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PHNO PRESIDENTIAL (DU30) NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

WILL USE DIPLOMACY, NO CONCESSIONS; PHL WON'T BADGE ON PCA AWARDS -SOLGEN


JULY 16 -Counsel of state. President Rodrigo Duterte confers with former President Fidel Ramos on a private matter during a testimonial dinner the San Beda College of Law hosted for Duterte, who is the first San Beda alumni to become president of the Philippines. Duterte later announced that he asked Ramos to help the country in bilateral talks with China over the recent ruling of The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration. AFP THE Office of the Solicitor General said Friday the Philippines will use diplomacy to resolve its conflict with China but “will not concede any of the awards given” by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), which rejected Beijing’s “nine-dash line” claims over most of the South China Sea. “The negotiations must respect the decision that was made. We will still use diplomacy as a first option, because we are neighbors with China,” Solicitor General Jose Calida said, adding that the Philippines will not sacrifice what it has obtained from the decision but “will also pursue diplomatic means... to convince China that we can co-exist peacefully.”  Calida said the PCA confirmed that no one state could claim an entire sea.  “The award is a historic win, not only for the Philippines… It renews humanity’s faith in a rules-based global order,” Calida said. “The award opens a horizon of possibilities for all stakeholders. The award is a crowning glory of international law,” he added. President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night said he was considering back-channel talks and suggested he might name former President Fidel V. Ramos as a special envoy to China. Calida declined to say how long the Philippines would rely on diplomacy to settle its differences with China. “We should understand [China’s] sentiments. That’s why we are still using the diplomatic card at this time... I believe this is the more peaceful way of settling this problem. We cannot put arbitrary timeframes,” he said. “We will be patient, of course, and hopefully China will also show the same grace that we have shown when we did not, as wanted by some sectors of society, gloat about this ruling. It’s a sober approach to having won this momentous, monumental case,” he added. READ MORE...

ALSO: Robredo got warm welcome during first Cabinet meet - Palace


JULY 12 -After spending the weekend in his hometown in Davao City, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is welcomed back by Vice President and newly-appointed secretary for the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Leni Robredo in time for the second cabinet meeting at the Malacañan Palace on July 11, Monday. Also in the photo (leftmost) is Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II. ‪#‎PartnerForChange‬ -MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo was warmly welcomed by members of the Cabinet of President Rodrigo Duterte during the first formal meeting she attended at the Malacañang Palace on Monday.Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella described yesterday's first Cabinet meeting with Robredo as "a very warm situation." "She was warmly welcomed," Abella told reporters. Abella added that Robredo was also "made privy to the process, and the thinking behind [Duterte's] war on drugs."  Robredo in the past has expressed reservations over some of Duterte's pet policies, particularly the revival of the death penalty. Administration critics are now raising alarm over the rising cases of drug-related killings. Since Duterte assumed office last June 30, the number of those killed by police and hitmen has breached the 100 mark. Asked if Robredo expressed any concern about Duterte's war on drugs, Abella said: "If she had, she didn't express any." Robredo, who belongs to the Aquino administration's Liberal Party, was not initially offered a Cabinet post by Duterte, who belongs to the political party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban). Duterte had said he won't be offering Robredo a post since he did not want to hurt the feelings of former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who was defeated by the LP candidate by a slim margin in the vice-presidential race. Duterte, however, changed his mind and offered Robredo the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council portfolio, which was also held by Robredo's predecessors Jejomar Binay and Noli De Castro. FULL REPORT. WATCH VIDEO...

ALSO: Robredo alarmed over drug-related killing spree
[RELATED: ‘There’s still hope for drug surrenderees’ Duterte admin]


JULY 12 -President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo. File/Composite
While fully supportive of President Rodrigo Duterte's war against drugs and crime, Vice President Leni Robredo is concerned with "the growing culture of vigilantism and violence." "We hope that the war is not done at the expense of the innocent and defenseless," Robredo said in a statement Tuesday, as the number of slain drug pushers and users soared, days after Duterte was installed president. WATCH: Spate of killings and the drug war, an ABS-CBN News Investigative Group report Police estimate and various news reports have showed that at least 224 died "while fighting cops" in legitimate buy-bust operations while 87 were killed by unidentified assailants. Robredo, a lawyer, said justice entails filing cases and according due process to the accused.
"We encourage authorities concerned to look into these cases. If there is really culpability, then justice requires that appropriate cases be filed and that those proven to be accountable be punished," said Robredo. Robredo also emphasized that the fight against drugs and crime "must be done with an uncompromising exercise of the rule of law." "Since the President is a lawyer and former prosecutor, we trust that he will do what is appropriate," Robredo added.Duterte overwhelmingly won the 2016 president elections with a vow to crush crime and drugs. He also recently named police officials allegedly linked to the drug trade and vowed to reveal the identities of public officials in the drug business. Duterte's anointed police chief, Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa have since implemented a mandatory drug test among policemen.READ MORE...WATCH VIDEO...RELATED, ‘There’s still hope for drug surrenderees’...

ALSO: Poverty is not an excuse to turn to a life of crime – Duterte
[RELATED: Duterte, Peter Lim were sponsors at same wedding]


JULY 17 -President Rodrigo Duterte (Manila Bulletin file)
President Rodrigo Duterte (Manila Bulletin file) The President Rodrigo Duterte has branded as “kalokohan” (folly) attempts by some people to blame their dismal economic status for their criminal behavior, saying they were just trying “to fool the whole world.” “’Kasi mahirap lang kami’ that is not an excuse to me. Huwag mong damayan ang Republika ng Pilipinas just because mahirap ka, puro dito mga bleeding hearts — human rights, mga mahirap [Being poor is not an excuse to me. Don’t drag the entire Republic of the Philippines just because you are poor. We have many bleeding hearts here — those crying for human rights, those living in poverty],” the President said in his remarks at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency office in Davao City last Saturday. Duterte also hit back at some groups criticizing authorities for allegedly killing suspected drug suspects just because they were poor. “Madali mag-atake, sabihin na namatay dahil mahirap lang. Is that an excuse? You want to fool the whole world dahil mahirap lang, kalokohan yan [It’s easy to accuse that they were killed because they were poor. Is that an excuse? You want to fool the world just because you are poor. That’s silly],” he said. “The world will never stop to turn because you are poor, that is not excuse to destroy society,” he added. READ MORE...RELATED,
Duterte, Peter Lim were sponsors at same wedding...

ALSO:
Duterte to Mayors - 'Curb drugs or lose power over cops'
[RELATED: No double standard in drug war–Palace OTHER SUSPECTS URGED TO PROVE THEY’RE CLEAN]


JULY 18 -President Duterte said he would soon identify the errant local executives after he publicly named five police generals whom he accused of being on the take in illegal drug operations. AP/Bullit Marquez, file MANILA, Philippines – Mayors and other local officials have been ordered to curb the illegal drug trade in six months or else lose their power and control over the police. Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno yesterday issued the order to local government officials, warning they would be stripped of control and supervision over local police if they fail to address the drug problem in their jurisdictions. “We are giving them six months from now up to December. If they cannot lower the number of people with drug addiction in their area, they may be charged with serious neglect of duty,” Sueno said. Sueno noted President Duterte’s pronouncement that there were about 23 mayors protecting drug trafficking. Duterte said he would soon identify the errant local executives after he publicly named five police generals whom he accused of being on the take in illegal drug operations. Sueno said “inept” local executives may also lose their National Police Commission (Napolcom) deputation that gives them direct operational supervision over police units in their jurisdiction.
 “The (interior and local government) department is prepared and persistent in making our communities safe by first eliminating drug menace. We are checking and ensuring that mayors are our partners in this law-given mandate in maintaining peace and order,” he added.
Sueno warned local government officials that they may also be charged with neglect of duty if they fail to address the problem of illegal drugs in their areas.
Under the law, Sueno said local chief executives are empowered to maintain peace and order in their areas through control of the police. READ MORE...RELATED, No double standard in drug war–Palace OTHER SUSPECTS URGED TO PROVE THEY’RE CLEAN...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Will use diplomacy, No concessions - Philippines won’t budge on PCA awards


Counsel of state. President Rodrigo Duterte confers with former President Fidel Ramos on a private matter during a testimonial dinner the San Beda College of Law hosted for Duterte, who is the first San Beda alumni to become president of the Philippines. Duterte later announced that he asked Ramos to help the country in bilateral talks with China over the recent ruling of The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration. AFP

MANILA, JULY 18, 2016 (MANILA STANDARD) posted July 16, 2016 at 12:01 am by John Paolo Bencito and Macon Ramos-Araneta - THE Office of the Solicitor General said Friday the Philippines will use diplomacy to resolve its conflict with China but “will not concede any of the awards given” by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), which rejected Beijing’s “nine-dash line” claims over most of the South China Sea.

“The negotiations must respect the decision that was made. We will still use diplomacy as a first option, because we are neighbors with China,” Solicitor General Jose Calida said, adding that the Philippines will not sacrifice what it has obtained from the decision but “will also pursue diplomatic means... to convince China that we can co-exist peacefully.”

Calida said the PCA confirmed that no one state could claim an entire sea.

 “The award is a historic win, not only for the Philippines… It renews humanity’s faith in a rules-based global order,” Calida said.

“The award opens a horizon of possibilities for all stakeholders. The award is a crowning glory of international law,” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night said he was considering back-channel talks and suggested he might name former President Fidel V. Ramos as a special envoy to China.

Calida declined to say how long the Philippines would rely on diplomacy to settle its differences with China.

“We should understand [China’s] sentiments. That’s why we are still using the diplomatic card at this time... I believe this is the more peaceful way of settling this problem. We cannot put arbitrary timeframes,” he said.

“We will be patient, of course, and hopefully China will also show the same grace that we have shown when we did not, as wanted by some sectors of society, gloat about this ruling. It’s a sober approach to having won this momentous, monumental case,” he added.

READ MORE...

Malacañang on Friday said that local fishermen who intend to fish near the Scarborough shoal should “proceed with care” after the Chinese Coast Guard blocked a group of Filipino fishermen from entering the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, despite the PCA ruling.

“They are cautioned to proceed with care,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said of the fishermen.

Abella said despite the PCA decision, the government was still “thinking through the right response.”

Filipino fishermen from Zambales were traveling with a news team from ABS-CBN on Thursday to the Scarborough Shoal when a Chinese fishing vessel tried to block them. A Chinese Coast Guard vessel also showed up to order the Filipino fishermen to leave.

The PCA on Tuesday blasted China’s construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea and also rejected China’s “nine-dash line” claims that it enjoys historic rights over most of the body of water.

In Mongolia, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay raised the West Philippine Sea issue at the Asia-Europe Meeting, despite objections from China.

“The Philippines strongly affirms its respect for this milestone decision as an important contribution to the ongoing efforts in addressing disputes in the SCS. We call on all parties to exercise restraint and sobriety,” Yasay said before the 54 leaders of Asia and Europe.

He also assured the group that the Philippines will enforce the tribunal’s ruling through peaceful means, and continue to engage China to reduce tensions in the region.

Abella on Friday said Ramos has expressed reservations about accepting Duterte’s invitation to be a special envoy to China.

“Former President FVR did not decline but he did make a comment saying that he may be too old for a long term commitment. I think he said it in passing,” Abella said.

Ramos, president from 1992 to 1998, said Thursday night he was uncertain whether the incumbent President was serious or was just making a joke.

“I think he just made that in jest because I’m busy writing my legacy for young people and China is only one of my areas of interest,” the former president said. “I have not seen the offer. I was out of range when he said it.”

Earlier, Duterte broached back-channel talks through Ramos, as a special envoy.

“I would like to respectfully ask him to go to China and start the [backchannel] talks. But we do not also want to offend the United States. Why? Because we have identified ourselves as being allied with the Western powers. So there’s an interest which we should not forget: Our interest and the interest of our allies,” Duterte told his fellow San Beda College of Law alumni at the Club Filipino Thursday night.

“War, it is not an option,” Duterte said.

Duterte said protecting the country’s interests and those of its allies—including the US—would bring “a lot of complications,” including economic problems such as the possible closing of maritime and sea routes.

Incoming Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said the country must “peacefully assert its power of control” over areas in the West Philippine Sea that fall under its exclusive economic zone, after the PCA ruled against China Tuesday.

He said the decision by the PAC in The Hague “validates the Philippine claim of jurisdiction over certain shoals, reefs and outcrops.”

He also called on China and other states to “respect such reasonable and objective ruling, which determined that China’s historical claims to 90 percent of the area had no legal justification.

Senator Loren Legarda said she hoped all parties would uphold international law, and expressed her concern over the destruction of the marine environment brought up by China’s reclamation and construction activities in the disputed territories.


ABS-CBN

Robredo got warm welcome during first Cabinet meet: Palace Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News
Posted at Jul 12 2016 02:11 PM


After spending the weekend in his hometown in Davao City, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is welcomed back by Vice President and newly-appointed secretary for the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Leni Robredo in time for the second cabinet meeting at the Malacañan Palace on July 11, Monday. Also in the photo (leftmost) is Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II. ‪#‎PartnerForChange‬

MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo was warmly welcomed by members of the Cabinet of President Rodrigo Duterte during the first formal meeting she attended at the Malacañang Palace on Monday.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella described yesterday's first Cabinet meeting with Robredo as "a very warm situation."
"She was warmly welcomed," Abella told reporters.

Abella added that Robredo was also "made privy to the process, and the thinking behind [Duterte's] war on drugs."

Robredo in the past has expressed reservations over some of Duterte's pet policies, particularly the revival of the death penalty.

Administration critics are now raising alarm over the rising cases of drug-related killings. Since Duterte assumed office last June 30, the number of those killed by police and hitmen has breached the 100 mark.

Asked if Robredo expressed any concern about Duterte's war on drugs, Abella said: "If she had, she didn't express any."

Robredo, who belongs to the Aquino administration's Liberal Party, was not initially offered a Cabinet post by Duterte, who belongs to the political party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

Duterte had said he won't be offering Robredo a post since he did not want to hurt the feelings of former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who was defeated by the LP candidate by a slim margin in the vice-presidential race.

Duterte, however, changed his mind and offered Robredo the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council portfolio, which was also held by Robredo's predecessors Jejomar Binay and Noli De Castro.

 


ABS-CBN

Robredo alarmed over drug-related killing spree ABS-CBN News Posted at Jul 12 2016 03:03 PM


President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo. File/Composite

While fully supportive of President Rodrigo Duterte's war against drugs and crime, Vice President Leni Robredo is concerned with "the growing culture of vigilantism and violence."

"We hope that the war is not done at the expense of the innocent and defenseless," Robredo said in a statement Tuesday, as the number of slain drug pushers and users soared, days after Duterte was installed president.

WATCH: Spate of killings and the drug war, an ABS-CBN News Investigative Group report

Police estimate and various news reports have showed that at least 224 died "while fighting cops" in legitimate buy-bust operations while 87 were killed by unidentified assailants.

Robredo, a lawyer, said justice entails filing cases and according due process to the accused.

"We encourage authorities concerned to look into these cases. If there is really culpability, then justice requires that appropriate cases be filed and that those proven to be accountable be punished," said Robredo.

Robredo also emphasized that the fight against drugs and crime "must be done with an uncompromising exercise of the rule of law."

"Since the President is a lawyer and former prosecutor, we trust that he will do what is appropriate," Robredo added.

Duterte overwhelmingly won the 2016 president elections with a vow to crush crime and drugs. He also recently named police officials allegedly linked to the drug trade and vowed to reveal the identities of public officials in the drug business.

Duterte's anointed police chief, Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa have since implemented a mandatory drug test among policemen.

 

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

‘There’s still hope for drug surrenderees’ By Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 17, 2016 - 12:00am 2 146 googleplus0 0


In President Duterte’s first week in office, 24,000 drug users and pushers surrendered. They will be given the chance to go back to mainstream society and be free of drugs. AP/Aaron Favila

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – There is hope for the hundreds of drug users who have surrendered, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director general Isidro Lapeña said yesterday.

Lapeña said the large number of drug users and dealers who surrendered shows that there is hope for them for the country.

In President Duterte’s first week in office, 24,000 drug users and pushers surrendered. They will be given the chance to go back to mainstream society and be free of drugs.

“It is really overwhelming. We have these people who also wanted to change their lives. They see hope in the government’s program,” Lapeña said.

“While we concentrate on supply reduction, high-value target and high-impact operation, we also have to address the need to educate our people on the ill effects of drugs so that they would be more aware and at the same time, shun illegal drugs totally,” he added.

The PDEA chief said the President is keen on establishing rehabilitation centers all over the country.

Duterte has already instructed Secretary to the Cabinet Leoncio Evasco to work on the necessary funding for the construction of rehabilitation centers.

“There are those who will go through rehabilitation inside the centers while others could go on rehab on out-patient basis,” Lapeña said.

“We are also linking up with the pertinent agencies that could help us provide training if not livelihood assistance for those who need to have a source of income,” he added.


MANILA BULLETIN

Poverty is not an excuse to turn to a life of crime – Duterte by Genalyn Kabiling July 17, 2016 Share3 Tweet2 Share1 Email2 Share72


President Rodrigo Duterte (Manila Bulletin file)

President Rodrigo Duterte (Manila Bulletin file) The President Rodrigo Duterte has branded as “kalokohan” (folly) attempts by some people to blame their dismal economic status for their criminal behavior, saying they were just trying “to fool the whole world.”

“’Kasi mahirap lang kami’ that is not an excuse to me. Huwag mong damayan ang Republika ng Pilipinas just because mahirap ka, puro dito mga bleeding hearts — human rights, mga mahirap [Being poor is not an excuse to me. Don’t drag the entire Republic of the Philippines just because you are poor. We have many bleeding hearts here — those crying for human rights, those living in poverty],” the President said in his remarks at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency office in Davao City last Saturday.

Duterte also hit back at some groups criticizing authorities for allegedly killing suspected drug suspects just because they were poor.

“Madali mag-atake, sabihin na namatay dahil mahirap lang. Is that an excuse? You want to fool the whole world dahil mahirap lang, kalokohan yan [It’s easy to accuse that they were killed because they were poor. Is that an excuse? You want to fool the world just because you are poor. That’s silly],” he said.

“The world will never stop to turn because you are poor, that is not excuse to destroy society,” he added.

READ MORE...

The President even criticized some citizens for using poverty to violate the country’s traffic rules. “Tingnan mo sa daan, traffic, grabe paano di matatraffic, andiyan sa gitna. And their excuse, kasi mahirap lang kami,” he said.

In the same remarks, the President challenged in jest the “bleeding hearts” to lead the government’s anti-crime drive to know first-hand the scope of the problem.

Mockingly, the President said he would create a committee so these “bleeding hearts” can run the campaign against crimes. “You work on appointment date, mag-usap tayo, ibibigay ko lahat, walang problema,” he added.

In recent weeks, families of slain drug suspects have cried foul over the circumstances surrounding the killing of their loved ones. Television news reports some grieving mothers have blamed authorities for the summary killing of their sons without due process.

Most of the drug suspects killed reportedly come from the poor section of society.

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

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Duterte, Peter Lim were sponsors at same wedding By: Connie Fernandez  @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Visayas 12:27 AM July 18th, 2016



‘KUMPARE’ President Duterte and Cebuano businessman Peter Lim, suspected to be a drug lord, are shown in this photo taken from the Facebook account of Facts Against Ignorance during the wedding of Israeli expatriate Yuri Ofek and Beatrice Borja in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu province, on June 25.FACTS AGAINST IGNORANCE FACEBOOK ACCOUNT

CEBU CITY—Did Cebuano businessman Peter Lim and President Duterte know each other before their meeting in Davao City on Friday?

Lim and Duterte are “kumpare,” as they both stood as primary sponsors during a wedding at Shangri-La’s Mactan Island Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu province on June 25, according to Lim’s spokesperson, Dioscoro Fuentes Jr.

Fuentes called a news conference here on July 8 to deny that the businessman was the Peter Lim named by Mr. Duterte in an address on national television the day before as the one of the country’s top drug lords.

He said Mr. Duterte and Lim were among the principal sponsors at the wedding of Yuri Ofek, an Israeli expatriate who works as country manager of a local business outsourcing company, and Beatrice Borja.

“If you’ll look at it, my client and our beloved President are kumpare,” Fuentes told reporters.

Other principal sponsors included Sen. Cynthia Villar and her husband, former Sen. Manny Villar. Their son, Mark, is now the secretary of public works.

Duterte supporter

Borja is the only child of businessman Fernando Borja, owner of Adnama Group of Companies and a close friend of Mr. Duterte who supported his presidential campaign, sources said.

The company is into export, mining and real estate, among other businesses.

The businessman hosted a thanksgiving dinner for Mr. Duterte at Level 8 in Adnama Building at the Mandaue Reclamation Area on June 8.

During the July 8 news conference, Fuentes said Lim had no plans of meeting the President to clear his name.

“The Peter Lim of Cebu is a very shy person. I don’t think he has the gall to ask the President for a meeting. Sending the President a letter is an option. But the decision shall come from him (Lim),” he said.

Apparently, Lim changed his mind and flew to Davao on Friday to see Mr. Duterte and to deny he was the drug lord named Peter Lim being sought by the police.

Online photos

Photos of the two men were circulated online on Sunday, drawing sharp criticisms from netizens.

The Facebook page Facts Against Ignorance, which posted the photos, claimed the pictures were taken during the June 25 wedding.

The post read: “WAG MASYADONG NAGPAPABOLA SA DRAMA NILA (Don’t believe in their drama).” It also claimed that Lim was given due process by the President because they were kumpare and Lim was one of the contributors to Mr. Duterte’s presidential campaign.

Facebook posts

It ended with a quote from Mr. Duterte’s message to Lim: “We want to help you, help us to clear you.”

The post had generated 762 shares and 345 comments as of 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Apoleo Emil Kusay, another Facebook user, called for Mr. Duterte’s resignation.

But the President had defenders.

One of them was ?Jag Bacalso Lucero, who said: “That pic was taken during the wedding of borja same date during victory party of cebu. C mayor is invited sa wedding … .” With reports from Doris C. Bongcac and Ador S. Mayol, Inquirer Visayas


PHILSTAR

Mayors told: Curb drugs or lose power over cops By Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 18, 2016 - 12:00am 0 98 googleplus0 0


President Duterte said he would soon identify the errant local executives after he publicly named five police generals whom he accused of being on the take in illegal drug operations. AP/Bullit Marquez, file

MANILA, Philippines – Mayors and other local officials have been ordered to curb the illegal drug trade in six months or else lose their power and control over the police.

Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno yesterday issued the order to local government officials, warning they would be stripped of control and supervision over local police if they fail to address the drug problem in their jurisdictions.

“We are giving them six months from now up to December. If they cannot lower the number of people with drug addiction in their area, they may be charged with serious neglect of duty,” Sueno said.

Sueno noted President Duterte’s pronouncement that there were about 23 mayors protecting drug trafficking.

Duterte said he would soon identify the errant local executives after he publicly named five police generals whom he accused of being on the take in illegal drug operations.

Sueno said “inept” local executives may also lose their National Police Commission (Napolcom) deputation that gives them direct operational supervision over police units in their jurisdiction.


“The (interior and local government) department is prepared and persistent in making our communities safe by first eliminating drug menace. We are checking and ensuring that mayors are our partners in this law-given mandate in maintaining peace and order,” he added.
Sueno warned local government officials that they may also be charged with neglect of duty if they fail to address the problem of illegal drugs in their areas.
Under the law, Sueno said local chief executives are empowered to maintain peace and order in their areas through control of the police.

READ MORE...

“It is one of the reasons why mayors of cities and municipalities are deputized by the Napolcom vis-a-vis the Philippine National Police so they can have a direct operational supervision over PNP personnel assigned in their areas,” he said.
Otherwise, a failure on the part of the local chief executive to eradicate crimes and illegal drugs in his or her area of jurisdiction is tantamount to “possible citation of neglect for duty,” Sueno said.

In November 2015, the Napolcom issued memorandum circular prescribing additional functions and duties of local officials as its deputies. 
Sueno said the directive authorizes them to formulate and adopt effective mechanisms for the coordination, cooperation and consultation with the citizenry and law enforcement agencies consistent with and in pursuance of the Community and Service-Oriented Policing (CSOP) system.


“Failure of a governor or mayor to perform the additional functions and duties shall be deemed engaging in acts which negate the effectiveness of the peace and order campaign which, once validated or established, shall be a ground for the suspension or withdrawal of his/her deputation by the commission,” Sueno said, quoting the circular.
Sueno has instructed the DILG’s Legal and Legislative Liaison Service (LLLS) to prioritize the probe on local officials as soon as the department receives the order of Malacaňang.
Romeo Benitez, chief of the Trial and Investigation Division of DILG - LLLS, described as doable the directive of the interior secretary.


“It’s doable because it’s only validation and evidence gathering. It is not actually a tedious process. The only basic rule to observe here is we do not violate constitutional and basic rights of the persons being subjected to fact-finding inquiry,” he said.
Benitez explained the process was just a case build-up leading to a possible determination of probable or sufficiency of cause that can make persons liable for a full-blown or more formal trial. 
“We will try to determine or validate the allegations against them. If in the affirmative then we can cause the filing or initiate commencement of a possible formal investigation against them,” Benitez said.

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

No double standard in drug war–Palace
[OTHER SUSPECTS URGED TO PROVE THEY’RE CLEAN] By: Marlon Ramos @MRamosINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:01 AM July 18th, 2016


Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC

WHY did the “Punisher” let alleged drug Triad boss Peter Lim live another day?

The Palace could not give the exact reason, but Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on Sunday sought to assure the public that there was no double standard in the government’s war against illegal drugs.

Lim, a wealthy businessman from Cebu, met with President Duterte in Davao City on Friday night as bodies of poor drug suspects continued to turn up in various parts of the country.

An Inquirer count since July 1 showed at least 179 people have been killed in police operations against illegal drugs. Another 64 drug-related deaths have been blamed on vigilantes. Most of the victims—described as drug lords and pushers—were killed in slum areas and looked impoverished.

Mr. Duterte, who earned the monicker “Punisher” for advocating the summary killings of suspected criminals when he was mayor of Davao City, said in a televised address on July 7 that he would execute Lim the minute the businessman set foot in the country on his return from a reported overseas trip.

The President, however, let the Cebu trader leave the regional office of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority in one piece after their meeting.

“The alleged drug lord Peter Lim has come out in the open. He [wants to clear] his name and he has expressed his intention to the President that he will do just that,” Andanar told state-run dzRV radio.

Burden now on Lim

“The burden now is [on] Peter Lim and we do encourage the rest of the suspects to do the same,” he added.

During their conversation, the President repeated his warning to Lim that he would have him executed if investigation showed that he was the same Peter Lim, alias Jaguar, who was running the drug Triad in the Visayas region.

Unlike Lim, many of those killed in police operations and vigilante-style attacks were not given the chance to talk with the most powerful man in the country to defend themselves.

“I threatened to have you killed. You know, I’ll really have you killed if I get [evidence]. I’ll really finish you off,” the President bluntly told him, according to a video of the meeting the government released on YouTube.

Asked why the President did not kill Lim as he had warned, Andanar said: “Well, Peter Lim has already expressed his intentions to clear his name. Let’s leave it at that.”

“Let’s just wait until the final investigation comes out. Let’s just wait for Mr. Peter Lim’s evidence and what he can show to clear [his name of] this allegation,” Andanar insisted.

No discrimination

He then challenged those claiming that the Duterte administration has been discriminating against poor drug addicts and street-level drug peddlers.

“Those questions have to be supported by facts, by empirical evidence,” he said. “As far as we know, the operation of the Philippine National Police has always been in pursuit of those who are peddling and pushing drugs.”

Andanar said Mr. Duterte was the first and only Chief Executive who boldly identified in public those involved in the illegal drug trade.

The President earlier named five active and retired senior police officials as protectors of illegal drug syndicates.

Said Andanar: “The President has even named the Level 5 drug lords … [who] are the highest … in the hierarchy of those who are selling illegal drugs.”

“As far as I can remember in the history, I have not seen a President who has been so brave in announcing to the public the people who are allegedly behind this menace of drugs,” he continued.

Drug matrix

Andanar said he himself had seen the names of people on the “drug matrix” that Mr. Duterte showed to the public during his July 7 address.

He said the contents of the list could make people’s stomachs turn. “What I can only tell you is that if you see the matrix, you’ll probably say that it is really unbelievable and it will really make you throw up.”

Andanar said the matrix showed that only a handful of people were behind the agony of some 1.8 Filipinos who are hooked on illegal substances.

“It’s really distressing to see that only a few people are selling illegal drugs, but the lives of millions of our countrymen and our youth are being destroyed,” he said.

As to the local officials who were also into the distribution of illegal drugs, he said Mr. Duterte would identify them “in time along with other persons of interest.”


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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