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)

'DRUG LORDS FINANCING DESTABILIZING EFFORTS TO GET RID OF DUTERTE'
[RELATED: Duterte
steps up drive vs graft Congress asked to justify exclusion of plunder, rape in death penalty bill]


MARCH 4 -Drug lords are bankrolling efforts to destabilize the Duterte administration – aided unwittingly by human rights organizations and other groups with legitimate concerns over the conduct of the war on drugs, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano claimed yesterday. Senate PRIB/Released
Drug lords are bankrolling efforts to destabilize the Duterte administration – aided unwittingly by human rights organizations and other groups with legitimate concerns over the conduct of the war on drugs, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano claimed yesterday. The senator said that with the illegal drug trade now a P20-billion to P500-billion industry, it’s not surprising for drug lords to fight back with arms and money to stop the administration’s strong anti-drug campaign. “There’s an ongoing destabilization. While there are really human rights advocates raising legitimate concerns, there are drug lords riding on this, there is also politicking involved,” Cayetano told a press conference. “Let’s not be naïve, the drug lords are not standing by.” He said he does not have the details of how drug lords are financing the alleged destabilization efforts or how much they have put out, but he claimed security officials have received information on this. READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte steps up drive vs graft Congress asked to justify exclusion of plunder, rape in death penalty bill...

ALSO: US report on global HR dimmed by criticism of Tillerson; Ph war vs illegal drugs must not be confused with vigilante killings -Palace
[RELATED: PNP launches new anti-drug group, the Drug Enforcement Group (DEG) replacing the AIDG]


MARCH 5 -US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (Photo from AFP)
MALACAÑANG on Saturday reiterated the government’s commitment to uphold human rights after the US State Department released its annual global human rights report which criticized the Philippines for the rights situation in the country. But the contents of the report were overshadowed by criticism of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who did not give the traditional fanfare associated with the report which was largely completed during the Obama administration. Tillerson wrote a brief preface to the report which surveys the rights record of 199 countries, including the Philippines, but there was no event to mark the report’s launch and the State Department provided only an anonymous “senior administration official” to respond to reporters’ questions. Asked why the secretary did not appear in public or before a camera to reaffirm this commitment, the official pointed to his testimony at his confirmation hearing in January. At this hearing, the former oil executive said US leadership “requires moral clarity” and that “American values are our interests when it comes to human rights and humanitarian assistance.” READ MORE...RELATED,  PNP launches new anti-drug group, the Drug Enforcement Group (DEG) replacing the AIDG...

ALSO: 'US PINOYS FOR REAL CHANGE' - Duterte’s war on drugs gets US Pinoys’ backing
[RELATED: Panelo - Lascañas journal a 'fabrication']
[RELATED(2): PCIJ defends story on Lascañas diary]


MARCH 5 -A Filipino group in the United States has manifested its full support for real change in the Philippines as declared by President Duterte in the war against illegal drugs, corruption and poverty. In a press statement, the newly formed group chaired by Arnedo Valera said the US Pinoys for Real Change in the Philippines (USPRCP) held a prayer vigil rally in front of the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC to drum up their support to the Duterte administration. The USPRCP which is based in the State of Virginia held its own celebration during the 31st anniversary of the Edsa People Power last February 21. The four-day People Power revolution on February 22 to 25, 1986 toppled the 20-year strongman rule of then President Ferdinand Marcos that enabled the Philippines to regain freedom and democracy. “The spirit of Edsa should inspire Filipinos overseas that we are integral parts of the ongoing change in the Philippines,” Valera said. “We must remember that Edsa is not, and does not, belong to one political group or color, but to all Filipinos, including Filipinos overseas who fought for or support freedom and democracy. Now is the time for constructive engagement and to contribute to positive change in the Philippines. We should always be inspired by the heroism in Edsa,” he added. READ MORE...RELATED, Panelo: Lascañas journal a 'fabrication'...RELATED(2) PCIJ defends story on Lascañas diary...

ALSO:
House OKs death penalty Bill 4727 (limited to drug offenses)
[RELATED: Death penalty bill (on drug-related offenses)]
[RELATED(2): Death penalty progress in Lower House alarms Robredo]


MARCH 2 -The approval of a controversial measure pushed by President Duterte came after the chamber agreed to drop plunder, among other crimes, from the list of offenses that will warrant capital punishment. File photo
Stiff resistance put up by pro-life lawmakers failed to stop the House of Representatives from approving on second reading last night the measure restoring the death penalty, but only for drug offenses. The approval of a controversial measure pushed by President Duterte came after the chamber agreed to drop plunder, among other crimes, from the list of offenses that will warrant capital punishment. Approval on third reading of a House measure is a formality. Support in the Senate for the revival of capital punishment is less certain. READ MORE...RELATED, Death penalty bill (on drug-related offenses)...RELATED(2)
Death penalty progress in Lower House alarms Robredo...

ALSO:
VP Robredo sidesteps #Nagaleaks revelations
(We Are Collective blog released Part 1 of its series titled “Deception: The Shocking Truth Behind Leni and Jesse Robredo,” whose hashtag #Nagaleaks) [RELATED: #NagaLeaks thrills Netizens after a website claims that they will reveal something explosive about Leni Robredo]


MARCH 4 -Jesse and Leni Robredo PHOTO FROM FACEBOOK
Blog seeks to shatter Leni and Jesse ‘popular myths’ VICE PRESIDENT Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo is skirting the sensational claims of an anonymous blog that claims to possess damaging information on her and her late husband Jesse Robredo, saying only that the revelations were meant to silence her. In Cebu City on Friday, Robredo did not address the “We Are Collective” blog’s claims her husband had ties to illegal gambling and illegal drugs, and that the former Interior secretary who won the Ramon Magsaysay Award secretly owned a condominium building. “Access to social media is being used to abuse those who muster the courage to express dissent, who muster courage to express disagreement with the programs or beliefs of the administration. The release of any leaks, that is an attempt to silence us,” Robredo said in a radio interview. READ MORE... RELATED,  HASHTAG #NagaLeaks thrills Netizens after a website claims that they will reveal something explosive about Leni Robredo...

ALSO: De Lima, Lascañas may be targets of 'fake ambush' by destabilization plotters —Cayetano [RELATED COMMENTARY: Demi-gods and divine traps - Writing the mythologies of Ninoy Aquino and Arthur Lascañas]


MARCH 5 -Protection must be given to personalities who have implicated President Rodrigo Duterte in controversies, including the infamous Davao Death Squad, since they may be harmed to fuel destabilization plots against the administration, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano said Sunday. Cayetano agreed that hitman Edgar Matobato and retired policeman Arturo Lascañas—self-confessed members of the DDS—must be protected by the Senate, because those who wish to unseat the country's top official may use "fake ambush" and the like for their efforts. The same, he said, applies to Duterte's outspoken critic, Sen. Leila de Lima, who is currently detained on drug charges. "Kung kailangan nila ng proteksyon ng gobyerno, ibigay. Kasi remember 'yung parating sinasabi ni [Sen. Antonio] Trillanes [IV], ''Pag pinatay 'yan, si Duterte 'yan'? We also want to protect them," Cayetano told radio dzBB. "We also want to protect Matobato, Lascañas, si Senator De Lima, because minsan may nagpaplano mapatumba ang gobyerno, sila mismo ang puwedeng gumawa ng destabilization move, na sila ang mag-ambush... nangyari 'yan in the past, in our history," he added. READ MORE...RELATED, COMMENTARY Demi-gods and divine traps: Writing the mythologies of Ninoy Aquino and Arthur Lascañas...


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

‘Drug lords financing destabilization efforts’


Drug lords are bankrolling efforts to destabilize the Duterte administration – aided unwittingly by human rights organizations and other groups with legitimate concerns over the conduct of the war on drugs, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano claimed yesterday. Senate PRIB/Released

MANILA, MARCH 6, 2017 (PHILSTAR) By Paolo Romero March 4, 2017 - Drug lords are bankrolling efforts to destabilize the Duterte administration – aided unwittingly by human rights organizations and other groups with legitimate concerns over the conduct of the war on drugs, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano claimed yesterday.

The senator said that with the illegal drug trade now a P20-billion to P500-billion industry, it’s not surprising for drug lords to fight back with arms and money to stop the administration’s strong anti-drug campaign.

“There’s an ongoing destabilization. While there are really human rights advocates raising legitimate concerns, there are drug lords riding on this, there is also politicking involved,” Cayetano told a press conference. “Let’s not be naïve, the drug lords are not standing by.”

He said he does not have the details of how drug lords are financing the alleged destabilization efforts or how much they have put out, but he claimed security officials have received information on this.

READ MORE...

The senator indicated that some of the information involved financial transactions, explaining President Duterte’s warning the Anti-Money Laundering Council to cooperate in the war on drugs.

Cayetano said that even if there is no classified information in his possession at the moment, drug funding could not be disputed because “that’s how they (drug lords) operate around the world – and that’s an internationally accepted fact.”

MOST TOP DRUG LORDS ARE NOT CRIMINALS

He cited a case in Taguig City, where his family resides, where the chief of police was subjected to excessive negative reports in the media that were later traced to an influential police officer linked to drug syndicates.

“We felt that (drug lords’ money working to defeat Duterte) during the presidential campaign. That’s why we have narco-politics – drug lords involving themselves in political campaigns,” he said.

Most of the top drug lords, he maintained, are not known criminals and are most likely citizens of good standing or philanthropist so much so that political candidates or groups with legitimate criticisms may not know they are receiving drug money from them.

Cayetano also hit anti-Duterte politicians, particularly those from the Liberal Party and former president Benigno Aquino III, for insisting they are not engaged in destabilization despite their calling the President names and seeking his ouster.

“We have to separate issues on human rights violations and police operation from politics. Wiping out criminality and political criticism are separate but some people put them together,” Cayetano said.

He said this was why some legitimate protest rallies, including those led by the church, had attracted people demanding Duterte’s resignation.

He cited the case of detained Sen. Leila de Lima who, he said, was trying to make it appear the administration had her illegally arrested.

By making such claim, De Lima was implying the courts were involved in her political persecution and that democratic institutions were no longer functioning.

He declined to say if he thought De Lima and another harsh Duterte critic, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, were receiving drug money to move for the overthrow of the administration. As for Trillanes, Cayetano said the former military man was into conspiracies as shown by his staging the Oakwood mutiny in 2003.

Sinister

For Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, there is something “sinister” in the release of reports by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) that indicated Duterte’s liability for crimes against humanity, particularly for the deaths of over 7,000 persons in the administration’s war on drugs.

Sotto said that the over 7,000 figure being quoted constantly as the number of deaths related to the war on drugs was inaccurate and misleading.

“Why is Human Rights Watch and other people always harping on the so-called 7,000 deaths? Only 2,555 deaths are attributed to police operations. Police operations to date are 43,593 while those arrested who are in jail or in courts are 53,293 in these ops. Why don’t they mention that?” Sotto said.

“I’m starting to suspect something fishy going on with these so called ‘rightists,”’ he added.

Sotto said he suspects these groups have some ulterior motive in coming out with their reports, including bringing a case against President Duterte before the International Criminal Court.

De Lima, meanwhile, scoffed at the continued denial by Duterte and his allies that the killings were state-sponsored.

In a handwritten note addressed to the “President and PNP spokespersons and other presidential defenders,” De Lima told them to “stop insulting our intelligence, stop fooling our people and the rest of the world.”

Philippine National Police spokesman Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos declined to comment on De Lima’s latest tirades. But on Thursday, Carlos hit human rights groups for making generalizations against the PNP.

“For them to say that it’s the entire organization, I think that is not right,” said Carlos in a news briefing. Marvin Sy, Emmanuel Tupas

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

RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Duterte steps up drive vs graft; Congress asked to justify exclusion of plunder, rape in death penalty bill 27 SHARES Share it! Published March 5, 2017, 12:11 AM By Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos

More presidential appointees will be fired in the coming days due to their alleged involvement in corrupt practices, President Duterte revealed Friday night.

“In the coming days, I’m going to fire additional people who I have appointed in government. Marami ’yan (There are a lot),” he said as he tried to figure out why Congress removed plunder from the list of crimes punishable with death penalty.

Duterte said he has yet to figure out how these government officials were able to involve themselves in corruption.

Duterte has been firm in his campaign against corruption since he took office.

Last December, he fired two fraternity brothers from their posts at the Bureau of Immigration (BI) due to alleged corruption.

Only last Thursday, he also admitted sacking his longtime friend and former campaign spokesman Peter Laviña as administrator of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) after getting involved in extortion.

“Sinabi ko sa inyo huminto kayo at least for six years habang andito ako sa opisina ko (I told you to stop your corrupt practices for at least six years while I am in office),” he said.

Meanwhile, President Duterte said he would like to know the rationale why Congress decided to exclude plunder from the bill which seeks to revive the capital punishment.

“Hindi consistent ‘yung pagtanggal sa plunder (Removing plunder is not consistent with my drive against corruption),” he said.

While he said he will not kill those who will be convicted with plunder, Duterte would still like to know the rationale behind its exclusion.

“I said I’d stop corruption but I didn’t say that I’m going to kill the plunderer. What was in my mind was corruption will stop,” he said.

Rape is a heinous crime

Duterte said he would also like to seek clarification from the Congress why rape is also removed from the list of crimes punishable by death.

Rape is still one of the most heinous crimes that should merit the heaviest penalty, Duterte said even as he recognizes the independence of the legislature,.

“That’s a gross violation of the dignity of a woman. Ewan ko bakit (I don’t know why) they took it out. I just heard it kanina (earlier),” he said.

Wisdom of Congress

According to Duterte, he will leave the bill to the wisdom of the Congress, saying they were elected by the people to represent them.

“We can’t be all in Congress at one time to shout. We elect representatives to represent us,” he said.

Duterte added that if the bill happens to pass the third reading scheduled on Tuesday, the measure, by theory, is the will of the people.

“If it passes Congress, by theory of government, it is the will of the people. Wala tayong magawa diyan (There’s nothing we can do about that),” he said.

It was learned on Monday that the House Majority bloc decided to exclude plunder, rape, and treason from the list of the crimes in the bill seeking the reinstatement of death penalty.

Bill sponsor, Justice Committee Chairman Rey Umali, said the majority agreed in a caucus to limit the crimes punishable by death to drug-related offenses only, with the exception of possession of illegal drugs.

According to Umali, limiting the bill to only one crime seemed to help them arrive at a compromise after some lawmakers remained hesitant about voting in favor of the bill.

The bill passed second reading in the Congress last Wednesday.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, one of the anti-death penalty advocates in the House, said the bill was amended to entice more of their colleagues to vote for the measure.

Duterte has been asking for the restoration of the capital punishment since he took office. Death penalty in the Philippines was abolished in 2006 by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Last December, Duterte said five to six people will die every day if Congress approves the restoration of death penalty.


MANILA STANDARD

US report on global HR dimmed by criticism of Tillerson; Govt's war vs illegal drugs must not be confused with vigilante killings, govt does not tolerate EJKs -Palace posted March 05, 2017 at 12:01 am by John Paolo Bencito


US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (Photo from AFP)

MALACAÑANG on Saturday reiterated the government’s commitment to uphold human rights after the US State Department released its annual global human rights report which criticized the Philippines for the rights situation in the country.

But the contents of the report were overshadowed by criticism of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who did not give the traditional fanfare associated with the report which was largely completed during the Obama administration.

Tillerson wrote a brief preface to the report which surveys the rights record of 199 countries, including the Philippines, but there was no event to mark the report’s launch and the State Department provided only an anonymous “senior administration official” to respond to reporters’ questions.

