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Philippine News

Del Rosario pushes for Manalo as permanent DFA chief

MANILA – Former Philippine foreign secretary Albert del Rosario on Tuesday, March 14, pushed for the "permanent appointment" of seasoned ambassador Enrique Manalo as the Philippines' top diplomat.
In a statement, Del Rosario said of acting Foreign Secretary Manalo, "Having worked with the acting secretary for 5 years, it is my belief that it would be in the best interest of our country if he would be considered for permanent appointment."
Manalo was earlier viewed as a "transition man" because President Rodrigo Duterte reportedly eyed his running mate, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, as secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) by May.
Duterte, however, said on Monday, March 13, that Cayetano should probably stay in the Senate where he is more needed.
In his statement, Del Rosario pointed out that Manalo "is a professional career diplomat with 38 years of training and experience in foreign affairs."
Del Rosario said that Manalo "commands the respect not only of his peers at DFA but also of his counterparts in the global diplomatic community."

Manalo, after all, was DFA undersecretary for policy during parts of the Arroyo, Aquino, and Duterte administrations. He was also once Philippine ambassador to the UK and Belgium, among other assignments.
Del Rosario also said on Tuesday: "Moreover, while we fully appreciate that our president is our chief architect of our foreign policy, a direct communication protocol between a career secretary of the DFA and the Palace, at all times, would be key and extremely helpful. This would enable our acting secretary to provide the best possible advice on the merits and ramifications of all considered options related to foreign policy."
Del Rosario had earlier criticized Manalo's predecessor, Perfecto Yasay Jr, whom the Commission on Appointments (CA) eventually rejected over citizenship issues.
Del Rosario, who served as DFA chief from February 2011 to March 2016, is best remembered for the historic case filed by the Philippines against China over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
Del Rosario's immediate successor, former foreign secretary Jose Rene Almendras, said he also believes Manalo "is a very good choice" as secretary of foreign affairs (SFA).
"He has the training, experience, and appropriate perspective to be a very good SFA," Almendras said. – Rappler.com

Advice to Duterte: Don't micromanage PNP

MANILA – Did President Rodrigo Duterte “micromanage” the police when he intervened in the re-appointment of a cop who later led an operation that resulted in the death of a suspected drug lord?
According to a joint senate committee report on the killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa, Sr., Duterte should “not be micromanaging the affairs of the government and should place his trust in the sound discretion of all his appointee, including [Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa]." The report was released on Monday, March 13, almost 4 months after Espinosa was killed inside his own jail cell.
Espinosa was killed on November 5, 2016, in what operatives from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Region 8 claim was an operation to serve a search warrant against the mayor and another inmate.
He allegedly had guns and illegal drugs inside prison. Cops claimed he shot at cops during the operation, which eventually resulted in his death.
But that version of the story has been disputed by PNP officials, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the Senate committees on public order and dangerous drugs and on justice and human rights.
Former CIDG 8 chief Superintendent Marvin Marcos, his men, and some personnel of the local Maritime Group allegedly planned the killing of Marcos, mainly to rid all traces of their supposed ties to the illegal drugs network in Eastern Visayas.
Espinosa was among the first chief executives that Duterte accused of having ties to illegal drugs. His son, Kerwin, is an alleged drug lord.

Duterte's hand
But Duterte’s ties to the case became more complicated after it was revealed that Dela Rosa had ordered Marcos relieved prior to the jail incident, based on reports he was linked to drugs. The PNP chief’s plans, however, were thwarted when a “higher up” intervened.
After a few days of refusing to name the “higher up,” Duterte admitted that he stopped the relief of Marcos, supposedly because he was investigating the cop’s ties to illegal drugs.
“The Chief [of the PNP] should be given full authority and control on how he will manage the day-to-day affairs of the organization subject to the limitations set by law. He should be given a free hand to decide on how to run the PNP and his decisions should be recognized and respected and should be countermanded or reversed only by the Chief Executive in case of a clear showing of grave abuse of discretion of the part of the Chief, PNP,” read the Senate report, which was submitted and sponsored by Senator Panfilo Lacson, a former chief of the police force.

Cardinal Tagle lauds ‘The Messiah’ musical

MANILA– “The Messiah”, a Jamaican reggae musical, opened in Manila on Friday, gaining an ecstatic response from the crowd including Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle.
The musical received a standing ovation after its first showing at the Star Theatre in Pasay City with the cardinal noting how the characters “have been treated with so much compassion, love, and mercy”.
“Every movement, every dance, every note was done executed with love specially for the poor whom Jesus love,” Tagle said.
Produced by the Missionaries of the Poor and was first shown in Jamaica in 2012, the musical looks into the life and work of Jesus.
For its Manila show, the musical features some of its original casts including MOP’s founder, Father Richard Ho Lung, and more than 70 local actors, singers and dancers.

Fr. Lung was the recipient of the 2016 Nelson Mandela Human Rights Achievement Sunshine Award in New York, USA, for his service to humanity, especially to the poor.
“No matter how often the story is told and no matter what form the story is presented to us, it never fails to touch us because it is about love, love eternal,” Tagle said.
“And it is never finished and it will continue and hopefully through us the Messiah will again become flesh in love, in concrete actions of love,” he added.
Over the years, the MOP have been assisting the poor and destitute across the world by staging theatre productions to raise funds.
In the Philippines, all proceeds are in aid of their works with the poor and homeless, and the completion of the Divine Mercy Apostolate Center in San Andres Bukid, Manila. – CBCP News

"Rainbow Traveler " by Fitz Herrera for Art in the Park

Art in the Park bird turned into sculptures for the fair’s 2017 edition
This year's Art in the Park will feature 57 galleries, art collectives, independent art spaces, and student groups—a big leap from 12 art galleries in its inaugural outing in 2006.
In addition to the white booths teeming with artworks, Art in the Park has partnered this year with Secret Fresh to create a resin sculpture of the fair's iconic logo. The resin birds will be customized by different artist, rendering each piece unique.
The limited edition sculptures will be sold at Art in the Park on April 2 at the Museum Foundation of the Philippines booth. Prints by Mark Justiniani ("Kumpas") will also be sold in the booth. The sales fund the projects and programs of the National Museum of the Philippines and its network.

As an affordable art fair, Art in the Park continues its mission to help art lovers start their collection by setting a price cap on the works (at P50,000 this year). However, through the years, the fair has also become an annual art appreciation destination for friends, couples, and family.
Bringing art closer to the public, the fair will also feature an installation by Carzen Esprela: "Bag in a Boat" has a headless figure sitting in a 14-feet long boat with arms for oars—a perfect conversation piece while enjoying the music of featured band Brat Pack.
Mark your calendars and enjoy a day of art on April 2 at Jaime Velasquez Park, Leviste corner Tordesillas Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City. The fair runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. — GMA News

Photo Caption: Customized acrylic and spray paint on resin, 9 x 12.5 inches by JJ Zamoranos and Nemo Aguila in collaboration with Secret Fresh Gallery. Photo from Art in the Park Facebook page.

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