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TEDITORIAL: WHAT'S WRONG WITH SHOOT TO KILL?


JUNE 14 -In this Teditorial, Teddy Locsin Jr. asks critics to hold their horses on President-elect Rodrigo Duterte's shoot-to-kill orders. - The World Tonight WATCH VIDEO....

ALSO: By Inday Varona - Reporters Without Borders is wrong on boycott call


JUNE 14 -Inday Espina-Varona
Reporters without Borders (RSF) is right to express outrage over President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks on the murders of Filipino journalists. Its call for Philippine media to boycott his press conferences is dead wrong. So is the suggestion to use the law on defamation (libel or slander in this country) against Mr. Duterte. The international organization was reacting to this particular line of Mr. Duterte: If you’re not a bad journalist, you won’t get killed. That was a line repeated thrice in his rambling harangue, each time said with greater intensity. Media did not misinterpret, Mr. Duterte, nor take him out of context.Read: Lawyering for the killers of journalists Media groups, in their investigations into the 174 murders of journalists, have pointed out allegations of corruption against some of the victims and the unjust economic systems in media that make colleagues vulnerable to corruption. There are laws that cover erring media practitioners. Murder is a crime; there is no excuse for it. Most journalist victims died in the line of duty. It is not true that only the bad eggs are hunted. Most victims were murdered for exposing corruption and actions threatening local communities, including human rights violations, the sale of narcotics, the proliferation of illegal gambling, illegal logging and abusive mining practices. When state agents commit the crime – and majority of suspects in the killings of journalists are active or retired law enforces, and local officials and/or their henchmen – the situation grows worse. Hundreds of human rights workers, judges, political activists and environmentalists have been slain for many of the same issues that journalists die for. Defamation There is no downplaying the gravity of Mr. Duterte’s statements. But for RSF to suggest that Philippine media organizations bring defamation lawsuits against Mr. Duterte is mind-boggling. RSF said: “Duterte should nonetheless be pleased by the existence of these laws because without them he would also be exposed to violent repercussions, according to his own words. We urge organizations that represent the media to not overlook comments of this kind and to bring lawsuits. We also urge the media to boycott the Duterte administration’s news conferences until the media community gets a public apology.” READ MORE...


ALSO: By Ellen T. Tordesillas - Panelo wants to be ambassador to London?


JUNE 14 -Atty. Salvador Panelo. Photo by Mandy Navasero
We are going to miss Atty. Salvador Panelo as presidential spokesperson. Incoming president Rodrigo Duterte has a new spokesperson in the person of Ernie Abella, a former pastor. In the announcement of Peter Laviña, spokesman for the Duterte transition team, of the latest cabinet appointments in his Facebook page, he did not say whether Panelo will also remain as spokesperson following the appointment of Abella.Sources at the Department of Foreign Affairs, however, said they have been told that Panelo has expressed interest to be the Philippine ambassador to the United Kingdom, which is currently being held by Evan Ralph Garcia, a career officer.Garcia, who had held the position of undersecretary for Policy, assumed the London post recently. I can just imagine Panelo as ambassador to London in his ripped jeans and red jacket. Mawiwindang ang London diplomatic community!  The appointment of Abella as spokesperson was announced two days after Clarissa Oben Evangelista, posted in Facebook an incident involving Panelo parking illegally in front of a drugstore in Greenhills, San Juan and covering his car with a Duterte tarpaulin. Panelo denied he violated parking regulations of the commercial area and gave his own version of the incident. Of the new spokesperson, Laviña said Abella “is a preacher and writes a column in Davao." READ MORE...

