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LP DISORGANIZED, DIVIDED - LENI
[ALSO: Pangilinan: Senate terminated probe on killings too soon]


DECEMBER 12 -Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday admitted that the Liberal Party (LP) which was dominant in the last six years is now disorganized and at odds. In an interview with reporters in Laguna, Robredo said after the May elections that saw the victory of President Duterte, the LP’s numbers dwindled and she admitted an apparent disorganization among the membership of the party after former President Aquino’s term expired and subsequently the defeat of her running mate former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. “I hope that there would be a time for us to sit down together and discuss matters. As of now, we’re quite divided,” the Vice President said. “Things have gone so fast in the past days, our allies in the House of Representatives are clamoring for us to finally meet. We probably can do this by January with (Senator Francis Pangilinan), our interim president,” she added. READ MORE...
ALSO, Pangilinan: Senate terminated probe on killings too soon...

ALSO: Philippine VP to Contest Duterte’s Deadly Anti-Drug Campaign[RELATED: White House - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte boasts about killing drug dealers are “deeply troubling”]


DECEMBER 16 -Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech at the start of a state dinner hosted by Singapore's President Tony Tan at the Istana in Singapore, Dec. 15, 2016.
TAIPEI, TAIWAN — The stormy resignation of the Philippine vice president from her country’s Cabinet will allow her to mount more opposition to the deadly, internationally controversial anti-drug campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte, though her voice is not expected to change policy. Vice President Leni Robredo quit the Cabinet post of housing secretary this month after Duterte asked her to stop attending meetings, according to reports and photos of a text message in local media. She has been critical of Duterte’s campaign against drugs, which her office estimates has killed 5,000 people. Duterte told a business forum Monday he had killed people himself as mayor of Davao, the country’s second-largest city, which he ran for 22 years before becoming president. Speaking tour --Robredo will probably travel around the Southeast Asian archipelago to speak out, said Eduardo Araral, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore’s public policy school. But Duterte remains popular for his decisive approach to a once-festering crime problem. READ MORE...RELATED,
White House: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte boasts about killing drug dealers are “deeply troubling”...

ALSO: Palace says Duterte will respect PET ruling on VP electoral issue
[RELATED: Leni’s wish for Rody: Good health]


DECEMBER 12 -Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, a critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, had advised Vice President Leni Robredo not to believe the president’s statement that she would finish her term. Leni Robredo Media Bureau, File
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte would respect the decision on the electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo, Malacańang said Monday, after Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV predicted that the Philippines would have a new vice president next year. Trillanes, a critic of Duterte, had advised Robredo not to believe the president’s statement that she would finish her term. READ: Rody assures Leni she’ll finish VP term | Rody will finish term – Leni The senator claimed to have obtained information that Duterte’s allies are seeking to fast-track the resolution of the electoral protest filed by former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. against Robredo. READ MORE...RELATED, Leni’s wish for Rody: Good health...

ALSO: BLOG REPORT - PH to have new VP in 2017 – Trillanes
[RELATED: Commentary EVICTING LENI]


DECEMBER 12 -PHILSTAR FILE PHOTO
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has urged Vice President Leni Robredo not to trust President Duterte’s assurance that she would finish her term as he predicted that the country will have a new vice president in 2017. Trillanes’ prediction comes in the heels of President Rodrigo Duterte’s assurance Vice President Leni Robredo would finish her term despite resigning from the Cabinet and her vow to lead the new opposition. “I do believe that before the year 2017 ends, we would have a new vice president,” Trillanes said. Asked if this has something to do with the pending election protest of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. at the Presidential Electorial Tribunal (PET), he said “Yes.” READ MORE, plus Commentary EVICTING LENI...

ALSO: At grounbreaking of Bicol Int'l airport - 'There is no such thing as removing the vice president' - Duterte

[RELATED: Leni Robredo is the new, 'default' face of the opposition]


DECEMBER 9 -
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte debunked reports of a supposed plot to steal the vice presidency from Leni Robredo. The President, who went to Robredo's home province in Bicol on Thursday to lead the ground-breaking ceremonies for the Bicol International Airport, assured the Vice President — she will stay at her post "until her very last term." Robredo claimed losing vice presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. was behind the ouster plot. The events of recent days, she added, indicated that this plot is being set into motion. Marcos' camp, however, said Robredo stole the vice presidency. Robredo won by a slim margin against Marcos in the last elections. But President Duterte categorically refuted Robredo's claims. "There is no such thing as removing the vice president," Duterte said. "I will assure Leni and the rest of Bicol region that you will have her until the very end of her term." READ MORE..
RELATED, Leni Robredo: The new, 'default' face of the opposition...

