PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE: Since 1997 © Copyright (PHNO) http://newsflash.org



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

VIOLENT ANTI-US RALLY: AN ANGRY CHIEF 'BATO' ORDERED PROBE OF PROTEST DISPERSAL ASAP; ORDERED ALL COPS INVOLVED RELIEVED OF DUTY
[RELATED: ‘PURE INSANITY’ Office of Presidential Advisers for Peace(OPAPP) joins call for probe over ‘violent’ rally dispersal at US embassy]
[RELATED(2): President to meet police, protesters in violent dispersal]


OCTOBER 20 -Protesters hit a Philippine National Police van after it rammed into protesters outside the U.S. Embassy in Manila Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. The police van rammed into protesters, leaving several bloodied, as an anti-U.S. rally turned violent Wednesday at the embassy. The protesters, consisting of students, workers and tribespeople, were demanding an end to the presence of visiting U.S. troops in the Philippines and to support a call by President Rodrigo Duterte for a foreign policy not dependent on the U.S., the country's longtime treaty ally. AP/Bullit Marquez
Philippine National Police Director General Ronald Dela Rosa on Thursday assured the public that the police officers involved in the violent dispersal outside the US embassy are now being investigated. “With what transpired at Roxas Boulevard in Ermita, Manila yesterday, an investigation and full review is underway and necessary sanctions will be levied on any personnel guilty for putting lives at risk,” Dela Rosa said in a statement. Dela Rosa said he ordered National Capital Region Police Office Regional Director Chief Superintendent Oscar Albayalde to place all the officers involved in the dispersal under administrative relief to ensure the impartiality of the probe. READ MORE.. RELATED, ‘PURE INSANITY’ Office of Presidential Advisers for Peace(OPAPP) joins call for probe over ‘violent’ rally dispersal at US embassy...RELATED(2)
President to meet police, protesters in violent dispersal...

ALSO: 9 MPD officials dismissed after US Embassy violent dispersal
[RELATED: Police driver in embassy rally sacked, faces raps]


OCTOBER 21 -The feet of an unidentified militant are still visible under this police vehicle, as two other companions sprawl on the pavement after a violent dispersal of a rally outside the United States Embassy on Roxas Boulevard in Manila, Wednesday. A top Manila official denied giving any order for the police to fire tear gas and run over rallyists with the police vehicle, causing injury to dozens of militants and policemen. Story on Page 4. (Jansen Romero/ Manila Bulletin)
Nine Manila Police District (MPD) officers have been put under administrative relief Thursday, October 20, in connection with the violent dispersal of protesters outside the US Embassy on Wednesday. Philippine National Police chief, Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, has ordered their relief to National Capital Region Police (NCRPO) director, Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde. READ MORE..RELATED, Police driver in embassy rally sacked, faces raps...

ALSO: Duterte aligns Philippines with China, says U.S. has lost
[RELATED: China gives PHL P714.57M for campaign on illegal drugs, police cooperation]


OCTOBER 21 -Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands after a signing ceremony held in Beijing.© REUTERS/Ng Han Guan/Pool
BEIJING, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced his "separation" from the United States on Thursday, declaring he had realigned with China as the two agreed to resolve their South China Sea dispute through talks. Duterte made his comments in Beijing, where he is visiting with at least 200 business people to pave the way for what he calls a new commercial alliance as relations with longtime ally Washington deteriorate. "In this venue, your honours, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States," Duterte told Chinese and Philippine business people, to applause, at a forum in the Great Hall of the People attended by Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli. "Both in military, not maybe social, but economics also. America has lost." READ MORE...RELATED,
China gives PHL P714.57M for campaign on illegal drugs, police cooperation...

ALSO Press club's gift to US Ambassador Goldberg: A wine that sounds like 'Duterte'
[RELATED: Americans in country jittery over Duterte's anti-US tirades]


OCTOBER 21 -AMBASSADOR GOLDBERG: To remind him of the Philippines, a group of mediamen gave outgoing United States Ambassador Philip Goldberg a bottle of wine as a gift.But not just an ordinary wine, but a wine that sounds like the surname of President Rodrigo Duterte. A report on "Balitanghali" on Wednesday said the Manila Overseas Press Club (MOPC) gave Goldberg a bottle of "Chateau du Terte" to remind him of the Philippines. READ MORE...RELATED, Americans in country jittery over Duterte's anti-US tirades...

ALSO:
US has few good options for response to Duterte
[RELATED: FLASHBACK IN MAY 2016: Duterte tells Obama he may talk directly with China if...]
[RELATED(2): Duterte’s anti-US talk baffles some Chinese, too – analyst]


OCTOBER 21 -WASHINGTON - The Obama administration has few good options and limited leverage as it struggles to craft a response to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's increasingly hostile rhetoric towards the United States and his warm embrace of China. For months, Washington has played down Duterte's anti-American insults and broadsides. But the flamboyant new leader raised the stakes to a new level on Thursday when he announced his "separation" from long-time ally the United States and realignment with Beijing and possibly even Moscow, America's two main strategic rivals. Duterte's latest outburst, less than three weeks before the US presidential election, casts further doubt on the seven-decade US-Philippine alliance and threatens to further undermine President Barack Obama's faltering "pivot" to Asia as a counterbalance to China's growing assertiveness. READ MORE...RELATED, FLASHBACK IN MAY 2016: Duterte tells Obama he may talk directly with China if... RELATED(2), Duterte’s anti-US talk baffles some Chinese, too – analyst...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

'Angered' Bato says probe of dispersal at US embassy underway


Protesters hit a Philippine National Police van after it rammed into protesters outside the U.S. Embassy in Manila Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. The police van rammed into protesters, leaving several bloodied, as an anti-U.S. rally turned violent Wednesday at the embassy. The protesters, consisting of students, workers and tribespeople, were demanding an end to the presence of visiting U.S. troops in the Philippines and to support a call by President Rodrigo Duterte for a foreign policy not dependent on the U.S., the country's longtime treaty ally. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, OCTOBER 24, 2016 (PHILSTAR)  By Rosette Adel October 20, 2016 - 5:00pm - Philippine National Police Director General Ronald Dela Rosa on Thursday assured the public that the police officers involved in the violent dispersal outside the US embassy are now being investigated.

