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



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

DUTERTE REFUSES TO BE CALLED 'HIS EXCELLENCY'
[RELATED: Duterte to convert presidential yacht to a hospital]


JULY 21 -President Rodrigo Duterte ordered all government agencies and offices to address him without the term "His Excellency." PPD/Ace Morandante President Rodrigo Duterte has released a directive ordering all government units to address him without the term "His Excellency." "(T)he President shall be addressed in all official communications, events, or materials as 'PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE' only, and without the term 'His Excellency,'" Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said in a memorandum issued on Thursday. The president also ordered that all members of the Cabinet should be addressed as "Secretary" only and without the term "Honorable." "However, all government agencies and offices, in their discretion, may still use the term 'Honorable' in addressing their respective heads of offices in their internal communications and documents," Medialdea said in the memorandum. Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said the dropping of honorific titles is in line with Duterte’s “populist presidential style.” “He (Duterte) encourages less ceremonial" communications,” Abella said in a text message. Duterte appears to be uncomfortable with some of the rituals and traditions surrounding the presidency. Last May, he said he would rather be called “mayor of the Philippines” than “president.” Duterte governed Davao City with an iron fist for 22 years. READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte to convert presidential yacht to a hospital... RELATED(2)

ALSO Central theme of Duterte’s SONA: Love of country


JULY 24 -(Photo c/o Presidential Communications) | (mb.com.ph) (Photo c/o Presidential Communications) Love of country will be the central theme of first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday amid his administration’s intensified efforts to combat illegal drugs, crime and corruption in the country. The President has written a “very powerful” speech that will revive the sense of patriotism among Filipinos and will include a call to unity, according to Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Martin Andanar. As of Saturday night, the President’s speech went through more than 10 revisions and ran 38 minutes, Andanar said in a press conference in Davao City. Sans the glitz, glamor and drama, the President is expected to lay down his plans for the country, including policies on peace and order, as well as priority legislations, before the joint session of Congress on Monday. Palace officials earlier said the President’s speech will be devoid of blaming predecessors of the country’s problems and instead focus on government action and public cooperation to address these challenges. “The address of the President, personally written by the President, will be a very powerful speech that will awaken the patriot in every Filipino,” Andanar said. “When I read the speech, ayoko pong mag-exaggerate. Pero the first time I read the speech, it made me cry. Ganun po ka—ganun po kaganda. Ganun po makabagbag-damdamin ‘yung speech po ng Pangulo po natin [When I read the speech, I don’t want to exaggerate but the first time I read the speech, it made me cry. The President’s speech is that beautiful and poignant],” he aded. In keeping with his simple conduct, the President’s first address will not be as lavish as the previous ones. This year’s SONA would be different since it will no longer be a fashion show. Instead, the event will focus on the President’s message, according to Department of Finance spokeswoman Paola Alvarez. The Palace has changed the dress code to business attire, reminding ladies to avoid the glamorous long gowns usually worn in past SONAs. READ MORE... RELATED, ‘911’ to be PH’s official emergency hotline by August...

ALSO: By Randy David - 1st SONA in a world out of kilter


JULY 24 -President Rodrigo R. Duterte delivers his message before to the management of Green Earth Enersource Corporation, government officials of Maguindanao, and the people of Buluan town during the inspection of the 5MW Biomass Power Plant. SIMEON CELI/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTOGRAPHERS DIVISION
As we go through the motions of another State of the Nation Address (Sona), it is important to remind ourselves that, although we live in a country bounded by the sea, everything that we do or fail to do takes place in the context of a bigger and more troubled world. No elected government directs the affairs of that world, certainly not the United Nations. But, somehow, there is order in it, which we have the duty to uphold. It would be foolish to think we can ignore the imperatives of this global order just because there is no agency vested with the legitimate power to enforce its agreements and tacit understandings. That kind of thinking reflects the legalistic illusions of the insular state.
The theory of modernity says that as human affairs—such as trade and investment, science and technology, education and mass communications, travel and tourism, etc.—become specialized and autonomous, they also become global in scope. Each domain develops its own order in response to its particular exigencies. The key to understanding this is the differentiation of human activities according to function, rather than according to the social status or identity of their authors. By this process is the modern world society born. National boundaries become obsolete. Nation-states and their elites lose their ability to oversee and steer events occurring within their political and economic jurisdictions. Public consciousness becomes increasingly cosmopolitan; values and standards become universal. No doubt, satellite communications and internet-based technologies have greatly hastened this process, compressing time and space, and creating realities that are no less consequential for being virtual. If we look outside of the domains of law and politics, which have remained basically nation-state-oriented, nearly everything that is happening in the world today seems to confirm this. READ MORE...RELATED, Lights, camera, action: Cannes winner directs Du30’s 1st Sona...

ALSO: Alunan could be special envoy to China if FVR turns down Duterte offer


JULY 22 -In this photo released on March 31, 2016, senatorial candidate Rafael Alunan III and then presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte pose with clenched fists, the campaign gesture of Duterte's camp. Alunan was Interior secretary under President Fidel Ramos. Alunan campaign/Released
President Rodrigo Duterte will ask former Interior Secretary Rafael Alunan III to become special envoy to China if former President Fidel Ramos declines the offer.
"(Alunan) knows his business," Duterte said in his speech on Friday before troops at Camp Siongco in Maguindanao, which was streamed online. Ramos said earlier this week that medical issues and other commitments might make him refuse to initiate diplomatic talks with China in the wake of the Philippines' victory in its arbitration case against China. Last week, the tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and based in the Hague ruled that China's nine-dash line claim over the key trade route is baseless. "What if I conk out (in the middle of my work)? That would paint a poor picture of our nation after all the advance publicity you've made (of me as special envoy)," he said at a media forum in Manila. Still, Ramos said he will meet with Duterte this weekend to get his "mission orders" as special envoy. Ramos is expected to announce his decision whether to take the job after the meeting. Alunan surprised Harvard-educated Alunan, who was defeated in the senatorial race in May, has been outspoken against China's intrusion into Philippine waters in the West Philippine Sea, part of the disputed South China Sea. READ MORE...

ALSO: FVR accepts special envoy to China post
[RELATED: Federalism won’t trigger Mindanao breakaway – Duterte]


JULY 24 -Former president Fidel Ramos arrived here in the morning and had lunch with Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza at the Marco Polo Hotel. Philstar.com/File
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Former president Fidel Ramos yesterday formally accepted the offer of President Duterte to be the government’s special envoy to China. Ramos’ principal task would be to help the government mend fences with China, which is still reeling from a legal setback when an international tribunal ruled in favor of the Philippines by invalidating Beijing’s expansive nine-dash line claim in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea. Ramos arrived here in the morning and had lunch with Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza at the Marco Polo Hotel. Ramos only got to meet with Duterte at around 5 p.m. and held a closed-door meeting on the 18th floor of the Marco Polo Hotel. “I already got the clearance from my doctors and from my wife Ming that I will be heading the mission,” Ramos told reporters here. Duterte and Ramos extensively discussed the parameters of the mission, which the former president said he felt honored to undertake. READ MORE...RELATED, Federalism won’t trigger Mindanao breakaway – Duterte...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Duterte refuses to be called 'his excellency'


President Rodrigo Duterte ordered all government agencies and offices to address him without the term "His Excellency." PPD/Ace Morandante

MANILA, JULY 25, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Patricia Lourdes Viray and Alexis Romero Updated July 21, 2016 - President Rodrigo Duterte has released a directive ordering all government units to address him without the term "His Excellency."

"(T)he President shall be addressed in all official communications, events, or materials as 'PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE' only, and without the term 'His Excellency,'" Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said in a memorandum issued on Thursday.

The president also ordered that all members of the Cabinet should be addressed as "Secretary" only and without the term "Honorable."

"However, all government agencies and offices, in their discretion, may still use the term 'Honorable' in addressing their respective heads of offices in their internal communications and documents," Medialdea said in the memorandum.

Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said the dropping of honorific titles is in line with Duterte’s “populist presidential style.”

“He (Duterte) encourages less ceremonial" communications,” Abella said in a text message.

Duterte appears to be uncomfortable with some of the rituals and traditions surrounding the presidency.

Last May, he said he would rather be called “mayor of the Philippines” than “president.” Duterte governed Davao City with an iron fist for 22 years.

READ MORE...

Weeks before his inauguration, Duterte said he would do away with the presidential convoy because he did not want to be followed around. He said he was used to having just two vehicles with him when doing his job as mayor. Duterte, however, did not get his desired set-up for security reasons.

Duterte also broke traditions during his inauguration last June 30 when he did away with the inaugural ball and lavish dinners. He also did away with the tradition of holding the inaugural rites at the Quirino Grandstand, preferring instead to take his oath of office in Malacañang.

Last week, officials said Duterte’s first state of the nation address on Monday would be toned down so that the public would focus on the president’s message and not on the ceremonies or lavish outfits of the attendees. A recent Pulse Asia survey showed that nine out of 10 Filipinos trust the new president. Among 1,200 respondents nationwide, 91 percent said that they trust Duterte.

Duterte will hold his first State of the Nation Address on Monday at the House of Representatives in Quezon City.

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

RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Duterte to convert presidential yacht to a hospital by Genalyn Kabiling July 22, 2016 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share13


Presidential yatch BRP Pangulo (Manila Bulletin File)

ZAMBOANGA CITY — No one is interested in buying the presidential yacht since it is way too old and lacks power, according to President Rodrigo Duterte.

Faced with this dilemma, the President is mulling on an alternative plan — converting the 57-year-old BRP Pangulo, previously known as BRP Pag-asa, into a hospital to be deployed in conflict-torn areas in the country.

Duterte initially planned to sell the yacht and use the proceeds to upgrade the country’s hospital facilities and improve the welfare of war veterans.

“Sana nga noon, ipagbili ko ‘yung Pag-asa to rebuild ‘yung V. Luna pero sabi nila, nobody’s— no takers ‘yan kasi luma na, mahina. I will either convert it into a hospital, tingnan ko lang kung how much I would spend [I wanted to sell Pag-asa to rebuild V.Luna (hospital) but there are no takers because it is old, it’s weak. I will either convert it into to a hospital. I’ll just check how much I would spend],” Duterte told government troops at the Western Mindanao Command headquarters last Thursday night.

“Gagawin ko ‘yang hospital, ilalagay ko sa… well, wherever the fighting is, sirain ko lang yung loob, lagyan ko lang ng mga operating rooms, para iyan ang gawin ko. Walang silbi yan barko na ‘yan eh so pakinabangan nalang natin [It will be deployed to wherever the fighting is. I’ll refurbish the interior, place some operating rooms. The ship has no use so might as well take advantage of it],” he added.


MANILA BULLETIN

Central theme of Duterte’s SONA: Love of country by Genalyn Kabiling July 24, 2016 Share2 Tweet0 Share1 Email0 Share53


(Photo c/o Presidential Communications) | (mb.com.ph) (Photo c/o Presidential Communications)

Love of country will be the central theme of first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday amid his administration’s intensified efforts to combat illegal drugs, crime and corruption in the country.

The President has written a “very powerful” speech that will revive the sense of patriotism among Filipinos and will include a call to unity, according to Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Martin Andanar.

As of Saturday night, the President’s speech went through more than 10 revisions and ran 38 minutes, Andanar said in a press conference in Davao City.

Sans the glitz, glamor and drama, the President is expected to lay down his plans for the country, including policies on peace and order, as well as priority legislations, before the joint session of Congress on Monday. Palace officials earlier said the President’s speech will be devoid of blaming predecessors of the country’s problems and instead focus on government action and public cooperation to address these challenges.

“The address of the President, personally written by the President, will be a very powerful speech that will awaken the patriot in every Filipino,” Andanar said.

“When I read the speech, ayoko pong mag-exaggerate. Pero the first time I read the speech, it made me cry. Ganun po ka—ganun po kaganda. Ganun po makabagbag-damdamin ‘yung speech po ng Pangulo po natin [When I read the speech, I don’t want to exaggerate but the first time I read the speech, it made me cry. The President’s speech is that beautiful and poignant],” he aded.

In keeping with his simple conduct, the President’s first address will not be as lavish as the previous ones.

This year’s SONA would be different since it will no longer be a fashion show. Instead, the event will focus on the President’s message, according to Department of Finance spokeswoman Paola Alvarez.

The Palace has changed the dress code to business attire, reminding ladies to avoid the glamorous long gowns usually worn in past SONAs.

READ MORE...

“During the previous SONAs, most people see that this is an occasion where people flaunt their gowns, their dresses. We want to step away from this norm,” said Alvarez, who is part of the Palace group organizing the President’s SONA.

“We want to bring back the real essence of the State of the Nation,” she added. “We want to center on what the President’s message is to our people, especially it’s his First State of the Nation Address.”

Award-winning director Brillante Mendoza has been tapped to direct the SONA production who has waived his talent fee.

The Palace said the SONA menu will be a feast of native dishes that includes native chips in the form salted duck egg with dressing; mongo soup, paired with smoked fish with alugbati on grissini bread; fresh lumpia ubod in pouch; and chicken and spicy tuna empanaditas.

Other dishes approved are sotong goreng or deep fried calamari tossed in chili and bell pepper; crispy triangles of flaked chicken adobo and mushrooms; fried lumpia ubod; pandesal with kesong puti and beef steak; penne pasta with taba ng talangka sauce; balut pâté profiteroles; and chicken skin crackling.

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

RELATED(2) FROM THE INQUIRER

‘911’ to be PH’s official emergency hotline by August By: Miguel R. Camus @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 02:27 PM July 23rd, 2016


duterte-8888-911-hotline

The National Telecommunications Commission issued a series of orders paving the way for the use of “911” as the national emergency hotline number, as directed by the President Rodrigo Duterte.

Specifically, the NTC said it issued a memorandum order formally assigning the code “911” for this purpose starting August 1, 2016.

READ: Duterte administration to launch 24-hour hotline in August

Starting on the said date, the NTC said “all public telecommunications entities shall route all of the public’s “911” calls to the existing PATROL 117 Command Center until the new 911 Command Center is established and made operational.” Thereafter, all “911” calls shall be routed to the 911 Command Center, it added.

“The public is also strictly urged to refrain from making prank calls to the National Emergency Hotline Number,” the NTC said. As the long-time mayor of Davao City, Duterte had established a 911 Emergency Response Center.

RELATED VIDEO

 


INQUIRER (COMMENTARY)

Sona in a world out of kilter By: Randy David @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer July 24th, 2016


President Rodrigo R. Duterte delivers his message before to the management of Green Earth Enersource Corporation, government officials of Maguindanao, and the people of Buluan town during the inspection of the 5MW Biomass Power Plant. SIMEON CELI/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTOGRAPHERS DIVISION


By: Randy David

As we go through the motions of another State of the Nation Address (Sona), it is important to remind ourselves that, although we live in a country bounded by the sea, everything that we do or fail to do takes place in the context of a bigger and more troubled world. No elected government directs the affairs of that world, certainly not the United Nations. But, somehow, there is order in it, which we have the duty to uphold.

It would be foolish to think we can ignore the imperatives of this global order just because there is no agency vested with the legitimate power to enforce its agreements and tacit understandings. That kind of thinking reflects the legalistic illusions of the insular state.

The theory of modernity says that as human affairs—such as trade and investment, science and technology, education and mass communications, travel and tourism, etc.—become specialized and autonomous, they also become global in scope. Each domain develops its own order in response to its particular exigencies.

The key to understanding this is the differentiation of human activities according to function, rather than according to the social status or identity of their authors. By this process is the modern world society born.

National boundaries become obsolete.

Nation-states and their elites lose their ability to oversee and steer events occurring within their political and economic jurisdictions. Public consciousness becomes increasingly cosmopolitan; values and standards become universal.

No doubt, satellite communications and internet-based technologies have greatly hastened this process, compressing time and space, and creating realities that are no less consequential for being virtual. If we look outside of the domains of law and politics, which have remained basically nation-state-oriented, nearly everything that is happening in the world today seems to confirm this.

READ MORE...

Economies and business ventures achieve their fullest potential when they find and develop their links to the outside world.

 The global economy is no longer a one-way street. It is a pleasant surprise to know, for instance, that Filipino-owned fast-food conglomerate Jollibee operates a network of 400 stores in China.

According to a news report, the group plans to expand its China holdings by 5 to 10 percent annually, unruffled by the tensions generated by the Philippines’ and China’s conflicting territorial claims in the South China Sea. That is functional differentiation at work.

The sphere of science and technology has long defied the restrictions imposed by state elites and national cultures. Twitter, the social media platform, sparked a revolution that to this day continues to rage across the Arab world.

A week ago, the Turkish ruler, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, narrowly averted being overthrown by a bloody military coup by using a FaceTime call initiated by a CNN reporter to rally and ask his civilian supporters to pour into the streets and save the government. The smartphone has clearly changed the template for successful coups.

In the United States, the camera that comes with every smartphone has permitted ordinary civilians to document some of the gruesome encounters between police officers and their victims in racially charged communities. Such devices have helped make the world more transparent and power wielders everywhere more accountable.

At the same time, however, the easy access to sensitive video footage on YouTube has generated reactions that are difficult to contain.

Indeed, education and communications have turned global in ways never before imagined, breaking down barriers erected by state agencies.

As the labor market becomes global, there is a corresponding demand to standardize employment qualifications. A minimum number of years of formal education and a corresponding set of skills are expected, for example, of Filipino seafarers abroad. This has prompted a major adjustment in the length of the country’s basic education program.

To be sure, we can bury our heads in the sand and insist on what we consider right or appropriate to our needs regardless of what the rest of the world might say.

We can junk the K-to-12 program to please a segment of the Filipino public that regards it as an unnecessary and unjust imposition. But, we should not complain when international shipping companies treat our seafarers shabbily.

By the same token, we risk losing our right to protest against the destructive practices that have brought the world’s climate to where it is today if we repudiate our obligations under agreements signed in the country’s name.

Indeed, we may as well forget the arbitral award we recently won under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. For we have no right to cite international norms when they favor us, and to ignore them when we find them burdensome.

But the world is out of kilter.

Reacting to complexity, nations turn inward in a vain effort to insulate themselves from the problems created by the destabilization and exclusion of a huge segment of humanity from the blessings of development.

For every Angela Merkel who bravely embraces the victims of war, poverty and displacement, there are ten other world leaders who, like Donald Trump, invoke fear to keep them out.

For every Pope Francis who teaches the universality of mercy, there are a hundred others who seek redemption by preaching resentment.

“Becoming a citizen of the world is often a lonely business,” wrote Martha Nussbaum. “It is … a kind of exile—from the comfort of local truths, from the warm nestling feeling of patriotism, from the absorbing drama of pride in oneself and one’s own.”

* * *

VIDEO: Pres. Benigno Aquino III SONA 2015 speech (FULL)

 

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

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Lights, camera, action: Cannes winner directs Du30’s 1st Sona By: Bayani San Diego Jr.
@inquirerdotnet Inquirer Entertainment 04:35 AM July 23rd, 2016


Award-winning independent film director Brillante Mendoza (left), who is tasked to direct President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s First State of the Nation Address (SONA), and Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Martin Andanar (right) examines the map of the Batasang Pambansa shown by the Presidential Broadcast Staff Radio-Television Malacanang (PBS-RTVM) during the First SONA Briefing and Planning at the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office of the Batasang Pambansa on July 18, 2016. ACE MORANDANTE/PPD


LIGHTS, camera … man of action!

Although it will be treated like “a major television production,” President Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (Sona) will avoid the pomp and pageantry of past events, filmmaker Brillante Ma. Mendoza told the Inquirer.

Mendoza, who was tapped by the present administration to direct the Sona on July 25, explained that his “vision” for the event will hew closely to the President’s public image—meaning, it will be “straightforward, simple, no fuss, no drama.”

READ MORE...

Still, it’s a pretty huge production, entailing at least 17 cameras. In the past, the telecast was carried out solely by the Presidential Broadcast Staff-Radio Television Malacañang, which is credited for first shooting former President Benigno Aquino III’s fifth Sona in high definition.

“I wanted to use a drone, but was told that it wasn’t allowed for security reasons,” Mendoza related. “I have a crane, though. Also, a roving Steadicam for the arrival, but it cannot be used in the plenary hall.”

He has his own director’s booth in the Batasan compound, but his personal staff is quite modest.

“I have only two assistants with me. The other production people in the team are from the government station. The other media outfits, both foreign and local, have their own tents in the venue,” he said.

Lending the ceremony with both local flair and international flavor, singer-songwriter Bayang Barrios will interpret the national anthem, while classical singer Gerphil Flores will perform during the cocktails.

Barrios told the Inquirer that it was “a privilege to sing for a fellow Mindanaoan like the President.”

Barrios said she was glad that even though she didn’t campaign for the President, she was given the rare chance to participate in this important occasion. Her song “Bagong Umaga” was used as the campaign jingle of Sen. Grace Poe.

Flores, who placed third in the regional tilt “Asia’s Got Talent” last year, shared the same sentiment. “It’s my first time to perform at the Sona. I am deeply honored and happy that I’ve been chosen to sing for President Duterte and the legislators,” she said.

Flores said that at press time, her playlist has yet to be finalized by organizers.

For the past week, Mendoza has been attending a string of meetings with Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and has conducted an ocular inspection of the site as well.

Andanar, he said, has given him carte blanche.

Correct conduct

“But of course, we have to follow protocol. People don’t realize that the Sona, like anything that comes out on television, requires a director, too,” he said. “It will not be treated like a soap opera or a fashion show, but it still needs to be prepped and made presentable for broadcast.”

Mendoza said Maria Montelibano directed Aquino in the past while Aquino’s predecessor, Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, turned to acclaimed director (and Aquino’s aunt) Lupita Aquino-Kashiwahara for her media image during her term.

Mendoza has reportedly declined payment for the assignment.

“I just want to do my share and help,” he said. “The President and I have the same advocacies. My latest film ‘Ma’ Rosa’ tackled crime, corruption and the drug problem.”

The President’s son, Sebastian Duterte, watched “Ma’ Rosa” at Power Plant Mall recently with actors Ellen Adarna and John Paul Duray, who played a crooked cop in the movie.

Mendoza isn’t certain if the President has already seen “Ma’ Rosa,” though.

“I want to personally give him a DVD copy, but we haven’t had the chance to meet yet,” the director said. He hopes to make a courtesy call at Malacañang once the frenzy of the Sona has died down.

No melodramatics

He first met the President in Davao City in 2014. “I was doing research on a film on Davao then. He was mayor at that time. He struck me as someone sincere and down-to-earth.”

He hopes to capture the same attributes for the Sona.

Known for gritty indie films like “Ma’ Rosa,” his latest Cannes entry, and “Kinatay,” for which he won best director in the A-list French film festival in 2009, Mendoza does not plan to use “melodramatic video dramatizations … no PowerPoint presentations, no metaphorical segments on a bangkang papel (paper boat) or daang matuwid (straight path).”

“I think the President will deliver a short speech, as brief as his inaugural address,” Mendoza said. “He’s a man of action. He’d rather work than talk.”

He said the President’s speech would touch mostly on his plans for the country.

“He has been in office for barely a month. I am sure he wouldn’t want to brag about what he has done so far. He would rather discuss the future. My job is to make his programs as clear and as understandable as possible,” Mendoza said.

He said he preferred not to rehearse the President. “We want his speech to sound spontaneous and natural. I suggested that he speak in Visayan and Tagalog, not just in English,” he said.

But he insisted on a camera rehearsal—a time devoted to fine-tune camera placement and framing.

Clearly, he is treating the Sona like any directorial gig—leaving no stone unturned when it comes to preparation, but still providing a little elbow room for improvisation.

As “Ma’ Rosa” lead star Jaclyn Jose, who won best actress in this year’s Cannes, would say: “Brillante always has a backup plan. A Plan B, C and D—just in case Plan A doesn’t work out. He doesn’t leave anything to chance.”

“But I welcome surprises. Even in my films, I want my cast and crew to be always on their toes,” Mendoza said. “I hope the President will also surprise us during the Sona. That’s why I have a Steadicam on standby.” TVJ


PHILSTAR

Alunan could be special envoy to China if FVR turns down Duterte offer By Camille Diola (philstar.com) | Updated July 22, 2016 - 4:52pm 1 245 googleplus1 0


In this photo released on March 31, 2016, senatorial candidate Rafael Alunan III and then presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte pose with clenched fists, the campaign gesture of Duterte's camp. Alunan was Interior secretary under President Fidel Ramos. Alunan campaign/Released

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will ask former Interior Secretary Rafael Alunan III to become special envoy to China if former President Fidel Ramos declines the offer.

"(Alunan) knows his business," Duterte said in his speech on Friday before troops at Camp Siongco in Maguindanao, which was streamed online.

Ramos said earlier this week that medical issues and other commitments might make him refuse to initiate diplomatic talks with China in the wake of the Philippines' victory in its arbitration case against China. Last week, the tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and based in the Hague ruled that China's nine-dash line claim over the key trade route is baseless.

"What if I conk out (in the middle of my work)? That would paint a poor picture of our nation after all the advance publicity you've made (of me as special envoy)," he said at a media forum in Manila.

Still, Ramos said he will meet with Duterte this weekend to get his "mission orders" as special envoy. Ramos is expected to announce his decision whether to take the job after the meeting.

Alunan surprised Harvard-educated Alunan, who was defeated in the senatorial race in May, has been outspoken against China's intrusion into Philippine waters in the West Philippine Sea, part of the disputed South China Sea.

READ MORE...

Asked whether he is willing to be a high-level emissary to China, Alunan said he is not yet aware of Duterte's plan.

"That comes as a surprise to me. I have not been advised of it by the [Office of the President]," Alunan said in a message to Philstar.com.

Alunan, who was Interior secretary of Ramos, said the former president is the "best" choice for the position because of his deep knowledge of the culture of China and of the United States.

"Hiningi ko sa kanya kung maari akong maging taga-bitbit ng kanyang briefcase para maka-front row osyoso ako sa ugnayan," Alunan said on Facebook following Duterte's announcement.


PHILSTAR

FVR accepts special envoy to China post By Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 24, 2016 - 12:00am 2 38 googleplus0 0


Former president Fidel Ramos arrived here in the morning and had lunch with Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza at the Marco Polo Hotel. Philstar.com/File

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Former president Fidel Ramos yesterday formally accepted the offer of President Duterte to be the government’s special envoy to China.

Ramos’ principal task would be to help the government mend fences with China, which is still reeling from a legal setback when an international tribunal ruled in favor of the Philippines by invalidating Beijing’s expansive nine-dash line claim in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea.

Ramos arrived here in the morning and had lunch with Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza at the Marco Polo Hotel.

Ramos only got to meet with Duterte at around 5 p.m. and held a closed-door meeting on the 18th floor of the Marco Polo Hotel.

“I already got the clearance from my doctors and from my wife Ming that I will be heading the mission,” Ramos told reporters here.

Duterte and Ramos extensively discussed the parameters of the mission, which the former president said he felt honored to undertake.

READ MORE...

Ramos returned to Manila last night on the 7:40 p.m. Philippine Airlines flight.

The former president likewise asked Duterte to provide him with the necessary guidelines for his dealings with China.

Duterte assured Ramos that the members of his Cabinet as well as officials of other agencies concerned will draw up such guidelines before the former president and his team begin engaging their Chinese counterparts.

Ramos earlier made clear war is not an option in dealing with China on the West Philippine Sea issue.

He said he was amenable to Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr.’s exhortation that they proceed with caution and tolerance when discussing The Hague ruling.

It was not clear yet who would compose Ramos’ team.

Meanwhile, Duterte said country’s legal victory in the South China Sea dispute may not have to be on the agenda in possible bilateral talks with China on the still unresolved maritime row.

ENGAGING CHINA IN BILATERAL TALKS WITHOUT USING PCA RULING AS KICK-OFF

He was taking a cue from Ramos, who had expressed his openness to engaging China in bilateral talks but without using the arbitral ruling as kick-off point.

“Ramos said that ‘if --- it’s all right if we take out the arbitral judgment from the talks.”

The July 12 decision of The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration invalidating Beijing’s nine-dash line claim in the South China Sea has angered China. The ruling also upheld the Philippines’ sovereign rights over at least three land features in the West Philippine Sea, which are also being claimed by Beijing.

Also last Friday in Maguindanao where he inspected a power plant, Duterte said he was keen on tapping former interior and local government chief Rafael Alunan as alternative to Ramos in case the latter declines the President’s offer to be a special envoy to China.

In a speech, Duterte spoke about the Philippines’ strong potential in agriculture “because of the fertility of the soil and the fact that there is no typhoon to destroy the cycle of crops, and cycle of the weather.”

In discussing the agriculture sector’s potential, Duterte was trying to emphasize the availability of funds to finance the country’s growth efforts.

SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTE WITH CHINA A BENEFIT FOR PH

“Now, where will we get (the funds)...This is not a brief for the Chinese people. But at the (South) China Sea, if we can just have a settlement with them despite the arbitral judgment, I think that we can benefit substantially from them,” Duterte said.

“So, we will ask for that…that they will come here and we are planning to establish economic zones and also farm-to-market roads,” he added.

If bilateral talks progress, Duterte said there would be massive exchange of goods between China and the Philippines.

He lamented, however, the country’s sluggish manufacturing sector. – With Christina Mendez

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

RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Federalism won’t trigger Mindanao breakaway – Duterte by Genalyn Kabiling July 23, 2016 Share1 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share68


MORNING CALM – Only the passing of a canoe disturbs the tranquility of Lake Seloton, one of the three lakes in the town of Lake Sebu in South Cotabato. President Duterte believes federalism will bring peace and prosperity to Mindanao. (Keith Bacongco / mb.com.ph)

Zamboanga City – The switch to a federal government will not lead to the secession of Mindanao from the country, President Rodrigo Duterte assured on Thursday.

On the contrary, federalism will help bring peace and development to Mindanao that has long been plagued by poverty and conflict, Duterte said.

“Kung ano ang teritoryo ninyo, inyo lahat. Kung ano ang inyo, inyo ng lahat niyan diya except that we have to maintain the Republic because to secede is not…hindi pwede ‘yan [Your territory will be yours. Whatever is yours will all be yours except that we have to maintain the Republic because to secede is not allowed],” the President told government troops stationed in Basilan last Thursday.

“Magsarili ka? Eh kung gusto mo itong buong Mindanao, e ‘di magsialisan na lang tayong lahat. Eh papaano?[You’ll go on your own? If you want the entire Mindanao, we should just leave altogether. But what will happen next?],” he said.

Duterte has long favored a shift to a federal government, believing it will bring about a more equitable sharing of power and wealth among the regions and end the domination of the so-called Imperial Manila.

Some groups see federalism as paving the way for Mindanao’s secession from Luzon and Visayas.

Duterte sees it differently. During his brief visit to Basilan, the President said federalism would give the regions a bigger say in running their economy, local budget, development of natural resources.

READ MORE...

“Walang gobyernong makialam sa inyo. Kayo na ang magpatakbo ng gobyerno ninyo [The government will not meddle with you. You will run the local government],” he said.

“Anong makuha ninyo dito inyo na. Bigyan mo lang nang kaunti ‘yung national federal government. Walang problema iyan sa akin [Whatever you get, that will be yours. Just give a small contribution to the national federal government. There’s no problem with me],” he added.

He invited concerned sectors to join the dialogue on federalism.

“You can join the talks. I don’t really care kung sino ang humarap sa akin,” he said. “If you can come up with this federal system, then makukuha ninyo ang the desired result,” he said.

The President also called for peace and an end to hate in Mindanao during his visit to Basilan, a stronghold of the extremist group Abu Sayyaf. He said he would echo his call in his first State of the Nation Address on Monday.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2016 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE