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China sentences veteran rights activist to 13 years prison

China on Wednesday sentenced a veteran pro-democracy campaigner to 13 years in prison on vaguely defined subversion charges, one day after releasing the widow of a Nobel Peace Prize laureate after eight years of house arrest. Source link link: China sentences veteran rights activist to 13 years' prison.....»»

Category: newsSource: manilainformer manilainformerJul 12th, 2018

Wife of Taiwan activist jailed in China stopped from flying to visit husband

The wife of Taiwan activist Li Ming-che, sentenced to five years in prison by Chinese authorities for subverting state power, was stopped from flying from Taiwan to China on Tuesday to visit him in prison, rights groups said......»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsJan 31st, 2018

Reports: Cristiano Ronaldo strikes deal on tax fraud case

MADRID (AP) — Spanish media reports that Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo has agreed to plead guilty to tax fraud and pay a fine of 18.8 million euros ($21.8 milllion) in exchange for a prison sentence that would most likely be suspended. Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported Friday that Ronaldo is ready to admit to four counts of tax fraud that would carry a prison sentence of two years. Prison sentences not over two years in Spain are often suspended for first-time offenders. The deal has yet to be ratified by Spain's Tax Office, according to different Spanish media including Europa Press news agency. Neither Spain's Tax Office, its Ministry of Justice nor people close to Ronaldo would confirm the existence of a deal when called by The Associated Press. Reports of the deal came hours before Ronaldo scored three goals to give Portugal a 3-3 draw with Spain in their opening match of the World Cup in Russia. One year ago, a Spanish state prosecutor accused Ronaldo of four counts of tax fraud from 2011-14 worth 14.7 million euros ($16.5 million). The prosecutor accused Ronaldo of having used shell companies outside Spain to hide income made from image rights. The accusation does not involve his salary from Real Madrid. Ronaldo denied any wrongdoing when questioned by a judge last July. In 2016, Barcelona forward Lionel Messi received a suspended 21-month jail sentence after being found guilty of defrauding tax authorities of 4.1 million euros (then $4.6 million)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 16th, 2018

Jailed Taiwanese activist to visit him in China

BEIJING -- The wife of a Taiwanese democracy activist jailed in China travelled to the country on Monday after being granted permission to visit him in prison for the first time, in a case that has strained cross-strait relations. NGO worker Lee Ming-cheh was sentenced to five years in prison….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsMar 27th, 2018

Vietnamese activist faces 14 years in jail for anti-pollution protest livestream

An activist in central Vietnam has been sentenced to 14 years in prison on Tuesday for livestreaming a protest against a Taiwanese steel company's spill of toxins into the ocean. Hoang Duc Binh was convicted of "abusing democratic freedomsto infringe on the interests of the state, organisation and people and opposing officers on duty," lawyer Ha Huy Son said in a report byThe South China Morning Post. His fellow activist, Nguyen Nam Phong, was sentenced to two years for "opposing officers on duty." The protest comes after Formosa Plastics Group, a steel complex which in total is worth $10.6 billion (around P546 billion), dumped toxins such as phenol and cyanide into the ocean i...Keep on reading: Vietnamese activist faces 14 years in jail for anti-pollution protest livestream.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 8th, 2018

Popovich s odd alliance with red state fans

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com SAN ANTONIO -- About 400 people gathered at the Oak Hills Country Club in June 2016 and paid $500 to $250,000 to sip iced tea and nibble hors d’oeuvres next to a golf course designed by noted architect AW Tillinghast, who built many. One is owned by the man who was feted at this political fundraiser, Donald J. Trump. The presidential campaign was in full blast and saltier than the crackers on the cheese plate being passed around. Fresh off the plane, Trump thanked the Republicans for the big ‘ole Texas welcome, witnesses say, before launching a blistering attack on the usual targets: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, illegal immigration. Then, near the end of his 30-minute lunchtime appearance, in an effort to connect with the locals, he pivoted and mentioned perhaps the most famous man in town: Gregg Popovich. Witnesses say Trump called Popovich “a great coach” and said “he does a good job” and then there was some fidgeting in the room when the soon-to-be polarizing leader of the free world said this: “I don’t know if the coach is on my side.” Confirmation came emphatically, right after Trump won a divisive election that November. The coach of the Spurs lit into the President over the next several months with a handful of rants that had the stealth of Kawhi Leonard ambushing a timid ball-handler. In no particular order, here were Pop’s Greatest Hits, all issued through the media and without prompting or provocation: “The disgusting tenure and tone and all the comments … have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic. I live in a country where half the people ignored that to elect someone.” And: “He is in charge of our country. That’s disgusting.” And: “The man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks he can only become large by belittling others.” And: “We have a pathological liar in the White House ... You can’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth.” Popovich didn’t stop there with a President whose sensitivity and intelligence he questioned and accused of being guilty of “gratuitous fear-mongering.” When he took Trump to task for criticizing NFL players who knelt during the National Anthem and defended their rights to do so, Popovich also suspected a measure of the public outrage was racially motivated. “Our country is an embarrassment to the world,” he said. A 68-year-old wealthy white man, therefore, became a sports voice with weight in the political and social justice arena, where the NBA league office has greenlighted players and coaches to speak up. Popovich has done so with clarity and insight to gain national applause in certain corners. He wasn’t the first or the last in sports to verbally spank the president or tackle right-leaning sensitivities, yet he’s certainly the most unique in one respect. As a graduate of the Air Force Academy who works in a military town, and a five-time NBA champion coach who might symbolize the city more than The Alamo, Popovich has long been elevated to icon status, perhaps permanently so, in San Antonio, where folks are mad about the Spurs. Still, this is mostly conservative Texas, one of the most Republican of states based on the state legislature and the congressional delegation, a state that voted Republican in 10 straight presidential elections and saw 52.6 percent of voters punch for Trump. While voters in San Antonio-proper lean liberal, the surrounding areas swing solidly the opposite. Julianna Holt, the Spurs CEO and Popovich’s boss since March after assuming the position held for 20 years by her husband Peter, supported various Republican presidential candidates before eventually donating $5,400 to Trump’s campaign and $250,000 to the Trump Victory Fund, according to Federal Election Commission records. Popovich is therefore a blue blood in a red state and the contrast makes for strange if not uncomfortable alliance between a beloved coach and a group of conflicted Spurs worshippers. His views have in fact shattered the sacrilege by generating hostility from a segment of the basketball flock, something no coach with his credentials would ever feel. The constant winning and acts of charity do not insulate him from those who would prefer Popovich stuff a sweat sock in his bullhorn. Party lines not Popovich's focus “While we all believe Gregg Popovich has the right to his opinions, where was Popovich when Hillary called half of us a 'basket of deplorables?’Many were Spurs fans who are now tired of being insulted ... many of us will never pay to see a Spurs game again.” -- Donna Howington  “The money I will save this year not attending Spurs games should buy me a nice set of golf clubs. Thanks Pop!” -- Jake Ingorgia  “I will never watch them again until Popovich is gone. He is just like all the other leftist celebrities.” -- Lee Harbach, Bulverde They arrive on cue, most from the dusty towns that orbit around San Antonio, some from the city itself. Popovich has unloaded three times this year on Trump, once after the election, once at the start of training camp and most recently by cold-calling Dave Zirin, a friend and liberal writer from The Nation, a progressive magazine. And each time, the letters land in the office of Ricardo Pimentel, the editor who coordinates the comments section of the Express-News, San Antonio’s newspaper of record. “It’s a cycle,” says Pimental, with a sigh. “He speaks out. People who disagree with him send us letters to the editor, then people who object to their disagreement write us letters to the editor defending Pop. Then they respond to one another.” The initial reaction, he said, is always stacked against Popovich and many identify themselves as Spurs fans ripping up their tickets or promising to never attend or watch games again. Even if those who made threats actually carried them out, the change in the Spurs’ home attendance is a blip, from 99.2 percent capacity last season to 98.6 so far this season. Popovich, of course, has been big for business since his first full season as coach in 1997-98. Besides the titles, the Spurs have reached the playoffs every season and won 50 games every season (except for the lockout-shortened 50-game 1998-99 campaign, when they won 37). In short, Popovich's Spurs have a track record beyond reproach in the NBA. If the 2017-18 Spurs stay on pace, it’ll be 20 straight winning seasons for Popovich, one more than Phil Jackson for the all-time NBA record. He hasn’t been this politically vocal until lately, due to Trump, yet was always politically aware, say those who know him. Well-versed through his readings and observations, Popovich welcomes discussion with acquaintences about classism, leadership, government and preferably over a bottle of wine. His two-decades exposure to young black men from humble beginnings raised his awareness and sensitivities about race and bias. Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr once played for the Spurs and lately has echoed many of the same thoughts as Popovich. But Kerr coaches in the Bay Area, where folks nod their heads in agreement. Kerr said he can only imagine the flak Popovich catches in Texas. “Here’s this iconic coach who stands for everything that’s right and for honor and integrity, he served in the military, you see him stand at attention for the American flag — man, Pop loves his country,” Kerr said. “And in the middle of Texas for him to be questioning the Republican President, some of the people down there are probably confused. Like, 'I don’t get it, we love this guy but he’s on the other side from us.' “What I love about Pop is that it’s not about party, not about politics. It’s about integrity and character and that’s what people need to pay attention to. It’s not about some policy, not about how much we pay in taxes. If we can just get back to the point where character matters, then we’ll be in better shape. The problem is, it’s clear character has gone down the tubes in many leadership positions in our country. That’s what Pop is calling out.” True enough, Popovich never publicly attached himself to a political party; to suggest he is against Republicans might be as misleading as believing Colin Kaepernick is against the military. When he played for Popovich, Kerr couldn’t recall a time when the coach was this annoyed by the country’s leadership. “The country was in a better place in terms of a relatively peaceful time back then,” Kerr said. “Yes, 9-11 happened and the whole world changed. But we didn’t have quite the same partisan nature, not only in politics but the national conversation. And so people could just admire Pop for who he was and people might not have been aware of his political leanings because they didn’t ask. When we won and went to the White House, Pop and the team went when Bush was in office. We went in ’99 when President Clinton was there. Republican, Democrat, didn’t matter. The times are so different now.” Kerr laughed quickly when asked about the semi-serious groundswell of social media support for a Kerr-Popovich ticket in 2020. Kerr said he hopes to be on his fifth NBA title as a coach then, but turned semi-serious about Popovich. “Our country needs somebody like Pop who can actually lead and unite from a position of authority and credibility,” Kerr said. “This guy served in the military, grew up in a melting pot, understands leadership. More than anything, he’ll cut through all the [expletive].” Since going nuclear on Trump, Popovich declined invites from the national political shows (and wouldn’t comment for this story). That proves what friends have maintained all along: Popovich doesn’t want to be anyone’s political hero or pundit. He’d rather speak when the moment calls for it, then be left alone. That last part is tricky, though. Empathy often marks Popovich's way “Can you imagine being Republican on the Spurs? Would you feel welcome? He’s like Berkeley -- for free speech unless you disagree with him. Shut up and coach, Gregg.” -- Shannon Deason  “When it comes to coaching basketball or drinking wine, Popovich has experience. When it comes to our country, his opinion is no better than anyone else’s." -- Harold Siemens, Seguin  “Open letter to the NBA referee who ejected Pop from the Warriors-Spurs game: Don’t feel bad about what Gregg Popovich called you. He called the POTUS worse and got away with it.” -- Larry Peabody Once the wheels touched down, the pilot jokingly announced over the loudspeaker: “Welcome to Gregg Popovich International Airport,” and one particular passenger noticed that nobody on the plane thought it was strange. Sean Elliott always knew how deeply rooted Popovich is with San Antonio. Aside from the famous Spanish missions and the River Walk, the city is known for the only professional sports team in town. And while George Gervin, David Robinson and Tim Duncan have come and gone, the one lingering reminder is a sometimes gruff and scruffy coach, maybe the NBA’s best ever. “He’s one of the pillars of the community,” said Elliott, twice an All-Star with the Spurs. “He’s looked at with great admiration. He is as respected as anyone who has ever lived in or been part of the city. It’s not just because he’s a basketball coach. Pop has been a big part of the community, huge contributor to charitable functions, good leader.” Elliott was a Spurs rookie in 1989 when their relationship began and he saw the start of Popovich’s reach in the region. Popovich then was an assistant coach under Larry Brown and just planting his feet in the NBA. That summer, Elliott and Popovich piled into a van with the team's "Coyote" mascot and conducted basketball clinics in San Marcos, Corpus Christi, Laredo and similar places. They were signing autographs in malls and running kids through drills in 100 degree heat, never hearing a complaint from the coach. Elliott said folks in those small conservative towns loved him. “If you sit and hear him talk about something, you tend to agree with him,” Elliott said. “He’ll put it in a logical way and he’s very thoughtful, well read and super intelligent, maybe the most intelligent person I’ve ever known.” The owner of the Spurs then was Red McCombs, a homespun Texan who made his fortune in car dealerships and media companies. McCombs didn’t give Popovich the coaching job after firing Brown, telling Popovich “you’ve got a chance to be a great coach” if he got more experience, which he did, going to the Warriors to work for Don Nelson. Popovich returned to San Antonio two years later as general manager, then became coach and the rest is history. Now 90, McCombs said: “Popovich has become the distinguished part of the franchise. He wears it well. Can’t say enough about what kind of man he is and what he’s meant to San Antonio. God has blessed us with Gregg Popovich.” McCombs loves to tell how Popovich, by chance, learned that a local family needed a car. The coach wrote a check, gave it to the father and walked away. McCombs said it was “typical Popovich” who has empathy for those with less. McCombs, curiously, has traditionally been one of the biggest Republican bankrollers in the state, who gave to the Trump campaign and is fully aware of what Popovich thinks of his choice for President. And so one of the most powerful men in Central Texas, who leans politically to the color of his nickname, had a strong reaction to that. “He’s earned the right to give his comments about citizenship or Trump or anything else,” said McCombs, voice rising. “Yes, he made some statements that others might disagree with. But I’ll tell you this: Popovich would be elected to anything he wants to in San Antonio.” Remaining silent never an option “Our country is not an embarrassment to the world. I will tell you what an embarrassment is. It is an American citizen who got a free education from the great Air Force Academy ... and then has the audacity to say that the greatest nation in the world is an embarrassment because the President rightly demands that Americans stand for the anthem. Popovich should be ashamed of himself.” -- Nick DeLouis, Fair Oaks Ranch  “Nowhere on God’s green Earth do they have the right to disrespect our flag and the men and women who died to keep us free. I’m appalled that you stooped so low to join in that disrespect. Shame on you!” -- Fred Martin, Fair Oaks Ranch  “Coach Pop has squashed my love and enthusiasm for the team. A national treasure, he is not. Coach Pop has a voice, but not my voice." -- Jo Ivan A few years ago Popovich was in New York with his daughter to catch a Broadway play when the coach had a last minute change in strategy. He learned that John Carlos was giving a lecture at New York University that night. So Popovich told his daughter to take one of her friends instead; said he was going to see “Dr. Carlos” speak. “When he came in I was surprised and delighted,” Carlos said recently. “Quite naturally, everyone knew who he was but he just wanted to sit and listen.” A year later, in 2015, Popovich flew Carlos to San Antonio to address the team and Carlos admitted to being star struck around Tim Duncan and others. Yet Carlos was most curious about Popovich and why the coach took a strong interest in an Olympic sprinter who raised a fist on the victory stand in 1968, which is frozen as an iconic civil rights moment. “Being with the Spurs gave me an opportunity to check his character out,” Carlos said. “I knew he was a whiz at putting players together to bring out their best ability. But through my conversations with him it became apparent that he was a social activist himself at one point in his life. He was teaching his players about activism and to be concerned about their fellow man and what was going on around their lives, not just basketball. “I was impressed. He just wanted them to know they had a larger role than just playing basketball in the society in which they live.” Carlos, therefore, was not surprised to see Popovich defend the rights of kneeling black football players who came under attack from Trump. On the first day of training camp in September, Popovich said: “Obviously race is the elephant in the room and we all understand that. Unless it is talked about constantly it is not going to get better.” What followed was another swirl of exchanges between Popovich critics and supporters in San Antonio, and Popovich acknowledged receiving mail from both sides. The anti-Pop mail, though, was jarring to Carlos, given the coach’s work in town. “When people write and lambast him for taking leaders to task for what they’re doing to society, that’s like water rolling off a duck’s back, man,” Carlos said. “When they write negative things about him, it encourages him to keep doing what he’s doing. Those people are the problem. Go ahead and throw stones and it just motivates him to do his job. “Look, I’m a black man who spoke out. Imagine what they think of him as a white man who speaks just as strong, to try and get people to see things in a better light? They throw stones at him even more, like, 'Hey you’re white, you have a great life. Keep your mouth shut.’ Well, God points people in certain directions. We know who we are. We do what we do.” And what Popovich does is enlist the help of giants in the social justice world and bring them into his world. He did that with Cornel West, the Harvard professor and civil rights activist, last fall. Popovich invited West to San Antonio to speak at an East Side community center with a few hundred mostly black and Latino students and their parents. Done without TV cameras or media invitation, the discussion was about the importance of education, the imperfect world, self respect and how to help communities. This was an audience that, presumably and unanimously, connected with a white man who didn’t live among them, but was with them. They were the people Popovich had in mind when he attacked present leadership. This was not the audience that writes to the Spurs and the Express-News asking him to take a vow of silence, though he is aware of them, too. “Some responses make you wonder what country you live in,” Popovich said, “and other responses make you very hopeful … overall, it renews my feeling that something must be done because there is enough people willing to listen.” Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2018

US, Germany urge China to release jailed activist

BEIJING, China – The United States and Germany urged China to free an outspoken government critic known as "Super Vulgar Butcher" on Wednesday, December 27, after he was sentenced to 8 years in prison . Wu Gan, who refused to plead guilty to charges of "subverting state power", was on Tuesday handed one of the harshest ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 27th, 2017

Chinese activist jailed for 8 years after major crackdown

TIANJIN, China – China sentenced an activist known by the online pseudonym "Super Vulgar Butcher" to 8 years in prison Tuesday, December 26, one of the harshest punishments meted out to the group of lawyers and activists swept up in a major crackdown on civil society two ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 26th, 2017

China sentences activists for ‘disturbing social order’: Xinhua

BEIJING: Three labor activists were given suspended sentences of two to four years, Chinese state media said Tuesday, citing their involvement with “overseas organizations hostile to China”. Zeng Feiyang, director of the prominent labor rights.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsSep 27th, 2016

EU urges China to free activists on third anniversary of ‘709’ crackdown

The European Union urged China to free dozens of activists during a human rights meeting in Beijing this week, three years after a crackdown that jailed scores of lawyers and activists. EU urges China to free activists on third anniversary of ‘709’ crackdown BEIJING – The European Union urged China to free dozens of activists… link: EU urges China to free activists on third anniversary of ‘709’ crackdown.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJul 12th, 2018

Pakistani court sentences ex-PM Sharif to 10 years in prison

A Pakistani anti-graft tribunal on Friday announced a much-awaited ruling in a corruption case against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, sentencing him to 10 years in prison over purchases of luxury apartments in London. Pakistani court sentences ex-PM Sharif to 10 years in prison A Pakistani anti-graft tribunal on Friday announced a much-awaited ruling in… link: Pakistani court sentences ex-PM Sharif to 10 years in prison.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJul 6th, 2018

Gary Granada, top local and foreign poets featured in PEN’s ‘Free the Word!’ at CCP, July 4

The Philippine PEN (Poets & Playwrights, Essayists, Novelists) will hold "Free the Word!"---a forum plus poetry and performance event involving local and foreign writers---at Cultural Center of the Philippines' Main Gallery on July 4, 5-7 p.m. Founded in 1921 in London, PEN is the international federation of writers upholding freedom of expression with centers all over the world. PEN members through the years have included Nobel laureates Mario Vargas Llosa, Nadine Gordimer, Gunter Grass, Francois Mauriac and Liu Xiabao. Its main committees show PEN International's chief concerns: Writers in Prison, Writers for Peace, Women Writers and Translation and Linguistic Rights. ...Keep on reading: Gary Granada, top local and foreign poets featured in PEN’s ‘Free the Word!’ at CCP, July 4.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 1st, 2018

Nassar, trainer charged with sex assault; Karolyis cleared

By David Warren, Associated Press DALLAS (AP) — Texas prosecutors on Friday filed sexual assault charges against Larry Nassar and a trainer who worked at his side, expanding the worst abuse scandal in U.S. sports history beyond Michigan while also clearing world-renowned gymnastics coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi whose ranch served as a training site for Olympians. Nassar, a former sports doctor, was charged with sexually assaulting six minors in Walker County, home of the Karolyi ranch, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) north of Houston. A grand jury also indicted former sports medicine trainer Debra Van Horn on one count of second-degree sexual assault of a child, making her the first person other than Nassar to be charged in direct connection with the assaults. She had worked at Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics for 30 years. Walker County District Attorney David Weeks said Van Horn was charged as "acting as a party" with Nassar. He didn't elaborate. Efforts to reach her for comment were unsuccessful, and the name of her lawyer wasn't immediately known. In Michigan, Nassar was sentenced earlier this year to decades in prison, after hundreds of women and girls accused him of molesting them with his hands under the guise of medical treatment. They said the abuse went as far back as the 1990s while he worked at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. A victim, Mattie Larson, told a judge in January that Van Horn "would be in the room many of the times Larry abused me. If a trainer, a professional trainer, doesn't say anything about it, I should trust her. At least that's what I thought." The Karolyis have denied wrongdoing . They couldn't be reached for comment Friday; a call to the number listed for Bela Karolyi wasn't answered. "The Karolyis were and remain fully cooperative with this investigation. There is no corroborated evidence of any criminal conduct" by the couple, said Stephanie Stroud, a Walker County prosecutor. Stroud said investigators tried to determine if anyone at the ranch knew about Nassar's conduct and didn't report it. But the two-year statute of limitations had already lapsed on any possible misdemeanor charges of failure to report. "That in no way means there was no wrongdoing at the ranch or within the ranks of USAG," Stroud said, referring to USA Gymnastics. "It is our belief that there was a total failure by USAG to protect the athletes that were part of their program and to take appropriate action once they were made aware of Dr. Nassar's actions." In a statement, USA Gymnastics said it is cooperating with Texas investigators and is committed "to doing everything possible to prevent this from happening again." Nassar, 54, probably won't be free again due to his long prison sentences for assault and child pornography crimes. But Weeks, the district attorney, said he still wants to bring him to Texas to face the charges. "There are a number of hoops we have to jump through to get him here," Weeks told reporters. The Karolyis are suing the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics, seeking more than $1 million for the canceled sale of their training center near Huntsville — a transaction that tanked in the wake of the Nassar scandal. Several former gymnasts have also filed lawsuits. One of them, Sabrina Vega, filed a lawsuit in May alleging USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Karolyis failed to protect her and other athletes. Vega, who was on the team that won a gold medal at the 2011 World Championships, alleges the organizations and the Karolyis ignored signs about Nassar's behavior or should have known he posed a risk. She said Nassar molested her hundreds of times during medical treatments from 2008, when she was 12 years old, until 2012. Vega said the abuse occurred during competitions and at the Karolyi ranch. Congress passed a bill in January that makes members of amateur sports organizations, including those that run Olympic sports, mandatory reporters of sexual abuse. It also requires the organizations to implement standard protections for athletes. ___ Associated Press reporters Ed White and Corey Williams in Detroit, Terry Wallace in Dallas and researcher Monika Mathur in New York contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 30th, 2018

Turkey charges father of NBA’s Kanter as terror group member

ISTANBUL (AP) — A Turkish court has accepted an indictment charging the father of NBA player Enes Kanter with “membership in a terror group,” the country’s official news agency reported Monday (Tuesday, PHL time). The indictment followed an investigation of Mehmet Kanter, and prosecutors planned to seek his conviction and a prison term of five to 10 years at trial, Anadolu Agency said. It’s unclear when the trial in western Tekirdag province would begin. Enes Kanter, who plays for the New York Knicks, is a follower of a U.S.-based Turkish cleric who the government accuses of masterminding a failed military coup in 2016. Cleric Fethullah Gulen has denied the allegation, but tens of thousands of people suspected of ties to his network have been arrested or fired. The elder Kanter, a professor, was purged from public service after the coup attempt and detained for five days last summer. Anadolu said the indictment alleges he contacted some 120 suspects with alleged links to Gulen, including dozens who were said to have communicated through an encrypted messaging application. Enes Kanter, a former Oklahoma City Thunder center, has been a vocal critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. His Turkish passport was canceled last year. Prosecutors charged him in December with insulting the president in a series of tweets. They want to try him in absentia and have him sentenced to more than four years in prison, if he is convicted. I will continue to keep fighting for Human Rights and Freedom of Speech Justice and Democracy above all.I will stand for what I believe in.All I’m doing is trying to be voice of innocent people Keep my family,innocent people in your prayers 🙏#DictatorErdogan 🇹🇷@RT_Erdogan pic.twitter.com/i7kK3mwKND — Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) June 18, 2018 “Keep my family, innocent people in your prayers,” the basketball player tweeted Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) with the hashtag “DictatorErdogan.” His Twitter account is withheld in Turkey. Under a state of emergency declared in the aftermath of the coup, Turkey has arrested more than 50,000 and sacked some 110,000 people alleged to have infiltrated state institutions for Gulen. The government said the crackdown was needed to fight alleged acts of terror......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 19th, 2018

Reports: Cristiano Ronaldo strikes deal on tax fraud case

    MADRID --- Spanish media reports that Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo has agreed to plead guilty to tax fraud and pay a fine of 18.8 million euros ($21.8 milllion) in exchange for a prison sentence that would most likely be suspended. Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported Friday that Ronaldo is ready to admit to four counts of tax fraud that would carry a prison sentence of two years. Prison sentences not over two years in Spain are often suspended for first-time offenders. The deal has yet to be ratified by Spain's Tax Office, according to different Spanish media including Europa Press news agency. Neither Spain's Tax Office, its Ministry of Justice nor p...Keep on reading: Reports: Cristiano Ronaldo strikes deal on tax fraud case.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 16th, 2018

Palace: Phl not taking soft stance on China

The Palace denied it is going soft on China amid reports of a resumption of build-up over disputed portions of the South China Sea (SCS) that foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have criticized. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Philippines shares Asean leaders’ concern regarding China’s aggressive actions on what is said to be the world’s busiest waterways.The recently concluded Asean foreign and defense ministers in Singapore issued a statement that did not name China but said that “land reclamations and activities in the area . . . have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region.” The Asean ministers resolved to expedite the code of conduct (CoC) on how to negotiate with China regarding overlapping maritime claims.“Asean’s concern on the Chinese build-up is right because Asean, as a regional bloc, wants to adhere to discussions pertaining to the code of conduct,” Roque said.“We cannot be not joining the call because the Philippines is one of those concerned in this campaign,” he added.Roque also disputed views that Manila is not among those insistent in pressing Beijing to speed up the CoC drafting. “We are not being too soft (on China) but we have an established policy on that. Number one, of course, is we are one with Asean in recognizing that this is a concern for all Asean countries. Particularly that of the freedom of navigation in the West Philippine Sea,” Roque said.“Our common concern is peace security and stability in one of the world’s busiest sea lanes,” he added.During Manila’s hosting of the Asean last year, President Duterte did not cite the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling that nullified Beijing’s sweeping claim over nearly the entire South China Sea.It was the Philippine government that contested China’s nine-dash-line claim before the Hague court. China, however, refuses to recognize it.Apart from the Philippines, other Asean countries also have overlapping claims at the South China Sea including Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.Reclamation to continueChina in its known mouthpiece Global Times said Beijing is concentrating on civil and not military construction on islands in the South China Sea but insisted that the Chinese “will expand land reclamation.”“Most of the construction on islands in the South China Sea were completed in 2015 and the pace then slowed. Civilian facility construction is the major focus of the South China Sea islands building and the portion of defense deployment is relatively small,” Global Times quoted Chen Xiangmiao, a research fellow at the National Institute for the South China Sea.The size of some South China Sea islands will be further expanded in future through more dredging in the South China Sea region, Chen said.The relationship between China and other Southeast Asian countries, such as the Philippines, has becalmed in recent years, providing a golden opportunity for China to upgrade these areas, he said.China and the Philippines are enjoying good terms as President Rodrigo Duterte maintains a friendly policy toward China, Chen said. “But there is still some domestic pressure that urges Duterte to take a tough stance on China and the South China Sea issue,” Chen said.Foreign media like to hype China’s construction in the South China Sea as they try to make excuses to prevent China’s activities in this region, Zhuang Guotu, head of Xiamen University’s Southeast Asian Studies Center, told the Global Times.“China has the right to build whatever it needs within its territory,” Zhuang said.China’s military deployment in the South China Sea region was “not for military expansion,” but to defend its security and interests, he said.Zhuang and Chen warned the US is the biggest threat to stability in the South China Sea.“The US, Australia, Japan and other allies will constantly provoke China over this issue and that will incite other neighboring South China Sea countries to do the same,” Zhuang said.China’s construction projects in the region covered about 290,000 square meters in 2017, including new facilities for underground storage, administrative buildings and large radar, according to a report released in December on the nanhai.haiwainet.cn website run by the National Marine Data and Information Service and People’s Daily Overseas edition. No foreign vessels at BenhamThe Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has not monitored any foreign vessels at the Philippine Rise, formerly known as Benham Rise, during its latest patrol in the area. Lt. Col. Isagani Nato, AFP-Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) spokesman, said that based on the latest patrol conducted by Nolcom troops, there was no presence of foreign ships at Philippine Rise.“As of now, we don’t have a report that there is presence (of foreign vessels) in Benham Rise,” said Nato.Earlier, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol announced that President Duterte has banned foreign ships at the Philippine Rise and ordered the military to patrol the area.The announcement came following an uproar from government critics after the Duterte administration allowed the Chinese to conduct scientific research at the Philippine Rise.Nato, however, said that Nolcom is yet to receive official order regarding the matter.But Nato maintained that with or without the latest directive, Nolcom has regularly conducted air and maritime patrols along Philippine Rise.Apart from Nolcom, the Air Force and the Philippine Navy, Nato said that the Philippine Coast Guard, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Philippine National Police-Maritime Group (PNP-MG) also conduct their own patrol in the area.He said the Nolcom uses air and naval assets of the Navy and the Air Force units under its jurisdiction.“We conduct our patrols regularly. It is a mandate of Nolcom forces so that is continuous with or without the directive from higher ups,” said Nato.According to Nato, Nolcom conducts three to four maritime and air patrol at Philippine Rise per month as part of the government efforts to secure the country’s maritime domain.ML ruling lauded, hitThe Supreme Court’s (SC) decision to uphold Mr. Duterte’s year-long martial law extension in Mindanao also drew mixed reactions.The High Court on Tuesday voted 10-5 junking militant groups’ petition and finding “sufficient factual basis” to extend martial law and suspend the privilege of wirt of habeas corpus in Mindanao until December 31, 2018.Roque welcomed the ruling saying that it affirms the need to continue protecting citizens from the threat of terrorist groups, primarily Islamic State (IS)-inspired fanatics.But for Left-leaning groups who petitioned the SC to lift martial law, the court decision opens up more crackdowns and human rights violations.The Palace official has insisted that human rights will be respected amid security operations.“The SC ruling underscores the unity of the whole government in its bid to defeat terrorism and prevent the spread in other parts of the country of DIWW and other like-minded local and foreign terrorist groups,” Roque said.“The majority of votes is a manifestation of confidence on law enforcement agencies that they shall, like they had been doing before, continue to protect our people, secure Mindanao, and pursue the bigger task of rehabilitation while upholding the rule of law, Human Rights, and International Humanitarian Law,” he added.Human rights watchdog Karapatan sees the contrary in the government’s motives, saying that the year-long military rule will boost attacks on the people.The continuous implementation of martial law in Mindanao will allow the unhampered massive rehabilitation in war-torn Marawi City and boost the security forces campaign to finish off the rebellion, the Department of National Defense (DND) said. In a statement, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the Supreme Court’s decision affirming the constitutionality of the one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao will definitely boost government efforts to rebuild Marawi City and address continuing rebellion.The defense chief welcomed the SC decision as a vote of confidence to the government security forces.“The DND – AFP is grateful for the trust and confidence of our public institutions and the support of the Filipino people,” said Lorenzana. Mario J. Mallari.....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

$500M settlement in Nassar case won t be shared equally

By Ed White and David Eggert, Associated Press DETROIT (AP) — The $500 million settlement between Michigan State University and hundreds of Larry Nassar's victims will be divided up after weighing many factors, including the date and victim's age when the sexual assaults occurred and the impact it had on their lives, lawyers say. The school, where the sports doctor worked for nearly 20 years, announced Wednesday that it would set aside $425 million for 332 women and girls who say Nassar abused them and another $75 million to cover future claims. But it won't have a role in determining how much each victim will receive. That will likely fall to one or two former judges or experienced mediators who will be selected by lawyers to oversee the process, said John Manly, who represents roughly 200 victims in the worst sexual abuse case in sports history. "This can be wrapped up in four or five months," he predicted. Simple math says $425 million divided by 332 people would be $1.28 million each. But it's not "share and share alike," said attorney David Mittleman, whose Lansing-area firm represents 111 victims. Indeed, claims must be evaluated in many ways. Manly said some people could receive "substantially" more than $1.28 million while others get much less. Attorneys will also get a share of any award under agreements they have with clients. "The age of the abuse, the duration of the abuse," Manly said, listing the likely factors. "Treatment in the future and the past. Have you lost earnings? Are there things about a particular case that are aggravating or mitigating." Mittleman said the dates of the assaults will be important. Older abuse probably will be worth less because without the settlement, Michigan State could have been shielded by a statute of limitations. New York attorney Michael Barasch is not involved in the Nassar case but has represented hundreds of victims sexually abused by New York priests. He said a pool of money is "definitely the way to go." "You've got to have a sensible, systematic and transparent solution," Barasch said. "Who better than a fair mediator accepted by everybody? ... Some of these people are going to be disappointed — guaranteed. But I can tell you from my church abuse cases, the vast majority are so appreciative of having finality." Michigan State was accused of ignoring or dismissing complaints about Nassar, some as far back as the 1990s. The school had insisted that no one covered up assaults, although Nassar's boss was later charged with failing to properly supervise him and committing his own sexual misconduct. In a statement Thursday, his first since the settlement, Michigan State President John Engler apologized, calling Nassar an "evil doctor" whose assaults "shocked our campus and the nation." The former Michigan governor was hired as interim leader after Lou Anna Simon's sudden resignation in January. Michigan State hasn't disclosed how it will pay for the settlement besides leaning on insurance companies. Engler told reporters in Lansing on Thursday that he doesn't plan to ask state lawmakers for money. Dianne Byrum, a member of the school's governing board, said Michigan State likely would borrow money, tap savings, delay big projects and consider budget cuts. She said a tuition increase tied specifically to the Nassar case is unlikely. Nassar, 54, will be locked up for the rest of his life under three decades-long sentences for molesting athletes with his hands and possessing child pornography. He's at a federal prison in Arizona. In addition to working at Michigan State, Nassar worked with Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics, which trains U.S. Olympians. His assaults were mostly committed in Michigan at his Lansing-area home, campus clinic and area gyms, but his accusers also said he molested them at a gymnastics-training ranch in Texas and at national and international competitions. The settlement applies only to Michigan State. Lawsuits are still pending against USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and an elite gymnastics club in the Lansing-area. The deal surpasses the $100 million-plus paid by Penn State University to settle claims by at least 35 people who accused assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky of sexual abuse, though the Nassar agreement covers far more victims. ___ Eggert reported from Lansing......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 18th, 2018

This Week in NBA History: Cavs blow it up at the 2008 deadline

Prior to the 2018 NBA trade deadline, the Cleveland Cavaliers decided they were in need of a big-time shakeup. We all know now what happened back on February 9 (PHL time). In three trades, GM Koby Altman sent out Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose, and Dwyane Wade, getting back in exchange Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., Rodney Hood, and George Hill (they also sent out their 2018 first round pick, a 2020 second-round pick via Miami, cash, and the draft rights to Dimitrios Agravanis). Initial reactions have been positive. The Cavaliers definitely were not going back to the Finals with the roster they had coming into the season. They were too old, didn't have enough shooting, and had severe chemistry problems. Not only did The Land upgrade at several positions of need, they got younger, and they didn't have to shed their coveted 2018 unprotected Brooklyn Nets first rounder. Obviously, they'll need to work on their chemistry now, and when Kevin Love returns to the lineup, but you can't help but feel their chances of making it to four straight Finals increased as a result of all their wheeling and dealing. Ten years ago, the Cavaliers found themselves in a similar situation. On February 21, 2008 (back when the trade deadline came after All-Star Weekend), the Cavaliers, the Chicago Bulls, and the Seattle Supersonics, agreed to a three-team trade that shook up their squads. Cleveland sent out Donyell Marshall and Ira Newble to the Supersonics, and shipped Shannon Brown, Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, and Cedric Simmons to the Bulls. In exchange, Team LBJ welcomed Joe Smith, Ben Wallace, Wally Szczerbiak, and Delonte West (plus a 2009 second-round pick that later turned out to be...Danny Green!). Cavaliers press release The day before that trade deadline, the Cavaliers were 30-24, in fifth place in the East, and a whopping 12 games behind the newly-formed Big Three of the Boston Celtics (though they did beat them that same month, 114-113 on Feb. 5). The season prior, LeBron James and company made it to the NBA Finals, only to get swept by the San Antonio Spurs. Now, with Boston dominating, team management obviously felt they needed a little extra push if they were to make it back. Prior to the trade, Cleveland was running out a first-five of James, Hughes, Newble, Gooden, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Boobie Gibson, Damon Jones, and Marshall provided shooting off the bench, while Dwayne Jones and Anderson Varejao were extra muscle. Post-trade, the hope was that Wallace and Smith would boost their interior defense, while sprinkling in some much-needed veteran know-how. Delonte West was seen as a more dynamic, versatile running-mate to James, and Szczerbiak could further bolster their long-range shooting. Cleveland won their first game with the new additions (they edged the Washington Wizards in the game they played before the new additions had finished their physicals), thumping the Memphis Grizzlies 109-89. They dropped their next two though, versus the Milwaukee Bucks, and those aforementioned Celtics, before winding up with a 45-37 record, good for #4 in the East (though they went just 14-13 in the aftermath of the trade). In the Playoffs, Cleveland needed six games to hurdle the Wizards in round one, before running smack into the team they made the moves to counter: the Celtics. The two squads went back-and-forth, each winning on their respective courts, but with Game 7 at the TD Garden, it was the Celtics who emerged triumphant, via a 97-92 result. And we know of course that Boston then went on to win the 2008 NBA Championship. But back to 2018. After a spirited pair of wins prior to All-Star Weekend, Cleveland has now gone 1-2 after the breaking, losing to the John Wall-less Wizards and the San Antonio Spurs. There's still 23 games left to play though, and a lot can still happen, including, as previously mentioned, working Kevin Love back in. Suffice to say, things are always interesting in in Cleveland when LeBron James is involved. With a special talent like he is, general managers really do have to ensure they're creating a roster that can put him in the best position to go deep into the postseason. That's what happened in 2008, and that's what happened again this year. Now the question is, how far will they go? The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or ABS-CBN Sports......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 26th, 2018

Russian hackers who stole 160 million credit card numbers sentenced

NEW YORK, USA – A US judge sentenced a pair of Russians who led a massive hacking and data breach scheme to lengthy criminal sentences, the US Department of Justice announced Thursday. Vladimir Drinkman, 37, was sentenced to 12 years in prison, while Dmitriy Smilianets, was sentenced to over four ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2018

SABAH IS OURS! ‘Malaysia tightens grip on mineral-rich island of Sulu sultanate’

MALAYSIA HAS tightened its grip on Sabah which is being claimed by the Sultanate of Sulu following a proposal – by a member of the Philippines’ 25-man consultative committee tasked with reviewing and proposing amendments to the Constitution – to include the mineral-rich island as the country’s 13th federal state. Former senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr made the proposal while Filipino lawmakers are preparing to amend the 1987 Constitution and shift from presidential to federal form of government. He said the Duterte administration should continue to push for the country’s claim to Sabah in a way acceptable to international laws. “There should be a way that is acceptable under international laws to assert our claim to Sabah. I think we can defer it a little bit more, but to say that we stop doing it is not in the context of my proposal,” he told ABS-CBN Television recently. He also wanted Scarborough and Spratlys – which is being claimed by China and other ASEAN countries as theirs – to be part of the federated states of the Philippines.  Pimentel has also proposed the following to form part of the federal states Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Western Visayas, Minparom, Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, Bangsamoro and Metro Manila as its capital. “Eventually once we have asserted our sovereignty and rights over Sabah, we should include Sabah. Not only Sabah, but also Scarborough, Benham Rise, and Spratlys,” Pimentel said. According to a report by Channel News Asia, Kuala Lumpur has strongly rejected Pimentel’s proposal to include Sabah as a federal state of the Philippines. “Malaysia is aware of remarks made by Mr Aquilino Pimentel Jr, a member of the Philippines’ Consultative Committee, which appeared in the media on the claim on Sabah recently,” it said, citing Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman as saying in a press statement. “The Government of Malaysia reiterates its position that Malaysia does not recognise and will not entertain any claims by any party on Sabah. Sabah is recognised by the United Nations and the international community as part of Malaysia since the formation of the Federation on 16 September 1963,” Anifah said. “Therefore, statements such as these will only expose the ignorance of history and international law of those who make them, as well as potentially harming the excellent bilateral relations which Malaysia and the Philippines currently enjoy.” Death Sentence Just last month, Malaysia’s Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for 9 Filipinos who were charged with waging war against the Malaysian King during the 2013 assault on Lahad Datu in Sabah. The Filipinos have been identified as Julham Rashid, 70; Virgilio Nemar Patulada, 53; Salib Akhmad Emali, 65; Tani Lahad Dahi, 64; Basad Manuel, 42; Datu Amirbahar Hushin Kiram, 54; Atik Hussin Abu Bakar, 46; Al Wazir Osman, 62; and Ismail Yasin, 77. Chief Justice Md Raus Sharif said the January 15 decision of the five-man panel of the Federal Court was unanimous, according to reports by The Star and Asia News Network, adding, the panel agreed with the Court of Appeal that the death sentence was the most appropriate based on the findings of the facts of the case. The other judges were Chief Judge of Malaya Ahmad Maarop, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Richard Malanjun, and Justices Ramly Ali and Azahar Mohamed. Basad Manuel is the son of the Jamalul Kiram III, the self-proclaimed Sultan of Sulu, who died from multiple organ failure in Manila in 2013. The bloody incursion by some 200 followers of Kiram from the southern Philippines in February 2013 was inspired by the supposed sultan’s claims of historical dominion over Sabah. The two-month siege was the most serious security crisis faced by Malaysia in years, involving armed conflict between the Sultan’s loyal followers and the Malaysian armed forces sent to root them out. The panel also dismissed the prosecution’s appeal against the acquittal of 14 men on the charge of waging war against the King and terrorist-related offences linked to the intrusion from Feb 12 to April 10, 2013, the reports further said. Chief Justice Md Raus said the panel has no reason to decide otherwise and affirmed the decision by the Court of Appeal delivered last June. At the height of fighting between Kiram’s followers and security forces, Malaysia deployed armoured vehicles and combat helicopters, including naval boats in an effort to flush out the Filipinos on the oil-rich island being claimed by both sides. About a dozen armoured personnel vehicles arrived in the town of Lahad Datu to support ground troops hunting down at least 50 members of the Sultanate of Sulu headed by Raja Muda Agbimuddin, the sultan’s younger brother. The group intruded Sabah in February 2013 to exert claim over Sabah, citing historical and legal claims, but Malaysia rejected this and launched a massive assault on about 200 of the sultan’s men following a deadline for them to surrender peacefully. The assault by Malaysian jets and ground artilleries left at least 62 intruders dead, but the fighting between the two groups also killed and wounded 18 Malaysian policemen and soldiers. Malaysia arrested more than 300 Filipinos who are suspected of supporting or aiding Raja Muda Agbimuddin’s group under a strict anti-terrorism law. More than 2,000 Filipino Muslims have returned to Sulu and Tawi-Tawi provinces after fleeing Sabah in 2013 for fear they would be arrested in a massive crackdown launched by Malaysian on illegal immigrants and […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsFeb 3rd, 2018

‘Freedom and Crime’ by Jun Ledesma

Letters From Davao:  AM NOT SURPRISED when some quarters are exploiting to the hilt the order of the Securities and Exchange Commission to shut down the operations of Rappler.The bannered story warns of the muzzling of the press. Rappler itself, quoting Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, wrote that if Duterte wants to close the media establishment they could have just sent the military. Of course it is the usual Rappler’s furtive way of saying it which is very characteristic of this media outfit.  But this is not about press freedom. It is about media ownership which, under Philippine laws, should be 100% owned by Filipinos. For years since the inception of Rappler, the impression was that it is fully owned by Pinoys. There are Filipinos  with extra money to spare who invested money in Rappler in the hope that they can support an independent media outfit. As every body knew, the big media establishments are tools used by the wealthy and famous to protect their interest from political predators but they end up using the muscle of the press to either promote or destroy politicians and their adversaries.  Not until SEC ordered the closure of Rappler that it came out in the open that  the notorious ON OMIDYAR had wormed its way in and into the heart and brain of Rappler. The characters behind these outfits are shrewd but not wise enough their own disclosures in their PDRs gave them away. The Philippine Deposit Receipts which Rappler through its holding company issued explicitly granted ON OMIDYAR to have a say in the operations and business of Rappler.  Ma. Ressa’s attention was called by SEC on this critical item but it appears that she was not paying attention or might have thought she can deal with the problem anyway.  Looks like she sat on the problem that even the  members of the 5-man Commission who, except for one,  are all appointees of ex-Pres. Noynoy Aquino have reach a point of decision.  As the story unravels, again it showed that there was an attempt to correct the provisions in the PDRs by submitting ON OMIDYAR’s waiver on its right to intrude into the conduct of business of Rappler. Again Rappler showed its cavalier attitude, it submitted the waiver document which was not even notarized.  Obviously even the Aquino-controlled SEC cannot take the lackadaisical attention of Ma. Ressa. It revoked the SEC registration of Rappler.  Even as it had been axed, Ressa and Pia Ranada fought back, the later calling Pres. Rodrigo Duterte names as if they reign supreme and they alone know what freedom of the press means. To add to her dramatics Pia intoned  that she is prepared to go to prison for exercising her rights of free expression. She forgot that It was Duterte who, early in his presidency signed an EO on Freedom of Information.  Ressa and Ranada wailed their press freedom had been curtailed. But such is not the case. Every word that they say saw print and broadcasted in nearly 2,000 media outlets in the Philippines and not counting the social media. The revocation of Rappler’s permit is not about freedom of the press but its violation of the constitution which succinctly underlines that media establishment must be 100% Filipino owned.   In hindsight the Duterte government was even too kind to Rappler even as it was the leading media organization that demonize Duterte in every turn. I had seriously doubted its overtures that brag it stands for truth and fairness. During the senate hearing on extra-judicial killing allegedly carried out by the Davao Death Squad which Sen. Leila De Lima and Sen. Antonio Trillanes claimed was organized by Duterte, Rappler simply swallowed what witnesses Matobato and Lascanas said.  In 2009 when as CHR Chair De Lima conducted a probe on EJK the number of victims she alleged then was less than 300. The probe lasted for months with nary a piece of evidence was found to indict Mayor Duterte. She pursued her quest to pin Digong when she became Justice Secretary but again she failed. When she became senator she became even more aggressive she placed a bungling Matobato in the witness stand. But Matobato was flawless in his delivery when he was interviewed by Time Magazine. It was unmistakable he was reading from an idiot’s card. He proudly state that as member of DDS he killed and buried more than 200 persons in an abandoned quarry. Yet he cannot find the grave of his victims.     When it was the turn of Lascanas to testify in the senate inquiry, he casually said that they buried more than 2,000 EJK victims in the same quarry.  Between the two perjured witness they  confessed to the  killing of over 2,200 victims of EJK which they buried, they said, in the abandoned quarry. It is simply a classic fantasy. A manslaughter of such magnitude cannot escape notice especially when that narrow piece of land is just about four kilometers from city hall and so adjacent to a number of housing subdivisions. Nevertheless, if they were so sure then why cannot they find a single piece of viable evidence.   In all these occasions Rappler gave the hearings liberal space and took the testimonies of the witnesses as the biblical truths. Both Rappler and Time Magazine adopted exactly the same flawed statistics which in their recent count had reached 13,000 EJK victims. I am based in Davao and frankly I am amazed […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsJan 27th, 2018