“With what transpired at Roxas Boulevard in Ermita, Manila yesterday, an investigation and full review is underway and necessary sanctions will be levied on any personnel guilty for putting lives at risk,” Dela Rosa said in a statement.

Dela Rosa said he ordered National Capital Region Police Office Regional Director Chief Superintendent Oscar Albayalde to place all the officers involved in the dispersal under administrative relief to ensure the impartiality of the probe.

READ MORE...

READ: 9 cops in violent dispersal at US embassy rally relieved, says NCRPO

Hundreds of protesters gathered to demand an end to the presence of US troops in the country and to back a call for an independent foreign policy by President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday. The protest turned violent after a clash between rallyists and Manila police.

Some protesters were arrested after the dispersal operation.

"Napanood ko ang video at nakakalungkot at nakakagalit.I saw people got hurt. Ayaw na ayaw ko na may nasasaktan na Pilipino. But I cannot let emotions get the best of me. As chief of the PNP, I have a duty and moral obligation to look into this squarely, and deal with it swiftly and decisively,” Dela Rosa said.

He said the president has already been informed of the incident. He said Duterte stressed the obligations of the police to serve and protect the people. The president said, however, that there would be no "blame game" until the investigation into the incident is done.

“Our other priority now, is to look into the victims, and check on their recovery and safety after such an unfortunate incident," he added.

The PNP chief said ”the police force recognizes and upholds the citizens’ right to peaceful assembly.” He said the police are instructed to exercise maximum tolerance in such public assemblies, with public safety and protection of human life an utmost concern and topmost priority.

Dela Rosa’s statement came after several senators condemned the Manila Police District’s response to the protest and called for a probe. Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III particularly asked Dela Rosa to immediately investigate the police personnel involved.

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

RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

‘PURE INSANITY’ OPAPP joins call for probe over ‘violent’ rally dispersal at US embassy Published October 21, 2016 11:59am

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) has also called for an investigation on the "violent" dispersal of protesters in front of the US Embassy last Wednesday.

In a statement issued on Friday, the OPAPP, headed by Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza, said: "We demand immediate, thorough, and impartial investigation."

The agency tagged the dispersal as "pure insanity," and said they are "shocked and appalled" by the incident, especially since it involved indigenous peoples.

Initial investigation showed that some 22 protesters and 35 police personnel were hurt in the incident.

"No amount of justification can cover up for the harsh and bloody breakup of the rally," the statement read. "We will not condone these unjustifiable acts and we expect expeditious actions."

‘Reprehensible’

Several police officers have been relieved from their posts, including Sr. Supt. Marcelino Pedrozo, deputy director for operations of the Manila Police District, who was heard telling policemen to fight the protesters in the dispersal, as well as PO3 Franklin Kho, the driver of the police van that rammed through protesters.

The OPAPP scored the failure of the police, in particular its ground commander, "to employ maximum restraint and pursue peaceful tact in dealing with the protesters."

"It was unfortunate and reprehensible that police officers on the ground failed to distinguish legitimate forms of protests and appreciate the context, conditions, and atmosphere prevailing," it said.

It also noted that the use of "unnecessary and excessive force" in dealing with "legitimate" dissent from people "is not the policy and character" of the Duterte administration.

It added that the administration believes "non-violent approaches and sincere dialogues are far superior approaches to legitimate dissent rather than vicious confrontations."


PO3 Franklin Kho

Call to protesters

The OPAPP said it "commisserate(s)" with those wounded in the clash—"protesters and policemen alike."

It also called on the protesters "to also exercise restraint and refrain from provoking" the policemen.

The agency assured them that issues behind the protests are being dealt with by the government.

"We are in the process of finding lasting, just, and principled peace to end the war in the countryside. Through the peace processes the Duterte administration is pursuing, we aim to address the issues behind these protests," it said.

It added: "It will be unfortunate if we will fail to achieve peace because of the propensity of others to use excessive force in dealing with dissent."

"Lastly, let not this incident prevent us from pursuing our goal of achieving elusive peace in our motherland," it went on. —Rose-An Jessica Dioquino/KG, GMA News

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

RELATED(2) FROM THE MANILA TIMES

President to meet police, protesters in violent dispersal
BY CATHERINE S. VALENTE, TMT AND ANGELICA BALLESTEROS, TMT ON ON OCTOBER 23, 2016 TOP STORIES


Protesters lie on the ground after being hit by a police van during a rally in front of the U.S. embassy in Manila. AFP.

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said he would personally look into the violent dispersal of protesters in front of the United States Embassy last Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters in Davao City on Friday night, the President said he wanted to speak with both the police and activists “to know what really happened.”

“I intend to look at it. I will try to talk to the police, invite him for coffee and I will talk to the activists … I would like to know what really happened,” Duterte said in a news conference after his arrival from a state visit to China.

