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Ed Lingao reacts to Speaker Alvarez wanting ‘zero’ budget for CHR, clarifies CHR’s mandate



Veteran journalist Ed Lingao tried to explain what the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) does after House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez threatened to cut its budget to zero.

“Isa sa mga trabaho ng CHR, siguruhin na hindi tayo inaabuso ng estado,” Lingao wrote in his Facebook post on August 8.

Lingao even tried to correct Alvarez’s wrong notion that it is the state that is paying for the salaries of those working under CHR, when in fact the money comes from the taxpayers.

“The Speaker wants to slash the CHR’s budget to zero. His reasoning? Who pays for the CHR’s salaries? “Estado!” (Correct answer would have been Taumbayan. But then again…) So bakit daw ang estado parati ang binabantayan ng CHR, at hindi ang mga kriminal at drug pusher?” Lingao wrote.

He acknowledged the fact that the CHR could have done more with the human rights violations committed in the Hacienda Luisita Massacre in 2004 and the bloody Kidapawan protest in 2016.

“Malinaw na maraming pagkakataon na dapat naging mas malakas ang boses ng CHR sa ibang HR violations gaya ng Luisita at Kidapawan,” Lingao said.

However, Lingao pointed out that the cases under the Philippine National Police are out of the CHR’s mandate.

“Pero ang criminal investigations na ginagawa ng PNP at DOJ, talagang hindi sakop ng CHR. Kaya nga nandyan na ang mga imbestigador ng PNP and DOJ,” he said.


Then, he went straight to what the estate and CHR are supposed to do.

“Isa sa mga trabaho ng estado, siguruhin na hindi tayo inaabuso ng kahit sino. Isa sa mga trabaho ng CHR, siguruhin na hindi tayo inaabuso ng estado,” Lingao added.

He went on to warn the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan, which are mandated to keep the state in check.

“Kung ganito po tayo mag-isip, aba mag-ingat na ang Ombudsman at ang Sandiganbayan. Estado lang ang binabantayan nila, pero hindi nila binibira ang mga kriminal at adik sa kalye,” Lingao wrote.

“Sa pagkakaalam ko, alam ng mga abugado yan. Kahit ng mga hindi abugado,” he added.

As with Lingao’s previous posts, he replied to some commenters.

One commenter accused Lingao of talking about Alvarez’s thoughts on CHR’s budget while allegedly ignoring the issues surrounding Comelec chair Andres Bautista, but Lingao had enough experience on how to handle commenters like him.

“pare, tinalakay namin kagabi ang isyu ni bautista sa newscast. ahhh onga naman, hanggang facebook lang pala ang kaya ng utak mo lol,” Lingao said.

Veteran journalist Ed Lingao

But the commenter did not stop there. Lingao #burned him, as the netizens said.

Veteran journalist Ed Lingao

Another commenter also tasted Lingao’s own brand of response.

Veteran journalist Ed Lingao

We’re tempted to compile more of his #burn comments from his previous posts, where he was attacked by other netizens.

During the budget briefing on August 7, Alvarez lashed out at CHR chairman Chito Gascon for protecting the criminals’ rights instead of the victims.’

“Kapag police matter, wala na human rights violations? Ang sa akin, kapag human rights, human rights iyan. Ang masama kasi, masyado kayo na-influence ng mga international orgs na tinitignan lang ay human rights ng mga kriminal,” Alvarez said.

Wala akong makitang dahilan para sustentohan kayo ng gobyernong ito. Mas gusto niyo pa protektahan ang mga karapatan ng mga kriminal, hindi ang mga biktima,” he added.

Gascon said that the CHR just wants to show that the state wants to protect everyone’s rights.

“Mahalaga po na ipakita rin natin na ang estado ay gusto ring alagaan ang human rights,” Gascon said.

Questioning Gascon’s criticisms against the Duterte administration, Alvarez said: “Sino ba nagpapasweldo sa inyo? ‘Di ba ang estado? Eh ang lagi mo pinupuna ang estado.”

“Sila naman ay pinoprotektahan ang karapatan ng mga biktima. Eh ikaw anong ginagawa mo, ang proktetahan ang mga kriminal?” he added.

It was during the ambush interview after the hearing that Alvarez revealed his thoughts about wanting a budget cut for CHR.

“Para sa akin dapat bawasan pa nga e,” Alvarez told reporters.

“Kung ako ang tatanungin ninyo e, zero, ‘pag ganyan ang performance. E bakit? Hindi natin ia-abolish kasi constitutional budget e ‘di wag mong bigyan ng budget yan. Dahil nga hindi naman fair e. Hindi nila ginagampanan yung trabaho nila para protektahan yung karapatang pantao, para sa lahat ng tao, sa lahat ng Pilipino dito sa ating bansa,” he added.

Senator Risa Hontiveros called Alvarez’s threat to CHR “grossly fallacious.”

“The plan by some legislators to cut to zero the Commission on Human Rights’ 2018 budget is unconstitutional. The CHR, like other constitutional commissions, such as the Office of the Ombudsman, and the judiciary, enjoys fiscal autonomy. It cannot be defunded,” Hontiveros said in a text message to GMA News.

“A zero budget for CHR means zero human rights for the people,” she said.

“Let me remind my fellow legislators that the mandate of the CHR is to ensure that there will be no abuse or negligence on the part of the government in protecting and upholding the rights of all the citizens, especially the marginalized. Of all people, our lawmakers should know this,” she added.

“Giving the CHR a zero budget will send signals to the national and international communities that the Duterte government is not committed to the principles and promotion of human rights. It elevates to the level of policy the government’s disdain for human rights.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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