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RODY SAYS SORRY, DISOWNS EJKs; CALLS THEM A 'DIRTY JOB' PROBE URGED(“Patawarin niyo po ako talagang hindi ako pwedeng mawalaan ng momentum dito (Forgive me for this, but I will not lose my momentum in this war on drugs),” he said. “I’m really very sorry to all… Hindi naman I’m sorry for the decision but I’m sorry for those na tinamaan.)
[RELATED: Singapore backs Duterte’s tough stance against drugs]


DECEMBER 13 -LONG SHADOW – A Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team member stands guard as inmates are gathered in the courtyard of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) facility in Bicutan as jail officials conduct ‘Oplan Galugad’ that yielded drug paraphernalia and weapons Monday morning. (Ali Vicoy | Manila Bulletin)
President Duterte has disowned extrajudicial killings of known drug suspects in the country, calling the violent deaths with marks of torture as “a dirty job” and vowed that his government will look into them. “We will, I will address the problems of extrajudicial killing. It is not our job. Maniwala kayo,” the President, speaking at a Christmas time festival in Tarlac City last Sunday, said. Police data show that a total of more than 5,000 suspected people have been killed nationwide since the government launched its war on drugs in July as part of Duterte’s campaign promise to rid the country of drugs and narco-politics. “I’m getting a lot of flak, criticism and all. I can understand. I can understand the church. I can understand the libertarians. I can understand the bleeding hearts,” Duterte said, but in the same breath denied that the police or military was involved in summary executions. READ MORE...RELATED, Singapore backs Duterte’s tough stance against drugs...

ALSO: DU30 DID NOT COMMIT HIGH CRIMES AS PRESIDENT: House rules out impeachment
[RELATED: COMMENTARY - Meaning of "High Crimes and Misdemeanors"]


DECEMBER 16 -LEADERS of the House of Representatives have ruled out impeachment moves against President Rodrigo Duterte, brushing aside a claim by Sen. Leila de Lima that the Chief Executive is a murderer. House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez of Davao del Norte and House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas of Ilocos Norte made the declaration following a statement by de Lima that Duterte could be impeached, supposedly for admitting to killing people and endorsing mass murder. “Senator de Lima is not only a liar but a stupid one, too. You cannot just impeach an official for mere words. You have to prove the offense. What if the President would later say he was only joking?” Alvarez said. De Lima, a former Justice secretary, claimed the President’s statements could be viewed as culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust, and that these involved “high crimes.” READ MORE...RELATED, COMMENTARY - Meaning of "High Crimes and Misdemeanors"...

ALSO: A somber Rody hopes for peaceful Christmas in Mindanao
[ALSO: Palace’s birthday wish to Pope Francis: Good health, good humor; Duterte sends birthday greeting to the pontiff, thanks him for setting ‘humble example’]


DECEMBER 13 -The President expressed hope that the federal system, which his administration is pushing, could bring the elusive peace as it would allow the states a “higher form” of autonomy. STAR/File photo ANGELES CITY, Philippines – President Duterte has expressed hope for a peaceful Christmas in the country, especially in Mindanao as he lamented that peace remains elusive in the region. Speaking at the awards night for the 9th Belenismo sa Tarlac on Sunday, the President said that the country will never attain peace unless the island attains a “just and lasting peace.” “Mindanao has always been a land of violence. And sadly, it’s the most troubled land in the Philippines. There are few skirmishes here and there. And you can see it in Jolo,” the President said at the awarding rites of the belen (Nativity scene) contest at Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac on Sunday. READ MORE...ALSO, Palace’s birthday wish to Pope Francis: Good health, good humor Malacañang sends birthday greeting to the pontiff, thanks him for setting ‘humble example’...

ALSO: 2-Day visit - Cambodia warm to Duterte's stance on US, China [RELATED: Unlike US, China to fund RP anti-poverty projects]


DECEMBER 13 -President Rodrigo Duterte shows the list containing government and police officials allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade to the members of the Wallace Business Forum during a dinner at Malacañan Palace on Dec. 12, 2016. PPD/Rey Baniquet
PHNOM PENH — President Rodrigo Duterte's stance against Western influence made Cambodian leaders see him as an ally—giving him a relatively warm reception in a first stand-alone state visit for 20 years. Despite the two countries' different approaches on how to resolve conflict in the South China Sea, Philippine Ambassador Christopher Montero said Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has admired Duterte for distancing himself from Western influence in domestic affairs. Duterte has moved for an "independent" foreign policy under his administration, which caused a stir in its relationship with long-time ally—the United States. The president has also been seeking support for his goal of having a united Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as the country gears for chairmanship next year. READ MORE...RELATED, Unlike US, China to fund RP anti-poverty projects...

ALSO: FEELING OLD? Duterte says he may not ‘be around’ by the end of term at 77
[ALSO: CAN WE HAVE A PEACEFUL XMAS? Duterte asks rebels, Abu Sayyaf, Take a vacation]


DECEMBER 14 -HNOM PENH - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday that he might not "be around" until the end of his term, and that, after winning the presidency at 71, he had found out late in the day that "I don't need it at my age." The previous day he had told a gathering of business leaders in the Philippines that he suffered from back pains, migraines and Buerger's disease, a cause of blockages in the blood vessels, associated with smoking during his youth.On Tuesday, Duterte told a cheering crowd of a few thousand expatriate Filipinos in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh: "I am old ... This is my last hurrah -- after this, 77 -- I am not sure if I will still be around by the end of my term." Duterte, who will be 77 at the end of his six-year term in 2022, is the oldest person to be elected president in the Philippines since the post-war period.READ MORE...ALSO, CAN WE HAVE A PEACEFUL CHRISTMAS? Duterte asks rebels, Abu Sayyaf: Take a vacation...


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Duterte disowns EJKs, calls them a ‘dirty job’; Lacson urges probe


LONG SHADOW – A Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team member stands guard as inmates are gathered in the courtyard of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) facility in Bicutan as jail officials conduct ‘Oplan Galugad’ that yielded drug paraphernalia and weapons Monday morning. (Ali Vicoy | Manila Bulletin)

MANILA, DECEMBER 19, 2016 (MANILA BULLETIN) Published December 13, 2016 by Elena L. Aben and Mario B. Casayuran - President Duterte has disowned extrajudicial killings of known drug suspects in the country, calling the violent deaths with marks of torture as “a dirty job” and vowed that his government will look into them.

“We will, I will address the problems of extrajudicial killing. It is not our job. Maniwala kayo,” the President, speaking at a Christmas time festival in Tarlac City last Sunday, said.

Police data show that a total of more than 5,000 suspected people have been killed nationwide since the government launched its war on drugs in July as part of Duterte’s campaign promise to rid the country of drugs and narco-politics.

“I’m getting a lot of flak, criticism and all. I can understand. I can understand the church. I can understand the libertarians. I can understand the bleeding hearts,” Duterte said, but in the same breath denied that the police or military was involved in summary executions.

READ MORE...

Many of the victims were gunned down in streets by vigilantes, while some were wrapped in plastic and dumped. Duterte denied the government had anything to do with the so-called vigilante killings.

“We do not do that. It’s a dirty job,” he said. “At saka para kang hindi lalaki; talian mo, balutin mo – it’s a form of torture… Hindi trabaho ng pulis iyan pati sundalo. Bakit mo balutin eh ‘di patayin mo na lang? We are not producing mummy (It is unmanly to tie them up; wrap them – it’s a form of toruture… That is not the work of the police or the soldier even. Why the trouble of wrapping them up if you can just kill ’em? We are not producing mummies),” he said.

The President reiterated that his order to the police and the military is to hunt down drug pushers and arrest them, but if they are armed and put up a fight, then none of the lives of his men should be at risk. “Unahan na ninyo. That’s my order (Kill them first. That’s my order),” he said.

Duterte apologized to those affected by his all-out campaign against the illegal drugs trade, saying “this is a matter of survival” for the country.

“Patawarin niyo po ako talagang hindi ako pwedeng mawalaan ng momentum dito (Forgive me for this, but I will not lose my momentum in this war on drugs),” he said. “I’m really very sorry to all… Hindi naman I’m sorry for the decision but I’m sorry for those na tinamaan. Simple lang ’to. Huminto lang kayong lahat sa droga, tapos na (I’m not sorry for my decision, but for those struck by this campaign. Simply put, everybody just has to stop their drug activities, and it’s all over),” he said.

INVESTIGATION PUSHED

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs pushed for an exhaustive investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Philippine National Police (PNP) into some 4,000 unsolved killings since the anti-drug campaign started.

Senator Panfilo M. Lacson, committee chairman, issued the call after expressing the worrisome statistics that only one-third of the almost 6,000 deaths since July were supposedly undertaken by legitimate police operations.

“If we talk of 6,000, that’s 4,000 allegedly done by vigilantes or those riding in tandem in a matter of six months,” Lacson said.

As human rights advocates in the Senate led by Sen. Leila de Lima and Risa Hontiveros called these killings as “extra judicial killings” (EJKs), Lacson called on Director-General Ronald dela Rosa, PNP Chief, to form a special task group to conduct the investigation.

A former PNP Chief himself, Lacson said the team should be composed of seasoned intelligence and investigative personnel of the PNP to address this particular issue of “DUI” or “death under investigation” supposedly done by vigilantes or riding-in-tandem suspects.

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Singapore backs Duterte’s tough stance against drugs 2 SHARES Share it! Published December 17, 2016, 12:09 AM by Elena L. Aben

Singapore – President Duterte found another ally in his intensified campaign against illegal drugs in the two top leaders of Singapore who agreed that there should be no compromise in the fight against it.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said the issue of illegal drugs was among those discussed during President Duterte’s bilateral meetings with Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Prime Minister Lee Hsien during the President’s two-day state visit to Singapore.

President Duterte and Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam also vowed to push for a safe and secure Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region that is free from traditional and emerging transnational threats.

PH-SINGAPORE TIES – President Rodrigo R. Duterte is accompanied by Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam as they walk past the honor guard at the Istana in Singapore Thursday. (Malacañang Photo | Manila Bulletin) PH-SINGAPORE TIES – President Rodrigo R. Duterte is accompanied by Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam as they walk past the honor guard at the Istana in Singapore Thursday. (Malacañang Photo | Manila Bulletin)

NO COMPROMISE

“The general consensus was both agreed that the methods that we have adopted, being tough in the fight against illegal drugs, and that this toughness and the measures that will be taken must be taken in the context of the urgent priorities and needs on the ground, as is relevant to our own situation,” said Yasay.

This, as the Philippines and Singapore officials said those behind this illicit trade are ruthless and they will not hesitate to eliminate anyone who will come their way and prevent them from pursuing their drug trade.

“So there was a consensus that this is the kind of method that you should adopt. There can be no compromise on this, that toughness must be there,” he added.

Yasay said Duterte told the Singaporean officials that this toughness shown by the Philippine government in its war on drugs had somehow immediately resulted in a positive impact.

The syndicates behind the illicit drugs have been minimized with some of them trying to plan on getting into other forms of criminal activities that include kidnapping, while drug addicts are now surrendering so that they can undergo rehabilitation and social reintegration.

“Now, there was also a mention on the part of the Singaporean leaders that they will continue to be tough and that this is the reason why they also have continued to make sure that anyone caught in the illicit drug trade with a minimum of certain amount of drugs will be subject to the death penalty,” said Yasay.

“We are considering this kind of action on the part of illegal drugs. That’s why there are talks in the Philippines right now of restoring the death penalty on these kinds of criminal activity and other kinds of activities as well,” he added.

“They will also be sharing information and also assistance insofar as technical aspect of law enforcement along this line is concerned,” he said, adding that: “There are already agreements insofar as pursuing a sharing of intelligence information with respect to who are the criminals involved.”

During their meeting, Yasay said Duterte also mentioned that based on intelligence information there was a Singaporean who was actively involved in terroristic and other criminal activities in the country. “And we did not hesitate upon the request of the Prime Minister to give them the name of the persons concerned. This will trigger a lot of areas of cooperation and information sharing in the future,” said the DFA secretary.

CLOSE PARTNER AND FRIEND

Duterte said his purpose in coming to the city-state was “to renew and reaffirm the friendship and cooperation” between the nations and its peoples.”

And as he called Singapore a “close partner and friend,” Duterte said he is looking forward to seeing “more facets of cooperation” to the two countries’ now multi-dimensional relations.

“We work closely on political issues, pursuing principled positions on the rule of law in the peaceful settlement of disputes. We reaffirm and respect our independence and the non-interference in the internal affairs of states,” Duterte said.

“We are championing diversity and making sure that dialogue between religions and faiths form the bedrock of a peaceful society. We are advancing growth by further intensifying two-way trade and commerce. We are expanding the opportunities for investments to flourish in both our countries,” he said.

“Indeed, we have done much and we can do more,” Duterte continued.

