Why Gina Lopez says she has no caldero?

Incoming president Rodrigo Duterte chooses anti-mining advocate Gina Lopez as environment secretary.

Incoming president Rodrigo Duterte chooses anti-mining advocate Gina Lopez as environment secretary.

A video of the exchange between Gina Lopez, incoming President Rodrigo Duterte’s choice as secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, and a pro-mining advocate is going the rounds of social media.

Lopez was asking the man to choose between food and minerals because she argued that mining that extracts minerals from underneath the ground destroys the land where man produce food. Apparently Lopez has not heard of responsible mining.

Apparently also, the pro-mining man mentioned the things that we use in our daily lives that came from mining such as toothpaste.
Here’s the exchange that followed:
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June 26, 2016 9:21 pm  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Environment, Governance  4 Comments

Ways to make China comply if U.N. ruling on SCS favors PH

Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio at PPI June 23, 2016

Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio at PPI June 23, 2016

The Philippines is not exactly helpless if the United Nations Arbitral Court decides in our favor in the case we filed against China and China ignores it.

The Hague-based U.N. Artbitral Court is expected to decide on the case on July 7.

In Jan. 2013, the Philippine asked the U.N. court to

1. declare as illegal China’s all encompassing nine-dash line map;

2. declare as part of Philippine 350 nautical mile continental shelf low tide elevations (rocks or shoals that are seen only during low tide) where China has built permanent structures;

3. declare that the waters outside the 12 nautical miles surrounding the Panatag Island (Scarborough shoal) should be declared as part of the Philippines 200 natutical mile Exclusive Economic Zone.
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June 24, 2016 1:43 am  Tags: ,   Posted in: Foreign Affairs  No Comments

De Ocampo, Lhuillier aspire for London post

Ambassador Evan P. Garcia presents his credentials to Mr Julian Evans, Vice-Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps and Director for Protocol at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Ambassador Evan P. Garcia presents his credentials to Mr Julian Evans, Vice-Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps and Director for Protocol at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office

London is one of the most coveted posts in foreign service, including for Philippine diplomats.

The Philippine is currently represented there by Evan Ralph Garcia, who assumed the post last May.

A career diplomat who had served in embassies in Washington D.C, Tokyo, and as Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Garcia was undersecretary for Policy before he was sent to the United Kingdom.

For career officers like Garcia, their foreign assignments last six years, then they return to the home office for three years’ service before they are sent out again. The six years can be in one foreign post or they can be assigned in two posts. A term of three years in a foreign post gives the ambassador time to learn about the host country and establish a network to strengthen relations with the Philippines. Of course, this is just the usual practice and can be changed by the powers- that- be. But less than three years in one post for an ambassador is a waste of money.

Salvador Panelo, who was spokesman of president-elect Rodrigo Duterte for a month, was said to desire to be ambassador to the Court of St. James. He has a new position now: presidential legal adviser.
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June 21, 2016 10:39 pm  Tags: ,   Posted in: Foreign Affairs  No Comments

Why doesn’t Roxas just pay fine for SOCE non-filing?

Mar Roxas concedes. Photo by Luis Liwanag.

Mar Roxas concedes. Photo by Luis Liwanag.

Would it be a less stressful option for Mar Roxas, Liberal Party presidential candidate in the May 9, 2016 presidential election not to file at all a Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE)?

He didn’t win anyway so there’s no position that he would be prevented from assuming because he does not have the Certificate of Formal compliance that is issued by the Commission on Elections to those who have complied with the submission of their SOCEs.
What happened to ousted Laguna Governor Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejercito would not happen to him.

It will be recalled that Ejercito of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino won over Edgar San Luis of the Liberal Party in the 2013 gubernatorial race in Laguna but he was removed from office in 2014 when Comelec upon the complaint of San Luis, determined that Ejercito exceeded expenditure limits in the 2013 elections. Ejercito’s TV ad expenses was one of the proofs Comelec had for his overspending.
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June 20, 2016 4:30 am  Tags: ,   Posted in: 2016 elections  12 Comments

David Lapuz: ‘One prodigious fountain spouting forth brilliant ideas’

Dsvid Lapuz. From the blog of Fr. Joel Tabora, SJ

Dsvid Lapuz. From the blog of Fr. Joel Tabora, SJ

Aside from Salvador Panelo, spokesperson of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte for a month, aspirant to be ambassador to the Court of St. James and now presidential legal counsel, another appointee of incoming president Rodrigo Duterte who is creating a different kind of buzz is David Lapuz as head of the Commission on Higher Education.

There is still a confusion on the appointment of Lapuz to the government agency that oversees public and private higher education institutions as well as degree-granting programs in all tertiary educational institutions in the country because while others say the position is co-terminus with the appointing authority, there are also those who say that the head of CHED has a fixed term and that of the current chair, Patricia Licuanan, is up to 2018.

The designation of Lapuz as CHED chair was first mentioned by Ateneo de Davao President Fr. Joel Tabora, S.J. In his blog more than a week ago.

According to an Inquirer report, Tabora related: “In fact, last Wednesday, June 8, at 2:30 a.m. in a room filled with people in the Panacan Malacañan of the South, President Duterte had publicly designated Professor Lapuz, long-time professor of political science and of the life and works of Jose Rizal at the Lyceum of the Philippines, CHED Chair. To the professor’s self-deprecating query, ‘Are you really nominating me CHED chair?’ the President replied emphatically, ‘Yes!’”
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June 17, 2016 1:26 am  Tags:   Posted in: Elections 2016  14 Comments

Panelo wants to be ambassador to London?

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo with reporters in Davao, June 8, 2016. Photo from Charie Villa.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo with reporters in Davao, June 8, 2016. Photo from Charie Villa.

We are going to miss Atty. Salvador Panelo as presidential spokesperson.

Incoming president Rodrigo Duterte has a new spokesperson in the person for Ernie Abella, a former pastor.

In the announcement of Peter Laviña, spokesman for the Duterte transition team, of the latest cabinet appointments in his Facebook page, he did not say whether Panelo will also remain as spokesperson with the appointment of Abella.

Sources at the Department of Foreign Affairs, however, said they have been told that Panelo has expressed interest to be the Philippine ambassador to the United Kingdom, which is currently being held by Evan Ralph Garcia, a career officer.
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June 14, 2016 10:07 pm  Tags: ,   Posted in: 2016 elections, Governance, Media  7 Comments

For a more meaningful Independence Day

President Aquino at the June 12, 206 Independence Day celebration in Malacanang. Photo by Malacanang.

President Aquino at the June 12, 206 Independence Day celebration in Malacanang. Photo by Malacanang.

The nation observed the 118th Independence Day in a somewhat somber tone.

Maybe because in two weeks time, there will be changing of the guards. The presiding president, Benigno Aquino III, is bidding goodbye and last Sunday’s Independence Day Vin d’Honneur was the last that he was hosting.

Aside from leaving the seat of power, Aquino is turning over the reins of the government not to his annointed, Mar Roxas, but to Rodrigo Duterte, the candidate that he warned the voters to be a danger to democracy.

At the Vin d’honneur, a traditional reception for the diplomatic corps and government officials on New Year’s Day and Independence Day, Aquino once again talked about his family’s sacrifices for Philippine democracy under the Marcos dictatorship to underscore that our much-cherished freedom can be taken away.
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June 12, 2016 10:57 pm  Tags:   Posted in: Benigno Aquino III  3 Comments

Centerlaw voices alarm over Duterte’s acceptance of kangaroo court

Policemen released by NPA to Duterte. Photo from Bulatlat.

Policemen released by NPA to Duterte. Photo from Bulatlat.

Centerlaw, a non-government organization dedicated to the promotion of the Rule of Law in the Philippines and Asia, reminded President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte that as president of the Philippines, which he will be in 23 days, he is legally bound to ensure that every one within Philippine sovereignty is accorded due process of law.

Centerlaw expressed grave concern over the statement of Duterte that he is leaving the fate of General Generoso, Davao Oriental police Chief Inspector Arnold Ognachen to his captors, the New People’s Army.

Duterte, which has included the Communist Party of the Philippines in his government, had worked for the release of policemen captured by the CPP’s armed group before the May elections. He had also called for the release of Ognachen, who was captured when the NPA recently raided the Davao Oriental police station.

But in his press conference last Thursday, Duterte said an NPA commander told him that they seized drug from Ognachen adding the rebel leaders would not lie to him.
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June 8, 2016 12:53 am  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Peace and Order, Philippine National Police  2 Comments

Why reporters are persistent in press conferences

President -elect Rodrigo Duterte May 29 presscon. Lower photo shows GMA7's Mariz  Umali asking a question.

President -elect Rodrigo Duterte May 29 presscon. Lower photo shows GMA7′s Mariz Umali asking a question.

In press conferences, there are times when reporters are persistent with their questioning, annoying the official especially if it’s on a topic that he wants to buried.

A reporter’s persistence is not for persistence’s sake. It is not caprice.

A reporter pursues a subject to clarify so that he or she can give the public the information correctly and clearly. Reporters always ask for categorical answers to avoid misinterpretation. Because it is the duty of the journalist to make sure that his or her reports are accurate- a basic in journalism.

Reporters covering President-elect Rodrigo Duterte have been criticized for being soft on him. Some, yes. Even fawning. But not all.
Watching his late night to mid-morning press conferences that are one or two hour monologues, I sympathize with reporters covering him. One needs not only an ample reserve of stamina but nerves of steel not to get intimidated by his manners which border rudeness.
Take the case of GMA-7 Mariz Umali, the subject of the president-elect’s wolf-whistling.
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June 6, 2016 12:17 am  Tags: ,   Posted in: Media  2 Comments

Duterte spokesmen’s damage control statements add insult to injury

To control the damage wrought by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s verbal assault on media during his press conference Tuesday justifying the extra-judicial killing of journalists, Peter Laviña, spokesman for Duterte’s transition team said media, his principal’s remarks were “taken out of context, misinterpreted, and misunderstood.”

That is adding insult to injury. That is like saying media did not report accurately Duterte’s statements.

Same thing with Duterte’s spokesman and press secretary Salvador Panelo’s statement that GMA-7 reporter Mariz Umali “should be complimented” for the president-elect wolf-whistling or cat-calling at her when she asked a question.


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June 3, 2016 12:19 am  Tags:   Posted in: 2016 elections, Media  11 Comments