US Summons PH envoy over Duterte’s “Gay” remarks

WASHINGTON – The US State Division summoned Philippine embassy Charge d’Affaires Patrick Chuasoto to look for explanation of what it said were “inappropriate remarks” made by President Duterte against US Representative Philip Goldberg.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, greets U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip S. Goldberg, left

The director of the State Department press office, Elizabeth Trudeau, said Chuasoto was brought in for a clarification of Duterte’s comments however declined to give further details.

Duterte has openly called Goldberg “gay” and “a son of a bitch.”

Duterte’s dislike for Goldberg goes back to the campaign period when the ambassador called him out for making a joke about the rape and murder of an Australian minister during a 1989 Davao City jail riot.

Trudeau said at a news conference, the State Department was worried about the extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers urged the Duterte administration to guarantee law enforcement efforts do not violate human rights.

She said US authorities were in discussions with Filipino powers to stress the significance of the rule of law, a fundamental democratic principle.

“We strongly urge the Philippines to ensure its law enforcement efforts comply with its human rights obligations,” she said.

In answer to a question, she said a $32-million assistance package reported by Secretary of State John Kerry during a recent visit to Manila to help the Duterte administration’s strengthened law efforts was intended to promote human rights through training as well as promote professionalism, due process and rule of law. The cash should not be utilized in activities involving extrajudicial killings, she said.



SC Acquits Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

The legal spokesman of former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, Ferdinand Topacio, on July 19, 2016 said they are thankful for the Supreme Court’s decision to absolve former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of plunder charges.

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, now Pampanga Representative

The acquittal only proves that the case of Macapagal-Arroyo is politically motivated, Topacio said.

“The Supreme Court has once again proven itself to be the final bastion of justice and the rule of law,” Topacio said in a statement.

“Its ruling today has validated what we have been saying for six years now: that the charges against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo are nothing more than disingenuous attempts at political persecution by a corrupt and inept Aquino administration intent on covering up its gross lack of accomplishments by harassing its political opponents,” he added.

The former first gentleman reverberated Topacio’s announcement saying the past administration took away six years of his wife’s life by detaining her.

“Thank God. We’re very happy. They took away six years of her life. An innocent woman,” Arroyo said.

Topacio said Arroyo “would like to thank their family and friends who have shown unwavering loyalty to Macapagal-Arroyo and the Arroyo and Macapagal families in their hour of deepest darkness, through the trials brought about by unrelenting prosecution and defamation perpetrated by the previous regime”.

“Their continuous moral support and prayers have seen Atty. and Mrs. Arroyo, their children and grandchildren, through what have been the most trying of times for them,” Topacio said.

Topacio said in a televised phone interview, that they are expecting the former president to “be home, in time for dinner.”

GMA is happy with SC’s decision.

In the mean time, the Macapagal-Arroyo’s legal counsel Estelito Mendoza, affirmed that the previous president would go straight to her home at La Vista after her discharge. He also hailed the SC ruling.

He added that the former president is “very happy and feels vindicated.”

Mendoza also dismissed rumors that President Rodrigo Duterte played a part in the choice.

“Walang kinalaman si President Duterte sa kasong ito o sa proseso ng Supreme Court.”

Arroyo through Topacio, convey optimism that the Duterte administration would give positive changes and voiced their support for the president’s advocacies.

“The dawn of a new administration has brought about new hope for great positive change, which includes freedom from false and malicious accusations and unceasing lies and disinformation. We all join the new government in its fight against criminality, corruption and its economic and political reforms that will surely usher in a new golden age for our country and people,” Topacio said.

On Tuesday afternoon, the SC en banc rejected the plunder case against Macapagal-Arroyo over her alleged abuse of the intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office because of absence of proof.

Source: PhilStar

Duterte Names 5 Police Generals Allegedly Involved in Illegal Durgs

In his speech during the 69th commemoration of the Philippine Air Force, the President sprung a surprise on national TV when he named five police commanders, including three still in active duty, he said were involved in illegal drugs.

Duterte named the he officers who are still in active duty are former Region 6 Director Bernardo Diaz, former NCRPO Director Joel Pagdilao and former QCPD Director Edgardo Tinio. The two who have retired are Vicente Loot, who is currently mayor of Daan Bantayan, and former Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo.


“As of now, I order them to be relieved from their assignments and report to the director general. I might want to converse with them however I would expect that the police commission will do their thing,” Duterte said.

In an interview, Trinio told CNN Philippines he has never been involved in any illicit activity.

“I’m willing to subject myself to a lie detector test, and I’m willing to subject my cellphones to forensics,” Tinio said.

There was no prompt response from other officers Duterte named.

The President’s command to the National Police Commission was clear — “Imbestigahan niyo ito at wag niyo akong bigyan ng sarswela. Hanapin niyo ang totoo,” he said.

[Translation: Investigate this and don’t give me theatrics. Find out the truth.]

Duterte convey his distress, saying PNP authorities involved in the illicit drug trade in the country have committed treason.

“Masakit na pakinggan kasi ginastusan mo na, pinaaral mo na, binigyan mo ng uniporme, pati medyas,” he said.

[Translation: This torments one to hear this since you spent for them, you gave them education, you gave them uniform, you even gave them socks.]

More than being a politician, Duterte said he has an ethical commitment to tell the truth to the nation.

“It’s truly not my practice to shame individuals,” he said. “Pulitiko ako … pero dumating ako sa posisyon na ito, and I have obligation to tell the truth to the Filipino people.”

[Translation: I’m a politician … yet I was chosen to this position, and I have a obligation to tell the truth to the Filipino people.]

The President cautioned authorities not to get involved in the drug trade because of the lethal consequence.

“Marami ng namamatay, at marami pang mamamatay. At wag kayo sumali dyan maski opisyal kayo, since you will place yourself in the line of flame,” Duterte said.

[Translation: Numerous have died and more will die. Don’t get involved, regardless of the fact that you are authorities, because you will place yourself in the line of fire.]

“I’ve been cautioning everyone. Do not to destroy my nation because I will kill you. Do not to destroy the youth of my nation since I will kill you,” he included.

The President tapped the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the battle against illegal drugs and criminality.

He likewise expressed gratitude toward previous President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for paving the way for him, when she raised the issue of unlawful illegal drugs as a threat to national security during her administration.

“It will be a bloody battle, however I am not going to apologize for it. I expect full legal responsibility regarding it,” he told the military.

“Wag kayo matakot basta nasa tama kayo,” he said.

[Translation: Don’t be afraid of long as you are in the right.]

The President likewise said he will stake his honor, his life, and even the presidency just to ensure that he will win this fight.

Duterte conceded, it might be troublesome for him to totally stop the illegal drug trade in six months, which he promised during the election campaign, yet he said he will come close to it. “Six months and one day after, medyo tapos na (it will pretty much be done),” the President said.

Tinio, who was in his quarters when Duterte specified his name as among senior PNP officers allegedly involved in drugs, said he will promptly answer to PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa and will open himself to any investigation.

Tinio said he doesn’t know why Duterte had connected him to the illegal drug trade.

“I’m shocked that my name was dragged into this mess,” he said.

Tinio promised to clear his name and retire early.

Duterte said he believes the restoration of death penalty will impart fear among criminals. Death penalty is not primarily intended to deter criminals but to exact retribution for their crimes, he said.

Turning to the military, Duterte guaranteed to provide the air force with more gear to empower it to perform difficult operations.

“Ibibigay ang lahat ng kailangan n’yo (We will give all that you require), I will see to that,” the President said. “We will procure more helicopters and night vision ability.”

Source: CNN Philippines

Duterte: Says No Interviews Until End Of My Term

‘It’s better not to have interviews. There will be no criticism, no wrong statements, no nothing,’ says the Philippines’ incoming president

DAVAO, Philippines – He’s known for being changeable when making “final” declarations, however it appears President-elect Rodrigo Duterte is not kidding when he said he would stop giving press conferences and would “boycott” the media.


“Wala. Apologies, ha? Talagang ano ako, boycott talaga,” Duterte said in a video posted by TV5 reporter France Noguera early Monday morning, June 6. (No. I’m sorry. I’m going to boycott.)

At the point when asked until when the boycott would stand, Duterte said: “Until the end of my term.”

Prior, Duterte’s executive assistant Christopher Go had told media that there would be no more press briefings with the a incoming president so errors would be minimized (“para walang mali”).

Duterte reverberated that notion in the TV5 journalist’s meeting.

“’Pag interview, maraming mali, marami namang criticism, so better [if there’s] no interview, no criticism, no wrong statement, no nothing,” he said, when asked why he made a decision to stop engagements with the press.

(At the point when there’s a meeting, there are a great deal of oversights, a ton of feedback, so it’s better not to have interviews. There will be no feedback, no wrong proclamations, no nothing.)

Earlier Go said that announcements and releases would be made through state-possessed PTV.

Duterte, who has been mayor of Davao City for almost 3 decades, is known for his good rapport with Davao-based writers. Yet, recent press conferences with both medias from the Philippines and abroad, Duterte made announcement that bought controversy.

He was condemned by local and international media groups after he was questioned about the media killings in the Philippines, one of the most unsafe country for journalists.

“Most of those killed, to be frank, have done something. You won’t be killed if you don’t do anything wrong…. That can’t be just freedom of speech. The Constitution can no longer help you if you disrespect a person,” the mayor said.

Duterte later on clarified his statement, classifying media into “3 classifications”: the honest reporters who in some cases get killed in the line of profession, those with personal interest and the corrupt “vultures.”

In the same press conference – the first that was held after he was proclaimed president – Duterte was caught on camera whistling GMA journalist Mariz Umali. Duterte was additionally reprimanded for his demonstration yet he later defended himself, insisting that there was nothing “sexual” behind his whistle.

He later lashed out against media who called boycott of his press conferences. It was Paris-based journalists without boarders who put forth the statement.

Duterte, through Go once more, declared he would “boycott” media if journalists declined to boycott him.

The long-time Davao City chairman is set to take his vow as president on June 30.


The Start of Ramadan 2016

COTABATO CITY – The Muslims’ sacred month of Ramadan will begin on June 6, Monday, Islamic ministers here have said.

As stated by Mufti Abu Huraira Udasan of the Darul Ifta (House of Opinion) for Maguindanao and Cotabato, the moon was located in Malaysia, and that fasting will begin Monday. There was no glimpse in the Philippines.

Filipino Muslims pray at the Marikina Islamic Mosque, Philippines

Ramadan is the ninth of the 12-month Hijra lunar-based calendar, and is viewed as the holiest month in Islam, as it was considered this month that God’s Revelations in the Qur’an were finished, as stated by history of Islam.

Devotees of Islam will abstain from food, drink and marital sex from sunrise to nightfall in 29 to 30 days.

Fasting was practiced by biblical prophets and followers of early Abrahamic religions, including Christianity (Acts 13:2; 14:23 I Corinthians 7:1-5; Matthew 6:16-18; Daniel 1:8-14; II Kings 24:13-14). In the Qur’an, the Muslims are taught: “Fasting is prescribed unto you, as it was prescribed unto those before you, that ye may learn self-restraint in piety” (2:128)

For a considerable length of time, Muslim scholars have difficulity to solve issues on whether moon-locating ought to be by the exposed eye, or that it could be valid using the present day scientific instruments.

Alim Abdulmuhmin Mujahid, executive director of the Regional Dharul Ifta (House of Opinion) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RDI-ARMM) said his office has provided a set of Newtonian reflector telescope to each of their five provincial offices in the region, and in addition to the Dharul Ifta of ulama (scholars) in Zamboanga Peninsula to help in the moon locating.

With accuracy in advanced astronomical instruments, Mujahid said the RDI-ARMM expect to address conflicting views that Filipino Muslims had held in lunar estimating, everytime Ramadan was going to begin or end.


Duterte: From Mayor To President of the Philippines

Rodrigo Duterte is practically sure to end up as the new president of the Philippines, after a tough election campaign where he was considered as an outcast. He has labeled himself as a humble man with less ties to oligarchs that other candidates have.


His supporters say that with his tough character, he will solve the large portions of the nation’s issues, however his faultfinders say he will bring back the dictatorship of the past.

Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte was born in 1945 into a prominent family of politicians.

His father was a former provincial governor, and his family had ties with the powerful Duranos and Almendrases families in Cebu region where his father was a former mayor.

Duterte was a lawyer and rose to become state prosecutor before he was appointed as vice-mayor in Davao.

He became the mayor of Davao in 1988, he was the mayor for utmost 10 years, before obtaining a seat in congress and then returning to the mayoral office in 2001.

He built his reputation by fighting some of massive problems that the Philippines is facing. All problems were dropped during his leadership, making Davao as one of the safest city in the Philippines.

Under his supervision, the city assembled an expansive coordinated crisis reaction center and established a three-digit crisis number – something underestimated in numerous nations however a revolution in the city at the time.

So called as both a communist and a reformist, his economic policies throught campaign election have been unclear.

He assures the people that he would continue on his tough stance on crimes and develop public infrastructure as president,

His foreign policies are also hard to parse and talked a confrontational stance with China that he would ride a jet ski to scarborough shoal that China controls, and stick a Philippine flag on it.

He has always been clearer on the peace process in restless Mindanao, his political back yard.

He is most surely known for making impromptu remarks that would bring inconvenience for more conventional politicians.

He once called the pope ” the son of a whore” in a primarily devoted Roman Catholic nation; joked that, as mayor, he should be the first to rape the Australian missionary killed in a prison riot; intimidate the criminals to kill them without trial – something that is he accused of allowing it in Davao; and vows to suspend law based principles on the off chance that they get in his direction.

He is somebody who will do what is necessary to complete things, that have frightened his rivals.

He was hitched twice, he has four children, one of whom – daughter Sara – assumed to control as mayor for a term before he continued office. He is currently single, yet has state to have a few girlfriends.