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Duterte says ‘silly charges’ vs. Aquino bound to fail; Aquino surprised Duterte spoke up about his indictment

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President Rodrigo Duterte said cased filed against former President Benigno Aquino III over the 2015 Mamasapano raid are “meant to fail.”

Duterte added that the order by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to indict Aquino for graft and usurpation of authority for allowing then suspended PNP chief Alan Purisima to oversee the raid, which led to the deaths of 44 Special Action Forces (SAF).

The President added that Morales filed the wrong charges against Aquino, who appointed her to her position and whom she has cleared of homicide charges over Mamasapano.

Duterte said there was no usurpation of authority.

“Ngayon, ‘yung ginawa ng mga pulis pati ni Purisima kung sino doon, kanya ‘yun, because hindi mo masabi usurpation of authority because lahat na ‘yung sinabi nila are merged in one person, the Chief Executive, the President. He can call anybody to help him fight a criminal operation there. He was not using the administrative talent — in appointments, in signing, there was… He was just asking for the advice from a professional police,” he said.

“I do not see anything wrong there. Nothing was signed, nothing was agreed by Purisima except that he was helping the President implement the law. Ngayon, kung sino ‘yung utusan niya wala kang pakialam because he has the trust,” he added.

Duterte further explained, “Pagka sabi niya, “Halika dito, Alan Purisima. You are my Chief sa PNP. Tulungan mo ako dito.” What’s wrong with that? He was not usurping. He did not took an oath there and said that, “I am assuming as…” Wala man. He was just being consulted. Kaya ‘yung charge kay Aquino will fail.”

He said the charges against Aquino where made to “ensure its failure.”

“So pagka by ‘yung usurpation, all of those powers are vested in the President. The charges are… They are there to ensure its failure,” Duterte said.

The President made the statement during a chance interview on July 17 after the turnover of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, of which the transcript was posted by the PCOO.

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A reporter asked Duterte if the charges were made up, or “moro-moro,” and Duterte answered in the affirmative. He also predicted that Aquino will be acquitted.

“Lahat ng powers ng lahat ng Cabinet ko pwede kong angkinin akin. You step aside and I will assume… And he was the… He was the person who ordered the operation. Ngayon kung magsabi siya na tulungan mo ito because… The President remember is not a military man like me. Kung magtanong siya kay Purisima because he has the trust of Purisima. What’s wrong kung magsabi si Purisima, “Dito sir, dito ‘yan.” So it was… It was neither a misadventure but I would say that Murphy’s Law,” Duterte said.

The President even said that January 2015 police operation was a success since the police commandos were able to kill the target – international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir Marwan.

“It was a success in the sense that they were able to secure the fingers at the cost of 44 lives. Parang military failure — operation,” he said.

“Wala. Sabi ko, bugok ‘yung nagdesisyon. There are maybe siguro another damages but not criminal,” he added.

Asked what he would charge Aquino if he were still a prosecutor, Duterte said, “Wala ako… Wala. Talagang failure. Hindi naman lahat manalo eh. It was a[n] operation. It was a success in the sense that they were able to get the fingers of Marwan.”

Duterte called the charge against Aquino a “silly charge” because he was simply doing his job, which is to give an order, and as the President, he is legally able to take over any Cabinet position.

“Kung ganyan lang ang kakayahan ko, mag-order ako bukas. O tapos patay lahat. Tapos sabihin mo, “inorder ko.” Eh ‘yan lang ang trabaho ko eh. Ngayon kung manalo o hindi, depende na ‘yan. Pero papuntahin mo doon ng walang baril, papuntahin mo doon ng walang bala, anak ng p***. Murder ‘yan. You know that they will be killed there. Pero kung armado naman lahat,” Duterte said.

“You know, charging Aquino for that… Silly. Actually, my term there, it’s a silly charge. Kasi ‘yung mga failure, usurpation — those positions, when the President assumes the role there, sabihin niya, “I take over.” ‘Yung role mo there is whatever na ni-usurp is perfectly legal because the President has control of all departments — Cabinet,” he added.

However, Duterte said that Aquino had shortcomings during the operation.

“But the shortcoming is the burden of Aquino. May shortcomings doon. There was no assistance, reinforcements, the military air assets, the cannons there, it could have reached… But then you cannot do it, because you will also kill the people, the women and children there,” he said.

Aquino was surprised Duterte spoke up about his indictment because he expected Duterte to remain quiet about it.

“I was expecting, at the most, he would probably be quiet. Because earlier that day and if I remember correctly, previously, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel [Salvador Panelo] said the charge was correct, etc. Secretary Aguirre also said the same thing. And his alter egos suddenly had their principal saying something different,” Aquino said on Rappler Talk with Maria Ressa.

Panelo said on July 15 that the “time of reckoning” had come for Aquino and “no power nor wealth can escape from it.”

Aquino said Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, who defended dismissed PNP SAF director Getulio Napeñas, should “keep quiet.”

On July 17, Aguirre called Aquino’s indictment a “welcome development,” as per a Philippine Star report.

“It’s a welcome development. The factual bases of the resolution are by and large accurate,” he told the Philippine Star via a text message.

Aquino said he was surprised by his indictment because usurpation of authority and graft were not a part of the complaint filed by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) that he responded to in January.

The former president said he would file a motion for reconsideration before the Ombudsman on July 19.

“If we were given a chance to file a response to any of this, then we believe they would have been clarified of what transpired and then there would have been no charges,” Aquino said.

In an interview on GMA’s “24 Oras,” Aquino said he is bracing himself for the ‘worst’ – the possibility over going to jail over the Mamasapano charges.

“Well gano’n naman parati ang attitude ko ‘no? Walang mawawala sayo if you will prepare for the worst and hope for the best. So kausap natin ang mga abogado natin, binalikan ko lahat ng aking data with regards to Mamasapano and all the other cases tapos ‘yung ini-imagine mo na rin,” Aquino said.

Sources: ( manilastandard.net , pcoo.gov.ph , cnnphilippines.com , rappler.com , manilatimes.net , gmanetwork.com )

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Netizens slam Duterte for saying women ‘could not stand threats and intimidation’

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President Rodrigo Duterte drew flak for another controversial comment involving women after he remarked on May 24 that women “could not stand threats and intimidation.”

Duterte said that while he believed in women’s competence, it does not necessarily ring true in all aspects of life.

“I believe in the woman, the competence and capability, pero hindi lahat sa buhay dapat.Hindi ka, hindi, hindi. Dapat lang. It’s not appropriate when you cannot stand threats and intimidation,” he said in his May 24 speech.

He also said that women should be “prim and proper” and talked about his reservation in sending women police and soldiers to the field because unlike men, they did not grow up with a mindset that involves violence.

“Ang mga babae, sundalo pati pulis, ayaw ko ‘yan sa bukid. Unlike men kami, maliit pa lang, suntukan, bakbakan, barilan. And we grew up with a sort of a mindset na sometimes prone to violence. Itong mga babae, prim and proper man ‘yan, isang tingin lang sa nanay niyan, wala na tunaw na ‘yan. Tapos gawin mong pulis, ipaaway mo doon. Naku,” Duterte remarked.

Netizens then took to social media to react to Duterte’s most recent statements, making #BabaeAko trend again on Twitter.

“Mr. President, you just horrifyingly disrespected your own mother who bravely fought against the Marcos dictatorship. She withstood threats and intimidation. Siya ay babae! #BabaeAko,” a Twitter user remarked.

Forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun spoke out, too, saying “I am threatened and intimidated a lot. All my life. Don’t me. #BabaeAko.”

So did film and theater actress Chai Fonacier, who said, “Encouraging women — and I mean including those who identify as women — and our friends from the entire spectrum to share your #BabaeAko statements to fight the misogyny that the President and his ilk normalize through their behavior. Make them remember the feminine strength.”

KABATAAN Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago also reacted, saying she refused to be stereotyped.

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay urged other Filipinos to protest against Duterte’s misogynistic statements.

Other Twitter users weighed in on the issue.

Duterte’s previous misogynistic remarks

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His remarks in his speech on May 24 seemed to have sought to explain another controversial remark he made on May 16 when he said that he did not want a politician, especially a woman, to become the next Ombudsman.

“Mag-nominate sila, pero I choose, but gusto ko ‘yung bilib ang tao sa integrity niya. Of course it could not be a politician, lalo na hindi babae,” he said during a chance interview.

This gave birth to the launching of the #BabaeAko movement on social media on May 21 by women activists and other people who also want to protest Duterte’s misogynistic and sexist statements.

One of  the women who joined the #BabaeAko campaign was former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo who said, “Akala ko taumbayan ang boss ni Duterte. Yun pala sina Marcos, Gloria, Trump at China. Para sa bayang makatarungan at malaya, lalaban ako.”

In February, he was also slammed for telling his audience of former NPA rebels that he told his soldiers to shoot female rebels in the vagina.

Sources: ( rappler.comphilstar.com )

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New DOT chief to ask Montano why he rushed official New York engagement to watch Broadway show

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Newly installed Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she plans on talking with Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) COO Cesar Montano to ask for his side on certain accusations that were hurled against him.

Among these accusations came from an Abante report where Montano was said to have rushed a speaking engagement staged by the DOT in New York to watch the Broadway musical show “Hamilton.”

DOT reportedly launched the Philippine Tourism Presentation and Dinner Reception on May 9 to showcase Philippine tourism and fashion at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. Montano was introduced as the event’s keynote speaker, but he was said to have only spoken for a bit before hurriedly leaving the venue, disappointing the guests, which also included US officials.

Montano was said to have been invited to the event in behalf of the now-resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo. He was also named as one of the two hosts, the other being Teo, of the said event.

In reaction to this report about Montano, Puyat said she would talk to Montano as well as the Tourism attache and other DOT officials who attended the event to verify the accusation in the report mentioned above.

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Puyat said that she would investigate into the “Buhay Carinderia” program that the TPB is set to implement. This was after Philippine Star Boo Chanco accused Montano of issuing P80-million worth of three checks to the event proponent and organizer.

“I still don’t have the papers. I will be asking [and] will be arranging a meeting with Mr. Cesar Montano to ask about ‘yung mga nabasa ko sa ‘Buhay Carinderia’ – kung totoo ba na walang bidding ‘yung P80 million na advance,” Puyat said on May 15.

“I’m planning to talk to him and ask his side. I want to ask all those who were there if it actually happened,” Puyat added.

In March 2017, TPB employees filed a complaint against Montano for his alleged corruption and mismanagement of the agency. These include hiring friends and relatives, using TPB’s funds for personal trips, and showing incompetence in fulfilling his obligations as the agency’s COO.

Sources: ( tnt.abante.com.phphilstar.comrappler.com )

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Eldest Tulfo vows to help Wanda clear her name, berates ‘black sheep’ Ben over controversial P60-M DOT ad deal

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Inquirer columnist Ramon Tulfo spoke up about the controversy involving his siblings, now resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo and hosts Ben and Erwin Tulfo, over the P60 million tourism ad deal.

The eldest Tulfo wrote in his Inquirer column on May 10 that while President Rodrigo Duterte himself advised the Tulfo family to avoid talking to the media, he took it upon himself as the family’s acting patriarch to tell the story behind the controversy.

First up, Ramon blamed Teo for not hiring smart staff members who could have advised her against inking a deal with PTV 4, where one of the Tulfo brothers, Ben, was a blocktimer.

As a blocktimer, Ben pays for his TV show’s airtime on the state-run channel.

According to Ramon, Wanda was only complying with President Duterte’s injunction for his Cabinet secretaries to support PTV 4, adding that she did not know Ben’s company would get most of the multimillion advertising contract with DOT.

He also hit Ben, whom he called a “black sheep” with a “middle child” syndrome as the fifth child out of 10 siblings, for signing the P60-million advertising contract with PTV 4 despite knowing that there would be a conflict of interest on Wanda’s part.

Ramon also said that Wanda still tried to save Ben, who insisted on his innocence amid the controversy, leading her to resign from her post. He also explained that Wanda seemed to have forgotten the fact that her husband was on the board of director of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza), a part of DOT, when Duterte appointed her as tourism chief. He added that it should have been up to her husband to step down from his post upon his wife’s appointment.

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In the same column, he also slammed Wanda’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, whom he said did not even consult the Tulfo brothers on returning the P60-million funds from the ad deal. He also described the lawyer as “all talk,” a counsel who’s only focused on gaining publicity for himself.

Unlike what has been previously reported about Wanda resigning out of delicadeza amid the controversy, Ramon let it slip that he commended President Duterte for “sacking Wanda,” prompting some people to ask whether Wanda was fired instead of resigned.

Before he ended his column, he vowed to support “Wanda’s fight to clear her name, but not Ben’s.”
Wanda resigned on May 8 to show delicadeza and to spare everyone, especially Duterte, from the pain caused by the controversy, according to her lawyer.

The issue started with the Commission on Audit’s report showing the DOT paying P60 million worth of commercials to PTV 4, which in turn, tapped Ben’s Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. to air the tourism ads during Ben and Erwin’s show “Kilos Pronto.”

Malacañang said that Teo’s resignation does not mean that she is off the hook since the Ombudsman is still looking into her and other government officials involved in the controversial ad deal.

Sources: ( inquirer.netnews.abs-cbn.com , nnphilippines.com )

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