by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Friday, May 25th, 2018
President Rodrigo Duterte
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, May 24, defended his recent remarks against women that drew flak from several rights groups.
In a speech in Davao City, the Chief Executive said he believes in the competence and capabilities of women but their excellence does not apply to all aspects of life.
The President mentioned this while he was asking female soldiers to leave Paquibato District in Davao due to the presence of the high presence of Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebels in the area.
Duterte also went on to explain why he preferred men over women on some government positions.
“Kaya ang mga babae kong sundalo pati pulis ayaw ko iyan sa bukid. You know kagaya ng — unlike men, kami, maliit pa lang suntukan, bakbakan, barilan diyan. And we grew up with a sort of a mindset na sometimes prone to violence,” the President said.
(I don’t like female soldiers and police in the jungle. You know, unlike men, even as kids, we’re used to rough play, hitting each other. And we grew up with a sort of a mindset that is sometimes prone to violence.)
This month, pro women groups accused Duterte of discrimination after he said in public that the next ombudsman should not be a woman.
“Mag-nominate sila pero (They may nominate, but) I choose — Gusto ko ‘yung bilib ang tao sa integrity niya (I want people to be impressed by that person’s integrity). Of course, it could not be [a politician]. Lalo na hindi babae (especially not a woman),” Duterte said in an interview in Malacañang on May 16.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) explained that based on the Magna Carta for Women, men and women should be given equal rights and opportunities, even in political aspect.
“The Magna Carta for Women says that in the bureaucracy government, there should be 50:50 gender balance incremented, increase in women being appointed to managerial positions,” said Emmerline Verzosa, the Executive Director of PCW.
But for law expert Atty. George Erwin Garcia, the emphasis on the issue should be placed on the qualification of the person appointed to a certain post.
“Sa bandang huli ang mas papasok diyan ay iyong diskresyon ng mag a-appoint whether ang piliin niya ay isang lalake o isang babae o kaya ay iyong tinatawag na 3rd sex. Wala tayong magagawa doon diskresyon yun lalong lalo na ng ating pangulo,” Garcia concluded.
(In the end it depends on the discretion of the one who will appoint: whether he will choose a man, woman or the so-called third sex. We cannot do anything about it, that is the discretion of the president.) – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue
by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Thursday, July 18th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) reminds foreigners to refrain from joining any political activity as they are not allowed under Philippine law.
On its Facebook page, the BI warned legal aliens that they may face deportation if they do so as political protests are expected during the fourth state of the nation address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (July 22).
“We are sending this warning to avoid a repeat of the cases wherein we had to deport foreign protesters,” BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said following incidents of deportation of foreign nationals who took part previous mass actions.
The BI Chief said foreigners who are visitors in the Philippines are not given political rights and privileges of Filipino citizens.
“Follow our laws. It is very simple and clear. Foreign visitors are not allowed to partake in political demonstrations. We allowed your stay in the Philippines, please respect our government and our laws,” he added.
Several foreign nationals have been deported for joining and supporting political events in the past.
The most prominent was Australian nun Patricia Fox who, in 2018, was denied renewal of missionary visa for violating the conditions of her stay and participating in partisan politics.
“If found guilty, we will blacklist these foreigners, effectively barring them from re-entering the Philippines,” Morente warned.
by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Wednesday, July 17th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Days before President Rodrigo Duterte’s fourth state of the nation address (SONA), the Quezon City Police District has met with representatives of different agencies and the local government as well as with groups of protesters to discuss the plan of events on Monday (July 22).
Police Major General Guillermo Eleazar said the demonstrators vowed to carry out peaceful assembly at designated protest areas on the day of the President’s SONA.
“Ituloy po natin ito dahil ang gusto nating mangyari nga, magkaroon ng tahimik at maayos na SONA na lahat naman po ng gusto nating mangyari base sa ating karapatan ay ating magagawa, (Let’s us accomplish this as all of us aspire for an orderly and peaceful SONA. This is what we want to accomplish based on our rights,)” Eleazar said.
Protesters’ assembly area will be at Agham Road, U.P. Diliman, and Tandang Sora Avenue.
All groups will then meet at Commonwealth Avenue.
The eastbound lane will be closed to give way to the groups’ program of activities starting from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Authorities are expecting about 15,000 individuals joining the rally on Monday.
Groups under United People’s SONA including Laban ng Masa, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Pasang Masda and Movement Against Tyranny agreed with authorities to maintain peace and order during their assembly.
“Kaya po kami nandito (ay) para tiyakin na magiging maayos at ilang taon na rin po kaming nag-uusap ni General Eleazar. Mayroon na tayong tried-and-tested na formula,” said Bayan’s Secretary General Renato Reyes.
“We would like to assure everybody, as we have just assured our Philippine National Police, that our rally will definitely be a very, very peaceful and organized rally,” added Laban ng Masa national Coordinator Rasti Delizo.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said they are ready to provide security to the President in case he decides to go out and address the protesters like he did in 2017.
“Mas challenging for us kung lalapit pa siya doon, (That would be more challenging to us if he goes out),” Eleazar said.
“Kung kami ang tatanungin, mas maganda na hindi na lang siya pumunta roon in so far as security is concerned. Pero kung ano ang gagawin niya, nakahanda tayo doon, (If it were up to us, it would be better if he refrains from going out in so far as security is concerned. But if that’s what he wants, we are ready),” he added.
But if worse comes to worst, Eleazar said, they will be compelled to use force to disperse the rallyists if in case they sow violence during the event.
“That’s a violation already of our agreement,” he said.
After meeting with concerned groups, Eleazar will meet with the Presidential Security Group (PSG) next to discuss the implementation of a temporary signal jamming within the vicinity during the President’s SONA proper.
Meanwhile the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is appealing to the protesters to maintain cleanliness in the protest area throughout the demonstration.
“Sana po maging responsable po tayo, (Let us be responsible),” appealed Jojo Garcia, MMDA general manager.
“Ang maaapektuhan niyan (ay ang) mga kababayan din natin, kapag iniwan niyo ‘yung kalat na ‘yan at iyan ay nagbara sa ating mga drainage, (If you leave your garbage there and clog the drainage, that would affect the general public),” he added.
Overall, the NCRPO will deploy a total of 15,000 cops in addition to the 9,000 policemen from the QCPD to secure the President’s SONA. – with details from Harlene Delgado
by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Tuesday, July 16th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang assured that President Rodrigo Duterte will be the first to obey the newly-signed Republic Act 11313 also known as the Safe Spaces Act or ‘Anti-Bastos Law’.
“Since the president signed that law, it means he recognizes the need for that law and since he is the chief enforcer of all the laws of the Philippines, he will be the first one to obey the law,” said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
Signed on April 17, 2019, the new law imposes stiffer penalties to crimes “committed through any unwanted and uninvited sexual actions or remarks against any person regardless of the motive for committing such action or remarks.”
Among these acts include:
online sexual harassment
persistent unwanted comments on one’s appearance
relentless requests for one’s personal details
Likewise, the law prevents gender-based sexual harassment such as use of words, gestures or actions that ridicule sexual orientation, identity and/or expression from occurring in streets, public places, online workplaces, and educational and training institutions.
Penalties range from P1,000 to P500,000 fine, community service, and imprisonment of six days up to six months.
President Duterte has been criticized many times for his controversial remarks against women, but Panelo said those were all jokes, and definitely not sexual harassment against women.
“That particular law is penal in nature, meaning criminal in nature. In other words, the subject offended party must be offended personally by an offender,” the Presidential Legal Counsel explained.
“Pero kung general na nagkukwento, mao-offend ka? Paano mo sasabihing ikaw ang tinutukoy noon? May problema ka doon. (But he is just telling a story, in general, will you be offended? How can you tell that he was referring to you? Do you have problems with that?) How can you even charge him with what? How did they offend you? Did I refer to you? Papaano ka na? Dismiss agad iyon (How about you then? [The case] will be dismissed right away). Crime is personal to the offender,” he added.
Panelo added that persons who think they were offended by the President are always free to file a complaint once the President steps down from office.
“Any person can sue him for that violation. If you argue that, well, he is immune. Well, you can sue him after the presidency. No one is above the law, including this president and he always tells us that,” Panelo concluded. – with reports from Rosalie Coz
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