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PH TRAVELERS ON TRUMP HIT LIST? ONLY A MATTER OF TIME
[RELATED: Trump-Refugees-The Latest story]
FEBRUARY 3 -VOA Travel ban, Muslim ban, whatever Trump wants to call it, lawyers battling the executive orders on immigration fear the Philippines will be in an expanded iteration of countries subjected to “extreme vetting.” The American Immigration Lawyers Association–which historically has had good ties to Congress and governmental agencies–has sent out a notice to its members with a warning about an executive order draft being circulated. The draft is said to add “Egypt, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Colombia, Venezuela, southern Philippines, trans- Sahara (Mali), and the Sulu/Sulawesi seas littoral.” John Trasvina, Dean of the University of San Francisco School of Law, says the fear that the list will expand is real and takes the notice seriously. “I think people in the affected countries or people here who have family there are beginning to take notice and consider their options about future travel,” Trasvina told me. Trasvina said that lawyers around the country focused on fighting the executive orders hope that the numerous lawsuits filed will stop the detaining of people. READ MORE...RELATED, Correction: Trump-Refugees-The Latest story...
ALSO: Homeland Security suspends travel ban after Washington Judge stopped Trump EO
[RELATED: Fil-Am groups oppose new Trump immigration policy]
[RELATED(2): Fil-Am groups slam Duterte for not helping undocumented Filipinos]
FEBRUARY 5 -Federal Judge James Robart, a George W. Bush appointee who presides in Seattle, halted the enforcement of Trump's order Friday night, effective nationwide. Robart, ruling in a lawsuit brought by the attorneys general of Washington state and Minnesota who sought to stop the order, said the states "have met their burden of demonstrating that they face immediate and irreparable injury as a result of the signing and implementation of the Executive Order. " Washington (CNN): President Donald Trump's government moved swiftly Saturday to comply with a federal judge's order halting his travel ban -- even as Trump himself denounced the judge -- but readied its legal defense of the controversial executive action. The Department of Homeland Security announced it has suspended all actions to implement the immigration order and will resume standard inspections of travelers as it did prior to the signing of the travel ban. But it said the Justice Department -- which is expected to file an emergency motion to stop the order -- needed to challenge the ruling "at the earliest possible time." "(Trump's order) is intended to protect the homeland and the American people, and the President has no higher duty and responsibility than to do so," acting DHS press secretary Gillian Christensen said when announcing the suspension. READ MORE...RELATED, Fil-Am groups oppose new Trump immigration policy...
RELATED(2) Fil-Am groups slam Duterte for not helping undocumented Filipinos...
ALSO: AFTER 3 YEARS IN HIDING, FUGITIVE MANCAO IN DACER-SORBITO SLAY SURRENDERS
(Sen. de Lima, who ordered a manhunt on Mancao after his escape in May 2013, wonders his motives for coming out of hiding at this point.)[RELATED: Lacson on Mancao surrender - I really don't care what's on his mind]
FEBRUARY 2 -Former police Senior Supt. Cesar Mancao has surrendered to the Philippine National Police (PNP) after three years in hiding.
Mancao yielded before the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-National Capital Region (CIDG-NCR), led by Senior Supt. Belli Tamayo, last Monday. Mancao is now under the custody of the CIDG-NCR pending the issuance of a commitment order from the proper court.
A former senior officer of the defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF), Mancao was implicated in the 2000 twin killings of Salvador ‘Bubby” Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito. Also implicated were then PAOCTF chief and now Sen. Panfilo Lacson; fellow PAOCTF officers ex-Senior Supt. Michael Ray Aquino and incumbent PNP-Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) chief Senior Supt. Glenn Dumlao.Aquino and Dumlao fled to the UnitedStates but were eventually extradited. Aquino was ordered freed by the court while Dumlao was apparently cleared and was reinstated in the police service. Lacson has been cleared by the appelate court. READ MORE...RELATED, Lacson on Mancao surrender: I really don't care what's on his mind...
ALSO: 3 days after surrender, Mancao must be set free—lawyer
[RRELATED: Mancao’s camp calls for his immediate release]
FEBRUARY 4 -Former Senior Supt. Cezar Mancao II. EDWIN BACASMAS/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO Former Senior Superintendent Cesar Mancao should be released immediately three days after he surrendered to the Philippine National Police (PNP), his lawyer said Thursday. Atty. Ferdinand Topacio said Mancao is under the government’s Witness Protection Program (WPP) and has testified against Senator Panfilo Lacson on his involvement in the Dacer-Corbito double murder case. READ: Ex-cop in Dacer-Corbito slay case Mancao surrenders to police “Therefore, under Sec. 12 of Republic Act 6981 or the Witness Protection Act, the Court must order his discharge as an accused because (of his) admission to the WPP,” said Topacio. Under the WPP, once admitted, he said, a witness like Mancao is entitled to immunity from criminal prosecution. READ MORE...RELATED, Mancao’s camp calls for his immediate release...
ALSO: De Lima - ICC should probe 'state-sponsored' EJKs; hits Aguirre anew, calls him 'a disgrace'[RELATED: De Lima irked at Aguirre’s statement anew]
FEBRUARY 2 -Senator de Lima on Thursday called on the International Criminal Court to probe "state-sponsored" extrajudicial killings. Philstar.com/File Sen. Leila de Lima on Thursday called on the International Criminal Court to investigate supposed "state-sponsored" extrajudicial killings in the country. In a press statement welcoming the Amnesty International report on the country's war on drugs, de Lima said that it was already time for the ICC to intervene to end these killings. She said she fears that the number of deaths—7,669 based on current data—will continue to rise. "It is time! It is time that the ICC intervene and end these daily killings," the senator said. De Lima said that the ICC should not wait for the end of the Durterte administration before it conducts its probe. She said she believes that there are enough legal bases for a probe. READ MORE...RELATED, De Lima irked at Aguirre’s statement anew...
ALSO: Administration critics crank up assault vs DU30
FEBRUARY 4 -INQUIRER PHOTO Administration critics continued their offensive yesterday against President Duterte as the Catholic Church issues today a strongly-worded pastoral letter condeming a “reign of terror” among the poor as a result of the war on drugs while a senator cited inapproriate responses to allegations the government has been sponsoring extrajudicial killings (EJK). Senator Risa Hontiveros yesterday aired criticisms on government officials’ response to the latest investigation of human rights group Amnesty International (AI) on the spate of extrajudicial killings amid Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs.In her statement, Hontiveros criticized responses from several officials including Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre and President Duterte himself on the AI report. READ MORE...
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PH travelers on Trump hit list? Only a matter of time
VOA Travel ban, Muslim ban, whatever Trump wants to call it, lawyers battling the executive orders on immigration fear the Philippines will be in an expanded iteration of countries subjected to “extreme vetting.”
MANILA, FEBRUARY 6, 2017 (PHILSTAR) By: Emil Guillermo - @inquirerdotnetINQUIRER.net US Bureau / 04:11 AM February 03, 2017 - The American Immigration Lawyers Association–which historically has had good ties to Congress and governmental agencies–has sent out a notice to its members with a warning about an executive order draft being circulated.
The draft is said to add “Egypt, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Colombia, Venezuela, southern Philippines, trans- Sahara (Mali), and the Sulu/Sulawesi seas littoral.”
ADVERTISEMENT John Trasvina, Dean of the University of San Francisco School of Law, says the fear that the list will expand is real and takes the notice seriously.
“I think people in the affected countries or people here who have family there are beginning to take notice and consider their options about future travel,” Trasvina told me.
Trasvina said that lawyers around the country focused on fighting the executive orders hope that the numerous lawsuits filed will stop the detaining of people.
“But the government has not been clear about all the travelers who were affected,” Trasvina said. “While lawyers believe that no one is detained, they just don’t know. Some people went back. Some people were held (detained) for long periods of time even after the order was issued. Lawyers had to meet with Border Patrol, US Marshals, US Attorneys, numerous times to get a clear answer as to whether the government felt the ruling applied nationwide and whether they would follow it.”
In San Francisco, the legal battle extends to fighting the threat to its status as a sanctuary city, an issue Trasvina is following closely.
“It’s a well-crafted lawsuit,” Trasvina said. “ It does not suggest that SF can ignore US immigration policy, nor does it attempt to give SF its own independent policy. It simply states that the federal government cannot tell SF how to deploy its police department or public health workers in its own city and that the federal government is a bad partner.”
By that, Trasvina means the city is not equipped or funded to do the feds enforcement job. The real fear is the potential liability if cities get it wrong in enforcing the law.
“If (the city) gets sued by people who should not be detained, the federal government is nowhere in sight to defend the lawsuit or pay the bills,” said Trasvina.
He added that San Francisco’s sanctuary suit simply aims to protect the city and put responsibility back on the feds.
RELATED FROM THE MERCURY NEWS ONLINE
Correction: Trump-Refugees-The Latest story By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | PUBLISHED: January 29, 2017 at 8:13 am | UPDATED: January 30, 2017 at 9:01 am
Elizabeth Summers, of Oakland, carries an American flag as she walks through the International Terminal at San Francisco International Airport with other protestors following President Trumps ban on refugees coming into the United States on day two of protests in San Bruno, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. (Susan Tripp Pollard/Bay Area News Group)
LONDON (AP) — In stories Jan. 29 and 30 about the latest on U.S. President Donald Trump’s ban on travel to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries, The Associated Press misspelled the last name of Georgetown’s president. He is President John J. deGioia, not Gioia.
A corrected version of the story is below:
LONDON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump, his travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries and other immigration actions (all times local):
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr expressed dismay over President Donald Trump’s executive order that bans citizens of seven majority Muslim countries from entering the United States.
Kerr spoke about the administration’s travel ban following a 113-111 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night, calling it a “horrible idea.”
“As someone whose family member was a victim of terrorism, having lost my father, if we’re trying to combat terrorism by banishing people from coming to this country, by really going against the principals of what our country’s about and creating fear, it’s the wrong way to go about it,” Kerr said. “If anything, we could be breeding anger and terror.
“I think it’s shocking. I think it’s a horrible idea. I feel for all the people who are affected. Families are being torn apart and I worry in the big picture what this means to the security of the world.”
Malcolm Kerr was murdered while he was the American University president in Beirut when Steve Kerr was 18 and a freshman at the University of Arizona.
The president of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., says in a letter to students, faculty and staff that Trump’s executive order troubles him.
“The implications of this order are significant and concerning. We are an institution that values the contributions of our international students, staff, and faculty, and we are deeply committed to interreligious dialogue and providing a context in which members of all faith backgrounds are welcomed and encouraged to practice their faith,” President John J. DeGioia wrote.
He also said “members of our community from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen legally residing in the United States avoid travel outside the U.S. during this period and consult an immigration attorney if travel is required.”
The widow of Pat Tillman has expressed disappointment over President Donald Trump after the administration imposed a temporary ban on travel to the United States from seven majority Muslim countries.
Marie Tillman posted a message on Facebook saying she was saddened by the executive order, adding that this was “not the country he dreamed of, not what he served for and not what he died for.”
Tillman left a multimillion NFL contract with the Arizona Cardinals at 25 to join the Army, eight months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004.
Marie Tillman has carried on his name and spirit through the Pat Tillman Foundation, which provides scholarships to military personnel and their families.
More than 600 people, including lawmakers and best-selling author John Green, have gathered at Indianapolis International Airport to protest President Donald Trump’s immigration restrictions.
The Indianapolis Star reports (http://indy.st/2jHIgKJ) that what began as a small group grew to hundreds Sunday, as the Indianapolis Airport Authority roped off areas and increased security for protesters. Officials declined comment.
Cheryl Faux, one the Indianapolis event’s organizers, says the protest “gives a message to the Muslim community that we stand behind them.”
The demonstration was one of many at airports around the country since Trump signed an executive order banning travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Vice President Mike Pence is set to meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah II as protests continue over the Trump administration’s new immigration order.
The vice president will host the king for a breakfast meeting Monday at his Naval Observatory residence in Washington.
The king is not scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump.
Pro-Western Jordan isn’t among the countries affected by Trump’s immigration order temporarily barring entry to citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries.
But Jordan views refugee resettlement to the U.S. and other countries as a way of easing its own burden.
Jordan hosts more than 650,000 displaced Syrians. Trump’s order temporary halts the U.S. refugee program and bars Syrian refugees indefinitely.
A 70-year-old Iranian widow with an immigrant visa has been released after being detained for more than 30 hours at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Shahin Hassanpour’s son said she was told Sunday morning that she would be permitted entry but the paperwork took hours.
Bahzad Honarjou, a 43-year-old network engineer, expressed gratitude to the hundreds of strangers who held vigil with him at the airport.
He said: “I am proud of the people here, the protesters, the supporters, the attorneys that worked as volunteers, all the people.”
Starbucks says it will hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years, a response to President Donald Trump’s indefinite suspension of Syrian refugees and temporary travel bans that apply to six other Muslim-majority nations.
Howard Schultz, the coffee retailer’s chairman and CEO, said in a letter to employees Sunday that the hiring would apply to stores worldwide and the effort would start in the United States where the focus would be on hiring immigrants “who have served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel.”
Schultz, a supporter of Hillary Clinton during the presidential run, took aim at other parts of a Trump agenda focused on immigration, repealing former President Barack Obama’s health care law and restructuring trade with Mexico.
Holding signs that read “Proud to be an Immigrant” or “Refugees are not terrorists,” thousands of people have gathered in downtown Seattle to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order barring people from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the country.
The protesters gathered Sunday evening at Westlake Park in the middle of the city’s downtown shopping district. Some held signs that read “Proud to be an Immigrant” or “Refugees are not terrorists.”
Democratic Sen. Patty Murray appeared at a brief news conference earlier at Seattle-Tacoma Airport and said two people who had been detained there overnight had since been released.
Washington’s senior senator said Trump’s executive order blocking the travelers from entering the U.S. was “un-American” and protesters who turned out to protest at airports across the United States “reacted correctly.”
On Saturday night, about 3,000 protesters went to Seattle-Tacoma Airport to rally against Trump. Officials say about 30 were arrested after that hours-long demonstration.
Thousands of people chanting “Trump Out, Refugees In!” have descended for a second day on the San Francisco International Airport to protest President Donald Trump’s ban of travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Accompanied by a brass band several drummers, the crowd divided Sunday into three large groups that stood at passenger exits in the arrival area of the international terminal.
The groups also took to Twitter to simultaneously demand the Department of Homeland Security allow lawyers inside to talk to those being detained.
A group of lawyers working on computers huddled in a corner under signs in English, Farsi and Arabic that read “Family Members Detained? Legal Help Here.”
Immigration attorney Marcine Seid says at least 100 lawyers have signed up to offer their services pro-bono to those being detained. At least a dozen more lawyers and law students waited to add their names to a list.
Seid says it is unclear how many people have been detained in San Francisco but at least four families have approached them for help.
Rebecca Nassarre, 69, drove from Antioch to join the protesters. The retired social worker says: “This is not the America I know. I’m frightened for our future. I have never seen our country go through this.”
Vahideh Rasekhi (vuh-HE’-duh ruh-sek-KEE) is an Iranian doctoral student at New York’s Stony Brook University, where she is president of the graduate student organization.
She was freed from detention on Sunday, a day after she landed at John F. Kennedy Airport following a visit to see her family in Tehran.
Border agents on Saturday initially refused to let her enter the country and she declined to sign paperwork agreeing to voluntarily return to Iran. Rasekhi’s attorney says that even though a New York judge had issued an emergency stay temporarily barring the U.S. from deporting people subject to the ban, agents put her client on a plane that was supposed to fly to Ukraine.
At one point that jet pulled back from the gate to depart. But it ultimately returned amid protests by attorneys and let her off as confusion swirled about legal challenges to the deportations.
Rasekhi was held for additional hours, sometimes in handcuffs. She was finally set free at around 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
After meeting with friends at the terminal, she told The Associated Press: “I feel happy to be out. It is truly great.”
Canada’s immigration minister says the country will offer temporary residency permits to travelers who become stranded here by President Donald Trump’s order banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations.
Ahmed Hussen is a Somali refugee who was recently named Canada’s new immigration minister. He said Sunday no one is currently stranded at the country’s airports by the ban.
He also says White House officials offered assurances that permanent Canadian residents can enter the U.S. provided they have a valid Canadian permanent resident card and a passport from one of the seven countries affected. Permanent residents are the equivalent of green card holders in the United States.
Dual citizens with a Canadian passport can still enter the U.S.
Daniel Jean, Canada’s national security adviser, says he doesn’t’ believe the ban makes the world safer.
Several hundred demonstrators used the beginning of Super Bowl week to chant and display signs in protest of President Trump’s travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority nations, and other issues.
They gathered Sunday outside the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, where the NFL’s media headquarters and NFL Experience for Super Bowl fans are located.
A Houston police officer who asked that his name not be used because he was not authorized to speak to the press said the protesters were there for more than four hours, demonstrating peacefully behind barriers.
One sign made reference to Anne Frank dying in a concentration camp because she was denied refuge in the U.S. during World War II. Others simply said “Ban Trump” or “Stop Trump.”
The protesters then later headed elsewhere in downtown Houston.
— Reported by Barry Wilner in Houston.
The White House says King Salman of Saudi Arabia has agreed to support safe zones in Syria and Yemen to help displaced refugees.
Trump spoke with Salman by phone on Sunday.
The White House says the President “requested and the King agreed” to support the safe zones “as well as supporting other ideas to help the many refugees who are displaced by the ongoing conflicts.”
The conversation comes days after Trump signed an order that temporarily suspends the U.S. refugee program and indefinitely bars Syrian refugees.
The pair also discussed what the White House described as an invitation from Salman for Trump to lead “a Middle East effort to defeat terrorism” and help build “a new future, economically and socially, for the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the region.”
President Donald Trump is defending his sweeping order on immigration and says he will find other ways to help those suffering from Syria’s bloody civil war.
Trump says in a statement Sunday amid widespread protests that “America is a proud nation of immigrants.” He says the country “will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression,” but “while protecting our own citizens and border.”
Trump’s order halting the Syrian refugee program and temporarily suspending immigration from seven majority Muslim countries has sparked protests across the country.
Trump insists it’s “not a Muslim ban” and blames the media for that suggestion.
Trump says the U.S. will resume issuing visas to all countries impacted after a review of security policies.
Thousands of protesters have gathered in Boston to call for an end to President Donald Trump’s order banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations.
Demonstrators filled Copley Square in Boston on Sunday afternoon to protest Trump’s order and his pledge to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.
Protesters carried signs supporting Muslims and other immigrants. One sign held by a young child said: “Don’t Ban My Grandma and Grandpa.”
Another protester took direct aim at Trump with a sign that read: “Your comb-over doesn’t cover your xenophobia.”
Attendees included U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh.
Omar Al Tammeemi says he’s worried he may not be able to see his wife and young son who are in Iraq following President Donald Trump’s immigration order.
Al Tammeemi is among more than 100 protesters gathered at the international arrivals terminal at Dulles International Airport outside Washington.
He says he worked as a translator for the U.S. military in Iraq from 2008 to 2013 and came to the U.S. afterward on a special refugee visa. He says his wife, who holds a green card, and their young son, a U.S. citizen, are in Iraq visiting her sick mother.
Al Tammeemi says his wife is “scared to come.”
Four Democratic members of Congress who attended the demonstration said they were turned away by Customs and Border Patrol officers at the scene when they sought a meeting about whether people were being held unlawfully.
Syrian refugee Mafedih Alholoqi says his relatives were turned away from a planned flight from Jordan to Louisville, Kentucky, following President Donald Trump’s order on immigration.
The Courier-Journal reports that Alholoqi was among several dozen protesters who gathered at Louisville International Airport. They chanted “no hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here,” in opposition to Trump’s order.
Through a translator, Alholoqi said Trump’s order “broke their hearts” after relatives went through more than two years of background checks, interviews and the anticipation of starting a new life.
Trump’s order includes a temporary travel ban for people from seven Muslim nations and a temporary ban on refugees entering the United States.
Officials say nine people are being released after they were detained overnight at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in the wake of President Donald Trump’s travel ban barring citizens of seven predominantly Muslim nations from entry into the U.S.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings’ office said Sunday that all nine were in the process of being released. U.S. Customs and Border Protection also notified airport officials of the release.
Texas representatives for the Council on American-Islamic Relations say the majority of those detained are Iranian.
Airport officials say upward of 800 people gathered at the airport Sunday to protest the detention. It was the second day of protests at the airport following Trump’s executive order Friday.
Other protests were held elsewhere in Texas, including particularly large gatherings in Houston and at the Austin airport.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says six people barred from entering the U.S. because of President Donald Trump’s travel ban remained in detention at Kennedy Airport on Sunday afternoon.
Immigration lawyers worked through the day to try and gain the release of several people being held at the airport, with some success.
ACLU attorney Andre Segura said at least seven detainees were released Saturday morning, with more people expected to be freed in the afternoon.
Some people who were initially told they would be deported were allowed to enter the U.S.
They included a 21-year-old woman with dual Iraqi and Jordanian citizenship who had come to the U.S. to be with her fiance and a 67-year-old woman with Yemeni citizenship who had come to live with her son because she was very ill.
Protesters shouting “Ban Trump” have descended on Miami International Airport to show their opposition to President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
Protester Rowan Vaquez said the ban “hit me really deeply” because her family emigrated from Venezuela to avoid political persecution.
Juan Gonzalez attended the demonstration to show Trump that “we’re not going to accept the terrible things he’s doing.” Gonzalez is from Puerto Rico and works in Miami.
Trump’s order placed a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen and a 120-day suspension of the U.S. refugee program. Syrians are indefinitely blocked from entry.
Other protests were scheduled for Orlando, Tallahassee, Tampa and West Palm Beach.
Hundreds of demonstrators have gathered outside the White House to protest President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations.
Holding signs with slogans such as “No Ban, No Wall,” and “We are all immigrants in America,” the diverse crowd chanted and cheered in support of Muslims and other refugees.
Vocal and expressive, the crowd was alternately solemn and warm in expressing peaceful solidarity with refugees affected by Trump’s order.
Maryam Kanna is a 24-year-old Iraqi-American who lives in Arlington, Virginia. She calls the executive order “totally alienating.” Kanna says she worries about her uncle, a British citizen, and her cousins in Canada, who may no longer be able to enter the U.S.
Protests were also reported in St. Louis, Minneapolis; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; and Portland, Maine.
Protesters are streaming into New York City’s Battery Park to demand an end to President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from seven Muslim nations.
The big crowd gathered Sunday near the ferries that carry tourists to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the place where 12 million people entered the United States in the 20th century.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer addressed the crowd, saying, “We are gonna win this fight everybody!”
People held signs with slogans including “America was built by refugees,” and “Muslim ban is un-American.”
The rally followed a night of big demonstrations at New York’s Kennedy Airport, where thousands of people spontaneously gathered to demand the release of detained travelers.
A Republican congressman from Utah says he doesn’t understand why the Trump administration is targeting legal permanent residents with his new policy to block immigration from several Muslim-majority countries.
Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah said Sunday it would be “wrong” if Trump is targeting people based on their religion.
He said that enhanced vetting is needed for people traveling to the United States from “certain countries,” but that legal permanent residents are in “a different category.”
Chaffetz said, “I don’t understand what they’re trying to do in those categories. People that have a green card supposedly already have been vetted. So there needs to be some further clarification.”
The congressman addressed reporters in Palm Springs, California during a meeting of the Koch political network.
More than 100 protesters and dozens of immigration attorneys have gathered at the international arrivals terminal at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, cheering people arriving from Muslim countries. The crowd chanted “No ban, no wall” and other slogans, and at one point sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Syed Moktadir is a 45-year-old management consultant from Sterling, Virginia. He says Trump’s order banning entry to the United States from seven Muslim countries has sparked fear in Muslims in the United States and abroad.
Moktadir, a Muslim who immigrated from Bangladesh, said his 84-year-old father, is currently in Bangladesh. Though his father is a U.S. citizen, he says he’s concerned about whether his father will be able to return.
Moktadir says Trump’s order is “internationally giving us a very bad name.”
Authorities say six people were arrested at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, where people gathered to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order regarding citizens of seven Muslim nations.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said in a news release that the six were arrested Saturday night. They say about 50 protesters formed two groups with the first group protesting Trump’s immigration order, followed by a second group that protested community-related issues.
Police said the protesters were asked to leave because of public safety concerns, and six people refused. They were arrested and now face charges that include trespassing and resist, obstruct and delay.
Trump’s executive order barred citizens of seven Muslim nations from entering the United States.
The attorneys general of 15 states and the District of Columbia are issuing a joint statement condemning as unconstitutional President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations.
The attorneys general say that religious liberty has been a bedrock principle of the country and no president can change that truth.
