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

MEDIA BOYCOTT IS OVER: RODY MEETS THE PRESS
[RELATED: Duterte to PSG: Your loyalty should be to the Constitution, flag, not me]


AUGUST 2 -BOYCOTT OVER: Journalists take selfies with President Duterte after his press briefing at Malacañang yesterday – his first since he announced he would shun media interviews until the end of his term. KRIZJOHN ROSALES
The thaw started with an “ambush” interview last Friday at Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija. Yesterday, after a month-long self-imposed boycott of the media, President Duterte called reporters to a snap press briefing at Malacañang’s Rizal Hall, after he had sworn in several ranking officials of his government. The reason for the change of heart was unclear as Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella declined to comment. Duterte was lighthearted, even joking with PTV-4 reporter Rocky Ignacio – who was held at the gates by the Presidential Security Group – to simply tell the guards that they are friends so she would be allowed easy access. The President spoke on mining and labor issues, the South China Sea dispute and peace talks during the briefing that lasted for 39 minutes. After he was elected in May, he went on a self-imposed boycott after the media criticized him for his statements on the killing of journalists and rape. International group Reporters Without Borders called for a boycott of Duterte, which local media ignored but which apparently caught Duterte’s ire. When the media covering him in Davao City refused to heed the boycott call, Duterte said “ako ang mag-boycott sa inyo” (I will boycott you). He had not granted interviews until last Friday in Nueva Ecija. Asked when the President would change his stand, Abella and Andanar earlier told members of the Malacañang Press to just wait. As the President opens up for media interviews, some reporters said they will just “let bygones be bygones.” FULL REPORT. RELATED, Duterte to PSG: Your loyalty should be to the Constitution, flag, not me...

ALSO: Hopes for truce remain—Rody
[RELATED: DU30 still sees commies as friends, but admits peace talks a rough road]


AUGUST 2 -Bonding moment. President Rodrigo Duterte's daughter Veronica snuggles close to her father as they watch an intermission number during the Presidential Security Group's Fellowship Night at the PSG Compound in Malacanang Sunday night, July 31, 2016. Malacanang Photo PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said the government still hopes to pursue peace talks with communist rebels even after he called off a unilateral ceasefire that he declared during his State of the Nation Address last week. “We are hoping that we can just talk. Maybe we did not understand each other,” Duterte said, during a statement delivered before newly appointed officials who took their oath inside Rizal Hall in Malacañang. “The best way really is to talk again and maybe find out if it’s reachable or beyond our reach,” Duterte said, referring to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF). The government and communist leaders had earlier agreed to resume formal peace talks on Aug. 20 in Oslo, Norway, before a rebel ambush killed a militiaman in Davao Del Norte, prompting Duterte to call off the ceasefire on Saturday. “I hope we can proceed with the talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines,” Duterte said Monday. Communist leaders led by CPP founder Jose Ma. Sison had said earlier they remained committed to peace talks on Aug. 20, despite the exchange of accusations over the Davao del Norte ambush, which came just two days after Duterte had declared the unilateral ceasefire. Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said Monday the government will study all options and consult with all sectors regarding a ceasefire with the communist rebels. “Let’s see. Let us not preempt the President. We will study all options,” Dureza said in Filipino during an interview on GMA-7. Dureza said the government was surprised when the CPP-NPA-NDF did not immediately reciprocate Duterte’s declaration of a unilateral ceasefire during his State of the Nation Address last week. In the past, he added, the communists were always swift in responding to a Christmas and New Year’s ceasefire. Dureza said the government would not respond to Sison’s harsh criticism of Duterte, because doing so would only make matters worse. “He [Duterte] was really very presidential in all his statements. You know, his main concern is really how to bring about sustainable peace in the country. We will address this in the most strategic [way],” Dureza said. Dureza, too, said peace talks would go on as scheduled, on Aug. 20. READ MORE...RELATED, DU30 still sees commies as friends, but admits peace talks a rough road...

ALSO Afraid of being shot on sight, 2 ‘narco mayors’ weep before Rody
[RELATED: Duterte brands Iloilo as most ‘shabulized’ province]


AUGUST 4 -President Duterte said he ordered the concerned law enforcement agencies to assess the report identifying the two local executives as “drug protectors” before deciding whether to release the list to the public. ACE MORANDANTE/PPD, file List of 27 drug mayors ‘revalidated’
Faced with the possibility of being shot on sight, two mayors wept before President Duterte as they pleaded with him to spare their lives and the humiliation of being publicly identified as local officials with links to the illegal drug trade. Duterte said he ordered the concerned law enforcement agencies to assess the report identifying the two local executives as “drug protectors” before deciding whether to release the list to the public. “The two offered to resign,” Duterte said, adding he refused to accept the resignation pending further investigation. Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa, for his part, said some governors and mayors from Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao believed to be involved in illegal drug operations were now seeking refuge in Marawi City. Speaking to editors and reporters of The STAR yesterday at Malacañang, Duterte said the two mayors paid him a visit at the Palace and tried to clear their names. One of the two said some drug suspects could be dropping their names to evade arrest, Duterte said. The President said politicians’ careers would be destroyed once they are accused in public, even wrongfully. In the case of those allegedly involved, Duterte explained he was making sure that the list was double-checked and verified before he would make any announcement. Unlike in the case of the so-called narco-generals, Duterte said he wanted to validate further the category of the two executives’ alleged drug-coddling activities. “Sabi ko, I will revalidate… kung nakalagay protector lang, what kind of protector: there are two kinds – the one that protects by telling (lawmen) not to touch them, ‘those are my men’, or ‘don’t touch them, their (operations were cleared with me)’,” Duterte said. READ MORE...RELATED,
Duterte brands Iloilo as most ‘shabulized’ province ...

ALSO: Duterte ready to face UN over extrajudicial killings
[“I am ready to face the UN, if you are ready to solve it for us. I am ready for you,” he said during a briefing with The STAR editors and reporters yesterday. “I am not fighting a crisis. I am fighting a war (to) exterminate the apparatus,” he said in a speech before volunteers of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, also in Malacañang. Duterte refused to dignify the condemnation of Sen. Leila de Lima over the spate of extrajudicial killings, saying only that “it is her job.”]
[RELATED: Rody to critics: I’m over 70, I can’t be jailed]


AUGUST 4 -President Duterte refused to dignify the condemnation of Sen. Leila de Lima over the spate of extrajudicial killings, saying only that “it is her job.” JOVEN CAGANDE, file
President Dutere is ready to face any sanctions or trial before the United Nations regarding concerns about extrajudicial killings in connection with the government’s war on drugs. He also challenged the UN to instead recommend actions on how to stop the drug menace in the country, which has been the anchor of the President’s platform for change. “I am ready to face the UN, if you are ready to solve it for us. I am ready for you,” he said during a briefing with The STAR editors and reporters yesterday. Save for a few curses, Duterte reiterated that he is bound by duty to protect Filipinos from the drug scourge. “I am not fighting a crisis. I am fighting a war (to) exterminate the apparatus,” he said in a speech before volunteers of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, also in Malacañang. Duterte refused to dignify the condemnation of Sen. Leila de Lima over the spate of extrajudicial killings, saying only that “it is her job.” READ MORE...RELATED, Rody to critics: I’m over 70, I can’t be jailed...

ALSO: Alvarez hopes Con-Com EO out this month
[RELATED: 'Con-ass' self-serving? Palace says no]


AUGUST 2 -House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. ABS-CBN News
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Tuesday said he hopes President Rodrigo Duterte can issue an executive order (EO) as early as this month for the creation of a Constitutional Commission (Con-Com). In an interview with ANC's Headstart, Alvarez said the Con-Com would help the Constituent assembly (Con-Ass) of the bicameral congress in changing the constitution in favor of a federal form of government. READ: House Speaker eyes EO for Constitutional Commission He revealed he is eyeing the likes of retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno; former Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Reuben Canoy; Fr. Joaquin Bernas, dean emeritus of Ateneo Law School; Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, dean of the San Beda Graduate School of Law; and former Senator Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel II as members of the commission. "Marami pa pong iba na pwede nating i-consider for appointment kay Presidente dun sa Constitutional Commission, who will be directed to study and do the draft for the revised constitution while Congress is still busy preparing and deliberating for the 2017 budget," he said.  He said, if Duterte is able to issue the EO within this month, the Con-Com's work can commence by September and be done with a draft by the first quarter of next year. Their draft will then be submitted to the Congress convened as a Con-Ass for further deliberation and debate, according to Alvarez, then an information drive before the plebiscite. "After that, we will now educate the people—magkakaroon ng massive information drive, including yung media, lahat, all-inclusive [para] pag-usapan dun sa mga tao," he said. READ MORE...RELATED,
'Con-ass' self-serving? Palace says no...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Boycott over: Rody meets the press


BOYCOTT OVER: Journalists take selfies with President Duterte after his press briefing at Malacañang yesterday – his first since he announced he would shun media interviews until the end of his term. KRIZJOHN ROSALES

MANILA, AUGUST 8, 2016 (PHILSTAR)  By Giovanni Nilles Updated August 2, 2016 - The thaw started with an “ambush” interview last Friday at Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija.

Yesterday, after a month-long self-imposed boycott of the media, President Duterte called reporters to a snap press briefing at Malacañang’s Rizal Hall, after he had sworn in several ranking officials of his government.

The reason for the change of heart was unclear as Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella declined to comment.

Duterte was lighthearted, even joking with PTV-4 reporter Rocky Ignacio – who was held at the gates by the Presidential Security Group – to simply tell the guards that they are friends so she would be allowed easy access.

The President spoke on mining and labor issues, the South China Sea dispute and peace talks during the briefing that lasted for 39 minutes.

After he was elected in May, he went on a self-imposed boycott after the media criticized him for his statements on the killing of journalists and rape.

International group Reporters Without Borders called for a boycott of Duterte, which local media ignored but which apparently caught Duterte’s ire.

When the media covering him in Davao City refused to heed the boycott call, Duterte said “ako ang mag-boycott sa inyo” (I will boycott you). He had not granted interviews until last Friday in Nueva Ecija.

Asked when the President would change his stand, Abella and Andanar earlier told members of the Malacañang Press to just wait.

As the President opens up for media interviews, some reporters said they will just “let bygones be bygones.”

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

RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Duterte to PSG: Your loyalty should be to the Constitution, flag, not me by Elena L. Aben August 2, 2016 Share331 Tweet0 Share4 Email1 Share399


CHANGE OF HEART – President Duterte holds a briefing for the Malacañang Press Corps yesterday, ending a two-month media boycott, which started in early June after he was heavily criticized over a statement on media killings, and he decided he would not hold any more press conferences until the end of his term. /mb.com.ph

President Duterte took time Sunday to thank members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) for providing him and his family security during a thanksgiving dinner attended by their families at Malacañang Park.

“I am happy that you secure my person but just the same I would like to caution everybody na I do not cultivate adoration or personal loyalty,” the President said in his pep talk.

“Just remain loyal to the Constitution and I’d be happy. Really, just honor the flag. Pareho tayo trabahante lang ng gobyerno. (We are all government workers). I came from a poor family and rose from the ranks, too,” he added.

The President apologized for not meeting the PSG at the start of his term due to his tight schedule and lauded them for their loyalty.

ENORMITY OF DRUG MENACE

He urged the elite troops to help the police in the campaign against illegal drugs “because we cannot maintain order throughout the land every inch of the territory. That is impossible. You have to help us. We have to finish this problem because it is threatening our country.”

He cited the figures of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency that there are about three million drug dependents. And that was two years ago. He said the country realized the enormity of the drug menace when he made it the center of his campaign against illegal drugs.


(File photo) Presidential Security Group (PSG) Commander Col. Rolando Bautista says he's ready to "rise up to the challenge" of securing the safety of President Rodrigo Duterte.CNN PHILIPPINES FILE PHOTO

PSG commander Brig. Gen. Rolando Bautista also reminded his men to “step in cadence with the Commander-in-Chief because we will be the one to protect him.”

Duterte also took the occasion to warn every government employee not to shortchange the Filipino. He said there are government employees who no longer get back to work after lunch break and who either while their time in the malls or inside movie houses while getting paid for eight hours of work.

“So ang bayad naming good for eight hours then you only report for three to four hours, that’s swindling actually. You are swindling the Filipino people of their money. Eh di magtrabaho kayo,” the former Davao City Mayor said.


MANILA STANDARD

Hopes for truce remain—Rody posted August 02, 2016 at 12:01 am by Sandy Araneta


Bonding moment. President Rodrigo Duterte's daughter Veronica snuggles close to her father as they watch an intermission number during the Presidential Security Group's Fellowship Night at the PSG Compound in Malacanang Sunday night, July 31, 2016. Malacanang Photo

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said the government still hopes to pursue peace talks with communist rebels even after he called off a unilateral ceasefire that he declared during his State of the Nation Address last week.

“We are hoping that we can just talk. Maybe we did not understand each other,” Duterte said, during a statement delivered before newly appointed officials who took their oath inside Rizal Hall in Malacañang.

“The best way really is to talk again and maybe find out if it’s reachable or beyond our reach,” Duterte said, referring to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

The government and communist leaders had earlier agreed to resume formal peace talks on Aug. 20 in Oslo, Norway, before a rebel ambush killed a militiaman in Davao Del Norte, prompting Duterte to call off the ceasefire on Saturday.

“I hope we can proceed with the talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines,” Duterte said Monday.

Communist leaders led by CPP founder Jose Ma. Sison had said earlier they remained committed to peace talks on Aug. 20, despite the exchange of accusations over the Davao del Norte ambush, which came just two days after Duterte had declared the unilateral ceasefire.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said Monday the government will study all options and consult with all sectors regarding a ceasefire with the communist rebels.

“Let’s see. Let us not preempt the President. We will study all options,” Dureza said in Filipino during an interview on GMA-7.

Dureza said the government was surprised when the CPP-NPA-NDF did not immediately reciprocate Duterte’s declaration of a unilateral ceasefire during his State of the Nation Address last week.

In the past, he added, the communists were always swift in responding to a Christmas and New Year’s ceasefire.

Dureza said the government would not respond to Sison’s harsh criticism of Duterte, because doing so would only make matters worse.

“He [Duterte] was really very presidential in all his statements. You know, his main concern is really how to bring about sustainable peace in the country. We will address this in the most strategic [way],” Dureza said.

Dureza, too, said peace talks would go on as scheduled, on Aug. 20.

READ MORE...

“There is no difference here. It has not changed. August 20 is the resumption of the peace talks. Unless, of course, something happens along the way,” he said. “We are prepared to go to Oslo already for the official talks.”

After being called “thuggish” and a bully by Sison, Duterte said Sunday he remained friends with the communists because they are against those who oppress the people.

Speaking before members of the Presidential Security Group and their families on Sunday, Duterte said he offered to talk peace with every rebel group in the country so he could save lives.

“I am trying to save lives. I hit the ground running and offered peace to everybody,” Duterte said.

But the President said he drew the line with the Abu Sayyaf, saying there was no reason to negotiate with the bandits, saying there was “no redeeming factor” in talking with them.

His statement Monday contrasted with earlier remarks in which he said he understood the issues that drove the Abu Sayyaf to hold hostages for ransom.

Also on Monday, the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas, a fisherman’s group, urged Duterte to pursue peace talks with the communists in the name of national unity and interest in the midst of a territorial dispute with China.

“In these trying times, national unity through peace talks between the [government] and the revolutionary movement is crucial. No amount of diplomatic talks can resolve this long running sea row unless we as a nation will unite and collectively uphold our national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said Salvador France, Pamalakaya vice chairman.

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RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

DU30 still sees commies as friends, but admits peace talks a rough road Written by Ted Tuvera Tuesday, 02 August 2016 00:00



Despite the brickbats mouthed by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), President Rodrigo Duterte says he’s still a “friend” to the rebel group.

According to the Chief Executive, his determination to push the peace talks between his government and the in-surgents is still intact but admitted that it is not that easy to reach a peace deal with the communist rebels.

“It’s a rough road to peace. There is no negotiations that come easy. Maybe we did not just understand each other,” Duterte yesterday said during the mass oath taking of new government appointees in Malacañang.

“I hope we can proceed with peace talks with the CPP. My desire is just to see the nation at peace,” he stressed.

In a separate speaking engagement on Sunday night, Duterte said despite communist leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison calling him an “arrogant bully” right after he lifted his earlier declared unilateral ceasefire with the New People’s Army (NPA) last Saturday, he is still a friend.

“This communist group, we’re still friends. They are socialist but they are Communist Party of the Philippines. I am just socialist in my dimension because I came from a poor family. I hate government and anyone oppressing the people,” Duterte said, adding he shares some sentiments of the leftist groups.

But the President undermined Sison’s claim that the CPP was set to reciprocate Malacañang’s peace offering supposedly by 8 p.m. on Saturday night which did not push through eventually as Duterte was the first to withdraw from the truce.

“Would you believe them? If they should do that, then they could have (done so),” Duterte said.

He admitted that he was slightly offended by Sison’s angry reaction, blaming the government troops for not adhering to their own truce order.

“I was the one who declared the ceasefire, I suffered a casualty, and the government is the bad guy? You know what, I don’t want to foul mouthed (him) but I’m really frustrated with (Sison),” the President told reporters.

Release of political detainees

Duterte also said he’s also pursuing the release of alleged CPP consultants Benito Tiamzon and his wife Wilma Austria, and other communist leaders prior to the talks on August 20 in Oslo, Norway.

“I’m considering amnesty with rebels if they will talk peace with government,” he added.

The Tiamzon couple were arrested in Cebu in 2014 by virtue of a warrant of arrest for their crimes against humanity that include murder, multiple murders, and frustrated murder.

The Tiamzons, who follow a tradition in the CPP of husband and wife leadership teams, are said to have taken over the helm of the movement from Jose Ma. Sison, a long-time exile in the Netherlands.

No more talks with the Abus

Duterte, meanwhile, said he will be spending some time in Mindanao to prepare his roadmap for Bangsamoro insurgents: the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“I will be spending about 10 days after tomorrow (in Mindanao) to firm up the structure of the Mindanao issue,” he stressed.
Among his plans is to personally see fugitive MNLF founder Nur Misuari in Jolo, Sulu.

But the President emphasized that the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group is not part of his negotiations game plan.

“There will be no talks with Abu Sayyaf. I will not deal with criminals. I will not deal with persons of extreme brutality,” he said.

“There is no redeeming factor for me to sit down and deal with ASG. Their purpose is to kill and invoke the name of God,” he added.


PHILSTAR

Drug war: 2 ‘narco mayors’ weep before Rody By Christina Mendez and Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 4, 2016 - 12:00am 0 2 googleplus0 1


President Duterte said he ordered the concerned law enforcement agencies to assess the report identifying the two local executives as “drug protectors” before deciding whether to release the list to the public. ACE MORANDANTE/PPD, file

List of 27 drug mayors ‘revalidated’

MANILA, Philippines – Faced with the possibility of being shot on sight, two mayors wept before President Duterte as they pleaded with him to spare their lives and the humiliation of being publicly identified as local officials with links to the illegal drug trade.

Duterte said he ordered the concerned law enforcement agencies to assess the report identifying the two local executives as “drug protectors” before deciding whether to release the list to the public.

“The two offered to resign,” Duterte said, adding he refused to accept the resignation pending further investigation.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa, for his part, said some governors and mayors from Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao believed to be involved in illegal drug operations were now seeking refuge in Marawi City.

Speaking to editors and reporters of The STAR yesterday at Malacañang, Duterte said the two mayors paid him a visit at the Palace and tried to clear their names.

One of the two said some drug suspects could be dropping their names to evade arrest, Duterte said.

The President said politicians’ careers would be destroyed once they are accused in public, even wrongfully.

In the case of those allegedly involved, Duterte explained he was making sure that the list was double-checked and verified before he would make any announcement.

Unlike in the case of the so-called narco-generals, Duterte said he wanted to validate further the category of the two executives’ alleged drug-coddling activities.

“Sabi ko, I will revalidate… kung nakalagay protector lang, what kind of protector: there are two kinds – the one that protects by telling (lawmen) not to touch them, ‘those are my men’, or ‘don’t touch them, their (operations were cleared with me)’,” Duterte said.

READ MORE...

Destroying the apparatus

Amid the outcry over extrajudicial killings caused by his anti-drug campaign, Duterte vowed to destroy the apparatus of illegal drugs to save the country from further destruction.

There are about 500,000 drug addicts who have surrendered to authorities nationwide, he said, noting this was unprecedented.

“Life is life. We cannot build a nation by killing our own citizens. I will deal with this because I have to destroy the apparatus. But I know, your duty… you have to stick by the institutions,” he said.

“Somebody has to decide… somebody to say that these guys are lying… I am really mad at these sons of …”

He cited the case of Albuera, Leyte town mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., who surrendered to authorities after the President gave him an ultimatum or be shot on sight along with son Roland, alias Kerwin.
The President said he got wind of reports that Espinosa’s operations might have spilled over from Leyte and reached Bohol, Cebu and nearby provinces.

He expressed exasperation, citing the cases of Daanbantayan, Cebu town Mayor Vicente Loot and retired police general Marcelo Garbo – who were among the police generals he earlier named for alleged involvement in illegal drugs.

Duterte cited the cases of Loot and Garbo to illustrate how one could be classified as a drug coddler or protector.

He said Loot and Garbo would ask the police during anti-drug operations to retreat because the agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency were there.

“The troops would really believe when there’s none at all. That’s the pro-active protector,” Duterte said.

Duterte said there were many local executives tagged in drug activities – but none from Metro Manila.

Local execs told to explain drug links

Earlier in the day, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the proper agencies were working on the reports that some local executives were involved in the illegal drug trade.

On the President’s shoot-on-sight order, Abella said it would stand only when lawmen’s lives are endangered.

Abella said the authorities had identified and reached out to these local executives and sought their side.

Bomb them if necessary

Dela Rosa vowed to be relentless in pursuing these local officials, who he said should be held liable for allowing drug lords to operate, destroying the future of Filipino children.

“If those providing them safe haven are armed, then we will request the Air Force to bomb the place,” the PNP chief said.

Duterte’s plan to announce the names of local officials may have prompted the escape of some of these governors and mayors to Marawi City. But he said he had no idea as to who were giving refuge to the alleged narco-governors and mayors.

Dela Rosa said over radio dzBB that the President already read to his Cabinet members the long list of names during a meeting on Monday.

Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said there were about 27 mayors cited as protecting the illegal drug trade.

Dela Rosa, however, refused to reveal the names, saying the President would make the announcement.

The PNP chief said the President might ask the Department of the Interior and Local Government to take action against the local government officials linked to drugs.

Dela Rosa said other officials of LGUs should do what Espinosa did – surrender and help the government fight the war on drugs.

Interior Secretary Ismael Sueño ordered mayors and governors nationwide to address the problem on illegal drugs in six months or lose their police powers.

Sueño said “inept” local executives could also lose their National Police Commission (Napolcom) deputation giving them direct operational supervision over police units in their jurisdiction.

Not just NBP but Abuyog penitentiary

Earlier, Dela Rosa said Espinosa made some significant revelations about the illegal drug operations of his son, who in the drug trade hierarchy, operated at a level similar to Jeffrey Diaz, alias Jaguar, the top drug lord in Central Visayas who was shot dead by police operatives in Las Piñas last June 19.

According to Dela Rosa, a convicted drug lord in Abuyog Penitentiary in southern Leyte continues to supply drugs while another is at the Davao Penal Colony.

“If you remember, we caught a ship in Subic and the consignee was a convicted drug lord currently detained,” Dela Rosa said.

Some members of the media observed that the mayor, his wife and daughter were wearing signature shirts and carrying expensive bags when they arrived at Camp Crame yesterday afternoon to give statements on alleged drug activities. – With Roel Pareño

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS ONLINE

Duterte brands Iloilo as most ‘shabulized’ province Published August 7, 2016 6:23pm By KATHRINA CHARMAINE ALVAREZ, GMA News President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday branded Iloilo as the “most shabulized” province as he mentioned several local government officials and other personalities from the province who have alleged links to the illegal drugs trade.

“The most shabulized – is that the word – shabulized, is there such a word shabulized? I will say that wala akong personal sa kanila ha – Iloilo,” Duterte said after reading a couple of names from his list.

While in Davao City, Duterte read out names of more than 150 personalities, whom he said were linked to drug trade. He said that while “it might be true, it might not be true,” it was his duty nonetheless to tell the truth to the Filipino people.

Among those coming from Iloilo are Mayors Jed Mabilog of Iloilo City, Sigfredo Betita of Carles, Alex Centena of Calinog, and Mariano Malones of Maasin.

Also named were Judge Savillo of Regional Trial Court Branch 13, Vice Mayor Francis Ansing Amboy of Maasin, Attorney Antonio Pesina, and Erwin “Tongtong” Plagata.

Sente President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon, who hails from Iloilo, said he feels “saddened” that the perception that some local officials of Iloilo are involved in the drug trade could become the basis of a sweeping description of the province.

“Whatever these officials may have allegedly done are their individual acts, and cannot be the collective guilt of the Ilongos,” Drilon said.

Drilon is the second cousin of Mayor Mabilog.

The senator also called on Duterte to observe due process and the rule of law, saying those named must be given the opportnity to clear their names.

In a separate statement, Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas said he commits support to the administration's campaign against illegal drugs.

“I support President Duterte's action to clean up the country of illegal drugs most especially Iloilo City. I will give my utmost in my capacity to ensure that this campaign will succeed,” Treñas said. —ALG, GMA News


PHILSTAR

Duterte ready to face UN over extrajudicial killings By Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 4, 2016 - 12:00am 0 2 googleplus0 0


President Duterte refused to dignify the condemnation of Sen. Leila de Lima over the spate of extrajudicial killings, saying only that “it is her job.” JOVEN CAGANDE, file

MANILA, Philippines – President Dutere is ready to face any sanctions or trial before the United Nations regarding concerns about extrajudicial killings in connection with the government’s war on drugs.

He also challenged the UN to instead recommend actions on how to stop the drug menace in the country, which has been the anchor of the President’s platform for change.

“I am ready to face the UN, if you are ready to solve it for us. I am ready for you,” he said during a briefing with The STAR editors and reporters yesterday.

Save for a few curses, Duterte reiterated that he is bound by duty to protect Filipinos from the drug scourge.

“I am not fighting a crisis. I am fighting a war (to) exterminate the apparatus,” he said in a speech before volunteers of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, also in Malacañang.

Duterte refused to dignify the condemnation of Sen. Leila de Lima over the spate of extrajudicial killings, saying only that “it is her job.”

READ MORE...

“The truth is, pangit siya (she’s ugly),” Duterte said, referring to De Lima.

On Tuesday, De Lima raised concerns over serial killings linked to the government’s campaign against drugs and criminality. She called for a Senate investigation on the matter.

The Palace has not taken a stance on De Lima’s privilege speech, leaving the discussions to legislative branch.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said earlier that international and local human rights groups can express their concerns in the spirit of democracy and the right to free speech.

“I don’t have a personal comment on that. But they are very free, in other words, it’s also their prerogative to make their own call,” Abella said.

Abella said the administration knows where and how it is treading in the issue.

“The government knows exactly where it stands, okay. It knows exactly where it stands, it knows its position and… knows exactly the next moves that it needs to make. The government stands on principle,” he said.

Abella said it would be up to the Senate to decide whether to investigate the issues raised by the senator in her first privilege speech.

“President Duterte has not made any comments regarding Senator De Lima and basically that is the job of the legislative to be able to exercise their independent authority,” Abella said in a press conference.

Abella, nevertheless, said the President is “looking” into allegations that law enforcers are resorting to extrajudicial killings in the war against narcotics. – With Alexis Romero, Paolo Romero, Marvin Sy

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Rody to critics: I’m over 70, I can’t be jailed By Alexis Romero and Celso Amo (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 7, 2016 - 12:00am 19 545 googleplus0 3


“I don’t care about that. I said I have a problem to solve. I must first solve the problems of the country. I am already 71 years old and according to the Revised Penal Code, you have to be released once you reach 70,” the President said in a speech during his visit to the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army based in Camp Gen. Macario Peralta Jr., Jamindan, Capiz on Friday. ACE MORANDANTE/PPD

MANILA, Philippines - Go ahead, send him to jail.

President Duterte is standing firm on his fight against illegal drugs and the possibility of being sent to prison due to killings occurring in the course of his war does not scare him, since he is over 70.

According to Duterte, prisoners who are 70 years old or above should be released under the law.

“I don’t care about that. I said I have a problem to solve. I must first solve the problems of the country. I am already 71 years old and according to the Revised Penal Code, you have to be released once you reach 70,” the President said in a speech during his visit to the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army based in Camp Gen. Macario Peralta Jr., Jamindan, Capiz on Friday.

“If I order the killing of someone, you cannot arrest me. I have immunity. I have this pardoning power and if I order you to carry it out, I will pardon you,” he added, apparently referring to law enforcement authorities.

By the time he steps down, Duterte said he would already be 77.

“Where will you place me?” the Chief Executive said. “Wala silang laban (They have nothing against me).”

Under the RPC, one of the circumstances that may mitigate criminal liability is when the offender is under 18 years of age or over 70 years. The same law states that any convict who is not a habitual criminal shall be pardoned at the age of 70 if he shall have already served out his original sentence, or when he shall complete it after reaching said age, unless his conduct makes him unworthy of clemency.

Duterte has promised to kill drug lords, saying they no longer deserve to live for destroying the country and the youth.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the government’s anti-drug operations, alarming human rights advocates who believe that this may be used to justify extralegal killings.

In Legazpi City, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez defended Duterte anew against criticisms that the President’s all-out war against drugs was encouraging extrajudicial killings.

He reiterated there was no need for a congressional investigation into the issue since Congress has no prosecutorial powers and that any probe must be done in aid of legislation.

Alvarez added Congress could better use its time for important legislation such as on the non-payment of minimum wage law, the freedom of information bill, the increase in Social Security System pension and the 2017 budget.


ABS-CBN

Alvarez hopes Con-Com EO out this month Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News Posted at Aug 02 2016 01:24 PM | Updated as of Aug 02 2016 01:41 PM


House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. ABS-CBN News

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Tuesday said he hopes President Rodrigo Duterte can issue an executive order (EO) as early as this month for the creation of a Constitutional Commission (Con-Com).

In an interview with ANC's Headstart, Alvarez said the Con-Com would help the Constituent assembly (Con-Ass) of the bicameral congress in changing the constitution in favor of a federal form of government.

He revealed he is eyeing the likes of retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno; former Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Reuben Canoy; Fr. Joaquin Bernas, dean emeritus of Ateneo Law School; Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, dean of the San Beda Graduate School of Law; and former Senator Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel II as members of the commission.

"Marami pa pong iba na pwede nating i-consider for appointment kay Presidente dun sa Constitutional Commission, who will be directed to study and do the draft for the revised constitution while Congress is still busy preparing and deliberating for the 2017 budget," he said.

He said, if Duterte is able to issue the EO within this month, the Con-Com's work can commence by September and be done with a draft by the first quarter of next year.

Their draft will then be submitted to the Congress convened as a Con-Ass for further deliberation and debate, according to Alvarez, then an information drive before the plebiscite.

"After that, we will now educate the people—magkakaroon ng massive information drive, including yung media, lahat, all-inclusive [para] pag-usapan dun sa mga tao," he said.

READ MORE...

"Then, after the massive information drive, by mid-term elections [in 2019], isama mo na yung plebiscite dyan," he said.
He said the creation of this commission should allay fears that lawmakers are not competent to frame the new Constitution and appease critics who claim Congress will not be able to focus on legislative work.

NO GUARANTEE

He added, opting for a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) does not guarantee that the delegates will be competent and will not be influenced by external pressure groups.

"Para sa akin, kung takot man lang tayo dun sa competence issue, we might as well form a Constitutional Commission and the president will elect [choose] people na talagang competent. Kilala naman nating yang lahat," he said.

"Will the delegates to be elected in the convention also be guided by common good if they will be elected, financed by businessmen also yung elections nila? Let’s face it: all elections, you need money to win," he said.

Meanwhile, rather than be discouraged by the 44% of the Filipino population opposing any sort of charter change at the moment, Alvarez maintained, he is encouraged by the 37% who support it.

"Konting kampanya lang ito, pwedeng ma-hit yung 80%, 90%..it’s only a question of explaining to the people, especially in the regions, maybe not [much] sa Metro Manila," he said.

READ: 44 pct of Pinoys oppose Cha-cha now: Pulse

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RELATED FROM ABS-CBN

'Con-ass' self-serving? Palace says no Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News Posted at Jul 29 2016 02:18 PM


President Duterte in his first State of the Nation Address, July 25, 2016. ABS-CBN News file photo

MANILA - Malacañang dismissed fears that going for a constituent assembly "con-ass" as a mode for charter change would be "self-serving" for lawmakers.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella on Friday told reporters that any results from charter change will not benefit current leaders.

"First and foremost, whatever results will be from the con-con or con-ass, it will be for the benefit of the next generation of leaders, right? It will not be affecting them directly. So being self-serving doesn't really come into play here," Abella said.

Abella has no estimate how much either mode of charter change would cost government.

"We have don't know exactly estimate, but according to DBM [Department of Budget and Management] it's an enormous amount of money," he said.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Thursday said President Rodrigo Duterte is now in favor of allowing sitting legislators to amend the Constitution as he eyes a shift to a federal-parliamentary form of government by 2022.

Alvarez said Duterte threw his support behind a constituent assembly during a meeting with him and Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III.

"Wag ho kayong mag-alala. Under the leadership of President Duterte, your fears under 'con-ass,' wala po yun. We committed to do it for the country," Alvarez said.

READ: Duterte now for constituent assembly to amend charter: Speaker


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