It was unclear whether Duterte specifically wanted to have coffee with Police Officer 3 Franklin Kho, who was seen in a viral video driving a police vehicle and running over the protesters.

But the President offered a possible explanation on the police’s actions.

“The police said natakot kasi na-corner sila [The police said they got scared because they were cornered]. There were just two of them, I think, in the crowd, they were surrounded by the group of militants,” Duterte said.

But he added: “I’m not justifying it. Just a maybe, baka he was under stress … they might gang up on him, hurt him, and so he acted on a, by instinct, self preservation … Hindi naman talaga `yung may gusto siyang patayin [He really had no intention to kill anyone].”

The President said he would question the police and activists himself.

“I would do the questioning myself,” Duterte said, adding that he did not want to see violence between police and the protesters, from the left or the right of the political spectrum, in the future.

He noted that his government had launched peace talks with communist rebels.

“We should stop it because we are talking and we are all Filipinos. I do not want anybody hurt there. Not the police, not the young militants,” he said.

“It’s about time that we should really treat this as a matter with civility.”

Piya Malayao, secretary general of the Katribu group who was among those hurt at the protest dispersal, said she was awaiting the President’s invitation, but cases would still be filed against the police officers.

Malayao and other protesters submitted the “findings” of their own probe into the incident to Malacañang on Friday.

“We are open to his invitation and we will wait for it to happen,” she said in an interview.

Malayao added: “At least he (Duterte) admitted that he still needed to know what actually transpired. Initially we are relieved by his pronouncement that he will be meeting with both the police and the demonstrators and personally do the questioning.”

“Even the President knows and values protests. The Manila Police District has much to learn on this matter.”

Administrative, criminal

Members of indigenous peoples’ groups plan to file administrative and criminal charges against the law enforcers involved in the violent dispersal, specifically Manila Police District official Marcelino Pedroso and Kho, said Jerome Succor Aba, national spokesperson of the Suara Bangsamoro group, in an interview with The Manila Times.

“We have evidence, fact sheets on the affidavit that we submitted to Malacañang,” he said.

In the meeting with the President, activists will call for an independent team to investigate the violent dispersal, Aba said.

The group recalled the probe into the dispersal of the Kidapawan farmers’ rally spearheaded by the PNP in April, which went nowhere.

“We do not trust any investigations that will be made by the PNP because they are the perpetrators of the violent dispersal,” Aba said.


MANILA BULLETIN

9 MPD officials dismissed after US Embassy violent dispersal by MB Online October 20, 2016 (updated) Share8 Tweet1 Share0 Email0 Share54 image: http://www.mb.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Rammed-mb1.jpg


The feet of an unidentified militant are still visible under this police vehicle, as two other companions sprawl on the pavement after a violent dispersal of a rally outside the United States Embassy on Roxas Boulevard in Manila, Wednesday. A top Manila official denied giving any order for the police to fire tear gas and run over rallyists with the police vehicle, causing injury to dozens of militants and policemen. Story on Page 4. (Jansen Romero/ Manila Bulletin)

Nine Manila Police District (MPD) officers have been put under administrative relief Thursday, October 20, in connection with the violent dispersal of protesters outside the US Embassy on Wednesday.

Philippine National Police chief, Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, has ordered their relief to National Capital Region Police (NCRPO) director, Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde.

READ MORE...

Among those dismissed are Senior Supt. Marcelino Pedrozo and PO3 Franklin Kho, the driver who rammed the police mobile at the protesters.

“Napanood ko ang video at nakakalungkot at nakakagalit. I saw people got hurt. Ayaw na ayaw ko na may nasasaktan na Pilipino,” dela Rosa said in a statement.

But the PNP chief assured to observe impartiality in investigating the incident.

Dela Rosa also said President Rodrigo Duterte, who is in China, has been apprised about the incident and “he stressed on the obligations of our police to serve and protect the people,” adding that the president expects a “clear investigation.”

Dela Rosa added the PNP will also “look into the victims and check on their recovery and safety.”

Meanwhile, the Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives has filed a resolution to investigate the violent dispersal by police of the protesters—composed mostly of left-wing militants and ethnic groups who expressed their support to President Duterte’s pursuit of an independent foreign policy as a way of distancing from the US.

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Police driver in embassy rally sacked, faces raps By Non Alquitran (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 21, 2016 - 12:00am 4 538 googleplus0 0


Manila Police District (MPD) chief Senior Supt. Joel Coronel said Police Officer 3 Franklin Kho of the District Police Security Battalion (DPSB) could face criminal charges for serious physical injuries after he drove the van that rammed and injured protesters.

MANILA, Philippines - The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) relieved yesterday nine police officers involved in the violent dispersal of militant activists in front of the US embassy in Manila last Wednesday, including the policeman who rammed protesters with a van.

Manila Police District (MPD) chief Senior Supt. Joel Coronel said Police Officer 3 Franklin Kho of the District Police Security Battalion (DPSB) could face criminal charges for serious physical injuries after he drove the van that rammed and injured protesters.

Coronel said the policeman could also be held liable for gross misconduct, particularly violation of existing police operation procedures.

NCRPO director Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde said the relieved police officials included Senior Supt. Marcelino Pedrozo, MPD deputy district director for operations, whom witnesses heard to be directing the dispersal of the rallyists.

