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Roque to insist on ICC’s non-jurisdiction over PH anti-drug war

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque is set to attend the International Criminal Court (ICC) Assembly of State Parties in New York, USA on December 7, 2017.

He will have the chance to speak before the body of prosecutors and insist that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction over the anti-drug war of the government because the courts in the Philippines are still able to investigate on complaints.

It can be recalled that some human rights groups such as the Amnesty International requested the ICC to conduct a preliminary examination of the drug-related killings in the Philippines.

Roque said that if the ICC will violate the principle of complementarity, there is a possibility for the Philippines to withdraw from the Rome Statute of ICC.

“Although the statement has not been finalized, my statement is we agreed to be a member of the ICC because of the principle of complementarity that the court will only exercise jurisdiction if our courts are unwilling or unable to exercise jurisdiction on any crime cognizable by the International Criminal Court. And to violate the principle of complementarity would be to violate the very basis of our consent to be bound by the Rome Statute. And if this will happen, then there may be a possibility that the Philippines, like the three other African states, may withdraw from the Rome Statute of the ICC,” said the presidential spokesperson. — UNTV News & Rescue


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Roque: Appeals by foreign countries to probe drug-related killings not needed

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, June 25th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque

There is no need for other countries to call on the Philippine government to look into drug-related killings because the administration is already doing the necessary investigations on these cases in the country.

This was according to Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque in response to the recent appeal issued by Iceland on behalf of other member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council urging the Philippines to halt the killings resulting from its war on drugs.

“We urge the government of the Philippines to take all necessary measures to bring killings associated with the campaign against illegal drugs to an end and to cooperate with the international community to investigate all related deaths and hold all accountable,” the statement said as delivered by Ambassador Harald Aspelund, Permanent Representative of Iceland.

The group also insisted on the Philippines’ compliance to the “United Nations system including the Human Rights Council and its special procedure mandate holders – without preconditions or limitations.”

It should be recalled that the Duterte administration has banned UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings Agnes Callamard from investigating its anti-drug war campaign due to the latter’s alleged bias against the President.

Roque reiterated that an appeal from foreign countries is not necessary as the Philippine government has a record of the campaign’s fatalities to determine if proper procedure was indeed observed during drug operations.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano was also dismayed by the statement made by Iceland and other signatory countries after he invited them to personally visit the Philippines and see for themselves the human rights situation in the country.

“We regret that Iceland and several other countries maintained their position despite our offer for them to visit the Philippines and objectively asses the human rights situation, especially at the community level,” he said.

Cayetano added that it seems these countries are not interested in “arriving at the truth and would rather rely on the misinformation being fed to them by parties that have politicized and weaponized human rights.” — Rosalie Coz

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PNP: Arrest of loiterers based on local law; no human rights violated

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, June 18th, 2018

PNP chief PDG. Oscar Albayalde


MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) will release this week guidelines in arresting loiterers who violate city ordinances.

The PNP explained that the guidelines would help iron out its decision to push through with arresting night-time idlers.

PNP chief PDG. Oscar Albayalde noted that the police want to avoid violating the rights of the public.

Albayalde clarified that authorities only arrest individuals who violate ordinances such as smoking and drinking in public; going around shirtless in the streets; catcalling and urinating in public places.

He said that these violations are the usual cause of turmoil and crime in the streets.

“Madalas yan lalo na yung mga naka standby umiinom sa kalsada pag may dumaan kinukursunada nagiging sanhi ng away.  Kung minsan naman binabastos yung babae na dumadaan so yun ang iniiwasan natin. So this is for the safety of everybody,” said the PNP chief.

(Oftentimes, when people who drink on sidewalks get intoxicated, they would pick on random pedestrians or harass passing ladies and end up causing a fight. That’s what we are trying to avoid. So this is for the safety of everybody.)

Since Thursday, almost 3,000 loiterers have already been arrested.

Albayalde also called on the public to report complaints against cops to the nearest police station.

Presidential  Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said that loiterers can also file complaints should they experience harassment from police.

“Institutionalized na po yan. Nandiyan ang bill of rights, kung talagang walang basehan yan. Nandiyan naman po ang ating mga hukuman,” said Roque.

(That’s institutionalized. There is a bill of rights. If the case has no basis, there is the court to judge.)

For some lawmakers, arresting nighttime idlers is not a solution. They urge the government to help improve the lives of loiterers instead by giving them jobs or livelihood.

“Nararapat lang din na ang ating gobyerno ay mag-isip at magsikap doon sa mga pamamaraan, mga proyekto na kung paano ba natin masosolusyunan itong pagkarami-raming mga tambay,” said Kabataan party-list representative Sarah Elago.

(The government should exert effort in finding ways of creating projects that will address this problem with loiterers.)

“Common sense na ang isang napakaraming populasyon na walang trabaho na tumataas na presyo ay magbubunga ng maliit na mga krimen,” said Caloocan Rep. Egay Erice.

(It’s common sense that high unemployment rate leads to rise in petty crimes. ) — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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Many Filipinos expect better lives, economy in the next 12 months – SWS

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2018

The latest survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations reveals 40 percent of Filipinos expect better lives in 2019.


MANILA, Philippines – Forty (40) percent of Filipinos believe their lives will get better in the next 12 months based on the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS.)

Thirty-one (31) percent, meanwhile, believes the economy will grow further within 12 months.

Though the number has decreased compared to that of the December 2017 survey, the pollster said the latest results remain at an excellent rating level.

The survey was conducted from March 23 to 27 among 1,200 individuals across the country.

Malacañang is pleased with the results.

“We consider these latest survey results as a vote of confidence in the president and the members of his economic team. Our economy remains on target hitting 6.8 percent during the first quarter of 2018,” said Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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