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



PRESIDENTIAL (DU30) NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
CLICK HERE TO READ ONLINE
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

LENI QUITS CABINET POST: TALKS OF 'OBSTACLES'; PALACE TXT MESSAGE WAS THE LAST STRAW
[RELATED TRIBUNE REPORT: Leni quits DU30 Cabinet]


DECEMBER 5 -Vice President Leni Robredo VICE President Leni Robredo on Sunday resigned as the chairwoman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, citing the Duterte administration’s efforts to derail her efforts to function as housing czar. Malacañang, however, said the country’s two highest elected officials have “irreconcilable differences” that prevent them from working with each other, and urged those not in favor of the President’s policies to resign from Cabinet. “We had hoped this day would not come... I am tendering my resignation from the Cabinet on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. With this resignation, you can expect that I will continue to support the positive initiatives of this administration and oppose those that are inimical to the people’s interest,” she said in a statement. Robredo also expressed her dismay over the “obstacles” being thrown in her way by the Duterte administration, preventing her from functioning as a Cabinet secretary. READ MORE...RELATED Leni quits DU30 Cabinet
from The Tribune...

ALSO Nov 30: Duterte tells Pinoys - Be like Andres Bonifacio


DECEMBER 1 -‘SUPREMO’ – Honor guards lay wreaths at the foot of the Bonifacio Monument in Monumento, Caloocan City, to mark the 153rd birth anniversary of National Hero Andres Bonifacio, acknowledged as the Father of the Philippine Revolution. (Federico Cruz | Manila  Bulletin) President Duterte called on Filipinos yesterday to emulate the patriotism and courage of revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio as militant groups and Duterte supporters chanted and marched their way to Welcome Rotunda in Quezon City and Mendiola in Manila. In a message commemorating the birth of the father of the Katipunan and the Great Plebeian from Tondo, the President paid homage to Bonifacio and expressed hope his sacrifices would inspire others to show love for country. “May this occasion serve as a reminder for us to live up to the spirit of Bonifacio, whose spirit remains patriotic, unfettered, and independent,” the President said in his Bonifacio Day message. Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, for his part, said that Filipinos should never give up fighting for what is right even if the odds seem to be overwhelmingly against them just like freedom fighter Gat Andres. READ MORE...

ALSO Rody: Martial Law for what, killing people? Martial law is stupid
(Duterte issued the statement amid concerns raised that his administration is laying the groundwork for declaring martial law by staging security incidents.)


DECEMBER 2 -“Martial law for what? Killing people? I would rather empower every mayor. Just don’t use it for other things. Soldiers would never accede to any illegal order. Ask them to escort the delivery of drugs and I will ask them to shoot you. You shoot your master yourself,” President Duterte said. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, file
Despite the threat posed by Islamic extremists, President Duterte ruled out yesterday the declaration of martial law, calling it a “stupid” policy that did not improve the lives of Filipinos. Duterte said he saw no need to place the country under martial law and would rather empower local executives to allow them to solve their security issues. “Martial law? Kalokohan yan. Nung nag-martial law tayo, ano nangyari? Gumaling ba ang buhay natin? Hanggang ngayon, wala (That’s stupid. When we were under martial law, what happened? Did our lives improve? Until now, it has not),” the President said during the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Local Government Summit in Davao City. READ MORE...

ALSO: Over 400 political prisoners to be released soon - Bello


DECEMBER 2 -More than 400 political prisoners will be released in “due time,” government peace panel chairman Silvestre Bello III said yesterday.
 More than 400 political prisoners will be released in “due time,” government peace panel chairman Silvestre Bello III said yesterday. He made the statement after 66-year-old peasant leader Bernabe Ocasla, one of the political prisoners considered for release on humanitarian grounds, passed away on Monday at Jose Reyes Hospital in Manila. He succumbed to cardiac arrest after days in a coma. Bello said the government would have wanted to give Ocasla his freedom before he died. “It was a sad development,” he said. “We offer our sympathies to the family of Mr. Ocasla.” Bello said President Duterte is determined to release political prisoners through judicial processes. READ MORE...

ALSO: Yasay blasts critics at UN, says ICC withdrawal possible
(“Under the circumstances why should somebody, the ICC, say the president of the Philippines will be prosecuted under the Rome Statute? What is the basis for that? In our own law the President enjoys immunity. You can’t be prosecuted,” he said. “They should not come up with this kind of statement that will serve no other purpose but defeat the very purpose of ICC.”)
[RELATED: After UN envoy's criticism, Yasay says it's time to reconsider PHL's ICC membership]


DECEMBER 2 -“Irresponsible statements” that are “completely unfounded” may push the country to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC), Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay warned.He stressed that “our membership to ICC was on the basis of consent that the Rome Statute is complementary to our laws.” “You must remember that, ICC, our membership there by reason of our being a signatory to the Rome Stature has been done on the basis of consent,” he said in an interview with CNN Philippines. “The consent being that we would like the Rome Statute to be complementary to our laws.”The Duterte administration has drawn a wave of international criticism for its drug war that has left more than 4,800 people dead. According to Yasay, only where there are deficiencies or shortcomings in the country’s own system then “we can resort to that complementary aspect of the Rome Statute.” READ MORE...RELATED, After UN envoy's criticism, Yasay says it's time to reconsider PHL's ICC membership...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE BELOW
OR CLICK HERE TO READ ONLINE

Leni quits Cabinet post: Talks of ‘obstacles’; Palace text message was the last straw


Vice President Leni Robredo

MANILA,
DECEMBER 5, 2016 (MANILA STANDARD) posted December 04, 2016 by John Paolo Bencito - VICE President Leni Robredo on Sunday resigned as the chairwoman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, citing the Duterte administration’s efforts to derail her efforts to function as housing czar.

Malacañang, however, said the country’s two highest elected officials have “irreconcilable differences” that prevent them from working with each other, and urged those not in favor of the President’s policies to resign from Cabinet.

“We had hoped this day would not come... I am tendering my resignation from the Cabinet on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. With this resignation, you can expect that I will continue to support the positive initiatives of this administration and oppose those that are inimical to the people’s interest,” she said in a statement.

Robredo also expressed her dismay over the “obstacles” being thrown in her way by the Duterte administration, preventing her from functioning as a Cabinet secretary.

READ MORE...

“One, the budget for all key shelter agencies in 2017 has been slashed by more than P19 billion. Two, all our key shelter agency appointment recommendations have not been acted on. Three, the executive order designed to make HUDCC effective was not signed,” Robredo said.

Robredo said she received a text message on Saturday from Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco, Jr., relaying the President’s instruction through Christopher Go for her “to desist from attending all Cabinet meetings starting this Monday, Dec. 5.”

“This is the last straw, because it makes it impossible for me to perform my duties. Hence, I am tendering my resignation from the Cabinet,” she said.

ATTEMPTS TO HAVE VP POST 'STOLEN' FROM HER

Robredo also implied that the President is supporting attempts to have the vice presidency stolen from her by supporting her rival, former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who filed a complaint before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal to contest the vice presidential race.

“I had been warned of a plot to steal the vice presidency. I have chosen to ignore this and focus on the job at hand. But the events of recent days indicate that this plot is now being set into motion,” she said.

“From the very beginning, the President and I had major differences in principles and values. Since I assumed office, I have been consistent in my opposition to issues such as the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, extrajudicial killings, reinstating the death penalty, lowering the age of criminal liability, and sexual attacks against women. But we both had a mandate to serve the people,” she added.

“I will not allow the vice presidency to be stolen. I will not allow the will of the people to be thwarted. I will continue to serve the Filipino family and fulfill their dream for a better life,” she added.

Robredo’s resignation follows those of National Historical Commission of the Philippines Chairwoman Maria Sereno Diokno and NHCP Commissioner Francis Geolago, after Duterte allowed the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

LENI, LEAD OPPOSITION?

In a radio interview, Evasco said he expects Robredo to lead the opposition in the Duterte administration.

Evasco also confirmed that it was Duterte’s instruction for Robredo to desist from attending Cabinet meetings, but clarified that she was not fired.

“That was the President’s instruction,” he said in Filipino. “There are irreconcilable differences.”

Evasco said all those not in favor of Duterte’s policies should resign from the administration.

“If they cannot… support what the President is doing, then they have to resign,” he said. Evasco confirmed that he sent Robredo a text message of Duterte’s instructions, after failing to reach her by phone.

“I called her up first but there was no response. Then I text her,” he said. With Sandy Araneta

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

RELATED THE TRIBUNE REPORT

Leni quits DU30 Cabinet Written by Tribune Wires Monday, 05 December 2016 00:00 By Ted Tuvera and Jason Faustino


ROBREDO AND EVASCO

ROBREDO CITES BID TO STEAL VP POST

Did Vice President Leni Robredo resign her Cabinet post or was she sacked?

While wanting to make it appear as a resignation, Robredo, according to the Palace, was politely asked not to attend the Cabinet meetings on the advice of President Duterte which was a clear signal for her to vacate her Cabinet post as head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. confirmed that he indeed advised Robredo that Duterte has prohibited her from attending the Cabinet meeting today but denied her being fired from Duterte’s official family.

“I tried to call her (Robredo) but there was no response. But there was no instruction for VP Robredo’s termination,” Evasco said.

DOES ALIGN WITH THE ADMINISTRATION

The Cabinet Secretary, however, made clear that if Robredo does not align herself with the administration’s policy thrusts, it was better for her to cut her role as member of the Cabinet.

“If they cannot support what the President is doing, then they have to resign,” he emphasized.

Robredo issued a statement saying that she received a text message last Saturday from Evasco relaying the President’s instruction through (Special Assistant to the President) Bong Go for me “to desist fromattending all Cabinet meetings starting this Monday, December 5”.

'A PLOT'

Robredo immediately connected the Duterte order to what she claimed was a plot to depose her as Vice President to pave the way for her closest rival in the last May 9 polls former Senator Bongbong Marcos to take her place.
Marcos has a pending election protest case filed with the Presidential Election Tribunal within the Supreme Court (SC).

“I had been warned of a plot to steal the Vice Presidency. I have chosen to ignore this and focus on the job at hand. But the events of recent days indicate that this plot is now being set into motion,” she said.

“I will not allow the Vice Presidency to be stolen. I will not allow the will of the people to be thwarted,” Robredo added.

POLITICAL CLASH

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said that Duterte’s decision for the Vice President to stay clear from the Cabinet meetings was due to the apparent political clash between Robredo and Duterte.

“A lot of policies and views (of both) conflict which was the reason for the order for the Vice President to forego the Cabinet meeting,” Andanar said.

“Irreconcilable differences between President Duterte and Vice President Robredo were the reason for this,” he pointed out.

Andanar slammed Robredo for claiming that Duterte’s order was part of an ouster plot against her. He said that Robredo’s statement was based on “mere speculations”.

Not taken seriously; 'Obstacles'

Robredo who is a member of the Liberal Party (LP) noted that her role in the Cabinet was not taken seriously by Duterte.

“[There were] obstacles thrown our way. One, the budget for all key shelter agencies in 2017 has been slashed by more than P19 billion. Two, all our key shelter agency appointment recommendations have not been acted on. Three, the Executive Order designed to make HUDCC effective was not signed,” her statement read.

Robredo said she “had hoped this day would not come”.

“This is the last straw, because it makes it impossible for me to perform my duties. Hence, I am tendering my resignation from the Cabinet on Monday, December 5,” the outgoing HUDCC chief said, noting that from the very beginning she had had points of disagreement with President Duterte.

MAJOR DIFFERENCES IN VALUES

“From the very beginning, the President and I had major differences in principles and values. Since I assumed office, I have been consistent in my opposition to issues such as the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, extra-judicial killings, reinstating death penalty, lowering the age of criminal liability, and sexual attacks against women,” Robredo said.

The Vice President now took the role as the administration’s fiscalizer.

“With this resignation, you can expect that I will continue to support the positive initiatives of this administration and oppose those that are inimical to the people’s interest,” she said.

In the past few weeks, despite attempts to save their so-called “love-team”, cracks between Duterte and Robredo were undeniable.

MARCOS BURIAL: CONNECTION TO 'YELLOWs'

Robredo and Duterte had a bitter clash over the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) that Duterte sanctioned while Robredo joined rallies with the Liberal Party (LP) to condemn the burial.

Robredo also previously called Duterte’s remarks on her “immaculate” knees as “inappropriate and tasteless” as the Chief Executive made such remarks before super typhoon Yolanda survivors.

Duterte also never allowed her to know how it feels like to be President as the Chief Executive never gave her the chance to be the country’s “officer-in-charge” during his trios abroad.

It is also recalled that during Duterte’s Beijing trip, the President introduced Robredo’s arch nemesis Marcos as the “potential next Vice President” if ever his petition against alleged poll rigging versus Robredo will be successful before the PET.

The Vice President, who is connected to the “yellows” that are allegedly plotting ouster moves against Duterte, is also critical about the numbers of extra judicial killings attributed to the President’s so-called war on drugs.


MANILA BULLETIN

Duterte tells Pinoys: Be like Andres 0 SHARES Share it! Published December 1, 2016, 12:09 AM by Genalyn D. Kabiling, Mario B. Casayuran, Chito A. Chavez, and Jaimie Rose R. Aberia


‘SUPREMO’ – Honor guards lay wreaths at the foot of the Bonifacio Monument in Monumento, Caloocan City, to mark the 153rd birth anniversary of National Hero Andres Bonifacio, acknowledged as the Father of the Philippine Revolution. (Federico Cruz | Manila Bulletin)

President Duterte called on Filipinos yesterday to emulate the patriotism and courage of revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio as militant groups and Duterte supporters chanted and marched their way to Welcome Rotunda in Quezon City and Mendiola in Manila.

In a message commemorating the birth of the father of the Katipunan and the Great Plebeian from Tondo, the President paid homage to Bonifacio and expressed hope his sacrifices would inspire others to show love for country.

“May this occasion serve as a reminder for us to live up to the spirit of Bonifacio, whose spirit remains patriotic, unfettered, and independent,” the President said in his Bonifacio Day message.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, for his part, said that Filipinos should never give up fighting for what is right even if the odds seem to be overwhelmingly against them just like freedom fighter Gat Andres.

READ MORE...

PRIDE AND HONOR

The President urged all Filipinos to look at “every waking day as an invitation to dedicate our lives for a worthy cause; to uplift the quality of life of our countrymen; and to bring back the pride and honor in our identity as a people.”

He said the public should get involved in community and national issues that affect their lives and should find strength in their collective voice “so that we can know ourselves better and understand our struggles in history.”

“Let us cultivate our capacity to act united and share common aspirations for a peaceful, just, prosperous, and truly free nation,” he said.

The President also recognized that Bonifacio’s life and legacy have inspired countless generations and whose actions have shaped the course of the country’s history.

“It was Bonifacio who dared to lead a mass action that defied the colonial rule and quelled the hunger of a people longing for change,” he said.

He said Bonifacio belongs to the “league of heroes” willing to lay down his life and put aside his own interests to honor the nation and defend it from its enemies. “His courage and love of country served as a guiding torch in the midst of darkness,” said Duterte.

MARCH TO MENDIOLA

Critics and supporters of President Duterte merged at Mendiola, Manila on Bonifacio Day as the opposing groups chanted with vigor and conviction their respective issues for and against the president’s policies.

Human rights, labor and other cause-oriented groups that came from Welcome Rotonda in Quezon City criticized Duterte for reneging on his promise to once and for all end the unfair practice of contractualization.

Other progressive groups also lambasted the president for allowing the burial of the Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).

Groups critical of Duterte also slammed him for showing his authoritarian leanings by befriending the Marcos family.

Anti-riot policemen were on hand to prevent Duterte’s critics from reaching the Mendiola Peace Arch where the president’s supporters were holding a program.

The protesters assembled instead along Legarda and Recto Avenues.

Former Laguna Governor Emilio Ramon “ER’’ Ejercito showed up in the rally and vowed his support to Duterte.

Traffic in the area of Mendiola was virtually at a standstill as the crowd of pro and anti- administration groups start to arrive in droves.

Mendiola Outpost Commander Police Chief Inspector Leonardo De Guzman said the protests were generally peaceful with the anti-Marcos crowd estimated at 1,200 and the pro-Duterte group at 400.

FORWARD NOT BACKWARD

Pimentel reminded Filipinos to remember and learn from the values of the revolutionary leader.

“We enjoy our freedom today because Bonifacio dared to fight the oppression of the Spaniards,” he said.

Pimentel said the Supremo’s “selfless love” for his motherland should inspire the youth to fight to make the country better.

He said that the life of Bonifacio, who rose from humble origins to lead a national revolution, shows that power and riches are not necessary to make a difference.

“Bonifacio fought for change in the most difficult way possible. Today we don’t have to join the Katipunan and charge at loaded rifles. All we need to do is speak out against injustice and be a real Partner for change,” Pimentel said.

“Change has come, but we must be wary and ensure the country would move forward and not backward,” he added.

CALL FOR FEDERALISM

Ejercito said that it’s about time to switch to a federal form of government to balance the distribution of the government’s power and money.

“Ang objective is to fight for good and happy life at matigil na ang corruption ng mga trapo. With President Duterte’s political will and strong leadership, hopefully, the country will be federalized,” he said.

Ejercito also said that the groups protesting the burial of Marcos are being “financed by the ‘yellow cult’.”

He called on the millennials who are joining the anti-Marcos calls to study history again.


PHILSTAR

Rody: Martial law is stupid By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 2, 2016 - 12:00am 1 7 googleplus0 0


“Martial law for what? Killing people? I would rather empower every mayor. Just don’t use it for other things. Soldiers would never accede to any illegal order. Ask them to escort the delivery of drugs and I will ask them to shoot you. You shoot your master yourself,” President Duterte said. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, file

MANILA, Philippines - Despite the threat posed by Islamic extremists, President Duterte ruled out yesterday the declaration of martial law, calling it a “stupid” policy that did not improve the lives of Filipinos.

Duterte said he saw no need to place the country under martial law and would rather empower local executives to allow them to solve their security issues.

“Martial law? Kalokohan yan. Nung nag-martial law tayo, ano nangyari? Gumaling ba ang buhay natin? Hanggang ngayon, wala (That’s stupid. When we were under martial law, what happened? Did our lives improve? Until now, it has not),” the President said during the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Local Government Summit in Davao City.

READ MORE...

He issued the statement amid concerns raised that his administration is laying the groundwork for declaring martial law by staging security incidents.

“Martial law for what? Killing people? I would rather empower every mayor. Just don’t use it for other things. Soldiers would never accede to any illegal order. Ask them to escort the delivery of drugs and I will ask them to shoot you. You shoot your master yourself,” he added.

In 1972, the country was placed under martial law by Ferdinand Marcos supposedly to curb communist rebellion. While Marcos loyalists believe martial law helped contain unrest, others say it paved the way for gross human rights violations.

Duterte said people from Manila thought he would declare martial law because of the recent activities of Maute militants who occupied parts of Butig in Lanao del Sur last week.

He confirmed on Monday that the Maute has links to international terrorist group Islamic State (IS), but said killing more people would not solve the problems besetting the country.

“You don’t build a nation over dead bones of Moros and Christians,” he said.

“Martial law for what? To kill all Maute (rebels) and religious extremists? Then? Can he (rebel) pass to his child the things inside his brain? That’s his. What this guy will remember is his father was killed.”

“I don’t allow oppression in this country. I’ll never do it,” the President said.

Fears about the possible declaration of martial law mounted after Duterte floated the possibility of suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus if lawlessness spreads in Mindanao.

HABEAS CORPUS

A writ of habeas corpus, which literally means “produce the body,” is an order to present the body of an imprisoned person. It permits a person to question an unlawful detention before a court.

Duterte clarified though that he would not declare martial law and would only suspend the writ if criminals forced his hand.

But despite the assurance, some lawmakers are worried about the President’s pronouncement, noting that Marcos suspended the writ before declaring martial law.

There were also speculations that the threats posed by the IS-inspired Maute group and the discovery of an improvised explosive device near the US embassy last Tuesday would impel Duterte to suspend the writ.

Last month, Duterte said he was no fan of martial law, but noted that the declaration can be a “contingency” to address violence.

Last September, Duterte placed the entire country under a state of emergency following a blast in Davao City that left 14 persons dead and about 60 others injured.

The declaration, which was contained in Proclamation No. 55, also directed the Armed Forces and the police to suppress “any and all forms of lawless violence in Mindanao” and prevent lawless violence from spreading in other parts of the country. – With Edith Regalado


PHILSTAR

Over 400 political prisoners to be released soon By Jose Rodel Clapano (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 2, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


More than 400 political prisoners will be released in “due time,” government peace panel chairman Silvestre Bello III said yesterday.

MANILA, Philippines - More than 400 political prisoners will be released in “due time,” government peace panel chairman Silvestre Bello III said yesterday.

He made the statement after 66-year-old peasant leader Bernabe Ocasla, one of the political prisoners considered for release on humanitarian grounds, passed away on Monday at Jose Reyes Hospital in Manila.

He succumbed to cardiac arrest after days in a coma.

Bello said the government would have wanted to give Ocasla his freedom before he died.

“It was a sad development,” he said. “We offer our sympathies to the family of Mr. Ocasla.”

READ MORE...

Bello said President Duterte is determined to release political prisoners through judicial processes.

“The more than 400 political prisoners will be released in due time,” he said.

“It was unfortunate that it (Ocasla’s death) happened just as we are working for the release of the elderly, sick and long detained NDF members on humanitarian grounds,” he said.

Bello hoped the incident would not affect the peace talks with the National Democratic Front.

The release of political prisoners is a work in progress, he added.

Bello said Duterte has a strong commitment to release political prisoners.

“There will be a release of substantial number of political prisoners based on humanitarian grounds, particularly the women, sickly and senior citizens in the coming days,” he said.

However, there are legal and judicial issues that need to be addressed, he added.

This is also in accordance with the signed agreements between the government and NDF panels in Oslo, Norway during the resumption of formal talks last August.

The planned release is part of the continuing efforts to expedite and accelerate the peace negotiations and processes brokered by the Norwegian government.


TRIBUNE

Yasay blasts critics, says ICC withdrawal possible Written by Tribune Wires Friday, 02 December 2016 00:00 font size decrease font size increase font size Print Be the first to comment!
By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora


YASAY

“Irresponsible statements” that are “completely unfounded” may push the country to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC), Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay warned.

He stressed that “our membership to ICC was on the basis of consent that the Rome Statute is complementary to our laws.”

“You must remember that, ICC, our membership there by reason of our being a signatory to the Rome Stature has been done on the basis of consent,” he said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

“The consent being that we would like the Rome Statute to be complementary to our laws.”The Duterte administration has drawn a wave of international criticism for its drug war that has left more than 4,800 people dead.

According to Yasay, only where there are deficiencies or shortcomings in the country’s own system then “we can resort to that complementary aspect of the Rome Statute.”

READ MORE...

“But you see our criminal justice system is working very effectively, very vigilantly,” he addded.

ROME STATUTE

Under the circumstances, he asked why the ICC should say President Rodrigo Duterte is subject to prosecution under the Rome Statute.

“What is the basis for that?” he asked. “(In) our own law the President enjoys immunity. You can’t be prosecuted.

 And here it says without any basis at all and again the predicate of atrocity crimes in the Rome Statute will lead to genocide, killings on the basis of racial affiliation, religious affiliation and the like.”

Under the Rome Statute’s principle of “complementarity,” ICC serves as a last resort which could only assume jurisdiction in cases where a national government failed to address international crimes.

The jurisdiction of the ICC is only limited to four types of cases: war crimes, genocide, aggression and crimes against humanity.

Yasay, however, maintained that “you don’t see that here. When we have a war against drugs, we have a war against criminality.”

As a signatory to the Rome Statute, he stressed by that fact, it means that “we are strong against any form of atrocities and crimes of atrocity and we will continue to fight for that.”

READY TO LEAVE ICC WHEN FORCED TO

When asked if the Philippines is ready to withdraw from the ICC, Yasay answered that “if they continue then the only option will be for us to withdraw because the basis upon which we signed and became member of the ICC is no longer being pursued.”

He shared that there are other nations not only the Philippines that have expressed doubts now, including Malaysia, Thailand and even Indonesia.

With countries like South Africa, Burundi and others expressing this kind of sentiment, Yasay said he hopes that the ICC officials will make sure of their statements and pronouncements.

“They should not come up with this kind of statement that will serve no other purpose but defeat the very purpose of ICC.”

Yasay also blasted as irresponsible UN Special Expert on UN Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials David Scheffer for putting the Philippines “on equal footing” with Syria and North Korea as well as the Islamic State terrorist group.

Last week, a United Nations-backed court in Cambodia upheld life sentences for crimes against humanity for two senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime, which was responsible for the death of up to two million Cambodians from 1975-1979.

David Scheffer, the UN Secretary-General’s envoy to the tribunal, said leaders in countries such as the Philippines, as well as the Islamic State (IS) group, must “take note” of the verdict.

But the DFA chief stressed the Philippines had stood up against the Khmer regime and even welcomed Cambodian refugees who came to the country.

Because of this statement, Yasay directed the UN permanent representative, Lourdes Yparraguirre, to come up with a note verbale “protesting in the strongest manner this irresponsible and arrogant statement of David.”

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

RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

After UN envoy's criticism, Yasay says it's time to reconsider PHL's membership with ICC Published December 1, 2016 1:42pm By TRISHA MACAS, GMA News


NUON CHEA AND KHIEU SAMPHAN. This handout photo taken and released by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) on November 23, 2016 shows former Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea (L) and former Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan (R) sitting in the courtroom at the ECCC in Phnom Penh. Photo by Sok Heng Nhet/ECCC/AFP

The UN envoy's statement comparing the Philippines' war on drugs to Khmer Rouge atrocities in Cambodia might push the country to break away from the International Criminal Court (ICC), Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay said Thursday.

In a TV interview, Yasay called UN Special Expert on UN Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials David Scheffer irresponsible for putting Philippines "in equal footing" with Syria and North Korea as well as the Islamic State terrorist group.

"This David Scheffer has put our country in equal footing with these countries that have been clearly violators human rights and maybe perhaps even promoting genocide and all of these brutalities. Hindi tama iyon," Yasay said on "News To Go."

"If they will continue to do that, I think it is about time that we should reconsider our membership in the ICC," he added.

Yasay pointed out that the Philippines had stood up against the Khmer regime and even welcomed Cambodian refugees who came to the country.

He also explained that the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC, was signed on the basis of complementarity to the Philippines' own criminal justice system.

"Kung iyan ang ginagawa nila na they are making the Rome Statute superior to our own internal criminal justice system and even to our laws, ay, it’s about time we consider breaking away from the ICC in the light of what even countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and others have already done so," Yasay said.

Because of Scheffer’s statement, Yasay directed the UN permanent representative, Lourdes Yparraguirre, to come up with a note verbale "protesting in the strongest manner this irresponsible and arrogant statement of David."

"I hope the Secretary General of the United Nations [Ban Ki Moon] will take this protest that we have made very seriously and do the necessary sanctions against his own envoy," he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who is being blamed for the extrajudicial killings of drug suspects, has expressed his intention to withdraw the country from the ICC, which is also critical of his bloody anti-illegal drug campaign.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has expressed deep concern over the spate of drug-related killings under Duterte's administration as well as his statements that seemed to condone such killings.

The Duterte administration had denied hand in extrajudicial killings, but admitted thousands of suspects had been killed during intensified police operations against illegal drugs. —KBK, GMA News


INQUIRER

No rift in Cabinet, Andanar tells Ramos By: Leila B. Salaverria, Marlon Ramos - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 01:19 AM December 01, 2016


Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar. Photo by Jeoffrey Maitem/INQUIRER MINDANAO FILE PHOTO

They don’t always see eye to eye, but members of President Duterte’s official family have good relations with each other, according to Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.

Even the spouses of Cabinet members are working together, Andanar said.

Andanar came to the defense of Cabinet members following comment from former President Fidel Ramos that Mr. Duterte’s official family was “not yet organized as one Philippine team.”

At the Meet the Inquirer Multimedia forum on Tuesday, Ramos said, “We must have a comprehensive appreciation of the nation’s problems and we must proceed on a broad front with everybody participating.”


AMERICAN BOY: DUTERTE ON FVR - He is a graduate of West Point, I am just a local boy. INQUIRER FILE

Andanar said Malacañang appreciated Ramos’ comments and considered itself fortunate to have a former President and statesman providing unsolicited advice and constructive criticism, as well as analyzing the things happening in the country.

READ MORE...

Positive interaction

He said he was reluctant to judge the performance of the President’s alteregos as he was a Cabinet member himself, but did say that interaction between the Cabinet members has been positive.

“It’s great. We all know each other,” Andanar said in an ambush interview in Taguig City, adding that even the spouses of Cabinet members were working together on an antidrug project.

Cabinet members include elementary and law school classmates of Mr. Duterte, as well as leftist activists.

They may not always be of one mind, but members of the President’s official family are able to work together despite differences of opinion, Andanar further said.

PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT

One issue on which the Cabinet officials differed in their stance was the signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change that would commit the Philippines to lower carbon emission targets, Andanar recalled.

The matter was tackled in a recent Cabinet meeting and divergent views were aired, he said.

“We all had our own ideas about the Paris Agreement and the President allowed us [to share these], and in the end, the President decided to sign it after listening to the arguments of everyone,” he said.

Mr. Duterte encourages discourse during meetings, and lets them voice out their opinions on issues, he added.

Ramos, whom Mr. Duterte credited for convincing him to run in the May presidential elections, has been critical of the first 100 days of the administration and has chided the President for missing key events in an international economic summit.

The former President has also called out Mr. Duterte for his foul mouth, saying he should clean up his language.


CONTINUE TO >> NEXT P-DU30 PAGE (coming next week)

GO TO >> HEADLINE NEWS PAGE THIS WEEK

GO TO >> SHOWBIZ CHATTER THIS WEEK

GO TO > > BUSINESS & ECONOMY PAGE


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

EMAIL: PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
© Copyright, 2016
 All rights reserved


BACK TO PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE