PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE: Since 1997 © Copyright (PHNO) http://newsflash.org



HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
CLICK HERE TO READ ONLINE
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

CHURCH IN 'SHOW OF FORCE' AT BIG RALLY IN RIZAL PARK VS DUTERTE, DRUG KILLINGS
[RELATED VIDEO NEWS: Libo-libo, nakiisa sa "Walk for Life" ng CBCP]
[RELATED(2): Palace on 'Walk for Life' - Duterte allows freedom of expression]


More than 6,000 people have died in the seven months since President Rodrigo Duterte ordered an unprecedented war on drugs, which has drawn global criticism for alleged human rights abuses Thousands of Catholic faithful gathered in the Philippine capital on Saturday for a "show of force" in the biggest rally yet to stop extrajudicial killings in President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war.(AFP Photo/NOEL CELIS) More Manila (AFP) FROM YAHOO NEWS ASIA Saying that it was just the start of Church-led protests against President Duterte, Catholic bishops called yesterday’s early morning gathering at the Quirino Grandstand at Rizal Park as a “show of force” against extrajudicial killings in President Duterte’s drugs war and his bid to revive the death penalty. Members of one of the nation’s oldest and most powerful institutions chanted prayers and sang hymns as they marched to condemn a “spreading culture of violence.”  “We have to stand up. Somehow this is already a show of force by the faithful that they don’t like these extrajudicial killings,” Manila Bishop Broderick Pabillo said before addressing the crowd.
“I am alarmed and angry at what’s happening because this is something that is regressive. It does not show our humanity.” READ MORE...RELATED,
Libo-libo, nakiisa sa "Walk for Life" ng CBCP...RELATED(2), Palace on 'Walk for Life': Duterte allows freedom of expression...

ALSO: ‘Show of force’ for life
[RELATED: Philippine Church in ‘show of force’ against drug killings]


FEBRUARY 19 -Catholic faithful join the ‘Walk for Life’ prayer rally in Manila’s Rizal Park to oppose death penalty and drug killings yesterday. AP Church leads protest vs drug killings, death penalty
It was a “show of force” when over 10,000 people joined a prayer rally yesterday dubbed “Walk for Life” to protest proposals to revive the death penalty and the mounting extrajudicial killings (EJKs) linked to the government’s drug war. Donning white shirts and carrying placards, the rallyists started to gather at the Quirino Grandstand inside Rizal Park in Manila as early as 4 a.m. By 8 a.m., the crowd had grown significantly and began praying the rosary together – something “unexpected,” according to Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)-Episcopal Commission on the Laity chairman Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, considering the rally was “hastily” organized, done early in the morning and the participants came from around 15 dioceses nationwide. READ MORE...RELATED,
Philippine Church in ‘show of force’ against drug killings...

ALSO: Stage set for classic church-state clash
 [RELATED: ‘Strength, not violence’: Prayer rally protests killings]


Archbishop Soc Villegas and Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle speak during the Walk for Life rally at Quirino Grandstand. —NIÑO JESUS ORBETA INQUIRER FILE By urging Filipinos to join the “Walk for Life” against widespread drug killings and the return of capital punishment, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has thrown down the gauntlet at President Duterte and set the stage for another classic church-state confrontation. “Let us face those who attempt to cast fear among the people and show them our courage,” CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas told thousands of ralliers on Saturday morning at Rizal Park in Manila. “We will not be bullied or intimidated,” declared Bontoc-Lagawe Bishop Valentin Cabbigat Dimoc, a burly Cordillera native. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle called for “active nonviolence” in opposing extrajudicial killings (EJKs) as a result of the government’s war on drugs. “If the response to violence is also violence, we merely abet the violence,” Tagle said. “We should not be propagating violence but challenging it with nonviolence.” But he also clarified that what was needed was “not passive but active nonviolence.” Apparently referring to next week’s anniversary observance of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution, Tagle called for unity and “people power” against state-sanctioned violence. “People power not violence,” Tagle said. Clearly, Church leaders were calling for active resistance to the Duterte government’s draconian measures at checking the 2drug menace and imposing law and order. READ MORE...RELATED, ‘Strength, not violence’: Prayer rally protests killings...  

ALSO: At homecoming rites Duterte to PMA - "Build nation worthy of the Filipinos, mold Filipinos worthy of their nation"
[ALSO: Lanao taps Muslim clerics in fight vs extreme ideology]


FEBRUARY 19 -President Duterte reviews cadets during the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association 2017 homecoming at Fort del Pilar in Baguio City yesterday. The President is an adopted member of PMA Class 1967. KRIZJOHN ROSALES
President Duterte has appealed to alumni of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) to help him build a nation “worthy of the Filipinos” and to mold Filipinos “worthy of their nation.” “Let us together build a nation worthy of the Filipinos, Filipinos worthy of their nation, Pilipinong nararapat sa Pilipinas, Pilipinas na nararapat sa Pilipino,” the President said at the end of his speech during the PMA homecoming at Fort General Gregorio del Pilar in Baguio City yesterday. Duterte, now almost eight months in office, explained anew his vision for the country, especially Mindanao, using as blueprint Davao City’s success under his leadership. Duterte is the first Mindanaoan to become president. “Now, I believe what happened in Davao can really happen nationwide, but I need the help of each one, especially the military, not for social control but protection for the citizens from the lawless, the reckless and the selfish,” the President said. READ MORE...ALSO: Lanao taps Muslim clerics in fight vs extreme ideology...

ALSO: ‘Double honor’ for Duterte at PMA
[ALSO while in Baguio City: Press fight vs threats, Digong urges troops]


FEBRUARY 19 -President Duterte wears Class 1967 hat during the Philippine Military Academy alumni homecoming at Fort Del Pilar in Baguio City yesterday. KRIZJOHN ROSALES
President Duterte said he is “doubly honored” to be adopted by the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association Inc. more than two decades after he became an honorary member of PMA Class of 1967. “I am an adopted ‘Dimasupil’ Class of 1967, that is already honor enough but to be formally adopted by the Philippine Military Academy Alumni is a double honor,” Duterte said in his speech before PMA alumni at the PMA Grandstand in Fort Del Pilar, Baguio City yesterday. He said the latest honor was “because of my long and harmonious relationship with PMA alumni (and) not about political consideration.” He thanked the alumni association “for clarifying that.” Duterte said he is just as happy doing his work as public servant. READ MORE...ALSO: Baguio City: Press fight vs threats, Digong urges troops...

