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Duterte says he can’t be jailed for being over 70, but Atty. Raymond Fortun says he’s wrong!

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President Rodrigo Duterte said that prisoners who are at least 70 years old should be released from prison, according to the law. And since he’s already 71 years old, he can no longer be jailed.

“I don’t care about that. I said I have a problem to solve. I must first solve the problems of the country. I am already 71 years old and according to the Revised Penal Code, you have to be released once you reach 70,” Duterte told the soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army in Camp Gen. Macario Peralta Jr. in Jamindan, Capiz on Friday.

Duterte has maintained his stand on fighting illegal drugs, even with the possibility that he might go to prison for the hundreds of killings in his war against drugs.

This raised concerns among human rights advocates and even some government officials who said that Duterte seemed to be encouraging the killings, such as when he gave a shoot-on-sight order to law enforcers.

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“If I order the killings of someone, you cannot arrest me. I have immunity. I have this pardoning power and if I order you to carry it out I will pardon you,” he said.

This is not the first time Duterte mentioned pardoning law enforcers accused of abuse of power in their war against drugs. During a fellowship dinner with his San Beda Law school batchmates on July 17, he said he would use his power to “grant amnesty” and even prepare “pre-signed” pardons, including a pardon for himself.

But litigation lawyer Raymond Fortun said that Duterte thought wrong about being safe from imprisonment because of his advanced age.

“With all due respect to the President, he is wrong here,” Fortun said in his Facebook post.

“Age is merely a MITIGATING circumstance (Art. 13, Sec 2, RPC). It does NOT mean that he cannot be charged and, if found convicted, cannot service his sentence in jail. Being 70 years of age merely reduces the penalty to its minimum (or, if there are other mitigating circumstances, by 1 to 2 degrees lower),” he said.

You can refer to the Revised Penal Code here.

Fortun even cited Senator Juan Ponce Enrile’s case when he was charged with plunder.

“Government prosecutors know this when they charged Sen. Juan PpE of plunder even as the latter was more than 70 years old,” he added.

Enrile was indicted with plunder, along with Senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada, and for the violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act on June 6, 2014 in connection to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam, allegedly masterminded by Janet Lim Napoles.

Fortun continued with his impromptu law lecture by saying, “The death penalty is also not imposed when the guilty person is more than 70 years old (Art. 47, RPC). In such an instance, the penalty to be imposed is commuted to reclusion perpetua (Art. 38, RPC). A 70-year old can still be jailed.”

The lawyer also talked about what happens to a convict who committed another crime and when a pardon might be given to someone 70 years older.

“Finally, a person who shall commit ANOTHER crime after having been convicted by final judgment, before beginning to serve such sentence, or while serving the same shall be punished by the maximum penalty for the new felony. However, if the person who committed the felony is more than 70 years old, he shall be pardoned IF he has already served out his original sentence. The premise here is that the felon has served his sentence for an earlier conviction to invoke this provision,” Fortun said.

“Whether or not the President can be jailed, we can only find out once he ends his term in 2022. Currently he is immune from suit,” Fortun added.

He even jokingly added, “Oh crap. If this was a Bar question, I just gave away the answer. Sorry!”

Atty Raymond Fortun to Duterte Cant be jailed

And the comments section, as usual, featured Fortun’s interaction with other Facebook users.

Someone commented about Duterte being sarcastic for making this statement, but Fortun replied with this.

Comments on Duterte Cant Be Jailed

Another commented about whether those who voted for Duterte would “allow him to go to jail.”

Comments on Duterte Cant Be Jailed

And once again, Fortun clarified that even at 77, when Duterte steps down from the presidency, there is still a possibility of him going to jail if someone files a charge against him.

Comments on Duterte Cant Be Jailed

One commenter cited Enrile’s release due to humanitarian reasons and Fortun said that the cycle of putting the former Presidents should stop.

Comments on Duterte Cant Be Jailed

What is probably one of the most important questions in the comments section is whether Duterte can truly pardon himself, as what he previously said he would do, and Fortun said the Constitution does not allow it.

Comments on Duterte Cant Be Jailed

Someone piped up that Duterte will always have the support of the people if the country is doing well, but Fortun pointed out that while everyone’s hoping for him to do well, it is also important to point out if he did something wrong.

Comments on Duterte Cant Be Jailed

Another Facebook user joked, saying that Fortun will likely be bashed and accused of being a drug protector for making this post and going against Duterte.

Comments on Duterte Cant Be Jailed

Aside from this post, Fortun has also spoken up about two serious matters – on how the excuse “Nanlaban kaya binaril” from cops is no longer believable and how Duterte violated the 5 police generals’ Constitutional rights.

Sources: (sg.news.yahoo.com, rappler.com, gov.ph, facebook.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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