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POPE FRANCIS RECEIVES DUTERTE's PERSONAL LETTER


JANUARY 18 -Pope Francis was welcomed like a rockstar during his apostolic trip to the Philippines from Jan. 15 to 19, 2015. The pontiff is seen here waving at the crowd at the University of Santo Tomas in January 2015 in Manila. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando, file President Rodrigo Duterte sent a personal letter to Pope Francis, remembering the pontiff's 2015 apostolic visit to the country. In his letter marked with the Malacañang seal, Duterte extended his warmest greeting and respect to the pope and thanked him for his apostolic visit. The visit set a record gathering of millions of Filipinos around Rizal Park for Holy Mass. “Our countrymen remember Your Holiness' apostolic visit in 2015 with deep appreciation, knowing that it was made with the most sincere regard for the welfare of the Church's flock,” the president said. “The Philippines values its special relations with the Holy See and regards with gratitude Your Holiness' gracious stewardship of the Catholic faith,” he added. READ MORE...

ALSO Pope Francic: I'll judge Trump after we see what he does


JANUARY 22 -Pope Francis celebrates a Mass at the end of the Jubilee (Holy Year) of the Dominicans, inside the Basilica of St. John Lateran, in Rome, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. Giorgio Onorati/ANSA via AP
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis said he'll wait to see what US President Donald Trump does before forming an opinion about him. In an interview published Saturday evening by Spanish newspaper El Pais, Francis says he doesn't like "judging people early. We'll see what Trump does." Asked about populist-style political leaders emerging in the United States and Europe, Francis warned against seeking a savior in times of crisis. READ MORE...

ALSO: Duterte vows speedy release of Marcos Martial Law human rights claims


JANUARY 22 -PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has assured victims of human rights violations during Martial Law that their claims for reparations would be expedited, a Palace official said on Saturday. This came after the President met with the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board and the Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda) in Malacañang on Thursday. In a statement, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Duterte was informed that not a single centavo had been released to victims of Martial Law during the Marcos regime. READ MORE...

ALSO: ON CALLS FOR RESIGNATION - Lacson: Not too late for 'Bato' to redeem himself


JANUARY 22 -Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a former Philippine National Police chief, said it is not too late for the country's top cop to recover and refocus his priority and “avoid what is not related to police work.” PNP PIO, File 
 It’s not too late for Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa to redeem himself amid calls for him to resign, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said on Sunday. Calls for Dela Rosa’s resignation came after Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo was reportedly abducted by policemen last year and eventually killed in Camp Crame. Dela Rosa also came under fire for attending the concert of Canadian singer Bryan Adams on Thursday night amid the killing of the Korean businessman. READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘Bato’ to stay, Duterte assures as ‘tokhang-for-ransom’ probe continues
(Involvement of NBI agent in the kidnap-slay of South Korean businessman also being probed)


JANUARY 22 -HUSH-HUSH – Last week, amid the growing furor over the kidnapping and killing of Korean Jee Ick-Joo, Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa and President Duterte had a private chat at the sidelines of the oath-taking ceremony for the newly appointed chairmen of the Regional Peace and Order Councils. (Malacañang photo | Manila Bulletin)
President Rodrigo Duterte continues to trust PNP director general Ronald dela Rosa and won’t sack him amid resignation calls over the case of a South Korean businessman who was abducted and killed inside Camp Crame. The president made the brief statement in an interview aired over GMA News. Duterte was expected to attend Dela Rosa’s birthday party in Camp Crame on Sunday, January 22. READ MORE...

ALSO: Philippines wishes Trump success


JANUARY 22 -Malacañang also sent a congratulatory message to Trump, who was sworn in as 45th president of the US on Friday (Saturday morning in Manila). “We congratulate the people of the United States for a successful 58th presidential inauguration,” said presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella when sought for comment on Trump’s inauguration. Donald Trump campaign
The government hopes to work closely with the United States under newly installed President Donald Trump based on mutual respect and benefit and high regard for the rule of law, Malacañang said yesterday. Malacañang also sent a congratulatory message to Trump, who was sworn in as 45th president of the US on Friday (Saturday morning in Manila). “We congratulate the people of the United States for a successful 58th presidential inauguration,” said presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella when sought for comment on Trump’s inauguration. In keeping with the two-century American democratic tradition, Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America outside the Capitol at noon on Jan. 20. READ MORE...


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Pope Francis receives Duterte's letter


Pope Francis was welcomed like a rockstar during his apostolic trip to the Philippines from Jan. 15 to 19, 2015. The pontiff is seen here waving at the crowd at the University of Santo Tomas in January 2015 in Manila. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando, file

MANILA, JANUARY 23, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Rosette Adel January 18, 2017 - President Rodrigo Duterte sent a personal letter to Pope Francis, remembering the pontiff's 2015 apostolic visit to the country.

In his letter marked with the Malacañang seal, Duterte extended his warmest greeting and respect to the pope and thanked him for his apostolic visit. The visit set a record gathering of millions of Filipinos around Rizal Park for Holy Mass.

“Our countrymen remember Your Holiness' apostolic visit in 2015 with deep appreciation, knowing that it was made with the most sincere regard for the welfare of the Church's flock,” the president said.

“The Philippines values its special relations with the Holy See and regards with gratitude Your Holiness' gracious stewardship of the Catholic faith,” he added.

READ MORE...

Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process said Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay personally handed the president's letter late Wednesday (Manila time) to Pope Francis. The pope usually holds Wednesday morning audiences at Saint Peter's Square in the Vatican.

Government delegates are in Rome to attend the third round of peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. Dureza earlier said the group would make a side trip to Vatican City.


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Letter of President Duterte to Pope Francis hand carried by the government delegation to the 3rd round of talks in Rome, Italy. 2:56 AM - 18 Jan 2017 · National Capital Region, Republic of the Philippines 7 7 Retweets 8 8 likes

This is not the first time Duterte wrote a letter to Pope Francis. Last year, Duterte sent a letter of apology to the Holy See for cursing at the pope.

Substitute for General Affairs to the Secretary of State of the Holy See, Archbishop Angelo Becciu, writing in behalf of the pope, acknowledged the then presidential candidate's letter and offered prayers for him.

In December 2015, Duterte drew ire from Catholics after he complained about the heavy traffic during the papal visit and cursed at the pope.


PHILSTAR

Pope Francic: I'll judge Trump after we see what he does (Associated Press) | Updated January 22, 2017 - 6:21pm 2 3 googleplus0 0


Pope Francis celebrates a Mass at the end of the Jubilee (Holy Year) of the Dominicans, inside the Basilica of St. John Lateran, in Rome, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. Giorgio Onorati/ANSA via AP

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis said he'll wait to see what US President Donald Trump does before forming an opinion about him.

In an interview published Saturday evening by Spanish newspaper El Pais, Francis says he doesn't like "judging people early. We'll see what Trump does."

Asked about populist-style political leaders emerging in the United States and Europe, Francis warned against seeking a savior in times of crisis.

READ MORE...

He said Adolf Hitler in the 1930s' Germany "was voted for by the people and then he destroyed the people."

Francis laments that in crises "we look for a savior to give us back identity, and we defend ourselves with walls, barbed-wire fences, from other peoples."

He was interviewed Friday at the Vatican at the same time as Trump's inauguration ceremony.


MANILA TIMES

Duterte vows speedy release of human rights claims BY CATHERINE S. VALENTE, TMT ON JANUARY 22, 2017 TOP STORIES

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has assured victims of human rights violations during Martial Law that their claims for reparations would be expedited, a Palace official said on Saturday.

This came after the President met with the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board and the Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda) in Malacañang on Thursday.

In a statement, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Duterte was informed that not a single centavo had been released to victims of Martial Law during the Marcos regime.

READ MORE...

“Selda brought to the attention of the President their concern regarding the delay in processing of claims and in the distribution of award/reparation. It was impressed upon the President that despite the advancing age/demise of some of the claimants and the sunset clause provided under Republic Act 10368, not a single centavo had been released to them,” Abella said.

Under the law, human rights victims are entitled to monetary and non-monetary reparations from the government.

“The claims board gave Selda and the President the assurance that they will expedite the processing of the claims and facilitate payment of claims already processed the soonest time possible,” Abella said.

The board was established under Republic Act 10368, or the Martial Law Victims Recognition and Reparation Act.


PHILSTAR

Lacson: Not too late for Bato to redeem himself (philstar.com) | Updated January 22, 2017 - 5:34pm 21 34 googleplus0 0


Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a former Philippine National Police chief, said it is not too late for the country's top cop to recover and refocus his priority and “avoid what is not related to police work.” PNP PIO, File

MANILA, Philippines — It’s not too late for Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa to redeem himself amid calls for him to resign, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said on Sunday.

Calls for Dela Rosa’s resignation came after Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo was reportedly abducted by policemen last year and eventually killed in Camp Crame.

Dela Rosa also came under fire for attending the concert of Canadian singer Bryan Adams on Thursday night amid the killing of the Korean businessman.

READ MORE...

Lacson, a former PNP chief, said that he knew Dela Rosa personally and noticed that he had “changed” probably because of “fame or popularity” but was hopeful that if he returned to his old ways, he would be able to recover.

“I think he would be able to recover,” Lacson said in a radio interview reiterating that the murder of Jee could serve as Dela Rosa’s “wake-up call.”

“I don’t think it’s too late for him to recover and refocus his priority and avoid what is not related to police work,” he added, describing Dela Rosa as “smart, unassuming, and humble.”

Lacson also stressed that Dela Rosa’s resignation would need an immediate replacement and that President Rodrigo Duterte himself trusts the PNP chief.

“I’d rather give him that second chance because if he decides to resign or is relieved from his position, will the institution be ready? Who would replace him?” Lacson said.

“His advantage is that aside from knowing his job, the trust the president has for him is very high. If he resigns, will the president be able to find a replacement he trusts to as much degree or magnitude?”

He said that the issue was not that Dela Rosa attended a concert but that the problems of his institution should be addressed first.

“I said before that the number one problem of the PNP is the PNP (itself) so the solution should come from the PNP as well. PNP should prioritize internal discipline and everything will follow,” Lacson said.

The senator, however, said that a courtesy resignation was still Dela Rosa’s call.

Aside from Lacson, other senators who thought it would not be necessary for Dela Rosa to resign include Sens. Alan Peter Cayetano, Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian and Ralph Recto.

Cayetano earlier said that he wants to wait for the results of the investigation and believes Dela Rosa was doing a good job. Meanwhile, Gatchalian said Dela Rosa should work on redeeming the public’s trust.

Recto also urged Dela Rosa to clean up the police ranks and dedicate more time to “disprove his critics and to show that he deserves his continued stay in his post.”

“But if you are not ordered to resign from PNP, then reform the PNP. Start with acknowledging that problems do exist. Then follow it up with an action plan on how to solve them,” Recto said.

He urged Dela Rosa to also consider a major reshuffle and ignore the political patrons of officers.

“Your motto should be: ‘Bato bato sa langit, ang matanggal huwag magalit,” Recto said.

“The bad press you’re getting is due to bad cops. Thus, it can’t be solved by diversionary tactics but by taking out deeply rooted reasons,” he added.

He said the PNP should exert the same efforts in cleaning police ranks as it does in going after drug users and pushers. — PNA


MANILA BULLETIN

‘Bato’ to stay, Duterte assures as ‘tokhang-for-ransom’ probe continues 133 SHARES Share it! Published January 22, 2017, 7:14 PM By MB Online, Aaron Recuenco and Argyll Cyrus Geducos


HUSH-HUSH – Last week, amid the growing furor over the kidnapping and killing of Korean Jee Ick-Joo, Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa and President Duterte had a private chat at the sidelines of the oath-taking ceremony for the newly appointed chairmen of the Regional Peace and Order Councils. (Malacañang photo | Manila Bulletin)

Involvement of NBI agent in the kidnap-slay of South Korean businessman also being probed

President Rodrigo Duterte continues to trust PNP director general Ronald dela Rosa and won’t sack him amid resignation calls over the case of a South Korean businessman who was abducted and killed inside Camp Crame.

The president made the brief statement in an interview aired over GMA News.

Duterte was expected to attend Dela Rosa’s birthday party in Camp Crame on Sunday, January 22.

READ MORE...

As the probe continues into the involvement of police officers in the kidnap-slay of South Korean ex-Hanjin executive Jee Ick-joo, investigators are also probing at least one agent of the National Bureau of Investigation in the controversial case that has bruised the government’s war on drugs.

Senior Supt. Glen Dumlao, director of the Anti-Kidnapping Group, said authorities are still verifying if a certain Jerry Boy is indeed connected with the NBI.

“This Jerry Boy has been showing his NBI badge,” said Dumlao, quoting the testimony of SPO4 Roy Villegas, who is one of the accused in the Jee case.

Dumlao said because of this, he is no longer surprised when the main suspect, SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, yielded to the NBI instead of subjecting himself to restrictive custody upon PNP director general Ronald dela Rosa’s orders.

“Marami siyang (Sta. Isabel) kasangga doon,” said Dumlao.

Sta. Isabel, assigned to the Anti-Illegal Drugs Group, was tagged as the one who planned and even manipulated the AIDG protocol in getting Jee in his house in Angeles City using a fake arrest warrant.

Sta. Isabel is accused of strangling Jee to death inside Camp Crame in Quezon City and initiated the negotiations for a P5-million ransom from the victim’s wife 12 days after Jee’s death.

Aside from an NBI agent, Dumlao said another police officer under the National Capital Region Police Office is also under investigation.

Supt. Dennis Wagas, legal officer of the AKG, said supplemental complaints will be filed against four policemen and at least four civilians behind the Jee kidnap-slay. “We are just waiting for the statement of the wife to strengthen the case. We have a strong case against the suspects.”

Also implicated alongside Sta. Isabel and Villegas were Supt. Raphael Dumlao and PO2 Christopher Baldovino.


MB FILE—Jee Ick Joo (Manila Bulletin)

Senior Supt. Dumlao, the AKG chief, clarified he is not in any way related to the AIDG team leader being implicated in the Jee case.

Wagas also disclosed waiting for an arrest warrant for a retired policeman, now a barangay captain in Caloocan City, who already fled to Canada.

The barangay captain owns the Gream Funeral House where Jee’s remains were taken after he was killed on October 18 last year, the same day he was abducted.

“Once we obtained a copy of the arrest warrant, we will ask for the assistance of our foreign counterparts,” said Wagas.

Dumlao, on the other hand, said his office received information that the barangay captain is in New Jersey in the U.S. Malacañang, for its part, assured there will be no cover-up on the investigation.

“We assure everyone that there will be no whitewash or cover-up. We will not tolerate corrupt, abusive, errant policemen who betray the organization and the men and women in uniform who continue their faithful, dedicated and loyal service to the country,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a text message.

Earlier this week, presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said “the president will not tolerate police abuse; all the police scalawags will be prosecuted to the fullest under the law.”

Panelo said the abduction and killing Jee will not affect the credibility of Oplan Tokhang. “It [Oplan Tokhang] has been successful. Any impairment by this reason will not affect the success of the project.”

Tags: abduction, Camp Crame, Glen Dumlao, Jee Ick-Joo, kidnap-slay, Manila Bulletin, resignation, Ricky Sta. Isabel, Rodrigo Duterte, Ronald Dela Rosa, South Korea, Tokhang for Ransom, ‘Bato’ to stay Duterte assures as ‘tokhang-for-ransom’ probe continues


PHILSTAR

Phl wishes Trump success By Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 22, 2017 - 12:00am 5 13 googleplus0 0


Malacañang also sent a congratulatory message to Trump, who was sworn in as 45th president of the US on Friday (Saturday morning in Manila). “We congratulate the people of the United States for a successful 58th presidential inauguration,” said presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella when sought for comment on Trump’s inauguration. Donald Trump campaign

MANILA, Philippines - The government hopes to work closely with the United States under newly installed President Donald Trump based on mutual respect and benefit and high regard for the rule of law, Malacañang said yesterday.

Malacañang also sent a congratulatory message to Trump, who was sworn in as 45th president of the US on Friday (Saturday morning in Manila).

“We congratulate the people of the United States for a successful 58th presidential inauguration,” said presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella when sought for comment on Trump’s inauguration.

In keeping with the two-century American democratic tradition, Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America outside the Capitol at noon on Jan. 20.

READ MORE...

“We look forward to working closely with the new administration of President Trump anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit and shared commitment to democratic ideals and the rule of law,” he said.

“We wish President Trump success in the next four years of his administration,” Abella added.

He also lauded President Trump’s foreign policy direction. “It promises a more placid and mutually beneficial relationship, especially with long standing allies like us,” Abella said in a statement.

He added the Palace finds resonance in Trump’s intention to “seek friendship and goodwill and reinforce existing alliances, without imposing America’s way of life on others.”

“Our diplomatic ties need to reflect our long-standing relationship but under terms and conditions that protect our people’s interests,” he said.

Abella stressed the Philippines would remain as an independent and sovereign nation open to collaboration with other countries in accordance with the principles of international law.


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