2016 - The Supreme Court yesterday extended until Oct. 18 its order temporarily stopping the burial of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City that was supposedly set on Sept. 18.

SC spokesman Theodore Te announced at the conclusion of the two-session oral arguments on petitions against the Marcos burial by martial law victims that the status quo ante order, which was supposed to expire on Monday, was extended to allow the justices to resolve the case on merits.

The high tribunal initially issued the order last Aug. 23, effective for 20 days, to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya as the military had started preparations for the burial.

In oral arguments yesterday, Solicitor General Jose Calida defended before the high court President Duterte’s decision to allow Marcos’ burial at the heroes’ cemetery, saying the interment would not necessarily rewrite the nation’s history and make Marcos a hero.

READ MORE...

Calida asked the SC to dismiss the petitions, arguing that Marcos, being a former president and duly recognized soldier and war veteran, should be entitled to interment at the heroes’ cemetery.

He said the Libingan was not exclusive for heroes as the name suggested because the national pantheon for presidents, national heroes and patriots under Republic Act 289 or the law providing for its construction did not so state.

Calida explained the decision of Duterte was not meant to pay tribute to Marcos as a hero but rather “accord him simple mortuary rites befitting a former president, commander-in-chief and soldier” through the military instead of state honors.

He stressed it was a campaign promise of the President, who won in the elections with over 16 million votes.

Calida also invoked the President’s authority under the Constitution and Revised Administrative Code to decide on political questions that would not involve any justiciable issue for the high court to resolve.

He said the controversy was “beyond ambit of judicial review” and warned that granting the petitions would be tantamount to an “intrusion upon executive power.”

“President Duterte decides to begin the long overdue healing of our nation and to exorcise the ghosts of enmity and bitterness that prevent us from moving forward. Unfortunately, the wisdom and propriety of President Duterte’s well-meaning desire to put a closure in this divisive issue has pinched the nerves of some who cannot forget their travails during the martial law era,” he lamented.

Calida pointed out that the late president Corazon Aquino and her successor Fidel Ramos used such residual power on this controversy during their respective terms.

He said Ramos overturned the decision of Aquino and allowed Marcos’ remains to return to the country from Hawaii where he died in 1989.

The Solicitor General also rebutted the point made by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio in the first session of oral arguments last week that Marcos lost his privilege to be buried at the Libingan when he was “dishonorably discharged” and ousted by the historic EDSA people power revolution in 1986.

“Marcos was never dishonorably discharged from military service nor convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. Dishonorable discharge (of a military officer) can only happen through court-martial,” Calida stressed.

Calida likewise told the SC that the government recognized Marcos both as a soldier and a war veteran, citing the benefits accorded to his widow.

He revealed that former first lady Imelda Marcos had been receiving P5,000 in monthly pension from the Philippine Veteran’s Office since April 1994 for being a surviving wife of a war veteran. She is also receiving P20,000 pension from the Armed Forces as widow of a Medal of Valor awardee.

But National Historical Commission head Serena Diokno also informed the court that the government has received a letter from the United States showing that Marcos did not receive such award.

In the same session, Commission on Human Rights chairman Chito Gascon argued that the decision to bury Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery reopened wounds from the martial law era and “retraumatized” victims of human rights violations during the dictator’s rule.

Gascon argued that reparations of martial law victims should not only involve monetary compensation but also “symbolic” ones, which should include a policy banning a hero’s burial for Marcos.

But Calida argued that the millions of votes garnered by Marcos’ son and former senator Ferdinand Jr. in the vice presidential polls last May could prove that there was no more trauma among the Filipino people from the martial law abuses.

Calida said what was traumatizing was when petitioners recounted their ordeals during the martial law era via individual testimonials during the oral arguments last week, which he said were not relevant to the legal issues at hand.

“I was surprised that during the last hearing, the victims were made to recall the horrors they experienced… There is a place for that but not here in the Supreme Court… I am human your honor, I can feel their pain. But making them recount their horrible experiences is a form of retraumatizing them,” he added.

