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Uson asks after DOTr corrects Inquirer report: Ito kaya ay pupunahin ng mga nagmamagaling na tao?



Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson pointed out the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s ‘honest mistake’ in its report about the Manila-Clark railway and wonders if the people who were quick to point her grammatical errors like broadcast journalist Anthony “Tunying” Taberna would be able to call out the newspaper.

“Alam ko po na ito ay honest mistake lamang ng Inquirer pero ang tanong ito kaya ay pupunahin ng mga nagmamagaling na tao? Yung bang magagaling sa english na kala mo sila lang matalino. Pupunahin kaya ito ni ka Tunying ng DZMM. Masyado kasi siya maalam sa english eh. Todo birada sila,” Uson said in a Facebook post on November 9.

Uson was referring to Inquirer’s mistake in reporting that the Philippine government partnered with China National Machinery Industry Corp. (SINOMACH) in building a railway system linking Manila to Clark International Airport.

Her post also came with a screenshot of the erroneous sentence in the Inquirer report and a part of the clarification statement from the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

In DOTr’s clarification, the government agency said that SINOMACH is not the contractor, but the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) of the Philippine National Railways Manila-Clark Railway project.

“The PNR Manila-Clark Railway Project will be funded by the Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The bidding for the contractor of the project has not started yet, contrary to what the article stated that China’s SINOMACH will be its contractor,” DOTr’s statement read.


“PDI might have confused the PNR Manila-Clark Project to the defunct Northrail Project, the contractor of which was SINOMACH, and was the subject of a recent out-of-court settlement, ending years of arbitration proceedings. The Northrail Project, which was planned to run from Caloocan to Malolos, is entirely different from the PNR Manila-Clark Project, which will run from Tutuban all the way to Clark,” it further said.

DOTr also pointed out another mistake in the Inquirer report.

“The article also incorrectly reported that the “project initially costs P150 billion.” Phase 1 (Tutuban – Malolos) of the PNR Manila-Clark Project costs PhP105-Billion, while Phase 2 (Malolos – Clark) costs PhP211-Billion,” DOTr clarified.

The groundbreaking of the first phase of the project is set on December this year or in the first quarter of 2018, while the construction of the second phase will commence in 2019, DOTr added.

In its report, “New railway to link Manila, Clark,” published on November 8, the Inquirer did write these erroneous details that DOTr noted:

“The Philippine government and China National Machinery Industry Corp. (Sinomach) are building a new railway system from Manila to Clark International Airport here after the two parties have resolved to end court and arbitration cases over the Northrail project, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said on Tuesday.”

“The new project is named the Philippine National Railways (PNR) North 2 and initially costs P150 billion.”

Uson’s reference to Taberna criticizing her grammatical flaws after a journalist and associate professor at the University of the Philippines’ proofread version of her letter to Communications Secretary Martin Andanar went viral.



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



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.


“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.

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



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.


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.

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



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.


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

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