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Over 6,000 killed in government’s war on drugs; over 12,000 barangays drug cleared

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has reported over 6,000 deaths in the government’s war on drugs.

Based on the initial data released by the PNP, 6,600 individuals had been killed from July 1, 2016 to to May 31, 2019.

According to PNP Spokesperson PCol. Bernard Banac, around 1.5 million drug personalities surrendered while over 200,000 were arrested.

The PNP has conducted 150,000 drug operations since the start of the government’s campaign in 2016. Banac said that the PNP will continue to strengthen the campaign against illegal drugs.

“Of course ang pakikipagtulungan ng mga government units kailangang palakasin ang mga barangay o anti-drug abuse council, municipal at provincial anti-drug abuse council ay pakikipag-uganyan sa local na pamahalaan, (Of course the assistance of government units should also be strengthened. The barangay or the anti-drug abuse council, municipal, and provincial anti-drug abuse council should coordinate with the local government)” he said.

Meanwhile, authorities also reported that over 12,000 barangays are drug-free. Region 1 leads the highest number of drug-cleared barangays followed by Region 8, and Region 6.

Regions NCR, Region 3, Region 5, and Region 7 are the most affected by the illegal drug trade.

Banac reiterated the importance of family in curbing illegal drugs.

“Lahat ng pamilya ay dapat sumali dito dahil ang unang depensa natin dito laban sa ilegal na droga ay ang pamilya. Doon po magsisimula ang laban at kapag hindi ito kinaya ay doon na po papasok ang komunidad, (All families should join because they are the first defense against illegal drugs. The first fight begins there because the problem will enter into the community if they cannot solve it within the family)” he said.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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Palace says Duterte can declare martial law if terrorism reaches Metro Manila

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Malacañang said President Rodrigo Duterte can declare martial law if terrorism reaches Metro Manila.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the chief executive expressed concern about the recent suicide bombing which led to the death of eight individuals including one Filipino suicide bomber in Indanan, Sulu.

“Iyon nga ang kinakatakot niya kasi may suicide bomber na. (That’s what he feared, there is already a suicide bomber). He’s very concerned of that. Kaya hindi ba nag-warning siya sa enemies of the state, (so he warned the enemies of the state) ‘Don’t force my hand into it. I will not allow the disintegration of this country,’ ” he said.

“Kaya nga hindi ba don’t force me to the wall. Kapag hindi kayo tumigil, (So don’t force me to the wall. If you do not stop) I’ll be compelled to use powers granted to me by the Constitution, lalong lalo pa iyong terorismo makarating dito sa Maynila (especially if terrorism reaches here in Metro Manila),” he said.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Duterte on WPS: ‘I’m the owner, I’m just giving China fishing rights’

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, July 18th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte | PCOO

President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated that the West Philippine Sea still belongs to the country and that he is only giving “fishing rights” to China.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’m the owner, and I’m just giving the fishing rights,” he said.

In a television interview on Monday (July 15), Duterte said traditional fishing rights is widely recognized.

“Historically even before the birth of nations, even before the organization of whatever, meron ‘yang mga tao sa coast eh. Whether they are really the ancestors of the Chinese or the Filipinos, and also, nations who have been fishing there. It’s called fishing rights,” Duterte said.

READ: Duterte to explain Chinese fishing in PH waters at 4th SONA

“The court admitted that there is such a thing as the traditional fishing rights of people and that you have to allow it without violating the law,” he added. 

READ: Duterte ‘tolerating’ Chinese fishing in PH’s EEZ draws flak

Duterte was slammed after allowing Chinese fishermen to fish in Philippine waters “for friendship’s sake.”—AAC

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Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra gears up for first SONA performance

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

Courtesy: Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s leading orchestra, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO), is now preparing for their performance at the fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte on July 22.

Cultural Center of the Philippines President Arsenio Lizaso said PPO’s upcoming performance at the Batasang Pambansa is a milestone for the orchestra as this will be their first to play at such prestigious event.

“Ito po ang kauna-unahan sa SONA, first time kami dito at ito ay magandang pagkakataon sa Philharmonic at Cultural Center of the Philippines,” Lizaso said.

“Chance na ito for us to be able to play for the senators, congressmen, guests and for the President,” he added.

On Wednesday, Lizaso conducted an ocular visit at the lobby of the House of Representatives in Quezon City to check the audio and placement for the performance of the 65-member PPO.

The symphony orchestra will reportedly play the Philippine National Anthem “Lupang Hinirang,” “Pagbabago” by Freddie Agular, presidential anthem “Mabuhay,” and other Filipino compositions, as well as Duterte’s favorite song “Ikaw.”

“Nagre-rehearse kami sa Cultural Center, pagkatapos dito on the day itself,” Lizaso said.

He added that PPO’s performance, which is expected to last for three to five hours, is free of charge.

The PPO, established in 1973, has performed with many renowned conductors and is one of the leading musical ensembles in the Asia-Pacific region. (with details from Grace Casin)

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