Also relieved were Supt. Albert Barot, Station 5 commander; Chief Insp. Dionelle Brannon, commander of the Pedro Gil police precinct; Chief Insp. Elmer Oseo, deputy commander of Station 5; Chief Insp. Joebie Astucia, operations chief of Station 5; Chief Insp. Roberto Marinda, Company commander the augmentation force; Chief Insp. Roberto Mangune, commander of the US embassy team; and Senior Insp. Edgardo Orongan, chief operations officer of the DPSB.

Albayalde directed Pedrozo and the eight other policemen to report to the NCRPO Regional Police Holding Administrative Unit (RPHAU) while the investigation on the incident is ongoing.

The Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) was tasked to investigate the incident.

A police van driven by Kho rammed into protesters, leaving several bloodied. At least 40 people including over 20 police officers were hurt after policemen clashed with the demonstrators.

“Pedrozo and his fellow police officials would be temporarily assigned at the RPHAU for the easy issuance of summons pertaining to the investigation being conducted by the CIDG,” said Albayalde.

He said the relief of the nine police officials was made to pave the way for an impartial investigation of the incident.

Those relieved would be temporarily replaced by their respective deputies, he added.

According to Albayalde, there is no evidence as yet to warrant the relief of Coronel on the principle of command responsibility.

Director Benjamin Magalong, PNP deputy chief for operations, admitted policemen committed some lapses in the police operational procedures (POP), which resulted in the injuries of both policemen and rallyists.


GMA NEWS OCTOBER 21 -Number of cops sacked over violent dispersal now 62. The number of Manila policemen relieved of their duties in connection with Wednesday's violent dispersal of rallyists near the US Embassy has increased Friday, a report on "Balita Pilipinas" said. The report said from 49 on Thursday, the number climbed to 62 on Friday, including Senior Supt. Marcelino Pedrozo and PO3 Franklin Kho, the driver of the police vehicle that rammed through the protesters. ABS-CBN PHOTO

Magalong said the PNP will investigate the entire scrum, not only the ramming incident.

Coronel pointed out that the protesters also committed several violations that could have contributed to the chaos.

He said the protesters had no permit to rally, which is illegal.

Coronel said the police had enforced maximum tolerance but there were unprovoked actions by the militants, who stormed the gates and threw paint and other debris as well as spray painted the perimeter walls of the embassy which, under the Vienna convention, the government is obliged to protect.

Supt. Surki Sereñas, spokesman for Region 10 police, condemned the policemen involved in the violent dispersal of protesters.

“We are saddened at the thought that a policeman figured in an unfortunate incident involving rallyists being rammed and injured,” said Sereñas in a statement.

Sereñas said they empathize with the victims as he reiterated that the police have no policy to hurt people.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II is studying if the National Bureau of Investigation should join the probe.

He said a parallel investigation of the NBI with the police probe might be necessary to dispel fears of a whitewash.

House probe

Lawmakers yesterday called for a House inquiry on the violent police dispersal of protesters at the US embassy.

The seven members of the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives that included party-list Reps. Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna, Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas of women’s group Gabriela, Antonio Tinio and France Castro of Act Teachers, Ariel Casilao of Anakpawis and Sarah Elago of Kabataan filed House resolution 487 calling for an impartial probe of the clash of the policemen with anti-US activists.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III called on the leadership of the PNP to investigate the violent incident and to “take action against those responsible, uniformed or otherwise.”

In calling for the probe by the PNP, Pimentel appealed to the public not to rush to judgment based on the footage of the incident alone, which has sparked widespread condemnation.

Video footage showed a police vehicle backing into protesters.

Pimentel clarified that his call does not mean he is presuming guilt on any party.

“The video on its own is very disturbing, but is not the whole picture. We must not pass judgment until we know the whole story,” he said.

Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon said the deadly force used by the police is alarming and warrants a full-blown investigation by the PNP and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a former PNP chief, came to the defense of the policeman who drove the wayward van and the PNP as an institution.

“That was a judgment call made by one policeman behind the wheel of a police van who might have felt threatened by the possibility of being lynched by the protesters, and who impulsively drove the van wherever he could to avoid the dire consequences of his inaction,” Lacson said.

“I think it’s unfair to the Philippine National Police as an institution to be accused of police brutality. It was a personal judgment call of the driver of the van. Maximum tolerance or not, he acted based on his appreciation of the situation prevailing at the time he made that move,” he added.

Police lobbed tear gas and arrested at least 20 protesters.

Sen. Richard Gordon said both sides should be taken to task for the incident, but more so the policemen who ran over and hit the protesters.

The protesters, mostly members of indigenous peoples’ alliance Sandugo, Bayan and Alliance of Health Workers, trooped to the US embassy at around 10 a.m. and held a program in front of its main gate to dramatize the plight of indigenous communities.

Some activists splashed red paint on the gate of the embassy and on the police officers securing the gate.

Others wrote graffiti on the white perimeter fence of the embassy.

Rallyists were supposed to end their program around noon by burning a US flag and the indigenous groups performing a war dance, when the violent dispersal occurred.

The left-leaning lawmakers stated in their resolution that they want an immediate investigation in aid of legislation of the US embassy dispersal by the House committee on human rights chaired by Zambales Rep. Cheryl Montalla-Deloso.

With Marvin Sy, Delon Porcalla, Cecille Suerte Felipe, Marvin Sy, Janvic Mateo, Edu Punay, Gerry Lee Gorit


REUTERS WORLD NEWS

Duterte aligns Philippines with China, says U.S. has lost Reuters Reuters 6 hrs ago


Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands after a signing ceremony held in Beijing.© REUTERS/Ng Han Guan/Pool

BEIJING, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced his "separation" from the United States on Thursday, declaring he had realigned with China as the two agreed to resolve their South China Sea dispute through talks.

Duterte made his comments in Beijing, where he is visiting with at least 200 business people to pave the way for what he calls a new commercial alliance as relations with longtime ally Washington deteriorate.

"In this venue, your honours, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States," Duterte told Chinese and Philippine business people, to applause, at a forum in the Great Hall of the People attended by Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli.

"Both in military, not maybe social, but economics also. America has lost."

READ MORE...

Duterte's efforts to engage China, months after a tribunal in the Hague ruled that Beijing did not have historic rights to the South China Sea in a case brought by the previous administration in Manila, marks a reversal in foreign policy since the 71-year-old former mayor took office on June 30.

His trade secretary, Ramon Lopez, said $13.5 billion in deals would be signed during the China trip.


DUTERTE IN CHINA

"I've realigned myself in your ideological flow and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to (President Vladimir) Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world - China, Philippines and Russia. It's the only way," Duterte told his Beijing audience.

Duterte's remarks will prompt fresh concern in the United States, where the Obama administration has seen Manila as an important ally in its "rebalance" of resources to Asia in the face of a rising China.

The administration agreed a deal with Duterte's predecessor granting U.S. forces rotational access to bases in the Philippines and further doubts will be raised about the future of this arrangement.

WASHINGTON BAFFLED

In Washington, the U.S. State Department said it was "baffled" by Duterte's comments and would seek an explanation when Daniel Russel, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, visits Manila this weekend.

"We are going to be seeking an explanation of exactly what the president meant when he talked about separation from the U.S.," said State Department spokesman John Kirby. "It's not clear to us exactly what that means in all its ramifications."

Both the State Department and the White House portrayed Duterte's comments as being at odds with the close, long-standing alliance between the two countries. They said Washington would welcome closer ties between Beijing and Manila, however.

"The U.S.-Philippine alliance is built on a 70-year history, rich with people to people ties and a long list of shared security concerns," White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters, noting that the administration has not received any request from Filipino officials to alter bilateral cooperation.

A few hours after Duterte's speech, his top economic policymakers released a statement saying that, while Asian economic integration was "long overdue," that did not mean the Philippines was turning its back on the West.

"We will maintain relations with the West but we desire stronger integration with our neighbors," said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia in a joint statement. "We share the culture and a better understanding with our region."

RED CARPET WELCOME

China has pulled out all the stops to welcome Duterte, including a marching band complete with a baton-twirling band master at his official greeting ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People, which is not extended to most leaders.

President Xi Jinping, meeting Duterte earlier in the day, called the visit a "milestone" in ties.

Xi told Duterte that China and the Philippines were brothers and they could "appropriately handle disputes," though he did not mention the South China Sea in remarks made in front of reporters.

"I hope we can follow the wishes of the people and use this visit as an opportunity to push China-Philippines relations back on a friendly footing and fully improve things," Xi said.

Following their meeting, during which Duterte said relations with China had entered a new "springtime," Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said the South China Sea issue was not the sum total of relations.

"The two sides agreed that they will do what they agreed five years ago, that is to pursue bilateral dialog and consultation in seeking a proper settlement of the South China Sea issue," Liu said.

China claims most of the energy-rich South China Sea through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. Neighbours Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.

In 2012, China seized the disputed Scarborough Shoal and denied Philippine fishermen access to its fishing grounds.

Liu said the shoal was not mentioned and he did not answer a question about whether Philippine fishermen would be allowed there. He said both countries had agreed on coastguard and fisheries cooperation, but did not give details.


Demonstrators chant anti-China slogans during a rally over the South China Sea disputes by different activist groups, outside the Chinese Consulate in Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines July 12, 2016. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

SEA DISPUTE TAKES 'BACK SEAT'

Duterte's tone towards Beijing is in stark contrast to the language he has used against the United States, after being infuriated by U.S. criticism of his bloody war on drugs.

He has called U.S. President Barack Obama a "son of a bitch" and told him to "go to hell," while alluding to severing ties with the old colonial power.

On Wednesday, to the cheers of hundreds of Filipinos in Beijing, Duterte said Philippine foreign policy was veering towards China.

"I will not go to America anymore. We will just be insulted there," Duterte said. "So time to say goodbye my friend."

The same day, about 1,000 anti-U.S. protesters gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Manila calling for the removal of U.S. troops from the southern island of Mindanao.

Duterte's abrupt pivot from Washington to Beijing is unlikely to be universally popular at home, however. On Tuesday an opinion poll showed Filipinos still trust the United States far more than China.

Duterte on Wednesday said the South China Sea arbitration case would "take the back seat" during talks, and that he would wait for the Chinese to bring up the issue rather than doing so himself.

Xi said issues that could not be immediately be resolved should be set aside, according to the Chinese foreign ministry.

China has welcomed the Philippines approaches, even as Duterte has vowed not to surrender any sovereignty to Beijing, which views the South China Sea Hague ruling as null and void.

China has also expressed support for his drug war, which has raised concern in Western capitals about extrajudicial killing.

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

RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

China gives PHL P714.57M for campaign on illegal drugs, police cooperation Published October 21, 2016 11:53am
The People's Republic of China is giving the Philippines a RMB100 million grant to partly cover the Duterte administration's campaign against illegal drugs and law enforcement security cooperation between the two countries.

The amount is equivalent to almost $15 million or P714.57 million.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng signed an agreement on October 20, the Department of Finance said in a statement on Friday.

The pact was signed in the presence of President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

“In accordance with the needs of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, the Government of the People’s Republic of China agrees to provide the Government of the Philippines with a grant of RMB Yuan 100,000,000 which shall be disbursed to implement the projects for anti-illegal drugs and law enforcement security cooperation," the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation read.

The specific projects covered by the grant will be stipulated in subsequent agreements to be signed by Manila and Beijing.

"The pact shall be in force until the day the two governments have fulfilled their obligations under the grant," the DOF said. — Ted Cordero/VDS, GMA News


GMA NEWS NETWORK

Press club's gift to US Ambassador Goldberg: A wine that sounds like 'Duterte' Published October 19, 2016 1:58pm

To remind him of the Philippines, a group of mediamen gave outgoing United States Ambassador Philip Goldberg a bottle of wine as a gift.

But not just an ordinary wine, but a wine that sounds like the surname of President Rodrigo Duterte.

A report on "Balitanghali" on Wednesday said the Manila Overseas Press Club (MOPC) gave Goldberg a bottle of "Chateau du Terte" to remind him of the Philippines.

READ MORE...

Goldberg and Duterte had a falling out after the president called him “bakla” or “gay” for his negative reaction over Duterte's remarks about the rape of an Australian missionary in 1989 during the campaign.

READ Duterte: Ignore my tirade against Goldberg, PHL-US alliance remains strong

Duterte said Goldberg should not have "meddled" with the issue.

Aside from the wine, the MOPC also awarded Goldberg with a plaque recognizing America's efforts to aid Leyte after the province was ravaged by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

The outgoing ambassador will return to the US after a three-year stint in the Philippines.

Goldberg said he would bring with him happy memories when he leaves the Philippines. —Jessica Bartolome/KBK, GMA News

VIDEO: GOLDBERG VERY AMUSED, LAUGHED HOLDING THE BOTTLE OF  'CHATAEU DU TERTRE"
 
https://youtu.be/bqIAmvwDlBo

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

RELATED FROM INTERAKSYON.COM

Americans in country jittery over Duterte's anti-US tirades By: Kanupriya Kapoor and Enrico Dela Cruz, Reuters October 18, 2016 12:38 PM InterAksyon.com The online news portal of TV5


Former US marine Richard Haulet, 64, talks to Reuters in a bar he owns, frequented by other American veterans, in Olongapo City. (photo by Kanupriya Kapoor, Reuters)

OLONGAPO CITY, Philippines -- In a bar along Subic Bay owned by an American military veteran, the main topic of conversation is not the upcoming US election despite the Donald Trump coffee mugs, photographs and caps on display.

The talk is of President Rodrigo Duterte's tensions with Washington and his courting of China, which is worrying the bar's mostly American clients who have settled in the vicinity of the huge Subic Bay base, a former US navy installation.

"The biggest fear is that one day he's going to wake up and say 'everybody from the US, get out of town' and we'd have to leave our loved ones behind," said Jack Walker, a retired Marine sergeant who has lived in Olongapo, the town around the base, for five years.

For more than a century the Philippines and the United States have had a shared history of colonialism, wars, rebellion, aid and deep economic ties. That could change as Duterte's three-month-old administration re-examines the relationship.

In a series of conflicting statements, Duterte has insulted US President Barack Obama and the US ambassador in Manila for questioning his war on drugs, which has led to the deaths of more than 2,000 suspected users and pushers. He told Obama to "go to hell" and alluded to severing ties with Washington.

Then, after weeks of anti-American rhetoric, Duterte said the Philippines would maintain its existing defense treaties and its military alliances.

The comments have left Americans and US businesses in the Philippines jittery about their future, said Ebb Hinchliffe, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce.

"Every time he opens his mouth and says something negative about America, that hurts me personally ... and from a business standpoint, it's not helping," he said.

He said three trade delegations representing American technology, financial services and manufacturing companies had canceled trips to the Philippines in recent weeks.

At least two American companies have opted to do business in Vietnam instead "because of the president's anti-American sentiment". Hinchliffe declined to name the companies or give further details.

Most pro-US nation

The United States effectively ruled the Philippines from 1898, when it acquired the country from Spain, until recognizing its independence in 1946.

About four million people of Philippine ancestry live in the United States, one of its largest minorities, and about 220,000 Americans, many of them military veterans, live in the Philippines. An additional 650,000 visit each year, according to US State Department figures.

According to a Pew Research Centre study last year, the Philippines is the most pro-US country in the world.

A Social Weather Stations/Businessworld 3rd Quarter 2016 survey released Oct. 18 showed Filipinos reposing the greatest net trust rating in the US, at +66, and the least trust in China, at -33.

Despite the shared history, though, the Philippines has a strong nationalistic movement that has questioned the US alliance. In 1991, the government asked Washington to vacate the Subic Bay naval facility and the nearby Clark Air Base.

But as tensions increased with China over the territorial dispute in the South China Sea, the Philippines signed an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with the United States in 2014 that grants Washington increased military presence through rotation of ships and aircraft for humanitarian and maritime security operations.

However, Duterte has said that agreement will be reviewed and he insists that the Philippines, the third-largest Asian recipient of American military aid after Pakistan and Afghanistan, can do without assistance.

He was to leave for China on Tuesday on a state visit that could shift alliances in the region.

Philippine government officials have sought to play down Duterte's comments.

"Where the president is coming from is that he wants to encourage the Filipino people to be more independent," said government spokesman Ernesto Abella. "It's not so much an anti-American relationship as a pro-Philippine sentiment."