ALSO: By Buddy Gomez - Duterte’s mockery and betrayal of martyrs’ memories


JUNE 18 -There are many commendable well-meaning aspirational programs and projects that the incoming Duterte administration plans to achieve. Sincere wishes for beneficial achievement also abound and swell in the hearts of Filipinos that now include even those who did not vote for him.
After all, we will have six Duterte years ahead, whatever that means, God willing! But more than just being critical, I join the vast majority of those who disliked Duterte during the elections (and who continue to do so) but nonetheless accept and respect the count, no matter how unwelcome. Pro patria! The people have spoken. By the present Constitution, a mere plurality can afford to run roughshod and rule with hubris. Their celebratory commotion is evident. They have earned the right to enjoy victory. We wish for nothing else but the success of his administration. Unfortunately, his behavior does not seem to indicate cooperation. Did we not say he is his worst enemy? Be that as it may, human kindness mandates that the undeserved serial mean-spiritedness, the unrelenting vicious vilification, the stoking of populist anger, the naysaying, the hating that attended the Presidency of the incumbent, PNoy, not be meted upon Duterte. He must be spared from the daily calvary that President Aquino was pilloried with. Duterte needs our help and support. Filipinos of goodwill will see to that. And because he is who he is, he also needs “tough love.” We intend to provide that, too. That means a running reality check! Kudos where apt and earned. Brickbats whenever deserved. THE PHILIPPINES AS A PARIAH STATE Just as Duterte fatigue is beginning to set in and his earlier vote-winning profanity losing its misguided popular cachet, (he is getting tiresome!) the President-elect continues to appear tireless with unabated, unabashed assault upon civility and human rights. How else do we regard his pronounced intent to honor that bloody dictator Marcos with a hero’s burial? And the seeming salivating bloodthirst in reviving the death penalty, and by hanging too, while the rest of the civilized world gasps in disbelief. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

WATCH VIDEO: What's wrong with shoot to kill?

 

MANILA, JUNE 20, 2016 (ABS-CBN) Posted at Jun 14 2016 11:56 PM - In this Teditorial, Teddy Locsin Jr. asks critics to hold their horses on President-elect Rodrigo Duterte's shoot-to-kill orders. - The World Tonight, ANC, June 14, 2016


OPINION: Reporters Without Borders is wrong on boycott call Inday Espina-Varona
Posted at Jun 02 2016 07:58 PM | Updated as of Jun 03 2016 03:41 AM


Inday Espina-Varona

Reporters without Borders (RSF) is right to express outrage over President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks on the murders of Filipino journalists. Its call for Philippine media to boycott his press conferences is dead wrong. So is the suggestion to use the law on defamation (libel or slander in this country) against Mr. Duterte.

The international organization was reacting to this particular line of Mr. Duterte: If you’re not a bad journalist, you won’t get killed. That was a line repeated thrice in his rambling harangue, each time said with greater intensity.
Media did not misinterpret, Mr. Duterte, nor take him out of context.

Read: Lawyering for the killers of journalists

Media groups, in their investigations into the 174 murders of journalists, have pointed out allegations of corruption against some of the victims and the unjust economic systems in media that make colleagues vulnerable to corruption.

There are laws that cover erring media practitioners. Murder is a crime; there is no excuse for it.

Most journalist victims died in the line of duty. It is not true that only the bad eggs are hunted.

Most victims were murdered for exposing corruption and actions threatening local communities, including human rights violations, the sale of narcotics, the proliferation of illegal gambling, illegal logging and abusive mining practices.

When state agents commit the crime – and majority of suspects in the killings of journalists are active or retired law enforces, and local officials and/or their henchmen – the situation grows worse.

Hundreds of human rights workers, judges, political activists and environmentalists have been slain for many of the same issues that journalists die for.

Defamation

There is no downplaying the gravity of Mr. Duterte’s statements.

But for RSF to suggest that Philippine media organizations bring defamation lawsuits against Mr. Duterte is mind-boggling.

RSF said: “Duterte should nonetheless be pleased by the existence of these laws because without them he would also be exposed to violent repercussions, according to his own words. We urge organizations that represent the media to not overlook comments of this kind and to bring lawsuits. We also urge the media to boycott the Duterte administration’s news conferences until the media community gets a public apology.”

READ MORE...

Hasn’t RSF kept track of our long campaign to decriminalize libel? Did it not monitor the threat represented by the Anti-Cybercrime Law, which increases the penalty for the crime?

I do not want this used on me, on citizen journalists, or the 40 million Filipinos on social media. Why would I use it against a critic, even if he happens to be the President-elect?

I am a member, formerly chairperson, of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), which campaigns to drop libel as a crime. Around the world, media groups are battling to decriminalize defamation. RSF should know that.


The late Jun Pala’s family, on the other hand, or other heirs of slain journalists, can choose this course.

Grounds for boycott?

A boycott by journalists is tantamount to a strike against both news sources and the people we serve.
A media boycott should be used only when our physical safety or ability to gather, process and disseminate the news, are in direct danger due to the actions of news sources.

The President-elect's remarks present a general danger -- especially if people with axes to grind see his views as a green light to go after journalists perceived as erring. These remarks do not yet represent a direct threat as, say, censorship does.
His catcalling and leering, however, are direct threats to wellbeing of women reporters -- that is why there are laws on sexual harassment in the workplace.

Mr Duterte MUST apologize with no excuses for that, and pledge not to display such behavior. GMA7 reporter Mariz Umali has enough grounds to file a legal complaint. RSF did not mention her case.

Mr. Duterte uses extremely colorful language. But other chiefs of state, including outgoing President Benigno Aquino III have used similar lines. That does not excuse the President-elect. And media groups have spoken up as they always have.

The Philippine media did not boycott former Presidents Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo when they directly attacked us.

The first pressured owners of one national daily into selling it to his political allies. Mr. Estrada also prodded business cronies to boycott a hard-hitting newspaper.

Mrs. Arroyo took on emergency powers, padlocking a newspaper and arresting outspoken critics. The Armed Forces and the police went around the country, providing schools and communities with a list of “enemies of the state” – which included the name media organizations, including the NUJP.

The late dictator Ferdinand Marcos closed down media, except for a few outfits owned by cronies.

Impunity’s throwback loop

Through all these years, Filipino journalists slugged it out with the powers-that-be. Even under the dictatorship, we put up underground press units and alternative media outfits.

We continued to cover Mr. Estrada and Mrs. Arroyo, not allowing their actions to cow us.

In 2014, on the fifth anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) came out with a report. I wrote a piece what perpetrates impunity in this country. I scoured files going back to the early 2000s. Here are excerpts from that article:

“It is 2014 and I’m looking at reports, articles, talks and papers from 2004. Few things have changed. Indeed, every incident of violence perpetrated against journalists and almost every official statement on the issue by the incumbent President hurl those working for press freedom into a never-ending #throwback loop….

Mr. Aquino has tried to downplay the 33 murders of journalists under his watch, insulting the victims while at it.

‘When we say ‘media killing,’ usually (we refer to) agents of the state suppressing the search for the truth . . . but many of them, we can say, were not in pursuit of the profession,’ said the President, citing love triangles and extortion as possible motives.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) notes the poor solution rate for the 33 murders under Aquino’s term, with arrests only for six of these cases. Yet here was the land’s highest official, who often presents his administration as righteous, providing an old, discredited spin to a long-festering problem.

Mrs. Arroyo and leaders of the Philippine National Police (PNP) then also repeatedly blamed media victims for the killings, hinting at "shady backgrounds," corruption and messy personal lives.

Then and now: Top government officials refusing to acknowledge that murder has become a routine response by powerful individuals and groups who come under a harsh media spotlight.

Then and now: Top government officials ignoring the roots of the problem, instead, hinting that murders could decrease if journalists eased up on their duties as watchdogs of society.”

We owe the people

And now we face Mr. Duterte.

A boycott is not just between media and Mr Duterte. A boycott does not just affect the incomes of media workers or the profits of our employers.

A boycott would hurt most the people we serve. Our people, RSF.

In this day and age, Mr Duterte can take to the Internet and record daily ramblings for the people to watch. He could very well bypass media.

But that would not be real communication. It could become a one-way monologue or he could impose a controlled platform, where only supporters get to ask sacharine questions. Filipinos know about that; we saw that during the dictatoship.
RSF is wrong. Filipino journalists owe the people our coverage of Mr. Duterte. We owe them, his fans and critics, the duty of asking the tough questions.

We cannot criticize if we abandon the task of asking those hard questions. We cannot educate, nor explain, if we stop prodding and investigating contradictions between words and actions. And we won’t be able to give Filipinos the good news – and there are many positive pronouncements and actions from Mr. Duterte – if we ignore his existence.

This is not a playground brawl. This is a fight for press freedom and free expression; a fight against impunity. This is not just about journalists, because those two rights are intertwined with other basic rights due to all citizens of this republic.

Media is a reflection of the society it serves. Where we get killed, others, too, face the guns. And they struggle on, as we in media should.

Impunity rides high when society confers too much power on select individuals and groups and imposes too little accountability on them. The murders of journalists in the Philippines will go on so long as governments continue to confound calls for transparency, so long as the corrupt and abusive wield the silence of the graveyard in response to expressions of the people’s democratic aspirations.

Opaque systems and selective imposition of justice, not to mention a weak justice system that makes sitting ducks of whistleblowers and witnesses, fueled and continue to fuel conditions that constrict press freedom – and all other freedoms -- in the Philippines.

We will slug it out. We will soldier on.

And while at it, we will give credit to Mr. Duterte when he gets it right even as we stand our ground when he is wrong.


OPINION: Panelo wants to be ambassador to London? Ellen T. Tordesillas Posted at Jun 14 2016 11:20 PM


Atty. Salvador Panelo. Photo by Mandy Navasero

We are going to miss Atty. Salvador Panelo as presidential spokesperson.

Incoming president Rodrigo Duterte has a new spokesperson in the person of Ernie Abella, a former pastor.

In the announcement of Peter Laviña, spokesman for the Duterte transition team, of the latest cabinet appointments in his Facebook page, he did not say whether Panelo will also remain as spokesperson following the appointment of Abella.

Sources at the Department of Foreign Affairs, however, said they have been told that Panelo has expressed interest to be the Philippine ambassador to the United Kingdom, which is currently being held by Evan Ralph Garcia, a career officer.
Garcia, who had held the position of undersecretary for Policy, assumed the London post recently.

Atty. Salvador Panelo. Photo by Mandy Navasero
I can just imagine Panelo as ambassador to London in his ripped jeans and red jacket. Mawiwindang ang London diplomatic community!

The appointment of Abella as spokesperson was announced two days after Clarissa Oben Evangelista, posted in Facebook an incident involving Panelo parking illegally in front of a drugstore in Greenhills, San Juan and covering his car with a Duterte tarpaulin.

Panelo denied he violated parking regulations of the commercial area and gave his own version of the incident.
Of the new spokesperson, Laviña said Abella “is a preacher and writes a column in Davao."

READ MORE...

A 2013 online post described Abella as “the former head pastor of The Jesus Fellowship. He is now a social entrepreneur.”

Laviña said Abella “was one of the best writers to defend Duterte in social media during the black propaganda attacks during the election.”

One of the articles he wrote, “Would Duterte make a good president?” was reproduced by Andy Uyboco in the Sun Star Davao June 4, 2015 issue.

In that article, he revealed an incident in the past when Duterte saved him.

Excerpts from Abella’s article:

“I was kidnapped in 1996. I was a pastor then. And I had just inherited a small sum from my parents and was looking for a piece of property. And the real estate dealers led me to this secluded place where 5 ethnic men held me for ransom. As fate would have it, my colleagues went to Mayor Rody. And in a classic response, he called for the MNLF commanders in the city warning them, 'If anything happens to that pastor, I will capture 3 of your imams.' (as retold to me later).

Within 24 hours, I was released.

“I tell this story, not because I am an unquestioning supporter but because I understand that in a society in search for itself, we need a firm hand until such a time we can make difficult decisions for ourselves. Duterte is not a Jeffersonian Democrat and neither was Lee Kuan Yew. But both shared a clear vision of the way things could be.

“I cannot tell you about the personal morality of Mayor Duterte. I can tell you what he has publicly done – he has turned a backwater city into a global benchmark. And if he had wanted to steal us blind, he would have left traces by now. He is not that sophisticated. He is that rarity – a plainspoken man who wants the world to work for everyone. Therein lies his greatness.

He is an ordinary man with ordinary dreams – the dream of a better life.

"What makes him great is his willingness to defend your right to a fair share – your share of a decent life, a happy home and a peaceful nation. I would vote for a man like that. I would persuade others to do so. Ninoy died so we could have that kind of a life. Rody is the kind of a person who will make sure we do.”

He has a blog: www.ernieabella.org 


Ellen T. Tordesillas


OPINION: Duterte’s mockery and betrayal of martyrs’ memories Buddy Gomez Posted at Jun 16 2016 12:03 AM



There are many commendable well-meaning aspirational programs and projects that the incoming Duterte administration plans to achieve. Sincere wishes for beneficial achievement also abound and swell in the hearts of Filipinos that now include even those who did not vote for him.

After all, we will have six Duterte years ahead, whatever that means, God willing! But more than just being critical, I join the vast majority of those who disliked Duterte during the elections (and who continue to do so) but nonetheless accept and respect the count, no matter how unwelcome. Pro patria!

The people have spoken. By the present Constitution, a mere plurality can afford to run roughshod and rule with hubris. Their celebratory commotion is evident. They have earned the right to enjoy victory. We wish for nothing else but the success of his administration. Unfortunately, his behavior does not seem to indicate cooperation. Did we not say he is his worst enemy?

Be that as it may, human kindness mandates that the undeserved serial mean-spiritedness, the unrelenting vicious vilification, the stoking of populist anger, the naysaying, the hating that attended the Presidency of the incumbent, PNoy, not be meted upon Duterte. He must be spared from the daily calvary that President Aquino was pilloried with. Duterte needs our help and support. Filipinos of goodwill will see to that. And because he is who he is, he also needs “tough love.” We intend to provide that, too. That means a running reality check! Kudos where apt and earned. Brickbats whenever deserved.

THE PHILIPPINES AS A PARIAH STATE

Just as Duterte fatigue is beginning to set in and his earlier vote-winning profanity losing its misguided popular cachet, (he is getting tiresome!) the President-elect continues to appear tireless with unabated, unabashed assault upon civility and human rights. How else do we regard his pronounced intent to honor that bloody dictator Marcos with a hero’s burial? And the seeming salivating bloodthirst in reviving the death penalty, and by hanging too, while the rest of the civilized world gasps in disbelief.

READ MORE...

The newly reassembled subservient Congress as well as the newly minted Cabinet, an otherwise source of sober counsel, by their silence send a message of acquiescence. That is bad! Will they just sit and tweedle dumb their thumbs while “El Caudillo” Duterte leads the country towards the path of ill repute? A pariah state and an object of laughter and ridicule?
The irreducible and ineradicable history of Marcos’ Martial Law has long been succinctly encapsulated and bears repeating: “3,257 extra-judicial killings, 35,000 torture victims, 70,000 arrests and incarcerations.”

It is for this reason that the Philippine Constitution has mandated the creation of the Commission on Human Rights to pursue justice as this body continues to perform with honor and dedication. And who can ever forget that beyond the veil of Marcosian “constitutional authoritarianism,” beyond the smokescreen of Martial Law, twenty years of plunder and pillage, the thieving of at least US$10 billion of the nation’s wealth!

As a matter of record, the Marcoses have never expressed remorse. Shamelessly, they wallow in untold pelf, ever maneuvering to return to political power while sponsoring blatant revisionism of the country’s contemporary history.
The final burial of Marcos’s paraffined, mummified cadaver at the military cemetery and conferring upon him honors befitting a hero is to be the crowning glory of the Marcos family’s gall. Duterte and Ferdinand Jr. call it “closure.” (Isn’t it, in fact, pay back for having garnered the winning votes in the Marcos backyard of Ilocos Norte? Duterte did promise a burial at the soldier heroes’ cemetery, did he not?)

The judgment of history is now final and must not be blasphemed. Marcos is beyond ‘closure.’

A hero’s burial for Marcos is betrayal and mockery of the memory of the martyrs of Martial Law. Somebody has to tell the President-in-waiting that he is committing a colossal miscalculation that will have an impact upon his capacity to govern. And will disturb the peaceful rest of his mother, Nanay Soleng, who fought Marcos openly and defiantly during the dark days of Martial Law.

A REPRISE ON AN IMPOSTOR

Apart from all of the above, let me reprise Marcos as a soldier, for that is how Duterte wishes to memorialize the deposed dictator. (“I will allow Marcos burial in Libingan ng mga Bayani, not because he was a hero, but because he was a Filipino soldier.”)

Of course, the world has already been made aware that apart from the well-documented heinous, horrifying and rapacious dictatorship, Ferdinand E. Marcos’ earlier rise to the apogee of national leadership was through deceit and fraud. Volumes have already been written about his fake war medals and bogus war exploits. These now form a remarkable legend of skulduggery!

READ: Marcos, according to Marcos

There is still one aspect, however, that has not quite been adequately ventilated. Let me revive it and reiterate. It is no small measure of a simple neglected detail because it will have to be etched in the man’s epitaph should Duterte persist in a military burial. It is monumental. And central to the character of the soldier Duterte wishes to honor. To this day it remains uncorrected in the government’s official records kept at the Department of National Defense. It says: “Major Ferdinand E. Marcos 0-41394 Infantry (Inact).”

READ: Marcos’ 'Major' Escapade

It is indeed possible, erudition not being his strong suit, that President-elect Duterte is unaware that the man he wants to honor is in fact without honor. Ferdinand E. Marcos is a military fraud and an impostor. A scoundrel.

READ: Marcos caught in a foxhole fraud

Beyond long after-the-fact affidavits of earlier affidavits from conned or coerced individuals long dead and some clippings of press releases, there is absolutely no record that Marcos was ever promoted beyond Third Lieutenant. His own tale of how he was promoted to Captain (by telephone three weeks into Bataan!) is incredibly whimsical.

The truth is that his assumed rank of ‘Major” Marcos brazenly bestowed upon himself as supposedly a guerilla of the fairy tale “The Maharlikas,” an activity and an organization both of which have been debunked as fraudulent by a US Army investigative evaluation as early as 1945!


This is the ‘soldier’ President-elect Duterte wishes to honor. Only madness and amorality can dignify evil incarnated in the form of a military fraud and a shameless impostor.

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.


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