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

DUTERTE FLIES OFF TO VIETNAM TUESDAY AFTERNOON
[RELATED: Filipinos in Vietnam swarm around Duterte for selfies]


SEPTEMBER 28 -PRESIDENT Duterte is scheduled to leave for Vietnam on Tuesday afternoon to boost bilateral ties and cooperation in the face of China’s challenge in the South China Sea, officials said. Upon touching down at the Noi Bai International Airport, the President is to begin his official visit by meeting with members of the 3,800-strong Filipino community who would be traveling to Hanoi to see Mr. Duterte. According to the program of activities released by Malacañang, the meeting is scheduled at the Intercontinental Hotel in the socialist state’s capital. The highlight of the second day of the President’s official visit is his official meetings with top Vietnamese officials, including Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. On Thursday morning, Duterte will take part in wreath-laying ceremonies at the Monument of the National Heroes and Martyrs and at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. This will be followed by an official welcome for the visiting leader at the State Palace, also on Thursday morning. Duterte would then meet Vietnamese state President Tran Dai Quang. READ MORE...RELATED, Filipinos in Vietnam swarm around Duterte for selfies---

ALSO
IN HANOI  W/ OFWs - 2016 PH-US war games will be the last – Duterte
 [RELATED: Duterte: 2016 Philippines-US Balikatan to be the last]


SEPTEMBER 29 -Philippines' president Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a meeting with members of the Philippino community in Vietnam in Hanoi on September 28, 2016. Duterte arrived on September 28 in Hanoi for an official state visit. AFP
HANOI – This year’s war games with United States military troops will be the last. This was the vow of President Duterte as he promised to forge new trade alliances with China and Russia. In his address before the Filipino community in Vietnam, Duterte said he was “serving notice to the Americans.” “You are scheduled to hold war games, which China does not want. I will serve notice to you now that this will be the last military exercise,” he said. “I’m serving notice now to the Americans. I will maintain the military alliance, the RP-US pact which our countries signed in the early 50s. But I will establish new alliances for trade and commerce,” Duterte said, adding that he won’t let the military’s grey ships take part in joint patrols. His profanity-laced speech lasted for more than one hour and kept the Filipinos riveted, despite the fact that he was more than an hour late. READ MORE...WATCH VIDEO...
RELATED, Duterte: 2016 Philippines-US Balikatan to be the last...

ALSO: US Defense secretary - US will sharpen 'military edge' in Asia
("The United States will continue to sharpen our military edge so we remain the most powerful military in the region and the security partner of choice," he said. He added, "We're going to have a few surprises as well," describing them only as "leap-ahead investments.")


SEPTEMBER 30 -ecretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks to sailors on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016 at Naval Air Station, North Island in Coronado, Calif. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Thursday said the US will "sharpen our military edge" in Asia and the Pacific in order to remain a dominant power in a region feeling the effects of China's rising military might. Carter made the pledge in a speech aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in port in San Diego. Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP
SAN DIEGO — Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Thursday the US will "sharpen our military edge" in Asia and the Pacific in order to remain a dominant power in a region feeling the effects of China's rising military might. Carter made the pledge in a speech aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in port in San Diego. The Pentagon chief described what he called the next phase of a US pivot to Asia — a rebalancing of American security commitments after years of heavy focus on the Middle East. His speech, aimed at reassuring allies unsettled by China's behavior in the South China Sea, came three days after he made remarks at a nuclear missile base in North Dakota about rebuilding the nuclear force. Those comments prompted a strong reaction from the Russian foreign ministry, which issued a statement saying it had interpreted Carter's statement as a declared intention to lower the threshold for using nuclear weapons. He said the Pentagon will make its attack submarines more lethal and spend more to build undersea drones that can operate in shallower waters where submarines cannot. READ MORE...

ALSO: PH to push for cooperation, not conflict in South China Sea


SEPTEMBER 30 -The Philippines will push for concrete steps to ensure that the disputed South China Sea would be a source of cooperation, not conflict, with its strategic partner Vietnam. It also plans to scale up maritime cooperation and forge stronger partnership in key areas during the two-day official visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Vietnam. The Chief Executive left Wednesday on board Philippine Airlines flight PR 001 at about 1:56 p.m. bound for Hanoi. Duterte is visiting Vietnam upon the invitation of its President, Tran Dai Quang. Joining the President in his visit to Hanoi are Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Francis Escudero, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Secretary to the Cabinet Leoncio Evasco, and Philippine Ambassador to Vietnam Noel Servigon.
RENEWING TIES OF FRIENDSHIP In his departure statement, Duterte said he looks forward to renewing the ties of friendship between the two nations and at the same time “reaffirm the commitment to work closer to achieve shared goals for our countries and peoples.” READ MORE...

ALSO: Rody asks military to stay faithful to Republic, explains meet with Reds
[RELATED: Duterte decries Hitler comparison]


SEPTEMBER 27 -MAN WITH A MISSION – President Rodrigo R. Duterte speaks at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 in Parañaque City before leaving for Hanoi, Vietnam Wednesday afternoon. The President’s visit aims to strengthen diplomatic and economic relations between the Philippines and Vietnam. (Richard V. Viñas/Manila Bulletin)
President Duterte on Tuesday night called on the military to remain faithful to the Republic. Speaking before Philippine Marines at Camp Rudiardo Brown in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, the Commander-in-Chief asked the troops to give him time to address the problems confronting the country. He said he was working to bring about peace, which in turn would bring economic benefits to the country. “I would like to ask you to remain faithful to the Republic,” he said as he asked the troops for understanding as he deals with the Philippine communist leaders while, at the same time, he works to build alliances with China and Russia. He said he is now talking peace with the left and Oslo, Norway, is providing its good offices so that the government and National Democratic Front (NDF) panels can meet. READ MORE...Duterte decries Hitler comparison...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Duterte flies off to Vietnam Tuesday afternoon

MANILA, OCTOBER 3, 2016 (INQUIRER) By: Julie M. Aurelio, September 28th, 2016 - PRESIDENT Duterte is scheduled to leave for Vietnam on Tuesday afternoon to boost bilateral ties and cooperation in the face of China’s challenge in the South China Sea, officials said.

Upon touching down at the Noi Bai International Airport, the President is to begin his official visit by meeting with members of the 3,800-strong Filipino community who would be traveling to Hanoi to see Mr. Duterte.

According to the program of activities released by Malacañang, the meeting is scheduled at the Intercontinental Hotel in the socialist state’s capital.

The highlight of the second day of the President’s official visit is his official meetings with top Vietnamese officials, including Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

On Thursday morning, Duterte will take part in wreath-laying ceremonies at the Monument of the National Heroes and Martyrs and at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

This will be followed by an official welcome for the visiting leader at the State Palace, also on Thursday morning. Duterte would then meet Vietnamese state President Tran Dai Quang.

READ MORE...

In the afternoon, the President is to pay a courtesy call on the Vietnamese prime minister.

Duterte would make a separate courtesy call on Nguyen Phu Trong, the general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

The spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs Charles Jose earlier said the President and the Vietnamese leaders were expected to tackle will various areas of bilateral cooperation and exchange views on regional and international issues.

VIDEO: Pres Duterte's speech before leaving for Hanoi
Go Trending PH Go Trending PH Published on Sep 27, 2016

 
https://youtu.be/kPK7fwMOJc4

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VIDEO : Jalandoni enumerates reasons why they are confident of Duterte

 
https://youtu.be/-7-qXpwhP40
Jalandoni enumerates reasons why they are confident of Duterte INQUIRER.net INQUIRER.net Subscribe64,419 Add to Share More 173 views 3 0 Published on Sep 27, 2016 Visit us at http://www.inquirer.net

MANILA TIMES HEADLINE PHOTO OF THE DAY:
Peace talks to push through – CPP leaders


LEADERS of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) assured President Rodrigo Duterte that peace negotiations with his administration will not be cancelled, Malacañang said on Tuesday. Duterte met with CPP Chairman Benito Tiamzon, his wife, Wilma and members of the National Democratic Front (NDF) peace panel in Malacañang Monday…

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Filipinos in Vietnam swarm around Duterte for selfies By: Julie M. Aurelio @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:54 AM September 30th, 2016


MOBBED President Duterte is warmly received by Filipinos working in Vietnam at the Intercontinental Hotel in Hanoi during his visit to that country onWednesday. MALACAÑANG PHOTO


HANOI—They patiently waited for more than four hours, not complaining about or minding their hunger. A picture with their idol was all they needed to make up for the long wait.

As always, President Duterte arrived late but regaled the more than 600 Filipino professionals based in Vietnam with his off-beat humor and colorful language.

In an hourlong speech at the Intercontinental Hotel here, Mr. Duterte discussed his favorite topics—Sen. Leila de Lima and the critics of his brutal war on drugs, including the United States, the United Nations and the European Union.

“I’m the favorite whipping boy now of human rights [advocates] all over the world—De Lima, (US President Barack) Obama, (UN Secretary General) Ban Ki-moon,” he said.

“What is the basic problem with human rights all over the world, Obama, Ban Ki-moon and the EU? This is my country, the Philippines. I have to protect the people, I have to protect the integrity, territorial or otherwise, of my country,” he said.

Mr. Duterte estimated that there are 3.7 million drug addicts in the Philippines, and that the narcotics trade in the country nets P216 billion a year.

He said he would compromise the next generation of Filipinos if he failed to stamp out illegal drugs.

He mentioned his “narcolists” which contain the names of government officials, police and military officers whom he has accused of coddling and protecting drug lords.

More than 3,700 people have been killed by police and unknown assailants since the President launched his campaign against drugs upon taking office on June 30.

“I intend to kill more because I have to account for these 4 million. I will not leave the presidency in shame. Better that I be the one jailed. I’ll kill them all,” Mr. Duterte said.

What genocide?

He slammed his critics for threatening to take him to international courts for genocide.

“Genocide when you kill the Jews or one tribe, one sect or belonging to the same religion or race. What genocide? I’ll kill these sons of bitches. Doing nothing but destroy my country,” he said.

Addressing the foreigners in his audience, Mr. Duterte maintained that it was not unlawful to threaten criminals in the Philippines.

He called the European Union “stupid” for criticizing him, and challenged it to show him the Philippine law that makes him liable for threatening criminals.

“If I cannot be held liable in my country, why are you fucking with me? Why imprison me with the laws of another country? You must be crazy,” he said.

“It is my country. If you have nothing else to do, do not fuck with me,” he added.

He went on to slam De Lima, whom he had publicly linked to illegal drugs.

Horrifying situation

“With the entry of De Lima, elected by drug money from Muntinlupa (New Bilibid Prison), the portals of the national level of narcopolitics was opened,” he said.

He said the Philippines would not have learned the extent of the drug problem if he had not been elected President, adding that he himself was “horrified” upon learning the real situation.

He promised to press his relentless campaign against illegal drugs, and that he “will not count the dead bodies.”

“In this fight, for my country, I put at stake on the table my honor, my life and even the presidency. If they decide to impeach me, fine, but solve the problem,” he said, drawing loud applause from his audience.

Mr. Duterte said retired “narcogeneral” Marcelo Garbo Jr. was inside New Bilibid Prison (NBP) when De Lima led a raid on the national penitentiary in December 2014, when she was the justice secretary.

He said NBP then had a nightclub, with women free to enter and leave, plus free-flowing liquor.

“What’s your problem? Why be afraid to go to prison? Anyway, you’re enjoying the life of a free man? That is how corrupt the Philippines was,” he said.

Need to rebuild

Mr. Duterte stressed the need to rebuild the Philippines, as the country has been left behind and its people leave to find jobs in other countries.

He promised the Filipinos in Vietnam that there will be changes when they go home, in particular, no more harassment when they pass through immigration and customs at the airports.

“Just let me know. No need to give me your name. Just tell me who is the son of a bitch in that office and I will take care of him,” he said.

“I’m telling everybody, every meeting in the Cabinet: This will be a clean government. Let us give the Filipino a respite from the agony and suffering,” the President said.

VIDEO : PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN ABELLS


https://youtu.be/qxMKfmJo3cU
FULL VIDEO PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ERNESTO ABELLA PRESSCON ON PEACE TOWARDS CPP NPA AUGUST 3, 2016 PRESIDENT DUTERTE UPDATES PRESIDENT DUTERTE UPDATES Subscribe Add to Share More 1,940 views 21 0 Published on Aug 2, 2016 ONGOING Presscon: " The intention of the president is final and lasting peace. We can trust the process and where the president is coming from.The CPP declared they wil announce a ceasefire. Let's see how things will unfold." - Presidential spokesperson Ernie Abella ONGOING Presscon: " There will be people given safe passage (on August 20 Oslo meeting with Joma Sison) Apparently, the Tiamzon couple are included.No mention of actual dates for LEDAC yet." - Presidential spokesperson Ernie Abella WATCH: Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella holds press conference


INQUIRER

2016 PH-US war games will be the last – Duterte By: Julie M. Aurelio @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 11:43 PM September 28th, 2016


Philippines' president Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a meeting with members of the Philippino community in Vietnam in Hanoi on September 28, 2016. Duterte arrived on September 28 in Hanoi for an official state visit. AFP

HANOI – This year’s war games with United States military troops will be the last.

This was the vow of President Duterte as he promised to forge new trade alliances with China and Russia.

In his address before the Filipino community in Vietnam, Duterte said he was “serving notice to the Americans.”

“You are scheduled to hold war games, which China does not want. I will serve notice to you now that this will be the last military exercise,” he said.

“I’m serving notice now to the Americans. I will maintain the military alliance, the RP-US pact which our countries signed in the early 50s. But I will establish new alliances for trade and commerce,” Duterte said, adding that he won’t let the military’s grey ships take part in joint patrols.

His profanity-laced speech lasted for more than one hour and kept the Filipinos riveted, despite the fact that he was more than an hour late.

READ MORE...

He also spoke of his plans to visit China and Russia “to open all doors of investment.”

The U.S. is the only country with which the Philippines has an existing mutual defense treaty.


YASAY

‘I didn’t hear that’

When asked to clarify Duterte’s statement, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay said he did not hear the President say he would be putting an end to war games between the Philippines and the U.S.

“Don’t pressure me to comment on something I didn’t hear,” Yasay, who was sitting onstage when Duterte made the statement in his speech, said when repeatedly asked by reporters to clarify on what the President meant.

The two militaries yearly hold joint exercises, the most significant of which is the Balikatan exercises.

Yasay explained that the President made the declaration in the context of joint patrols with the U.S.

He pointed out that the Philippines has existing defense agreements with the U.S.

Sought for comment, national security adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said the President likely referred to the war games in October as being last for the year and not for Duterte’s entire term.
This year’s joint military exercises were held in April. The next war games are supposed to be held in October.

Aside from promising to end the country’s joint military exercises with the U.S., Duterte also launched a tirade against his most vocal critic Sen. Leila de Lima, whom he referred to as Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre’s “best friend.”

The President also took potshots at U.S. President Barack Obama, United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon and other international groups who have been criticizing him for his human rights record amid his anti-illegal drugs war.

“Instead of helping us, the U.S. and the European Union started criticizing me,” he complained.

He also reported to the Filipino community two problems: that of illegal drugs and the Islamic State’s influence in Mindanao through the Abu Sayyaf.

As his habit, Duterte admitted to deviating from a prepared speech, peppering his hour-long address with profanity and jokes to crack up the hundreds of Filipinos at the Intercontinental Hotel in Hanoi.

VIDEO : OFWs in Hanoi welcome Duterte, troop to Hotel to see him
Introduced by Sec Yasay; with Aguirre and Cayetano, Andanar, Panelo, et al...

 
 https://youtu.be/PVC__lPkzNA

 
https://youtu.be/6wGYgMr8iZ0
President Duterte attends a meet with the Filipino Community at Hotel in Hanoi Nimitz510 Nimitz510 Subscribe Add to Share More 90 views 2 0 Published on Sep 28, 2016 Meet and Greet Hanoi President Rody Duterte attends a meet and greet session with the Filipino Community at the Intercontinental Hotel in Hanoi. There are more than 3,800 Filipinos working and living in Viet Nam. The President is in Viet Nam for his first Official Visit that airms to further foster good relationship between the two ASEAN Countries. #DuterteVIETNAM2016 #PartnerForChange


PHILSTAR

Duterte: 2016 Philippines-US Balikatan to be the last (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 30, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, meets with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (not in photo) in Hanoi, Vietnam, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016. Duterte is on his first visit to Vietnam as president. Hoang Dinh Nam/Pool Photo via AP

HANOI – President Duterte on Wednesday declared an end to joint military exercises with US forces, saying the upcoming scheduled war games would be the “last one.”

“I am serving notice now to the Americans. I will maintain military alliance because of RP-US pact which our country signed in the early 1950s,” Duterte said.

Duterte said during a two-day visit to Vietnam that he wants to establish new trade and commercial alliances with China and Russia, and that the war games were something Beijing does not want.

“And I will serve notice that this will be the last military exercise,” Duterte declared before the Filipino community at the Grand Ballroom of Intercontinental Hotel here.

Duterte added the Philippines would not participate in joint patrols in the South China Sea “with gray ships.”

“Anyway, I have this ruling of the international arbitration court which says that the South China Sea, the entitlements there are ours,” he said.

READ MORE...

The UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration in July ruled that China has no historic rights to resources within the South China Sea areas falling within their nine-dash line claim.

China reacted furiously, saying it “neither accepts or recognizes” the ruling.

“Our conflict with China is not really... is more of an imaginary thing. What I mean to say is, we cannot go to war (with China) just because there is that award,” he said.

Duterte reiterated he will not abandon the arbitration ruling with regard to China but stressed Manila cannot win if it launches a war with Beijing even with the help of Washington.

“Either we go to war or we talk. We cannot prevail over China. I am telling you, even with the help of America,” he said.

Duterte stressed he does not want to join patrols with the US in the South China Sea amid the maritime dispute with China.

“There will never be an occasion that I will send a gray ship there. Not because I am afraid,” he said.

Duterte also told the gathering of a supposed plan of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to assassinate him.

He appealed to the CIA to allow him to get used to being president first.

Duterte has had an uneasy relationship with the US since he won a presidential election in May. He said he is charting a foreign policy not dependent on the US, and has taken steps to revive ties with China, which had been strained under his predecessor over longstanding territorial conflicts in the South China Sea.

Earlier this month, Duterte said he would not allow government forces to conduct joint patrols in disputed waters near the South China Sea with foreign powers, apparently scrapping a deal his predecessor reached with the US military earlier this year.

Duterte has said he wanted the US military forces out of Mindanao and blamed America for inflaming local Muslim insurgencies there.

Duterte has said he was considering acquiring military equipment from Russia and China.

Difficult foreign policy direction

Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. explained Duterte does not want the Philippines to have joint control with any country in the South China Sea outside of the country’s territorial jurisdiction.

“There will be no joint military patrol in the area as if we want to protect our entitlements there because our entitlements there are not territorial but simply our right under the UNCLOS to exploit both living and non-living resources,” Yasay said, referring to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

“You have to understand the President’s statement in the context of what he was saying. He was talking about the arbitral tribunal. He was talking about our EEZ,” Yasay said.

Yasay said the “gray ships” that Duterte was referring to are war ships, not necessarily of the US, but from other countries.

Yasay, however, would not comment on the scheduled joint military exercises with the US.

His predecessor, former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario, described Duterte’s foreign policy direction as “unfortunate.”

Del Rosario said the Duterte administration’s foreign policy could “alienate its major economic partners” and create “an unwelcoming environment to foreign investors.”

Malacañang said the Philippines is undergoing a “difficult” shift towards an independent foreign policy that would positively affect its wellbeing and prosperity.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the Philippines should be allowed to chart its own course and fulfill its destiny on its own terms.

“There is a shift that’s happening. So it is not unfortunate but it is part of a process, difficult as it may be, but it is part of a process which the President sees is setting our own independent chart, our own independent course,” Abella said.

“It may be difficult and it may be challenging, but definitely the President sees it as something that will actually add to our wellbeing and prosperity as a nation,” he added.

Abella reacted to the statements of Del Rosario.

“He (Del Rosario) is welcome to his own perception. However, we need to bring into consideration the particular policy that the President is bringing us into. In a sense, he’s really bringing a shift in the direction,” Abella said.

Abella said the public should “see the substance” behind Duterte’s style, which involves colorful language and harsh statements.

“As the President says, again and again, and said earlier, look behind my words and see the actual situation on the people and the nation,” Abella said.
“So beyond the style, which is what you termed as harsh, is the substance which is to set the direction of an independent and free Philippines,” he said.

As to the joint military drills with the US, Abella said no timetable has been set. He, however, pointed out Duterte had made clear his intention in his speech in Hanoi on Wednesday.

Last ‘for the year’

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. also believed the President was referring to the last of the war games “for the year.”

“We have treaties, right? The Mutual Defense Treaty… We have the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, so that would continue,” he added.

“We are going to some kind of demilitarization in the area,” Esperon said. “What I understand that it’s the last for the year.”

Despite Duterte’s anti-US pronouncements, Abella said the fundamental relationship between Manila and Washington has not changed.

Abella noted Duterte had promised to honor all treaties and pacts during his inaugural address. The joint exercises of the Philippines and the US were in line with the Mutual Defense Treaty forged by the two countries in 1951.

“However, there are also certain modifications in their relationship and so the relationship remains solid according to the agreements, but also there will be other activities that will be more open to other nations too,” Abella said. – Christina Mendez, Alexis Romero, AP


PHILSTAR

Defense secretary: US will sharpen 'military edge' in Asia By Robert Burns (Associated Press) | Updated September 30, 2016 - 8:54am 6 1002 googleplus0 0


Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks to sailors on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016 at Naval Air Station, North Island in Coronado, Calif. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Thursday said the US will "sharpen our military edge" in Asia and the Pacific in order to remain a dominant power in a region feeling the effects of China's rising military might. Carter made the pledge in a speech aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in port in San Diego. Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP

SAN DIEGO — Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Thursday the US will "sharpen our military edge" in Asia and the Pacific in order to remain a dominant power in a region feeling the effects of China's rising military might.

Carter made the pledge in a speech aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in port in San Diego.

The Pentagon chief described what he called the next phase of a US pivot to Asia — a rebalancing of American security commitments after years of heavy focus on the Middle East.

His speech, aimed at reassuring allies unsettled by China's behavior in the South China Sea, came three days after he made remarks at a nuclear missile base in North Dakota about rebuilding the nuclear force. Those comments prompted a strong reaction from the Russian foreign ministry, which issued a statement saying it had interpreted Carter's statement as a declared intention to lower the threshold for using nuclear weapons.

He said the Pentagon will make its attack submarines more lethal and spend more to build undersea drones that can operate in shallower waters where submarines cannot.

READ MORE...

"The United States will continue to sharpen our military edge so we remain the most powerful military in the region and the security partner of choice," he said.

He added, "We're going to have a few surprises as well," describing them only as "leap-ahead investments."

With a broad complaint that China is "sometimes behaving aggressively," Carter alluded to Beijing's building of artificial islands in disputed areas of the South China Sea.

"Beijing sometimes appears to want to pick and choose which principles it wants to benefit from and which it prefers to try to undercut," he said. "For example, the universal right to freedom of navigation that allows China's ships and aircraft to transit safely and peacefully is the same right that Beijing criticizes other countries for exercising in the region. But principles are not like that. They apply to everyone, and every nation, equally."

ASEAN MEET IN HAWAII

Carter's speech was meant to set the scene for a meeting Friday in Hawaii with his counterparts from the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, which focuses mainly on trade issues but in recent years with US encouragement has sought to engage in a range of defense and military issues. The US is not a member of the organization but has sought to use it as a forum for further developing security partnerships amid regional concern about China's military buildup.

Carter has described Pentagon efforts to execute a "pivot" to Asia by shifting, or rebalancing, US forces and attention toward the Asia-Pacific region after a decade and a half of Mideast-focused strategies and operations.

In April, he said he was putting "the best people and platforms forward to the Asia-Pacific" by increasing the number of US military personnel in the region and by sending and stationing advanced weapons system there. He said that includes F-22 and F-35 stealth fighter jets, P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft, continuous deployments of B-2 and B-52 strategic bombers and the newest surface warfare ships like the amphibious assault ship USS America.

Among the Asia problems that have arisen for the Pentagon since Carter last met with the region's defense ministers is a sudden and steep deterioration in relations with the Philippines.

When Carter visited the Philippines in April, he praised the strength of the partnership. He said his visit had inaugurated "a major new era in a longstanding alliance." He was referring to the US-Philippines Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. "I'm proud to say this alliance is as close as it's been in years."

That seeming closeness took a sharp downturn when Rodrigo Duterte was elected president in June.

DUTERTE-OBAMA RELATIONS

In early September, President Barack Obama cancelled a meeting with Duterte after the Philippine leader publicly called him a "son of a bitch." Later, Duterte said he regretted the comment. And just this week, Duterte said joint military exercises of Filipino and American troops scheduled for next week will be the last such drills, although his foreign secretary quickly said the decision was not final.

Duterte said the Philippines will maintain its military alliance with the United States because they share a 65-year-old mutual defense treaty.

"I would serve notice to you now that this will be the last military exercise," Duterte said Wednesday. "Jointly, Philippines-US, the last one."

Even so, Carter said in his speech Thursday that the relationship with the Philippines is "ironclad."

As host of Friday's meeting in Hawaii of defense ministers of the Associated of Southeast Asian Nations, Carter is expected to have at least informal interaction with Philippine Defense Minister Voltaire Gazmin.


MANILA BULLETIN

PH to push for cooperation, not conflict in South China Sea by Genalyn Kabiling and Elena Aben September 29, 2016 Share44 Tweet1 Share0 Email0 Share219



The Philippines will push for concrete steps to ensure that the disputed South China Sea would be a source of cooperation, not conflict, with its strategic partner Vietnam.

It also plans to scale up maritime cooperation and forge stronger partnership in key areas during the two-day official visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Vietnam.

The Chief Executive left Wednesday on board Philippine Airlines flight PR 001 at about 1:56 p.m. bound for Hanoi. Duterte is visiting Vietnam upon the invitation of its President, Tran Dai Quang.

Joining the President in his visit to Hanoi are Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Francis Escudero, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Secretary to the Cabinet Leoncio Evasco, and Philippine Ambassador to Vietnam Noel Servigon.

RENEWING TIES OF FRIENDSHIP

In his departure statement, Duterte said he looks forward to renewing the ties of friendship between the two nations and at the same time “reaffirm the commitment to work closer to achieve shared goals for our countries and peoples.”

READ MORE...

The President said he is also looking forward to exchange views and explore opportunities to further significantly improve existing PH-Vietnam bilateral cooperation – including stronger partnership in economic, agriculture, defense and maritime cooperation.

“We will seek to identify emerging areas of partnership particularly in the fields of maritime security and law enforcement,” he said.

The President is also expected to discuss ways to advance collaboration in the campaign against illegal drugs trade, consistent with the goal of realizing an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) drug-free community, during the visit.

The Philippines, he said, will work with Vietnam and the rest of ASEAN in suppressing the proliferation of illegal drugs to secure a better future for the next generations.

“As maritime nations with rapidly developing economies, we acknowledge the convergence of our strategic interests. Broadening cooperation and collaboration between the Philippines and Vietnam is the way forward. Solidifying our strategic partnership is key to further strengthening our countries and the larger region we belong,” he further stated.

Duterte’s visit to Hanoi is significant that it takes place as the Philippines and Vietnam commemorate 40 years of diplomatic relations and as both countries prepare to take on leadership roles in the region in 2017 –

the Philippines as it chairs the ASEAN, and Vietnam as it chairs APEC.

“I shall endeavor to work closely with my counterparts in Vietnam in order to fully realize the objectives we share,” said Duterte.

MARITIME COOPERATION

Despite lingering maritime rows, Philippine Ambassador to Vietnam Noel Servigon said the Philippines intends to scale up maritime cooperation with Vietnam, particularly in the field of fisheries.

“We believe that Vietnam and Philippines, although separated by the wide expanse of the South China Sea, could have more potential for a very strong partnership as neighbors here in Southeast Asia,” Servigon said in an interview in Hanoi.

“We believe that the Philippines and Vietnam can further improve their maritime cooperation. We believe that the sea that divides us should be more of a bridge that unites the two countries,” he added.

Forging closer maritime partnership is part of the agenda of President Duterte’s official visit to Vietnam on September 28 and 29.

SEA LINKAGES

He said there should be “more linkages across the seas” given the existing strategic partnership of the Philippines and Vietnam.

“There are many areas for cooperation especially in the field of fisheries, and that is one of our emphasis in developing this,” he said.

“We hope that with the visit of the President, this will open more avenues for us to find better ways of interaction in terms of maritime cooperation,” he added.

Apart from maritime cooperation, Servigon said the Philippines is also planning to enhance trade and investment relations with Vietnam during the President’s visit.

He noted the two countries, both having new leadership, could tap economic opportunities to boost mutual growth. “Our trade relations with Vietnam we believe would have more opportunities for improvement,” he said.

Bilateral trade has increased with the Philippines’ rice imports and investments in food and pharmaceutical industries in Vietnam over the years.

ACTION PLAN

In the security front, a proposed action plan on law enforcement and defense cooperation between the Philippines and Vietnam is in the works.

The Philippines is eyeing to forge closer cooperation with Vietnam in dealing with security threats and transnational crimes, according to Philippine Ambassador to Vietnam Noel Servigon.

Such bilateral cooperation will be among the topics that will be discussed by President Duterte in his meeting with the Vietnamese President on Thursday.

“This will also be a good opportunity to meet again and review our defense cooperation because both Vietnam and the Philippines have a new set of defense leaders. Our respective commanders-in-chief are new,” Servigon said in a media interview here.

“We have recommended that there will be closer relationship with them again through maybe mutual visits, exchange of visits,” he added.

Another area of cooperation being considered is boosting efforts on law enforcement, according to Servigon. The matter is particularly close to President Duterte, especially since he has waged a war on illegal drugs and crimes back in the Philippines.

Back in November, the Philippines and Vietnam agreed on a strategic partnership to boost security relations amid China’s rapid buildup of artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea.

Included in the strategic partnership pact are possible joint naval activities amid maritime rows with China.

The two countries also committed to increase cooperation to combat security threats such as terrorism and transnational crime through exchange of information and best practices as well as exchange of personal for training and capacity building.

They also agreed to work toward enhancing cooperation in legal and judicial affairs. Plans have been drawn to work on the negotiation and the signing of agreements on extradition, transfer of sentenced persons, mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, among other legal and judicial cooperation agreements.

PH-VIETNAM CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Meanwhile, Filipino investors are reportedly making a killing in Vietnam and must now organize its own business chamber to advance its interests and concerns here.

Servigon has proposed the formation of a Philippines-Vietnam chamber of commerce to facilitate a ”united voice” of the Filipino enterprises doing business here.

“We have encouraged our Filipino industrialized investors in Vietnam to reorganize themselves and we have been informed they are in a process of putting up their own board for the Philippine-Vietnam business group that is sort of a chamber of commerce in Vietnam,” Servigon said in a media interview.

Servigon encouraged Filipino businessmen to join the group “so they will have a united voice here in Vietnam in terms of policy representation and market studies and other activities which they can jointly undertake.”

So far, the Philippines has more than 60 investment projects in Vietnam. Among the profitable investments are in fields of pharmaceutical and food industries. Bilateral trade volume increased from USD416 million in 2001 to USD3 billion in 2015.


MANILA BULLETIN

Duterte asks military to stay faithful to Republic, explains meeting with Reds by Elena L. Aben & Aaron B. Recuenco September 29, 2016 Share32 Tweet1 Share0 Email0 Share137


MAN WITH A MISSION – President Rodrigo R. Duterte speaks at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 in Parañaque City before leaving for Hanoi, Vietnam Wednesday afternoon. The President’s visit aims to strengthen diplomatic and economic relations between the Philippines and Vietnam. (Richard V. Viñas/Manila Bulletin)

President Duterte on Tuesday night called on the military to remain faithful to the Republic.

Speaking before Philippine Marines at Camp Rudiardo Brown in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, the Commander-in-Chief asked the troops to give him time to address the problems confronting the country. He said he was working to bring about peace, which in turn would bring economic benefits to the country.

“I would like to ask you to remain faithful to the Republic,” he said as he asked the troops for understanding as he deals with the Philippine communist leaders while, at the same time, he works to build alliances with China and Russia.

He said he is now talking peace with the left and Oslo, Norway, is providing its good offices so that the government and National Democratic Front (NDF) panels can meet.

READ MORE...

He explained why he tendered a dinner Monday night in Malacañang for the leaders of the NDF, including recently released communist leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon. “Do not be offended. The entire leadership of the NPA, the NDF, sila (Luis) Jalandoni, lahat mga leaders nila, sabi ko, come and let’s have dinner and let’s talk about peace,” he said.

“Sabi ko, I’m happy that we have stopped fighting because we have a serious problem in the south. So ngayon, walang away masyado against the NPA.”

With the ceasefire with the NPA, he said, the military can now focus on the problem with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Mindanao.

Duterte said that the government is now also starting to talk with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). But, with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), he said that Nur Misuari seems to be equivocal. Misuari, the President said, now wants to include the Abu Sayyaf in the talks, which is not acceptable to him.

“As a matter of principle I can not accept that. Either Nur abandons the Abu Sayyaf and you (military) will take care of the Abu Sayyaf. Kami ni Nur will just talk about peace,” he said.

Duterte likewise told the troops that he is building many new alliances, especially in trade and commerce.

He criticized the US anew for “meddling” with the government’s internal affairs, particularly in the campaign against drugs.

“Pag inipit nila ako, I will have alliances . . . new alliances of commerce and trade. So I’ll be visiting China and maybe Russia,” he said.

“If they ( US) continue to manipulate… then you will understand why. Bakit mo pakialaman, mabigat ang problema. Ang problema is you can not understand a friend. Instead of helping us . . . aatakihin ka,” he said.

“So please understand. But this Republic will rise, this Republic of the Philippines will continue to be great,” he said. “We will survive on our own. We will fight our wars on our own and we will win as a country.”

‘BATO’ BARES THREAT

Meanwhile, there is a new threat on the life of Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa and it’s not coming from the drug lords.

Dela Rosa disclosed that some retired generals and their police cohorts who are still in active service are already planning and funding the operation to liquidate him.

“We received reports that these rich generals, who have already accumulated wealth, are already financing the operation for us to be neutralized,” he said. This threat is separate from the existing operation funded by drug lords to kill him, he said.

Dela Rosa said the reports are still unvalidated, but “we will be vigilant.”

As to reported threats from policemen found involved in the narcotics trade, Dela Rosa said it is also possible, noting that one of the drug lords who surrendered to him has started giving names of narco-policemen.

Most of the politicians named by suspected drug lord Franz Sabalones are connected with retired Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo, he said. Garbo is one of five retired and active generals named by President Duterte to be involved in the recycling of drugs and drug protection racket.

The policemen named by Sabalones are now being investigated by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Internal Affairs Service (IAS), Dela Rosa said.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Duterte decries Hitler comparison By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated September 30, 2016 - 11:28am 101 650 googleplus1 0


President Rodrigo Duterte scratches his head as he addresses Philippine Marines in suburban Taguig City east of Manila, Philippines, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016. Duterte used an expletive to warn key ally Barack Obama not to lecture him on human rights and, in another impromptu speech, declared a dramatic policy change such as removing US counterterrorism forces out of his country's volatile south. Impassioned speeches by Duterte about the United States, the European Union and the United Nations have repeatedly led his government to issue clarifications, although he had been on the job less than three months. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at his critics who had been comparing him to Germany's Adolf Hitler.

The president called out the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU) and the United States (US) anew for criticizing his anti-drugs campaign in the country.

"Kaya kung ikaw nandito bakit hindi ka magmumura? (So if you are here, why wouldn't you curse?) You're portrayed or pictured to be some cousin of Hitler and yet do not even bother to find out, to investigate," Duterte said in his speech after arriving from Vietnam early Friday.

The president noted that Hitler killed three million Jews but said he is also willing to take down three million drug users to solve the drug issue in the Philippines.

"Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there are three million drug addicts. I'd be happy to slaughter them" Duterte said.

FACT CHECK: Are there 3 million drug addicts in the Philippines?

"At least if Germany had Hitler the Philippines would have... you know my victims, I would like to be all criminals to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition," the president added.

Duterte stressed that not a single case was filed against him when the Commission on Human Rights was looking into his alleged links with the Davao Death Squad during his term as mayor.

The international community has been criticizing Duterte's drug war due to the spate of extrajudicial and vigilante killings of drug suspects.

"Okay lang sa akin, sanay ako sa pulitika. Lahat ng kababuyan dumating na sa aking buhay. Pero itong mga ganito... look kayong US, EU you can call me anything but I was never into or I am never into hypocrisy like you," Duterte said.

The chief executive argued that both the EU and the US have closed its doors to migrants from the Middle East.

"There are migrants escaping from the Middle East. You allow them to rot and then you're worried about the deaths of about one thousand, or two thousand, or three thousand," the president said.

Duterte earlier said that he is willing to face investigation by the UN, the US and the EU over the killings of drug suspects as long as they follow Philippine laws.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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