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Malacañang shrugs off ‘guilty’ verdict of International People’s Tribunal vs Duterte

by admin   |   Posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2018

 

The panel of the International People’s Tribunal | Image grabbed from the Facebook page of International Peoples’ Tribunal PH

 

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang shrugged off the guilty verdict handed to President Rodrigo Duterte by the International People’s Tribunal (IPT) on charges of human rights violations.

According to presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, the said tribunal which recently convened in Brussels, Belgium, is propaganda body comprised of left-leaning groups.

“That’s a sham decision. It has no official sanction. The validity of the findings will depend on the credibility of the tribunals. They appear to be a propaganda body of the international left, and therefore we set it aside as a useless piece of propaganda against the government,” said Roque.

IPT 2018 convened this week to hear cases filed against Duterte on his alleged violations against political, civil, economic, social rights, international humanitarian law and others.

The IPT findings will reportedly be submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), European Parliament and International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague.

“We heard the summary of testimonies of witnesses — many of them heart-wrenching, traumatic and horrific- experts and resource persons as well as the digest of wealth of data, information, facts, and other evidence. It is our consensus therefore, the defendants Duterte, trump and all other defendants are guilty of all the charges specified in the indictment and therefore they are accountable for crimes against humanity,” said the jury.

The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) said the International People’s Tribunal is initiated by the people to seek redress when traditional institutions are either limited or skewed.

NUPL President Edre Olalia also said in a statement that the IPT is a unique arena or platform for the urgent process of establishing the truth.

He also stood firm that IPT observes due process and defendants are notified and given the opportunity to participate and defend themselves.

Olalia added that IPT’s panel is composed of eminent jurors from different disciplines and the proceedings are conducted in an open and public trial. — Rosalie Coz

 

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Cayetano open to House speakership term-sharing

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

Alan Peter Cayetano

MANILA, Philippines – Taguig Representative-elect Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday expressed openness to the idea of sharing the term of the 18th Congress speakership with other contenders for the post.

In a chance interview prior to the economic and legislative agenda meeting of the Duterte administration in Clark, Pampanga, Cayetano said the idea of term sharing was mentioned by President Rodrigo Duterte himself when he met with him, along with other speakership aspirants, in Japan weeks ago.

Cayetano said he is willing to share the speakership with Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco, but the latter did not favor the proposal.

“Nasabi ko sa ating pangulo na payag nako kahit na I was expecting three years na hati kmi ni Allan Velasco. Ang problema, ayaw pa niya pumayag doon,” he said.

Others gunning for the top House post are Leyte Representative-elect Martin Romualdez, Pampanga Representative Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales and Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon Alvarez.

Cayetano said the House speakership race is fast becoming tight, with some resorting to offering money in exchange for votes.

“The reality is, may namimigay ng pera sa Congress at hindi lang pera, may kasamang papel na nagsasabing pirmahan niyo ito,” he said.

“Actually now, ang offer ay more than money, may kumausap sa akin na nag-ooffer ng P200-million pero Congressman na project sa party-list,” he added, although he refused to name names.

Cayetano also clarified that the relation between him and Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio remains amicable despite his threat to break up the administration coalition if she would endorse Velasco’s bid to become speaker.

The presidential daughter earlier said she did not express her support for Cayetano’s bid but she would back any one who would support Duterte’s programs.

“There has been some communication pero pabayaan mo muna na ma-sort out naming. Maaari ngang iba ang pagkarinig, iba ang pagkasabi… If she feels that way, I am hurt and sorry if she feels that way but hindi ganun talaga,” he said.

Cayetano and other lawmakers and Cabinet officials met in Clark, Pampanga to discuss the administration’s economic and legislative agenda for the last three years in office of President Duterte. (with details from Grace Casin)

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Panelo: Chinese envoy won’t be summoned over Recto Bank allision

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte greets Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua on the sidelines of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee head Song Tao’s courtesy call on the President at Matina Enclaves in Davao City on March 27, 2019.

MANILA, Philippines – Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua will not be summoned over the allision incident involving Filipino and Chinese fishing vessels in Recto Bank (Reed Bank) in the West Philippine Sea, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

“The president, I think, is not inclined to do that,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

“Because ang feeling niya, ginagawa na nila, may statement na si Ambassador about seriously and cautiously studying the facts,” he added.

Panelo’s statement contradicts the earlier remark of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana that China’s representative would be invited to the Palace to explain about the matter.

Duterte on Monday described the sinking of a Philippine boat by a Chinese ship as a “little maritime accident.”

‘Wag kayong maniwala sa mga politiko na bobo, gusto papuntahin ‘yung Navy. You do not send gray ships there. Banggaan lang ng barko ‘yan,” the chief executive said in a speech during a Philippine Navy event in Cavite.

The president’s remark disappointed many, including the Filipino fishers.

READ: Filipino boat captain laments Duterte’s remark on West PH Sea allision incident

But Panelo explained, the President was just being cautious about the matter to prevent it from becoming an international crisis, which might affect trade relations between the Philippines and China and other sectors, including the ordinary fishermen visiting disputed territories and the Filipino workers in China.

“He doesn’t want this blown into an international crisis given the fact na matagal din na nabago ‘yung relasyon from the time ng previous administration na masama ang relasyon,” he said.

The Palace official also reiterated that the Philippine government would wait for the investigation to be concluded before taking any action.

Panelo said concerned agencies are already conducting further probe to clear any doubts on whether the incident was accidental or intentional, following the seemingly contradicting statements of some Filipino crew members.

“Kaya medyo nagkaroon ng doubt tuloy, of course, sinasabi ng Kapitan sinadya, sinasabi naman ng cook, mukhang ‘di sila nakita, with more reason na kailangang imbestigahan,” he said.

Panelo also floated the possibility of a joint investigation by the Philippines and China on the incident. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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Filipino boat captain laments Duterte’s remark on West PH Sea allision incident

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

(L-R) The wreckage of sunken F/B GEM-VIR 1 and its captain,Jonel Insigne

The captain of the Philippine fishing vessel which was hit by a Chinese ship near Recto Bank (also called Reed Bank) in the West Philippine Sea on Tuesday lamented the remark of President Rodrigo Duterte which seemed to downplay the allision as just a “maritime accident.”

Jonel Insigne said the incident should not be deemed as little and ordinary because the lives of the crew members of the F/B GEM-VIR 1 were endangered when the Chinese vessel rammed into their boat and abandoned them at sea on June 9.

In a speech at an event in Cavite on Monday night, Duterte described the allision as a “little maritime accident” and told the Philippine Navy to stay out of trouble.

“Pero ‘yang nangyari diyan sa banggaan, that is a maritime incident. ‘Wag kayong maniwala sa mga politiko na bobo, gusto papuntahin ‘yung Navy. You do not send gray ships there. Banggaan lang ng barko ‘yan, do not make it worse because that’s a fertile ground,” Duterte said.

“Stay out of trouble. Just build on our own. ‘Wag muna tayong makialam. Do not allow a little maritime accident or intentional, go to, pahinga ka muna, pahinga muna kayo,” he added.

But Insigne maintained that the allision was no accident and called on the Chinese crew to just own up to their fault and face the consequence of their actions.

“Bakit hindi pa nila amininin na sila ang bumangga sa amin? Talagang sinadya nila. Tsaka bakit ‘yung pagbangga sa amin, hindi nila kami tinulungan?” Insigne said.

He also insisted that it would be impossible for the Chinese ship not to see them because their vessel was well-lit.

According to Duterte, he will no longer add to his statement about the incident and that he would rather wait for the result of the investigation being conducted by concerned agencies.

“And I do not now issue statement because there is no investigation and there is no result. Then the only thing we can do is to wait and give the other party the right to be heard. Importante ‘yan, eh,” the president said.

Despite Duterte’s remark, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the administration is not belittling the incident. A “strongly-worded” diplomatic protest against China has also been filed by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

In the end, Insigne just appealed to the government for livelihood and financial assistance for the Filipino crew.

The Filipino crew, who were later rescued by Vietnamese fishermen after several hours at sea, also called on authorities to ensure that the Chinese crew will be held accountable. (correspondents Rosalie Coz and Sherwin Culubong contributed to this report)

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