Still, the mood was somber at Dynamite Dick's bar in Olongapo when a Reuters reporter dropped in recently.

Edward Pooley, a former Marine colonel who has lived in the Philippines for nearly 30 years, said Duterte's words were "heartbreaking" but he remained optimistic about the bilateral relationship in the long term.

"We've always done a lot of charitable activities and ... we feel the appreciation. Don't give up on us," he said.

Mayor Rolen Paulino, who leads the city of 220,000, said his people were "pro-American" but that he supports Duterte's shift in foreign policy.

"If the president wants to invite Russia and China ... I will teach my people Russian and Chinese because we have to adapt," Paulino said.

But many in the business community have labeled Duterte's rhetoric as largely bluster and take comfort in the fact that he has yet to translate it into action.

The business process outsourcing sector -- expected to account for 9 percent of GDP this year -- remains largely optimistic about growth in the Philippines.

"Suffice to say, there are questions that are being asked because of (Duterte's) statements," said Danilo Reyes, country manager of Genpact, one of the biggest American BPO companies in the country. "But it does not really translate to actions, we continue to expand."


GMA NEWS NETWORK

US has few good options for response to Duterte Published October 21, 2016 7:47am By YEGANEH TORBATI AND DAVID BRUNNSTROM, Reuters

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration has few good options and limited leverage as it struggles to craft a response to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's increasingly hostile rhetoric towards the United States and his warm embrace of China.

For months, Washington has played down Duterte's anti-American insults and broadsides. But the flamboyant new leader raised the stakes to a new level on Thursday when he announced his "separation" from long-time ally the United States and realignment with Beijing and possibly even Moscow, America's two main strategic rivals.

Duterte's latest outburst, less than three weeks before the US presidential election, casts further doubt on the seven-decade US-Philippine alliance and threatens to further undermine President Barack Obama's faltering "pivot" to Asia as a counterbalance to China's growing assertiveness.

READ MORE...

Potentially at stake is the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, reached under Duterte's predecessor, allowing the United States to rotate ships, aircraft, and personnel through five Philippines bases, an arrangement seen as crucial to projecting US military power on China's doorstep.

Mindful of Duterte's volatile nature, the Obama administration has trod carefully so far, seeking to avoid provoking him even as it chides him over his deadly war on drugs, US officials say.

One US official, who did not want to be identified, said there had been an active internal debate in recent months on how far to go in criticizing Duterte's government on human rights and that the measured tone adopted was not as strong as some aides would have liked.

US attempts to raise questions about Duterte's campaign against drugs, in which more than 3,000 people have been killed since he took office in June, have drawn angry denunciations by Duterte. He has derided Obama as a "a son of bitch" and said he should "go to hell."

"It doesn't seem to help to say anything because the minute you say something, he just lets loose his barrage of obscenities," said Murray Hiebert, deputy director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "I think for the US to just blast him constantly is probably not very effective."

There is a suspicion in Washington that Duterte could swing back to the United States—if he decides it suits his interests.

"There is no question that Duterte is...trying to play the well-worn game of playing us off against the Chinese," another US official said, on condition of anonymity.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday that the United States will seek an explanation from Duterte over his "separation" announcement, which he made during a visit to China. But he limited criticism to calling the remarks "baffling" and "inexplicably at odds" with close ties between Washington and Manila.

Concern about Duterte’s unpredictability

US officials are concerned about Duterte's unpredictability, but say that despite his words the Philippines has not yet canceled military exercises or formally requested any tangible change in the security relationship.

With relations souring further, the senior U.S. diplomat for Asia, Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel, was due to visit Manila this weekend on what the State Department said was a previously scheduled trip. He would seek to clarify Duterte's comments, the State Department said.

If it chose to respond more vigorously to human rights concerns, the United States could decide to cut military aid to the Philippines, or make it contingent upon an end to the drug killings or more careful judicial procedures.

But Philippine officials have suggested their country could live without the US assistance, and overtures to China and Russia suggest they might seek assistance elsewhere.

Duterte's trade secretary, Ramon Lopez, said $13.5 billion in deals would be signed during Duterte's China trip, though it was unclear how much of that amount was in the form of final deals rather than preliminary agreements. The White House said current US direct investment to the Philippines is over $4.7 billion.

Members of the US Congress, including Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, a strong voice on foreign policy issues, have indicated they will consider conditions on US aid to the Philippines if the killings continue apace.

Washington has provided the Philippines with millions of dollars in extra military aid in the last two years as part of an effort to bolster allies to counter China's pursuit of expansive territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Kurt Campbell, a former assistant secretary of state for East Asia under Obama who may have an administration role should Hillary Clinton win the US election, has been among those urging a tougher line on the human rights issue.

"What's happening in the Philippines is starting to raise larger questions and concern," he said.

"This idea, that 'No, no, we'll ignore this and maintain quietly our military and strategic operational activities,' (I) think is going to be difficult." —Reuters

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

EARLIER REPORT FROM GMA NEWS
(AFTER MAY ELECTIONS OBAMA CPNGRATULATED DUTERTE MAY 2016)

Duterte tells Obama he may talk directly with China if... Published May 18, 2016 9:54am By TRISHA MACAS, GMA News

DAVAO CITY — Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte revealed early Wednesday morning that he personally told US President Barack Obama that he is open to have bilateral talks with China over the disputed West Philippine Sea if current efforts to resolve the issue fail to prosper.

Duterte told reporters that during his phone conversation with Obama on Tuesday night, he assured that the Philippines will remain an ally of the US regarding disputes in the South China Sea.

"...I assured him [Obama] that we will continue with our mutual interests and that we are allied with the Western [World] in this issue on China Sea. But I gave him an inkling that, well, I would agree to just go with you," Duterte told reporters.

"But if it goes on still waters, I said, there's no wind to move the sail, I might opt to go bilateral," he added.

Duterte said Obama urged him: "You should wait for the result of the arbitration."

The Philippines is expecting the ruling on the arbitration case this year.

In the case, filed in January 2014, the Philippines challenged the validity of China's sprawling territorial claims in the resource-rich waters and sought to clarify the territorial entitlements of certain Chinese-occupied features under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS).

Obama's call came while Duterte was recording a one-one-one interview with GMA News anchor Jessica Soho.

The incoming president excused himself and told Soho that he need to attend to an important phone call.

When Duterte returned to resume the recorded interview, he revealed that it was Obama who was on the other side of the line to congratulate win. The incoming Philippine President said that Obama is the first head of state to call him.

"Yes, of course. He's the President of the United States. I am quite honored," he said when asked what he felt with Obama's call.

A senior Washington aide confirmed that Obama spoke by telephone with Duterte.

Duterte won the May 9 elections by a landslide.

Earlier, Duterte met with Chinese and the Japanese envoys in Davao City. He is also set to meet with the ambassador from Russia on Wednesday.

After spending a week to rest and spend time with his family, Duterte went on a 21-hour meet-and-greet at the Matina Enclaves hotel.

On Monday, Duterte held his first press conference after the May 9 elections where he announced the names of the possible members of his Cabinet.

He said that he was willing to give Cabinets seats to leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines —LBG/ALG, GMA News

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

RELATED(2) FROM  ABS-CBN

Duterte’s anti-US talk baffles some Chinese, too – analyst ABS-CBN News Posted at Oct 23 2016 12:59 PM | Updated as of Oct 23 2016 01:24 PM

 
https://youtu.be/wI8I4ZeZM9A?t=39 WITH political ANALYST RICHARD HEYDERIAN

MANILA – The campaign of President Duterte to seek economic support from China by announcing his “separation” from the United States has created confusion not just among Filipino officials, but some Chinese citizens as well, a member of the academe shared Sunday.

“Siguro ang akala ni Pangulong Duterte, iyung sinasabi niya sa US ay mag-i-impress sa mga Chinese. Sinasabi niya na ‘Ako ay independent, huwag kayong mag-alala, hindi ako tuta ng US.’ Pero based sa aking conversation sa mga Chinese counterpart, ang sinasabi nila, kami rin, naguguluhan sa Pangulo ninyo,” political analyst Prof. Richard Heydarian told radio DZMM.
[Maybe President Duterte thought that his statements about the US will impress the Chinese. He is saying ‘I am independent, don’t worry, I’m not a lapdog of the US.' But based on my conversation with Chinse counterparts, they’re saying, we are confused with your President, too.]

Heydarian said the confusion stems from the Duterte’s notoriety for issuing vague statements that are often later blunted, or even contradicted, by other senior officials.

“Ang problema kasi dito, ang daming contradictory messages na lumalabas sa ating gobyerno, palaging may clarification. Minsan iyung clarification kailangan pa ng clarification, iyung explanation kailangan pa ng explanation,” he said.

[The problem here is there are so many contradictory messages coming from our government. There is always a clarification, and the clarification itself needs further clarification at times; the explanation itself needs another explanation.]

Duterte last week announced in Beijing his "separation" from the United States following a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. “I announce my separation from the United States both in military -- not in social -- both in military but economic,” he said.

The Filipino leader, however, clarified Friday that he will not sever US-Philippine ties, saying: “You have to take my words in the context of what I've been saying all along. It's not severance of ties because in severance of ties, you have to cut diplomatic relations. I cannot do that."

The US State Department, Japanese officials and several Filipino senators, among others, have since said they will seek clarity on Duterte’s statements.

Heydarian urged the President to carefully consult with his Cabinet, especially Foreign Affairs officials, before issuing another clarification on his foreign policy.

“Diplomacy is the art of signaling. Kapag nagko-contradict ka parati, kailangan parati ng explanation, iyung kredibilidad ng signaling mo ay bumaba [If you’re always contradicting your statement and you always need further explanation, the credibility of your signaling drops],” the analyst argued.

“Kung magulo ang messaging natin, iyung kredibilidad din natin apektado. At kung mababa ang kredibilidad natin, iyung ibang bansa ayaw rin nilang mag-deal sa atin in a serious way [If our messaging is confusing, our credibility is affected. And if our credibility is low, other countries would not want to deal with us in a serious way],” he added.

Prior to Duterte taking office in late June, China was a bitter rival of the Philippines, and Manila was one of Washington's most dependable Asian allies.

Duterte's efforts to engage China, months after a tribunal in the Hague ruled that Beijing did not have historic rights to the South China Sea in a case brought by the previous administration in Manila, marks a reversal in foreign policy since the 71-year-old former mayor took office on June 30.

READ: Duterte wants to be a hero in dispute vs China

His abrupt pivot from Washington to Beijing is unlikely to be universally popular at home, however. Last Tuesday, an opinion poll showed Filipinos still trust the United States far more than China. -- With a report from Reuters


CONTINUE >> TO NEXT HEADLINE PAGE


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

 EMAIL:  PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE 
© Copyright, 2016 All rights reserved


BACK TO PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE