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CHINA MUM ON DUTERTE's PROPOSAL TO DECLARE PANATAG A SANCTUARY


NOVEMBER 23 -In this Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 photo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a signing ceremony in Beijing. AP/Ng Han Guan, Pool, File Beijing refused to comment on the recent proposal of President Rodrigo Duterte to declare the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal into a marine sanctuary. This is contrary to the recent statement of Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Martin Andanar that Chinese President Xi Jinping was receptive to Duterte's idea. READ: Xi open to Duterte's plan to turn Panatag into sanctuary | Duterte to issue EO declaring Panatag a sanctuary When asked about China's response to the president's plan to declare the disputed shoal a lagoon, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang insisted that Beijing's sovereignty and jurisdiction over the shoal will not change. READ MORE...

ALSO: Palace reveals China open to PHL plan to turn Panatag into a sanctuary


NOVEMBER 27 -Philippine government officials revealed on Sunday that China responded positively to President Rodrigo Duterte's plan to declare the contested Panatag Shoal a marine sanctuary, GMA 7 morning news program "Unang Balita" reported. Duterte had floated the idea of turning the shoal into a sanctuary, which would have the effect of banning all fishing inside the shoal but not around it, with China's President Xi Jinping when the two met during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru. The Panatag or Scarborough Shoal is located in disputed territory in the South China Sea, with both the Philippines and China claiming the area. According to Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Xi was receptive to Duterte's proposal. READ MORE...

ALSO: Philippines-US military exercises to be reduced next year


NOVEMBER 23 -U.S. Admiral Harry Harris, right, U.S. Commander of the U.S.Pacific Command, and Philippine Armed Forces Chief Gen. Ricardo Visaya emerge together following their two annual Mutual Defense Board meeting at Camp Aguinaldo in suburban Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Philippines Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016. The annual meeting came at a time when Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the scaling down joint military exercises and other activities between the two countries. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez
 Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya said five military exercises with the United States, including at least two major naval drills, will be scrapped next year at the direction of President Rodrigo Duterte. Visaya told reporters Wednesday that US officials respected the Philippines' proposal to reduce the number of drills to 258, or five less than this year's exercises. On Tuesday, the two allies held a meeting of their Mutual Defense Board and Security Engagement Board co-chaired by Visaya and Adm. Harry Harris Jr., head of the US Pacific Command. Visaya said the scrapped drills include an Amphibious Landing Exercise and Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training, both major naval exercises that include territorial defense training. He said exercises will be focused on humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and counterterrorism.FULL REPORT. RELATED,

ALSO: UN special rapporteur to visit Philippines in 2017
[RELATED: UN wants Duterte to shift tack against drugs; Rody bares 'fear' strategy vs drugs]
(United Nations (UN) Office on Drugs and Crime called on the Duterte administration to shift its focus from low-level street sellers to tackling the problem at its source, which is the drugs syndicates.)


NOVEMBER 24 -United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Agnes Callamard has accepted the invitation of the Philippine government to visit the country for a fact-finding mission. Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Released
The United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions has expressed her commitment to visit the Philippines in the first quarter of 2017. Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard has sent a reply to the Government of the Philippines welcoming the invitation of President Rodrigo Duterte, according to her briefing note. "She reminded the Government of her previous communications and reiterated her interest in a joint visit with the Special Rapporteur on the right to health, along with the organisation of a joint expert consultation on drug control strategies and policies," the briefing read. READ MORE...RELATED,
UN wants Duterte to shift tack against drugs...

ALSO:
‘No ICC probe on Philippine killings’ - ICC spokesman


NOVEMBER 26 -The International Criminal Court (ICC) clarified yesterday it was not preparing to investigate the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte due to alleged extrajudicial killings amid the administration’s bloody war against illegal drugs. Joven Cagande, File MANILA, Philippines - The International Criminal Court (ICC) clarified yesterday it was not preparing to investigate the Philippines under President Duterte due to alleged extrajudicial killings amid the administration’s bloody war against illegal drugs. Salvador Panelo, chief presidential legal counsel, said the statement of Fadi El Abdallah, spokesperson and head of the ICC public affairs unit, telling reporters that there are no investigations or preliminary examinations being prepared for the Philippines in relation to alleged extrajudicial killings is an auspicious development. Malacañang welcomed the news, saying the fight against the drug menace should not be distracted by any foreign interference. READ MORE...