ALSO: Tarlac City -Duterte sings, jokes to crowd in Aquino hometown
[RELATED: Tarlac Launches 2016 Belenismo Festival]


DECEMBER 13 -THE CROONER President Duterte becomes an audience participant during an entertainment number at Belenisimo’s awards night in Tarlac City, singing the Filipino classic, “Ikaw.” –MALACAŃANG PHOTO
TARLAC CITY—It was supposed to be a night of entertainment on Sunday for President Duterte to cap his first presidential visit to this city, hometown of his predecessor, former President Benigno Aquino III. But Mr. Duterte became part of the entertainment, to the delight of the huge crowd that gathered on Robinsons’ athletic field at Hacienda Luisita shopping complex in Barangay San Miguel here. He was the guest of honor at the awards night of this year’s Belenisimo, the city’s annual rendering of the Nativity scene. The President earlier made a brief visit to the military’s Northern Luzon Command just across from the complex. Mr. Duterte again showed what endeared him to ordinary Filipinos as he sang and delivered jokes like a stand-up comedian while discussing his controversial war on drugs. READ MORE...WATCH VIDEO
9th Belenismo sa Tarlac Awards Night...RELATED, Tarlac Launches 2016 Belenismo Festival...


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LP disorganized, divided — Leni

MANILA, DECEMBER 19, 2016 (TRIBUNE) Written by Ted Tuvera Monday, 12 December 2016 - Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday admitted that the Liberal Party (LP) which was dominant in the last six years is now disorganized and at odds.

In an interview with reporters in Laguna, Robredo said after the May elections that saw the victory of President Duterte, the LP’s numbers dwindled and she admitted an apparent disorganization among the membership of the party after former President Aquino’s term expired and subsequently the defeat of her running mate former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.

“I hope that there would be a time for us to sit down together and discuss matters. As of now, we’re quite divided,” the Vice President said.

“Things have gone so fast in the past days, our allies in the House of Representatives are clamoring for us to finally meet. We probably can do this by January with (Senator Francis Pangilinan), our interim president,” she added.

READ MORE...

The Vice President, who resigned from President Duterte’s Cabinet as Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chief last week, said that she first consulted Aquino and Roxas about her decision to quit the administration.

But Robredo, who prods herself as the leader of the LP, said that since her party mates are looking up to her in how to engage with the Duterte administration, she told them to parrot her brand of being conservatively “supportive” but be aggressive in criticizing.

“They’ve been asking me what direction are we taking. I told them that we should talk matters first. My position really is to be supportive of good policies but should be vigorous in opposing policies that threaten our democracy,” she said.

Robredo, moreover, underlined Duterte’s supposedjokes of the LP wishing something bad to happen to him just to install her as President, saying that if only her will matters, she could’ve remained longer in the Cabinet.

“I feel that it is not consistent with reality because I really wanted to remain in the Cabinet and I wanted to support him,” the Vice President said.

Duterte last Friday joked that the “yellows” are praying that he dies on an airplane crash so as to avoid having to conspire in plotting moves to oust him.

“Isn’t that what Leni wanted? So she should pray that my airplane crashes. When it is time, it is time,” Duterte said during a speech in Valencia, Bukidnon.

LP issues HR call

Robredo’s LP, meanwhile, issued a statement through president Sen. Francis Pangilinan, urging the public to be vigilant against violations of human rights in the conduct of Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs.

“With reduced membership, the party is now faced with a popular administration that is waging a controversial and deadly war victimizing the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized in its campaign to wipe out illegal drug use through Oplan Tokhang,” Pangilinan’s statement read.

He said the execution of the campaign against illegal drugs was deemed by the Senate justice and public order committees “to violate constitutional rights,” he said.

He added that the public should be wary of the Duterte administration’s plans to restore the death penalty and to lower the age of criminal responsibility to 9 years old.

“Today, December 10, we call on all Filipinos to reaffirm our common humanity, sympathy with majority of the citizens, and stand up for the rights of all,” he said.

“We echo the call of the United Nations for each of us to ‘step forward and defend the rights of a refugee or migrant, a person with disabilities, an LGBT person, a woman, a child, indigenous peoples, a minority group, or anyone else at risk of discrimination or violence’ those who are in the fringes of the society,” he said.

Pangilinan added the LP has served as a political obstacle to dictator Marcos’s plan to illegally extend his term and impose one-man rule. He added that many party leaders and members were prosecuted and even killed during this time.

CORY AQUINO

“When constitutional democracy was restored after People Power I, party stalwarts went against the wishes of the late President Corazon Aquino and ended more than half a century of United States’ military presence in the Philippines by rejecting a new bases treaty in 1991,” he said.

ESTRADA

“In 2000 under the Estrada administration, the party stood against corruption and actively participated in People Power II that ousted him. The party suffered a split under the Arroyo administration also over issues of corruption,” Pangilinan added.

PNoy

“Recognizing that corruption violates the collective economic right of the governed people to the taxes borne of their labor and their right to development, Liberal Party standard bearer Benigno Aquino III led the nation in the last six years pushing an anti-corruption agenda,” he said.

Aguirre twits CHR chief

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, meanwhile, said that the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) should investigate or check pertinent data first before comparing the number of killings under the Mr. Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs to the martial law era.

Aguirre, who faced an inciting to sedition case during martial law, said that CHR Chairman Chito Gascon should correct his statements and figures and stop making generalizations.

Gascon earlier said that the casualties in the government’s anti-drug war has reached the 5,000 mark, a figure that was allegedly higher than the deaths recorded in the first few years of martial law during the regime of the late President Ferdinand Marcos.

Aguirre explained that the CHR chair failed to distinguish the deaths from legitimate police operations and these attributed to the work of vigilante groups.

Based on the latest update from the Philippine National Police (PNP) covering the period from July 1 to Dec. 3 a total of 38,999 drug suspects were arrested; 2,028 drug personalities were killed in the previous 37,626 police operations.

PNP also reported a total of 3,524 incidents classified under Death Under Investigation (DUI) from July 1 to Nov.30.

There were 3,841 victims reported while the 747 or 21.20 percent number of cases with investigation concluded, 474 number of cases were the suspect arrested and 273 number cases with suspects at large.

Aguirre also expressed disapproval of Gascon for urging the DOJ to prosecute policemen who admitted to killing drug suspects for allegedly resisting arrest even in the absence of complaints against them.

“He should stop telling me what to do because he knows nothing. He’s not even a lawyer. Why don’t they just file charges when they have the right to do so,” Aguirre said adding Gascon should just investigate the killings and file complaints instead of wasting his time in his media releases.

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Pangilinan: Senate terminated probe on killings too soon (philstar.com) | Updated December 15, 2016 - 6:47pm 2 60 googleplus0 2


In this October 2016 photo, Senators Manny Pacquiao, Richard Gordon and Panfilo Lacson participate in the investigation into extrajudicial killings in President Rodrgio Duterte's war on drugs. PRIB/Albert Calvelo

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights should investigate further into allegations that drug-related killings are sponsored by the state, Sen. Francis Pangilinan, who filed a separate opinion on the panel's findings, said.

Pangilinan, president of the Liberal Party, said the the Justice committee wrapped up its investigation too soon and left several "factual and legal" questions unanswered.

He said the panel, chaired by Sen. Richard Gordon after Sen. Leila De Lima was evicted from the position, ended its probe even before the Commission on Human Rights and their witnesses appeared at hearings.

"Notwithstanding, the CHR submitted copies of the affidavits of its proposed witnesses to the committee for its consideration," Pangilinan wrote.

These, however, were not discussed in the committee report, he said.

A committee report is submitted to the Senate in plenary.

"To my mind, the failure to consider these material pieces of evidence, together with the exclusion of CHR witnesses, rendered the termination of the legislative inquiry premature," Pangilinan wrote.

Although the committee cleared the government of involvement in the killings, Gordon said he saw the violation of the constitutional rights of the people being apprehended, including the absence of lawyers when executing affidavits or confessions, in the police's Oplan Tokhang anti-drug campaign.

'Panel ignored evidence'


PANGILINAN WITH DRILON AND AQUINO

Pangilinan disagreed with the conclusion that the Justice panel and the committee on public order found no proof that there are state-sponsored killings.

"I strongly dissent to the factual conclusion of the Joint Committee that 'there is no proof that there is a state-sponsored policy to commit extrajudicial killings to eradicate illegal drugs in the country' on the basis of lack of evidence presented," Pangilinan, a lawyer, said.

After six hearings, the panels concluded that there are no state-sponsored killings, saying that there wasn't enough proof that the alleged Davao Death Squad exists.

Confessed hitman Edgar Matobato claimed at the start of the hearings that the group, which he said President Rodrigo Duterte formed when he was mayor of Davao City, exists. He said he was a member and had killed in the past at Duterte's behest.

Gordon has recommended charges against Matobato for the kidnapping and death of Sali Makdum in 2002, which was supposedly ordered by Duterte.

Pangilinan said that crucial pieces of evidence seemed to have been ignored, referring to the murder and homicide statistics submitted by the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Statistics Authority, which, he said, included deaths that do not fall within the definition that the Senate committees adopted for extrajudicial killings, making the report inaccurate.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government, which has administrative authority over the PNP, has also said that there can be no extrajudicial killings in the country because there is no death penalty, and therefore, there are no "judicial killings".

Pangilinan also wrote that police testimony crediting the killings to vigilante groups and drug syndicates was never explained nor was evidence provided to support the claims.

"It was incumbent upon the Joint Committee to verify such claims with independent sources and state the result of its verification report," Pangilinan said.

The government has denied that there is a campaign to exterminate suspected drug users and dealers and blames the deaths on vigilantes and criminals turning on each other.

More than 2,000 deaths have also been recorded as part of official police operations, where suspects reportedly shot it out with police. -- Kristian Javier


VOA (VOICE OF ASIA)

Philippine VP to Contest Duterte’s Deadly Anti-Drug Campaign December 16, 2016 3:04 AM Ralph Jennings


Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech at the start of a state dinner hosted by Singapore's President Tony Tan at the Istana in Singapore, Dec. 15, 2016.

TAIPEI, TAIWAN — The stormy resignation of the Philippine vice president from her country’s Cabinet will allow her to mount more opposition to the deadly, internationally controversial anti-drug campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte, though her voice is not expected to change policy.

Vice President Leni Robredo quit the Cabinet post of housing secretary this month after Duterte asked her to stop attending meetings, according to reports and photos of a text message in local media. She has been critical of Duterte’s campaign against drugs, which her office estimates has killed 5,000 people.

Duterte told a business forum Monday he had killed people himself as mayor of Davao, the country’s second-largest city, which he ran for 22 years before becoming president.

Speaking tour

Robredo will probably travel around the Southeast Asian archipelago to speak out, said Eduardo Araral, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore’s public policy school. But Duterte remains popular for his decisive approach to a once-festering crime problem.

READ MORE...

“She goes around the country to rally people in the villages and there might be voices who egg her on to rally the opposition,” Araral said. He added, “the president still has the bully pulpit when it comes to agenda setting. He is on the top of his game.”

Filipinos elect presidents and vice presidents separately for purposes of checks and balances. Duterte won the presidency in May with the PDP Laban, a party founded in 1982 to advocate nationalism and federalism. The vice president ran that month with the 70-year-old centrist Liberal Party.

Robredo's focus

The 52-year-old lawyer and social activist will refocus her energy on a unit of the vice president’s office that promotes education, rural development, women’s rights and poverty relief around the country. She will be a “unifying voice of the opposition,” her spokesperson Georgina Hernandez said.

“In part she has been quite vocal against extrajudicial killings, against lowering of the age of criminality as well as bringing back of the death penalty,” Hernandez said. “Poor families” are victims of the killings, she said.

“Right now aside from being vocal about it, she is also in constant communication with the local families (of people killed) to see what their needs might be, but nothing concrete has been settled at the moment, except that she is committed to see this through until it is put to a stop,” the spokesperson said.

Some estimates place the death toll closer to 6,000, including suspected drug dealers gunned down vigilante style.

Duterte has said he would ask the Philippine Congress to reinstate the death penalty, which was scrapped in 2006. Lawmakers have proposed reducing the legal age of criminality from 15 to as young as 9.

Support not likely

Robredo’s opposition to the use of extrajudicial killings is expected for now neither to sway the anti-drug campaign nor other Duterte policies.

People in Philippine cities say they feel safer since Duterte took office and rid methamphetamine dealers from street corners. A Pulse Asia poll gave him an 86 percent approval rating in October.

According to Philippine National Police figures, reported crimes grew from 217,812 in 2012 to 1.16 million in 2014, with another upswing in the first half of last year.

The suspected extrajudicial killings have generated international attention, including criticism from the European Union, United States and Catholic Church leaders over perceived human rights violations.

The campaign gives police too much power for the comfort of some Filipinos, as well.

If Duterte goes too far, the vice president will suddenly earn a stronger following, said Rhona Canoy, president of the International School Cagayan de Oro and part of a local political family.

“Her voice would probably be louder if there is a threat,” Canoy said. “If this becomes a real and like a legal issue of declaration of martial law, that’s when Robredo would get massive support. The loudness of the people who don’t (like) martial law, they would stand behind her, I think.”

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

RELATED FROM MANILA METRO ONLINE

White House: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte boasts about killing drug dealers are “deeply troubling” THURSDAY, DEC 15, 2016 02:33 PM EST

There's been no love lost between Duterte and the Obama administration

White House: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte boasts about killing drug dealers are "deeply troubling" Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte salutes the honor guard prior to his departure for Cambodia and Singapore for official visits to the ASEAN neighbors, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines. Duterte said his trip to ASEAN neighbors is in preparation for the upcoming ASEAN summits which the Philippines is hosting late next year. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)(Credit: AP)

WASHINGTON — The White House says recent boasts by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte that he used to drive around looking for criminals to kill are “deeply troubling.”

Duterte said in a speech on Monday that as a former mayor he’d patrol on a motorcycle hunting for criminals to kill to set an example for police to follow. Duterte said he was “really looking for an encounter to be able to kill.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says those comments are at odds with the Philippine government’s commitment to the rule of law. He says the U.S. remains concerned about extrajudicial killings by Duterte’s administration. Earnest says the U.S. supports a thorough, credible and transparent investigation.

Duterte’s harsh crackdown on illegal drugs has led to thousands of deaths in police gunbattles.


PHILSTAR

Palace says Duterte to respect PET ruling By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated December 12, 2016 - 4:52pm 9 285 googleplus1 0


Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, a critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, had advised Vice President Leni Robredo not to believe the president’s statement that she would finish her term. Leni Robredo Media Bureau, File

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte would respect the decision on the electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo, Malacańang said Monday, after Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV predicted that the Philippines would have a new vice president next year.

Trillanes, a critic of Duterte, had advised Robredo not to believe the president’s statement that she would finish her term.

RELATED: Rody assures Leni she’ll finish VP term | Rody will finish term – Leni

The senator claimed to have obtained information that Duterte’s allies are seeking to fast-track the resolution of the electoral protest filed by former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. against Robredo.

READ MORE...

Marcos is a friend of Duterte, whose father Vicente served as Cabinet member of the former senator’s father late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

“I do believe that before the year 2017 ends, we would have a new vice president,” Trillanes said.

PALACE NOT AWARE OF TRILLANES' CLAIM

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said they are not aware of the basis of Trillanes’ claims.

“We do not know where Senator Antonio Trillanes got his information or timeline. What we all know is that the president, as a firm advocate of the rule of law, believes in judicial independence as a bedrock of our democratic system,” Andanar said.

“He (Duterte) will respect the decision of the Supreme Court which will sit as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) in the election protest filed by former Senator Bongbong Marcos.”

The younger Marcos lost to Robredo by a slim margin of more than 200,000 votes but has filed an electoral protest due to what he claimed are irregularities in the canvassing.

Last week, Robredo resigned as Duterte’s housing chief after she was barred from attending Cabinet meetings. Malacańang officials said Duterte had excluded Robredo from the meetings because of “irreconcilable differences.”

Before her resignation, Robredo claimed that efforts to steal the vice presidency from her are in motion but Duterte assured her that his administration has no plot to oust her.

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

RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Leni’s wish for Rody: Good health 9 SHARES Share it! Published December 16, 2016, 12:09 AM by Raymund F. Antonio


If Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo has one wish for President Duterte, it is good health.

Robredo, who recently resigned from the Cabinet as housing chair, said Duterte should take care of himself since he has the people’s mandate.

“Tayo wini-wish din natin na kung ano ang nararamdaman ng ating pangulo, malagpasan niya (We wish whatever the President is feeling, he can overcome it),” she said.

“Siya yung ating hinalal na mamuno sa atin. Kailangan malakas ang pangulo natin (He was the one we elected to lead us. Our President needs to be strong),” the Vice President added.

Robredo made the remarks at the recent open forum with students at the Youth Leaders’ Summit held in Cavite amid speculations about the President’s waning health.

Before his trip to Cambodia, Duterte complained of having severe headaches and he has issues with his spinal. He brushed aside rumors he had cancer but admitted he was suffering from Buerger’s disease or inflammation of blood vessels.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella assured that President’s health is not a cause of concern, saying he is well and his body pains were just part of “wear and tear.”

Robredo, former chair of Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), noted the public needs to be aware of the President’s health condition.

“Tingin ko matter of national interest na malaman natin kung ano ang pinagdadaanan niya. (I think it is a matter of national interest that we know what he is going through),” she said.


PRESS READER BLOG

PH to have new VP in 2017 – Trillanes Manila Bulletin12 Dec 2016By HANNAH L. TORREGOZA


DECEMBER 12 -PHILSTAR FILE PHOTO

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has urged Vice President Leni Robredo not to trust President Duterte’s assurance that she would finish her term as he predicted that the country will have a new vice president in 2017.

Trillanes’ prediction comes in the heels of President Rodrigo Duterte’s assurance Vice President Leni Robredo would finish her term despite resigning from the Cabinet and her vow to lead the new opposition.

“I do believe that before the year 2017 ends, we would have a new vice president,” Trillanes said.

Asked if this has something to do with the pending election protest of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. at the Presidential Electorial Tribunal (PET), he said “Yes.”

READ MORE...

“Yes. I believe so, kasi mukhang ganun ang timeline,” the senator said.

Trillanes disclosed that while there is no specific timeline, he got information that Duterte’s allies are on the move to expedite the resolution of Marcos’ election protest.

This is so that, by the time impeachment proceedings against the President is filed, no one would dare want him impeached for fear of putting the son of the former dictator as Duterte’s successor.

Trillanes said he believes it is only a matter of time for the Marcoses to be back in power.

He also said that self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato has a strong case against President Duterte on the Davao Death Squad.

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

FROM THE SAME BLOG

COMMENTARY: EVICTING LENI ROBREDO



She wouldn’t work to oust Duterte; he assured she would serve her full term

Sun.Star Cebu12 Dec 2016-- PAS

“I will assure Leni and the rest of the Bicol region that you will have her until the very end of her term.” -- Duterte, Dec. 8, 2016

HOW DONE: A text message telling her she was barred from the Cabinet meeting of Dec. 5. After receiving the message and before the meeting, she announced she was going to resign -- and she did.

REASONS GIVEN, IMPLIED, SPECULATED ON. Official reason: President Duterte was no longer comfortable with her views that clashed with the president’s policies: “irreconcilable differences,” he said.

Implied: He wouldn’t want an oppositionist in the Cabinet, a voice that disagreed with his. Robredo might learn secrets he wouldn’t share with those who are against him.

Speculated on: He’s paving the way for the assumption of Bongbong Marcos, stirring fears the VP might be stripped of her seat through illicit or illegal means or a Supreme Court that tends to favor “the elite and the ruling class,” as shown in its string of decisions on landmark cases during the past two decades. President Duterte last Dec. 8 assured Bicolanos, reacting to her publicized fear of the vice presidency being stolen from her, that wouldn’t happen.

WHAT’S AHEAD FOR HER.

She could work on her programs but with budget limited to the meager allocation for her office and whatever she could scrape from the private sector. That wouldn’t include plotting to oust Duterte, she said, “he will finish his term,” promising to oppose only policies and programs that would hurt the country and its institutions.

The upside: she could lead the opposition and express its balancing view on president’s decisions that flirt with the illegal and unconstitutional, this time without the reservation of a Cabinet member. Or she could be just a spare tire, limited to being stored or hung, waiting for the chance to replace the president.

Unlike Jojo Binay who patiently waited for the run-up to the 2016 elections to fire at his president and then quit, Robredo starting giving Duterte a piece of her mind, from extrajudicial killings, the Marcos burial, to his ogling at her knees and legs during Cabinet meetings.

The latter must have counted a lot in Duterte’s ban on Leni. No Lothario can be more vengeful than a rejected Lothario.

At least the political lines are drawn. Duterte’s on one side and Robredo’s on the other.


CNN PHILIPPINES

Duterte in Bicol: There is no such thing as removing the vice president By Anjo Alimario, CNN Philippines Updated 13:53 PM PHT Fri, December 9, 2016 2.1K14

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte debunked reports of a supposed plot to steal the vice presidency from Leni Robredo.

The President, who went to Robredo's home province in Bicol on Thursday to lead the ground-breaking ceremonies for the Bicol International Airport, assured the Vice President — she will stay at her post "until her very last term."

Robredo claimed losing vice presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. was behind the ouster plot.

The events of recent days, she added, indicated that this plot is being set into motion.

Marcos' camp, however, said Robredo stole the vice presidency.

Robredo won by a slim margin against Marcos in the last elections.

But President Duterte categorically refuted Robredo's claims.

"There is no such thing as removing the vice president," Duterte said. "I will assure Leni and the rest of Bicol region that you will have her until the very end of her term."

READ MORE...

Robredo, former Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council chairperson, quit her post after she was told to desist from attending Cabinet meetings.

Also read: Leni Robredo is out of the cabinet and into the opposition

But Duterte said there's no conflict between him and the Vice-President.

"Wala akong away kay Leni. I don't want to pick a fight with a lady," he said. [I don't have any quarrel with Leni. I don't want to pick a fight with a lady.]

Meanwhile, Duterte promised Bicolanos the Bicol International Airport (BIA) will be finished in two to three years.

Duterte says "yellows" target to oust him
The President also talked about a plan of "yellows" to oust him.

But he tells them to "wait for your time."

He also reminded the "yellows" they had their chance — "tapos na kayo eh [you're done]," the President said.

Also read: Drilon: Liberal Party won't oust Duterte

Yellow is associated with the Liberal Party of Robredo and former President Noynoy Aquino.

At the pro-federalism event, the President also expressed his support for the shift in government system.

He warned if federalism won't prosper, the country may lose Mindanao.

But Duterte also said, he objects to having autonomous regional armed forces.

Also read: 'Irreconcilable differences' made Duterte feel uneasy around Robredo - Abella

WATCH VIDEO:DUTERTE - THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS REMOVING THE VP

 
https://youtu.be/hzZdPJuNLxQ?t=38

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RELATED FROM RAPPLER.COM

Leni Robredo: The new, 'default' face of the opposition Camille Elemia @CamilleElemia Published 11:18 AM, December 06, 2016 Updated 1:40 PM, December 06, 2016

Minority senators laud the move of the Vice President and accept her with open arms: 'Welcome to the minority!'


NEW FACE. Analysts and senators say Vice President Leni Robredo is now the 'default' face of the opposition following her resignation from the Cabinet of President Rodrigo Duterte. File photo

MANILA, Philippines – It was an unlikely union forged not by their own choices but by Filipinos who voted for them. With too little common ground between President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo, their alliance was bound to end – and break it did, barely 6 months into their terms.

With her recent resignation from the Duterte Cabinet, analysts and politicians alike call Robredo the new face of the political opposition.

(READ: How did Duterte break with Robredo? Through text message)

While both come from the provinces and are both “reluctant” candidates, their similarities could very well end there. Robredo is from the once-ruling Liberal Party, which Duterte accuses of plotting his ouster.

Duterte, meanwhile, is all praises for the Marcos family, including former senator and vice presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr, who filed an election protest against Robredo. She is a women’s rights advocate, while critics say he is a “misogynist.”

Political analyst Aries Arugay said Robredo has now reached a “point of no return.” One consequence of her resignation, he said, is her being a “de-facto” leader of the opposition.

(READ: Palace: Duterte, Robredo have 'irreconcilable differences')

“It’s a point of no return. She put herself in a corner row. She is now the head of the political opposition,” Arugay told Rappler.

Robredo, for her part, said she is ready to take on the role.

“Mago-oppose ako sa lahat ng mga polisiya, I think with mas malakas na boses. Mago-oppose ako sa mga policies na I think detrimental to the Filipino people,” she said in a press conference on Monday, December 5.

(I will oppose all policies, I think with a louder voice. I will oppose policies that I think are detrimental to the Filipino people.)

“Parati pa rin akong kokontra sa mga bagay na hindi ko pinapaniwalaan. If being an opposition leader entails that, then magiging opposition leader ako,” Robredo said, adding she would still support policies of the Duterte administration in line with her own beliefs.

(I will continue to oppose things that I don't believe in. If being an opposition leader entails that, then I will become one.)

With this, Arugay said, comes the emergence of the long-brewing polarization among citizens and politicians. Arugay expects critics of the President to rally behind Robredo, while Duterte and his camp are likely to go on the defensive.

“Every misstep will be blown out of proportion and be used as ammunition. On the other hand, Duterte and his government will be on the defensive mode,” said Arugay.

Part of this, he said, is the establishment of a nationwide mass movement called Kilusang Pagbabago (KP).

(READ: New 'party' Kilusang Pagbabago formed to protect Duterte)

‘Welcome to the minority’

While her resignation drew criticisms from Duterte supporters, minority senators hailed Robredo’s move and welcomed her to her new “home” on the other side of the political fence.

Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto said the resignation was something anticipated. At least now, he said, there is a clear distinction between the two highest leaders.

“I think it was expected. I don’t think they have much in common. Tama lang may legal separation. (It's just right that there's legal separation.) Welcome to the minority!” Recto told reporters on Monday, December 5.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, one of the fiercest critics of Duterte, said Robredo’s resignation has a huge political ramification – the emergence of a “default” opposition leader.

“Big effect because now the lines have been drawn. For us, we now have a default leader in the opposition,” he said.

“It’s a very welcome development, wala nang pagpapanggap na merong (there's no more pretense that there's) some sort of coalition happening,” Trillanes added.

As for Congress, it might take a little while before individual lawmakers and senators shift alliances. History would dictate that one key factor for politicians’ decisions is public approval.

Past and present

One does not have to look far to see the patterns of resigning vice presidents in the Cabinet becoming key opposition figures.

In 2000, when she was vice president and social welfare and development secretary, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo left the Cabinet of then president and now Manila City Mayor Joseph Estrada amid the growing opposition to Estrada’s rule – following allegations he pocketed payoffs from jueteng.

In 2001, after 4 days of bloodless protests to oust Estrada, Arroyo was sworn in as president.

Now a representative of the 2nd district of Pampanga, Arroyo said on Monday that Robredo’s resignation was "inevitable" due to her and the President's "divergence" on so many issues.

Arroyo recalled that she tendered her resignation when she could no longer hold her criticisms against Estrada, who faced corruption accusations.

But unlike Robredo, Arroyo’s resignation could not have come at an opportune time. By the time she quit, Estrada’s trust ratings had plunged due to corruption allegations and protests against him were mounting. There was not much to lose for her then.

Robredo, meanwhile, left the Cabinet just 6 months into the term, with Duterte still enjoying high public ratings.

The case of Binay

Another official who quit the Cabinet is former vice president Jejomar Binay. Binay, who served as housing czar and presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers (OFW) of former president Benigno Aquino III, resigned because he felt “awkward” and the “odd man out” in a Cabinet dominated by the LP.

But unlike Robredo, he resigned with just a year left into his term, a political year because of the May 2016 presidential elections.

(READ: Why Binay resigned from the Cabinet)

Prior to his act, there had long been calls from Aquino’s party mates for Binay to resign, taking issue with his criticisms of some administration policies. The calls for his resignation intensified after his former close ally in Makati politics exposed his alleged corruption, while critics filed plunder complaints against him in 2014.

After his resignation, Binay became a critic of Malacańang and the then-ruling LP, leading to the 2016 polls.

What Leni could lose

Robredo’s resignation does not come without consequences that might affect her prominence as a public figure. While this is the case, Robredo said she has no further political dreams or ambitions.

The risks might not have been lost on the Vice President herself as she met with her team for long hours over the weekend to decide on whether or not to resign.

The most practical consequence of all is budget.

Without a portfolio, she would have limited resources to pursue her other agenda and advocacies as vice president. Since the separation came early, she would have to stick with a small budget for some more years.

Another thing that not only Robredo will face is the disappointment of voters who banked on the tandem, in the hope it would be a “good balance” for the country. It remains to be seen who will be chosen by the members of this voting bloc, Arugay said.

“This political divorce will disappoint many voters who thought that the DuRo tandem was complementary as it provided a good balance given the different personalities of the two leaders,” the analyst said.

The hopeful thought was that a Duterte-Robredo partnership was good while it lasted – although for only less than 6 months. With the resignation, there would be less to no walking on eggshells between the two leaders of the nation.

After all, a new face of the opposition was unveiled at a time marked by polarizing yet populist politics. – Rappler.com


INQUIRER

Duterte sings, jokes to crowd in Aquino hometown By: Gabriel Cardinoza - @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:37 AM December 13, 2016


THE CROONER President Duterte becomes an audience participant during an entertainment number at Belenisimo’s awards night in Tarlac City, singing the Filipino classic, “Ikaw.” –MALACAŃANG PHOTO

TARLAC CITY—It was supposed to be a night of entertainment on Sunday for President Duterte to cap his first presidential visit to this city, hometown of his predecessor, former President Benigno Aquino III.

But Mr. Duterte became part of the entertainment, to the delight of the huge crowd that gathered on Robinsons’ athletic field at Hacienda Luisita shopping complex in Barangay San Miguel here.

He was the guest of honor at the awards night of this year’s Belenisimo, the city’s annual rendering of the Nativity scene. The President earlier made a brief visit to the military’s Northern Luzon Command just across from the complex.

Mr. Duterte again showed what endeared him to ordinary Filipinos as he sang and delivered jokes like a stand-up comedian while discussing his controversial war on drugs.

READ MORE...

Before delivering a speech, he gamely joined the all-male group New Minstrels Divos in belting out the classic Filipino song “Ikaw,” while he was seated.

Mr. Duterte, in jeans and black polo shirt printed with the word “DU30,” later told the crowd how singing the composition of the late George Canseco had helped him win the hearts of three women.

Relationships

“Don’t be complacent with the song ‘Ikaw.’ I had relationships with three women because of that song,” said the President, drawing laughter.

“One is already old, but not really that old. The other one is separated from her husband. But that’s OK,” he said.

Mr. Duterte, whose favorite hangout in Davao City is a jazz bar called “After Dark,” also used to sing the song in his campaign sorties and during his visits to Filipino communities abroad.

Dr. Isabel Cojuangco Suntay, cochair of the Tarlac Heritage Foundation, said the New Minstrels Divos—composed of Chad Borja, Ding Mercado and Eugene Villaluz—were invited to the festival because the organizers knew the President’s penchant for singing.

Borja, a Davao City native who rose to prominence for his hit song “Ikaw Lang” in the 1990s, said he was happy that the “former father of Davao is now the father of the whole Philippines.”

“But I still call him mayor because he’s like a father to me. President Rodrigo Duterte, thank you so much,” Borja said.

Remembering ma

Known for his tough guy image, Mr. Duterte was nearly in tears when the group serenaded him with another of his favorite songs, Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up,” which, he said, reminded him of his late mother, Soledad.

The President, who sat beside Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, looked pensive throughout the song.

“When my mother died, I really found solace in that song … . I sing that song in karaoke bars. But I could not finish it because I really turn emotional,” he later told the crowd.

Recalling his life as a teenager, he said his mother always supported him when his father scolded him for his failure to finish high school on time.

“You know when my father was alive, he used to tell me, ‘Do, you could only reach the port.’ It means I cannot even finish high school. He died with that impression of me. I finished high school in seven years,” Mr. Duterte said.

“One time, my mother asked me, ‘Rodrigo, when will you finish high school? Your grade is always 75.’ I told her, ‘Mother, it’s OK as long as I could walk up the stage,’” he said.

“When my mother died, she was 96, it really hit me. My mother, she stood for me.”

Trophies, checks

The President handed out trophies and checks to this year’s Belenisimo winners, assisted by Aquino’s second cousin, Suntay, of the Tarlac Heritage Foundation.

In his speech, Mr. Duterte shared jokes and funny anecdotes as he talked about his effort to achieve peace in Mindanao, his campaign against illegal drugs and the criticisms he had been receiving on extrajudicial killings.

Mr. Duterte invited Tarlac residents, especially students, to visit Malacańang. “Enjoy Malacańang. That’s not mine. It’s not a palace,”ť he said.

Then the joked that he did not sleep there because the place was haunted. “There are ghosts there, even at daytime. There is a white lady who appears during the day,” he said.

He sleeps in a small hotel instead, he said.

The Presidential Security Group has been so concerned about his safety that he could not even open the windows of his car to wave to the children who would greet him upon his arrival in Camp Aquino.

“Death? Who’s afraid to die? We will all die. If I die, [Vice President] Leni [Robredo] is just there,” he said. —WITH A REPORT FROM MARLON RAMOS IN MANILA

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9th Belenismo sa Tarlac Awards Night

 
https://youtu.be/UCdR88HVNL4?t=69
9th Belenismo sa Tarlac Awards Night December 11, 2016. RTVMalacanang RTVMalacanang Subscribe42,740 Add to Share More 9,238 views 212 2 Streamed live on Dec 11, 2016 President @Rody Duterte leads the awarding of prizes to the five grand winners of the 9th Belenisimo sa Tarlac Festival at the Robinsons Mall in Barangay San Miguel, Tarlac City on December 11, 2016. Seventeen (17) towns and one city in Tarlac province participated in the annual tradition of making colorful Belen (Nativity) using recyclable materials. #PartnerforChange Connect with RTVM

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RELATED FROM PAGEONE.PH/TARLAC ONLINE

Tarlac Launches 2016 Belenismo Festival By Newsdesk (MS) - November 7, 2016


The 9th Belenismo Festival opened on Friday night in this capital city of Tarlac province.

Organized by the Tarlac Heritage Foundation (THF), the annual festival runs from November to January in Tarlac’s 17 municipalities and one city.

Every night for more than two months, bright and colorful “belen” displays light up the streets of this province. The Christmas tableaux depict the Nativity scene named after the Holy Land town of Bethlehem, which is called Belen in Spanish.

More than 50 entries have joined the competition this year, coming from local government units, educational institutions, parish churches, residential communities, civic organizations, and government agencies.

READ MORE...

Belenismo started in 2007 and has been held annually except for one year when a strong typhoon caused its cancellation.

The province-wide search for the best belen in various categories has drawn local and foreign tourists to Tarlac, a landlocked province in Central Luzon.

THF President Dr. Isa Cojuangco Suntay said: “Tarlac is now known as the Belen Capital of the Philippines, and the Belenismo Festival showcases the best of Tarlaqueno culture.” (PNA) SCS/JAG/RSM

PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK.COM/DTSEBASTIAN


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