ALSO: Duterte favorite ‘kulambo’ makes it to Baguio Mansion
[ALSO From Baguio City: ‘Wrong decisions’ by ex-leaders to blame for RP woes — Duterte]


FEBRUARY 19 -President Duterte poses beside the presidential bed at the Mansion, complete with mosquito net. —MALACAÑANG PHOTO
Baguio City—He may be the country’s top official, but President Duterte wasn’t about to give up the folksy comfort of sleeping under his favorite “kulambo” (mosquito net) at the historic presidential Mansion here on Friday night. The President attended the annual alumni homecoming of the Philippine Military Academy at Fort Del Pilar here on Saturday. Because of Mr. Duterte’s expressed preference to spend more time in Malacañang and his hometown, Davao City, some government officials did not expect him to set foot inside the 109-year-old official summer residence of the country’s President in this mountain city. In January, Mr. Duterte gave visiting Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a tour of his two-story house, showing him the kulambo, or mosquito net he sleeps under on most weekends. Writing about the tour on his Facebook post, presidential assistant Christopher Go said the President, the son of a former governor, “enjoys the comfort of his own bed, including his old and favorite mosquito net.”  READ MORE...ALSO: ‘Wrong decisions’ by ex-leaders to blame for RP woes — Duterte....


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE BELOW
OR CLICK HERE TO READ ONLINE

Church in ‘show of force’ vs Duterte, drug killings


More than 6,000 people have died in the seven months since President Rodrigo Duterte ordered an unprecedented war on drugs, which has drawn global criticism for alleged human rights abuses Thousands of Catholic faithful gathered in the Philippine capital on Saturday for a "show of force" in the biggest rally yet to stop extrajudicial killings in President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war.(AFP Photo/NOEL CELIS) More Manila (AFP) FROM YAHOO NEWS ASIA

MANILA, FEBRUARY 20, 2017 (TRIBUNE) Written by AFP and Tribune Wires Sunday, 19 February 2017 00:00 - Saying that it was just the start of Church-led protests against President Duterte, Catholic bishops called yesterday’s early morning gathering at the Quirino Grandstand at Rizal Park as a “show of force” against extrajudicial killings in President Duterte’s drugs war and his bid to revive the death penalty.

Members of one of the nation’s oldest and most powerful institutions chanted prayers and sang hymns as they marched to condemn a “spreading culture of violence.”


PABILO

“We have to stand up. Somehow this is already a show of force by the faithful that they don’t like these extrajudicial killings,” Manila Bishop Broderick Pabillo said before addressing the crowd.

“I am alarmed and angry at what’s happening because this is something that is regressive. It does not show our humanity.”

READ MORE...

Duterte, 71, has attacked the Church as being “full of shit” and “the most hypocritical institution” for speaking out against a campaign that he said would save generations of Filipinos from the drug menace.

About eight in 10 Filipinos are Catholic, making the former Spanish colony of more than 100 million people Asia’s bastion of Christianity.

Catholic bishops were key elements in the extra constitutional ousters of former presidents Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 and Joseph Estrada in 2001.


Pic: AFP Thousands of Catholic faithful gathered in the Philippine capital on Saturday for a "show of force" in the biggest rally yet to stop extrajudicial killings in President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war. Philippine Church in 'show of force' vs drug killings By AFP Published Saturday, February 18, 2017 NEWS WITH CAPTION FROM THE EMIRATES247 ONLINE

The event, called the “Walk for Life,” gathered 20,000 people, according to organizers. Manila police estimated the crowd at 10,000.

Rallyists voiced opposition to Mr. Duterte’s push to restore the death penalty, his top legislative priority as part of his crime war.

“It is obvious that there is a spreading culture of violence. It is saddening to see, sometimes it drives me to tears how violent words seem so natural and ordinary,” said Manila Cardinal Luis Tagle, the country’s highest-ranking Church official.

“In your surroundings, in your neighborhood, there are so many lives that must be saved. They will not be saved by mere discussion,” he added.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) had called on the faithful to gather at dawn at the Quirino Grandstand, where Duterte held a huge pre-election rally.


Roman Catholic Archbishop Socrates Villegas, center, of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, leads thousands of Roman Catholics in a “Walk for Life” march around Manila’s Rizal Park to oppose the revival of the death penalty by the Philippine Congress as well as the killings of drug users and drug pushers in the so-called war on drugs by President Rodrigo Duterte at dawn Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 in Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo) FROM THE INDIAN EXPRESS ONLINE

“Why dawn? It’s because it is during these hours that we find bodies on the streets or near trash cans. Dawn, which is supposed to be the hour of a new start, is becoming an hour of tears and fears,” Archbishop Socrates Villegas, CBCP president, told the crowd.

Villegas this month issued the Church’s strongest statement against the drug war, warning against a “reign of terror” in poor communities.
Leila surfaces in rally

The rally, however, took a political color as among those who attended the event was the embattled Senator Leila de Lima, a former human rights commissioner and one of Duterte’s most vocal opponents.

The government on Friday filed charges against her for allegedly running a drug trafficking ring using criminals in the country’s largest prison when she was justice secretary in the previous administration.


Philippine Senator Leila De Lima, centre, a former human rights commissioner who is one of Duterte's most vocal opponents, participate with housands of Filipinos gathered in a dawn rally in a "show of force" against alleged extrajudicial killings.FROM NEWS JOURNAL SEARCH ONLINE

De Lima, who has repeatedly insisted the charges against her are trumped up to silence her and intimidate other Duterte critics, said she attended Saturday’s event as a show of solidarity.

“For as long as I can, I will continue to fight. They cannot silence me,” De Lima, who is expecting to be arrested in the coming days said.

Villegas said summary executions must stop immediately because no civilized country can let such illegal acts to go on unabated.

“They (criminals) ought to be judged by the court of law and never by the extrajudicial means,” Villegas said.

The prelate stressed that law offenders ought to be arrested, prosecuted, sentenced and jailed to correct the wrongdoings they committed.

He also scored the political pressure on lawmakers to immediately pass a bill for the restoration of the death penalty and urged the leadership in the lower House to allow “conscience vote.”

“Partisan politics is fleeting. Conscience is the voice of God inside everyone of us. Respect our conscience,” he said.