ALSO: OMBUDSMAN SPEECH AT UP HOMECOMING - We are living in trying times, again–Morales
(This generation ‘has entered the so-called ‘post-truth’ era where truth does not really matter anymore’)
[RELATED Panelo: No growing protest vs Marcos burial, just ‘vocal minority’]


NOVEMBER 27 -Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/NIÑO JESUS ORBETA
This generation ‘has entered the so-called ‘post-truth’ era where truth does not really matter anymore’ “Just because you can does not mean you should,” Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on Friday chided the country’s leaders in a hard-hitting speech that touched on several polarizing issues under the Duterte administration, among them the hero’s burial given ousted authoritarian President Ferdinand Marcos. People should be bothered “when the leaders themselves could not figure out what is right and wrong,” Morales told fellow alumni of the University of the Philippines College of Law in their annual homecoming. The Ombudsman’s speech alluded several times to controversial decisions made by President Duterte, to whom she is related by affinity through his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. Morales is the sister of Lucas Carpio, whose son, Mans, is married to Sara. READ MORE...RELATED,
Panelo: No growing protest vs Marcos burial, just ‘vocal minority’...


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China mum on Duterte's proposal to declare Panatag a sanctuary


In this Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 photo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a signing ceremony in Beijing. AP/Ng Han Guan, Pool, File

MANILA, NOVEMBER 28, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Patricia Lourdes Viray November 23, 2016 - Beijing refused to comment on the recent proposal of President Rodrigo Duterte to declare the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal into a marine sanctuary.

This is contrary to the recent statement of Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Martin Andanar that Chinese President Xi Jinping was receptive to Duterte's idea.

READ: Xi open to Duterte's plan to turn Panatag into sanctuary | Duterte to issue EO declaring Panatag a sanctuary

When asked about China's response to the president's plan to declare the disputed shoal a lagoon, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang insisted that Beijing's sovereignty and jurisdiction over the shoal will not change.

READ MORE...

"China and the Philippines have reached an agreement on coming back to the track of dialogue and consultation for the settlement of the South China Sea issue," Geng said in a press briefing Tuesday.

Declaring the disputed Panatag Shoal in the South China Sea a maritime sanctuary would make it off-limits to all fishermen.

All fishing activities inside the area will be banned but not around it.

"The Chinese side has also made proper arrangements for fishing activities by the Philippine fishermen in waters near Huangyan Dao in the interests of bilateral friendship," Geng said.

A statement earlier released by the PCO said that Xi vowed that Filipino fishermen will continue to have free access to the disputed shoal, which is their traditional fishing grounds.

China hopes that the two countries will enhance cooperation to turn the South China Sea dispute into a "positive factor for friendship and cooperation."

Both the Philippines and China have been claiming Panatag Shoal, also called Bajo de Masinloc, which is located 124 nautical miles from Zambales.

RELATED: Commentary: How a marine-protected area in the South China Sea is crucial for peace


GMA NEWS NETWORK

China open to PHL plan to turn Panatag into a sanctuary – Palace Published November 21, 2016 12:58am Updated November 21, 2016 8:24am

Philippine government officials revealed on Sunday that China responded positively to President Rodrigo Duterte's plan to declare the contested Panatag Shoal a marine sanctuary, GMA 7 morning news program "Unang Balita" reported.

Duterte had floated the idea of turning the shoal into a sanctuary, which would have the effect of banning all fishing inside the shoal but not around it, with China's President Xi Jinping when the two met during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru.

The Panatag or Scarborough Shoal is located in disputed territory in the South China Sea, with both the Philippines and China claiming the area.

