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Duterte clarifies he’d only bomb empty illegal Lumad schools that teach children to hate the gov’t

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President Rodrigo Duterte said he did not meant to bomb Lumad schools with students in them as he clarified the remarks he made during his second State of the Nation Address (SONA).  

Duterte told the media in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental on July 27 that he would not bomb the schools with if children are still inside them.  

“Wala akong sinabi na bombahan ko ‘yang may tao kaya sinabi ko umalis kayo diyan. Ibig sabihin, sisirain ko ‘yan because you are using a school without a license from the Department of Education,” Duterte said. 

“Hindi ko sinabi patayin ko ‘yung mga bata. Far from it actually. Librehin ko ang bata sa perdition ninyo because they will learn to be pareho sa inyo,” the President added. 

He said that he would destroy the schools for teaching the children to hate the government.  

“Sisirain ko ‘yan kasi ginagamit ninyong eskwelahan para… to destroy the mental attitude, the mental health of the children. They grow up there hating government and going to war pagka malaki na,” Duterte said. 

“You are perpetuating the violence in this country and I have to stop it. I have every reason to stop it because you are producing another generation of haters. Huwag mo akong bolahin. Wala kayong tinuturo diyan kung ‘di ‘yang socialism pati patayan,” he added. 

AFP issues clarification 

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The Armed Forces of the Philippines also clarified Duterte’s remarks on bombing the schools.  

“Actually, kinakailangan mainintidihan niyo po ‘yung pananalita ng ating mahal na Pangulo. Binanggit niya po ‘yun pero hindi naman po talagang gagawin ‘yun na bobombahin mo ‘yung eskwelahan dahil may mga bata pa diyan ‘no,” AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said on July 28. 

“He wants to communicate a strong position against those behind the organizations of these illegal learning institutions. So kung ano man ang hakbang na kailangan gawin ng ating Armed Forces, gagawin natin ‘to pero hindi sa ganoon klaseng paraan,” Padilla added. 

Padilla noted how “compassionate” Duterte is, especially towards children.  

He said he is certain Duterte’s threat to bomb the Lumad schools would never happen.  

“I’m sure of that. The President is among the most compassionate, if I can say that,” Padilla said. 

“Matigas siya, matigas ang dating niya, matapang, pero ‘pag ang pinagusapan kabataan, napakalambot ng puso ng mahal ng Pangulo,” he added.  

The AFP also warned Lumad schools against “brainwashing” the students’ minds.  

“It is not bad to teach communism per se because we in college learned about it. But if you target very young minds, vulnerable minds and try to sway them to a certain kind of thinking, that is like brainwashing. ‘Yun po ang mali ditto,” Padilla said.  

“Why would you want to brainwash a child just because you want them to perpetuate what you want them to do,” he added. 

Palace clarifies Duterte’s remarks 

Communications Asssistant Secretary Marie Banaag said that there are “legitimate” Lumad schools, but there are those that did not comply with the requirements as well.  

Joining Padilla at the Malacañang press briefing, Banaag said that the President was only warning the Lumad schools “which don’t have permits from the Department of Education…and refuse to comply with DepEd requirements on curriculum.” 

She added that the President only meant he would bomb the structures, not the children.  

Banaag revealed that based on reports from the Department of Education, there are three Lumad schools that have not followed DepEd regulation. She named the Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development, Incorporated (ALCADEV); the Salugpungan Community Learning Center, and the Center of Lumad Advocacy and Services Incorporated (the Clans).  

Organization urges Duterte to apologize 

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers urged Duterte to issue a public apology to the Lumads over his threat against them.  

“Nakakalungkot sa Presidente ay marinig natin ang isang shocking at horrific pronouncement na bobombahin niya yung Mindanao. President Duterte is acting like a war lord. Para siyang mandirigma, sir Duterte leave the lumads alone dahil attacking civilians, attacking teachers, students is a war crime,” ACT national chairperson Benjamin Valbuena said at a press briefing at the University of the Philippines-Diliman on July 28.  

“In the name of civility and respect, President Duterte should publicly retract his pronouncement. Kailangan humingi siya ng public apology sa mga lumads. He must stop his senseless pronouncement, instead he must guarantee the right to education of the lumads and solve perennial problems in the educational system,” Valbuena added. 

The ACT said that they are already coordinating with Lumad teachers to develop an “appropriate curriculum” for the students.  

The Save Our Schools (SOS) network said Duterte should support the Lumad schools instead.  

“Lumad schools which were persevered by lumad organizations is an assertion of their basic human rights and their right to self-determination,” the SOS said. 

“President Duterte should instead show his support to initiatives of national minorities by recognizing lumad schools as institutions built by lumad people and respect those as sacred to them and their culture,” they added. 

The National Youth Commission also suggested that DepEd “resolve their differences” and come up with an agreement with Lumad schools to remove suspicions that these schools are being used to mold young rebels against the government.

Sources: ( gmanetwork.com , rappler.com , cnnphilippines.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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