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RODY TO MAYORS ON NARCO LIST: RESIGN OR DIE
[Downplay from Abella: Kill order just Duterte’s messaging style]


JANUARY 10 -President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday urged mayors involved in the illegal drug trade to resign or else he would confront them and kill them. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File
President Duterte yesterday urged mayors involved in the illegal drug trade to resign or else he would confront them and kill them. “As long as I’m President, these big shabu dealers will really die… tatawagin ko iyong mga mayors, i-lock ko, no… kami-kami lang. Pangalan mo diyan mayor, p***ina ‘pag nandiyan iyong pangalan mo, may problema ka. Talagang papatayin kita (I will call the mayors, lock them in. Son of a b****, your name is there, you have a problem. I will kill you),” Duterte said in a speech delivered before new appointees in Malacañang. Duterte was referring to his thick list of incumbent and former officials with alleged links to illegal drugs. “Either you resign or make a clean breath of everything, come up with a clean nose and we’ll talk. I might go down in history as the butcher. Eh bahala kayo (It’s up to you),” he added. READ MORE...RELATED,
Abella: Kill order just Duterte’s messaging style...

ALSO: Duterte - Fight corruption, injustice, abuse of power
(He [Duterte] said the Black Nazarene, “who carried his cross to redeem the rest of humankind,” embodies such faith (from millions of devotees] . “In His tears, we see our sorrow; and in His agony, we find our solace and strength to triumph against the most insurmountable odds,” Duterte said.) [RELATED: Robredo tells Duterte: I hope you were exaggerating (Narco Mayors-resign or die)]


JANUARY 10 -President Rodrigo Duterte recognized yesterday Filipinos’ unwavering fight against injustice, corruption and abuse of power in his message for this year’s Traslacion (transfer) of the Black Nazarene. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)
President Duterte recognized yesterday Filipinos’ unwavering fight against injustice, corruption and abuse of power in his message for this year’s Traslacion (transfer) of the Black Nazarene. A Roman Catholic who claims to believe in God but not in religion, Duterte said Filipinos keep their faith as they strive to fight the ills of society. “We are neither exhausted by praying constantly nor do we ever falter in expressing our religious fervor,” he said. “Despite the passage of time, we relentlessly fight against injustice and lies, abuse of power and the corruption that eats up the soul.” Duterte described as phenomenal the expression of faith of the millions of Black Nazarene devotees – that is gratitude, petition and sacrifice. READ MORE...RELATED,
Robredo tells Duterte: I hope you were exaggerating [Narco Mayors-resign or die...

ALSO: CHR - Mayors innocent unless proven otherwise
[RELATED" Duterte to declare martial law if drug problem becomes ‘virulent’]


JANUARY 13 -The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) yesterday urged President Rodrigo Duterte to respect the constitutional guarantee of presumption of innocence in dealing with the so-called “narco mayors.” PPD/King Rodriguez  The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) yesterday urged President Duterte to respect the constitutional guarantee of presumption of innocence in dealing with the so-called “narco mayors.” Reacting to Duterte’s threat to kill local chief executives who are involved in the illegal drug trade, CHR chairman Chito Gascon said the state must pursue law enforcement within the bounds of the law. But a Palace official said that although Duterte might have mentioned a “shoot-to-kill” against erring mayors, this should be considered as just a heart-to-heart talk between the President and the mayors. READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte to declare martial law if drug problem becomes ‘virulent’...

ALSO: Duterte at his first Vin d'Honneur - "PH to strengthen old friendships as it forges new ones"
[RELATED: VP Robredo disinvited to ‘vin d’honneur’]


JANUARY 11 -TOAST FOR 2017. President Rodrigo Duterte proposes a toast at his first Vin d'Honneur as Philippine President. Screenshot from RTVM video
The Philippines will strengthen its existing friendships even as it strives to forge new ones, President Rodrigo Duterte assured the international community on Wednesday, January 11. Duterte gave the assurance to foreign dignitaries as he gave his brief remarks at his first New Year's Day Vin d'Honneur as Chief Executive. Addressing about 80 ambassadors who attended the event, Duterte emphasized his foreign policy of forging new partnerships with other countries. "We value partners as we seek to strengthen existing friendships even as we pursue new ones," told his guests who included US Ambassador Sung Kim, Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua, and Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev. "We believe that friends help each other and utilize constructive engagement to achieve common goals. In truth, we all share the same aspiration of greater peace, progress and prosperity," the President added. READ MORE...RELATED,
VP Robredo disinvited to ‘vin d’honneur...

ALSO: Rody invites pal Trump to Asean summit
[RELATED: Think tank - Political instability possible in Philippines]


JANUARY 11 -Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar said Trump has not committed yet to visit the country for the ASEAN summit. United States President Donald Trump will take oath on Jan. 20. AP /Evan Vucci
MANILA, Philippines – President Duterte sent an official invitation to incoming United States President Donald Trump to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit to be held in the country in November. Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar said Trump has not committed yet to visit the country for the ASEAN summit. Trump will take oath on Jan. 20. Duterte telephoned Trump last year to congratulate him for winning the US presidential elections. Meanwhile, the military and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) are preparing for the launching of the ASEAN summit in Davao City on Jan. 15. READ MORE...RELATED,
Think tank - Political instability possible in Philippines...

