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Makabayan congressmen: “We are not terrorists!”

by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, December 7th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — “We are not terrorists,” said ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio.

This was the cry of Makabayan congressmen now that they are being tagged as terrorists under the Palace’s Proclamation No. 374.

It has been obvious that members of the Makabayan bloc in Congress are leading the series of protests against the government.

But the group said they are not insinuating terrorism in doing so.

“Hindi terorismo na ipaglaban ang human rights, ang right to due process ng bawat mga Pilipino lalo na ng maralita. Hindi terorismo ang ipaglaban ang karapatan sa lupa ng mga magsasaka,” said Tinio.

(It’s not terrorism but human rights that we are fighting for; the right to due process of all Filipinos especially the poor. It’s not terrorism to fight for the right of farmers to property.)

The group fears that the proclamation is being used to silence all progressive groups and activists.

“Ang mangyayari dito maraming mga trumped-up charges, pero ang layunin ay para mapatahimik, masupil at mapakulong pa mga ang mga aktibista at mga organisasyong makakaliwa,” said Tinio

(There will be more trumped-up charges to hush, suppress and put in jail all activists and leftist organizations.)

But according to the Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, it is clear that Proclamation No.374 declares the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army as an identified terrorist organization under Republic Act 10168, contrary to the claim of the Makabayan bloc. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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Makabayan solons urge Pres. Duterte to oust Sec. Aguirre

by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, March 15th, 2018

The Makabayan congressmen challenging President Rodrigo Duterte to oust Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre

MANILA, Philippines — Makabayan congressmen challenged President Rodrigo Duterte to oust Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre if he is serious in his war against illegal drugs.

This after the Department of Justice (DOJ) National Prosecution Service (NPS) dismissed the drug cases against Kerwin Espinosa, Peter Lim, Peter Co and other known drug lords.

According to the militant lawmakers, if the President fails to hold Aguirre responsible in this case, it will be a clear indication that his war on drugs is fake and he only targets the small-time drug pushers and users.

“Unang-una dapat makita natin na sibakin ang secretary of justice na responsable sa kalokohang ito,” said ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio.

(First, we need to see the justice secretary fired because he is the one responsible here.)

The House minority also noted that this is not the first time that the DOJ downgraded big cases.

Case in point is that of the two Bureau of Customs (BOC) commissioners who allegedly accepted a bribe to free two Chinese nationals.

The case was downgraded from non-bailable plunder to graft.

Another is the dismissal of the case of suspected ISIS recruits Er Haytan Abdulamin and his Filipina live-in partner.

“Marami nang Cabinet secretaries na palpak ang presidente. Dapat magbawas na siya,” said Minority Floor Leader Rep. Danilo Suarez.

(Many of the President’s Cabinet secretaries are ineffective. The President has to let some of them go.)

Meanwhile, in his Twitter post Tueday night, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque quoted the President as saying that if Espinosa and Lim will be acquitted the President will put Aguirre in their stead.

Roque added that the Chief Executive will also use his power to revise the dismissal of the drug charges.  — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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PNP’s subpoena power may pose threat – Makabayan bloc

by UNTV   |   Posted on Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

(L-R) ACT Teachers party-list Representative Antonio Tinio and PNP Chief Police Director General Ronald Dela Rosa

MANILA, Philippines — The Makabayan bloc of the lower house of Congress believes the number of human rights violations in the country may rise due to the subpoena powers given to the Philippine National Police.

“Our primary concern is that it will result into the abuse of human rights and civil liberties of the people,” ACTS Teachers Party List Representative Antonio Tinio said.

A group of lawyers, the National Union of People’s Lawyer (NUPL), shares the same view on the matter.

“It will open the opportunity to unlawful and illegal search, arrest and seizure of properties,” said NUPL president, Atty. Edre Olalia.

Tinio also raised alarm that the government might also soon give similar powers to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The Makabayan bloc said it is open to question the new law, but noted it will study first its possible violations of the Constitution.

On the other hand, PNP Chief Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa vowed that the police will not abuse the use of such powers.

He added that the subpoena powers will greatly help the PNP in investigating cases as it will speed up the release of required documents or persons.

PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) legal division chief PSupt. Joseph Orsos, initially revealed that anyone who ignores the subpoena of the PNP can be detained.

“It can be considered as contempt of higher court, meaning RTC (Regional Trial Court). It’s not only a contemptuous act against the MTC (Municipal/Metropolitan Trial Court), meaning you can be incarcerated for up to 30 days,” said Orsos. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue

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Duterte not attending the ASEAN – Australia Special Summit

by UNTV   |   Posted on Monday, March 5th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Pres. Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will not be attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – Australia Special Summit in Sydney on March 17 to 18.

The chief executive will be represented by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano in the said event.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the president will attend the graduation rites of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and will have a meeting with young military officers on the issue of terrorism.

It can be recalled that in the president’s previous public statements he had said he did not want to visit Australia. — UNTV News & Rescue

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