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Senators react to the possibility of Supt. Marcos getting promoted

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Supt. Marvin Marcos is confirmed to be vying for a promotion amid the lawmakers’ suspicions that there was a cover-up involved in the downgrading of the charges against him over the killing of Albuera Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. from murder to homicide, enabling him to post bail and get his back-on-duty status.

PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa confirmed Senator Panfilo Lacson’s suspicions during the Senate hearing by the committee on public order and dangerous drugs on July 26 that Marcos’ reassignment to the CIDG in Region 12 in preparation for a possible promotion to senior superintendent after six months, the period of residency required for the higher rank. Dela Rosa further told reporters after the hearing that the promotion is likely for Marcos if he won’t get administrative sanctions.

Marcos and 18 of his men were accused of killing Espinosa and another inmate during a raid at the Leyte provincial jail in November. They were automatically put on leave of absence when they were charged murder and put in detention.

Dela Rosa confirmed during the Senate hearing that he put Marcos and the others back on duty based on what he considered to be President Rodrigo Duterte’s instructions.

“As far as the reassignment back to CIDG… the President really said that we should use these people. We lack people on the ground. They are being paid so let’s put them to work,” the PNP chief said.

Although dela Rosa later told Senator Grace Poe that he advised President Duterte to wait until the issue surrounding Marcos and his men has died down.

“But he always says to get them back because they are not doing anything. I took it as an order. I’m just taking hints from his pronouncements,” he said.

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Answering Senator Bam Aquino’s question, dela Rosa admitted that putting Marcos back on duty was “not so normal” but that it was Duterte’s instruction.

However, the PNP chief denied Duterte’s involvement in the downgrading of Marcos’ and co-accused’s charges from murder to homicide, a decision that the Department of Justice made.

“The pronouncements of the President were continuous, it does not affect our decision. He did not call me up to give me instructions whether to absolve or penalize Marcos. He never interfered,” Dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa also said that Marcos and his men’s case followed the legal process and that they were penalized already.

“I think if we look at it in one way, if we can accord this kind of process to ordinary criminals, then we should also make this available to ordinary policemen,” Dela Rosa said.

“This boosts the morale (of the police). Because the President is a man of his word. He said that if you (police) run into trouble, I will back you up, I will not abandon you. What Superintendent Marcos did, it was in the line of duty. Supt. Marcos is being assisted to get back to work so this boosts the morale,” he added.

What the senators have to say

Lacson promised to preempt Supt. Marcos’ promotion.

“The reason I mentioned this is really to preempt whatever it is they are planning because he is already at the entry point. He was given an entry point to be promoted. At least I made them conscious that the Senate is watching closely,” Lacson said.

He also said Marcos is being coddled.

“We have all the reason to suspect that Marcos is being coddled here,” he added.

Senator JV Ejercito said he thought Marcos does not deserve the promotion.

“Hindi naman siguro. Hindi dapat. Hindi dapat dahil ano eh. Yun ang na-ano ng Senate committee noh? We all signed the committee report and talagang maliwanag pa sa sikat ng araw yung ginawa nila eh. So I don’t think he deserves the promotion,” Ejercito said in an interview.

Senator Risa Hontiveros wanted disciplinary action for Supt. Marcos instead of a promotion.

“Kapag mapatunayan with finality na guilty sila sa premeditated murder o isang extrajudicial killing, katulad ng unang finding ng Senate committee at pati ng National Bureau of Investigation, obviously hindi dapat reinstatement o lalo na promotion ang susunod kundi disciplinary action laban sa kanila. Otherwise, magtatakda yan ng masamang precedent talaga para sa patuloy na professionalization at accountability ng ating national police,” Hontiveros said in an interview with Politiko.

Asked if she thought if there was a cover up in Marcos’ case, she said that she found DOJ’s downgrading of Marcos’ charges an “obstruction of justice” and a seeming approval of the EJKs.

“Well, hindi ko pa matatawag na cover up per yung unang ipinakita ng DOJ na pag-downgrade ng charges na parang binabalewala na yung finding ditto sa Senate committee at finding mismo ng sarili nilang NBI, ay hindi nagpapakita ng pagbibigay-daan, kung di obstruction of justice mula sa mataas na antas ng ating gobyerno at nagmimistulang pag-apruba ng extrajudicial killings sa halip na paghinto na sa EJKs na ito,” she added.

Earlier, Senator Grace Poe said that Marcos’ reinstatement may “tarnish” the PNP, adding that the police can fulfill its duties without someone like Marcos.

“The questionable downgrading of the charge from murder to homicide against Marcos notwithstanding, it cannot be denied that there is probable cause that accused Marcos committed the crime,” Poe said after Marcos’ reinstatement. “Therefore, his reinstatement to active duty may further tarnish the PNP as an institution that should value and uphold the law in the performance of duty.”

“The PNP could very well carry out its duties in protecting our people without somebody like Marcos and his cohorts,” she added.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said to hold Marcos’ promotion.

“I think it would be more prudent for the PNP to hold whatever promotion or movement dahil nga merong outcry dito sa Senate na paano nangyari ito and maraming oras ang naubos dito sa investigation and the facts should be reviewed or even thrice noh? Para malaman natin yung kung paano nagkaiba yung investigation ng DOJ at ng Senado,” he said.

The Palace has called talk of Marcos’ promotion “premature” and urged critics to allow the cop to fulfill his duty first.

“The Palace position is it’s a bit premature to talk about these matters. It’s better to let him do his job first and then and perform and see if there’s any veracity for the new assignment. So it’s really quite premature,” Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a press conference in Malacañang.

Sources: ( philstar.comquirer.net , mb.com.ph , abante-tonite.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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