According to Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Xi was receptive to Duterte's proposal.

READ MORE...

"Sabi niya (Xi), 'We will mobilize government forces to promote our agreements, step up guidance to create a favorable environment,'" Andanar elaborated.

Also, according to a report from Hong Kong-based broadsheet South China Morning Post, China's President Xi Jinping had promised that Philippine fishermen would continue to have access to the shoal.

Xi also called on the Philippine president "to actively mull maritime cooperation and promote positive interaction on the sea."

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon meanwhile explained that turning the shoal into a sanctuary was an effective way of diffusing the territorial dispute with China.

"Ang mangyayari kasi pag ginawa mong, 'Win ako, lose ka', walang mangyayari dun," Esperon explained. "Kailangan, lumalabas na outcome ay win-win."

The Permanent Court of Arbitration had ruled in favor of the Philippines last July, after it concluded that China had no claim to the area. However, China chose to ignore the decision.

However, following Duterte's state visit to China last October, China softened its position on the matter, and its coast guard vessels no longer hindered Filipino fishermen from entering the area. — DVM, GMA News


PHILSTAR

Philippines-US military exercises to be reduced next year (Associated Press) | Updated November 23, 2016 - 8:50pm 8 14 googleplus0 0


U.S. Admiral Harry Harris, right, U.S. Commander of the U.S.Pacific Command, and Philippine Armed Forces Chief Gen. Ricardo Visaya emerge together following their two annual Mutual Defense Board meeting at Camp Aguinaldo in suburban Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Philippines Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016. The annual meeting came at a time when Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the scaling down joint military exercises and other activities between the two countries. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya said five military exercises with the United States, including at least two major naval drills, will be scrapped next year at the direction of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Visaya told reporters Wednesday that US officials respected the Philippines' proposal to reduce the number of drills to 258, or five less than this year's exercises.

On Tuesday, the two allies held a meeting of their Mutual Defense Board and Security Engagement Board co-chaired by Visaya and Adm. Harry Harris Jr., head of the US Pacific Command.

Visaya said the scrapped drills include an Amphibious Landing Exercise and Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training, both major naval exercises that include territorial defense training.

He said exercises will be focused on humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and counterterrorism.


PHILSTAR

UN special rapporteur to visit Philippines in 2017 By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated November 23, 2016 - 11:07am 10 49 googleplus1 0


United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Agnes Callamard has accepted the invitation of the Philippine government to visit the country for a fact-finding mission. Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Released

MANILA, Philippines — The United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions has expressed her commitment to visit the Philippines in the first quarter of 2017.

Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard has sent a reply to the Government of the Philippines welcoming the invitation of President Rodrigo Duterte, according to her briefing note.

"She reminded the Government of her previous communications and reiterated her interest in a joint visit with the Special Rapporteur on the right to health, along with the organisation of a joint expert consultation on drug control strategies and policies," the briefing read.

READ MORE...

READ: Palace: Invitation to UN special rapporteur already sent out

The special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings undertakes country visits to examine situations of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions worldwide.

Callamard is also mandated to monitor the implementation of international standards on the right to life in all countries and engages with government and other stakeholders.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

The special rapporteur makes two country visits per year and reports to the UN Human Rights Council her findings and recommendations.

Such country visits often take place for one to two weeks.

"The general purpose of the visits of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions is to examine the level of protection of the right to life in law and in practice in the concerned country," Callamard said.


Follow Dr Agnes Callamard @AgnesCallamard My briefing note on the status of my mission request to the #Philippines + working methods for fact-finding visits ---PLEASE CLICK LONG LINK.... http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Executions/Pages/BriefingNoteStatusVisitPhilippines.aspx

The inquiries into the cases of extrajudicial killings of the special rapporteur are of a fact-finding nature only. "They are not of a criminal, judicial or quasi-judicial nature," the briefing read.

