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Duterte

Philippines’ president recognizes alliances with US, Japan

in ASIA/POLITICS by

President Duterte recognized yesterday the importance of the Philippines’ military alliances with the United States and Japan through the years since World War II. “The brotherhood between the Philippines and the US has been forged by the second World War when the Filipinos and American soldiers fought side by side under the flag of freedom, and democracy still remains strong,” it’s possible to read in a note sent to the occasion of the commemoration of “the Day of Valor” at Mt. Samat in Bataan and read by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea before hundreds of guests, including war veterans, foreign dignitaries and local officials.

In the note, Duterte recognized the alliance between the Philippines and the US in terms of military and economic support and also noted how Japan has become a friend from being a foe during World War II. “The Japanese against whom our soldiers defended Bataan for many years now remain as one of our closest allies, a major trading partner and the largest provider of Official Development Assistance, which helps us in the fight against poverty and our quest for economic progress,” Duterte said. During the commemoration, Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda also underscored the importance of the bilateral relations between the two countries as he offered an apology for the atrocities of World War II.

Report: Facebook data scandal linked to the 2016 Duterte’s election

in PHILIPPINES/Senza categoria by

A London-based behavioral research and strategic communication company assisted President Rodrigo Duterte’s victory in the May 2016 national elections, according to SCMP report. Strategic Communications Laboratories or SCL Group, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica, helped portray Duterte as a “strong, no-nonsense man of action” on social media, according to a report from South China Morning Post. The London-based company has removed the content but SCMP posted an archived version of the report. “SCL used the cross-cutting issue of crime to rebrand the client as a strong, no-nonsense man of action, who would appeal to the true values of the voters,” it added. The web content, however, did not identify Duterte as its Philippine client but the brief pointed to the former Davao City mayor. Late last year, Facebook faced criticism for sending out teams to train politicians around the world, including Duterte, on how to use the platform as a campaign tool. Malacañang, however, has shrugged off reports linking Facebook to Duterte’s presidential campaign. “All candidates did so, unfortunately for his detractors, President Duterte appeared to have been the best candidate who utilized Facebook the most,” Roque said. 

Government won’t remove CPP-NPA terror tag

in PHILIPPINES by

The Duterte administration will withdraw the court petition seeking to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and New People’s Army (NPA) as terrorist groups only when a peace agreement is signed, Malacañang said yesterday. Last November, Duterte scrapped the talks with the communists, accusing them of bad faith by attacking security forces and civilians while negotiations were ongoing and about 600 persons, including communist peace consultants, were declared as terrorists. Now Duterte has authorized the resumption of peace talks subject to certain conditions like the forging of a ceasefire agreement and stopping the collection of the so-called revolutionary tax. Meantime, CPP founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison, on the other hand, said they are willing to return to the negotiating table and “to meet as soon as possible” but said both sides should “bring different positions on issues to the table in order to thresh out the differences and arrive at agreements.” Roque said the President is also willing to grant Sison an assurance that he can come home without being arrested so he can join the negotiations, and said former Pangasinan representative Hernani Braganza has been instructed to meet with communist negotiators to relay the information to them. If the talks resume, communist peace consultants would again enjoy immunity from arrest, Roque added. However, security operations against the rebels would continue until a ceasefire deal is forged. The government peace panel is set to reconvene today to discuss preparations for the resumption of peace negotiations with the communist rebels. 

Duterte orders 6-month closure of Boracay

in PHILIPPINES by

During a Cabinet meeting, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque told to reporters on Wednesday that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the closure of Boracay, a world-famous tourist destination, for 6 months, starting on April 26. The recommendation to close Boracay from tourists for 6 months – or until October – came from the Department of the Interior and Local Government. Duterte announced his intention to “close” Boracay last February 10, angered by environmental violations by commercial establishments that he thinks turned the popular tourist destination into a “cesspool.” This could mean non-residents would be physically barred from entering the island. But the Department of Trade and Industry had suggested implementing the closure in phases. Boracay stakeholders had said that closing the island for a year would take away the jobs of 36,000 people and would mean foregone revenues of P56 billion. The National Economic and Development Authority, however, said a 6-month closure of the tourist area would have minimal impact on the economy. 

Philippines, Duterte: ‘Still no peace talks’

in PHILIPPINES by

After the calls from 61 lawmakers – through House Resolution 1803 –  for the resumption of talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF), the communist rebels’ political arm, government peace panel chairman and labor chief Silvestre Bello said that a resumption of peace negotiations with communist rebels will have to wait as there is no “enabling environment” yet to convince President Duterte to reconsider his suspension of the talks.  Bello said the Chief Executive needs more convincing proof of the NDF and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)’s sincerity in talking peace with the government. the lawmakers said forging peace with the communists would ultimately benefit the poor, especially those in the countryside, but a major factor that would likely convince Duterte to reopen the peace negotiations is the cessation of attacks by the NPA on military and civilian targets, Bello maintained.  “We support this call from legislators urging Duterte to resume and continue peace talks with the NDF and complete the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER),”  Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) chairman Danilo Ramos said. “The resumption of peace talks and finalization of the Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ARRD) and the National Industrialization and Economic Development (NIED) will be for the best interest of Filipino farmers and the people,” Ramos said

Duterte warns he’ll order navy to fire if sea resources stolen

in ASIA/ECONOMY by

President Rodrigo Duterte told a news conference late on Friday that the Philippines will continue talks with China over disputed South China Sea territories. He also stressed the Philippines’ sovereign rights over Benham Rise, a vast offshore frontier off his country’s northeast. Duterte said he has no intention of going into war over territorial feuds but will order the navy to fire if other countries extract resources from waters within his country’s exclusive economic zone.

CHR: Duterte’s ‘42 virgins’ joke strips women of dignity, human rights

in FAR EAST by

The Commission on Human Rights strongly denounced President Rodrigo Duterte’s joke of making virgins as a “come-on” to promote tourism in the country, calling it an appalling remark. In fact, Duterte, after declaring himself “half-Muslim,” during his last day in India, suggested in jest that the ISIS does not have a monopoly of making promises about virgins: claimed that Islamic State extremists lure followers with the promise of “42 virgins” in heaven; “The come-on is that if you die a martyr, you go to heaven with 42 virgins waiting for you. If I could just make it a come-on also for those who’d like to go to my country(..)” he said. CHR called on the government to uphold laws that protect women from violence and discrimination such as the Women in Development and National Building Act, Magna Carta of Women and Anti-Sexual Harassment Law. It also urged the public to stand up for women’s rights and reject violence and discrimination of all forms.

Duterte not going to Brussels

in FAR EAST by

Prime ministre R. Duterte said that he is not keen on attending the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting on Oct. 18 and 19 in Brussels, Belgium. Duterte  adamant in turning  down 6.1 million euros (about P382 million) in trade-related assistance from the European Union (EU) because he don’t like eurepean values neither the fact that they continued to be imperialists by imposing their values on Filipinos.  It was happened for examble about Duterte’s drug war.

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