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



EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK
OR CLICK HERE TO READ ONLINE
(Mini Reads followed by Full news commentary)
FROM THE TRIBUNE

EDITORIAL: RODY's PIVOT GETS POSITIVE REVIEW


DECEMBER 23 -Rody’s own brand of rebalancing policy toward China is receiving good reviews considering that a few months back, Manila and Beijing seemed to be at irreconcilable odds. The Philippines under the administration of Noynoy brought China to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) over the territorial conflict that resulted in a ruling of the United Nations-backed court nullifying the China’s nine-dash line claim practically over the entire South China Sea. Noynoy also provoked belligerent relations with China by refusing to have a bilateral dialog and instead resorted to third-party arbitration on the territorial conflict that China, however, rejected. According to The Diplomat, an authoritative foreign relations publication, the very fact that aid is being doled out by Beijing so early on “is itself remarkable considering the poor state of ties just a few months ago before Duterte took office after years of saber-rattling in the South China Sea under Benigno Aquino III.” READ MORE...

ALSO: Rody told to go on


DECEMBER 22 -The continued high public approval rating on Rody based on recent surveys despite the intense criticisms on the drugs war which are even coming from foreign governments and institutions, are clear signs that Filipinos want the President to pursue the path he has taken. His absurd mouth notwithstanding, the public has taken to Rody’s commitment to what he had set out to do and his dogged determination to cull all the souls lost from the evil trade. The deaths attributed to the war on drugs have passed the 6,000 mark with nearly half classified as extrajudicial murders that Rody’s opponents freely tag as either state-sponsored or state-inspired. Among those implicated in the drugs trade, Sen. Leila de Lima, is waging a losing battle against Rody on the pretext of human rights violations in the anti-narcotics campaign. De Lima and her yellow principals at the Liberal Party (LP) are desperately engaging Rody on rights violations riding on the Western line that the war on drugs does not follow internationally accepted norms. READ MORE...

ALSO: Part of Rody-US chess game


DECEMBER 24 -The demand of the United Nations human rights chief for the government to investigate Rody on his own claim of killing three criminals during his term as Davao City mayor during the 1980s reeks of intervention and it seems to fall within efforts to clamp down on the President with the free-firemouth. The problem with Rody, however, was that it appeared that he was taunting his critics as he repeatedly claimed in several speeches that spanned the whole of last week how, in 1988, he and local police killed three suspected kidnappers. UN Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein immediately fired off a demand that a murder investigation on Mr. Duterte be launched on his admissions which Zeid said “clearly constitute murder.” The United States also last week suspended a second tranche of an anti-poverty program for the Philippines under aid agency Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC) supposedly over concerns on extrajudicial killings (EJK) as a result of the war on drugs.READ MORE...

ALSO: EDITORIAL - Cause and effect


DECEMBER 21 -Aparadox exists on the war on drugs in which a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed many are worried that they or a near relative may fall victim to extrajudicial killings (EJK) but most of the respondents give unqualified support to Rody’s campaign. The survey showed net public satisfaction with the Duterte administration’s performance in the fight against drugs at an “excellent” 85 percent this quarter made up of 53 percent “very satisfied” and 32 percent “somewhat satisfied,” against eight percent who were dissatisfied, including five percent “somewhat dissatisfied” and three percent “very dissatisfied,” while the remaining seven percent were undecided. Respondents expressed worries over the further spread of EJK which were mainly reflections of stories coming out in media, many of which come from Rody’s critics who pin EJK to Rody’s drugs war, saying that these were state-sponsored. READ MORE...


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

Rody’s pivot gets positive review

MANILA, JANUARY 2, 2017 INQUIRER) Written by Tribune Editorial Friday, 23 December 2016 - Rody’s own brand of rebalancing policy toward China is receiving good reviews considering that a few months back, Manila and Beijing seemed to be at irreconcilable odds.

The Philippines under the administration of Noynoy brought China to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) over the territorial conflict that resulted in a ruling of the United Nations-backed court nullifying the China’s nine-dash line claim practically over the entire South China Sea.

Noynoy also provoked belligerent relations with China by refusing to have a bilateral dialog and instead resorted to third-party arbitration on the territorial conflict that China, however, rejected.

