Monthly Archives: April 2017

LOOK: Duterte, Trump talk on the phone

Trump and Duterte talked over the phone after the Filipino leader hosted 9 other Southeast Asian leaders in the 30th ASEAN Summit.

Duterte earlier said in a press conference that he would urge Trump to go easy on North Korea, after Washington raised alarm over Pyongyang’s nuclear tests that have rattled allies Japan and South Korea.

The phone call came ahead of Duterte’s visit to a Chinese warship in Sasa Port, Davao City scheduled on Sunday. 

Before US President Donald Trump assumed office, Duterte was angered by the Obama administration’s concerns over his war on drugs. 

However, ties between Manila and Washington improved when Trump came to power.

So far, Trump has not directly and openly criticized Duterte’s controversial campaign. Recently, however, the US State Department under his administration described the extra-judicial killings linked to Duterte’s campaign as “troubling.”

This was the second time Duterte and Trump talked over the phone.


North Korea’s missile test fails, US military says

CNN)North Korea on Saturday launched a ballistic missile that blew up over land, a spokesman for the US Pacific Command said.

The missile didn’t leave North Korean territory, US Navy Cmdr. Dave Benham said.
A US military assessment found the main part of the missile landed approximately 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Pukchang airfield, a US official told CNN.

“North Korea disrespected the wishes of China & its highly respected President when it launched, though unsuccessfully, a missile today. Bad!,” US President Donald Trump tweeted.


OPINION: ‘My order is shoot to kill…I don’t care about human rights’

Buddy Gomez – Cyberbuddy

Posted at Apr 29 2017 03:12 AM


Beyond denying. Such is the exact quotation of remarks uttered by President Rodrigo Duterte on August 6, 2016. 

Duterte’s remarkable utterance has since reverberated around the world via international media. And among other typically braggadocious self-implicating, veiled admission rants of the man, “I don’t care about human rights” is now institutionally enrolled with the International Criminal Court’s Prosecutor (ICC). 

That quotation is damningly inescapable. There is no sane leader of any country in this contemporary civilized world who has been as brazenly boastful, needlessly. It is therefore easy enough to entertain doubts about the “mental state” of President Duterte, whose professed disdain for “human rights” he himself has established beyond doubt and debate.


US willing to use military force on North Korea unless…

United Nations (CNN)Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on the world community Friday to drastically increase pressure on North Korea, warning that failure to do so could be “catastrophic” and that the US is prepared to take military action against the rogue regime if necessary.

“All options for responding to future provocations must remain on the table,” Tillerson said. “Diplomatic and financial leverage or power will be backed up by willingness to counteract North Korean aggression with military action, if necessary.”  

Tillerson, speaking at a special US-hosted UN meeting to address the challenge, called on member countries to take three immediate steps, singling out China and warning that countries that don’t comply may face consequences. He got pushback in response from China, which accused the US of raising tensions with Pyongyang.

He urged nations to fully enforce existing sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, suspend or downgrade diplomatic relations with the already isolated country and increase its financial isolation by targeting countries and individuals that support its nuclear and ballistic missile program.


Duterte frustrates ASEAN peers on sea code: diplomat

MANILA – Regional delegates expecting Philippine leadership in discussions on the South China Sea dispute were frustrated when President Rodrigo Duterte insisted China’s arbitration defeat would not be on the agenda, a senior diplomat said Friday.

Some of them were preparing to bring up the Hague-based ruling as reference for discussions on a code of conduct in the disputed waters, said the envoy who is familiar with the talks.


But they were “precluded” by Duterte’s statement Thursday that the ruling was “not an issue” in the meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the official said.

“Your president has defined the outcome of ASEAN 50 already,” the diplomat quoted one delegate as saying during a consulation meeting. “Some are frustrated over the turn of events.”

Duterte said ASEAN could tackle the code of conduct, but not the ruling which was “between China and the Philippines.”

Chairing this year’s ASEAN meetings is seen as an opportunity for the Philippines to rally the regional bloc behind a common stand on the maritime dispute.

But under Duterte, the Philippines has sought warmer ties with China in exchange for billions of dollars in aid and investment.

“It now appears that we’re being lumped together with Cambodia and Laos in protecting Chinese interests (in ASEAN) at all costs,” the diplomat said.


PACOM: Carl Vinson CSG Can Defend Itself Against Anything North Korea Fires At It

U.S. Pacific Command commander Adm. Harry Harris said the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group can “absolutely” defend itself against anything North Korea could shoot at it, despite media reports to the contrary.

Harris, testifying before the House Armed Services Committee today, called stories – such as this Wednesday’s article by Bloomberg, which he and HASC chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) alluded to but did not mention by name – “misleading.”



Drug suspects found locked up in secret police cell inhumane conditions no record of arrests found

Lawyers from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), following a tip about drug suspects being held for extortion, were surprised and shocked when they found a dozen men and women detained in a secret cell behind a shelf in a Manila police station on Thursday.

Gilbert Boisner, regional director of the CHR for Metro Manila, said at least four of the 12 claimed that they were locked in the cell at Raxabago station’s drug enforcement unit (DEU) in Tondo.

Arrests not recorded

Boisner said the alleged drug suspects’ arrests were not even recorded.

“They have been picked and they have to pay up to be freed. That’s the allegation,” he told reporters. “I’m really mad. Did you see that? It’s terrible. … My God!”

Supt. Robert Domingo, Raxabago station commander, at first denied there was a hidden cell inside the station.

But Boisner, following the tip from an informant, proceeded to inspect a brown bookshelf in the DEU office, knocking on the wooden wall behind it and then heard voices responding.

“Someone’s here,” a woman said from behind the wall.

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Gambling operator Atong Ang links Aguirre and other Cabinet man, retired generals to slay plot

Gambling operator Charlie “Atong” Ang on Thursday accused two Cabinet officials and several retired military generals of plotting to kill him over gambling operations in areas where his company operates.

Ang, who operates the virtual jai-alai numbers game through Meridien Vista Gaming Corp. based at the Cagayan Freeport, appealed to President Duterte to save him from Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon and some members of Philippine Military Academy Class (PMA) ’82.

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San Diego based US carrier force ‘in striking range’ of North Korea — admiral

WASHINGTON, United States — The powerful US carrier strike force is already ‘in striking range’ of North Korea, the chief of the US military’s Pacific Command said.

Admiral Harry Harris has told the US House Armed Services Committee that the armada led by the supercarrier USS Carl Vinson was already in the Philippine Sea just off Okinawa, Japan.

Harris added that the naval task force sent to the Korean Peninsula was ready for “power projection … if called upon.”

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N.Korea seeks PH, ASEAN support in row with US

MANILA – North Korea has appealed to Southeast Asian countries for support in its row with the United States to prevent what it warned could be a “nuclear holocaust”, according to a letter obtained by AFP.

In the letter to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ secretary general, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho warned the situation on the Korean Peninsula was “reaching the brink of war” because of Washington’s actions.


He urged the ASEAN chief to inform the 10-nation organization’s foreign ministers “about the grave situation” on the peninsula “and give them a proper proposal”, while criticizing at length US-South Korean military exercises.

Tensions have soared in the region in recent weeks in the wake of a series of North Korean missile tests and tough rhetoric from Washington on the isolated nation’s rogue weapons program. 

The North’s letter, a copy of which was obtained by AFP and dated March 23, ahead of the regional bloc’s summit this week in Manila, where delegates are expected to discuss the situation on the peninsula.

“I express my expectations that ASEAN which attaches great importance to the regional peace and stability will make an issue of the US-South Korean joint military exercises at ASEAN conferences from the fair position and play an active role in safeguarding the peace and safety of Korean Peninsula,” the letter said.