Posts by :

    Labag sa batas ang plano ng pangulo na magtatag ng isang “revolutionary government” (Ikalawang bahagi)*

    October 20th, 2017

    MALI at malisyosong ikinumpara ni Duterte ang kanyang plano na magtayo ng revolutionary government, na halatang bigla lamang niyang naisip, sa itinatag na revolutionary government noong 1986 ni dati at yumaong Pangulong Corazon Aquino dahil iyon ay resulta ng pagpapatalsik ng taong bayan sa isang diktadura.

    Bukod dito, ang revolutionary government ni Ginang Aquino ay isang transition o pansamantalang paraan mula sa diktadura ni dating Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos patungo sa tradisyunal na demokratikong pamumuno bago ibinagsak ang batas militar noong 1972.

    Sa paggamit ng revolutionary government ni Gng. Aquino bilang salalayan ng balak na revolutionary government ni Duterte, ay malinaw na nililito ng pangulo ang bayan at hindi nito sinasagot kung saan magiging paraan o transition ito.

    Hindi niya masasabi na paraan ito mula sa diktadura patungo sa demokratikong pamamalakad ng lipunan, maliban na lamang kung ito ay isang pag-amin ni Duterte na diktadura ang kanyang balangkas sa ngayon. Hindi rin naman niya masasabi na ito ay pagpapatalsik ng mga oligarch sa pamahalaan dahil karamihan sa mga tao na kanyang sinasandigan sa pamumuno ay mula sa paksyon ng mga oligarch na sumuporta naman kay Marcos noon.

    Siguro ang gusto talagang sabihin ni Duterte sa atin ay ibig niyang patalsikin ang kanyang sarili para maitayo niya ang isang revolutionary government kung saan ibabasura na ang Saligang Batas ng 1987, kasabay ng paglusaw niya sa kongreso at lalong pagpapahina sa poder hudikatura na kanyang ididikta.

    Lumilinaw na kung maitatayo ni Duterte ang kanyang revolutionary government ay isa lamang itong “self coup d’etat” o pagpapatalsik sa sarili para maiwasan ang tumitinding galit ng bayan kaugnay sa mga nagaganap na patayan araw-araw dahil sa kanyang drug war, at ang kabiguan niyang panindigan ang mga mahahalagang reporma sa pamahalaan na kanyang ipinangako noong panahon ng kampanya sa halalan.

    Hindi rin kataka-taka na naibulalas niya ang kanyang plano sa isang panayam sa telebisyon matapos ang mga sumusunod:

    • lumabas sa survey na bumagsak ng husto ang kanyang public satisfaction at trust rating,

    • maiulat na bumabagsak ang ekonomiya dahil sa kaunting foreign investments na pumapasok sa bansa dahil na rin sa takot ng mga may ari ng kapital na unstable ang kanyang pamamahala,

    • na tumindi ang pagpuna sa kanyang human rights records ng mga kanluraning bansa at mga pandaigdigang organisasyon na nagbibigay halaga sa karapatan ng tao.

    Malinaw pa sa sikat ng Haring Araw na ang Pilipinas na sa ilalim ng kasalukyang administrasyon sa ngayon ay unti-unting nahihiwalay sa atin ang ating mga tradisyunal na kaalyado na may tunay na pagpapahalaga sa karapatan ng tao at respeto sa Pilipino.

    (May karugtong sa Miyerkoles)

    * * *

    Kung ibig ninyong maligo sa hot spring ay maari kayong pumunhta sa Infinity Resort sa Indigo Bay Subdivision, Brgy. Bagong Kalsada, Calamba City. Malapit lamang sa Metro Manila at mula sa resort na ito ay tanaw ninyo ang banal na bundok Makiling.

    Magpadala nang mensahe sa www.facebook.com/privatehotspringresort para sa karagdagang impormasyon o reserbasyon ng lugar. Salamat po.

    * * *

    (Maari ring mabasa ang Usaping Bayan sa Opinion Section ng pahayagang Hataw tuwing araw ng Miyerkoles at Biyernes. Makikita rin sa  http://www.hatawtabloid.com ang tala na ito).

    *Ang mga pananaw sa artikulong ito ay sa sumulat.  Maaring hindi ito ang opisyal na posisyon ng Beyond Deadlines.

    No Comments "

    PH Government prosecutors have indicted former Negros Rep. Herminio Teves for alleged anomalous PDAF disbursement

    October 19th, 2017

    Ombudsman Building © http://thepoc.net

    GOVERNMENT prosecutors have indicted former Representative Herminio Teves of the 3rd District of Negros Oriental due to alleged violation of the anti-graft laws in connection with the disbursement of his Php10 million Priority Development Assistance Fund in 2006.

    Specifically, the Office of the Ombudsman charged Teves before the Sandiganbayan with one count of violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 (the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) and one count of Malversation of Public Funds.

    Also charged together with the 97-year old former lawmaker before the anti-graft court were his chief of staff, Hiram Pulido, Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC) representatives Antonio Ortiz, Dennis Cunanan, Marivic Jover, Belina Concepcion and Francisco Figura.

    At the same time, the government’s anti-graft prosecutors furnished the Anti-Money Laundering Council with copies of its Resolution so it could separately investigate Teves for possible violations of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

    Former Negros Rep. Herminio Teves. Image © http://negroschronicle.net

    Records show that Ombudsman investigators have uncovered documents showing that Teves’ Php10 million PDAF, originally intended for livelihood projects for the depressed barangays in his district, was instead used to fund his ghost projects.

    The prosecutors recalled that in December 2006, Teves requested the release of the 4th tranche of his PDAF allocations and selected the TLRC as implementing agency and the Molugan Foundation, Inc., as conduit non-government organization (NGO).

    However, the anti-graft prosecutors learned that the Molugan Foundation did not have the capacity to implement the project as it was incorporated only in 2007, the year it was tasked to implement the PDAF project.

    Field investigators also said no public bidding was conducted and that the NGO’s place of incorporation and the whereabouts of its incorporators both yielded negative results. Despite being a ghost project, they added, respondents facilitated the approval of the disbursement voucher and check for the NGO in a single day.

    The prosecutors also cited a Commission on Audit Special Audits Office Report and Notice of Dis-allowance disclosure that the projects supposedly funded by Teves’ PDAF were ghost or non-existent as there were no documents of its implementation or actual fund utilization.

    In his defense, Teves claimed that “his signatures appearing in various documents linking him to the transactions are products of forgery.”

    However, the Ombudsman junked his defense and stressed that “forgery is not presumed; it must be proved by clear, positive and convincing evidence and the burden of proof lies on the party alleging forgery as mere variance of the signatures in different documents cannot be considered as conclusive proof that one is forged.”

    Moreover, the Ombudsman said “certainly, this illegal conversion and transfer of public funds to the Molugan Foundation, purportedly for projects which did not actually exist, represent quantifiable pecuniary losses to the government constituting undue injury within the context of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019.”

    In a related administrative case, the Ombudsman said Pulido was found guilty of Grave Misconduct and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service and was ordered dismissed.

    He was also meted the accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification from holding public office, forfeiture of retirement benefits and cancellation of eligibility. However, the Ombudsman added, in case he is already separated from the service, the penalty is convertible to a fine equivalent to his salary for one year.

    No Comments "

    Labag sa batas ang plano ng pangulo na magtatag ng isang “revolutionary government” (Unang bahagi)*

    October 18th, 2017

    ANG banta ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte kamakailan na magtatayo siya ng isang “revolutionary government” para umano’y mapangalagaan ang kanyang administrasyon laban sa mga tinawag niyang “destabilizers” ay malinaw na labag sa 1987 Constitution dahil wala itong probisyon para sa pagtatatag nito.

    Nilagyan ng maraming proseso ang Saligang Batas para mapangalagaan ang pamahalaan o legal na mabago ang istraktura nito kung nanaisin ng bayan, pero walang inilagay na proseso ang mga sumulat ng ating Saligang Batas kaugnay sa sinasabi ni Duterte na “revolutionary government.”

    Kabilang o ilan sa mga proseso na nakapaloob sa Saligang Batas ng 1987 na may kaugnayan sa proteksyon ng pamahalaan o di kaya ay pagbabago ng istraktura nito ay ang mga sumusunod:

    • ang pagakakaroon ng regular na halalan,
    • ang pagkakaroon ng panuntunan sa tinatawag na “legal succession,”
    • ang pagkakaroon ng iba’t ibang paraan ng pagaamyenda o pagpapalit ng Saligang Batas,
    • ang pagkakaroon ng proseso kaugnay sa pagdedeklara ng Batas Militar;
    • at ang pagkakaroon ng monopolyo ng pamahalaan sa lakas militar o paggamit ng instrumento ng karahasan.

    Wala sa mga ito ang pagtatayo ng “revolutionary government.”

    Sa payak na palagay ng Usaping Bayan, naging labag sa batas ang plano ni Duterte dahil bukod sa wala ito sa Saligang Batas, ay isa itong pagsira sa kanyang sinumpaang tungkulin bago siya manungkulan bilang pangulo ng bansa.

    Ayon sa Section 5, Article VII ng Saligang Batas ng 1987 ang sumpa sa katungkulan ay nagsasaad ng ganito:

    I do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President [or Vice-President or Acting President] of the Philippines, preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation. So help me God.”

    Dahil dito ay malinaw ang atas nito kay Duterte na kanyang dapat panatilihin at ipagtanggol (preserve and defend) ang kasalukuyang Saligang Batas. Sa madaling salita, hindi siya puwedeng magtayo ng “revolutionary government.”

    At dahil malinaw na hindi ayon sa batas ang pinagsasabi ni Duterte ay marapat lamang natin siyang tanungin kung anong Saligang Batas ang kanyang sinusundan, pinananatili o ipinagtatanggol, ang 1973 (ang Saligang Batas ni Marcos) ba o 1935 (Ang Saligang Batas ng mga kolonyal)?

    (May kasunod sa Biyernes)

    * * *

    Kung ibig ninyong maligo sa hot spring ay maari kayong pumunhta sa Infinity Resort sa Indigo Bay Subdivision, Brgy. Bagong Kalsada, Calamba City. Malapit lamang sa Metro Manila at mula sa resort na ito ay tanaw ninyo ang banal na bundok Makiling.

    Magpadala nang mensahe sa www.facebook.com/privatehotspringresort para sa karagdagang impormasyon o reserbasyon ng lugar. Salamat po.

    * * *

    (Maari ring mabasa ang Usaping Bayan sa Opinion Section ng pahayagang Hataw tuwing araw ng Miyerkoles at Biyernes. Makikita rin sa  http://www.hatawtabloid.com ang tala na ito).

    *Ang mga pananaw sa artikulong ito ay sa sumulat.  Maaring hindi ito ang opisyal na posisyon ng Beyond Deadlines.

    1 Comment "

    China trains the PH Drug Enforcement Agency on international cooperation

    October 18th, 2017

    Newly appointed Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority Director General Aaron Aquino Photo © facebook.com

    PHILIPPINE Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron Aquino is in mainland China leading the country’s delegation to a two-week training course on international cooperation as part of the deepening relations between the two countries.

     

     

    Aquino, in a statement, said the country’s attendance to the training course on cooperation in Fuzhou City, Fujian will help address key challenges on the evolving drug scene and strengthening cross-border intelligence and investigation of the two countries.

    “On behalf of our people, we offer our sincerest gratitude to the People’s Republic of China and the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) for inviting PDEA to participate in this training. Indeed, the cooperation and understanding among our nations, more specifically between our law enforcement agencies, is a fundamental necessity to build and achieve things together for our countries,” Aquino said.

    The training is part of the five-year Protocol on Cooperation agreed by the PDEA and the Narcotics Control Bureau of the MPS of the People’s Republic of China on October 20, 2016 in Beijing, the capital city of the PROC.

    (Read More: http://www.chinatopix.com/articles/104315/20161023/chinas-narcotics-control-bureau-pdea-sign-protocol-cooperation.htm)

    Aside from the training on international cooperation, the agreement has paved the way for a series of bilateral meetings, other joint training on drug law enforcement and customs control and shared investigations on drug trafficking and abuse.

    “The drug menace is a lingering problem that is transnational in character and global in scope. For this reason, the Philippines and PROC have pledged to work together to liberate their territories from the bondage of illegal drugs,” Aquino said.

    In a related development, the PROC is also expected to donate two sets of Liquid Mass Combination Instrument, a device used to identify substances, to the PDEA Laboratory Service, thus augmenting its forensic examination capabilities.

    Aquino said that PDEA, being a recipient of donated equipment and free training, are more than grateful for the generosity and support of the Chinese government in the Agency’s crusade against the use and proliferation of illegal drugs in the country.

    “We cannot do the fight alone. The drug cartels and syndicated drug organizations have massive resources and funding – enabling them to easily move their illicit products from one point to another in our region. We need all the support we can gather from our neighboring countries, particularly in terms of cross-border law enforcement and customs control,” the PDEA chief added.

    Moreover, Aquino said “rest assured that our government, through the PDEA, will always cooperate and extend diplomatic protocols to the People’s Republic of China in all aspects of drug law enforcement. We remain hopeful that our mutual understanding and cooperation will continue until we achieve our mission to stop the illegal drug trade in our respective borders,” the PDEA chief added.

    The history between the Republic of the Philippines and People’s Republic of China on cooperation against illicit trafficking and abuse of psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals dates back to 2001.

    Meanwhile, Aquino thanked Malacañang for the vote of confidence when it transferred the responsibility of the anti-illegal drugs operation in the country from the Philippine National Police to the agency as it vowed to deliver tangible results.

    (Read More: http://beyonddeadlines.com/2017/10/12/back-to-the-ph-dea/)

    “All we need are words of support and encouragement not minding the detraction that come PDEA’s way as the solitary authority to lead the country’s war against illegal drugs,” Aquino said.

    “PDEA is obliged to do more with less. Though undermanned, under equipped and inadequately funded, we will not let the public down. We will deliver what is expected of us,” the PDEA chief said.

    The PDEA chief assured that the war on drugs will be less bloody and will follow the rule of law now that the Agency is the sole authority to conduct anti-drug operations.

    “From body-worn cameras to accompanying media presence, these would ensure a culture of transparency in our day-to-day operations in the streets,” he said.

    Records shows that from July 1, 2016 to present, only 28 drug personalities who fought it out with PDEA agents were killed during legitimate operations.

    Image © http://www.openzambia.com

    However, one of the world’s leading human rights defender group, Amnesty International (AI), has expressed skepticism over the recent decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to transfer the responsibility of leading the anti-drug campaign from the PNP to the PDEA.

    AI sees the relief of the PNP and putting PDEA in charge of the anti-drug campaign as nothing short of a momentary publicity stunt designed to quell the growing public furor over the alleged brutality of the war on drugs. 

    (Read More: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/10/philippines-fundamental-policy-shift-needed-to-end-murderous-war-on-drugs/)

    Aquino, however, noted that “the PDEA is mandated to bring order to the national anti-drug campaign which sits alongside the precise accountability for it. However, some people are already diminishing PDEA is doomed to fail even before it hardly gets its feet wet. We must do what is supposed to be done in the hope of silencing our critics.”

    As this developed, the Senate Finance Committee is set to allocate an operational budget of P2.6-billion for PDEA in 2018.

    On the other hand, some members of the House of Representatives are mulling the idea to realign the P900-million budget of the PNP’s “Oplan Tokhang” and “Oplan Double Barrel Reloaded” which are suspended indefinitely, to augment the PDEA’s budget.

    “Additional budget allocation for PDEA will go a long way in enhancing the Agency’s capabilities by hiring more agents and personnel and purchasing modern equipment to keep pace with drug syndicates,” Aquino noted.

    No Comments "

    PH terrorist leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute killed by the military

    October 16th, 2017

    The top leaders behind the months-long war in Marawi Isnilon Hapilon (left) and Omar Maute. AP, INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

    PHILIPPINE Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday confirmed that Isnilon Hapilon and Omarkhayam Maute, two of the several terrorists leaders responsible for the month long siege of Marawi City, have been killed.

    Lorenzana, in a press conference, said an early morning military assault on the terrorists stronghold led to the deaths of Hapilon and Maute and the rescue of 17 hostages. He said one of the hostages who managed to escape from the terrorists led the military to Hapilon and Maute’s lair.

    “So they were able to do it this morning. They were able to get Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute. They were both killed. In fact, their faces are now splashed in the internet. They were also able to recover 17 hostages,” Lorenzana told newsmen.

    However, Lorenzana added, the remaining terrorists still have some 20 hostages they use as human shield while they try to avoid the military dragnet.

    Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana Photo © en.wikipedia.org

    Meanwhile, Lorenzana said, the bodies of the two men will be subjected to DNA tests because of the reward offer from the US and Philippine governments.

    When asked by reporters about the possibility of lifting martial law in Mindanao, Lorenzana said they are still assessing the situation even as they are now planning to announce the termination of hostilities in the coming days.

    “The implication of this development is that the Marawi incident is almost over and we may announce the termination of hostilities in a couple of days,” Lorenzana said.

    The Marawi siege started on May 23 following a botched attempt by the military to arrest Hapilon.

    Since then the terrorists have withstood a relentless US-backed bombing campaign and intense ground battles with government troops that have left large parts of Marawi resembling devastated cities in war-torn Syria and Iraq.

    More than 1,000 people had been killed, 400,000 Marawi City residents displaced and billions of pesos worth of public and private properties were destroyed or damaged because of the sige.

    Hapilon, leader of the Basilan island based kidnap for ransom group Abu Sayyaf, was appointed emir by the Islamic State in Southeast Asia where it wanted to establish a caliphate after losing its “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq. He is also accused of involvement in the 2001 kidnappings including of three Americans, two of whom were later killed.

    Hapilon is included in the United States list of “most Wanted Terrorist” in the world.

    Omar, on the other hand, together with his brother Abdullah, who was killed by the military last month, were the acknowledged leaders of the criminal Maute group.

    Earlier, the Philippine government has offered a PhP10 million bounty for Hapilon, on top of the US$5 million reward offered by the United States. Both the Philippine and US governments also placed a PhP5 million reward for the two Maute brothers.

    Meanwhile, the defense secretary also said government troops are going after Malaysian terrorist Mahmud Ahmad, believed to be a financier of the terrorist group and one of the planners of the Marawi siege.

    No Comments "

    A revolutionary government is unconstitutional*

    October 15th, 2017

    SETTING up a revolutionary government as President Rodrigo Duterte recently threatened to do to “protect” his administration from alleged “destabilizers” is patently illegal as its establishment is beyond the ambit of the 1987 Constitution.

     

     

     

    Existing Legal Procedures

    The framers of the highest law of the land have provided enough legal procedures to protect or effect changes in the government’s structure or nature but none of those provisions include the establishment of a revolutionary government.

    Among the legal avenues that ensure protection and/or changes in government are the holding of regular elections, the existing Constitutional rules on succession, the provisions of several modes of amending or revising the Constitution, the government’s monopoly over the powers of coercion and the state’s authority to declare a Constitutional martial law.

    The Oath of Office

    In my humble opinion, the illegality of Duterte’s plan to setup a revolutionary government is fundamentally based, among others, on the seldom noticed fact that it is a violation of his oath of office as provided by Section 5, Article VII of the Constitution which states:

    I do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President [or Vice-President or Acting President] of the Philippines, preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation. So help me God.”

    A quick reading of the oath will show that it actually prevents Duterte from a setting up of a revolutionary government as it specifically mandates him to “preserve and defend” the current Constitution. In other words, doing away of the existing fundamental law of the land, which is among the many consequences of a revolutionary government, is not among the many options that anyone could take for the obvious reason that whatever is not in included is excluded.

    As his oath of office is quite explicit, what Constitution then is Duterte preserving and defending when what he threatens to do is clearly excluded from the fundamental law he has consecrated himself before God and country to uphold? The 1973 or perhaps the 1935 Constitution?

    It is simply wrong

    Former President Corazon C. Aquino Image © http://content.time.com

    It is wrong and dishonest for Duterte to compare his obviously knee-jerk plan of setting up a revolutionary government to the one established in 1986 by then former president Corazon Aquino, as that was the result of the people overthrowing a dictatorship. Moreover, Ms. Aquino’s revolutionary government was a transition from a one-man rule of Ferdinand Marcos to a more traditional form of democratic government which we now enjoys.

    In using Ms. Aquino’s revolutionary government as template, Duterte is deliberately unclear as to what his planned revolutionary government is transiting from.

    Obviously, he cannot claim it to be a changeover to democracy unless he is making an admission that his governance is undemocratic, nor could he claim it to be a change of the guards – from the oligarchs to the people. From the start, except for a few notable individuals, Duterte’s administration is dominated by a faction of the oligarchs that promoted Marcos’ martial rule.

    Perhaps, in citing Ms. Aquino’s revolutionary government, what Duterte is really saying is that he wants to overthrow himself so he could setup his brand of revolutionary government, where the 1987 Constitution is abrogated, the legislative body abolished and the judiciary’s power is further limited to whatever he decides it to be.

    A self coup d’état

    Duterte’s vision of a revolutionary government, if it comes to fruition, is nothing but a “self” coup d’état to eliminate dissent and suppress the rising anger of the masses due to the mounting number of poor people being killed in his anti-illegal drugs war and his failure to deliver any of the critical reforms he has promised during the election period more than a year ago.

    It is not surprising that Duterte’s hints of establishing a revolutionary government came in the heels of recent negative developments for his administration, which includes the precipitous decline of his public satisfaction and trust ratings across all major geographic and social divides, the country’s economic decline due to the lack of investment influx because of the perceived instability of his rule and the mounting criticisms on his war on illegal drugs by foreign governments and human rights defenders worldwide.

    It is beyond any argument that under the Duterte administration, the Philippines is being isolated from sensible traditional western allies.

    Lack of patience and respect for the law

    Image © http://blogs.edf.org

    In a recent interview, Duterte said he is more in favor of establishing a revolutionary government instead of declaring martial law, which is provided for in the Constitution.

    According to him, he does not want to be hampered by the lawfully mandated check and balance that would accompany the exercise of a Constitutional military rule. His myopic reasoning indicates a clear absence of patience and respect for the law he is supposed to execute with diligence.

    Inherently dangerous

    Aside from being inherently unconstitutional, what appears to Duterte as a brilliant gambit – declaring a revolutionary government to avoid what he perceived to be the limitations of the current Constitution – is actually flawed and dangerous for all of us.

    The instance Duterte declares the existence of a government outside the Constitution, in that moment of gap, he immediately loses his authority, the government and the protection of his office, and it would open up our nation to dangerous and unscrupulous political forces while simultaneously, he will be transformed from a legitimate leader of a nation to a common usurper of power.

    Should Duterte declare a revolutionary government, he will be disavowing the sovereignty of the Filipino people which empowered him to become president. That, in effect, will end his social contract with the people and create a power vacuum that in itself could threaten our national security and stability.

    The military as protector of the People and the State

    If this radical and dangerous situation of having an unconstitutional government declared comes to life, I respectfully submit that the Armed Forces of the Philippines, motu proprio, can effect Duterte’s immediate arrest while at the same time, recognize as new president and commander-in-chief whoever is next in the line of succession as provided for by the existing law.

    Both actions, Duterte’s arrest and recognition of his successor by the military, are pursuant to Section 3 Article II of the 1987 Constitution, which states “Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the protector of the people and the State. Its goal is to secure the sovereignty of the State and the integrity of the national territory

    In this instance, the law defines State to mean (people), territory, government and sovereignty.

    Nasa tao ang gawa, nasa Diyos ang awa

    I humbly pray that as a God-fearing and freedom loving nation, we should not suffer the terrifying experience of having Duterte declare a revolutionary government.

    Let us also pray for the president’s enlightenment so he may stay true to the Constitutional path.

    As for us, we should not be cowed by Duterte’s threat. In fact this should inspire us to learn the law and motivate us to organize ourselves so we may stand firm, ready to peacefully act for what we believe in. We should not forget the old adage “nasa tao ang gawa, nasa Diyos ang awa.”

     

    * The opinion of this author/s is/are his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

    1 Comment "

    Beyond Deadlines on Howdy Philippines and Pinoy Houston TV YouTube #33– “Oktoberfest in the Philippines”

    October 15th, 2017

    Kindly watch Beyond Deadlines’ segment at Howdy Philippines where I will briefly talk about the “Oktoberfest and the Filipinos love of beer” Thanks and God bless…

    The Beyond Deadlines on TV/YouTube segment was produced by the Houston, Texas based Pinoy Houston TV. The TV show time is every Saturday at 1 p.m. (Houston time) at Channel 15.3 with a repeat broadcast at 5:30 p.m. every Sunday.

    No Comments "

    PH President Rodrigo Duterte’s critics unfazed with his threats to setup revolutionary government

    October 14th, 2017

    President Rodrigo Duterte in one of his talks. Image ©  https://sputniknews.com

    PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte’s threat on Friday to setup a revolutionary government to protect his administration from “destabilizers” earned a lot of flak from opposition lawmakers and cause oriented groups who said that aside from being unconstitutional, his threat is the product of a paranoid mind.

    Liberal Party president and Senator Francisco “Kiko” Pangilinan said criticism is not tantamount to destabilization efforts as he denied Duterte’s claim that the Liberal Party together with Communist Party and the rich are plotting to destabilize the government.

    (Read More: http://beyonddeadlines.com/2017/10/14/ph-president-rodrigo-duterte-threatened-to-declare-a-revolutionary-government-to-protect-his-embattled-administration/)

    Senator Franciso “Kiko” Pangilinan Photo © http://www.gmanetwork.com

    Ang kritisismo at pagpapahayag ng saloobin ay mga haligi ng demokrasya at hindi dapat ituring na destabilisasyon laban sa pamahalaan,” Pangilinan explained.

    He noted that based on Article 3, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution, “No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.”

    Fundamental rights such as freedom of speech are recognized by the Constitution in building and maintaining a democratic society.

    For his part, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said the threat of Duterte to declare a “revolutionary government” has no constitutional basis and is based on imagined fears.

    (Read More: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/629524/lagman-duterte-threat-to-establish-revolutionary-gov-t-based-on-imagined-fears/story/)

    Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman Image © Philstar.com

    A revolutionary government is the result of a successful people’s uprising or revolt overthrowing an incumbent President and his subalterns like the EDSA People Power revolution.

    It is not a product of a self-serving declaration of a sitting President ostensibly to retain and prolong the exercise of powers and “crush” perceived enemies of the state, Lagman, in a statement, said.

    The lawmaker from the Bicol region stressed that there are no destabilization plots or serious threats from the Left and political opposition.

    What is current is critical dissent to protest and prevent the President’s destruction of democratic institutions like derogating the independence of the Ombudsman and the Supreme Court Chief Justice, among others. The attempt to constitute a “revolutionary government” is to avoid Congressional intervention and rejection which is constitutionally mandated when martial law is declared by the President, he added.

    On the other hand, Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Lejano noted that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Department of National Defense, no less, have already dismissed any destabilization plot.

    “Thus, I do not understand where the President is getting his information on this imagined destabilization.”

    (Read More: https://www.facebook.com/Rep.AlejanoMagdalo/?hc_ref=ARQ5Uk-XsxdVjlCGFCLwe0vJjje7ie7L8Ke9rT_TX-VfvY5tdtKhuDOebul2onFXggI&fref=nf)

    Magdalo Rep. Gary Lejano Image © philstar.com

    “We have a working democratic government at present. As president, Duterte has access to all legal options that he may exhaust to quell any attempt of destabilization. A revolutionary government is irrelevant,” Lejano, in a statement, said.

    The former putschist turned congressman added that Duterte’s “threats to declare martial law or a revolutionary government just further exposes his incapacity to lead in spite of the powers already vested in him as the highest government official of the land. Such threats are mere attempts to mask his own shortcomings. However, the people can now see through his lies.”

    Lejano also called on the AFP to remain focused on the Constitution noting that it is the protector of the people and the State.

    “I call on the Armed Forces of the Philippines to always focus on the Constitution as they are the protector of the people and the State. They are the defenders of our democracy. It is the same Constitution that Duterte threatens to abolish which provides the basis for the AFP to abide with the president as its Commander in Chief. Absent of this, the AFP has no basis to follow the orders of Duterte as they are not the private army of his but of the entire Filipino citizenry.”

    May our countrymen and other government institutions not be swayed on made up stories creating imagined crises to justify violations of the Constitution. We must remain critical of unfounded claims aimed to feed fear..

    Minsan na pong naloko ang taumbayan noong kampanya. Our nation cannot afford to be fooled once more.

    Launching pledge of Tndig Pilipinas members Image © http://www.gmanetwork.com

    As this developed, a coalition of cause-oriented groups and individuals on Saturday slammed Duterte and called him a “paranoid” for threatening to declare a revolutionary government to quell efforts of the Left and his critics.

    (Read More: https://www.facebook.com/TindigPilipinas/photos/a.172987373250256.1073741830.172190183329975/180172589198401/?type=3&theater)

    “Only a paranoid and insecure little man afraid of losing power will rationalize the need to impose a revolutionary government upon the people,” Tindig Pilipinas said in a statement.

    “Like any abuser sensing that his victims are seeing him as the abuser that he is, he senses doom. He knows he is an empty can once he loses control,” the coalition added.

    “We call on all democratic forces within and outside the state to resist this move to subvert our nation for the interests of one man, his family and his cohorts.”

    In the same statement, Tindig Pilipinas said Duterte is threatening to “annihilate” the country’s democracy by “playing his ultimate power game.”

    “He is playing for survival. Let no one see this as anything else but weakness. There is nothing reformist, much less revolutionary in this,” the group said.

    Duterte on Friday said he would not hesitate to impose a revolutionary government to quell alleged destabilization moves against his administration by his enemies, which include the communist rebels, the rich and the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States. He added that he would use the revolutionary powers to avert the country from falling into chaos.

    Once the military government is restored, Duterte said he would order the security forces to arrest all destabilizers and go on a full-scale war against the communist rebels. With the military and the police on his side, he doubted whether any effort to take over the government would be successful.

    A lawyer, Duterte noted that his hands would not be tied in case he declares a revolutionary government – unlike when he imposes martial law, which mandates the reporting to Congress within 60 days upon declaration.

    No Comments "

    PH President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to declare a revolutionary government to protect his embattled administration

    October 14th, 2017

    President Rodrigo Duterte in an interview with state run television saying he would setup a revolutionary government Image © https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5tCzKfUxxg

    FOR the nth time President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to setup a revolutionary government to protect his administration from the alleged “destabilization efforts” of his enemies, including the communist rebels, the rich and the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency.

    Duterte’s chilling threat to unhinge traditional democracy in the Philippines came in the heels of the recent steep dive of his public satisfaction and trust ratings due to his brutal war on illegal drugs, which already claimed the lives of thousands of poor people, and the absence of the critical reforms he promised during last year’s election period.

    The embattled president, in a recorded interview aired by state-run television on Friday, said he will set up a revolutionary government and declare all positions in government vacant if the country will descend into chaos amid what he believes are efforts by his political enemies to destabilize his administration.

    Duterte explained that declaring martial law is not an option since that would need Congressional approval. However, “if I will declare a revolutionary government, arestado kayong lahat. Hindi ako nananakot. If I think you are about to take over the government, you destabilize the government, bantay kayo,” Duterte said.

    “Sige mag-demonstrate kayo, bring it to a point na talagang tatagilid ang gobyerno. Alam ng military isa sa mga active na mag-destabilize is the communist. Do you think police and military will sympathize with you? he added.

    “I was elected by the people. If I sense the country is about to go overboard, I will declare a revolutionary government. Hindi ko kayo tinatakot pero hulihin ko kayong lahat, and I will declare a full-scale war against the NPA (New People’s Army),” he stressed.

    Duterte is apparently trying to copy the late former President Corazon Aquino, who, in 1986, setup a revolutionary government after ousting the president’s idol dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

    By setting up a revolutionary government, Ms. Aquino, the mother of his political nemesis and predecessor former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, was able to establish a temporary charter that briefly replaced the 1973 Constitution prior to the ratification of the 1987 Constitution. She was also able to declare government positions vacant under the revolutionary setup.

    At the same time, Duterte claimed that the elite is working to oust him because he started going after big companies such as Mighty Corp. and the Lucio Tan-led Philippine Airlines.

    Duterte recently demanded that Tan’s Philippine Airlines settle its liabilities with the government, threatening to close down Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2, which is being exclusively used by PAL. The country’s flag carrier has since then reached a settlement agreement with the government.

    The president noted that Tan managed to avoid paying PAL’s multi-billion debts to government by threatening to destabilize the government using his money.

    “Sabi nila kasi magbigay daw ng pera sa kalaban para i-destabilize ka. Sabi ko sige mag-destabilize ka, kapag nag-tilt itong bayan ang abutin niyo sa akin revolutionary government, only good for five years,” Duterte said.

    Additionally, he also claimed that somebody told him that the CIA is set on ousting him (Read More: http://beyonddeadlines.com/2017/10/13/executive-action-duterte-tells-cia-kill-me-or-get-out-of-my-country/). He added that the CIA is also funding the news site Rappler, several investigative journalists and other activities critical to his administration.

    Rappler has repeatedly denied Duterte’s allegation.

    Watch YouTube for more:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEqC9VxY62Y

     

     

    1 Comment "

    Prinsipyo’t hindi karahasan ang dapat magbuklod sa mga kapatiran*

    October 13th, 2017

    NAKALULUNGKOT na ang isang kapatiran o fraternity/sorority na dapat sanang tagapagtaguyod ng kapakanan ng mga ibig maging kaanib nito ang kung minsan ay siyang nagiging daan ng kanilang kapahamakan kundi man maagang kamatayan.

    Ang malungkot na katotohanang ito ay nabigyang buhay na naman ng masawi ang University of Santo Tomas law student na si Horacio Castillo III sa isang initiation rites umano ng kapatirang Aegis Juris na kanyang pinasukan. Hindi maintindihan ng Usaping Bayan kung bakit kailangang ang mga “rites of passage” ng isang kapatiran ay maging mapanganib sa buhay at kalusugan gayong maraming pagsubok ang maaring gawin upang masukat ang tapang, tatag at katapatan ng isang neophyte.

    Hindi tama na dahas at takot ang magbibigkis sa isang kapatiran sapagkat walang kahahantungan ito kundi kapariwaraan ng mga magiging kasapi. Higit na mas magiging matibay ang mga kapatiran kung prinsipyo na isinabubuhay ang saligang batayan ng pagkakaisa dahil dito ang uusbong ay respeto at tunay na pagmamahal sa kapwa.

    Pansinin na ang mga kilusang aktibista ay isang kapatiran rin subalit hindi dumaraan sa mga mararahas na initiation rites ang mga kasama dito. Gayun man ay malinaw na hindi matatawaran ang katapatan sa isa’t isa ng mga kasama sa kilusan kahit dekada na ang dumaan o kahit hindi na kumikilos ang kasama sa mga larangan. Nanantili ang respeto at disiplina dahil sa prinsipyong sinuso mula sa kilusan.

    Oo nga’t may mga taksil din sa kilusan pero may mga gayun din sa mga kapatiran.

    Frat man din po ang inyong lingkod at sa katunayan ay nagtayo po tayo ng kapatiran (Confraternitas Justitiae) sa Kolehiyo ng Batas sa Pamantasang Adamson pero ang itinanim ko sa aking mga kapatid ay isang bigkisan na ang saligang batayan ay prinsipyong Makatao’t Makabayan, hindi karahasan.

    Miyembro din po ang inyong lingkod ng dakila at pandaigdigang kapatirang Masoneriya kung saan lalong hinuhubog ang likas na kabutihan ng tao ayon sa kagustuhan ng Dakilang Arkiteko ng Kalawakan.

    Ito’y mga patunay lamang na hindi salungat sa pagkakaroon ng kapatiran ang kawalan ng karahasan.

    Sa isang lipunan na pinaghaharian ng karahasan at kamatayan tulad ng sa atin sa ngayon ay malaki ang maitutulong ng mga kapatiran kung ang mga kasapi nito ay magiging ahente ng kapayapaan. Mabigat ang responsibilidad ng mga kapatiran, hindi lamang sa kanilang mga kapatid kundi sa lipunang ginagalawan.

    * * *

    Kung ibig ninyong maligo sa hot spring ay maari kayong pumunhta sa Infinity Resort sa Indigo Bay Subdivision, Brgy. Bagong Kalsada, Calamba City. Malapit lamang sa Metro Manila at mula sa resort na ito ay tanaw ninyo ang banal na bundok Makiling.

    Magpadala nang mensahe sa www.facebook.com/privatehotspringresort para sa karagdagang impormasyon o reserbasyon ng lugar. Salamat po.

    * * *

    (Maari ring mabasa ang Usaping Bayan sa Opinion Section ng pahayagang Hataw tuwing araw ng Miyerkoles at Biyernes. Makikita rin sa  http://www.hatawtabloid.com ang tala na ito).

    *Ang mga pananaw sa artikulong ito ay sa sumulat.  Maaring hindi ito ang opisyal na posisyon ng Beyond Deadlines.

    No Comments "

    PH President Rodrigo Duterte slams European Union anew

    October 12th, 2017

    PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday blasted the European Union members states anew due to their continuing criticism of his bloody anti-drugs war and dared their ambassadors to leave the country within 24 hours.

    Duterte made the dare five days after the independent Geneva based Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned that the Philippines could be eased out of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) should the unabated killings of drug suspects continue.

    The president, in a speech during the inauguration of the newly renovated press briefing room in Malacañang, said the Philippines cannot be expelled from the UN that easily because China, Russia and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will not agree to it.

    Unmindful of the fact that the UN itself has not threatened to remove the Philippines from the 47-nation rights council or the 193-member world body itself, Duterte said “You want to expel us? You try. Your $1,000 will earn P1 million from me if you can expel us from the UN. Bakit, papayag kaya ang Russia pati China? Ulol pala kayo eh. You think China and the rest of the countries in ASEAN will agree to that? Where will be the crucial vote that will come? The Security Council. And you think Russia and China will allow that?”

    “Kasi ang pagtingin niyo kasi sa amin, walang alam sa Charter ng United Nations. You think we are a bunch of morons here. You are the one,” Duterte added.

    “The ambassadors of those countries listening now. Tell me, because we can have the diplomatic channel cut tomorrow. You leave my country in 24 hours. All, all of you,” he said.

    “We will not allow anybody, not even the United States, to dictate on us. And I will tell it straight during the November… in the ASEAN,” said Duterte, in reference to the upcoming ASEAN summit where world leaders, including US President Donald Trump, are set to arrive.

    Duterte’s recent anti-European tirades was apparently sparked by the October 9 statement of a small delegation of socialist and progressive parliamentarians from Europe who called for a halt in drug-related killings warning that the country could lose trade perks with the EU if it fails to measure up to human rights standards. (Read More: http://beyonddeadlines.com/2017/10/12/stop-the-killings-stop-silencing-dissent/)

    Meanwhile, hours after Duterte lambasted the EU, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella clarified that the President’s “expression of outrage” was pertaining to the statements of the seven-member delegation of international parliamentarians who had “falsely portrayed itself as an EU mission.”

    “This delegation’s irresponsible statements protesting the alleged killings under the Duterte Administration demean our status as a sovereign nation,” said Abella.

    “The call of the President for EU ambassadors to leave the country in 24 hours must be taken in this light. For so long, our President tolerated these undue interference in our domestic affairs, and he has decided that these must stop if only to preserve the integrity and dignity of our State as a sovereign nation,” Abella said.

    The EU Delegation in the Philippines, for its part, said it had nothing to do with the parliamentarian’s Manila visit and disassociated from its statements.

    As this developed, Rappler.com has reported that Duterte, during the same inaugural affair, bared that he “refused” US$18-20 million from the United Kingdom saying “mabubuhay rin tayo.” He, however, did not say why he refused the funds from the UK nor give any details on what it was meant for. (Read More: https://www.rappler.com/nation/185106-duterte-refuses-18-million-dollars-uk)

    Last May, Duterte has declined about US$278m (UK£216m) in financial aid from European Union due to the EU’s alleged interference in local affairs. But as with other international donors, the aid comes with conditions, among them, adherence to the rule of law. (Read More:http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/duterte-rejects-280m-aid-european-union-project-philippines-independent-nation-1622177) 

    In response, the EU said “it will not beg” the Philippines to accept European aid as there “is no lack of other countries” to help…

    Watch YouTube for more:

     

     

     

    1 Comment "

    Back to the PH DEA

    October 12th, 2017

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte © REUTERS/ Kim Kyung-Hoon

    FOLLOWING the recent steep dive of the public’s satisfaction and trust rating of President Rodrigo Duterte due to the mounting casualties of his war on drugs, the president on Thursday reluctantly relieved the Philippine National Police of its lead role in that brutal campaign and designated the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency as its replacement.

    While sarcastically expressing hope that he would satisfy “bleeding hearts,” Duterte said in a speech in Malacañang that he issued a memorandum dated October 10, directing the PNP, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Bureau of Customs and the Philippine Postal Office (PPO); among others, “to leave to the PDEA, as sole agency, the conduct of all campaigns and operations against all those who, directly or indirectly, and in whatever manner or capacity, are involved in or connected with illegal drugs.”

    O, diyan tayo. Walang patay so walang encounter ‘yan. So better for the bleeding hearts and the media, I hope I will satisfy you. So kung ang PDEA konti lang ang patay o ‘di konti lang rin mamatay doon sa kabila. Isa lang. Wounded-in-action, dalawa. This is better or ‘betterer,’ do you say?” Duterte said.

    At the same time, Duterte said he directed the same agencies to relay to the PDEA all information or data they may have or receive concerning illegal drugs.

    “All information/data received by the NBI, PNP, AFP, Bureau of Customs, Philippine Postal Office, and all other agencies or any and all ad hoc anti-drug task forces shall forthwith be relayed, delivered, or brought to the attention of the PDEA for its appropriate action”

    Duterte, however, added that “the PNP shall, at all times, maintain police visibility, as a deterrent to illegal drug activities leaving to the PDEA, however, the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations as aforestated.”

    “When something not to your liking is happening, do not look at me. Praise the bleeding hearts and all. Kasi ginawa ko na talaga lahat ang magagawa ko, ito na. And some of the noted writers say, ‘Act now,’” he added.

    Duterte’s memorandum echoes the provisions of Republic Act 9165 (the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) which have designated the PDEA, since its creation, to be the sole government agency responsible for enforcing the anti-illegal drugs laws.

    Image © rappler.com

    Second page of Duterte’s memorandum Image © rappler.com

     

     

    No Comments "

    PH COMELEC chair Andres Bautista set to quit by year end but still impeached by the House

    October 11th, 2017

    Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista LYN RILLON / INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

    PHILIPPINE Commission on Elections Chair Andres Bautista on Wednesday has announced his decision to step down from his post by the year’s end as he vowed to abide by the Constitution and relevant rules regarding the impeachment process.

    Hours after Bautista’s announced his decision to quit, the House of Representatives votes to impeach him due to his alleged ill-gotten wealth and reported acceptance of a referral fee from Smartmatic, an electronic voting technology company.

    Bautista’s estranged wife Patricia, claimed that he might have amassed nearly PhP1 billion in ill-gotten wealth, a charge that the COMELEC chair denies.

    “It is with deep sadness that I am informing you about my decision to resign as Chair of the Commission on Elections by the end of the year. After much prayer and discernment, I believe that this is the right time to step down given the postponement of the Barangay and SK elections. This was not an easy decision. But my family, especially my children, need mo now more than ever,” Bautista said in a one page letter addressed to his COMELEC family.

    Bautista also thanked his colleagues in the election body for the “love prayers, and support you have shown me, most especially during my most challenging times. Amid the hurtful, baseless and malicious accusations hurled against me, most of you never left my side.”

    At the same time, Bautista took pride over the COMELEC’s performance during the May 2016 elections “as it was hailed by independent local and foreign observers as the best managed and most credible in our electoral history.”

    Meanwhile, Bautista said the House’s vote to impeach him was an unnecessary move since he already announced his plan to step down. He also explained that he wants to ensure a smooth transition in the COMELEC that is why his resignation was to take effect on Dec. 31.

    “It is unfortunate that the decision of the House Committee on Justice, which was voted upon twice by a vote of 26-2, to dismiss the impeachment case against me was overturned this afternoon by the House of Representatives,” he said in a statement.

    Bautista said he acknowledge that all members of the House of Representatives are entitled to their own opinion.

    As this developed, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said the Senate had no choice but to proceed with the impeachment trial as Bautista’s resignation was prospective.

    “If the House transmits the impeachment case to the Senate, we have to act on it,” the former comedian turned lawmaker said.

    Opposition Senator Francis Pangilinan, however, said proceeding with the trial despite Bautista’s resignation would be a waste of time since the penalty for conviction in an impeachment trial was removal from office.

    COMELEC Chair Andres Bautista’s resignation letter to his COMELEC family Photo © Inquirer News – INQUIRER.net

    COMELEC Chair Andres Bautista’s resignation letter to President Rodrigo Duterte Photo © http://www.gmanetwork.com

     

     

     

     

     

     

    1 Comment "

    Nagpapalusot na*

    October 11th, 2017

    TILA nagpapalusot na ang administrasyong Duterte sa harap ng United Nations at pandaigdigang grupong Human Rights Watch sa pagsasabing ayon sa depinisyon ng Extrajudicial Killing na ipinalabas ng nagdaang administrasyong Aquino ay walang EJK na nagaganap sa Pilipinas.

    Dangan kasi ayon sa limitadong pakahulugan ng Administrative Order 35 na pinirmahan ni dating justice department secretary at ngayo’y senadora na si Leila De Lima, masasabi lamang na may EJK kung ito ay ginawa ng “state and non-state forces” to silence, “through violence and intimidation, legitimate dissent and opposition raised by members of the civil society, cause-oriented groups, political movements, people’s and non-governmental organizations, and by ordinary citizens.

    Dahil sa depinisyon na ito ay pinandigan kamakailan ng Philippine National Police na walang nagaganap na EJK sa ating bayan kahit sinasabi na ng mga Human Rights Defenders na umaabot na sa halos mahigit na 13,000 ang mga naging biktima ng digmaan laban sa droga ng administrasyong Duterte.

    Sinabi naman ni De Lima mula sa kanyang piitan na ginugulo ng kasalukuyang administrasyon ang depinisyon ng EJK para palabasin na hindi totoo ang malaganap na patayan. Ipinaliwanag niya na ang AO ay ipinalabas para partikular na tugunan ang mga suliranin kaugnay sa pagpatay sa mga aktibista at mga reporters lalo na noong panahon ng administrasyong Arroyo.

    Ang AO ay hindi umano para mailigtas sa panangutan ang mga opisyales ng pamahalaan na sangkot sa “state sanctioned murder.”

    Hindi na karapat-dapat pang makipag-debate umano sa administrasyon at hayaan na lamang sila na mag maang-maangan dahil hindi sa lahat ng panahon ay puwede silang magkunwari, dagdag pa ni De Lima.

    Ayon naman sa HRW, hindi puwedeng lumusot ang administrasyong Duterte sa pananagutan sa pamamagitan ng paggamit ng makitid na depinisyon ng EJK ng AO ni De Lima.

    Sinabi ni Human Rights Watch (HRW) Advocacy Director John Fisher bilang bahagi ng pandaigdigang komunidad at matapos pumirma sa mga kasunduan kaugnay sa pagtatanggol sa karapatang pantao, dapat kilalanin ng Pilipinas ang pandaigdigang depinisyon ng EJK na: “extrajudicial killing refers to the killing of a person by government authorities without sanction of judicial proceeding or legal process.”

    Kalokohan diumano ang ginagawang pagbabago ng Duterte administration sa mga depinisyon ng EJK.

    The fact is that there have been thousands of reported deaths in the Philippines in the context of the so-called war on drugs. The government cannot just define these bodies out of existence through the application of some legal term,” diin ni Fisher.

    Ano palagay ninyo mga kababayan?

    * * *

    Kung ibig ninyong maligo sa hot spring ay maari kayong pumunhta sa Infinity Resort sa Indigo Bay Subdivision, Brgy. Bagong Kalsada, Calamba City. Malapit lamang sa Metro Manila at mula sa resort na ito ay tanaw ninyo ang banal na bundok Makiling.

    Magpadala nang mensahe sa www.facebook.com/privatehotspringresort para sa karagdagang impormasyon o reserbasyon ng lugar. Salamat po.

    * * *

    (Maari ring mabasa ang Usaping Bayan sa Opinion Section ng pahayagang Hataw tuwing araw ng Miyerkoles at Biyernes. Makikita rin sa  http://www.hatawtabloid.com ang tala na ito).

    *Ang mga pananaw sa artikulong ito ay sa sumulat.  Maaring hindi ito ang opisyal na posisyon ng Beyond Deadlines.

    No Comments "

    Twisting the definition of extrajudicial killings won’t define the bodies out of existence

    October 9th, 2017

    John Fisher, Human Rights Watch-Geneva Advocacy Director Image © globalnation.inquirer.net

    “THEY need to be accountable for these deaths.”

    Thus said the Human Rights Watch (HRW) Advocacy Director John Fisher on Saturday during an interview with reporters. He said the Philippine government’s refusal to acknowledge the existence of extrajudicial killings using the limited definition provided by Administrative Order 35 issued during the previous Aquino administration is “absurd.”

    Fisher stressed that the Duterte administration cannot just say that extrajudicial killings do not exist by limiting its definition.

    The said AO, which issued on April 18, 2013 by then President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, was crafted by the Inter-Agency Committee on Extra-Legal Killings, Enforced Disappearances, Torture and Other Grave Violations of the Right to Life, Liberty and Security of Persons, chaired by then Department of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima.

    AO 35 defines extrajudicial killings as committed by “state and non-state forces” to silence, “through violence and intimidation, legitimate dissent and opposition raised by members of the civil society, cause-oriented groups, political movements, people’s and non-governmental organizations, and by ordinary citizens.”

    Philippine National Police Director General Ronald Dela Rosa Photo © http://manila.coconuts.co

    That definition was used by the Philippine National Police on Friday to justify their insistence that no extrajudicial killing happened since the Duterte administration took over the reigns of government last year.

    Fisher, however, said the Philippines should follow the international definition of what extrajudicial killing is as the country is a signatory to various human rights treaties.

    He added that extrajudicial killing refers to the “killing of a person by government authorities without sanction of judicial proceeding or legal process.”

    “It is very, very clear that when somebody is killed and in the context of police operations, there is no judicial process, no legal process, there aren’t arrests or charges. It is just a killing that’s taking place outside of the legal process,” Fisher said, adding that the concept is not complicated.

    “The fact is that there have been thousands of reported deaths in the Philippines in the context of the so-called war on drugs. The government cannot just define these bodies out of existence through the application of some legal term,” Fisher insists.

    The latest official data show at least 3,850 people have been killed in police operations while at least 2,290 others were killed mostly by vigilantes. However, some Human Rights Defenders claimed the figure is now over 13,000.

    The Commission on Human Rights, in a recent statement, said limiting the definition would “discount killings that are also perpetrated by state agents and non-state actors that remain uninvestigated” noting that it has always adhered to international guidelines and that the definition used during the Aquino administration was based on what was happening at that time.

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. © Erik De Castro / Reuters

    This is not the first time that the Duterte administration denies the existence of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.

    During the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) last September 22 in Geneva, Switzerland, the Philippine delegation insisted that the deaths from police operations “are not extrajudicial killings” as it firmly rejected calls by United Nations (UN) member-states to conduct a thorough and impartial probe into the drug war deaths.

    “[Their] responses to the UPR process made it very clear that they simply won’t accept the extent or scope of the problem or the problem even exists, let alone putting processes to try and identify those responsible or bring these human rights violations to an end,” Fisher noted.

    “So it’s inevitable, I think, that they will use national definition or legal tricks or semantic techniques to avoid responsibility for the deaths that are taking place.”

    Meanwhile, the HRW reminded the Duterte administration that as a member of the UNHRC, the Philippine government has an obligation to uphold human rights and be open to independent probes.

    “Membership comes with responsibilities,” Fisher said during the same interview.

    “The Philippines is expected to fulfill its membership obligations such as to uphold human rights standards and cooperate with UN mechanisms such as the Special Rapporteurs.”

    If the attitude of “constant denial” continues, Fisher warned that the Philippines can be kicked out of the UNHRC. It is a measure that can be taken by the UN General Assembly in New York.

     

    Read More:

    PH finally agreed to cooperate with UN on Human Rights issues

    No Comments "

    Beyond Deadlines on Howdy Philippines and Pinoy Houston TV YouTube #32– “American Labor Day”

    October 8th, 2017

    Kindly watch Beyond Deadlines’ segment at Howdy Philippines where I will talk about the “American Labor Day” and why it is commemorated herein the United States in the month of September and May. Thanks and God bless…

    The Beyond Deadlines on TV/YouTube segment was produced by the Houston, Texas based Pinoy Houston TV. The TV show time is every Saturday at 1 p.m. (Houston time) at Channel 15.3 with a repeat broadcast at 5:30 p.m. every Sunday.

     

    No Comments "

    Metro Manila malls to open and close late

    October 6th, 2017

    One of Metro Manila’s malls Image © philretailers.com

    IN AN effort to alleviate the expected heavier flow of traffic during Christmas season, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and mall owners and operators have agreed to start mall operations an hour before noon and close sixty minutes before midnight starting October 15 to January 15 next year.

    The agreement was made following a consultative meeting at the MMDA main office in Makati City.

    MMDA Assistant General Manager for Planning Jojo Garcia said that in addition to the late opening of malls, stock deliveries for these mega-stores shall be made only between 11 pm. and 5 am. to lessen the number of vehicles plying the streets of Metro Manila, especially during the day’s rush hours.

    The only exemption to this rule is the delivery of perishable materials.

    Last month, the MMDA and the same mall owners and operators have agreed beginning Oct. 15 to only conduct mall sales during weekends.

    MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim said these measures would help reduce traffic congestion, especially during payday Friday.

    Lim, at the same time, appealed to the public to start their holiday shopping early.

    “Let’s enjoy the coming holidays and at the same time, konting tiis. Kailangan natin ang kooperasyon ng lahat, ng mall owners at operators at ng publiko. Planuhin ang biyahe ngayong Kapaskuhan,” Lim stressed.

    Meanwhile, mall owners and operators welcomed the MMDA move.

    “We support MMDA’s efforts to ease traffic as Christmas nears. It is good for the public. It will also be good for business,” they said.

    1 Comment "

    Ingrato?*

    October 6th, 2017

    ISANG bintana sa niloloob ang ginawang panunumbat ni Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa na ingrato raw mga kritiko ng war on illegal drugs dahil nakikinabang din naman daw ang mga ito sa ibinubungang “peace and order” ng kampanya ng pulisya laban sa droga.

    Una, lumalabas na ibig pala ng hepe ng pambansang pulisya na tumanaw ng utang na loob ang taong bayan sa kanilang madugong pagtupad sa tungkuling pinili at sinumpaan. Nakalimutan niya na hindi sila pinilit ng bayan na maging pulis, na sila ay boluntaryong naging lingkod ng bayan, na ang kanilang tunay na salalayan ng kapangyarihan ay ang soberenya ng bayan, bayan na kanya ngayong sinusumbatang ingrato.

    Pangalawa, ano ang sinasabi niyang “peace and order” gayong halos araw-araw, umaga o gabi, ay may bumubulagta sa daan – bata, matanda, babae o may kapansanan – dahil sa mga Patay Ng Patay na nakamotorsiklo? Anong peace and order ang sinasabi niya kung lagi ng nangangamba ang mga magulang na baka humandusay sa daan ang kanilang mga anak o mahal sa buhay?

    Sa huling bilang ng mga Human Rights Defenders, simula ng pumasok ang administrasyong Duterte na nagupo sa kasalukuyang pamunuan ng PNP sa poder, ay umaabot na sa mahigit sa 13,000 ang namamatay dahil sa inilunsad nitong “digmaan” laban sa bawal na gamot at lahat halos ng biktima nito ay mahihirap na mamamayan.

    Hindi kaya ang ibig sabihin ng “peace and order” para sa pinuno ng PNP ay ang katahimikang hatid ng mga pinatay?

    Hindi katahimikan kundi kapayapaan ang hangad ng bayan dahil lagpas sa hinihingi ng katahimikan ang kapayapaan. Hindi komo’t tahimik ay mapayapa. Malinaw sa mga nagaganap na patayan araw-araw na ang PNP ay naging tagapagpatahimik na lamang at hindi nito nagagampanan na maging tunay na tagapamayapa ng bayan.

    Kung tutuusin ang hepe ng pambansang pulisya at lahat ng mga pinuno ng pamahalaan, ang dapat magpasalamat sa taong bayan dahil sa pamamagitan ng kanilang soberenya ay nabigyan sila ng pagkakataon na maging lingkod, isang dakila at marangal na gawain. Huwag nilang isisi sa taong bayan ang kawalan ng kakayahan at kakulangan sa husay ng PNP.

    Uulitin ko sa wikang Ingles dahil baka dito ay maintindihan ninyo ang ibig sabihin ng Usaping Bayan: “What the people need in their lives is the peace of the living not the silence of the more than 13,000 dead.”

    * * *

    Kung ibig ninyong maligo sa hot spring ay maari kayong pumunhta sa Infinity Resort sa Indigo Bay Subdivision, Brgy. Bagong Kalsada, Calamba City. Malapit lamang sa Metro Manila at mula sa resort na ito ay tanaw ninyo ang banal na bundok Makiling.

    Magpadala nang mensahe sa www.facebook.com/privatehotspringresort para sa karagdagang impormasyon o reserbasyon ng lugar. Salamat po.

    * * *

    (Maari ring mabasa ang Usaping Bayan sa Opinion Section ng pahayagang Hataw tuwing araw ng Miyerkoles at Biyernes. Makikita rin sa  http://www.hatawtabloid.com ang tala na ito).

    *Ang mga pananaw sa artikulong ito ay sa sumulat.  Maaring hindi ito ang opisyal na posisyon ng Beyond Deadlines.

    No Comments "

    QC Representative Vincent “Bingbong” Crisologo to be tried before anti-graft court for PhP8M PDAF scam

    October 5th, 2017

    Conchita Cario Morales (left) and Quezon City 1st District Rep. Vincent “Bingbong” Crisologo

    OMBUDSMAN Conchita Carpio Morales is set to indict Quezon City Representative Vincent “Bingbong” Crisologo before the Sandiganbayan for graft, malversation and falsification of public documents in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund.

    Specifically, Crisologo is to be charged with two counts each of violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 (the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), Malversation and Malversation thru Falsification of Public Documents.

    Morales, in a press statement, said probable cause has been found to warrant the prosecution of the House representative of the 1st District of QC.

    Crisologo was a former member of the Nacionalista Party who shifted his allegiance to the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) Coalition after President Rodrigo Duterte was elected into office in 2016. He is now the Deputy Majority Leader of the House.

    At the same time, Morales also ordered the filing of charges against the lawmaker’s alleged co-conspirators from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), namely: former Secretary Esperanza Cabral, Undersecretary Mateo Montaño, Lualhati Pablo, Leonila Hayahay, Vilma Cabrera, Pacita Sarino; and Cenon Mayor, President of Kaloocan Assistance Council, Inc. (KACI).

    KACI is the same is the same non-governmental organization that former Caloocan City House Reps. Luis “Baby” Asistio and Mitzi Cajayon-UyCrisologo used to funnel their pork barrel and the cause of their indictment for the same charges that Crisologo now faces before the anti-graft court.

    Moreover, just like the two lawmakers from Caloocan City, Crisologo also used the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as implementing agency and that explains why former social welfare secretary Cabral became a co-respondent of all three lawmakers in their separate cases.

    Investigation conducted by the Ombudsman’s Task Force PDAF found that in 2009, Crisologo requested the Department of Budget and Management for the release of PhP8 million for the implementation of his PDAF-funded Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Services (CIDSS) program to be coursed through the DSWD as implementing agency.

    Congressman Crisologo specifically requested KACI as NGO-partner for the CIDSS project consisting of medical/hospitalization assistance, transportation, calamity, death, burial, educational expenses, small-scale livelihood, socio-cultural expenses, small-scale infrastructure assistance and values training.

    Upon checking the documents of the project, investigators found that KACI submitted falsified receipts and that the beneficiaries of the financial assistance included coordinators and political supporters of Crisologo.

    Also, the Ombudsman investigators obtained affidavits of alleged beneficiaries denying receipt of any burial or financial assistance. They also denied that the signatures appearing on the vouchers were theirs. Even the National Children’s Hospital, through their representatives, also denied that a free medical or dental mission were conducted in October 2009, contrary to claims of the respondents.

    Furthermore, the investigators also discovered that KACI’s main supplier, Silver A Enterprises is not a registered business entity as validated from the Department of Trade and Industry and the Quezon City Business Permit and Licensing Office.

    In its Resolution, the Ombudsman said Crisologo failed to show that he exerted earnest efforts to ensure that KACI liquidated the tranches of the funds which “could only mean that he benefited from the transaction or that he was grossly negligent.”

    [Crisologo] is after all, accountable for the funds because he has control, if not actual custody of the funds, as these funds cannot be released without his consent and directives,” Morales explained.

    Expounding on this point, the Resolution further said “Crisologo treated his PDAF as if it were his own funds, dictating how it should be utilized and released. He not only identified the project, implementing agency and NGO, but also determined how much of his PDAF should go to the projects, or in this case, KACI.”

    The anti-graft agency added that “the concerned DSWD officers did not even bother to conduct a due diligence audit on KACI and its suppliers. Instead, they accepted the sole representation of Congressman Crisologo and KACI to undertake the projects in contravention of existing procurement laws and regulations. Further, they processed the release of the PDAF to KACI on the sole basis of the endorsement letter and project design.”

    Meanwhile, in the parallel administrative adjudication proceedings, the Ombudsman found Montaño, Cabrera and Sarino guilty of Grave Misconduct, Serious Dishonesty and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service and were dismissed from service.

    Aside frm the dismissal, however, they were also meted the accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification from holding public office, cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits and bar from taking civil service examinations.

    1 Comment "

    Itanghal ang batas at maging tunay na pinunong bayan

    October 4th, 2017

    MAINIT ang pagtatalo ng mga miron kung tama ba o mali na hindi pansinin ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang gagawing imbestigasyon ng Tanggapan ng Ombudsman kaugnay sa diumano ay kahina-hinalang ugat ng yaman ng kanyang pamilya.

    May nagsasabi na dahil “bias” ang magiging imbestigasyon ng Ombudsman ay marapat lamang na hindi ito pansinin ni Duterte. Tama lang daw, anya nila, na huwag niyang bigyang kredibilidad ang panggigipit ng nasabing tanggapan sa kanya at kanyang pamilya.

    Gayun man, may nagsasabi na sa kabilang banda, bilang pangulo ng bansa ay dapat itong maging ehemplo sa lahat ng mga taga-pamahalaan kung paano maging “statesman” sa pamamagitan ng pakikiisa sa gagawing imbestigasyon ng Ombudsman.

    Dapat din na maging malinaw na hindi komo nakikiisa ang isang iimbestigahan ay kaagad siyang malalagay sa alanganin dahil sa tinatawag na self incrimination na maaring gamitin laban sa kanya sa hukuman. May mga abogado para dyan at hindi rin kaila sa atin na si Duterte ay abogado kaya hindi problema ang self incrimination.

    Idinagdag pa ng isang miron, na kung sakaling may palagay ang Pangulo na gagawin lamang ng nasabing tanggapan ang imbestigasyon para gipitin o harasin siya o kanyang pamilya, ay may mga hakbang na legal para matugunan ito, subalit hindi kasama sa mga kilos na ito ang banta niyang hindi pakikiisa sa Ombudsman.

    Sangayon ang Usaping Bayan sa sinabi ng huling miron. Bilang pinuno ng Pilipinas, sumumpa ang pangulo sa harap ng Dios at Bayan na kanyang susundin, itatanghal at ipagtatanggol ang batas. Dahil dito ay dapat lamang niyang panindigan ang kanyang sinumpaang tungkulin na kinabibilangan nang pagtatanghal, hindi pagbalewala, sa Ombudsman.

    Napakabigat ng kanyang tungkulin kung papaano aakto ng tama sa pamumuno dahil ginagamit itong pamantayan ng lahat nang naglilingkod lalo na sa ehekutibong sangay ng pamahalaan.

    Isipin na lamang ang gulong mangyayari kung lahat ng empleyado ng pamahalaan ay hindi papansinin ang atas ng ibang tanggapan, lalo na ng hukuman o yung tinatawag na quasi-judicial bodies gaya ng Ombudsman. Magkakaroon ng tinatawag na constitutional crisis na ang tanging makikinabang lamang ay yung mga grupo na ayaw sa kasalukuyang demokrasya at kalayaan na tinatamasa ng sambayanan.

    Bilang pang-wakas ay hayaan ninyo ang Usaping Bayan na ibahagi sa inyo ang paglalagom sa punto ng ikalawang miron gamit ang wikang Inggles:

    The President is sworn to uphold and protect the law thus, if he refuses to cooperate with the Office of the Ombudsman’s probe of his and his family’s alleged questionable wealth, he is violating the oath he took before God and country, and committing an actionable offense, aside from the fact that he is setting a bad example for others.

    Even the mere threat to withhold cooperation is already conduct unbecoming of the president and violation of his oath.

    If President Duterte feels aggrieved by the actions of the Ombudsman, there are lawful means to address it but, as the highest public official of the land, refusal to cooperate is not one of them. That is simply an obstinate behavior that has no place in the running of the affairs of the State.

    * * *

    Kung ibig ninyong maligo sa hot spring ay maari kayong pumunhta sa Infinity Resort sa Indigo Bay Subdivision, Brgy. Bagong Kalsada, Calamba City. Malapit lamang sa Metro Manila at mula sa resort na ito ay tanaw ninyo ang banal na bundok Makiling.

    Magpadala nang mensahe sa www.facebook.com/privatehotspringresort para sa karagdagang impormasyon o reserbasyon ng lugar. Salamat po.

    * * *

    (Maari ring mabasa ang Usaping Bayan sa Opinion Section ng pahayagang Hataw tuwing araw ng Miyerkoles at Biyernes. Makikita rin sa  http://www.hatawtabloid.com ang tala na ito).

    *Ang mga pananaw sa artikulong ito ay sa sumulat.  Maaring hindi ito ang opisyal na posisyon ng Beyond Deadlines.

     

    1 Comment "