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TIMES EDITORIAL: PRES. DUTERTE AND THE YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY


DECEMBER 18 -DUTERTE ALWAYS LOVED COMMUNISTS – EXCEPT WHEN HE WAS KILLING THEM Headline story from South China Morning Post (appears below). THE PHOTO CAPTION -Demonstrators march to the House of Representatives to show their support for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ahead of his State of the Nation Address OCTOBER 19, 2016.The “Reds will die for me,” President Rodrigo Duterte declared early this week at a business forum. Evidently, the statement was meant to telegraph the message to the “Yellows” who are perceived to be coveting his seat in Malacańang that he has got his back covered by friends whose politics and ideology he does not necessarily embrace. Well, not all of the local radical leftists will breathe their last for him even if their life depended on it, especially Filipino Marxists from the so-called rejectionist faction of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) who were left out in the cold upon Duterte’s assumption of the presidency almost six months ago. Gloating at the savvy through which the other half of the CPP–the so-called reaffirmist faction–had wormed itself into the Palace, the rejectionists have allied with the “Yellows” led by former president Benigno Aquino 3rd in their rumored bid to oust Duterte from power, via impeachment or “people power.” READ MORE...

ALSO: DUTERTE ALWAYS LOVED COMMUNISTS – EXCEPT WHEN HE WAS KILLING THEM


OCTOBER 19, 2016 PHOTO -Demonstrators march to the House of Representatives to show their support for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ahead of his State of the Nation Address in July. Duterte used the address to announce a unilateral ceasefire with communist rebels who are waging one of Asia's longest insurgencies, and urged them to reciprocate. Photo: AFP When Washington Post correspondent Keith Richburg paid a call on Davao City police chief Franco Calida in 1987, he found himself following a trail of blood up the wooden stairs to the Philippine Constabulary colonel’s second floor office. There, piled up like cordwood outside the office door were the bodies of suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) – the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines – who had been killed the night before by a rag-tag vigilante force known as Alsa Masa, formed to end a communist campaign of terror unleashed on the Philippines’ third largest city. Why Duterte’s leaving behind his jet ski on his trip to China Two years later, as a correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review, I could still make out the stains as I climbed those same stairs to interview Calida about the remarkable success of the Alsa Masa death squads in loosening the NPA’s dangerous grip on Davao and its sprawling suburbs. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: MILF Commander Bravo denies creating own gov't in Lanao del Sur; Remains supportive of DU30war on drugs
[ALSO: COMMENTARY - Understanding the Rody puzzle]
(
The answer to the Duterte puzzle is for America to treat the Philippines under Duterte right — not as a vassal but with the respect an ally deserves. Nothing more, nothing less.)


DECEMBER 18 -In a recent meeting with Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers and Muslim Concerns Secretary Abdullah Mama-o, Commander Bravo clarified that he is still on the side of the government. President Rodrigo Duterte earlier told Mama-o to “get rid” of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front commander who reportedly takes payoffs from drug dealers. File
MANILA, Philippines — Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) commander Abdullah “Commander Bravo” Macapaar has denied establishing his own government in Lanao del Sur and remains supportive of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on illegal drugs, a Malacańang statement said Sunday. Macapaar clarified that he is still on the side of the government during his meeting with Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers and Muslim Concerns Secretary Abdullah Mama-o last Dec. 10. Last month, Duterte gave Mama-o 20 days to “get rid” of Macapaar, whom he said has formed his own government in Mindanao. Macapaar reportedly got payoffs from drug dealers and distributors from Metro Manila, Cavite, Batangas, the Visayas and other parts of the country who had come to Lanao to hide from authorities. READ MORE...RELATED,
Understanding the Rody puzzle...

ALSO: Duterte fires frat brods, Immigration intel chief over bribery scandal


DECEMBER 17 -Immigration Deputy Commisioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles present to media P30 million in cash, which they admitted accepting and keeping purportedly as part of an investigation against Macau-based businessman Jack Lam. EDD GUMBAN, file
President Rodrigo Duterte has fired three immigration officials, including two of his fraternity brothers, after they were tagged in a multimillion peso bribe scandal involving a Chinese casino operator. Duterte said his order to dismiss Immigration Deputy Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles was in line with his promise to stop corruption. Argosino, Robles and Duterte are members of the San Beda College of Law’s Lex Talionis Fraternitas. “Consistent with this electoral campaign, I have directed the dismissal of the two associate commissioners of the Bureau of Immigration who are now tainted with corruption. They will be held accountable for their actions. They will face the full force of the law,” Duterte said in a speech delivered in Davao City upon his arrival from Singapore. The president also ordered the dismissal of the bureau’s intelligence chief Charles Calima Jr. READ MORE...

ALSO Duterte: No way frat brothers Argosino, Robles will be reinstated to BI


DECEMBER 17 -President Rodrigo Duterte (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/MARIANNE BERMUDEZ)
DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said there was no way his two fraternity brothers at Lex Talionis, who had figured in corruption scandal at the Bureau of Immigration (BID), could be reinstated. Asked in a press conference during his arrival from Singapore and Cambodia if newly-resigned Assistant Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles had chances of being reinstated after the investigation being conducted on them, Duterte said: “Not one in a million (chance).” READ MORE...

ALSO: President Duterte admits killing suspected criminals in Davao City
[RELATED: Sotto cool, Recto shocked at President’s ‘kill’ confession]


DECEMBER 14 -Duterte: I used to kill suspected criminals (CNN)Controversial Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has admitted killing suspected criminals during his time as mayor of Davao City. "In Davao, I used to do it personally. Just to show the guys that, if I can do it, why can't you?" Duterte said.
"And (I'd) go around Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around and I would just patrol the streets and looking for trouble also. I was really looking for an encounter so I could kill." He made the remarks at the Wallace Business Forum in Manila on Monday.Since taking power in June, Duterte has waged a brutal "war on drugs." The crackdown has been linked to more than 5,900 deaths in less than six months. The President's office has been contacted for comment. FULL REPORT. RELATED,
Sotto cool, Recto shocked at President’s ‘kill’ confession...


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Pres. Duterte and the years of living dangerously

MANILA,
DECEMBER 19, 2016 (MANILA TIMES EDITORIAL) BY THE MANILA TIMES ON DECEMBER 18, 2016 EDITORIAL


DUTERTE ALWAYS LOVED COMMUNISTS – EXCEPT WHEN HE WAS KILLING THEM Headline from South China Morning Post. THE PHOTO CAPTION -Demonstrators march to the House of Representatives to show their support for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ahead of his State of the Nation Address OCTOBER 19, 2016.

The “Reds will die for me,” President Rodrigo Duterte declared early this week at a business forum.

Evidently, the statement was meant to telegraph the message to the “Yellows” who are perceived to be coveting his seat in Malacańang that he has got his back covered by friends whose politics and ideology he does not necessarily embrace.

Well, not all of the local radical leftists will breathe their last for him even if their life depended on it, especially Filipino Marxists from the so-called rejectionist faction of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) who were left out in the cold upon Duterte’s assumption of the presidency almost six months ago.

Gloating at the savvy through which the other half of the CPP–the so-called reaffirmist faction–had wormed itself into the Palace, the rejectionists have allied with the “Yellows” led by former president Benigno Aquino 3rd in their rumored bid to oust Duterte from power, via impeachment or “people power.”

READ MORE...

If neither constitutional process nor popular revolt works, Aquino and his ilk in the Liberal Party and “civil society” would not be past arming themselves with pitchforks in forcibly taking over the government with a little help from the rejectionists and a big hug from the Aquino group’s foreign friends who also had helped catapult Cory to the highest post in the land more than 30 years ago.

Duterte can only hope that officers and men of the military would not turn against their Commander-in-Chief who has been going out of his way to tell them that they matter to him very dearly and not the least to ordinary people who look up to them for protection and security.

Lately, the President was delivering on his campaign promise to give the country’s soldiers the best weapons that he could possibly source from abroad, the fastest boats that could match those of the terrorists and other trouble makers even if they are not necessarily brand-new as had been hoped and the supposedly long overdue pay increases that would tide over the troops’ families as they give chase to the Abu Sayyaf Group and communist and separatist rebels.

Topping the fatherly attention to the men and women in uniform is Duterte doing the rounds of military camps across the country during which he awards medals for bravery to wounded soldiers as well as handing out modest sums to bedridden privates and corporals in moves that clearly differentiate him from a few of his predecessors who may have never set foot on any outpost of the Armed Forces.

If the members of the military might have other plans, however, the President cannot expect help from his newfound friends among the Reds, whose presence as a significant political or armed force in the urban areas like Metro Manila has not been felt since the storied days of their partisan group Alex Boncayao Brigade or the Sparrows in the early part of the1980s.

The CPP, it’s political arm the National Democratic Front (NDF), and its armed wing the New People’s Army are apparently aiming for the establishment of a coalition government with Duterte at the helm between now and 2016 when the President’s term ends.

The NDF is pressed for time, however, even as it is still smarting from the debacle of 1986 when it had falsely hoped that it could turn the EDSA uprising in that year as a vehicle for its “urban insurrection” that failed to materialize because they had zero presence in Metro Manila at the time.

It cannot wait for another 30 years to even come within a foot of Malacanang, an opportunity that it has been given by the “socialist” Duterte.

The next round of peace talks in Rome have to succeed, for failure would mean a delay not only in the timetable of the NDF for a piece of history but in that of President Duterte who could seal his legacy whether he finishes his term by becoming the leader of the Philippines to have united the country against all odds, his “cancer” and many other illnesses and issues and controversies included.


SCMP ONLINE

DUTERTE ALWAYS LOVED COMMUNISTS – EXCEPT WHEN HE WAS KILLING THEM BY JOHN MCBETH 19 OCT 2016 239 SHARE Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on RedditShare on LinkedInShare on Google PlusShare on Sina


BY John McBeth who is a former Far Eastern Economic Review correspondent and author of Reporter: Forty Years Covering Asia

When Washington Post correspondent Keith Richburg paid a call on Davao City police chief Franco Calida in 1987, he found himself following a trail of blood up the wooden stairs to the Philippine Constabulary colonel’s second floor…


Demonstrators march to the House of Representatives to show their support for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ahead of his State of the Nation Address in July. Duterte used the address to announce a unilateral ceasefire with communist rebels who are waging one of Asia's longest insurgencies, and urged them to reciprocate. Photo: AFP

There, piled up like cordwood outside the office door were the bodies of suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) – the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines – who had been killed the night before by a rag-tag vigilante force known as Alsa Masa, formed to end a communist campaign of terror unleashed on the Philippines’ third largest city.

Why Duterte’s leaving behind his jet ski on his trip to China

Two years later, as a correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review, I could still make out the stains as I climbed those same stairs to interview Calida about the remarkable success of the Alsa Masa death squads in loosening the NPA’s dangerous grip on Davao and its sprawling suburbs.

CONTINUE READING....

The city’s mayor then was Rodrigo Duterte, now the hugely controversial president of the Philippines, who appears to be following the same brutal playbook in his obsessive campaign to wipe out the country’s drug trade – with Calida’s younger brother, Jose, as his solicitor-general.


Rodrigo Duterte, when he was Davao City mayor, with Mike Umpa, a suspected drug dealer, in 2004. Photo: AFP

Not that extrajudicial killings are new to the Philippines. Easily the most chilling interview I ever did was with Rolando Abadilla, President Ferdinand Marcos’ chief enforcer, whose name will forever be linked to “salvaging” – the word used to describe the murders of leftists and other political rivals during that period.

Duterte embraced the Alsa Masa when he became mayor in early 1988, but looking back now it seems a strange paradox for a leader who proudly calls himself a socialist and has long links to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).


Clarita Alia, 62, who lost four sons to what she and human rights groups believe were death squads, shows pictures of her sons at home in Davao City. Rights groups accuse Duterte of organising or tolerating vigilante squads that have killed more than 1,000 people since the 1980s. Photo: AFP

Indeed, it is this which makes him very different from the oligarchs and the old elite, who for all of the country’s democratic trappings continue to perpetuate an age-old Latino-style feudal system locked in place by paternalism and generations of largesse.

It is also his background as a student activist during Marcos’ rule, which explains the strength of his anti-US rhetoric, calling President Barrack Obama a “son of a whore” and threatening to downgrade Manila’s previously close relations with Washington.

For the president of a country that has always idolised the US, that alone must have guaranteed him a warm welcome on his state visit to Beijing on Tuesday, with Chinese officials saying it will “help increase political mutual trust and strengthen pragmatic cooperation”.


Supporters take selfies with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte has a 70 per cent approval rating. Photo: AFP

But while Duterte still has a 70 per cent approval rating in the polls, mostly because of his draconian law-and-order policy, Filipinos are not nearly as comfortable with the way he appears to be alienating the country’s former colonial master – or his perceived swing to the left.

Americans in Philippines are jittery as China-bound Duterte rails against United States

Only recently, business leaders called on Duterte to remove so-called “communists” from his administration, claiming they were more fixated on spreading their ideology than doing their jobs. It is believed they were alluding to Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III and his undersecretary, former militant labour leader Joel Maglunsod, both of whom have pushed for a 125 peso hike in the minimum wage.


Philippines communist rebel leader Benito Tiamzon is escorted by armed policemen back to his vehicle after attending a bail hearing with his wife Wilma at a court in Manila in August. The pair are consultants on the peace negotiating panel. Photo: AFP

The president appointed two CPP nominees, university professor Judy Taguiwalo and leftist politician Rafael Mariano, as respective secretaries of social welfare and reform as part of his efforts to draw the CPP into the ongoing Oslo peace talks to end the 47-year-old communist rebellion in the Philippines.

The two 100-strong delegations have made little progress since they began talking in August, with the CPP’s National Democratic Front (NDF) insisting on agrarian reform, national industralisation and strengthened labour rights, among other demands, as the basis for a settlement.

Playing the US against China may prove a smart move for Rodrigo Duterte

The son of a provincial governor, Duterte grew up with strong nationalistic sentiments which became more pronounced during his university years when he studied political science under Jose Maria Sison, 77, the CPP’s founder who has lived in the Netherlands since 1986 and calls the president his friend.


Jose Maria Sison, the CPP’s founder who has lived in the Netherlands since 1986 and calls President Duterte his friend.. Photo: Reuters

Former classmates recall that he strongly opposed speaking English in class, advocating instead the use of Tagalog and local dialects to underline his nationalist credentials.

As a newly minted lawyer, Duterte was not a member of the CPP or the NDF, but he was known to arrange meetings between foreign journalists and communist leaders in the early 1980s when the CPP was in full flower.

By the time he was elected mayor of Davao city in early 1988, roving bands of Alsa Masa vigilantes, mostly criminals and NPA turn-coats, had already racked up a heavy death toll of suspected NPA operatives, claiming to have killed 104 in March 1987 alone.

All of a sudden, Filipinos matter

Duterte’s motives in supporting and funding the Alsa Masa may have been very different from Calida’s. Former NDF supporters believe he may have actually been supporting the CPP central committee in its purge of urban revolutionaries who had deviated from the party’s Maoist line.

Law and order was always a Duterte priority, however, so it may have been no coincidence that when he was reappointed mayor in 2001 – after a two-year stint in Congress – the now-moribund Alsa Masa was replaced by the Davao Death Squad (DDS).

In the years that followed, the DDS was implicated in 1,400 vigilante-style executions of mostly petty criminals. The resultant improvement in public security led to stronger economic growth, which in turn increased Duterte’s popularity.


The dead body of an alleged drug dealer gunned down by unidentified men in Manila. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has defended his threat to kill criminals as ‘perfect’ and vowed no let-up in his war on crime. Photo: AFP

The then-mayor never appears to have held the US in high regard, but what only fuelled those sentiments was an incident in May 2002 when the US embassy allegedly helped in the escape of an American responsible for a mysterious explosion in a Davao hotel room.

While the Obama administration has sharply criticised Duterte’s latest killing spree, as have the United Nations and other Western governments, it has wisely avoided being drawn into a more damaging slanging match. But it can hardly have been happy to see the CPP now praising Duterte for his anti-US rhetoric, saying “the situation now exists for the forging of a patriotic alliance between his anti-US regime and the revolutionary and patriotic forces”. John McBeth


PHILSTAR

Commander Bravo denies creating own gov't in Lanao del Sur By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated December 18, 2016 - 4:21pm 1 96 googleplus0 0


In a recent meeting with Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers and Muslim Concerns Secretary Abdullah Mama-o, Commander Bravo clarified that he is still on the side of the government. President Rodrigo Duterte earlier told Mama-o to “get rid” of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front commander who reportedly takes payoffs from drug dealers. File

MANILA, Philippines — Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) commander Abdullah “Commander Bravo” Macapaar has denied establishing his own government in Lanao del Sur and remains supportive of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on illegal drugs, a Malacańang statement said Sunday.

Macapaar clarified that he is still on the side of the government during his meeting with Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers and Muslim Concerns Secretary Abdullah Mama-o last Dec. 10.

Last month, Duterte gave Mama-o 20 days to “get rid” of Macapaar, whom he said has formed his own government in Mindanao. Macapaar reportedly got payoffs from drug dealers and distributors from Metro Manila, Cavite, Batangas, the Visayas and other parts of the country who had come to Lanao to hide from authorities.

READ MORE...

RELATED: Duterte gives OFW adviser 20 days to get rid of Moro drug personality

“In line with President Duterte's directive, I immediately sought a meeting with Commander Bravo. We held the meeting inside a mosque in his mountain hide-out in Lanao del Sur in the presence of his men,” Mama-o said.

“Bravo clarifies that his operations in the MILF NWMF (Northwestern Mindanao Front) were, in fact, in support of the president’s anti-drug war,” he added.

Macapaar claimed that drug syndicates had cooked up "wrong information" that reached the president to make it appear that he has established a separate government.

“He (Bravo) said his command will continue complementing the president’s drive against the scourge of drugs. He also said that he abides by the on-going peace process between the government and the MILF,” Mama-o said.

Mama-o said he submitted a report about his meeting with Macapaar to Duterte last December 12.

Macapaar was the chief of the 105th MILF Base Command that launched bloody attacks in Lanao in 2008 after the government dropped a territory deal that would have provided the MILF greater powers in parts of Mindanao.

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

ALSO FROM THE TRIBUNE (COMMENTARY)

Understanding the Rody puzzle Written by Ninez Cacho-Olivares Sunday, 18 December 2016 00:00

Hasn’t the United States still understand the puzzle that is President Duterte, for it to threaten withholding aid through the Millenium Challenge Corp. (MCC) or the withdrawal of the sale of guns?

Yet Rody is not that much of a puzzle, even when he can be crude with his words and curses, if one goes by the history of America’s treatment of the Philippines and its leaders.

For too long, the Philippines has not been treated right by the US government, even if America does not admit it.

Not being an economic or military power, and brainwashed for decades and decades that the Philippines cannot survive without the military and economic might of America aiding the Philippines, the US was seen as a savior for years and years by too many Filipinos.

One Philippine administration after another, always, always did America’s bidding — such as establishing its military bases in the country, among other biddings.

America goes to the extent of judging what it thinks the Philippines and other weaker countries in the world, aren’t doing right and, in some instances, the US threatens sanctions on such countries.

Threaten Duterte with withholding funds or arms? That’s really dumb. As he says, he can always go to the AIIB and borrow funds. Arms? The country can always buy arms elsewhere — including Israel.

Yet America, that preaches its kind of democracy and even imposes its democracy on countries that the US sees as foes; that denounces regimes that the US believes do not follow the dictates of the US government, it funds and arms rebels and opposition forces to topple regimes that America wants to control.

In the Philippines, when a Philippine president does not do the bidding of America, the US government, enters the picture to oust the Philippine presidents they dislike, propping up the political opposition that also looks to America to get them in power and position. And the US talks about democracy, yet destroys it whenever it suits the US. It is not democracy for some countries the US wants, but control over these countries.

A case in point is Syria.

The civil war in Syria came about because the US and of course its allies in Europe wanted Bashir Assad out of power and replaced with the Syrian rebels they supported. But when Russia got into the picture, in the end, Assad still reigns, and the rebels and the US plans to control the Syrian government though the rebels — had they won the civil war.
So the US and its European allies again went through their usual big stick by again imposing sanctions, that however, hardly work — at least in the case of Russia, which is also a military power or China, for that matter. The US tried to flex its muscles against China due to the South China Sea.

The US, with an American lapdog in then Philippine President Noynoy Aquino, created a serious rift between China and the Philippines, where too many opportunities in trade with China were lost.

The US needs the Philippines as its ally in Asean, and even Asia, especially with the US’ pivot to Asia, and so five American bases in the country, disguised as temporary visiting American forces were in the works.

But it was not to be, with the election of the popular Duterte, and this time, America cannot control him. And so, the usual US tactics are applied — such as the withholding of the MCC, and the sale of arms, which to Duterte, means nothing. He prefers having his independent foreign policy, which is to have good and lasting trade relations with other countries, such as China and Russia, both foes of the US.

MCC

The MCC aid is hardly going to create a financial problem for the Philippines and more importantly, it won’t make Duterte do what the US wants him to do. No MCC? Duterte can do a tit for tat. He can have the Visiting Forces Agreement junked as well as the planned five US bases in the country.

For once, here is a Philippine president, who can be as crude as he is charming when he wants to be, as he has shown Asean leaders and China during his visits to their states.

It is time America learns to understand the Philippines and its people, instead of trying to oust Duterte by going with the yellows and make its plans with the Philippine military for the ouster.

Maybe this time, the ouster plot will fail.

The answer to the Duterte puzzle is for America to treat the Philippines under Duterte right — not as a vassal but with the respect an ally deserves. Nothing more, nothing less.


PHILSTAR

Duterte fires frat brods, Immigration intel chief over bribery scandal By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated December 17, 2016 - 11:34am 23 859 googleplus0 1


Immigration Deputy Commisioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles present to media P30 million in cash, which they admitted accepting and keeping purportedly as part of an investigation against Macau-based businessman Jack Lam. EDD GUMBAN, file

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has fired three immigration officials, including two of his fraternity brothers, after they were tagged in a multimillion peso bribe scandal involving a Chinese casino operator.

Duterte said his order to dismiss Immigration Deputy Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles was in line with his promise to stop corruption. Argosino, Robles and Duterte are members of the San Beda College of Law’s Lex Talionis Fraternitas.

“Consistent with this electoral campaign, I have directed the dismissal of the two associate commissioners of the Bureau of Immigration who are now tainted with corruption. They will be held accountable for their actions. They will face the full force of the law,” Duterte said in a speech delivered in Davao City upon his arrival from Singapore.

The president also ordered the dismissal of the bureau’s intelligence chief Charles Calima Jr.

READ MORE...

“One of them is a retired general. The two lawyers (will also be dismissed) and you know what? They are my fraternity brothers, if you must know. They’re from San Beda and they are my fraternity brothers. But I told (presidential assistant) Bong Go, tell them to resign. You’re fired,” he said.

Argosino and Robles announced their resignation on Friday night.

When asked on the chances of the immigration officials would be reinstated, Duterte replied: “Not in a million, not in a million. Let the law take its course. Tutal ginawa mo ‘yan eh di pasensiya ka (You did that, so face the consequences).”

“So the law is the law and I told everyone, including my relatives, do not do it. If you want a legitimate business, do it right and everything is okay,” he added.

Argosino and Robles were accused of extorting P50 million from the camp of Chinese gaming operator Jack Lam, who allegedly resorted to bribery to secure the release of more than 1,300 undocumented Chinese nationals working for him.

Last Tuesday, Argosino and Robles surrendered P30 million out of the P50 million they received from Lam’s camp. The two, however, denied that they were involved in extortion and claimed that they were just framed up while conducting an investigation.

Argosino and Robles said the P18 million went to Calima while the P2 million was given to retired police chief superintendent Wally Sombero, who was accused of being the middleman of the transaction.

The P30 million surrendered by the two immigration officials would be temporarily deposited in a bank for safekeeping.

Duterte also announced that the government would be sequestering the properties of Lam, whom he accused of cheating on his taxes.

“I am sequestering, ordering the sequestering of properties. And maybe, I can get as much as I want because – well, (Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar) Dulay and everybody says that we’ve been cheated on for so long,” the president said.

“He talks as if all officials are in his pocket because he was into corruption. I got pissed off, and I said arrest him. And they say he has no case, never mind. There is no case, there is no case. We will find a case and I’m just sorry that he was able to leave the country three days before,” he added.

“I told them: Arrest him, detain him in the most foul-smelling precinct.”

Duterte said Lam, who operates at Fontana Leisure Park and Casino in Clark, Pampanga and left for Hong Kong days before he was ordered arrested, has expressed his intention to return to the country to settle his obligations.

“So that this is the warning to everybody: If you have proof that you are bribing anybody or if anyone in the government is asking money from you…report it to me immediately and I will protect you… if you tell me the truth,” Duterte said.

“Do not corrupt people. If you are into corruption, go out of business for a while. Anyway I’m just here for six years. After that, you can have your way again. I really don’t mind, in fairness to the one (who’s) succeeding. But for now I said I’m going to give the Philippines a respite of the corruption all of these years.”


INQUIRER

Duterte: No way frat brothers Argosino, Robles will be reinstated to BI By: Allan Nawal - Correspondent / @inqmindanao Philippine Daily Inquirer / 03:06 AM December 17, 2016


President Rodrigo Duterte (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/MARIANNE BERMUDEZ)

DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said there was no way his two fraternity brothers at Lex Talionis, who had figured in corruption scandal at the Bureau of Immigration (BID), could be reinstated.

Asked in a press conference during his arrival from Singapore and Cambodia if newly-resigned Assistant Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles had chances of being reinstated after the investigation being conducted on them, Duterte said: “Not one in a million (chance).”

READ MORE...

READ: 2 Immigration officials resign over P50-M extortion scandal

Duterte said he had ordered the firing of the two assistant commissioners, who, like him, were graduates of San Beda College; and acting Immigration intelligence chief and former police general, Charles Calima. TVJ

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BI execs say they were only probing corruption

Sombero files graft complaint vs BI execs in extort try


CNN PHILIPPINES

Philippines President Duterte admits killing suspects By Ben Westcott and Kathy Quiano, CNN Updated 5:46 PM ET, Wed December 14, 2016


Duterte: I used to kill suspected criminals

(CNN)Controversial Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has admitted killing suspected criminals during his time as mayor of Davao City.

"In Davao, I used to do it personally. Just to show the guys that, if I can do it, why can't you?" Duterte said.

"And (I'd) go around Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around and I would just patrol the streets and looking for trouble also. I was really looking for an encounter so I could kill."

He made the remarks at the Wallace Business Forum in Manila on Monday.

Since taking power in June, Duterte has waged a brutal "war on drugs." The crackdown has been linked to more than 5,900 deaths in less than six months.

The President's office has been contacted for comment.

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

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Sotto cool, Recto shocked at President’s ‘kill’ confession By: Tarra Quismundo - Reporter / @TarraINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 06:11 PM December 14, 2016


Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

MANILA — The leaders of the majority and minority blocs in the Senate on Wednesday expressed opposing views on President Duterte’s recent admission of “personally” ending the lives of drug suspects, with one considering it a “hyperbole” and the other “surprised” at the statement.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said Mr. Duterte’s statements Monday night, when he told business leaders that he “used to do it (killing) personally” — and had gone out on patrol “looking for an encounter to kill” drug suspects during his time as Davao City mayor — could only be part of the President’s manner of speaking.

“To some people, it could be wrong. To some people, there would be liability. But if indeed there are liabilities, then file a case against him,” Sotto said.

“We don’t know how it (killing) happened, if it really happened, or if it is what is called a hyperbole,” he said.

The lawmaker, a former Dangerous Drugs Board chief who has been long supportive of the President’s fierce stand against drugs, expressed admiration for the commander-in-chief for having the guts to take action against the drug scourge.

“He is really hell bent at stopping the problem with illegal drugs. As a matter of fact, I envy him. When I got in the Senate, all my bills and privilege speeches were about drugs, because I was really seething at illegal drugs, from then until now,” Sotto said in an interview.

“But I do not have the same fire in the belly as the President, that’s why I envy him that he can do that. If I had the same fire in the belly, I would have done the same thing given how angry and seething I was at drug traffickers,” he said.

Sotto said the President’s admission could not be used to impeach him, saying those who would like to pursue cases against him should just do after Duterte’s term of office.


President Rodrigo Duterte and Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

“Impeach him if he had done an impeachable offense as President. When he is no longer President, if they want, file a case against him, whatever case they want to file,” he said.

Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto, meanwhile, said he was “not just surprised, but shocked” at the President’s statements.

“I was surprised to read that in the papers today. I don’t know in what context he said it, I didn’t watch it, I just read it in the papers today, but I was very much surprised because the other day, he said he had not done it, or something to that effect,” said Recto in an interview.

“So today, I was surprised to read that in the papers. I don’t know in what context, I don’t know if that was just a joke. That’s surprising to me,” he added. SFM


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