Asked why the secretary did not appear in public or before a camera to reaffirm this commitment, the official pointed to his testimony at his confirmation hearing in January.

At this hearing, the former oil executive said US leadership “requires moral clarity” and that “American values are our interests when it comes to human rights and humanitarian assistance.”

READ MORE...

But he added: “It is unreasonable to expect that every foreign policy endeavor will be driven by human rights considerations alone, especially when the security of the American people is at stake.”

When asked his view of the President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against drugs during his confirmation hearing in January, Tillerson said he needed to first see “the facts on the ground” before commenting.

Tillerson during his January confirmation hearings said the US and the Philippines have a longstanding friendship and that it was important to keep that in perspective when engaging with the Philippines. “They have been an ally. We have to ensure that they stay an ally,” he said.

The annual “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices” does not have any legal status. The United States continues to supply weapons and foreign aid to many of the countries criticized every year.

But hundreds of US diplomats in missions around the world contribute to what they see as a major tool for informing and lobbying policy-makers and encouraging rights activists at home and abroad.

Malacañang, meanwhile, insisted it is not the policy of the Philippines to tolerate vigilante-style killings.

“The Philippine government is firmly committed to upholding human rights. Vigilante or extrajudicial killings are unlawful and are therefore not sanctioned. The government condemns such practice,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.

“These are not to be confused with the government’s war on illegal drugs, which is an urgent and critical domestic matter. An emerging narco state impinges on every Filipino citizen’s right to live in peace and should be dealt with firmly, in conformity to the country’s established human rights principles and in accordance with the rule of law,” he added.

The President has ordered the appropriate law enforcement institutions to take decisive legal steps to ensure accountability, the Palace official said.

“We will arrest, investigate, prosecute and punish the scalawags in uniform, while also pursuing reform in these institutions so that they can more effectively conduct this noble crusade,” Abella said.

“We hope the international community will support us in this effort,” he added.

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

PNP launches new anti-drug group, the DEG headed by Senior Supt. Graciano Jaylo Mijares, PNP Region III  By Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 6, 2017 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0


PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa is expected to name a new group in the police force that will be at the forefront of the campaign against illegal drugs. PNP-PIO

MANILA, Philippines - Less than a month after “Oplan Tokhang” was suspended amid abuses by law enforcers, the Philippine National Police (PNP) will launch today a new campaign against illegal drugs.

PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa is expected to name a new group in the police force that will be at the forefront of the campaign against illegal drugs.

Dela Rosa, according to reports, will formally launch the Drug Enforcement Group (DEG). He will make the announcement during the flag-raising ceremony at the PNP headquarters at Camp Crame today.

Dela Rosa reportedly tapped Senior Supt. Graciano Jaylo Mijares, PNP Region III deputy director for administration, to head the DEG.

The new group will replace the Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG), which was ordered disbanded following the involvement of several of its officers and men in a “Tokhang for ransom” scheme.

'TOKHANG'

Tokhang, taken from the Filipino words katok (knock) and hangyo (plea), was the centerpiece of the PNP’s campaign against illegal drugs. It involved going house-to-house to encourage suspected drug offenders to surrender or undergo rehabilitation.

Tokhang was suspended early this year following the involvement of several police officials in the kidnapping and murder of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo in the Tokhang for ransom scheme.

The controversial anti-drug campaign also triggered the killing of thousands of people by suspected vigilante groups.

President Duterte was forced to order the suspension of Tokhang following Jee’s killing.

Duterte stripped the PNP and the National Bureau of Investigation of the authority to conduct anti-illegal drug operations and designated the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to continue the campaign.

The PNP said a resurgent illegal drug trade during the suspension of Tokhang could justify its reimposition.

The President said he is leaving it up to the PNP to decide on whether to resume Tokhang.

Dela Rosa had said the PNP will soon relaunch Tokhang but assured the public that the members of the new enforcement group will have no shady characters.

“We will be forming a new drug enforcement group manned by a new set of officers. Its members would be selected from a few, ” Dela Rosa told reporters on the sidelines of the 23rd anniversary of the National Police College in Cavite.

“Just be ready, ready get set go. Ready. We will be informed if we will go back to the war on drugs. We will be informed in due time. Just wait for the announcement. I wanted to surprise our enemies,” he added.

From July 1 last year to Jan. 30 this year, the PNP reported a total of 2,551 drug offenders were killed while trying to fight it out with lawmen and 2,928 others were killed by suspected vigilante groups, which the PNP classified as “deaths under investigation” (DUI).

Most of those killed during police operations are cases of “nanlaban,” police jargon indicating the drug suspects supposedly resisted arrest and shot it out with policemen.

Police officials however stressed DUIs are cases of murder pending investigation and do not necessarily involve illegal drugs.

Good to go

Mijares said he is ready to do the job as anti-illegal drug campaign chief.

“I’m elated, ready to do the job,” Mijares told ABS-CBN, vowing to double the effort on the second chance given to the PNP to address the problem of illegal drugs.

Mijares said he would be selecting competent police officers to help him achieve the goal. He added any police officer with tainted background would not be accepted or recruited in the DEG.

Mijares is hopeful the war on illegal drugs will not be bloody.

“I’m sure the drug offenders will get the message, ‘do not fight or resist arrest,’ or else it would be bloody. That will not be bloody if they surrender peacefully,” he said.

According to National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Oscar Albayalde, his men are “raring to go.”

“We are ready to return and finish our unfinished job of licking the drug problem in the metropolis. Our teams in the stations, districts and region are raring to go,” he said.

Albayalde said members of the anti-drug teams have been subjected to a background investigation by the NCRPO’s counter-intelligence unit headed by Senior Supt. Eleazar Matta.

“We are very strict in recruiting members of our anti-drug teams as we are bent on ridding our ranks of scalawag cops, especially those being charged with extortion and other cases,” he added.

Albayalde said all police operations against drug offenders would be working under proper intelligence and coordination with PDEA.

He said the police operation would be headed by a police officer and must be accompanied by barangay officials.

“We would coordinate our operations with the PDEA but it does not mean that their officer would lead our anti-drugs team during the raid,” Albayalde explained.

Albayalde said intelligence units of the NCRPO under Matta would prepare the list of targets and the PDEA will have the last say on their anti-drug operations. –Non Alquitran


TRIBUNE

Duterte’s war on drugs gets US Pinoys’ backing Written by PNA Sunday, 05 March 2017 00:00



A Filipino group in the United States has manifested its full support for real change in the Philippines as declared by President Duterte in the war against illegal drugs, corruption and poverty.

In a press statement, the newly formed group chaired by Arnedo Valera said the US Pinoys for Real Change in the Philippines (USPRCP) held a prayer vigil rally in front of the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC to drum up their support to the Duterte administration.

The USPRCP which is based in the State of Virginia held its own celebration during the 31st anniversary of the Edsa People Power last February 21.

The four-day People Power revolution on February 22 to 25, 1986 toppled the 20-year strongman rule of then President Ferdinand Marcos that enabled the Philippines to regain freedom and democracy.

“The spirit of Edsa should inspire Filipinos overseas that we are integral parts of the ongoing change in the Philippines,” Valera said.

“We must remember that Edsa is not, and does not, belong to one political group or color, but to all Filipinos, including Filipinos overseas who fought for or support freedom and democracy. Now is the time for constructive engagement and to contribute to positive change in the Philippines. We should always be inspired by the heroism in Edsa,” he added.

READ MORE...

The group’s organizers presented the USPRCP Statement of Support to Duterte’s war against illegal drugs, corruption and poverty to acting Charge d’Affaires Patrick Chuasoto, who met the participants outside the embassy and promised to promptly transmit the statement to Duterte.

“We believe that winning the war against the illegal drug trade, and winning the war against the culture of corruption will go a long way toward winning the war against poverty, and vice-versa,” Valera pointed out.

The USPRCP also stressed its support to Duterte’s thriving economic agenda.

Valera said that out of the “180 countries, the Philippines moved up from 70th place to 58th place in the 2017 Index of Economic Freedom. The annual Index is published by the Heritage Foundation, a leading think tank in Washington DC, which noted: ‘Despite the challenging global economic environment, the Philippines has achieved notable economic expansion, driven by the economy’s strong export performance and inflows of remittances that have bolstered private consumption.”

Among those present at the prayer vigil rally were USRPCP co-convenors Elizabeth Babiera; Dan Jimenez, Philippine Military Academy (PMA) alumnus; Conrad Martinez of The Lord is My Shepherd prayer group; and members of the United Filipino Workers of Metropolitan DC, led by its president, Clarita Chan.

Babiera read the messages of Duterte, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, and Police Maj. Kimberly Molitas, spokesman for the Philippine National Police (PNP) National Capital Region.

Duterte, in his Edsa anniversary message, said: “My administration has always believed in the power of the people to chart their own destiny, and establish a government that will put the people’s interests, especially the welfare of the poor and underprivileged sectors, as its topmost priority. More than a mere commemoration, now is the perfect time for all of us to reflect and objectively assess what we have lost and what we have gained as a nation since that historic event.”

In his message, Lorenzana thanked USPRCP for its continued support for President Duterte.

Lorenzana said that with the majority of the Filipino people believing in the programs of President Duterte, the entire military supports him. “President Duterte alone has the experience, has the leadership that is truly dedicated to the nation. Let us not waste this opportunity. Let us fight in a peaceful way those who want to destroy our President,” he said.

On the other hand, Molitas said: “Our prayer is that in the observance of these important days, all Filipinos unite in reflecting on this anniversary’s lessons on our nation.

If we want to see that today’s generation of young people are assured of a bright future, let us be a part of the change being implemented by the government.”

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Panelo: Lascañas journal a 'fabrication' 1 SHARES 1 0 0 Alexis Romero (philstar.com) - March 5, 2017 - 5:12pm


An emotional retired police officer Arthur Lascañas tells a news conference at the Philippine Senate, Feb. 20, 2017. Lascañas said President Rodrigo Duterte, when he was a city mayor, ordered and paid him and other members of a so-called liquidation squad to kill criminals and opponents, including a kidnapping suspect and his entire family and a critical radio commentator. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal adviser Sunday dismissed as a mere “fabrication” the journal supposedly written by retired policeman and self-confessed hitman Arturo Lascañas.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the journal, which detailed the killings carried out while Duterte was still mayor of Davao City, was written by a lawyer “with a penchant for literary prose” and not an ordinary police sergeant like Lascañas.Panelo said the journal, which detailed the killings carried out while Duterte was still mayor of Davao City, was written by a lawyer “with a penchant for literary prose” and not an ordinary police sergeant like Lascañas.

“The so-called journal is a fabrication. The fact alone that it not presented at the first opportunity is already a give-away that it is an obvious and a no-brainer afterthought,” Panelo said in a text message.

“Moreover, the contents of the journal speak for themselves, obviously written by a lawyer with a penchant for literary prose, and certainly not by an ordinary police sergeant who cannot understand the words like ‘Waterloo,’ ‘presidential derby,’ ‘telecommunication,’ and "Divine-something,’” he added.

Lascañas has accused Duterte of being behind the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS), a vigilante group that supposedly executed criminals in the city.

The allegation was a turnaround from the statement he made last year that the death squad did not exist. Lascañas has claimed that his conscience had impelled him to expose Duterte’s alleged involvement in extrajudicial killings.

Duterte has repeatedly denied that he endorsed summary executions but admitted that hundreds of criminals died during his 23-year stint as Davao City mayor. He also denied giving orders to Lascañas but admitted that knowing the self-confessed hitman as a policeman.

Last week, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) reported about Lascañas’ handwritten journal that described his career as well as the activities of the so-called DDS.

In the journal, Lascañas’ said Duterte’s entry into the “presidential derby” could be a “divine trap” that would lead the Davao City mayor to his “political waterloo.”

"Election season — Mayor Rody, against Atty. Prospero "Boy" Nograles, the Golden Boy of President Cory Aquino. Nograles was defeated.

Another election came, Mayor Rodry againsy Boy Nograles, again Boy Nograles was defeated," Lascañas said in his handwritten journal. Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism

SPO3 Arturo Lascañas started writing a journal sometime in 2015. In this page, he recalls his previous assignments in Davao City. Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism

“Win or lose, sooner or later, he would become the most hated political figure in Philippine history," the PCIJ report quoted the journal as saying.

Lascañas also described Duterte as “a physically, morally, and spiritually disturbed person” who is “for flesh, blood, and power no matter what.”

“If ever he will win the presidency and apply in the whole country his Davao formula of bloodletting on the premise of peace and order and illegal drugs, eventually he will lead this country (to) hell, and deceptively perpetuate himself to lifetime in power,” the journal read.

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

RELATED FROM ABS0CBN

PCIJ defends story on Lascañas diary Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism Posted at Mar 05 2017 03:27 PM | Updated as of Mar 05 2017 04:59 PM

 
http://news.abs-cbn.com/focus/03/05/17/pcij-defends-story-on-lascaas-diary

PCIJ stands by its story, “Lascañas pens tell-all journal: Duterte rule ‘a Divine Trap’,” which ran on Feb. 28, 2017.

We take strong exception to unfounded claims of columnist Rigoberto Tiglao of The Manila Times that the story was “fake news” about a “fake journal,” and its release, one “managed” by Sen. Antonio Trillanes II.

Dean Jose Manuel Diokno is the national chairman of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG); he has also been a trustee of PCIJ since 2015. Contrary to Tiglao’s claim, however, neither Atty. Diokno nor any of the FLAG lawyers had anything to do with the writing of the journal of SPO3 Arturo Lascañas or the publication of the PCIJ story.

Senator Trillanes had nothing to do as well with the production and distribution of the PCIJ story.

PCIJ obtained a copy of the journal from Lascañas through sources close to him a fortnight ago. But before running the story on Feb. 27, PCIJ verified the accuracy of its contents from various agencies and in interviews with officers of the Philippine National Police, persons privy to the medical condition of Lascañas since he fell ill in 2015, and, through conduit sources, Lascañas himself.

To validate details mentioned in the journal, the PCIJ obtained information about the retirement benefits that Lascañas received in December 2016, the identities of those had named in his journal, the circumstances surrounding his testimony before the Senate on Oct. 3, 2016, the testimony of DDS whistleblower Edgar Matobato before the Senate on Sept. 15, 2016, and official investigation reports and court records related to the existence of the “Davao Death Squad.”

PCIJ also reviewed the full transcripts of the Senate hearings on Sept. 15 and Oct. 3, 2016, as well as that of his “public confession” at a press conference on Feb. 20, 2017.

For instance:
* PCIJ verified that Lascañas, on “non-duty status” or inactive service since 2015, officially retired from the PNP on Dec. 16, 2016 and confirmed that he was granted retirement benefits of about P3.1 million. He received a third of the amount in cash Christmas time last year.
* Lascañas mentioned the names of seven PNP officers who were allegedly involved in the Davao Death Squad operations. PCIJ verified with the relevant agencies their whereabouts, and checked against the PNP’s official directory of officers in command of PNP units, as of Jan. 17, 2017, that PCIJ had obtained earlier.
* Lascañas wrote that in 1986, he worked as a “personal bodyguard of Mr. Raymund Moreno, a businessman and resident of Forbes Park, Makati. Metro Manila, “who was the owner of Liberty Telecommunications… the business partner of Gen. Fabian Ver, the chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.” Lascañas wrote that later that year, “I became part-time bodyguard of U.S. Army Gen. (John K.) Singlaub with PFC Manuel Salvador and U.S. Air Force Capt. Mike Timpani.”
From mid-1986 to March 1987, Singlaub was in the Philippines “as a private citizen” on a supposed “treasure-hunting” project, together with Timpani, an officer of the US Air Force. A retired U.S. Army major general and head of the former U.S. Council for World Freedom — a lead group in the World Anti-Communist League — Singlaub had set up a private corporation in the Philippines in November 1986. Singalub and Timpani had worked together in various operations overseas, notably in Grenada, Nicaragua, and the Honduras, according to official reports and responses to Freedom of Information Act requests in the United States.
* Lascañas, in his press conference on Feb. 20, had expressed regret over his failure to save his brothers Cecilio and Fernando from being killed for illegal drugs.

According to the EdgeDavao business newspaper’s issue of Sept. 2013, Fernando, “an ex-convict,” was killed on September 26, 2013 in an alleged shootout with policemen.

The report filed by Emilord P. Castromayor said that “Fernando B. Lascañas, 42, of No. 36 Jacinto Street, Barangay 21, (was) killed in a shootout with team of led by P Supt. Antonio Rivera, chief of the Investigation Management Branch of the Davao City Police, and SPO3 Jeffrey Bangcas.”

The policemen were responding to reports that Fernando “had been harassing his neighbors” and confronted him but that he “resisted arrest and drew his gun.” A shootout ensued; Fernando sustained gunshot wounds in his body and died. A .45 caliber gun and a magazine were supposedly recovered from the crime scene.

Fernando, according to the police, was involved in illegal drugs together with a certain Zaldy Verano, “who is also an ex-convict.” EdgeDavao did not explain, however, why it tagged Fernando as “an ex-convict.”

There are no published reports on the death of Cecilio Lascañas, though.

The comments of Tiglao regarding what he describes as the journal’s “flawless prose” and the supposed inability of someone like Lascañas to write such are purely speculative on his part.

A police officer of 34 years, Lascañas attended the University of Mindanao College of Law in Davao City from 1990 to 1995 but did not finish a degree in law.

Tiglao was one of nine journalists who co-founded the PCIJ in 1989. He has never worked, however, as a full-time staff in the PCIJ’s 28-year existence.

Instead, Tiglao has served in many capacities as business editor of The Manila Chronicle, Manila correspondent and bureau chief of the Far Eastern Economic Review, columnist of the < strong>Philippine Daily Inquirer, chief of staff and press secretary of then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Philippine Ambassador to Greece and Cyprus as an appointee of Mrs. Arroyo, and now columnist of The Manila Times under its new owner, public-relations executive Dante Ang. — PCIJ March 2017


PHILSTAR

House OKs death penalty (limited to drug offenses) By Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 2, 2017 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0


The approval of a controversial measure pushed by President Duterte came after the chamber agreed to drop plunder, among other crimes, from the list of offenses that will warrant capital punishment. File photo

MANILA, Philippines - Stiff resistance put up by pro-life lawmakers failed to stop the House of Representatives from approving on second reading last night the measure restoring the death penalty, but only for drug offenses.

The approval of a controversial measure pushed by President Duterte came after the chamber agreed to drop plunder, among other crimes, from the list of offenses that will warrant capital punishment.

Approval on third reading of a House measure is a formality.

Support in the Senate for the revival of capital punishment is less certain.

READ MORE...

“House Bill 4727 is hereby approved on second reading,” House Deputy Speaker Raneo Abu said before banging the gavel at the plenary session, after moves for nominal voting by those opposed to the bill got “lost” several times.

Only 28 of the required 46 votes for nominal voting were mustered, comprising one-fifth of the 229 lawmakers who attended the session. A viva voce or voice vote was implemented instead, in which administration lawmakers beat their opponents.

Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, sponsor of the measure and chairman of the House committee on justice, at one point declared an “omnibus rejection” following repeated pleas for amendments deleting the words “death penalty” from the measure.

Human rights lawyer Rep. Edcel Lagman, who leads the independent opposition bloc, wanted a page-by-page amendment and a chance to scrutinize every detail, line and provision of the bill, but he was consistently blocked by Umali.

The Albay congressman even attempted to delete the usual 20-40-year life imprisonment to death and replace such with only a 12-year jail term of up to a maximum of 20 years in prison as minimum penalty, with reclusion perpetua as maximum penalty.

The scheduled plenary vote for the second reading approval of HB 4727 was derailed as anti-death penalty lawmakers – including House Deputy Speaker Rolando Andaya Jr. – introduced amendments to the measure like replacing its title, among others.

With Lagman in his group were congressmen from other parties, notably Reps. Lito Atienza and Tom Villarin of party-list groups Buhay and Akbayan, respectively, as well as Northern Samar Rep. Raul Daza.

Villarin said he wanted the death penalty bill authored by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, which was co-authored by a majority of administration lawmakers, “re-filed” under the House dangerous drugs committee chaired by Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers.

“Now that the crimes have been reduced to drug-related ones, shouldn’t the amended substitute bill be recommitted to the committee on dangerous drugs?” he asked, noting that their colleagues “deliberately – albeit irresponsibly – “watered down” the measure.

“How can we properly discuss the penalty if we won’t tackle the nature of the crimes?” Villarin pointed out.

Lagman said yesterday’s observance of Ash Wednesday was highlighted by the House’s approval of the measure. “The observance of Ash Wednesday must not be left unnoticed in the House because this day signifies repentance and grief.

“We agreed that the bill be limited to drug-related heinous crimes. We removed treason, plunder and rape,” Umali earlier told reporters in a chance interview.

This is the second time House members have decided to remove plunder from the bill.

“It will be a lot easier to present facts and figures re-imposing death penalty for drug-related heinous crimes… The whole point is we get a headway in the re-imposition of the death penalty,” he explained.

12-12 at Senate?

At the Senate earlier yesterday, Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said that his latest count on the sense of his colleagues on the death penalty was at an even 12-12 in favor and against the proposals.

Sotto noted that there were more senators against the revival of the death penalty until the proponents managed to swing votes in their favor.

He said that some of the senators who were either against or undecided were now supporting the death penalty because of his proposal to limit the coverage to large-scale drug offenses or the major syndicates.

“Originally we couldn’t get 12. The reason why we have 12 now is because I insisted that we should limit it to drugs and high levels only,” Sotto said.

“By high level we are talking about the Colanggos, Jaybee Sebastian, Odicta, Espinosa and the like,” he added, referring to some high-profile drug lords. Sotto was among the proponents in the Senate of the revival of the death penalty.

The others were Sens. Manny Pacquiao, Panfilo Lacson and Sherwin Gatchalian.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and Sen. Richard Gordon, previously opposed to the revival of the death penalty, have lately been showing interest in hearing arguments supporting the measure.

The senators who have openly taken a stand against the death penalty were Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan, Leila de Lima, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV and Risa Hontiveros.

Aquino said he expects serious debates on the death penalty bills once these are presented in plenary.

“The minority will play an active role in the debates and we will make sure that counter perspectives are given a space in the Senate,” Aquino said.

“Filipino lives are at stake here and most of these are the poor Filipinos who are usually at a disadvantage when they appear before the courts and in the eyes of the law,” he added.

Aquino said the possible violation of the country’s treaty obligations if the death penalty is reinstated is a matter that should be seriously taken into account during the debates.

At a forum in Makati City, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said committee chairmen and deputy speakers in the House of Representatives risk losing their positions if they don’t show support for President Duterte or for the revival of the death penalty.

He aired the warning as he marshalled support for the approval on third reading of the measure next week.

The specter of a reorganization at the House emerged days after Liberal Party senators in the so-called supermajority in the Senate were stripped of their committee chairmanships.

“If you can’t support our leadership and specially if you can’t support our President, I can take the liberty to replace the chairmen and deputy speakers,” Alvarez said in Filipino at the weekly “Insider Exclusive” forum organized by dzRJ radio station.

He was replying to a question on whether a reorganization in the House is possible under his leadership.

Any decision of his to reorganize the leadership in the chamber, Alvarez stressed, is in pursuit of his mandate and that he is not being a dictator.

But he expressed confidence he does not have to resort to reshuffling the House leadership as committee chairmen and deputy speakers are likely to toe the administration line on the revival of the death penalty.

He added the chamber is likely to approve on third and final reading next week the measure re-imposing the death penalty.

The Speaker said Congress is “way ahead of schedule” on the measure.

Earlier yesterday, Commission on Human Rights (CHR) commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit called on the House of Representatives to respect the legislative process in its handling of the death penalty measure.

“One of things that we were concerned about was also the fact that only nine interpellators were allowed to speak out of the 50 who have signed up,” Dumpit, told The STAR yesterday.

“We have to take a look at the process here. I wish they were given due course to also express their issues about the measure,” she added.

“It discriminates against the poor. We have serious issues about corruption not only in the courts, but also in other pillars of the justice system, particularly law enforcement. If we have a system that is imperfect, how can we have a perfect punishment of death for a process that is imperfect?” she added. – Marvin Sy, Robertzon Ramirez, Janvic Mateo

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

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Death penalty bill (on drug-related offenses) inches closer to approval on Ash Wednesday By: Marc Jayson Cayabyab - Reporter / @MJcayabyabINQINQUIRER.net / 07:36 PM March 01, 2017

The House session starts. Death penalty bill expected to pass on second reading.


PDI photo/ Joan Bondoc

Just as the country started its celebration of Lent, the House of Representatives on Ash Wednesday approved on second reading the bill seeking to restore the death penalty.

This after the House majority on Wednesday’s session approved by voice voting House Bill 4727 which seeks to impose the capital punishment on drug-related offenses.

READ: Pro-life solons brace for Ash Wednesday approval of death penalty

READ MORE...

The ayes won over the nays with the latter led by the anti-death penalty lawmakers Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman and Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza.

The second reading approval of the bill puts the restoration of the death penalty closer to its third and final reading, when the bill would just be voted upon by lawmakers without the need of amendments.

The House during its plenary session voted to approve the bill after it closed the period of amendments, turning a deaf ear to pleas by the opposition to reopen the amendments on the bill.

READ: Death penalty bill now limited to drug offenses

At the start of the session, presiding Speaker Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu, acting majority floor leader Pampanga Rep. Juan Pablo Bondoc and the bill’s sponsor Oriental Mindor Rep. Reynaldo Umali opened the floor for individual amendments.

In the end, it was a numbers game, and the House plenary by viva voce shot down all the proposed individual amendments.

Umali later on asked for an omnibus rejection of all the similar amendments pitched by Lagman, who proposed to delete the word “death” in the bill and impose the maximum penalty of reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua instead.

Umali said Lagman’s amendment defeats the purpose of a death penalty bill.

When Lagman asked the body to vote on his motion for nominal voting, the presiding Speaker Abu called for the body to stand up if they support Lagman’s motion.

Only 23 lawmakers stood up, and Lagman’s motion was lost, because it needed one-fifth of the body for any motion for nominal voting to be approved.

When Lagman proposed a second roll call to determine if the one-fifth vote was met, majority leader Ilocos Norte Rep. Rudy Farinas seconded Lagman’s motion on the condition he would move to terminate the period of amendments afterward.

The second roll call showed that 227 members responded to the call. With 46 of 227 or one-fifth needed for nominal voting, Lagman’s motion was lost.

VOICE VOTING

The House eventually voted to terminate the period of amendments by voice voting, and later passed the bill on second reading.

The death penalty bill has been amended to limit it to drug-related offenses, in a bid to support the administration’s bloody narcotics crackdown that has claimed over 7,000 lives.

The bill as it is was amended with plunder, rape and treason removed from the death sentence.

The bill will not impose the mandatory death sentence, giving the judge the leeway whether to impose life sentence or the maximum penalty of death on convicts.

The bill will punish with death or life imprisonment the following drug-related offenses: importation of dangerous drugs; sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of dangerous drugs; maintenance of a den, dive or resort; manufacture of dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursors and essential chemicals; misappropriation, misapplication or failure to account for confiscated, seized or surrendered dangerous drugs; planting of evidence.

Possession of drugs will only be penalized with the maximum offense of life imprisonment.

The bill stated that the death penalty should not be imposed on children below 18 years old or senior citizens over 70 years of age at the time of the commission of the crime.

The penalty to be imposed on convicts are hanging, firing squad and lethal injection. JE

RELATED STORIES

Plunder excluded from death penalty

Death penalty bill to cover plunder anew

Congress hit for plan to remove plunder from death penalty bill

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

RELATED(2) FROM ABS-CBN

Death penalty progress in Lower House alarms Robredo ABS-CBN News Posted at Mar 02 2017 11:24 AM | Updated as of Mar 02 2017 06:14 PM

MARIBOJOC, Bohol (3RD UPDATE) - Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday said the death penalty did not reduce crime in the country when it was still in effect.
READ: Death penalty bill passes 2nd reading in lower House

"Bakit pa natin ibabalik? (Why are we bringing it back?)" she said, following news that the Lower House approved House Bill 4727, or the proposed Death Penalty Law, on 2nd reading in a viva voce vote.

"Nakakabahala at nakakalungkot kasi ang pag-impose ng death penalty hindi naman basta-basta iyan. Ito binabago natin hindi lang iyong batas kundi pati iyong paniniwala natin bilang isang bansa," she said.
(It's alarming and saddening because the imposition of death penalty is not an insignificant issue. Here, we're not only changing the law but our stance as a country.)

READ MORE...

Robredo also said criminals should be given the chance to pay for their wrongdoings and an opportunity to reform.

She insisted sentencing a criminal to death is a crime in itself. "Whatever crime it is, pagpatay pa rin iyon (that is still killing)," she said.

The Philippines was the first Asian country to abolish death penalty in 1987, but President Fidel V. Ramos reinstated it in response to increasing crime rates. It was abolished once again under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Last year, then presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte said he will restore the death penalty if he won the election. He later said that he prefers hanging than lethal injection if the death penalty is restored. -with a report by Annie Fe Perez, ABS-CBN News


MANILA TIMES

VP Robredo sidesteps #Nagaleaks revelations  BY THE MANILA TIMES ON MARCH 5, 2017 TODAY'S HEADLINE PHOTOS, TOP STORIES


Jesse and Leni Robredo PHOTO FROM FACEBOOK

Blog seeks to shatter Leni and Jesse ‘popular myths’

VICE PRESIDENT Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo is skirting the sensational claims of an anonymous blog that claims to possess damaging information on her and her late husband Jesse Robredo, saying only that the revelations were meant to silence her.

In Cebu City on Friday, Robredo did not address the “We Are Collective” blog’s claims her husband had ties to illegal gambling and illegal drugs, and that the former Interior secretary who won the Ramon Magsaysay Award secretly owned a condominium building.

“Access to social media is being used to abuse those who muster the courage to express dissent, who muster courage to express disagreement with the programs or beliefs of the administration. The release of any leaks, that is an attempt to silence us,” Robredo said in a radio interview.

READ MORE...

“This is not the first time it was done, it was done several times before, and it was unsuccessful. No matter what is done, it will not silence us. On our part, we are ready, we are not hiding anything. We did not sin against the country,” she added.

Robredo, who was interviewed after the launch of her anti-poverty program Angat Buhay in Cebu City, vowed to keep on expressing her beliefs.

“We will continue to express our beliefs wholeheartedly and bravely no matter what they do to prevent this,” said Robredo, who left the Cabinet in December after speaking out against the burial of former strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng ma Bayani.

The Vice President has since ramped up her criticism of the Duterte administration, particularly the war on illegal drugs.

On Friday afternoon, We Are Collective released Part 1 of its series titled “Deception: The Shocking Truth Behind Leni and Jesse Robredo,” whose hashtag #Nagaleaks made the rounds of social media.

