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)
TAGLE TO PINOYS: HAVE A CHANGE OF HEART; FEELINGS OF ENVY, ANGER, REVENGE COULD DESTROY COMMUNITY
[RELATED March 1: Ash Wednesday marks start of Lent]
MARCH 2 -Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle marks a cross using ashes on the forehead of a nun during the observance of Ash Wednesday at the archdiocese chapel in Intramuros, Manila. Roman Catholics all over the world trooped to churches yesterday for the rites that remind people of their mortality. EDD GUMBAN Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle yesterday appealed to Filipinos for a “change of heart” which, he said, could be the nation’s biggest contribution to the world. In his homily for the Ash Wednesday morning mass at the chapel of the Arzobispado de Manila in Intramuros, Tagle feelings such as envy, anger, boastfulness and revenge could destroy a community. He asked the faithful to have a change of heart and return to God. Ash Wednesday marks the start of the 40-day Lenten season. During this period, the Lord calls on his people to return to Him by seeking forgiveness for their sins. Tagle recalled that in Pope Francis’ Lenten message, there are two things that should be done in order to achieve a change of heart. READ MORE...RELATED, Ash Wednesday marks start of Lent...
ALSO: Duterte signs Paris deal
ALSO: Labor Secretary Bello orders airlines- Stop collecting travel tax, terminal fee from OFW]
[RELATED EDITORIAL: Welcome support for Paris Climate Treaty]
MARCH 1 -President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during the Philippine Military Academy alumni homecoming on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. Philstar.com/Artemio Dumlao, File photo Despite his objections to some of its provisions, President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the historic Paris climate deal calling for the reduction of carbon emissions that have been linked to natural disasters. Malacañang submitted the agreement to the Senate for ratification last February 28, documents furnished to the media showed on Wednesday. "After examining the text thereof, I find it advisable to accede to the Paris Agreement and seek the Senate's concurrence thereto," the president said in a letter to the Senate. The climate agreement has to be ratified by the Senate before it becomes binding. READ MORE...ALSO, Bello orders airlines: Stop collecting travel tax, terminal fee from OFW...RELATED EDITORIAL, Welcome support for Paris Climate Treaty....
ALSO: Duterte open to peace talks with rebels; He says, "No one will win if we, Filipinos fight vs fellow Filipinos. The nation, the Philippines loses."
[RELATED: Duterte visits wake of soldiers slain in clash with communist rebels]
MARCH 4 -President Rodrigo Duterte talks to military personnel during his visit to the 103rd Brigade in Lumbayanague town, Lanao del Sur on November 30, 2016. Facebook/PCO, File photo (Philippines News Agency) - President Rodrigo Duterte is once again open to the resumption of the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDF). The president said this in an interview at the Camp Edilberto Evangelista Chapel when he visited Friday the wake of two soldiers who were killed in action in an encounter with NPA rebels on February 27 and 28 in Misamis Oriental province. Duterte said that in pursuit of peace, he is willing to talk once more with the NPAs. "I'm open to talk to the rebels, just not the killers. I'm ready to talk and I'm ready to stop this war. I would prefer for us to not have war, but we need to talk from the heart," he said. READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte visits wake of soldiers slain in clash...
ALSO: DepEd joins anti-drug war; random drug tests for students, staff
[RELATED: PH killings top US human rights report]
MARCH 4 -RENEWED CAMPAIGN – An operative of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) searches suspects arrested in a raid on an alleged drug den on Mayor Diaz Street in Cubao, Quezon City, Friday. The government has re-started its vigorous campaign against illegal drugs, amid reports that the drug trade increased by 20 percent since President Rodrigo Roa Duterte ordered a halt to the drugs drive two weeks ago as the Philippine National Police was ordered to rid its ranks of rogue policemen. (Mark Balmores | Manila Bulletin) The Department of Education (DepEd) announced yesterday that secondary students, elementary and secondary school teachers as well as officers and personnel from its central, regional, and school division offices will undergo random drug testing in support of the administration’s war on illegal drugs. The mandatory drug testing is based on Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Under Section 36, students of secondary and tertiary schools shall undergo a random drug testing pursuant to the related rules and regulations as contained in the school’s student handbook and with notice to the parents. The Act also requires officers and employees of public and private offices, whether domestic or overseas, to undergo a random drug test. READ MORE...RELATED, PH killings top US human rights report...
ALSO: Robredo says, "I disagree with Duterte’s remark ‘criminals have no humanity’ "
[RELATED: NAGA LEAKS: ‘They can’t silence us,’ Robredo says of ’Naga Leaks’]
MARCH 3 -Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday said she does not agree with President Rodrigo Duterte's remark that "criminals have no humanity." "Iyon iyong paniniwala niya pero hindi ako sang-ayon. Hindi ako sang-ayon sa sabi niya na iyong mga kriminal, walang humanity. Gaya ng sinabi ko kanina, iyong human rights, inherent iyan sa atin bilang tao," Robredo said during an interview in Cebu City. She said no one has the authority to strip people, including criminals, of their rights. "Dahil inherent iyan sa atin, wala sa kamay ng kahit na sinong tao, wala sa kamay ng kahit anong batas iyong pagtanggal ng karapatan na iyan. Kasi mula nang tayo’y ipinanganak hanggang tayo ay mamatay, iyong karapatan na iyan, nakadikit iyan sa ating pagkatao," she added. READ MORE...
ALSO: Robredo shrugs off ‘Naga Leaks’
[RELATED: Lima in 'good spirits'- reports Robredo]
[RELATED(2): Defiant Leila says ‘I refuse to be gagged’]
MARCH 3 -Vice President Leni Robredo talks with the parents of the children-beneficiaries of Operation Smile in the recovery room of the Visayas Community Medical Center after the surgeries. CEBU CITY—Vice President Leni Robredo has a clear message to the administration in the wake of a supposed expose against her: She won’t be silenced. She told reporters on Friday that she would continue to voice out her stand on issues even if these ran counter to the Duterte administration. Robredo believed that the supposed “Naga Leaks”, an alleged expose against her by a group which calls itself, “We are Collective,” was only meant to silence her. “Yung paglabas ng kung anong leaks yan, ito ay attempt para i-silence tayo (These supposed leaks are attempts to silence us),” she said. READ MORE...RELATED, Lima in 'good spirits'- reports Robredo...RELATED(2) Defiant Leila says ‘I refuse to be gagged’...
READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE BELOW
OR CLICK HERE TO READ ONLINE
Tagle to Pinoys: Have a change of heart; feelings such as envy, anger, boastfulness and revenge could destroy a community
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle marks a cross using ashes on the forehead of a nun during the observance of Ash Wednesday at the archdiocese chapel in Intramuros, Manila. Roman Catholics all over the world trooped to churches yesterday for the rites that remind people of their mortality. EDD GUMBAN
MANILA, MARCH 6, 2017 (PHILSTAR) By Evelyn Macairan March 2, 2017 - Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle yesterday appealed to Filipinos for a “change of heart” which, he said, could be the nation’s biggest contribution to the world.
In his homily for the Ash Wednesday morning mass at the chapel of the Arzobispado de Manila in Intramuros, Tagle feelings such as envy, anger, boastfulness and revenge could destroy a community.
He asked the faithful to have a change of heart and return to God.
Ash Wednesday marks the start of the 40-day Lenten season. During this period, the Lord calls on his people to return to Him by seeking forgiveness for their sins. Tagle recalled that in Pope Francis’ Lenten message, there are two things that should be done in order to achieve a change of heart.
The first is to discover the Word of God.
A baby gets her forehead marked with ashes in a church in Quezon City yesterday. MICHAEL VARCAS
“Often times, we would give more importance on what other people say, when what they say does not come from God. We react and reply to these words that do not come from God… But when God speaks, is there a reply? Is anyone interested?”
The second is that in order to return to God, one should see his fellowmen as a gift. The Manila archbishop also advocated for people to show their humility and not brag or show off the goodness that they have done for other people.
He appealed to the people to give food to the hungry.
“For as long as the heart of every person would not change in favor of God, for his fellowman, for justice, truth, concern and peace, we would never achieve change,” he said.
In life, a person encounters people who would be burdens and cause problems to them, but Tagle said: “We should treat these people as blessings. We should love them, take care of them and help them.”
RELATED FROM PHILSTAR
Ash Wednesday marks start of Lent
MARCH 1 -Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urged the faithful to take part in the Fast2Feed program of Hapag-Asa that aims to raise funds to feed at least 20,000 children in poor communities. Edd Gumban
By Evelyn Macairan March 1, 2017 - Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle has revived the Fast2Feed program as Catholics troop to churches today to mark Ash Wednesday, which ushers in the 40-day Lenten season.
Tagle urged the faithful to take part in the Fast2Feed program of Hapag-Asa that aims to raise funds to feed at least 20,000 children in poor communities.
In his pastoral letter, Tagle asked the people to “reconcile with God by praying, fasting and performing acts of charity.”
Tagle encouraged the faithful to fast during Lent and to donate the money they save to feed the poor.
“It only takes P1,200 for six months or P10 per day to make an undernourished child healthy,” he said.
In his circular to priests in the Archdiocese of Manila, Tagle said envelopes would be distributed in parishes and schools. The envelopes with donations could either be offered during masses or turned over to the parish office.
Hapag-Asa has fed around 1.6 million malnourished children since the program was launched in 2005.
Aside from the supplemental feeding program, the Church has been providing children with early values education while their parents were given skills training and livelihood opportunities.
Duterte signs Paris deal By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated March 1, 2017 - 4:36pm 3 20 googleplus0 0
President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during the Philippine Military Academy alumni homecoming on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. Philstar.com/Artemio Dumlao, File photo
MANILA, Philippines - Despite his objections to some of its provisions, President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the historic Paris climate deal calling for the reduction of carbon emissions that have been linked to natural disasters.
Malacañang submitted the agreement to the Senate for ratification last February 28, documents furnished to the media showed on Wednesday.
"After examining the text thereof, I find it advisable to accede to the Paris Agreement and seek the Senate's concurrence thereto," the president said in a letter to the Senate.
The climate agreement has to be ratified by the Senate before it becomes binding.
Climate change, which has been linked to natural disasters and extreme weather conditions, has been blamed on carbon emissions caused by human activities.
In 2015, members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change including the Philippines crafted the Paris agreement, which aims to limit the increase in the global average temperature to “well below” two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Leaders of the member countries have also vowed step up measures to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Developed countries are required to provide financial support to developing countries’ mitigation and adaptation efforts.
The deal also requires signatories to set carbon emission targets but is silent on what would happen to parties who would fail to meet them. While not a major emitter, the Philippines promised to reduce carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2030.
Science Secretary Fortunato dela Peña believes the Philippines’ commitment to reduce its carbon emissions by 70 percent is doable.
“Whatever difficulties we may encounter, we are bound to extend our support to that so I think it is doable if all sectors we’ll cooperate” dela Peña said.
“With the approval, then we have to really focus our programs on how to meet the commitment of the Philippines,” he added.
The science chief said his agency would intensify research on renewable energy, energy conservation, and other areas that would enable the Philippines to address the impact of climate change.
