MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Thursday warned of a constitutional crisis as he vowed that Congress would disregard any ruling from the Supreme Court compelling it to convene to review President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law declaration in Mindanao.
Speaking to reporters, Alvarez emphasized that the House of Representatives and the Senate would not heed the SC on this issue.
“Wala silang karapatan para diktahan ang Kongreso kung anong dapat naming gawin.”
Alvarez, whom Duterte picked to lead the House when he won last year’s presidential election, said the High Court cannot issue an order directing a co-equal branch of government to conduct a joint session.
He even warned that he might even tear the order to pieces.
“Ah, balikan muna nila ang law books. How can the Supreme Court dictate Congress what to do? Co-equal body yan. O, mag-issue ng direktiba ang Supreme Court telling Congress, dictating Congress na, ‘uy, mag convene kayo ng joint session’? Punitin ko ‘yan,” he said.
READ FROM FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/06/08/1707980/alvarez-supreme-court-cant-tell-congress-what-do
(CNN)North Korea on Thursday morning fired multiple unidentified projectiles, assumed to be surface-to-ship missiles, South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said. The launches occurred near the port city of Wonsan on North Korea’s east coast.
Kim Jong Un’s regime fired four anti-ship cruise missiles, according to a US defense official.
The official tells CNN that the Pentagon is not expected to release the typical statement about tracking the North Korean launches because these were not ballistic missile capable of posing a long-range threat.
North Korean state media has made no mention of the reported launches.
This is the fourth missile test since South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office in May.
Developing story – more to come
Washington (CNN)US investigators believe Russian hackers breached Qatar’s state news agency and planted a fake news report that contributed to a crisis among the US’ closest Gulf allies, according to US officials briefed on the investigation.
The FBI recently sent a team of investigators to Doha to help the Qatari government investigate the alleged hacking incident, Qatari and US government officials say.
Intelligence gathered by the US security agencies indicates that Russian hackers were behind the intrusion first reported by the Qatari government two weeks ago, US officials say. Qatar hosts one of the largest US military bases in the region.
The alleged involvement of Russian hackers intensifies concerns by US intelligence and law enforcement agencies that Russia continues to try some of the same cyber-hacking measures on US allies that intelligence agencies believe it used to meddle in the 2016 elections.
US officials say the Russian goal appears to be to cause rifts among the US and its allies. In recent months, suspected Russian cyber activities, including the use of fake news stories, have turned up amid elections in France, Germany and other countries.
It’s not yet clear whether the US has tracked the hackers in the Qatar incident to Russian criminal organizations or to the Russian security services blamed for the US election hacks. One official noted that based on past intelligence, “not much happens in that country without the blessing of the government.”
READ FROM FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/06/politics/russian-hackers-planted-fake-news-qatar-crisis/index.html
The USS Nimitz, the US Navy’s oldest operating aircraft carrier just departed San Diego to head into the Pacific, where the USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan carriers are already keeping watch over a defiant North Korea.
The Nimitz will sail with the guided-missile destroyers USS Kidd and USS Shoup from their designated carrier strike group, as well as the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Howard and USS Pinckney, and the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Princeton, according to a US Navy statement.
READ FROM FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: http://www.businessinsider.com/uss-nimitz-pacific-deployment-north-korea-2017-6
MANILA, Philippines — The Joint United States Military Assistance Group on Monday transferred military equipment to the Philippine Marine Corps to upgrade its counterterrorism capabilities.
According to a release from the US Embassy, delivery of the equipment under the US government’s Counterterrorism Train and Equip Program began in May.
Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat, commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps, formally received the equipment at a ceremony at the Marines headquarters in Taguig City on Monday.
The equipment, which the US Embassy said “will enhance the PMC’s counterterrorism capabilities, and help protect Philippine Marines actively engaged in counterterrorism operations in the southern Philippines,” consists of:
- 300 M4 carbines
- 200 Glock 21 pistols
- Four M134D Gatling-style machine guns
- 100 M203 grenade launchers
These were delivered to Clark Air Base in Pampanga on May 18-22.
JUSMAG also delivered 25 new Combat Rubber Raiding Craft to the Marines on May 30.
“The PMC’s Inshore Boat Battalion and Marine Special Operations Group have already employed previous U.S. Counterterrorism Train and Equip gear in ongoing combat operations in the southern Philippines,” the embassy said.
The latest batch is part of P7.3 billion worth of weapons and equipment that JUSMAG has delivered and programmed for the Armed Forces of the Philippines since 2007, the embassy said.
“Over the last five years, the US government has allocated P15 billion of grant funding to provide the AFP with equipment, including corresponding upgrades and training,” it said, adding the equipment transfers as well as joint training and exercises “demonstrate the commitment of the United States to work with the Philippines towards building safer communities and eradicating global terror networks.”
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday that he will not negotiate with militants aligned with the Islamic State group who are holding hostages in a besieged southern city, and that he has ordered troops to kill the gunmen even if they slaughter the hostages.
The tough-talking Duterte issued his strongest warning yet to the local and foreign militants, whose stunning siege of Marawi has dragged on for nearly two weeks. Troops have battled to regain control of most of the lakeside city, but the militants, who are believed to be holding a Catholic priest and many other hostages, continue to control pockets of territory.
At least 178 people have been killed in Marawi, the heartland of Islamic faith in the southern Philippines, since hundreds of gunmen waving Islamic State-style black flags rampaged across the city on May 23, burning some buildings and occupying others as they battled troops backed by airstrikes and artillery fire.
The dead include 120 militants, 20 civilians and 38 soldiers and policemen.
“I was asked if I could negotiate. I’m telling you now, you can kill all those you’re holding now, but I won’t talk to you,” Duterte said in a speech before peace talks advocates at an air base in the central city of Lapu-Lapu. “My order really is to shoot you and to shoot you dead.”
READ FROM FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/06/05/1706949/duterte-maute-no-talks-even-if-you-kill-hostages