17 Feb 2017 Thousands of Catholic faithful gathered in the Philippine capital on Saturday in a “show of force” to stop extrajudicial killings in President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war.FROM SOUTH CHINA MORNING NEWS ONLINE

Villegas reiterated that if only to fight criminalities, the government must reform the criminal justice system instead of reviving the capital punishment.

This include, according to him, by cleansing the ranks of the police, reforming the judiciary and strictly enforcing rules in country’s prisons.

“Execution is murder,’ he said. “We cannot teach that killing is wrong by killing those who kill. It also increases the number of killers.”

Aside from extrajudicial killings and the death penalty, he urged Filipinos to also fight four other “sins against life”, namely abortion, blasphemy, corruption, and illegal drugs.

The prelate also responded to the criticisms that the Church is protecting criminals for criticizing the government’s bloody war on drugs and opposing the death penalty.

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

RELATED FROM ANS-CBN

Libo-libo, nakiisa sa "Walk for Life" ng CBCP ABS-CBN News Posted at Feb 18 2017 10:21 PM


ALSO Watch video also in iWantv or TFC.tv -Sa kabila ng walang humpay na krimen, libu-libo ang dumalo sa isinagawang "Walk for Life" ng CBCP na naglalayong ipagtanggol ang buhay laban sa anumang uri ng pagpatay. Nagpa-Patrol, Abner Mercado. TV Patrol, Sabado, 18 Pebrero 2017

 
http://news.abs-cbn.com/video/news/02/18/17/libo-libo-nakiisa-sa-walk-for-life-ng-cbcp


BISHOP PABILO AT THE RALLY MARCH -VIDEO CAPTURE

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Palace on 'Walk for Life': Duterte allows freedom of expression By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated February 19, 2017 - 7:40pm 2 58 googleplus0 0


Thousands of Roman Catholics carry placards in a "Walk for Life" march around Manila's Rizal Park to oppose the revival of the death penalty by the Philippine Congress as well as the killings of drug users and drug pushers in the so-called war on drugs by President Rodrigo Duterte at dawn Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 in Manila, Philippines. The Catholic Church expressed alarm over the killings of more than 7,000 people so far since President Duterte assumed office June 30 of last year. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte upholds freedom of expression, Malacañang stressed Sunday, after thousands of people joined a Catholic Church-organized rally against extrajudicial killings and the revival of the death penalty.

“The president allows the freedom of expression and this is one of them. That’s part of the democratic dynamic,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella when asked for his reaction to the “Walk for Life” held last Saturday.

The event, which was organized by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, was held at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila and was attended by more than 10,000 people.

Duterte and the Roman Catholic Church have been clashing over the administration’s bloody war on illegal drugs and its effort to bring back capital punishment.

The president has waged a brutal war against narcotics, a problem that he claimed has reached “epidemic proportions.”

More than 7,000 suspected drug offenders have died since the intensified anti-drug campaign was launched, worrying Catholic bishops who believe that killing is not the solution to the problem.

Duterte has denied endorsing extrajudicial killings but has ordered government forces to shoot drug suspects if they pose any danger to their lives.

The Roman Catholic Church, the religious group of more than 80 percent of Catholics, is also against the revival of death penalty, one of the priority bills of the Duterte administration.

The president had said that death penalty is not a deterrent but a retribution for wrongdoing. He even threatened to execute five to six drug convicts every day once the bill reviving death penalty is passed into law.

Angered by the Church’s criticisms against his war on drugs, Duterte had claimed that bishops have no moral ascendancy to lecture him about the sanctity of life because of the corruption and child abuse scandals involving some clergymen.

He had also encouraged the public to maintain a personal relationship with God without going through Catholic rituals.

Bishops were unfazed by Duterte’s tirades and vowed to continue to speak out against the killings and other wrongdoings.

Last week, Malacañang said the government is open to collaborating with the Church but maintained that the bishops should make the first move.


PHILSTAR

‘Show of force’ for life By Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 19, 2017 - 12:00am 2 11 googleplus0 0


Catholic faithful join the ‘Walk for Life’ prayer rally in Manila’s Rizal Park to oppose death penalty and drug killings yesterday. AP Church leads protest vs drug killings, death penalty

MANILA, Philippines - It was a “show of force” when over 10,000 people joined a prayer rally yesterday dubbed “Walk for Life” to protest proposals to revive the death penalty and the mounting extrajudicial killings (EJKs) linked to the government’s drug war.

Donning white shirts and carrying placards, the rallyists started to gather at the Quirino Grandstand inside Rizal Park in Manila as early as 4 a.m.

By 8 a.m., the crowd had grown significantly and began praying the rosary together – something “unexpected,” according to Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)-Episcopal Commission on the Laity chairman Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, considering the rally was “hastily” organized, done early in the morning and the participants came from around 15 dioceses nationwide.

READ MORE...

“This only shows that they want to express themselves,” Pabillo said, stressing those who joined were not forced to attend.

The message, he said, is “that the people are standing up for life and they are against these methods of death, such as death penalty and EJK.”

“So I hope that the government will listen to the people,” Pabillo added.

At the same time, in Bacolod, the giant tarpaulins that the local diocese put up during the 2013 senatorial elections listing candidates of “Team patay (death)” and “Team buhay (life)” were back, this time, condemning the death penalty.

“No, no, no sa berdugo (executioner)! Yes, yes, yes kay Kristo (Christ)!” was the message on a tarpaulin in front of the Bacolod San Sebastian Church yesterday, together with another tarpaulin bearing the biblical passage from John 10:10: “I came that they might have life and have it to the full.”

Like the rest of the Catholic dioceses nationwide, the Diocese of Bacolod has stepped up its drive against the proposed restoration of the death penalty, as the so-called super-majority in Congress seemed bent on pushing for its approval.

Bacolod church rector Fr. Felix Pasquin said criminal offenders need to be punished, but not by death.

They should be given a chance to reform and be rehabilitated, he said.

Pasquin called on the Negros lawmakers yesterday to support the Catholic Church’s position against the death penalty.

Filipinos inherently pro-life, pro-God


Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle delivers his message to thousands of people who joined the Walk for Life at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila, Feb. 18, 2017. (Analyn Perucho/CBCPNews)

“This is standing up for the godly tradition that is truly Filipino because a real Filipino is pro-God, pro-life,” Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the CBCP, said before the crowd gathered at Rizal Park yesterday. “This is mentioned in our Constitution. This means that if the Filipino people would break away from God and if the Filipino would not respect life, then he or she would be less of a Filipino because it is inherent in us as Filipinos to be pro-God and pro-life.”

