Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts

Monday, June 5, 2017

Philippine Marines Seized ₱79 Million ISIS Terrorism Funding in Cash and Checks in Marawi City

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After the inventory, the money and checks were turned over to the Joint Task Force Marawi for safekeeping.Photo: CNN Philippines

 ₱27 million-worth of checks bears the issuing bank and the bank account owner could answer who funded the terrorism.

Terrorism Funding in the Philippines

The Philippine Marines recovered ₱52 million in cash in a house in Marawi City.

During a clearing operation near Mapandi Bridge on Monday afternoon, the Marines discovered the money and ₱27 million-worth of checks.

The Marines reported the house was an abandoned machine gun position of the armed terror group Maute.

After the inventory, the money and checks were turned over to the Joint Task Force Marawi for safekeeping.

The Maute group has been battling government troops since May 23 in Marawi City, reportedly to protect the "emir" or leader of ISIS in the Philippines, Isnilon Hapilon, who is believed to be in the area.

Hapilon is allegedly working with the Maute group to establish a "wilayat," or caliphate of ISIS in Lanao del Sur.

The ongoing violence in Marawi forced President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law and suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus over the entire Mindanao region on May 23.

Checks a Key - Who funded Terrorism in in the Philippines?

The recovered ₱52 million in cash in a house in Marawi City where the abandoned machine gun position of the armed terror group Maute found could not tell who give the cash and who funded the terrorism in the Philippines but the ₱27 million-worth of checks bears the issuing bank and the bank account owner could answer who funded the terrorism.

Philippine Banking system is strictly following the high standard requirements through the mandate of the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Law that protect every account holder  for their privacy and safety.

With the existing Martial law in the entire island of Mindanao, in which the Military has full jurisdiction in the place where the checks was discovered, the issuing bank and the account holder at this point would be disclosed easily with lesser interference from any government agency to protect the privacy of the account holder.

Who is the account holder and who funded the terrorism in the Philippines?

With report from CNN Philippines.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Global Research Pointed: USA, Loida Lewis and Liberal party behind the ISIS attack in the Philippines

 Global Research Pointed: USA, Loida Lewis and Liberal party behind the ISIS attack in the Philippines
GlobalReaseach.ca pointed out who are behind the Islamist terrorist attack in Marawi City in Southern Philippines

In the article written by Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago, USA, he pointed that Washington, Loida Lewis and the Liberal Opposition party in the Philippines are behind the IS attack in Marawi a step to oust Duterte

Why is ISIS Operating in the Philippines?

In response to violence allegedly instigated by ISIS in the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao, imposed military rule, and threatened to extend it nationwide to defeat the threat.

What’s going on? Why did ISIS begin operating in the Philippines? Weeks after taking office in mid-2016, Duterte blasted Western imperial Middle East policies, saying the Obama administration and Britain “destroyed the (region)…forc(ing) their way into Iraq and kill(ing) Saddam.”

“Look at Iraq now. Look what happened to Libya. Look what happened to Syria.”

He blasted former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for failing to act responsibly against what’s gone on for years – on the phony pretext of humanitarian intervention and democracy building.

He called Obama a “son-of-a-bitch” for his unaccountable actions – no way to make friends in Washington, especially if his geopolitical agenda conflicts with US aims.

Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte meeting with Russian President Putin
Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte meeting with Russian President Putin. Duterte cuts short trip to Russia after declaring martial law in southern Philippines due to Islamist terrorism attack in Marawi City. Photo: Japanese Times

On the day he declared martial law, he met with Vladimir Putin in Moscow for discussions on future military and economic cooperation.

He seeks improved economic and military ties with China. Ahead of visiting Beijing last October, he said

“only China…can help us,” adding:

“All that I would need to do is just to talk and get a firm handshake from the officials and say that we are Filipinos and we are ready to cooperate with you, to help us in building our economy and building our country.”

“If we can have the things you have given to other countries by the way of assistance, we’d also like to be a part of it and to be a part of the greater plans of China about the whole of Asia, particularly Southeast Asia.”

He promised to cool tensions over South China Sea disputes.

“There is no sense fighting over a body of water,” he said.

“We want to talk about friendship (with Beijing). We want to talk about cooperation, and most of all, we want to talk about business. War would lead us to nowhere.”

He announced no further joint military exercises with America, saying he’s open to holding them with China and Russia.

Shifting away from longstanding US ties doesn’t go down well in Washington. Are efforts by ISIS to establish a Philippines foothold part of an anti-Duterte Trump administration or CIA plot independent of his authority?

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Philippine President Rodeigo Roa Duterte meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping cooling down the tension in South China Sea and promised cooperation, progress, peace and stability of the Asian Region.

According to a June 2 Duran.com report, retired Philippine military official Abe Purugganan claims ISIS violence in Mindanao is part of an opposition Liberal Party plan to undermine Duterte and oust him from office – citing information from a party whistleblower.

Below are the comments The Duran posted, saying:

“There is a lot of noises and chatters flooding the cyberspace, you got to use your discernment to filter all these information.”

“LETS PLAY FIRE WITH FIRE,” explaining “(t)hese are the exact words stated by Loida Lewis and her fellow oligarchs on a meeting months ago with Liberal Party members abroad,” adding:

Their plan is to use ISIS or ISIS-connected terrorists to instigate violence and chaos in Mindanao, wanting Duterte’s government destabilized and ousted.

If the information reported is accurate, it explains what’s now going on, likely to worsen, perhaps spread to other parts of the country.

Last week, Duterte said

“if I cannot confront (ISIS terrorists threatening the country), I will resign. “If I am incompetent and incapable of keeping order in this country, let me step down and give the job to somebody else.”

If US dirty hands are behind the ISIS insurgency, he’s got a long struggle ahead, trying to overcome the attack on him and perhaps Philippine sovereignty.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

The original source of this article is Global Research
Copyright © Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2017

Monday, May 29, 2017

IS dead bodies recovered in Marawi includes European, Saudi, Yemeni, Indian, Malaysian & Indonesian

Blood stains the roadside as civilians view unidentified bodies believed to have been executed and dumped in a ditch by militants
Blood stains the roadside as civilians view unidentified bodies believed to have been executed and dumped in a ditch by militants.  Photo: Getty Images

Islamic State fears grow as foreign fighters among bodies in Philippines

Foreign IS fighters were among the militants who besieged a southern Philippines city, intensifying fears that Islamic State is gaining a foothold in South-east Asia.

Bodies found in Islamic City of Marawi, 830 kilometers south of Manila, after almost a week of fighting include Malaysians, Indonesians, Saudis, an Indian, Yemeni and Chechen an eastern European citizen, according to Rohan Gunaratna, a terrorism expert from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.

The Mindanao Island of the Philippines is now Islamic State's epicentre in the region, he said.

Zachary Abuza, another expert on terrorism in South-east Asia, said that while there is no evidence that Islamic State has sent significant support to a dozen militant Islamist groups operating in the southern Philippines, "increasingly South-east Asians are being drawn to Mindanao".

Australia and other nations in the region are so worried about the threat of homegrown IS militants returning from battlefields in Iraq and Syria that they have convened a summit in August to co-ordinate the threat.

Hundreds of battle-hardened fighters are expected to return to the region as IS loses ground in the Middle East.

Pray for Marawi
#PrayForMarawi hashtag trending at social media right after the Maute Islamist group Attack Marawi City, the only Islamic City in the Philippines

Attorney-General George Brandis told a Senate committee earlier in May that the return of the fighters is "the issue which is of greatest concern to heads of government and homeland security ministers in the region when it comes to counter-terrorism".

The Philippines, which has in the past downplayed the threat from IS, has confirmed that foreign fighters have played a key role in the siege of the Islamci City of Marawi that has so far left more than 100 people dead and dozens wounded.

"What's happening in Mindanao is no longer rebellion of Filipino citizens. It has transmogrified into invasion by foreign terrorists who heeded the clarion call of the Islamic State to go to the Philippines if they find difficulty in going to Iraq and Syria," said Philippine Solicitor-General Jose Calida.

The militants flew black Islamic State flags during their rampage of the city.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte last week imposed martial law, giving security forces sweeping powers, while warning of the threat of "contamination" by IS in his island nation of 100 million people.

Dr. Gunaratna said IS has provided groups in the southern Philippines with propaganda, some foreign fighters and some financial transfers but not huge amounts of money.

"They are moving very slowly but very steadily," he said. "They are not in a hurry."

Professor Abuza, who has written a book about militant Islam in the region, said that while media attention has been on kidnappings and beheadings by the extremist Abu Sayyaf group, the bigger threat is to regional trade and commerce.

He pointed out that between March 2016 and April this year there were 19 separate sea attacks and hostage takings, resulting in the capture of 70 sailors and fishermen from six countries.

Professor Abuza said Abu Sayyaf is likely to continue to prioritize sea kidnappings, which involve low risk and high reward.

"Tug boats and fishing trawlers are very slow moving and undermanned. They are easy prey," he said.

The August summit is likely to decide on greater law enforcement cooperation and intelligence-sharing across the region.

Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines signed an agreement nine months ago for joint patrols in the Sulu Sea, but they have not begun. Read more at The Sydney Morning Herald

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Philippines Rejects EU $278 Million USD Remote Control Fund Loan Grant

Philippines rejected EUROPEAN UNION $278 Million USD Remote Control Fund Loan Grant
Philippines rejected EUROPEAN UNION $278 Million USD Remote Control Fund Loan Grant for 2017

Philippines Rejects European grants

The Philippines will no longer accept grants from the European Union, the EU delegation to Manila said Thursday, following repeated tirades from President Rodrigo Duterte over its criticism of his deadly drug war.

"The Philippine government has informed us that they (will) no longer accept new EU grants," the delegation said in a brief statement.

The decision will affect grants worth 250 million euros ($278 million), according to Franz Jessen, the EU's ambassador to Manila.

Philippine government officials did not immediately comment, with the finance department saying a statement would be issued later on Thursday.

Duterte, 72, has repeatedly criticised European lawmakers and the EU for condemning his drug war, which has claimed thousands of lives and led to warnings from critics of a crime against humanity.

In comments last year, he used vulgar language and raised his middle finger in a response to a European parliament statement expressing concern over the killings.

The German government also expressed concern after Duterte last year drew parallels between his drug war and Nazi Germany leader Adolf Hitler's Holocaust.

"Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now there are three million drug addicts (in the Philippines). I'd be happy to slaughter them," Duterte said, underestimating the number of people killed in the Holocaust.

Duterte later apologised for the Hitler reference but said he was "emphatic" about wanting to kill addicts.

Duterte easily won presidential elections last year after promising to end crime by killing tens of thousands of drug traffickers and addicts.

Police have reported killing about 2,700 people since Duterte took office at the end of June and immediately launched his war on drugs.

Unknown assailants have killed more than 1,800 others, while about 5,700 other violent deaths are under investigation, according to police data.

Partly in response to American criticism of the drug war, Duterte has also loosened the Philippines' ties with traditional ally the United States.

He has instead embraced China, which has supported his drug war and sought to deepen economic ties by providing billions of dollars worth of investments and aid to the Philippines.

Duterte, a self-described socialist, has also forged warmer relations with Russia, and will travel to Moscow next week to meet President Vladimir Putin.

Read more at Sources: AP & SBS  

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Philippines Making Great Progresses in Health Care for 92% Insurance- WHO

Philippine Health Insurance

Philippine Health Insurance coverage through PhilHealth riseup  to 92% to all Filipinos in 2017

PHILIPPINE HEALTH INSURANCE

The Philippines is chalking up improvements in the health-care sector, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, while pointing out that challenges remain for the country.

Dr Shin Young-soo, Regional Director for the Western Pacific of WHO, said statistics indicate that Filipinos now are living longer lives than before and this is largely due to collaborative efforts of the government, development partners and stakeholders.

“The Philippines has so many health achievements to celebrate: people born today can expect to live for more than 70 years. Innovative taxation schemes have pushed back unhealthy behaviors and tripled the health budget. More than 92 per cent of all Filipinos now benefit from national health insurance,” Dr Shin said.

Health care in the country has grown by leaps and bounds with more people getting access to medical maintenance services. In 1995, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) was established. Its mandate is to provide health insurance coverage to all Filipinos.

As of 2014, 14.7 million families have been enrolled into the system through a full National Government subsidy.

But while the Philippines is making improvements in providing health-care coverage to more Filipinos, challenges remain for the country.

“The Philippines is a fast-growing economy undergoing profound societal transformation. However, with growth and changing lifestyles come challenges of non-communicable diseases,” Dr Shin said,

Health conditions linked to poverty remain. Some 30 per cent of Filipino children are malnourished and around 30 per cent of the population lack regular access to essential medicines.

“While health insurance coverage is high, out-of-pocket payments remain high, accounting for more than half of the country’s total health expenditure,” she said.

Dr Shin said the challenge for the country is how to sustain current achievements in health care will be the “heart of WHO’s work in the country in the next five years.”

WHO and the Philippines Department of Health (DOH) launched the Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS), a mechanism which defines WHO’s strategic framework and aligns it with national health policies and programs.

The focus of the WHO CCS 2017—2022 are five unique strategic priorities that include saving lives by ensuring full access to life-saving interventions, promoting the well-being of people by empowering them to lead healthy lives, protection from disasters and mitigating its effects on peoples’ health, optimization of health architecture and maintaining its integrity and use of platforms for health and support health in all settings, policies and sectors.

“In the coming six years, we look forward to continuing to work together as partners in health [care] for the more than 100 million people of the Philippines and the 1.9 billion people of the Western Pacific Region,” Shin concluded.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Philippines Newly Acquired First High-Tech Ambulance Hospital Ship for the Red Cross- Commissioned

MV Amazing Grace
The Philippine Red Cross’ first and only humanitarian ship, formerly a ferry owned by the Mat-Su Borough, will be used as a marine ambulance and disaster response vessel. (Philippine Red Cross via Facebook)

Troubled Mat-Su ferry gets a new name in the Philippines, leaving its checkered past behind

The former Mat-Su ferry known as Susitna has a new name: M/V Amazing Grace and recently commissioned in the Philippines.

That's the name bestowed upon the ferry after a naming contest conducted by the ferry's new owner, the Philippine Red Cross.

The organization revealed the name at a press conference Monday in Manila attended by Red Cross dignitaries from several countries including Japan, Germany and the United States. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday christened what Red Cross calls the country's first and only humanitarian ship to be used as a marine ambulance and disaster response vessel.

The 198-foot vessel started its life as a U.S. Navy prototype acquired in 2011 by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough after the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens wedged an earmark into a Department of Defense spending bill.

Commissioning of MV amazing Grace Ship hospital
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, center, on Tuesday christened what Red Cross calls the country’s first and only humanitarian ship to be used as a marine ambulance and disaster response vessel. (Philippine Red Cross via Facebook)

The Susitna was transformed from a beach-landing barge with some ice-breaking abilities to a ferry at a Ward Cove shipyard. A $12.3 million federal grant paid for design, engineering and a $4 million ferry terminal at the borough port on Point MacKenzie.

But the high-tech vessel never left the dock, thanks to a combination of funding and political shortcomings.

The borough finally sold the ferry to the Philippine Red Cross last year at a loss: $1.75 million instead of the $6 million borough officials had originally sought.

Officials here liked to call the Susitna the borough's "free" ferry. It wasn't. A combination of grant matching fees, maintenance and repair costs tallied more than $10 million. The Federal Transit Administration in 2013 demanded Mat-Su repay the $12 million grant, but that has yet to be resolved.

The borough is still negotiating with the Federal Transit Administration to lower the grant repayment, borough manager John Moosey said this week. Read more at ADN


Friday, May 5, 2017

UN Rapporteur Agnes Callamard Speeh Makes her Incompetent for Concluding Philippines War on Drug based on hearsay

UN Rapporteur Agnes Callamard Acting as Big Bully in the Philippines

Callamard acting as local Opposition Political Party leader in the Philippines

United Nations Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard’s early Friday Wikipedia information described her as highly paid consultant of the Philippines' opposition “Liberal Party” as she concluded her speeches without proper investigation but just taken the reports that were provided most from the liberal party groups who opposes the war on drugs in the Philippines.

Invited by the government to investigate the issue on EJK last September 2016 but refused to come and instead make a surprise visit to the Philippines to utter her conclusion against the Philippines War on Drugs without conducting a ground investigation to confirm the allegations.

Callarmard surprise visit to the Philippines is acting like a leader of the local political party to destroy the image of Duterte based on hearsays.

Malacanang on Calamard Surprise Visit

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions Agnes Callamard is now in no position to launch an independent study on the spate of drug-related killings in the country after she talked against the war on drugs at a forum in Quezon City, a Malacañang official said on Friday.

Chief presidential legal counsel Sec. Salvador Panelo told reporters Friday that Callamard already made a conclusion based on news reports, some videos, opinions of critics, and hearsays.

“First, how did she know that that’s the way the drug operations are being conducted? What’s the basis?” Panelo said.

“She just cannot come here and read newspaper reports and hear the talks of some critics and watch some videos and make a conclusion that there is something wrong the way this government is doing its job,” he added.

Panelo said that how Callamard arrived at her conclusion was more important than the circumstances of her visit in the Philippines—whether it was on her own or through an invitation.

“What I’m questioning is the basis of her conclusion, which is based on hearsay and some reports coming from whoever and from wherever. It’s not an independent study. It’s not an objective study. It’s just a conclusion on the basis of things that she heard,” Panelo said.

But Panelo indicated that the Philippine government’s invitation to Callamard was already pointless when she already made her mind on the war on drugs.

“Alangan naman pilitin siya kung ayaw niya eh. Not only that, you know, the fact alone that she already made conclusions, I don’t think she would be competent enough or objective enough to undertake any study. She already made a conclusion, on the basis of hearsay and reports and whatever,” Panelo said.

“She was saying she read reports, she saw some videos, and on the basis of that, she made a conclusion that the operation against the drug menace in this country is wrong. How can she make that kind of conclusion when she only read the reports of some people and saw some videos?" he added.

"She has to make an independent probe or investigation on what’s happening in this country. This is precisely why the President invited her to come over. But she never responded to that," Panelo said.

While Callamard earlier said that the terms the Philippine government presented for her visit were against their Code of Conduct, Panelo said it was only fair that President Rodrigo Duterte would be able to question her conclusion.

"What the President just wanted to say after the investigation is, ‘Tell us, what’s the basis of your investigation?’ What’s wrong with asking someone making an investigation, ‘This is our conclusion.’ Then the President, ‘How did you make that conclusion? Who are the people you asked? How did you come about?’" Panelo said.

"I don’t think that’s unfair. That’s a very fair response from someone who has been investigated," he added.

International Court of Justice (ICC) whom claimed to have the authority for extrajudicial killings cases around the world has been labeled as International Caucasian Justice by the African nations for its failure to file cases on Western and European countries that committed thousands extrajudicial killings while acting as superior in issuing verdicts to the African countries as mass murderer in a form of bullying  the small and poor countries.

Several African nations have left and vacated their seats at the United Nations for distrust and integrity issues of the UN for its unfair and selective justice in issuing verdicts.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

88 Meters Korean Anti-Submarine Warship Offered to the Philippines for ₱5,000 Pesos Each a real deal?

Korean Pohang-Class Anti-Submarine Warship “Chungju PCC-762” Offered to Philippine Navy
Korean Pohang-Class Anti-Submarine Warship “Chungju PCC-762” Offered to Philippine Navy for $100 USD

88 Meters Korean Anti-Submarine Warship Cheaper than a Smart Phone: Philippines to buy three for ₱5,000 Pesos Each a real deal?

Korean Pohang-Class Anti-Submarine “Chungju PCC-762” which launched on 30th June 1984, commissioned on 1987 and was decommissioned on 27th December 2016 after 29 years of service in protecting Korean waters has been offered to the Philippine Navy by the Korean Government.

South Korea will transfer an ageing Pohang-class anti-submarine warship to the Philippines this year in return for just $US100 (₱ 5,000.00), boosting its capability to patrol vast maritime borders.
The 88.3 meters corvette type warship has a 1,200 tones displacement, speed of 32 knots (59 km/h), and capacity of 95 crews.

It could be fitted with armaments such as 2 x MM-38 Exocet, 1 OTO melara 76 mm/62 compact cannon, 2 x Emerlec 30 mm cannons, 4 x harpoon missiles, 2 x Nobong 40mm/70 twin cannons, 3 x Mark 32 triple torpedo tubes with 6 chung sang Eoes and 12 x mark 9 depth charges.

South Korea, next to USA for being the largest source of Philippine military hardware, from fighter jets, and patrol ships to armored vehicles and army trucks.

USA has provided almost the same armament to the Philippines in 2013 but unlike the Pohang Anti-submarine warship which cost the Philippines only $100 USD, the Hamilton Class cutters from the USA cost the Philippine government a hefty $10 Million US Dollars.

Philippines received ten FA-50 light fighters from Seoul and two more will be delivered next month to complete the 12 aircraft, 18 billion peso deal.

The Philippines has expressed interest to acquire six more similar planes.

"We are hoping to receive the vessel within the year," defense spokesman Arsenio Andolong said of the warship.

"The transfer will be in the form of a donation. We will pay a token $US100, but the corvette will still undergo refurbishment."

He said he has no idea how much the Philippines would need to spend to repair and restore the warship.

Andolong said the Philippines may acquire up to three such warships, which Seoul is replacing with newer and faster vessels.

"This may be an old ship but it will definitely enhance our capability to patrol our waters and perform counter-terrorism measures," he added.

South Korea has donated a lot of military hardware to the Philippines and has expressed gratitude for Manila's role in the 1950-53 Korean War.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Russia Warship in the Philippines for Joint Exercise; Draft for Defense Agreement for Duterte Visit may 25

Dream Meaning OF WEARING BLUE OR PURPLE
Naval Group of Russia's Pacific Fleet Makes Port Call in Philippines' Manila for 4 days- First Joint Excercise

Philippines – Russia First Joint Exercise

Russian Warship arrived in the Philippines on Thursday for joint exercises as part of a drive for new security ties under President Rodrigo Duterte's revamped foreign policy of courting the traditional foes of Manila's top ally, Washington.

The guided-missile cruiser Varyag, accompanied by the fuel tanker ship, Pechenge, are on a four-day goodwill visit to the Philippines, the second port call by Russian warships in three months.

The move is part of what Duterte describes as a pursuit of a constitutionally mandated "independent foreign policy". He has made no secret of his grudge against the United States and has made befriending Russia and China the priority of his diversification drive.

Captain Lued Lincuna, director of the Philippine navy's public affairs, said the Philippines hoped to learn from the Russians during training activities and a demonstration of advanced equipment and weapons systems.

The schedule includes training and sports activities with the flagship vessel of the Russian Pacific fleet, plus a Russian concert in a park.

Video: Naval Group of Russia's Pacific Fleet Makes Port Call in Philippines' Manila for 4 days- First Joint Excercise

Philippines – Russia Defense Agreement

Russian commander Captain Alexsei Ulyanenko said the port call would make a "significant contribution" to strengthening relations and maintaining stability in the region.

Moscow wants to help Manila combat extremism and piracy, stepping up cooperation and training in areas where the Philippines has traditionally worked closely with its former colonial master the United States.

The relationship is expected to develop further next month when Duterte and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin witness the signing of defense agreements in Moscow.

When Duterte met Putin for the first time last year, the Philippine leader spoke at length about what he called U.S. "hypocrisy".

Duterte has instructed his defense minister to look into how the Philippines could acquire modern military equipment from Russia, like drones, night-vision gear, sniper rifles, and even helicopters.

Duterte to visit Russia on May 25

President Rodrigo Duterte will be visiting Russia on May 25.

During his speech at the induction of newly elected officers of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., Duterte said Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command chief Army Major General Oscar Lactao will be joining him.

"So I'm going there with Lactao, May 25," Duterte said. "[Sabi ko sa kanya,] Maganda rin ang mga Russian. Iyon lang man ang puntahan mo. Usap kami ni Putin."

[Translation: I told Lactao, "Russians are also beautiful. At least go with me for that." Putin and I will talk.]

He also reiterated Russia's commitment to helping the Philippines.

"Sabi pa ng Russia [said], "We will have everything you need, just come here,"" he added.

Improved Philippine-Russian relations

Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev told CNN Philippines' "The Source" in January that Duterte's visit to Russia is a "milestone" in the ties between the two nations.

"Both the Russian and Philippine side, we need to prepare substantial and solid package of bilateral agreements on cooperation in different fields, and we are now taking necessary efforts," Khovaev said.

He also said Russian companies are willing to explore Philippine markets. He urged Philippine companies to reciprocate and explore the Russian market as well.

"We are ready to cooperate in industries of transport, energy… including the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, telecommunications, agriculture, and many other fields. Both sides have a lot to offer," Khovaev said.

Economic, military agreements in the works

Economic ties between Manila and Moscow are at their infancy.

Russia has not had any foreign direct investment in the Philippines since 1999, central bank data showed.

Russia accounted for $43 million (around ₱2.17 billion) in overseas remittances last year, but it was only 0.2 percent of the total $26.9 billion (around ₱1.35 trillion) sent home by Filipinos from all over the world.

In addition, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said Russia committed to importing up to $2.5 billion (around ₱126 billion) worth of Philippine fruits, grains and vegetables in 2017.

Imports by Russia from the Philippines stand at $46 million (around ₱2.32 billion), according to government trade statistics.

Beyond economic links, the Philippines is also eyeing military cooperation with Russia. Defense officials have said they were looking into possible joint exercises and weapons deals with the Kremlin.

Building trust

In addition, Khovaev said he is optimistic that Filipinos would trust Russia more as the two countries build bridges.

"It's time for Filipinos to discover Russia, and vice-versa… and I have a strong belief, we'll trust each other." he said.

In a non-commissioned survey released by Pulse Asia on January 12, 38 percent of Filipinos trust Russia, while 58 percent do not.

These figures are far behind that of the United States, which has a 76 percent trust rating.

"It's a good result if we take into account so many decades of Hollywood-style Russian propaganda in your country," he said, in apparent reference to prevailing perceptions of Russia as "communist" when it was formerly known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The Philippines has long been known as an ally of the U.S., even after it was colonized by the superpower from 1898 to 1946..With reports from Channel News Asia and CNN Philippines

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Duterte early lead in “TIME: No. 1 Most Influential Person in the Universe” VOTE NOW! For his Crown

Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte takes early lead in TIME 100 pol Most inflential person in the universe
Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte takes early lead in TIME 100 poll.

The TIME 100— annual list of the most influential people in the world—features a number of leading artists, politicians, lawmakers, scientists and leaders of tech and business. Although TIME's editors will choose the final list of honorees, we want readers to share their choices with us as well.

Did football player Colin Kaepernick or Oscar-winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins strike you as most influential this year? What about the Women's March co-chairs, Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez and Bob Bland? Or perhaps Steve Bannon or Kellyanne Conway, close advisers to President Donald Trump?

How about the Philippine' most popular President and  illegal drugs buster Hero "Rodrigo Roa Duterte"? will you cast your vote for him?

Cast your vote below. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. E.T. on April 16, 2017, and the winner of the reader poll will be announced immediately after. This year's official TIME 100 list will be announced April 20.

VOTE HERE!

If you want Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to be crowned as Time 2017 most influential person in the Universe then give him an unrivalled VOTE just him alone. But if you want others to compete his crown then vote the others as well as his challenger. To vote click “YES” for approval and “NO” for disapproval or if you don’t like the candidate to be crowned as most influential person. Click START POOL


Your vote counts! just vote accroding to what your heart's says.

See Who Is Winning the 2017 TIME 100 Poll here 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

2 TC-90 Japanese Jet be Transferred to the Philippines March 27 To Patrol Maritime Territory

TC-90 Japanese Jet be Transferred to the Philippines
2 of 5 leased Super King Air Beechcraft trainer jet left Japan's Tokushima Air Base Arriving the Philippines March 27

Two of the Five Leased T-C90 Japanese aircraft will be officially transferred to the Philippine Navy next week in a boost for Manila’s limited capabilities and an indicator of the significance of the bilateral defense relationship.

T-C90 Trainer jet is developed by Beechcraft Super King Air and is comprises of number of twin-turboprop models that have been divided into two families; the Model 90 and 100 series developed in the 1960s are known as King Airs, while the later T-tail Model 200 and 300 series were originally marketed as Super King Airs, with "Super" being dropped by Beechcraft in 1996.

The King Air was the first aircraft in its class and has been in continuous production since 1964. It has outsold all of its turboprop competitors combined. It now faces competition from jet aircraft such as the Embraer Phenom 100, Honda HA-420 HondaJet and Cessna Citation Mustang; as well as from newer turboprop aircraft including the Piaggio P180 Avanti, and single-engine Piper Malibu Meridian, Pilatus PC-12, and Socata TBM.

According to the Japan Ministry of Defense’s Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency (ATLA), two Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) TC-90 training aircraft will be officially transferred to the Philippine Navy on March 27. In a confirmation on Monday, the agency said that the aircraft would leave on Tokushima Air Base on March 23, with an arrival ceremony to be held at Naval Base Heracleo Alano in Sangley Point, Cavite City.

It had also come shortly after both sides had inked a landmark defense equipment and technology agreement, which was just the fourth Tokyo had signed with any country. As I have pointed out before, though attention tends to be overly focused on the Philippines’ relationship with its treaty ally, the United States, Japan is another of the key security partners that Manila has been cultivating. Thus far, signs are that this is set to continue under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, despite discontinuities in other dimensions of foreign policy

Philippine officials have publicly admitted that the TC-90s would be a much-needed capability boost for the military, which remains one of Asia’s weakest. The planes have around twice the range of the existing Norman-Britten BN-2 Islander fleet, which the navy uses for patrol, surveillance, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and rapid assessment missions. They are also much faster. The aircraft can also be fitted with additional equipment such as basic surface and air surveillance radar that would make it useful on the South China Sea front.

The TC-90s will be used to augment the existing Norman-Britten BN-2 Islander fleet, which the Navy uses in patrol, surveillance and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) and rapid assessment missions.

Last November, two Philippine Navy pilots and six air crews left for Japan to start their TC-90 flight training.

The Department of National Defense (DND) earlier announced that the Philippines will re-equip the TC-90s as Japan has stripped them of some equipment, including their surveillance systems.

The country will pay Japan $7,000 USD each for the first four aircraft yearly and only $200 USD for the fifth, for total of $28,200 USD as stipulated in its lease agreement.

The 5 TC-90 Beechcraft Super King Air which would be transferred to the Philippines for lease agreement are part of the active 40 TC-90 Trainer Jet in Japan leaving 35 active in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) asset inventory.

The DND added it is also looking at the possibility of using the TC-90 for 20 years while the military is upgrading its equipment.

The TC-90, which is part of the Beechcraft King Air aircraft family, was offered by Japan shortly after the Agreement Concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology was finalized Feb. 29 last year.

The TC-90’s patrol range is double that of a small Philippine aircraft, which only has a maximum range of 300 km.

Monday, March 20, 2017

In 18 Century- Europe Invaded China, 21 Century Asks Free Druglords in Philippines: Duterte SO ANGRY on EU's Requests: Give Shabu to Addicts, FREE the Drug Lords Selling Drugs

Opium War in Asia - Britain invaded China for arresting the druglords from selling Opium drugs, products of Britain
Opium War in Asia - Britain invaded China for arresting the druglords from selling Opium drugs, products of Britain. Photo: Nationalinterest.org


The War That Made Asia: How the Opium War Crushed China


European countries First Illegal Drug Trafficking to China led to “The Opium War, China’s Defeat”
In 1839, England went to war with China because it was upset that Chinese officials had shut down its drug trafficking racket and confiscated its dope.

Stating the historical record so plainly is shocking — but it’s true, and the consequences of that act are still being felt today.

The Qing Dynasty, founded by Manchurian clans in 1644, expanded China’s borders to their farthest reach, conquering Tibet, Taiwan and the Uighur Empire. However, the Qing then turned inward and isolationist, refusing to accept Western ambassadors because they were unwilling to proclaim the Qing Dynasty as supreme above their own heads of state.

Foreigners — even on trade ships — were prohibited entry into Chinese territory.

The exception to the rule was in Canton, the southeastern region centered on modern-day Guangdong Province, which adjoins Hong Kong and Macao. Foreigners were allowed to trade in the Thirteen Factories district in the city of Guangzhou, with payments made exclusively in silver.

The British gave the East India Company a monopoly on trade with China, and soon ships based in colonial India were vigorously exchanging silver for tea and porcelain. But the British had a limited supply of silver.

More War, More Opium:


Imperialism was on the upswing by the mid-1800s. France muscled into the treaty port business as well in 1843. The British soon wanted even more concessions from China — unrestricted trade at any port, embassies in Beijing and an end to bans on selling opium in the Chinese mainland.

One tactic the British used to further their influence was registering the ships of Chinese traders they dealt with as British ships.

The pretext for the second Opium War is comical in its absurdity. In October 1856, Chinese authorities seized a former pirate ship, the Arrow, with a Chinese crew and with an expired British registration. The captain told British authorities that the Chinese police had taken down the flag of a British ship.

The British demanded the Chinese governor release the crew. When only nine of the 14 returned, the British began a bombardment of the Chinese forts around Canton and eventually blasted open the city walls…. Read more at Nationalinterest.org


hilippine President Rodrigo Duterte has described European lawmakers as

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has described European lawmakers as "crazies" in a salty-tongued rebuttal to criticism of his deadly drug war, while vowing again that all traffickers will be killed. PHOTO: REUTERS


Duterte to EU: Stop meddling in Philippine affairs 


President Rodrigo Duterte once again hit back at the European Union (EU) for meddling with the issues of the Philippines.

"Why are you trying to impose on us?" he said in a speech Sunday at a meeting with the Filipino community in Myanmar, where he was on a two-day official visit.

"Why won't you mind your own business," he added.

Duterte's statements come after the European Parliament on Friday issued a joint resolution calling for the release of Senator Leila De Lima, who was arrested on February 24 on drug charges.

The President also responded to the body's suggestion that the ongoing drug war must go hand-in-hand with measures for prevention and detoxification, including the opening of new rehabilitation centers.

"This EU Parliament, prinopose nila lahat na lang na addicts, bigyan nalang," Duterte said. "Kung shabu, bigyan ng shabu. Kung cocaine, bigyan ka ng cocaine. Magpunta ka lang sa center."

[Translation: This EU Parliament is proposing that we just give drugs to addicts. If they're addicted to shabu, we should give them shabu. If they're addicted to cocaine, we should give them cocaine. They just need to go to the center.]

The government has moved into the second phase of its war on drugs by shifting towards reforming drug dependents by building more rehabilitation centers, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in October 2016.

Duterte and the EU


Duterte has chastised the EU since it criticized the war on drugs he launched in July 2016.

In September 2016, he challenged the United Nations and EU lawyers to come to the Philippines to prove their claims of alleged extrajudicial killings related to the drug war.

The President said he should be given the opportunity to be heard by them.

"In keeping with the time-honored principle of the right to be heard, matapos nila akong tanungin, tatanungin ko sila. Iisa-isahin ko sila," he said. "Manood kayo. Tignan niyo kung paano ko lampasuhin yang mga yawa na 'yan."

[Translation: In keeping with the time-honored principle of the right to be heard, I will ask them. Each one of them. You watch. Watch me discredit those idiots.]

In October 2016, Duterte challenged the United States and the EU to pull out their aid to the Philippines.

"If you think it is high time for you guys to withdraw your assistance, go ahead," he said. "We will not beg for it," Duterte said.

Meanwhile, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said at the ASEAN Economic Ministers' EU Trade Consultations earlier this month that the Philippines's human-rights record — from the war on drugs to the proposed reimposition of the death penalty — could be a sticking point in free-trade agreements between Philippines and the EU.

"The European Parliament and member-states have some concerns about this development," she said."We are discussing this with our partners in the Philippines."

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said if the EU doesn't budge on its allegations of alleged extrajudicial killings, the Philippines would not be swayed by conditions imposed on it by international bodies.

"If this drug war, the death penalty, are the best ways to respond to criminality, then that is what we must pursue," Lopez said. - With reports from The National Interest and CNN Philippines

Friday, March 17, 2017

Former U.N. General Assembly Hits Leni Robredo “IMPEACHABLE ACT”: Betraying Public Trust & Economic Sabotage

U.N. General Assembly Hits Leni Robredo “IMPEACHABLE ACT”
A former delegate to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has assailed Vice President Leni Robredo for “misrepresenting” millions of Filipinos when she addressed the 60th annual meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs via a video message that highlights alleged rights abuses in President Rodrigo Duterte’s so-called war on drugs. (Photo: Asian Journal )

Former UNGA delegate hits VP Robredo for ‘misrepresenting’ Filipinos


A former delegate to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has assailed Vice President Leni Robredo for “misrepresenting” millions of Filipinos when she addressed the 60th annual meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs via a video message that highlights alleged rights abuses in President Rodrigo Duterte’s so-called war on drugs.

“I am making this urgent appeal on behalf of each and every Filipino grossly misrepresented by our Vice President in the said video message, in reporting to the world what she failed to report to Philippine authorities,” said Michael Francis Acebedo Lopez, a Filipino and a former delegate to the UNGA.

Lopez noted that Vice President Robredo, whose own mandate has been called into question, with the country’s highest electoral tribunal considering the election protest against her win to be sufficient in both form and substance, “wantonly painted an impossibly grim image of the Philippine situation if only to attract international attention and action with unfounded claims and unsubstantiated allegations”.

Assuming there are actual reports received by the Office of the Vice President, Lopez said Robredo “has not only embarrassed our country, she has betrayed the public trust and committed economic sabotage, both punishable under Philippine laws”.

In the video, Robredo references the more than 7,000 people killed since the drug war began on July 1, 2016. The death toll has reportedly increased to 8,000.

“Our people have fought long for our rights and freedoms. We are not about to back down now,” she said.

Robredo also details in her video message other supposed human rights abuses occurring under the present administration — people beaten for requesting search warrants, and police detaining relatives in lieu of absconded drug suspects.

She also questions inconsistent figures on drug addiction reported by President Duterte.

Rather than a problem to be solved with bullets, Robredo said drug abuse “must be regarded as it truly is — a complex public health issue linked intimately with poverty and social inequality”.

In reporting to the world what the Vice President failed to report to Philippine authorities, Lopez said she “has not only embarrassed our country, she has betrayed the public trust and committed economic sabotage, both punishable under Philippine laws”.

“For her to say that ‘our people feel both hopeless and helpless’ is a brazen lie,” he said. “Confidence in the presidency is at an all-time high (while the same cannot be said of the vice president whose approval ratings continue to plummet). As a people, we feel hopeful and empowered like we’ve never felt before.”

“When the Vice President says 7,000 people have been killed in the President’s war on drugs, she fails to mention that this is set against the backdrop of around 700,000 to one million successful arrests and surrenders. So the figure she presents to you is not even 1 percent. And surely with the sheer number of those involved in the illicit drug trade, some police operations see suspects resisting arrest and fighting back and the police having to defend themselves resulting in casualties,” he noted.

“Every war has casualties. It is not a perfect war and I’m certain there have been abuses along the way, and these need to be looked into and those responsible must be brought to justice. But exaggerating things does not help at all.”

In responding to the call of the Vice President, Lopez said the international community “must tread carefully, lest it encroaches on our very sovereignty and our right to self-determination. And as a sovereign state, we have determined to wage an internal war (not a war against another nation) against the evils of drugs, a direction affirmed by our democratic processes when President Duterte, who included the war on drugs as one of his main programs of action, received an overwhelming mandate during the May 2016 Presidential Election. In short, the war on drugs, by extension, has the people’s mandate.”

“Any effort to disturb our democracy and sovereignty as a response to the Vice President’s irresponsible and unfounded claims will subvert the will of the Filipino people and violate our Human Right of Suffrage enshrined in both the Philippine Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 21 of the international covenant),” he stressed.

Lopez reiterated his appeal to members of the UN Body “to disregard the Philippine Vice President’s statement which is, I reiterate, a grave misrepresentation of the prevailing sentiments of our people and a gross perversion of the facts surrounding the war on drugs”.

“To my fellow Filipinos, let us remain vigilant in the face of threats to our democracy by the very people who claim to defend it,” he added. - By Lilybeth G. Ison of  Philippine Canadian Inquirer

Thursday, March 16, 2017

China: We respect Philippines' rights over Benham Rise

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that China has no intention of challenging the Philippines' rights over Benham Rise. FMPRC/Released

Beijing clarified that it fully respects the Philippines' rights over the continental shelf in Benham Rise following reports about Chinese survey ships cruising near the region.

"I wish to reiterate that China fully respects the Philippines' rights over the continental shelf in the 'Benham Rise' and there is no such thing of China challenging those rights," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a press briefing Tuesday.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana had described China's latest move as "very concerning" and ordered the Navy to drive away the service ships.

President Rodrigo Duterte, on the other hand, said that those were just research vessels and have not intruded the country's territorial waters.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry welcomed the remarks of Duterte and stressed that China and the Philippines had a "friend exchange of views" on the matter.

Hua stressed that under international law, China can enjoy freedom of navigation in the region.

"But the basic principle of international law says that the [exclusive economic zone] and the continental shelf do not equate with territories, and a littoral state's exercise of rights over the continental shelf should not hamper such rights as freedom of navigation enjoyed by other countries under international law," Hua said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry noted that the bilateral relationship between the Philippines and China is developing with "sound momentum and practical cooperation."

"From China's point of view, we attach great importance to the good neighborly and friendly partnership with the Philippines, and stand ready to work with the Philippines to implement the two Presidents' consensus of 'upholding good neighborly and friendly cooperation, appropriately handling differences, and pursuing common development,' bear in mind the larger picture of bilateral relations, continue to enhance mutual understanding and mutual trust, deepen friendly cooperation, and strive for the continued, sound and steady development of bilateral relations," Hua said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang earlier said that the Philippines cannot claim Benham Rise as its own territory despite the award of the United Nations (UN).

READ: China: Philippines can't claim Benham Rise

In 2012, the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf approved the submission of the Philippines with respect to the limits of its continental shelf in the Benham Rise region.

A large part of the Benham Rise is within the 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of the Philippines. An additional area of seabed extending around 150 nautical miles was claimed by the country as its extended continental shelf.

University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea Director Jay Batongbacal said that the region may not be in the same sense as a land territory, but is a territory for the purposes of the country's laws and regulations over natural resources.

"The 1987 Constitution considers as legally part of the National Territory all areas over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction; Benham Rise falls squarely within this definition," Batongbacal said in a Facebook post. - philSTAR

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

LEAKED: COMELEC Chair Baustista Admitted to Duterte Won for 21 Million Votes, 16 Million Votes counted, 5 Million went to Roxas

Leaked- Rumors exposed Mar. 14, 2017 Duterte Got 21 Million Votes but 5 Million were deducted and moved to Roxas
Leaked- Rumors exposed Mar. 14, 2017 Duterte Got 21 Million Votes but 5 Million were deducted and moved to Roxas

By: Ramon Tulfo - @inquirerdotnetPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 12:01 AM March 14, 2017

My sources in Malacañang say Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Andy Bautista visited the Palace recently and talked with President Digong.

What did Bautista want from the President since the elections are over and done with?

Hmm.

Did the conversation Bautista have with the President touch on rumors—allegedly spread by disgruntled Comelec insiders—that candidate Rodrigo Duterte garnered 21 million votes instead of 16 million?

Yes, the rumors are no longer important or worth discussing since Digong won anyway.

But they should not be disregarded for the sake of clean and honest elections in the future.

If the rumors that Digong got 21 million votes, instead of 16 million, have a grain of truth, then Bongbong Marcos probably won the vice presidency instead of Leni Robredo.

What about another rumor—still coming from inside the Comelec—that Bautista wants out as Comelec chair and is seeking another government post?

If this is true, was it taken up during Bautista’s secret and recent visit to the Palace?

A poster in one of the government offices I once visited reads:

Rules of the house.

Rule No. 1: The Boss is always right.

Rule No. 2: When in doubt, (whether he is right or wrong) refer to Rule No. 1.

Members of President Digong’s Cabinet should read the “rules of the house” over and over again until these are ingrained in their minds.

If memory serves me right, then President Joseph “Erap” Estrada once scolded a close adviser for insisting that he was wrong in one of his public pronouncements.

Erap told his adviser: “Mag-presidente ka muna bago mo pilitin na mali ako (You should become President first before you insist that I am wrong).”

And yet, the adviser didn’t announce to the public that Erap was wrong; he just told the President in private.

Contrary to what many think or believe, President Duterte listens to advice. But it must be given in a manner that neither humiliates nor embarrasses him in public. Otherwise, one risks stirring a hornet’s nest. To paraphrase Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, advice is seldom welcome because those who are perceived to need it the most like it the least.

The words above are not mine. They were written by Assistant Executive Jesus Melchor V. Quitain in his View from the Palace column in this paper’s opinion page yesterday.

Some more excerpts from Quitain’s column:

“At the risk of being repetitious, I say that advice must be given with care so that it does not irritate the President.

“The President need not be told twice. He listens, he remembers and he acts accordingly and appropriately. In rare instances, it may take some time for him to act, but act he will.

“That has always been his norm of conduct during the almost 16 years that I was privileged to work as a public official in Davao City under his leadership.”

I have reprinted some of Quitain’s words so people who missed his column yesterday would be able to read parts of it now. -Source:  Inquirer

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Malaysian Eyes to Construct 23 Buildings: $2.4 Billion USD For New Federal Government Capital Offices in Clark

Putrajaya Luxury Residence
Putrajaya Luxury Residence. Photo:worldarchitecturenews.com

AlloyMtd eyes RM11bil Philippine ‘Putrajaya’ job

AlloyMtd Group has submitted a bid to build a new administrative centre for the Philippines Government at an estimated project development cost of $2.4 Billion US Dollars.

Located in the city of Clark, approximately 96 kilometres from Manila, the proposed 1,000-hectare Clark Administrative City project will house the executive, legislative and judicial bodies of the Philippines federal government.

It replicates Malaysia’s Putrajaya and will serve as the centralised site for the national government.
Under AlloyMtd’s proposal, the project will consist of 23 buildings encompassing some 273,000 square meters. The estimated project cost will be around US$2.4bil (RM10.62bil).

Speaking to reporters during the inauguration of the Palayan City Government Centre and Central Business Hub in Nueva Ecija province, AlloyMtd president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Azmil Khalid (pic) said the proposal represented a gigantic leap for the company, which has had a substantial presence in the Philippines over the past 11 years.

“We have had success in creating ‘mini Putrajayas’ in the country, or new centralised administrative and business centres to spur growth. But with a project of this magnitude, we can build a ‘real Putrajaya’ for the Philippines government,” he said.

The proposal to relocate and centralise the country’s Government entities has been mooted for a long time.

The consolidation of national Government offices away from the congested Metro Manila city centre will enhance efficiency, while at the same time the new location would also become a new centre of operations in times of natural disasters.

The project would be overseen by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), a Government agency created to manage the conversion of former military bases into income-generating facilities.

AlloyMtd was invited by the BCDA to submit the proposal for the development of the project. A presentation of the master development plan was made to the BCDA chairman and board executives on Feb 2.

Azmil added that funding for the project would likely come from a sukuk issuance in Malaysia.
“We are seeking the backing of the Philippines Government in regards to the sukuk so the terms are more favourable for investors,” he said.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, who was the guest of honour at the Palayan City project inauguration, lauded the proposal as it is wholly supportive of the Malaysian Government’s intention to boost economic and business relationships with its Filipino counterparts.

AlloyMtd has a track record in creating centralised business and administrative centres for local Governments in the country. Its projects include the Calabarzon Regional Government Centre and the ongoing Palayan City project, as well as the Bataan Government Centre.

The Malaysian conglomerate, which has a presence in 16 countries, has an entrenched presence in the Philippines in the infrastructure, institutional facilities and property development segments.

Building on the success of its RM1bil South Luzon Expressway project, the company is preparing for another major undertaking, as it had submitted an unsolicited bid for the Manila Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line 8 project last month.

The project, which was submitted by a consortium comprising AlloyMtd and East-West Rail Corp, spans about nine kilometres of elevated and depressed guideways with 11 stations along the route.
It runs from Quezon City to Lerma St. in Manila and the estimated project cost for the venture is around US$1bil (RM4.4bil).

The proposal is currently under review by the Philippines Department of Transportation and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

The MRT project is also the first project proposal from the private sector that was resubmitted to NEDA under the new Duterte administration, Azmil confirmed. - The Star Online

China- Philippines Exchange Statements Over Benham Rise Excursion

Benham Rise in the North-eastern of Luzon Island of the northern Philippines
Benham Rise in the North-eastern of Luzon Island of the northern Philippines

PH, China exchange statements over ships spotted in Benham Rise

Chinese survey ships were reportedly spotted in Benham Rise, one of the Philippines' resource-rich territories recognized by the United Nations, said Defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

Lorenzana, as well as Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella, said the government is concerned about the presence of Chinese ships in the area.

The Defense secretary said some of the ships stay on the Benham Rise "as if doing nothing, but actually, they are surveying the seafloor, the seabed."

Abella said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has already been notified on the matter, so they could "continue to assert our sovereignty over our territory."

Lorenzana said the DFA has already sent 12 diplomatic protests to China since August 2016, but allegations are either ignored or denied.

Benham Rise Sketch
Benham Rise Sketch - Rappler.com

He added the Chinese may have been looking for a submarine platform, and is looking into the territory.

National Institute of Geological Sciences Director Mario Aurelio said the Benham Rise is a suitable prospect for this cause due to its shallow waters.

China said its research ships indeed passed through Philippine waters, but there should be no cause for alarm.

"But this is purely carrying out normal freedom of navigation and right of innocent passage, and there were no so-called other activities or operations," China's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said in a press briefing on Friday, according to a Reuters report.

"Comments from individuals in the Philippines on this do not accord with the facts," he added.

Resource-rich

Spanning 13 million hectares, the Benham Rise is an undersea plateau wider than Luzon located 135 miles off the coast of Aurora.

Aurelio said research findings in the area revealed it is rich in coral reefs and schools of fish.

He added several groups are already conducting fishing activities in its waters.

Adding to the Benham Rise's resources, Aurelio said research suggested the area may be rich in natural gas, oil, and minerals such as cobalt and manganese.

Resources in Benham Rise
Resources in Benham Rise - moderntribune.info

The United Nations already recognized the Philippines' claim to the undersea plateau as part of the exclusive economic zone in 2012.

Due to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, no other country is currently laying claims on the Benham Rise.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Public Affairs Office Chief Marine Col. Edgard Arevalo said they are still looking into reports of their senior leaders to determine their course of actions. - CNN PHILIPPINES

Taiwan-Philippines fishery meeting sees agreement on proposals

Taiwan's Representative to the Philippines Gary Lin (second right) shakes hands with Manila Economic and Cultural Office director Cesar Drilon Jr. in a fishery meeting in Manila Friday.
Taiwan's Representative to the Philippines Gary Lin (second right) shakes hands with Manila Economic and Cultural Office director Cesar Drilon Jr. in a fishery meeting in Manila Friday. Photo: Focus Taiwan

Taiwan and the Philippines reached agreement on several fishery cooperation proposals during a meeting held Thursday in Manila, according to Taiwan's representative to the Philippines, Gary Lin (林松煥).

In the third Taiwan-Philippines technical meeting on fishery affairs, representatives from Manila answered a request by Taipei, promising efforts to push for the legislation of a "sea-land passage bill" that would allow innocent passage by fishing boats from Taiwan or other countries through waterways between Philippines-controlled archipelagos, Lin said Friday.

Such a bill would help to reduce fishing disputes, Lin said, adding that the fishery meetings have helped boost relations between Taiwan and the Philippines and their cooperation in law enforcement efforts related to fishing.

Thanks to the meetings, which began in 2015 under the principle that at least one meeting is held each year, the two countries have gradually established mutual trust in law enforcement aimed at protecting fishermen's rights and interests, and have seen their friendship deepened, Lin said.

During Thursday's meeting, the Taiwanese and Philippine delegates reached agreement on proposals to promote the enforcement of fishery regulations, deepen and complete the mutual reporting mechanism, and establish a communication hotline.

They also agreed that Taiwanese fishing boats will receive assistance if they seek passage through Philippines territorial waters, and that the two countries will share fishery information and jointly crack down on illegal fishing, according to Lin.

Taiwan and the Philippines signed a fishery agreement in 2015, two years after a Taiwanese fisherman was killed in May 2013 when a Philippine Coast Guard vessel strafed his family's fishing boat in waters that both countries consider part of their exclusive economic zones.

The shooting triggered a diplomatic row, but eventually led to negotiations over how to avoid similar incidents in the future.

Under the pact, the two sides organized their own technical working panels, which hold at least one meeting each year to discuss the execution of fishery law enforcement. The first meeting was held in Taipei in November 2015, and the second of its kind took place in March 2016, also in Taipei. - Focus Taiwan

Finance Minister Dominguez III Asks Jack Ma to Remove Faked Tax Stamps from Alibaba

Finance Minister Dominguez III Asks Jack Ma to Remove fake Tax Stamps from Alibaba
Fake BIR Stamps pre-printed by MEIKEI Printing Co., LTD in China for cigarette boxes sold online. The same case as the Mighty Corporation with pre-printed BIR Tax Stamps. Source: https://sc01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1yKS.NXXXXXatXVXXq6xXFXXXl/Customized-OEM-cigar-label.jpg an image stored at Alibaba server aliccdn.com 

Philippines asks Jack Ma to remove fake tax stamps from Alibaba

Finance Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez III wrote a letter to Jack Ma, asking the latter to remove fake Philippine tax stamps on the Alibaba website.

“If you go to Alibaba.com, you can see there an item [option] to buy fake Philippine cigarette stamps,” Dominguez said during a tax reform forum in Metro Manila’s Makati City on Friday.

“I wrote a letter to Jack Ma to ask him to remove it from his website because that [online sale] is hurting the Philippine interests,” said Dominguez, adding he has started a campaign telling people not to buy the fake Philippine tax stamps online.

The Philippine government has been investigating Alexander Wong Chu King, president of Mighty Corporation, for allegedly using fake tax stamps worth P1.5 billion (Dh109 million) to avoid paying taxes. It is not yet known if he bought the fake Philippine tax stamps online or he had them printed in Manila.

>Screen captured of zoom image of faked BIR Stamp taxed pre-printed in China. If BIR will examine these stamps would realy turned not exists in their databased because these are pre-printed
Screen captured of zoom image of faked BIR Stamp taxed pre-printed in China. If BIR will examine these stamps would realy turned not exists in their databased because these are pre-printed. Source website address as appeared in the photo. ( https://goo.gl/Pzvw43 )

Dominguez asked Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to “move fast”for the lifting of a temporary restraining order issued by a lower court in Manila on Monday which prevented the Bureau of Customs (BOC) from raiding and inspecting the warehouses of Mighty Corporation.

The TRO would be good for 20 days, from March 3 to 23, 2017.

Packs of cigarettes with fake tax stamps were also seized from Mighty Corp’s container vans in ports in Tacloban City, central Philippines; in a warehouse in Pampanga, central Luzon; and in General Santos and Zamboanga cities in southern Philippines, the BOC said.

Letter of Philippine Finance Minister (Secretary) to Jack Ma regarding the faked BIR Tax Stamps appearing in his Alibaba online store
Letter of Philippine Finance Minister (Secretary) to Jack Ma regarding the faked BIR Tax Stamps appearing in his Alibaba online store

Forged stamps found in King’s warehouse in Pampanga alone could amount to P1 billion in revenue losses for the government, said Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) chief Caesar Dulay.

Earlier, President Rodrigo asked King to double to ₱3 billion its tax liability of ₱1.5 billion in a compromised settlement, adding the money will be used for the repair of two public hospitals in the southern Philippines and one in Metro Manila.

“The taxes that he did not pay, whether intentionally or not, can be settled or compromised. That’s the word [used] in law. The ₱1.5 billion worth of fake tax stamps that he has printed, double that amount [in paying back the government], and I’ll forget to press charges [of tax evasion against him],” explained Duterte, adding, “His [King’s initial] offer to pay ₱1.5 billion, that’s not acceptable for me. He should make it ₱3 billion.”

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, adding that King could also be charged with economic sabotage and bribery, said King sent to Duterte a package with a pile of cash.

On March 7, when Duterte ordered the arrest of King, the latter met with National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Dante Gierran and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre.

Both the BIR and the BOC have started to prepare an air-tight case against King, said Finance Secretary Dominguez. -with sources from Manila Bulletin and the Gulf News

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Shabu Pushers Shows up Again in the streets of Manila "Yelling like Selling Balot" Weeks after TOKHANG Stopped, -VOA

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A drug user inhales "shabu," or methamphetamine, at a drug den in Manila, Philippines, Feb. 13, 2017. Photo: VOA

Philippines Meth Trade Out of the Shadows Again

VOICE OF AMERICA (VOA): MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs had until three weeks ago driven the trade in crystal methamphetamine underground, according to residents and drug users in some of the slum areas of the nation’s capital city.

As thousands of users and dealers were shot dead by police and vigilantes in the first seven months after Duterte came to power last June, open dealing in the drug, known here by its street name shabu, largely stopped. Instead, deals were done on the quiet between people who knew each other, maybe with a text message first.

But since Duterte ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to stand down from the drugs war last month, after declaring the force “rotten to the core,” the drugs trade has come back out of the shadows, more than half a dozen drug users and dealers in some of Manila’s toughest areas said in interviews. Many spoke on condition that only their first names be used in this story.

‘How much are you going to buy?’

Beside one of the less-used railroad tracks in Manila, a grassy area scattered with human excrement only a few miles from the gleaming high-rises of the Makati business district, shabu was easily available last week, costing just a few pesos (cents) per hit.

Residents said that when they traveled on the illegal trolleys that ferry people for a few pesos along the track when there are no trains in sight, a fellow passenger will often offer them a sachet of the drug.

Eusebio, 52, who pushes a wood and bamboo trolley on the track for a living, said dealers sometimes walk alongside calling out: “How much are you going to buy?”

“Now that the operations have been suspended, drugs have become rampant again,” he said. “Those who were hiding have resurfaced.”

Another trolley-pusher, Boyser, 59, told two Reuters journalists: “If you weren’t reporters, they would offer you drugs.”

‘Users are still users’
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A sachet of "shabu," or methamphetamine, is pictured between lamps inside a drug den in Manila, Philippines, Feb. 13, 2017. Photo: VOA

In a dark cinderblock room that serves as a drug den in another part of Manila, there were similar stories from users.

“We have more freedom now,” Jason, a 39-year-old bartender told a visiting reporter as he inhaled shabu smoke. “All the users are still users, except those who have been killed,” he said, adding that he has used shabu for almost two decades.

More than 8,000 people have been killed since Duterte was sworn in almost eight months ago, about 2,500 of whom were killed in official police anti-narcotics operations. Human rights groups believe many of the others were extra-judicial executions committed as part of the war on drugs, and in cooperation with the police, a claim the Duterte administration has vehemently denied.

The president’s office did not respond to a list of emailed questions about the drug war and whether dealers were now openly back on the streets.

Duterte has repeatedly said he will hunt down drug lords and other “high value” targets and there have been a handful of large-scale seizures and raids on shabu laboratories.

But most of those killed in the war on drugs have been small-time dealers and users in some of the country’s poorest neighborhoods.

The PNP stopped publishing an official tally of drug war killings from police operations on January 31 when Duterte ordered the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to take over the campaign.

Fewer killings

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Filipino men place their hands over their heads as they are rounded up during a police operation as part of the continuing "War on Drugs" campaign of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila, Philippines. Photo: VOA File

According to reporters and photographers from Reuters and Philippine news organizations working the night shift, “vigilante-style” killings of drug suspects have continued, but at a much slower pace. Police data shows 398 people were killed nationwide in the first 20 days of February.

Details of the killings were not provided and it was unclear how many were drug-related.

Some anti-narcotics experts say they would not be surprised if it turns out that the drug war has been ineffective. They say that ruthless operations against drugs, like Duterte’s, have failed elsewhere in the world.

When an aggressive anti-drugs campaign begins, supplies may be tight for a while, street prices may spike, but ultimately drug usage does not drop, say those who have studied the results.

“We don’t know of any examples from around the world where very hard-line approaches have worked effectively,” said Jeremy Douglas, the regional representative for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. “They can temporarily disrupt street business, but they don’t disrupt demand.”

Lost momentum

Some police officers told Reuters that they had received reports of increased street-level drug activity since they were ordered to stand down.

Manila Police Commander Olivia Sagaysay, who oversees four precincts in the city, said the war on drugs had lost momentum and morale among her officers had suffered since they were ordered to stand down.

“It’s depressing,” she said. “But who are we not to follow the higher-ups?”

She said she expected the trade to increase but maybe not return to its previous levels because “networks were disrupted” and “pushers were killed.”
In a written response to questions from Reuters about the impact of Duterte’s campaign on the street-level shabu trade, the PDEA said that “based on reports gathered, the supply of illegal drugs in some areas are still considerably abundant.”

The PDEA attributed low street prices for shabu — prices overall have risen only minimally since the war on drugs began and in some areas have fallen — to a “lack of customers” or drug traffickers trying to get rid of their supply “in order to avoid arrest.” It said drugs were being hoarded and that it was difficult for users to transact directly with traffickers. The PDEA did not provide evidence for any of its assessments.

PNP spokesman Dionardo Carlos said drugs would return to the streets because it was “a billion peso business” and “money talks.”

In his view, though, the drug war had not failed.

“We hit the target and now it goes back to PDEA. As far as the PNP is concerned we did our part in the past seven months. I hope PDEA will be able to do their part,” he said.

The PDEA has just about 1,800 people compared with the national police force of 160,000. Of the existing PDEA personnel, only about half are field operatives.

PDEA spokesman Derrick Carreon said his agency will add staff and that the president would soon be issuing an executive order to set up an anti-illegal drugs inter-agency council and task force that would also draw from the military, the National Bureau of Investigation and the PNP. The task force will be charged with pursuing the war on drugs.

“There is a temporary vacuum of warm bodies but it won’t be long,” Carreon said, adding that those involved in the drug trade would be wrong to think they were safe.

“If that’s their perception, it won’t last long,” he said. “They will find out in the hardest way that they are terribly wrong.”
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A drug user inhales "shabu," or methamphetamine, at a drug den in Manila, Philippines, Feb. 13, 2017. Photo: VOA

‘Go after cookers’

Still, Jason, the bartender who is a shabu user, said Duterte’s campaign was not successful because he targeted the wrong people.

If authorities had gone after the “cookers,” the people manufacturing the drugs, instead of users and small dealers, people like him would be unable to buy and would move on. As it is, Jason said, shabu is always in plentiful supply, adding he was addicted and the drug eliminated any fear he may have had of being shot by police or vigilantes.

As he spoke, Jason poured white crystals into a long strip of aluminum foil folded into a trough, tilted it slightly and held a flame below. Almost immediately, it produced a thick white smoke, which he sucked up through a narrow aluminum foil straw.

He then began speaking again, more animatedly. “I buy drugs every day!” he said. - Voice of America 

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