ALSO: Duterte won’t attend Trump inauguration
[RELATED: YearEnder - Power struggle hounds CHED; free tuition, ROTC pushed]


JANUARY 16 -US President-elect Donald Trump has been compared to President Rodrigo Duterte because both of them are known for their frank and provocative statements that often stir controversies. File
President Rodrigo Duterte won’t attend the inauguration of incoming US President Donald Trump on January 20, Malacañang said Sunday. Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said heads of state do not usually attend the inauguration of new US presidents. “It is not customary for heads of states to attend the US inauguration because it is a domestic event,” Andanar told state-run radio station dzRB Sunday. Andanar said the Philippines’ representative to the event would be the Ambassador of the Philippines to the US. “Customarily, the head of mission or the ambassador is the representative of our country. Because this is totally a domestic event, Americans will be there to celebrate the inauguration,” he said. READ MORE.. RELATED, YearEnder - Power struggle hounds CHED; free tuition, ROTC pushed...


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Rody to mayors on narco list: Resign or die


President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday urged mayors involved in the illegal drug trade to resign or else he would confront them and kill them. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File

MANILA, JANUARY 16, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Alexis Romero January 10, 2017 - President Duterte yesterday urged mayors involved in the illegal drug trade to resign or else he would confront them and kill them.

“As long as I’m President, these big shabu dealers will really die… tatawagin ko iyong mga mayors, i-lock ko, no… kami-kami lang. Pangalan mo diyan mayor, p***ina ‘pag nandiyan iyong pangalan mo, may problema ka. Talagang papatayin kita (I will call the mayors, lock them in. Son of a b****, your name is there, you have a problem. I will kill you),” Duterte said in a speech delivered before new appointees in Malacañang.

Duterte was referring to his thick list of incumbent and former officials with alleged links to illegal drugs.

“Either you resign or make a clean breath of everything, come up with a clean nose and we’ll talk. I might go down in history as the butcher. Eh bahala kayo (It’s up to you),” he added.

READ MORE...

Duterte stressed that as President, he would not allow the Philippines to be controlled by drug lords.

“So we have a purpose. What? To serve government, to serve the people. What else is there to talk about here, except service to the people. The people should not be shortchanged. We are being paid, we feed our families with the salary we get… but not the way I would present it to the mayors because it would be a bit brutal,” he said.

Duterte previously said that the drug list submitted to him by security forces contains the names of about 2,000 mayors, governors, congressmen and barangay chairmen.

While he claimed that he does not endorse extralegal killing, Duterte could not help but joke about it.

While he was talking about the credentials of his Cabinet members, the President quipped: “Wala akong maipagyabang. Kaya dinadaan ko na lang sa extrajudicial killing. Wala akong credential na maipagyabang eh.
(I don’t have anything to brag about so I just resort to extrajudicial killings.I don’t have credentials to be proud of).”

But in the same speech, Duterte reiterated that the police should defend themselves if they think that their life is in danger.

“Go out and hunt for them. Arrest them if still possible. If not, then if it presents a danger to you, puts up a violent resistance, jeopardizing your life – shoot. That has always been my order,” he said.

The President maintained though that he did not ask the security forces to obey illegal orders.

“Ask any policeman if I ordered him to kill (Sen. Leila) de Lima or kill anyone. I never ordered, I just said – remember that I declared war, I did not declare just any police punitive action. No, no, far from it,” he said.

De Lima, a vocal critic of Duterte’s war on drugs, has been accused of receiving millions in campaign funds from drug lords. The senator has denied the allegations, dismissing them as attempts to assassinate her character.

The United Nations, United States, European Union and human rights groups have scored Duterte for the spate of killings linked to his war on drugs and have asked him to ensure that the rule of law is respected all the time.

Duterte has denied the allegation and even described extrajudicial killing as “unmanly.”

More than 6,000 people have died since Duterte assumed the presidency in June.

Drug-free country

Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa hopes that the country would be drug-free before 2017 ends.

Dela Rosa vowed to continue to intensify the campaign against illegal drugs and the drop in the number of deaths related to it does not be mean the PNP is slowing down.

The STAR reported that the number of suspected drug offenders who were shot dead allegedly after trying to fight it out with police dropped to an average of five persons a day during the first eight days of 2017.

Based on statistics provided by the PNP, there were 41 drug personalities killed from Dec. 31 to Jan. 8, or an average of 5.12 persons daily.

The PNP said the latest update on Project Double Barrel Alpha from July 1, 2016 to Jan. 8, 2017 indicated that 2,208 drug pushers and users were killed in alleged shootouts with policemen. The figure was higher by 41 compared to the report from July 1 to Dec. 31.

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Oscar Albayalde directed the five district directors and 38 station commanders in Metro Manila to prepare the list of at least 450,000 drug pushers and users.

Albayalde said the police commanders should submit their list of targets as soon as possible as part of Oplan Tokhang.

The list submitted by the police districts and stations would be subjected for validation by Senior Supt. Eleazar Matta, NCRPO’s intelligence chief, said Albayalde. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe, Jess Diaz, Non Alquitran

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

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Abella: Kill order just Duterte’s messaging style By: Marlon Ramos - Reporter / @MRamosINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 02:40 AM January 11, 2017


Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella INQUIRER FILE  Photo

That’s just the way he is.

Malacañang on Tuesday soft-pedaled President Duterte’s threat to narcomayors that they would suffer the fate of Rolando Espinosa, the mayor of Albuera, Leyte, who was shot dead by policemen in his detention cell on Nov. 5.

Ernesto Abella, Mr. Duterte’s spokesperson, insisted that the President’s oft-repeated, albeit violent, rhetoric was merely a reflection of his sincerity to wipe out the drug menace.

“It is … a matter of the leadership style and messaging style of the President … . This is his messaging style to underline his intentions. He is serious about it,” Abella told reporters.

“However, it’s just meant to underline his seriousness in making sure that nobody is corrupt and involved in criminality,” he added.

Abella laughed when asked if Mr. Duterte would kill municipal and city mayors on the so-called narcolist that the President almost always shows during his public speeches.

The list, a 10-centimeter-thick pile of documents, contains the names of some 5,000 government officials, most of them policemen, allegedly involved in the sale, production and distribution of illegal drugs.

Espinosa, the father of confessed drug lord Rolan “Kerwin” Espinosa, was shot dead by policemen who swooped down on his cell at the Leyte subprovincial jail on Nov. 5.


LACSON

Sen. Panfilo Lacson said the mayor’s slaying was an obvious case of extrajudicial killing.

Espinosa was slain barely a week after Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom of Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao, was killed in an alleged shootout with policemen in Makilala, North Cotabato.

Interestingly, both mayors were listed on Mr. Duterte’s narcolist.

The foul-mouthed leader, who came up short with his promise to stamp out the drug problem last December, has also threatened to kill drug addicts and those critical of his brutal drug war, among them human rights advocates.

Speaking before newly appointed public officials on Monday, the President said he was planning to confront local chief executives and ask them to look for their names on his narcolist.

If they appeared on the list, Mr. Duterte said the mayors would have “a problem,” warning that their only choice was to resign or face death.

More than 6,000 people have been killed in Mr. Duterte’s war against drugs—about 2,200 in police operations.

DE LIMA SAID WILL PETITION WRITE

Sen. Leila de Lima said on Tuesday that she would file a petition for the writ of amparo (protection) to urge the Supreme Court to tell Mr. Duterte and other officials “to stop threatening me, to tell them to stop issuing statements that can incite people, whether their own allies, their own supporters, or other elements to do harm to me.”

She said that the President’s statements on killings were “disturbing” and made her “a fair game for sinister things.” —WITH A REPORT FROM TARRA QUISMUNDO

WATCH VIDEO: 'THREATS DOUBLY DISTURBING TO ME' -DE LIMA

 
https://youtu.be/WN4aMjg0sMA?t=41
De Lima on Duterte's 'veiled’ threats: 'Doubly disturbing' INQUIRER.net IPublished on Jan 10, 2017 Senator Leila de Lima is planning to seek protection from the Supreme Court next week amid what she described as “veiled” threats from President Rodrigo Duterte himself.


PHILSTAR

Duterte: Fight corruption, injustice, abuse of power By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 10, 2017 - 12:00am 2 55 googleplus1 0


President Rodrigo Duterte recognized yesterday Filipinos’ unwavering fight against injustice, corruption and abuse of power in his message for this year’s Traslacion (transfer) of the Black Nazarene. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

MANILA, Philippines - President Duterte recognized yesterday Filipinos’ unwavering fight against injustice, corruption and abuse of power in his message for this year’s Traslacion (transfer) of the Black Nazarene.

A Roman Catholic who claims to believe in God but not in religion, Duterte said Filipinos keep their faith as they strive to fight the ills of society.

“We are neither exhausted by praying constantly nor do we ever falter in expressing our religious fervor,” he said. “Despite the passage of time, we relentlessly fight against injustice and lies, abuse of power and the corruption that eats up the soul.”

Duterte described as phenomenal the expression of faith of the millions of Black Nazarene devotees – that is gratitude, petition and sacrifice.

READ MORE...

“Good fortunes are usually borne out of hard work and perseverance,” the President continued. “Prayers are likely answered because we do not give up or get tired of asking God for the fulfillment of our heart’s desires.”

Duterte said his administration has “deep empathy” for the “core of faith” that pushes the Filipino masses to sacrifice every single day, while “still finding a piece of themselves to honor God.”

He said the Black Nazarene, “who carried his cross to redeem the rest of humankind,” embodies such faith.

“In His tears, we see our sorrow; and in His agony, we find our solace and strength to triumph against the most insurmountable odds,” Duterte said.

“Through our fervent prayers for the country, let us join the Catholic faithful in the passionate observance of the Feast of the Black Nazarene,” he added.

Duterte has had issues with the Roman Catholic Church, which has been critical of his bloody war against illegal drugs and his health department’s policy on contraceptives.

The President has labeled the Church as a “hypocritical” institution and even claimed that religion is just about collecting money from believers.

More than 80 percent of Filipinos adhere to the Catholic faith, which the Spaniards brought to the Philippines in the 16th century.

Braving the bomb scare

Despite reported bomb threats, devotees of the Black Nazarene seemed to have even increased in number this year, Quiapo Church rector Monsignor Hernando Coronel said yesterday.

Seeing an orderly, though packed, procession in Manila streets yesterday, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said no one jumped into the Pasig River from Jones Bridge, where the procession passed. But two children did, playfully, from the nearby MacArthur Bridge.

Despite reported bomb scares, around 800,000 devotees trooped to the Quirino Grandstand to get near, carry and even kiss the over 400-year-old image of the Black Nazarene in the procession back to Quiapo Church early yesterday morning.

The Manila Police District (MPD) Station 5 said about 8,000 devotees had gathered at the Quirino Grandstand area of Rizal Park in Manila by 5 a.m. yesterday.

Earlier, the Quiapo Church in downtown Manila was anticipating an even bigger number of devotees to attend various activities over an 11-day celebration of the Traslacion from Dec. 31 to Jan. 10.

Last year, participants in the celebration were estimated to have reached millions. For this year, which marks the 411th Feast of the Black Nazarene, the church is expecting an even bigger crowd.

“It increases every year,” Coronel said. “This is probably because the Black Nazarene has touched many lives. But then we have to see the figure after the procession.”

Meanwhile, PCG spokesman Commander Armand Balilo said it saw no untoward incident when the Traslacion passed through Jones Bridge yesterday afternoon.

Balilo said two children reportedly jumped into the Pasig River from MacArthur Bridge during yesterday’s procession, but the coast guard said it was just for fun.

“We were focused on securing Jones Bridge, where the Traslacion passed,” Balilo said. “At the Jones Bridge, there was no untoward incident. In fact, the procession was moving fast when it was passing through the bridge.”

The PCG deployed10 floating assets as an emergency measure. Besides this, the Philippine Red Cross, the PCG Auxiliary, Philippine National Police-Maritime Group (PNP-MG) and the Metro Manila Development Authority deployed a total of 10 other boats.

Bato: Security so far, so good

PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said no major untoward incident was reported during the Traslacion as of yesterday afternoon.

“So far so good,” Dela Rosa reported in a press briefing at the Camp Crame national police headquarters. “We are basing it on the reports of our field commanders, and they have not encountered major problems.” – With Evelyn Macairan, Emmanuel Tupas

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

RELATED FROM ABS-CBN

Robredo tells Duterte: I hope you were exaggerating Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News
Posted at Jan 10 2017 09:42 PM


TO NARCO MAYORS: RESIGN OR DIE!

MANILA – Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday expressed concern over President Rodrigo Duterte's statement that he would kill mayors who are on his so-called “narco list.”

"We hope the President was only exaggerating when he talked of killing mayors included in his drug list," Robredo said in reference to Duterte's speech before new officials who took their oath on Monday.

"We also caution the President in making such pronouncements. We believe in the rule of law and believe that only the courts can decide if mayors in the drug list are guilty or innocent."

In a speech in Malacañang yesterday, Duterte said he would summon the mayors on his narco list and threatened to kill them.

“Itong malalaking shabu dealers, mamamatay talaga ito. And the next batch would really be tatawagin ko ‘yung mga mayors, i-lock ko, no --- kami-kami lang. Sabihin ko talaga sa kanila. Ganun kakapal ‘yung ipinakita ko sa inyo eh. Hanapin mo ‘yung pangalan mo diyan, mayor. T****** i** ‘pag nandiyan ‘yung pangalan mo, may problem ka. Talagang papatayin kita,” Duterte said.

Robredo also called out Duterte for saying that the P1 billion he allotted for the community-based rehabilitation of drug dependents could have been used for more worthwhile projects.

Government investments for the health and well-being of the people is never a waste of money, and the Duterte administration must understand that drug addiction is a health issue, she said.

In his speech yesterday, Duterte said: “Then kita mo the irony of life. Nag-release ako ng another one billion sa mga p***** i**** mga durugista na ito. Kasi the community-based treatment or rehabs there, whatever is going on there, wala silang perang pambili ng medisina. So just imagine, one billion which could have been used for something like feeding the hungry. Napunta sa mga u*** hindi ko naman…Gusto kong patayin lahat eh magkakaroon tayo ng eskandalo. So I had to subsidize also the…Eh Pilipino eh."

“Drug addiction is a health issue, and medical experts have labeled it as mental illness. In keeping to our oath to serve the Filipino people, we must help drug addicts in managing and eventually stopping their drug use,” Robredo said.

“We have expressed our support for President Duterte's fight against drug use and drug-related criminality, and we hope for a life-giving lens as we continue to find solutions.

“Community-based rehabilitation is an option that should be available to Filipinos who have fallen into addiction, but we must also focus on the causes of drug use and addiction such as poverty and lack of economic opportunity to truly end the drug problem.”


PHILSTAR

CHR: Mayors innocent unless proven otherwise By Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 13, 2017 - 12:00am 1 0 googleplus0 0


The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) yesterday urged President Rodrigo Duterte to respect the constitutional guarantee of presumption of innocence in dealing with the so-called “narco mayors.” PPD/King Rodriguez

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) yesterday urged President Duterte to respect the constitutional guarantee of presumption of innocence in dealing with the so-called “narco mayors.”

Reacting to Duterte’s threat to kill local chief executives who are involved in the illegal drug trade, CHR chairman Chito Gascon said the state must pursue law enforcement within the bounds of the law.

But a Palace official said that although Duterte might have mentioned a “shoot-to-kill” against erring mayors, this should be considered as just a heart-to-heart talk between the President and the mayors.

READ MORE...

“(It’s a) heart-to-heart talk. There was no tit-for-tat… President Digong – he is very straight and very straightforward when it comes to talking with people, especially the officials,” said Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.

When pressed by the media on the sidelines of arrival honors for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Malacañang, Andanar underscored the need to address the illegal drugs issue as a problem that needs the cooperation of many in government.

“In making the policies of this government, especially in the anti-drug policy, it’s not just the call of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the executive branch. You’d need the entire government which means you include the local government to help you out,” Andanar said.

Gascon said the use of force by the police is only allowed under strict operation guidelines.

“Public officers – the President of the Republic and his subordinates – are expected to be the first to affirm and uphold the constitutional guarantees of presumption of innocence, due processes and the rule of law,” Gascon told The STAR.

“The use of force continuum contained in the police operations procedure guidelines establishes safeguards against indiscriminate and unwarranted discharge of firearms,” the rights chief added.

It was not the first time the President said he would “kill” those involved in illegal drugs.

Palace spokespersons earlier said Duterte was referring to those who would resist arrest and endanger the lives of arresting policemen.

The CHR chief has repeatedly called on the administration to initiate the filing of cases against those involved in illegal drugs, including those in the so-called “narco list” of the President.

A mayor from Pangasinan said he was disappointed after attending the meeting as there was nothing new about Duterte’s message for the mayors – the same message they have repeatedly watched on TV, read in newspapers and heard on radio.

The mayor, who asked not to be named, said they set aside their other commitments because they thought the President had a very urgent message from which their constituents would benefit.

“We’ve known about that since he assumed his post and we have repeatedly heard of them. But we ended up with nothing – only a warning that keeps on reverberating in our ears,” the source said.

At least 1,490 town mayors were invited and divided into two groups for the meeting with the President. Those from the Visayas, Mindanao and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) were among the first group and those from Luzon comprised the second group.

Presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who is pregnant, did not attend the meeting as she was reportedly advised by her attending physicians to refrain from taking flights.

The presidential daughter was supposed to be carrying triplets but lost two of them earlier in the pregnancy. Her delicate condition has limited her movements and made her miss several public engagements. – With Christina Mendez, Edith Regalado, Eva Visperas

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Duterte to declare martial law if drug problem becomes ‘virulent’ By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated January 15, 2017 - 2:01pm 0 0 googleplus0 0


President Rodrigo Duterte said no one could stop him from imposing martial law. PPD/Ace Morandante

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday evening said that if the drug problem in the country worsens, he would declare martial law.

Duterte said that no one could stop him from imposing martial law if the country's situation becomes "virulent," citing that he does not care about the Supreme Court.

“Kung gusto ko at if it will deteriorate into something really very virulent, I will declare martial law if I wanted to. Walang makapigil sa akin,” Duterte said in a speech during the 49th annual installation of officers and board of trustees of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Incorporated.

“Wala akong pakialam diyan sa Supreme Court, because the thing, the right to preserve one’s life and my nation. My country transcends everything else even the limitations,” he said.

Duterte did not specify the “virulent” situation he mentioned.

The chief executive also discussed that preserving the nation may trigger him to declare martial law while defending his war on drugs. He said he would be prompted to impose martial law not because of invasion but because he has a duty to preserve the youth and the Filipinos.

“And I tell you now, If I have to declare martial law, I will declare it, not [because] of invasion, insurrection, not [because] of danger I will declare martial law to preserve my nation. Period,” he said.

In his speech, Duterte also slammed the Commission on Human Rights for questioning the deaths without asking why the people died.

Duterte said martial law is just a piece of paper, citing that it did not prevent former President Fidel Ramos and former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile from getting back to office. He said he does not care if the Congress or Senate calls for his impeachment as long as he is fulfilling his duty.

He admitted that he cannot control the judiciary and the Congress as intruding those might be deemed unconstitutional. However, he said that when it calls for it, he would impose martial law without their approval.

"Makaya natin, pagdating ng panahon, madali iyan. Wala na iyang 60 days, 60 days," he said.

The 1987 Constitution states that the president may place the Philippines under martial law for no more than 60 days and only in case of invasion or rebellion or when the public safety requires it.

Duterte previously said the Congress and SC should have no say in declaration of martial law.

On December 29, Duterte said that only an invasion from another country would compel him to place the country under martial law, saying the policy would lead to the “downfall of the country.”


RAPPLER.COM

Duterte at his first Vin d'Honneur - PH to strengthen old friendships as it forges new ones Pia Ranada @piaranada Published 1:48 PM, January 11, 2017 Updated 2:30 PM, January 11, 2017

The President mixes a prepared speech with spontaneous jokes at the traditional Palace event. Vice President Leni Robredo is conspicuously absent.


TOAST FOR 2017. President Rodrigo Duterte proposes a toast at his first Vin d'Honneur as Philippine President. Screenshot from RTVM video

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines will strengthen its existing friendships even as it strives to forge new ones, President Rodrigo Duterte assured the international community on Wednesday, January 11.

Duterte gave the assurance to foreign dignitaries as he gave his brief remarks at his first New Year's Day Vin d'Honneur as Chief Executive.

Addressing about 80 ambassadors who attended the event, Duterte emphasized his foreign policy of forging new partnerships with other countries.

"We value partners as we seek to strengthen existing friendships even as we pursue new ones," told his guests who included US Ambassador Sung Kim, Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua, and Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev.

"We believe that friends help each other and utilize constructive engagement to achieve common goals. In truth, we all share the same aspiration of greater peace, progress and prosperity," the President added.

READ MORE...

In the first few months of his administration, Duterte announced he would pursue an "independent foreign policy" seen as a separation from the Philippines' oldest and most powerful ally, the US, in favor of closer ties with China and Russia.

At the time, the Philippine leader was angered by outgoing US President Barack Obama's criticism of possible human rights abuses in his war on drugs.

In his toast, which he read from a prepared speech, Duterte said if countries "respect each other's sovereign independence, the horizons and frontiers of cooperation are virtually limitless. Friendship, after all, knows no bounds."

Duterte also mentioned the Philippines' chairmanship this year of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The country will host year-long meetings and events after its chairmanship is officially launched on Sunday, January 15.

Meaningful change in 2017

Duterte welcomed 2017 with "hope for positive and meaningful change" and declared his unflagging determination to fulfill his promises to Filipinos.

"The administration will remain firm in its resolve to hold the corrupt accountable for their deeds, we will make criminals responsible for their actions, and we will work very, very hard to finally break the appartus of the illegal drugs trade," he said.


abs-cbn you tube channel: News Now: 'Kampai!' says Duterte in first vin d'honneur toast ABS-CBN News ABS-CBN News Subscribe2,786,716 Add to Share More 4,889 views 76 1 ShareEmbedEmail  https://youtu.be/53UKQB0f2JU Start at: 9:31 Published on Jan 10, 2017 President Rodrigo Duterte drew chuckles from members of the international community in a toast during his first vin d'honneur in Malacañang. Subscribe to the ABS-CBN News channel! - http://bit.ly/TheABSCBNNews

While he read his prepared speech in full, Duterte's casual side popped up when he raised his glass to lead others in the toast. "Kampai! Bottoms up!" he announced, before downing his glass of apple cider.

The typical Duterte casualness drew laughter from his audience. The President could not resist making a joke before he left the podium.

"You know, in the sub-diplomatic gatherings, we just say kampai, it's always bottom's up. So be careful with our Asian brothers and sisters, when they say 'kampai,' say, 'No, just half of the kampai,'" he said, again eliciting chuckles from the room.

Where's Leni?

Nearly a hundred people attended the Palace event, but the second highest official in the land – a regular fixture in past receptions – was not at the Palace Ceremonial Hall.

Palace chief protocol officer Marciano Paynor could not say if Robredo was invited or not. Her spokesperson, Georgina Hernandez, said in a statement that the Vice President was invited, then disinvited, to the event because of guest limitations.

Robredo's relationship with the Palace was strained by a series of controversies. It started when she was barred from Cabinet meetings because of what Malacañang described as her "irreconcilable differences" with the President, prompting her resignation from Duterte's Cabinet.

Communication Secretary Martin Andanar recently linked her camp with a supposed "destabilization plot" against Duterte. Before that, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella criticized Robredo for calling Typhoon Nina rehabilitation efforts "slow."

Aside from Robredo, another top government official absent from the New Year's Day call was Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez who was reportedly abroad.

About 94 people – ambassadors, Cabinet secretaries, lawmakers, and heads of government agencies – attended the first Vin d'Honneur under the Duterte administration.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, and Senator Cynthia Villar were among the lawmakers present. – Rappler.com

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

VP Robredo disinvited to ‘vin d’honneur’ By: Leila B. Salaverria, Nikko Dizon - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:29 AM January 12, 2017


Vice President Leni Robredo. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

Using the Japanese term for “cheers,” President Duterte raised a glass of cider, urged “Kanpai, bottoms up!” to continued friendships at the traditional reception for diplomats to which Vice President Leni Robredo had been invited but later told not to come.

“You know, in the subdiplomatic gatherings, especially in Asia, we just say kanpai. It’s always bottoms up. So be careful with this, our Asian brothers and sisters. When they say kanpai, say, ‘no, just half of the kanpai,’ he said, to chuckles at his first vin d’honneur in Malacañang on Wednesday.

“We believe that friends help each other and utilize constructive engagement to achieve common goals. In truth, we all share the same aspiration of greater peace, progress and prosperity,” the President said in an exchange of toasts with Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, the Vatican’s envoy and dean of the diplomatic corps.

Robredo’s absence at the reception, attended by Cabinet officials, was reported by her spokesperson, Georgina Hernandez.

An invitation to the event was sent on Dec. 28, she said. “On Jan. 4, Malacañang called the office to retract the invitation, stating that the guest list was limited.”

Was it a diplomatic faux pas?

“It is a prerogative of the Palace to invite those who they feel is needed to be there,” said Ernesto Abella, Mr. Duterte’s spokesperson.

Robredo, one of the outspoken critics of Mr. Duterte’s war against drugs, resigned as housing secretary after she was told not to attend Cabinet meetings.

She has been accused by Malacañang officials of plotting with the “Yellow” forces of former President Benigno Aquino III to oust Mr. Duterte.

“Usually, disinviting, if it happens, is done quietly,” offered Manolo Quezon, a former Aquino communications undersecretary.

Civility a casualty

Former Vice President Jejomar Binay had been invited to Malacañang receptions, even after he had a falling out with Aquino.

“From the first time Presidents and Vice Presidents did not come from the same party (Carlos P. Garcia and Diosdado Macapagal) and whenever Vice Presidents have parted ways politically with Presidents (Emmanuel Pelaez from Macapagal, Fernando Lopez from Ferdinand Marcos, Salvador Laurel from Corazon Aquino, Teofisto Guingona from Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo), civility between the two highest officials has been a casualty—from invitations to simply appearing in the same place,” Quezon said.

“There have been instances when a first lady could disinvite people even after they showed up at Palace events. But normally, petty ostracism from events would be downplayed by both sides and restricted to gossip,” he said.

Mr. Duterte used the occasion to renew his commitment to fight “three basic evils”—drugs, corruption and criminality.

Among the ambassadors present were Sung Kim of the United States, Zhao Jianhua of China and Igor Khovaev of Russia.

There was no blast against the United States in Mr. Duterte’s usually expletive-laden speech.

He stuck mostly to his prepared speech, and only deviated from it toward the end when, after downing a glass of cider, he said, “Kanpai!”

VIDEO: ROBREDO ON THE DISINVITE... 
Disinvite no big deal, but respect should be given to OVP–Robredo INQUIRER.net INQUIRER.net Subscribe68,468 Add to Share More 2,093 views 3 18 Published on Jan 12, 2017 Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo on Thursday said the retracted Vin d’honneur invitation of President Rodrigo Duterte was not a big deal but noted that the Palace should have respected her office. Category News & Politics


PHILSTAR

Rody invites pal Trump to Asean summit By Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 11, 2017 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar said Trump has not committed yet to visit the country for the ASEAN summit. United States President Donald Trump will take oath on Jan. 20. AP /Evan Vucci

MANILA, Philippines – President Duterte sent an official invitation to incoming United States President Donald Trump to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit to be held in the country in November.

Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar said Trump has not committed yet to visit the country for the ASEAN summit. Trump will take oath on Jan. 20.

Duterte telephoned Trump last year to congratulate him for winning the US presidential elections.

Meanwhile, the military and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) are preparing for the launching of the ASEAN summit in Davao City on Jan. 15.

READ MORE...

SUMMIT WILL BE IN DAVAO

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is mobilizing an entire task force and all military components to secure the launching of the ASEAN summit at the Davao SMX Convention Center.

The government will officially launch the ASEAN 2017 to raise awareness regarding the country’s summit hosting and its benefits, Andanar said.

President Duterte will be the guest of honor during the launching ceremonies.

Col. Edgard Arevalo, chief of the AFP Public Affairs Office, said Joint Task Force (JTF) Haribon of the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) has geared up to support the Philippine National Police (PNP).

AIR FORCE, NAVY, AFP WILL SUPPORT PNP AT SUMMIT

About 600 personnel from the Air Force, Navy and the Army will be committed to the 1,000 security personnel to be deployed to secure the activities related to the ASEAN summit.

“Our plan is in support of the PNP plan and we consider different possible scenarios and we are closely coordinating with different concerned agencies, particularly the PNP,” said Brig. Gen. Gilbert Gapay, JTF Haribon commander.

Gapay also said sea, air and land capabilities and assets of the military would be on standby alert for the summit.

As part of the security preparations, JTF Haribon has initiated tabletop exercises to ensure that security requirements in areas of engagements are all covered.

Early this month, a joint exercise was held along Davao Gulf to fine tune naval security measures and to enhance interoperability among the deployed and committed units.

Gapay said that security has been heightened around Samal Island as it is one of the potential areas to be visited by ASEAN delegates.


DILG CHIEF SUENO

Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno said the DILG is also on its toes as chair of the Committee for Security, Peace and Order and Emergency Preparedness and Response for the country’s hosting of the summit.

The committee conducted orientation meetings and contingency planning and inspected proposed billeting areas, meeting sites and places of interest in Boracay, Iloilo, Bacolod, Pampanga and Metro Manila.

“The year brings much excitement and challenge to the Philippines as we are hosting the ASEAN 2017 on its 50th or golden anniversary, which is an opportune time to show to the ASEAN region as well as to the world our capability to host international and important events, including the upcoming Miss Universe pageant,” Sueno said.

The Philippines held the chairmanship of the ASEAN in 1987, 1999 and 2006.

A member-state that assumes the chairmanship leads the ASEAN summit and other related summits, the ASEAN Coordinating Council, the three ASEAN community councils, ASEAN sectoral ministerial bodies and the Committee of Permanent Representatives. – With Jaime Laude, Cecille Suerte Felipe

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

PHILSTAR

Think tank: Political instability possible in Philippines By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated January 10, 2017 - 12:06pm 13 105 googleplus0 0


FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2017, file photo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, center, watches as Russian navy officers show the weapons on board the Russian anti-submarine Navy vessel Admiral Tributs in Manila, Philippines. A flurry of goodwill visits by ships and submarines has marked the new year in the South China Sea. In the Philippines, two Russian warships docked in Manila for a five-day visit in a showcase by Moscow to demonstrate what it can offer to a traditional U.S. ally. AP/Aaron Favila, File

MANILA, Philippines — The likelihood that authoritarianism and political instability will grow in the Philippines this year is moderate, a New York-based think tank said.

The Council on Foreign Relations' Center for Preventive Action released its annual Preventive Priorities Survey which evaluates ongoing and potential conflicts that may occur in the coming year.

According to the survey, the risk of growing political instability in the Philippines stems from opposition to the government's domestic and foreign policy agenda.

"The risk of growing authoritarianism and political instability in the Philippines and Turkey represent completely new contingencies," the report noted.

READ MORE...

The risk of political instability in the country was dubbed to be of moderate priority, or in Tier II of concerns, for the United States.

This possible conflict in the Philippines will also have moderate impact on the US, the report said.

The Philippines may also be caught in an armed conflict in the region due to the South China Sea dispute.

"An armed confrontation over disputed maritime areas in the South China Sea between China and one or more Southeast Asian claimants — Brunei, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, or Vietnam — which draws in the United States," the report read.

The likelihood of such armed confrontation is low but the impact will be high, the think tank said.

Upon assuming office last June 30, 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte said that his administration will pivot toward a so-called "independent" foreign policy.

Since then, the president had reached out to China and Russia for possible partnerships. Duterte, however, has been hostile toward the United States, a long-time and close ally of the Philippines.

Last week, Russian Navy vessels docked at Manila South Harbor for naval exercises with the Philippine Navy.

The president himself visited Russian anti-submarine ship Admiral Tributs and told the ship's commander and crew to "come back more often."


PHILSTAR

Duterte won’t attend Trump inauguration By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated January 15, 2017 - 4:45pm 5 179 googleplus0 0


US President-elect Donald Trump has been compared to President Rodrigo Duterte because both of them are known for their frank and provocative statements that often stir controversies. File

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte won’t attend the inauguration of incoming US President Donald Trump on January 20, Malacañang said Sunday.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said heads of state do not usually attend the inauguration of new US presidents.

“It is not customary for heads of states to attend the US inauguration because it is a domestic event,” Andanar told state-run radio station dzRB Sunday.

Andanar said the Philippines’ representative to the event would be the Ambassador of the Philippines to the US.

“Customarily, the head of mission or the ambassador is the representative of our country. Because this is totally a domestic event, Americans will be there to celebrate the inauguration,” he said.

READ MORE...

In an interview with reporters in Davao City, later on, Andanar said he and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon would attend Trump’s inauguration.

Trump shocked pollsters and the US mainstream media when he defeated former US State Secretary Hillary Clinton during the heated presidential race last November.

The real estate tycoon turned politician has been compared to Duterte because both of them are known for their frank and provocative statements that often stir controversies.

Duterte, for instance, has lambasted the US, the European Union and the United Nations for criticizing his brutal crackdown on illegal drugs. He has also labeled as “stupid” human rights advocates who are critical of his anti-narcotics campaign and has badmouthed the Catholic Church for opposing the distribution of contraceptives.

Trump, meanwhile, has labeled some journalists as “dishonest” and has made inflammatory statements against illegal immigrants, Muslims and Mexicans.

Last month, Duterte said he is optimistic that can get along well with Trump, saying he has a lot of similarities with the next US president.

The Philippine leader is also optimistic that the strained relationship between Manila and Washington would improve under the Trump administration.

Duterte said Trump even invited him to have coffee in Washington or New York during their phone conversation last month.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

YearEnder: Power struggle hounds CHED; free tuition, ROTC pushed By Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 11, 2017 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


The Kabataan party-list group welcomes the announcement of free tuition in all state colleges and universities during a press conference in Quezon City. Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines – The past year had been a rollercoaster ride for Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman Patricia Licuanan, an appointee of the previous administration who is expected to take charge of implementing the policies of the new government.

In his first State of the Nation Address, President Duterte immediately pushed for the re-imposition of the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program for college students, saying this will strengthen the love of Filipinos for their country.

With Duterte actively working on the war on drugs, the conduct of mandatory drug testing as a requirement for entry and retention in higher education institutions was also proposed and is currently under consideration.

Various stakeholders also urged the new administration to act on the rising cost of school fees, resulting in a last-minute realignment of P8.3 billion to remove tuition in state universities and colleges (SUCs) in 2017.

READ MORE...

But for Licuanan, the biggest challenge she faced this year did not involve any of the new higher education policy directives of the Duterte government.


CHEd Chair Patricia Licuanan. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Even before the new administration took over on June 30, Licuanan’s mandate was put to test after a former professor of the then-president-elect claimed he was promised the CHED chairmanship.

In an open letter to Duterte, former Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) professor Jose David Lapuz reminded his former student of the designation during a meeting “in a room full of your many visitors and admirers.”

But unlike other Cabinet secretaries whose appointments are co-terminus with the sitting president, Licuanan was quick to clarify that she has a fixed term that will end in 2018.

Under the Higher Education Act of 1994, CHED chairpersons are to serve a fixed term of four years, with a possibility of one re-appointment. Licuanan was appointed by former president Benigno Aquino III in 2010 and was reappointed to a second and final term in 2014.

She later disclosed that in a meeting with Duterte after the elections, the then president-elect re-assured her that he would respect her term.

Her mandate as CHED chief further solidified when the President allowed her to attend Cabinet meetings in Malacañang.

She also co-headed the Education Summit in November, along with Education Secretary Leonor Briones and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority director-general Guiling Mamondiong, both of whom are appointees of the new President.

Disinvited from Cabinet meetings

The dust barely settled when Licuanan, on Dec. 4, received a text message from Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. directing her to desist from attending Cabinet meetings as per order of Duterte.

The text message she received was similar to the one sent to Vice President Leni Robredo, who immediately resigned as chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.

But unlike Robredo, Licuanan said she would continue to function as CHED chair as she assured Evasco that she would follow the wishes of the President.

She noted that previous CHED chairpersons were able to fulfill their mandate despite not being part of the official family of the sitting chief executive.

Malacañang said the desist order was due to irreconcilable differences between Duterte and Licuanan, who expressed surprise and maintained that she has always followed the policy directives of the President.

The desist order revived calls for Licuanan to resign from her post, the most prominent of which came from CHED executive director Julito Vitriolo, the highest ranking career executive at the agency.

Accusing Licuanan of gross insubordination and undermining the CHED chairmanship, Vitriolo wrote to Duterte and asked him to appoint an officer-in-charge who will act as his alter ego at the commission.

He recommended commissioner J. Prospero de Vera, the President’s first appointee at CHED.

De Vera distanced himself from the leadership row and denied allegations that he was the one spearheading the move to oust Licuanan.

APPOINTMENT OF NEW CHIEF

Duterte has since appointed former representative Ronald Adamat, who served as sectoral congressman for cultural communities from 1995 to 1998, as one of the four CHED commissioners.

Also part of the five-member body chaired by Licuanan are commissioners Alex Brillantes and Minella Alarcon, whose courtesy resignations have yet to be acted upon by Malacañang.

Free tuition, ROTC revival

With Licuanan resolved on finishing her term, she will be among those responsible in implementing the higher education policy directives of the new administration.

Among these are the implementation of free tuition in SUCs, the proposal to revive mandatory ROTC and the possible conduct of drug testing on college students.

Initially apprehensive of removing tuition as it may result in massive migration of students from private colleges to state-funded tertiary institutions, Licuanan recently pledged to work with the Department of Budget and Management to ensure that the new policy will be properly implemented.

The P8.3-billion allocation to remove tuition came from the supposed infrastructure budget for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which Sen. Panfilo Lacson dubbed as a form of pork barrel.

To break the deadlock, lawmakers decided to allot the budget to remove tuition in SUCs.

CHED said it would work on the guidelines on how to allocate the funds to 114 academic institutions, including the University of the Philippines System.

Education advocates lauded the budget allocation and called for the institutionalization of the policy by passing the pending Free Higher Education bills in Congress.

Meanwhile, Licuanan also formed a technical working group to review the proposal to re-impose mandatory ROTC.

In one interview, however, she stressed that a law is necessary to implement this directive of the President as the existing National Service Training Program has to be amended or repealed.

The Department of National Defense is reportedly drafting a bill that will require ROTC in senior high school, instead of college.

Various students groups led by the Kabataan party-list criticized the proposal, stressing that the program will not promote patriotism but a culture of harassment and violence among the youth.

The matter is expected to be taken up in the next Congress.

Meanwhile, Licuanan said they have sought the opinion of Department of Justice if they can implement the proposal to conduct mandatory drug tests for college students.

The Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan opposed the proposal, saying it will promote a discriminatory and skewed approach to solving the drug problem in the country.


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