According to The Diplomat, an authoritative foreign relations publication, the very fact that aid is being doled out by Beijing so early on “is itself remarkable considering the poor state of ties just a few months ago before Duterte took office after years of saber-rattling in the South China Sea under Benigno Aquino III.”

READ MORE...

China has credited Rody for warming its frosty ties with the Philippines and in turn has committed substantial financing for his war on drugs.

Initially, some $14.4 million was committed to Rody’s campaign against narcotics with another $500 million committed for release next year.

As with other instances in Southeast Asia where Beijing is beginning to make inroads, however, things should be kept in perspective amid the hype, The Diplomat said.

Since coming to office in June, President Rodrigo Duterte has sought to diversify his country’s foreign policy away from its traditional ally, the United States, and toward other major powers, principally China.

It said that “Over the past few weeks, the parameters within which Duterte will be operating have become increasingly clear.

“US-Philippine military cooperation has been downgraded somewhat but much of it is still set to continue as of now despite his rhetoric,” The Diplomat added.

The improved relations with China is also expected to go beyond military cooperation but will spill over to the much important economic sphere.

The Diplomat said Duterte has also been touting potential economic and military deals with China beyond the string of initial agreements inked during his October visit to Beijing.

The Diplomat, however, said such deals have “at times been met with more cautious responses on the Chinese side and much of the collaboration is still at its initial stages.”

The Diplomat considered the $14.4 million grant for Rody’s war on drugs was “the clearest confirmation yet of a significant military deal between the two sides.”

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed to reporters the deal saying that during a meeting with Duterte last Monday, China’s Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua had offered to provide $14.4 million worth of equipment to Manila for free in what would be considered military assistance.

Lorenzana said China had given the Philippines a list of military equipment to be used for fighting drugs and terrorism and that Manila would go through it to find out what it really needed, with a technical working team soon being deployed to Beijing.

He said the government is considering to use the grant for crime prevention equipment such as small arms, fast boats and night vision goggles.

He said the deal would be finalized by the end of the year and that the Philippine government hoped to get the equipment by the second quarter of 2017.

The Diplomat considered the pace of the deal as constituting “a rather quick turnaround time.”

It said that while the $14.4-million deal is significant, “Lorenzana himself characterized the amount as ‘not that much.’”

It compared the military assistance that the Philippines has been getting from its traditional ally, the United States, which provided over $120 million in military aid in 2016, with $79 million coming from Foreign Military Financing (FMF) — an increase from $50 million in 2015 — and $42 million coming from the new Southeast Asia Maritime Security Initiative.

“Indeed, even though Duterte has repeatedly criticized the low level of military assistance that the United States has provided to the Philippines, the fact remains that it is still far higher than what he has gotten from Beijing thus far,” it added.

It noted, however, a much bigger package is expected from Beijing as relations further improve with the separate $500-million long-term soft loan for other equipment.

“That amount is much more significant than the $14.4-million deal, though it is a loan instead of aid and it is likely spread out over a much longer time horizon,” The Diplomat said.

The bottomline in Rody’s thrust is that it opened a new front to support not only his war on drugs but the economic development of the country as well.


Rody told to go on Written by Tribune Editorial Thursday, 22 December 2016


The continued high public approval rating on Rody based on recent surveys despite the intense criticisms on the drugs war which are even coming from foreign governments and institutions, are clear signs that Filipinos want the President to pursue the path he has taken.

His absurd mouth notwithstanding, the public has taken to Rody’s commitment to what he had set out to do and his dogged determination to cull all the souls lost from the evil trade.

The deaths attributed to the war on drugs have passed the 6,000 mark with nearly half classified as extrajudicial murders that Rody’s opponents freely tag as either state-sponsored or state-inspired.

Among those implicated in the drugs trade, Sen. Leila de Lima, is waging a losing battle against Rody on the pretext of human rights violations in the anti-narcotics campaign.

De Lima and her yellow principals at the Liberal Party (LP) are desperately engaging Rody on rights violations riding on the Western line that the war on drugs does not follow internationally accepted norms.

READ MORE...

Rody had from the start, pointed that his war, similar to the United States government’s war on terror, may have to follow unconventional paths to protect the lives of Filipinos.

In a similar fashion, the US and other Western governments had employed extreme measures in the war on terror such as civilians being victims of indiscriminate bombings to destroy rebel lairs or target persons.

Being glossed over, however, is the apparent success of Rody meeting his goal.

Recent Philippine National Police (PNP) figures, for instance, showed that in his first five months of his presidency, the crime rate has fallen to a substantial 31.67 percent.

Crime reports declined by 25,673 cases in July to November or a total of 55,391 cases compared to the same period a year ago that reached 81,064 cases.

The PNP report recorded crimes against person such as murder, physical injuries and rape and property crimes such as theft, car theft and cattle theft.

Police data also showed crimes against property fell significantly by 42.48 percent.

Overall crime volume went down by 34,741 cases or 12.44 percent to 244,637 in July to November against 279,378 in the same period last year.

Rody had said that destroying the drugs trade would be the first step in restoring public order which was lost during the years of incompetence and neglect under Noynoy.

Rody correctly read that most criminals use narcotics to make them fearless and unyielding to reason.

He said that dependence on drugs such as the commonly used shabu also makes addicts do anything to score a hit.

As for de Lima and company, the past agenda that had her on the front line which is the employment of selective justice against the opponents of the yellow mob and Noynoy, has become too plain in the way she has thus far eluded criminal charges that should be lodged with Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales who is another yellow pillar in the government.

Solicitor General Jose Calida tagged de Lima as public enemy No. 1 due to her suspected deep involvement in the proliferation of illegal drugs.

The local drug trade has been disrupted and those involved in it running around in confusion afforded Rody the opening to identify those who are on top of it.

Hopefully Rody’s will last until all those at the yellow pillar are identified and prosecuted. As he had said, there are people still higher than de Lima who were responsible in turning the country into a narco state.

The polls show that the public, thus far, is behind Rody’s back on the war on drugs.


Part of Rody-US chess game Written by Tribune Editorial Saturday, 24 December 2016 00:00


The demand of the United Nations human rights chief for the government to investigate Rody on his own claim of killing three criminals during his term as Davao City mayor during the 1980s reeks of intervention and it seems to fall within efforts to clamp down on the President with the free-fire mouth.

The problem with Rody, however, was that it appeared that he was taunting his critics as he repeatedly claimed in several speeches that spanned the whole of last week how, in 1988, he and local police killed three suspected kidnappers.

UN Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein immediately fired off a demand that a murder investigation on Mr. Duterte be launched on his admissions which Zeid said “clearly constitute murder.”

The United States also last week suspended a second tranche of an anti-poverty program for the Philippines under aid agency Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC) supposedly over concerns on extrajudicial killings (EJK) as a result of the war on drugs.

READ MORE...

The game of strategy between Rody and the US was an apparent result of his rebalancing toward China and Russia, which are known US rivals for world power, during a critical phase of the US government’s effort to strengthen its foothold in Asia-Pacific, mainly to contain China which is a rising economic and military power and a threat to the US.
In response to the freezing of the MCC aid, Rody threatened to scrap military agreements with the US starting with the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

The UN appears to calibrate its attacks on Rody whenever he displeases the US.

Zeid’s new demand on the Philippines to probe Rody was also an apparent media play since it was made without any basis except for Rody’s own claims which Sen. Panfilo Lacson said will amount to nothing in a local court.

Rody himself knows this as he said in his past speeches that his threats and claims related to killings are not criminal acts unless these will be backed up by evidence.

His aides attributed the sordid claims and threats of Rody to the use of hyperbole to stress the urgency of the anti-drugs campaign.

Zeid, in issuing an unusual demand on the government may have rendered the result of any UN investigation on the war on drugs suspect.

Kabayan Rep. Harry Roque said the judgment the Philippine government received from the international community has not been fair or productive.

“Does the UN still expect to be welcomed to investigate the facts on the ground when the High Commissioner has made statements that appear to prejudge the scenario?” he said.

The UN called off a plan to send a probe mission to the Philippines to look into the allegations of state-sponsored extrajudicial killings after Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard rejected Rody’s condition that the findings be subjected to a public debate.