When asked if he was hoping President Duterte would listen to the prayer rally’s message, the Catholic bishops’ leader said: “What I believe is that God will listen to our prayers. If God listens to our requests, what is there to fear?”

Villegas also called the “Walk for Life” prayer rally “Walk for God.”

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle also joined the rally, urging the faithful to use non-violent means to solve criminality amid a seemingly growing culture of violence.

The Cardinal said the “Walk for Life” rally was intended to “save lives, such as of pregnant women and the unborn child, those who are hungry,” and the youth on the street, who must be freed from the influence of illegal drugs, abuse, prostitution, pornography, gambling and other vices.

Calling war as also “anti-life,” Caloocan Bishop Pablo David added yesterday’s prayer rally was meant to campaign against environmental abuse, war in Mindanao and for the resumption of peace talks between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

The “Walk for Life” prayer rally was the first one organized by the Council of the Laity of the Philippines under the Duterte government. Seven bishops, including Villegas, attended the event. – GILBERT BAYORAN

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

RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

Philippine Church in ‘show of force’ against drug killings Published February 18, 2017 12:44pm By AYEE MACARAIG, AFP


Philippine Church in 'show of force' against drug killings

Thousands of Catholic faithful gathered in the Philippine capital on Saturday in a "show of force" to stop extrajudicial killings in President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war.

More than 6,000 people have died since Duterte took office seven months ago and ordered an unprecedented crime war that has drawn global criticism for alleged human rights abuses, but is popular with many in the mainly Catholic nation.

In the biggest rally yet against the killings, members of one of the nation's oldest and most powerful institutions chanted prayers and sang hymns as they marched to condemn a "spreading culture of violence".

"We have to stand up. Somehow this is already a show of force by the faithful that they don't like these extrajudicial killings," Manila bishop Broderick Pabillo told AFP before addressing the crowd.

"I am alarmed and angry at what's happening because this is something that is regressive. It does not show our humanity."

READ MORE...

Duterte, 71, has attacked the Church as being "full of shit" and "the most hypocritical institution" for speaking out against a campaign that he says would save generations of Filipinos from the drug menace.

About eight in 10 Filipinos are Catholic, making the former Spanish colony of more than 100 million people Asia's bastion of Christianity.

The Church helped lead the revolution that toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 and a 2001 uprising against then-president Joseph Estrada that saw him ousted over corruption charges.

The Church had initially declined to voice opposition publicly to Duterte's drug war but, as the death toll of mostly poor people mounted, it began late last year to call for the killings to end.

Saturday's event, called the "Walk for Life", gathered 20,000 people, according to the organizers. Manila police estimated the crowd at 10,000.

- 'Tears and fears' -

"It is obvious that there is a spreading culture of violence. It is saddening to see, sometimes it drives me to tears how violent words seem so natural and ordinary," said Manila Cardinal Luis Tagle, the country's highest-ranking Church official.

"In your surroundings, in your neighborhood, there are so many lives that must be saved. They will not be saved by mere discussion."


GMA NEWS FACEBOOK VIDEO CAPTURE

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines had called on the faithful to gather at the Quirino Grandstand, where Duterte held a huge pre-election rally, from 4:30am.

"Why dawn? It's because it is during these hours that we find bodies on the streets or near trash cans. Dawn, which is supposed to be the hour of a new start, is becoming an hour of tears and fears," Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the bishops' conference, told the crowd.

Villegas this month issued the Church's strongest statement against the drug war, warning against a "reign of terror" in poor communities.

Among those who attended Saturday's event was Senator Leila de Lima, a former human rights commissioner who is one of Duterte's most vocal opponents.

The government on Friday filed charges against her for allegedly running a drug trafficking ring using criminals in the country's largest prison when she was justice secretary in the previous administration.

De Lima, who has repeatedly insisted the charges against her are trumped up to silence her and intimidate other Duterte critics, said she attended Saturday's event as a show of solidarity.

"For as long as I can, I will continue to fight. They cannot silence me," De Lima, who is expecting to be arrested in the coming days, told AFP.

Bone cancer survivor Lucy Castillo, 56, turned up in a wheelchair along with dozens of other people with disabilities.

"When I was in so much pain, I could have taken my life but I did not. Only God can take it," she told AFP.

"I was diagnosed 40 years ago but I was given a chance to live. I want to give these drug addicts another chance." —Agence France-Presse


INQUIRER

Stage set for classic church-state clash By: Lito B. Zulueta - Arts and Books Editor / @LitoZuluetaPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 12:16 AM February 19, 2017


Archbishop Soc Villegas and Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle speak during the Walk for Life rally at Quirino Grandstand. —NIÑO JESUS ORBETA INQUIRER FILE

By urging Filipinos to join the “Walk for Life” against widespread drug killings and the return of capital punishment, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has thrown down the gauntlet at President Duterte and set the stage for another classic church-state confrontation.

“Let us face those who attempt to cast fear among the people and show them our courage,” CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas told thousands of ralliers on Saturday morning at Rizal Park in Manila.

“We will not be bullied or intimidated,” declared Bontoc-Lagawe Bishop Valentin Cabbigat Dimoc, a burly Cordillera native.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle called for “active nonviolence” in opposing extrajudicial killings (EJKs) as a result of the government’s war on drugs. “If the response to violence is also violence, we merely abet the violence,” Tagle said. “We should not be propagating violence but challenging it with nonviolence.”

But he also clarified that what was needed was “not passive but active nonviolence.”

Apparently referring to next week’s anniversary observance of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution, Tagle called for unity and “people power” against state-sanctioned violence. “People power not violence,” Tagle said.

Clearly, Church leaders were calling for active resistance to the Duterte government’s draconian measures at checking the 2drug menace and imposing law and order.

READ MORE...

Villegas said the choice to hold an early-morning prayer rally was significant because many of the victims of EJKs were found at dawn.


Thousands of Roman Catholics march around Manila's Rizal Park to oppose the revival of the death penalty FROM THE TELEGRAPH, UK ONLINE

“Why in the early hours of the day? This is simply because during this time when victims are found along the road or in garbage heaps,” Villegas said, as he urged Filipinos to banish fear and “walk with the victims and their families.”

“We’re here for the Walk for Life in the name of those who cannot walk because of our shortcomings,” he said. “They cannot walk because they have been killed and we’re too afraid to get involved.”

“This Walk for Life is for them,” Villegas said. “We will walk and we will stand for them.”

Clearly the head of the episcopal conference was saying the Church wouldn’t tolerate EJKs and the restoration of the death penalty that the bishops felt was antipoor, as reflected in how Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo defined capital punishment—“it is punishment for those without capital.”

Good Shepherd Sister Regina Kuizon, chair of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP), reminded Catholics of Pope Francis’ wish for a world “free of the death penalty.”

“Since December we have lobbied at Congress (against) the death penalty,” Kuizon said. “Nuns have done room-to-room campaigns at the House of Representatives for them to favor life instead of death.”

Kuizon reminded lawmakers that capital punishment “brings no justice to victims but instead fosters vengeance.”

“This Walk for Life is not to defend the drug addicts or the killers,” Villegas said. “Criminals ought to be arrested, prosecuted, sentenced and jailed to correct the wrongdoings they committed. They ought to be judged by the court of law and never by the (barrel of the gun) or extrajudicial means.”

Villegas added that all Christians should unite against the evils of “ABCDE”—“abortion, blasphemy, corruption, drugs, and executions.”

He also scored President Duterte for cursing the Church and doubting God’s existence.

“If God’s no longer respected, there will come a time when we will no longer respect God’s creatures,” the CBCP head said. “When people no longer respect God, for sure we will no longer respect the environment, our parents, our fellowmen and human life.”

“This Walk for Life is not a protest but a commitment to the sacredness of life given by God,” Villegas said.

Laity

Although it was the Council of the Laity of the Philippines or “Layko” that organized the Walk for Life, the CBCP gave the march its imprimatur by encouraging people of other faiths to join the Rizal Park rally.


BISHOP PABILO AT THE RALLY MARCH -VIDEO CAPTURE FROM ABS-CBN NEWS

Lay people from as far as the Cordilleras in Luzon joined the walk. Ifugao elders from the Diocese of Bontoc-Lagawe in Ifugao and Mountain Province performed a dance ritual to protest Congress’ efforts to restore the death penalty and the EJKs of drug suspects around the country.

Even non-Catholic Christian groups heeded the CBCP’s call. Staff and students of the Institute for Studies in Asian Church and Culture put out streamers declaring, “Evangelicals against EJK: Choose life that we may live (Deuteronomy 30:19).”

Perceived to have been inexplicably silent as the drug-related killings climbed past the 7,000 mark, the CBCP finally broke its silence after its biannual meeting in January, and condemned what it perceived as a “reign of terror” since the President came into power.

Speaking during the Meet Inquirer Multimedia forum on Feb. 13, Villegas stressed that bishops had long condemned the drug killings. He added that the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan held a Mass for the victims as early as September 2016.

“I’m not defending my brother bishops, but what I am saying is we have not been quiet … Fortunately or unfortunately, it is not covered by media or social media but we have been doing our work on the ground,” he said.

Moreover, AMRSP, which groups the heads of religious congregations for men and women, has condemned the killings as early as August last year, warning that they could lead to “a culture of impunity.”

“We are alarmed at the silence of the government, groups and majority of the people in the face of these killings. Ubi boni tacent malum prosperat. Evil prospers where good men are silent,” said the statement signed by Franciscan priest Cielito Almazan and Kuizon, cochairpersons of AMRSP.

“Is this lack of public outcry a tacit approval of what is happening? Is it fear that prevents people from speaking out? Whatever the reason, this problem, if it remains unchecked, leads to a culture of impunity.”

Kuizon said Catholic religious orders were “in solidarity with the families of victims.”

“Several congregations have centers that respond to the needs of those in need of rehabilitation,” Kuizon added.

But President Duterte himself in his anti-Church rhetoric has belied the Church has not been doing anything.

“I’m really appalled by so many groups and individuals, including priests and bishops, complaining about the number of persons killed in the operation against drugs,” he said in a speech in Zamboanga last October. “If I stop, the next generation would be lost.”

The President has likewise asserted that the Church had no moral ascendancy because of its own record of abuses.

In the Inquirer Multimedia interview, Villegas pointed out that the Church was still standing after “2,000 years of the sinfulness of its men and women.” “The moral ascendancy of the Church does not even come from its leaders,” he explained. “The moral ascendancy of the Church comes from the Lord himself. So there is no pretense.”

Clearly the bishops are now rallying “men and women” of the laity to oppose the killings and the death penalty revival.

Cardinal Tagle referred to the need to cultivate a “culture of nonviolent political action.”

Tagle said all Christians and other Filipinos should be aware of actions and measures happening in their midst—abortion, environmental destruction, graft and corruption, and EJKs.

“One important aspect of this Walk for Life is strengthening and propagating the culture of nonviolent political action,” he said.


Participants join a 'procession' against plans to reimpose death penalty, promote contraceptives and intensify drug war during 'Walk for Life' in Luneta ...FROM PRESS AND FREEDOM BLOG

Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David disclosed that one of his diocesan drug-rehab volunteers had just been shot down by “masked men with bonnets.” He urged the ralliers to inculcate a culture where life is respected. “Yes to the culture of life, no to the culture of death,” he added.

Pabillo, bishop-adviser of Layko, urged ralliers to lobby in Congress against the death penalty and a measure to lower the age of criminal liability to nine so as to send kids to adult prisons, not juvenile reformatories.

The challenge now is for the bishops, the religious and the laity to consolidate the powers unleashed by the Walk of Life and channel them as effective political action to check the perceived excesses of the Duterte administration and stop “antilife” legislations in Congress.


MANILA TIMES

‘Strength, not violence’: Prayer rally protests killings BY THE MANILA TIMES ON FEBRUARY 19, 2017 TODAY'S HEADLINE PHOTOS, TOP STORIES


‘WALK FOR LIFE’ Catholic faithful join a march against summary killings and the death penalty bill at Rizal Park in Manila. Among the participants was embattled Sen. Leila de Lima , a vocal opponent of the government’s drug war who faces drug trafficking cases that she claims were manufactured to silence her and other critics. PHOTOS BY RUSSELL PALMA

CARDINAL Luis Antonio Tagle on Saturday called for a culture of “active non-violence” and admonished the government not to resort to killings in fighting crime and illegal drugs, as thousands of faithful Filipinos marched at Luneta in “defense of human life.”

