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UN human rights chief urges probe on Duterte’s killing claims

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

President Rodrigo Duterte.

 

President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent admission that he had killed criminals earned different reactions not just in the Philippines, but even in the international community.

It allegedly happened when he was still mayor of Davao City during legitimate police operations.

“In Davao I used to do it personally. Just to show to the guys [police] that if I can do it why can’t you,” Duterte told business leaders during his speech at the presidential palace.

“And I’d go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around, and I would just patrol the streets, looking for trouble also. I was really looking for a confrontation so I could kill.”

“It was really a legit encounter, covered by media. The media of Davao was aware that really this was happening,” added the President.

However, in a statement, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said, the President’s acts were violations, not just of the Philippine laws, but also international law.

The official added this may encourage others to do violent acts.

Consequently the U.N. official urged judicial authorities in the Philippines to conduct an investigation in relation to the chief executive’s statement.

Al Hussein has signified support to U.N. Special rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions Agnes Callamard.

According to Callamard, the government should withdraw all its conditions on her Philippine visit to conduct investigations into the alleged extrajudicial killings.

President Duterte had previously earned criticisms over the increasing number of killings in the country amid the government’s war on drugs. — Mirasol Abogadil | UNTV News and Rescue

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Authorities recover the last missing cadaver in the NCCC Mall fire in Davao City

by UNTV   |   Posted on Saturday, January 6th, 2018


MANILA, Philippines — Fire Sr. Supt Jerome Candido, spokesman of the Inter-agency Anti-Arson Task Force of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), said that the relatives of Alexandra Moreno have confirmed that it was her remains that were last found by authorities after seeing her key chain and bag.

“The mother upon seeing it, confirmed that it really belongs to Alex and as we have discussed and talked this morning, they are satisfied that the remains are  indeed…it was Alexandra Castillo Moreno,” said the spokesperson.

The remains of Moreno were found at seven in the evening Thursday at the lobby of the call center firm SSI on the fourth floor of the mall, where the remains of her colleagues were also found.

Moreno’s remains were the last one found by the BFP during its search and retrieval operation.

According to the fire bureau, the fire, which broke out on the third floor of the mall, was caused by an electrical short circuit.

The management of the NCCC Mall is now facing multiple penalties for committing various violations of safety standards like having ineffective safety fire exits.

Candido said that the exits of the mall were non-compliant to standards as they have openings through which fire and smoke can pass.

It also used a simple sling door and not fire doors.

“The doors were not fire doors, but simply a sling door. It’s not smoke proof. It’s not heat proof and it doesn’t have closing device,” Candido said.

Aside from this, the sprinkler and fire alarms of the mall did not work when the blaze broke out.

The BFP is now completing its investigation of the said incident. — Victor Cosare | UNTV News & Rescue

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Malacañang to conduct information campaign on TRAIN Law

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, January 5th, 2018

President Duterte’s ratings, expected

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines —  President Rodrigo Duterte wants the public to understand everything about the provisions and the purpose of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN Law.

This, following a series of increases in prices of goods and services in the country.

In line with this, the government will conduct an intensified information dissemination about TRAIN.

“I also know that PCOO is working double time to embark on a dissemination campaign on the salient features of TRAIN. Likewise, the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) will not hesitate to prosecute individuals who will take advantage of price hikes invoking TRAIN as a legal basis,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Roque also assured that government agencies like the DTI will not allow businessmen to exploit the system for their own gains.

“Ang excise tax naman po pinapataw hindi dun sa old inventory kundi sa mga bagong inventory. So walang dahilan para tumaas ang presyo on day 1 of the effectivity of the law (The excise tax is imposed not on the old inventory but on the new inventory. Therefore, there is no reason to increase prices on day one of the effectivity of the law),” Roque said.

Meanwhile, the government will improve the cash transfer fund in order to ease the burden of poor families.

“We already have a list of beneficiaries on the conditional cash transfer. It would be the same population that will benefit from this cash mitigation which is a provision of the Tax Reform Act or TRAIN,” the spokesperson added. —  Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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Lawmakers oppose possible term extension for President Rodrigo Duterte

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, January 5th, 2018

FILE PHOTOS: (Left-Right) Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and Rep. Edcel Lagman

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s term will end in 2022.

However, owing to the proposed shift to a federal form of government, Senate President Koko Pimentel noted the possible extension of the chief executive’s term to pave way for the transition period.

With this, opposition senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan expressed concern that changing the Constitution and the system of the government will not only extend the term of the president but also give him more powers.

The senator noted one of these powers might be the creation of laws that would no longer need the approval of Congress.

According to Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, the President can manipulate the decision of the constituent assembly to implement the changes he wants in the Constitution.

Lagman explained this is because of the existing administration-allied supermajority in Congress.

On the other hand, Malacañang strongly denied the alleged term extension of the chief executive.

“I would like to repeat, the President does not want his term to be extended. In fact, he wants to shorten it,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez clarified the issue on the alleged possibility of a ‘no-election’ scenario. Alvarez said it might happen in the 2019 senatorial polls and not in the 2022 presidential elections.

He explained, should the charter change push through to pave the way for federalism, the structure of the government will change.

The House speaker said it might affect the senators whose term will end in 2025, noting it is practical to not hold an election in 2019 so that all senators will simultaneously end their terms in 2022.

Alvarez added that election for local positions and lawmakers in the House of Representatives might push through in 2019. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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