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Duterte in good shape, ready for Japan’s trip — Malacañang

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the commencement exercises of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) ‘Mabalasik’ Class of 2019 at Fort General Gregorio Del Pilar in Baguio City on May 26, 2019. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Questions about President Rodrigo Duterte’s health heat up following his performance at Sunday’s graduation rites for the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Mabalasik Class of 2019.

Duterte arrived two hours late and seemingly wobbly when he almost fell while boarding the ‘white carabao,’ a military jeep commonly used for the traditional trooping-the-line ceremony.

But Malacañang was quick to defend the President.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo explained that the Chief Executive barely had sleep the night before the ceremony due to piles of documents that he needed to sign and reports that he needed to review.

Because the President is a night person, he usually stays up until 6:00 a.m. according to Panelo.

He added that it would explain why after awarding diplomas to the top two cadets of the graduating class, the President delegated the rest to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

The Presidential Spokesperson assured that the President is in good shape and he is ever ready for his trip to Tokyo, Japan.

Duterte is set to fly to Japan on Tuesday (May 28) to attend the 25th Nikkei Conference on the future of Asia and to meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a bilateral meeting. – (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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Duterte will be the first to obey the ‘Anti-Bastos Law’ – Malacañang

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:

  • catcalling
  • stalking 
  • cyberstalking  
  • wolf-whistling 
  • leering
  • intrusive gazing 
  • online sexual harassment 
  • sexist slurs 
  • 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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Duterte signs ‘Bawal Bastos’ law

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the ‘Bawal Bastos’ act into law which penalizes cat-calling and other forms harassment in public places.

The Republic Act No 11313 or Safe Spaces Act was signed on April 17 and was released to the media on Monday (July 15).

Based on the newly signed law, there will be heftier penalties for acts of cat-calling, unwanted invitation, and sexist slurs.

“The state also recognizes that both men and women must have equality, security, and safety not only in private, but also on the streets, public spaces, online, workplaces, and educational and training institutions,” the law states.

Among the harassment acts include catcalling, wolf-whistling, unwanted invitations, misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic and sexist slurs; persistent uninvited comments or gestures on a person’s appearance; relentless requests for personal details, statement of sexual comments and suggestions; public masturbation or flashing of private parts, groping, or any unwanted advances. The law also covers online sexual harassment and cyberstalking.

There will be various penalties depending on the crime committed.

First degree offenses will face P1,000 fine for a first offense, including 12-hour community service and Gender Sensitivity Seminar.

Second degree offenses will face P10,000 fine for a first offense including 12-hour community service with Gender Sensitivity Seminar.

Third degree offenses will face 11-30 days imprisonment, for a first offense with P30,000-fine and attendance to Gender Sensitivity Seminar.—AAC

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Boycott of Japanese products in South Korea gains momentum amid diplomatic row

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, July 12th, 2019

Japanese products missing from shelves of South Korean supermarket | Courtesy: Reuters

Calls in South Korea for a boycott of Japanese goods have been growing in response to Tokyo’s curbs on the export of high-tech material to Seoul, as a dispute over compensation for forced wartime labour roiled ties between the countries.

Some South Korean supermarkets on Thursday (July 11) removed Japanese products from shelves as more social media users posted “Boycott Japan” messages and shared a link to a list of Japanese brands, including Toyota Motor and Fast Retailing’s Uniqlo.

“I used to buy Pokari Sweat and Sapporo beer, but they’re not here anymore. But you know what? I can live with that. I can use Korean products instead,” said 58-year-old Lee Choon-Duk as she browsed the shelves of a local Korean mart.

South Korea imported $54.6 billion worth of goods from Japan in 2018, and paid for $11.5 billion worth of its services.

Last week, Japan tightened curbs on exports of materials crucial for smartphone displays and chips, as Tokyo said trust with South Korea had been broken in a dispute over South Koreans forced to work for Japanese firms during World War Two. (REUTERS)

(Production: Daewoung Kim, Hyunyoung Yi)

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