“Lakas, hindi dahas (Strength, not violence),” the Manila archbishop boomed as he mustered his inner Cardinal Sin, his predecessor who played pivotal roles in the 1986 Edsa “People Power” revolt that toppled the Marcos regime and the 2001 uprising that ousted Joseph Estrada.

Echoing Martin Luther King, Tagle told the crowd that “violence will not be overcome by violence.”

READ MORE...

“If violence is also met with violence, we double the violence. We should not double or spread violence. It should be matched by non-violence,” the prelate said in Filipino.

An estimated 20,000 people joined the “Walk for Life” march and prayer rally at dawn on Saturday in Luneta (Rizal Park) organized by Catholic organizations led by the Council of the Laity of the Philippines.

Lay and religious people marched on the parade grounds of Quirino Grandstand carrying banners protesting summary killings linked to President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug war.

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said the “walk” was held at dawn as it was “during this time when victims are found along the road or in garbage heaps.”

“Dawn is that time of day that augurs well with new beginnings but has turned into a time of tears and fear due to killings made the night before,” said the Sin protégé who now heads the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

Addressing critics who have derided the Church for taking the side of drug suspects rather than their victims, Villegas said: “This Walk for Life is not to defend the drug addicts or the killers. Criminals ought to be arrested, prosecuted, sentenced and jailed to correct the wrongdoings they committed. They ought to be judged by the court of law and never by the barrel of the gun.”

Villegas also spoke out against the death penalty bill pending in Congress.

“It was during this time of day on December 30, 1896 when Dr. Jose Rizal walked from Fort Santiago to the Luneta to face the firing squad. Death penalty is contrary to the sacredness of human life. Instead of restoring the death penalty, cleanse the ranks of the police, reform the judiciary and strictly enforce rules in our penitentiaries,” he said.

“We say ‘No to Death penalty!’ Yes, to the reforms in the criminal justice system. We call on the House of Representatives to allow their members to vote according to their conscience. Partisan politics is fleeting. Conscience is the voice of God inside everyone of us. Respect our conscience.”

De Lima in attendance

Villegas this month issued the Church’s strongest statement against the drug war, warning against a “reign of terror” in poor communities.

Among those who attended the event was Sen. Leila de Lima, a former human rights commissioner and one of Duterte’s most vocal opponents.

The government on Friday filed charges against her for allegedly running a drug trafficking ring using criminals in the country’s largest prison when she was justice secretary in the previous administration.

De Lima, who has repeatedly insisted the charges against her are trumped up to silence her and intimidate other Duterte critics, said she attended Saturday’s event as a show of solidarity.

“For as long as I can, I will continue to fight. They cannot silence me,” de Lima, who is expecting to be arrested in the coming days, told AFP.

Bone cancer survivor Lucy Castillo, 56, turned up in a wheelchair along with dozens of other people with disabilities.

“When I was in so much pain, I could have taken my life but I did not. Only God can take it,” she told AFP.
“I was diagnosed 40 years ago but I was given a chance to live. I want to give these drug addicts another chance.”

Duterte, 71, has attacked the Church as being “full of shit” and “the most hypocritical institution” for speaking out against a campaign that he says would save generations of Filipinos from the drug menace.

About eight in 10 Filipinos are Catholic, making the former Spanish colony of more than 100 million people Asia’s bastion of Christianity.

It had initially declined to voice opposition publicly to Duterte’s drug war but, as the death toll of mostly poor people mounted, it began late last year to call for the killings to end.


PHILSTAR

Duterte to PMA: Build nation worthy of the Filipinos By Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 19, 2017 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0


President Duterte reviews cadets during the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association 2017 homecoming at Fort del Pilar in Baguio City yesterday. The President is an adopted member of PMA Class 1967. KRIZJOHN ROSALES

MANILA, Philippines - President Duterte has appealed to alumni of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) to help him build a nation “worthy of the Filipinos” and to mold Filipinos “worthy of their nation.”

“Let us together build a nation worthy of the Filipinos, Filipinos worthy of their nation, Pilipinong nararapat sa Pilipinas, Pilipinas na nararapat sa Pilipino,” the President said at the end of his speech during the PMA homecoming at Fort General Gregorio del Pilar in Baguio City yesterday.

Duterte, now almost eight months in office, explained anew his vision for the country, especially Mindanao, using as blueprint Davao City’s success under his leadership. Duterte is the first Mindanaoan to become president.

“Now, I believe what happened in Davao can really happen nationwide, but I need the help of each one, especially the military, not for social control but protection for the citizens from the lawless, the reckless and the selfish,” the President said.

READ MORE...


Addressing  PMA alumni in Baguio

While admitting he is not known for righteousness, Duterte said he can consider himself a good leader who will usher the country to prosperity.

“While I never pretended to be a saint, I know that righteousness and discipline are the foundation of a nation. That is why what I desire for the Philippines is a prosperous society that includes everyone, a peaceful law-abiding citizenry, and people of different beliefs who choose to get along with one another,” he said.

Adopted by PMA Dimasupil Class of 1967 and now the PMA Alumni Association Inc., Duterte said he is proud to be an adoptive member of the prestigious academy.

“That is why I appreciate the PMA. You have the template of discipline and civility. I ask that you continue this tradition and thank you for inviting me to be part of you,” Duterte said.

Unlike in his other public engagements, Duterte read the speech prepared for the occasion – without adding a single expletive.

QUESTIONED CREDIBILITY OF TRILLANES

In remarks on Friday before members of the PMA Class of 1967 at the Baguio Country Club, Duterte questioned the credibility of former Navy officer and now Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

A member of PMA Class 1995, Trillanes has accused Duterte of amassing some P2 billion in illegal wealth.

Duterte was in a black leather jacket and black pants and wearing sunglasses when he arrived yesterday morning at the PMA grounds.

“So, let me bring you back to my vision for the nation. As a child immigrant from Visayas to Mindanao, we hoped for a better life in the so-called ‘Land of Promise’,” he said.

Duterte discussed various issues briefly, like threats from terror groups like the Abu Sayyaf as well as climate change.

“But now, it is threatened by climate change caused by man-made diseases like extractive industries. The rest of the nation is threatened by the widening gap between the rich and the poor, crime, corruption, criminality and illegal drugs,” he said.

