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U.N. RIGHTS EXPERT SEEKS SECURITY GUARANTEES AMID PLANS TO VISIT PH[RELATED: 2 US Senators deeply troubled by killings says, Conditions might have to be imposed on US aid to Philippine]


SEPTEMBER 27 -Agnes Callamard is the director of the Columbia Global Free Expression Project. She is the former Executive Director of ARTICLE 19, an international human rights organisation that defends freedom of expression and information. She is the founding director of Humanitarian Accountability Partnership, the first self-regulatory body for humanitarian organisations and a former Chef de Cabinet for the Secretary General of Amnesty International. Agnes is an expert on a number of international and UN human rights initiatives and has conducted human rights investigations in a large number of countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. She has published broadly in the field of human rights, women’s rights, refugee movements and accountability and holds a PhD in Political Science from the New School for Social Research in New York. FROM THE DATA CENTER, COLUMBIA JOURNALISM SCHOOL A United Nations rights rapporteur told AFP Monday she intended to visit the Philippines to investigate President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly war on crime, but was seeking security guarantees for people she planned to speak with. Duterte last week said he would allow UN and EU experts to look into the thousands of killings since he took office on June 30, however he also challenged them to face him in public debates. While the government has yet to issue formal invitations, the UN rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, said she would solicit one. "I welcome the reports recently (conveyed) through the media that the president and government of the Philippines will invite a UN mission to investigate the alleged extrajudicial executions," Callamard said in a statement emailed to AFP. Callamard said that she would insist on a range of measures to ensure that those who spoke with her did not face retribution. "The date and scope of the fact-finding mission will be discussed and negotiated with the government, along with essential guarantees," she said. Those would include "my freedom of movement and freedom of inquiry, and the assurance that those who cooperate with me will not be the object of retaliation, such as intimidation, threats, harassment or punishment," she said. READ MORE...RELATED,
2 US Senators deeply troubled by killings said: Conditions might have to be imposed on US aid to Philippine ...

ALSO: PNP Chief to adopt Colombia strategy in fight vs illegal drugs
[RELATED: Bato dela Rosa urges Duterte to prioritize certifying anti-wiretapping law amendment]
[RELATED(2): Vietnam to share intel on drug trade]


SEPTEMBER 27 -SCREENGRAB (VIDEO BELOW)
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa will adopt the good practices of the Colombia strategy in the country’s ongoing war against illegal drugs. Fresh from his five-day invitational visit to the Latin American country which is notoriously known for illegal drugs woes in the past, Dela Rosa said he learned a lot in his discussions with his counterparts in Colombia. “That was a very productive trip. Very professional and I have heard a lot of good practices and hopefully we could use all of these good practices here,” said Dela Rosa. “But I don’t want to disclose it because this may give the drug lords the idea on how to go against these strategies which in turn would render them ineffective,” he added. He, however, said that the visit was very productive as they even went to the extent of going to various areas in Colombia to observe and learn of the strategies which were and continuously being implemented by the police. READ MORE...RELATED, Bato dela Rosa urges Duterte to prioritize certifying anti-wiretapping law amendment... RELATED(2)
Vietnam to share intel on drug trade...

ALSO From July 1 up to Sept 29: Deaths ‘under investigation’ now at 1,745; 321 cases filed -PNP
[RELATED: PNP - 729,915 drug personalities surrendered; 1,323 suspects killed, 21,682 others arrested in war on drugs]


OCTOBER 2 -DE LA ROSA -The number of deaths under investigation (DUIs) by the Philippine National Police (PNP) has further risen to 1,745, with 321 cases filed so far stemming from these killings. In its update covering the period from July 1 up to 5 p.m. of September 29, the PNP said the DUIs rose by 13 from two days ago, September 27 when the DUIs were recorded at 1,732. The PNP said there is a total of 2,250 victims in 2,066 killings. The 321 cases being investigated so far constitute 15.54 percent of the total number of incidents. Meanwhile, the PNP said 203 cases have already been solved. The PNP clarified that, "DUI are not automatically extrajudicial killing (EJK) nor vigilante/summary killing. These are murder and homicide cases still under investigation." READ MORE... RELATED, PNP: 1,323 suspects killed, 21,682 others arrested in war on drugs...

ALSO: Yasay - ‘PH not veering away from US’
[RELATED: Philippines to US - Let us chart our own course]


SEPTEMBER 27 -US President Barack Obama and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. AP FILE PHOTO
THE Philippines is not “veering away” from the United States (US) despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement that the country was “crossing the Rubicon” with its longtime ally, a Cabinet official said on Tuesday. “I don’t think he meant it in the context of veering away from our commitments with the United States, particularly agreements and treaties or with respect to the close and special relations with the US,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay said in a press briefing. Yasay said Duterte only wanted to take an independent foreign policy but would ensure that “amity with all nations is being complied with.” “He simply wants to undertake an independent foreign policy, where he would not overlook, that we are part of an international community and that the Constitution in fact mandates that we should carry on amity amongst all nations,” he said. Yasay assured that the Philippines and the US would continue to strengthen their relationships despite Duterte’s recent tirades against US President Barack Obama. READ MORE...RELATED, Philippines to US: Let us chart our own course ...

