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Agot to Sasot after BBC confrontation: If they want to talk to you, they will find you

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Actress Agot Isidro took to Twitter to react to a Duterte supporter confronting a BBC correspondent over the broadcasting company’s interview with an anti-Duterte blogger.

“Sweetie, last year BBC tried to get in touch with me for an interview, too. If they want to talk to you, they will find you. Do the math,” Isidro tweeted.

Her tweet came after pro-Duterte blogger Sass Rogando Sasot confronted BBC South East Asian correspondent Jonathan Head in the afternoon of November 13 at the International Media Center in Pasay City, where local and foreign media were situated to cover the ASEAN Summit.

Sasot questioned the BBC for giving Duterte critic Jover Laurio, the woman behind Pinoy Ako Blog, whom she described as a “minor blogger,” a platform on the UK-based network.

According to Interaksyon’s report, Sasot and Head’s encounter started when the BBC correspondent approached Communications Asec. Mocha Uson to greet her. Uson was with Sasot then.

“Can you please explain to me why Jover Laurio, whose Facebook engagement is like way, way, way lower than me, was being followed by BBC?” she asked Head.

He denied following Laurio’s blog, so Sasot added, “If BBC is not following what’s happening to Pinoy Ako Blog, how come they know it?”

Head explained how there are lots of ways for BBC producers to find out about people they have taken interest in and raise issues and denied having PR agencies pushing people on.

“So can you tell me, Mr. Jonathan, how is it possible that Jover Laurio, a very minor blogger in the Philippines, was featured by the BBC in order to defend herself against the people who outed her identity, but not someone like me whose social media following is way, way higher than her, whose Facebook engagement is way, way higher than her, and who you have even interacted on Facebook?” Sasot asked.

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Her concern over her safety also cropped up in the exchange, noting how her address in The Hague was made public.

“I know that in order for you to be interviewed by a big platform like BBC, you should have been given access. It’s either that you were really, really famous, that you are a decision-maker of a country, you are a celebrity, and you’re gonna be given this platform. But Jover Laurio is none of that. The only link to that is that she is being protected, sponsored, financed probably by the Liberal Party of the Philippines,” Sasot added.

Head offered to have their conversation elsewhere, leading to an exchange of details over their schedules. Sasot will be going to Davao on November 14, while Head will still be in Manila until November 15. He also suggested to connect on social media, where Sasot can “raise anything” with him anytime.

When their conversation resumed, it focused back on Laurio with Sasot telling Head that the Duterte critic “was slandering and libeling people along the way, especially those who are critical of the Vice President of the Philippines.”

Sasot then said, “And the BBC and the international media do not care about this anger. All you care about is whether is the president has a paid troll network or not. And you have insulted not just me but millions of followers and supporters of the president.”

She also told Head that many people felt insulted over the idea that the BBC only got one side of the story.

“Do you know that a lot of overseas Filipino workers are doing everything in order to combat the lies being peddled by mainstream media, including Rappler, Inquirer, ABS-CBN? And I know that international media is only getting its feed from these people because they have power, resources, and connections to do this. You know, a lot of people are insulted that you are only covering one side of the story,” Sasot told Head.

To which Head replied, “That’s not true. We have covered many sides.”

Sasot also said that she wanted to talk to the BBC team behind the production of Laurio’s BBC interview or that they should contact her after Head offered to talk to her about her issues with his reporting or the BBC in general. She insisted that the issue she wanted to know more about was which “powerful group” gave Laurio “access to BBC.”

Sasot even burst into tears during the confrontation which, despite the tension, still ended on a polite note.

Here’s another viral post containing the videos of Sasot’s confrontation with Head:

“Sass” even trended on Twitter in the evening of November 13.

Feminist leader Elizabeth Angsioco, who has been interviewed by international media organizations such as CNN and Wall Street Journal, among others, also echoed Isidro’s tweet.

“You do not contact them. They contact you. If your issue is relevant, THEY WILL CONTACT YOU,” she said.

Award-winning writer Miguel Syjuco also weighed in on the issue after reposting videos of the confrontation.

“Blogger Sass Sasot attacking a BBC reporter, cursing, raising her voice, irate that Jover Laurio of Pinoy Ako Blog was the only Pinoy blogger on the BBC. Sasot was upset that the news network gave a “minor blogger” what she calls “legitimacy.” Because apparently the only views that the world should hear about the Philippines and its government with almost absolute power are from the pro-DDS mob,” Syjuco wrote.

In the comments section, we spotted Laurio, the main subject of Sasot’s ire in the confrontation with BBC.