In terms of improving growth, Duterte said two-way trade and commerce will be further intensified. He added that opportunities are being broadened so both countries can attract increased investments.

He noted that the presence of 180,000 Filipinos in the Lion City is testimony to an enduring relationship between the Philippines and Singapore.

“I say tonight we can and should look forward to a future of greater mutually beneficial collaboration. This is a future we can start… chart together and aim to achieve. This is how friends should be,” he said.

Tan, for his part, highlighted the two countries’ robust friendship “anchored on a shared vision of peace, harmony, and prosperity for our countries and the region.”

He said both Singapore and the Philippines are doing more to enhance economic and business cooperation.

And as the two countries believe in trade and development to improve the lives of its peoples, Singapore companies are keen to invest in the Philippines – one of Asia’s fastest growing economies, said Tan.

In line with the current administration priorities for inclusive economic development, IE Singapore is also encouraging Singapore companies to venture beyond Metro Manila and into cities such as Davao and Cebu, he said.

“I am pleased to note that IE Singapore is devoting more resources to step up its presence in the Philippines in 2017, to better serve the growing interest of Singapore companies in the Philippine market,” the Singaporean president further said.


MANILA TIMES

DUTERTE DID NOT COMMIT HIGH CRIMES AS PRESIDENT: House rules out impeachment  BY LLANESCA T. PANTI, TMT ON DECEMBER 16, 2016 HEADLINES

LEADERS of the House of Representatives have ruled out impeachment moves against President Rodrigo Duterte, brushing aside a claim by Sen. Leila de Lima that the Chief Executive is a murderer.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez of Davao del Norte and House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas of Ilocos Norte made the declaration following a statement by de Lima that Duterte could be impeached, supposedly for admitting to killing people and endorsing mass murder.

“Senator de Lima is not only a liar but a stupid one, too. You cannot just impeach an official for mere words. You have to prove the offense. What if the President would later say he was only joking?” Alvarez said.

De Lima, a former Justice secretary, claimed the President’s statements could be viewed as culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust, and that these involved “high crimes.”

READ MORE...

Since Duterte’s assumption to the presidency, police have reported killing 2,086 people in anti-drug operations. More than 3,000 others have been killed in unexplained circumstances, according to official figures.

“The President could only be impeached by acts or omissions committed as President. The President said that such happened when he was a mayor patrolling the streets of Davao…to keep them drug- or crime-free,”
Fariñas, one of the public prosecutors during the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012, pointed out.

“In fact, she (de Lima) had investigated such cases and came up with no actionable offenses,” Fariñas added.

De Lima, as Justice chief and Commission on Human Rights chairwoman, investigated the Davao Death Squad allegedly led by Duterte when he was mayor of Davao City. Duterte has denied his involvement with the group.
For de Lima, Duterte has no business being President because he is a killer.

“We have an unfit President. He just confessed to doing the killing of people in Davao and we know that he’s the one encouraging, promoting and tolerating these killings and therefore, that is an impeachable offense.
What we have is mass murder,” de Lima said in a CNN interview.

Duterte made the comments in a speech on Monday night to businessmen as he discussed his campaign to eradicate illegal drugs.

After speaking about police killing suspects during the current crime war, Duterte said he led similar efforts when he was mayor of Davao, the major southern city that he ruled for most of the previous 20 years.

“In Davao I used to do it personally. Just to show to the guys (police) that if I can do it why can’t you,” Duterte said in his speech in Malacañang.

“And I’d go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around, and I would just patrol the streets, looking for trouble also. I was really looking for a confrontation so I could kill.”

Duterte also responded to criticism from human rights groups and US President Barack Obama about his brutal anti-crime tactics, vowing to continue his crackdown.

“If they say that I am afraid to stop [the campaign]because of the human rights and guys from including Obama: Sorry, I am not about to do that,” he said.

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RELATED  WWW.CONSTITUTION.ORG (COMMENTARY)

Meaning of "High Crimes and Misdemeanors"by Jon Roland, Constitution Society

The question of impeachment turns on the meaning of the phrase in the Constitution at Art. II Sec. 4, "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors".

I have carefully researched the origin of the phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors" and its meaning to the Framers, and found that the key to understanding it is the word "high".

It does not mean "more serious". It refers to those punishable offenses that only apply to high persons, that is, to public officials, those who, because of their official status, are under special obligations that ordinary persons are not under, and which could not be meaningfully applied or justly punished if committed by ordinary persons.

Under the English common law tradition, crimes were defined through a legacy of court proceedings and decisions that punished offenses not because they were prohibited by statutes, but because they offended the sense of justice of the people and the court.

Whether an offense could qualify as punishable depended largely on the obligations of the offender, and the obligations of a person holding a high position meant that some actions, or inactions, could be punishable if he did them, even though they would not be if done by an ordinary person.

Offenses of this kind survive today in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It recognizes as punishable offenses such things as perjury of oath, refusal to obey orders, abuse of authority, dereliction of duty, failure to supervise, moral turpitude, and conduct unbecoming.

These would not be offenses if committed by a civilian with no official position, but they are offenses which bear on the subject's fitness for the duties he holds, which he is bound by oath or affirmation to perform.

Perjury is usually defined as "lying under oath". That is not quite right. The original meaning was "violation of one's oath (or affirmation)".

The word "perjury" is usually defined today as "lying under oath about a material matter", but that is not its original or complete meaning, which is "violation of an oath". We can see this by consulting the original Latin from which the term comes. From An Elementary Latin Dictionary, by Charlton T. Lewis (1895), Note that the letter "j" is the letter "i" in Latin.

periurium, i, n,, a false oath, perjury.
periurus, adj., oath-breaking, false to vows, perjured. iuro, avi, atus, are, to swear, take an oath.


PHILSTAR

Duterte hopes for peaceful Christmas in Mindanao By Ding Cervantes (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 13, 2016 - 12:00am 0 3 googleplus0 0


The President expressed hope that the federal system, which his administration is pushing, could bring the elusive peace as it would allow the states a “higher form” of autonomy. STAR/File photo

ANGELES CITY, Philippines – President Duterte has expressed hope for a peaceful Christmas in the country, especially in Mindanao as he lamented that peace remains elusive in the region.

Speaking at the awards night for the 9th Belenismo sa Tarlac on Sunday, the President said that the country will never attain peace unless the island attains a “just and lasting peace.”

“Mindanao has always been a land of violence. And sadly, it’s the most troubled land in the Philippines. There are few skirmishes here and there. And you can see it in Jolo,” the President said at the awarding rites of the belen (Nativity scene) contest at Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac on Sunday.

READ MORE...

“We are aching for peace. That was why I went out of my way to initiate talks with everybody who was at war with government,” he added, referring to the talks between the government and rebel groups Communist Party of the Philippines/National Democratic Front/New People’s Army, Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Moro National Liberation Front.

As the third round of peace talks begins in Rome next month, Duterte hopes that both parties will be able to forge a final peace agreement.

“Look, we have been fighting for 45 years. You add another five and it would be 50 years of insurgency. Wala naman tayong nakuha (We did not achieve anything) except the lives lost,” he said.

The President expressed hope that the federal system, which his administration is pushing, could bring the elusive peace as it would allow the states a “higher form” of autonomy. – With Edith Regalado

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ALSO FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Palace’s birthday wish to Pope Francis: Good health, good humor Malacañang sends birthday greeting to the pontiff, thanks him for setting ‘humble example’ 207 SHARES Share it! Published December 17, 2016, 7:34 PM By MB Online


Pope Francis upon arrival at the U.S.T. grounds. (Rudy Liwanag | Manila Bulletin)

Malacañang has sent birthday greetings to Pope Francis as he turned 80 on Saturday, December 17.

“We wish Pope Francis good health and good humor as he continues to guide us to build a more humane world,” communications secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement wishing the His Holiness a happy birthday.

He also expressed his gratitude towards the pontiff for having “successfully inspired people around the world,” by setting as a “humble example.”

Andanar also looked back on the Holy Father’s historic visit to the Philippines on January 25–29, 2015, particularly in typhoon-hit Tacloban City.

“His touching homily in Tacloban has left an indelible memory in the hearts of thousands, especially survivors of typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan,” he said.

President Duterte was under fire last year when he cussed Pope Francis during his presidential campaign.

The president called the pontiff “a son of a bitch” for causing a traffic jam during his visit in Manila.

The president eventually apologized, which the Vatican appreciated.


PHILSTAR

Cambodia warm to Duterte's stance on US, China By Christina Mendez (philstar.com) | Updated December 13, 2016 - 7:45pm 5 93 googleplus0 0


President Rodrigo Duterte shows the list containing government and police officials allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade to the members of the Wallace Business Forum during a dinner at Malacañan Palace on Dec. 12, 2016. PPD/Rey Baniquet

PHNOM PENH — President Rodrigo Duterte's stance against Western influence made Cambodian leaders see him as an ally—giving him a relatively warm reception in a first stand-alone state visit for 20 years.

