CJ Bersamin on UNHRC reso: Other countries cannot intervene in PH affairs

Marje Pelayo   •   July 19, 2019   •   1078

UNHRC Hall | Courtesy: United Nations Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin called the United Nation Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) adoption of a resolution to probe human rights situation in the country as ‘minority’ since only 18 countries voted for it.

Though his statement was brief, Bersamin said other countries have no reason to intervene with Philippine affairs especially its policies.

“Mukhang tama nga naman sina Secretary Panelo dahil minority resolution lang iyan. But you know, I am a member of the Judiciary and kailangan ipilit kong sabihin sa ngayon wala naman kami nakikitang dapat lamang na manghimasok ang taga ibang bansa,” the Chief Justice said in support of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo’s position on the matter.

(It seems Sec. Panelo was right because that’s only a minority resolution. But you know I am a member of the Judiciary and for now, I am compelled to speak. So far, I see no reason for other countries to meddle in our affairs.)

“Other than that, hindi na ko magsasalita (I won’t say anything more). I cannot be the architect of our foreign affairs,” he added.

The Palace previously called the resolution an insult to the Filipinos.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), however, clarified that the Philippines will not cut its ties with any member of the human rights body. — with reports from Mai Bermudez

Palace confirms suspension of loans and deals with countries backing UN rights probe

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 23, 2019

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo

Malacañang confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a memorandum suspending loans and deals with countries backing the Iceland resolution.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo recently denied that there was such order but he corrected himself earlier on Monday (September 23).

“When I asked him [Duterte], he said ‘No, I did not.’ He might have forgotten momentarily. When I asked him again, he said, ‘Yes, I remember calling the Secretary about it,” he said.

Panelo added that the mix-up was due to “lapse of memory”.

Duterte signed a confidential memorandum on August 27 suspending loans and negotiations with 18 member-countries of the United Nations Human Rights Council after they backed the resolution to probe the anti-drug war campaign in the country.

Panelo also said Duterte mentioned that the Philippines was insulted by the Iceland resolution.

“We cannot allow this country who is insulting us, a country who condemns allegedly our slaying of certain victims yet it allows abortion of unborn children up to less than 6 months old,” according to Duterte.

According to the presidential spokesperson, there are other bilateral partners and institutions offering similar grants with the 18 states involved.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Ex-Army, 3 others arrested for illegal drugs in Antipolo City

UNTV News   •   September 20, 2019

RIZAL, Philippines – A former member of the Philippine Army and three other personalities were arrested in a drug buy-bust operation launched in Barangay Cupang, Antipolo City on Wednesday (September 18).

According to a report released by Rizal Police Provincial Office, the four were arrested in Zone 8, Purok 5 during an operation launched against a certain alias “Sgt. Escobar,” a reported seller and distributor of illegal drugs in the area.

The suspects were identified as Allan Escobar alias ‘Sgt. Escobar,’ 45 years old, and a former members of the Philippine Army who has been absent without official leave (AWOL) since July 2019.

Also arrested were three of Escobar’s cohorts namely Francis Lara, 41yo; Aris Coson, 26yo; and Amador Ayuson, 29yo.

The operation was in coordination with agents from the PhilippineDrug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Seized from the suspects were:
One (1) Heat Sealed Transparent Plastic Sachet containing White Crystalline Substance suspected shabu;
One (1) piece 500 peso bill marked money;
Two (2) pieces of medium size heat sealed transparent plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance suspected shabu;
Two (2) pieces of medium size heat sealed transparent plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance suspected shabu;
One (1) piece of medium size heat sealed transparent plastic sachet containing white crystaline substance suspected as shabu;
One (1) piece of medium size heat sealed partially opened transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance suspected shabu;
Two (2) pieces of improvised glass pipe tooter with shabu residue;
One (1) piece strip of aluminum foil with suspected shabu residue;
One (1) piece improvised lighter disposable;
One (1) piece small weighng scale;
Three (3) pieces of Identication Cards.

All confiscated drug evidence confiscated have a total estimated street value worth of P54,000.

The suspects and pieces of evidence were brought to Rizal Provincial Crime Laboratory Office (SOCO) for laboratory examination. — MNP / RPPO

Relief supplies arrive in Nassau as recovery efforts begin

UNTV News   •   September 5, 2019

Survivors of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas on Wednesday (September 4) thronged rescue helicopters as the United Nations said 70,000 people needed immediate humanitarian relief after one of the most powerful Caribbean storms on record devastated the island group.

The most damaging storm to strike the island nation, Dorian killed at least 20 people, the Miami Herald reported, citing Bahamas Health Minister Duane Sands. But the toll was certain to rise as the scope of the destruction and the humanitarian crisis was still coming into focus with aerial video of the Abaco Islands in the northern Bahamas showing wide devastation.

A massive relief effort was underway with volunteers ferrying supplies to the islands in a flotilla of small boats.

As many as 13,000 homes in the Bahamas may have been destroyed or severely damaged, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said.

Food may be required for 14,500 people in the Abaco Islands and for 45,700 people in Grand Bahama, the U.N. World Food Programme said.

U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection personnel have airlifted 61 people from the northern Bahamas to the capital Nassau over two days, the U.S. Embassy said. (REUTERS)

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