What Is Women’s Equality Day? Twitter Urges Trump To Recognize August 26

Women’s Equality Day has been traditionally observed in the United States since 1973 after Congress declared Aug. 26 a celebration of women’s suffrage in 1971.  Every president since then officially recognized the importance of the day. Ahead of the Saturday celebrations, Twitter users are urging President Donald Trump to do the same.

The day commemorates the inclusion of 19th Amendment in the U.S. Constitution on August 26, 1920, which gave American women the right to cast votes and have a voice in deciding the future of the nation.  According to the National Women’s History Project, the amendment “culminated a 72-year, nonviolent campaign to extend the right to vote to women, as a symbol of the continued fight for equal rights.”

Prior to winning the suffrage movement, women were barred from signing contracts, serving on juries, inheriting property and voting in elections. Marriage remained the only form of economic security available to them as the only job opportunities for women were in the service industry and wages were far lower than men.

According to historian and author Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, “[W]oman suffrage supporters advanced the belief that women were more moral beings than men; therefore, women would make more effective reformers if armed with the ballot.”


However, even after 19th Amendment became a part of the constitution, African-American women and those of Japanese origin did not have the right to vote. It was only after Voting Rights Act was passed by the Congress in 1965 that race was ruled out as a discriminating factor when it came to women’s right to vote.

When former President Barack Obama officially declared Women’s Equality Day last year, he stated: “Nearly one century ago, with boundless courage and relentless commitment, dedicated women who had marched, advocated, and organized for the right to cast a vote finally saw their efforts rewarded on August 26, 1920, when the 19th Amendment was certified and the right to vote was secured. In the decades that followed, that precious right has bolstered generations of women and empowered them to stand up, speak out, and steer the country they love in an equal direction.”

This year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was the first one to point out that the POTUS was yet to officially announce Aug. 26 as Women’s Equality Day.

"Saturday we mark Women's Equality Day,” Cuomo told Refinery29. “In New York, we protect and value women's rights every day. We will always push women’s rights forward. Our economy and soul depend on full equality.”

He further added: "I am calling on President Trump to issue a proclamation, affirming this nation's belief that all men and women are created equal, and that the right to vote is genderless.‎ To say less is against every value we as New Yorkers hold and protect."

After Cuomo took to Twitter to request Trump to give Aug 26 its due recognition, other social media users followed suit, echoing Cuomo’s sentiments.

It is still not clear if the Trump administration will recognize Women’s Equality Day as its track record has been inconsistent so far when it comes to handling historically important days. According to Refinery29, the president declared March as Women’s History Month but failed to issue a statement on International Women’s Day. In the end, former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had to do damage control as he read out the official statement by the White House during the press briefing.

Narco politicians backing IS – PNP

By Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) | Updated

The Philippine National Police is conducting a case buildup against narco-politicians who are reportedly helping the Maute group occupy Marawi City, PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said yesterday. AP/Bullit Marquez, File
Rody: IS planned Marawi attack, Mindanao takeover

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine National Police is conducting a case buildup against narco-politicians who are reportedly helping the Maute group occupy Marawi City, PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said yesterday.

Dela Rosa revealed the matter when asked by journalists whether the PNP has information on politicians who have been supporting the Islamic State (IS)-inspired terror group.

“We will not divulge those details for the meantime because our work is ongoing. We are doing a case buildup, that’s all,” Dela Rosa said in an interview at Camp Crame.

The PNP chief earlier backed a statement of President Duterte that politicians involved in illegal drugs are supporting the Maute group.

He said some drug lords from Metro Manila, Luzon and the Visayas held a drug summit in Marawi last year.

Some of these politicians are no longer in power but others are incumbent, he said.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his speech at the swearing in of municiple at the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila, Philippines on Thursday, June 1, 2017. Duterte declared martial law in the Mindanao region, the southern third of the Philippines, and poured in troops backed by airstrikes, artillery fire and tanks to crush the urban insurrection. AP/Aaron Favila

Dela Rosa did not provide a specific number, but he said these personalities are local chief executives based in Mindanao – “not only in Marawi; some are from Maguindanao and other provinces.”

Some of these politicians reportedly even engaged Maute fighters in shooting competitions, Dela Rosa said, adding that this could be one of the ways the terrorists obtained ammunition.

With the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus suspended in Mindanao because of martial law, Dela Rosa said the PNP would take advantage of the situation to arrest politicians with links to the Maute.

“This is our chance to hunt down and arrest these narco-politicians,” he said over dzMM radio.

Three police officers have been killed, three were wounded and six remain missing since the Marawi crisis broke out on May 23.

Dela Rosa said the six police non-commissioned officers are believed trapped in downtown Marawi, where the fighting is still intense.

“They are trapped and could not come out because of the presence of the enemy.”

Nearly 900 policemen are deployed in Marawi and fighting alongside the military against the rebels. Police public safety forces from other regions are on standby and ready for deployment in the event additional forces are needed.