Rody said during the debate he wanted to throw questions at Callamard on the methods used in the conduct of the investigations. Callamard also has to take an oath on the veracity of the UN body’s findings.

Callamard claimed that Rody’s demand was not consistent with the code of conduct for special rapporteurs and added the results of the investigation should be highly confidential.

“I cannot build trust, including with the police or with the government, if there is a threat of public debate at the end of the mission,” Callamard said.

She added the issue is a sensitive matter as it involves deaths of alleged victims and perpetrators.

“These cannot be the object of a public debate,” she said.

Zeid issued the demand for Rody’s investigation after the UN probe was aborted.

Meanwhile, Zeid’s demand, apparently on behalf of the US, was spiced up by American folk singer James Taylor canceling his Philippine tour as a protest against EJK.

He ain’t got a friend in Rody, either.


EDITORIAL - Cause and effect Written by Tribune Editorial Wednesday, 21 December 2016 00:00


Aparadox exists on the war on drugs in which a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed many are worried that they or a near relative may fall victim to extrajudicial killings (EJK) but most of the respondents give unqualified support to Rody’s campaign.

The survey showed net public satisfaction with the Duterte administration’s performance in the fight against drugs at an “excellent” 85 percent this quarter made up of 53 percent “very satisfied” and 32 percent “somewhat satisfied,” against eight percent who were dissatisfied, including five percent “somewhat dissatisfied” and three percent “very dissatisfied,” while the remaining seven percent were undecided.

Respondents expressed worries over the further spread of EJK which were mainly reflections of stories coming out in media, many of which come from Rody’s critics who pin EJK to Rody’s drugs war, saying that these were state-sponsored.

READ MORE...

Rody and his police officials had explained earlier that the campaign against narcotics also introduced distrust and in fighting among drugs syndicates that have triggered a purge in the drugs underworld the perpetrators of which conveniently use the drugs war as cover.

The SWS survey showed 85 percent still support the government’s war on illegal drugs, while 88 percent said the illegal drug problem in their areas declined since Duterte took over.

In contrast 78 percent are worried that they or anyone they know will fall victim to EJK.

The survey also showed 70 percent of respondents believe the government is serious in solving the EJK.

The confidence of respondents that the government itself will resolve the EJK problem only indicates that many still hold that the administration of Rody can, in the end, give a rational explanation for the sudden spike in summary killings after Rody launched his anti-narcotics campaign.

The survey also showed 71 percent of respondents said it was “very important” that drug suspects be caught alive.
On policemen’s claim that slain drug suspects resisted arrest, 28 percent believe the police were telling the truth while 29 percent believe otherwise. Forty two percent said they were unsure.

The significant figure in the survey, however, was the 88 percent of respondents who said the narcotics problem in their areas declined since Duterte assumed office last June 30.

The SWS poll was taken from December 3 to 6 which was the fifth month of Duterte’s presidency and consequently the length of the war on drugs in which he had anchored his campaign in the elections last May that resulted in his overwhelming victory.

The survey showing that nearly 90 percent of respondents believe that the drugs problem has abated is a singular victory for Rody who said he can greatly reduce, if not eliminate, the narcotics problem within six months.
In his speaking engagements, he usually brings with him the thick compilation of those involved in the drug trade in government.

The fear expressed by respondents in the survey was borne out of worries of being caught in the crossfire as a result of the turbulence stirred by Rody’s campaign against narcotics.

The assurance from Rody and police officials that those who do not dabble in the drug trade should dispel their fears is not coming across mainly as a result of the continued pounding from political opponents of Rody and Western governments that associate the EJK to Rody’s tough words against criminals.

The bottom line, however, is that for the first time after more than six years or longer, voters elected a leader with a strong will to do what is needed to be done.

If only Rody can cut down on his daily dosage of absurd statements during his thinking out loud moments that frequently gets him into trouble, his critics here and abroad may just have nothing to make him look like a monster, which Rody certainly is not.

Last modified on Tuesday, 20 December 2016 14:24


CONTINUE TO >> NEXT HT-OPINION PAGE (coming next week)

GO TO >> HEADLINE NEWS PAGE

GO TO > > BUSINESS & ECONOMY PAGE


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

RMAIL: PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
© Copyright, 2016 All rights reserved


GO TO PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE