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

RODY STILL AT IT, TELLS OBAMA TO 'GO TO HELL', EUROPE TO 'PURGATORY'[RELATED: Yasay - ‘America has failed us’]
(Yasay explains why the Philippines wants to break away from US)
[RELATED(2) OCT 10: Army chief - No notice on US forces’ pullout yet]


OCTOBER 5 - AMID suggestions from his allies that he be more circumspect, President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he would not shut up. To prove his point, he launched new tirades against his international critics, telling US President Barack Obama to “go to hell,” and for the European Union to “choose purgatory” instead of criticizing his war on illegal drugs, which has already claimed 3,000 lives. “They’re telling me to stop making noises. No, I cannot stop. I’ll lose the momentum,” Duterte said during the Sulong Pilipinas Local Governance dialogues at Makati City. “I cannot afford it, I’m now the President of the Philippines. The momentum has to be there, it will be there for the next six years until the last pusher is taken out of the streets,” the President added. In a separate speech, Duterte said he did not have fascistic tendencies as his critics have charged. “This is not a fascist state where you can accuse any person, or tell him to take that off, or don’t use that. That is not the way of democracy. We are on the receiving end of criticism,” Duterte said. READ MORE...RELATED, Yasay: ‘America has failed us’...RELATED(2), Army chief: No notice on US forces’ pullout yet...

ALSO
Pentagon: US focused on assistance to Philippines amid Duterte's tirades
[RELATED: 'Duterte's policy statements haven't changed PH foreign policy' -UP Professor]
("In an ideal situation, you want to increase trade relations with all the economies so it's really a balancing act at the end of the day," he said. UP Professor Limlingan added that investors are more concerned on the policies of the Duterte administration concerning contractualization, tax reform, and mining than the pronouncements the president makes.)


OCTOBER 7-Department of State spokesperson John Kirby said that the United States remains committed to its relationship with the Philippines despite the recent remarks of President Rodrigo Duterte. AP/Susan Walsh, File
MANILA, Philippines — The United States (US) remains focused on providing assistance to the Philippines despite the latest remarks of President Rodrigo Duterte, the Department of State said on Thursday. Duterte recently challenged the United States, the European Union (EU) and human rights advocates to pull out their aid to the Philippines if they continue to criticize his anti-narcotics campaign. "I do not expect the human rights (advocates), I do not expect (US President Barack) Obama, I do not expect the EU to understand me. Do not understand me and if you think it’s high time for you guys to withdraw your assistance, go ahead. We will not beg for it," Duterte said in a speech. READ: Rody: Philippines will survive without foreign aid US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said that the American government is focused on assistance efforts that will best benefit the Filipino people. READ MORE...RELATED,
'Duterte's policy statements haven't changed PH foreign policy'...

ALSO: Duterte’s first 100 days: So far, so ‘very good’
[RELATED: AMNESTY INT'L's (AI) review of Rody’s ‘100 days of carnage’]


OCTOBER 7 -FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016 file photo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, center, gestures as he poses with Philippine Army officers during his visit to the Army headquarters in suburban Taguig city, east of Manila, Philippines as U.S. and Philippine forces opened their first large scale combat exercises. An independent poll released Thursday, Oct. 6, showed that more than three-quarters of Filipinos are satisfied with President Rodrigo Duterte, even though he is under fire internationally for his deadly crackdown on suspected drug dealers and users. The survey, conducted by Social Weather Stations from Sept. 24 to Sept. 27 and published Thursday. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File
President Duterte has received a “very good” +64 net satisfaction rating at the end of his first three months in office, according to a recent survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS). The survey – conducted from Sept. 24 to 27 and result of which was published in BusinessWorld yesterday – found that 76 percent of 1,200 respondents were satisfied with the performance of the President since he assumed office on June 30. Eleven percent were dissatisfied, while 13 percent said they were undecided. The net satisfaction rating was obtained by subtracting the dissatisfaction rating from the satisfaction rating. SWS classifies net satisfaction ratings of at least +70 as “excellent”; +50 to +69 as “very good”; +30 to +49 as “good”; +10 to +29 as “moderate”; +9 to -9 as “neutral”; -10 to -29 as “poor”; -30 to -49 as “bad”; -50 to -69 as “very bad”; and -70 and below as “execrable.” READ MORE...RELATED,
AI’s review of Rody’s ‘100 days of carnage’...

ALSO
SWS: Duterte’s war on drugs earns ‘excellent’ rating; Keeping drug suspects alive ‘very important,’ says survey
[RELATED: SPECIAL REPORT -First 100 days yield significant accomplishments]


OCTOBER 7 -CONFESSED drug users and pushers gather in Pampanga province during a recent mass surrender ceremony in the government’s antidrug campaign. TONETTE OREJAS / Inquirer Central Luzon
President Rodrigo Duterte’s no-nonsense war on drugs has earned an “excellent” rating from Filipinos, who also believe that catching drug suspects alive is “very important,” a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey has shown. The survey, conducted from Sept. 24 to 27, revealed that 84 percent of the respondents were satisfied with Duterte’s war against illegal drugs while 8 percent are dissatisfied and another 8 percent remained undecided. The question asked was “Please tell me how satisfied or dissatisfied you are with the performance of government in its campaign against illegal drugs?”  The survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adults nationwide and with sampling error margins of ±3 points. READ MORE...RELATED, SPECIAL REPORT -First 100 days yield significant accomplishments...

ALSO: Philippines, US halt plans on joint South China Sea patrols
[RELATED: Duterte's 'independent' foreign policy not just about war games: analyst]
("I think it's because Filipinos have not seen in the past presidents who would stand up against the United States. And now you have a president who speaks out his mind and speaks it out repeatedly at every instant and this is unsettling to some people and I suppose this is why everyone is trying to figure out exactly what does he mean because we're not accustomed to it," he said.)


OCTOBER 8 -ON HOLD, FIRST CONCRETE BREAK:
In this Oct. 3, 2016 photo, Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship USNS Washington Chambers (T-AKE 11), left, conducts a vertical replenishment with amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), while amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) conducts a fueling at sea with Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Walter S. Diehl. Bonhomme Richard, flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, is operating in the South China Sea in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific region. US Navy/Jeanette Mullinax/Released Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Friday that he told the U.S. military that plans for joint patrols and naval exercises in the disputed South China Sea have been put on hold, the first concrete break in defense cooperation after months of increasingly strident comments by the country's new president. Lorenzana also said that 107 U.S. troops involved in operating surveillance drones against Muslim militants would be asked to leave the southern part of the country once the Philippines acquires those intelligence-gathering capabilities in the near future. President Rodrigo Duterte also wants to halt the 28 military exercises that are carried out with U.S. forces each year, Lorenzana said. Duterte has said he wants an ongoing U.S.-Philippine combat exercise to be the last during his six-year presidency as he backs away from what he views as too much dependence on the U.S. READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte's 'independent' foreign policy not just about war games: analyst...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Duterte still at it, hits out at US, EU: Tells Obama to ‘go to hell’, Europe to ‘purgatory’


President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA,
OCTOBER 10, 2016 (STANDARD) posted October 05, 2016 at 12:01 am by John Paolo Bencito = AMID suggestions from his allies that he be more circumspect, President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he would not shut up.

To prove his point, he launched new tirades against his international critics, telling US President Barack Obama to “go to hell,” and for the European Union to “choose purgatory” instead of criticizing his war on illegal drugs, which has already claimed 3,000 lives.

“They’re telling me to stop making noises. No, I cannot stop. I’ll lose the momentum,” Duterte said during the Sulong Pilipinas Local Governance dialogues at Makati City.

“I cannot afford it, I’m now the President of the Philippines. The momentum has to be there, it will be there for the next six years until the last pusher is taken out of the streets,” the President added.

In a separate speech, Duterte said he did not have fascistic tendencies as his critics have charged.

“This is not a fascist state where you can accuse any person, or tell him to take that off, or don’t use that. That is not the way of democracy. We are on the receiving end of criticism,” Duterte said.

READ MORE...

Several of Duterte’s allies in Congress—including Senator Richard Gordon and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas--have told the President to stop saying that he will kill drug dealers and drug pushers and refrain from talking too much and focus instead on his work.

Duterte however, insisted that it’s not his problem, and said there was no law preventing him from threatening criminals.

“And you say that my mouth is not for a statesman. Who said that I applied to be a statesman?” he added.

Duterte, who has made several international headlines over the last few weeks over his near-daily rants against outspoken critics of his violent war on drugs, slammed the United States and the European Union for once again putting him in a bad light.

“Instead of helping us, the first one who attacked my war on drugs is the State Department. Mr. Obama, you can go to hell,” he said.

“EU, you can choose purgatory,” he added.

Duterte said: “Hell is already full already, why should I be afraid of you?”

Duterte, who lamented being compared to Nazi leader Adolf leader, reiterated his apology to the Jewish community, who were offended by his speech.

Despite the many gaffes he committed, Duterte said he will never bow to American pressure, whom he blamed for his mishaps.

“It would be better if I will kneel down the King of Brunei or Thailand than to kneel before America. Never. You can do your worst but I will risk my job, my life and the Presidency,” he added.

On Tuesday, US officials said that they are doing their best to ignore Duterte’s anti-American tirates, comparing him however to Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump whose almost everyday attacks were best to ignore.

“He is like Mr. Trump,” a top US Defense Department said. “He craves attention, and the more he gets, the more outrageous he becomes. It is wisest to ignore him.”

Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis meanwhile, said the military was aware of Duterte’s comments.

But “it hasn’t really so much translated into tangible actions that we’ve seen with regards to our actions under the alliance,” he said.

“In as much as our alliance with the Philippines is concerned, it’s very much solid and stable and secure and on track,” he added, pointing to continued cooperation in military exercises and assistance with counterterrorism operations in the southern Philippines.

The Pentagon official also played down comments from Duterte who threatened to cancel a defense accord with the United States.

Duterte on Sunday said he might scrap the treaty, known as the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, that went into force in January.

Duterte’s foul-mouthed outbursts since he was elected in May have frequently taken aim at the United States, including his calling US President Barack Obama a “son of a whore.”

Duterte has also repeatedly threatened to move away from the United States and forge closer ties with China and Russia.

Malacañang on Tuesday dismissed the suggestion of Senator Dick Gordon to change the Tourism slogan to “Welcome to the PI,” a swipe at President Rodrigo Duterte’s expletives.

“He knows how to handle these things and so I’d like to leave it to him. He’s a person after his own heart and he knows how to handle the situation. So far, he seems to have adjusted pretty well,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said of the President.

He declined to comment on EDCA, saying that was a policy statement that was beyond his pay grade.

The Pentagon on Monday downplayed comments from Duterte, after he threatened to cancel a defense accord with the United States.

That agreement, sealed under the administration of Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino, allows US forces access to five Philippine bases to help counterbalance a growing Chinese presence in the South China Sea.

“This EDCA is an official document... but it does not bear the signature of the president of the republic,” Duterte said.

“Better think twice now because I will be asking you to leave the Philippines altogether,” he added.

European Union ambassador Franz Jessen said on Tuesday that they would rather focus on policy instead of reacting to President Duterte’s rhetoric.

Citing the investment interest and inputs of both countries, Jesses told the reporters that the EU is more concern of the policies being implemented by the Philippine government and not Duterte’s mouth.

In September, Duterte called EU a hypocrite and cursed them for the parliament’s recent call to the Philippine government to “put an end” to the killings of drug suspects.

“I have read the condemnation of the European Union. I’m telling them, ‘F**k you,’” Duterte said while holding up his middle finger during a speech to local businessmen in his hometown of Davao City on Tuesday.

Describing them as hypocrites, Duterte said the parliament “has the gall to condemn me” despite historical records showing what member countries, including France and Britain, have done in the Middle East. With Sara Susanne D. Fabunan, AFP

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RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

Yasay: ‘America has failed us’ Written by Tribune Wires Friday, 07 October 2016 00:00


Yasay explains why the Philippines wants to break away from US

Adding fuel to the fire, Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. has hit out at the United States, releasing a lengthy statement headlined: “America has failed us.”

“The United States held on to invisible chains that reined us in toward dependency and submission as little brown brothers not capable of true independence and freedom,” he noted.

“The ‘carrot and stick’ policy of the US toward the Philippines has been effectively used all through the long years since our independence to force Filipinos into submission to American demands and interests.”He stressed breaking the “shackling dependency” on the US to address various security threats was imperative if the Philippines was to end its subservience.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s foul-mouthed outbursts since he assumed office have frequently taken aim at the United States, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations.

Purpose not served

Yasay also noted the US cannot even assure the Philippines that “it will promptly come to our defense under our existing military treaty and agreements.”

Asked to support his impression against the US, the DFA chief said: “Joint military exercises with the United States did not serve (their) purpose.”

Echoing the President’s recent pronouncement to stop joint exercises with America, he stressed under the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), “joint exercises are not required.”

He explained that Duterte’s statement is anchored based on the mechanism under the MDT that the mutual defense board and the strategic engagement board every year make a recommendation and evaluation whether there’s a need for joint exercises.

“The purpose for these joint exercises is to ensure that when we undertake it, it will beef up and enhance our self-reliance and our ability to address our internal and external security threats.”

“Now remember that the MDT had been in effect since 1950s, since then despite the joint exercises that were undertaken our military capacity and ability to be self-reliant in addressing our internal and external security threats have not been met.”

“We are still grossly inadequate insofar as addressing these security threats are concerned,” Yasay asserted.

Not only equipment-wise but also in training, Yasay said these are things that we need to evaluate, “Maybe joint exercises are the reasons our dependency is being perpetuated.”

He said it is only natural because like for the Philippines for instance “we have to pursue our own paramount national interest in the same way that in our dealings with other nations like the United States they too first and foremost will have to pursue their own paramount national interest.”

“So where there is a conflict of a national interest, that happens, and that’s precisely why the President said it in that context: Are the joint exercises really achieving the purpose for which they are intended?”

He expounded that when someone perpetuates our dependency on security, and if this dependency is China in the picture Yasay stressed the important thing now is that “we’re engaging China in bilaterals where we have committed not to make any provocative actions insofar as making sure that we’ll peacefully address and settle our dispute with that country.”

The foreign secretary said the government is not disregarding or downplaying our rights of exclusive economic zone under the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea, adding they will pursue it to the hilt.

Yasays, however, said under these circumstances they are making sure that the environment for a conducive bilateral engagement to settle this dispute peacefully “will be pursued and achieved.”

Former National Security Adviser Jose Almonte, for his part, said Duterte’s manner of dealing with the US should not be viewed negatively as the Chief Executive is merely being strategic.

“Well at the surface, the impact at the surface is negative. But I say at the surface because it will underrate the strategic thinking of the President,” he told reporters.

He also defended Duterte following his threat to end the country’s decades-old alliance with the US in favor of China and Russia.

“The Philippines could remain as friends with our old allies like America. But at the same time, we can be friends of all others, even the enemies of America and that will be the best policy given, in fact, a situation where we are not as powerful as the rest,” Almonte stressed.

“Let us work very hard to become friends of others, even if they are enemies of our allies,” he added.

Positive alliance

Despite the continuing tirades by Duterte against Obama and the planned scrapping of joint military exercises between the two allies, Washington remained positive on its alliance with Manila.

Molly Koscina, information officer of the US Embassy in Manila, said the US government continues to focus on the broad relationship between the US and the Philippines.

She cited the decades old alliance between the two countries as the “cornerstone of stability” in the Asia Pacific region.

“We continue to focus on our broad relationship with the Philippines, and will work together in the many areas of mutual interest to improve the livelihoods of the Philippine people and uphold our shared democratic values,” Koscina stressed.

“Our relationship with the Philippines is broad and our alliance is one of our most enduring relationships in the Asia Pacific region. It has been a cornerstone of stability for over 70 years. It is built on shared sacrifices for democracy and human rights and strong people-to-people and societal ties,” she added.

On Tuesday, Duterte told Obama to “go to hell” as he warned of breaking up with the US.

Koscina lamented the latest pronouncements by Duterte.

“It seems at odds with the warm relationship that exists between the Filipino and American people and the record of important cooperation between our two governments, cooperation that has continued under the Duterte government,” said the US official.

Prior to this, Duterte said he would be scrapping joint military exercises between Filipino troops and the Americans, adding the ongoing Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise 33 (Phiblex 33) will be the last under his six-year term.

But the US Embassy said it has yet to receive any formal notice regarding the matter.

Aside from Phiblex, Philippine and US troops are conducting Balikatan and Carat exercises annually in Manila.

“We have not been officially contacted by Philippine authorities regarding President Duterte’s statements,” Koscina stressed.

“US forces have been providing support and assistance in the Philippines for many years, at the request of several different Filipino administrations,” she added.

The EU delegation to Manila, however, admitted that human rights is indeed a factor when it comes to their member states’ establishing a long-term invest in the Philippines.

On the sidelines of EU-Philippines Business Summit last October 4, Ambassador Franz Jessen said “human rights is a fact of course,” a factor to investment but what they are looking at in the country is the overall environment, the overall community and economic environment.

“It is important that we are investing in a country where we can go back and make sure that once they are back in Europe they look at this investment and they are comfortable.”

Jessen stated that insofar as EU’s investment is concerned, it is for the long term.

“We don’t invest here for the short term; we don’t invest here because we think the next two years we get the economic benefit.”

Asked about Duterte’s latest verbal assault, he declined to comment.

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

RELATED(2) FROM THE TRIBUNE

Army chief: No notice on US forces’ pullout yet Written by Mario J. Mallari Monday, 10 October 2016 00:00


ARMY CHIEF LORENZANA

The sudden influx of US military cargo planes in Zamboanga City after President Duterte made statements about the need for American forces to leave Mindanao to help the government’s peace efforts is not being considered as part of a pullout at the moment, an Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) official said.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana also said recently that the government is scrapping joint patrols with foreign navies in the South China Sea, referring to the joint missions with the US naval force.

Philippine Army (PA) head Lt. Gen.Eduardo Año said that the US government has yet to give notice that it is pulling out its 107 personnel in Zamboanga City.

He made this statement in wake of reports that a US C-17 transport aircraft has landed in the Zamboanga City airport to pick up equipment of American troops currently deployed in the locality.

“The US government is still to give a notice regarding a pull-out, so they are still there,” Ano added in Filipino.

When asked if whether a US pullout would have any bearing on Philippine counter-terror efforts, the PA commander said operations against terror groups in Mindanao will continue as forces have been setup for the neutralization of these lawless groups.

Duterte earlier said US troops in Mindanao should leave as they could be kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists.

These American personnel are providing intelligence, technical and training to Filipino counter-terrorist forces.

American presence in the area started in 2003 with the creation of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines which was tasked to provide anti-terror training to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Currently, US military personnel in Mindanao only numbers 107 with all of them concentrated at Western Mindanao Command headquarters at Camp Don Basilio Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City.

Reds want military deals scrapped next

After the scrapping of joint sea patrols along the West Philippine Sea, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) now wants Duterte to officially rescind all military agreements with the United States. PNA

The CPP yesterday welcomed Lorenzana’s announcement that the US has already been informed of Duterte’s decision not to allow joint sea patrols by Filipino and American troops in the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea.

“The CPP welcomes Defense Secretary Lorenzana’s announcement that the Duterte government has already formally informed the US government and military about ending joint sea patrols and joint military exercises,” the CPP said in a statement.

“With the Filipino people, the GRP president can walk further along the path of national independence. The CPP calls on GRP President Duterte to rescind the EDCA and order all military bases and facilities inside AFP camps to be shuttered. He must further rescind the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Mutual Defense Treaty,” it added.

The MDT, signed by the Philippine and US governments in 1951, covers all military exercises between Filipino and American troops.
Lorenzana announced Friday that the Philippines had officially informed the United States it had suspended South China Sea patrols with its longtime ally, following orders from President Rodrigo Duterte.

“They have been suspended for the time being. They (Washington) know it already,” Lorenzana said.

Lorenzana said that he had relayed the decision to the commander of the US Pacific Command when he was in Hawaii at the start of this month.

On the scrapping of all upcoming joint exercises with the US, Lorenzana indicated he was still not 100 percent sure of Duterte’s final plans.

“They will not be conducted anymore until we clarify if he (Duterte) means what he says,” Lorenzana said.

The allies began planning joint patrols under the previous Philippine government, which had sought to attract a greater US military presence in the region to counter Chinese efforts to take control of the South China Sea.

China claims nearly all of the sea, even waters close to the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations, and has in recent years built artificial islands in the disputed areas capable of hosting military bases.

Anti-drugs becomes anti-insurgency ops

The armed wing of the communist party, the New People’s Army (NPA), meanwhile, accused the AFP of using the Duterte administration’s all-out war against illegal drugs in pursing anti-NPA operations in various parts of the country.

NPA spokesman Jorge Madlos, alias Ka Oris, said that while the ceasefire between the revolutionary forces and the military is holding, the AFP has not observe President Duterte’s advice for the troops to be friendly with the communists.

“The people lament the fact that the AFP has yet to observe the advise of GRP President Duterte to be friendly with the NPA and their revolutionary government,” Madlos said.

“Contrary to such an advise, the AFP continues to conduct hostile operations against the NPA and against the people. Even the drug campaign is being used by the AFP to conduct anti-NPA operations,” he lamented.

According to Madlos, the military continued to conduct Oplan Bayanihan counter-insurgency intelligence, psychological war and combat operations in the guerrilla zones of the NPA from North Luzon to Southern Mindanao.

He said there were even reports stating that the military is telling civilians that the ceasefire is no longer in effect to justify their operations.


PHILSTAR

Pentagon: US focused on assistance to Philippines amid Duterte's tirades By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated October 7, 2016 - 1:06pm 2 351 googleplus0 0


Department of State spokesperson John Kirby said that the United States remains committed to its relationship with the Philippines despite the recent remarks of President Rodrigo Duterte. AP/Susan Walsh, File

MANILA, Philippines — The United States (US) remains focused on providing assistance to the Philippines despite the latest remarks of President Rodrigo Duterte, the Department of State said on Thursday.

Duterte recently challenged the United States, the European Union (EU) and human rights advocates to pull out their aid to the Philippines if they continue to criticize his anti-narcotics campaign.

"I do not expect the human rights (advocates), I do not expect (US President Barack) Obama, I do not expect the EU to understand me. Do not understand me and if you think it’s high time for you guys to withdraw your assistance, go ahead. We will not beg for it," Duterte said in a speech.

READ: Rody: Philippines will survive without foreign aid

US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said that the American government is focused on assistance efforts that will best benefit the Filipino people.

READ MORE...

"As I told you, we’re focused on the assistance that we’re providing now. And look, in Fiscal Year ’17 alone that assistance totals about $180 million, and that’s this fiscal year coming, and we’re committed to that," Kirby said in a press briefing.

Kirby cited the Leahy Law which assures that any units that violate international law will not get aid and assistance from the US.

"It’s a law we strongly believe in. And whether it’s in the Philippines or anywhere around the world, that review process is near continuous and it will remain so," the spokesperson said.

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

Sen. Patrick Leahy, author of the Leahy Law, stressed that the spate of killings in the country show Duterte's lack of respect for international human rights.

Duterte has repeatedly slammed the US, the United Nations and the EU for criticizing his campaign against illegal drugs.

"Kayong US, EU you can call me anything but I was never into or I am never into hypocrisy like you," Duterte said.

"There are migrants escaping from the Middle East. You allow them to rot and then you're worried about the deaths of about one thousand, or two thousand, or three thousand," the president said.

RELATED: Duterte decries Hitler comparison

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RELATED FROM ABS-CBN

'Duterte's policy statements haven't changed PH foreign policy' -Analyst  ABS-CBN News Posted at Oct 07 2016 04:07 PM


Herman Joseph S. Kraft, MA, Associate Professor Political Science, UP Diliman

MANILA-- President Rodrigo Duterte's controversial pronouncements on cutting ties with the United States has had no real effect as far as foreign policy is concerned, analysts said.

University of the Philippines political science professor Herman Kraft said despite the rumors of instability in the country's political landscape brought about by Duterte's controversial pronouncements, fundamental policies, particularly the country's foreign policy, remains untouched.

"Nothing has really changed even when he (Duterte) says those things. We've got statements from secretaries that things are still the same as far as fundamental policy is concerned," Kraft said.

Kraft explained that Duterte's emphasis on pushing for an independent foreign policy tends to be "overwhelmed by the colorful language."

He noted that emphasizing an independent foreign policy here in the Philippines means that the country has to be actually seen moving away from the United States.

"We have to move away from the previous administration's policy of being too close to the United States and then try to actually even things out by improving our relations with China and Russia," Kraft said.

Regina Capital managing director Luis Limlingan added that the move away from the United States can help the economy increase trade relations with others.

"In an ideal situation, you want to increase trade relations with all the economies so it's really a balancing act at the end of the day," he said.

Limlingan added that investors are more concerned on the policies of the Duterte administration concerning contractualization, tax reform, and mining than the pronouncements the president makes.

"You have to separate the pronouncement from the policy so I think and based from were gathering from our investors, I don't think they're following the pronouncements day to day, it's really the policy," Limlingan said.


PHILSTAR

Duterte’s first 100 days: So far, so ‘very good’ By Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 7, 2016 - 12:00am 1 200 googleplus0 0


FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016 file photo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, center, gestures as he poses with Philippine Army officers during his visit to the Army headquarters in suburban Taguig city, east of Manila, Philippines as U.S. and Philippine forces opened their first large scale combat exercises. An independent poll released Thursday, Oct. 6, showed that more than three-quarters of Filipinos are satisfied with President Rodrigo Duterte, even though he is under fire internationally for his deadly crackdown on suspected drug dealers and users. The survey, conducted by Social Weather Stations from Sept. 24 to Sept. 27 and published Thursday. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File

MANILA, Philippines - President Duterte has received a “very good” +64 net satisfaction rating at the end of his first three months in office, according to a recent survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

The survey – conducted from Sept. 24 to 27 and result of which was published in BusinessWorld yesterday – found that 76 percent of 1,200 respondents were satisfied with the performance of the President since he assumed office on June 30.

Eleven percent were dissatisfied, while 13 percent said they were undecided.

The net satisfaction rating was obtained by subtracting the dissatisfaction rating from the satisfaction rating.

SWS classifies net satisfaction ratings of at least +70 as “excellent”; +50 to +69 as “very good”; +30 to +49 as “good”; +10 to +29 as “moderate”; +9 to -9 as “neutral”; -10 to -29 as “poor”; -30 to -49 as “bad”; -50 to -69 as “very bad”; and -70 and below as “execrable.”

READ MORE...

Except for former president Fidel Ramos, who obtained a +66 net satisfaction rating (70 percent satisfied, four percent dissatisfied) in September 1992, Duterte edged out the ratings of all post-Marcos presidents in their first net satisfaction ratings after assuming office.

Former president Corazon Aquino obtained a “very good” 53 (60 percent satisfied, seven percent dissatisfied) in a survey conducted in May 1986, while former president Joseph Estrada a “very good” +60 (69 percent satisfied, nine percent dissatisfied) in September 1998.

Former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo obtained a “moderate” +24 (42 percent satisfied, 18 percent dissatisfied) in March 2001, two months after being sworn into office after the second people power. She obtained a “moderate” +12 (48 percent satisfied, 36 percent dissatisfied) in August 2004 after winning her second term.

Duterte’s predecessor, former president Benigno Aquino III, obtained a “very good” +60 (71 percent satisfied, 11 percent dissatisfied) in a September 2010 survey.

Based on the results of the survey, Duterte obtained an “excellent” +85 (88 percent satisfied, four percent dissatisfied, rounded off) net satisfaction rating in his bailiwick Mindanao, and “very good” scores in other locations.

He obtained +62 in the Visayas (75 percent satisfied, 14 percent dissatisfied, rounded off), +58 in Metro Manila (74 percent satisfied, 16 percent dissatisfied), and +57 in “balance Luzon” (70 percent satisfied, 13 percent dissatisfied).

'VERY GOOD' ACROSS ALL ECONOMIC CLASSES

Duterte also scored “very good” across all economic classes: +56 (69 percent satisfied, 16 percent dissatisfied) among those in ABC, while +65 (76 percent satisfied, 11 percent dissatisfied) each in classes D and E.

His net satisfaction was “very good” +63 and +67 in urban and rural areas, respectively, while he obtained an “excellent” +71 among men and a “very good” +58 among women.

In terms of educational attainment, Duterte got an “excellent” +71 among high school graduates and “very good” ratings in the rest: +65 among college graduates, +57 among elementary graduates and +54 among non-elementary school graduates.

Duterte’s satisfaction rating was also “excellent” among those aged 25 to 34 years old (+73) and those aged 35 to 44 years old (+71).

He obtained “very good” ratings among those in the 45 to 54 age bracket (+61), those above 55 (+58) and those in the youngest 18 to 24 age bracket (+55).

The non-commissioned survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adult respondents. It has a sampling error margin of plus or minus three points for national percentages.

Palace pleased Malacañang is pleased with the “very good” net satisfaction rating Duterte received on his first 100 days in office.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the results showed that Filipinos trust what the President is doing.

“We just like to say that the President is off to a very good start. Piggybacking on that is the World Bank report that Philippine economic growth is expected to accelerate to 6.4 percent (this year),” Abella said.

He also cited the Board of Investments report that the investment commitment in the country this year has so far soared 200 percent to P51 billion from P17 billion last year.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said he was not surprised with Duterte’s high satisfaction rating since he was overwhelmingly elected in the May 9 polls “on the strength of his platform of tunay na pagbabago (real change) anchored on a strong anti-drugs, anti-crime and anti-corruption agenda.”

“While the Duterte administration’s performance in the past three months is exemplary, this is not the time for complacency. There is much work to be done not only in eliminating the scourge of illegal drugs and crime, but also in fighting poverty and improving the lives of the underprivileged and the powerless,” Andanar said in a statement.

“More than ever, we ask for the full support of all Filipinos behind the President’s reform agenda so that we can achieve lasting peace and prosperity in the years ahead,” he added.

Militant protest Meanwhile, militant groups led by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) are set to hold a rally tomorrow to mark the 100th day in office of President Duterte.

Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes yesterday said the rally in Mendiola will call for the fulfillment of the People’s Agenda for Change crafted during the start of the Duterte administration.

Groups are pressing the administration to implement much needed socio-economic reforms in keeping with the President’s promise of change. – With Giovanni Nilles, Rhodina Villanueva

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RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

AI’s review of Rody’s ‘100 days of carnage’
Written by Tribune Wires Saturday, 08 October 2016 00:00



Almost 100 days after Rodrigo Duterte became president of the Philippines, a wave of unlawful killings has already claimed more than 3,000 lives, shattering progress on human rights in the country, Amnesty International (AI) said yesterday.

“Rodrigo Duterte’s first 100 days as president has been marked by state-sanctioned violence on a truly shocking scale. His brutal crackdown on those allegedly involved in drug crimes has led to carnage on the streets and the obliteration of key human rights, including the right to life and to due process,” said Rafendi Djamin, director of Southeast Asia and the Pacific at AI.

“Since he was elected, President Duterte has actively created a climate where anyone can kill, or be killed, in the name of the ‘war on drugs.’ This mass killing must end immediately and all those responsible, at all levels of command, must be brought to justice.”

The group added, “Duterte has promised to kill tens of thousands — and on one occasion millions — of people involved in the drugs trade. He has actively encouraged the killing of drug addicts themselves, as well as offering huge bounties to those who turn in drug lords, dead or alive. The ensuing bloodshed has affected bystanders as well as alleged criminals, including a five-year-old girl who was shot to death by two men on motorbikes and many others killed in cases of ‘mistaken identity.’ Many of the killings have been carried out by unknown assailants and there are credible reports of police complicity in these deaths.”

AI is calling for a Senate inquiry into extrajudicial killings, suspended on October 3, to continue, and for independent, impartial and transparent investigations — free from the influence of the police — into all killings which have taken place since June 30, 2016.

Killing with impunity

AI has repeatedly warned that Duterte’s calls have given police, vigilante groups and the general population a free reign to kill with impunity. He has issued and publicized “kill lists” — names of people allegedly associated with using or trading drugs — and suggested that murder by police or civilian actors will go unpunished.

These lists name officials, including judges, members of Congress, police and military officers, as being involved in the drugs trade, often without evidence. The group is deeply concerned that the lives of all the people on these lists are in immediate danger.

“The Philippine authorities have a duty to protect people, not expose them as targets. Recent reports that special teams of police are undertaking extrajudicial executions of those suspected of using or selling drugs is deeply alarming. Justice will never be achieved by death squads,” Djamin said.

“We are calling on the Philippine authorities to step back from the brink. End all unlawful killings and all incitement to violence and hatred. If President Duterte is really serious about tackling crime he should address its root causes, like widespread poverty and unemployment,” he added.

Beyond the war on drugs

As a presidential aspirant, Duterte pitched headline-worthy, anti-establishment pledges that obviously captured the attention of the voting public.

Passing through the honeymoon period, advocacy-driven groups are now demanding the outputs of now Duterte’s populist promises that have been plastered by the more noticeable bloody wrap of the administration’s war against illegal drugs.
Among these promises are the same old promises mouthed by his predecessors which ended up sketchy or nil.

FoI: Transparency or restrictions?

To Duterte’s credit, he was able to deliver the long-sought Freedom of Information (FoI) Executive Order on his 23rd day in office.
In announcing that the President inked EO 02, Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar trumpeted that it was a first step to end the 28-year-old legislative struggle by transparency and press-freedom groups to pass the FoI bill.

“Every Filipino shall have access to information, official records, public records and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions as well as government research data used as basis for public development,” Andanar, a former journalist, said of the EO.

In his cover letter to Congress for his proposed 2017 national budget, Duterte urged legislators to follow suit and pass the FoI bill for good.

“I am for openness in governance. I have fulfilled my campaign promise through the issuance of Executive Order No. 2, series of 2016, implementing the provisions of the proposed FoI law in the executive branch… Now, it’s Congress’ turn to immediately pass the long-overdue FoI law so that the people’s right to information will be honored across all branches and levels of government,” the President said.


INQUIRER

SWS: Duterte’s war on drugs earns ‘excellent’ rating; Keeping drug suspects alive ‘very important,’ says survey By: Nestor Corrales / @NCorralesINQ INQUIRER.net / 04:50 PM October 07, 2016


Confessed drug users and pushers gather in Pampanga province during a recent mass surrender ceremony in line with the government’s antidrug campaign. TONETTE OREJAS/INQUIRER CENTRAL LUZON

President Rodrigo Duterte’s no-nonsense war on drugs has earned an “excellent” rating from Filipinos, who also believe that catching drug suspects alive is “very important,” a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey has shown.

The survey, conducted from Sept. 24 to 27, revealed that 84 percent of the respondents were satisfied with Duterte’s war against illegal drugs while 8 percent are dissatisfied and another 8 percent remained undecided.

The question asked was “Please tell me how satisfied or dissatisfied you are with the performance of government in its campaign against illegal drugs?”

The survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adults nationwide and with sampling error margins of ±3 points.

READ MORE...

Respondents were also asked the question, ”In the police’s fulfillment of their duty in the campaign against illegal drugs, in your opinion, how important is it that they arrest suspects allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade alive?”

At least 71 percent of the respondents, however, said it was “very important” that the drug suspects were caught alive. It added that 23 percent said it was somewhat important, 5 percent said it was somewhat not important, and 2 percent said it was not important at all.

The survey showed that Duterte earned an “excellent” net satisfaction rating in across all areas and socioeconomic classes.

In Mindanao, the President got +87 while he got +76 in Visayas. In Luzon, he got a net satisfaction rating +71 net rating.

Across socioeconomic classes, Duterte’s crackdown on illegal drugs got +79 from class E, +79 among class ABC and +76 in class D.

The survey also found out that 83 percent of the respondents believed that the government’s fight against illegal drugs “does not discriminate by class.” At least 13 percent said it was centered on the poor and 4 percent said it was centered on the rich.

As of Oct. 2, 1,360 alleged drug personalities have been killed in police operations./rga

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SWS: Duterte begins presidency with ‘excellent’ trust rating

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA TIMES

First 100 days yield significant accomplishments BY CATHERINE S. VALENTE, TMT ON OCTOBER 8, 2016 TOP STORIES

WINNING on a campaign that promised “change,” President Rodrigo Duterte has produced a number of significant accomplishments in just 100 days in office, but his to-do list remains long.

Key accomplishments during the three-month period include the executive order on freedom of information (FOI), the intensified campaign against illegal drugs, the revival of peace talks with communist and Muslim rebels, a one-stop shop for overseas Filipino workers, and the crafting of a comprehensive tax reform plan.

Setting the tone of his governance, Duterte launched a bloody war to bring down drug dealers and narco-politicians, and rid the bureaucracy of red tape and corruption.

More than 3,300 people, however, have died in the administration’s anti-drug campaign, half of them killed by unknown assailants. The campaign has also seen over 22,000 drug suspects arrested and about 731,000 people turning themselves in to authorities.

In the process, the firebrand Duterte has earned condemnation overseas, with human rights groups claiming the President had encouraged summary killings in urging police to go tough on drug suspects and shoot those who resist arrest.

Duterte has unleashed repeated tirades against his foreign critics, among them US President Barack Obama, the US government, the United Nations, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and the European Union.

Malacañang claimed Duterte has made “dramatic progress” in the campaign against illegal drugs and corruption during his first 100 days in office.

“From where we are, from what we can see, he has made dramatic progress,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said.

 “Apparently the crackdown is making headway and the supply is being lowered, which tells us that the efforts against illegal drugs is succeeding.”

MOST ACTIVE PRESIDENT

For Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reforms, Duterte is “one of the most active presidents” as “he is doing what he promised.”

“Feeling mo tuloy ang tagal na niyang presidente. Wala pa siyang 100 days, marami na siyang nagawa. Marami na siyang nabago [You have the feeling he’s been President for a long time. He hasn’t even reached 100 days, and he’s done a lot. He has changed a lot of things],” Casiple told The Manila Times in an interview.

Casiple pointed out Duterte’s drug war was a “success not in terms of statistics but on its intended effect.”
Officials claim illegal drug supply in the country has been cut as much as by 90 percent, and crime has been reduced by 49 percent.

“Once we have peace and order, investors will come, the economy will improve, more jobs will be available, and poverty will go down,” Casiple said.

Business processes, hotlines

Duterte’s reputation of fulfilling his promises when he was mayor of Davao City has given businessmen plenty to look forward to.

George Barcelon, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the business community has felt improvements in the country three months into the Duterte presidency.

“We are very positive about what we’re seeing,” Barcelon said.

Donald Dee, chairman emeritus of the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines, said that unlike the past presidents, Duterte was “serious” in addressing the problems in the country, such as criminality.

“I have seen presidents come and go. But the 100 days that we are experiencing today, you know, has borne more fruits,” Dee said.

On reducing corruption in the bureaucracy, Abella highlighted the administration’s efforts to streamline government transactions, including the processing of permits and licenses.

“The streamlining of the business processes is already one step towards avoiding corruption,” he said.

Duterte is seeking to simplify government transactions to minimize opportunities for graft. At the Bureau of Customs, an office was created to centralize collections. The President has asked local governments to cut the time for new business registrations to two days from several weeks and automate some transactions.

Preempting Congress that has sat on the freedom of information bill for decades, Duterte signed an executive order requiring all officials of the Executive department officials to be transparent and disclose to the people information on government transactions.

The government also launched the 911 rescue and 8888 complaint hotlines, programs that were warmly received by the public.

Peace with communists, Muslims

In his first 100 days, Duterte embarked on a tour of Armed Forces of the Philippines camps to explain to the troops his efforts toward addressing decades-old rebellions waged by communists and Muslims.

“My job is to bring peace. My job is to talk to the enemies of the state, and see if I could make a difference in our lives,” Duterte had said.

Talks between the government and communist rebels began in August in Oslo, Norway, and the second round is underway. Chief negotiator Silvestre Bello 3rd expects a deal to be done in 12 months.

Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza has also met with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to jumpstart efforts to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which expands the scope and powers of the Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao.

Duterte, meanwhile, has brought the rival Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to the mix, by promising that the group’s founder, Nur Misuari, won’t be arrested over rebellion charges.

EXCEPTIONAL JOB

For former National Security Council adviser Jose Almonte, what Duterte has done in his first 100 days was “ exceptional.”

He counted as Duterte’s achievements the indefinite ceasefire with the communist rebels, the continuing negotiation on the socioeconomic component of the peace process with the communists, and his talks with the MILF and MNLF.

“Why are we in this situation? We are here because we have not solved our internal problem of fighting each other … incidentally, this is what President Duterte is primarily addressing,” Almonte said.

Other significant accomplishments of the first 100 days include re-engaging China, which had lost the case filed by the Philippines before the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration regarding the West Philippine Sea, following the appointment of former president Fidel Ramos as special envoy; and the approval of the increase in the combat and incentive pay of soldiers and police personnel through Executive Order 3, which took effect on September 1.


PHILSTAR

Philippines, US halt plans on joint South China Sea patrols By Jim Gomez (Associated Press) | Updated October 7, 2016 - 4:42pm 76 7232 googleplus1 0


PUT ON HOLD: In this Oct. 3, 2016 photo, Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship USNS Washington Chambers (T-AKE 11), left, conducts a vertical replenishment with amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), while amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) conducts a fueling at sea with Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Walter S. Diehl. Bonhomme Richard, flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, is operating in the South China Sea in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific region. US Navy/Jeanette Mullinax/Released

MANILA, Philippines —Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Friday that he told the U.S. military that plans for joint patrols and naval exercises in the disputed South China Sea have been put on hold, the first concrete break in defense cooperation after months of increasingly strident comments by the country's new president.

Lorenzana also said that 107 U.S. troops involved in operating surveillance drones against Muslim militants would be asked to leave the southern part of the country once the Philippines acquires those intelligence-gathering capabilities in the near future.

President Rodrigo Duterte also wants to halt the 28 military exercises that are carried out with U.S. forces each year, Lorenzana said. Duterte has said he wants an ongoing U.S.-Philippine combat exercise to be the last during his six-year presidency as he backs away from what he views as too much dependence on the U.S.

READ MORE...

Duterte, who took office in June, has had an uneasy relationship with the U.S., his country's longtime treaty ally, saying in recent speeches that he wants to scale back the presence of visiting U.S. troops in the country, along with the annual bilateral military exercises.

But while some Filipino officials have walked back on Duterte's sometimes crude anti-U.S. pronouncements — early this week he told President Barack Obama "to go to hell" — Lorenzana's comments show for the first time that the Duterte administration will act by rolling back cooperation with the U.S. military in the Philippines.

Despite the difficult stage in the country's relations with its former colonizer, Lorenzana remained optimistic that those ties would eventually bounce back.

"I think it's just going through these bumps on the road," Lorenzana told a news conference. "Relationships sometimes go to this stage ... but over time it will be patched up."

Duterte's falling out with Washington will not necessarily spread to U.S. allies such as Japan, for example, which has committed to delivering patrol ships for the Philippine coast guard and has signed a deal to lease five small surveillance planes the country can use to bolster its territorial defense. The planes may arrive as early as next month, Lorenzana said.

The U.S. and Japan have helped the Philippines develop its capabilities to safeguard and defend its territorial waters amid China's increasingly aggressive actions in the South China Sea. Under Duterte's predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, the U.S. and Philippine militaries twice staged naval exercises near the disputed waters.

The split in military relations comes as Duterte, who describes himself as a leftist politician, has lashed out against U.S. government criticism of his deadly crackdown against illegal drugs, which has left more than 3,600 suspects dead in just three months, alarming Western governments and human rights groups.

While taking a critical stance on U.S. security policies, Duterte has reached out to China and Russia. Lorenzana said he has been ordered by Duterte to travel to Beijing and Moscow to discuss what defense equipment the Philippines can acquire from them.

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RELATED FROM ABS-CBN

Duterte's 'independent' foreign policy not just about war games: analyst ABS-CBN News
Posted at Sep 30 2016 05:14 PM

st
Duterte's 'independent' foreign policy not just about war games: analyst ABS-CBN FILE

MANILA-- President Rodrigo Duterte's call for an independent foreign policy goes beyond revisiting joint exercises and patrols with its traditional allies, a political analyst said.

University of the Philippines (UP) Vice President for Public Affairs Prospero De Vera explained that the way some groups frame foreign policy is very simplistic, likening the matter to war games and associating it only to military activities.

"Pursuing an independent foreign policy covers a whole range of other activities. Military activities are only part of it. The bigger part are economic relations, cultural relations, trade, exchanges, etc.," he said.

In a speech before the Filipino community in Hanoi, Vietnam, Duterte said the upcoming joint military exercises between the Philippines and the United States in October will be the last one.

De Vera added that Duterte is serious in pushing for an independent foreign policy and opening exchanges with countries besides the United States.

"He is serious about an independent foreign policy with the Philippine interest in mind, our national interest in mind, and opening exchanges with other countries that we have deemed to be unacceptable in the past because of our Cold War, because of our historical colonization," De Vera said.

The newly-appointed Commission on Higher Education commissioner added that Duterte's pronouncements are "unsettling" for some Filipinos since the country has been accustomed to presidents who bow to the United States.

"I think it's because Filipinos have not seen in the past presidents who would stand up against the United States. And now you have a president who speaks out his mind and speaks it out repeatedly at every instant and this is unsettling to some people and I suppose this is why everyone is trying to figure out exactly what does he mean because we're not accustomed to it," he said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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