No vacation

Vacation leaves of all police officers nationwide are put on hold as part of security preparations in the ongoing Marawi crisis, according to Interior and Local Government officer-in-charge Catalino Cuy.

The PNP has been on full alert since the attack on a night market in Davao City in September last year.

The explosion prompted Duterte to place the country in a state of lawlessness.

“Since the PNP is on full alert, all vacation leaves of police officers are suspended. We ensure the safety and welfare of troops deployed in Marawi,” Cuy told The STAR.

Dela Rosa has ordered other police units in the country to be ready for deployment to Marawi City.

He clarified there is no need to send more troops in Mindanao.

He said police forces from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Central Mindanao and Northern Mindanao sent to Marawi City are enough.
At present, Dela Rosa said Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and members of the Regional Public Safety Battalion are handling the situation well, noting they are the elite units well trained in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism.

“Most of the operating battalions of SAF are there in Marawi and our force is strong. If they turn out insufficient, we have to pull out units from other regions,” Dela Rosa said.
He placed on standby all elite police forces across the country in anticipation of the escalation of clashes between government forces and the Maute group.
“I advised the regional police offices to prepare their public safety forces. Right now, they are ready, waiting for my instructions to reinforce Marawi.”

IS long planned attack

President Duterte said yesterday that ISIS or IS had long planned to infiltrate and attack Marawi City in a bid to control Mindanao as he ordered the military troops to wipe out terrorists in the region.

The recent confluence of events, starting from the time that Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon was anointed as “emir” of IS and then his group’s fusion with the local Maute terror group, already sounded the alarm bells about IS-backed plans in Mindanao.

“Well, anyway, let me just run you through what’s really happening. You know the rebellion now in Mindanao, it’s not Maute, it’s purely ISIS with different branch since they started it,” Duterte declared while speaking before local officials, newly appointed justices and special envoys in Malacañang.

Noting the background of the Maute brothers, one of whom went to Libya, Duterte said the Islamic groups’ control of Marawi had been long-planned.

Maute fighters, combined with Abu Sayyaf terrorists, were forced to jumpstart their plan after the military overran their secret operations while they were about to arrest Isnilon last week.

“This Marawi (attack) has long been planned. It could not be just a decision (saying), ‘let’s go to Mindanao.’ All of these are planned,” said Duterte, who declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23. Along with the proclamation, he also suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

“And it’s a long time. So, I, as a student of you know what, history and maybe, (I knew that) when Hapilon was sent to Central Mindanao and he was anointed as the emir, that’s when I thought that something terribly wrong is going to happen,” Duterte added.

For him, the report already indicated a red flag.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, also the administrator of martial law, pointed out how Hapilon, a member of the Yakan indigenous tribe in Sulu, was able to penetrate Marawi City – a known bailiwick of the Maranaos – even when the two groups do not mix culturally.

“Yes, Isnilon particularly, we heard from our intelligence that he has received several million dollars worth of funds from the Middle East… Culturally or whatever, these tribes do not mix. And there is only one reason there is – that he has a lot of money to distribute and buy loyalties,” he said.

Authorities believed that the Maute fighters have reached about 500, although this has been reduced by about 100 from the 10 days of fighting. Lorenzana calculated the Maute group has about 260 members with them while Hapilon provided about 100. The rest came from the local groups that joined them.

“So we were able to kill already close to 100. We don’t know yet how many more are unaccounted for,” Lorenzana added.

Duterte said yesterday he has directed the military troops to “wipe out” all the enemies.

“When I say, wipe them out, better. If you shoot him in the head, shoot it again in the heart to be sure. Otherwise, they will capture you if they would suddenly escape,” Duterte said.

About 35 soldiers have been killed while over a hundred military personnel have been injured during the operations. Over 90 Maute members, including eight foreigners, were killed in the clashes. — With Cecille Suerte Felipe, Christina Mendez

Mariel De Leon: You’re not pro-life if you deprive women of better future

With the news that progestin-only pills are already disappearing from the shelves and combined oral contraceptive pills will soon follow, advocates for women's health and the Reproductive Health law are putting the pressure on the Supreme Court to lift the Temporary Restraining Order that is restricting the procurement and distribution of female contraceptives in the country.

Binibining Pilipinas International 2017 Mariel De Leon on Wednesday showed her support for the movement, turning to Twitter to urge the Supreme Court to make a favorable decision soon.

"TRO on contraceptives. Birth control pills are slowly going away. What will you do when they're all gone? Let's take our bodies back," the beauty queen posted.

She continued in two more tweets, "What about women with PCOS, acne, severe dysmenorrhea, irregular period, [et cetera]? What about our freedom of choice when it comes to family planning? What about women's health?"

De Leon tagged the official Twitter account of the Supreme Court (@SCPh_PIO) to alert them to the posts.

"You're not ‘pro life’ if you deprive women of something that's good for our health and our future," she declared in another tweet.

