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Ilonggos react to Duterte tagging Iloilo as ‘most shabulized’ province, ‘bedrock’ of illegal drugs



Last August, President Rodrigo Duterte called Iloilo the “most shabulized” province in the Philippines, describing the extent of the drug use in the province. He also named several local government officials and personalities who are linked to the drug trade.

“The most shabulized – is that the word – shabulized, is there such a word shabulized? I will say that wala akong personal sa kanila ha – Iloilo,” Duterte said after reading several names off his list of drug personalities in the country.

The list was composed of over 150 personalities. Among those names from Iloilo were Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog, Carles Mayor Sigfredo Betita, Calinog Mayor Alex Centina, and Maasin Mayor Mariano Malones.

Reactions to ‘most shabulized’ tag

The Ilonggos had mixed reactions to how Duterte tagged their province.

Senator Franklin Drilon said that he supported Duterte’s drug war, but urged for due process to be observed.

“All the efforts of the Ilonggos for the past five years to make Iloilo an attractive and progressive investment destination and a livable city is negated by a sweeping judgment of the city and province of Iloilo. Whatever these officials may have allegedly done are their individual acts, and cannot be the collective guilt of the Ilonggos,” Drilon said in the statement.

Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas said that he knew about the spreading drug problem in his province but was still shocked by its extent, adding that drastic measures should be taken to address the problem.

Some netizens felt sad about the tag.

Rappler gathered some of their reactions.

Others were not as shocked to hear about Iloilo’s new title.

There were also some who noted the quick change in Iloilo’s title.

Iloilo City mayor denies being a drug protector

Mabilog denied the accusation and called for an investigation into the matter. He also emphasized his support in implementing the anti-illegal drugs campaign.


“The record will speak for itself – that my administration was always in full support of the needs of the PNP and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the agencies primarily responsible for the suppression and elimination of illegal drugs in the city, and I have never been remiss in this duty and obligation,’’ Mabilog said.

“I am not involved in the protection, trade and use of illegal drugs. I am willing to open myself for any investigation, cooperate and submit myself to any court of law,” he added.

Iloilo as ‘bedrock’ of drugs 

We think the issue about Iloilo being tagged as the “most shabulized” province by Duterte resurfaced because Duterte called it the “bedrock” of drugs in the Visayas on July 12 at the anniversary celebration of Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

“The Visayas was poisoned. Iloilo is the bedrock. Doon dinadaan ang shabu sa Visayas,” he said.

According to, Fr. Esperidion Celis of St. Anne Parish in Molo asked Regional Director Gil Pabilona of PDEA-6 during the Iloilo City Barangay Anti-Drugs Abuse Council just who Duterte’s sources of information are and if Duterte knew about Iloilo City’s anti-illegal drugs programs.

Pabilona said he did not know where Duterte got his information from.

It is that I don’t know where the President is getting the information because my information is only limited at the regional level. I don’t know where the other information he (President) is getting from,” Pabilona said during a press interview.

“Yes, nire-report namin ‘yung mga effort of the mayor, assistant of the mayor, to the PDEA; that the Mayor has been going around, really pushing hard for the barangay to really cooperate and really perform the drug clearing and we appreciate that,” Pabilona added.

Pabilona said he would treat Duterte’s new tag for Iloilo as a challenge to “double, triple my efforts to really continue the clearing of the barangays in the region.” He added that he would use the process used in clearing other alleged drug personalities to clear Mabilog’s tag as a drug protector.

“We have to validate for the past six months if there are reports against him that he is involved in illegal drugs as drug protector. If from the intelligence community, we get no more reports that the drug protector are still protecting drug trade then we have to downgrade this protector to inactive file which means if there will be reports later on they are again engaged in illegal drugs we have to put them in the watchlist or anti drug operations so actually they are not deleted completely,” Pabilona said.

When asked if Mabilog was in PDEA’s list, Pabilona said, “Nasa listahan ng Presidente.”

As of May 2017, the Iloilo Police Provincial Office declared 719 barangays in Iloilo as drug-free and are determined to make the remaining 176 barangays cleared of drugs as well.

Some Twitter users reacted to Duterte’s ‘shabulized’ and ‘bedrock’ of drugs tags for Iloilo.

One even compiled some Ilonggos’s reactions to the tags.

However, PDEA-6 Spokesperson David Garcia agreed with Duterte’s title for Iloilo. In a Bombo Radyo interview, Garcia said that if they consider the fact that Iloilo is surrounded by big provinces and cities, it is highly likely that illegal drugs do pass through the province. However, he clarified that the drug situation in Iloilo now is so different from the way it was before.

The Department of Tourism warned that Duterte’s remarks about Iloilo might affect the tourism in the province. DOT-6 director Atty. Helen Catalbas said that this should serve as a challenge to the local officials. She also said that the tourism attractiveness of Iloilo should not only depend on the beauty of the tourist destinations but also on the peace and order situation in the region.

Iloilo site slams Duterte

Iloilo Metropolitan Times, in its opinion article on July 7, said that Duterte only based his tags for Iloilo as the “bedrock of illegal drugs” on his own biases against Ilonggo leaders accused to be drug protectors.

“But, seriously? What did Iloilo do to the President that deserves this kind of negative statement to the superlative degree knowing that more than the problem on illegal drugs which is mounting among other provinces with emphasis to the city of Davao, Iloilo and the Ilonggos have been working very hard to improve its standard of living by way of luring investors to spend their money and help the poor people earn a decent living?” they wrote.

The news website also accused Duterte of “creating an atmosphere of insecurity and hostility between the residents of Iloilo and the people who are interested to do business around.”

They also acknowledged the fact that some government officials did support the illegal drug activities in the region and Duterte calling them out was needed “to arouse the senses of these leaders from their own laziness and tolerance.” However, Iloilo Metropolitan Times took issue with how Duterte “repeatedly” singled out the region.

“But, when a president REPEATEDLY singles out a place which is relatively far better compared to other areas in terms of infestation of the illegal drug menace, it already means something,” they wrote.

The website also brought up the fact that some of Iloilo’s leaders supported losing presidential candidate Mar Roxas in the 2016 elections.

“Either ways, the president is vindictive as it is a known fact that the local leaders of Iloilo supported Mar Roxas last elections or the president is acting naturally normal given his age,” the news site wrote.

Some Ilonggos expressed their reactions on the comments section of the Iloilo Metropolitan Times’ Facebook post.

There were some who accused Duterte of being envious of Iloilo’s status.

One, though, seemed to agree with Duterte.

Sources: ( , , , , )



Netizens slam Duterte for saying women ‘could not stand threats and intimidation’



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


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: ( )


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New DOT chief to ask Montano why he rushed official New York engagement to watch Broadway show



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.


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: ( )


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Eldest Tulfo vows to help Wanda clear her name, berates ‘black sheep’ Ben over controversial P60-M DOT ad deal



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.


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: ( , )


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