“My interview is more than a month ago na po. Hindi naman niya kailangan bastusin yung journalist. Ni hindi nga po yun ang nag interview po sa akin,” Sasot replied.

When a netizen asked her the same question Sasot asked Head about how her interview with the BBC unfolded, Laurio merely said that the UK-based broadcasting company reached out to her via Twitter.

Laurio also uploaded a screenshot of the Twitter direct message that someone from the BBC sent to her.

Uson addressed the issue of the confrontation by explaining that what Sasot did and the manner by which she talked to Head was not because she was arrogant but because it was her way of ensuring that she will be respected in the conversation. She added that given Sasot’s years of living in The Netherlands, she has grown used to their way of speaking, something that we, Filipinos, are not used to.

“Sa mga nag cocomment na arrogant daw si For the Motherland – Sass Rogando Sasot sa pakikipag usap sa BBC halatang hindi nila alam ang background at hindi napanuod ang buong video. Ayon nga po kay Sass, Hindi po kasi tayo sanay sa paguusap sa mga puti especially BRITON. Si Sass po ay taga Hague. Nag masters pa po siya doon. Nakakasama sa mga debate at mga confrontations,” Uson said.

“Alam niya paano makipag usap sa mga puti. Kung lalamya lamya ka they will not respect you. Sabi nga po niya normal ang ganyan sa kanila. Nabigla lang tayo dahil Pinoy tayo. Pag malamya ka sa pakikipagusap sa mga puti Briton o European yari ka sa argument. Kakayan kayanin ka nila. Wala kang panalo and they will not listen to you. Sanay kasi tayo sa bait baitan pag nakikipag usap. Iba po sa kanila. At sanay si Sass sa ganyan. Dahil taga dun siya at nag masters pa po siya doon,” she added.

Uson also provided three links to her own videos of the confrontation as well as the podcast that followed, featuring Sasot and another Duterte supporter, Rey Joseph Nieto.

Sources: ( interaksyon.com )

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Former national security adviser warns against risks in letting China survey Benham Rise

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The Philippines should not allow China to survey Benham Rise, warned former national security adviser Roilo Golez.

He enumerated his reasons behind his warning.

“China is illegally occupying & claiming our West Ph Sea, and IMHO lusting for more seas,” Golez said in a Facebook post on January 15.

He also pointed out the rich resources in Benham Rise.

“Benham Rise is rich in fish resources & China apparently lusting for food,” he said.

“Benham Rise is rich in energy (methane hydrates, gas) and China apparently is lusting for energy,” he added.

Golez noted the strategic significance of Benham Rise’s location.

“Benham Rise has strategic importance, a good area for submarine channels which an oceanographic survey can reveal. PLA submarines can hide in those channels constituting a threat to the security of the Philippines and our allies in the Western Pacific,” he wrote.

China Benham Rise

Golez’s warning came after reports surfaced about how the Philippine government may have allowed a Chinese entity to conduct research in Benham Rise, which President Rodrigo Duterte renamed as Philippine Rise.

Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano claimed on January 12 that the Department of Foreign Affairs approved the request for Chinese entities to do marine scientific research in Philippine Waters, including Benham Rise.

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“We should be careful and prudent in granting any access to our waters especially with China who is known to claim 80% of our EEZ in South China Sea through its expansive 9-dash line,” Alejano said in a statement to media.

He added that the “information” he received said the study would be conducted by the Institute of Oceanology of Chinese Academy of Sciences (IO-CAS) and would be joined by the University of the Philippines – Marine Science Institute.

In response to Alejano’s claims, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano responded that he will have to “check the details.”

He added, “But what I can assure Congressman Alejano and the Filipino people, we have the same rules for all the countries. We have to follow the law.”

Cayetano emphasized that there is no reason to suspect approval or denial of requests for scientific research, regardless of which country the request came from.

“There’s nothing suspicious about approval or disapproval of scientific research. Whether they are Americans, Japanese, Chinese, Mongolians, Singaporeans, etc, if they comply they will [be approved] if they do not comply they will not [be approved],” he said.

Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio earlier described the decision to approve China’s request as “dumb.”

“China has squatted on the West Philippine Sea and refuses to leave despite the ruling of the UNCLOS tribunal. Now, China requests to be allowed to survey the Philippine Sea on the east side of the Philippines. The Philippines would be dumb to grant China’s request,” Carpio said in a report on GMA News’ 24 Oras.

Sources: ( rappler.comcnnphilippines.com )

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PNP chief admits to cops extorting money to remove names from drug watchlist

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Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said on January 12 that some members of the police force had extorted money from people who want to have their name removed from the police’s drug watchlist.

The PNP chief made the remarks when he announced the police’s preparation to restore Oplan TokHang under the condition that its implementation will be how TokHang was intended to be implemented.

