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Netizen questions Duterte’s changing tune on Marawi – from ‘3 more days’ to ‘a long fight’ to a ‘matter of days’

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A netizen wondered what made President Rodrigo Duterte change his tune on Marawi after he declared earlier in June that the fighting in Marawi would end in three days but said over three weeks later that he knew it would be “a long fight.”

Bernard Ong quoted Duterte’s two statements about the Marawi conflict on two separate instances – one on June 3 and the other on June 27.

On June 3, the President gave what can be considered as an estimate as to when the Marawi siege would end – three days.

June 3: “This will be over in about three more days. At a gross… disparity. Many rebels have died. But the government did not fail to do what it was supposed to do.”

But on June 27, when he surfaced after six straight days of being out of the public eye, Duterte said that he had the “complete picture” because he knew everything even when he was still in Moscow, noting that the Marawi conflict would be “a long fight.”

Jun 27: “When I declared martial law while I was in Moscow, I already knew everything. I knew how long it would take for us and I knew about the deployment of snipers and where they’re hiding their weapons. I already have the complete picture and I knew that it would be a long fight.”

Aside from his absence from June 21 to June 26, Duterte was also not seen publicly from June 11 to June 17, causing him to miss the Independence Day celebrations.

The President’s ‘change in tune’ on Marawi prompted Ong to wonder what happened within a span of 24 days.

“Something must have happened in the 24-day period between the two “sincere” speeches.

  1. Memory lapse due to brain dysfunction?
    B. Side effect of Fentanyl drug over-use?
    C. Duterte decoy talking nonsense?
    D. The real Duterte also talking nonsense?
    E. Mental fatigue from long vacations?
    F. Time traveller getting dates mixed up?”

The changing deadlines

On June 29, Duterte once again gave his own “estimate” as to when the Marawi crisis would end.

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“The way it’s evolving now, I think it will be a matter of days. Before the end of the month, matatapos na (it will end),” he said in a speech at Camp Quintin Merecido in Davao City.

And his reasons for thinking such? He said, “Well, there is less enemy to contend with. Less resistance and less fighting.”

“We are winning the war, do not worry,” he added.

On June 5, a few days after President Duterte initially gave his three-day deadline to end the Marawi conflict, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said that ground commanders were the ones who could determine the conclusion of the Marawi siege.

During the June 5 “Mindanao Hour” press briefing, Padilla was also asked about Duterte’s 3-day “deadline.” It started from mark -26:31 to -22:18.

Reporter: Gen. Padilla, the president said that the Marawi conflict or the Marawi crisis will end in about 3 days. He said that last Saturday, now it’s Monday. So is that target doable or we are seeing another adjustment in the target?

Padilla: As I have repeatedly explained, the basis for determination of any military action on the ground, will be the call of the commander. They are the ones who are fully aware of the situation, gravity of the situation they face, as well as the solutions they have to address those. So at the moment, as we have mentioned previously, the previous week, that about 10% of the city remains… areas where the enemies are holed up in. I believe this number has gone down to specific areas, but I’m not specifically sure what exact percentage that is. Be that as it may, our ground commanders are the real authorities who can say when the fight will end and when every nook and cranny of the city has been freed of any armed element. As to when this will be, I personally cannot say and I will defer to the judgment call of the commander on the ground.

Reporter: But based on what’s happening on the ground, is the Tuesday (June 6) or Wednesday (June 7) deadline, if we can call it deadline, doable?

Padilla: Our commanders have tried to meet the deadline. There’s no denying that. We have gone all out. We have done all our best and we have been operating 24/7. This operation will continue at that phase. We will not change that but again, complications have been coming out. And complications, what we mean by this is the continued use of civilians, potential hostages that may still be in their hands, the use of places of worship, for one, which prevents us from going all out, and other factors that complicates the battle because of its urban terrain.

Reporter: Okay, last follow up. Medyo nasagot nyo na yung susunod ko sanang tanong. Why is it proving so difficult to regain the city considering that you’ve already said that you’re seeing the end, parang malapit na yung end. Ano yung factors na nagpapahirap to regain the control? Is it the civilians or is it the persistence of the Maute Group?

Padilla: Both of those are factors but most critical is the presence of civilians, exact locations of which we are not in the know. So as was gleaned and seen in the scenarios of rescues that were conducted the previous week, may mga bahay na hindi natin akalain na may mga nakatira pa. Napakatahimik po nung lugar pero pagkadaan natin, may lumalabas na putting bandera. Hindi natin akalain na may nakatira so doon po nagsisimula yung pag rescue. May mga lugar din po na napasok natin dahil ginagamit nating daanan papunta doon sa lugar ng mga kalaban, pagdating natin doon may natagpuan tayong mga matatanda na hindi makagalaw sa sarili nilang pamamaraan, na nanghihina na dahil wala nang naging pagkain ng mga nakaraang araw. So itong mga pagkakataong ito ang sinasabi nating nagiging complications kaya’t tulad ng binigay na abiso at guidance n gating Chief of Staff na si Gen. [Eduardo] Año, mariin niyang ipinag-utos sa lahat ng ating mga tropa na bigyan ng importansiya dito ay ang buhay ng sibilyan, na wala dapat magiging biktima ng kung anumang karahasan ng anumang pagkakataon na maiiwasan natin ang collateral damage, dapat gawin natin. So that is the primordial concern and those are the factors that makes our troops less capable of expeditiously addressing many of these threats.

Reporter: Thank you, General.

On June 27, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said during his radio interview on DZRH that there has been a “bit of pressure” to end the Marawi conflict, which has been going on since May 23, as President Duterte is scheduled to deliver his SONA this July 24.

“Medyo meron pressure dahil alam mo kung nandyan pa rin yung Marawi [conflict] at nagpapatayan pa rin eh parang hindi maganda sa State of the Nation Address ng Presidente,” he said.

Lorenzana said Armed Forces chief Gen. Eduardo Año told him the battle may end in over a week.

“Sabi sa’kin ni Gen. Año nu’ng tinanong ko last week eh sabi niya ‘Siguro, sir, baka isang linggo na lang ‘yan baka tapos na ‘yan,’” he added.

Lorenzana also said that the Mautes seem to want to “fight to the death” but added that the conflict may end before Duterte will deliver his SONA.

“Ito kasing Maute parang nakikita namin dito e they are going to fight to the death na eh….Sinasabihan namin sila na mag surrender na kayo, hindi na kayo mananalo pero patuloy pa rin ang operation. Pero matatapos na siguro ito bago magkaroon ng Sona, siguro tapos na yan,” he added.

“Sandali na lang po at matatapos na ito..So ‘yun ang gagawin natin tutulungan natin ‘yung mga kababayan d’yan ibalik’ yung kanilang mga tahanan sa dati at i-repair natin ‘yung infrastructure…Siguro sandali na lang po, one or two weeks na lang tapos na ito,” Lorenzana said.

Earlier, the military said that they would no longer set deadlines in retaking Marawi City after failing to meet previous ones because of the challenges posed by the urban terrain.

“We will not set deadlines. We will ensure that we are able to clear it of any armed element that still exists and it may take some time,” Padilla said in a press briefing in Malacañang on June 14.

“The operations we are doing, as I mentioned earlier, is not as easy as the ones we are doing in jungles. So it will entail a bit of time before we clear every house of any armed element. So we beg for some patience but we are getting there,” he added.

“The military activities that are conducted in open terrains like jungles are a different story when it is compared to urban terrain. In an urban terrain where civilians are still currently trapped and may possibly be used as human shields or may be hit by crossfire, troops have to be very careful,” Padilla said.

“Our rules of engagement are very different in urban terrain. We have to be very careful, we have to very judicious, we have to be very deliberate so as to avoid hitting innocent lives. And this is where the slow process of liberating Marawi is currently happening,” he added.

Before this, the military said they would seek to free Marawi City on June 12, the 119th celebration of Philippine independence, but the deadline was not met.

Sources: ( sunstar.com.ph , philstar.com , verafiles.org , inquirer.net , cnnphilippines.com , thestandard.com.ph )

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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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