The states taking part in the joint statement issued Sunday are Washington, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Virginia, Oregon, Connecticut, Vermont, Illinois, New Mexico, Iowa, Maine and Maryland.
The attorneys general say they expect Trump’s executive order to be struck down, but in the meantime they’ll work to make sure as few as possible suffer as a result of the order.
The conservative Koch political network is condemning President Donald Trump’s plan to crack down on immigration from Muslim-majority countries.
Network co-chairman Brian Hooks said in a statement released Sunday, “The travel ban is the wrong approach and will likely be counterproductive.” He added, “We believe it is possible to keep Americans safe without excluding people who wish to come here to contribute and pursue a better life for their families.”
Hooks made the comments as billionaire industrialist Charles Koch and hundreds of his network’s major donors gather for a semi-annual conference in Palm Springs, California.
The Koch network is among the most influential players in the conservative movement and has strong ties in the Trump administration, particularly with Vice President Mike Pence.
Demonstrators have gathered again at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order barring citizens of seven predominantly Muslim nations from entry into the U.S.
An estimated 200 people held signs and chanted “Let them go!” as they awaited word Sunday on what state representatives for the Council on American-Islamic Relations say are nine people detained at the airport. The council says the majority are Iranian.
Other protests are planned for other parts of Texas over Trump’s executive order, including in Houston and at the airport in Austin.
Protesters also are rallying Sunday at Miami International Airport and elsewhere around the country.
Lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union say they are still trying to determine how many people are detained in the U.S. as a result of President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations.
ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project deputy director Lee Gelernt told reporters in a conference call Sunday that there is still a state of confusion over the status of detainees and the rules for entering the country.
He said lawyers are waiting for the government to give them a list of names of people who have been detained.
Until then, he said, “we just simply don’t know how many people there are and where they are.”
Other advocates say that immigration lawyers have had trouble getting to see people who have been detained, with officials refusing to grant access despite court orders in some jurisdictions that they do so.
Iranian Director to Skip Oscars Over Trump's Travel Ban FROM HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
6: 45 p.m.
An Oscar-nominated Iranian director says he will not attend this year’s Academy Awards because of a travel ban imposed by President Donald Trump.
Asghar Farhadi is an acclaimed director whose film “The Salesman” was nominated for best foreign film. He said Sunday that the uncertainty surrounding his ability to travel to the United States was “in no way acceptable,” and that he would not attend the ceremony even if an exception to the ban were possible.
An executive order issued last week temporarily bans the entry of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. The Trump administration says it is necessary to keep out potential terrorists.
Farhadi became the first Iranian to win an Oscar when his film “A Separation” was awarded best foreign film in 2012.
A Syrian musician who recently toured with renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma says he is waiting to see whether he will be allowed to return to his New York home after President Donald Trump imposed a travel ban on seven Muslim-majority nations.
Kinan Azmeh, a clarinet player who lives in Brooklyn, said Sunday he does not have a “plan B” if he is not allowed back into the United States later this week.
Azmeh is in Lebanon to perform with a local orchestra after rehearsing and performing with Yo-Yo Ma in China and Denmark earlier this month.
The 40-year-old musician is one of thousands of green card holders who found their immigration status in limbo after Trump’s order Friday.
Azmeh was born in Damascus and moved to the U.S. 16 years ago.
Iranian-born Swedish actress Bahar Pars, who hopes to share an Oscar for best foreign film, fears the ban will affect any possible plans to fly to the United States.
The 37-year-old Pars, who came to Sweden as a child, plays the female lead in the Swedish Oscar-nominated film “A Man Called Ove.”
She told Swedish national news agency TT that “it’s not at all certain that I’m going to get in.”
Describing Trump’s executive order as racist, she told TT it took her two months to get her visa to the U.S. approved after applying using her Iranian passport.
She said she was “very upset” by this, but added that it would also be good to go there and say to the whole world this is wrong.
Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah says U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration policy “seems to have made me an alien” and fears he may not be able to return to his U.S. home.
Farah is a British citizen who was born in Somalia, one of seven predominantly Muslim nations subject to the executive order signed by Trump that temporarily bans entry to the United States.
Farah currently is training in Ethiopia. His family is based in Portland, Oregon.
The 33-year-old says on his Facebook page that “it’s deeply troubling” he will have to tell his children that he might not be able to come home.
Farah’s agent told The Associated Press that they were trying to clarify the situation with U.S. authorities.
The White House chief of staff says President Donald Trump acted early on in his term to impose a travel ban on refugees to block “people who want to do bad things to America.”
Reince Priebus (ryns PREE’-bus) says there’s nothing to apologize for after Friday’s executive order drew widespread protests. A court order has temporarily barred the U.S. from deporting certain people.
Trump is temporarily barring refugees and citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.
Priebus tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the action “doesn’t affect green card holders moving forward” — the subject of legal challenges.
Scores were detained Saturday upon arrival at U.S. airports, spurring the judge’s order.
Priebus says officials were using “discretionary authority” to ask “a few more questions” at U.S. airports.
A petition set up on a British government website calling for U.S. President Donald Trump to be barred from visiting the country has attracted hundreds of thousands of signatures, qualifying it for a parliamentary debate.
Trump has drawn widespread condemnation in Britain for his ban on refugees and people from selected Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.
Prime Minister Theresa May invited him to make a state visit to Britain this year during her trip to Washington last week.
The petition on the British parliament’s website is titled: “Prevent Donald Trump from making a State Visit to the United Kingdom.” It says his “well documented misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him from being received” by either Queen Elizabeth or Prince Charles.
The website says parliament considers all petitions that get more than 100,000 signatures for debate.
A top adviser to President Donald Trump says a federal judge’s emergency order “really doesn’t affect” his efforts to temporarily bar refugees and citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.
Kellyanne Conway says on “Fox News Sunday” that a federal judge’s late Saturday emergency order temporarily barring the U.S. from deporting people from nations subject to Trump’s travel ban “really doesn’t affect the executive order at all.”
Conway says Trump’s order is about “preventing, not detaining” and says that only a very small percentage of travers have been impacted.
Conway says that it’s a “small price to pay” to keep the American public safe.
Etihad Airways, the United Arab Emirates’ national airline, says a number of its passengers have been affected by the new U.S. immigration policies and it is working closely with American officials on the matter.
The Abu Dhabi-based carrier said Sunday it is offering affected passengers refunds or flight changes where possible. It did not say how many passengers were affected.
Etihad passengers flying to the U.S. are screened and have their passports stamped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents stationed in the Emirati capital rather than on arrival. Etihad says it is working with officials there and in the U.S. to address the new immigration policies.
The airline says: “Our joint interest is on ensuring that compliance and the well-being of all passengers is maintained across our global network.”
President Donald Trump’s immigration order is getting pushback in Congress.
Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio says “I think we should slow down” and that lawmakers “ought to be part” of the discussions about how best to tighten screening for foreigners who enter the United States.
Portman tells CNN’s “State of the Union” that he doesn’t think Trump executive action was properly reviewed before he signed it Friday.
Portman is urging everyone “to take a deep breath and come up with something that makes sense for our national security” and reflects the fact that “America’s always been a welcoming home for refugees and immigrants.”
He says America is “this beacon of hope and opportunity for the rest of the world” and should remain that way.
Tags: businessCourtsDonald TrumpImmigrationReligionTransportationTrump Administration
The Associated Press
CNN WORLD NEWS
Homeland Security suspends travel ban By Laura Jarrett, Rene Marsh and Laura Koran, CNN Updated 6:05 PM ET, Sat February 4, 2017
Federal Judge James Robart, a George W. Bush appointee who presides in Seattle, halted the enforcement of Trump's order Friday night, effective nationwide. Robart, ruling in a lawsuit brought by the attorneys general of Washington state and Minnesota who sought to stop the order, said the states "have met their burden of demonstrating that they face immediate and irreparable injury as a result of the signing and implementation of the Executive Order. "
Washington (CNN): President Donald Trump's government moved swiftly Saturday to comply with a federal judge's order halting his travel ban -- even as Trump himself denounced the judge -- but readied its legal defense of the controversial executive action.
The Department of Homeland Security announced it has suspended all actions to implement the immigration order and will resume standard inspections of travelers as it did prior to the signing of the travel ban. But it said the Justice Department -- which is expected to file an emergency motion to stop the order -- needed to challenge the ruling "at the earliest possible time."
