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Netizen on Duterte’s mistake with EU envoys: Palace still blames media, EU, visitors but what really happened?

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President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to expel envoys from the European Union on October 12 after the Human Rights Watch and the delegation of the Progressive Alliance and the Party of European Socialists urged the Philippine government to stop the drug-related killings.

“Now, the ambassadors of those countries listening now. Tell me, because we can have the diplomatic channel cut tomorrow. You leave my country in 24 hours. All. All of you. You must have taken the Filipinos for granted,” Duterte said.

However, the EU mission clarified on October 12 too that they do not have links to the Progressive Alliance and the European Specialists.

“The recent visit of the delegation of the ‘International Delegates of the Progressive Alliance’ to the Philippines on 8-9 October was not a ‘European Union mission,’ as falsely reported by some media outlets,” EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen said in a statement.

“The statements made by the Progressive Alliance during its visit to the Philippines were made solely on behalf of the Progressive Alliance and do not represent the position of the European Union,” he added.

“The European Union was not part of the organization or planning of that visit – neither the Delegation of the European Union in the Philippines nor the European Union institutions in Brussels.”

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Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella later said that the President’s rant against the EU envoys was due to the statement from the European specialists.

The Progressive Alliance and Part of European Socialists did release a statement condemning the Philippine’s war on drugs.

“We were and after this mission we are even more alarmed at the mounting cases of killings under the so called “war on drugs” by Philippine’s President Duterte, the weakening of democratic institutions and the growing political persecution of opposition leaders as Senator da (sic) Lima last year and recently against Senator Risa Hontiveros from our Philippine sister party AKBAYAN. Senator Hontiveros is accused of the absurd case of kidnapping and the baseless case of wiretapping,” the group’s statement read.

“During our mission we have witnesses not a war on drugs. We have seen a war of the rich and powerful against the poor and the political opposition,” it added.

“This delegation’s irresponsible statements protesting the alleged killings under the Duterte Administration demean our status as a sovereign nation,” Abella said. “The call of the President for EU ambassadors to leave the country in 24 hours must be taken in this light.”

Even after learning that the EU was not connected with the European socialist group’s visit to the country, President Duterte said he did not do anything wrong when he hit the EU diplomats. He even put the blame on the EU Delegation’s ambassador for not warning about the socialists’ visit to the Philippines.

“You know what? Johnny-come-lately, here comes the ambassador of EU to the Philippines disclaiming na iyong mga tao pumunta dito, itong mga leftist sa ibang lugar [na] hinihila ng left dito,” Duterte said.

“Tapos kagabi, nakinig pala ang ambassadors, nag-text agad. ‘They are not part of the EU.’ Bakit hindi ka kaagad nagsabi? You kept your silence while they were yakking here,” he added. “Tama iyon. Tama iyong ginawa ko.”

But the EU did not make the statement about wanting to have the Philippines expelled from the UN. It was actually the New York-based HRW that gave the warning about the country’s possible expulsion from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), not even the UN, due to the cases of extrajudicial killings related to drugs.

Facebook user Bernard Ong wrapped the unfolding of these events in his post called “Dissecting Duterte’s Booboo,” from when Duterte ranted about EU to the clarifications from all the parties involved, while providing a background on what really happened. He once again slammed the government officials involved, concluding that the bottom-line of all these mistakes was the “failure by ragtag bastardized version of ‘best and brightest.’”

“Two days ago, Duterte threatened to cut off relations with EU countries over alleged EU plan to have PH expelled from UN. One day ago, EU ambassadors ignored Duterte’s 24 hour pack up and leave deadline,” Ong wrote.

“Up to now, Malacanang blames media [for misreporting daw], EU [for failing to clarify daw], and a group of foreign visitors [for misrepresenting themselves daw],” Ong said. “Easier to pass blame on everyone else – rather than admit incompetence and take responsibility for lying. Malacanang has not even issued a diplomatic apology to EU for its faux pas.”

He provided the background of the events, a summary of what happened between Duterte, the EU, and other parties involved.

“A. The director of an international organization – Human Rights Watch – warned that PH could be kicked out of UN Human Rights Council if it failed to uphold human rights and be open to independent investigations.

“Membership comes with responsibilities… There are provisions for a state to be suspended or expelled from the UN’s human rights body if they persistently violate human rights but it’s a very rare and extreme. But so many states underlined the fact that the Philippines is in violation of its membership obligations is a signal…”

Recall that the Philippines dismissed – either with ‘Noted’ or outright No – 154 of 257 recommendations from Universal Peer Review (UPR). In particular, it claimed ‘No EJKs’ and vowed to pursue its deadly Drug War.

  1. A group called Philippine UPR Watch called for PH removal from UN Human Rights council. It engages the UN HR Council on PH human rights issues. It is composed of local entities like Karapatan, National Council of Churches in the Phils, Bayan, Desaparecidos, United Church of Christ in the Phils.

“Philippines has exhibited a total mockery of international human rights mechanisms, with the government’s blatant distortion of facts on extrajudicial killings and human rights violations in the country, its record of using the UN as a platform to justify its crimes against the Filipino people… We call on the UN to revoke the membership of Philippines at the UN HRC”

  1. Seven visitors from Progressive Alliance (including one German member of European Parliament) visited the Philippines Oct. 8 to 9. They were from Sweden, Germany, Italy, Australia and US. The last 2 countries are not members of EU.

The German parliamentarian Arne Lietz warned PH risks losing GSP+ [preferential duty-free export] privilege from EU if we persisted with EJKs and Drug War: “If the human rights standards are not upheld, then there may be consequences in the Philippines’ inclusion in the special trading instrument of the EU.”

But according to Ong, this was what really happened:

“1. Nobody called for PH expulsion from UN. Not EU. Not anyone else. Even North Korea remains a UN member.

  1. Someone called for PH expulsion from UN Human Rights Council. That would be local group Philippine UPR Watch – since PH is not keen on upholding human rights anyway. Local, not EU.

[Taxpayers should applaud this – fewer wasteful junkets for Cayetano and Mocha]

  1. The idea of PH expulsion from UN HR Council was discussed by HRW as a scenario – ‘could be kicked out’. HRW did not call for it.
  2. German Parliamentarian among 7-member visiting party warned that PH might lose its GSP+ trade privilege from EU.

[He is correct. Our GSP+ status is up for review in January 2018. GSP+ carries conditions of compliance with UN protocols on human rights – which PH signed & committed to when it sought GSP+ status]

  1. Duterte mixed up local group with foreign visitors, UNHRC and GSP+ with UN. Complex information is beyond his simplistic processor.
  2. Duterte forgot to include the ambassadors of US and Australia from his expulsion list
  3. DTI Sec Mon Lopez failed to tell Duterte that EU is our biggest export market and also the fastest growing major one. Bigger than US and Japan. Way bigger than China.
  4. Andanar failed to provide Duterte a comprehensive briefing like ABC above.
  5. Abella failed to admit his boss has limited capacity for dealing with complex information, got confused, went off script, and spread epic lies.

Lies plural – not just his false EU claim – but also claiming to reject $18-20m aid from UK [not true, no such money according to DFA] and claiming MILF is just ‘waiting for the word from Salamat’ [not true, Salamat died 14 years ago].

  1. Cayetano failed to officially correct Duterte’s lies and issue an apology to ‘[email protected]’ EU.”

“So many failures from different fronts. Ultimately it is traceable to the appointing authority who put together this ragtag bastardization of ‘best and the brightest,’” Ong said.

“Truman popularized the dictum ‘The Buck Stops Here’. Stop blaming, take responsibility & fix problems. There is no Truman in our palace,” he concluded his post.

Sources: ( 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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