The Supreme Court issued the TRO in 2015, first only covering Implanon and similar implants. It was later expanded to cover pills, injectables, intrauterine devices, vaginal rings, and other brands

The petition was filed by Alliance for the Family Foundation, Philippines, Inc. (ALFI), in protest of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) the issuance of certificates of product registration to Implanon and Implanon NXT, contraceptive devices which they claim may induce abortions.

The court outlined in the TRO instructions for the FDA and the Department of Health to formulate rules and regulations for the screening, evaluation and approval of all contraceptive drugs and devices, as well as the purchase and distribution or dispensation of the products while "allowing the petitioners [ALFI] to be heard" in the process.  Aya Tantiangco/BM, GMA News

DFA: PHL ‘looking into’ possible Duterte-Trump meeting this year

Foreign Affairs Acting Secretary Enrique Manalo said they were looking into a possible meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and his US counterpart, Donald Trump, within the year. 
"Well, it's being looked into... Well, at least, if during the East Asia Summit, or maybe even before. It's being looked at,"  Manalo said when asked in an interview aired on News To Go on Wednesday if "groundwork" for such a meeting was already being prepared.
Manalo added that apart from Trump, they would also invite other world leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin to the East Asia Summit in November. The Philippines' is this year's host of the ASEAN summit, after which the EAS is usually held.
"Iimbitahin naming lahat ng mga leaders especially on the EA Summit. So we hope they will attend. That will be in November this year," the acting DFA chief said. 
The East Asia Summit, a regional leaders' forum for strategic dialogue and cooperation on key challenges facing the East Asian region, is set to be hosted by the Philippines in November.
The summit is held annually by leaders of 18 countries from the East Asia, Southeast Asian, and South Asian regions, as well as the US and Russia.

Bato: PNP gaining headway in solving DUI cases

By Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 27, 2016 - 12:00am
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PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa made the observation as he revealed arrests and the filing of charges against several individuals linked to killings of drug offenders. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine National Police (PNP) is gaining headway in its investigation into unexplained killings or what it calls death under inquiry (DUI) believed to be mostly drug-related.

PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa made the observation as he revealed arrests and the filing of charges against several individuals linked to killings of drug offenders.

“We are gaining some headway towards solving cases of DUI. There were about 4,000 (killings) and out of that only 100 plus were drug-related cases, meaning we have almost 3,000 that were not drug related,” Dela Rosa said.

“We have concluded investigation of around 800, which we resolved, nalaman kung sino ang (identified) suspects, filed charges of about 800 and arrested and jailed around 500 suspects… by and large or meaning, di tulugan ng kapulisan kasi (the police are not sleeping on the job because) 800 cases have been resolved out of the 3,000 DUI. Nagtatrabaho po kami (We’re doing our job),” Dela Rosa added.

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From July 1 to Dec. 26, PNP’s project Double Barrel Alpha resulted in the killing of 2,155 drug pushers and users – most of them while putting up a fight during police anti-illegal drug operations or what police term “nanlaban.”

The PNP said 2,928 others were killed from July 1 to Dec. 15 but their deaths remain under investigation.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

A total of 42,497 drug offenders have been arrested in 39,987 anti-drug operations in almost six months of the Duterte administration.

Anti-drug operations across the country have left 21 policemen dead and 60 others wounded.

“DUI are cases of murder still under investigation and not automatically connected with the war on drugs nor are these cases immediately attributed (to) EJK,” the PNP said.

Dela Rosa directed policemen to do their job properly as he reiterated that President Duterte and the PNP leadership do not tolerate extrajudicial killings.

In July, Dela Rosa said common crimes like murder, homicide, rape, robbery decreased as the PNP intensified the campaign against illegal drugs.

The PNP, however, has yet to release official crime statistics under the Duterte administration. In the past, the PNP undertook strategic monitoring of crime incidents under the Lambat Sibat.

OSG seeks dismissal of Leila petition vs Duterte

By Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 27, 2016 - 12:00am
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The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has pushed for the dismissal of the petition filed by Sen. Leila de Lima in the Supreme Court (SC) last month challenging the immunity from suit of President Duterte. PPD | AP, file
MANILA, Philippines - The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has pushed for the dismissal of the petition filed by Sen. Leila de Lima in the Supreme Court (SC) last month challenging the immunity from suit of President Duterte.

In a reply-memorandum filed last week, Solicitor General Jose Calida reiterated government’s plea for the outright dismissal of the petition for writ of habeas data against Duterte.

Calida, who filed the pleading as required by the high court and not as a counsel for the President, invoked the absolute immunity from suit enjoyed by the incumbent president during his tenure in office.

The OSG argued that presidential immunity is a “well-entrenched doctrine” and that Duterte cannot be held accountable during his six-year term for the charges alleged by De Lima.

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Calida rebutted the argument of De Lima in her motion for clarification that the issue on immunity touches on the merits of the case and that resolving it would be premature.

The senator earlier questioned why the SC decided not to require Duterte to comment on her petition and instead opted to settle first the issue on applicability of the President’s immunity from suit on the case.

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