"(Trump's order) is intended to protect the homeland and the American people, and the President has no higher duty and responsibility than to do so," acting DHS press secretary Gillian Christensen said when announcing the suspension.
But already, the nation was in the midst of a second straight weekend of widespread uncertainty over the controversial ban, this time with the administration on defense.
A State Department official told CNN the department has reversed the cancellation of visas that were provisionally revoked following the President's executive order last week -- so long as those visas were not stamped or marked as canceled.
The department transmitted a cable to all posts Saturday instructing them to resume the visa process as they had before the executive order, two senior State Department officials said.
The officials told CNN those whose visas were physically canceled would have to go to an embassy or consulate to have them reinstated. Most cancellations were done electronically and reinstated electronically, they said.
The State Department has said fewer than 60,000 visas were revoked since the signing of the order. It was not immediately clear how many from that group will continue to be without their visas because their visas were physically canceled.
Following the judge's ruling -- and before the government's announcements Saturday morning -- the International Air Transportation Association, a worldwide airline industry trade group, cited US Customs and Border Protection in telling its members to follow procedures "as if the executive order never existed."
Trump's order bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries -- Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen -- from entering the US for 90 days, all refugees for 120 days and indefinitely halts refugees from Syria.
Federal Judge James Robart, a George W. Bush appointee who presides in Seattle, halted the enforcement of Trump's order Friday night, effective nationwide.
Robart, ruling in a lawsuit brought by the attorneys general of Washington state and Minnesota who sought to stop the order, said the states "have met their burden of demonstrating that they face immediate and irreparable injury as a result of the signing and implementation of the Executive Order. "
He said the order adversely affects residents in areas of education, employment, education and freedom to travel.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson told CNN's Anderson Cooper Friday night that he was prepared to take his case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.
Robart's decision was met with swift denunciation by the White House -- which originally called it "outrageous" before removing that word in a statement issued minutes later -- and Trump himself, who blasted the judge personally Saturday morning.
"The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!" he tweeted.
Trump also sent out a series of tweets lamenting the ruling.
"When a country is no longer able to say who can, and who cannot, come in & out, especially for reasons of safety &.security - big trouble!" he tweeted.
Robart's ruling may have stung even more for the Trump administration because it came on the heels of its first legal victory over the travel ban. Hours earlier Friday, a federal judge in Boston issued a more limited ruling that declined to renew a temporary restraining order in Massachusetts, which would have prohibited the detention or removal of foreign travelers legally authorized to come to the Boston area.
But it was the sweeping ruling from Seattle that had the federal government scrambling.
Visas to be reinstated
CBP alerted airlines Friday night that the US government would quickly begin reinstating visas that were previously canceled, and it advised airlines that refugees in possession of US visas will be admitted as well, an airline executive said.
CBP told major US airlines Friday night that the government is in the process of reinstating visas and is "back to business as usual" before the situation that was in place before last week's executive order, the airline executive told CNN. Airlines were expected to remove travel alerts from their websites and get messages out to customers to alert them about the change.
It is possible there will be more court activity and an appeal before anyone could act on getting a visa, and it's unclear how long it would take to obtain one.
US airlines use an automated system connected to the Customs and Border Protection database to scan passports and visas to get an instant determination if the passenger can board or not. Unless the government reinstates visas and the airlines get a "board" status, the airlines still would not allow such passengers to board.
Airlines were adjusting to the new developments Saturday. Qatar Airways announced it will allow nationals from the seven countries affected by Trump's travel ban and all refugees presenting a valid, unexpired US visa or green card to travel to the United States.
Refugee groups relieved
Refugee resettlement agencies across the US welcomed Robart's ruling.
"President Trump's ban against refugees and Muslims was not only un-American, but Judge Robart found it to be unconstitutional," Mark Hetfield, president and CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, told CNN on Saturday. "Thanks to Judge Robart's order protecting the Constitution, thousands of refugees who were bound for the US can finally find protection -- and a warm welcome -- here."
"But this won't be the end of our fight to keep America's door open to refugees," he added.
Because of the logistical coordination required to organize refugee arrivals, resettlement groups reached by CNN did not expect them to resume immediately.
Once a refugee is vetted and approved for resettlement, the agencies coordinate with the International Organizations for Migration to arrange their placement with a local chapter. The UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees is involved in that process, as are the Departments of State and Homeland Security, and the government of the country from which refugees are applying.
Resettlement agencies have been working with the State Department's Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration to determine when admissions can resume while local branches prepare to welcome the new arrivals.
Daniel Smith, an immigration attorney in Seattle, predicted a "flood of people trying to enter the US over the next few days" due to the legal opening.
"I am advising clients who are in the country now -- don't leave," Smith said. "And any clients wanting to enter the country, it's best if you try to get in right now and then stay put if you get here."
WATCH: Judge James Robart ruling in State of Washington vs. Donald J. Trump, et al
Judge James Robarts =The federal judge who temporarily blocked President Donald Trump's immigration order represented the disadvantaged and refugees before he was nominated by then-President George W. Bush. James Robart, who presides in Washington state, was unanimously confirmed by the US Senate in 2004.
Here's more about the judge, who once told senators that people should get a fair shake in the legal system.
He went from private practice to the federal bench
James L. Robart has been a federal judge in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington state since 2004, the year after Bush nominated him to the federal bench. He assumed senior status in 2016.
Born in 1947 in Seattle, Robart graduated in 1969 from Whitman College and in 1973 from Georgetown Law School, where he was administrative editor of the Georgetown Law Journal, according to his official biography on the US District Court's website. He was in private practice in Seattle with the firm Lane Powell Moss & Miller from 1973 to 2004, serving as managing partner in 2003 and 2004.
He's known for community service
During his confirmation hearing, Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington praised Robart for his "generous sense of community service through his work with at-risk and special needs youth."
Robart is the former president and trustee of the Seattle Children's Home, which handles mental health needs for children and their families throughout the city and state, according to its website. He's also worked extensively with the Children's Home Society of Washington, which provides services to families to improve children's lives.
RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN
Fil-Am groups oppose new Trump immigration policy 0 SHARES Share it! Published February 3, 2017, 12:09 AM by Roy C. Mabasa
Various Filipino-American organizations in Hawaii have joined a broad coalition of civil liberty groups in the United States to oppose the executive order on immigration recently signed by US President Donald Trump.
The executive order, signed by Trump just a few days after his inauguration, suspended resettlement of Syrian refugees in America indefinitely; suspended all other refugee resettlement for 120 days; and banned the entry of nationals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen for 90 days. All seven countries are predominately Muslim countries.
In a letter, the coalition described the executive order as “racist, discriminatory and ill-advised national policies.”
“There is no place in Hawaii and our nation,” the alliance said adding that the executive order was “un-American and mean spirited.”
The members of the coalition, which includes the Filipino American Advocacy Network; the Filipino- American Citizens League; Hawaii Filipino Lawyers Association; and the National Federation of Filipino American Associations Region 12, the executive order will not make the US safer or stronger but could only undermine America’s standing in the world community as an “enduring symbol of freedom and democracy.”
“Our rights and liberties as Americans are not made stronger by excluding others,” the alliance pointed out. “Rather, the strength of our local communities and our nation is based on embracing people from all over the world. We are a state and a nation of immigrants that should honor our native peoples as well as those who seek refuge here.”
The letter further noted that refugees, like other immigrants, enrich the US and contribute significantly to American society.
“We oppose efforts to reduce the number of refugees entering the United States and recognize the hope that the United States represents to those in humanitarian crises,” the coalition said.
The new policy shift led to strong protesters in Washington D.C. and across more than 30 airports inside the United States, and touched off strong criticism in other parts of the world as well.
UN CHIEF CONCERNED
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres voiced on Wednesday serious concern over the negative impact of the latest US policy, which blocks entry of Muslim refugees into the North American country, saying that this measure “should be removed sooner rather than later.”
In his response to recent US policy shift on longstanding refugee program, Guterres told reporters here that resettlement is often “the only possible solution” for people fleeing conflict and persecution.
Asked about the impact of the Executive Order, the secretary-general said resettlement is “a must,” and “Syrians are those that at present have the most dramatic needs.”
“In my opinion, this is not the way to best protect the US or any other country in relation to the serious concerns that existed about the possibility of terrorist infiltration,” he said while briefing the reporters here on his first Africa tour as the UN chief. “I don’t think this is the effective way to do so.”
“What was lacking was a capacity to have a comprehensive approach to the problem,” he said of the US ban, adding that it is very important to review “the very dramatic situations the refugees are facing when they have no chance to reach protection.”
“And I think this measure should be removed sooner, rather than later,” the UN chief said.
Also on Wednesday, the Vatican said it was worried about the US President’s moves on immigration, in the Holy See’s first comment since his executive order banning travel into the United States by citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries.
“Certainly there is worry because we are messengers of another culture, that of openness,” the Vatican’s deputy secretary of state, Archbishop Angelo Becciu, told an Italian Catholic television station in answer to a question about Trump’s order.
Becciu, who ranks third in the Vatican hierarchy, was asked about the executive order as well as Trump’s promise to build a wall on the US border with Mexico.
“Pope Francis, in fact, insists on the ability to integrate those who arrive in our societies and cultures,” he told TV2000.
Some Roman Catholic leaders in the United States have criticized Trump’s executive order. Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago said on Sunday it was “a dark moment in US history” and that it was “contrary to both Catholic and American values.” (With reports from PNA/Xinhua and Reuters)
RELATED(2) FROM THE INQUIRER
Fil-Am groups slam Duterte for not helping undocumented Filipinos Philippine Daily Inquirer / 02:21 AM February 01, 2017
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his address to a Filipino business sector in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016.
Duterte has been under criticism by international human rights groups, the United Nations, European Union and the United States for the more than 3,000 deaths of mostly suspected drug-users and drug-pushers in his so-called "War on Drugs" campaign since assuming the presidency on June 30. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
LOS ANGELES—Filipino-American groups on Monday criticized President Duterte for saying he will not help the nearly 1 million undocumented Filipinos in the United States out of respect for President Donald Trump.
“It’s a shame that (Mr.) Duterte would not ‘lift a finger’ to help Filipino migrants who are in need,” said Filipino Migrant Center executive director Joanna Concepcion.
Fate of undocumented
Concepcion said many of the undocumented Filipinos who would be affected by Trump’s harsh immigration policies were sending money to their families back home.
“What will Duterte do for the families who are depending on (the undocumented Filipinos’) remittances?” she asked.
“As long as there aren’t jobs in the Philippines, the economy will continue to depend on the income generated by overseas Filipino workers.”
Concepcion said many undocumented Filipinos were “severely exploited” and must be protected “instead of neglected” by the Philippine government.
Bernadette Ellorin, chair of Bayan USA, questioned Mr. Duterte’s “respect for the Trump administration.”
“What is there to respect about abuse of executive power of the rich over undocumented workers in the US?” Ellorin asked.
“President Duterte must keep in mind that one out of every four Filipinos in the US is undocumented. That’s approximately 1 million TNTs (undocumented Filipinos) living in the shadows and in fear of a repressive Trump administration that has called Filipinos ‘animals’ and from a ‘terrorist’ nation,” Ellorin said.
He said “worsening poverty” and lack of jobs have forced Filipinos to go abroad “to put food on their families’ tables back home.”
Pilipino Workers Center associate director Lolita Lledo said it was the Duterte administration’s responsibility to protect the rights and welfare of its citizens abroad, regardless of their immigration status in the countries where they worked.
Lledo said Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto immediately ordered agencies to step up protection for undocumented Mexicans in the United States hours after Trump signed executive orders to curb illegal immigration.
Nieto said in a brief address to his nation: “Where there is a Mexican migrant at risk that requires our support, your country should be there.”
He also urged legislators and civic organizations in the United States to help Mexican immigrants.
In stark contrast to the Mexican president’s initiatives, Duterte said on Monday that undocumented Filipinos facing deportation could not expect help from his administration “out of respect” for Trump.
“To Filipinos there (in the United States), you better be on the right track. If you are not allowed to stay there where you are staying, get out because if you are caught and deported, I will not lift a finger. You know that it is a violation of the law,” the President told a news briefing in Malacañang.
After three years in hiding, fugitive Mancao in Dacer slay surrenders to PNP Written by Mario J. Mallari and Angie M. Rosales Thursday, 02 February 2017 -
MANILA - Former police Senior Supt. Cesar Mancao has surrendered to the Philippine National Police (PNP) after three years in hiding.
Mancao yielded before the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-National Capital Region (CIDG-NCR), led by Senior Supt. Belli Tamayo, last Monday.
Mancao is now under the custody of the CIDG-NCR pending the issuance of a commitment order from the proper court.
A former senior officer of the defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF), Mancao was implicated in the 2000 twin killings of Salvador ‘Bubby” Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito.
Also implicated were then PAOCTF chief and now Sen. Panfilo Lacson; fellow PAOCTF officers ex-Senior Supt. Michael Ray Aquino and incumbent PNP-Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) chief Senior Supt. Glenn Dumlao.
Aquino and Dumlao fled to the UnitedStates but were eventually extradited. Aquino was ordered freed by the court while Dumlao was apparently cleared and was reinstated in the police service.
Lacson has been cleared by the appelate court.
Mancao was under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) until he escaped in May 2013.
Forgiven but not forgotten, was how Lacson indicated his position concerning Mancao, his former subordinate turned accuser.
“I am not hoping for him to be acquitted, I am not also hoping for him to be convicted. As I have said, he has been long forgiven as I have forgiven all my detractors in the past. They are many. If I have forgiven others why not Cezar Mancao? But I always maintained, I cannot forget their names,” Lacson said when asked for his reaction on Mancao’s surrender.
“He has been arraigned and the case has not been moving, unlike in my case where I fled and did not surrender, but I did not get out of the criminal justice system,” the senator said.
Both Lacson and Mancao have been charged in the Dacer-Corbito double murder case several years ago.
The senator, however, was acquitted yet he went into hiding first before the Court of Appeals (CA) handed down its decision dismissing the charges against him, following an order for his arrest was issued by then Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
Comparing his case to Mancao, Lacson said the litigation of the case proceeded even while he was in hiding or not physically present to defend himself which is not, it seems to be, in the case of the former.
Mancao case different — Lacson
“I did not really get out of that criminal justice system because I continued to fight my case and luckily I won. But in the case of Mancao, that’s different. Because he has been arraigned, he could be convicted in absentia since te case proceeded while he was out but he has been arraigned so he can be convicted. So it would do him well forhim to surrender so his case can already be resolved either way,” he said.
It was also because of Mancao’s flip-flopping testimonies that led to the dismissal of the charges against Lacson, the senator said.
“He changed his tune not twice, not thrice but four times,” said Lacson.
The senator remains unperturbed by the resurfacing of Mancao, saying that the former subordinate no longer has credibility as far as he’s concerned.
“All the time while he was in hiding he sent his mother here (at the Senate), I think the sister, the wife. I have all told them I have forgiven him and we need not face each other,” he said.
“He made my life miserable for 14 months but I learned so many things,” he said.
Leila again suspicious
Sen. Leila de Lima, who ordered a manhunt on Mancao following his escape from detention at the NBI in May 2013, could not help but question his motives for coming out of hiding at this point.
“Finally. But why did he surface only now?” she asked.
De Lima does not discount the possibility that Mancao would be used against her as she had been on a lookout for him following his disappearance.
Mancao earlier said the NBI was corrupt.
“At the rate that this administration is doing anything and everything within its powers to grant what the President wanted in destroying me. I’m prepared always for the worst now. What is their gameplan now?,” she said.
No takers in CA
There seems to be a shortage of takers among magistrates of the Court of the Appeals willing to handle the petition filed by embattled de Lima who is asking the CA to stop the Department of Justice (DOJ) from proceeding with the drug trafficking charges against her in connection with the illegal drugs inside the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP) during her term as justice secretary.
Three justices who were initially assigned the de Lima case has recused themselves from handling the case.
The case originally filed last January 23 was raffled off to CA Associate Justice Danton Bueser.
Bueser inhibited himself from the case being a former member of the Liberal Party like de Lima. Bueser was a former Congressman of Laguna.
Last January 30, the case went to CA Associate Justice Jose Reyes who also inhibited from the case and by January 31 it went to CA Associate Justice Aurora Jane Lantion who also recused herself since she is a relative of one of the lawyers to the case.
The case was last raffled off to CA Associate Justice Nina Antonio Valenzuela under the CA 6th Division which is Chaired by CA Associate Justice Fernanda Lampas-Peralta.
De Lima sought refuge from the CA seeking to stop the DOJ from conducting its preliminary investigation into criminal cases lodged against her.
