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Lorenzana draws flak for defending government stance on China s aggression

Lorenzana draws flak for defending government stance on China s aggression.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource: pep pepJun 13th, 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

3x3WC: Gilas vents frustrations on Russia and scores dominant win

BOCAUE, Bulacan --- Gilas Pilipinas at least ends the 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Cup on a high note. The Philippines vented its frustrations on Russia, scoring a convincing 19-12 win Monday at the Philippine Arena here. After a narrow one-point loss to Canada earlier in the day that caused their elimination, Gilas went off against the third-seede Russians. With Troy Rosario clicking from deep, the Philippines jumped to a commanding 16-4 lead. That was pretty much it as Russia never really got close until the final buzzer. Stanley Pringle was also sensational for Gilas and he actually led the team in scoring with nine points. Rosario added eight, all from two-point territory, while RR Pogoy finished with two points. Victor Pavlenko got six points for Russia. The Philippines ended the World Cup with a 2-2 record, third in Pool C. The teams that advanced to the quarterfinals from that group are Canada and Mongolia, the two teams that beat Gilas Pilipinas. "I think it's a little bitter you know? For me it's bitter. I'm happy we won two games but we should ahve won against Canada and we should've won against Mongolia," Christian Standhardinger said. "I hope we stay together, and we can make some history with this group," he added. With pool play over, the official quarterfinals bracket in the men's division will have defending champion Serbia vs. Mongolia, Latvia vs. Poland, Slovenia vs. Ukraine, and Canada vs. the Netherlands. In women's play, defending champion Russia draws Czech Republic while no. 1 China is set for a showdown against no. 3 Hungary. Spain will take on France and the United States will face Italy. The Scores:   PHILIPPINES 19 — Pringle 9, Rosario 8, Pogoy 2, Standhardinger 0.  RUSSIA 12 — Pavlenko 6, Korshakov 4, Dybovskii 1, Alexandrov 1.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 11th, 2018

Lorenzana: We re helpless against China blockade in West PH Sea

MANILA, Philippines – The country's top defense official repeated  President Rodrigo Duterte's defeatist stance against  China's aggressiveness in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) in the wake of new reports of harassment. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Philippines has no capability to defend the country's maritime territories and troops can only ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 4th, 2018

Lorenzana admits AFP not capable of defending territories in WPS

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana today admitted that at present AFP is not capable of defending its territories in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea. Lorenzana admits AFP not capable of defending territories in WPS Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana today admitted that at present the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is not capable… link: Lorenzana admits AFP not capable of defending territories in WPS.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJun 4th, 2018

‘We’re not capable of defending West PH Sea’ – Defense chief

THE Philippines does not have enough capability to defend its territories in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana admitted on Monday. “At present, we don’t have any capabilities to just even demonstrate to others that we are capable because…we don’t have capital ships, we don’t have the weapons,” the Defense chief [...] The post ‘We’re not capable of defending West PH Sea’ – Defense chief appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJun 4th, 2018

Philippines draws three hard lines on China

As China relentlessly militarizes contested islands and features across the South China Sea, the Philippines appears to be finally taking a tougher stance on its competing claims. How Beijing respo.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsMay 31st, 2018

Philippines refuses to call out China amid bomber in South China Sea

The Philippine government reiterated that diplomatic actions have been taken to address China's aggression in the South China Sea......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 21st, 2018

Duterte draws flak for remarks on China

By Arjay L. Balinbin, Reporter MALACAÑANG on Wednesday said it expects the Philippines’ allies in Asia, including the People’s Republic of China, to defend President Rodrigo R. Duterte against “Western” destabilizers. Mr. Duterte drew controversy when he said on Tuesday that “China will never allow the Philippines to be destroyed.” He made his remarks in […] The post Duterte draws flak for remarks on China appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMay 16th, 2018

Russia yet to decide on supply of missile system to Syria

THE Russian government has yet to decide on whether to supply S-300 defense system to Syria in order to help the latter prepare for future acts of aggression by the United States and Europe, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said. Speaking before the members of media on the sidelines of his trip to China, Lavrov [...] The post Russia yet to decide on supply of missile system to Syria appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsApr 24th, 2018

PH Top Officials Discuss Names on 5 Features in PH Rise

Various government officials will meet to discuss possible Filipino names to give to the five underwater features in the Philippine Rise (formerly Benham Rise) named by China. In a message Wednesday, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that this matter would be discussed by him, National Security Adviser (NSA) Hermogenes Esperon and […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsFeb 15th, 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

S. Korea offers to talk with North on Olympic cooperation

HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea on Tuesday offered high-level talks with rival North Korea to find ways to cooperate on next month's Winter Olympics in the South. Seoul's quick proposal following a rare rapprochement overture from the North a day earlier offers the possibility of better ties after a year that saw a nuclear standoff increase fear of war on the Korean Peninsula. In a closely watched New Year's address, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Monday that he was willing to send a delegation to the Olympics, though he also repeated fiery nuclear threats against the United States. Analysts say Kim may be trying to drive a wedge between Seoul and its ally Washington in a bid to reduce international isolation and sanctions against North Korea. Kim's overture was welcome news for a South Korean government led by liberal President Moon Jae-in, who favors dialogue to ease the North's nuclear threats and wants to use the Olympics as a chance to improve inter-Korean ties. Moon's unification minister, Cho Myoung-gyon, proposed in a nationally televised news conference that the two Koreas meet Jan. 9 at the shared border village of Panmunjom to discuss Olympic cooperation and how to improve overall ties. Earlier Tuesday, Moon spoke of what he described as Kim's positive response to his earlier dialogue overtures and ordered officials to study how to restore talks with North Korea and get the North to participate in the Olympics. North Korea did not immediately react. But if there are talks, they would be the first formal dialogue between the Koreas since December 2015. Relations between the Koreas have plunged as North Korea has expanded its weapons programs amid a hard-line stance by Moon's conservative predecessors. Last year, North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test and test-launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles as part of its push to possess a nuclear missile capable of reaching anywhere in the United States. The North was subsequently hit with toughened U.N. sanctions, and Kim and President Donald Trump exchanged warlike rhetoric and crude personal insults against each other. Kim said in his speech Monday that North Korea last year achieved the historic feat of "completing" its nuclear forces. Outside experts say that it's only a matter of time before the North acquires the ability to hurl nuclear weapons at the mainland U.S., but that the country still has a few technologies to master, such as a warhead's ability to survive atmospheric re-entry. Talks could provide a temporary thaw in strained inter-Korean ties, but conservative critics worry that they may only earn the North time to perfect its nuclear weapons. After the Olympics, inter-Korean ties could become frosty again because the North has made it clear it has no intention of accepting international calls for nuclear disarmament and instead wants to bolster its weapons arsenal in the face of what it considers increasing U.S. threats. "Kim Jong Un's strategy remains the same. He's developing nukes while trying to weaken international pressure and the South Korea-U.S. military alliance and get international sanctions lifted," said Shin Beomchul of the Seoul-based Korea National Diplomatic Academy. He said the North might also be using its potential Olympic participation as a chance to show its nuclear program is not intended to pose a threat to regional peace. In his address Monday, Kim said the United States should be aware that his country's nuclear forces are now a reality, not a threat. He said he has a "nuclear button" on his office desk, warning that "the whole territory of the U.S. is within the range of our nuclear strike." He called for improved ties and a relaxation of military tensions with South Korea, saying the Winter Olympics could showcase the status of the Korean nation. But Kim also repeated that South Korea must stop annual military exercises with the United States, which he calls an invasion rehearsal against the North. About 28,500 American troops are stationed in South Korea to help deter potential aggression from the North, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2018

Gov’t employee requests prenup shoot in Malacañang, told to secure approval of President

A government employee requested to have a pre-nuptial photo shoot in Malacaang, following the advice of Isabelle Duterte to a netizen, after the presidential granddaughter had her pre-debut shoot inside the seat of Philippine government. READ:Duterte granddaughter draws awe, flak for Palace photo shoot The teen drew flak for the photo shoot, which included a picture of herself posing before the presidential seal. In answering detractors, she tweeted that she "sent a request in the office" to secure approval for her photo shoot. "You can actually do the same," she told a netizen. She also said free tours were available and that she could be a companion in the tour. About the...Keep on reading: Gov’t employee requests prenup shoot in Malacañang, told to secure approval of President.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 28th, 2017

Alejano questions halt on PH hut-building in South China Sea sandbars

        Why is Manila so quick to accede to Beijing's protest on the building of huts on a Philippine-controlled sandbar, while downplaying Chinese military actions in the South China Sea?   This was the question raised by opposition lawmaker, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, as he said the Chinese government "has no acceptable basis to react negatively" to construction work in Sandy Cay, near the Philippine-inhabited Pag-asa Island.   Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana first disclosed this new development in the maritime dispute on Wednesday. The Marines were supposed to build nipa huts, or thatched-roof shelters made of bamboo and pal...Keep on reading: Alejano questions halt on PH hut-building in South China Sea sandbars.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 9th, 2017

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

Anger grows in South Korea over US anti-missile system – ABC News

The anger is palpable on a narrow road that cuts through a South Korean village where about 170 people live between green hills dotted with cottages and melon fields. It's an unlikely trouble spot in the world's last Cold War standoff. Aging farmers in this corner of Seongju county, more than 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of the capital Seoul, spend the day sitting by the asphalt in tents or on plastic stools, watching vehicles coming and going from a former golf course where military workers are setting up an advanced U.S. missile-defense system. &'8220;Just suddenly one day, Seongju has become the frontline,&'8221; said a tearful Park Soo-gyu, a 54-year-old strawberry farmer. &'8220;Wars today aren't just fought with guns. Missiles will be flying and where would they aim first? Right here, where the THAAD radar is.&'8221; THAAD is shorthand for Terminal High Altitude Defense, which the South Korean and U.S. governments say is critical to cope with a growing missile threat from North Korea. When completed, the battery will consist of six truck-mounted launchers that can fire up to 48 interceptors at incoming missiles detected by the system's x-band radar. Anger has boiled over in Seosongri village since last week when U.S. and South Korean military workers used the early-morning hours to rush key parts of THAAD into place. The system had been scheduled to enter operation by the end of the year, but South Korea's Defense Ministry said Tuesday that it is already capable of defending against North Korean missiles. The ministry didn't say when the deployment would be completed. Hundreds of banners hang on trees and fences along a kilometer (half-mile) stretch of the road up to where police have cut off access. They say &'8220;Withdraw the illegal THAAD immediately&'8221; and &'8220;Stop US militarism,&'8221; slogans that would feel familiar in a leftist rally but are unusual in the country's traditionally conservative southeast. &'8220;Yankee, go home!&'8221; a man yelled as he banged his fist on a car apparently carrying American soldiers, before dozens of police officers peeled him and other protesters away from the vehicle. The local anger highlights what has arguably become the most explosive issue ahead of a presidential election next week. The May 9 vote will likely end a decadelong conservative rule that maintained a hard line against North Korea and agreed to the THAAD installation. Front-runner Moon Jae-in, who calls for engagement with the North, has said the deployment of THAAD should be reconsidered. Some media have questioned whether the United States and a caretaker government that took over for ousted former President Park Geun-hye are rushing to complete THAAD before the election. Earlier polls had showed overwhelming public support for THAAD following North Korean nuclear tests and a long-range rocket launch last year. But public opinion has become more divided amid the corruption scandal that led to Park's downfall and criticism that the government was pushing ahead without seeking the consent of Seongju residents. Opposition was further inflamed after President Donald Trump said he would make South Korea pay $1 billion for THAAD. Seongju residents say comments by Trump show the United States may be preparing for a pre-emptive strike against North Korea. They worry that if the North retaliates, THAAD would make their county a main target. There's also frustration about an increasingly heavy police and military presence in an area where outsiders had been mostly limited to small groups of weekend golfers. Residents are also concerned about the rumored harmful effects the electromagnetic waves from THAAD's radar might have on them and their crops. Seoul's Defense Ministry calls such worries groundless. &'8220;We have been living very peacefully as farmers, but our daily lives have been shattered after the arrival of this weapon; we can't rest comfortably for a day and can't work without worrying,&'8221; said Kim Yoon&''seong, a 60-year-old melon farmer. He says many younger residents with children are considering leaving Seongju. Residents say at least 13 people were treated at hospitals for injuries including broken bones and teeth after a violent clash last week between dozens of villagers and supporters and some 8,000 police officers who were mobilized to remove them from the road. Three days later, more than a hundred police officers ended an hourslong standoff by swarming a handful of people who had been blocking a mountain path with a tractor to prevent construction equipment from entering the THAAD site. Police detained a man and drove away the tractor as villagers showered them with insults, including &'8220;dogs&'8221; and &'8220;Americans' slaves.&'8221; &'8220;We won't allow any U.S. military and construction vehicles to pass through the two roads,&'8221; said Rev. Kang Hyun-wook, a minister of Won Buddhism, an indigenous form of the religion. The grounds include a site Won Buddhists consider as sacred and are no longer allowed to visit. &'8220;If they fly in (the THAAD parts) with helicopters, then fine, it's their money to spend and we can't do anything about that.&'8221; Several people were hurt in another clash on Sunday as police tried to remove protesters blocking two U.S. military oil trucks from entering the THAAD site. Residents said the trucks turned away because cars protesters had parked to block the road couldn't be towed. Moon, the presidential front-runner, says THAAD's security benefits would be offset by deteriorating relations with China, which sees THAAD's powerful radar as a threat to its own defense. South Korea's largest trade partner, China has [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMay 3rd, 2017

China draws Asean flak

China draws Asean flak.....»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsFeb 21st, 2017

PH sea dispute win: Not the time to be meek, US-based group says

MANILA, Philippines – A US-based Filipino advocacy organization called on the Philippine government to take a bold stance in the South China Sea dispute, on the heels of Manila's victory before an international tribunal challenging China's expans.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 17th, 2016

China s Belt and Road Initiative poses risks — experts

Despite the opportunities that China's Belt and Road Initiative has to offer, the Philippine government should be wary of dealing with Chinese contractors......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated News7 hr. 48 min. ago

Roman to LGBT community: Be realistic on same-sex marriage

Bataan 1st District Rep. Geraldine Roman on Sunday told equality advocates to be "realistic" about same-sex marriage, defending her stance that it would be easier to convince her colleagues to pass a law on civil partnerships instead. Amid the celebration of Pride Month, the country's first transgender representative reacted to online criticism by members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community who were disappointed over the compromises she defended as natural to Philippine politics. "To say that the Philippines and Congress are already ready for same-sex marriage would simply be dishonest," Roman said in a statement. She pointed out that civil partnershi...Keep on reading: Roman to LGBT community: Be realistic on same-sex marriage.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 24th, 2018