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

US SOLDIERS WARNED OF ABU KIDNAPPING: RODY WANTS U.S. TROOPS OUT OF MINDANAO
[RELATED: US - No official request for Mindanao troops withdrawal]
[RELATED(2): Defense chief downplays Duterte's fear US forces may be kidnapped]


SEPTEMBER 13 -Soldiers warned of kidnapping by Sayyaf: President Duterte holds a a photograph of the First Battle of Bud Dajo massacre showing American soldiers with the bodies of Filipino Muslims killed in Bud Dajo, a volcanic crater on the island of Jolo in 1906. KRIZJOHN ROSALES After blasting the United States supposedly for interfering in his war on drugs, President Duterte yesterday said he wanted American troops out of Mindanao as he blamed Washington for the conflict and security threats in the south. Duterte said US troops in Mindanao should leave as they are in danger of being kidnapped by the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf. “The Special Forces, they have to go. They have to go in Mindanao. There are many whites there,” the President said during the oath taking of new appointees yesterday at Malacañang. “If they see an American, they would kill him. They would demand ransom then kill him. Even if you’re a black or white American, as long as you are an American, (they will kill you),” he added. Some US troops have been deployed in Zamboanga City to assist Philippine security forces in the campaign against terrorists. Since the Constitution prohibits foreign troops from engaging in direct combat operations, the US soldiers’ role is limited to assisting the local military through training and information sharing. A ranking military official who declined to be named said less than 200 US soldiers have remained in Zamboanga City, and they were mainly involved in “technical assistance” to Filipino troops. READ MORE...RELATED, US: No official request for Mindanao troops withdrawal... RELATED(2) Defense chief downplays Duterte's fear US forces may be kidnapped...

ALSO: Abu Sayyaf releases Norwegian captive; Misuari group helped
[RELATED JULY 2016 REPORT: Misuari wants to help crush Abu Sayyaf]
[RELATED(3): ‘It’s caliphate or nothing’ for young Abus — Duterte]
(
Several units of the Abu Sayyaf in southern Mindanao have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group but analysts have said they are more interested in funding than ideology.“They are hungry for a fight to
establish a caliphate in Southeast Asia. Caliphate is a kingdom for the Muslims,” Duterte said in a speech to soldiers).


SEPTEMBER 17 -
The Abu Sayyaf Group on Saturday afternoon released Norwegian national Kjartan Sekkingstad, almost a year of holding the victim captive. Major Filemon Tan, spokesperson of the Armed Forces' Western Mindanao Command, said Sekkingstad was released around 4 p.m. in Sulu. Tan did not provide additional information on the release. He said Sekkingstad will be brought to the provincial capitol in Jolo town. Earlier reports said Sekkingstad was released by the bandits in Sulu through Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) commander Tahil Sali.
Misuari group helped In a separate statement, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said Sekkingstad was released around 2 p.m. in Patikul town. Dureza said Sekkingstad will stay overnight at the residence of MNLF founder Nur Misuari in Barangay Kagay, also in Patikul town. "I will fly him out of Jolo town tomorrow (Sunday) morning," he said. READ MORE... RELATED, Misuari wants to help crush Abu Sayyaf...  RELATED(3) ‘It’s caliphate or nothing’ for young Abus — Duterte...

ALSO Palace maintains 'No Ransom' policy; source of P50 million paid to ASG still unconfirmed


SEPTEMBER 18 -A Palace spokesman made a fool out of himself yesterday claiming that no money exchanged hands for the release of Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad by his Abu Sayyaf captors even if a spokesman for the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), a source in the military and President Duterte himself said ransom was paid for Sekkingstad’s release. Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said yesterday that “the government maintains the no-ransom policy” and that “if there is a third party like his family that paid, we do not known anything about that.”
The amount of the ransom, however, differed as Duterte last Aug. 26 said P50 million was paid the ASG for Sekkingstad’s release while the ASG and a military source said P30 million was received by the bandits to agree to the release of the Norwegian. Norwegian foreign affairs communications chief Frode Andersen also claimed by phone that “the Norwegian government does not pay ransom in this case or any other case.” A spokesman for the Abu Sayyaf saidthe group received P30 million for the Norwegian which was the same amount a Tribune source in the military cited.“Actually, Sekkingstad was freed Friday to the MNLF by his captors,” the source said. Sekkingstad’s release was confirmed by government authorities only on Saturday. READ MORE...

ALSO: Rody warns 'Yellows' against plotting ouster, impeach
[RELATED: LP not a ‘Trojan horse’ seeking Duterte ouster—Lagman]
[RELATED(2): LP denies alleged impeachment plot vs Duterte]
[RELATED(3) Duterte accuses LP of plotting to oust him]


SEPTEMBER 13 -But pledges to ‘kill them first’ President Duterte may really be seeing 'yellow' goblins hard at work to plot and plan to have him ousted or impeached, or he may just be seeing goblins where there are none. Although there appears to be some sort of a confluence of events and developments that suggest there may just be early plans and plots to remove Duterte from his seat of power either through another people power ouster of a president, or an impeachment. There may also be reasons for this latest revelation from Duterte, since the President and his administrators appear to be closing in on cases that can be lodged against the officials of the previous regime, who are said to have indulged in corruption, when they were in power and position. The confluence of events appear to be forming, given the serious deterioration of relationship between the United States and the Philippines, stemming from Duterte’s vulgar outburst against US President Barack Obama during his departure statement before heading to Vientaine, Laos, for the Asean Summit, and President Obama canceling the one-on-one meeting with Duterte, and in an East Asian summit, also berated the United States for the massacre of the Moros in Mindanano in the 1900s during the American colonial rule that was on a pacification drive while showing photographs of an American solider stamping his foot on a naked Filipina. READ MORE...RELATED, LP not a ‘Trojan horse’ seeking Duterte ouster—Lagman...RELATED(2) LP denies alleged impeachment plot vs Duterte...RELATED(3) Duterte accuses LP of plotting to oust him...RELATED(4) Leni - No to Duterte ouster; VP vows not to support any impeach move
.
..ALSO,  Robredo seeks talk with Duterte on 'unseat' rumors..,

 ALSO Duterte admits: I skipped ASEAN meeting with US on purpose
[RELATED: No intention to snub Obama, Yasay says Duterte really had migraine]


SEPTEMBER 13 -President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday revealed that he purposely skipped the summit between Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with the United States in Vientiane, Laos last week on purpose.
"I purposely did not attend the bilateral meeting between the ASEAN and the US. Talagang ini-skip ko iyan. The reason is not that I am anti-West... It is simply a matter of principle," Duterte said in a speech. Palace officials told local and foreign reporters that Duterte had missed the meeting because he was not feeling well, with Communications Secretary Martin Andanar saying the president had another migraine attack. Duterte's first foreign trip last week was fraught with controversy even before his departure after his expletive-filled rant when asked about the possibility of discussing criticism from human rights groups with US President Barack Obama. That led to the cancellation of a meeting between the two leaders. Duterte and Obama spoke briefly before the gala dinner of the summit last Wednesday, before the Philippine president skipped the meeting on Thursday. READ MORE...RELATED, No intention to snub Obama, Yasay says Duterte really had migraine...

ALSO Palace: Duterte didn't give 'go-ahead' for Veloso's execution
[RELATED: Yasay: Duterte, Widodo statements consistent with each other]


SEPTEMBER 13 -Palace: Duterte did not tell Widodo to go ahead with execution of Veloso but only "to follow your own laws" and that "I will not interfere"
MANILA - (UPDATED) Malacanang denied on Monday that President Rodrigo Duterte gave his "go-ahead" for the execution of drug convict Mary Jane Veloso in Indonesia. Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said what Duterte told Indonesian President Joko Widodo was that he would not interfere in Indonesia's legal processes. He said what Duterte told Widodo was "to follow your own laws" and that "I will not interfere." Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. meanwhile described as "erroneous" a headline in Jakarta Post, which claimed “Duterte has given green light for Mary Jane’s execution.” Yasay maintained Veloso's execution has been "indefinitely deferred." Yasay said Duterte told Widodo that he respected "their judicial processes and will accept whatever the final decision they will arrive at regarding her case." READ MORE...RELATED, Yasay: Duterte, Widodo statements consistent with each other...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Rody wants US troops out of Mindanao


SEPTEMBER 13 -Soldiers warned of kidnapping by Sayyaf: President Duterte holds a a photograph of the First Battle of Bud Dajo massacre showing American soldiers with the bodies of Filipino Muslims killed in Bud Dajo, a volcanic crater on the island of Jolo in 1906. KRIZJOHN ROSALES

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 19, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Alexis Romero September 13, 2016 - After blasting the United States supposedly for interfering in his war on drugs, President Duterte yesterday said he wanted American troops out of Mindanao as he blamed Washington for the conflict and security threats in the south.

Duterte said US troops in Mindanao should leave as they are in danger of being kidnapped by the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf.

“The Special Forces, they have to go. They have to go in Mindanao. There are many whites there,” the President said during the oath taking of new appointees yesterday at Malacañang.

“If they see an American, they would kill him. They would demand ransom then kill him. Even if you’re a black or white American, as long as you are an American, (they will kill you),” he added.

Some US troops have been deployed in Zamboanga City to assist Philippine security forces in the campaign against terrorists. Since the Constitution prohibits foreign troops from engaging in direct combat operations, the US soldiers’ role is limited to assisting the local military through training and information sharing.

A ranking military official who declined to be named said less than 200 US soldiers have remained in Zamboanga City, and they were mainly involved in “technical assistance” to Filipino troops.

READ MORE...

“The situation there (in Mindanao) will worsen. If they (Americans) are seen there, they will be killed,” Duterte said.

The President said it was a message he could not deliver during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Laos last week, mainly out of respect for US President Barack Obama who was at the summit.

“I could not speak then out of respect and I do not want a rift with America. But they have to go,” the President said.

Under Duterte, the Philippines has had an uncomfortable relationship with the US, its treaty partner and longtime ally. The Philippine president has scored the American government for lecturing him about human rights despite its own record of atrocities committed by its soldiers during the Philippine-American War in 1898.

The US has expressed deep concerns over rising deaths of suspected drug offenders in Duterte’s war on illegal drugs. Human rights advocates said Duterte’s tough approach to fighting drugs has encouraged summary executions and targeted only the poor. Nearly 3,000 suspected drug offenders have been killed since Duterte assumed office in June, almost half of them by suspected vigilante groups.

Duterte has lashed back at the US by citing its supposed failure to stop the killing of African Americans by policemen and by accusing it of “exporting terrorism” in the Middle East.

 
https://youtu.be/SS6LjDgW3rw (FROM RAPPLER.COM)
Duterte on US troops in Mindanao: They have to go Rappler Rappler Published on Sep 12, 2016 President Rodrigo Duterte said he does not want the presence of US Special Forces in Mindanao. 'I do not want a rift with America but they have to go,' he says http://bit.ly/2cypcNB Category News & Politics License Standard YouTube License

The President continued with his tirades against the US yesterday as he blamed Washington for the violence in Iraq and Libya. He also showed photos of the Bud Dajo massacre, where US forces massacred more than a thousand Muslim fighters and civilians holed up in a mountain fortress during the Filipino-American war.

The photo showed American soldiers posing among piles of dead Muslims including naked women. The massacre happened in Jolo in 1906. “The US is a hypocrite,” Duterte said.

He had also shown photos of the Bud Dajo massacre at the East Asian Summit in Laos.

“Look at the bodies there... For as long as we stay with America, we will never have peace in that land. We might as well give it up,” Duterte said.

“See the soldiers stepping on a woman’s bare breast… They even made a postcard out of it,” he added.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Duterte’s statement reflects the President’s 
“new direction towards coursing an independent foreign policy.”

“He (Duterte) has made reference to the unrecognized, unrepented and unatoned for massacre at Bud Dajo in Sulu by the Americans, hence our continued connection with West is the real reason for the ‘Islamic’ threat in Mindanao,” Abella said in a statement.

“The American silence on the matter lacks congruence with its ‘moral’ position, in the light of actions taken in the past by the Germans who confessed and made atonement for the Holocaust, and Japan which made reparations for the atrocities it perpetrated among the peoples they conquered,” he added.


ABELLA

Abella said Duterte is on “morally firm ground” by “breaking up walls that cover dark corners” in the bilateral ties between the Philippines and the US.

Duterte has vowed to pursue an independent foreign policy and has repeatedly stressed that he is not beholden to anyone but the Filipino people.

Rock solid Despite Duterte’s latest innuendo against the US, the Philippines’ relationship with the mightiest nation remains “rock solid,” according to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

“It’s strong,” Lorenzana said. “The US is truly a military ally because of our mutual defense treaty which was signed in the 195os and is still there,” he said, referring to the Mutual Defense Treaty.

“It’s not abrogated. What the President said was we’re going to talk with others who could give us good equipment to strengthen our defense and we will do that, but we are going to still have our treaty alliance with the United States,” he added.

In fact, Lorenzana said he had a scheduled meeting with the US officials led by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter by the end of September in Honolulu to discuss security issues.

He said ASEAN defense ministers would also discuss security issues in the South China Sea as well as terrorism among other issues.

President Obama called off a planned meeting last week with President Duterte on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit, after the latter spewed out expletives at US officials whom he accused of interfering in Philippine affairs.

“Clearly, he’s a colorful guy,” Obama said on being told of Duterte’s unsavory statements. “What I’ve instructed my team to do is talk to their Philippine counterparts to find out is this in fact a time where we can have some constructive, productive conversations.”

Meanwhile, military officials – especially those in the Western Mindanao Command – declined to comment on the President’s position against the presence of US troops in the region.

“It is beyond our level and any statement relative to that pronouncement of our Commander-in-Chief will be from the higher headquarters,” a military official who declined to be named said.

The military official said there are still US military personnel operating in Zamboanga City under the status of foreign liaison elements at the Westmincom.

US military forces used to operate under the US Special Operation Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) with troops deployed on rotation basis since 2002. It terminated its operations after 10 years and left its camp inside Westmincom only with liaison personnel.

The deployment then of US military forces was upon the invitation of the Philippine government to assist and advise their Filipino counterpart in the campaign against terrorism particularly by the Abu Sayyaf group.

Meanwhile, local officials in Basilan and Sulu said they were saddened by Duterte’s pronouncement against the US military. They said US soldiers have been active in humanitarian projects in the region.

“We have reservations on the pronouncement of the President as we all know the assistance provided by the US troops in ensuring the security and peace and order in the city,” acting Mayor Cesar Ituralde said. He said they hope the President would reconsider his pronouncement.

“But we will highly respect the President as we are very much supportive of his plans and programs in this matter,” he added. – Cecille Suerte Felipe, Roel Pareño

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

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

US: No official request for Mindanao troops withdrawal By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated September 13, 2016 - 11:55am 4 80 googleplus0 0


President Rodrigo Duterte shows images of the Bud Dajo massacre during his speech at the 2016 Metrobank Foundation's Outstanding Filipinos awarding ceremony in Malacañan's Rizal Hall on September 12. PPD/Rey Baniquet

MANILA, Philippines — The United States maintained its commitment to the Philippines despite the recent statement of President Rodrigo Duterte that he wants American troops out of Mindanao.

The president warned US troops in Mindanao that they are in danger of being kidnapped by terrorist group Abu Sayyaf.

READ: Rody wants US troops out of Mindanao

US Department of State spokesperson John Kirby said that the US will not respond to the president's comments unless an official request is made.

"I’ve seen the comments. I’ve seen them in press reporting, and what I can tell you is that we’re not aware of any official communication by the Philippine Government to that effect and to seek that result. So we’re going to stay in touch with our counterparts in the Philippine Government," Kirby said in a press briefing on Monday.

Citing the history between the two countries, Kirby stressed that the US is committed to its alliance with the Philippines.

Kirby added that the US shares the concern of Duterte about the safety of American troops in the Philippines.

"We maintain concerns about the safety of our troops all around the world. It’s one of the prime considerations of American military leadership," Kirby said.

A handful of American soldiers stayed behind after Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines contingent to assist the Philippine military against terrorism was discontinued last year.

Less than 200 US soldiers have been deployed in Zamboanga City to assist Philippine security forces in their campaign against terrorists.

The role of American soldiers is limited to assisting the local military through training and information sharing as they are prohibited from engaging in direct combat operations, as mandated by the Constitution.

 
https://youtu.be/7Kmmp1QU2Lg
President Duterte 2016 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Philippine News Philippine News Subscribe6,682 Add to Share More 933 views 20 0 Streamed live on Sep 12, 2016 2016 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Category News & Politics License Standard YouTube License

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RELATED(2) FROM ABS-CBN

Defense chief downplays Duterte's fear US forces may be kidnapped RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News Posted at Sep 14 2016 05:43 PM


LORENZANA


US forces in action in Mindanao. File photo of ABS-CBN News

MANILA - United States troops in the Philippines are not engaged in combat operations, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Wednesday.

Lorenzana said the American soldiers, 107 in total, are assigned to Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City where they mainly manage US assets and provide technical support to their Filipino counterparts.

"They have two systems providing intelligence surveillance reconnaissance (IRS) to our troops in Mindanao," he said at a House hearing for his agency's proposed 2017 budget.

US forces, he said, have an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system that takes surveillance photos at night, and a shadow drone system to support our Filipino soldiers in Basilan and Sulu.

Among the US troops deployed to the Philippines are 50 Marines, 20 Special Forces commandos, seven from the US Army, and several civilians and Navy members.

READ MORE...

UNFOUNDED FEARS
Lorenzana also downplayed President Duterte's concerns that American presence may incite violence and stoke old grievances over the human rights abuses during the US occupation.

"Iyong mga fears ni Presidente na they might be subject to reprisal by the Muslims is a little bit -- ay hindi siguro mangyayari kasi nasa kampo lang sila and they don't go out of the camp kung mag-isa lang sila. Dapat may kasamang tropa natin or they are also armed," he said.

[The President's fears that they might be subject to reprisal by the Muslims is a little bit -- will probably not happen because they are in the camp and they don't go out alone. They should be accompanied by our troops or they are also armed.]
Lorenzana added that US forces are capable of defending themselves.

"Let us remember that these people are also combatants. They are not civilians that are subject to kidnapping by terrorists," he pointed out.

The Defense chief also stressed that American soldiers complement the weaknesses of the Philippine Army, particularly its limited surveillance capability.

The Department of Defense is seeking a budget of P178.2 billion for 2017.

Duterte on Monday said American soldiers must withdraw from Mindanao as they are frequent targets of terror groups. He also discussed the March 1906 Bud Dajo massacre, where hundreds of Moros, including women and children, were killed by US forces in Sulu.


GMA NEWS NETWORK

Abu Sayyaf releases Norwegian captive; Misuari group hlped Published September 17, 2016 5:50pm Updated September 17, 2016 8:08pm By JESSICA BARTOLOME, GMA News

The Abu Sayyaf Group on Saturday afternoon released Norwegian national Kjartan Sekkingstad, almost a year of holding the victim captive.

Major Filemon Tan, spokesperson of the Armed Forces' Western Mindanao Command, said Sekkingstad was released around 4 p.m. in Sulu.

Tan did not provide additional information on the release.

He said Sekkingstad will be brought to the provincial capitol in Jolo town.

Earlier reports said Sekkingstad was released by the bandits in Sulu through Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) commander Tahil Sali.

Misuari group helped

In a separate statement, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said Sekkingstad was released around 2 p.m. in Patikul town.

Dureza said Sekkingstad will stay overnight at the residence of MNLF founder Nur Misuari in Barangay Kagay, also in Patikul town.

"I will fly him out of Jolo town tomorrow (Sunday) morning," he said.

READ MORE...

Dureza said that he had spoken with the Norwegian and the released hostage's first words were, "Thank you to Presid

Sekingstad was taken by gunmen, along with Canadians Canadians Robert Hall and John Ridsdel and Filipina Marites Flor, in Samal Island on Sept. 21, 2015.

The Abu Sayaf Group beheaded the two Canadian nationals and released Flor last June 24.

Tan said in a statement that the Norwegian's release was "an offshoot" of the military's intensified offensive, with the assistance of the MNLF against the Abu Sayyaf.

"Simultaneous land, air, naval and police operations complemented each other putting pressure on the ASG," he said.

Last month, President Rodrigo Duterte said that ransom had been paid for the release of the Norwegian hostage.

In his statement, Dureza said the release of the Norwegian "capped months of quiet, patient but determine efforts with the assistance of all sectors."

"Men of Misuari and former [Sulu] governor Sakur Tan and other volunteers helped in the release," he said. —ALG, GMA News

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

FLASHBACK REPORT FROM THE MANILA TIMES (JULY 19, 2016)

Misuari wants to help crush Abu Sayyaf BY THE MANILA TIMES ON JULY 19, 2016 TODAY'S HEADLINE PHOTOS, TOP STORIES


CALLING NUR President Rodrigo Duterte talks on the phone to MNLF chairman Nur Misuari as National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon looks on. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari has offered to help the government go after the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), Malacanang said on Tuesday.

Presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza also disclosed that “there are efforts” from Misuari to secure the release of the Norwegian being held captive by the group.

“He’d like to do coordination with our military forces on the ground because they’d like also to help in addressing the criminal acts committed by the Abu Sayyaf Group,” Dureza told reporters as he confirmed that the ASG kidnapped five more Malaysians in Lahad Datu, Sabah on Monday afternoon.

“I heard today that they took again five more Malaysians in Lahad Datu. Maybe you have heard about this already. Five more Malaysians. And the Indonesians are still there,” he said.

According to Dureza, the President called Misuari following the approval of the government’s roadmap to peace with rebel groups.

The phone conversation on Monday night, according to Dureza, was “very open.”

“After the President approved the roadmap which included the Bangsamoro, he asked that a phone call be made to chairman Nur Misuari because we knew that chairman Misuari has been wanting to talk to him,” he said.

“The conversation was very open… It was something very warm between two friends greeting each other,” he added.

But Dureza refused to give more details about the phone call.

Meanwhile, the peace adviser clarified earlier reports on the meeting set between Duterte and Misuari.

“He [Misuari] is still facing arrest due to the Zamboanga incident and the warrant of arrest is still active.We cannot deal with him officially because he is technically still a fugitive of justice,” Dureza said.

Misuari is facing rebellion charges over the 20-day Zamboanga City siege in 2013 that led to the death of 200 people and the displacement of thousands of others.

Dureza said Misuari’s lawyers can ask for a review of the case.

“So, we will see if that review will result in the suspension of the effects of a warrant. We will see but that is going to be the route that will be taken,” he said.

“As a matter of fact, in order to disabuse the minds of many who had already been massing in Sulu saying that the President is coming to meet with him, we will have to wait until that procedure is complied with. That we have to deal with the effects still of a warrant. It is only when a warrant is no longer in the way that this can proceed, accordingly,” he added.

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

RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

‘It’s caliphate or nothing’ for young Abus — Duterte Written by Tribune Wires Sunday, 18 September 2016 00:00



GAMU, Isabela — President Duterte claimed yesterday the Abu Sayyaf Islamic militants were hungry to establish a caliphate, as he toughens his stance on the kidnap-for-ransom (KFR) group accused of a deadly bombing in his home city last Sept. 2.

Duterte, who has threatened to eat the militants alive in a bloodthirsty vow of revenge for the attack in Davao that killed 15 people, said the group was no longer just after money from criminal activities.

Several units of the Abu Sayyaf in southern Mindanao have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group but analysts have said they are more interested in funding than ideology.

“They are hungry for a fight to
establish a caliphate in Southeast Asia. Caliphate is a kingdom for the Muslims,” Duterte said in a speech to soldiers.

He also took a jab at fugitive Moro Islamic National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Nur Misuari, who Duterte said had lost influence with most of the young members of the rebel group.

In his speech at Camp Melchor Dela Cruz, Duterte said Misuari is becoming irrelevant among the new generation of Moros who have been seduced into joining the Abu Sayyaf.


NUR MISUARI

“Nur Misuari is ambivalent. He has lost control of the Moro youth who are now joining the Abu Sayyaf instead,” Duterte said in his speech.

“This new generation of Moros are not interested anymore about peace in Mindanao. For them its about winning the Caliphate or not,” he added.

The President also noted that the pursuit which is becoming popular among the young Moro population is being propagated by IS propagandists infiltrating Mindanao which he said is a dangerous development because the threat transcends rural areas and now includes cities in the main island.

PROBLEM REALLY IS TERRORISM

“The problem is terrorism, really. The problem is that they’re up to urban terrorism,” Duterte stressed.

“It’s really intense down here in Mindanao. I’m certain that its a long fight ahead,” he added.

“The problem is that they do not talk on the basis of what school you can give them,” he said referring to previous local services the militants have asked for.

“It’s either the caliphate or nothing,” he added.

The Abu Sayyaf is a radical offshoot of a Muslim separatist insurgency in the south of the mainly Catholic Philippines that has claimed more than 120,000 lives since the 1970s.

The Department of National Defense (DND) has said there were no formal links between the group and the Islamic State (IS) which holds vast swathes of Iraq and Syria.

“They are IS inspired and not actually ISIS supported. They are just IS wannabes,” DND spokesman Arsenio Andolong said.

Duterte, who has restarted peace talks with the country’s two major Muslim rebel groups since taking office on June 30, initially pleaded for peace with Abu Sayyaf but has since hardened his position and branded them as terrorists.

Last month, he launched an offensive against the militants, ordering the military to “destroy” them.

He sent thousands of troops to Abu Sayyaf strongholds in the southern islands of Jolo and Basilan in an assault that had killed 15 soldiers and 32 militants according to the military.

The Abu Sayyaf is blamed for the nation’s worst terror attacks and has beheaded foreigners, including two Canadians in April and June after ransom deadlines lapsed.

The militants have also conducted high seas kidnappings in waters bordering the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, prompting the three nations to launch joint patrols.

Norwegian hostage freed

The Abu Sayyaf, meanwhile, freed unhurt Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, one of four foreigners it kidnapped last yea suppopsedly a result of the massive military operations in Sulu Saturday afternoon.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said Sekkingstad was released at about 4 p.m. Saturday in Patikul, Sulu.

“Mr. Sekkingstad will proceed to the Provincial Capitol awaiting the turnover to proper authorities,” he Arevalo said.

Sekkingstad was abducted at Ocean View Resort in Samal Island, Davao on Sept. 21, 2015, along with John Ridsdell, Robert Hall and Filipina Maritess Flor. Ridsdell and Hall were both beheaded while Flor was set free last July.

“The release of the kidnap victim is an offshoot of the ongoing military operations to sustain pressure against the ASG and the assistance of the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front),” Arevalo said.

Simultaneous land, air, naval and police operations complemented each other putting pressure on the ASG.

Elements of the Naval Commander Amphibious Task Group 80.2, which conducted amphibious raids in the islands of Pata and Kalinggalang Caluang in Sulu resulted in the confiscation of 15 unregistered motorized boats to include one confiscated by the PNP in Parang, Sulu and believed to be used by ASG Alhabsy Misaya, who is responsible for kidnapping Indonesian and Malaysian tugboat crews in the high seas these past months.

The boats were turned over to the Sulu MARINA for disposition, Arevalo added.

He also said AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya commended the efforts of soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen who maintain the operational tempo.

“He expects there will be more kidnap victims released under the same circumstances,” Arevalo said.
AFP, PNA


TRIBUNE

Palace: Ransom was paid; source of money paid still not confirmed Written by Tribune Wires Monday, 19 September 2016 00:00 By Mario J. Mallari and Ted Tuvera

A Palace spokesman made a fool out of himself yesterday claiming that no money exchanged hands for the release of Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad by his Abu Sayyaf captors even if a spokesman for the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), a source in the military and President Duterte himself said ransom was paid for Sekkingstad’s release.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said yesterday that “the government maintains the no-ransom policy” and that “if there is a third party like his family that paid, we do not known anything about that.”

The amount of the ransom, however, differed as Duterte last Aug. 26 said P50 million was paid the ASG for Sekkingstad’s release while the ASG and a military source said P30 million was received by the bandits to agree to the release of the Norwegian.

Norwegian foreign affairs communications chief Frode Andersen also claimed by phone that “the Norwegian government does not pay ransom in this case or any other case.”

A spokesman for the Abu Sayyaf saidthe group received P30 million for the Norwegian which was the same amount a Tribune source in the military cited.“Actually, Sekkingstad was freed Friday to the MNLF by his captors,” the source said.

Sekkingstad’s release was confirmed by government authorities only on Saturday.

READ MORE...

“The MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) talked directly with the ASG holding Sekkingstad as captive,” added the source, who claimed that the P30 million cash was entrusted to the MNLF by an emissary. The source refused to identify the emissary.

“This (Sekkingstad release) clearly proves that MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari is willing to work with the Duterte administration towards peace,” the source added.

Last Aug. 26, in an apparent slip of the tongue when asked about an ASG beheading confirmed a P50 million ransom paid for Sekkingstad.

Journalists asked Duterte whether he was aware of the beheading that happened on August 23 in Sulu.

“If that’s the one, then I will accuse the Abu Sayyaf of acting in bad faith. They have been paid 50,000 Philippine Peso already.” Afterwards, he corrected himself and said the ransom was P50 million.

The beheading, however, was that of 18-year-old Patrick James Almodovar, who was abducted last July 16 from a village in Jolo Island and not Sekkingstad.

The Tribune source said the delivery of P30 million cash to the terrorist Abu Sayyaf group was facilitated by the MNLF.
Duterte has repeatedly stressed the need for government to talk with Misuari, who is wanted for the 2013 Zamboanga City siege, to attain peace in Mindanao, particularly in Sulu –a known bailiwick of the MNLF.

Sekkingstad was the last of the four kidnap victims snatched by the terrorist Abu Sayyaf group from the posh Oceanview Resort on Samal Island almost a year ago.

Two of the hostages –Canadians Robert Hall and John Ridsdel were beheaded after failing to pay P300 million ransom each. The fourth victim was Filipino Maritess Flor who was freed last June.

3 INDONESIAN HOSTAGES TURNED OVER TO MNLF

Yesterday. Maj. Filemon Tan Jr., spokesman of the military’s Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) , confirmed that three Indonesians were turned over to the MNLF by their ASG captors. The three were snatched last Aug. 19 off Sabah.
At least four Indonesians remained under ASG captivity, along with Malaysians and at least five Filipino hostages.

The four freed hostages were subsequently turned over to Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza and Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan Jr.

Tan said that the hostages underwent debriefing and medical checkup at the Camp General Teodulfo Bautista in Jolo before proceeding to Zamboanga.

While admitting the significant role of the MNLF, the military maintained that the intensified focused operations against the ASG was a huge factor in the release of the hostages.

Maybe family paid  ASG — Andanar

On radio, however, Andanar said while the Duterte administration maintains a “no ransom policy”, it is likely that the captive’s family paid the amount demanded by the ASG in its kidnap-for-ransom (KFR) trade.

“If the family paid the ransom, then we don’t know anything about that,” Andanar said.

Andanar dismissed media reports that President Duterte previously admitted that he’s aware that ransom money were already given to the Abu Sayyaf.

“Wherever you got that information, you tell us because we don’t know anything about it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza, in a statement, confirmed that the release of the Norwegian was made possible through the help of Misuari.

Dureza said that Misuari even hosted the captive over night in his hiding place in Jolo, Sulu last Saturday night prior to giving him to government custody yesterday morning.

“Chairman Nur Misuari in Barangay Kagay [Jolo, Sulu] volunteered to host Sekkingstad’s stay due to heavy rains and nightfall last Saturday. Men of Misuari and former (Sulu) Governor Sakur Tan and other volunteers helped in the release,” Dureza said.

“His first words when I spoke to him on the phone : ‘Thank you to President Duterte.’ His release from captivity capped months of quiet, patient but determined efforts with the assistance of all sectors,” he added.

The Norwegian and three Indonesian seamen were turned over to a government representative after being freed by Islamic extremists who had beheaded two captives in June.

Sekkingstad and the Indonesians, who had been held by Abu Sayyaf militants, were handed over to envoy Jesus Dureza in the town of Indanan on Jolo island, said an AFP reporter at the scene.

The transfer took place at the heavily guarded camp of another Muslim rebel leader Nur Misuari, whose group assisted in the release according to the government.

Sekkingstad was abducted from a high-end tourist resort which he managed on Samal island in September 2015, along with two Canadians who were later beheaded.

It was still unclear if the three freed Indonesians were the same ones kidnapped by armed men off a fishing trawler in Malaysian waters in July.

The Abu Sayyaf freed Sekkingstad on Saturday, handing him over to Misuari who is engaged in peace talks with the government and at whose camp he spent the night, Dureza said earlier.

Escorted by a small contingent of Jolo police, Dureza, Misuari, the freed captives and local officials met in a building surrounded by hundreds of Misuari’s fighters from the Moro National Liberation Front before leaving for a military camp, the reporter said.

The military has said that after a medical check-up and debriefing, Sekkingstad would fly to the southern city of Davao to be received by President Rodrigo Duterte.

John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, the two Canadians seized with Sekkingstad, were beheaded after a ransom demand of about P300 million was not met.

The ASG is a loose network of militants formed in the 1990s with seed money from Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda network.

It is based in remote Muslim-populated southern islands in the mainly Catholic Philippines, and has earned millions of dollars in ransom from kidnappings — often targeting foreigners.

While its leaders have in recent years pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, analysts say the Abu Sayyaf is mainly focused on a lucrative kidnapping business rather than religious ideology.

The group, which is blamed for the worst terror attacks in Philippine history and is listed by the United States as a terrorist organisation, has been the target of a military operation since August.


TRIBUNE

Rody warns 'yellows' against plotting ouster, impeach Written by Ted Tuvera Tuesday, 13 September 2016 00:00



But pledges to ‘kill them first’

President Duterte may really be seeing yellow goblins hard at work to plot and plan to have him ousted or impeached, or he may just be seeing goblins where there are none.

Although there appears to be some sort of a confluence of events and developments that suggest there may just be early plans and plots to remove Duterte from his seat of power either through another people power ouster of a president, or an impeachment.

There may also be reasons for this latest revelation from Duterte, since the President and his administrators appear to be closing in on cases that can be lodged against the officials of the previous regime, who are said to have indulged in corruption, when they were in power and position.

The confluence of events appear to be forming, given the serious deterioration of relationship between the United States and the Philippines, stemming from Duterte’s vulgar outburst against US President Barack Obama during his departure statement before heading to Vientaine, Laos, for the Asean Summit, and President Obama canceling the one-on-one meeting with Duterte, and in an East Asian summit, also berated the United States for the massacre of the Moros in Mindanano in the 1900s during the American colonial rule that was on a pacification drive while showing photographs of an American solider stamping his foot on a naked Filipina.

READ MORE...

It will also be recalled that Obama, whom Duterte wanted to approach him to explain why he had the outburst, the American president was heard to tell him that he will let his people talk to Duterte.

Rody wants ‘hypocritical’ US troops out of Mindanao

His latest barb against the US came when he stressed that Americans are “hypocrites” and that US troops operating in Mindanao should already be ejected from the region.

“These [US] Special Forces, they have to go. Those in Mindanao, the white guys, they have to go,” the President said in his speech at the Palace yesterday.

Duterte, who was recently in a verbal cold war with Washington, said that as long as American soldiers stay in Mindanao, there will be no peace in the said regions where armed Islamic insurgents – including the notorious terror group Abu Sayyaf – are operating.

“For as long as we stay with America, we will never have peace in that land. We might as well give it up,” the President added.

Since 2002, fighting Abu Sayyaf became a mission of the American military’s Operation Enduring Freedom and part of the Global War on Terrorism with their troops involved in the purge of the armed Islamist bandits in Southern Philippines.

The President added that, in his insistence to push for an independent foreign policy, he is going to review the Philippines’ signed pacts with the US — something that he did not disclose during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) leaders’ summit in Vientiane, Laos last week where Obama was present.

“I have to review our foreign policy since I am for an independent one. I didn’t talked much about it during the summit and out of respect [because] I do not want a rift with America. But they [US troops in Mindanao] have to go,” he added.

Abella on US Special Forces in Mindanao

Duterte’s spokesman Ernesto Abella again defended the president, saying that the statement if Duterte on demanding the withdrawal of the US Special Forces in Mindanao reflects Presidnt Duterte’s new direction toward coursing an independent foreign policy; he has made reference to the unrecognized, unrepented and un-atoned for massacre at Bud Dajo in Sulu by the Americans, hence our continued connection with West is the real reason for the “Islamic” threat in Mindanao.

“The American silence on the matter lacks congruence with its ‘moral’ position, in light of actions taken in the past by the Germans who confessed and made an atonement for the Holocaust, and Japan which made reparations for the atrocities it perpetrated among the peoples they conquered.

“Mr. Duterte is on morally firm ground by breaking up walls that cover dark corners in US-RP relations.”

Duterte has replayed what he said he did during a closed-door meeting with East Asian leaders, outgoing President Obama and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Laos last week by showing the photo of the infamous Moro massacre of 1906.

ARCHIVED PHOTO

Displaying the photo where an American soldier is seen stepping on a dead naked woman’s bare breasts that he had obtained from the US Archives, Duterte once again called the Americans “hypocrites” for taking a swipe at him as a human rights violator.

“Americans are a bunch of hypocrites. You know Mr. Obama when you accuse me of killing, you didn’t show any evidence. You didn’t even say sorry to the Filipinos. He who has no sin cannot cast the first stone,” firebrand Duterte said.

It has also been noted that Vice President Leni Robredo has been openly criticizing Duterte very often, although she couches her criticisms with ensuring that she does not criticize him directly, even on his war on drugs as well as the Marcos burial issue and her siding with the martial law victims.

Yellows accused

Duterte yesterday accused his “yellow” critics of plotting attempts to oust or impeach him from Malacañang but vowed to kill them first.

In his speech at the Palace before the oath-taking of new government appointees, the 71-year-old firebrand said that the “yellows” are joining the bandwagon of human rights advocates who are aggressive in pointing out violations committed under his administration’s “war on illegal drugs” that has killed nearly 2,000 individuals already.

“Do you know who are playing this trick of joining the human rights [groups’ portrayal of a bad image of me?] The yellows!” Duterte thundered.

“In fact, they (dyed in the wool yellows and his yellow critics) are trying to build a case against me and have me impeached,” he stressed.

The minions of the previous administration of former President Noynoy Aquino and members of the Liberal Party (LP) are the ones usually being referred to as the “yellows”.

Duterte has threatened those who are plotting to depose him as the democratically elected president with his signature “I will kill you” phrase.

“If I have to resign, I will. But I will have to kill you first,” he said.

DE LIMA

The President’s top critic in the legislature, former Justice Secretary and Sen. Leila de Lima, who initiated the Senate probe on the extrajudicial killings under Duterte’s nearly three-month old regime, is an LP stalwart.

De Lima stands accused by the President for allegedly benefiting from narco-funds saying that her senatorial bid was bankrolled by drug lords detained at the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP) during her justice chief days.

Most of the politicians in President Duterte’s list of 160 government officials claimed to be in cahoots with drugs syndicates are affiliated to the LP, significantly Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog who is a cousin of prominent LP leader and Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon.

Also, in a speech before the Filipino community in Jakarta, Indonesia last Friday, Duterte also said that if it was not he who had won the presidential race last May, the drugs problem in the country might have “worsened”, citing defeated LP standard bearer and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas’ “military aide” retired Philippine National Police (PNP) Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo who was one of the “narco-generals” named by the President just days after taking hold of Malacañang last July.

It is recalled that the President, along with Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre and Solicitor General Jose Calida, even identified Garbo as the top PNP official assailed to be coddling top drugs syndicates in the country.

Not the first time US plotted ouster of presidents

It is not the first time the American government, has been highly suspected of orchestrating the ouster of a Philippine president.

The Edsa People Power was certainly supported by the US state department officials in ousting then President Ferdinand Marcos, with the Marcos family pointing to the US as having kidnapped Marcos and his family in a helicopter and flying him to Hawaii instead of Paoay. Ilocos Norte.

Cory Aquino thanked the America’s officialdom and US media profusely.

The Americans were also suspected of having orchestrated the impeachment and ouster of then President Joseph Estrada.

Apparently, an emissary of then US President Bill Clinton asked Estrada to desist from waging his all out offensive against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels, led by Hashim Salamat, who had already fled to Malaysia.

Estrada said he had already given the order for the military to luanch the offensive and could not longer recall it, especially as the government was winning the war against the MILF, having captured several military camps that were taken by the MILF with the rebels on the run.

Not long after, an impeachment complaint was lodged against Estrada by the opposition allies.

However, the rules of impeachment were violated by then Speaker Manny Villar and the opposition, mainly yellows, who refused to hold a plenary vote, knowing that the majority of congressmen then would defeat the committee vote.

Villar read a prayer introduction to the plenary vote then quickly announced that the impeachment articles from about 60 congressmen, a minority vote which would have been drowned out in a plenary voting, would b e submitted to the Senate for trial.Through a clear coordinated move, then Senate President Franklin Drilon quickly accepted long after office hours, the illegal impeachment complaint and announced the trial of Estrada.

Despite having undergone trial Estrada had the numbers and the conviction ploy failed miserably.

It was then that the so-called Edsa ll revolt was in play, with the stage walk of the House prosecutors with then presiding impeachment trial official, the Supreme Court chief Justice, Hilario Davide, ending the trial and joined the yellow mob at Edsa, along with all the SC justices joining in illegaimately proclaiming then Vice President Gloria Arroyo as the President-not acting president but President of the Republic of the Philippines.
Published in Headlines Latest from Ted Tuvera

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

LP not a ‘Trojan horse’ seeking Duterte ouster—Lagman By: Marc Jayson Cayabyab @MJcayabyabINQ INQUIRER.net 01:38 PM September 13th, 2016


Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman. INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO/RYAN LEAGOGO

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman on Tuesday flatly denied that the Liberal Party is acting like a “Trojan horse” out to plot an impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a press briefing of the minority bloc at the House of Representatives, Lagman said it is Duterte himself who is causing his inevitable impeachment due to his careless statements that strain the country’s alliances with other countries.

Duterte cursed US President Barack Obama and called him a “son of a b****” when asked about the latter’s plan to ask him at the sidelines of the Asean summit about human rights violations amid the administration’s war on drugs. But Duterte denied cursing Obama, blaming the media instead for feeding him the question.

READ: Duterte: I didn’t curse Obama

“Far from being a target of an impeachment plot from the LP, it is the President who might, so to speak, be impeaching himself for his improvident and inconvenienced statements unmindful of adverse and compromising consequences,” Lagman said.

During the Asean summit, Duterte also spoke of American atrocities of killing thousands of Moros during the Philippine-American war in the 1900s, even in the presence of Obama and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who strongly criticized the spate of human rights violations at the height of Duterte’s war on drugs.

READ: Duterte: Obama, Ban mum when I raised killings during PH-US war

Lagman refuted the impression that that the Liberals, referred to by Duterte as the “Yellows,” are bent to impeach him even though majority of LP aligned themselves with Duterte’s super majority in Congress.

READ: In the end, LP opts to join majority bloc

The Liberals may be seen as acting like a Trojan horse, an idiom pertaining to a group of persons bent to deceive an organization from the inside. This is a reference to Greek mythology about a wooden horse given as a gift to Troy but used by the Greeks to gain entrance and attack the city.

READ: Duterte accuses LP of plotting to oust him

Lagman said instead of calling these LP allies a Trojan horse, he saw them merely as “tame stallions.”

Lagman is a member of the Liberal Party who opted to align with the minority when he did not vote for the winning Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

“The House members of the Liberal Party who joined the super majority do not constitute a Trojan horse. They may be considered a tame stallion,” Lagman said. JE/rga

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RELATED(2) FROM ABS-CBN

LP denies alleged impeachment plot vs Duterte Adrian Ayalin and RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News Posted at Sep 13 2016 03:15 PM


Senator Franklin Drilon

MANILA - Liberal Party (LP) lawmakers flatly denied President Rodrigo Duterte's claims that the "yellows" are seeking to impeach him.

Liberal Party vice-chairman Senator Franklin Drilon denied any party involvement in the supposed plot to oust Duterte which the President himself revealed.

"We have not met on this and we deny that we are part of such plot, if indeed such plot exists. The Liberal Party has nothing to do with it," said Drilon.

"Hindi po sinabi ng Pangulo kung sino yung mga yellow," Drilon added.

LP members in the lower chamber also dismissed the president's allegations, saying LP members who belong to both the majority and the minority have never discussed the issue.

"We can safely say that as far as the Liberal Party members of the House are concerned, both of those who are with the majority and who are with our group, have not even talked about impeachment," Northern Samar Rep. Raul Daza told House reporters.

"We all know that under the constitution, the process of impeachment begins in the House and I'm sure that there has not been any talk of impeachment among the LP members," Daza said.

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RELATED(3) FROM THE INQUIRER

Duterte accuses LP of plotting to oust him By: Marlon Ramos @MRamosINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer
08:16 PM September 12th, 2016


FILE: The Liberal Party (LP) National Executive Council meets on September 30, 2015 at the LP headquarters in Quezon City to decide on its slate for the 2016 elections. KRISTINE ANGELI SABILLO/INQUIRER.net

PRESIDENT Duterte on Monday accused the Liberal Party (LP) of mounting moves to unseat him by highlighting the issue of human rights violations.

“Let’s not fool ourselves. Do you know who’s behind this? It’s the yellow,” the President said, referring to the LP’s political color.

Addressing the oath-taking rites of his new appointee s in Malacañang, he said United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and US President Barack Obama also “rode” on the issue of human rights abuses regarding his administration’s bloody war against drugs.

“They think that if they can build a case against me, I’ll be impeached,” he said. “My God! I tell you frankly, when I assumed office, in this quest of mine, I have prepared to lose my honor, my life and the presidency.”

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RELATED(4) FROM ABS-CBN

Robredo says no to Duterte ouster; VP vows not to support any impeachment move
ABS-CBN News Posted at Sep 17 2016 01:15 PM


Vice President Leni Robredo encourages drug surrenderees in Naga City to bring back their faith to God and to Ina Peñafrancia. Thea Omelan, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday denied allegations that the testimony of self-confessed hit man Edgar Matobato is the Liberal Party’s (LP) "Plan B" to bring her into power, and said that she will not support any impeachment proceedings as these will not be good for the country.

READ: Cayetano: 'DDS' hitman may be part of LP plot to oust Duterte

During a visit to Naga City to talk to drug surrenderers and celebrate the Penafrancia Festival, Robredo said Senator Alan Peter Cayetano's accusations were "unfair" as she has always showed support for President Rodrigo Duterte after she joined the Cabinet.

Cayetano said earlier this week that Matobato’s testimony during a Senate probe on alleged drug-related extrajudicial killings naming Duterte and his kin as patrons of the Davao Death Squad (DDS) was an attempt of the LP to install Robredo in Malacanang.

"Very supportive ang pangulo sa akin, kaya sa akin lang, napaka-irresponsible ng pagsabi [ni Cayetano na may plano umano ang LP na siraan ang administrasyon]," she said.

READ MORE...

Cayetano's statements have no basis, Robredo said, and doubted that anyone would want the confusion that comes after any ouster.

"Ako mismo, parati ko namang sinasabi na any attempt na magkaroon ng impeachment proceedings, hindi ko iyan susuportahan. Kasi tingin ko, hindi iyan makakabuti para sa atin."

People should give Duterte a chance to serve the country properly, she said, because the administration’s success is the people’s success.

Robredo also denied any discussions within the LP, which backed her campaign for the vice presidency in the May 9 elections, regarding the issue, as it is too early to say whether there is any truth to Matobato’s testimony and his accusations against Duterte.

The LP is also not in a position to say whether his story is true, she said.

"Ang sa amin lang , huwag harangan kung anuman ang ginagawa ng pamahalaan para malaman ang katotohanan."
With a report from Thea Omelan, ABS-CBN News

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ALSO  FROM ABS-CBN

Robredo seeks talk with Duterte on 'unseat' rumors ABS-CBN News Posted at Sep 13 2016 05:55 PM


Vice President Leni Robredo. File photo

Vice President Leni Robredo will clarify with President Rodrigo Duterte what she called a "misinformation" that her political party is out to unseat him.

In a statement Tuesday, Robredo denied Duterte's accusations that a group of "yellow," a color associated with the Liberal Party, is moving to oust Duterte.

"There are no moves from the Liberal Party to unseat the President," said Robredo.

She maintained the "leadership of the party has been consistently demonstrating its support to this administration," even citing that party members have "coalesced with the majority in the House and the Senate."

"I plan to clarify this with the President to clear the misinformation and assure him of the party's commitment to the reforms for our Filipino people," Robredo said.

LP officials in House and Senate also denied Duterte's accusations.

"We have not met on this and we deny that we are part of such plot, if indeed such plot exists. The Liberal Party has nothing to do with it," said LP vice-chairman Senator Franklin Drilon.

"Hindi po sinabi ng Pangulo kung sino yung mga yellow," Drilon added.

LP members in the lower chamber also dismissed the president's allegations, saying LP members who belong to both the majority and the minority have never discussed the issue.

"We can safely say that as far as the Liberal Party members of the House are concerned, both of those who are with the majority and who are with our group, have not even talked about impeachment," Northern Samar Rep. Raul Daza told House reporters.

Robredo said Liberal Party has been "coordinating with the relevant government agencies so that our office can help in the rehabilitation effort that needs to accompany the campaign against illegal drugs."
-- With reports from Adrian Ayalin, RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News


GMA NEWS ONLINE

'A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE' Duterte admits: I skipped ASEAN meeting with US on purpose Published September 12, 2016 10:22pm Updated September 12, 2016 10:33pm By TRISHA MACAS, GMA News

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday revealed that he purposely skipped the summit between Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with the United States in Vientiane, Laos last week on purpose.

"I purposely did not attend the bilateral meeting between the ASEAN and the US. Talagang ini-skip ko iyan. The reason is not that I am anti-West... It is simply a matter of principle," Duterte said in a speech.

Palace officials told local and foreign reporters that Duterte had missed the meeting because he was not feeling well, with Communications Secretary Martin Andanar saying the president had another migraine attack.

Duterte's first foreign trip last week was fraught with controversy even before his departure after his expletive-filled rant when asked about the possibility of discussing criticism from human rights groups with US President Barack Obama. That led to the cancellation of a meeting between the two leaders.

Duterte and Obama spoke briefly before the gala dinner of the summit last Wednesday, before the Philippine president skipped the meeting on Thursday.

READ MORE...

However, they crossed paths later that day when Duterte veered off his prepared speech at the ASEAN-East Asia Summit to show attendees, including Obama, photos of Filipinos killed during the American occupation in Mindanao.

'Pinatay ko talaga'

Duterte said that during that speech, he told Obama that he killed the rapists of a teacher in Davao City.

"Pinatay ko talaga... Pity is not one of my virtues," he said.

Duterte once again showed pictures of slain Filipinos in Monday's speech.

After Duterte's address in Laos, Obama had strong words for the administration's war on drugs urging the Philippine president to conduct it "the right way."

"It is important from our perspective to make sure that we do it the right way, because the consequences of when you do it the wrong way is innocent people get hurt and you have a whole bunch of unintended consequences that don’t solve the problem."

Obama was quick to add that the rift with Duterte "has no impact on our broader relationship with the Philippine people, on the wide range of programs and security cooperation that we have with this treaty ally."

Duterte, meanwhile, launched another volley earlier on Monday, saying he wanted US Special Forces out of Mindanao, after once again showing photos of slain Filipinos.

“Kaya iyong mga Special Forces, they have to go. They have to go. In Mindanao, maraming mga puti roon, they have to go. I-review ko iyang foreign policy. Hindi ko lang masalita noon out of respect or I do not want a rift with America. But they have to go,” Duterte said in the earlier speech. —JST, GMA News

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

No intention to snub Obama, Yasay says Duterte really had migraine By Levi A. So (philstar.com) | Updated September 13, 2016 - 5:09pm 1 148 googleplus1 0


"He purposely did not attend both ASEAN+1 with India and ASEAN+1 and the United States because he was not feeling well," Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay said. File photo

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay on Tuesday explained that when President Rodrigo Duterte said he "purposely did not attend" bilateral talks between Southeast Asian leaders and the United States, it was due to migraine and not anti-American sentiments.

He said he was informed at 2 a.m. ahead of the meeting that the president was not feeling well.

RELATED: Rody sidelined by migraine, spinal woes

"That's why he said that he was not going to attend purposely... He purposely did not attend both ASEAN+1 with India and ASEAN+1 and the United States because he was not feeling well," Yasay said in an interview over ANC's "Headstart."

Duterte on Monday said in a speech that he had no intention to attend bilateral talks with the US, a longtime Philippine ally.

"I did attend. But I purposely did not attend the bilateral talks between ASEAN countries and the ambassador of, the president of the United States. Talagang ini-skip ko 'yun," he said.

"I attend[ed] all others. 'Yung kay (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, may one-on-one ako, and the ASEAN and also the Chinese, I was there. The reason is not I am anti-West. The reason is not I do not like the Americans. It's simply a matter of principle for me."

Yasay at the beginning of the interview was asked by "Headstart" host Karen Davila regarding the president's statement but he said has yet to hear the comment.

After a clip of Duterte's speech was played, Yasay said the president's anger was coming from the lack of apology for the atrocities committed by the United States in the country.

The president's statement must be understood with the "entire context" in mind, he added.

Duterte has criticized the US for past atrocities, including the massacre of about 1,000 Moros in Bud Dajo in Sulu in 1906.

READ: Palace clarifies: Duterte’s statement telling US troops to leave not yet a policy

WATCH VIDEO: I PURPOSELY SKIP OBAMA-ASEAN MEETING - DUTERTE

 
https://youtu.be/-ZborxyA5EY
I PURPOSELY SKIP OBAMA-ASEAN MEETING - DUTERTE at Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Published on Sep 12, 2016 President Duterte on Monday revealed that he purposely ditched the meeting of leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) with US President Barack Obama in Vientiane, Laos last week.

“I did attend but I purposely did not attend the bilateral talks between Asean countries and the president of the United States. Talagang ini-skip ko ‘yun,” he said during the awards ceremony of 2016 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos in Malacanang Palace. “I attend all others. ‘Yung kay Putin may one on one ako and the Asean and the Chinese, I was there,” he added.

The President’s disclosure contradicted the official statement of Malacanang that Mr. Duterte failed to attend the Asean-US summit because he was under the weather. The President said that the snub is a matter of principle. “The reason is not I am anti-West. The reason is that I do not like the Americans. It’s simply a matter of principle for me,” he said. 


ABS-CBN

Palace: Duterte didn't give 'go-ahead' for Veloso's execution ABS-CBN News Posted at Sep 12 2016 04:15 PM | Updated as of Sep 12 2016 07:09 PM By Willard Cheng @willardcheng 3:45 AM - 12 Sep 2016 224 224 Retweets 219 219 likes



Palace: Duterte did not tell Widodo to go ahead with execution of Veloso but only "to follow your own laws" and that "I will not interfere"

MANILA - (UPDATED) Malacanang denied on Monday that President Rodrigo Duterte gave his "go-ahead" for the execution of drug convict Mary Jane Veloso in Indonesia.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said what Duterte told Indonesian President Joko Widodo was that he would not interfere in Indonesia's legal processes.

He said what Duterte told Widodo was "to follow your own laws" and that "I will not interfere."

Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. meanwhile described as "erroneous" a headline in Jakarta Post, which claimed “Duterte has given green light for Mary Jane’s execution.”

Yasay maintained Veloso's execution has been "indefinitely deferred."

Yasay said Duterte told Widodo that he respected "their judicial processes and will accept whatever the final decision they will arrive at regarding her case."

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The Jakarta Post, citing the state-owned Antara News, quoted Widodo as having said: "President Duterte has given the go-ahead to proceed with the execution."

ABC Indonesia's Adam Harvey also posted a sound recording of Widodo's statement.

Lika Aprilia, an Indonesian journalist, translated Widodo's statement as: "I told him that Mary Jane carried 2.6 kg heroin, and I told him about her death penalty that was postponed, and he told me, 'if you want to execute her, then go ahead.'"

Indonesia’s Cabinet secretariat, likewise, quoted Widodo as saying that Duterte had given Indonesia the go-ahead to proceed with the execution.

Duterte visited Indonesia last Friday to meet with Widodo. Prior to his meeting with his Indonesian counterpart, Duterte said he was ready to accept Veloso’s fate.

When he returned, Duterte declined to discuss the case involving Veloso, a Filipina convicted and sentenced to death for smuggling heroin into Indonesia.

READ: Duterte mum on Mary Jane Veloso case

"I had a talk, this one of the topics of this conversation, everybody was excluded and a lot to cover, security arrangements including the Filipinos who are in jail and facing charges in Indonesia," Duterte said in a press conference at the Davao International Airport after his arrival from his Indonesia visit."

"There are matters that I cannot tell you now, I'm sorry, I'm not a liberty but maybe, I can talk to the family first," he added.
Veloso was due to be executed last year by firing squad but she was given a last-minute reprieve by Widodo.

READ: Why Mary Jane Veloso got last-minute reprieve

The reprieve was given after Manila told Jakarta that it had in its custody Veloso's recruiter who allegedly planted the illegal drugs in the Filipina's luggage.

Veloso maintains she is innocent and was only tricked by her alleged recruiter into smuggling heroin, and that she was a victim of human trafficking.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Yasay: Duterte, Widodo statements consistent with each other By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated September 13, 2016 - 11:05am 2 209 googleplus0 1


Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte, center left, waves with his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo during their visit at Tanah Abang Market on the sidelines of their meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. Duterte is currently on a two-day visit to the country. AP/Tatan Syuflana

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said the recent statements of President Rodrigo Duterte and Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo regarding the execution of Mary Jane Veloso were not in conflict with each other.

According to a report from the Jakarta Post, Widodo said that Duterte has given the "green light" to execute Veloso who has been convicted of drug trafficking in 2010.

Widodo reportedly said that he explained to Duterte that Veloso has been found guilty of carrying 2.6 kilograms of heroin during their meeting.

"President Duterte said, please go ahead if you want to execute," Widodo told members of the press in Indonesian, as reported by ABC Indonesia correspondent Adam Harvey.


YASAY

Yasay had released a statement clarifying that the president did not give a go signal to execute the convicted Filipina in Indonesia.

READ: Report: Duterte gave go signal to execute Mary Jane Veloso

| Yasay: No green light on Veloso execution

The Foreign Affairs secretary, however, said the statements of the two leaders are consistent with each other.

"[Duterte] says, 'I will respect your judicial process and will accept whatever final decision you will have in this case.' This is a correct statement that any president must do under the circumstances because we cannot interfere," Yasay said in an interview with ANC's Headstart on Tuesday morning.

Yasay added that the statement of Widodo in connection to the execution of Veloso might have been "lost in translation" as the remarks were stated in Bahasa.

"All I'm saying is that the statement of President Widodo and what President Duterte have said do not necessarily conflict with each other but can be misconstrued or misinterpreted as I feel it has been by the press," the Foreign Affairs chief said.

He added that he has been in contact with his Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi, prior to releasing the statement to clarify Duterte's supposed "green light" for the execution of Veloso.

"Even before I released my statement to the press yesterday, I immediately called my counterpart and said, 'You know, this is the statement that allegedly President Widodo had said and I'm faxing this statement that I prepared now for your consideration,'" Yasay said.

The execution of Veloso has been indefinitely deferred while her alleged recruiters are undergoing prosecution in the Philippines.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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