“In the past, our government verged on failure because those who were in the position to help deliberately made wrong decisions which favored only themselves,” he said.

“That is why I promised during my first State of the Nation Address, I promise you a comfortable life. My administration is working to ensure that basic human services are available to all; food and health needs; water and sanitation; shelter; public safety; education and economic opportunities,” he said.

“But we will always uphold the sanctity of the common good as the highest good. And always for the benefit of the next generation,” he added.

He reiterated the need to stamp out the drug menace to save the coming generations from perdition.

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

ALSO FROM THE MANILA TIMES

Lanao taps Muslim clerics in fight vs extreme ideology BY MOH SAADUDDIN ON FEBRUARY 18, 2017 REGIONS

MARAWI CITY: The provincial go­vernment of Lanao del Sur has tapped moderate Muslim clerics or Ulamas to take part in peace building by portraying Islam as a religion of peace amid efforts by the government to combat the emergence of extremists in the country.

Governor Bedjoria Soraya Alonto-Adiong said the task given to the clerics is to provide weekly sermons every Friday at large mosques in this city and 39 towns of the province.

The program shall help educate people about the religion of Islam as “peaceful way of life,” she said.

Adiong added that it is also to comply with her “9-point agenda” through implementing activities, policies and programs to communities and ensure continuous peace and order as well as spiritual enhancement.

The drive started on Friday after several clerics in the province vowed support to the peace building initiatives that would upset extremists’ propagandists.

Meanwhile, Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu renewed his call for strict rules on all madaris (Arabic and Islamic schools) including the profiling of students and teachers in addition to registering their institutions with the government.


JANUARY 2017 PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte. MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said Islamist extremism espoused by the Islamic State is here to stay in the Philippines. Duterte said aside from the drug menace, the Philippines will have to tackle terrorism plaguing the fringes of Mindanao region and threatening to spread to other parts of the country.ABS-CBN JANUARY 9, 2017 Albert Alcain, Malacanang Photo

Mangudadatu said profiling all teachers and students in the madaris system, including orphanages, will insure that their lectures would isolate extremists recruiting young Muslims for jihadist activities.

The government is combating the emergence of extremism brought about by international terror movements that have swayed several jihadists groups in the country, particularly in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.


PHILSTAR

‘Double honor’ for Duterte at PMA By Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 19, 2017 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


President Duterte wears Class 1967 hat during the Philippine Military Academy alumni homecoming at Fort Del Pilar in Baguio City yesterday. KRIZJOHN ROSALES

MANILA, Philippines - President Duterte said he is “doubly honored” to be adopted by the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association Inc. more than two decades after he became an honorary member of PMA Class of 1967.

“I am an adopted ‘Dimasupil’ Class of 1967, that is already honor enough but to be formally adopted by the Philippine Military Academy Alumni is a double honor,” Duterte said in his speech before PMA alumni at the PMA Grandstand in Fort Del Pilar, Baguio City yesterday.

He said the latest honor was “because of my long and harmonious relationship with PMA alumni (and) not about political consideration.” He thanked the alumni association “for clarifying that.”

Duterte said he is just as happy doing his work as public servant.

READ MORE...

“The work I do, I do in the service of the people,” he said. “And somehow, I also feel at home here at PMA because of its mission to train and develop graduates with character and skill.”

Although he is not a soldier, Duterte said he is aware of the demands of being one. It requires inner strength, a choice to live by courage and principle, he pointed out.

He said, “My own life has been molded by the principle of love of country, compassion for the poor and needy and pride in being a Filipino.”

On Friday at the Baguio Country Club, Duterte extolled cadets and alumni for their deep commitment to serve.

“I am confident therefore that our mistahs who are holding key positions in the public and private sectors will deliver what is expected of them and more,” Duterte said.

“We are now in the process of modernizing the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police so that they may perform their mandates effectively,” he added.

In the same event, Duterte said he has directed law enforcement agencies “to be relentlessly pursuing those who would do harm to our people and the country, including criminal organizations, drug syndicates and terrorists.”

“So, no matter where our journey in life led us the last 50 years, our shared love and sacred duty to serve our motherland will always bond us together as members of the ‘Dimasupil’ Class of 1967,” Duterte said.

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

ALSO FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

Press fight vs threats, Digong urges troops posted February 19, 2017 at 12:01 am by John Paolo Bencito


HAIL TO THE CHIEF. Top officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police greet President Rodrigo Duterte upon his arrival at Fort del Pilar in Baguio City to attend the annual homecoming of the Philippine Military Academy.

BAGUIO CITY—President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday exhorted security forces to continue securing the nation from the threats of corruption, terrorism and criminality, particularly illegal drugs.

“The nation is threatened by the widening gap between the rich and the poor, crime, corruption, criminality, and illegal drugs,” Duterte told alumni of the Philippine Military Academy during its annual homecoming at Fort del Pilar here.

“Government must now deliver goods and services to really serve the people, not just the interest of the few. In the past, our government was on the verge of failure because those who were in the position to help deliberately made wrong decisions, which favored only themselves,” he said.

Duterte vowed to always uphold the sanctity of the common good as the highest goal that always benefits the next generation of Filipinos.

Attaining peace and order is paramount, he said, noting if there is peace and order, businesses and everything else will follow, as in the case of Davao City where he was mayor for more than 20 years.

He said righteousness and discipline are the foundation of a nation, adding he desires a Philippines that is prosperous and inhabited by peaceful, law-abiding citizens.

“That is why I appreciate the PMA. You have the template of discipline and civility. I ask that you continue this tradition and thank you for inviting me to be part of you,” he said.

“Let us together build a nation worthy of the Filipinos; Filipinos worthy of their nation. Pilipinong nararapat sa Pilipinas; Pilipinas na nararapat sa Pilipino; nasud nga angay sa Pilipino, Pilipinong angay sa Pilipinas,” he added.

In response, the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association Inc. presented a manifesto of support to Duterte.


FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City—President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday told security forces to use all government resources to protect Mindanao from the Abu Sayyaf Group, which he said has been destroying the peace in the country’s south. In a speech before alumni of the Philippine Military Academy during their homecoming here, the President said that both the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police have been directed to continuously contain the ASG threat “through intensified operations using all available assets and resources.”

“We affirm our unwavering support for President Rodrigo Duterte, our commander-in-chief, for his initiatives to wage war against corruption and criminalization in general, most particularly against illegal drugs, heinous crimes, terrorism, and his pursuit of lasting peace,” Anselmo Avenido said in a statement.

“We call on Filipino citizens to support the President and other leaders in the government in the attainment of lasting peace and economic prosperity,” Avenido added.

Duterte said that both the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police have been directed to continuously contain the ASG threat “through intensified operations using all available assets and resources.”

“The Sulu-based ASG is focused on kidnap-for-ransom. The Basilan-based ASG under (Isnilon) Hapilon remains focused on assimilating the IS violence today,” Duterte said.

Duterte said that recent reports suggesting that Abu Sayyaf’s top leader, Isnilon Hapilon leading the Southeast Asian caliphate of the jihadist group Islamic State would wreck his efforts for a peaceful country.

“Intensified military efforts, is the only way to secure Mindanao,” the president said.

Only recently, security officials said the homegrown terrorist groups had been uniting and evolving into just one group called Dawlatul Islamiyah Waliyatul Masrik or DIWM, and had chosen Isnilon Hapilon of the Abu Sayyaf as their sole leader in their aggressive efforts to be recognized by the ISIS.


INQUIRER

Duterte favorite ‘kulambo’ makes it to Baguio Mansion By: Vincent Cabreza - Reporter / @Inquirer_BaguioPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 03:30 AM February 19, 2017


President Duterte poses beside the presidential bed at the Mansion, complete with mosquito net. —MALACAÑANG PHOTO

Baguio City—He may be the country’s top official, but President Duterte wasn’t about to give up the folksy comfort of sleeping under his favorite “kulambo” (mosquito net) at the historic presidential Mansion here on Friday night.

The President attended the annual alumni homecoming of the Philippine Military Academy at Fort Del Pilar here on Saturday.

Because of Mr. Duterte’s expressed preference to spend more time in Malacañang and his hometown, Davao City, some government officials did not expect him to set foot inside the 109-year-old official summer residence of the country’s President in this mountain city.

In January, Mr. Duterte gave visiting Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a tour of his two-story house, showing him the kulambo, or mosquito net he sleeps under on most weekends.

Writing about the tour on his Facebook post, presidential assistant Christopher Go said the President, the son of a former governor, “enjoys the comfort of his own bed, including his old and favorite mosquito net.”

READ MORE...

US colonial government

The Mansion was one of the early structures built before 1910 in Baguio, a city designed and constructed by the American colonial government.

In 2008, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines declared the property a national historic structure.

The Mansion’s landscaped grounds “had a maze, garden paths, and a wide grazing field for horses” when it was planned and designed by William Cameron Forbes, an American investment banker who became one of its first occupants when he was

appointed governor general from 1909 to 1913. The official residence retains its lush gardens.

‘Early, vibrant community’

Forbes employed Japanese gardeners who worked on Topside, his private residence here, and on the Baguio Country Club grounds.

The Filipino and Japanese laborers who helped build the Mansion soon became Baguio’s “early and vibrant community.”

Among postwar presidents, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, now Pampanga representative, spent the longest time at the Mansion. Arroyo, who was President from 2001 to 2010, also stayed at the Mansion when her father, Diosdado Macapagal, was President from 1961 to 1965.

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

ALSO FROM THE TRIBUNE

‘Wrong decisions’ by ex-leaders to blame for RP woes — Duterte Written by Tribune Wires Sunday, 19 February 2017 00:00


President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his address during the PMA alumni homecoming in Baguio City.  — Known for his rambling speeches with full of expletives, President Rodrigo Duterte delivered a short speech without swearing at the Philippine Military Academy alumni homecoming. It was an unusual turnaround on Saturday when he delivered his nine-minute speech at Fort del Pilar before some 6,000 PMA alumni and their families. SCREENGRAB FROM RTVM BAGUIO CITY

FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City — President Rodrigo Duterte said “wrong” decisions” of the previous administrations had caused great hardship for most of the population, particularly in Mindanao.

In a speech during the alumni homecoming of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Mr. Duterte noted that his predecessors in government took Mindanao for granted which caused economic and environmental dilemmas for the island.

“Mindanao, the so-called ‘Land of Promise’ is threatened by climate change caused by man-made diseases like extractive industries,” the Chief Executive stressed.

“In the past, our government verged on failure because those who were in the position to help deliberately made wrong decisions which favored only themselves,” he lamented.

Mr. Duterte underscored the economic disparity caused by the way the government bureaucracy was handled, saying previous administrations were only moving according to their political interests and gains.

“The rest of the nation is threatened by the widening gap between the rich and the poor, crime, corruption, criminality, and illegal drugs,” the President said.

“Government must now deliver goods and services to really serve the people, not just the interest of the few,” he emphasized.“That is why I promised during my first State of the Nation Address, I promised you a comfortable life. My administration is working to ensure that basic human services are available to all; food and health needs; water and sanitation; shelter; public safety; education; and economic opportunities,” he added.

Attaining peace and order is paramount, he said, noting if there is peace and order, businesses and everything else will follow, as in the case of Davao City where he was mayor for more than 20 years.

The President said what happened in Davao City could happen nationwide with the support of the public, especially the military, who can help protect the communities. There are major threats confronting the nation today — one is illegal drugs and the other is Islamic extremism, he said.

He noted that the PMA, with the support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), was given instruction to wage war against illegal drugs, which has already made significant inroads.

In the government’s fight against terrorism, the President said Isnilon Hapilon, the overall leader of the Islamic State (IS) in the Philippines, has been severely wounded in an encounter with the military. To secure Mindanao, he said he has directed the AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to continue to contain the IS threat by intensifying operations against them.

Meanwhile, he said, righteousness and discipline are the foundation of a nation, adding he desires a Philippines that is prosperous and inhabited by peaceful, law-abiding citizens.Ted Tuvera and PNA


GO TO > > HEADLINE NEWS PAGE ONE

GO TO > > NEXT HEADLINE NEWS (coming early next week)

GO TO >> PRESIDENT DU30 NEWS THIS PAST WEEK

GO TO > > BUSINESS PAGE

GO TO > > PHNO TRAVEL/LFESTYLE/FOOD

GO TO >> SHOWBIZ CHATTER


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

 EMAIL:  PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE 
© Copyright, 2017 All rights reserved


BACK TO PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE