Tag Archives: duterte

Rights groups blast newest Duterte threat vs them

MANILA, Philippines — Human rights groups denounced on Thursday President Rodrigo Duterte’s latest tirade against them during which he ordered security forces to shoot activists for “obstructing” justice.

Speaking at the anniversary of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, Duterte again made plain his disdain for the Commission on Human Rights, a constitutional body, threatening to have it investigated for “conspiracy” because “galit ako sa inyo (I am angry at you).”

Responding to this, CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said: “The Commission wishes to reiterate that it is merely doing its constitutional duty and it remains hopeful that the government will recognize that the guarantee of equal protection of the law as well as fair and impartial trial including investigation is a constitutional right available to every Filipino.”

But the rights groups Karapatan and Human Rights Watch were not as restrained in their reactions to the latest threat from Duterte, who has repeatedly cursed critics of his “war against drugs,” which has claimed thousands of lives since last year.

GO TO SOURCE: http://www.interaksyon.com/rights-groups-blast-newest-duterte-threat-vs-them/

Senate to seek China’s help on P6.4-B shabu smuggled through BOC

Gordon said he and his fellow senators are not satisfied with the reaction of President Duterte – which he described as a “whimper” – to reports that he was allowing Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon to continue holding on to his post.

READ FROM SOURCE: http://news.mb.com.ph/2017/08/14/senate-to-seek-chinas-help-on-p6-4-b-shabu-smuggled-through-boc/


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s latest controversial remarks target the North Korean regime, and they come just a few days ahead of his hosting a meeting of foreign diplomats at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum.

In his typical colorful rhetoric, Duterte professed his hatred for war and described North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un as a “fool” and a “son of a bitch” who is “playing with dangerous toys.”

“This Kim Jong Un, a fool…. He is playing with dangerous toys, that fool,” Duterte said in a speech live-streamed on Facebook to tax officials on Wednesday. Then, he commented on Kim Jong Un’s appearance.

FROM SOURCE: http://www.newsweek.com/kim-jong-un-son-b-chubby-face-philippines-president-duterte-says-645394

Duterte suspends military operations in Marawi

MANILA, Philippines – President Duterte has suspended the military offensive in Marawi, citing concerns over the safety of some 300 civilians being held by Islamic militants still holed up in some parts of the besieged city.

His instructions came on the heels of Congress’ voting to allow the extension of martial law in Mindanao until the end of the year.

“We will finish it. We are not joking. Until the last terrorist is taken out, the war will continue. They have 300 hostages there and that is what is delaying (the operations),” the President said in his second State of the Nation Address.

“Sabi ko, huwag mo muna i-assault (I said, hold off the assault) if possible. We just have to wait it out,” he added.

The safety of the civilians, he pointed out, is the primary consideration of government forces.

BEST TO READ FROM SOURCE: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/07/26/1721632/duterte-suspends-military-operations-marawi

Duterte wants martial law in Mindanao extended until end of 2017


By  – Reporter / @NCorralesINQ

 / 12:20 PM July 18, 2017

(Updated, 12:51 p.m.) President Rodrigo Duterte wants the extension of martial law in Mindanao until the end of the year, his spokesman said Tuesday.

Duterte, in a letter to Congress, said the “existing rebellion” in Mindanao would not end on July 22, the 60th day in the limit prescribed by the Constitution.

“Upon a thorough personal assessment of the current situation in Marawi City and other parts of Mindanao and taking into account the reports and recommendations of the Secretary of National Defense as martial law administrator, the chief-of-staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as martial law implementor and the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), I have  come to the conclusion that the existing rebellion in Mindanao which prompted me to issue Proclamation 216 on 23rd May 2017, will not be quelled completely by the 22nd July 2017 – the last day of 60-day period provided under Section 18 Article VII of the 1987 Constitution,” Duterte said in a message read by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella in a Palace briefing.


“For this reason and because public safety requires it, I call upon the Congress to extend until 31st December 2017 or for such a period of time as the Congress may determine the proclamation of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao,” Duterte’s message added.


Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/914795/duterte-wants-martial-law-in-mindanao-extended-until-end-of-2017#ixzz4nAD4SVEF

Former gov’t officials call for reversal of Marcos reinstatement

MANILA – A group of former Philippine government officials urged President Rodrigo Duterte to reverse the reinstatement of policemen linked to the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.

According to the group ‘Former Senior Government Officials’ (FSGO), the reinstatement of Supt. Marvin Marcos and 18 of his men makes the government look like it condones extrajudicial killings.


“It displays Mr. Duterte’s contempt for national and international law and warns against expectations that the thousands of deaths from the Drug War will undergo any credible investigation,” the group said.

READ FROM SOURCE: http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/07/16/17/former-govt-officials-call-for-reversal-of-marcos-reinstatement

Duterte draws criticism for ‘Miss Universe’ rape joke

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made another joke about rape, condemning the crime while saying he would congratulate a rapist who could carry out his crime on an international pageant winner, even knowing that he could be executed later.

Duterte made the joke in a speech to Filipino diplomats in his southern home town of Davao, as he defended his war on drugs, which has left thousands dead since he took office last year.

“What I don’t like are kids (being raped.) You can mess with, maybe Miss Universe. Maybe I will even congratulate you for having the balls to rape somebody when you know you are going to die,” for your crime, he said on Friday, implying the rapist would be lynched.

READ FROM SOURCE: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/07/duterte-draws-criticism-universe-rape-joke-170715143514184.html

Philippines’ Duterte makes fresh rape joke

Manila – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made a new joke about rape on Friday, saying he would congratulate a rapist who could carry out the crime even knowing he would die.

The often-foul mouthed Duterte made the joke in a speech to Filipino diplomats in his southern home town of Davao as he defended his bloody war on crime which has left thousands dead since he took office last year.

“What I don’t like are kids [being raped]. You can mess with, maybe Miss Universe. Maybe I will even congratulate you for having the balls to rape somebody when you know you are going to die,” [for your crime], he said, implying the rapist would be lynched.

READ FROM SOURCE: http://www.news24.com/World/News/philippines-duterte-makes-fresh-rape-joke-20170714

Lacson: Senate panel to probe Supt. Marcos’ reinstatement

The Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs will launch an investigation into the reinstatement of Supt. Marvin Marcos to active duty, Senator Panfilo Lacson said Thursday.

“Yes, first week upon resumption,” Lacson said in a text message to reporters when asked if he will conduct a probe.

The second regular session of Congress will open in two weeks, on July 24.

Lacson had condemned President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to reinstate Marcos, one of the police officials accused of homicide in connection to the death of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa, Sr.


READ FROM SOURCE: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/617945/lacson-senate-panel-to-probe-supt-marcos-reinstatement/story/

Trillanes: Marcos reinstated for fear that he would rat on Duterte

Why did President Rodrigo Duterte order the reinstatement of the cops behind the murder of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.?

For Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Duterte’s staunch critic, it was because the President is afraid the team of Supt. Marvin Marcos would incriminate Duterte in the murder of Espinosa.

“Duterte not only set the murderers free, he now gave back their badges and guns so they could murder again with impunity. Why? Because Duterte fears that these policemen might rat out on him for what they know about his involvement in the Espinosa murder,” Trillanes said in a text message to reporters on Thursday.

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/913573/trillanes-marcos-reinstated-for-fear-that-he-would-rat-on-duterte#ixzz4miUK4DZn

Gordon hits Bato for not advising Duterte against reinstating Marcos

Senator Richard Gordon slammed Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa for failing to tell President Duterte that reinstating Supt. Marvin Marcos and 18 other cops involved in the murder of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. would be bad for the police force.


“There are cowards around the President who are not telling the truth,” Gordon told reporters in an interview at his office on Thursday. “Sinabi ‘yan ni Bato noon na galit siya sa ginawa ni Marcos (Bato said in the past that he’s angry at what Marcos did) but he should have stayed the course and he should have told the President,” Gordon said.


“Si Bato, dapat managot,” Gordon added.

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/913626/gordon-hits-bato-for-not-advising-duterte-against-reinstating-marcos#ixzz4miQYf1Bj 

Lacson on Duterte’s order to reinstate Marcos: Put*ng I*a

MANILA, Philippines — Senators on Thursday could not hide their disgust at the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to reinstate a Leyte cop and his men who were suspended for their alleged involvement in the murder of a former mayor, with the head of the Senate panel which investigated the incident spewing an invective to describe the move.


On Wednesday, Duterte announced that he had ordered the return to active service of Superintendent Marvin Marcos and his 18 men who were accused of orchestrating the killing of former Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa and his cell mate, saying that the leader of the CIDG raiding team should be reactivated as he was far from the location of the incident.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, head of the Senate panel on public order which launched an investigation into the death of Espinosa and inmate Raul Yap last year, summed up his frustration in the words Duterte regularly uses to lash out at his critics: “In sum, there is a phrase to describe this whole damn thing:

Put*ng I*a!”



Trillanes pushes plunder probe after Duterte ‘admited’ corruption.

Senator Antonio IV said President Rodrigo had already admitted stealing government money so the investigation on his plunder case should be expedited.

The office of Trillanes sent to the media on Tuesday an excerpt of Duterte’s speech before the Philippine Chinese Charitable Association last June, where the President admitted in jest that he had committed .

Duterte said: “I hate corruption. Hindi ako nagmamalinis. Marami rin akong nanakaw pero naubos na, so wala na (I don’t pretend to be clean. I have also stolen a lot but I’ve already spent it all, so it’s all gone).”

“This admission confirms my corruption allegation against Duterte,” Trillanes said in a statement.

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/912787/trillanes-pushes-plunder-probe-after-duterte-admits-corruption#ixzz4mVNMjHQF 

Snubbed? ASEAN chairman Duterte wasn’t invited to G20 Summit

MANILA, Philippines – Despite being chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations () this year, Philippine President Rodrigo was not invited to the prestigious G20 Summit held in Hamburg, Germany last week.

A Palace official confirmed to Rappler that no formal invitation for Duterte was received by Malacañang from the German government, host of this year’s Summit which was held from July 7 to 8.

A German government spokesperson also confirmed this to Rappler.

“The Philippines did not belong to the invited guest countries,” said the Press and Information Office of the Federal Government of Germany.


READ FROM SOURCE: http://www.rappler.com/nation/175221-philippines-duterte-not-invited-g20-summit-2017

Duterte to Maute: No talks even if you kill hostages

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

SC Justice Carpio is a “Son of a bi*tch”….

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte Wednesday slammed Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio over his proposal to invoke the country’s legal victory on the South China Sea.

“These stupid government [officials], they keep on egging me on the arbitral ruling. They said, ‘What are you doing on the arbitral [ruling]?’” Duterte said during the 119th anniversary celebration of Philippine Navy in Davao City. “The arbitral ruling places the South China Sea in our jurisdiction. But the Chinese has insisted and has made well known their stand that it is theirs and they will die for it,” he added.

Duterte maintained that he cannot insist the Philippines’ win in its arbitration case against China because it would only cause “trouble.” He reiterated that he raised the international court’s decision on maritime dispute and his plan to dig oil in the resource-rich waters but echoed Chinese President Xi Jinping’s appeal not to proceed. “Carpio keeps on harping [on South China Sea ruling].

Son of a b****, he did not do anything before. So he wants me to go to the UN (United Nations) for the enforcement [of the ruling],” the President said.

Read more: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/manila/local-news/2017/05/31/duterte-hits-carpio-over-suggestion-insist-arbitral-award-china-544970

FACT CHECK: Inconsistencies in Duterte’s martial law report

MANILA, Philippines — The Duterte administration appeared to have submitted to Congress a martial law report that contained erroneous information on some of the incidents that happened in Marawi City that led to the declaration of martial law in Mindanao last week.

Several inconsistencies were discovered when we verified the contents of the report submitted by the government to Senate President Aquilino Pimentel and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez shortly before 10 p.m. on May 25.
This despite the earlier instruction of President Rodrigo Duterte to the Cabinet to be factual and truthful in drafting the report submitted to Congress.
In its report, the Palace claimed that several establishments, including the Amai Pakpak Medical Center, were taken over by elements of the Maute terrorist group and held several employees as hostages on May 23.
However, in a STAR report released on Monday, APMC chief Amer Saber said that the hospital was not overrun by terrorists contrary to the reports that came out on social media that day.
His statement corresponded with that of Philippine National Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Dionardo Carlos who said that the terrorists did not take over the hospital and went there to seek medical assistance for a member.
“Ito po coming from our counterparts in the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines). ‘Yun pong pagpunta ng grupo sa ospital, they did not control the entire hospital. They were there to seek medical assistance dahil may tama ‘yung kanilang kasama,” Carlos said in the press briefing on May 24.
“‘Yung mga workers there… they were only asked to provide medical assistance to the wounded members of the terror group,” he added.

Duterte vows to ignore Supreme Court on martial law.

Duterte on Tuesday imposed martial law in the Mindanao region, home to 20 million people, following deadly clashes in a mostly Muslim-populated city involving militants he said were trying to establish a caliphate for the Islamic State group.

“Until the police and the armed forces say the Philippines is safe, this martial law will continue. I will not listen to others. The Supreme Court, Congress, they are not here,” Duterte told soldiers on Saturday.

“Are they the ones dying and losing blood, bleeding, hemorrhaging because there is no help, no reinforcement? It’s not them.”

“During martial law, your commanders, you, you can arrest any person, search any house. There is no more warrant needed,” Duterte told troops on Friday.

Duterte’s comments contradicted a government statement released on Saturday to explain martial law.

“Warrants of arrest or search warrants should be issued,” the statement from the government’s information agency said.

“No person may be arrested and detained without orders coming from these civil courts.”

Read Full Story more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/900310/duterte-vows-to-ignore-supreme-court-on-martial-law#ixzz4iNJSEdyT 

Why Duterte’s ‘4 million drug users’ is statistically improbable

A tighter grip on reality – through data and evidence – may be one of the best ways to brace ourselves against this new, rising wave of authoritarian rule.

pon his return from Russia, the President gave a press conference where he explained at length his decision to declare martial law across Mindanao.

But perhaps just as significant was his on-the-spot sacking of Secretary Benjamin Reyes of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) for repeatedly saying there are about 1.8 million drug users in the country. This official figure contradicts the President’s own guesstimate of 4 million.

The President said: “And here comes a chairman…You’re fired. Today. Get out of the service. You do not contradict your own government…”

In this article we explain in detail the study that arrived at the 1.8 million figure. We show that even with a liberal estimate of 2.5 million drug users, the President’s 4 million figure is still off the mark and lies beyond the realm of statistical probability.

The 2015 drug use survey

The 1.8 million figure comes from the “2015 Nationwide Survey on the Nature and Extent of Drug Abuse in the Philippines” published by the DDB in September 2016 (see below).

READ MORE DIRECTLY FROM FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: http://www.rappler.com/thought-leaders/170975-duterte-drug-users-statistically-improbable

Duterte to file multiple estafa charges vs ABS-CBN

MANILA, Philippines – In another rage-filled outburst against ABS-CBN, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he will file charges of “multiple syndicated estafa” against the television network.

“I’m telling you now, I will be filing charges of multiple syndicated estafa,” he said in his speech at the launch of housing designs for the military and police in Davao City on Friday, May 19.
He quickly followed this up with a slew of curses: “Kawalang hiya ninyo, kapal ng mukha ninyo, putangina ninyo leche kayo (You have no shame, your faces are too thick, you sons of bitches).”

At the start of his rant, he addressed ABS-CBN chairman Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III.

“Gabby Lopez, I paid ABS-CBN P2.8 million….You accepted my money, you never bothered to show my propaganda (political advertisements). After the elections, you didn’t return the money,” said Duterte.

READ FROM FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: http://www.rappler.com/nation/170367-duterte-file-multiple-estafa-abs-cbn

Duterte: China threatened war

President Rodrigo Duterte for the first time said on Friday that Chinese President Xi Jinping had threatened war if the Philippines insisted on pressing its claims in the South China Sea, parrying criticisms that he had been weak in pushing the issue and failing to use the arbitral ruling as leverage.

“I really said, ‘It’s ours. I’d like you to listen for a while.’ I said,  ‘Mr. Xi Jinping, I would insist that that is ours and I will drill oil there,’” Mr. Duterte said in a speech at the National Convention of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary in Davao City.

China may claim ownership, but he said his view was that he could drill for oil because that area, which the government calls the West Philippine Sea, belongs to the Philippines.

“They replied to me, ‘We are friends. We do not want to quarrel with you… We want to maintain the present warm relationship. But if you force the issue, we’ll go to war,’” Mr. Duterte said.

“What more could I say?” he added.


READ MORE FROM FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/05/19/17/duterte-china-warned-ph-of-war-over-south-china-sea

Duterte signs executive order on nationwide smoking ban

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order banning smoking in public places nationwide, officials confirmed Thursday.

Speaking to ABS-CBN News, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said Duterte signed the executive order last May 16. Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea also confirmed that Duterte already signed the EO. 


Ubial said the signing of Executive Order 26 was made in time for the celebration of World No Tobacco Day on May 31.

Ubial has yet to provide details on the EO on smoking ban policy, which the government had planned to pattern after the one in place in Davao City.

In January, Ubial said Duterte had asked her to draft the executive order similar to what the city had been implementing on “100% smoke-free environment in public places.”

“The executive order will actually mandate all the agencies of government, including the local government to implement this 100% smoking ban in all public places. It’s not just Metro Manila,” she had said.

“There will be no smoking in public places anymore, whether indoor or outdoor. Parks, bus stations, and even in vehicles. All these are considered public places.”

“It’s an order to the executive branch. It’s up to the local government units also to draft their, shall we call, ordinances to implement this executive order. It’s different from a law,” she added.

The EO, Ubial had said, is a clear signal to the members of the branch to implement systems and information drives to work together to be able to prevent children, the poor, and the public from smoking in public places.

READ FROM FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/05/18/17/duterte-signs-executive-order-on-nationwide-smoking-ban

Philippine Govt. Rejects P 13 Billion Grant (not loan) from EU. No explanation given.

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The European Union on Wednesday evening, May 17, confirmed that the Philippines has decided to no longer accept new EU grants, pegged at around 250 million euros or P13.85 billion.

“The Philippine government has informed us that they no longer accept new EU grants,” the EU delegation to the Philippines said when sought by Rappler for confirmation Wednesday.

The EU delegation said the Philippine government relayed this decision only this week.

The exact reason for this decision is unavailable as of posting time. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs has not responded to our request for comment.

EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen said the Philippines’ decision will affect up to 250 million euros in EU grants.

This comes as President Rodrigo Duterte slams the EU for supposedly interfering in his bloody anti-drug campaign. “If you think it’s high time for you guys to withdraw your assistance, go ahead. We will not beg for it,” Duterte told the EU in October 2016.

READ FROM FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: http://www.rappler.com/nation/170183-philippines-refuses-european-union-grants

Duterte had said: “Tutal ako naman ang may-ari ng Malacañang ngayon.” (Anyway I’m the owner of Malacañang now.)

MANILA, Philippines – Anger erupted online after President Rodrigo Duterte defended Mocha Uson’s appointment as communications assistant secretary by saying that he “owns” Malacañang.

In a video uploaded by the celebrity entertainer-turned-government official last Friday, May 12, Duterte had said: Tutal ako naman ang may-ari ng Malacañang ngayon.” (Anyway I’m the owner of Malacañang now.)

Social media users, far from pleased, pointed out that Malacañang Palace belongs to the people of the Philippines.

READ FROM FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: http://www.rappler.com/technology/social-media/169916-netizens-react-president-duterte-malacanang-owner

Duterte skips Belt and Road Forum opening ceremony

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte did not attend the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation in Beijing, Sunday morning.


Sought for a comment, a source told PhilStar.com that there is no official word from Malacañang on why Duterte skipped the activity.

He has previously said that air travel tires him out. The president was in Hong Kong on Saturday and in Cambodia the day before.

Duterte arrived in China on Saturday evening to attend the forum.

Chinese President Xi Jinping led the two-day opening ceremony of the forum.

Twenty heads of state and government leaders also attended the forum, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who both delivered speeches Sunday morning.

Aside from the world leaders, the 1,500 delegates from across the globe, include officials, entrepreneurs, financiers and journalists from over 130 countries, and representatives of key international organizations, such as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde.

The United States also sent a delegation led by Matt Pottinger, special assistant to the US President Donald Trump and senior director for Asia at the National Security Council.

Xi proposed the Belt and Road Initiative,  which is named after the historic Silk Road trade route, in 2013. “Spanning thousands of miles and years, the ancient silk routes embody the spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit,” Xi said in his speech. “The Silk Road spirit has become a great heritage of human civilization,” he added.  

READ FROM FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/05/14/1699878/duterte-skips-belt-and-road-forum-opening-ceremony

Duterte follows Xi’s lead with military build-up in South China Sea

HONG KONG (CNN) – The Philippines has begun sending troops and supplies to an island it controls in the disputed South China Sea, setting the stage for a potential dispute with Beijing.

Plans are underway to reinforce and upgrade facilities on Pagasa Island, in the Spratly Islands chain, senior Philippine military officials told the official Philippine News Agency (PNA).

The country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte, last month said he had ordered military personnel to occupy all Philippines-claimed islands in the South China Sea, parts or all of which is claimed by China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and the Philippines.

While Manila has traditionally been a strong defender of its claims in the disputed waters — even winning a landmark international ruling throwing out most of China’s claims — Duterte’s government has cozied up to Beijing and pushed territorial disputes to the background.

It’s unclear how China will react to the military build-up. While it’s far less aggressive than actions China has taken in the region, the country traditionally does not react well to any territorial challenges.

If there is a negative reaction, Duterte will find out quickly, as he is visiting Beijing Saturday alongside other world leaders for a forum about China’s hugely ambitious One Belt, One Road trade and infrastructure project.

READ FROM FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: http://www.kerngoldenempire.com/news/world-news/duterte-follows-xis-lead-with-military-buildup-in-south-china-sea/712149693

‘Rody ICC case dead, thanks to Callamard’

MANILA, Philippines –  “Dead as a door nail.”

This is the fate of the complaint filed with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against President Duterte, according to Philippine ambassador to the United Nations Teodoro Locsin Jr.


The complaint was in connection with allegations of extrajudicial killings ordered or abetted by the Duterte administration in the pursuit of his war on drugs.

“Thank you, Agnes. The ICC case is dead. Trust me on this. Dead as a door nail,” Locsin said in a Twitter post, referring to UN special rapporteur for extrajudicial executions Agnes Callamard, who is in the Philippines to attend a drug policy conference.

Locsin did not offer an explanation for his claim but it was apparently a follow-up to his tweets criticizing Callamard. He accused her of abusing her position when she visited the country to attend a conference on drug policy.

“She says to attend an academic conference but she effectively disqualified herself from any further official role investigating the drug war,” Locsin said.

READ FROM FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/05/07/1697492/rody-icc-case-dead-thanks-callamard

Duterte, Xi discuss South China Sea, North Korea in phone call

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – The tense situation in the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea dispute were among the topics tackled by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping during their phone call on Wednesday, May 3.

Xi called Duterte at around 4 pm on Wednesday, said the Palace. Their conversation lasted around 26 minutes.

Xi supposedly spoke of a “channel of dialogue and consultation” on the South China Sea issue during the conversation, according to Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua.

The two leaders also “exchanged views” on the situation in the Korean Peninsula.

Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Robespierre Bolivar said Duterte “referred to China’s important role in promoting peace [in] the Korean Peninsula.”

In a chance interview on Monday, May 1, Duterte said he believes China could serve as a bridge between the US and North Korea.

“Our greatest chance there of getting some dialogue with America and North Korea would be through the intercession of China,” he said.

READ FROM FULLS SOURCE ARTICLE: http://www.rappler.com/nation/168771-duterte-xi-jinping-phone-calldut

Why Duterte’s offensive vs oligarch Floirendo is crucial

IF you hadn’t noticed, President Duterte’s war against the rule of the Philippine oligarchy has started, and gone into high gear.

A part of this offensive is the move to collect billions in taxes allegedly evaded by the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s controlling owner, the Rufino family, and to recover prime government land that they’ve held for nearly four decades, as well as his threat not to renew the franchise of the Lopez clan’s ABS-CBN television network.


This campaign’s long-term consequences are as important  as those of his war against illegal drugs, what with the consensus in serious studies of the Philippines that it has been this cacique kind of oligarchy in our country that is the major root of its underdevelopment.


READ FROM FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: http://www.manilatimes.net/dutertes-offensive-vs-marcos-crony-oligarch-floirendo-decisive/325212/

White House officials brace for anger at Duterte invitation

When President Donald Trump called President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines on Saturday (Sunday AEDT), White House officials saw it as part of a routine diplomatic outreach to Southeast Asian leaders. Trump, characteristically, had his own ideas.

During their “very friendly conversation”, the administration said in a late-night statement, Trump invited Duterte, an authoritarian leader accused of ordering extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the Philippines, to visit him at the White House.

Now, the administration is bracing for an avalanche of criticism from human rights groups. Two senior officials said they expected the State Department and the National Security Council, both of which were caught off guard by the invitation, to raise objections internally.

The White House disclosed the news on a day when Trump fired up his supporters at a campaign-style rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The timing of the announcement – after a speech that was a grievance-filled jeremiad – encapsulated this president after 100 days in office: still ready to say and do things that leave people, even on his staff, slack-jawed.

Read more: http://www.afr.com/news/politics/world/white-house-officials-brace-for-anger-at-duterte-invitation-20170501-gvwgcu#ixzz4foNEuEiz
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Trump now morally complicit with Duterte’s murderous war on drugs – Human Rights Watch

“By essentially endorsing Duterte’s murderous war on drugs, Trump is now morally complicit in future killings,” said John Sifton, the Asia director of Human Rights Watch. “Although the traits of his personality likely make it impossible, Trump should be ashamed of himself.”

Administration officials said the call to Mr. Duterte was one of several to Southeast Asian leaders that the White House arranged after picking up signs that they felt neglected because of Mr. Trump’s intense focus on China, Japan and tensions over North Korea. On Sunday, Mr. Trump spoke to the prime ministers of Singapore and Thailand.

Mr. Duterte’s toxic reputation had already given pause to some in the White House. The Philippines is to host a summit meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in November, and officials said there was a brief debate about whether Mr. Trump should attend.

It is not even clear, given the accusations of human rights abuses against him, that Mr. Duterte, were he not a head of state, would be granted a visa to the United States, according to human rights advocates.

READ FROM FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/trump%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98very-friendly%E2%80%99-talk-with-duterte-stuns-aides-and-critics-alike/ar-BBAzdu2