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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

Menardo Guevarra: ‘MOU on oil exploration with China constitutional’

There is no need for the Senate to review the agreement forged by the Duterte administration with China on oil and gas development in the West Philippine Sea, the Department of Justice said yesterday. Source link link: Menardo Guevarra: ‘MOU on oil exploration with China constitutional’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsDec 5th, 2018

Menardo Guevarra: ‘MOU on oil exploration with China constitutional’

There is no need for the Senate to review the agreement forged by the Duterte administration with China on oil and gas development in the West Philippine Sea, the Department of Justice said yesterday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 5th, 2018

PH to honor 25 outstanding overseas Filipinos and groups

The Philippine government will honor 25 distinguished and outstanding overseas Filipinos and foreign-based organizations Malacaang Palace on Dec. 5. The Office of the President has approved the list of honorees submitted by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) as recipients of the 2018 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will lead the award ceremony. The awardees come from 12 countries and territories and went through a four-stage selection process involving multi-sectoral representation. Institutionalized in 1991 through Executive Order No. 498, the Presidential Awards is a biennial search for individu...Keep on reading: PH to honor 25 outstanding overseas Filipinos and groups.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 4th, 2018

Militants hit Duterte for “failed promises”

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 30 November) – Militant groups on Friday marked the 155th birth anniversary of Katipunan founder and Father of the Philippine Revolution Andres Bonifacio with a protest at the Freedom Park here to express dismay over the “failed promises” of President Rodrigo Duterte. Kilusang Mayo Uno-Southern Mindanao spokesperson Carlo Olalo said in an […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsNov 30th, 2018

Alarm over Duterte death squad plan - Kuwait Times | Kuwait Times

MANILA: Rights groups raised fears yesterday after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced plans to create a death squad targeting suspected communist rebels, saying it would worsen the calamit.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsNov 29th, 2018

Alarm after Philippines Duterte death squad plan

MANILA: Rights groups raised fears Wednesday after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (pix) announced plans to create a death squad targeting susp… Source link link: Alarm after Philippines Duterte death squad plan.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsNov 29th, 2018

Alarm after Philippines Duterte death squad plan

MANILA: Rights groups raised fears Wednesday after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (pix) announced plans to create a death squad targeting susp........»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsNov 29th, 2018

Alarm after Philippines Duterte death squad plan

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (C) announced plans for a 'death squad' to target suspected communist rebels, sparking concern among rights groups.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsNov 28th, 2018

More soldiers key to stopping armed groups in Samar – military officer

TACLOBAN, Philippines – The top Philippine Army officer in Eastern Visayas said the additional deployment of troops to the 3 provinces of Samar Island would be key to driving out communist rebels and private armed groups (PAGs). President Rodrigo Duterte had ordered that more soldiers and police be sent  to the provinces of Samar, Negros Oriental, and Negros ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 25th, 2018

Can the Philippines Really Trust the People’s Republic of China?

During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to the Philippines, total of 29 agreements signed between Xi and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Everything from “trade and investment, banking and finance, infrastructure, agriculture, education, culture and people-to-people exchanges,” all the way to a “memorandum of understanding (MOU) on cooperation on oil and gas development in the West Philippine Sea” as reported by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) ........»»

Category: newsSource:  philnewsRelated NewsNov 25th, 2018

Lacson: Don’t rush to conclude on PH-China deals

The public should wait for the official release of the official documents on the 29 agreements recently signed by the Philippines and China before making conclusions. This was the statement of Senator Panfilo Lacson on Sunday following public comments that President Rodrigo Duterte has already sold the West Philippine Sea to China. The senator insisted that it is too "premature" and "cynical" to make assumptions regarding the issue because the documents have not been released to the public. "Hindi pa natin nakikita 'yung nilalaman, may conclusion na agad tayo na dehado ang Pilipinas, nadaya, pinamigay. Anong basehan? Basahin muna natin kung ano 'yung pinirmahan ng mga department...Keep on reading: Lacson: Don’t rush to conclude on PH-China deals.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 25th, 2018

Defense chief: US helped PH renew friendship with China

From the start, President Rodrigo Duterte wanted a "soft" handling of the West Philippine Sea dispute with China, and this paid off with the "newly found friendship" between the two countries, highlighted by the state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.   But there is a twist. Manila and Beijing may have to thank Washington for their warming ties.   In a speech on Friday, Lorenzana said former US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter had called him about a possible "favorable" outcome of the Philippine case against China in the Permanent Court of Arbitration about a week before the tribunal in The Hague issued its July 1...Keep on reading: Defense chief: US helped PH renew friendship with China.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2018

Militants hit Duterte’s subservience to China as 29 ‘lopsided’ agreements signed

The militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) here denounced President Rodrigo Duterte for shamelessly bowing down to China as Prime Minister Xi Jinping visits the country to sign agreement on infrastructure including the joint oil and gas exploration between the Philippines and China in the disputed West Philippine Sea......»»

Category: newsSource:  davaotodayRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2018

DU30, Locsin: Blame Obama

President Rodrigo Duterte and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. both held former President Barack Obama responsible for the heightened friction among countries with conflicting claims over the West Philippine Sea. Mr. Duterte in a speech during the inauguration of the Cavite Gateway Terminal in Tanza, Cavite said US President Donald Trump is now “cleaning […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2018

Locsin: Forces in gov t pushed for PH-China oil deal | Evening wRap

Today on Rappler: Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddyboy Locsin says 'forces' in the Philippine government , not President Rodrigo Duterte, pushed for an oil and gas deal with China in the West Philippine Sea. US President Donald Trump thanks Saudi Arabia for lower oil prices. The outgoing head of Facebook's communications team takes responsibility for the controversial hiring ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 22nd, 2018

House Makabayan bloc demands full transparency on PH-China deal

      The Duterte administration has the obligation to fully disclose the government's agreements with China for a joint oil and gas exploration in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), progressive lawmakers from the House Makabayan bloc asserted Thursday. ACTS Teachers Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro, Gabriela Rep. Emmie de Jesus, and Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago called for a "full transparency" on the 29 agreements. President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping witnessed the signing of said deals during the latter's two-day visit in the Philippines on Monday to Tuesday. READ:PH, China sign MOU on oil and gas development, 28 other deals "...Keep on reading: House Makabayan bloc demands full transparency on PH-China deal.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 22nd, 2018