Despite the two countries' different approaches on how to resolve conflict in the South China Sea, Philippine Ambassador Christopher Montero said Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has admired Duterte for distancing himself from Western influence in domestic affairs.

Duterte has moved for an "independent" foreign policy under his administration, which caused a stir in its relationship with long-time ally—the United States.

The president has also been seeking support for his goal of having a united Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as the country gears for chairmanship next year.

READ MORE...

A key characteristic of his foreign policy is closer ties with Beijing despite the arbitration ruling invalidating the nine-dash line and favoring the Philippines' claims over the South China Sea.

"Well I must tell you that Prime Minister Hun Sen has deep admiration for President Duterte. He has expressed it publicly in the past. He sees in him an ally in terms of standing up against Western countries in so far as non-interference in internal affairs as far as the state is concerned," Montero said.

The Philippines merely hoped for an official visit but it was elevated into a state visit with an invitation from the King of Cambodia.

"The fact that it was elevated into a state visit only shows, demonstrates that Cambodia attaches great value to its bilateral relationship with the Philippines inspite of certain differences in our approach in the South China Sea issue," he said.

FIRST TIME IN 20 YEARS

It is a first time in 20 years that the Philippines is having standalone bilateral talks with Cambodia.

"We are very, very pleased that Cambodia government has in fact elevated this visit to a state visit. We actually requested that this would just be an official visit within the context of the ASEAN tradition where new heads of government of state normally call on their counterparts in ASEAN," Montero added.

Cambodia earlier this year reportedly blocked an ASEAN statement with strong wording against China's island-building and aggression in the disputed waters. Montero, however, said that the South China Sea issue does not define the two countries' relations.

"There are other areas in our relations where we are cooperating like in agriculture, sports, labor… so I don't want to answer, at least for now, if [the South China Sea issue] will be discussed in length," Montero said.

The president's hard stance against illegal drugs is also expected to come up in the discussions. "I am sure that he will have a very lively discussion with PM Hun Sen during their bilateral meeting about the subject," Montero said.

The Philippines and Cambodia are working on the memorandum for understanding to intensify intelligence exchange between the two countries.

"In terms of defense cooperation, there have been several visits of the Philippines in terms of information sharing. Recently the chief of the intelligence arm of their Army went to the Philippines," Montero said.

"We are discussing a possible MOU on intelligence-exchange cooperation. We are also assisting the military in terms of capacity building for its military officials," he added.


Image on Twitter View image on Twitter Follow christina mendez @xtinamen Duterte arrives Cambodia for a two-day visit (Palace foto) 6:25 AM - 13 Dec 2016 Retweets likes

 
https://youtu.be/If1jQ7tPvWE?t=139

PINASAYA NI PRESIDENT DUTERTE Ang Filipino Community sa Cambodia Published on Dec 13, 2016

PRESIDENT RODRIGO DUTERTE ---------------------------------------------------
Duterte wants to overhaul the unitary-presidential system and shift to a federal-parliamentary system through a Constitutional Convention. He desires the holding of a plebiscite and preparing the future federal states to effect power-sharing, resources-sharing, respect-for-all and development-for-all as key to reforming the whole bureaucracy to effect good governance.

Reforms under the new system are said to include: increasing the salaries of government workers; fighting graft and corruption; and unleashing the full potentials of all regions and ethnic groups for social, economic and cultural growth. Furthermore, constitutional amendment shall lift restrictive economic provisions in the Constitution, grant more foreign ownership of property and certain industries.

The centerpiece of Duterte’s campaign platform was suppressing the three so-called evils: crime, illegal drugs and corruption, which he believes are undermining security across all sectors and hampering the growth of the domestic economy. He pledged to instill discipline with an iron fist for everyone to adhere to the rule of law and strengthen the country’s justice system.

To reestablish law and order, he plans to launch a focused, time-bound campaign against criminals, drug lords and corrupt government officials through the joint efforts of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

He also plans to carry out: improvement of government provision of social services which include education, health, housing, mass transportation with special attention to the elderly, women, children, youth, indigenous peoples and other marginalized sectors; provision of assistance to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families; and adaptation to climate change through reducing risk, preparing for natural disasters and adopting 911 nationwide.

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ALSO FROM THE TRIBUNE

Unlike US, China to fund RP anti-poverty projects Written by Tribune Wires Sunday, 18 December 2016 00:00


After a US senator warned that they can stop supporting countries that violated human rights, Duterte dared the US, the United Nations and the European Union to pull out their aid from the Philippines. Earlier Friday, Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua signed a memorandum of understanding with Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo for a P100 million donation to fund anti-poverty programs. COURTESY OF GMA NEWS

As a major aid package from the United States was put on-hold for issues over the “rule of law and civil liberties” of the country, Beijing the other day committed to fund and extend poverty relief projects with Manila.

According to Chinese Embassy to the Philippines, Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Social Welfare and Development last Dec. 16.

LIVELIHOOD PROJECTS IN DAVAO

Under the MOU, Beijing and Manila are set to partner in holding cooperation programs related to the livelihood projects in Davao and other regions.

The Chinese embassy vowed to provide P100 million to Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for future livelihood programs and projects such as poverty relief and disaster response.

Among the most poverty-stricken settings in the nation, the Embassy specifically mentioned the Davao region as one of the priority areas.

DSWD Secretary Taguiwalo, on behalf of the government, expressed sincere appreciation to the Chinese side.
At the same date, China donated 10metric tons of Longping LP 205 hybrid rice seeds to at least 600 farmers in Aurora Province, similar to their donations to 650 farmers in Ilocos Norte Province two days ago.


TAGUIWALO

“As a country prone to typhoon-related disasters each year, China, in a deeply sympathizing way, feels for our Filipino friends in Aurora and our thoughts are always with those families most affected by the tropical storms,” said Jianhua during a turn-over ceremony.

On behalf of the people of Aurora Province, gov. Gerardo Noveras also expressed gratitude to the assistance given by the embassy.

“It is really unexpected that the response from the Chinese embassy to our request for seed donation was so rapid. I had the thought that it might take a year before we receive any assistance,” he said mentioning that the donation arrived just in time to meet the farmers’ needs.

Aside from the seeds donated, China also provided technical assistance to the province.

“If the production is ideal, the government of Aurora Province will purchase more Longping hybrid rice seeds for our farmers to expand the plantation,” Noveras said.

The Embassy took note of these collaborations as testimony to the earnest amity of the Chinese government and people to the Filipinos.

STRENGHTENING 'EXPLOSIVE' RELATIONS BY 2017

Jianhua also said China- Philippine relations will be considered “explosive” starting mid 2017 as both nations work on strengthening their friendship and cooperation.

Jianhua, during a Christmas party he hosted for Philippine media at the Shangri-la Hotel in Makati City, said as a result of President Duterte’s visit to China, the Philippines will export more fruits to China and more Chinese tourists will visit the Philippines in 2017.

He also said China will sponsor a high level forum in May and a summit in September of 2017, and Duterte is expected to attend.

“Five major emerging power get together in September next year in Xiamen. I think your President will be invited to attend the meeting because the Philippines will assume the rotating chairmanship of Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations],” the ambassador said.

He said they have foreseen that “the Philippines will be becoming a more important country in the future.”
Jianhua assured that Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the Asean meeting in November and there is a great possibility that they will sign a bilateral agreement.

In between, he said, there will be an exchange of elected and appointed officials in government like members of Congress, cabinet secretaries and their counterparts.

CLOSE NEIGHBORS, CLOSE PARTNERS

“China and the Philippines are not just close neighbors but relatives. We should be close partners. We should always focus on our common interests,” he pointed out.

“And, these are the things that unite us. Of course, our differences cannot go away for tomorrow,” Jianhua explained.

He said differences of two nations should be handled properly so both nations can continue to focus and enhance their common interests.

He also emphasized the role of media in advancing bilateral relations by disseminating information to both countries.

“In our bilalateral relations, media have always played an important role.I think, with advancement of bilateral relations, Philippine media can play a bigger and greater role in the process of development bilateral relations. I can say that I am confident the media here will play that role,” he said.

He even reminded all stakeholders to work hand in hand “to turn the train of cooperation into a high speed rail.”

He informed that the average train speed in China is 260 kilometers per hour and that experiments are underway to increase train speed to 480 kilometers per hour, the fastest in the world.

“But as far as the Philippines is concerned, it is too fast. We must be careful if we have this train because it might run into the ocean,” Jianhua added.


INQUIRER

Duterte says he may not ‘be around’ till end of term Published December 14, 2016 6:35am



PHNOM PENH - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday that he might not "be around" until the end of his term, and that, after winning the presidency at 71, he had found out late in the day that "I don't need it at my age."

The previous day he had told a gathering of business leaders in the Philippines that he suffered from back pains, migraines and Buerger's disease, a cause of blockages in the blood vessels, associated with smoking during his youth.

On Tuesday, Duterte told a cheering crowd of a few thousand expatriate Filipinos in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh: "I am old ... This is my last hurrah -- after this, 77 -- I am not sure if I will still be around by the end of my term."

Duterte, who will be 77 at the end of his six-year term in 2022, is the oldest person to be elected president in the Philippines since the post-war period.

READ MORE...

He added that he had "found out very late" that he did not need the presidency at his age.

"It's not a question of having regrets, none at all, because I entered into it," he said, before adding:

"I realize now - I do not need it at this time of my life. But I tell you, I take pleasure at the end of the day, that's the only consolation, I have a job, I am doing something right."

Duterte had told the business leaders on Monday that he had no fear of being removed from power or assassinated because of opposition to the rising death toll in his anti-drugs campaign.

Since July 1, about 5,000 people have died in his crackdown, a key plank of his May election campaign. Police say 2,004 have been killed by officers in self-defense, with another 3,060 killings "under investigation".

"Oust me - good; assassinate me - better; I have this migraine every day," he said. "I have a lot of issues with my spine. What I have is really Buerger's disease. It's an acquired thing that you get from smoking, because of nicotine."

Doctors had advised surgery on his spine, he said, but his wife, a nurse who used to work in the United States, did not agree because "a lot of operations for the spine went wrong".

He added: "If you guys see me always in a sad mood, I am actually pushing a nerve here to relieve the pain," and touched the right side of his face.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the health issues had not affected Duterte's work, dismissing the remarks as "Nothing serious". Duterte no longer smokes or drinks alcohol.

But Duterte missed some events during meetings of the ASEAN grouping of South East Asian nations in Laos in September and last month's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru, due to migraine attacks and a bad stomach.

Duterte on Tuesday announced the distribution of 2 billion pesos' ($40 million) worth of medicines to poor families afflicted by illness, and to drug-dependent individuals at rehabilitation centers.

He told drug users to stay indoors or face arrest. — Reuters

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWSW NETWORK

CAN WE HAVE A PEACEFUL CHRISTMAS? Duterte asks rebels, Abu Sayyaf: Take a vacation Published December 17, 2016 7:05pm By JESSICA BARTOLOME, GMA News

President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday urged rebels and the Abu Sayyaf Group to take a vacation for peaceful Christmas and New Year celebrations.

"I'd like to greet everybody, lahat na, the Filipino people, the law-abiding and of course if they find it in their hearts, though this is not really something for the Moro... na we can have a peaceful Christmas. I hope that you would just, isa dyan, ang mga Abu Sayyaf, [to] take a vacation," Duterte said during his visit at the Armed Forces of the Philippines' Western Mindanao Command headquarters in Zamboanga City.

Duterte disclosed that he was supposed to make the formal appeal to the rebels and bandit groups in a "good speech" that he was preparing.

[I'd like] to greet everybody, the communists, the Abu Sayyaf, lahat sila. In behalf of sa taong Pilipino, I greet everybody Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year for all," he said.

The President even promised to treat the rebels and the bandits to a dinner "if they happen to pass by Davao."

He added that the dinner could be arranged by his daughter-in-law, Lovely Sangkula, a native of Jolo.

"So nakikiusap ako sa lahat na can we have a peaceful Christmas? Maybe we can resume fighting some other day," he added.

Even as he asked rebels and the bandits for a truce, Duterte said he will not do the same for criminals, especially drug personalities.

"Yung mga shabu? Bigyan mo ako ng isang platong shabu...ipakain ko. Galit ako sa kriminal, hindi ako galit sa rebolusyonaryo," he said.

Duterte's administration has renewed peace efforts with all the Moro rebel groups, including the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front.

The government has also revived peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army.

Late last month, the President had also said he was ready to talk with the Abu Sayyaf Group.

Aside from the Abu Sayyaf, the military has also launched an intensified offensive against the Maute Group based in Lanao del Sur. —ALG, GMA News


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