Under her mandate, Callamard is expeced to meet with government and other public officials at the national and local level. She is also set to hold meetings with various non-governmental organizations, representatives of international or regional organizations, the diplomatic community, victims, witnesses, detainees, and the media.

Upon inviting the special rapporteur, the Philippine government commits to ensuring free, confidential and unsupervised interviews with victims, families of victims, legal representatives, detainees, and civil society representatives as a whole.

The special rapporteur will hold a debriefing with the government to discuss her preliminary findings at the end of her investigation in the country.

A report on the country visit will be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council.

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

RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

UN wants Duterte to shift tack against drugs Written by Ted Tuvera Monday, 28 November 2016 00:00



RODY BARES ‘FEAR’ STRATEGY VS DRUGS

Amid President Duterte’s intention of further intensifying his war on drugs, the United Nations (UN) Office on Drugs and Crime called on the Duterte administration to shift its focus from low-level street sellers to tackling the problem at its source, which is the drugs syndicates.

Claiming that many government officials are listed on a thick list of those involved in the drugs trade, Duterte said he already has a plan to “instill fear” which he will submit before the members of the National Security Council (NSC) that includes former Presidents and legislative leaders since such plan might need congressional approval.

A commentary on South China Morning Post (SCMP) suggested a connection betweenA commentary on South China Morning Post (SCMP) suggested a connection between the increase in Filipinos seeking asylum in Hong Kong to the rising numbers of fatality in the drugs war.

Raquel Carvalho who wrote SCMP commentary said figures provided by the Immigration Department (in Hong Kong) showed the number of Filipinos filing protection claims increased from 43 between January and March to 84 from July to September.

She then quoted Jeremy Douglas, regional representative for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, as stating the need for the government to shift the focus of its war on drugs further noting the more than 4,900 deaths based on Philippine National Police (PNP) figures since Duterte launched his campaign against narcotics when he took office last July 1.

“We recommend focusing on the major organised crime and trafficking groups running the business, coupled with a strong focus on reducing demand through prevention, treatment in communities and health programmes. Neither easy, but very necessary,” Carvalho quoted Douglas as saying.

“There isn’t a successful drug war to date that we can point to that has focused on low-level street sellers and users,” Douglas added.

Duterte had earlier lambasted the UN for criticizing his methods in the anti-narcotics campaign.

ASYLUM SEEKERS FROM PHL TO HONG KONG

Carvalho, however, said it was “unclear whether Duterte’s bloody anti-narcotics campaign is directly linked with the rising number of asylum seekers from the Philippines in Hong Kong.”

“We have heard of people going into hiding but nothing has been confirmed,” Douglas was quoted as saying.
The Immigration Department refused to comment on why Filipino citizens were seeking protection in the city, Carvalho said.

From January to September, “among the total number of 3,295 non-refoulement claims, the Immigration Department received 190 claims by nationals of the Philippines”, she quoted an Immigration Department spokesman as saying.

The applicants claimed they were at “risk of being subjected to torture … and/or persecution in that country”, the spokesman added.

Carvalho also quoted Cynthia Abdon-Tellez, general manager of the Mission for Migrant Workers as saying that her organization had received queries about the procedures for applying for asylum.

“Some asked about it, but they didn’t explain why they were asking … We simply explained the procedures,” she said.

Abdon-Tellez said there was a feeling of ambivalence among the Filipino community in Hong Kong when it came to the war on drugs back home.

“I would say most people like the idea of fighting drugs, but there are killings going on and we are not sure if some deaths are related to drugs ... It’s a very tricky situation,” she said.

Hong Kong does not resettle asylum seekers in the city as it has not joined the UN Refugee Convention, but authorities are obliged to screen protection claims.

If their cases are substantiated, claimants will eventually be sent to a third country where they can rebuild their lives.

As of the end of September, there were 10,815 outstanding claims in Hong Kong, with 483 of them filed by citizens of the Philippines, Carvalho added.

Duterte wants FVR in drugs war

Duterte, however, said the war on drugs is a national security threat that will require a harsh policy.