“We have to improve our programs, for example in our assistance to small scale enterprises. We enable them to acquire equipment for production. Now we are opening the system to companies who want to improve, to change, let’s say from traditional energy source to renewable,” dela Peña said.
Duterte previously rejected the climate deal, calling it a “stupid” and “unfair” agreement that can limit the industrialization of developing countries like the Philippines.
The president noted that the agreement did not enumerate sanctions for parties that failed comply with their obligations.
“If there is no sanction and you are asking somebody to do something or not to do something, and there is no sanction or punishment or whatever, then it’s nothing,” Duterte said in a speech last November.
In the same speech, Duterte questioned the funding source for countries vulnerable to the impact of climate change
“There would be a commonality of funds running P2 billion or say $200 billion. Who is going to give it? It was not stated there (in the agreement),” the president said.
“What kind of fool would give $200 billion? It’s easy to say there are a lot who can give,” the Philippine leader said.
Duterte eventually agreed to ratify the agreement after some discussions with Cabinet members.
ALSO FROM THE TRIBUNE
Bello orders airlines: Stop collecting travel tax, terminal fee from OFW Written by PNA Sunday, 05 March 2017 00:00
No travel tax, terminal fee in OFW airfares, says labor chief
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has ordered airline companies to cease and desist from incorporating the cost of travel tax and terminal fee in the cost of their tickets issued to overseas Filipino workers (OFW).
Bello, in his letter to Director General Jim Sydiongco of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), said OFW are exempted from paying travel tax and terminal fees based on Presidential Decree 1183 and Republic Act 8042, or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995, as Amended by RA 10022.
“It has come to my attention that the travel tax and terminal fees are being included in the cost of the airline tickets issued to our OFW. While some OFW were refunded of these fees at the airport prior to their departure, most of them, however, were not refunded because of lack of awareness about this privilege or lack of time to process their claim for refund,” Bello said.
He also requested the CAAP to remit the travel tax and terminal fees which were not refunded to the OFW to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment.
“Considering that the inclusion of these travel tax and terminal fees in the cost of tickets has been a practice of airline companies for several years, we request that the travel tax and fees collected from our OFW which were not refunded to them be remitted to the OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration),” Bello said.
The Labor secretary also instructed the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and OWWA to coordinate with CAAP and MIAA on the immediate operationalization of a mechanism for automatic exemption of OFW in payment of travel tax and terminal fee.
In his letter, which was copy furnished to Secretary Arthur Tugade of the Department of Transportation, general manager Eddie Monreal of the Manila International Airport Authority and Atty. Guiller B. Asido of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, Bello requested the CAAP to make the necessary representation to concerned government offices in various airport terminals to cease and desist from collecting tax and terminal fees from OFW.
Aside from the said government offices, the following airlines were also provided with the letter: Air Asia, Air Asia Zest, Air China, Air Niugini, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airline, Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacific, Air China Airline, China Eastern Airline, China Southern Airlines, Delta Air, Dragon Air, Emirates Airlines, Ethiopian Airline, Etihad, Eva Air, Gulf Air, Japan Airlines, Jeju Air, Jet Star Asia, Jin Air, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Kuwait Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Mandarine Airlines, Oman Air, PAL Express, Philippine Airlines, Qantas Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Brunei, Saudia Airlines, Skyjet, Singapore Airlines, Silk Air, Thai Airways, Tiger Air, Tiger Airways, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines and Xiamen Airlines.
RELATED(2) MANILA BULLETIN EDITORIAL
Welcome support for Paris Climate Treaty 0 SHARES Share it! Published March 6, 2017, 12:05 AM 2
At the start of his administration, President Duterte expressed his opposition to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change signed at the United Nations in 2016 by some 170 nations, including the Philippines.
He said it would hold back the nation’s industrial growth. He saw it as an imposition by developed nations, notably the United States and China, which had achieved growth through industries that polluted the world’s atmosphere and now want to stop other nations that are similarly industrializing.
Several officials immediately sought to convince the President that the Paris Agreement was in the best interest of the country, as the Philippines is among the nations most vulnerable to climate change, particularly rising sea levels that would inundate low-level islands around the world.
Gina Lopez, the new secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, told the President the Philippines would benefit from a $100-billion fund that the Paris Agreement was setting up, funded by the industrial nations, to help victim countries like the Philippines.
Last Wednesday, President Duterte signed the Instrument of Accession to the Paris Climate Change Treaty.
It now goes to the Senate for ratification. Once it is ratified, Senator Loren Legarda, head of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, said, the Philippines formally becomes part of the worldwide effort to limit worldwide temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Each nation had earlier submitted its own plan to help achieve the overall goal. The Philippines, In its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution which it submitted as early as October, 2015, said it will take steps to reduce its own emissions by 70 percent by the year 2030, through development of renewable energy, such as wind, solar, geothermal, water, tidal, and biomass.
The Philippines will now undertake a comprehensive review of this commitment, to take into consideration its capacity to implement this goal. To assist the country in these efforts, it will have access to the Green Climate Fund of the Paris Agreement, Senator Legarda said.
The Philippines was among the leading nations at the Paris conference, both as an island nation that stands to suffer a great deal if climate change continues unabated, and as leader of a campaign to limit the rise in global temperature to less than 1.5 degrees – not just 2 degrees, as was finally approved.
Now that President Duterte, despite his earlier reservations, has signed the Instrument of Accession, and the Senate moves to ratify the treaty, we are back in our role as one of the leading nations in the worldwide effort to save our one and only planet Earth.
