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

THE PRESIDENT NOT LEAVING U.N. HE's MERELY FRUSTRATED - YASAY[RELATED: In Duterte, superpowers confront a new kind of leader]


AUGUST 23 -FOREIGN AFFAIRS SECRETARY YASAY
President Duterte’s talking heads do not appear be talking among themselves to at least agree on coming out with unified statements they have to give to the public to expain the statements of President Duterte. Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay yesterday said the Philippines is certainly not withdrawing its membership from the United Nations, despite profound disappointments and frustrations. Yasay said he sees the President’s threat to leave the UN merely as an expression of frustration. As he clarified that the country has no intention to withdraw its membership from the UN. In a press conference, Yasay said the country is committed to the UN despite the administration’s “numerous frustrations and disappointments with this international organization.”  Presidential Spokesman, Ernesto Abella, for his part, briefed the Malacañang reporters on the threat of Duterte who last Sunday before dawn, told reporters that the UN has not been helpful to the Philippines and has not given any money and aid to the country and that all the UN does is to criticize. Abella, in a press briefing at the Palace yesterday said that when President Duterte was quoted in an early morning press conference in Davao City last Sunday saying that the UN was never helpful to the Philippines, his statement was “misunderstood.” “Excuse me. Those things are entirely different concerns. He was not disclaiming the aid. He was taking umbrage at the fact that the United Nations through its representatives were making public statements without having made formal representations,” an obviously irked Abella responded to a reporter’s query if President Duterte is not aware of the $193 million humanitarian aid given by the UN to the Philippine government during the aftermath of supertyphoon Yolanda back in 2013.  READ MORE...RELATED,
In Duterte, superpowers confront a new kind of leader...

ALSO
Duterte on threat to leave UN: Just joking

[RELATED: Criticisms are good, but look who’s talking — Malacañang]


AUGUST 24 -President Duterte claimed yesterday he was just joking when he threatened to pull out the Philippines from the United Nations (UN), even as he maintained the world body should not meddle with his war on illegal drugs. AP/Bullit Marquez, File
MANILA, Philippines – It was a joke, but nobody laughed. President Duterte claimed yesterday he was just joking when he threatened to pull out the Philippines from the United Nations (UN), even as he maintained the world body should not meddle with his war on illegal drugs. “Di ka marunong mag-biro pa (Don’t you know how to joke)? Where will we join? The association of the sunken?” Duterte told reporters yesterday when asked if he was serious about his threat to pull the Philippines out of the UN. But he insisted the UN should not intervene in the affairs of the Philippines. “They should behave the way they should behave,” he added, referring to the UN. He also lashed out at UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions Agnes Callamard, who called on the administration to protect the people from extrajudicial executions. “Do not do that because you are addressing me as president and you’re pointing to the police structure. This is a government,” the tough-talking President said. Duterte said Callamard should have asked guidance from her superiors. “There has to be a superior who will write a letter. Or there should be respect before saying anything about genocide,” he said, adding that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon should have written the letter. On Sunday, Duterte said the Philippines should just bolt the UN after the international agency criticized the spate of killings attributed to the administration’s anti-drug war. The President said the UN keeps on picking on his war on drugs but has failed to stop the killings in the Middle East and other parts of the world. “Maybe we’ll just have to decide to separate from the United Nations,” he said in a press conference in Davao City. “If you are that disrespectful, son of a b***h, we should just leave.”  Duterte also claimed that the UN, which has provided aid to the Philippines during times of disasters, has done nothing for the country. His officials later clarified that the Philippines is not leaving the global organization. “We are committed to the UN despite our numerous frustrations with this international agency,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said in a press conference in Pasay City last Monday. READ MORE...RELATED,
Criticisms are good, but look who’s talking — Malacañang...


ALSO:
Drug-related killings necessary evil ('in pursuit of greater good') - Pernia

[RELATED FROM THE NEW YORKER MAGAZINE: RODRIGO DUTERTE’S CAMPAIGN OF TERROR IN THE PHILIPPINES]


AUGUST 24 -Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia Malacañang Palace. INQUIRER PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC
SOME Filipinos view the recent surge in drug-related killings as a “necessary evil in pursuit of greater good,” according to President Duterte’s chief economic adviser. Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia on Tuesday admitted that the impression of the international business community on Mr. Duterte’s approach in stemming illegal drugs may affect the country’s business environment. The economics professor from the University of the Philippines urged the media to interview individuals who were supportive of the President’s war on drugs. “We should also try to get the view of others who approve of what’s happening and see it as … maybe a necessary evil … in the pursuit of greater good,” Pernia told a news briefing. “We need to counter the negative effect (and) the negative perception (of) those observing what’s happening here from afar,” he said. “When you are from a distance, then you see the thing … more serious than what it really is because it’s localized.” Pressed to elaborate, he said the killings of drug personalities could be “a byproduct of you know … self-defense thing,” which, he said, was “legitimate.” Asked if the killings would do any good to the economy, he said: “It’s better that there are no killings, of course. And also, we have to realize that our justice system is dysfunctional. I think that should also be made known.” “People know that our justice system is dysfunctional and so the justices, the Supreme Court, should know that. They have to shape up before we can really follow due process,” Pernia said. He said foreign visitors should be reminded that they would be safe in the country as long as they follow the law.
“In fact, the crime rate has gone down substantially because of this fight against the drug menace. These are the kinds of things that we need to do to counter the perception from afar,” he said. Marlon Ramos FULL REPORT. RELATED, FROM THE NEW YORKER: RODRIGO DUTERTE’S CAMPAIGN OF TERROR IN THE PHILIPPINES...

ALSO Amnesty Int'l: Extrajudicial killing a crime under int'l law
[RELATED: Duterte - Drug-related killings not genocide]


AUGUST 24 -Human rights activists light candles for the victims of extrajudicial killings around the country in the wake of "War on Drugs" campaign by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Monday, Aug. 15, 2016 in suburban Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Philippines. The "war on drugs" campaign, which saw hundreds of mostly poor victims, has been condemned by human rights groups including the United Nations Chief Ban Ki-moon. AP/Bullit Marquez
International human rights group Amnesty International reminded the Philippine government that extrajudicial execution is a crime under international law. "The unlawful and deliberate killing carried out by order of a state actor, or with the state's complicity or acquiescence, is an extrajudicial execution," Amnesty said in a statement released Wednesday. This statement was made following the information relayed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) during the Senate inquiry on drug-related killings earlier this week. PNP Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa revealed that at least 1,067 killings by unidentified people and an estimated 712 killings by police have been recorded in the country since July 1. The human rights group said that the number of killings "is a terrifying indication that the authorities are grossly failing in their obligations to respect and protect the right to life." Amnesty stressed that people suspected of drug trafficking offenses should be prosecuted in a court of law under proceedings that meet international standards of fairness and comply with the rule of law. "Safeguards on the right to liberty and security of person, including fair trial guarantees, must apply equally for drug-related cases," the statement read. "Incitement to violence and discrimination are prohibited under international law and risk escalating a cycle of violence in the country," Amnesty said. READ MORE...RELATED,
Duterte: Drug-related killings not genocide...

ALSO:
Duterte blasts CHR anew -
 'Public safety or the lives of criminals?'
[IN THE WAR AGAINST DRUGS, 'THERE'S A PRICE TO PAY']


AUGUST 24 -President Rodrigo Duterte.
Inquirer file CAMP CAPINPIN, RIZAL — Public safety or the lives of criminals? President Duterte on Wednesday defended anew his administration’s no-nonsense war against illegal drugs. At the same time, Duterte blasted his critics, particularly the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), which has repeatedly warned of possible abuses in the administration’s bloody crackdown on crime. “Itong mga human rights, mamili ka. Is it the comfort or safety of the population or the lives of criminals?” he said during his speech at the 2nd Infantry Battalion here. The President said that his “brutal” stance against illegal drugs will continue because the illegal drugs trade is “destroying the country.” In blasting his detractors, Duterte said: “Itong mga (critics), pag humaharap na, ganito..lumalaki bunganga pati ulo. They talk nonsense.” “We’re supposed to protect the integrity of the Republic and the safety of the citizens,” he added. The President also expressed dismay at how his critics magnify the over a thousand killed in the government’s war against illegal drugs. “Walang libre sa buhay na ‘to. There’s always a price to pay,” he said. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Rody not leaving UN, merely frustrated—Yasay


FOREIGN AFFAIRS SECRETARY YASAY

MANILA, AUGUST 29, 2016 (TRIBUNE) Written by Tribune Wires Tuesday, 23 August 2016 00:00 -By Joyce Ann Rocamora and Ted Tuvera - President Duterte’s talking heads do not appear be talking among themselves to at least agree on coming out with unified statements they have to give to the public to expain the statements of President Duterte.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay yesterday said the Philippines is certainly not withdrawing its membership from the United Nations, despite profound disappointments and frustrations.

Yasay said he sees the President’s threat to leave the UN merely as an expression of frustration. As he clarified that the country has no intention to withdraw its membership from the UN.

In a press conference, Yasay said the country is committed to the UN despite the administration’s “numerous frustrations and disappointments with this international organization.”


ABELLA irked with media

Presidential Spokesman, Ernesto Abella, for his part, briefed the Malacañang reporters on the threat of Duterte who last Sunday before dawn, told reporters that the UN has not been helpful to the Philippines and has not given any money and aid to the country and that all the UN does is to criticize.

Abella, in a press briefing at the Palace yesterday said that when President Duterte was quoted in an early morning press conference in Davao City last Sunday saying that the UN was never helpful to the Philippines, his statement was “misunderstood.”

“Excuse me. Those things are entirely different concerns. He was not disclaiming the aid. He was taking umbrage at the fact that the United Nations through its representatives were making public statements without having made formal representations,” an obviously irked Abella responded to a reporter’s query if President Duterte is not aware of the $193 million humanitarian aid given by the UN to the Philippine government during the aftermath of supertyphoon Yolanda back in 2013.

READ MORE...

No advantages or disadvantages

“There are no advantages or disadvantages. The President did not mention that,” he added as a response to the query of what are the President’s consequential considerations if he decides to truly quit the UN.

President Duterte is clearly quoted as addressing the UN in his early morning press conference saying thus: “When were you (UN) here the last time? Never. Except to criticize... When have you done a good deed for my country?”

The President threatened to leave the UN due to its alleged “unwelcome meddling” or initiated probe on the killings caused by Duterte’s war on illegal drugs.

Asked why the President made such a statement – which is still unclear if it is a serious policy statement or one of those mere “preposterous,” “hyperbolic” and “absurd “ statements that he usually makes as an excuse for his rash and impulsive statements most of the time – Abella merely said that the Philippine government can work on its own without the help of other nations.

“[We] are able to handle our own investigations. And he, in fact, if you notice his statement if you took it in particular, he, you know…He was referring to the fact that the United Nations seems to be singling out the Philippines in particular,” Abella said.

“The entire process of decoupling is not to be taken lightly. But he was basically stating the fact that the Philippines is a sovereign nation and its internal affairs should not be meddled with,” he added, as if saying already that President Duterte is quite serious about his option to turn the Philippines into a rogue state.

However, despite all of Malacañang’s rants against the UN, Abella said there is no apparent chance that the Philippines will definitely leave the highest governing international body anytime soon.

“There is no drastic measure to be done with our ties with the UN yet,” he said.

Earlier, the president had made a pronouncement following UN special rapporteurs Agnes Callamard and Dainius Puras’ strong statement to “stop” unlawful killings of people suspected from drug-related offenses.

This earned the ire of President Duterte leading to what seemed as a threat to extract our affiliation from the global body.

Addressed toward the organization, he has said, “maybe we’ll just have to decide to separate from the United Nations. If you’re that rude, then we should leave if you are that rude and uncouth, then we will withdraw our membership from your organization,” he said in Tagalog insisting that he, being the President of a sovereign country should be respected.

Explaining these particular sentiments aired by Duterte, the foreign affairs secretary said Duterte was only “expressing profound disappointment and frustration” and asked that this should not be regarded as a threat to leave the United Nations.

Yasay said the Philippines is a founding member of the UN and leaving under these circumstances will not be a good move.

He defended the President’s vow to pursue this war on drugs in accordance with the rule of law and full respect for human rights.

He assured that the Philippine National Police force is continually investigating every report, and has warned of the immediate prosecution of all those found to have acted illegally and unlawfully.

He regarded the special rapporteurs’ reference as “allegedly quoting from media reports that are making assumptions that these are true and accurate.”

PROTOCOL THAT MUST BE OBSERVED

They cannot do what they just did, he said. “There is a protocol that must be observed,” and this is precisely the reason the President has been so disappointed and frustrated at this, Yasay pointed out.

Quick to clarify its intention not to discredit media reports, he criticized these rapporteurs as they “are mandated to make proper inquiries and there are protocols to conduct such probes.”

Such reports do not constitute prima facie evidence of fact he asserted.

“It is highly irresponsible on their (UN Rapporteurs) part to solely rely on such allegations based on ‘information’ from unnamed sources without proper substantiation.”

Denouncing the act, Yasay said the arbitrary conclusion was not “in accordance with existing procedures in engaging and cooperating with member states.”

Yasay on UN report: Damage has been done

Yasay also yesterday, lamented that the damage has already been done pertaining to the prominent news release from two Rapporteurs of the UN Human Rights which criticized the Government amid overwhelming drug-related killings in the Philippines.

“Allegations of drug-trafficking offenses should be judged in a court of law, not by gunmen on the streets,” said two UN human rights experts clearly grating on the intensified drug war of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Yasay said the Rapporteurs made an arbitrary conclusion that the Philippines and our law enforcers have been responsible for the tagged summary executions.

“To begin with, the Rapporteurs have clearly acted on the basis of unverified media reports even from an unnamed source.”

The foreign affairs secretary indicated that their reports were not in accordance with the general mandate of UN to request a proper inquiry.

In a news release UN claimed more than 850 people have been killed over since President Duterte was elected head of state up until his 31st day in office with the latest addition of at least 650 persons killed in the last six weeks alone.

Alarmed at the resultsof the UN Special Rapporteur on Summary Executions, Callamard called on the Philippines authorities to adopt a measure that protects all persons from targeted killings and “extrajudicial executions”.

Dejected on the claims, Yasay suggested “if they have any information to this effect, the first thing that they should do is to verify and investigate.”

But he noted no request was made in so far as these so called reports of drug-related killings are concerned.

Regardless of the suggestion, he said the country will no longer grant one even if they asked to, because “at this point, the damage already has been done.

“If the reason is only to re-validate the irresponsible statements, he stressed that “they cannot just do it now after having that conclusion.”

The Rapporteurs who further admonished the administration, said claims to fight the illicit drug trade do not absolve the Government from its international legal obligations.

“The State has a legally binding obligation to ensure the right to life and security of every person in the country, whether suspected of criminal offenses or not,” she stressed.

On this, the research experts urged Duterte’s administration to put an end on the current wave of extrajudicial executions and “killings in the context of an intensified anti-crime and anti-drug campaign targeting drug dealers and users.”

Yasay dismissed these accusations as lacking solid basis.

“There is a protocol that must be observed,” he stressed.

He said the damage has already been done, “as common sense would dictate that they cannot do what they just did.”

“First they came out with a press statement criticizing the Philippines simply on the basis of these unnamed and unverified media reports,” the precise reason the president has been so disappointed and frustrated at this, he reiterated.

Threat to leave UN ‘impulsive,’ contrary to RP interests


ROQUE

The threat of President Duterte to withdraw the Philippines’ membership from the United Nations (UN) is impulsive, imprudent, and contrary to the interests of the nation, Rep. Party list Harry Roque, and International law expert.

The UN is an organization that embodies fundamental principles of international peace and cooperation. The Philippines has relied on the UN and its Charter in its defense against China’s threats of force and attempts at unlawful interventions. It is an understatement to say that the Philippines needs the UN today more than it ever has. Aside from the fact that no State has ever successfully withdrawn from the UN, or had any legitimate reason to do so, repudiating ties with the United Nations will only weaken the Philippine position on foreign affairs.

The Philippines has worked very hard over the past few weeks to gather international support for the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration over the West Philippine Sea. Withdrawing from the UN or threatening to do so only strengthens China’s rhetoric that the UN and its subsidiary institutions are illegitimate.

Moreover, membership in the UN provides significant protection to the Philippines against in its international disputes.

Chapter 6 of the UN Charter allows members to bring any dispute to the attention of the Security Council or the General Assembly. In light of the increasing tensions with China. We would be losing means of peacefully settling our disputes by revoking our membership.

Finally, one cannot discount the symbolic and diplomatic significance of UN membership. Whereas many nations all over the world are struggling to be recognized as independent States, the Philippines is fortunate to have the recognition of the international community.

To turn away from such the community over a series of internal affairs would be truly regrettable.

Withdrawal from the UN is not something that should be taken lightly for it could bring about disastrous consequences for the country. Moving forward, the President should be more circumspect in making statements that could potentially have adverse effects on our foreign diplomatic relations and territorial integrity, Roque said.

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RELATED INQUIRER EDITORIAL

In Duterte, superpowers confront a new kind of leader @inquirerdotnet The Nation/Asia News Network 01:14 PM August 27th, 2016


President Rodrigo Duterte. DENNIS JAY SANTOS/INQUIRER MINDANAO FILE PHOTO

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is thriving on controversy at the moment because those with whom he picks his fights are more controversial than he is.

His chief recent targets have been the United States, whose century of colonial rule over the Philippines was marked by blood and violence, and the United Nations, where the US and other superpowers hold sway. Duterte, democratically elected on June 30, has lashed out at them both, and his people love it.

His threat to withdraw the country from the UN and perhaps spearhead the formation of a new global organization has sent other top Philippines officials scrambling to deny there is any such intention.

His verbal attack on an American ambassador might be seen as hitting below the belt, but it drew an intense international spotlight that will likely be the first of many.

READ: Duterte on UN pullout: Can’t you take a joke?

At home, Duterte’s anti-corruption drive promises to result in multiple high-profile sackings and his anti-crime campaign many more dead bodies. But it’s his tough stand against Western interference that’s drawing the most attention, and a key question that’s arisen is whether the likes of Duterte will soon be the rule rather than the exception among national leaders around the world.

He has scored points in assailing America, for example, because of the very evident fact that it is in no position to be preaching about principles to any other nation. Duterte is certainly not the only leader of a smaller country to feel that way, but he is currently atop the crest of defiance. Whether Washington realizes that a trend has begun or not is another question.

Independence struggles against US adventurism overseas and against shackles imposed by the US congress and American financiers have left countless dead and have crippled economies.

Quite justifiably, Duterte doesn’t want the US preaching to his country.

On the United Nations, again he might have overreacted. But again his words only reflect this bitterness over the UN turning a blind eye to the superpowers’ deplorable actions overseas.

In Duterte’s perspective, drug-related crime has ravaged his homeland and his duly elected government should be allowed to handle the problem as it sees fit.

Importantly, he surely believes, the Philippines is dealing with its own issues and is not causing trouble for anyone else. It’s not as though it’s invading foreign lands with armed troops or government-sanctioned computer hackers.

At the heart of this tumult is Duterte’s war on drugs, in which security forces have summarily executed 600 alleged traffickers since early last month.

The government’s justifications – that death is the best deterrent and that Duterte was elected, after all, with this policy in his campaign platform – have horrified right activists and is now coming up against local dissent as well. It was a formal statement by the UN condemning the policy that triggered his furious reaction this week.

READ: The Duterte effect

If the UN had been in any way effective in curbing the rights abuses of its superpower members, perhaps its criticism of the Philippines would carry weight. Instead it plays the role of a mother crab telling its offspring to walk straight. For all the controversy he courts, Duterte is speaking on the behalf of many other leaders of smaller nations.

Filipinos will decide whether they want to abide by Duterte and his policies. They are not unfamiliar with colorful political language and are aware that it takes more than linguistic bluntness to rule the country. The targets of Duterte’s outbursts, on the other hand, must ponder the reasons why their show of concern has met with such a contemptuous response.


PHILSTAR

Duterte on threat to leave UN: Just joking By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 24, 2016 - 12:00am 0 13 googleplus0 0


President Duterte claimed yesterday he was just joking when he threatened to pull out the Philippines from the United Nations (UN), even as he maintained the world body should not meddle with his war on illegal drugs. AP/Bullit Marquez, File

MANILA, Philippines – It was a joke, but nobody laughed.

President Duterte claimed yesterday he was just joking when he threatened to pull out the Philippines from the United Nations (UN), even as he maintained the world body should not meddle with his war on illegal drugs.

“Di ka marunong mag-biro pa (Don’t you know how to joke)? Where will we join? The association of the sunken?” Duterte told reporters yesterday when asked if he was serious about his threat to pull the Philippines out of the UN.

But he insisted the UN should not intervene in the affairs of the Philippines.

“They should behave the way they should behave,” he added, referring to the UN.

He also lashed out at UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions Agnes Callamard, who called on the administration to protect the people from extrajudicial executions.

“Do not do that because you are addressing me as president and you’re pointing to the police structure. This is a government,” the tough-talking President said.

Duterte said Callamard should have asked guidance from her superiors.

“There has to be a superior who will write a letter. Or there should be respect before saying anything about genocide,” he said, adding that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon should have written the letter.

On Sunday, Duterte said the Philippines should just bolt the UN after the international agency criticized the spate of killings attributed to the administration’s anti-drug war.

UN FAILING TO STOP KILLINGS IN MIDDLE EAST

The President said the UN keeps on picking on his war on drugs but has failed to stop the killings in the Middle East and other parts of the world.

“Maybe we’ll just have to decide to separate from the United Nations,” he said in a press conference in Davao City. “If you are that disrespectful, son of a b***h, we should just leave.”

Duterte also claimed that the UN, which has provided aid to the Philippines during times of disasters, has done nothing for the country.

His officials later clarified that the Philippines is not leaving the global organization.

“We are committed to the UN despite our numerous frustrations with this international agency,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said in a press conference in Pasay City last Monday.

READ MORE...

Yasay justified Duterte’s comments by saying that he was tired, disappointed and even hungry when he made the statement.

Duterte, nevertheless, stands by his statements against critics of his brutal campaign against illegal drugs.

Asked to react to the US State Department’s statement of concern on human rights violations in the Philippines, Duterte replied: “Yes, of course, including us. The Philippine government is still worried about what is being done to the black people there in America, being shot even while lying down.”

“So I’m going to send my rapporteur also and investigate them,” he said, apparently in jest.

The President claimed that hatred is being spread against African Americans in the US. “I also want my rapporteur to tell me what have you (US) done to the poor black people being set defenseless. Why only us?” he said.

A Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) official, meanwhile, reminded Duterte of the massive assistance the Philippines has received from the UN.

Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace, said it was unimaginable how the country would have coped in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 without the UN.

“I don’t think that he (Duterte) is well informed about the help that was given by the UN during Yolanda. Maybe he should be informed. The government was paralyzed during that time and it was the international bodies that helped us. We should show our utang na loob,” said Gariguez.

“If not for them (UN members), many of the affected areas might not have recovered.” – With Evelyn Macairan

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Criticisms are good, but look who’s talking — Malacañang SHARES: 3870 VIEW COMMENTS By: Marlon Ramos @MRamosINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:24 PM August 21st, 2016


Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar (left) said Sunday that President Rodrigo Duterte (right) welcomed criticism but was particular of who were dishing them out. INQUIRER FILES

President Duterte does not abhor criticism, but could not stand bigotry — or so Malacañang says.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar made this claim on Sunday hours after Duterte delivered scathing remarks against the United Nations and his fiercest critic, Sen. Leila de Lima.

“The President is a straight-talker. He doesn’t beat around the bush. He just goes straight to the point. He’s a very pragmatic President,” Andanar said in an interview over state radio DZRB.

Asked if the President despised opposition to his policies, he said: “I don’t think so. He does not detest criticism of his policies.”

“What the President does not like are questions and criticisms coming from people who obviously have preconceived notion against his policies,” the Palace official said.

The loudmouth Duterte made a stinging rebuke of the UN for allegedly meddling in the country’s domestic affairs after its officials expressed concern over the spiraling drug killings since he occupied Malacañang on June 30.

He called the UN and its officials “inutile, moron and dimwit” for raising the issue of human rights violations regarding his administration’s bloody drug war.

The President also lashed out at De Lima, who called for a Senate inquiry into the drug killings, for supposedly receiving bribe money from drug convicts inside the state penitentiary in Muntinlupa City. He claimed that the pay-offs were made through her driver “who is also her lover.”


INQUIRER

Pernia: Drug-related killings necessary evil @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 02:53 AM August 24th, 2016


Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia Malacañang Palace. INQUIRER PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC

SOME Filipinos view the recent surge in drug-related killings as a “necessary evil in pursuit of greater good,” according to President Duterte’s chief economic adviser.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia on Tuesday admitted that the impression of the international business community on Mr. Duterte’s approach in stemming illegal drugs may affect the country’s business environment.

The economics professor from the University of the Philippines urged the media to interview individuals who were supportive of the President’s war on drugs.

“We should also try to get the view of others who approve of what’s happening and see it as … maybe a necessary evil … in the pursuit of greater good,” Pernia told a news briefing.

“We need to counter the negative effect (and) the negative perception (of) those observing what’s happening here from afar,” he said. “When you are from a distance, then you see the thing … more serious than what it really is because it’s localized.”

Pressed to elaborate, he said the killings of drug personalities could be “a byproduct of you know … self-defense thing,” which, he said, was “legitimate.”

Asked if the killings would do any good to the economy, he said: “It’s better that there are no killings, of course. And also, we have to realize that our justice system is dysfunctional. I think that should also be made known.”

“People know that our justice system is dysfunctional and so the justices, the Supreme Court, should know that. They have to shape up before we can really follow due process,” Pernia said.

He said foreign visitors should be reminded that they would be safe in the country as long as they follow the law.

“In fact, the crime rate has gone down substantially because of this fight against the drug menace. These are the kinds of things that we need to do to counter the perception from afar,” he said. Marlon Ramos

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RELATED FROM THE NEW YORKEER MAGAZINE

RODRIGO DUTERTE’S CAMPAIGN OF TERROR IN THE PHILIPPINES By Barbara Demick , AUGUST 26, 2016


Activists protest Rodrigo Duterte, the new President of the Philippines, who promised to cleanse the country of drugs by extrajudicial means and has been following through with a vengeance. PHOTOGRAPH BY NOEL CELIS / AFP / GETTY

Rodrigo Duterte, the new President of the Philippines, is a liberal’s worst nightmare. In his campaign, Duterte, a former mayor and prosecutor, promised to cleanse the country of drug users and dealers by extrajudicial means.

Since his inauguration, on June 30th, he has been following through with a vengeance. In that time, more than eighteen hundred people have been killed—drug dealers, drug users, and in several cases people who happened to be nearby. The youngest was five years old.

“My mouth has no due process,’’ Duterte said in a nationally televised speech on August 7th, in which he named judges, mayors, police, and military officials whom he claimed were involved in the drug trade.

The Philippines has the highest abuse rate in East Asia for methamphetamines, known locally as shabu. Duterte has warned drug peddlers to surrender themselves or face summary execution. “My order is shoot to kill you,” he said on August 6th. “I don’t care about human rights, you’d better believe me.”

Who wouldn’t believe him?

During hearings before the Philippine senate on Monday, the national police chief, Donald Dela Rosa, said that, since Duterte’s inauguration, seven hundred and twelve people allegedly involved with drugs have been killed by police, and another thousand and sixty-seven by presumed vigilantes. Some six hundred thousand, the police chief said, had turned themselves in.

The particulars are harrowing. At hearings, relatives of the victims, wearing sunglasses and scarves to disguise their identities, testified about low-level drug users being dragged out of their homes and shot at close range. The two-year-old daughter of one suspected user was stripped and subjected to an anal exam to see if she was being used to conceal drugs.

Since Monday, the casualties have mounted. On Tuesday, a five-year-old named Danica Garcia was killed while eating lunch when gunmen fired into her family’s house. They were targeting her grandfather. On Wednesday, Rogelio Bato, a lawyer representing a suspected drug trafficker, was shot in his car, along with a teen-age girl who was in the passenger seat.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer has been publishing regular updates on what it calls “the kill list”:

July 31, 2016. 1:10 a.m. | Unidentified drug suspect #118 | Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila | Found dead, with his hands and legs were tied using a nylon cord, a plastic strap and packaging tape and his face wrapped with a towel and duct tape; on his body was a sign saying, “Holdaper ako, Pusher pa.”

July 6, 2016. Alma Santos, on the municipal list of suspected drug pushers | Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija | Found dead in a canal, blinded and hogtied.

July 5, 2016. Mirasol Lavapie-Ramos, wife of man in police custody for a drug charge | Talavera town, Nueva Ecija | Killed by an unknown hitman who chased her.

Many of the killings appear to have been carried out by hit squads. Similar teams were blamed for killings of suspected criminals in Davao, the southern city where Duterte was mayor for twenty-two years. Back in 2009, Human Rights Watch investigated how the death squads operated.

According to its report, “The assailants usually arrive in twos or threes on a motorcycle without a license plate. They wear baseball caps and buttoned shirts or jackets, apparently to conceal their weapons underneath.’’

It is almost impossible to write about Duterte without making comparisons to a certain American Presidential candidate. Duterte, a trash-talking septuagenarian, cheerfully disparages women, international institutions, and even Pope Francis. He has a cavalier attitude toward due process, human rights, and the use of physical violence to achieve political ends. He is an unapologetic womanizer. During one campaign rally, he mimicked a stroke victim. When he is questioned about a grossly inappropriate statement, he sometimes claims he was “just joking.”

Duterte does not take criticism lightly.

“I will have to destroy her in public,’’ he said of Leila de Lima, a senator and the former secretary of justice, who in the hearings this week accused him of disregard for human life. He has accused her of having an extramarital affair with her driver, whom he said was linked to drugs.

After the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released a statement, on August 18th, saying that Duterte’s war on drugs amounted to “incitement to violence and killing, a crime under international law,’’ he threatened to withdraw the Philippines from the U.N. and start a new global organization with China.

“Maybe we’ll just have to decide to separate from the United Nations. If you’re that rude, son of a bitch, we’ll just leave you,” he said. A week earlier, he refused to apologize for calling the U.S. ambassador to Manila “gay” and “the son of a whore.’’

There are obvious parallels, too, between Duterte’s campaign earlier this year and the current U.S. Presidential race. On the stump, Duterte played to fear, claiming that drugs and crime were turning the country into a “narco state.’’


DUTERTE, ROXAS

He belittled his strongest opponent, Mar Roxas, a former investment banker, educated at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, as part of an effete, corrupt establishment. Roxas was the designated successor of the popular outgoing President, Benigno Aquino III, who could boast of five years of strong economic growth that had helped the Philippines to shed its reputation as the “sick man of Asia.”

MORE SERIOUS CANDIDATE THAN TRUMP

But Duterte was always a more serious candidate than Trump. “We do ourselves a disservice if we take his rhetorical excesses that are very similar to Trump and then underestimate him as being a buffoon,’’ John Gershman, a professor at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Administration and a founder of the New York Southeast Asia Network, told me. “This is a man who has extensive political experience. He was a former prosecutor, which gives him some credibility. He was reëlected multiple times in Davao and was respected by both the business community and the left.’’

During the campaign, Duterte was popular with educated voters, the middle class, and the many Philippine citizens working overseas. He also had the support of Muslims, who make up about five per cent of the population. Cristina Palabay, the secretary general of Karapatan, a human-rights organization in the Philippines, said that the middle classes felt that a corrupt justice system and police force had failed to combat the drug trade. “Democratic values and rule of law are all but words in this country,’’ she told me.

In the final days of the campaign, Aquino became more alarmed about Duterte, telling voters that “we should remember how Hitler came to power.’’ But Duterte’s fear tactics worked. He drew thirty-nine per cent of the vote, to Roxas’s twenty-three per cent, and popular support for him remains robust.

In a poll released on July 20th by Pulse Asia Research, ninety-one per cent of Filipinos said that they trusted Duterte, while the more authoritative Social Weather Stations found that sixty-three per cent expected him to fulfill his campaign promises. “There seems to be a level of acceptance on how Duterte’s war on drugs is being conducted,’’ Palabay said.

Duterte’s election and his pitiless war against drugs are terrifying at a time when political scientists warn that democracy is in retreat.

“Democracy itself seems to have lost its appeal,’’ Larry Diamond, a political sociologist at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, writes in the current issue of Foreign Affairs. “Many emerging democracies have failed to meet their citizens’ hopes for freedom, security, and economic growth, just as the world’s established democracies, including the United States, have grown increasingly dysfunctional.”

He cites Kenya, Russia, Thailand, and Turkey. In its annual survey, “Freedom in the World,” the U.S. advocacy group Freedom House reported that the number of countries that it considers democracies has been declining since 2005, and that civil liberties and political rights have contracted in seventy-two countries, and improved in only forty-three.

The report went to press before Duterte’s election, but next year it is likely that the Philippines will appear as Exhibit A.

Barbara Demick is a foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and served as the Beijing bureau chief from 2008 to 2014. She is the author of “Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea” and “Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood.”


PHILSTAR

Amnesty: Extrajudicial killing a crime under int'l law By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated August 24, 2016 - 11:51am 2 154 googleplus0 1


Human rights activists light candles for the victims of extrajudicial killings around the country in the wake of "War on Drugs" campaign by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Monday, Aug. 15, 2016 in suburban Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Philippines. The "war on drugs" campaign, which saw hundreds of mostly poor victims, has been condemned by human rights groups including the United Nations Chief Ban Ki-moon. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — International human rights group Amnesty International reminded the Philippine government that extrajudicial execution is a crime under international law.

"The unlawful and deliberate killing carried out by order of a state actor, or with the state's complicity or acquiescence, is an extrajudicial execution," Amnesty said in a statement released Wednesday.

This statement was made following the information relayed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) during the Senate inquiry on drug-related killings earlier this week.

PNP Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa revealed that at least 1,067 killings by unidentified people and an estimated 712 killings by police have been recorded in the country since July 1.

The human rights group said that the number of killings "is a terrifying indication that the authorities are grossly failing in their obligations to respect and protect the right to life."

Amnesty stressed that people suspected of drug trafficking offenses should be prosecuted in a court of law under proceedings that meet international standards of fairness and comply with the rule of law.

"Safeguards on the right to liberty and security of person, including fair trial guarantees, must apply equally for drug-related cases," the statement read.

"Incitement to violence and discrimination are prohibited under international law and risk escalating a cycle of violence in the country," Amnesty said.

READ MORE...

Establish police complaints commission Amnesty urged Philippine authorities to form an independent police complaints commission that would be independent from the influence of the police.

The commission will have the mandate of receiving complaints of human rights violations committed by the police and provide protection to complainants, victims and witnesses.

The group added that the drug issue in the country should be considered as a public health matter.

"The heavy reliance on repressive policies and the use of force to control drug use and addiction across differing countries has not led to a decreased use of drugs over the years, as found by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime," the statement read.

The use of force and militarization on anti-drugs operations has led to increasing levels of violence, human trafficking violations and abuses, the group said.

The group reminded the Philippines that the state has a duty to protect its citizens from all forms of violence, to independently and impartially investigate the killings and to bring its perpetrators to justice.

The Commission on Human Rights earlier said that the International Criminal Court may assume jurisdiction over extrajudicial and vigilante killings if the government fails to address the issue.

RELATED: Int'l court may take over cases of killings, says CHR

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

RELATED FROM ABS-CBN

Duterte: Drug-related killings not genocide ABS-CBN News Posted at Aug 24 2016 08:01 PM


An unidentified person records the dead bodies on his mobile phone after a police operation in Pandacan, Manila on July 16, 2016. Communities in Metro Manila have witnessed a surge in police operations since the start of Duterte's war on drugs. Photo by Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said the increasing number of deaths in his administration's campaign against crime and drugs is different from genocide.

Speaking to reporters in Taytay, Rizal, Duterte said there is no need for the international community to investigate the spate of killings in the Philippines because there is no genocide here.

"Genocide is when you go in, just like [in] Africa, you bomb with wanton abandon. You kill people for no reason at all. You massacre women. In the Middle East, you burn women for refusing to have sex. 'Yan ang dapat patayin. Hindi na sila kailangan mag-permiso sa akin, 'yung [UN offices on] Human Rights (It's these people who should be killed. If we had such cases, they would not need permission from me to investigate)," he said.

"In the Philippines, walang namatay dito, there is no wanton killing of civilians. Either lumaban sa pulis, and we are ready, I said to prepare, to answer for it, or 'yung pinatay na sinalvage," Duterte added.

(In the Philippines, there is no such deaths here, there is no wanton killing of civilians. It's either they fought off the police, and we are ready, I said, to prepare, to answer for it, or those salvaged.)

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Tuesday issued a stern warning to the government during a joint Senate probe into extra-judicial killings in the anti-drug campaign.

CHR Chair Chito Gascon said government should show its resolve to prevent killings or risk the consequences of a Universal Periodic Review scheduled in April 2017 and having the International Criminal Court (ICC) step in to exercise jurisdiction over cases of crimes against humanity in the country.

[CHR to gov't: Address extrajudicial killings or risk ICC jurisdiction]

Last week, two United Nations (UN) human rights experts called on Duterte to stop the unabated killings in his war on drugs, with one of them warning that the Philippine leader's incitement to violence was a crime under international law.

Agnes Callamard, UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions, called out Duterte for endorsing the killing of drug suspects, describing the new president's statements as a "license to kill."

Duterte has repeatedly said he would back policemen who would get involved in fatal encounters with drug suspects.

''Directives of this nature are irresponsible in the extreme and amount to incitement to violence and killing, a crime under international law. It is effectively a license to kill,” Callamard warned.

''Intentional lethal use of force is only allowed when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life and should not be used for common policing objectives,'' she added.

Since Duterte won the May 9 presidential election, over 1,000 people have been killed by both policemen and suspected vigilantes.


INQUIRER

Duterte blasts CHR anew
IN THE WAR AGAINST DRUGS, 'THERE'S A PRICE TO PAY' SHARES: 971 VIEW COMMENTS By: Nestor Corrales @NCorralesINQ INQUIRER.net 05:50 PM August 24th, 2016


President Rodrigo Duterte. Inquirer file

CAMP CAPINPIN, RIZAL — Public safety or the lives of criminals?

President Duterte on Wednesday defended anew his administration’s no-nonsense war against illegal drugs.

At the same time, Duterte blasted his critics, particularly the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), which has repeatedly warned of possible abuses in the administration’s bloody crackdown on crime.

“Itong mga human rights, mamili ka. Is it the comfort or safety of the population or the lives of criminals?” he said during his speech at the 2nd Infantry Battalion here.

The President said that his “brutal” stance against illegal drugs will continue because the illegal drugs trade is “destroying the country.”

In blasting his detractors, Duterte said: “Itong mga (critics), pag humaharap na, ganito..lumalaki bunganga pati ulo. They talk nonsense.”

“We’re supposed to protect the integrity of the Republic and the safety of the citizens,” he added.

The President also expressed dismay at how his critics magnify the over a thousand killed in the government’s war against illegal drugs.

“Walang libre sa buhay na ‘to. There’s always a price to pay,” he said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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