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ASEAN chairman Duterte not invited to G20 Summit, Palace says it’s not Duterte’s style to seek other countries’ approval



President Rodrigo Duterte was not invited to the G20 Summit held on July 7 to 8 in Hamburg, Germany despite the tradition of inviting ASEAN chairmen to the international forum. Malacañang Palace explained that aside from not getting a formal invitation from the German government, the current G20 Summit host, the Philippine government reportedly did not lobby for an invitation.

The Press and Information Office of the Federal Government of Germany confirmed that Duterte was not invited.

“The Philippines did not belong to the invited guest countries,” it said.

Rappler pointed out that it was odd that Duterte, being the current ASEAN chairman, was not invited because it is tradition for countries who held ASEAN chairmanships to be invited to the summit.

One netizen, Van Ybiernas, scored Rappler for writing this report about how an ASEAN chair is “usually” an invited guest to the G20 summit because he is not sure what Rappler’s Pia Ranada’s basis was for saying so.

“It is the host country’s prerogative to invite whoever it wants to invite to the G20 Summit. Thus, the invitation is a reflection of the host country’s ties with either ASEAN as a whole or the country occupying the chairmanship. G20 as an organization does not make this decision,” Ybiernas wrote.


He then said that 2016 host China invited ASEAN chair Laos because they are allies and that Turkey invited Malaysia in 2014 because both are secular Muslim states, although we later found Turkey’s G20 hosting to be in 2015, not 2014. He continued with how the 2014 host Australia invited ASEAN “for obvious reasons,” but how France did not invite ASEAN in 2011 because the country “doesn’t have substantial interests in Southeast Asia.”

Ybiernas added that the Philippines was not invited by Germany for “soured” PH-German relations.

“DAGDAG: We weren’t invited by Germany I guess because Germany doesn’t have massive interests in the Philippines. Plus Phl-German relations soured because of that long controversy in NAIA3 involving German firm Frapport,” he said.

“Niloloko na naman tayo ng mga manloloko sa Rappler! Huwag paloloko mga kababayan!” he added.

The Conversation explained in its November 2014 article who gets invited to the G20 Summit and why. It noted that the G20 president gets to invite about six guest countries in an effort to establish the legitimacy of the summit as the “premier forum for international economic cooperation” and to quash concerns about the forum’s limited and contentious membership.

The Conversation further noted how it has become customary to invite the Chair of ASEAN and the chairman of the African Union and the representative of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). It was not only Rappler that noticed the pattern of inviting the ASEAN chairman to the G20 Summit. Other invitees are picked by the host country.

Here are the following ASEAN chairmen who were invited to the G20 Summit by the host country:

It can be noted that the 2011 G20 Summit host France did not invite ASEAN chair Indonesia.

The Palace explained that Duterte did not participate in the G20 Summit because the Philippine government did not lobby for the country’s invitation, adding that the President would rather stay in the Philippines to manage the government instead of seek the “approval” of other countries.

“Hindi talaga istilo ng Presidente yun kasi kailangan nating itakbo ang sarili nating ekonomiya, itakbo natin yung sarili natin,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said.

“Hindi naman kasi sa approval ng ibang tao yung ating pag-unlad. So ang nangyayari actually is nilalakad ng ating Presidente yung ating pag-unlad. Tinututukan niya yung nandito, not necessarily na humihingi sya ng approval ng iba. Iba lang ang istilo lang talaga. And it seem to be working for us. And it is excellent, for example the economy is growing,” he added.

President Duterte has slammed EU, of which Germany is a major country, for criticizing the Philippine government’s war on drugs. He also rejected EU grants with conditions that would interfere in the internal affairs in the Philippines.

The G20 Summits are participated in by its members – 19 countries and the European Union – since it started in 2008. Spain has the status of being a permanent guest and the host country can invite extra guests. This year, Germany invited three countries – Norway, Singapore, and the Netherlands – as well as the African Union (Guinea), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Vietnam), and the NEPAD (Senegal).

Other organizations that were invited include the International Monetary Fund, International Labour Organization, the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Financial Stability Board, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations.

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



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


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.

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



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.


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.

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



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.


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.

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