Duterte open to peace negotiations with rebels; He says, "For me, no one will win. If we Filipinos fight against fellow Filipinos, nobody wins. The nation, the Philippines loses." (philstar.com) | Updated March 4, 2017 - 9:56am 1 16 googleplus0 0
President Rodrigo Duterte talks to military personnel during his visit to the 103rd Brigade in Lumbayanague town, Lanao del Sur on November 30, 2016. Facebook/PCO, File photo
MANILA, Philippines (Philippines News Agency) - President Rodrigo Duterte is once again open to the resumption of the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDF).
The president said this in an interview at the Camp Edilberto Evangelista Chapel when he visited Friday the wake of two soldiers who were killed in action in an encounter with NPA rebels on February 27 and 28 in Misamis Oriental province.
Duterte said that in pursuit of peace, he is willing to talk once more with the NPAs.
"I'm open to talk to the rebels, just not the killers. I'm ready to talk and I'm ready to stop this war. I would prefer for us to not have war, but we need to talk from the heart," he said.
The chief executive also said that communication and good intention are vital steps towards peace.
"I'm ready so long as we communicate well. I'm ready to resume the ceasefire again, but this time I want it to be sincere. Back then, there was a ceasefire but my soldiers were killed. I'm ready to resume the ceasefire again so long as it is working towards peace," he said.
When asked, Duterte said his plans for peace negotiations with the NPA would include three requests from the rebel group. These are: release of hostages, halt to revolutionary taxes, as well as asking of favors.
"They have to release all policemen, Army, everyone from the government. They should release them all. Second, they should stop asking for revolutionary tax. Third, they should stop asking for things. They're burning a lot of things now and we'll never meet each other half way if that's the case," he said.
Duterte said he feels very deeply about the turmoil.
"It pains me to see Filipinos fighting against fellow Filipinos. I just want peace."
He also said that no one wins in a war. "For me, no one will win. If we Filipinos fight against fellow Filipinos, nobody wins. The nation, the Philippines loses."
RELATED FROM PHILSTAR
Duterte visits wake of soldiers slain in clash By Gerry Lee Gorit (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 4, 2017 - 12:00am 0 3 googleplus0 0
President Rodrigo Duterte stressed that he feels the sufferings of his soldiers and policemen who fight to protect the country, that is why he has to be with them in trying times. Robinson Niñal/Presidential Photo
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY , Philippines – President Duterte paid his respects yesterday to two soldiers killed in a recent clash with communist rebels during the wake of the victims here.
Duterte offered his condolences to the families of slain troopers Corporal Marzon Morales and Private Oshin Rosala at the Loyola Chapel at the Army’s 4th Infantry Division (ID) headquarters at Camp Evangelista in Barangay Patag in this city.
The two soldiers were killed in action during the firefight between government forces and New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in upland villages in Misamis Oriental early this week.
“I have to be with my soldiers when they suffer. Kailangan nandoon ako (I need to be there),” the President told the officers and trustees of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry during an assembly Thursday night in Mactan, Cebu.
Duterte had earlier visited Camp Teodulfo Bautista station hospital in Jolo, Sulu to check on soldiers wounded during the latest encounters with Abu Sayyaf bandits.
He also extended cash assistance and awarded the injured soldiers in Jolo as well as those confined at the Camp Brig. Gen. Edilberto Evangelista Station Hospital when he proceeded to Cagayan de Oro City yesterday afternoon.
Duterte stressed that he feels the sufferings of his soldiers and policemen who fight to protect the country, that is why he has to be with them in trying times.
He had visited almost all the major military units as well as police headquarters all over the country since he assumed office last June 30, 2016.
Wounded soldiers Some 17 soldiers were wounded after fresh fighting erupted between government forces and the Abu Sayyaf on Friday morning in the mountains of Patikul, Sulu.
The firefight occurred hours before President Duterte visited Jolo in the afternoon to check on wounded soldiers in a military hospital inside Camp Teodulfo Bautista.
Col. Benjamin Hao Jr., Army spokesman, said fighting took place between members of the 32rd Infantry Battalion under Lt. Col. Ernesto Flores Jr. and over 100 Abu Sayyaf bandits led by Radullan Sahiron at sitio Kan Udong, Barangay Igasan, Patikul town.
He said 17 soldiers were wounded when they were hit by M203 grenades.
Military official were not available to provide official details of the encounter as they were preoccupied with Duterte’s visit.
Last Wednesday, at least 11 soldiers were also wounded in the encounter in the mountain range of Bud Taran in Indanan town against the Abu Sayyaf that beheaded 70-year old German Juergen Gustav Kantner last weekend.
At least five militants were killed in that assault launched by Army rangers.
The Abu Sayyaf beheaded Kantner last Feb. 26 after a deadline set to pay P30-million ransom lapsed.
Duterte, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces chief Gen. Eduardo Año also visited the 4ID headquarters and talked with the relatives of Morales and Rosala.
Duterte also visited wounded soldiers confined at the division’s hospital.
Relatives grieve Rosala’s father Reynaldo, 71, said his family didn’t expect his son to be killed. He served only for eight months.
He said they were shocked when neighbors informed them that Oshin was killed in action. The neighbors heard the news on the radio.
The elder Rosala described his son, the youngest of nine children, as the silent type.
He said Oshin used to teach automotive at a technical school here, then briefly worked as a mechanic in a car company, before applying as a soldier.
The elder Rosala said it was some of his son’s students, most of them former servicemen, who convinced him to join the military.
“He asked my permission saying he wants to be soldier, but I discouraged him. I told him there are only two things that could happen to you, either you live or you die. But he was persistent. There was nothing we could do about it. He is old enough to decide for himself,” the elder Rosala said.
For her part, Morales’ wife Izah, 31, said she had a premonition.
A few days before the encounter in Misamis Oriental, Izah said she dreamed about his death.
“I dreamed he died, but I just brushed it off because he was still alive then. I even told him about it. Three days later, he was dead,” she said in an interview.
A soldier for 10 years assigned at the 58th Infantry Battalion, Izah said Marzon was a loving husband and a caring father to their two young children.
“He was never strict but always affectionate to our kids. They were his weakness,” she said, adding that when he’s at home he never talked about his work.
“When he’s with us, his focus is on his family. We never discussed work,” she added. – With Jaime Laude, Edith Regalado, Roel Pareño
DepEd joins anti-drug war 2511 SHARES Share it! Published March 4, 2017, 12:10 AM by Merlina Hernando-Malipot
RENEWED CAMPAIGN – An operative of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) searches suspects arrested in a raid on an alleged drug den on Mayor Diaz Street in Cubao, Quezon City, Friday. The government has re-started its vigorous campaign against illegal drugs, amid reports that the drug trade increased by 20 percent since President Rodrigo Roa Duterte ordered a halt to the drugs drive two weeks ago as the Philippine National Police was ordered to rid its ranks of rogue policemen. (Mark Balmores | Manila Bulletin)
The Department of Education (DepEd) announced yesterday that secondary students, elementary and secondary school teachers as well as officers and personnel from its central, regional, and school division offices will undergo random drug testing in support of the administration’s war on illegal drugs.
The mandatory drug testing is based on Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Under Section 36, students of secondary and tertiary schools shall undergo a random drug testing pursuant to the related rules and regulations as contained in the school’s student handbook and with notice to the parents.
The Act also requires officers and employees of public and private offices, whether domestic or overseas, to undergo a random drug test.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that before the conduct of the random drug testing, DepEd personnel will have to undergo an orientation-seminar geared toward providing awareness on various aspects of drug testing. She said the activity is in preparation for the actual drug testing of select students, teachers, and personnel. DepEd will conduct the orientation-training on the drug testing program starting this month until April.
In preparation for the random drug testing of students, teachers, and personnel for 2017, the DepEd will conduct an orientation-training in six clusters in the following locations: Angeles City (for Regions II and III); Manila (for Regions IV-A, IV-B, V, and VIII); Cebu City (for Regions VI and VII); Davao City (for Regions IX, XI, XII, ARMM); Cagayan de Oro (for Region X and CARAGA); and Baguio City (for Region I and CAR).
DepEd said that the orientation-training aims to provide awareness on the legal and regulatory aspect of drug testing; orient and train regional and Schools Division personnel on specimen collection and testing; discuss the initial assessment and intervention for students tested positive for drug use; and train participants on documentation and recording of drug testing process.
The activity, the DepEd said, will include two participants from each regional office (health coordinator, and Regional Director or authorized representative); six participants from the Schools Division offices (school division superintendent, medical officer, guidance counselor, two division nurses, and principal); 10 facilitators/resource persons, and six secretariat personnel from the Central Office.
In 2016, Briones announced that it will conduct drug testing among its teachers and students – with their parents’ consent – after receiving reports that some of them are allegedly involved in using and selling of illegal drugs.
In response to the marching order of the President, Briones said that DepEd is also strengthening the preventive drug education component in Science and Health by providing real-life lessons and alternative learning methods to make the delivery much more realistic and effective, starting Grade 4.
A group of teachers welcomed the plan of the DepEd to conduct drug test among select students, teachers and other DepEd personnel.
The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), a 30,000-strong group, expressed support to the random drug testing for DepEd personnel and students in the country’s public elementary and secondary schools.
TDC National Chairperson Benjo Basas said that DepEd’s plan to have its personnel – especially teachers tested on illegal substance – is welcome. “DepEd’s role in government’s anti-drug effort is crucial and that the teachers should serve as role models for our youth and people in general,” he said.
Basas noted that his group believes “that strengthening the important institutions like schools, in the long run, would be a more effective way to reduce, if not totally eliminate drug menace in our society.”
However, a youth group expressed concerned on the possible conduct of drug testing among college students. Earlier, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) welcomed the proposal to conduct drug test among students in the tertiary level.
CHED’s Executive Director Julito Vitriolo said that the commission is looking into the possibility of making drug testing a requirement for admission of all incoming Higher Education Institutions’ (HEIs) students.
But Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (Spark) strongly denounced CHED’s proposed policy “as promoting a discriminatory, stigmatizing and skewed approach to solving the drug problem” in line with the current administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.
Spark concurred that while the youth “are vulnerable to drug dependence,” the group “maintains that bringing the war on drugs in the campuses will not solve anything, for evidently the drug war is unwinnable.”
“We find drug testing founded on randomness ingenuous because it does not incriminate students tested with positive results,” the group said. Spark added that the CHED’s proposed policy is “outright unjust and discriminatory.”
The group said that “while random drug testing is crucial to prevent further drug dependence, a non-random mandatory one administered before a student’s admission to the school could be used as the sole benchmark on whether or not a student should be retained in school.” This, Spark added, “prevents the very victims of attaining a chance and exercising their primary right to education.”
Clarissa Villegas of Spark said that even with the rehabilitation, “the stigma it would pose for the students who tested positive is also not reflective of the student’s actual drug problem.” The group believes that drug addiction should be treated as a solvable public health issue.
Villegas suggested that if the current administration really wants to tackle the youth’s drug problem, they should also start focusing on out-of-school youths by waging a war on poverty instead.
DRUG REHAB CENTERS
Meanwhile, drug rehabilitation centers, inclusive businesses, and climate change-related projects will be part of the government’s investment priorities plan in the next three years.
President Duterte recently approved a broadened 2017 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) or the list of priority investment activities that may be given incentives by the government.
In Memorandum Order No.12, the IPP, which carries the theme “Scaling Up and Disbursing Opportunities,” aims to spur inclusive growth and generate jobs especially in the countryside.
The 10 “preferred activities for investment” are manufacturing including agri-processing; agriculture, fishery and forestry; strategic services; infrastructure and logistics including local government unit public-private partnerships; healthcare services including drug rehabilitation; mass housing; inclusive business models; environment and climate change; innovation drivers; and energy.
Along considered priorities are export activities, activities based on special laws that grant incentives, and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The new IPP will also provide fiscal support for inclusive business models or activities in agribusiness and tourism sectors that benefit micro and small enterprises.
It also reduced the price ceiling for mass housing units to P2 million from P3 million previously. Except for in-city low-cost housing for lease, only projects outside Metro Manila may qualify for incentives.
“Upon effectivity of the IPP, all government agencies and entities are enjoined to issue the necessary regulations to ensure its implementation in a synchronized and integrated manner,” the memorandum order read.
“No government body shall adopt any policy or take any course of action contrary to, or inconsistent with, the IPP,” it added.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez explained that they decided to adjust the IPP coverage in line with the administration’s goal to spread economic growth to a broader segment of the population.
Lopez said the government’s investment plan was different from the 2014 plan following “the inclusion of micro-, small- and medium-scale enterprises-oriented, innovation-driven, health- and environment-conscious activities that look at expanding job opportunities for more segments of the population and bringing more firms into the local and global value chains.”
“In addition, there is a deliberate policy to shift investments to the countryside,” Lopez, chairman of the Board of Investments, said in his foreword.
He said the government also aims to attract more investors in sectors and regions that can help address the inequality of growth and the jobs gap in the country.
“Using experience from keeping industry roadmaps and implementing the new industrial policy, this IPP seeks to transform both the manufacturing and agricultural sectors by expanding their forward and backward linkages, particularly with MSMEs,” he said.
“The 2017 IPP is emphasizing two things – continuity of industrial policy direction and its implementation; and the identification of opportunities that can directly impact the lives of participants in the growth process,” he added.
He said the investment priorities plan was crafted following “analytical and participative” study and consultation with stakeholders. (With a report from Genalyn D. Kabiling)
RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER
PH killings top US human rights report By: Jaymee T. Gamil, Leila B. Salaverria - @inquirerdotnetPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 12:16 AM March 05, 2017
EMPTY CHAIR The crime scene where former guest relations officer Christina Padual (shown sprawled over a chair on Page A1) was killed by masked gunmen in front of Virgo Club, Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City. Also killed was her partner, alias “Melvin,” who was allegedly involved in drugs and was once arrested during a drug operation. —RICHARD A. REYES
The US Department of State has quietly released its annual report on human rights around the world, with the Philippines cited as a country where instances of extrajudicial killings have risen sharply and carried out with impunity.
The report, mandated by Congress, documents human rights conditions in nearly 200 countries and territories and is put together by staff in US embassies. But its release was overshadowed by criticism that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gave the report little attention, breaking from traditional practice.
Tillerson declined to unveil the report in person on Friday, breaking a precedent established during both Democratic and Republican administrations. A senior US official, however, answered reporters’ questions on condition of anonymity.
According to the report, Philippine police and vigilantes “killed more than 6,000 suspected drug dealers and users” from July to December last year.
It noted that extrajudicial killings “increased sharply” in the period, even as the government officially does not tolerate human rights violations or state-sponsored killings.
The Inquirer and other news organizations have reported a higher death toll of more than 8,000 since President Duterte took office last year.
The report noted that “killings allegedly undertaken by vigilantes, security forces, and insurgents as the principal human rights abuse documented this year,” the official said.
“And it also chronicles apparent governmental disregard for human rights and due process, and a very weak and overburdened criminal justice system,” the official added.
The official noted that efforts to promote human rights were crucial to bilateral and defense ties, which were on the mend after President Duterte last year said he would scrap scheduled visits here by American troops as he looked to US rivals China and Russia for military assistance.
He has, however, stopped his verbal tirades against Washington after US President Donald Trump came into power.
The official said Tillerson would “review each arms transfer notification for the Philippine police and armed forces on a case-by-case basis.”
“Because it’s the right thing not to provide arms to units that are undermining … the value of human life,” the official said.
The 44-page report on the Philippines noted that while extrajudicial killings here were not new, they “increased sharply over the past year.”
It quoted Philippine National Police figures from July to December last year showing that 2,155 suspects were killed in police operations, and 4,049 others by unknown vigilantes.
It said the killings have raised concerns about “police impunity” following promises by authorities that cops involved would not be prosecuted.
The report also raised questions on the “accuracy and legitimacy” of the supposed drug list that President Duterte always carries and shows the public during his speeches.
The report also noted that President Duterte’s “public attacks on individuals and international bodies who have criticized his policies had a chilling effect on free speech and expression.”
It cited the case of Sen. Leila de Lima who herself has been jailed on drug-related charges after speaking out against the President.
But presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella denied the state supported vigilante killings, even as he stressed the government was engaged in trying to arrest an “emerging narcostate” by battling drug lords.
“Vigilante or extrajudicial killings are unlawful and are therefore, not sanctioned,” he said. “The government condemns such practice. These are not to be confused with the government’s war on illegal drugs, which is an urgent and critical domestic matter.”
He said President Duterte has ordered law enforcement institutions to take “decisive legal steps” against cops embroiled in summary executions or with the drug trade. The government, he said, would “punish the scalawags in uniform.”
The secretary of state traditionally unveils the report with public comments emphasizing the centrality of human rights in US foreign policy and highlighting specific findings.
The report’s language on Russia for instance remained broadly similar to that of years past, noting the country’s “authoritarian political system dominated by President Vladimir Putin.”
Tillerson’s Democratic predecessors John Kerry and Hillary Clinton gave public comments on the report in 2013 and 2009, their first years in the post, respectively, and continued to present it throughout their tenures.
In 2005, during Republican President George W. Bush’s administration, the undersecretary of state for global affairs, Paula Dobriansky, presented the report on camera on behalf of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Human rights groups criticized the way the report was made public. —WITH A REPORT FROM THE WIRES
NAGA LEAKS: ‘They can’t silence us,’ Robredo says of ’Naga Leaks’
By: Izobelle T. Pulgo - Correspondent / @izobelleCDNInquirer Visayas / 08:06 PM March 03, 2017
Vice President Leni Robredo (second from right, in face mask and surgical gown) talks with one of the doctors of Operation Smile at the operating room of the Visayas Community Medical Center on Friday, March 3, 2017. (Photo from the Office of the Vice President)
CEBU CITY — “They can‘t silence us.”
That’s the message Vice President Leni Robredo has to the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte in the wake of the so-called “Naga Leaks” directed against her by the “We Are Collective,” which has a website and a Facebook fan page.
Robredo told reporters on Friday that she would continue to voice out her her stand on issues even if these ran counter to the policies of the administration.
She said she believed “Naga Leaks,” supposedly an expose against her by the group “We Are Collective” was only meant to silence her.
“Yung paglabas ng kung anong leaks yan, ito ay attempt para i-silence tayo,” she said.
(“The appearance of these supposed leaks is an attempt to silence us.”)
“Ilang beses na itong ginawa dati. Hindi nagtagumpay. At kahit anong gawin, hindi ito magpapatahimik sa atin,” she added.
(“They have done this before. They didn’t succeed. And no matter what they do, they can’t silence us.”)
She said was prepared to face anything because she had nothing to hide.
“Hindi tayo nagkasala sa bayan. Yung paniniwala natin, buong puso at buong tapang pa din nating i-iexpress kahit ano pa yung gawin nilang panghaharang dito,” she said.
(“I did not sin against the country. I will wholeheartedly and courageously express my beliefs no matter what they do to try block me.”)
Robredo was in Cebu for a two-day visit.
She arrived on Friday for the launching of “Until We Heal,” a global campaign of Operation Smile in celebration of its 35th anniversary.
The campaign aims to expand the scope of its mission of doing reconstructive surgery on indigent children and young adults who have cleft palate and cleft lip.
Robredo, who was tapped as its Smile ambassador, went to the Visayas Community Medical Center to observe the surgical mission.
On Saturday, Robredo will hold a dialog with fisherfolk in San Remegio town in Cebu and grace the relaunching of “Jesse Robredo: The Quest for Good Governance,” a book by her late husband Jesse Robredo, at the Ayala Center Cebu.
The vice president said she had not lost hope that the death penalty bill would be overturned by the Senate.
She stressed that the reimposition of the penalty was not an assurance that crime incidence would go down. She pointed out that there was empirical data to support this claim.
Robredo also pointed out that the country had an “imperfect” criminal justice system, raising the possibility that the innocent may be wrongly judged as guilty.
The bill would also be anti-poor because most of those in death row were indigents who could not afford to hire a good lawyer, she added. /atm
CEBU DAILY NEWS
Robredo shrugs off ‘Naga Leaks’ SHARES: 46 VIEW COMMENTS By: Izobelle T. Pulgo, Jose Santino S. Bunachita @cebudailynews
10:55 PM March 3rd, 2017
Vice President Leni Robredo talks with the parents of the children-beneficiaries of Operation Smile in the recovery room of the Visayas Community Medical Center after the surgeries.
CEBU CITY—Vice President Leni Robredo has a clear message to the administration in the wake of a supposed expose against her: She won’t be silenced.
She told reporters on Friday that she would continue to voice out her stand on issues even if these ran counter to the Duterte administration.
Robredo believed that the supposed “Naga Leaks”, an alleged expose against her by a group which calls itself, “We are Collective,” was only meant to silence her.
“Yung paglabas ng kung anong leaks yan, ito ay attempt para i-silence tayo (These supposed leaks are attempts to silence us),” she said.
“Hindi ito first time na ginawa. Ilang beses na itong ginawa dati. Hindi nagtagumpay at kahit anong gawin, hindi ito magpapatahimik sa atin (This is not the first time that they have done this. They have done this before. They didn’t succeed and no matter what they do, they cannot keep us quiet),” Robredo said.
“Yung sa atin naman, nakahanda tayo, wala tayong tinatago, hindi tayo nagkasala sa bayan. Yung paniniwala natin, buong puso at buong tapang pa din nating i-iexpress kahit ano pa ‘yung gawin nilang panghaharang dito (On our part, we are ready. We have nothing to hide. We have not sinned against the country. We will continue to express our beliefs, with all our hearts and with courage no matter what they will do to stop us),” she said.
Robredo was in Cebu for a two-day visit.
She arrived on Friday for the launching of “Until We Heal,” a global campaign of Operation Smile in celebration of its 35th anniversary which aimed to broaden the reach of reconstructive facial surgery to indigent children and young adults who have cleft palate and cleft lip.
Robredo, who was tapped as Smile ambassador, went to Visayas Community Medical Center (VCMC) to observe the international surgical mission by Operation Smile.
“Vice President Leni Robredo symbolizes the first major step of advocacy for members in the government. This movement will continue in 35 plus other countries where Operation Smile works on with hospitals, governments and members of the private sector and civil society,” Tim Lu, strategic partnerships director of Operation Smile Philippines told Cebu Daily News.
Robredo talked to patients with facial deformities and observed an actual surgery being done by volunteers at VCMC.
On Saturday, the Vice President would hold a dialog with fisherfolk in San Remegio town, Cebu and grace the relaunching of her late husband Jesse Robredo’s book, “Jesse Robredo: The Quest for Good Governance,” at Ayala Center Cebu.
RELATED FROM ABS-CBN
Lima in 'good spirits'- reports Robredo Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News Posted at Feb 28 2017 05:20 PM
Vice President Leni Robredo confirmed reports that she visited Senator Leila de Lima inside the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City last Friday.
"Pumunta po ako nung first night nya sa Camp Crame, pumunta 'ko alas otso ng gabi. Ah ako na lang yung, ako yata yung huling bisita na dumaan dun, nabisita ko naman si Senator Leila. Parang in good spirits sya," said Robredo.
Robredo said this shortly after attending the birthday celebration of Pangasinan Rep. Gina de Venecia held at the Haven, a halfway facility of the Department of Social Welfare and Development for abused and abandoned women and children.
Robredo said she asked De Lima how they can help.
"Sya yung nag-update sa akin kung ano na yung ginagawa ng opisina nya, ginagawa ng team nya para salungatin yung mga pangyayari... yung mga nangyari. At sinabi nya nga na by Monday, magpa-file sila ng motion, magpa-file sila ng request sa Supreme Court para siya ay mabigyan ng temporary liberty," said Robredo.
Robredo also said she met with other members and allies of the Liberal Party (LP) and discussed their concerns over the arrest of De Lima, as well as the ouster of Senators Kiko Pangilinan, Bam Aquino and Risa Hontiveros from their chairmanships in Senate committees.
Robredo also spoke of the stand of the party on the reimposition of the death penalty, but clarified that LP will maintain a "conscience vote" among members.
She said the LP will not impose sanctions against members who will vote in favor of the death penalty.
RELATED(2) FROM THE TRIBUNE
Defiant Leila says ‘I refuse to be gagged’ Written by Angie M. Rosales Monday, 06 March 2017 00:00 f
In another handwritten note, Sen. Leila de Lima, who is detained for drug trafficking charges, said “I refused to be gagged.”
De Lima’s letter was addressed to the Department of Justice and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo following a DoJ move to have the Muntinlupa City regional trial court (RTC) issue a gag order against her.
“I note a slip up from the mouth of the comical and flamboyant Panelo. In expressing support for a gag order,” she said.
She added Panelo reportedly said “that I should be prevented from further destroying (President) Duterte.”
“Such reinforces my belief that the things being done to me, especially my detention, are primarily aimed at stifling my criticisms against this murderous and vindictive President,” she said in a note released to Senate reporters.
But de Lima stood her ground, saying that she would continue to speak up and express her views on issues that matter even while in detention.
“I refused to be gagged. Gagging me would be a violation of my rights. They cannot continue violating my rights,” the senator said.
“I repeat, I cannot be silenced,” she said.
Panelo, over the weekend, expressed support to a DoJ motion before the Muntinlupa City regional trial court (RTC) to issue a gag order on de Lima’s drug cases and to stop media discussions only aimed at further maligning Mr. Duterte.
The Palace official said the detained senator is using the media to taint the President’s reputation while her lawyers are trying to condition the minds of the public by talking about her cases in the media. Gag order only proper — Palace
Mr. Duterte’s men, the other day, issued statements stating their full support to the petition for the court’s gag order.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the request was “nothing new” since it is in accordance to the sub-judice doctrine.
“Should the court grant the motion, we expect all parties to abide by it to preclude any undue pressure to the judge hearing the cases or any influence that may condition the minds of the public on the merits of the case,” Abella said.
Panelo added that de Lima should allow the courts to try her case and let the judicial process run its course instead of issuing statements assailing the filing of cases against her as a form of political persecution.
SUICIDE ATTEMPT NOT TRUE
De Lima in an earlier statement said rumors circulated on social media about her alleged suicide attempt inside her detention cell in Camp Crame “should be viewed as a campaign by the Duterte administration to condition the minds of public.”
“These fake ‘alternative fact’ news are making the rounds and being encouraged by Duterte’s lapdogs, such as Speaker (Pantaleon) Alvarez, in order to condition the minds of the people that the worst can happen to me while in detention at the PNP Custodial Center, without any fault of the Duterte regime because I supposedly already lost my mind after my arrest,” De Lima said.
Expressing fear for her life, De Lima said given the existence of fake news “as reinforced by Duterte’s” allies in government, she no longer feel secure in detention, despite being guarded by the elements of the PNP Custodial Unit in Camp Crame.
De Lima was arrested for violation of Republic Act (RA) No. 9165 or Dangerous Drugs Act, penalizing the “sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation” of illegal drugs.
In a statement released by her staff to the media, the senator cited the case of Jun Pala where Mr. Duterte has been tagged as mastermind of the assassination by self confessed Davao Death Squad member SPO3 Arturo Lascanas.
“If I die inside Duterte’s prisons it is not because I committed suicide, but it is because the President has finally ordered me killed. In the unfortunate event that I die in prison, you all know who my murderer is,” she added.
The senator said she’s perfectly lucid and will never contemplate suicide.
“I have never been more determined to continue the fight against this murderous, incompetent, and corrupt regime, and I continue to look forward to the day when the barbarity and tyranny of this regime no longer reigns over our nation, and I am finally freed from prison,” she added.
GO TO > > HEADLINE NEWS PAGE ONE
GO TO > > NEXT HEADLINE NEWS
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