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(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)
AN IDOL AND INSPIRATION: GOOD BYE, MIRIAM - REST IN ETERNAL PEACE AND LOVE,
WE THANK YOU!
NAIA OPENS PLACE FOR MASS SEND-OFF
[RELATED: Toll road opening eases trip to Naia]
(It will link Terminals 1 and 2 in Parañaque City to Macapagal Boulevard and the Entertainment City in Pasay City. For the first month, motorists will not pay toll for using the expressway.)
[RELATED(2): LRT-MRT common station to rise between SM, Trinoma]
SEPTEMBER 29 -OVERSEAS Filipino workers (OFWs) may now relish their fleeting moments with relatives, even by the jeepload, as the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) formally opened on Wednesday a place for a proper sendoff at the country’s premier airport. Bowing to the local culture of a community-wide goodbye, the MIAA opened the east and west wings of the departure area at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 1 to allow a convenient place for people to see off their loved ones. “Actually, this was built for the benefit of passengers. People are sending them off so we have two areas (for them),” said the MIAA general manager, Ed Monreal. The west wing, apart from being a well-wishers’ area, also houses a one-stop shop for OFWs. READ MORE... RELATED, Toll road opening eases trip to Naia... RELATED(2), LRT-MRT common station to rise between SM, Trinoma...
ALSO Rody: Responding to critics - You can oust me if I abuse power
(Besides, Duterte said he is not after the power that many people think is enshrined in Malacañang. “Malacañang Palace is all glamor. I am not after it,” he said.)
[RELATED: Drug war likened to Hitler’s holocaust(?)]
(US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter responded to Duterte’s comments by insisting on Thursday America’s alliance with the Philippines remained “ironclad.” But Duterte on Friday insisted the war games next week involving more than 1,000 troops would be the last of his six-year term, as he hit out again at the United States. “Do not pretend to be the moral conscience of the world,” he said. He said it was disrespectful for the US and the EU to portray him as “a cousin of Hitler” without investigating the real story behind the extrajudicial killings in the country.)
OCTOBER 1 -President Rodrigo Duterte said he has no intention of clinging to power, saying once again he is willing to risk his life, his honor and the presidency for love of country. AP/Aaron Favila DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Duterte last night challenged his critics to oust him from office for abuse of power. “If I abuse, then you can oust me,” Duterte said as he parried anew criticisms on his campaign against illegal drugs. “If I get assassinated or get ousted, it’s my destiny,” the President told the gathering of policewomen at the summit on women and community police service held here at the Apo View Hotel. Or if he commits suicide, Duterte joked. “I might be the first president to commit suicide.” More than 3,000 people have died in his unprecedented crackdown on illegal drugs, drawing widespread international condemnation over an apparent wave of extrajudicial killings. Critics are alarmed at the sheer number whose deaths have been attributed to vigilantes, with Duterte’s apparent support or tacit consent. Duterte said he has no intention of clinging to power, saying once again he is willing to risk his life, his honor and the presidency for love of country. READ MORE...RELATED, Drug war likened to Hitler’s holocaust...
ALSO: AFTER RODY’S STAND ON LAST BALIKATAN EXERCISE: Pentagon chief says, US-RP military alliance ‘ironclad’
(But senior defense officials later appeared philosophical about Duterte’s outbursts. The US-Philippine alliance has “had its ups and downs and survived,” one official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter. “It’s going to continue to survive based on what we think are strong US-Philippine common security interests.” As for the military exercises, “we can be flexible about when and if they happen again,” the official added.)
[RELATED: Despite lashing from Duterte, EU gives funds for drug rehab in PH]
OCTOBER 1 -US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter SAN DIEGO, United States — US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Thursday said America’s alliance with the Philippines remains “ironclad” even though the Asian ally’s leader has vowed to end joint military exercises. The Pentagon chief’s remarks came as he headed for a security summit in Hawaii, where concerns about Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, China’s continued military expansion in the South China Sea, and the return of Islamic State group jihadists to the region were high on the agenda. “As it has been for decades, our alliance with the Philippines is ironclad,” Carter said, addressing troops aboard the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier docked in San Diego.
Duterte on Wednesday said he would soon end joint military exercises with the United States, a symbolic blow to a military alliance dating back more than 60 years. “I will serve notice to you now, that this will be the last military exercise, jointly Philippines-US, the last one,” Duterte told several hundreds Vietnam-based Filipinos during a rambling address in Hanoi as he started a trip to Vietnam. Such a move could further dampen relations with Manila’s longtime ally after the firebrand leader — who has also called for US special operations forces in the country’s south to leave — brandedUS President Barack Obama a “son of a whore” and extended overtures to China. READ MORE...RELATED, Despite lashing from Duterte, EU gives funds for drug rehab in PH...
ALSO: Former senator Miriam Defensor Santiago dies at age 71
[RELATED: Goodbye, Miriam! Friends, enemies pay tribute to ‘Iron Lady’]
SEPTEMBER 29 -Former Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, 71, succumbed to cancer on Thursday morning, her husband Atty. Jun Santiago said. "She died peacefully in her sleep this morning," Santiago said. The former lawmaker passed away while confined at the St. Luke's Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City. Her official Twitter account posted a message midmorning that former Sen. Santiago died at 8:52 a.m. It was in 2014 when the former lawmaker said that she had stage 4 lung cancer. Born in Iloilo City on June 15, 1945, the former senator ran for president in the May 2016 elections but lost to President Rodrigo Duterte. She also sought the presidency in 1992 (won by Fidel Ramos) and 1998 (won by Joseph Estrada). — KG, GMA News READ MORE...related, Good bye, Miriam! Friends, enemies pay tribute to ‘Iron Lady’...
ALSO: Philippines’ ‘Iron Lady’ Who Ran Against Duterte in May’s Election Has Died; [RELATED: ‘Miriam deserved love, praise when she was still alive’]
[RELATED(2): Miriam mourned, cheered at wake]
[RELATED(3): Miriam Defensor-Santiago laid to rest]
SEPTEMBER 30 -Duterte remembers Miriam as graftbuster who 'ate death threats for breakfast' Tributes poured in on social media for the "Iron Lady of Asia" Philippine Senator and former presidential candidate Miriam Defensor Santiago died from lung cancer Thursday, at age 71. The lawmaker ran for office three times in total, in 1992, 1998 and again in May 2016 against the now incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte, reports the BBC. The deteriorating state of Santiago’s health was evident in the run-up to the elections, when she could be seen sitting and resting during televised debates. The former judge was known as the Iron Lady of Asia for her frankness and drive against corruption. “She was both known and feared for her quick wit and her even quicker tongue in court and at rallies,” said the BBC’s Rico Hizon. Tributes poured in on Twitter, and a commemorative Facebook post had received more than 400,000 shares and 54,000 comments at time of writing. READ MORE...RELATED, ‘Miriam deserved love, praise when she was still alive’...Miriam mourned, cheered at wake... RELATED(2), Miriam mourned, cheered at wake... RELATED(3) Miriam Defensor-Santiago laid to rest...
READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:
Naia opens place for mass sendoffs
MANILA, OCTOBER 3, 2016 (INQUIRER) By: Jeannette I. Andrade, September 29th, 2016 1- OVERSEAS Filipino workers (OFWs) may now relish their fleeting moments with relatives, even by the jeepload, as the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) formally opened on Wednesday a place for a proper sendoff at the country’s premier airport.
Bowing to the local culture of a community-wide goodbye, the MIAA opened the east and west wings of the departure area at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 1 to allow a convenient place for people to see off their loved ones.
“Actually, this was built for the benefit of passengers. People are sending them off so we have two areas (for them),” said the MIAA general manager, Ed Monreal.
The west wing, apart from being a well-wishers’ area, also houses a one-stop shop for OFWs.
On the other hand, the east wing is specifically for “passengers who want to bring in their families (at the terminal) before leaving,” Monreal said.
Entry to the west wing, however, had been subjected to more restrictions because it was where OFWs could have their papers processed in booths maintained by government agencies, including the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, and Commission on Filipinos Overseas.
Two banks and a restaurant have also taken up space at the west wing.
Monreal noted that the booths and the banks were previously situated at the lobby of the departure area.
“These are just options for our passengers. They can still stay outside, but they can stay indoors. Let’s just hope that these areas don’t fill up too much and get crammed,” he said.