“Ang instruction ko sa kanila sa command conference is that ibalik natin ang Tokhang, pero ‘yung totoong spirit ng Tokhang, hindi ‘yung ibang Tokhang na ginagawa nila dati na ‘yung pulis, may dalang listahan ng drug personalities sa barangay at sasabihan ‘yung drug personality: ‘Ikaw, nasa listahan ka. Magbigay ka ng pera para tanggalin ka namin sa listahan,'” Dela Rosa said.

But he did not elaborate which units or regions were caught in implementing this illegal practice.

He, however, highlighted how TokHang should be properly done.

“Kausapin ka lang. Although kilala ka na pusher sa barangay, pakiusapan ka lang ng pulis at mga tao sa barangay na, ‘Please ihinto mo na ‘yan, at saka kung gusto mo magpa-rehab, willing ‘yung ating local government,'” Dela Rosa explained.

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The PNP is preparing for their comeback to the drug war, as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte, after their month-long hiatus from the campaign against illegal drugs.

This is not the first time Dela Rosa mentioned the extortion committed by some cops where the drug war is concerned.

In November 2016, he also admitted to this illegal practice by some members of the police force.

“Inaamin ko na marami pa ring mga pulis namin dyan na scalawag na ginagamit iyung war on drugs namin para sa pangingikil ng pera. Mayroong mga pumupunta sa mga negosyante, sinasabihan ang mga negosyante na ikaw po ay kasama sa watchlist namin sa aming war on drugs, ikaw po ay drug personality. Tinatakot hanggang sa lumalabas na iyung pera,” the PNP chief said.

He proceeded to warning these scalawag cops, telling them that he will “break the necks” of the cops if he catches them committing this practice.

“Hindi po namin kino-condone iyan. Iyung mga pulis po na gumagawa niyan, I promise, kapag mahuli ko kayo, babalian ko kayo ng leeg,” he added.

Dela Rosa encouraged the public to report erring cops.

“Kahit kayo ay drug lord, drug pusher, kapag tinakot kayo ng pulis para magbigay kayo ng pera para matanggal ang pangalan ninyo, i-report po ninyo sa akin iyan, sa inyong kapulisan,” he said.

“Iyung kasalanan ng pulis na nangongotong na iyan, times two iyun sa kasalanan niyo bilang drug pusher kaya mas ipa-priority ko iyung pulis ko na nangungurakot kaysa sa inyo, ipa-priority kong i-neutralize. I will neutralize them,” he added.

Sources: ( rappler.comnews.abs-cbn.com )

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Duterte on cursing, making rude comments: It’s too late for me to change

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President Rodrigo Duterte defended his tendency to make rude comments or throw in expletives in some of his speeches, saying he was used to this way of speaking when he served as mayor of Davao City for decades.

“I realized that being President, hindi ka na makasabi ng p***** i**, hindi ka na maka…. Too late to change eh. It’s in the persona embedded deeply in the psychic mind. Wala na akong magawa niyan,” he remarked during the 60th birthday celebration of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez in Tagum City on January 12.

He recalled how he said in an earlier interview that he brought his attitude as a mayor to his presidency.

“Sabi ko nga sa interview kanina, “Ang problema ko is dala-dala ko ‘yung mindset ko, ‘yung asta ko as mayor, dinala ko sa presidency,” Duterte said.

“So kung magsalita ako, parang mayor. And that is why everybody who addresses me as President would give a… would come a reply something like, “Please do not call me President.  Just call me ‘Mayor,’” he added.

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Duterte also defended his rude remarks, saying he is only rude to those who are rude to him.

“Ang sabi ‘bastos,’ eh talagang bastos ang bunganga ko, lalo na pag asarin mo ako,” he said.

Netizens reacted to Duterte’s remarks on his inability to change, asking him why he then banked on change during his campaign.

“Then maybe you shouldn’t have run a campaign premised on change?” a Twitter user asked.

“Yet his tagline is “change is coming.” What a hypocrite!” another tweeted.

“So much for “change is coming” then.”

On Facebook, the commenters echoed the same sentiments.

“Dami mong daldal change is coming pero ikaw mismo ayaw mag change? Plastic ka pala,” a Facebook user said.

Duterte has been in hot water for making rape remarks about an Australian missionary and the Miss Universe candidates and while talking to the military. He was also called out for catcalling GMA News reporter Mariz Umali and for cursing various people, including Pope Francis, former US President Barack Obama, UN special rapporteur on summary executions Agnes Callamard, and former President Benigno Aquino, among others

Sources: ( pcoo.gov.ph )

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