Duterte to speak at Valdai forum during 2nd state visit in Russia

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 27, 2019   •   390

President Rodrigo Duterte will speak in Valdai business forum in Sochi, Russia as part of his second state visit in Russia from October 1 to 5.

This will be the first time a Philippine leader will speak in the said forum where other world leaders and top Russian officials are also invited. The theme of the business forum is about “The World Order Seen from the East.”

Chief Presidential Protocol and Presidential Assistant of Foreign Affairs Robert Borje said the President will talk about his perspective of the world order and its relation to Philippine foreign policy.

“He is expected to give his perspective or vision of the world order as it is emerging right now and how this relates to Philippine foreign policy. Of course, we can surmise that the President will include in his statement an explanation of his independent foreign policy,” he said.

President Duterte will visit Russia for the second time to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and discuss several bilateral agreements between the two countries.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) European Affairs Asec. Maria Amelit Aquino the visit aims to bolster the 40-year tie between the Philippines and Russia.

“The relations are really being intensified and we have formal platforms, relations have really improved compared to the last 40 years,” she said.

The president will also speak at the Moscow Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), a leading institution for diplomats in Russia as well as meet the Filipino community in the country.

Around 7,000 Filipinos are currently working in Russia and most of them are in the household service and energy industry.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

PH bags 4 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze medals at 2019 World Para Bowling Tour

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 22, 2019

The Philippines won 4 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze at the recent 2019 World Para Bowling Tour held in Manila from November 14 to 20.

The Philippines has bagged a total of 10 medals, placing second to Malaysia that has a total of 26 medals.—AAC

Duterte says he ordered dismissal of 3 cops in body camera extortion case

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 21, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday (November 20) said that he ordered the dismissal of three police officers involved in the body camera extortion case.

The three police officers were allegedly involved in extorting around P5 million from a bidder of body cameras.

“In the police, I—the three majors were working on a body camera and they were arguing because maybe of—because of money. What else? Because of corruption. And so I said, ‘Fire them, dismiss them,'” he said.

Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa identified the police officers as Police Major Emerson Sales, Police Major Rholly Caraggayan and Police Major Angel Beros. 

Gamboa also said that he will sign the dismissal papers by Monday (November 25).—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

PH ranks 9th among countries most impacted by terrorism in the world

Marje Pelayo   •   November 21, 2019

MANILA, Philippines  —  The Philippines ranked 9th among 163 countries in the world most impacted by terrorism, based on the 2019 Global Terrorism Index (GTI).

The country moved up one spot from last year despite a slight drop in the number of terrorist activities.

According to the report, terror-related deaths in the country declined by nine percent with only 297 deaths recorded in 2018.

Likewise, terror-related incidents also reduced by 13% from 486 in 2017 to 424 in 2018.

Despite these improvements, the Philippines remains the only Southeast Asian country to be included in the top 10 list most impacted by terrorism.

The top 10 countries are as follows with their scores (10 being the highest)

  1. Afghanistan        9.603
  2. Iraq                        9.241
  3. Nigeria                 8.597
  4. Syria                      8.006
  5. Pakistan               7.889
  6. Somalia                 7.8
  7. India                      7.518
  8. Yemen                 7.259
  9. Philippines          7.137
  10. The Democratic Republic of the Congo 7.039

The GTI noted the New People’s Army (NPA) as the terror group responsible for over 36% of the deaths (107 in total) and 39% of the terror-related incidents (179 in total) recorded.

The NPA is engaged in insurgency with the government for five decades already causing the deaths of 2,387 people since the 1970s, making it the Philippines’ deadliest terror group.

The second deadliest group, the GTI noted, was the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM) whose attacks increased by 115% between 2017 to 2018.  

The third deadliest group was the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) which sparked terror in Mindanao with its affiliate groups BIFM, Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the Maute Group.

They orchestrated three suicide bombing attacks in 2018 killing a total of 18 people.

According to the GTI, attacks on government targets increased by 45% between 2017 and 2018, resulting in 139 deaths.

However, attacks on civilians slightly dropped from 103 in 2017 to 92 in 2018.

Meanwhile, attacks on police and military targets also declined significantly by 41%.

Published by the Sydney-based Institute for Economics & Peace, the Global Terrorism Index notes terrorism as “the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious, or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation.”

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