He even hinted of giving former President and Philippine Constabulary (PC) Chief Fidel V. Ramos a role in the anti-narcotics campaign saying Ramos would be the best person to tap for it.

Talking to a gathering of San Beda Law alumni in Taguig City, Duterte reiterated his warning a more vigorous crackdown of the narcotics industry which he earlier said may require the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus or perhaps even the declaration of martial law.

“Maybe before the end of the month, I will submit that report to the NSC and I will give each member, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House, a copy and I will then tell them ‘let us formulate how to prevent disaster for the next generation’,” Duterte said.

“Can we legislate (in) Congress, can we legislate fear, respect of the law? No. You can’t nudge (drug dealers) and tell them ‘have mercy on Filipinos and quit what you’re doing’,” he added.

Duterte said that Ramos, who used to be the PC chief during martial law, is his model in carrying out his campaign to further instill fear among drug traffickers.

“I’m not saying this because he’s here but because simply it’s the truth. In his time, the police are really working hard because they look up to him as PC chief,” he said.

Under section 18, Article 7 of the 1987 Constitution, the President may suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law “in case of invasion or rebellion, or when the public safety requires it . . . for a period not exceeding sixty days,” he said.

Moreover, the Chief Executive said that the number of government officials, ranging from legislators to provincial executives, members of the judiciary and policemen, will outnumber the bullets available to kill them all.

“Even if assuming that what they say that I ordered to have them killed, I will still tell them I will run out of time and bullets because of this report (narcotics list),” he said.

True to his punisher image, Duterte threatened criminals and those involved in the illegal trade to better stay home or they get killed.

“In the coming days, I will make it a must, a mandate that all who are involved in the drugs trade don’t venture out of your home. I lack space in the penitentiary, stay inside your house, lock yourselves up. If it happens that you step outside, you sons of bitches, I will kill you all,” the President stressed.


PHILSTAR

‘No ICC probe on Philippine killings’ By Giovanni Nilles (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 26, 2016 - 12:00am 34 4825 googleplus2 1


The International Criminal Court (ICC) clarified yesterday it was not preparing to investigate the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte due to alleged extrajudicial killings amid the administration’s bloody war against illegal drugs. Joven Cagande, File

MANILA, Philippines - The International Criminal Court (ICC) clarified yesterday it was not preparing to investigate the Philippines under President Duterte due to alleged extrajudicial killings amid the administration’s bloody war against illegal drugs.

Salvador Panelo, chief presidential legal counsel, said the statement of Fadi El Abdallah, spokesperson and head of the ICC public affairs unit, telling reporters that there are no investigations or preliminary examinations being prepared for the Philippines in relation to alleged extrajudicial killings is an auspicious development.

Malacañang welcomed the news, saying the fight against the drug menace should not be distracted by any foreign interference.

READ MORE...

“Apparently, the change of mind by the ICC in pursuing a probe is due to the realization that the (extrajudicial killings) are not being committed pursuant to a state policy after a discreet investigation by it,” Panelo said in a text message to The STAR.


ICC spokesperson Fadi El Abdallah

An ABS-CBN News report quoted El Abdallah as saying the statement from ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda with regard to thousands killed in the Philippines since Duterte assumed office in June and launched a drug war was a warning.

“This is part of the deterrent effect of the court to help de-escalate the tension sometimes by calling on the different parties to be careful not to commit crimes then the ICC can intervene; but with regard to the Philippines, there is no preliminary examination that has been opened and there is no investigation ongoing,” Abdallah said as he faced selected members of international media, including ABS-CBN, who were given access inside the ICC in The Hague yesterday.

The ICC also explained the run-up to the first stage of prosecution – a preliminary examination – was not an overnight process and that protocols and procedures would take time.

“If the ICC prosecutor wants to investigate on her own initiative, she must obtain the authorization of the judges, so there is control of a chamber of three judges over this matter,” Abdallah said.

“It’s not only the prosecutor deciding, the judges have to look into this decision, and the state concerned may be able to present objections to that before the judges,” he added.

