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#YouthResist trends as youth groups hold alternative SONA to Duterte’s ‘fake news SONA’



Various youth groups came together to form the #YouthResist movement and held what they called as an alternative State of the Nation Address (SONA) at St. Scholastica’s College on July 18, leading the hashtag #YouthResist to trend on Twitter in the morning on the same day.


Parody page Superficial Gazette tweeted a livestream link by one of the participating groups, Millennials Against Dictators (MAD).

Some Twitter users were quite active in giving updates about the event.

Twitter user Sandro Marudo, @kaeofficial, tweeted about the “minute of silence” for the lives lost in the government’s campaign against drugs.

He also quoted ninth grader Shibby de Guzman about the drug-related deaths. Shibby was one of the St. Scholastica’s students who joined the protests against Marcos and was cyberbullied by some of Duterte’s supporters.

“Shibby now speaking on stage. “Why is it okay to kill 4-year olds who just want popcorn?”  #YouthResist,” he tweeted.

Shibby was referring to four-year-old Althea Fhem Barbon, who was killed along with her father during a buy-bust operation. She was the youngest to die in the government’s drug war. Her family said she went with her father, Pim Alrick Barbon, a suspected drug dealer, to buy popcorn in the plaza on August 30, 2016. Instead of going back home, Barbon took Althea to rendezvous with two men and sell drugs. The men turned out to be undercover cops who wanted to entrap Barbon, but he sensed the trap and fled on his motorcycle. The cops chased after him on another motorcycle and fired at him. The bullet hit him on the back but overpenetrated and struck Althea on her spine. Barbon died immediately, but Althea was taken to the hospital, where she died two days later.

Other Twitter users posted more about Shibby.

Marudo also tweeted the message from Senator Risa Hontiveros, a St. Scholastica alumna.

“Tinawag na kayong… masyadong entitled. Hinusgahan kayo… pero maling-mali sila,” Hontiveros was quoted saying.

As for those who might be concerned about the young students’ involvement in the protest, Marudo said their parents were actually supportive of their kids’ participation in the event.

@TomasinoWeb also tweeted the same thing about the parents.

Here are more tweets about the event.

On July 16, Superficial Gazette said the four things that Filipinos must resist include dictatorship, state-sponsored murder, corruption, and fake news.

The #YouthResist movement is composed of Millennials Against Dictators (MAD), Akbayan! Youth, the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines, and other campus- and community-based youth groups that stand against the extrajudicial killings linked to the government’s war on drugs.


Karla Yu of MAD said it is to be expected that Duterte will focus on the “best parts, the milestones of this administration’s first year.” However, they believed that the President will not touch on many important issues.

“Pero naniniwala po kami na marami pa pong mga detalye ang hindi sasabihin sa SONA, and marami pang mga issues—katulad na lang ng human rights, katulad na lang ng extrajudicial killings, katulad na lang ng validity ng pagdedeklara ng martial law sa Mindanao—ang hindi pag-uusapan sa SONA ng Presidente. And that’s why I think, ‘yung pagwi-withhold ng information, that’s also a form of a lie. We want the truth to come out. We think that this is going to be a fake news SONA na naman—dahil puro na naman propaganda ang ipapakain sa atin ng Pangulo,” Yu said.

“Today, we are announcing that we are continuing to resist and that we [will] constantly fight and struggle for this country’s future. We refuse to stop asking for a say [in] our officials’ decisions. We reject the notion that the loss of lives can be simplified as collateral damage,” said Shibby.

Youth groups have always played a huge role in civil demonstrations during political unrest. They organized protests against former President Benigno Aquino III after the Mamasapano clash, joined the People Power Revolutions, and even during the People Power Revolution of 1986.

This is not the first time for student activists and youth groups to play noisemakers, but social media did help them become louder and faster in organizing movements.

Esquire PH has written about the #YouthResist groups, urging for people not to “insult” the youth’s intelligence and conclude that they are simply victims of a “brainwashing phenomenon.”

“So whether or not you agree with what these kids have to say, it wouldn’t be fair to insult their intelligence and debase their capacity to participate in our democracy by chalking it up to some imaginary brainwashing phenomenon. They’re on the streets and speaking up out of their own volition, as young people always have,” Esquire wrote.

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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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