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Bongbong on 2019 plans: Why would I run for senator, I already won as VP?

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Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. remarked on January 10 that he would not run for the Senate in the 2019 elections to “finish” the electoral protest he lodged against Vice President Leni Robredo.

“I am not running for Senate in 2019. Tatapusin ko ang petisyong ito dahil naniniwala ako na tapat ang aking laban… I am determined to finish with this petition,” Marcos said during the ‘Kapihan sa Manila Bay’ media forum on January 10.

“Hindi ko titigilan itong protestang ito dahil tapat ang aking paniniwala na dinaya ako noong nakaraang halalan. At ipapalabas ko ang tunay na bilang ng boto nang malaman ng tao kung sino ba talaga ang pinili ng taongbayan bilang bise presidente,” Marcos added.

“Ano ba talaga ang tamang resulta? Sino ba talaga ang nanalo? Yun ang mahalaga,” he said.

Asked whether he would stand firm with this decision even if President Rodrigo Duterte would endorse him as a part of the PDP-Laban slate in the coming senatorial elections, Marcos said, “Kahit i-endorse, that won’t stop me from (pursuing) the protest.”

“I don’t see any reason why I would change my mind,” he added.

He then expressed his confidence that he would win in his electoral protest against Robredo.

“Bakit ako tatakbo ng senador eh nanalo na ko ng bise president?” he said.

Marcos accused Robredo of winning by cheating after he lost to her by 263,473 votes in the 2016 elections, which led him to file an electoral protest against her.

He filed to have a ballot recount in the three provinces of Camarines Sur, Negros Oriental, and Iloilo and it will start in February.

Sources: ( rappler.comnewsinfo.inquirer.net )

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SEC revokes Rappler’s registration but says it can still continue operating

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revoked the registration of Rappler after accusing the news organization of violating the Philippine Constitution.

The SEC made the decision on January 11 to revoke Rappler’s registration certificates, particularly for Rappler Holdings Corp. and Rappler Inc., after the news site supposedly sold controlling interests to foreign firm Omidyar Network, which violates the Foreign Equity Restriction of the Constitution.

Omidyar Network was created by eBay founder and entrepreneur Pierre Omidyar.

“The En Banc finds Rappler, Inc. and Rappler Holdings Corporation, a Mass Media Entity and its alter ego, liable for violating the constitutional and statutory Foreign Equity Restriction in Mass Media, enforceable through laws and rules within the mandate of the commission,” the SEC en banc said.

The regulator voided the Omidyar Philippine Depositary Receipt (PDR) as well as Rappler’s Certificate of Incorporation.

Rappler explained that a PDR is a financial instrument that does not give its owner the right to dictate the day-to-day operations and management of the company or voting rights in its board. Aside from Rappler, media companies such as ABS-CBN and GMA also offer PDRs to international investors.

Reacting to the revocation of their registration, Rappler noted how this is the first time such a move against the Philippine media was made.

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“The SEC’s kill order revoking Rappler’s license to operate is the first of its kind in history – both for the Commission and for Philippine media,” Rappler said in a statement.

“What this means for you, and for us, is that the Commission is ordering us to close shop, to cease telling you stories, to stop speaking truth to power, and to let go of everything that we have built – and created – with you since 2012,” it read further.

Despite the revocation of the registration, Rappler will continue operating, business as usual, as it tries to file the necessary motions for reconsideration with the courts involved and all while it continues to fight for press freedom, as protected by the Constitution.

In a GMA News report, SEC clarified that Rappler Inc. can indeed continue operating because SEC’s decision to cancel Rappler’s incorporation papers is not yet executory.

“Rappler can continue while the decision is not yet final and executory,” said Armand Pan, SEC spokesperson.

“Rappler can exhaust legal remedies … make an appeal with the Court of Appeals in 15 days. Meanwhile, SEC decision is not final and executory,” Pan added.

Rappler can still appeal, said another SEC official.

“Rappler has the right to appeal to the Court of Appeals,” said SEC Commissioner Teresita Herbosa via text message.

Rappler pointed out how many months it has been since the Office of the Solicitor General and President Rodrigo Duterte have targeted them.

It started with the SEC creating a “Special Panel” in July 2017 to start a “formal, in-depth examination of Rappler Inc, and its parent, Rappler Holdings Corporation, as to possible violations of nationality restrictions on ownership and/or control of Mass Media entities.”

This was followed by President Duterte himself when he named Rappler and threatened to have its ownership probed.

Rappler clarified that PDR owners are simply investors, not owners of Rappler.

“Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs) do not indicate ownership. This means our foreign investors, Omidyar Network and North Base Media, do not own Rappler. They invest, but they don’t own. Rappler remains 100% Filipino-owned,” Rappler said in a statement issued after Duterte’s second SONA.

Rappler also swore to use all legal solutions at their disposal.

“We intend to not only contest this through all legal processes available to us, but also to fight for our freedom to do journalism and for your right to be heard through an independent platform like Rappler,” the news organization said in its statement.

“We’ve been through a lot together, through good and bad – sharing stories, building communities, inspiring hope, uncovering wrongdoing, battling trolls, exposing the fake. We will continue bringing you the news, holding the powerful to account for their actions and decisions, calling attention to government lapses that further disempower the disadvantaged,” it added.

“We will hold the line,” it said further.

Here is SEC’s decision on Rappler:

Sources: ( rappler.comgmanetwork.com )

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Duterte rejects proposals for term extension, election suspension

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President Rodrigo Duterte said no to proposed term extension for him or any government official as well as the proposed suspension of the 2019 elections even if his lawmaker allies will succeed in pushing for a shift to federalism.

“There will be no suspension of elections, and there will be no term extension, especially for me,” the President told news site MindaNews on January 12.

Duterte’s remarks came after one of his allies, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, said that he is open to suspending the 2019 elections if the country does transition to federalism.

Even Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III himself said that Duterte’s six-year term may be extended as needed during the said transition.

However, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque has earlier said that Duterte wanted to do the opposite – to cut his term short.

Duterte was elected in 2016 and his term will end in 2022.

During the campaign, one of his promises was to aid the country in shifting to a federal form of government. Both Pimentel and Alvarez champion federalism.

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Earlier this week, Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers also proposed to extend Duterte’s presidency with another term, making it 12 years instead of six. His reason? He said the “undisciplined people” of the country need Duterte’s “iron fist” to rule them.

“A good president, like President Duterte, needs more time to implement his projects and advocacies, and fulfill our people’s dreams,” Barbers said.

“While we see where these are all going, we may not see its full fruition in the remaining time of the President’s term. If it were only up to me, I would give him an extension of another term. What is a few more years if it guarantees profit for the country,” he added.

The Constitution, however, only allows presidents a single term of six years and prevents them from getting re-elected.

Barbers even cited Rome as an example and how it was able to rise as a conqueror because it did not have limitations to its leaders’ terms.

“Rome was not built in a day. Yet, if Rome had leaders with unextendable six-year terms each, then it probably would not have had the capability to conquer even a province outside of Rome,” Barbers said.

Barbers once described Duterte as “the best Philippine president ever” after the president signed Republic Act No. 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act in August 2017.

“Yes I agree that he is the best. He has a strong political will to go against the norms of bureaucracy and norms of bad politics,” Barbers said.

Sources: ( rappler.compolitics.com.phnews.mb.com.ph )

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Police chief in zero kill city in Cebu chosen as 2017 TOYM awardee

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The police chief of Bogo City, Cebu, which gained attention for being ‘drug-free’ with zero casualties during police operations, was among those named as The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of 2017.

Supt. Byron Allatog, Bogo City Police chief, earned the title for his outstanding leadership in purging the city of illegal drugs with zero deaths.

“The award means much to me and my wife. It showcases the sacrifices of being assigned to the different corners of the country,” he said.

“The guiding philosophy I learned at PNPA (Philippine National Police Academy): do your job well with integrity and tell it well,” said Allatog.

Allatog once said in an interview that it is against his faith as a devout Catholic and his culture as an Igorot to kill.

“Kapag may napatay kami, kailangan akong umuwi sa amin kasi kakatay kami ng apat na baboy. Pagdadasalan pa nila doon,” the top cop said.

He added that this does not mean though that they would not use force if they are threatened, but such action has never been necessary during their operations. He said that so far, the drug suspects they have apprehended had not resisted arrest.

Bogo City did something that many other cities in the country failed to do – to minimize the casualties in the Duterte administration’s war against illegal drugs.

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The police has been faced with questions over the unexplained deaths that are allegedly linked to the anti-drug campaign, with the government repeatedly saying that it does not allow police abuses or summary killings.

Government officials have also repeatedly used the line that those suspects who were killed had guns and fired at the arresting officers first.

Asked earlier on how he and his men accomplished the feat of zero deaths in waging war against illegal drugs in Bogo City, Allatog said “it hasn’t been easy.”

“Bogo sits in the crossroads of other towns and cities that have their share of drug problems. Keeping drug pushers off Bogo is a continuing effort,” he said.

Allatog said that amid reports about how drug pushers have been targeting the city, he worked will barangay officials and kept reminding them about keeping true to the government’s anti-drug campaign, or else they will be reported to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Bogo’s top cop follows the mantra, “jail the pusher, save the user.”

Allatog also shared the story of a drug dependent 44-year-old man who has been hooked on drugs for the past 22 years, but who has stayed clean for five months after being subjected to the city’s rehabilitation program.

“Miracles happen. Let us give them a chance, let us help and support these people. There is hope for everybody,” he said.

In August 2017, it was reported that PDEA declared Bogo City as a drug-free city.

“Yes. They are drug-cleared but we continue monitoring them,” said PDEA Region 7 Director Yogi Ruiz.

Intelligence gathering became easier with the help of motorcycle or ‘habal-habal’ drivers, according to Bogo Police.

Anakbayan remarked that it is indeed possible to fight against illegal drugs without increasing the death toll in the country if human rights are observed.

“It is possible na ma-achieve ang short-term goal to cut and apprehend the drug operations in a locality without death,” said Anakbayan Cebu Coordinator Niño Olayvar.

But he did point out one his concerns about the government’s war against drugs.

“Ang problema is that under the drug war campaign, the police are given a de facto immunity kung (allegedly) maka-commit ng human rights violations tulad ni Espenido,” Olayvar said, referring to Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido.

As for Allatog’s TOYM award, he received the recognition alongside Olympian Hidilyn Diaz for Sports, ABS-CBN News Correspondent Chiara Zambrano for Journalism and Communication, Ronald Reyes for education, Mark Anthony Torres for Government Service Education, Cirilo Javier for the Arts and Music, Jason Roy Sibug for Community Development, and Eugenio Mende for Veterinary Medicine.

The award is vested on the winners by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Philippines who showed “outstanding leadership and excellence” and helped in improving “humanity” in their respective fields.

Sources: ( news.abs-cbn.comsunstar.com.ph )

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