Duterte recently announced that he might withdraw from the ICC to follow Russia, which did not ratify its participation in the criminal court.

STATUTE RATIFIED BY SENATE

Senators, however, said it might not be that easy for Duterte to make good his threat because the Rome Statute of the ICC, the world’s first permanent tribunal for war crimes, was ratified by the Senate.

Under the treaty, the ICC can step in when countries are unwilling or unable to dispense justice for the core crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes or crimes of aggression.

The Philippines was one of the countries that drafted the treaty in 1998.

According to the ICC, if preliminary examinations are conducted before any withdrawal takes effect, the cases will proceed even if the Philippines has already withdrawn its participation from the Rome Statute.

Last month, Bensouda said extrajudicial killings, which Duterte had been accused of, might fall under the jurisdiction of the international tribunal “if they are committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population pursuant to a state policy to commit such an attack.”

Duterte has repeatedly denied endorsing extrajudicial killings and has vowed to investigate the alleged arbitrary or summary executions of drug suspects.

WE CANOT WAVE A WAR VS OUR OWN PEOPLE - DU30

Yesterday, Duterte reiterated that he never ordered any extrajudicial killing in the country when he declared war against illegal drugs.

“We cannot wage a war against our own people… I declared war (against illegal drugs and) that is why they (ICC) want to investigate me. Where can you find (a violation) when you threaten rebels and drug lords (by saying) ‘you destroy them’… I admit it but is that a crime to say that?” Duterte said.

“Only the whites wanted to do it (investigation). How can it be a crime to declare that ‘if you destroy my country I will kill you’?” the President said during a press conference after visiting some wounded soldiers in the Camp Navarro General Hospital in Zamboanga City.

Duterte added the phrase only meant to serve as a warning against those engaged in the illegal drug trade, especially those victimizing the Filipino youth.

“EJK? I don’t know, I never ordered one. So, let us investigate,” he added.


INQUIRER

We are living in trying times, again–Morales By: Vince F. Nonato - Reporter / @VinceNonatoINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:19 AM November 27, 2016


Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

This generation ‘has entered the so-called ‘post-truth’ era where truth does not really matter anymore’

“Just because you can does not mean you should,” Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on Friday chided the country’s leaders in a hard-hitting speech that touched on several polarizing issues under the Duterte administration, among them the hero’s burial given ousted authoritarian President Ferdinand Marcos.

People should be bothered “when the leaders themselves could not figure out what is right and wrong,” Morales told fellow alumni of the University of the Philippines College of Law in their annual homecoming.

The Ombudsman’s speech alluded several times to controversial decisions made by President Duterte, to whom she is related by affinity through his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. Morales is the sister of Lucas Carpio, whose son, Mans, is married to Sara.

READ MORE...

“We cannot pretend to end impunity by clothing ourselves with impunity as well,” she said, adding: “He who enforces accountability must himself be ready to assume accountability.”

Prey and predators

Morales also warned of how “great people fall as prey and transform as predators themselves.”

IN THE AUDIENCE

Spotted in the audience were Supreme Court Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, who was among the nine SC justices who dismissed the petition of martial law victims protesting Marcos’ burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani, Sen. Franklin Drilon, Taguig City 2nd District Rep. Pia Cayetano, newly elected UP president Danilo Concepcion, and some Sandiganbayan justices.

Also at the event was chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo who said it was Morales herself who asked him to come.

This generation, the Ombudsman said in her speech, “has entered the so-called ‘post-truth’ era where truth does not really matter anymore.” Post-truth politics, she said, is characterized in huge part by a public that would rather believe fake news sites and “echo the baseless assertions of dubious bloggers and flamebaiters.”

“Post-truth,” the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year, is an adjective that “denotes circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

‘Gorgonized fanaticism’

In a thinly veiled speech that stopped short of naming any incumbent leader, Morales stressed two all-important tenets of the Ten Commandments: Thou shalt not steal and thou shalt not kill.