Construction of the areas cost P7.2 million, with work starting on March 30 after bidding for the project was completed in January, according to the terminal manager, Dante Basanta.
The areas occupy about 700 square meters of the terminal.
Previously, the terminal had an OFW lounge and a Windows of the World Area where airport visitors were allowed to see off departures, but these were torn down when the P1.3-billion rehabilitation of the terminal began.
Basanta said the construction of the lounges was not included in the rehabilitation because the previous project basically involved a makeover and structural reinforcement of the 30-year-old terminal.
Built in 1981, the terminal was designed by National Artist for Architecture Leandro Locsin. It has an average annual volume of 4 million departing passengers on around 20,000 international flights.
RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER
Toll road opening eases trip to Naia SHARES: 1097 VIEW COMMENTS Philippine Daily Inquirer September 23rd, 2016 01:23 AM
NOW OPEN The first segment ofNinoy Aquino International Airport Expressway is now open. It will link Terminals 1 and 2 in Parañaque City to Macapagal Boulevard and the Entertainment City in Pasay City. For the first month, motorists will not pay toll for using the expressway. RICHARD A. REYES
NOWOPEN The first segment of Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway is now open. It will link Terminals 1 and 2 in Parañaque City to Macapagal Boulevard and the Entertainment City in Pasay City. For the first month, motorists will not pay toll for using the expressway. RICHARD A. REYES
Access to Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) just got a little easier.
Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) opened on Thursday the initial section of a toll road seeking to cut the notorious congestion around the Naia complex, the country’s busiest air gateway.
Starting on Thursday, motorists were allowed to use the portion of the Naia Expressway Project Phase 2 that links Terminals 1 and 2 to Macapagal Boulevard, which is near the Entertainment City casino complex.
The rest of the toll road, which extends further to Terminal 3, and Metro Manila Skyway and South Luzon Expressway, would be opened “before the Christmas season,” the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said in a statement. SMC also operates the Skyway and SLEx.
The opening toll fee of P35 for light vehicles has been waived for the first month of operations. Also waived are the fee of P69 for larger Class 2 vehicles and P104 for Class 3 vehicles.
“Finally, our countrymen will feel the benefit of having faster and more direct access to Naia Terminals 1, 2 and 3. It will also go a long way in easing traffic congestion in surrounding cities, and support growth in southern Metro Manila,” said SMC president Ramon S. Ang.
SMC estimated that more than 40,000 motorists would use the Naia Expressway Phase 2 daily.
Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said the Naia Expressway Phase 2, once fully opened, would cut road congestion by over 60 percent.
Before the expressway opening, average travel time between the Skyway and Naia Terminal 1 is 24 minutes, according to the DPWH. That would be cut to 8.2 minutes with Phase 2 of the airport expressway.
The project was among the public-private partnership (PPP) projects launched by the Aquino administration.
SMC, through Vertex Tollways Development Inc., won the P17.9-billion project in 2013 after its P11-billion bid bested the offer of sole rival Metro Pacific Investments Corp.
The conglomerate, which has been diversifying into infrastructure and power, will operate the expressway for 30 years.
In his statement, Ang asked for the public’s understanding, partly due to the added road congestion during the construction of the toll road.
The project was delayed by over a year, as the government dealt with massive right of way issues, including the relocation of various water pipes and power cables along the toll road’s alignment.
“The DPWH would ensure 24/7 operation in the last segment of Naia Expressway,” Villar said.
He added that the Duterte administration was conscious of delivering on its promise. “We will set deadlines and contractors would have to abide.”
Terminals 3 and 4
The Naia Expressway Project is a four-lane, 12.65-kilometer elevated expressway (including ramps) and 2.22-kilometer at-grade road traversing Sales Avenue, Andrews Avenue, Parañaque River, MIAA Road and Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard.
When all phases are completed, the Naia Expressway Project is expected to provide easy access to and from Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 4 and will interface with the South Luzon Expressway through Sales Interchange, Manila Cavite Toll Expressway and Macapagal Boulevard.
A total of 16 off and on ramps are being built along strategic locations at Villamor Air Base, Resorts World, Terminal 3, MIAA Road, Imelda Avenue, Cavitex, Seaside Drive and Macapagal Boulevard.
RELATED(2) FROM PHILSTAR
LRT-MRT common station to rise between SM, Trinoma By Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 29, 2016 - 12:00am 1 253 googleplus0 1
Government officials and heads of major conglomerates lock arms following the signing of an agreement for the development of a common station linking the upcoming LRT-7 to the LRT-1 and MRT-3 between SM North EDSA and Trinoma malls in Quezon City. At the signing held at the Dusit Thani Manila hotel in Makati yesterday were (from left) LRTA deputy administrator Emerson Benitez, Light Rail Manila Corp. vice chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, SM Prime Holdings Inc. chairman Hans T. Sy, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Ayala Land Inc. vice chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala representing the North Triangle Depot Commercial Corp., and Universal Light Rail Corp. BV Ltd. chairman and president Ramon S. Ang. MIKE AMOROSO
MANILA, Philippines – The common station linking the upcoming Metro Rail Transit Line-7 to the Light Rail Transit Line 1 and Metro Rail Transit Line 3 will be located between SM North EDSA and Trinoma malls in the vicinity of EDSA and North Avenue, according to an agreement signed yesterday between the government and major conglomerates.
Signing the agreement were Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, SM Prime Holdings Inc. president Hans Sy, Universal Light Rail Corp. BV Ltd. chairman and president Ramon Ang, Light Rail Manila Corp. vice chairman Manuel Pangilinan and North Triangle Depot Commercial Corp. represented by Ayala Land Inc. vice chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.
Tugade said the completion of the common station is expected in two and a half years.
“We have come to an agreement, a groundbreaking, assuming the doables are done, the architectural and engineering designs are done and agreed upon, hopefully we can ground break before the end of this year,” he said.
The signatories vowed to work together to resolve all pending issues on the common station to link the three railways in Metro Manila.
LRT-1, currently operated and managed by LRMC comprised of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., Ayala Corp. and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) Pte Ltd., runs from Roosevelt station in Quezon City to Baclaran station in Parañaque, while MRT-3 spans North Avenue station in Quezon City to Taft Avenue station in Pasay City.
MRT-7 being built by San Miguel Corp. subsidiary ULC will cover North Avenue in Quezon City to San Jose del Monte in Bulacan.
They will also work on a timetable for the design preparation, construction and commissioning of the common station.
After the signing of a more definitive agreement/s among the stakeholders, SMPHI, the DoTr and the Light Rail Transit Authority will forge a compromise agreement which will determine the filing of a Joint Motion for Judgment to pave the way for the development of the common station for the three railways and have the temporary restraining order of the Supreme Court in 2014 lifted.
HAMPERING MASS TRANSIT. The stay order on the transfer of the site of the common station is barring the construction of the MRT7 and design work for the common station project that has been bundled with the LRT1 Cavite Extension project. SM North City EDSA and TriNoma photos from Ramon F. Velasquez PHOTO FROM RAPPLER.COM
SMPHI sought for and obtained a TRO from the SC to prevent the transportation department, then headed by Joseph Emilio Abaya, from transferring the common station near the Ayala Group’s Trinoma mall from SM North EDSA mall.
SM had entered into an agreement with LRTA in 2009 to put up a common station near SM North EDSA.
SM also secured naming rights to the common station following its payment of P200 million.
Abaya wanted to move the common station near the Trinoma mall, citing savings in construction cost and convenience to passengers.
The agreement stated LRTA would not be obliged to return the P200 million payment to SM.
“In exchange, therefore, DOTr and LRTA acknowledge SMPHI’s naming and interconnectivity rights to the unified station, as provided in the SMPHI MOA dated Sept 28, 2009,” the term sheet read.
Sy said SM is open to working with the other stakeholders on how to resolve the naming rights.
“We agreed to support the whole thing. In terms of the naming, we have not reached that point,” he said. “We are open to see how we can resolve that. Eventually, as we work out the details, we will resolve that issue also.”
Pangilinan said he is hopeful the common station would be realized as soon as possible.
Ayala said the group supports the move to resolve issues on the common station, a critical component and junction of the three railway systems to come together.
Rody: Responding to critics - You can oust me if I abuse power By Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 1, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0
President Rodrigo Duterte said he has no intention of clinging to power, saying once again he is willing to risk his life, his honor and the presidency for love of country. AP/Aaron Favila
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Duterte last night challenged his critics to oust him from office for abuse of power. “If I abuse, then you can oust me,” Duterte said as he parried anew criticisms on his campaign against illegal drugs.
“If I get assassinated or get ousted, it’s my destiny,” the President told the gathering of policewomen at the summit on women and community police service held here at the Apo View Hotel.
Or if he commits suicide, Duterte joked. “I might be the first president to commit suicide.”
More than 3,000 people have died in his unprecedented crackdown on illegal drugs, drawing widespread international condemnation over an apparent wave of extrajudicial killings.
Critics are alarmed at the sheer number whose deaths have been attributed to vigilantes, with Duterte’s apparent support or tacit consent.
Duterte said he has no intention of clinging to power, saying once again he is willing to risk his life, his honor and the presidency for love of country.
Besides, Duterte said he is not after the power that many people think is enshrined in Malacañang.
“Malacañang Palace is all glamor. I am not after it,” he said.
In the same gathering, Duterte bared another narco-list but only mentioned Judge Hector Salise, who was recently ambushed.
Duterte said Salise was into fixing or bungling of drug cases. Salise is still recuperating from bullet wounds in his head and shoulder.
Duterte also exhorted the police and military to talk among themselves if the country is in a better or worse situation since he became president.
Having served for 14 years as prosecutor and another 23 years as mayor of Davao City, Duterte said he is the most experienced in dealing with police.
“The Philippines is very lucky that I won because it’s only me who can handle the police,” Duterte said.
“How many presidents have come and go and this (illegal drugs) problem in our country persisted,” he said.
Duterte used the occasion to lecture the policewomen on the difference between an arrest with warrant and warrantless arrest.
He said he used to lecture at the local police academy here in Davao City right after he passed the Bar in 1972.
“But all I ask of you is just do your job and rest assured I will be there for you,” Duterte said.
He added that he would make sure that by early next year, the policemen and military personnel would receive double their existing salaries.
In the same occasion, Duterte raffled off three Glock 30 pistols for the policewomen and announced the grant of P2,000 per diem for each of them for attending the summit.
Popular Duterte admitted being brash and brutally frank, which is the reason many people want to take “selfies” with him.
“Because I am the only one who can do the bull-s**tting to anyone, including the big bullies like the United States,” Duterte told the crowd upon his arrival from Vietnam.
He criticized the “hypocrisy” of the US and the European Union in accusing him of human rights abuses in his anti-drug campaign.
Duterte said he doesn’t care what people think of his mouth and what he says as long as he knows that he is doing his best to serve the country and the people.
And in all his visits to the different military camps and police headquarters all over the country, Duterte said he always allows requests of the soldiers and policemen for a group picture and, at times, selfies with him, with everyone doing his trademark closed fist salute.
Even dignitaries and diplomatic visitors in Malacañang almost always ask him for selfies.
Duterte, however, warned civil servants against corruption.
“You had your fill, tama na (enough),” he said as he reminded his new appointees not to follow the crooked practices of the past.
Duterte said he has heard of billionaires wanting to invest in the country but are wary of the corrupt practices of some government officials.
“I’m warning those in the government, I promised the people (a clean government.) Wag nyo akong hiyain (Don’t put me to shame). Do not commit the mistake or I will read your name in public and I will ask you to resign,” Duterte said.
He asked state workers not contented with their salaries to resign and look for higher paying jobs instead of resorting to “milking the government.”
In his fight against corruption, Duterte said he has already lost two personal friends whose requests for favors he had turned down.
“I don’t give a d**n. If I lost a friend, fine, this (country) is not my property, this is not my hacienda,” the President stressed.
Duterte did not name the two but hinted their request had something to do with rice importation.
The President lamented anew what he noted were lapses by the media in reporting his extemporaneous speeches. He cited as example his reported cussing at US President Obama that was misreported by the international media.
Duterte also rued the media for misquoting him that he wanted the US out of the Philippines when he specifically said he wanted the Americans out of Mindanao, lest they be exposed to kidnapping by the Abu Sayyaf. –With Giovanni Nilles
RELATED FROM THE MANILA STANDARD
Drug war likened to Hitler’s holocaust posted October 01, 2016 at 12:01 am by F. Pearl A. Gajunera
DAVAO CITY—President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday likened his war on drugs to Adolf Hitler’s efforts to exterminate Jews, as he declared he was “happy to slaughter” millions of drug addicts.
Duterte also railed against Western critics of his unprecedented law-and-order crackdown, which has left more than 3,000 people dead in three months and raised concerns about a breakdown in the rule of law in one of Asia’s most chaotic democracies.
“Hitler massacred 3 million Jews. Now there are 3 million drug addicts [in the Philippines]. I’d be happy to slaughter them,” Duterte told reporters in his home city of Davao shortly after returning from Vietnam.
“At least if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have,” he said, then paused. “But you know, my victims, I would like to be [sic] all criminals to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition.”
Duterte, 71, won elections in May in a landslide after a campaign dominated by his pledge to eradicate drugs in society by killing tens of thousands of people.
The lawyer and former city prosecutor promised immunity for security forces if they were charged with murder, and on his first day in office urged residents of a Manila slum to kill drug addicts within their own community.
His police chief also urged addicts to burn down the homes of drug traffickers and kill them.
Since Duterte came to power on June 30, police have killed more than 1,200 people and about 1,800 others have died in unexplained circumstances, according to official figures.
A piece of cardboard, with “drug peddler” or “drug addict” written on it, is frequently placed on corpses that are left on streets. This has led to the war on crime becoming known as “cardboard justice.”
Duterte has faced a barrage of criticism from Western governments and rights groups, but he has reacted defiantly and often with abusive language while insisting he is not doing anything illegal.
Duterte has branded US President Barack Obama a “son of a whore”, called UN chief Ban Ki-moon a “fool” and said “fuck you” to the European Union while raising his middle finger.
In his latest tirade on Friday, Duterte said he was under threat of being brought before an international court for genocide, but again insisted he was breaking no laws in the Philippines.
“You are portrayed or pictured to be some, a cousin of Hitler. And you do not even bother to find out, to investigate. Imagine that, I will be facing... even the international court for genocide. That’s foolish,” he said.
Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany, led a campaign to wipe out Jews in Europe which led to about 6 million deaths by the end of World War II.
Philippines' Duterte compares himself to Hitler ODN ODN Subscribe317,824 Add to Share More 3,104 views 48 18 Published on Sep 30, 2016 The Philippines' controversial president, Rodrigo Duterte, has compared himself to Hitler, saying he 'would like to slaughter' drug addicts. Report by Lydia Batham.
Duterte on Friday also criticized the European Union and the United States for alleged inaction on the migrant crisis emanating from the Middle East.
“You US, EU. You can call me anything. But I was never into or I am never into hypocrisy like you,” he said.
“There are migrants escaping from the Middle East. You allow them to rot and then you’re worried about the deaths of about 1,000, 2,000, 3,000?”
Duterte has also signaled he intends to downgrade military ties with longtime ally the United States, while forging closer relations with China and Russia.
Duterte said this week he intended to end joint military exercises with the United States.
The nations conduct war games regularly in the Philippines and coastal waters, which previous governments have intended as a form of deterrence against China’s ambitions to control most of the South China Sea.
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter responded to Duterte’s comments by insisting on Thursday America’s alliance with the Philippines remained “ironclad.”
But Duterte on Friday insisted the war games next week involving more than 1,000 troops would be the last of his six-year term, as he hit out again at the United States.
“Do not pretend to be the moral conscience of the world,” he said.
He said it was disrespectful for the US and the EU to portray him as “a cousin of Hitler” without investigating the real story behind the extrajudicial killings in the country.
The criticism, he said, shamed not only him but all Filipinos.
He said that he is used to be ridiculed as a politician, but he cannot take it if the entire Filipinos is being put to shame.
AFTER RODY’S STAND ON LAST BALIKATAN EXERCISE: US-RP military alliance ‘ironclad’: Pentagon chief Written by Tribune Wires Saturday, 01 October 2016 00:00
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter
SAN DIEGO, United States — US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Thursday said America’s alliance with the Philippines remains “ironclad” even though the Asian ally’s leader has vowed to end joint military exercises.
The Pentagon chief’s remarks came as he headed for a security summit in Hawaii, where concerns about Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, China’s continued military expansion in the South China Sea, and the return of Islamic State group jihadists to the region were high on the agenda.
“As it has been for decades, our alliance with the Philippines is ironclad,” Carter said, addressing troops aboard the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier docked in San Diego.
Duterte on Wednesday said he would soon end joint military exercises with the United States, a symbolic blow to a military alliance dating back more than 60 years.
“I will serve notice to you now, that this will be the last military exercise, jointly Philippines-US, the last one,” Duterte told several hundreds Vietnam-based Filipinos during a rambling address in Hanoi as he started a trip to Vietnam.
Such a move could further dampen relations with Manila’s longtime ally after the firebrand leader — who has also called for US special operations forces in the country’s south to leave — brandedUS President Barack Obama a “son of a whore” and extended overtures to China.
But senior defense officials later appeared philosophical about Duterte’s outbursts.
The US-Philippine alliance has “had its ups and downs and survived,” one official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter.
“It’s going to continue to survive based on what we think are strong US-Philippine common security interests.”
As for the military exercises, “we can be flexible about when and if they happen again,” the official added.
South China Sea
Carter is set to meet his Philippine counterpart, Delfin Lorenzana, in Hawaii on Friday, where the Pentagon chief is hosting an “informal” meeting for defense ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
Previous summits have tended to focus on China and its growing reach across the South China Sea.
Beijing has in recent years rapidly expanded its physical presence in the strategically vital waterway, turning small maritime features, islets and reefs into much larger islands capable of holding military facilities.
Carter stressed, as he has repeatedly said, that the US military will ignore Beijing’s contentious South China Sea claims, and keep operating in waters and airspace surrounding the islands.
“We hope that China chooses to join the rest of the region in strengthening and upholding the shared principles that have helped so many nations around the region, including China, to rise and prosper,” he said.
An international court in July ruled against China’s sweeping South China Sea claims, prompting a furious reaction from Beijing, which promptly vowed to ignore the decision.
Carter’s trip to Hawaii comes with less than four months of the Obama administration remaining.
A key question will be future plans for America’s “rebalance” to Asia, during which Obama has tried to shift the US focus away from Middle East quagmires and toward rapidly growing Asia.
He has mended relations with Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos while bolstering regional blocs and providing a counterbalance to China’s regional ambitions.
Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines recently agreed to conduct joint sea patrols to fight piracy, organized crime, and terrorist activity in the Sulu Sea.
Several nations in the region, including Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore are also concerned about the return of jihadists from the Middle East as the Islamic State (IS) group loses territory in Iraq and Syria.
PHOTO CARTER'S VISIT: PUBLISHED: 12:07 GMT, 15 April 2016 | US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter (L) accompanied by Philipine vice-chief of staff Lieutenant General Glorioso Miranda (R) review an honour guard at Camp Aguinaldo
The defense official said probably about 1,000 or fewer Southeast Asians are in Syria and Iraq, and “hundreds” have already returned to their home countries.
“Local governments certainly are very concerned about the possibility of a rise in ISIL-related violence, it is very high on their agenda when they speak to us,” the official said, using an acronym for the IS group.
Regional allies are sure to ask Carter about the upcoming US election, which has seen a tightening race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Trump has called into question the mutual defense treaties with Japan and South Korea, which have provided the cornerstones of US policy in Asia since World War II.
The defense official indicated he was confident America would retain its Asia focus whatever the election’s result.
“We’ve got a good thing going with the establishment of this principled, inclusive security network,” he said.
“There are a lot of opportunities left over. And we want to make sure that our position in the region is solid for the next president.”
Mixed reactions on Duterte's decision
The President’s scrapping of all military exercises with the United States drew mixed reactions from retired and active officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) –some warning that such tirades against the US may take a toll on the country.
“Du30’s bad-mouthing US is bad. There is nothing wrong with his pursuit for an independent foreign policy but I believe that one can push for that without losing an ally like the US,” a retired general told The Tribune.
“With his strong statements against the US, he is risking so much,” the source added.
In his speech before the Filipino community in Vietnam this week, Duterte said “You are scheduled to hold war games again, which China does not want. I will serve notice to you now that this will be the last military exercise.”
Members of Duterte Cabinet, particularly National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., and Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay, have offered varying interpretations of the President’s statements.
But yesterday, Duterte reiterated his pronouncements that next week’s Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise 33 (Phiblex 33) will be the last joint military training between the AFP and US troops.
The President said the October 4-12 exercises will be the last under his term.
For his part, former Constabulary chief retired Maj. Gen. Ramon Montano welcomed Duterte’s stance against the US presence in the country.
“They (US) are adding up to the tension. We want to be peace with all, but we cannot achieve that with China with the presence of the Americans,” Montano told The Tribune.
Tribune sources in the active service, speaking on condition of anonymity, expressed different opinions on the matter.
“Presidential advisers should start doing their work to resolve this issue ASAP (as soon as possible)…they should speak with one voice, toward one direction,” a Camp Aguinaldo-based official said.
“While he is softening on China, what is happening at Scarborough Shoal? Our fishermen are continuously being harassed by the Chinese there. Du30 should start thinking,” another officer said.
“We have to remember that US is not only a close military ally but also a big economic and trade partner. Are we ready for the repercussion of earning the ire of the US? He added.
A senior official, on the other hand, downplayed the effect of Duterte’s tirades against the US.
The official cited the maturity of the AFP and the US Armed Forces.
“It has no effect to the overall security of the country. These are just policies that may change every time there is a new President. The Mutual Defense Treaty has been existing for more than 50 years,” the official told The Tribune.
The official also welcomed Duterte’s “friendly stance” with China.
“If we are opening an alliance with China then they (Chinese) will no longer be threat,” he said.
“Our relationship with US military will remain the same even if there are no military exercises. Both organizations are mature enough not to be affected by political decisions,” he added.
Conflicting pronouncements must stop-Lacson
Malacañang should put to a stop the conflicting pronouncements being made by Executive officials on the public declarations of President Duterte, Sen. Panfilo Lacson yesterday said.
“It cannot be for them (administration spokesmen) to keep sweeping away whatever the President’s statements make. If I may offer an analogy or description on what is going on whenever the President speaks on something that has not been discussed or well thought out,” Lacson said.
The senator was reacting to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Perfecto Yasay Jr.’s denial on Duterte’s latest statement made in Hanoi, Vietnam declaring an end to the joint military exercises of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) with the US forces, saying that the scheduled war games will be the last.
Yasay insisted that the President was only reiterating his earlier pronouncement that he will not allow Philippine troops to join joint patrols in the West Philippine Sea, only to modify later on his denial saying that he did not hear the President when he made such statements.
“The point is, the Executive department, if not the whole country can’t go on this way forever or for the next six years,” he added.
RP risks stiffling economic ties
Unwelcome atmosphere in the Philippines could easily dampen the country’s economic relationships risking the good standing it has already achieved from the past few years, a Manila-based think tank said.
On his latest pronouncement, President Duterte said Wednesday, the October joint exercises between Filipino and American troops would be the last.
Days earlier, he also pronounced halting joint patrols with the US in South China Sea.
The United States is the country’s largest source of private investment and second-largest export market after Japan. Citing the current situation of the market, Stratbase-Albert del Rosario Institute (ADRI) President Dindo Manhit said US, as elsewhere, private investors have reportedly grown skittish about the Philippines’ prospects.
Evident within this month, peso has even closed at seven-year-lows late Septembers due to investors pulling money out of the Philippine stock markets.
“In President Duterte’s case, the term ‘independent’ appears to be shorthand for pushing the United States away and pulling China closer. Although his spokesmen and secretaries would issue follow-up statements to clarify the president’s meaning, these do little to mask his sentiments on the Philippines-US relationship,” he said.
ADRI noted the government’s warming up with China signals a “quick break from the United States,” which is “unfortunate.”
“It is one thing for the administration to downplay the Arbitral Tribunal’s favorable ruling, out of a fear of possible retribution.”
“It is another thing entirely to halt patrols with the United States and limit them to a minimal 12 nautical mile distance—far less than the full 200 nautical mile spread of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone,” ADRI said.
“By taking such drastic steps, the administration gives the impression of swinging wildly and insincerely instead of taking smaller, but more meaningful steps toward friendly relations,” it emphasized.
While assessing the current foreign policy, ADRI said it acknowledge President Duterte’s mandate to define the country’s approach to foreign relations as unassailable however, it should “reconsider its strategy in terms of potentially alienating established economic and security partners.”
“The Philippines should maintain its good relations with trusted friends and pursue constructive relations with all of its neighbors, in both word and deed,” Manhit noted. Mario J. Mallari and Joyce Ann Rocamora, with AFP
RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER
Despite lashing from Duterte, EU gives funds for drug rehab in PH Philippine Daily Inquirer By: Estrella Torres, October 1st, 2016 06:15 PM
European Union (EU) ambassador Franz Jessen speaks during a press briefing in Manila on December 9, 2015. The European Union announced on December 9 that it was sharply boosting aid to the Philippines, largely to help sustain a peace process with Muslim rebels in the south. AFP PHOTO / Jay DIRECTO / AFP PHOTO / JAY DIRECTO
Despite the relentless swearing of President Rodrigo Duterte at the European Union (EU) for its criticism of the rising summary killings, the 28-member bloc says it has a fund assistance program to support the rehabilitation of drug addicts in the country.
EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen raised concern that the EU had been put in a bad light and “continued to draw headlines during the past week.”
The foul-mouthed Duterte had been cursing the EU following the release of its five-page resolution raising concern over the high number of drug suspects killed by police and vigilantes in the Philippines since the President launched a crackdown on the illegal trade upon taking office on June 30.
In dealing with harsh criticisms, Jessen said he had been keeping himself busy reading “Dusk (Po-On)” by National Artist F. Sionil Jose.
“I was impressed seeing that his mother showed him the value of reading despite the hardship they lived in. Values are what bring societies forward, and reading enriches life,” said Jessen’s letter posted on the EU website.
He said “Dusk” is a historical novel describing the late 19th century. “Not only am I learning about the colonial times and problems, but I am also getting to know Pangasinan much better.”
Despite Duterte’s criticism, Jessen said EU continues to widen its support for programs in the Philippines.
“We are supporting the Philippines on many different fronts,” said Jessen in an open letter posted on EU website on Friday.
He said the EU delegation in the Philippines is working closely with the Department of Health to fight drug abuse in the Philippines.
Jessen said the initial support involves identifying international and national best practices in drug treatments.
“The Philippines and the EU are part of the international community where we learn from each other, we share experiences and we work together to address shared problem,” said Jessen. “Drug abuse is a shared problem, and it has international and national dimensions.”
EU fund assistance to the Philippines reaches P3 billion annually, according to Jessen, with the bulk of the amount going to the health sector.
At the same time, he said the EU remains committed to assisting the Philippines in achieving peace and security in Mindanao.
Jessen said he met with Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza to strengthen EU-Philippines cooperation in implementing the peace agreement in Mindanao.
“When we support, we do so in an open and transparent manner, emphasizing, of course, the basic values and objectives of the EU, be it fighting climate change, reducing poverty, improving the situation of women or human rights,” said Jessen.
He also announced the visit of a delegation of about 300 European businessmen to the Philippines to attend the EU-Philippines business summit.
Jessen said EU remains a key player in global trade with 25 percent of the world’s GDP.
“The EU is big, more than 500 million people, with a per capita income of 35.000 USD. The EU is colossal in economic terms,” he said, adding that the scope for economic interaction between a developing Philippines and a mature EU is large. He said such potential will be unleashed at the business summit this week.
The fund assistance to establish rehabilitation facilities for drug addicts is part of the implementation of the EU resolution to widen assistance to Philippines in dealing with the drug problems.
VIDEO : Duterte likens himself to Hitler, pledges to slaughter 3 million addicts
Duterte likens himself to Hitler, pledges to slaughter 3 million addicts INQUIRER.net INQUIRER.net
Published on Sep 30, 2016 The Philippine President has compared his bloody anti-drug campaign, which has left more than 3,000 people dead, to how Hitler massacred millions of Jews, saying he would be “happy to slaughter” 3 million addicts. Category News & Politics
GMA NEWS ONLINE
Former senator Miriam Defensor Santiago dies at age 71 Published September 29, 2016 10:28am Updated September 29, 2016 11:08am
Former Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, 71, succumbed to cancer on Thursday morning, her husband Atty. Jun Santiago said.
"She died peacefully in her sleep this morning," Santiago said.
The former lawmaker passed away while confined at the St. Luke's Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City.
Her official Twitter account posted a message midmorning that former Sen. Santiago died at 8:52 a.m.
It was in 2014 when the former lawmaker said that she had stage 4 lung cancer.
Born in Iloilo City on June 15, 1945, the former senator ran for president in the May 2016 elections but lost to President Rodrigo Duterte. She also sought the presidency in 1992 (won by Fidel Ramos) and 1998 (won by Joseph Estrada). — KG, GMA News
Husband/widower Jun Santiago at the wake of his wife Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Cubao, Queazon City. The outpouring of love and praise for the late Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago continued for the second day on Saturday, with many fondly remembering her as Asia’s “Iron Lady” who owned one of the region’s sharpest legal minds. Her widower, Narciso Y. Santiago, turned sentimental when approached by reporters at the late senator’s wake at Immaculate Conception Cathedral Grottos in Cubao. “The love and praise showered on her should have been shown when she was still alive,” Santiago said, noting that like President Duterte, his late wife “devoted all her life serving the country and the people.” “But when she was still alive, there was nothing,” he lamented. The former interior secretary said the outpouring of love, admiration and support was making him “somewhat emotional.” INQUIRER PHOTO/LYN RILLON
RELATED FROM PHILSTAR
Good bye, Miriam! Friends, enemies pay tribute to ‘Iron Lady’ By Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 30, 2016 - 12:00am 0 4 googleplus1 0
Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s former colleagues at the Senate, along with the new senators and others who mourned her death, described her as one of a kind, what with her “intelligence, courage and wit,” and that the session hall would be boring without her. Efigenio Toledo IV
MANILA, Philippines - “I have no illusions about myself, about my life, about leaving a legacy, or making a mark in people’s lives. We are so insignificant. We are only here for a blink.”
Former senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who passed away at age 71 yesterday, wrote these in her book, Stupid is Forevermore.
Her words proved she was a woman of contradiction, given the tributes that poured in as news about her death spread: the Iron Lady of Asia who would melt whenever her husband and family were around; feisty but caring, sweet and funny; an intellectual who could easily connect with the masses with her pick-up, hugot or taray lines; and a grandmother who became a social media darling, popular with the millennials and the youth.
As a public servant, she had her ups and downs. But the magic and power of her words, along with her works particularly as judge, immigration commissioner and then lawmaker, made friends and enemies agree that her death marked the end of an era in Philippine politics.
Santiago’s former colleagues at the Senate, along with the new senators and others who mourned her death, described her as one of a kind, what with her “intelligence, courage and wit,” and that the session hall would be boring without her.
“She was brains, beauty and balls,” Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto said, adding Santiago “set the benchmark in clarity of thought and convincing discourse.”
Recto said Santiago rarely used invectives or cursed in debates, “but she was able to demolish her opponents using language that was devastating yet most elegant.”
As an intellectual giant, Recto said those who would come after her would be reduced as “students forever” cherishing her words as beacons that would “light their way and illuminate their minds.”
Former Senate president Manuel Villar Jr. said Santiago left behind a legacy and a body of work that would be hard to beat.
“She personified legislative vigor and sharpness. She epitomized the Senate’s self-designated role as the last line of defense versus threats to democracy and mediocrity,” Villar said.
“Miriam held herself high in the Parthenon of ideas and ideals. In the halls of the Senate dominated by bears, she was the lioness. If the intellectual meter in the chamber is low, Miriam can always be depended on to deliver the cerebral serum,” Villar noted.
As a personal friend, Villar said Santiago could be sometimes “acerbic and brutal” but I could “vouch for her honesty.”
“I know her as a loving and caring person. She was always bigger than life. Vintage Miriam,” Villar said.
Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano described Santiago as a “towering figure among titans of the Senate halls” like the late senators Joker Arroyo, Ernesto Maceda and Jovito Salonga.
Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr., who is godfather to Santiago’s son who passed away years back, said he and his family were saddened by her death.
“Philippine politics will not be the same without the staunch and feisty Miriam. We will miss her intelligence, wit and vast legal expertise which she has shared as university professor and earned for the country the distinction of being the first Asian elected judge to the International Criminal Court,” Belmonte said.
“It is a privilege to have worked with Miriam and we thank her for her dedication to the country, having served well in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government,” Belmonte added.
Rep. Lito Atienza of party-list group Buhay said the nation “lost a fearless fighter” and an ideal public servant. “We will always cherish our struggles in her presidential candidacy in 1992,” Atienza said.
Villar’s wife and incumbent senator Cynthia said Santiago would be remembered as an icon for women because of her fighting spirit.
Sen. Grace Poe called for a moment of silence during a hearing on the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill by the Senate committee of public information upon learning of Santiago’s death.
She recalled that as a young senator, she had sleepless nights in 2013 preparing after finding out that Santiago would interpellate her as she was about to defend for the first time the FOI bill on the floor.
Sen. Loren Legarda said Santiago was a remarkable lady who continued to serve the country despite her medical condition.
The Philippine flag was flown at half-staff at the Senate to pay respect to Santiago.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez led Congress in remembering one of its most colorful members.
Pimentel said Santiago was the “best president our nation never had” and whose words and actions had an impact, not only in the halls of Congress, but in the international arena.
“Her example will inspire not only many more patriotic Filipino women to go into public service but countless more of our young who have looked up to her as our moral compass,” Pimentel added.
Sen. Francis Pangilinan, who was a student of Santiago like Pimentel, said the Senate was blessed to have had her, “providing both excitement and education on law, vocabulary and humor. She will be missed.”
Part of history
Former Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Panfilo Lacson –both of whom had bitter quarrels with Santiago when they were together in the Senate – only had kind words for her.
“We may not have been the best of friends but we were colleagues. But she will always be remembered as a passionate, articulate and a certified and renowned constitutionalist,” Lacson told reporters.
Enrile, who Santiago once called a “hypersexualized serial womanizer” and the “mastermind of plunder,” expressed sadness over the passing of his late goddaughter and stressed that he did not have any grudge against anyone.
“Forget that (quarrels). It’s part of history. Let it go,” he said, noting that he would say silent prayers for her. – Jess Diaz, Christina Mendez
The Philippines’ ‘Iron Lady’ Who Ran Against Duterte in May’s Election Has Died
Dominique Rowe @thinkhorn 4:02 AM ET
Duterte remembers Miriam as graftbuster who 'ate death threats for breakfast'
Tributes poured in on social media for the "Iron Lady of Asia"
Philippine Senator and former presidential candidate Miriam Defensor Santiago died from lung cancer Thursday, at age 71.
The lawmaker ran for office three times in total, in 1992, 1998 and again in May 2016 against the now incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte, reports the BBC.
The deteriorating state of Santiago’s health was evident in the run-up to the elections, when she could be seen sitting and resting during televised debates. The former judge was known as the Iron Lady of Asia for her frankness and drive against corruption.
“She was both known and feared for her quick wit and her even quicker tongue in court and at rallies,” said the BBC’s Rico Hizon.
Tributes poured in on Twitter, and a commemorative Facebook post had received more than 400,000 shares and 54,000 comments at time of writing.
President Duterte released a statement of condolence, remembering Santiago as a “graftbuster” who “[ate] death threats for breakfast.”
Image on Twitter
GMA News ✔ @gmanews
READ: President Duterte's statement on the passing of Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago. | via @Joseph_Morong
1:44 AM - 29 Sep 2016
146 146 Retweets 292 292 likes
Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo described Santiago as her “dear and true friend and loyal ally,” reports GMA Network.
Manny Pacquiao ✔ @mannypacquiao
Sen. Miriam Santiago, you will always be remembered. Thank you for selflessly serving our country and the filipino people.
10:58 PM - 28 Sep 2016
435 435 Retweets 847 847 likes
Erriz Sumala @errizsml
RIP to the Greatest President the Philippines never had, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago. Your legacy will forever live on madame! 💔
11:12 PM - 28 Sep 2016
273 273 Retweets 230 230 likes
Gretchen Ho @gretchenho
Thank you for a lifetime of public service and for inspiring many with your courage. God bless you with eternal peace, Sen. Miriam Santiago.
1:47 AM - 29 Sep 2016
508 508 Retweets 1,564 1,564 likes
Pat Deligero @patdeligers
Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, thank you for your contribution to our country. May you rest in peace ❤️☝🏼️
11:18 PM - 28 Sep 2016
227 227 Retweets 392 392 likes
In 2011, Santiago became the first Filipino and the first Asian person from a developing country to be elected judge at the International Criminal Court in the Hague — a post she later turned down because of illness.
RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN
Miriam, Iron Lady of Asia, passes away by Hannah L. Torregoza & Mario B. Casayuran September 30, 2016 Share139 Tweet1 Share1 Email0 Share240
The name of the Iron Lady of Asia, well-respected legal luminary, and graft-buster was on the minds of the Filipino people yesterday as news of her passing quickly traveled, to bring to an end the illustrious career in public service and politics of former Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago.
After nearly three years of battling lung cancer, Senator Miriam was reported to have passed away at the age of 71 at 8:52 a.m. yesterday at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Global City, Taguig. She had battled stage 4 lung cancer.
Minutes after the report, the Senate hearing on the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill headed by Senator Grace Poe, paused to say a prayer for the feisty senator from Iloilo.
“May we pray for Sen. Santiago. She passed away a few minutes ago,” Poe said. She, meanwhile, expressed hope that the measure be passed into a law in memory of the late senator, noting that Santiago had stressed that the Presidential Communications privilege should not be abused by the seating President. image: http://www.mb.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Copy-of-Copy-of-30_miriam1-241x300.jpg
In Hanoi, Vietnam, President Duterte expressed deep sadness on the news. “We express our deepest sorrow over the passing of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago,” the President said in a statement while on a visit to Vietnam.
Duterte, who had a friendly rivalry with the senator in the last presidential campaign, paid tribute to Santiago for being an exemplary public servant, graft buster, and a constitutionalist.
“Senator Santiago has left a sterling career in public office. She is best remembered as a graftbuster ‘eating death threats for breakfast” earning her the Iron Lady of Asia. A constitutionalist, she has always been an advocate for the rule of law,” said the President.
“Rest in peace, Madam Senator. May your legacy continue to guide this nation for many years to come,” he added.
In the recent presidential campaign, Duterte heaped praises on the senator for being the only qualified candidate in the race to Malacañang. He hardly attacked Santiago in the presidential debates in deference to her wisdom and experience in public service.
The remains of Sen. Santiago will be transferred to the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Cubao, Quezon City, her husband Narciso Santiago said.
In Manila, Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo extended her sympathies to the family of Sen. Santiago who she thanked for her long career in public service.
“May her life serve as inspiration and example to women, the youth, and all our fellow Filipinos,” she said in a statement.
LIFE OF PUBLIC SERVICE
Senator Santiago worked in all three branches of government – judicial, executive, and legislative. In the judicial branch, she served as presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court in Quezon City. In the executive branch, she served as immigration commissioner and as agrarian reform secretary. In the legislative branch, she served as senator for three terms.
As senator, she filed the highest number of bills, and authored some of the most important laws.
Aside from being known for public service, she was the first Filipino – and the first Asian from a developing country – to be elected as judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Santiago’s Senate term ended on July 1, 2016 and she retired into private life.
As chairwoman of the Senate Constitutional Amendments Committee, Santiago had ruled that the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law as unconstitutional. image: http://www.mb.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/30_santiago_5-300x283.jpg
During her stint in the 24-member Senate, Santiago had taken positions on domestic policy, constitutional amendment, anti-political dynasty, West Philippine Sea dispute, North Borneo Dispute, divorce, abortion and contraception, capital punishment, environment, Internet, transportation, freedom of information, religion and gay rights.
She was honored with a Magsaysay Award for Government Service and as one of “The 100 Most Powerful Women in the World” by The Australian magazine.
The late senator, known for her jokes, was also a book author and guest speaker in universities, making her very popular among students.
She ran for president thrice in 1992, losing to former President Fidel V. Ramos; in 1998 with former President Joseph Estrada; and this year against President Duterte, Sen. Poe, Sen. Mar Roxas and former Vice President Jejomar Binay.
‘INSPIRED MY ADMIRATION’
Former President and now Manila Mayor Estrada said that among the ladies who became senators in the country, it was Santiago who “most inspired my admiration.”
“On the Senate floor, she was without equal: her opinions, insights, speeches and interpellations spoke volumes of her brilliance and knowledge of the Constitution,” Estrada said. “She was an outstanding lawmaker, whose work helped make the Philippine Senate one of the most trusted institutions in our country.”
Yesterday “marked one of the saddest days in the history of the country,” was how Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin M. Drilon, a former Senate President, expressed his grief over the passing of an “intellectual giant.”
“There is no senator, past or present, who can match Senator Santiago’s uncommon brilliance and fiery dedication to her principles and beliefs. She was an intellectual giant and a legal luminary whose wit and words benefited this nation and its people so many times over. She’s a loss to the country. She will remain an inspiration to all of us,’’ he stressed.
Another colleague, former Senate President Aquilino Q. Pimentel Jr., said she was “an intellectual who fiercely defended her independence to express herself fully on issues of national importance not only on the floor of the Senate, but anywhere and whenever necessary.”
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said: “While she did not always win her political battles, she always stood on the side of what was moral, what was legal, what was constitutional, and ultimately what was good for the Filipino people. She was the best president our nation never had,” he said.
Former Senate President Manny Villar said: “I grieve the loss of a beloved friend.”
“Miriam leaves behind a legacy and a body of work that would be hard to beat. She personified legislative vigor and sharpness. She epitomized the Senate’s self-designated role as the last line of defense versus threats to democracy and mediocrity.
“I can vouch for her honesty. I know her as a loving and caring person. She was always bigger than life. We will miss her. There will be no other like her,” he said.
Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said he would offer a silent prayer for her. “She was a very articulate person and very perceptive.”
“She leaves the world less wise, less bright, and sadder,” said former Sen. Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. who ran as Sen. Santiago’s vice president in the May, 2016 elections. “Words cannot begin to express the deep sadness that not only I and my family but the entire country feel at the devastatingly and ever-present humor and good sense that flickered out.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this sad, sad time. We take solace knowing that now there will be fewer tears in heaven,” he added.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Sen. Santiago will always be remembered as a passionate, as articulate, a renowned constitutionalist… talagang certified. And even when she left after the 16th Congress, she was already being missed. Ngayon pa, we all know that di na siya babalik.”
Lacson said he and Santiago were “the best of friends when we were in the Senate in the 15th and 16th Congress and even before that. “I join the Senate and the whole nation in mourning the passing of Sen. Santiago,” he said.
She “will now we debating with a much greater body than the Philippine Senate,” Senate Majority Leader Vicente C. Sotto III said, adding that he is saddened about the passing of Santiago.
Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, who ran as vice-presidential candidate in the 2016 elections, said he joins the Filipino people in mourning the loss of “one of the finest leaders of our country, a very pillar of Philippine politics, the Iron Lady of Asia, a public servant, and a friend.”
“Senator Santiago was a woman who spoke out with great vigor on the issues that were of importance to the country. Her passing away is a great loss to the Philippines,” Sen. Richard J. Gordon said yesterday. He said Santiago was a model – through her intelligence, hard work and integrity – to emulate for young Filipinos aspiring for leadership positions.
Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri called the late senator a “legal luminary, and expert in constitutional law and a champion of human rights who inspired many, including myself, to render true and genuine service to our country.”
“She was one of the most brilliant and dedicated public servants of our time, having served in all three branches of the government. The Iron Lady of Asia, as she came to be known, was admired for her fearless leadership and unquestionable honesty and integrity,” he added.
Sen. Nancy Binay said Senator Santiago has distinguished herself in her decades-long service to the country. “Sen. Miriam – a brilliant legal mind, a loving wife and mother, and a public servant – would be missed,” she stressed.
Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV described Santiago as “an iconic public figure and certainly one of the most influential in recent memory.”
‘’I look up to Senator Miriam as a mentor and a friend. Her death is truly a great loss to our nation,’’ he added.
Sen. Leila de Lima said Santiago was a ‘’respected institution not only in the country but also in the international community.
“She has personified the strength of women: To be a wife and mother, a success in her career, and a powerful social force for nation-building. In the midst of the political crisis that we have been experiencing as of late, her death is a sobering reminder that while our time on earth is fleeting, our service to our countrymen is eternal,” she said.
Her memory will continue to influence and inspire the current and next generation of Filipinos, said Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, cousin of former President Benigno Aquino III.
“At times larger than life, she was a true public servant who showed generosity and kindness to younger leaders like myself,’’ he said.
Defensor Santiago (Manila Bulletin)
Senate Minority Leader Ralph G. Recto called Sen. Santiago an intellectual who not only set the benchmark on clarity of thought and convincing discourse but also in courage which she showed whether in pursuit of her advocacies for the people or the latter’s enemies.
‘’She was brains, beauty and balls,’’ he added. Recto remembers her as rarely cursing and never had invectives in her debating arsenal ‘’but she was able to demolish her opponents using language that was devastating yet most elegant.’’
“Philippine politics will not be the same without the staunch and feisty Miriam,” former Speaker and Quezon Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said yesterday, extending the House of Representatives’ deepest sympathy and prayers to the family of late Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago.
“We will miss her intelligence, wit and vast legal expertise which she has shared as university professor and earned for the country the distinction of being the first Asian elected judge to the International Criminal Court,” he said.
Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu said the Lower Chamber joins the nation in mourning for “the loss of a remarkable parliamentarian.” “Her wit and humor will be truly missed. Our sympathies to the family,” he said.
Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez described Santiago as “loyal and dedicated public servant.” “We lost a pillar in the Senate,” he said.
Ifugao Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat said Santiago’s passing is the end of an era. “She was the most unforgettable of her generation… Love her or hate her, agree with her or not, her thoughts and her style of expression demanded respect,” he said.
Bayan Muna partylist Rep.Carlos Isagani Zarate lamented that the Iron Lady is gone. “But she had a well-ironed place in our history as a respected jurist, executive bureaucrat, legislator, international law expert, and, of late, a master par excellence in “hugot lines.”
Kabataan partylist Rep. Sarah Elago said: “We remember Sen. Miriam as a feisty senator who valiantly went against the tide and strongly defended the sovereignty of the Philippines in her many moves to call for the abrogation of lopsided deals with the United States, including the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement,” she said.
Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes P. A. Sereno and the members of the judiciary mourned with the nation yesterday the passing of former Sen. Santiago.
In a statement, the SC said: “The Supreme Court mourns with the nation the passing of former Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, offers its prayers for comfort for her loved ones, and remembers her significant contributions to law: As scholar, professor, author, and lawmaker.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II yesterday described Sen. Santiago as an “indefatigable leader and public servant” as he extended his condolences to the family of the late senator.
In a text message to journalists, Aguirre regretted his failure to reconcile with Santiago before her death. In February 2012 during the impeachment trial of then Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, Aguirre covered his ears as Senator Santiago scolded the prosecutors. Aguirre was one the prosecutors tapped by the government in the impeachment proceedings at the Senate, sitting as an impeachment court.
Susan Ople, OFW advocate and one of the senatorial candidates that Sen. Miriam endorsed in the 2016 elections, said: “Perhaps, God wanted to raise the standards for His angels. Or divinity needed more pick-up lines. Whatever the reason, one of the country’s most loved senators is now gone. Senator Santiago has shown the spiritual endurance of a leader elected by heart, and adored by many. The Senate, and our lives, will be boring without her. But then, her laughter will echo through the ages to remind us to set the bar high, and higher, because there can never be another Miriam; but that shouldn’t stop us from constantly leveling up.”
“I never made it to the Senate but I made it to her very short list of personally endorsed candidates, and that alone was enough to make the entire political experience worthwhile. She will always be the gold standard for every aspiring senator,” she said.
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has joined the nation in expressing its sadness over the untimely death of former Senator Santiago who once headed the immigration office.
In a press statement, the men and women of the agency said: “We will always remember the beloved senator as the feisty and fearless public servant who made controversial and brave statements, but never failed to charm the public with her witty, timely pickup lines.”
Sen. Miriam, who served as immigration chief under then President Corazon Aquino, directed raids against criminal syndicates, including the Yakuza, and championed the Alien Legalization Program, among many others.
BI rank and file employees said “we will say though that we are truly honored and blessed to have known her. She may depart from this earth, but she will always stay alive in the hearts and minds of the Filipino people whom she promised to serve ‘till her last breathe.” (With reports from Charissa M. Luci, Reynaldo Panaligan, Jun Ramirez)
RELATED FROM PHILSTAR
‘Miriam deserved love, praise when she was still alive’ By Romina Cabrera (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 1, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0
Students pay their last respects to former senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago at the Cathedral Grottos of The Immaculate Conception Cathedral of Cubao in Quezon City yesterday. MICHAEL VARCAS
MANILA, Philippines - Filipinos trooped to the wake of the late former senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago to pay their last respects to the “Iron Lady of Asia,” who will be laid to rest tomorrow.