The anonymous blog, citing interviews, anecdotes and website links, made the following claims:

• the illegal numbers game jueteng flourished under the watch of Jesse Robredo as Naga City mayor and even after his untimely death in a 2012 plane crash;

• Jesse used public relations men to prop up his image and eventually win the Magsaysay Award, but gave only a token reward to his aide who made it possible;

• Jesse had a falling out with a political ally, Emilio Aguinaldo, who later went missing after unearthing various anomalies in Naga as well as the former’s connection to jueteng operations;

• Jesse had ties to a drug pusher and the alleged top drug lord of Camarines Sur, Victor Lorenzo “Chinglo” Rosales; and

• Aguinaldo found out that Jesse owned the P1-billion Lansbergh Place in Quezon City, which on paper was allegedly under the names of Jesse’s sister and mother.

“So now that we’re down with part one, wait till you see the succeeding chapters in this crime story involving a cast that could rival the Game of Thrones. In the next chapters, you will be enlightened about the anomalies of [former Interior secretary Mar Roxas]and Jesse and the [Liberal Party] during the time of [President Benigno Aquino 3rd]. And what really happened in Masbate when Jesse’s plane crashed,” We Are Collective said on its Facebook page, which had more than 114,000 likes as of press time. WITH A REPORT FROM REINA C. TOLENTINO AND LLANESCA T. PANTI

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

RELATED FROM  THE PINOY TRENDING BLOG

#NagaLeaks thrills Netizens after a website claims that they will reveal something explosive about Leni Robredo
Posted on 3 March 2017 by pinoytrending




According to the blog, the 100 square meter penthouse unit cost P21-M. They based the price in a Facebook post by a Netizen, selling a unit like the Vice President had for P21,000,000 pesos. The penthouse unit owned by the Vice President was the same place where the late DILG Secretary Jessie Robredo stayed. These are the photos posted by the blog.

“WORST THAN LENILEAKS?”

Netizens felt excitement after a social media page and website called “We Are Collective” claimed that they carried shocking exposé about the Vice President Leni Robredo.

The exposé was called #NagaLeaks which worse than #LeniLeaks according to the sources.

The Facebook Fanpage of the website has gone viral and as of writing, it already reached 30,000 likes.

The fanpage started to post hints about the #NagaLeaks on March 1, 2017.


Talaga lang Leni? Ulitin mo yan ha after namin isiwalat ang mga tinatago mo. Naga ba kamo? Oh this is going to be fun :) P.S. May nangangamusta sayo Leni. From Naga City. Hindi mapalagay ang kaluluwa sa mga pinagsasabi mo. Tutol sa pagkitil ng buhay ha. Haha. Sige kuda ka pa. #WalangBahongHindiSisingaw #ShitFloatsToTheTop #NagaLeaks 1.4K 287 302

They said that someone might not go back to the Philippines when Death Penalty reimposed.

“We are collective” questioned the net worth declared by Vice President Leni Robredo and claimed that she spends 10% of her declared net worth in shopping.

The Facebook page said that #NagaLeaks took decades before finally getting the chance to be revealed and urged their followers to avoid being too excited.

In a post of We Are Collective yesterday, they gave the biggest hint on what the NagaLeaks is all about.

They said that they expected that the mainstream media would not cover the exposé and claimed that they were already paid for their silence.

The group also said that the information that they discovered was bigger than they originally thought.

Napakaraming tanong. Believe us, that’s where we started. It’s a difficult challenge – digging for the truth. But when you do find it, it’s totally worth it.

And what got the ball rolling for us are some basic questions which really made no sense at first. But these questions kickstarted this investigation.

BAKIT GANUN NA LAMANG ANG PAGTUTOL NI LENI SA KAMPANYA NG GOBYERNO KONTRA SA DROGA?

NALINIS BA NI LENI ANG KANYANG BAKURAN? DRUG-FREE BA AT CRIME-FREE ANG NAGA?

SINO BA TALAGA SI JESSE ROBREDO AT PAANO SYA NAMATAY?

BAKIT NANAHIMIK SI LENI TUNGKOL SA PAGKAMATAY NG ASAWA NYA?

MAY CONSPIRACY BA NA NAKAPAIKOT DITO? BAKIT NAGTANGKANG PUMASOK SI DATING DILG USEC PUNO SA CONDO NI JESSE MATAPOS BUMAGSAK ANG EROPLANO NYA?

ANO ANG KINALAMAN NILA MAR AT PNOY DITO? BAKIT KASAMA SI JOEL PAGDILAO SA ATTEMPTED INTRUSION?

ANO ANG NILILINIS NILA AT PINIPIGILANG SUMINGAW?

ANO ANG TUNAY NA RELATIONSHIP NI JESSE AT NI MAR?

WHY WAS JESSE’S CONFIRMATION AS DILG SECRETARY WITHHELD?

KUNG MAY INIIMBISTAGAHAN SI JESSE AT MAY KINALAMAN ANG LP SA PAGKAMATAY NYA BAKIT TAHIMIK SI LENI AT SADYANG NAKIAPID PA SA MGA TAONG ITO?

ANO ANG NAG UDYOK KAY LENI NA TUMAKBONG VP SA ILALIM NG LIBERAL PARTY?

MAY DAYAAN BA TALAGANG NANGYARI?

AKSIDENTE BA TALAGA ANG LAHAT O BAHAGI NG ISANG MALAKING PLANO?

Believe us folks, this s— is way bigger than we originally thought. It has all the elements of your typical crime story – Greed, corruption, murder, narco and necro politics, lies, conspiracy, deceit. And just like any other mystery, it has to start somewhere. So in order to satisfy our curious and inquisitive minds we went straight to the place where nobody attempted to ask these questions before.

Leni and Jesse’s hometown – Naga City.

And what we discovered SHOCKED us to the core.

After that post, they continued to gave hint to their followers about the #NagaLeaks.

The fanpage warned Leni Robredo that she must ask her daughter Jillian to deactivate her Facebook account because the exposé may broke her heart.



The Del Castillos and “Emil”

The fan page also mentioned Keisha Del Castillo and said that she was the one who took the iconic picture of Leni Robredo while waiting for a bus that went viral during the election period.

It mentioned Judy Cheng Del Castillo, the mother of Keisha.

According to the fanpage, Mrs. Del Castillo was a contractor in Naga which carries the “bag” of Vice President Leni Robredo.


The daughter of Del Castillo was one of the staff of Vice President Leni Robredo but they questioned why the daughter of a rich contractor lady became a staff of the OVP.

Bong Del Castillo was also mentioned by the fanpage, asked him why he kept a low profile when President Rodrigo Duterte won the Presidency.



A large building in Quezon City was also owned by a porridge vendor.

The porridge vendor that they mentioned was obviously Vice President Leni Robredo who faces criticisms during the Presidential Election after she claimed that part of her campaign funds came from selling porridge or lugaw.

The page mentioned “Emil” on their post and claimed that President Rodrigo Duterte knew who’s Emil.

They gave a clue about the identity of “Emil” and it seems that the person that they mentioned was missing.

Several hours after the page mentioned the names of the De Castillos, Mrs. Judy Cheng deactivated her Facebook account.

Even the Pro-Duterte bloggers were excited to the upcoming disclosure and they helped the audience of “We Are Collective” grew.

Some Netizens said that the #NagaLeaks may affect the image of Vice President Leni Robredo, but they hoped that all the things that the blog would disclosed are all facts and not fabricated stories.

They announced that the #NagaLeaks would be posted on Friday, 3PM on their website


GMA NEWS NETWORK

De Lima, Lascañas may be targets of 'fake ambush' by destabilization plotters —Cayetano Published March 5, 2017 6:53pm

Protection must be given to personalities who have implicated President Rodrigo Duterte in controversies, including the infamous Davao Death Squad, since they may be harmed to fuel destabilization plots against the administration, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano said Sunday.

Cayetano agreed that hitman Edgar Matobato and retired policeman Arturo Lascañas—self-confessed members of the DDS—must be protected by the Senate, because those who wish to unseat the country's top official may use "fake ambush" and the like for their efforts.

The same, he said, applies to Duterte's outspoken critic, Sen. Leila de Lima, who is currently detained on drug charges.

"Kung kailangan nila ng proteksyon ng gobyerno, ibigay. Kasi remember 'yung parating sinasabi ni [Sen. Antonio] Trillanes [IV], ''Pag pinatay 'yan, si Duterte 'yan'? We also want to protect them," Cayetano told radio dzBB.

"We also want to protect Matobato, Lascañas, si Senator De Lima, because minsan may nagpaplano mapatumba ang gobyerno, sila mismo ang puwedeng gumawa ng destabilization move, na sila ang mag-ambush... nangyari 'yan in the past, in our history," he added.

READ MORE...

Cayetano raised this concern, saying that some politicians try to discredit the President over his policies, especially the war against drugs.

"Although merong may legitimate concerns... meron ring ideologically iba ang gusto nilang mangyari sa drug war, katulad ng Human Rights Watch (HRW), at meron rin sa politika, na ang target nila, hindi drug war kundi si President Duterte at 'yung administrasyon niya," he said.

Lascañas, a former policeman in Davao City, is set to appear before the Senate public order committee on Monday, to repeat under oath his claims against the President.

The hearing comes months after the retired cop denied the existence of the DDS in a Senate inquiry.

Lascañas made his turn-around in a press conference two weeks ago, claiming that Duterte, as Davao City mayor, paid up to P100,000 for every target killed.

His statements corroborated with that of Matobato, a witness presented by De Lima before she was booted off as chairperson of the Senate justice committee.

Some senators earlier opposed the idea of hearing Lascañas' testimony since he lied under oath at the Senate inquiry on extrajudicial killings last year.

However, the Senate agreed to hear the new testimonies via close vote.

'We will give him all the chance'

Cayetano said he will support Senate committee chairmen Panfilo Lacson (public order) and Richard Gordon (justice) in their effort "to get to the bottom" of the issue.

"Ang ayaw ko lang naman ay magamit 'yung Senado para sa destabilization. But 'pag may issue na ganito kalaki, at mas maigi na makita ng taumbayan kung nagsisinungaling siya (Lascañas) o hindi," he said.

"For our local audience, importante na marinig nila mismo kay Lascañas kung anong sasabihin niya, kung magsasabi ng totoo. So we will give him all the courtesy and all the chance sa Senado," he added.

Cayetano, however, said he is apprehensive about Lascañas being portrayed by international media as a credible witness.

Discrediting Duterte

The senator, Duterte's running-mate in the May 2016 polls, also pointed out that the foreign press often pin the President over his manner of speaking.

Cayetano said Duterte's approach has long worked in the decades he spent as a politician.

"Sometimes you know the language, or the approach, is not perfect, but sometimes it works. Kumbaga it's a reset button. Ang problema nga, ang naha-highlight lang 'yung tingin nilang extreme na pagsasalita ng Pangulo," he said.

"I'm not saying na 'wag gamitin against him, because anumang sabihin niya, policy 'yon, eh... but look at the whole context... Si President Duterte, he's been here for decades, 'yun ang style niya ng pagsasalita, so bakit mo siya sasabihan na baguhin 'yung pagsasalita when it's what he found effective?" he added.

He also said that the "rule of law" is working in the country, with cases filed against some policemen involved in drug-related killings. —Rose-An Jessica Dioquino/ALG, GMA News

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

RELATED COMMENTARY FROM THE MANILA TIMES

Demi-gods and divine traps: Writing the mythologies of Ninoy Aquino and Arthur Lascañas
BY ANTONIO P. CONTRERAS ON MARCH 4, 2017 ANALYSIS


ANTONIO P. CONTRERAS

I HAVE written several scholarly books but have co-authored only one textbook. Between an academic, scholarly book comparing Thailand and the Philippines, and a senior high school textbook on society, culture and politics, I found the latter as more challenging. I say this for the simple reason that the readers in the latter are more impressionable and less discerning, and without proper guidance from teachers, could easily be swayed by alternative facts or by misinformation.

This is the context to why I recoiled in horror when I saw written in a textbook for Araling Lipunan for Grade 2 the following:

“Si Ninoy, Kilala mo ba? / Kilala mo ba si Ninoy?/ Ama siya ni Pangulong Noynoy./ Buhay niya ay inialay para sa bansang minamahal./ Nagtrabaho, nagsakripisyo, kahit siya ay mabilanggo./ Pagbabago ay ipinaglaban kahit pa siya ay mamatay./ Nagluksa ang langit nang siya ay inilibing./ Kumulog nang ubod lakas./ Kumidlat nang ubod talim!”

[“Ninoy, do you know him? / Do you know Ninoy? / He is the father of President Noynoy./ He offered his life to his beloved country./ He worked hard and sacrificed, and he was imprisoned./ He fought for change even if it meant his death./ The heavens mourned during his burial./ On that day thunder so loud was heard./ And lightning so fierce was seen!”]

On its face, these words amount to pure, unadulterated idolatry.

There is no question about the factual claims about who Ninoy Aquino was, and his relation to the former President. One can even grant factual status to the claim that he sacrificed for the country, and that his fight for change cost him his life.

But it is a blatant attempt to elevate Ninoy into a demi-god to claim that the heavens wept for him, matched with a scene very much like when Jesus Christ died on the cross, with thunder roaring in the heavens, sending fierce bolts of lightning.

It would have been acceptable had this been a textbook for creative writing, or literature. But this is a textbook for Araling Panlipunan which children enrolled in Grade 2 will read, and will consider as truth.

But mythmaking is not confined to textbooks for children.

Even investigative journalists can fall into the trap of weaving fantastic stories, without even any attempt to probe for logic.

The Lascañas Journal

This is what may have happened to PCIJ journalists Nancy Carvajal and Davinci Maru, when they wrote what would have been an explosive expose, where Arthur Lascañas reportedly crafted a handwritten, 70-page journal whose contents contradicted his earlier testimony at the Senate. Then, he denied the existence of the Davao Death Squad. But in his journal, which he supposedly started writing in 2015, he admitted to being a part of it, under the direction of President Duterte himself, who was then the mayor of Davao City.

When one is confronted with an incredible tale such as this, considering that it indicts not just an ordinary person but the President of the Republic, more so if you claim that you are an investigative journalist, you automatically look for inconsistencies and dubious claims.

It behooves one to ask how Carvajal and Maru, and their bosses at PCIJ, could not have found traces of suspicious prose on the following statement of Lascañas:

“Mayor RRD’s entry into the Presidential Derby 2016 could be a Divine Trap. It would lead him to his political Waterloo. Win or lose, sooner or later, he would become the most hated political figure in Philippine history.”

The phrase “divine trap” is very uncommon, and one must be curious as to how an SPO3 can have access to such a metaphor. A quick google search reveals that the term could be found in three instances.

It is a term in the online game RunEscape that refers to an item that acts as a portable box trapping location. It also appeared twice as titles of books. The first is by Pascal Rousell in his book “Divina Insidia: The Divine Trap,” which is about the inner workings of the financial world. The second was written by Carl Hoefler entitled “The Divine Trap: Background on the Parables,” which, as the title implies, is a kind of biblical analysis.

While it is indeed possible for Lascañas to have access to online gaming terminology despite his age, or would have been a fan of Rousell or Hoefler, in that a policeman is not barred from appreciating financial fiction or biblical literature, it was incumbent upon Carvajal and Maru to have been prudent enough to probe if he was indeed any of these. After all, this is the President whom their source would like to take down.

But like the one who wrote the textbook that turned Ninoy into a demi-god, who was not interested in truth but in mythmaking, Carvajal and Maru appear to be investigating not for the whole truth, but only for the kind that will weave a myth that will demonize the President.


GO TO > > HEADLINE NEWS PAGE ONE

GO TO > > NEXT HEADLINE NEWS (coming 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