Showing posts with label philippines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label philippines. Show all posts

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Duterte signed “Free Tuition Fee law” for all State Universities and Colleges- ₱100 billion Budget

“Free Tuition Fee law”  in the Philippines
[Free Tertiary Education] Free Tuition fee law in the Philippines

Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Law for bottom 20% poor but deserving Filipino students

- Free tuition fee for all state colleges and universities
- Free Library access
- Free  ID
- Free laboratory access

President Duterte has signed into law the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act which grants free tuition to all state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the country.

This despite the suggestion of a veto by Budget Secretary Ben Diokno as the government cannot afford to shoulder its cost estimated to be around ₱100 billion.

During the Mindanao Hour press briefing Friday morning, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that the President signed the bill Thursday night.

“The enrolled bill came to the Office of the President nearly 30 days ago and during that period, there had been a lot of discussions and study about the bill because of its heavy budgetary implication” he explained.

Guevarra said that free tertiary education in SUCs is a very strong pillar or cornerstone of Duterte’s social development policy and that the President was still trying to figure out the best possible solution regarding the bill.

“So we weighed everything and came to the conclusion that the long-term benefits that will be derived from a well-developed tertiary education on the part of the citizenry will definitely outweigh any short-term budgetary challenges,” he said.

The Palace official also said that whether or not economic managers are for the passing of the bill, the more important thing now is to find the budgetary allocation for the program.

“Everyone, including the economic managers, will have to focus their attention on funding for this program because this will have to be implemented soon,” Guevarra said, adding that the SUC law will be implemented on the next school year.

Since the government has already submitted the proposed 2018 national budget to Congress, Guevarra said that certain adjustments can still be made so allocation for the law can be made.

“That is really the principal responsibility of Congress when they deliberate on the budget. Right now, I have nothing very specific to say about which projects or which programs or which agency’s proposed budget might be affected,” he said.

“If Congress is really serious in finding the appropriate funding for this free tuition program, they will have to find the necessary sources for this particular program,” he added.

Guevarra also addressed the estimate of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) that ₱ 100 billion would be needed to implement the SUC law.

“The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) thinks otherwise. The ₱ 100-billion estimate of the DBM seems to be on the very high side because that is on the basis on the assumption that all aspects of the free tuition bill will be implemented all at the same time,” he said.

The CHED estimated that ₱ 34.1 billion would be needed for the implementation of the law.

According to Guevarra, the government would only have to spend on the mandatory provisions of the bill which includes tuition and miscellaneous fees which would need around ₱ 16 billion.

Education System in the Philippines
Diagram of educational system in the Philippines - wes.org

The related educational expenses like books and boarding would be shouldered for “deserving 20 percent” by the CHED’s Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) program.

“As far as I know those are the only mandatory provisions of the bill for now – the free tuition and other fees. Other fees would refer to something like library fees, ID fees, laboratory fees, and stuff like that,” Guevarra explained.

“Now as to the subsidy for related educational expenses, that is something to be processed by the UniFAST board which is supposed to have a system of priority,” he said, adding that the fund and system under the UniFAST are yet to be established.

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Grade scaling for the educational system in the Philippines vs USA Education System - wes.org

“In other words, ‘yung mga talagang nangangailangan, the bottom 20 percent, will be prioritized in terms of subsidy for educational-related expenses,” he added.

The UniFAST rationalizes the allocation, utilization and client-targeting of government resources and improves access to quality higher and technical education for those who need it.

It also serves as the ultimate national human resource development mechanism and strategy that will direct beneficiaries to priority courses needed for economic growth and development. - By Argyll Cyrus Geducos from Manila Bulletin

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Is the Philippines raising the next Football Hero like Paulino Alcántara?


Paulino Alcántara vs Leonel Messi
Filipino Football Hero Paulino Alcántara's record in football remain unbroken by Lionel Messi more appearances. Photo: Pinterest.com

When will the Philippines find their new Paulino Alcántara?

When will the Philippines find their new Paulino Alcántara? The half-Filipino, half Spanish football hero that set records at FC Barcelona that only Lionel Messi can break.

The Iloilo-born net breaker set goal scoring record in FC Barcelona with 369 goals in 357 games that stood for many years before he was overtaken by Leonel Messi on 16 March 2014.

His record as the youngest player to ever score for FC Barcelona in an official match at the age of 15 is still yet to be broken.

With the influx of half Filipinos in the Philippine National teams, and the newly formed Profesional Football League (PFL), there is a feeling that Alcántara will be found. However, the truth is that the new Alcantara will not be found abroad.

At this period of time, world-class Filipinos playing abroad will surely not be ready to represent the motherland because of the competitive edge and of course the financial reward they will have playing oversea.

David Alaba, for example, is a world-class player currently playing for Bayern Munich and Austria National Team. He holds Austria’s record as the youngest player to play for their senior national team, debuting for them in 2009 as a 17-year-old. His mother is a Filipina while his father is a Nigerian.

 Paulino Alcántara's Ful name, Birth Date, Place
Filipino Football Hero Paulino Alcántara's Ful name, Birth Date, Place and career. Photo: Soccergaming.com

The Philippines for sure will find the new Alcantara at home as football authorities have started to pay more attention to youth development.

The two summer youth football leagues (YFL and NCR) are over but were there new possible Alcántara scouted for the country’s development center during this period?

I read on Four Four Two about Shane Clemente, a young talented Filipino footballer who has already experienced Wembley and Old Trafford at the age of 12 saying:

“I want to play at FC Barcelona because that’s where Alcantara played” ” “He was known for breaking the net and I’m going to be known for breaking the net and the goalpost”.

This is one of the many talented young players at home that should be in the development center under the watchful eye of the Philippines Football Federation and I look forward to meeting this young talent to discuss how far he has gone with his football development. Read more at ROAR

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

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 remain unbeaten on Day 3 of SEABA Championship 2017

12 Phuoc Thang Le (VIE) - Myanmar v Vietnam, 2017 SEABA Men Championship (PHI), Manila - Smart Araneta Coliseum
12 Phuoc Thang Le (VIE) - Myanmar v Vietnam, 2017 SEABA Men Championship (PHI), Manila - Smart Araneta Coliseum, Manila(Philippines), 14 May 2017

SEABA CHAMPIONSHIP 2017 RESULTS:

  • Indonesia beat Thailand, 60-59
  • Vietnam beat Myanmar, 77-44
  • Philippines beat Malaysia, 106-51

MANILA (SEABA Championship 2017) - Indonesia had to scrape by Thailand even as Vietnam and the Philippines routed their respective foes during Day 3 at the SEABA Championship 2017 in Manila.

The day's opening game proved to be a down-the-wire thriller, but it eventually went Indonesia's way as they outlasted Thailand, 60-59. In a game that featured multiple ties and lead changes, it was Mario Wuysang who came up huge in the endgame to hit the marginal basket. This happened after Sorot Sunthonsiri gave Thailand their last taste of the lead, 59-58. Moments after, Wuysang brought the ball to the left corner and drilled the game-winning bucket. In the game's final sequence, Indonesia forced Thai playmaker Nattakarn Muangboon into a crucial turnover that all but sealed their fate.

The loss wasted a big game from Chitchai Ananti, who scored 24 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Indonesia, meanwhile, were led by Sandy Kurniawan, who hit 5 three-pointers on his way to 17 points. He got ample support from Dodo Sitepu, who registered 9 points, 6 rebounds and 1 blocked shot. The Indons moved up to 3-0, while the Thais absorbed their first defeat of the tournament.

In the second game, Vietnam notched their first win of the competition at Myanmar's expense, 77-44. Nguyen Van Hung dazzled for the victors with 22 points on 11-of-18 field goal shooting, while Tran Vu Linh added 18 points. Vietnam dominated the interior in this contest, winning the rebound battle, 53-35, and outscoring Myanmar around the basket, 60-24.

Myanmar led very briefly at the start of the game, but once Vietnam got into a groove, they never let go of the advantage. Aung Wana paced Myanmar with 21 points on the back of 2 three-pointers.

To close out the evening, the Philippines recorded another lopsided result, routing Malaysia, 106-51. Malaysia actually scored the first two points of the game, but it was all Gilas Pilipinas after that. The home team built a 19-point lead after the first quarter and never looked back.

VIDEO: Philippines vs Malaysia

Malaysia just had no answer for the Filipinos' superior size and skill. The winners were +21 in rebounding and +13 in assists. Gilas Pilipinas also forced 18 Malaysia turnovers, which they turned into 19 points. Andray Blatche and Troy Rosario each scored 13 points for the Philippines, while Terrence Romeo and Matthew Wright added a dozen points apiece as their team moves into a tie for first place with Indonesia at 3-0.

Most of coach Goh Cheng Huat's wards had a very challenging time trying to score against the bigger Filipinos. Heng Yee Tong and Ting Chun Hong led the losing side with 12 and 10 points respectively. Malaysia drop to the bottom of the team standings with zero wins in three games.

Gilas Pilipinas will take a breather on Day 4 before they return to action on Day 5 opposite Thailand, who take on Myanmar tomorrow. Neighbors Singapore and Malaysia play each other in the second game of Day 4 right before Indonesia are tested by Vietnam in the nightcap. read more at FIBA

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

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Duterte Ordered Military Plant Flags in 10 Islands, Upgrade runway in Spratly, rename Benham to RIDGE

Duterte Ordered Military Plant Flags in 10 Islands, Upgrade runway in Spratly
Spratly Islands in the West Philippines Sea, Province of Palawan

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the military to occupy and fortify all Philippine-held islands in the West Philippine Sea (South  China Sea)  to assert the country’s claims amid what he says is a race to control territory in the area.

“We tried to be friends with everybody but we have to maintain our jurisdiction now, at least the areas under our control,” he said during a visit to a military camp in western Palawan province.

Duterte said he has ordered the armed forces to occupy and place Philippine flags on all islands, reefs and shoals controlled by the Philippines.

“There are about nine or 10 islands there, we have to fortify,” he said. “I must build bunkers there or houses and provisions for habitation.”

Duterte said he may visit one of the islands, Pag-asa, to plant a Philippine flag on Independence Day. He said money has been budgeted to repair the runway on Pag-asa, home to a small fishing community and Filipino troops.

Since taking office in June, Duterte has worked to mend ties with China that were strained under his predecessor over the territorial disputes.

President Duterte, who on the campaign trail joked that would jet ski to a Chinese man-made island in the South China Sea to reinforce Manila's claim, said he may visit a Philippine-controlled island to raise the national flag.

Duterte's plan is unlikely to sit well with China, which lays claim to almost all the South China Sea, despite a fast-warming relationship between the two sides in recent months.

The Philippines occupies nine "features", or islands and reefs, in the South China Sea, including a World War II-vintage transport ship which ran aground on Second Thomas Shoal in the late 1990s.

Duterte told reporters he would visit the island of Thitu, the largest of the Philippine-controlled Spratly Islands, and build a barracks for servicemen operating in the area.

"In the coming Independence Day, I may go to Pagasa island to raise the flag there," Duterte told reporters, using the local name for Thitu.

The Philippines marks 119th year of independence from more than three centuries of Spanish rule on June 12.

Thitu is close to Subi Reef, one of seven man-made islands in the Spratlys that China is accused of militarising with surface-to-air missiles, among other armaments.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims in the strategic waters.

Duterte's comment made at a military base on Palawan island, near the disputed waters, came two days after Manila's acting foreign minister said China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations had made progress on a framework for a code of conduct in the South China Sea.

Duterte announced his "separation" from the United States in October, declaring he had realigned with China as the two agreed to resolve their South China Sea dispute through talks.

His efforts to engage China, months after a tribunal in the Hague ruled that Beijing did not have historic rights to the South China Sea, marks an astonishing reversal in foreign policy since he took office on June 30.

Last month, Defence Minister Delfin Lorenzana said the military would strengthen its facilities in the Spratlys, building a new port, paving an existing rough airstrip and repairing other structures.

Chinese coast guard vessels prevented a Philippine nationalist group from planting a Filipino flag on a rocky outcrop in another part of the South China Sea in June.

Duterte said last month it was pointless trying to challenge China's fortification of its man-made islands and ridiculed the media for referring to his comment that he would jet ski to one Beijing's reclaimed reefs.

"We cannot stop them because they are building it with their mind fixed that they own the place. China will go to war," he said. "People want me to jet ski. These fools believed me."

An impeachment complaint has been filed against him that cites, among other things, his alleged failure to protest China’s territorial expansion in the South China Sea.

Rival claimants, including the Philippines and Vietnam, have expressed alarm over Beijing’s building of artificial islands in the disputed region.

“It looks like there’s a race to grab islands,” Duterte said. “What is ours now, we should get and make a strong point that it is ours.”

Benham Rise to "Philippine Ridge"

President Duterte Renaming
President Duterte Renaming "Benham Rise" to "Philippine Ridge"

Duterte also said that he will rename Benham Rise — a potentially resource-rich undersea region off the country’s northeast coast — the Philippine Ridge.

Benham Rise is on the opposite side of the Philippines from the area at dispute in the South China Sea. The U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf confirmed in 2012 that Benham Rise is part of the extended continental shelf of the Philippines.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has said that Chinese survey ships were seen crisscrossing the Benham Rise area last year resulting the Philippines to protest such incident.

China recently said that they respect and recognized the Sovereign Rights of the Philippines over the Benham Rise and is not contesting it.

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 

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

Philippines to Build First Operational 100 Megawatt Nuclear Power Plant in Sulu this Year

Modern Nuclear Power Plant Diagraml
Modern Nuclear Power Plant Diagram

Department of Energy considering Sulu as site for nuclear plant this year


Sulu Archipelago in western Mindanao is non-typhoon and non-earthquake prone areas with almost Zero fault line an is among the areas being eyed for a modular nuclear power plant as the Department of Energy (DOE) targets to complete a nuclear energy program within the year.

The Nuclear Energy Program Implementing Organization (NEPIO) is currently studying the nuclear program of the country and has scheduled scientific visits and capacitating programs to come up with a national policy, Energy Undersecretary Donato Marcos said.

“Within this year, we will come up with a comprehensive report. Of course it will be presented to the Office of the President,” Marcos said.

NEPIO was created by the DOE to unify the conduct of various studies and research on nuclear energy development in the country.

It was designed to work in three phases, starting with a comprehensive study on the overview of the country’s energy needs which will lead to forming a policy decision on nuclear.

Phase 2 calls for the preparatory work for the construction of a nuclear power plant while Phase 3 pertains to the activities to implement the said power facility.

The study is expected to undergo a long process to iron out every detail for the country’s nuclear program, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.

“What makes it longer is process because of course, a due process for everybody…So we have to go through the process every step of it. Unlike when you have a country that is willing or a host province that would be willing to do it, then the process will be faster,” he said.

Cusi said there is still a lot of opposition to  the operation of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP), which has been mothballed since the 1980s.

$2.3 Billion USD Dollar Mothballed Nuclear Power Plant in Bataan
$2.3 Billion USD Dollar Mothballed Nuclear Power Plant in Bataan. Bataan Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power plant, completed but never fueled, on Bataan Peninsula, 100 kilometers west of Manila in the Philippines. It is located on a 3.57 square kilometre government reservation at Napot Point in Morong, Bataan. 

“We are going in to the process of resolving all the concerns that are being raised against it,” he said.

Sulu province has been very aggressive in pitching to host a nuclear power facility, Marcos said.

“They usually visit the secretary and proposing that they will be hosting a SMR, a small modular reactor, so they can finally have stable, secured, predictable and reasonably priced electricity in the region,” Marcos said.

Since it’s modular, it can have a capacity of 100 megawatts (MW) at most, the DOE undersecretary said.

Putting up a nuclear modular reactor in other provinces is also part of the study.

“As long as the provinces are willing. That’s why were forming a national policy… Once it is in place, and there is a host province, we can do it,” Cusi said.

If materialized, Sulu, Mindanao could be the first province in the Philippines to have the operational nuclear powerplant after the mothballed Nuclear Powerplant in Morong, Bataan in Northern Luzon.

Western countries are promoting the Nuclear Power Plant as clean, cheapest and safest renewable source of energy.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Solar Philippines Breakground $150 Million USD Solar Farm in Tarlac

Solar Philippines Breakground 150 Megawatt Solar Farm in Tarlac, Philippines
At the ceremonial groundbreaking of the 150-MW Tarlac solar farm, with the first ‘Made in the Philippines’ panels by Solar Philippines are (from left): Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Solar Philippines president Leandro Leviste, Tarlac Governor Susan Yap and Concepcion Mayor Andy Lacson Photo: PhilSTAR

Solar pioneer starts 150-MW Tarlac solar farm


Solar Philippines has kicked off the construction of its 150-megawatt (MW) solar farm with battery storage here, its largest solar power project to-date, which can provide the province’s requirements in six months time, its top official said yesterday.

The whole solar farm will start operating as a merchant plant in the third quarter of the year, Solar Philippines president Leandro Leviste said during the ceremonial groundbreaking of the project.

“The output of the 150 MW plant that will be operating here by the second half of 2017 will be able to power the entire Tarlac province with cheap renewable energy,” he said.

The company official said this will heed Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi’s call to put up more merchant power plants – or those generating facilities selling their output to the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) – to further spur competition in the electricity spot market.

“What we want is to make this fast…(because) solar is now cheaper than coal and therefore get this online within 2017. And that’s why even without the contract finally approved by regulators, we’re doing this for most of the plant’s capacity,” Leviste said.

The Concepcion solar farm will comprise close to 450,000 solar panels and over 150 hectares, with room to expand as demand for solar with batteries increases.

Leviste said the cost to put up the solar farm is equivalent to $1 million per megawatt, or roughly $150 million for the entire project.

“With the battery… it can be an additional 20-50 percent of the cost of the project. But we’re not doing all the batteries all at once, it’s going to be phased incrementally,” he said.

Solar Philippines is the developer, investor, contractor and supplier for its projects – a strategy which the company believes is the key to making solar cost-competitive.

“Why do we expect lower price? One is vertical integration, by doing solar panel manufacturing in-house as well as the construction. the development, the financing will definitely lower the cost. Second is the economies of scale,” Leviste said.

Once completed, the power plant will have many firsts in its name - philSTAR

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

Null
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

Seven Japanese trading houses investing $3.9b in Philippines

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Sumitomo Farming Technology

Seven major Japanese trading houses are looking at investing up to $3.9 billion (198.5 billion) in different industries in the Philippines.

After his recent trip to Tokyo, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) secretary Ramon Lopez disclosed on Monday (March 13) that the Japanese companies who made the commitment (to invest in the country) were Mitsubishi Corp, Mitsui and Co Ltd, Sumitomo Corp, Itochu Corp, Marubeni Corp, Toyota Tsusho, and Sojitz.

Others present in the dialogue were Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Philippine ambassador-designate Jose Laurel — who got together with representatives of Japanese companies with a broad range of business activities.

Lopez noted Marubeni is willing to invest in additional coal power plants worth ₱75 billion over the medium term; Itochu and Sumitomo (through Philippines subsidiaries Dole and Sumifru respectively) willing to invest an additional ₱12.9 billion through 2018 to expand their integrated farming projects in Mindanao; Sumitomo, Sojitz, and Mitsui jointly invested in Coral Bay Nickle Corp and Taganito High Pressure Acid Leaching (THPAL) Nickle Corp in Surigao and Palawan, at a cost of ₱80 billion.

Mitsubishi, Sojitz, Mitsui, and Toyota Tsusho, and, all the seven trading houses are supporting the Philippines’ Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program created in 2015 to attract new investments, stimulate demand and effectively implement industry regulations that will revitalize the Philippine automotive industry, and develop the country as a regional automotive manufacturing hub.

All the Japanese firms also expressed interest in the Philippines’ so called “Golden Age of Infrastructure,” like the railway and subway projects, the Clark Green City project, the Expanded Port and RoRo Building programs, and the Airport Development projects.

The Japanese trading houses were also encouraged to use their expansive business systems to help in planning an efficient set of economic infrastructure, such as farm-to-market roads, bridges, seaports, airports, railways for cargo, passengers and RORO vessels, and service providers.

“The fundamentals are there in terms of a fast-growing economy, a 109-million population base, standing trade agreements, and a young, talented, and dedicated work force,” Lopez said. - Tomas S. Noda III of Deal Street Asia

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