ALSO: China backs Duterte's drug war
[RELATED: US will remain close Philippine friend, partner]
[RELATED(2):
Philippines’ Duterte to forge closer ties with China, Russia]


SEPTEMBER 30 -Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said that China supports President Rodrigo Duterte's policies against the illegal drug trade. FMPRC
Beijing has expressed its support for President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign against the illegal drug trade despite criticisms from the United States, the European Union and some human rights groups. The chief executive has come under fire for the rising number of extrajudicial and vigilante killings of drug suspects ever since he took office. "Under the leadership of President Duterte, the new Philippine government enacted policies that prioritize combating drug-related crimes. China understands and supports that," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said in a press briefing on Thursday. Geng stressed that the Chinese government has played a positive role in the international anti-drug campaign. "China understands and supports that. We stand ready to have anti-drug cooperation with the Philippines and formulate a common action plan for it," Geng said. The Chinese Foreign Ministry official further noted that fighting drug crimes is a shared responsibility among all countries around the world. READ MORE...RELATED,
US will remain close Philippine friend, partner... RELATED(2) Philippines’ Duterte to forge closer ties with China, Russia...

ALSO: Erap cites US interference in ‘all-out’ war in Du30 dialog; backs govt call for UN, US not to meddle with PH internal issues
[RELATED METRO MANILA NEWS ONLINE (POLITICS.COM): Erap backs Duterte: US, United Nations should not interfere with PH’s affairs]


SEPTEMBER 28 -
Former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada is backing President Duterte’s call for the United States (US) government and the United Nations (UN) not to meddle with the internal issues of the Philippines.
Estrada, who met Duterte in Malacañang yesterday afternoon, pointed out that neither the US nor the UN has the right to tell what Duterte should do, particularly on matters of national importance such as peace and order and the anti-terror campaign in Mindanao. “The Philippines is an independent nation, outsiders do not know deeplythe problems the country is facing,” Estrada said. He cited the intervention of the US government when he launched an all-out war against Muslim rebels in Mindanao.
Estrada added the fight against drugs and the need for more rehabilitation centers were among the issues they discussed during their meeting. “The advice I gave him about the US, was in line with the intervention on my campaign to end the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebellion,” Estrada added, recalling his days as the country’s President when he declared an all-out war against the MILF and was asked by then US President Bill Clinton to consider halting the military operations against the Muslim secessionist rebels. Estrada did not heed the advice of Clinton and what followed were efforts to oust him from power. “’Let us not follow them,” Estrada said, referring to US and UN. “We are faced with domestic problems,” he added. READ MORE...RELATED, Erap backs Duterte: US, United Nations should not interfere with PH’s affairs...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

UN rights expert seeks 'guarantees' amid plans to visit PH


SEPTEMBER 27 -Agnes Callamard is the director of the Columbia Global Free Expression Project. She is the former Executive Director of ARTICLE 19, an international human rights organisation that defends freedom of expression and information. She is the founding director of Humanitarian Accountability Partnership, the first self-regulatory body for humanitarian organisations and a former Chef de Cabinet for the Secretary General of Amnesty International. Agnes is an expert on a number of international and UN human rights initiatives and has conducted human rights investigations in a large number of countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. She has published broadly in the field of human rights, women’s rights, refugee movements and accountability and holds a PhD in Political Science from the New School for Social Research in New York. FROM THE DATA CENTER, COLUMBIA JOURNALISM SCHOOL

MANILA, OCTOBER 3, 2016 (ABS-CBN) Agence France-Presse Sep 26 2016 - A United Nations rights rapporteur told AFP Monday she intended to visit the Philippines to investigate President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly war on crime, but was seeking security guarantees for people she planned to speak with.

Duterte last week said he would allow UN and EU experts to look into the thousands of killings since he took office on June 30, however he also challenged them to face him in public debates.

While the government has yet to issue formal invitations, the UN rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, said she would solicit one.

"I welcome the reports recently (conveyed) through the media that the president and government of the Philippines will invite a UN mission to investigate the alleged extrajudicial executions," Callamard said in a statement emailed to AFP.

Callamard said that she would insist on a range of measures to ensure that those who spoke with her did not face retribution.

"The date and scope of the fact-finding mission will be discussed and negotiated with the government, along with essential guarantees," she said.

Those would include "my freedom of movement and freedom of inquiry, and the assurance that those who cooperate with me will not be the object of retaliation, such as intimidation, threats, harassment or punishment," she said.

READ MORE...

Duterte won the presidential election in a landslide in May after promising to kill 100,000 criminals as part of a campaign against illegal drugs.

More than 3,300 people have been killed since Duterte took office, police figures show.

Duterte has in recent months urged police and even civilians to kill drug addicts as well as traffickers, and vowed to protect lawmen from prosecution.

However he has also insisted that he has not encouraged anything illegal.

Police say they shot dead about a third of the people killed so far in self defense, while the others were victims of intra-gang wars.

However rights groups say police are conducting extrajudicial killings and unleashing hired assassins, and that people with no links to the drug trade are being murdered as the rule of law crumbles.

The United Nations, the European Union, the United States and international human rights groups have all condemned the killings.
But Duterte has insisted he must continue his bloody crackdown to stop the Philippines from becoming a narco state.

He often responds to criticism with abusive and defiant language. Targets of his foul-mouthed tirades have included US President Barack Obama, UN chief Ban Ki-moon and the European Union.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

2 US Senators deeply troubled by killings said: Conditions might have to be imposed on US aid to Philippine By Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 29, 2016 - 12:00am 0 5 googleplus0 0


Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the Philippines would remain an ally of the US despite the differences. PPD/Toto Lozano

MANILA, Philippines – Deeply troubled by the extraordinarily high number of individuals killed in the administration’s war against illegal drugs, two American senators said yesterday the United States might have to impose conditions on assistance to the Philippines, given President Duterte’s supposed refusal to address concerns on human rights violations and other abuses.

Sought for reaction, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said, “We respect the opinion of others but we also give ourselves the permission to chart our own course and fulfill our destiny in our own terms.”

Abella said the Philippines would remain an ally of the US despite the differences. “The fundamental relationship between the US and the Philippines remains unchanged by aberrations due to political perspectives and opinions. We continue to forge forward even as we attempt a deeper understanding of each other’s methods,” Abella said.


MARCH 2015 PHOTO -US SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY: “In one sense, the law is punitive, as it should be,”Leahy told the participants on March 26 (2015) at the start of a two-day workshop. “But the Law’s larger purpose is to build professional, disciplined, transparent and accountable security forces who are sustainable and effective partners for the United States.” FROM THE US INSTITUTE OF PEACE (USIP)

Sen. Patrick Leahy, who wrote the Leahy Law to ensure that the US would not be complicit in human rights violations committed by forces that might receive US assistance, said he asked the State Department to discuss the matter with them and help in their deliberations on current assistance for the Philippines as well as “on decisions we will make for appropriations in fiscal year 2017.”

The Leahy Law also encourages foreign governments to hold accountable perpetrators of such abuses.

“While there are ways we can find out which units were involved in these abuses, if President Duterte’s government is unwilling to work with us, including by refusing to investigate allegations of abuses, then we are faced with a broader issue that cannot be remedied simply by withholding assistance from specific units or individuals,” Leahy said.

As the Leahy Law should also be used to push for reform and accountability and to address systemic challenges, Leahy said it might be necessary to consider further conditions on assistance to the Duterte government to ensure that “US taxpayer funds are properly spent and until that government demonstrates a commitment to the rule of law.”

Sen. Benjamin Cardin said he too was “greatly concerned that unless we are able to see a more constructive approach” on these issues from the Duterte government, “we may need to consider taking these steps.”

Cardin is a ranking member of the US Senate foreign relations committee while Leahy was chairman or ranking member for more than 25 years of the appropriations subcommittee funding US foreign assistance programs.


MANILA BULLETIN

PNP Chief to adopt Colombia strategy in fight vs illegal drugs by Aaron B. Recuenco September 27, 2016 Share0 Tweet2 Share0 Email0 Share19


SCREENGRAB (VIDEO BELOW)

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa will adopt the good practices of the Colombia strategy in the country’s ongoing war against illegal drugs.

Fresh from his five-day invitational visit to the Latin American country which is notoriously known for illegal drugs woes in the past, Dela Rosa said he learned a lot in his discussions with his counterparts in Colombia.

“That was a very productive trip. Very professional and I have heard a lot of good practices and hopefully we could use all of these good practices here,” said Dela Rosa.

“But I don’t want to disclose it because this may give the drug lords the idea on how to go against these strategies which in turn would render them ineffective,” he added.

He, however, said that the visit was very productive as they even went to the extent of going to various areas in Colombia to observe and learn of the strategies which were and continuously being implemented by the police.

READ MORE...

While he would not disclose the strategies and his plans to localize them, Dela Rosa emphasized the need for the whole-government approach in dealing with the problem, especially Congress.

Dela Rosa also disclosed the synergy between the executive and legislative branches of government in Colombia wherein the latter would empower the former in law enforcement campaign against illegal drugs.

For instance, he said the Congress of Colombia gave its police force the power to wiretap suspected drug lords and drug offenders.

“The police there are equipped with the power to wiretap and they also have the power to forfeit properties of drug lords which are considered fruits of their illegal activities,” said Dela Rosa.

In the Philippines, wiretapping is against the law and police forces have to secure court approval first before conducting wiretapping activities. The use of information obtained from wiretapping is inadmissible.

The Philippines is also having a serious problem on the issue of forfeiture, as revealed in past cases wherein convicted grafters in the government were still able to keep their properties.

Citing his own experience, Dela Rosa said the PNP was able to identify some properties of slain Central Visayas drug lord identified as Jaguar in various places in the country.

Among them, he said, are resorts in Sorsogon and various properties in Cebu and Las Piñas City.

“Their laws are very strict. They could easily forfeit the questionable properties of the drug lords,” said Dela Rosa.

Dela Rosa disclosed that he is planning to talk to President Duterte to expedite the passage of the same laws in the Philippines, especially the wiretapping.

“I will talk to the President and request him to sign these bills as priority bills,” said Dela Rosa.

COLOMBIA STRATEGY


PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa meets Colombian police chief General Jorge Hernando Nieto

Dela Rosa also refuted the reports about the President of Colombia being quoted as saying that the illegal drugs war in his country was a failure.

“It is not yet qualified on why it was a failure. Based on what I have seen there, they really engaged in busting drug cartels,” said Dela Rosa.

He said that what he appreciates was the success of Colombia in four phases of the anti-drugs war — the production, trafficking, distribution and addiction.

“They were able to stop the trafficking of drugs to the United States, Europe and Asia. So instead of trafficking which is a very risky business there, they focused on local consumption,” said Dela Rosa.

Dela Rosa said their target is to stop the supply of illegal drugs which are almost coming from other areas like China and Taiwan.

“When we cut the supply, it follows that the demand will also be cut. So even if these drug addicts there would bang their heads on the wall, they could not still get drug supply so they will be forced to reform themselves,” said Dela Rosa.

Based on latest data, a total of 1,234 suspected drug users and pushers were killed in various operations across the country since July 1.

This is aside from more than 1,500 deaths recorded allegedly perpetrated by vigilante groups.

A total of 19,125 were also arrested while a total of 722,551 have surrendered so far.

SEBASTIAN WON’T TESTIFY


CONVICTED DRUGLORD SEBASTIAN

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said yesterday controversial inmate Jaybee Sebastian will no longer be presented in the House of Representatives’ investigation into the illegal drugs trade at the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) as he refused to divulge all his role in the illegal drugs trade at the national penitentiary.

Sebastian has emerged to be the “most powerful and dreaded leader” during the time of then Justice secretary and now Sen. Leila de Lima.

Earlier, Aguirre had said Sebastian will appear in the House probe although the secretary said he was not sure what would be the details of the inmate’s testimony.

In a press conference Aguirre said: “I was told that Jaybee only wants to limit his testimony to anomaly in food supply there (in NBP). I rejected it because he will not speak of the entire truth.”

“Thus, there is no need for him to testify because the testimonies of the other inmates were already clear. I don’t see any reason for Jaybee to still appear there (House probe),” the justice secretary said.

Sebastian was linked by his fellow inmates in the millions of pesos in drugs money to allegedly finance De Lima’s election campaign for the 2016 election.

Instead of Sebastian, Aguirre said the Department of Justice (DOJ) may present Joenel Sanchez, De Lima’s former close-in security aid, in the next hearing of the House committee on justice.

Aside from Sanchez, who is now with the Presidential Security Group, several other witnesses would be presented to corroborate the earlier testimonies of inmates led by robbery and carnapping convict Herbert Colanggo.

Aguirre also said the money trail in the illegal drugs trade at NBP “is becoming clearer with the verification of several bank accounts gathered by the DOJ.”

“We already got the real deposit slips. I will be asking the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) again for authentication of the bank accounts,” he said.

“It turns out there are authentic bank accounts from those deposit slips. Only that there are one or two wrong figures and some amounts were inaccurate,” he added.

DRIVER-BODYGUARD SUBPOENAED

The House Committee on Justice has decided to subpoena Ronnie Dayan, the driver-bodyguard of De Lima to compel his attendance in the panel’s resumption of its hearing on the alleged involvement of the Liberal Party senator in the illegal drugs trade in the NBP on Oct. 5.

Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, panel chairman, said they will issue subpoena against Dayan, who allegedly received narcotics money for De Lima during her stint as DOJ secretary.

He warned Dayan, who already went into hiding, against ignoring the subpoena. “We will be forced to issue arrest warrant upon the approval of the Speaker should he (Dayan) ignore the subpoena against him,” Umali said.

Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu said Dayan should attend the hearing “for the sake of transparency and accountability” and to “enlighten the public.”

DRUG TESTS FOR TEACHERS

The Department of Education is eyeing mandatory drug tests for teachers and students, with the consent of their parents, in all public schools nationwide.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said this will be the department’s contribution to the intensified campaign against illegal drugs under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Briones said that although teachers are required to take drug tests at their expense before they are hired for employment, the department wants to conduct it annually with the expense to be shouldered by the government.

“We have 722,000 teachers. We are the biggest sector. We cannot say that one sector has drug problems while we don’t. We have to find out,” she said.

Briones also said the DepEd is also planning to incorporate illegal drug education in the curriculum for schools and the alternative learning system (ALS). (With reports from Rey G. Panaligan, Ben R. Rosario, Charissa M. Luci, and PNA)

VIDEO LEARNING EXPERIENCE: PNP CHIEF DE LA ROSA IN BOGOTA, COLOMBIA

 
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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

Bato dela Rosa urges Duterte to prioritize certifying anti-wiretapping law amendment Published September 26, 2016 11:59am By AMITA LEGASPI, GMA News

Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa  (photo) said Monday he will ask President Rodrigo Duterte to certify as priority the bill allowing wiretapping of drug suspects and other proposals that would help the police in its campaign against illegal drugs.

“I will talk to the President and request him to sign these bills, ang tawag nun, priority bills by the President. Sana mapabilis itong mga batas na ito,” Dela Rosa said at a press conference.

The bill is now pending in the Senate and being handled by the public order and illegal drugs committee under Senator Panfilo Lacson, a former PNP chief.

The PNP chief said he got the idea after his visit to Colombia last week.

“Ang exempted lang sa wiretapping law natin na pwedeng i-grant ng court ay yung offenses related to terrorism. Hindi kasama yung drug trafficking at saka yung ibang malalaking heinous crimes. Ngayon gusto nating isama lahat para pag suspected ka na drug trafficker mag-request agad kami ng authority to conduct wiretapping on you,” he said.

Dela Rosa said the authority should be granted at the level of prosecutors to expedite the process, just like what is being implemented in Colombia.

“Yung sa kanilang wiretapping law, equipped yung kanilang kapulisan doon para mag-wiretap sa lahat ng mga suspected criminal group member, drug group member, suspected drug trafficker,” he said.

“Hindi na sa court nila hinihingi dahil very tedious yung process ng court, nakalagay talaga sa batas na dun lang sa prosecution, sa piskal kumbaga sila magrequest,” he added.

He said he is also exploring the possibility of immediate forfeiture of the properties of suspected drug lords.

“Yung kanilang batas sa forfeiture of properties considered to be fruits of the crime. Pag naforefeit yung properties nila, malaking tsansa na hindi na makabalik,” he said.

He said many of the drug lords, even those detained at the New Bilibid Prison, were able to continue with their illegal operations because of the investments they have made.

“Kaya iyang mga drug lord na nakakulong sa Bilibid namamayagpag, sige pa rin sila ng negosyo dahil nakaimbak na sila sa malaking resources, nakapag-invest na sila. Kahit na naputol na sila ngayon, after a while, halimbawa pag nagretire na ako, mapapalitan ako ng chief PNP na hindi ganun nagmamatigas sa drug campaign niya, or magretire si Presidente at papalitan siya ng presidente na ayaw lumaban sa drugs, ang mangyayari diyan, resume na naman ang kanilang negosyo dahil andyan pa rin ang kanilang network, kumpleto pa rin,” he said.

“Kung maforfeit again iyan wala, immobilize sila dahil wala na silang magamit,” he added. — RSJ, GMA News

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RELATED(2)  FROM THE MANILA TIMES

Vietnam to share intel on drug trade BY CATHERINE S. VALENTE, TMT ON OCTOBER 1, 2016 TOP STORIES


President Rodrigo Duterte arrives at a restaurant for lunch in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday,

The Vietnamese government has agreed to share intelligence information with the Philippines on the illegal drug trade in the region, President Rodrigo Duterte said as he returned to the country after a two-day trip to Hanoi.

In a news conference early on Friday in Davao City, the President said the two countries agreed to work together to fight illegal drugs.

“They will share intelligence data … I’ll be sending some military and police, sort of an envoy, for this specific purpose,” Duterte told reporters.

“They have agreed that it should be a concern, not only for the two nations, but for entire region,” he added.

Duterte noted that the Vietnamese government had also launched a crackdown on drug suspects. “They are so strict about it. And, do not mess up with these guys. They have been at war for so many generations. They will not hesitate to finish you off,” he said.

In his arrival speech, Duterte said Philippine officials and their Vietnamese counterparts agreed to explore ways to intensify law enforcement cooperation against transnational crime.

The President also said the two countries reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight, as well as unimpeded commerce in the region, particularly in the South China Sea.

“We called for a peaceful resolution of disputes including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes, self-restraint in the conduct of activities, without resorting to a threat or use of force, in accordance with the universally recognized principles of international law,” Duterte said.

“We are nations for peace. We will continue to be so. A peaceful region is what we owe as a legacy to our succeeding generations,” he added.

Bilateral relations, the President said, would be enhanced by a six-year “strategic partnership” plan.

“We agreed to increase the exchanges between our officials and peoples and establish a six-year action plan starting 2017 for the implementation of activities in the areas of common interest,” he said.

“We have also agreed to increase the volume and achieve a more balanced trade and investment. We will enhance the investment environment to make it more conducive for businesses,” Duterte added.


GMA NEWS NETWORK

PNP: Deaths ‘under investigation’ now at 1,745; cases filed at 321 Published October 2, 2016 6:00pm


OCTOBER 2 -DE LA ROSA

The number of deaths under investigation (DUIs) by the Philippine National Police (PNP) has further risen to 1,745, with 321 cases filed so far stemming from these killings.

In its update covering the period from July 1 up to 5 p.m. of September 29, the PNP said the DUIs rose by 13 from two days ago, September 27 when the DUIs were recorded at 1,732.

The PNP said there is a total of 2,250 victims in 2,066 killings.

The 321 cases being investigated so far constitute 15.54 percent of the total number of incidents. Meanwhile, the PNP said 203 cases have already been solved.

The PNP clarified that, "DUI are not automatically extrajudicial killing (EJK) nor vigilante/summary killing. These are murder and homicide cases still under investigation."

READ MORE...

Earlier in the day, the PNP said 37 more drug suspects were killed by policemen in anti-drugs operations over the weekend.

In its update on its "double barrel" campaign against illegal drugs, the PNP said a total of 1,360 drug suspects have been killed in operations from July 1 to 6 a.m. of October 2.

The PNP launched an intensified campaign against illegal drugs based on the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte who had promised to curve the drug menace during the first six months of his term.

Duterte, however, had asked for a six-month extension on his self-imposed deadline. —Mark Merueñas/ALG, GMA News

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS

PNP: 1,323 suspects killed, 21,682 others arrested in war on drugs Published October 1, 2016 1:52pm

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Saturday said 1,323 drug personalities have been killed while 21,682 others were arrested in the government’s intensified war on drugs.

The latest PNP update covers the period from July 1 up to 6:00 p.m. of September 30.

During that period, 23,179 police operations have been conducted under the PNP's Oplan Double Barrel which targets both big-time and small-time drug dealers.

The latest tally shows that 47 drug suspects were killed in one-and-a-half days.

In its update on September 29, the PNP said 1,276 drug personalities were killed from July 1 up to 6:00 a.m. of that day.

Project Tokhang

As for Project Tokhang, where police personnel visit the houses of suspected drug users, the PNP said they have covered 1,478,621 houses during the same period.

A total of 729,915 drug personalities surrendered, including:

52,675 drug pushers, and 677,240 users. AFP, PNP casualties

As for the casualties on the side of government troopers, the PNP said 13 police personnel were killed during operations while 36 others were wounded.

For the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), three were killed in action while eight others were wounded. — Erwin Colcol/VVP, GMA News


INQUIRER

Yasay: ‘PH not veering away from US’ By: Nestor Corrales @NCorralesINQ INQUIRER.net
08:09 PM September 27th, 2016


US President Barack Obama and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. AP FILE PHOTO

THE Philippines is not “veering away” from the United States (US) despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement that the country was “crossing the Rubicon” with its longtime ally, a Cabinet official said on Tuesday.

“I don’t think he meant it in the context of veering away from our commitments with the United States, particularly agreements and treaties or with respect to the close and special relations with the US,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay said in a press briefing.

Yasay said Duterte only wanted to take an independent foreign policy but would ensure that “amity with all nations is being complied with.”

“He simply wants to undertake an independent foreign policy, where he would not overlook, that we are part of an international community and that the Constitution in fact mandates that we should carry on amity amongst all nations,” he said.

Yasay assured that the Philippines and the US would continue to strengthen their relationships despite Duterte’s recent tirades against US President Barack Obama.

READ MORE...

He said the Philippines would not cut ties with its “traditional friendship with the United States in favor of China.” He dismissed this claim as “completely unfounded and not true.”

He said the Philippines-US relations under the Duterte administration were discussed during his meeting with some members of the national security advisor of Obama at the White House last week.

The Philippines’ claims in the disputed South China were also discussed, he said.

“I hope that I had assuage their fears in this regard, the important thing is that as a result of this discussions, we have all agreed that this is now a matter that should give us the confidence and the opportunity to move forward insofar as strengthening our relationships are concerned,” he said.

Yasay said he also met with US officials in Washington D.C. and explained to them the “true situation” in the Philippines.

“They have to trust the institutions that we have in the Philippines. If they are simply basing their conclusions or apprehensions of the basis of unverified news reports that will not be fair to the Philippines. I hope that I had explained well and addressed the concerns that they have raised,” he said.

VIDEO : Duterte to visit China to press for PH fishing rights


https://youtu.be/Z2C3ujY8dGI
Duterte to visit China to press for PH fishing rights INQUIRER.net INQUIRER.net Subscribe64,411 Add to Share More 1,467 views 15 2 Published on Sep 22, 2016 “YOU will see me more often in China.” So said President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday during a speech at the inauguration of a power plant in Misamis Oriental as he revealed that he would hold talks with Beijing officials on an urgent matter: fishing rights.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Philippines to US: Let us chart our own course By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated September 29, 2016 - 5:25pm 4 520 googleplus0 0


"We respect the opinion of others but we also give ourselves the permission to chart our own course and fulfill our destiny on our own terms," Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said. PPD/Albert Alcain

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines respects the opinion of other nations but called on long-time ally the United States to let it chart its own course, a Palace official said on Thursday.

An American senator earlier warned that the US may take action if extrajudicial killings and state-sanctioned violence continue in the Philippines.

READ: US senators reconsider assistance to Philippines amid drug war

"We respect the opinion of others but we also give ourselves the permission to chart our own course and fulfill our destiny on our own terms," Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing.

Abella stressed that the relationship between the Philippines and the US remains unchanged despite differences in political perspectives and opinions.

"We’d also like to stress that extrajudicial killings is not state-sanctioned and that the Philippines remains committed to human rights, the rule of law, and to democracy," Abella said.

US Sen. Patrick Leahy said that the US State Department is set to discuss with the US Senate its current assistance for the Philippines. This will affect the national budget of the US for next year.

The American senator authored the Leahy Law, which prohibits the US Department of State and Department of Defense from providing assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights.

'Philippines committed to human rights'

The Palace official said that the Philippines has not veered away from its commitment to human rights despite the strong stance of President Rodrigo Duterte against illegal drugs.

"The drug problem in the Philippines itself is so pervasive that it undermines the human rights of the people and the rule of law," the presidential spokesperson said.

Abella maintained that the Philippines is committed to international agreements on human rights and that Filipinos continue to enjoy civil and political rights despite the new administration's war on drugs.

The alliance between the Philippines and the US dates back to the 1950s, during which the two countries signed a Mutual Defense Treat, although ties can be traced back further to when the country was a US colony.

Duterte, however, has announced that he wants an end to the joint military exercises between Filipino and American troops. The president noted that China is not in favor of Philippine soldiers holding war games with the US.

RELATED: Duterte wants end to Philippines' war games with US

VIDEO: For US, Duterte's words matter but it's business as usual with Philippines

 
For US, Duterte's words matter but it's... by philstarnews


PHILSTAR

China backs Duterte's drug war By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated September 30, 2016 - 3:31pm 70 1072 googleplus3 0


Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said that China supports President Rodrigo Duterte's policies against the illegal drug trade. FMPRC

MANILA, Philippines — Beijing has expressed its support for President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign against the illegal drug trade despite criticisms from the United States, the European Union and some human rights groups.

The chief executive has come under fire for the rising number of extrajudicial and vigilante killings of drug suspects ever since he took office.

"Under the leadership of President Duterte, the new Philippine government enacted policies that prioritize combating drug-related crimes. China understands and supports that," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said in a press briefing on Thursday.

Geng stressed that the Chinese government has played a positive role in the international anti-drug campaign.

"China understands and supports that. We stand ready to have anti-drug cooperation with the Philippines and formulate a common action plan for it," Geng said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry official further noted that fighting drug crimes is a shared responsibility among all countries around the world.

READ MORE...

"The Chinese government is resolute in cracking down on drug crimes. With clearly-defined policies and notable achievements, China is a staunch force in the international endeavor against drug crimes," the Chinese official said.

READ: US senators reconsider assistance to Philippines amid drug war | Philippines to US: Let us chart our own course

An American senator has warned that the United States may reconsider its assistance to the Philippines if the extrajudicial killings and state-sanctioned violence continue.

US Sen. Patrick Leahy said that it may be necessary to look into the conditions on assistance to the Duterte administration to ensure that taxpayer funds are properly spent.

The senator authored the Leahy Law which prohibits the US Department of State and Department of Defense from providing assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights.

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that the Philippine government respects the opinion of other nations and stressed that the country remains committed to human rights.

"We respect the opinion of others but we also give ourselves the permission to chart our own course and fulfill our destiny on our own terms," Abella said.

RELATED: Duterte to visit China on October 20

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

US to remain close Philippine friend, partner By Jose Katigbak, STAR Washington bureau (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 28, 2016 - 12:00am 1 188 googleplus0 0


US State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said US ties with the Philippines are one of the most enduring bilateral relationships within the Asia-Pacific region and a cornerstone of stability for 70 years. Youtube

WASHINGTON – The United States has said it will remain a friend of the Philippines even as it seeks to pursue alliances or partnerships with China and Russia, two superpowers Washington sees as potential adversaries.

“They’re a sovereign nation and we’re certainly not going to hold them back from pursuing closer relations with either of those countries,” State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said at a briefing on Monday.

The United States can remain a close friend and partner of the Philippines despite President Duterte’s declaration of his intention to seek alliances or partnerships with China and Russia, Toner said.

Toner said US ties with the Philippines are one of the most enduring bilateral relationships within the Asia-Pacific region and a cornerstone of stability for 70 years.

Washington continues to work closely with and focus on its relationship with the Philippines in many areas of mutual interest including counterterrorism and economic development, he said.

“With regard to them pursuing alliances or partnerships with China and Russia, they’re a sovereign nation and we’re certainly not going to hold them back from pursuing closer relations with either of those countries. And it’s not a zero-sum game,” he said.

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Asked if Duterte’s barbed remarks against President Barack Obama and the US government was what one would expect from an ally, Toner said: “We’re not deaf; we do hear what he says. And yet, I would just say that our cooperation with the Philippine government remains strong and unabated so we continue to engage in close cooperation on a number of areas of interest.

“We’re going to keep up that cooperation until we hear otherwise,” he added.

Despite Duterte’s public pronouncements “we’ve not, though, seen anything with regard to our relations with the Philippines, that would indicate a shift, if you will, or a turning away.

“And so US cooperation continues. I don’t know what to call it – a disconnect or what – but we continue to work with the Filipino government,” he said.

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RELATED(2) FROM THE WASHINGTON POST

Philippines’ Duterte to forge closer ties with China, Russia By Teresa Cerojano | AP September 26


Photo: Kim Tiblani, EPA) MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday he has decided to "cross the Rubicon" in his ties with the United States and will open trade alliances and offer long-term land leases to "the other side of the ideological barrier," China and Russia.

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday he has decided to “cross the Rubicon” in his ties with the United States and will open trade alliances and offer long-term land leases to “the other side of the ideological barrier,” China and Russia.

The U.S. State Department responded that it wouldn’t stand in Manila’s way of seeking deeper ties with Beijing and Moscow. But it maintained that the U.S.-Philippine alliance endures despite the barrage of negative commentary from Duterte since he took power in June.

Duterte told reporters he was “not really” breaking ties with the U.S., his country’s long-time treaty ally, but will open all areas of trade and commerce to China and Russia. It would not include military alliances, he said.

He said the two countries’ companies would be able to lease land in the Philippines for up to 120 years.

Duterte said he will travel to China soon to talk to President Xi Jinping, and then to Japan and Russia.

Duterte has had an uneasy relationship with the U.S., which has criticized his crackdown on illegal drugs in which more than 3,000 people have died.

During a summit of East Asian leaders in Laos earlier this month, Duterte said he told Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Mevedev that he was “about to cross the Rubicon” with the United States, at least during the six years of his presidential term.

“I would need your help in everything — trade, commerce — and I will open up,” Duterte said he told Mevedev.

Asked by a reporter what he meant by crossing the Rubicon, Duterte said it was “a point of no return.” He said the problem was that the Philippines’ mutual defense treaty with the U.S. does not guarantee that Washington will come to the Philippines’ defense if it is attacked because the U.S. president would need the approval of Congress.


Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner gives the daily press briefing at the U.S. State Department in Washington GETTY IMAGES

In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that despite Duterte’s repeated criticisms of the U.S., the department has not been officially contacted by Philippine authorities regarding any of those things. He said the U.S. believes it can remain a close friend and partner of the Southeast Asian nation.

“We are not deaf. We do hear what he says. But our cooperation with the Philippine government remains strong and unabated,” Toner told reporters. “He (Duterte) makes public statements. We have not, though, seen anything with regard to our relations with the Philippines that would indicate a shift, if you will, or a turning away.”

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama canceled a formal meeting with Duterte at a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders after the Philippine leader used the phrase “son of a bitch” in warning that he wouldn’t accept lectures from Obama on human rights. Duterte has also said he would not allow Filipino forces to conduct joint patrols with the U.S. military in the disputed South China Sea and that he wants U.S. forces out of the country’s south, where he said minority Muslims resent the presence of American troops.

Duterte lashed out Monday against the U.S., European Union, United Nations and Australia for criticizing the deaths in his campaign against illegal drugs.

“They should not scare me about the extrajudicial killings, or else I will also demand that the United States of America and EU be investigated alongside with me because they have committed far more injustice and have done horrific things,” he added, calling them “hypocrites.”
____

Associated Press writer Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


TRIBUNE

Erap cites US interference in ‘all-out’ war in Du30 dialog Written by Pat C. Santos Wednesday, 28 September 2016 00:00



Former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada is backing President Duterte’s call for the United States (US) government and the United Nations (UN) not to meddle with the internal issues of the Philippines.

Estrada, who met Duterte in Malacañang yesterday afternoon, pointed out that neither the US nor the UN has the right to tell what Duterte should do, particularly on matters of national importance such as peace and order and the anti-terror campaign in Mindanao.

“The Philippines is an independent nation, outsiders do not know deeplythe problems the country is facing,” Estrada said. He cited the intervention of the US government when he launched an all-out war against Muslim rebels in Mindanao.

Estrada added the fight against drugs and the need for more rehabilitation centers were among the issues they discussed during their meeting.

“The advice I gave him about the US, was in line with the intervention on my campaign to end the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebellion,” Estrada added, recalling his days as the country’s President when he declared an all-out war against the MILF and was asked by then US President Bill Clinton to consider halting the military operations against the Muslim secessionist rebels.
Estrada did not heed the advice of Clinton and what followed were efforts to oust him from power.

“’Let us not follow them,” Estrada said, referring to US and UN. “We are faced with domestic problems,” he added.

READ MORE...

Estrada reiterated that Duterte is on the right track in fighting illegal drugs, criminality, and terrorism in the country.

The former president pointed out that lawlessness still reigns in Mindanao because of the decades-long problem on insurgency, rebellion, terrorism, and criminality which he said Duterte is working hard to address.

“Trouble remains in Mindanao, which blocks its progress, kidnapping continues along with several public order problems, the reason for the weak tourism business in the region,” Estrada stressed.

He added that peace and order is vital in keeping the Philippines economically stable.

Order is vital for progress — Erap

Moreover, Estrada said Duterte knows what he is doing by focusing first in eliminating illegal drugs and criminality in the country since he had been mayor of Davao City for 24 years.

As former mayor of San Juan for 17 years and now of Manila, Estrada said he and Duterte share the same ideas and advocacies being both experienced local government officials.

“What we see in the experience of Manila and Davaoi as the top cities in the country, is the focus of peace and order. Any country or city for that matter can’t progress when there is no peace. Peace and order is Number One,” Estrada pointed out.

He added that the fight against drugs and the need for more rehabilitation centers were among the issues they discussed during their meeting.

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RELATED FROM METRO MANILA NEWS ONLINE POLITICS.COM

Erap backs Duterte: US, United Nations should not interfere with PH’s affairs 930 erap Like KoLIKE KO+2Hate KoHATE KO0


Former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada is backing President Duterte’s call for the United States government and the United Nations (UN) not to meddle with the internal issues of the Philippines.

Estrada, who met Duterte in Malacañang yesterday afternoon, pointed out that neither the US nor the UN has the right to tell what Duterte should do, particularly on matters of national importance such as peace and order and anti-terror campaign in Mindanao.

“Ang bansa natin ay isang isang independent nation. The Philippines is an independent nation, hindi naman nila alam ‘yung problema natin pero pinapatigil ‘yung all-out war sa Mindanao,” he said in a radio interview with DZRH.

He added that the fight against drugs and the need for more rehabilitation centers were among the issues they discussed during their meeting.

“Ang advice ko tungkol sa US, pinipigilan nila ‘yung pagsugpo ng MILF,” Estrada added, recalling his days as the country’s President when he declared an all-out war against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and was asked by then US President Bill Clinton to consider halting the military operations against the Muslim secessionist rebels.

“’Wag tayong sumunod sa kanila,” Estrada said, referring to US and UN. “Eh, problema natin ‘to, e.”

Estrada reiterated that Duterte is on the right track in fighting illegal drugs, criminality, and terrorism in the country.

The former president pointed out that lawlessness still reigns in Mindanao because of the decades-long problem on insurgency, rebellion, terrorism, and criminality which he said Duterte is working hard so hard to address.

“Kaya nanatiling magulo sa Mindanao, hindi umunlad ang Mindanao dahil tuloy-tuloy ang barilan, ang kidnapping, sari-sari ang naging problema sa Mindanao; kaya humina ang turismo, ayaw nang pumunta rito ‘yung mga turista dahil natatakot na. Kaya ‘yung mga turista, natatakot na pumunta sa ating bansa kaya pupunta na lang sa Malaysia, sa ibang bansa, sa Singapore. Iniiwasan nila itong ating bansa,” Estrada stressed.

He added that peace and order is vital in keeping the Philippines economically stable: “Kailangan ng kapayapaan, kung wala ito, hindi tayo uunlad. Tama ang ginagawa ng ating Pangulo ngayon.”


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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