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Duterte happily dancing to his master s tune in West Philippine Sea – groups

MANILA, Philippines – Several groups hit the Duterte administration’s inaction in the West Philippine Sea on the second anniversary of the Hague ruling on Thursday, July 12.  Church leaders, civil rights groups, and citizens gathered in front of the Chinese Embassy in Makati to ........»»

Category: newsSource: rappler rapplerJul 12th, 2018

Militant groups march to Chinese Embassy on Independence Day

In commemoration of the 120th Independence Day, militant groups on Tuesday marched to the Chinese Embassy in Taguig City to protest the Duterte administration’s supposed inaction on Chinese incursions in the West Philippine Sea. Source link link: Militant groups march to Chinese Embassy on Independence Day.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJun 12th, 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

ISIS militants, hostages escape Marawi mosque

MARAWI CITY – Dozens of local ISIS militants and their hostages managed to escape undetected from a mosque they used to attack security forces in the besieged city of Marawi.  The daring escape was only discovered after troops managed to advance and eventually recaptured the mosque from militants on Thursday hours before President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Marawi. The military trumpeted the “liberation” of the mosque, but it did not say how ISIS fighters and their captives managed to escape from thousands of troops who surrounded Marawi, and spy planes and drones monitoring the siege since May 23.  The fate of the hostages, including a Catholic priest and church workers, remains unknown.  Duterte, wearing a Kevlar helmet and a bullet-proof vest, inspected troops in the battlefront and spoke to them. “The President also congratulated the troops for defending Marawi from terror elements and for successfully retaking the Islamic Center yesterday, a structure that was maintained as the Daesh-inspired terrorist group's command and control for the longest time before it was retaken,” said Army Captain Jo-ann Petinglay, a spokeswoman for the Western Mindanao Command.  It was his 3rd visit to Marawi since the fighting began when militants occupied the city in an effort to put up an Islamic province in the restive region. Security officials also briefed Duterte on the progress of the military operations against the militants.  In his talk with the soldiers, Duterte assured his full support to the military and police forces fighting ISIS. “I would like to reiterate this, I will never abandon you as long as you are doing the right thing. This would include fighting against the terrorists groups, the drug lords or the common criminals as long as you are doing your sworn duty to enforce the law and protect the republic. Let me emphasize however that you must do your job in accordance with the law,” he said.  Duterte was accompanied by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Defense Undersecretary Cesar Yano, Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Eduardo Ano and Army Chief Lieutenant General Glorioso Miranda.  Oust Duterte  His visit to the battlefield came days after disgruntled soldiers and policemen who are members of a shadowy group called Patriotic and Democratic Movement or PADEM called for the ouster of Duterte. They accused Duterte of treating the military and police as his private armies and for betraying and violating public trust and cited 10 reasons to call for his ouster. The group also urged Filipinos to join PADEM in condemning and fighting Duterte and his administration and to stage mass actions and demand the President’s ouster. In a manifesto, Antonio Bonifacio, who claimed to be PADEM’s spokesman, called on members of the military and police to also join the people in demanding Duterte’s resignation and also his administration. It said the group is working for the withdrawal military and police support for Duterte.  “We urge all Filipinos as individuals and as groups in whatever social sector, field, institution or organization to exercise their right of assembly and expression to undertake mass actions demanding the ouster of Duterte and his administration. We call on our fellow officers and members of the AFP and the PNP to join the people in demanding the resignation or ouster of Duterte and his administration.” “We pledge to work for the withdrawal of military and police support for Duterte and his administration in conjunction with mass mobilization of the Filipino people in millions to manifest their demand for the resignation or ouster of Duterte and his administration. Upon the change of administration, we pledge to follow the principle of civilian supremacy and support a new civilian administration, in accordance with the 1987 Constitution and the rule of law,” the manifesto, released by Bonifacio – believed to be a nom de guerre – said. PADEM also condemned and holds accountable for gross crimes in betrayal of public trust and in violation of national sovereignty and democratic rights of the Filipino people. It cited the following reasons as alleged crimes of Duterte:   Treating the AFP and the PNP as these were his private armies and practising favoritism and violating professional and service standards in the promotion and assignment of officers; Corrupting the PNP and the AFP with a system of monetary awards for the extrajudicial killing of alleged illegal drug users and of NPA suspects; Condoning and protecting top-level illegal drug lords; Emboldening/inciting police officers to engage in extrajudicial killings of poor suspected illegal drug users and pushers by publicly telling officers to plant evidence and by guaranteeing their pardon and promotion in case of conviction; Aggravating corruption in government and criminality through the collusion of Duterte trustees and crime syndicates; Allowing China to occupy maritime features in the West Philippine Sea and to violate Philippine sovereign rights upheld by decision of the Arbitral Tribunal in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea; Bungling the operations in Marawi City and indiscriminately destroying lives and property through aerial bombings, artillery and mortar; Favoring certain Chinese businessmen and Duterte relatives and cronies in the award of projected infrastructure projects using loans from China; Betraying the sovereign rights of the Filipino people by making the Philippines a debt vassal of China and offering to China the oil and gas resources under the West Philippine Sea as collateral for Chinese loans; and Seeking to replace the partnership with the United States in matters [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsAug 25th, 2017

Shadowy group calls for Duterte’s ouster

MANILA – A shadowy group called Patriotic and Democratic Movement or PADEM, composed of disgruntled military and police officers and members, has called for the ouster of President Rodrigo Duterte and cited 10 reasons for its action. It accused Duterte of treating the military and police as his private armies and for betraying and violating public trust. It also urged Filipinos to join PADEM in condemning and fighting Duterte and his administration and to stage mass actions and demand the President’s ouster. In a manifesto, Antonio Bonifacio, who claimed to be PADEM’s spokesman, called on members of the military and police to also join the people in demanding Duterte’s resignation and also his administration. It said the group is working for the withdrawal military and police support for Duterte.  “We urge all Filipinos as individuals and as groups in whatever social sector, field, institution or organization to exercise their right of assembly and expression to undertake mass actions demanding the ouster of Duterte and his administration. We call on our fellow officers and members of the AFP and the PNP to join the people in demanding the resignation or ouster of Duterte and his administration.” “We pledge to work for the withdrawal of military and police support for Duterte and his administration in conjunction with mass mobilization of the Filipino people in millions to manifest their demand for the resignation or ouster of Duterte and his administration. Upon the change of administration, we pledge to follow the principle of civilian supremacy and support a new civilian administration, in accordance with the 1987 Constitution and the rule of law,” the manifesto, released by Bonifacio &'' believed to be a nom de guerre – said. PADEM also condemned and holds accountable for gross crimes in betrayal of public trust and in violation of national sovereignty and democratic rights of the Filipino people. It cited the following reasons as alleged crimes of Duterte:   Treating the AFP and the PNP as these were his private armies and practising favoritism and violating professional and service standards in the promotion and assignment of officers; Corrupting the PNP and the AFP with a system of monetary awards for the extrajudicial killing of alleged illegal drug users and of NPA suspects; Condoning and protecting top-level illegal drug lords; Emboldening/inciting police officers to engage in extrajudicial killings of poor suspected illegal drug users and pushers by publicly telling officers to plant evidence and by guaranteeing their pardon and promotion in case of conviction; Aggravating corruption in government and criminality through the collusion of Duterte trustees and crime syndicates; Allowing China to occupy maritime features in the West Philippine Sea and to violate Philippine sovereign rights upheld by decision of the Arbitral Tribunal in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea; Bungling the operations in Marawi City and indiscriminately destroying lives and property through aerial bombings, artillery and mortar; Favoring certain Chinese businessmen and Duterte relatives and cronies in the award of projected infrastructure projects using loans from China; Betraying the sovereign rights of the Filipino people by making the Philippines a debt vassal of China and offering to China the oil and gas resources under the West Philippine Sea as collateral for Chinese loans; and Seeking to replace the partnership with the United States in matters of national security with an even more lopsided relationship with China and Russia.  Television network GMA reported that the military has reiterated its support for the administration of Duterte and strongly denied PADEM’s allegations. Military spokesman Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said the entire Armed Forces of the Philippines, along with all the men and women of the uniformed services and all their civilian personnel, stand by the government and support Duterte, their commander-in-chief. Padilla said the accusations and issues cited by the group are unfounded and uncalled for. “Such issues are clearly politically motivated and a matter that the AFP does not and will not subscribe to,” GMA quoted him as saying, adding, they are the constitutionally mandated protectors of the people and will stand by law-abiding citizens whenever and wherever they are needed. “Having affirmed this, the AFP, however, will not hesitate in acting against forces who shall undermine the stability and security of our country and those who wish to destabilize our nation thru unconstitutional means,” he said. Communist rebels had previously said that the Central Intelligence Agency is plotting to oust Duterte alongside the plan to assassinate Jose Maria Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines. Sison, in a statement he issued in May, said those who continue to support him assert that performance in a year is not enough basis for a final judgment and that there is more than enough time ahead for him to accomplish promises that have most impressed them, such as the eradication of the drug problem, criminality, and corruption. He said Duterte has, in fact, pleaded that he needs three or four more years to bring about the significant changes that he previously thought would be done in six months’ time. His promised campaign against the pork barrel and other forms of corruption of the Aquino regime has not yet materialized. “Where he has been most successful at, projecting himself as a strong leader by calling on the police and the public to kill drug addict-pushers, he has attracted the most severe and sustained condemnation by institutions, the [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsAug 23rd, 2017

Duterte: Not yet time to raise West Philippine Sea issue with China

It’s not yet time to discuss the country’s maritime dispute with China, President Duterte said yesterday as he stressed he would rather allow the Asian giant “sufficient period to sort things out” first......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated News10 hr. 12 min. ago

Duterte: Not yet time to raise West Philippine Sea issue with China

It’s not yet time to discuss the country’s maritime dispute with China, President Duterte said yesterday as he stressed he would rather allow the Asian giant “sufficient period to sort things out” first......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated News10 hr. 12 min. ago

Davide questions non-mention of West Philippine Sea in draft Charter

"Why not clearly mention the West Philippine Sea? [Is it] because of the administrative fear of or love for China?" This was the question posed by former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, during the Senate hearing on the proposed Charter change (Cha-cha). Davide pointed out that the West Philippine Sea was not mentioned in the draft federal Constitution produced by President Rodrigo Duterte's Consultative Commission (Con-con) tasked to review the present charter. "It deliberately did not mention the name West Philippine Sea but it specifically mentioned the Philippine Rise. Yet, it specifically mentions by name the Philippine Rise," h...Keep on reading: Davide questions non-mention of West Philippine Sea in draft Charter.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 17th, 2018

Duterte admin ‘not guilty of inaction’ in West PH Sea dispute—Palace

The Duterte administration is "not guilty" of inaction in solving the country's maritime dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea, Malacaang said on Monday.   Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement after a survey showed 81 percent of Filipinos rejected the government's inaction on the country's sea row with Beijing.   READ:4 of 5 Filipinos reject gov't inaction on China isle-building   "[H]indi po guilty ang gobyerno ni Presidente Duterte ng inaction, hindi lang po tayo maingay, pero meron po tayong action kaagad kapag ang tingin natin ay may ginagawa ang Tsina na nalalabag ang ating soberenya at mga karapatan ng soberenya," Roq...Keep on reading: Duterte admin ‘not guilty of inaction’ in West PH Sea dispute—Palace.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 16th, 2018

81% of Pinoys reject government inaction on SCS

Four out of five Filipinos reject the Duterte administration’s policy of “doing nothing” about China’s intrusions in the West Philippine Sea, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 16th, 2018

President’s stand on sea row needs review – Carpio

The recent Social Weather Stations poll showing that four of five Filipinos rebuffed the government's approach to the territorial dispute with China proved that President Rodrigo Duterte's policy was contrary to the public's position, acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio said on Sunday. Carpio, who champions the country's sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea --- waters within the Philippines' 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the South China Sea --- said the latest poll also signaled the need for the Duterte administration to rethink its stand on the dispute. "The Filipino people understand the situation that . . . we have to protect our sovereign rights and we ...Keep on reading: President’s stand on sea row needs review – Carpio.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 15th, 2018

4 in 5 Filipinos reject gov t inaction vs China moves – SWS

MANILA, Philippines – Four out of 5 Filipinos said it is wrong for the Duterte administration to do nothing about China's militarization of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey found. In a survey released on Saturday evening, July 14, the SWS said ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 15th, 2018

Hague ruling anniversary, Tulfo audit, Kylie Jenner | Evening wRap

Today on Rappler: Seven out of 10 Filipinos want the Duterte administration to assert the Philippines' rights over the West Philippine Sea. Ben Tulfo's Bitag Media gets 75% of the cut of the total airing cost of tourism segments paid by Department of Tourism to People's Television Network. A tarp that reads 'Welcome ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 12th, 2018

Pulse Asia: 7 in 10 Filipinos want Duterte to assert rights in West Philippine Sea

A significant majority of Filipinos believe that the Duterte administration should assert the country's rights and protect its sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea, according to a Pulse Asia survey released Thursday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 12th, 2018

Hontiveros to DFA: Bare '50-100 Diplomatic Protests' vs. China

July 11, 2018. On the eve of the second-year anniversary of the country’s historic victory before the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague on the West Philippine Sea, Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros filed a resolution calling on the Senate to conduct a “foreign policy audit” to review the Duterte… Source link link: Hontiveros to DFA: Bare "50-100 Diplomatic Protests" vs. China.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJul 12th, 2018

Akbayan solon tells SF seniors federalism poses threat to PH sovereignty

SAN FRANCISCO -- Rep. Barry Gutierrez spoke with Filipino senior citizens, including World War II veterans during a livestreamed forum on the West Philippine Sea, Saturday, July 7,warning that the federalism being pushed by the Duterte administration poses a threat to Philippine sovereignty.   "Federalism could break up the Philippines into smaller states that could be more susceptible to China's influence (on the West Philippine sea territorial conflict)," said the Akbayan Partylist representative to the 16thPhilippine Congress. Gutierrez spoke via livestream video to a large group of Filipinos at a senior residence in downtown San Francisco, at a forum hosted by t...Keep on reading: Akbayan solon tells SF seniors federalism poses threat to PH sovereignty.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 10th, 2018

Philippine troops retake town after 12-hour standoff with Islamists

MANILA — Philippine soldiers backed by armored vehicles have retaken a southern town held for 12 hours by pro-Islamic State militants, the army said on Wednesday, with four rebels killed in urban clashes reminiscent of a five-month siege last year. The clashes followed warnings by President Rodrigo Duterte that remnants of pro-Islamic State militant groups […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsJul 5th, 2018

Next CJ: Duterte to consult IBP, other law groups

President Duterte will consult the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Philippine Constitution Assembly and other lawyers’ groups before choosing the next Supreme Court chief......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 29th, 2018

Palace: Duterte won’t change South China Sea policy

There’s no way President Duterte will change his policy on the West Philippine Sea or apologize for it, his spokesman said yesterday, at the same time blaming the previous Aquino administration for triggering the militarization of Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 25th, 2018

Philippines’ Duterte says no ‘justice’ for families of drugs war casualties

MANILA – Outspoken Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday the families of people killed in his controversial war on drugs will not receive “justice”, rejecting calls from rights groups seeking redress for the thousands of deaths. More than 4,200 suspected drug dealers have been killed by police in Duterte’s anti-narcotics campaign since June 2016, […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsJun 20th, 2018

Duterte wants China out of West Philippine Sea, but no war

President Duterte wants China out of the Philippine-claimed areas in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), but yesterday reiterated he would not declare war over the maritime row as Beijing is not a pushover that can be scared easily......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 18th, 2018