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TIMES COMMENTARY: WHY IS DU30 SO AFRAID OF EDSA?


FEBRUARY 24 - By F. Tatad -COMMUNICATION Secretary Martin Andanar, who has made a career of announcing all sorts of conspiracies and plots against President Rodrigo Duterte, has just announced the existence of a “grand scheme” by parties unknown to unseat the President. This contradicts the statement of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. that there is no such threat to the President. Is Andanar’s claim more solid than his previous assertion that members of the Senate media had been bribed $1,000 each to cover a former policeman’s press conference alleging DU30’s involvement in the bombing of mosques and killings when he was still mayor of Davao City? Or is it just as spurious? Why is Andanar the one saying all this when his credibility is perhaps at its lowest point?
Assuming Andanar had credible intelligence, was he not being intolerably amateurish in prematurely broadcasting it, while Lorenzana and Esperon decided to treat it professionally as a state secret? If the claim had any basis, shouldn’t the government have exposed it in all its details, after some of its alleged conspirators had been arrested, just like what happened after some rebel officers had penetrated Malacañang’s security perimeter, on the eve of the EDSA revolt in February 1986? Absent any proof or details, Andanar’s statement could easily be construed as an attempt to justify DU30’s decision to empty the 31st anniversary celebration of the “EDSA Revolution” of all meaning, by holding it away from public view, inside Camp Crame and Camp Aguinaldo, rather than on EDSA itself, and to manufacture his own “event.”

ALSO: Rody supporters to stage own rally on Saturday, Sunday; will storm heaven with prayers to banish 'evils of society'


FEBRUARY 25 -Supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte will storm heaven with prayers on Saturday and Sunday to banish the “evils of society” in a gathering far from the spot where the Philippine democratic movement will mark the 31st anniversary of the Edsa People Power Revolution that toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Social media trolls are helping the Duterte administration in the mobilization, reportedly trying to bring up to 1 million people to Rizal Park in Manila for a “prayer vigil” on Saturday and for a sharing of experiences by relatives of crime victims on Sunday. Interior Undersecretary John Castriciones, secretary general of the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte National Executive Coordinating Council (MRRD-NECC), said various groups supporting Mr. Duterte and members of different religious communities would converge on Rizal Park for the two-day event. Castriciones said organizers had no target figure for attendance in the event but if they could get 1 million, “then praise the Lord.” READ MORE...

ALSO: LOOK - Duterte sends flowers to EDSA Monument
[RELATED: LOOK - Binay, Gringo, Enrile, FVR attend EDSA 31 event in Camp Aguinaldo on Friday]


FEBRUARY 24 -President Rodrigo Duterte sent a wreath of flowers to the People Power Monument on Saturday, anniversary of the 1986 EDSA Revolution. The government had earlier said that this year's celebration would be more low key. The commemoration was held on Friday, instead of Saturday, and inside military headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, instead of at the monument. Officials insisted they want to give Filipinos more time to reflect about the causes and effects of the historic revolution, and it's not because of Duterte's ties to the Marcos family. Duterte skipped Friday's rites in Camp Aguinaldo, but sent Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to deliver his speech. READ MORE, RELATED
LOOK: Binay, Gringo, Enrile, FVR attend EDSA 31 event in Camp Aguinaldo...

ALSO: ‘Peace under one nation, one flag’ -Duterte, this weekend with Mindanao peace group


FEBRUARY 25 -The Young Muslim Professionals Network issued the call as peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front teeter due to the Mamasapano incident. File photo
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Duterte called for a just and lasting peace by uniting all factions in the nation under one flag. “I would like to tell you now that, as President, (I want) a just and lasting peace under my term but it must be as one country, one nation and one flag. Under that, understand each other,” Duterte said during the launching of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) here on Friday. Duterte urged the BTC commissioners to craft the enabling law for the Bangsamoro in a bid to have workable peace agreements with the Moro groups in Mindanao. He said the BTC should “navigate the many obstructions, obstacles” in crafting the enabling law to achieve peace. “Craft one that is good for the entire Filipino nation,” Duterte told the 12 members of the BTC. “I am a man in a hurry and I want that something will come out of this BTC soon which we can work on,” he said. READ MORE...

ALSO: In Davao today, Duterte calls for new Bangsamoro law
[RELATED January 2, 2017: Duterte to name Bangsamoro Transition Commission soon]
[RELATED(2): Duterte pushes for Bangsamoro Basic Law with expanded membership]


FEBRUARY 25 -President Rodrigo Duterte witnessed the launch of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, which will craft the new Bangsamoro enabling law for the implementation of the peace accords with the country's Muslim groups. PNA
DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Philippines News Agency) - President Rodrigo Duterte has asked the new Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) to clear the road of obstructions until Mindanao finds the way to peace. “I am urging the BTC to navigate the hindrances and obstructions at hanapin ninyo ang daan hanggang patungo ng kapayaan. Mahirap ‘yan (and find the road until you reach peace),” the president told the expanded 21-member BTC during its launch here Friday night. While there is a solution acceptable to everybody, the road to peace is a long journey, Duterte said, assuring the commission that he will always be there to support them. “Maybe in front of the Filipino nation, I will ask every Filipino to vote for it because it will make us a great nation, so I leave it up to you,” he said. READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte to name Bangsamoro Transition Commission soon... RELATED(2) Duterte pushes for Bangsamoro Basic Law with expanded membership...

ALSO: Might is right! Duterte says due process, human rights won’t protect against evil
[RELATED: Palace - Arrest order vs De Lima 'major step forward' in drug war; She will have chance to prove innocence in court]


FEBRUARY 25 -President Rodrigo Duterte has scoffed at advocates of due process and human rights, saying they are wrong to think it will protect them against evil. In his speech at the turnover of a drug rehabilitation facility in Samal Island Friday (February 24), Duterte defended his administration’s aggressive campaign against crime and illegal drugs. “You forgot to look at the other side. How about evil? You’re only focusing on the illegal drug users, relying on due process and human rights. You think that those two basic principles can protect you. Well I’ll tell you, I’m sorry. It cannot,” he said. READ MORE...RELATED,
Palace - Arrest order vs De Lima 'major step forward' in drug war; the Senator will now have a chance to prove her innocence in court of law...


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

Why is DU30 so afraid of EDSA?

MANILA, FEBRUARY 27, 2017 (MANILA TIMES) BY FRANCISCO TATAD ON FEBRUARY 24, 2017 OPINION ON PAGE ONE - COMMUNICATION Secretary Martin Andanar, who has made a career of announcing all sorts of conspiracies and plots against President Rodrigo Duterte, has just announced the existence of a “grand scheme” by parties unknown to unseat the President.

This contradicts the statement of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. that there is no such threat to the President.

Is Andanar’s claim more solid than his previous assertion that members of the Senate media had been bribed $1,000 each to cover a former policeman’s press conference alleging DU30’s involvement in the bombing of mosques and killings when he was still mayor of Davao City?

Or is it just as spurious? Why is Andanar the one saying all this when his credibility is perhaps at its lowest point?

Assuming Andanar had credible intelligence, was he not being intolerably amateurish in prematurely broadcasting it, while Lorenzana and Esperon decided to treat it professionally as a state secret?

If the claim had any basis, shouldn’t the government have exposed it in all its details, after some of its alleged conspirators had been arrested, just like what happened after some rebel officers had penetrated Malacañang’s security perimeter, on the eve of the EDSA revolt in February 1986? Absent any proof or details, Andanar’s statement could easily be construed as an attempt to justify DU30’s decision to empty the 31st anniversary celebration of the “EDSA Revolution” of all meaning, by holding it away from public view, inside Camp Crame and Camp Aguinaldo, rather than on EDSA itself, and to manufacture his own “event.”

READ MORE...


BY FRANCISCO S. TATAD

What the world remembers

“EDSA-1” was one event that left our people in utter awe of what they could achieve without resorting to or enduring violence. It left the world breathless to see Ferdinand Marcos, who had held power for 20 years, stepping down without any resistance, despite the rabid insistence of his Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Fabian Ver to deal a crushing blow on the rebellious forces.

People thought of us Filipinos better than we thought of ourselves, and for one brief shining moment we all seemed to have finally discovered that God and country, in their respective spheres, were infinitely bigger than anything else. But because we did not pay for it with our blood nor with any great sacrifice, it became so easy for us to throw our gains away, from the very moment “victory” was ours.

No administration after 1986 ever sought to invest the word “revolution” with the meaning it needed and deserved. So, year after year our EDSA celebrations progressively lost their spiritual, moral and patriotic fervor and content. But the backslide and the effort to rob it of its substance was there from the very start.

On the day my neighbors’ families, including their young grandchildren, came to line up on EDSA, I literally climbed over the wall of Camp Aguinaldo to come to the office of then Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile, who was holed up inside.

We had been the closest partners in the Cabinet, but we had not seen each other since I left the Batasan in 1984, four years after leaving my Cabinet post. He gave me a big hug, and I felt reassured that he was on top of the situation.

Enrile misspoke

But my heart sank when he sat down briefly for a TV interview, and when asked whether he had any plans of assuming the leadership during the transition, he said No, he would rather see Cory Aquino preside over the government. Thus, the first shouts of “Enrile, Enrile” were instantly muted, and “Cory, Cory, Cory!” welled out from the crowd.

He was not answering an original question from the interviewer; it had been raised earlier on the same TV channel by former Senator Francisco “Soc” Rodrigo, who was chairman of the National Unification Committee, of which I was a member, and which had fielded Cory as Marcos’s opponent in the February 7, 1986 “snap” presidential election.

Although I had broken with Marcos six years before and had voted for Cory, I thought that was a mistake. Enrile misspoke, that was his first mistake.

Cory had lost the election, and although the February 13, 1986 statement of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said, “In our considered judgment, the polls were unparalleled in the fraudulence of their conduct,” this was not part of the reasons the military had mutinied against their Commander-in-Chief.

Cory had gone to Cebu to avoid the “uprising”; her last speech at the Luneta after Marcos won the election and US President Ronald Reagan said there had been irregularities on both sides, was to call for a “boycott of the products of all crony corporations”—she did not have the heart to call for “civil disobedience” as suggested by her supporters.

Later evidence would suggest that much of the so-called fraud allegedly committed by Marcos had been staged by anti-Marcos forces, and made to appear as the handiwork of Marcos, for the benefit of the international election observers.

An appointive commission

I had assumed, correctly it turned out, that the victorious forces would establish a revolutionary government, and this was exactly what they did. They abolished the 1973 Constitution, and replaced it with a makeshift “Freedom Constitution”, effective on March 25, 1986. This provided that 60 days from that date, a Commission of not more than 50 citizens shall be appointed to draft a new Constitution.

The popular expectation, mine too, was that since Cory had become President through “people power,” she would allow the people to write their own Constitution through an elective constitutional convention.

I was on earshot range when she said, she could not imagine the people voting for Commander Dante (who was then present) as one of the delegates to draft the new Constitution. So, she decided to appoint them instead. But Dante was not among her appointees in the end.

Article V of the Freedom Constitution specified that the members of the Commission should be natural-born citizens, of recognized probity, known for their independence, nationalism and patriotism, and chosen after consultation with various sectors of society. A couple of friendly bishops wanted to nominate me as one of the commissioners; I graciously declined—I did not believe in the appointive commission.

Forty-eight members were appointed, without adhering strictly to all the criteria for appointees set by the President. A political officer of the US Embassy diligently sat daily with the commissioners as an observer and became known as the 49th commissioner. Forty-six delegates voted for the draft Constitution on October 15, 1986.

I accompanied Enrile in his campaign against the draft Constitution, after Cory had sacked him as her secretary of national defense. We covered a lot of ground, but I travelled with him as a newspaperman. When we came to Tuguegarao, his home city, though, he asked me to speak. There I pointed out the various flaws of the document. Toward the end of my speech, I took a sheaf of newsprint, and ripping them apart, said, “This is not a Constitution, this is but a scrap of paper!” (Which was literally correct.)

The mammoth crowd rose as one and gave me a prolonged ovation. One commissioner who recalls this in his book, says I tore his heart with my symbolic gesture. The Constitution was ratified in a plebiscite on February 2, 1987 despite our opposition, and Enrile and I became among its staunchest defenders. Without being blind to its defects.

Cory’s term extension and self-interests

But either the Constitution is erroneously framed or Cory committed a serious violation of one of its transitory provisions. Section 5 of Article XVIII provides that, “The six-year term of the incumbent President and Vice-President elected in the February 7, 1986 election is, for purposes of synchronization of elections, hereby extended to noon of June 30, 1992. The first regular elections for President and Vice President under this Constitution shall be held on the second Monday of May, 1992.”

This was erroneously interpreted to mean that Cory Aquino and Salvador “Doy Laurel,” who became revolutionary President and revolutionary Vice President, respectively, after losing the election, could remain in office until June 30, 1992. Strictly construed, the provision refers to Marcos and Arturo Tolentino who were proclaimed “elected” by the presidential canvassing body and whose proclamation was never revoked, even though they were not allowed to sit because of the EDSA uprising.

This was a grave offense to the “revolution.”

Now, Presidential Proclamation No. 3, issued on March 25, 1986 authorized the sequestration of all known Marcos assets by the Presidential Commission on Good Government. This meant all assets, whether held by the Marcoses or by their cronies. The PCGG, not any particular individual or family, was to be the repository.

And yet a group of corporations originally owned by Cory Aquino’s Cojuangco family, which her brother-in-law, the late Ricardo “Baby” Lopa, had asked his boyhood friend and Imelda Marcos’s younger brother, Gov. Benjamin “Kokoy” Romualdez, to acquire in a legitimate business transaction during martial law, were returned to the Cojuangcos, reportedly without any consideration, without going through the PCGG, contrary to law. In like manner, Hacienda Luisita, the country’s biggest agricultural estate, was exempted from land reform by direct action of the President.

This, for me, was a great setback for the “revolution.” The Supreme Court tried to correct this error during the term of President B.S. Aquino 3rd by finally awarding the rights to Hacienda Luisita to its farmers, but this decision cost the late former Chief Justice Renato Corona his position, his honor, his peace, and finally, his life. Aquino literally bribed the congressmen and the members of the Senate impeachment court to have Corona impeached, convicted and removed. He died broken-hearted, not long after that.

What happened to courage?

To most Filipinos, the EDSA revolt “restored Philippine democracy,” as they knew it, and Cory and her family were its very first beneficiaries. She did not have to have trolls in order to rewrite history and say that she restored Philippine democracy instead of being simply its primary beneficiary.

She did it in any case. When we see how deeply entrenched the political dynasties and the old oligarchy have remained, despite the political acoustics generated by some ideological propagandists, we have to ask, what exactly had we won at EDSA which we have not yet lost?

Despite all that, none of the previous administrations ever suggested that the nation’s well-being and the President’s political health could be put to risk by a more vibrant celebration of what happened on EDSA 31 years ago, which made Filipinos the darlings of the world.

What makes the toughest mouth and the quickest draw among all our Presidents so afraid of a simple commemorative event? Does DU30 need a million people, simultaneously marching at the Luneta, to provide support for his globally advertised and supposedly legendary courage?


INQUIRER

Duterte supporters to stage own rally; will storm heaven with prayers to banish 'evils of society'
By: Leila B. Salaverria, Philip C. Tubeza - @inquirerdotnetPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 01:13 AM February 24, 2017



Supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte will storm heaven with prayers on Saturday and Sunday to banish the “evils of society” in a gathering far from the spot where the Philippine democratic movement will mark the 31st anniversary of the Edsa People Power Revolution that toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Social media trolls are helping the Duterte administration in the mobilization, reportedly trying to bring up to 1 million people to Rizal Park in Manila for a “prayer vigil” on Saturday and for a sharing of experiences by relatives of crime victims on Sunday.

Interior Undersecretary John Castriciones, secretary general of the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte National Executive Coordinating Council (MRRD-NECC), said various groups supporting Mr. Duterte and members of different religious communities would converge on Rizal Park for the two-day event.

Castriciones said organizers had no target figure for attendance in the event but if they could get 1 million, “then praise the Lord.”

READ MORE...

He said Muslims, Catholic priests, Seventh-Day Adventists and members of other Protestant churches would join the prayer vigil.

‘Evils of society’

“The Edsa revolution was for change. So now that we have genuine change, we are gathering to support our government’s campaign against the evils of society, like illegal drugs, corruption and poverty,” he said.

More than 7,600 people have been killed by police and unknown gunmen in Mr. Duterte’s brutal war on drugs, drawing global concerns about violations of human rights and warnings of prosecution for crimes against humanity.

The Rizal Park event will have smaller versions in Mr. Duterte’s hometown, Davao City, organized by the MRRD-NECC in southern Mindanao.

Constancio Tiongco, regional vice president of the MRRD-NECC, said the Davao rallies would be held “to counter the expected tirades against the President by his political enemies on Feb. 25.”

No-show at Aguinaldo

Mr. Duterte will not show up at the Rizal Park gathering or at the token observance that Malacañang has authorized to be held on Saturday in Camp Aguinaldo, headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Malacañang said on Thursday that Mr. Duterte would be in Davao City, where he would attend events, including the launch of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea will represent Mr. Duterte in the Camp Aguinaldo celebration.

This would have been Mr. Duterte’s first time to lead a commemoration of the restoration of democracy in the Philippines as President, but Malacañang decided to tone down this year’s celebration of the country’s liberation from dictatorship, choosing to make it a day of reflection that would emphasize moving on from the past.

But Mr. Duterte’s spokesperson, Ernesto Abella, said there might be a “surprise” from the leader on Edsa anniversary day. “You know, I think he has some surprise for that,” Abella said on Thursday.

A source said Mr. Duterte may provide a video message for the anniversary.

Former Presidents Fidel Ramos and Benigno Aquino III have been invited to the event.

Ramos has confirmed his attendance.

Activists’ rally

Martial law survivor Etta Rosales, former head of the Commission on Human Rights, said Aquino and Vice President Leni Robredo were welcome to join a rally on Edsa on Saturday.

“This is a rally of inclusion. It’s everybody’s rally. It’s not just yellows, blues or reds. It’s a rainbow,” Rosales said on Thursday.

The rally will be separate from the government-sponsored commemoration rites in Camp Aguinaldo. It will be held at the People Power Monument on Edsa from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Millennials, including students, will march from La Salle Green Hills to the rally site.

Organizers are not looking to rival the government-sponsored gathering at Rizal Park in size. “We will be happy to gather 10,000,” Rosales said.

Among those who will join the rally are former Senators Wigberto Tañada and Rene Saguisag. —WITH REPORTS FROM DJ YAP AND ALLAN NAWAL


ABS-CBN

LOOK: Duterte sends flowers to EDSA Monument ABS-CBN News Posted at Feb 25 2017 04:21 PM | Updated as of Feb 25 2017 05:04 PM


 View image on Twitter Follow jeck batallones @jeck_batallones Bulaklak galing kay President Duterte nasa People Power Monument @ABSCBNNews @DZMMTeleRadyo 9:43 PM - 24 Feb 2017 Retweets likes

President Rodrigo Duterte sent a wreath of flowers to the People Power Monument on Saturday, anniversary of the 1986 EDSA Revolution.

The government had earlier said that this year's celebration would be more low key. The commemoration was held on Friday, instead of Saturday, and inside military headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, instead of at the monument.

Officials insisted they want to give Filipinos more time to reflect about the causes and effects of the historic revolution, and it's not because of Duterte's ties to the Marcos family. Duterte skipped Friday's rites in Camp Aguinaldo, but sent Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to deliver his speech.

READ: Duterte: No single entity can claim EDSA Revolution

LOOK: Binay, Gringo, Enrile, FVR attend EDSA 31 event in Camp Aguinaldo ABS-CBN News Posted at Feb 24 2017 09:42 AM

Three of the central players of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution had a reunion of sorts during anniversary rites at Camp Aguinaldo Friday morning.

Photos taken by ABS-CBN correspondent Chiara Zambrano showed former president Fidel Ramos, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Gregorio Honasan attending the Camp Aguinaldo event for the 31st EDSA anniversary.


Chiara Zambrano @chiarazambrano
FVR arrives at the EDSA Revolution anniv despite criticizing the Duterte admin's decision to tone it down and hold it in Camp Aguinaldo
7:11 PM - 23 Feb 2017
1 1 Retweet 4 4 likes


Chiara Zambrano @chiarazambrano
Sen Gringo Honasan and former VP Jojo Binay also at 31st EDSA Revolution anniversary
7:23 PM - 23 Feb 2017


Chiara Zambrano @chiarazambrano
Former Sen Enrile seated at the EDSA revolution anniversary rites at Camp Aguinaldo. Seat next to his reserved for Former Pres Noynoy Aquino
7:19 PM - 23 Feb 2017

Ramos, Enrile and Honasan all participated in the EDSA People Power Revolution that toppled the Marcos regime in 1986.

TIMELINE: EDSA People Power Revolution

Former Vice-President Jejomar Binay, one of the first officials appointed by the Cory Aquino administration after the EDSA Revolution, was also present for the EDSA anniversary.

EDSA People Power Commission Vice Chairman Joey Concepcion III earlier said Malacañang is spending P1 million for the simple commemoration of the 31st EDSA anniversary.

The traditional “Salubungan”, which highlights the linking up of the military and civilians protesting against Marcos, will not be conducted.

FROM THE INQUIRER -LAST YEAR's PNoy Aquino govt EDSA 30

VIDEO: Police, military reenact historic ‘salubungan’ at Edsa By: Julliane Love De Jesus - Reporter / @JLDejesusINQINQUIRER.net / 09:38 AM February 25, 2016

 
https://youtu.be/9x73sTMGJ3U?t=7

Some 2,000 police and military personnel marched on Epifanio delos Santos Avenue on Thursday to reenact the historic meeting of the Philippine Constabulary and Armed Forces of the Philippines leading to the People Power revolution in 1986.

With their arms linked, the troops–led by star-rank officials–marched from Edsa Santolan to the People Power Monument where the group met with former President Fidel V. Ramos.

A V-150 tank with a wreath of yellow and white flowers on its side led the march.

Ramos, who was then the Philippine Constabulary chief, and then Defense minister Juan Ponce Enrile were the key personalities in the symbolic “Salubungan” on February 25, 1986.

READ: Aquino attends ‘salubungan’ reenactment at People Power Monument

Later that day, dictator President Ferdinand Marcos left his post as Senator Benigno Aquino Jr.’s widow Corazon Aquino took over as the new President. This symbolized the restoration of democracy in the country.

Chief Superintendent Wilben Mayor said the traditional reenactment of the Salubong signifies the unity and cooperation of the military and police from the Edsa revolution days up to present.

“Nag cross yung AFP and PC and they joined forces. Napakalaking bagay na gunitain ang Edsa revolution sa ating demokrasya na ating tinatamasa ngayon,” Mayor told reporters before the march.

The AFP and the PC crossed paths and joined forces. It is very important to acknowledge the Edsa revolution for the democracy we enjoy today.)

As the troops reached the People Power Monument where the commemoration rites were held, helicopters dropped yellow and white confetti on Edsa. CDG

READ: Aquino slams Marcos son, says martial law not PH’s ‘golden age’


PHILSTAR

‘Peace under one nation, one flag’ - Duterte in Davao By Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 26, 2017 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


The Young Muslim Professionals Network issued the call as peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front teeter due to the Mamasapano incident. File photo

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Duterte called for a just and lasting peace by uniting all factions in the nation under one flag.

“I would like to tell you now that, as President, (I want) a just and lasting peace under my term but it must be as one country, one nation and one flag. Under that, understand each other,” Duterte said during the launching of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) here on Friday.

Duterte urged the BTC commissioners to craft the enabling law for the Bangsamoro in a bid to have workable peace agreements with the Moro groups in Mindanao.

He said the BTC should “navigate the many obstructions, obstacles” in crafting the enabling law to achieve peace.

“Craft one that is good for the entire Filipino nation,” Duterte told the 12 members of the BTC.

“I am a man in a hurry and I want that something will come out of this BTC soon which we can work on,” he said.

READ MORE...

Duterte added he would like to see the people in the Moro communities craft the new law because they understand the history and the agony of the Mindanaoans, including the “idiosyncrasies” of the tribal groups.

“If you have a product and it is passed by Congress, we will implement it,” he said.

Duterte said he does not want to secede any part of the country under the enabling law that would support the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2014.

“As President, I want peace under one country, one nation and one flag,” he stressed.

Once a workable agreement is reached, Duterte said he is ready to campaign to pass the enabling law. He added he would not mind cutting short his six-year term just to pave the way to peace.

“Maybe in front of the Filipino nation, I will ask every Filipino to vote for it because it will make us a great nation, so I leave it up to you,” Duterte told the BTC commissioners during the ceremonies held at the Waterfront Insular Davao Hotel.

Extremist threat

Also concerned about the threat of extremism, the President warned his Muslim brothers anew about the dangers of extremism to the country’s peace and security.

“What they have in the Middle East is different from what we have here,” the President said.

Duterte has expressed serious concerns of a caliphate being pushed by extremist groups from Arab countries.

“Resist extremism. There would be violence. I cannot control it,” he said.

“If we allow them to come here, even convert some, there will be a bloodbath,” Duterte warned.

“We must avoid extremism or even entertain them because they will destroy us,” he said.

Duterte signed an executive order extending the composition of the BTC on Friday.

The expanded BTC will craft a new enabling law for the setting up of a more empowered self-governing political entity under the CAB signed by the government and the MILF.

The new BTC, chaired by MILF’s first vice chairman Ghazali Jaafar, is comprised of 21 members.

Among the members of the BTC are Haron Abas, Firdausi Ismail Abbas, Ibrahim Ali, Hussin Amin, Maisara Dandamun-Latiph, Samira Gutoc-Tomawis, Hatimil Hassan, Raissa Jajurie, Gafur Kanain, Mussolini Sinsuat Lidasan, Jose Lorena, Abdulraof Abdul Macacua, Hussein Muñoz, Romeo Saliga, Susana Salvador-Anayatin, Omar Yasser Sema, Said Shiek, Ammal Solaiman, Melanio Ulama and MILF peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal.

Besides Jaafar, the MILF has 10 members in the group, while the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the government each have three and seven representatives, respectively.

The three MNLF officials in the expanded BTC are Sema, Abas and Hassan, a former ARMM assemblyman. They belong to the MNLF faction that is not hostile to the MILF.

On the other hand, officials of the ARMM urged Malacañang and the MILF to create an entity before the 2019 elections to replace the present autonomous regional government.

“If established amid our elective tenure, we shall willingly step down and turn over to them the ARMM government for the new self-governing political mechanism to take off unhampered,” ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman said.

The original BTC crafted an enabling measure to create a political entity under the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law. but this was disapproved by Congress for supposed unconstitutional provisions.

Hataman said he wanted voters in areas to be covered by the new political entity replacing ARMM to elect a pioneer set of officials simultaneous with the 2019 midterm elections.

“Even if we are already out of the picture, we shall continue to help make the Mindanao peace process succeed,” Hataman said.

ARMM Vice Gov. Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman said he is ready to vacate his post before June 30, 2019 if required by the BTC and Malacañang.

“This peace process is good for all people in Mindanao, the Muslims, the Christians and the Lumads. We are ready to do sacrifice,” he said. – With Christina Mendez, John Unson


PHILSTAR

Duterte calls for new Bangsamoro law (philstar.com) | Updated February 25, 2017 - 3:21pm 3 5 googleplus0 0


President Rodrigo Duterte witnessed the launch of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, which will craft the new Bangsamoro enabling law for the implementation of the peace accords with the country's Muslim groups. PNA

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Philippines News Agency) - President Rodrigo Duterte has asked the new Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) to clear the road of obstructions until Mindanao finds the way to peace.

“I am urging the BTC to navigate the hindrances and obstructions at hanapin ninyo ang daan hanggang patungo ng kapayaan. Mahirap ‘yan (and find the road until you reach peace),” the president told the expanded 21-member BTC during its launch here Friday night.

While there is a solution acceptable to everybody, the road to peace is a long journey, Duterte said, assuring the commission that he will always be there to support them.

“Maybe in front of the Filipino nation, I will ask every Filipino to vote for it because it will make us a great nation, so I leave it up to you,” he said.

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On Friday night, the president witnessed the launch of the BTC, which will craft the new Bangsamoro enabling law for the implementation of the peace accords with the country's Muslim groups.

The event was attended by more than a thousand people representing the Senate and House of Representatives committees on peace, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), government agencies, and stakeholders. Among them were Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza; Irene Santiago, chair of the Government Panel Implementing the Bangsamoro Accords; MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim; and MILF vice chairman for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar.

The BTC was formally created by virtue of an executive order (EO) signed by the president. Its members are Atty. Jose Lorena, Atty. Maisara Dandamun-Latiph, Samira Gutoc-Tomawis, Datu Mussolini Sinsuat Lidasan, Dr. Susana Salvador-Anayatin, Atty. Hussin Amin, Romeo Saliga, Hatimil Hassan, Atty. Firdausi Ismail Abbas, Atty. Omar Yasser Sema, Ghadzali Jaafar, Mohagher Iqbal, Abdulraof Abdul Macacua, Ibrahim Ali, Haron Abas, Atty. Raissa Jajurie, Said Shiek, Hussein Muñoz, Melanio Ulama, Gafur Kanain, and Ammal Solaiman, JD.

The EO was one of the agreements reached during the August meeting between the implementing panels of the government and the MILF in Malaysia, where they discussed the new Peace and Development Roadmap for the implementation of all signed peace agreements.


PHOTO DATED December 30, 2016-OPAPP hopes to start work on new Bangsamoro law in January By paghahatid ng balita - December 30, 2016027 Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter

Bigger table

Dureza said this signals the start of the work to come up with an inclusive Bangsamoro law that will truly reflect and address the clamor for genuine political autonomy.

He said it is another milestone under the Duterte administration that provides the golden opportunity of fulfilling a promise for peace in Mindanao.

Dureza urged all members and stakeholders to come together and support the BTC members, who have the competence to craft the law.

“Hopefully, Congress approves it,” he added.

The presidential adviser however hinted the involvement of all stakeholders.

“There is a bigger table where stakeholders are waiting to be heard,” he said, encouraging everybody to “stay the course because the road to peace is not a smooth road.”

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR DATED JANUARY 2, 2017

Duterte to name Bangsamoro Transition Commission soon By Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 2, 2017 - 12:00am 1 14 googleplus0 0


President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to name this month the 21 persons who will comprise the new and expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC). AP / Bullit Marquez

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Duterte is expected to name this month the 21 persons who will comprise the new and expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC).

The rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is at the same time awaiting the resumption of formal talks with government soon, after these were postponed for the holidays.

The MILF is also looking forward to the appointment of BTC members, as this could pave the way for the crafting of a new Bangsamoro Basic Law.

“By January, the President is expected to appoint the members,” Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said.

Created by Duterte’s Executive Order No. 8 last November, the BTC is one of the mechanisms under a comprehensive deal between the government and the MILF. Its task is to draft an enabling law that will establish a Bangsamoro political entity.

The same EO expanded the current BTC membership from 15 (seven from the government and eight, including the chairperson, from the MILF) to 21 (10 government-appointed and 11, including the chairperson, from the MILF).

Increasing the number of BTC members, according to Dureza, strives to bring together all key peace actors and stakeholders in the implementation of all Bangsamoro accords.

“In our initial talks with the MILF in August 2016, we have agreed to raise the members from 15 to 21, so we can have more representatives, more inclusive memberships that represent other key sectors,” the peace adviser stressed.


DUREZA

Earlier, Dureza disclosed that the other rebel group, Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) led by Muslimin Sema, was expected to join the BTC on top of other key sectors that include indigenous groups, sultanates, local government units, and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

But Dureza clarified that the 21-member BTC could not accommodate all sectors, although the newly formed panel is expected to convene and consult all groups within the proposed Bangsamoro areas.

EO 8 mandated the BTC to form an inclusive Bangsamoro assembly to serve as a consultative body to discuss the proposed enabling law with various stakeholders.

BTC timeline Aside from assuring inclusivity, the bulk of the work of BTC focuses on writing a new proposed measure that will replace the old Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

Dureza reiterated that the timeline for the BTC to finish the draft is by July 2017, in time for the resumption of session of Congress and the President’s second State of the Nation Address.

The last Congress had failed to enact the BBL bill into a law.

“The old BBL already underwent scrutiny but failed to be passed because of the Mamasapano incident, which put doubts on the level of trust in the talks. There are also issues about constitutionality but there are sectors affirming that it is constitutionally compliant. So, all of these will be noted,” Dureza explained in a mix of English and Filipino, referring to a bloody encounter in a Maguindanao town where more than 60 died in January 2015.

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RELATED(2) FROM PHILSTAR DATED NOVEMBER 7, 2016

Duterte pushes for Bangsamoro Basic Law By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated November 7, 2016 - 6:48pm 3 251 googleplus0 1


President Rodrigo Duterte tells officials of the Philippine Star that they are free to criticize him as long as they are telling the truth during a courtesy call at the President's Hall of the Malacañan Palace on Wednesday, August 3, 2016. ACE MORANDANTE/PPD

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he was disappointed that his rivals in the May elections failed to make Mindanao a priority, adding he wants the Bangsamoro Basic Law to hurdle Congress quickly.

In his speech after signing the executive order expanding the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, Duterte said that during the elections, he was appalled that nobody was talking about Mindanao and its problems.

He said other presidential bets focused on infrastructure projects and other programs but never mentioned their plans for Mindanao.

READ: Duterte expands membership of Bangsamoro Transition Commission

“I was the only one talking about it because the rest of the guys without due respect never knew any single issue about Mindanao either they did not know about it or just pretended not to talk about it. Maybe for fear… to alienate the others or not also frank enough to admit that there is a problem which we have to solve,” he said.

Duterte said he was a witness to the deaths in the places where Mindanaoans fight for their land. He said Mindanao was his battle cry aside from corruption, drugs and criminality as he wants to end the cycle of bloody war.

He said if no one will stand for peace in Mindanao, the country will have another round of almost 45 years of fighting, which he described as a tragedy. He said that that is why he is pushing for the passage of the BBL, which will create a new autonomous area that will have more powers than the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao that it is supposed to replace. Passage of the bill stalled in the 16th Congress due to questions on its constitutionality and because of a lack of warm bodies at the House of Representatives.

“I will be the last to deny na hindi natin kailangan [ang peace process],” Duterte said.

TALKS WITH HOUSE, SENATE

Duterte said he will talk to House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and other leaders to fast track the BBL. He already said in his State of the Nation Address in July that Congress should pass the BBL.

“If I could get a peace agreement with the communists and hammer out something for the [Moro National Liberation Front, Moro Islamic Liberation Front] and to all the Moro groupings and even to the Abu Sayyaf if I could just extend my hand to them and friendship and just tell them that it is time to just really have a country which is normal and peaceful and for our children to grow in peace then I would have succeeded,” he said Monday.

The government has resumed peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front and has separate peace agreements with the MNLF and MILF. Duterte has said in the past that there will be no peace talks with the Abu Sayyaf, which has been blamed for a series of kidnappings in the southern Philippines.

Pantaleon earlier said Congress will instead focus on federalism.

President Benigno Aquino III pushed for passage of the BBL before the end of his term but Congress failed to approve the measure in time. Aquino said two senators previously blocked the passage of BBL.


POLITICS.COM

Might is right! Duterte says due process, human rights won’t protect against evil 101 LikeLIKE KO+1UnlikeHATE KO0



President Rodrigo Duterte has scoffed at advocates of due process and human rights, saying they are wrong to think it will protect them against evil.

In his speech at the turnover of a drug rehabilitation facility in Samal Island Friday (February 24), Duterte defended his administration’s aggressive campaign against crime and illegal drugs.

“You forgot to look at the other side. How about evil? You’re only focusing on the illegal drug users, relying on due process and human rights. You think that those two basic principles can protect you. Well I’ll tell you, I’m sorry. It cannot,” he said.

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Duterte said “there’s no turning back” on his crackdown on criminals and drug pushers since part of his oath as President was to protect the Filipino people.

“Do not rely on due process and human rights. It won’t pass, we will still see each other in hell,” he said.

Duterte has earned criticism from human rights advocates for the use of force in his campaign against drugs and crime.

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RELATED FROM RAPPLER.COM

Palace: Arrest order vs De Lima 'major step forward' in drug war Pia Ranada @piaranada Published 7:52 PM, February 23, 2017 Updated 7:52 PM, February 23, 2017


PALACE REACTS. Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella holds a press conference at the Palace. File photo by Ace Morandante/Presidential Photo

'The arrest of an incumbent senator demonstrates the President's strong resolve to fight pushers, peddlers, and their protectors,' says Malacañang

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday, February 23, welcomed the issuance of a warrant of arrest against Senator Leila de Lima for drug charges, calling it a "major step forward" in the administration's war against illegal drugs.

"It is a fulfillment of the campaign promise of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to rid Philippine society of drugs, crime, and corruption," said the Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella on Thursday, February 23.

"The arrest of an incumbent senator demonstrates the President's strong resolve to fight pushers, peddlers, and their protectors," he added.

Duterte's spokesman also said this is an opportunity for De Lima to prove her innocence.

"Senator De Lima will now have her day in court where she will have full opportunity to prove her claim of innocence," said Abella.

READ MORE...

A few hours earlier, Judge Juanita Guerrero of the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court Branch 204 issued an order of arrest and a corresponding arrest warrant against De Lima, former Bureau of Corrections chief Rafael Ragos, and Ronnie Dayan, her alleged bagman.

This comes less than a week after the Department of Justice filed charges against her for allegedly receiving drug money from convicts in exchange for their protection when she headed the DOJ.

Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said De Lima should "welcome" the arrest "as she is now given the opportunity to refute any and all allegations."

"This is where the real battle begins and not in the media that she relishes to use against the President," said Panelo in a message to reporters.

He attributed the order to arrest De Lima as "karma" since she played a role in the arrest of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo when she was justice secretary of the previous administraiton.

Panelo, a close friend of Arroyo, claimed that De Lima "shamelessly denied" the former president due process.

"The law of karma has finally caught up with the Senator in terms of being arrested and detained," said Panelo.

He, however, recognized that De Lima is still "constitutionally presumed innocent" until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. – Rappler.com


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