Calida further said that the interment would have no effect on claims of human rights victims during martial law as well as pending cases against the Marcoses before the Sandiganbayan as confirmed in previous session by the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board and Office of the Ombudsman.

The SC concluded the oral arguments at 5 p.m. and ordered parties to file their respective memorandum in 20 days before resolving the case.

The petitioners said allowing the burial of Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery would violate RA 289 because he was no hero and RA 10368 or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act.

Earlier, parties opposing and favoring the burial of Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery expressed hopes the SC would decide on the petitions before the planned interment on Sept. 18.

Renato Reyes Jr., secretary general of leftist group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), reiterated they would like the SC to favor the petitions against Marcos’ burial at the heroes’ cemetery because “not a single cent from government funds should be spent for” someone “proven to have stolen from the funds for the people.”

Meanwhile, the Movement for Filipino Ideology insisted that Marcos deserved to be buried at the Libingan as the Filipino people favored it, as seen in their vote for Duterte. – With Ghio Ong

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RELATED FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES

A Hero’s Burial for a Long-Dead Dictator By MIGUEL SYJUCOSEPT. 6, 2016


Photo Credit Matt Rota

MANILA — Mornings in the Philippines reveal bodies dumped outside slums. Averaging 13 a day, nearly 2,000 in the last two months, the bodies are hung with cardboard labels: purse snatcher, drug pusher, addict. The authorities decline to investigate. These are the casualties of a controversial crusade against crime that was the subject of the recent spat between the country’s new president, Rodrigo Duterte, and Barack Obama, which devolved into crude insults (by Mr. Duterte) and canceled meetings (by Mr. Obama).

These corpses aren’t the only ones in the spotlight. Mr. Duterte, making good on a campaign promise, has ordered the mummified body of our former dictator, Ferdinand E. Marcos, transferred this month to the Cemetery of Heroes here in Manila, the capital.

Marcos is notorious as one of history’s great kleptocrats. After declaring martial law in 1972, during his final term, he suspended democracy until his ouster 14 years later. His regime is remembered for its summary executions, torture, rape, enforced disappearances, censorship, electoral fraud and epic corruption. The Marcos family is believed to have plundered as much as $10 billion, only a portion of which has been recovered.

READ MORE...

This hero’s burial is the latest move to whitewash the Marcos regime’s crimes. In the years since the dictator’s death in 1989, his family has returned from exile unpunished. His wife, Imelda, is a congresswoman; their daughter is a governor. This year, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., known as Bongbong, a former senator, lost by less than a percentage point in his bid for the vice presidency, which is elected separately. His supporters say that the father’s sins are not the son’s, but the younger Mr. Marcos is reported to have blocked attempts by the government to retrieve the missing wealth while at the same time campaigning to regain power and gild his father’s legacy.

Several groups of human rights advocates and torture survivors have filed cases against the burial, prompting the Supreme Court to order a 20-day injunction. It will end nearly a week before the proposed Sept. 18 funeral date. Thousands of Filipinos have protested across the country. Walden Bello, a former congressman, warned against what the burial would represent: “Its message,” he said, “would be that dictatorship is O.K.”

How have so many Filipinos forgotten?

Disillusionment with the presidents since Marcos’s ouster, as well as censorship and propaganda during his two-decade rule, probably explains his popularity with many middle-aged voters. Meanwhile, history textbooks have not been thoroughly updated since Marcos left office, leaving those born after his death, more than half the population, susceptible to miseducation.

Recently, slickly produced videos have recast the Marcos dynasty as victims of the Aquino family, its longtime rival. Anonymous blogs and specious news sites manufacture articles supporting the Marcoses and their political allies. People who speak against Mr. Duterte and the Marcoses have had Facebook posts removed.

Many Filipinos now claim that Marcos made the country safer, forgetting that dictatorships suppress democratic rights along with crime. Many trumpet his ambitious building projects, forgetting that development and graft went hand in hand. Others claim that Marcos stewarded the country toward prosperity, ignoring how the initial economic gains of his dictatorship led to crippling foreign debt, poverty and crony capitalism.

How can a plunderer get a hero’s burial while petty criminals are shot and dumped in the streets?

Mr. Duterte speaks admiringly of Marcos, and some of his actions are reminiscent of the strongman’s. After a deadly bombing in his home city, Davao, Mr. Duterte declared a national state of emergency, further empowering the police and military. His chief legal counsel later revealed that the declaration was being drafted even before the attack.

Most telling, however, is Mr. Duterte’s relationship with the younger Mr. Marcos. During this year’s election, Mr. Duterte said that if he failed to “get rid of corruption, drugs and criminality” he would cede the presidency to the younger Mr. Marcos, who was running for a rival party. After Mr. Marcos lost the vice-presidential election, Mr. Duterte initially refused the winner a cabinet position typically given to vice presidents, saying, “I don’t want to hurt the feelings of Bongbong Marcos.”

Mr. Duterte claims that burying Marcos, 23 years after he was embalmed and refrigerated under glass, will promote national healing, even though the wound was inflicted by the dictator. The president also says the law mandates that Marcos, a former soldier and president, must be buried in the Cemetery of Heroes, despite a 1992 agreement allowing for the repatriation of his body from Hawaii to the Philippines on the condition it be quickly buried in his home province.

Mr. Duterte insists. We must ask what he gains. And what we all are losing.

Last month, I took my niece and nephew to the Cemetery of Heroes to teach them about the patriots who nobly served our country. We went nowhere near the high walls surrounding Marcos’s future grave site, but we were harassed anyway by soldiers who demanded our names and made us delete our photos. We were unable to continue our discussion of our history. “So this is what a dictatorship feels like,” my nephew said.

As we drove away, we looked back. On the cemetery gates, an inscription is written: “I do not know the dignity of his birth, but I do know the glory of his death.” Soon, Mr. Duterte will be burying a dictator there.

Miguel Syjuco is the author of the novel “Ilustrado.”
Miguel Syjuco is a Filipino Expat author--READ MORE
HERE

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A version of this op-ed appears in print on September 7, 2016, on page A23 of the New York edition with the headline: A Hero’s Burial for a Dictator. Today's Paper|Subscribe

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RELATED(2) FROM GMA NEWS

Official Gazette draws flak for 'historical revisionism' on Marcos FB post Published September 11, 2016 10:38pm By AYA TANTIANGCO, GMA News

The Official Gazette of the Philippines drew flak on Sunday evening after posting a graphic commemorating the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos' 99th birth anniversary, with some social media users accusing the government outfit of historical revisionism.

On the graphic was a photo of Marcos with a quote from his inauguration in 1965 superimposed near the bottom. This image was shared three different times, with the Official Gazette editing the accompanying caption from three paragraphs down to one.

The initial caption read:

Celebrating his 99th birthdate, Ferdinand Marcos started his political career in 1949 as a Representative of the Second District of Ilocos Norte. 10 years thereafter, Marcos was able to secure a seat as a member of the Philippine Senate in 1959 and was elected Senate President in 1963. Ferdinand Marcos became the 10th President of Philippines in 1965. He was the longest-serving President of the country for almost 21 years.

Marcos was the first post-independence president to be re-elected in 1969. In 1972, he declared Martial Law to suppress a communist insurgency and secessionism in Mindanao.

In 1986, Marcos stepped down from the presidency to avoid bloodshed during the uprising that came to be known as "People Power".

The post was met acerbically by social media users, criticizing the wording used by the Official Gazette as "historical revisionism". The hashtag #superficialgazette was used to parody its tone.

Shortly afterwards, the Official Gazette revised the post and removed "to avoid bloodshed" in the last paragraph, but the post continued to attract negative comments from social media users.

The Official Gazette ultimately removed the paragraphs containing both Martial Law and People Power, but not before users had the chance to take screencaps.

On its third revision, people on social media continued to chastise the post.

"Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, please don't do this to us. In your earlier post, the term 'Martial Law' was there and now it's not there anymore?" Facebook user Jules Guiang wrote.

He added, "I understand that the loyalists claim that his 'Martial Law' wasn't bad for the country, but with this move, are we erasing it in history that Marcos declared Martial Law and instead just say that he served the longest in history as President. No. Don't do that.

"Again, we both work in the government, we support CHANGE but not this kind of ridiculous change."

"This is slightly better because you used facts.. but still. Please don't omit. You have the moral responsibility AS THE OFFICIAL GAZETTE OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES to inform Filipinos of the truth. You're not lying, but you're not being truthful as well. Wag kayong funny funny," Alecanda Mohica Pascua wrote.

"Damage has been done. Own up to the original text accompanying this post and issue an apology to the Filipino people for twisting the truth, making a mockery of our history, and dishonoring the lives of the thousands of people murdered, tortured, and made to disappear during Martial Law," chimed Naomi Fontanos.

Late Sunday, Assistant Secretary Ramon L. Cualoping III of the Presidential Communicationa Operations Office responded to the criticisms and released a statement which said that the Official Gazette of the Philippines conveyed "what is documented in the official records" and was not "in the business of revising history".

— JST, GMA News


GMA NEWS NETWORL

‘Ferdinand Marcos will prevail’ – Imelda Published September 11, 2016 7:46pm


"Truth and justice sometimes drags very slowly but as a believer, I know truth and justice will eventually prevail," she said during the commemoration of the 99th birthday celebration of the former president on Sunday.

The late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos will prevail over the controversies hounding his planned burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, his widow and Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos said over the weekend.

"Truth and justice sometimes drags very slowly but as a believer, I know truth and justice will eventually prevail," she said during the commemoration of the 99th birthday celebration of the former president on Sunday.

"Ferdinand Marcos will eventually prevail in all of these controversies," she added.

This comes after the Supreme Court (SC) extended the status quo ante order (SQAO) which blocked the preparations for the hero's burial ordered by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on August 7, as instructed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

The SC last week extended the SQAO to October 18. This was supposed to lapse on September 13, or 20 days after it was first issued on August 23.

Duterte supports Marcos' burial at the heroes' cemetery, saying the late dictator could be buried there because he had been a soldier.

READ MORE...

Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio earlier said Marcos does not deserve a hero's burial because he was "dishonorably discharged" by the Filipino people in 1986.

"Marcos cannot be buried [at the Libingan ng mga Bayani]," he said in August, noting that Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) regulations disqualify those dishonorably discharged from service, or convicted by final judgment of a crime involving moral turpitude.

"But if the incumbent President says that '[Marcos] can still be buried there upon my instruction,' that cannot be done because it is against the Constitution because you are using public funds and property for a private purpose," he said.

For his part, Solicitor General Jose Calida said that the President's decision cannot be reviewed by the courts as it is a prerogative allowed by the law and the Constitution.

"The wisdom of interring Marcos at the Libingan is a political question...hence excluded from judicial review are questions of policy and wisdom otherwise referred to as political questions," he said.

Sought for comment, Marcos' daughter, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, said she hopes that the issue would be resolved soon.

"Hindi ako maaaring mag-komento sapagkat sub judice at alam mo na, 'yung ating mga abogado eh ayaw. Ang amin na lang, ipinagdadasal namin na magkaroon ng katapusan upang sa wakas, magkaisa ang Pilipino tulad ng hangarin ng ating mahal na President, Apo Duterte," she said. — Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas/BM, GMA News

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK


A Filipino priest leads a mass to celebrate the 99th birthday of the late president Ferdinand Marcos at a park in Manila, Philippines, 11 September 2016. Supporters of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos on 11 September 2016 celebrated the 99th birthday of the late dictator amid controversy over his proposed hero's burial, an epa journalist reports. Celebrations were held in various locations including Metro Manila and the late president's home province of Ilocos Norte in northwest Luzon Island, which is hosting a three-day commemoration, according to Rappler website. EPA/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

Imelda: 'I will not force a burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani' Published July 1, 2011 4:10pm Former First Lady and incumbent Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos on Friday said she will not insist on demanding a hero's burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery) for his husband, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

In an exclusive interview with GMA News' Sherrie Ann Torres, Mrs. Marcos said that although it pains her to see public objection over a hero's burial for her husband, she will no longer "force the issue even if he is more than qualified to go and be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani."

Besides, she pointed out that transferring her husband's remains to Metro Manila and away from Ilocos Norte would pose a problem to locals, who love them so much.

President Benigno Aquino III has already said that the late strongman will no longer be buried at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani in Taguig City.

Palace officials earlier said the President is already finalizing a decision on Vice President Jejomar Binay's proposal to bury Marcos with military honors in his hometown instead.

Even if her husband gets denied a hero's burial at the LMB, Mrs. Marcos said she was certain her husband would be more welcomed in heaven.

Marcos expressed her sentiments during her visit to the Marcos museum in Batac, Ilocos Norte in time for the former First Lady's 82nd birthday.

A recent survey by StratPOLLS Inc. showed seven out of 10 (71.6 percent) Metro Manila residents favoring the burial of the late president at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani.

In March this year, 219 members of the House of Representatives signed House Bill 1135, a House resolution pushing for the burial of Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery.

But progressive groups rejected plans for a hero's burial, saying it would be an insult to the victims of Martial Law.

Marcos died on Sept. 28, 1989, while in exile in Hawaii. His remains are in a refrigerated crypt in the family’s ancestral home in Ilocos Norte. — Mark Merueñas/RSJ, GMA News -


PHILSTAR

Drug deaths near 3,000 - PNP reports By Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 11, 2016 - 12:00am 1 3 googleplus0 0


The PNP reported yesterday that 1,466 suspected drug offenders were killed in the government’s “Double Barrel” drive against illegal drugs since President Duterte assumed office on June 30. Another 1,490 were killed by suspected vigilante groups, which the PNP classified under “deaths under investigation.”Joy Torrejos 1,466 killed in police operations

MANILA, Philippines - The bodies keep piling up. As the Philippine National Police (PNP) continues its anti-narcotics crackdown, the number of drug offenders killed has reached nearly 3,000.

The PNP reported yesterday that 1,466 suspected drug offenders were killed in the government’s “Double Barrel” drive against illegal drugs since President Duterte assumed office on June 30.

Another 1,490 were killed by suspected vigilante groups, which the PNP classified under “deaths under investigation.”

“The number of (police) operations conducted since the launching of Oplan Double Barrel has already reached 17,389, resulting in the deaths of 1,466 drug personalities and the arrest of 16,025 drug suspects,” PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos said.

Carlos stressed most, if not all, of those killed fought it out with the police.

Carlos added the PNP’s Oplan Tokhang resulted in the surrender of 52,568 self-confessed drug peddlers and 659,959 drug users.

READ MORE...

The figures do not include the “deaths under investigation” from July 1 to Sept. 8 that have reached 1,490, out of 1,782 incidents involving 1,935 victims.

Of these drug-related incidents, the PNP arrested 185 suspects with 292 cases filed in courts against those involved in summary executions. 107 of them are still at large.

Duterte, a former prosecutor and mayor of Davao City where he built a reputation for tough anti-crime methods, won the presidential election earlier this year on a promise to end criminality and corruption in the first three to six months of his presidency.

He encouraged police and even ordinary citizens to shoot suspected drug dealers if they resist arrest, and promised cash rewards if they turn in drug lords.

The rising body count has shocked the world and sparked alarm among global human rights groups, fearing the total could be far higher as vigilantes have joined the spree.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director general Isidro Lapeña said concerned citizens are the primary source of information in their operations against illegal drugs.

Lapeña said President Duterte issued the marching orders to stop the drug problem by all means that the law allows.

He said the fight will be relentless and will be sustained to meet the target of six months. – With Eva Visperas

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RELATED FROM THE MALAYA BUSINESS INSIGHT

Law enforcers ill-equipped to combat economic crimes By Irma Isip September 09, 2016

The Philippines ranks fourth among 115 countries whose law enforcement agencies are not adequately resourced to combat economic crimes, according to the Global Economic Crime Survey of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting Services Philippines Co. Ltd.

The study, conducted at the end of 2015 prior to the $81-million heist on Bangladesh Bank, showed that in cybercrime alone, 52 percent of the Filipino companies surveyed believe law enforcement agencies such as the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation do not have the required skills, and 58 percent think the agencies do not have adequate resources.

Economic crime could be anywhere from asset misappropriation, bribery and corruption, cybercrime and money laundering.

But Benjamin Azada, PwC Philippines’ consulting managing principal, noted had the survey been done after the bank heist, the survey could have shown worse results.

Azada said there were cases proving that local companies have experienced economic crime but did not recognize it as such.

The study shows that a low 20 percent of the Philippine respondents reported experiencing economic crime over the last 24 months, compared to the 36 percent global average.

READ MORE...

Azada said asset misappropriation, or the traditional outright theft of money and resources, is still the most prevalent among the economic crimes experienced by Philippine companies, but cybercrime is slowly creeping up the rankings particularly now with internet and mobile transactions and payments.

He said in the future, cybercrime could overtake bribery and corruption as the second top economic crime committed against Filipino companies.

Azada said results of the survey show the need to strengthen laws including lifting the bank secrecy law and bigger focus by individual companies for comprehensive control systems that would consider human factor, institutional risks, culture of compliance, whistle-blowers program, among others.

Alex Cabrera, PwC Philippines chairman and senior partner, said there is still human factor involved even in cybercrimes because “there are still individuals who can overwrite those internal controls.”

Cabrera said the risk side of cybercrime shows 50 percent are done in cooperation with individuals.

Azada said based on the survey, most of the economic crimes in the Philippinesare done by employees as the world becomes more connected, making local companies more susceptible to cybercrimes.

While financial services – banks, asset management companies and insurance firms – is traditionally proven to be the industry most threatened by economic crime, fraud can quickly spread to the entire supply chain especially as industries move toward integrated solutions.

Government-owned enterprises also are vulnerable especially to bribery and corruption. In the face of increased economic crime threats, only nine percent of Philippine companies planned to significantly increase their compliance program and resource spend, 36 percent intended to see some increase, while 54 percent intended to keep the same level of spend.

For anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), it appears that local companies intended to do much better.

In the last 24 months, Philippine companies trailed behind regional and global counterparts in the implementation of AML/CFT measures.

Over the next 24 months, these companies have positively planned to implement the AML/CFT standard measures.

As borders are blurred for both businesses and criminals, economic crime is being perpetrated in different ways across emerging markets like the Philippines that 36 percent of Philippine respondents expect economic crime to be committed against them in the next 24 months.

The Philippines’ economic crime threat landscape indicates that one out of four respondents was asked to pay a bribe, more than regional or global counterparts.

For companies that experienced economic crime, they deem that it had most impact on their reputation and brand strength, and their relations with regulators.

Based on the poll on actions likely to be taken when an incident of potential fraud is identified, results show that Philippine companies are not yet aware of the value of employing specialized forensics practitioners to investigate economic crimes.

“We’re optimistic that Philippine companies will do better in the future. The survey shows that as market conditions evolve, so does the threats landscape that accompanies them,” Cabrera said.

The survey had 88 Philippine companies participating,coming from manufacturing, financial services, business process outsourcing, automotive and general services. Board members and C-suite executives comprise half of the respondents.

PwC’s GECS is conducted every two years.The 2016 GECS is particularly significant as this is the first time that results from the Philippines are published. The survey was conducted at the latter part of 2015 with a total of 6,337 respondents from 115 countries.

The results of the global survey show that economic crime is evolving globally, with its nature changing depending on the industry or region. Its financial impact has also been increasing while necessary preventive measures have been lagging.


INQUIRER

‘Shelve sea dispute to save reefs’ By: Redempto D. Anda @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Southern Luzon 01:33 AM September 12th, 2016

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—As the Philippine and Chinese governments fight for control over territories in the South China Sea, the sustainability of the waterway’s rich marine resources has become the silent casualty in the dispute, according to a marine expert.

“A Scarborough [Shoal] peace park right now could be the foot in the door for the entire [South China Sea] situation,” John McManus, a leading marine scientist from the University of Miami, told the Inquirer during a recent visit to Puerto Princesa City, capital of Palawan province.

McManus has proposed to China and the Philippines to set aside their territorial dispute over Scarborough Shoal—known to Filipinos as Panatag Shoal—not only to ease the tensions between them but also to preserve what global marine experts claim to be one of the most beautiful and productive coral reefs in the world.

McManus is also behind a proposal to create an international peace park in the Spratly Islands following the conduct of marine studies in the late 1990s on reef and fishery conditions in the disputed region.

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A professor of marine biology and fisheries and director of the National Center for Coral Reef Research at Rosenstiel School of the University of Miami, McManus pioneered a scientific research initiative to map out coral reefs in the world, through a project called Reefbase.

Irreplaceable loss

McManus, who was in Palawan to promote his peace park proposal through the assistance of the United States, warned that China’s plan to build an artificial island on Panatag Shoal would lead to the irreplaceable loss of an important marine ecosystem.

“Scarborough reef is in a critical stage. If China builds [an island] there, it’s going to be a horrible waste. This is probably the most beautiful reef in the world,” McManus said.

China, which seized the shoal in 2012 after a two-month standoff with the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard, has prevented Filipino fishermen from venturing into Panatag, a traditional fishing ground for local fishermen, especially those from Zambales and Pangasinan provinces.

The Chinese government has deployed more naval vessels around the shoal and has been driving away Philippine vessels, insisting Panatag is part of its territory despite an international tribunal’s ruling that the shoal is a fishing ground for all.

In its July 12 ruling in an action brought by the Philippines, the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague also said that China’s claims to almost all of the 3.5-million-square-kilometer South China Sea has no legal basis and that it has violated the Philippines’ rights to fish and explore for minerals in waters within its 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone.

Massive collapse

The Philippine government has raised concern that China may be planning to build another artificial island on Panatag, similar to the seven it has already built in the Spratlys, at least three of which it has topped with airstrips that can handle large military planes.

Besides China and the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam also have overlapping claims in the South China Sea.

McManus deplored the failure of rival countries to deal with the deterioration of the marine environment in the South China Sea, which he said had led to the threat of extinction of certain fish species due to overfishing and reef destruction.

He said the marine damage done by China to fisheries, attributed to its artificial island building, was extensive and “irreplaceable.”

“The total area of the damage is about 69 square kilometers in the Spratlys plus Scarborough. Including the damage to the immediate areas outside, we have about 125 sq km of severely damaged reef. People do not realize this but we are in the middle of a massive, massive fisheries collapse in the South China Sea,” he said.

McManus pointed to studies showing that in areas in the Visayas, certain fish species had already gone extinct because of the breakdown of the marine ecosystem.

“This (extinction) is very hard to achieve in the marine environment because species are known to have wide distribution, but we think there is actually extinction going on in central Philippines,” he said.

Reduce fishing

McManus urged claimant countries to sit down and forge an agreement to reduce commercial fishing in the Spratlys in a coordinated manner.

China is dominant in trawl fishing while the Philippines and Vietnam are largely into reef fish catching. Chinese fishing vessels have also been reported to have harvested giant clams in Philippine waters, according to the marine biologist.

China earlier announced it would reduce its commercial fishing fleet in the South China Sea by 3 percent, which McManus described as a “token” gesture and an admission by China “that there is a problem.”

“The United Nations Convention [on the Law of the Sea] says the [claimant] countries should coordinate, but nothing is happening. Every year, China bans fishing for certain months in the southern part of the South China Sea. That’s not a bad idea if it’s agreed to by the other countries, but it’s not,” he said.

“They do not want to recognize China’s assertion so the response of other countries is to fish more. These unilateral declarations make it worse,” he said.


MANILA STANDARD

Rody: PH no lackey - Asserts ‘independent’ foreign policy stance  posted September 11, 2016 at 12:01 am by F. Pearl A. Gajunera


BACK HOME IN DAVAO FROM ASEAN MEET: Welcome home, Mr. President. President Rodrigo Duterte is welcomed by security officials upon arrival at F. Bangoy International Airport in Davao City on Saturday.

DAVAO CITY—Returning from an overseas trip where he insulted both the president of the United States and the secretary-general of the United Nations, President Rodrigo Duterte declared here Saturday that the Philippines will pursue an independent foreign policy.

“In our relations with the world, the Philippines will pursue an independent foreign policy. I repeat: the Philippines will pursue an independent foreign policy,” Duterte said in his arrival statement early Saturday.

“We will observe and must insist on the time-honored principles of sovereignty, sovereign equality, non-interference, and the commitment of a peaceful settlement of disputes. Let us serve our people and protect the interests of our country,” Duterte explained.

Duterte made the pronouncement after the 28th and 29th summits of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Vientiane, Laos and a working visit to Indonesia.

Duterte reported he had bilateral meetings with Japan, Laos, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore and Vietnam at the sidelines of the Asean summit and he said he raised concerns on peace, security and stability in the region.

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“I expressed the Philippines’ concern over the developments of South China Sea. I stressed our commitment to a peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law, including [the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas].”

Mission accomplished.

President Rodrigo Duterte holds two thumbs up as he reported on his first appearance on the world stage upon his arrival at the F. Bangoy International Airport in Davao City early Saturday.
“I called leaders to support individual and collective efforts to bring security and stability in the South China Sea through a rules-based approach for resolving maritime disputes,” he said.

“My message was clear: the Philippines is open for business. My administration will do its part in providing the environment for businesses to thrive and prosper, including micro, small, and medium enterprises,” Duterte said.

But his first foreign mission also grabbed the international limelight after he called US President Barack Obama a “son of a whore” and described UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon a “fool.”

Obama later canceled scheduled bilateral talks, but the two leaders did have a chance to talk privately shortly before the summit’s gala dinner on September 7.

The following day, however, during the 11th East Asia Summit, Duterte again flashed his well-known anti-American sentiments and assailed the US for the massacre of 600 Tausug villagers during the First Battle of Bud Dajo in March 1906 at Sulu island.

At the same meeting, Duterte also praised China—with whom the Philippines has an ongoing dispute over territorial incursions in the West Philippine Sea—for being “generous” to the Philippines after it committed to help build a national drug rehab center in Nueva Ecija.

He also met and shook hands with Ban during the Asean gala dinner, but skipped the Asean-UN summit on the same day purportedly because he had to pay a courtesy call on Laotian President Bounnhang Vorachith.

Duterte shared details of his brief chat with Ban but said most of what they discussed are confidential.

“He did mention about human rights, and I responded very well and addressed myself to the body,” he said.

Duterte returned straight from Jakarta where he forged with Indonesian President Joko Widodo an agreement that will allow Indonesian law enforcers to enter Philippine waters in pursuit of pirates.

“My meeting with President Widodo was very productive and fruitful. We discussed ways of strengthening existing bilateral cooperation and identified new areas of partnership, including maritime security and in law enforcement,” Duterte said.

Duterte also raised the case of Mary Jane Veloso who was sentenced to death by an Indonesian court after she was caught with 2.5 kilograms of cocaine inside her luggage at an Indonesian airport in 2010.

The President declined to divulge details of the discussion but Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said Veloso’s execution has been postponed indefinitely.

“This is not an urgent issue as of now, let’s finish the process,” Yasay said.

“Her scheduled execution had been deferred because she would be testifying in the deposition case against her illegal recruiter. After prosecuting the illegal recruiter and if it turns out that Mary Jane [was] a victim, then we can ask for clemency soon,” Yasay added.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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