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Israelis protest arms sale to the Philippines as Duterte, Rivlin meet

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

 

A protester holding a banner showing Duterte holding up an Israeli made Galil assault rifle | REUTERS

Israelis staged a protest against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Jerusalem on Tuesday (September 4) as the Filipino leader met with his counterpart Reuven Rivlin.

Duterte, on a four-day visit to Israel and Jerusalem, thanked Rivlin and welcomed further defense deals with Israel that were on the president’s trip’s agenda alongside tourism and labor deals.

The visit is aimed at cementing relationships between the Asian power and booming Israel, both historical U.S. allies.

The Philippine military, coast guard, and police have in the past acquired defense systems and weapons from Israel. But the Asian power has also purchased arms from other countries as well.

The Israeli defense ministry said it does not comment on the country’s defense exports.

In front of the presidential residence, a handful of protesters demonstrated against a possible weapons deal between the two countries.

The protesters chanted “shame” and “fascist” at Duterte and held up banners depicting the president with an Israeli-made Galil assault rifle, reading ‘Stop the Killings’.

Duterte who also met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and visited Israel’s Holocaust memorial on Monday (September 3) departs for neighboring Jordan on Wednesday (September 5). — Reuters

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Duterte still trusts Diokno says Malacañang

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

 

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno

 

MANILA, Philippines — Unless there is evidence presented that supports the allegations being thrown against Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, he will continue to enjoy the confidence and trust of President Rodrigo Duterte.

This was the statement of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on the issues facing the embattled budget secretary, among which is the P51-B addition to the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways and the alleged conflict of interest in the multi-billion-peso worth of infrastructure projects in Casiguran and Sorsogon.

“Mr. Diokno is known to be the ‘Mr. No,’ meaning, he’s a man of integrity. So, when he says he is not involved, I believe it, unless you show me, as a lawyer, competent evidence,” Panelo said.

He added that the accusers should bear the burden of proof.

Nevertheless, Malacañang will still look into the allegation of House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr., that 30 government infra projects worth billions of pesos went to a single contractor.

Andaya further alleged that some Cabinet members are benefactors of the said contractor.

“Since there is allegation of corruption, it follows that we have to investigate,” Panelo said. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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PH drug war meant to protect human rights of innocent citizens — Malacañang

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, December 10th, 2018

(file photo)

In line with the 70th anniversary of the adoption of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the Duterte administration reiterated anew that the government continues to honor human rights in the country.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea in a statement said the government remains relentless in its war against criminality, corruption, terrorism, rebellion and illegal drugs, in an effort to protect the human rights of law-abiding citizens.

He added that the Duterte administration is determined to improve the quality of life of Filipinos through the effective implementation of programs related to education, health management, food supply, housing, employment and other basic services. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Duterte mulls over formation of own hit squad vs NPA rebels

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

 

President Duterte gestures during his speech at Camp Raja Sikatuna in Bohol

 

BOHOL, Philippines — In his speech last night at Camp Raja Sikatuna in Bohol,President Rodrigo Duterte said he is considering forming his own hit squad to combat the Special Partisan Unit (SPARU or sparrow) of the New People’s Army (NPA).

“Ngayon ang kulang talaga is ang ‘sparrow’ ko rin. Diyan lang man sila makalamang, sa bukid fight man yan. So mag-create ako ng sparrow — Duterte Death Squad against the SPARU,” he said.

The sparrow unit is known as the communist rebels’ hit squad during the regime of the late president Ferdinand Marcos in the 1980’s.

Last March, Duterte noted that there seems to be a resurgence of the NPA’s sparrow units.

“I will match their talent also for assassinating people. May armas yan sigurado…iyon ang balak ko,” Duterte said.

According to the President he will recruit former NPA members who have returned to the government fold to form his proposed hit squad.

The President’s statement comes amid continuing friction between the government and communist rebels, whose peace negotiations fell through in 2017 over continued attack on state troops.

Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman, Joma Sison slammed the President’s plan, calling it a “dangerous proposal” that will bestow power upon the military to liquidate civilians suspected of being NPA members.

Sison also clarified that the communist rebels’ sparrow units had long been defunct.

Meanwhile, the President is also planning to deploy a bigger military force in Jolo, Sulu to counter the forces of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group.

“Talagang isang division ilagay ko, not only a company, not only a battalion, not a regiment — but I’m going to place an entire division for the islands towards Sabah,” Duterte said.

The deployment of additional military forces in Jolo comes after the death of five soldiers and wounding of several others in a deadly encounter with the terrorist group. — Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue

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