Santiago’s remains were brought to the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Quezon City Thursday night. She passed away in the morning after a bout with lung cancer and complications.
Former and current government officials along with students and other supporters shared their thoughts about Santiago and the life she lived when they visited her wake.
But the tributes and kind words should have been spoken when she was alive, said her husband, Narciso Santiago Jr., a former undersecretary at the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Narciso apologized for being emotional, saying his late wife’s life “was devoted to serving the country and the people.”
When she was alive, Narciso lamented she was not given the same praises and outpouring of love.
The lady senator is set to be buried beside her son Alexander at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina this Sunday, her former chief-of-staff Rissa Ofilada said. Alexander passed away in 2003.
Granting her wish, Santiago will be buried beside her son. Alexander Robert Santiago who wais the youngest son of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. An aspiring law student from the Ateneo Law School committed suicide on November 20, 2003 by shooting himself in the neck inside his room at the Santiago residence in La Vista, Quezon City. The young Santiago was reportedly depressed about not being admitted at the University of the Philippines College of Law after failing the subject on Constitutional Law. He was also asked embarrassing questions about his mother’s alleged “insanity” and his father’s gambling activities during his application interview at UP, an event which really bothered the young Santiago up to the day of his suicide. DEFINITELYFILIPINO.COM BLOG
Ofilada said arrangements for the interment of Santiago were being finalized as she would receive honor rites before her burial. Santiago’s funeral dress was changed to her favorite blue Filipiniana ensemble for the second day of the wake, from a red outfit on the first day.
Ofilada, Santiago’s friend of 20 years, said the late senator would like to be remembered as a person who truly loved her country and gave her entire life for it.
Ofilada said the Senate was expected to have their own necrological service without Santiago’s remains. Santiago served as senator from 1995 to 2001, 2004 to 2010 and then 2010 to 2016.
Santiago’s runningmate in the last elections, former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., visited her wake on Thursday night along with another ex-senator and now Taguig City Rep. Pia Cayetano and Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr.
Marcos was among the few politicians who visited the former senator on the first day of her wake. Santiago died on Thursday morning after a long battle with lung cancer.courtesy of rappler.com
Marcos recalled fond moments with Santiago when they were together in the Senate and during the campaign.
Marcos said that the lady senator was always giving good advice, even on his poll protest for the vice-presidential post.
He described her as someone who would never retreat or surrender from battles. Marcos said he was greatly honored when he was chosen by Santiago to be her runningmate.
“She did not dwell (on the past). She always looked forward, that is the most important quality that Miriam can teach us,” he said.
President Duterte, who arrived in Davao City yesterday dawn from Hanoi, Vietnam where he had a working visit, said he would condole with the family of Santiago at the wake.
“I express my deepest condolences. I grieve with the family, with Narciso the husband, with Benjie (Santiago’s brother), who used to be a general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and to the children. I feel your grief,” Duterte said during an interview with reporters at the Davao International Airport.
“We have lost a leader, the colorful language and, above all, ‘yung utak niya (her brains). We have lost one good guy in our government,” Duterte said.
Duterte, Sen. Grace Poe, former vice president Jejomar Binay and ex-interior secretary Manuel Roxas II all paid tribute to their fallen rival in the last presidential elections.
Santiago’s brother said his sister held no grudges against her opponents, even if she had publicly berated them.
Defensor said in a television interview that Santiago had made her peace, even with former president Fidel Ramos.
Ramos narrowly beat Santiago in the 1992 presidential elections. She ran for president again in 1998 and for the third time last May but lost to Duterte.
“When Miriam fires away at you at a Senate hearing or in her speeches, it is only at that level. After that, it’s nothing. That’s her temperament,” Defensor said.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines also saluted Santiago for the inspiration and service to the country. – Giovanni Nilles, Paolo Romero, Perseus Echeminada, Cecille Suerte Felipe
RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN
Miriam mourned, cheered at wake October 1, 2016 Share4 Tweet0 Share0 Email1 Share20 By Vanne Elaine P. Terrazola and Charina Clarisse L. Echaluce
A rousing applause welcomed the late Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago as her remains encased in a gold casket entered the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Cubao, Quezon City, for her wake Thursday night.
Early Thursday at about 8:25 a.m. Santiago succumbed to left lung cancer (Stage 4) at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City after battling the ailment for two years. Not an eye was dry in the chapel as tears and applause from her supporters – both young and old, who flocked to the church to pay their last respects to the “Iron Lady of Asia” who regaled the nation with her brilliance, wit and humor.
Santiago’s running mate in the May 2016 elections, former Sen. Bongbong Marcos was present in the wake and so was former House Speaker Rep. Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte (4th District, Quezon City), who referred to Santiago as his “kumare.”
Lawyer Rissa Ofilada, the Chief of Staff of the late senator and the family’s spokesperson, said the wake is open to the public until Sunday, October 2.
A mass will be at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral at around 1 p.m. before she will be laid to rest beside her son, Alexander at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City.
The Senate which flew its flag at half-staff to mourn the passing of Santiago had planned to hold a necrological rite for a distinguished member but had to defer to the plans of the late Senator’s family.
Santiago reportedly instructed her staff to make her necrological service simple.
As they mourn the passing of Santiago, health advocates expressed hope that her death would not be in vain. They reiterated their call for stricter measures to eliminate the threat of secondhand smoke.
“Smoking may cause some lung cancer that affects not only the smoker but the people around them. We look forward to the campaign promise of President Duterte to a have a smoke-free environment,” said New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP) President Emer Rojas.
Rojas, a cancer survivor, said a smoke-free environment will help reduce the unnecessary deaths and diseases brought about by second-hand smoke.
The Health Justice Philippines also hopes other leaders will fill the shoes of Santiago who actively pushed for anti-smoking measures.(With a report from Mario B. Casayuran)
RELATED(2) FROM PHILSTAR
Miriam Defensor-Santiago laid to rest By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated October 2, 2016 - 4:23pm 16 596 googleplus1 0
Former Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago was buried at the Loyola Memorial Park. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando, file
MANILA, Philippines –Family, friends, colleagues and supporters of former senator and presidential candidate Miriam Defensor-Santiago gathered on Sunday to bring her to her final resting place at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City.
Priest Aris Sison officiated the burial rites for Santiago. She was also sent off with 21-gun salute courtesy of honor guards.
A Mass was held at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral earlier Sunday. The final mass was presided by Bishops Teodoro Bacani Jr., Honesto Ongtioco, and other priests while the Philippine Madrigal Singers served as choir for the Mass.
“Please help us when you stand at the side of our Lord Jesus Christ in heaven,” Bacani said of the late senator during the Mass.
As per Santiago’s request, she was laid to rest beside her son, Alexander. The latter passed away in 2003 after committing suicide.
FUNERAL MASS OF MIRIAM DEFENOR SANTIAGO--VIDEO FROM RAPPLER.COM YOU TUBE CHANNEL
Follow Romina Cabrera @romina_marie Family and supporters of the late @senmiriam leaving the Cubao Cathedral after mass for her burial rites in Marikina l @PhilippineStar 3:15 AM - 2 Oct 2016 5 5 Retweets 13 13 likes View image on Twitter View image on Twitter Follow Kristian F. Javier @kefjavier Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago to be laid to rest at Loyola Memorial Park, Marikina. #miriam 12:02 AM - 2 Oct 2016 Retweets 2 2 likes
The 71-year-old politician passed away last Thursday in her sleep after her long bout with lung cancer. Her wake was held at the Assumption Chapel of the Cathedral Grottos also in Cubao, Quezon City.
Miriam, dubbed the “Iron lady of Asia" , was one of the most endearing figures in Philippine politics, pop culture and academia. She was also one of the leaders well-loved by youth for her jokes as well as her inspirational remarks in speeches.
The late senator was best-known for her years of service in the Senate. She was first elected senator in 1995.
During the funeral mass, Miriam’s sister, Len Defensor, thanked doctors and medical personnel who helped her sister. She also extended gratitude to Miriam’s supporters, including the youth. —With reports from Kristian Javier
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President Rody Duterte's visit at Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago's wake 10/01/16
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