Items filtered by date: Thursday, 22 June 2017

Absent Duterte not playing video games–Palace

By: Philip C. Tubeza - @inquirerdotnetPhilippine Daily Inquirer


Yes, the President has gone AWOL for days—but so had his predecessor.

A Palace official on Thursday took a dig at former President Benigno Aquino III as he defended President Duterte’s absences from the public eye.

“It’s just different workloads. Some people, you know, they play PlayStation, whatever, but you have—some people are more… Some people are just busier,” presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella told reporters in a press briefing, adding that Mr. Duterte’s time for rest had “not ended.”

Critics of Aquino during his term as President claimed that he spent too much time playing video games on Sony’s PlayStation—a claim Mr. Aquino had denied, saying it was not even his favorite pastime.

Asked to comment on Abella’s statement, Abigail Valte, spokesperson of Aquino, said there was no need to issue a counterstatement “because we do not feel alluded to.”

Mr. Duterte’s conspicuous absence from Monday to Thursday last week has sparked public concern, but was brushed off by Malacañang, saying the President simply got “tired” and needed some “private time” to rest.

After visiting wounded soldiers in Cagayan de Oro and evacuees in Iligan on Tuesday, Mr. Duterte had no scheduled public event on Wednesday and Thursday.

“That’s his style… Each of us has his own work mode,” Abella said.

“First of all, his rest [period] is not yet over. But on the other hand, we’ve seen that he works continuously,” he said.

Some senators have urged Malacañang to be more forthcoming about the President’s health, especially with the crisis in Marawi, but Mr. Duterte said opposition senators were only interested to hear about his death.

The Duterte administration marks its first year in office on June 30 but Abella said there are no planned celebrations.

“You know, it actually feels like three years already, right? Considering the amount of work to be done, considering the challenges and all the matters that have been addressed,” Abella said.

He said he hoped Filipinos were more united.

“I certainly hope—I mean this is just my opinion but since you asked—I wish that people would be more united in appreciating and not act as if they were not Filipinos,” he said.—WITH A REPORT FROM NIKKO DIZON



Indonesia, Malaysia link arms with PH to dismantle terror hubs

By: Nestor Corrales - Reporter / / 02:01 PM June 23, 2017

Photo: Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, center, flanked by Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, left, and Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Haji Aman, reads the joint statement following their Trilateral Security Meeting to fight terrorism and extremism. The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia plan to closely cooperate to halt the flow of militants, weapons, funds and extremist propaganda across their borders as they expressed alarm over recent attacks in their region. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

The Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia have agreed to step up cooperation to strengthen the fight against extremism and prevent terrorists from establishing operational hubs in the region.

“We are making a collective effort against terrorism and extremism. Yesterday, foreign military, intelligence officials from the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia had a fruitful and productive discussion on a trilateral cooperation aimed at preventing extremists and terrorists from establishing operational bases in Southeast Asia,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said during the Mindanao Hour briefing in Davao City on Friday.

Abella said “the three countries have agreed to work together to jointly develop and implement counterterrorism measures and strategies.”


“Let us underline that their joint aim, the end game, is to prevent the establishment of operational bases in Southeast Asia,” he said.

On Thursday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano discussed with his Malaysian and Indonesian counterparts measures to address terrorism issues in Southeast Asia.

The trilateral meeting with top security officials came a day after President Rodrigo Duterte discussed with Indonesian President Joko Widodo over the phone their commitment to fight terrorism amid the rising threat of the Islamic militants in the region.

Abella said the conversation between the two leaders were “fruitful and productive.”

“They both reaffirmed the need to step up operation to address threats posed by terrorism and violent extremism,” he said. JPV



JBC includes Marawi-born magistrate in shortlist for SC vacancy

By: Tetch Torres-Tupas - Reporter / 
Supreme court building

Photo: The Supreme Court. FILE PHOTO

A Court of Appeals (CA) associate justice who hails from Marawi City, the area currently under siege by the Maute group, is one of the shortlisted candidates for associate justice of the Supreme Court (SC).

Associate Justice Japar Dimaampao, who was born on Dec. 27, 1963 in Marawi City, is among the seven candidates for the position of SC associate justice, which will be vacated by Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes who will retire at the mandatory age of 70 on July 6, 2017.

Dimaampao got five votes from the seven-member Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) that is tasked to screen aspirants for the judiciary and the Office of the Ombudsman.

From a senior prosecutor at the Department of Justice (DOJ), Dimaampao became a regional trial court judge in Mandaluyong City. Then, in April 2004, he was appointed Court of Appeals associate justice, the youngest to be appointed at age 40.

He is also an educator teaching taxation, commercial law and civil law in various schools and a noted lecturer in taxation and commercial law in Bar review classes all over the country.

Aside from Dimaampao, other names in the shortlist are CA Presiding Justice Andres Reyes Jr., CA Associate Justices Rosmari D. Carandang and Jose C. Reyes Jr., Justices Apolinario D. Bruselas Jr. and Amy S. Lazaro-Javier as well as law professor Rita Linda Ventura-Jimeno. JPV/rga



6 CA justices, law school vice dean nominated to SC

By Rey Panaligan

Six Court of Appeals (CA) justices and the vice dean of a law school were nominated by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) on Friday to the lone vacancy next month in the 15-member Supreme Court (SC).

Photo: MB FILE—Oral arguments for the en banc session on RH LAW inside the Supreme Court attended by justices August 16, 2013. Photo by: Linus Guardian Escandor II
Supreme Court
(Linus Guardian Escandor II / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Nominated were CA Presiding Justice Andres Reyes Jr. with seven votes; Associate Justices Rosmari Carandang and Jose Reyes Jr. with six votes each; Associate Justices Apolinario Bruselas Jr. and Japar Dimaampao and Centro Escolar University vice dean of law school Rita Linda Ventura-Jimeno with five votes each; and Associate Justice Amy Lazaro-Javier with four votes.

The list of nominees was submitted to President Duterte who is expected, under the Constitution, to appoint within 90 days the replacement for SC Justice Bienvenido L. Reyes who is set to retire on July 6.

The President already has two appointees in the SC. They are Associate Justices Samuel Martires and Noel Tijam.

The JBC, with seven members, is mandated by the Constitution to accept, screen, and nominate appointments in the judiciary and high officials in the Office of the Ombudsman.

It is chaired by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno. Retired SC Justice Angelina Sandoval Gutierrez is the head of the executive committee.


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