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Sunday, 26 March 2017 00:00 Published in page one

NYT demands de Lima release, raps on DU30

Sunday, 26 March 2017 00:00 Published in Headlines


US publication New York Times (NYT) which has been coming out with stories critical of President Duterte, issued a March 24 editorial that sought “accountability” on Mr. Duterte while demanding the unconditional release of his chief critic Sen. Leila de Lima, who is detained on drug charges.
The NYT piece titled “Accountability for Duterte” was bylined the newspaper’s editorial board which according to the US publication is comprised of 16 journalists with “wide-ranging areas of expertise.”
NYT issued the editorial critical of Mr. Duterte, four days after the same publication came up with a lengthy narrative titled “Becoming Duterte: The Making of a Philippine Strongman” which was mostly lifted from the claims of two supposed hitmen of the Davao Death Squad (DDS), Edgar Matobato and SPO3 Arturo Lascañas, wh are being handled by another of his fierce detractor, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.     
The NYT piece said Mr. Duterte “relishes his image as a defiant crusader, willing to encourage the slaughter of thousands in the name of saving his nation from the scourge of drugs.”
It added the unverified claim of his critics that more than 7,000 suspected drug users and dealers, witnesses and bystanders, including children” as having been victimized “by the police or vigilantes in the Philippines since last July.”

The editorial concluded with a call for governments to impose sanctions on the Duterte administration citing the European Union threat to withdraw trade privileges on Philippines exports to the EU.
“Outraged by Mr. Duterte’s behavior, as well as his government’s possible reinstatement of the death penalty and lowering the age for criminal prosecution to 9, the EU has proposed hitting his government where it may hurt the most — by imposing tariffs on Philippine goods. Other democratic trading partners should do the same,” it stated.
It added the United Nations Human Rights Council should initiate a thorough, independent investigation into the killings under Mr. Duterte’s watch.
The editorial also described Mr. Duterte as being “impervious to moral criticism.”
It cited last Thursday’s filing of Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, a close associate of Trillanes, of an impeachment complaint before the House of Representatives.
“We are of the firm belief that he is unfit to hold the highest office of the land,” NYT quoted Alejano in the editorial.
NYT sees ICC charges
The editorial also indicated the likely filing of a complaint against Mr. Duterte before the International Criminal Court (ICC) which tries allegations of crimes against humanity.
“With Mr. Duterte’s allies holding an overwhelming majority in the House of Representatives, there is little chance he will be impeached. But exhausting domestic remedies, such as impeachment, could clear the way for jurisdiction by the International Criminal Court,” it stated.
It noted the intention of Jude Josue Sabio, the counsel of Matobato and Lascañas, to bring a case against Mr. Duterte in The Hague.
“Ever defiant, Mr. Duterte said on Sunday that he welcomed a trial by the court, and vowed his drug war ‘will continue and it will be brutal,’” it added.
“But it seems unlikely that Mr. Duterte will maintain such an obliging attitude toward prosecution, given his attitude toward his critics at home,” the editorial said.
It noted that last month, “Mr. Duterte’s Justice Department ordered Senator Leila de Lima, one of Mr. Duterte’s most vocal opponents, arrested on spurious charges that she took bribes from drug traffickers.”
It called for the immediate release of  de Lima, “and all politically motivated charges against her dropped.”
The Palace earlier noted the sudden surge of international attacks against the Duterte administration. Mr. Duterte in a speech before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) identified the key personalities in a plot to destabilize his administration as de Lima, Trillanes and Vice President Leni Robredo.
82 percent feels safe
amid drugs campaign
The Philippine National Police (PNP), however, said Pulse Asia Research Inc survey showed  82% of people in Metro Manila feel safe as a result of the unrelenting campaign against drugs that Duterte had launched.
According to the  National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), Pulse Asia sought public reaction on the war against drugs, which was implemented on July 1, 2016.
The result of the survey was based of the Pulse Asia Research survey question: “Compared to last year, I feel that it is less dangerous now in our place because of the campaign against illegal drugs,” to which the answer was either yes or no.
The survey was conducted on December 6 to 11, 2016 in Metro Manila with randomly selected respondents from all walks of life, according to the NCRPO.
NCRPO Regional Director Oscar Albayalde said he is inspired by the result of the survey and assured the public to continue the thrust of the NCRPO on crime prevention and suppression, war against illegal drugs and illegal gambling and Internal Cleansing Program.
“This result will serve as our driving force to continue our mission on eradicating illegal drugs and other illegal activities in the Metro. We will take this accomplishment as one of our basis and guide to further improve our performance, to address the security demands of the public, and to further pursue our transformation program.” Albayalde said.
Albayalde also expressed his gratitude to the public and further encouraged them to continue their support and cooperation to all the NCRPO undertakings.
He acknowledged the significance of the information sharing that lead to the arrest and neutralization of illegal drugs personalities.
He said all the information, reports and complaints of public will be acted accordingly and promptly.
“The fulfillment of the service that we render to the public is the acceptance of the public of our services, as we have always emphasized that policing is not just our responsibility but the community as well. The response they provided in this survey reflects their concerns. We will innovate and do more until we get to 100 percent,” Albayalde added.
PNP cleansing continues
He said in line with the NCRPO’s Internal Cleansing Program, 48 erring cops started yesterday a 15-day intensive disciplinary training and reorientation program at Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig City.
NCRPO said these policemen have existing administrative charges and cautioned for their lapses while on duty. Within the training period, these police officers are restricted within the training camp.
The NCRPO disciplinary training program seeks to instill discipline and build ethics, assess the commitment level of each police officer to their sworn duties, and also teach financial management to strengthen financial capacity of the police, Albayalde said.
“The problem on undisciplined and rogue cops has been a long time challenge in the Philippine National Police particularly at the NCRPO. The abuses and involvement of few police officers to illegal activities ruin the image of the entire organization,” he added.
“This is disappointing, and I swear that under my leadership, I will not allow these bad eggs to influence others nor continue their habits of destroying the image of good policemen. It is about time to look at this problem on a perspective where we can help the police rebuild their life and become better public servants,” he said.
Albayalde said while many police officers are recognized for good service, this disciplinary training program is the best opportunity of the policemen who were cautioned or committed less grave offenses to improve themselves and deepen their commitment with the police organization.
Albayalde added the NCRPO will not tolerate any misdeed of NCRPO policemen and personnel.

Duterte bent on getting China’s good side

Sunday, 26 March 2017 00:00 Published in Headlines

President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday highlighted the importance of Manila’s relations with China as he  reiterated that the Philippines plans to have closer cooperation with Beijing.
In his speech during the Kaamulan Festival in Bukidnon, Mr. Duterte said the Philippines just wanted to be friends with China.
“China is my neighbor. I just want to make friends and trade so that my people will be happy and improve our country,” he said, adding China gave assistance for the improvement of the Philippines.
The Chief Executive also asked China to help in developing the country’s agriculture.
Mr. Duterte said Beijing had imported more products from the Philippines such as pineapples and bananas.
Duterte, however, underscored that “he will not enter into a military alliance with any country.”
“But certainly I can choose friends who are kind to us and those who understand us and those who do not make imposition,” he said, alluding to China.
The President also acknowledged the presence of Chinese Ambassador
Zhao Jianhua at the festival and considered the diplomat’s presence as meaningful, saying it would help open doors for better diplomatic relations with China.
The Chie Executive also recalled his campaign promise to stop corruption, saying that he would not tolerate such under his administration.
“Corruption will stop,” he said, adding that he had fired 92 government personnel this month.
After delivering his speech, Mr. Duterte proceeded to the groundbreaking of the soon-to-be-built Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Bukidnon.
The President, meanwhile, said he is looking forward to his second trip to China this May to attend the “One Belt, One Road” summit organized by the Chinese government.
“I’m going there. I was invited by the president himself... It’s a very ambitious project of China,” he .
Duterte said China has also promised to “open the floodgates” for more Philippine products.  Ted Tuvera


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