In a 46-page petition for prohibition and certiorari she argued before the CA that the DoJ has no jurisdiction over her cases and its it only the the Office of the Ombudsman which has sole jurisdiction over offenses against public officials who shall undergo trial before the Sandiganbayan.De Lima is facing drug trafficking charges before the DoJ in connection with her alleged involvement in the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP).
She was charged before the DoJ by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and former NBI deputy directors Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala as to de Lima’s alleged conspiracy to commit drug trade. She even stated that Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has admitted that the cases will still be forwarded to the Ombudsman which has jurisdiction with her case being a former DoJ secretary herself. She argues she was already prejudged by the DoJ with the pronouncements made by Aguirre before the media.
She is pleading for a temporary restraining order (TRO) or writ of preliminary injunction to stop the proceedings before the DOJ while her petition is being heard. Benjamin B. Pulta
RELATED FROM RADYO NATIN ONLINE
Lacson on Mancao surrender: I really don't care what's on his mind Posted: 2017-Feb-02 21.00.04 UTC+0800 Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+
MANILA — Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson on Wednesday welcomed the surrender of former Senior Supt. Cesar Mancao II but made it clear that whatever his reason in coming out is not his concern.
Mancao of the defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) and one of the police officers allegedly involved in the 2000 Dacer-Corbito murder case surrendered to the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) on Monday.
To recall, Mancao implicated Lacson in the double murder but later took it back and apologized.
Lacson, like Mancao, was also charged with double murder which made him flee the country to hide in Hong Kong. However, the Supreme Court later dismissed his case in 2013.
"It's his prerogative if he wants to surrender. He can't avoid surrendering unless he wants to be a fugitive forever," Lacson, a former PNP chief, told reporters in an interview.
Lacson said Mancao's case was different from his because unlike Mancao, his case has not been arraigned. He, however, said that he was not able to escape the criminal justice system.
"While I was not physically here (in the Philippines) to defend myself, I did not really get out of that justice system. I continued to fight my case and luckily I won but in the case of Cesar Mancao it's different. He has been arraigned," he added.
Lacson further said that it would do well for him to surrender to "resolve" the case either way.
"I'm not hoping for him to be acquitted, I'm not also hoping for him to be convicted," the senator said.
He said that he didn't really care about Mancao's reason for resurfacing especially because he no longer had credibility in case he decided to implicate him again.
"I no longer have a case in the Supreme Court. The reason why the case against me was dismissed because he made different testimonies. He changed tune four times," Lacson said.
Lacson said that he has already forgiven Mancao like he has forgiven all his detractors a long time ago but maintained he could never forget his detractors' names.
"He (Mancao) made my life miserable for 14 months but I learned so many things. Instead of sulking in a corner, I would treat my miserable life before as a lesson learned that there are positive things that happened in my life," Lacson said.
"I found out who my real friends were, I found out who were plastic," he added.
If it were only up to him, Lacson said he would answer media interviews about Mancao with two words: "who he?" (PNA) — KBAPI
3 days after surrender, Mancao must be set free—lawyer By: Tetch Torres-Tupas - Reporter / @T2TupasINQINQUIRER.net / 12:34 PM February 02, 2017
Former Senior Supt. Cezar Mancao II. EDWIN BACASMAS/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO
Former Senior Superintendent Cesar Mancao should be released immediately three days after he surrendered to the Philippine National Police (PNP), his lawyer said Thursday.
Atty. Ferdinand Topacio said Mancao is under the government’s Witness Protection Program (WPP) and has testified against Senator Panfilo Lacson on his involvement in the Dacer-Corbito double murder case.
READ: Ex-cop in Dacer-Corbito slay case Mancao surrenders to police
“Therefore, under Sec. 12 of Republic Act 6981 or the Witness Protection Act, the Court must order his discharge as an accused because (of his) admission to the WPP,” said Topacio.
Under the WPP, once admitted, he said, a witness like Mancao is entitled to immunity from criminal prosecution.
Mancao was previously detained at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) but escaped from the facility in 2013.
READ: Mancao surrenders 3 years after escape
Topacio said he wrote former Justice Secretary and now Senator Leila De Lima as early as 2012 to release Mancao “but for some strange and esoteric reasons, she refused to do so.”
“This has resulted in an anomalous and unfair situation for Mr. Mancao wherein he is the only accused left in the Dacer-Corbito case, although he is the star witness for the prosecution.”
Topacio noted that Mancao’s co-accused Senior Superintendent Glenn Dumlao, who violated his WPP immunity by testifying in favor of the accused, has been reinstated and is currently the head of the PNP’s Anti-Kidnapping Group.
“We call on Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre to honor the commitment made by the Philippine Government in favor of Mr. Mancao, as the same is not only an entitlement of Mr. Mancao under the law, but the credibility of the WPP is also at stake,” Topacio said. RAM/rga
RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN
Mancao’s camp calls for his immediate release 90 SHARES Share it! Published February 2, 2017, 4:20 PM By Jeffrey Damicog
The camp of Police Senior Superintednent Cesar Mancao II said that he should immediately be released even though he just surrendered last Monday over his alleged involvement in the 2000 abduction and murder of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito.
“Mr. Cezar Mancao must be immediately set free,” stressed his counsel, lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, in a statement.
Cesar Mancao star winess of Dazer- Corbito double murder case, shows the motion for leave to intervene with motion for reconsideration-in-intervention to be filed at the Court of Appeals yesterday afternoon in Manila. (MANILA BULLETIN) Cesar Mancao (MANILA BULLETIN file photo)
Citing Republic Act (RA) 6981, also known as the Witness Protection Act, Topacio explained that Mancao has been admitted to the Witness Protection Program (WPP) of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and has already testified against Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s involvement in the Dacer-Corbito double murder case.
“Therefore, under Sec. 12 of the said law, the Court must order his discharge as an accused because admission to the WPP entitles Mr. Manacao to immunity from criminal prosecution,” Topacio pointed out.
“We call on Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre to honor the commitment made by the Philippine Government in favor of Mr. Mancao, as the same is not only an entitlement of Mr. Mancao under the law, but the credibility of the WPP is also at stake,” the lawyer said.
The counsel recalled that back in June 2012 he had been asking then Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to implement the provision of the Witness Protection Act but lamented “she refused to do so.”
“This has resulted in an anomalous and unfair situation for Mr. Mancao wherein he is the only accused left in the Dacer-Corbito case, although he is the star witness for the Prosecution,” said Topacio.
Topacio lamented that Philippine National Police-Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG) head, Sr. Supt. Glenn Dumlao, has been reinstated without loss of seniority even though he violated his terms under the WPP by testifying against the people.
“Other accused have gone on with lucrative careers either in government or the private sector,” he noted.
Prior his surrender, Mancao went into hiding after having escaped from the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on May 2013.
Read more: Mancao surrenders to PNP-CIDG
De Lima: ICC should probe 'state-sponsored' extrajudicial killings; hits Aguirre anew By Audrey Morallo (philstar.com) | Updated February 3, 2017 - 1:45pm 24 120 googleplus0 0
Senator de Lima on Thursday called on the International Criminal Court to probe "state-sponsored" extrajudicial killings. Philstar.com/File
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Leila de Lima on Thursday called on the International Criminal Court to investigate supposed "state-sponsored" extrajudicial killings in the country.
In a press statement welcoming the Amnesty International report on the country's war on drugs, de Lima said that it was already time for the ICC to intervene to end these killings. She said she fears that the number of deaths—7,669 based on current data—will continue to rise.
"It is time! It is time that the ICC intervene and end these daily killings," the senator said.
De Lima said that the ICC should not wait for the end of the Durterte administration before it conducts its probe. She said she believes that there are enough legal bases for a probe.
She said that the "state-sponsored, state-inspired and state-tolerated" killings are "brazen violations" of domestic laws and international human rights treaties binding the Philippines.
The senator said that the government's war on drugs constitute a case of crime against humanity as defined by the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity, and the Rome Statute.
The International Criminal Court The Rome Statute, which the Philippines ratified in 2011, is the treaty creating the ICC. The late Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago was elected a judge on the ICC in the same year but later stepped down without serving her term due to medical reasons.
De Lima said that under these laws, the "willful killing or murder" committed as part of an allegedly widespread and systematic attack on a civilian population with knowledge of the attack constitutes crimes against humanity.
"This is not a 'war on drugs,' but a war against the poor, against all Filipino people and, in fact, a war against our very humanity," de Lima said.
According to the ICC website,its Office of the Prosecutor must first determine "whether there is sufficient evidence of crimes of sufficient gravity falling within the ICC’s jurisdiction, whether there are genuine national proceedings, and whether opening an investigation would serve the interests of justice and of the victims" before an investigation can begin.
The court is also meant to complement national court systems, not replace them. It said that "it prosecutes cases only when States do not are unwilling or unable to do so genuinely."
The Palace has said that the killings outside of legitimate police operations are not sanctioned by the state and has, in the past, denied that there are extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. President Rodrigo Duterte has said, however, that he will protect security forces charged for deaths in legitimate anti-narcotics operations.
'Aguirre a disgrace, a danger, a cancer'
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, for his part, said that the deaths do not count as crimes against humanity since criminals "are not humanity."
De Lima, Aguirre's predecessor at the Justice department, labeled the secretary a "disgrace to this profession, a danger to society and a cancer to our justice system" for uttering the "shameless" statement. She said that such a statement from the chief justice officer of the executive branch would just embolden those who were committing "Death Squad-style killings."
De Lima also underscored the need to observe due process in dealing with drug offenders, saying that all people are guaranteed equal protection under the law and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
Amnesty International, a human rights watchdog, released a report on Feb 1 that detailed how the police allegedly targeted poor and defenseless people, planted evidence, recruited paid killers, stole money from people they killed and fabricated official incident reports.
It further claimed that policemen received P8,000 to P15,000 for every drug suspect they killed.
The government has disputed the claim.
Director General Ronald dela Rosa, Philippine National Police chief, has denied Amnesty's allegations and said that they might be an attempt to discredit the Duterte administration.
RELATED FROM DZRH NEWS ONLINE
De Lima irked at Aguirre’s statement anew January 31, 2017 6:39 PM by Rita Salonga
Sen. Leila De Lima
Sen. Leila De Lima
Senator Leila De Lima and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre were at each other’s throat again during the Senate hearing on the bribery scandal involving some Bureau of Immigration officials.
De Lima was first to castigate Aguirre after the lady senator reprimanded former Immigration deputy commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles to refrain from following the act of their former “boss”, whom she called as “banat-bawi”, or someone of keeps on retracting their statement.
De Lima mentioned Aguirre as the former boss of Argosino and Robles, because the two were fired from their posts in the Bureau of Immigration.
However, Aguirre immediately fired back at De Lima and said that Wally Sombero offered him money to back Jack Lam, who was left with no backer since he assumed his post at the Justice Department.
The lady Senator then reacted and said that this is a new accusation from Aguirre. Word war ensued between the two personalities.
De Lima served as Justice Secretary during the Aquino administration, and was replaced by Aguirre when President Rodrigo Duterte assumed post.
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Critics crank up assault vs DU30 Written by Tribune Wires Sunday, 05 February 2017 00:00 By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
Administration critics continued their offensive yesterday against President Duterte as the Catholic Church issues today a strongly-worded pastoral letter condeming a “reign of terror” among the poor as a result of the war on drugs while a senator cited inapproriate responses to allegations the government has been sponsoring extrajudicial killings (EJK).
Senator Risa Hontiveros yesterday aired criticisms on government officials’ response to the latest investigation of human rights group Amnesty International (AI) on the spate of extrajudicial killings amid Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs.
In her statement, Hontiveros criticized responses from several officials including Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre and President Duterte himself on the AI report.
The Church, meanwhile, in sermons to be read at today’s mass will criticize Duterte’s war on drugs.
In its most strongly worded comments so far on the crackdown on drug pushers and users, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said that killing people is not the answer to end the trafficking of illegal drugs.
The sermon also will express concern about the indifference of many to the bloodshed.
“An additional cause of concern is the reign of terror in many places of the poor. Many are killed not because of drugs. Those who kill them are not brought to account,” the pastoral letter stated.
Hontiveros said the Speaker’s “it’s none of their business” remark, the Justice Secretary’s “criminals are not humans” statement, the President’s usual profanity-laced attacks, and the government’s lack of commitment to address the country’s human rights issues is “appalling and unconscionable.”“I am dismayed at how the Duterte administration has responded to the Amnesty International’s report on extrajudicial killings in the country,” she said.
The AI last Wednesday alleged that police enforcers functioning for the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs “have killed and paid others to kill” thousands of drug offender under the instruction of President Duterte.
With the corresponding wave of extrajudicial executions, Amnesty International said the numbers may amount to crime against humanity.
Under the report entitled “If you are poor, you are killed: Extrajudicial Executions in the Philippines,” AI detailed how police have systematically targeted most of indigent and defenseless Filipinos.
In the investigation, it described that the process involved planting “evidence”, recruiting paid killers, stealing from the people they kill and fabricating official incident reports.
“This is not a war on drugs, but a war on the poor. Often on the flimsiest of evidence, people accused of using or selling drugs are being killed for cash in an economy of murder,” said Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Director.
“Under President Duterte’s rule, the national police are breaking laws they are supposed to uphold while profiting from the murder of impoverished people the government was supposed to uplift. The same streets Duterte vowed to rid of crime are now filled with bodies of people illegally killed by his own police,” Hassan added.
Amnesty International’s investigation documents in detail 33 cases that involved the killings of 59 people.
AI claimed its researchers interviewed 110 people across the Philippines’ three main geographical divisions, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao by detailing extrajudicial executions in 20 cities across the archipelago.
Aside from comprehensive interview, the organization also examined several documents, including police reports.
Taking AI’s side on this issue, Hontiveros stressed that having a long track record of safeguarding human rights, “it will not stake its reputation by issuing baseless reports.”
“Its findings on the country’s extrajudicial killings are a very serious matter. It deserves the government and the country’s utmost serious attention,” she pointed out.
She encouraged the government to exert more effort as it is “mandated” to protect the basic rights and liberties of its citizens.
“It is important to remember that peace and order is worth nothing and will eventually itself be destroyed without human rights, that an improvement in people’s lives will only have lasting positive effects if it were founded on human rights for all,” she said.
Hontiveros noted that any Senate or government-led inquiry that will sincerely help the people in their search for the truth and in crafting better policies to safeguard human rights would be welcome.
Only rumors — Lacson
Other members of the Senate, however, called the AI report unfair and urged the rights agency to show proof on its allegations.
“Unless they show evidence, their allegations will remain as rumors,” Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said.
“I don’t know where they (Amnesty International) got their report. Accusing is a one thing but proving is another thing. Unless they show evidence it will remain loose talks or rumors,” Lacson said.
“Anyone can conduct their own investigation. I don’t know where they get their conclusion but what is important is they give us evidence and that is the time we can exercise oversight function but we need to see facts,” he added.
He pointed out that they have had previous allegations that were not backed by evidence.
“The implication is to our whole country. We have the obligation to our countrymen to stand up also and ask for the necessary evidence,” the senator said.
The senator said that the Amnesty International should speak out in the proper forum — a court of law and not make accusations through media.
“In a sworn statement, they need to be properly sworn otherwise that’s storytelling. If they have a case they want to build up against the police or against the administration, they should go through the process of filing cases against certain people,” he added.
Last December, Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon sponsored the committee report on the Senate inquiry into alleged extrajudicial killings under the intensified anti-illegal drug campaign under the administration of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.
Gordon’s 100-page committee report ruled out any proof of state-sponsored killings under the all-out-war on drugs.
No plan to probe — Gordon
Gordon added the AI report was “hearsay” and said that he is not willing to conduct a probe into their allegations unless they present solid evidence to back up their allegations.
“I have been asked whether or not hearings will be conducted on the recent Amnesty International report on the alleged extrajudicial killings,” Gordon said in a statement.
He made this remark after Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero said that he will be filing a resolution next week for the Senate to look into what he described as “serious allegations” by the international human rights watchdog.
Gordon, chair of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, said he acknowledged that recurring reports of extrajudicial killings in the country were not only “worrisome” but also “disquieting.”
He, however, said that the reports he got were “mostly hearsay” from people who have told him that deaths were caused by extrajudicial killings or “Tokhang” activities.
“We cannot act on mere hearsay. And the (AI) report, on this score, does not yet rise above hearsay,” Gordon said.
“To conduct a hearing based on hearsay is to expend precious government resources on mere ‘tsismis’ (rumors),” he added.
He stressed that if the AI would present “solid evidence to back up an assertion” he would be the first to say that a hearing must be conducted.
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