“When leaders seem to send the message of promoting, rather than condemning, reprehensible acts that transgress basic human rights, the people ought to be concerned about it—rather than cheering for it either out of sheer ignorance, callous conscience, blind loyalty, or gorgonized fanaticism,” she said.

“When denial of human rights continues, corruption persists,” Morales said.

Recalling how the Marcos regime had been polarizing even to UP Law students of four decades ago, the Ombudsman declared: “Indeed, these are interesting times we live in—again.”

Morales also slammed the “alarming attitude” behind the “revisionist-distortionist proclivity” of today’s politics.

It was, she said, an “affront to our collective consciousness as a nation,” especially since Filipinos have fallen victim to a “kleptocratic” regime that stashed ill-gotten wealth, as established by the courts.

Paraphrasing Lord Acton’s oft-quoted take, she said: “As it turns out nowadays, those who could not remember history have the tendency to rewrite it. Much worse, there are a lot of people who simply do not want to read their history.”

When the supposed “truths” about purported “progress” under martial law become more fiction than fact, “we see a transformation of our values as a people,” Morales said. “Now it is not only truth that has become elusive—even reason has escaped us,” she added.

‘Sea of ethics’

People “at this time and clime” need to confront one nagging question: “What have we become as a nation?” the Ombudsman said, even as she implored her colleagues in the legal profession to be ethical. The legitimacy of law is kept afloat by the underlying ethical values of a society,” she added.

“We should not wait until the ‘sea of ethics’ runs dry, nor should we allow the navy captain to altogether dismantle the ‘lighthouse’ that gets in his way,” Morales said.

OMBUDSMAN TO PANELO AFTER SPEECH

After the Ombudsman’s scathing speech, Panelo said she told him: “Thou shalt not kill ah. Naintindihan mo (do you understand)?” To which he replied, “Oo (yes).”

“In effect, she was attacking (the administration). But that’s just the way things are. People have different perspectives,” he told reporters.


DUTERTE'S LEGAL COUNSEL PANELO PM MORALES CRITICISM---'Burial does not bestow Marcos status of a hero'

Panelo said Morales, whom he calls “a friend” and “a woman of conviction and integrity,” may have “failed to appreciate the gravity of the drug problem.”

“We have four million potential killers, rapists, thieves because they are afflicted with drugs. We have, how many surrenderers? Almost a hundred thousand,” he said.

“These surrenderers are the reason there have been extrajudicial killings,” Panelo said, adding that the incidents were the handiwork of drug syndicates to prevent drug users and couriers from telling on them.

Panelo also took exception to Morales’ criticism of the hero’s burial given Marcos, saying that it does not bestow on him the status of a hero.

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

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Panelo: No growing protest vs Marcos burial, just ‘vocal minority’ By: Yuji Vincent Gonzales - Reporter / @YGonzalesINQ INQUIRER.net / 04:50 PM November 22, 2016


PANELO

Chief presidential legal adviser Salvador Panelo on Monday downplayed protests against the secrecy-shrouded burial of deposed tyrant Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).

Panelo called the rallyists a “vocal minority” and denied that the protests were growing.

“It is not true that there is a growing protest against the burial, what we have is a vocal minority exercising its democratic right to express a grievance allowed and guaranteed by the Constitution,” Panelo said in a statement.

“President [Rodrigo] Duterte is upholding such right. The clash of ideas is democracy in action,” he added.

The clandestine burial of Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery last Friday took the nation off guard and sparked protests in various parts of the country.

The late dictator’s interment at the LNMB, which came almost 30 years after he was toppled in the historic Edsa People Power Revolution, was marked by full military honors, including a 21-gun salute.

In Manila, protesters led by millennials converged at the site of the peaceful 1986 revolt.

READ: Millennials lead protests vs Marcos burial

Bigger nationwide protests were set on Friday, Nov. 25, in time for Duterte’s arrival from Peru. RAM/rga

READ: Bigger protests vs Marcos burial set


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