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FB page points out newly delivered 155-mm. howitzers were purchased by Aquino admin, not Duterte

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Philippines Defense Forces Forum took to Facebook to ‘burst the bubble’ of some of President Rodrigo Duterte’s supporters who thought that the newly delivered 12 1550mm. howitzers were purchased by the current administration. The page said that the artillery pieces were bought by the previous Aquino administration.

“Sorry to burst your bubble Duterte fanatics, this is still a procurement of the previous Administration, not just these howitzers but all the “makabagong armas” that arrived during Duterte’s first year are PNoy era procurement,” the FB page wrote.

Along with the caption were two photos showing a certain Facebook user expressing how proud he is that the Armed Forces of the Philippines is now receiving new weapons and a screenshot of a GMA News Online report about the arrival of the howitzers.

We later found out that the Philippines Defense Forces actually noticed the misplaced merits for the Duterte administration in the comments section of the GMA News Online report about the delivery of the howitzers by the Israeli defense firm. That comment was not alone, though, in giving the wrong credit to the current administration.

However, there were also others who gave credit to the previous administration for pursuing the military modernization program.

Someone who admitted to being a Duterte supporter also corrected the other supporters, saying that the deliveries that the Philippines is seeing now were from the deals completed during the Aquino administration.

One netizen provided a link to an ABS-CBN report about how the Department of Defense announced in December 2013 the public bidding for the purchase of howitzers and ammunitions amounting to P700 million. Assistant Defense Secretary and DND-Bids and Awards Committee chairman Efren Fernandez the government then was set to acquire 12 units of 155mm Towed Howitzer for P438.6 million.

In the July 17, 2017 report from GMA News Online, it was noted how the Israeli firm has completed the delivery of all 12 howitzers with the delivery of nine more of these artillery pieces at the Port of Manila on July 14. The first three howitzers were delivered on June 8 and were turned over to the Philippine Marine Corps.

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Out of the nine newly delivered howitzers, three are reportedly going to be delivered to the Marines and the other six to the Philippine Army.

We also found this Philippine Star report on March 23, 2016, wherein the Army thanked Aquino for the support. One of the floats used by the Army to showcase their relief and rescue operations during disasters bore this message: “Mahal na Pangulo, marami pong salamat sa suporta at malasakit.”

Then Army chief Gen. Eduardo Año enumerated the armored assets and other war-fighting equipment.

“We already have received 56,843 new R4 assault rifles to replace the Vietnam-era rifles we are currently using, 124 units of armored vehicles to include six armored vehicles with remote-controlled weapon systems, 60 field ambulance units and more than 300 light utility vehicles,” Año said.

He also said communicating during field operations became easier with the purchase of over 2,000 radios and other communication equipment.

In 2013, the Army was then reported to be expecting the delivery of more infantry fighting vehicles, fire support vehicles, light utility vehicles, 60 mm mortars, rocket launchers, 40 mm grenade launchers, 50-watt armored vehicle configuration radios, and 155 mm howitzers.

What the Philippines Defense Forces Forum said about the howitzers being purchased during the Aquino admin is indeed true. It’s just that their delivery was recently completed, beyond Aquino’s term.

Sources: ( gmanetwork.com , news.abs-cbn.com , pna.gov.ph, philstar.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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‘Baduy’: Comelec spox calls out candidates imposing their face on Avenger images for campaign posters

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Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez called out barangay and SK election candidates who edit their faces onto the images of the Avengers.

Jimenez addressed the candidates through his Twitter account, where he said the candidates who use such tactic during the campaign period are “dumbing down the elections.”

He tweeted, “#BSKE2018 candidates who use campaign posters with their faces superimposed on the bodies of Avengers are dumbing down the elections. Paano yan? Kung sino na lang ang may pinaka-“cool” na poster, ganun?”

He even mentioned the risk that these candidates may be sued for copyright infringement.

“Ginagawa nyong bobo ang mga botante. Ma-copyright infringement sana kayo,” he continued.

In a separate tweet, Jimenez said that putting their faces on the bodies of the Avengers is definitely not a cool move but a “baduy” one.

“Oh, and btw, actually hindi cool yun ipapalit nyo yung mukha nyo sa mukha ng isang Avenger. Baduy yun,” he tweeted.

However, Jimenez said that the Comelec does not have the authority to ban the use of such campaign posters because it can already be considered as “content-based prior restraint.” He added that the poll body only has control over the size of the posters used and where they are displayed, which should be in the “common poster areas” previously determined by Comelec election officers.

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The posters will only be deemed illegal “if it is posted outside of the common poster area,” Jimenez said.

But even then, there is an exception to the rule – “to display the materials on private property with the permission of the owner,” he added.

On April 11, Comelec released a resolution prohibiting campaign materials to be posted on trees, electrical wires, light posts, waiting sheds, schools, bridges, traffic signs, sidewalks, public shrines, barangay halls, airports, health centers, seaports, public transport terminals, trains and train stations, ambulances, government patrol cars, underpasses and overpasses, public announcement boards, and center islands.

According to Comelec Resolution No. 10294, candidates can only use posters that are up to 2 feet by 3 feet in dimension. Rally streamers should not be bigger than 3 feet by 8 feet and should be taken down right after the event.

The same resolution cited that “any and all election propaganda should bear and be identified by the reasonably legible or audible words ‘political advertisement paid for’ followed by true and correct name of the candidate, as well as the words ‘printed free of charge’ or ‘airtime for this broadcast was provided free of charge.”

The nine-day campaign period for the barangay and SK elections started at 12 a.m. on May 4 and will continue until May 12, two days before the election on May 14.

Sources: ( philstar.comcnnphilippines.com )

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