The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas (DSWD-7) is sending 10,000 packs of food items for the Marawi siege victims.
Lea Quintana, the information officer of DSWD-7, said that they had sent the first batch of 6,600 packs last night.
“It is expected to arrive in Iligan City tomorrow (Friday) afternoon. Our DSWD counterpart in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will receive and do the distribution.” Quintana told Cebu Daily News in an interview.
The 10,000 food packs were based on the request of the DSWD-ARMM last Wednesday for the Marawi siege evacuees.
Each food pack consists of six kilos of rice, four cans of canned meat, four cans of sardines and six sachets of coffee. Each food pack costs P360.
Quintana said that the remaining 3,400 packs of the 10,000 food packs for the Marawi siege victims will be sent today (Friday).
She also said the repacking of more food packs would continue at the Visayas Disaster Response Center in Barangay Casuntingan, Mandaue City in case more food packs would be requested.
The Visayas Disaster Response Center can produce 50,000 food packs within 24 hours of operation.
She also advised those who would want to donate food items for the Marawi siege victims to coordinate with their local government units for proper coordination and communication.
The DSWD-7 has also readied 30,000 standby packs of nonfood items in case a request will arrive in their office.
Each non-food item pack consists of blanket, mosquito net, kit with toothbrush, soap, shampoo and underwear.
DSWD-7 is also ready to send social workers to help manage evacuation sites and help the Department of Health personnel in conducting stress debriefing to the evacuees.
BY MA. LISBET K. ESMAEL/The Manila Times
Facebook’s leaked documents revealing cases of revenge porn and “sextortion” could have also infested the Philippines as it has 40 million active users, an Information Technology (IT) specialist said on Thursday.
Revenge porn diplays “sexually explicit photos/videos” of the victims on the Internet without her/his permission, and sextortion uses sexual images to blackmail the victim in exchange for sex or money.
“The possibility that some accounts from the Philippines were involved with these acts is high, since Filipinos are very active in social media, and that our country is sadly known in the porn industry,” IT specialist Darrel Jed Costales said in an interview with The Manila Times.
In 2016 alone, the Philippine National Police-Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) conducted 40 police operations, arresting 150 people involved in extortion, cybersex operations and violations of anti-photo and video voyeurism law.
Facebook documents leaked to the London-based The Guardian exposed that the site had to assess 54, 000 potential cases of revenge porn and sextortion–and 33, 000 of those involved child abuses. This led the social networking site to dismiss 14, 000 accounts worldwide in January, The Guardian posted online.
The newspaper revealed moderators were told to allow videos of abortions “to remain on Facebook as long as they do not contain nudity,” while video records of violent deaths do not have “to be deleted because they can help create awareness of issues such as mental illness.”
It said ‘handmade’ art that shows nudity and sexual activity can remain in the site,” but digital art showing sexual activity, however, cannot.
The Guardian also exposed non-sexual physical abuse and bullying of children need not be deleted “unless there is a sadistic or celebratory element.”
Facebook earlier disclosed that it had only 4, 500 content moderators for its 1.94 billion users, the reason why moderators only have seconds to decide what to delete because the website has become ‘too big, too quickly,” its report said.
Because of this, Facebook promised to hire more than 3, 000 people to review content. But some organizations still see this as a disturbing fact.
As reported by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) News, British charity the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) expressed its frustration about how Facebook works, describing it “alarming to say the least.”
“It needs to do more than hire an extra 3, 000 moderators. Facebook, and other social media companies, need to be independently regulated and fined when they fail to keep children safe,” the organization said.
“Any suspicious sites that promote child pornography should be banned,” Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) International representative Geraldine Maleon Gutierrez also told The Manila Times.
She said Facebook should implement stricter plans and responsible actions for the controversy, adding that Facebook administrators “should be responsible enough in any posts that will endanger children from all forms and abuse, and have a mechanism that will help the authorities to track down and punish abusers.”
Gutierrez added that users have to be responsible and vigilant as well “in reporting any forms of abuse on child pornography, revenge forms and other acts that will perpetuate abuses on children.”
“Users of social media sites should not share revenge porn, instead they should alert the authorities and concern agencies to help the victims. Users should be aware also of the laws regarding child’s right such as Republic Act 7610 [An Act providing for stronger deterrence and special protection against child abuse, exploitation and discrimination, and for other purposes] for them to appropriately respond in a manner that will protect the victim’s identity,” Gutierrez explained.
The Guardian said Facebook refused to comment on the figures in the documents but insisted that it “constantly reviews and improves its policies.”
“We get things wrong, and we’re constantly working to make sure that happens less often. We put a lot of detailed thought into trying to find right answers, even when there aren’t any,” wrote Monica Bickert, head of global policy management at Facebook, in her column in response to the issue.
She said, “I hope that readers will understand that we take our role extremely seriously. For many of us on the team within Facebook, safety is a passion that predates our work at the company.”
By: Jerome Aning - Reporter / @JeromeAningINQPhilippine Daily Inquirer
Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo on Thursday said she and her Russian counterparts have signed a cooperation agreement that would pave the way for more Russian tourists visiting Philippine travel destinations.
The Joint Action Program of Tourism Cooperation (JAPTC), signed by Teo and officials of the Federal Agency of Tourism of Russia, was one of nine bilateral agreements sealed by the two countries during President Duterte’s shortened visit.
“The Russians are coming though they are very particular about safety and security in any prospective destination. The agreement signifies Moscow’s confidence in the Philippine government’s capability to resolve peace and order issues,” Teo said in a statement.
She noted that Russia was listed among the “high growth markets” posting 9,152 arrivals in January-February period this year, a 29.24-percent increase from last year.
With the rising number of Russian tourists, Teo said Russian government was exploring the possibilities of organizing a Russian language training program for Filipino tourism industry workers.
The JAPTC is also expected to expand tourist flow between the Philippines and Russia as both parties agree to assist each other in establishing contacts between Philippine and Russian national tourism organizations, Teo said.
The JAPTC states that both parties would exchange information related to ensure tourists’ safety in the territory of the country.
While in Moscow, the tourism secretary met with private tourism businessmen, including the Russian travel and tour agency Vand International, Svetlana Muromskaya, who had already visited the Philippines 11 times.
“Our clients have very good opinion of the Philippines. The people, especially, are very nice. Fifty percent of Russians who go to the Philippines become repeat clients. They come back after a year or two,” the Department of Tourism quoted Muromskaya as saying.
Muromskaya said that aside from education and training, the exchange of information and expertise among tourist organizations of both countries was crucial in spurring tourism activity.
By: Philip C. Tubeza - @inquirerdotnetInquirer Mindanao
Photo: CHECKPOINT Soldiers frisk aMuslim man at a checkpoint near Marawi City. Authorities have been verifying the identities of people in key cities in Mindanao after President Duterte proclaimed martial law on the island in thewake of clashes between government security forces and terrorists linked to the Islamic State group. —BULLITMARQUEZ/AP
CHECKPOINT Soldiers frisk a Muslim man at a checkpoint near Marawi City. Authorities have been verifying the identities of people in key cities in Mindanao after President Duterte proclaimed martial law on the island in thewake of clashes between government security forces and terrorists linked to the Islamic State group. —BULLIT MARQUEZ/AP
Some 160 people were arrested on Thursday morning in two communities in Davao City for failing to present “valid” identification cards, as checkpoints mushroomed in President Duterte’s hometown. They were later released after proper documentation.
In Cotabato City, the government has started implementing a “no ID, no entry” policy “to ensure that no intruders will be able to penetrate and disturb the residents (at the barangay level),” Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi said in a statement.
Rule of law
Amid the stepped-up security measures, the Department of National Defense and the Philippine National Police assured the public that authorities would respect basic human rights and follow the rule of law after President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao.
In a memorandum on Wednesday, Defense Undersecretary Eduardo del Rosario said martial law did not suspend the Constitution and the rule of law “should prevail” in Mindanao.
“The AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and all bureaus and agencies of this department are hereby enjoined that the rule of law and human rights should prevail in the place or part of the Philippines where martial law was declared,” Del Rosario said.
He said martial law did not supplement “the functioning of the Philippine judicial and legislative assemblies,” and that it also did not give military courts jurisdiction over civilians.
“Any arrest, search and seizure executed or implemented in the area or place where martial law is effective, including the filing of charges, should comply with the Revised Rules of Court and applicable jurisdiction,” Del Rosario said.
Do’s and don’ts
In a press conference in Camp Crame, Chief Insp. Jose Najera of the PNP Legal Service said rights enshrined in the 1987 Constitution would be strictly followed when policemen made arrests or searches.
Najera presented a draft list of “do’s and don’ts under martial law” to be sent to all police commanders across the country.
“The rights accorded citizens or the rights enshrined in the Constitution are still operative. There are no changes when making warrantless searches and (arrests),” he said.
Quoting the PNP list of do’s and don’ts, Najera said the police and the military could not make warrantless arrests outside the circumstances listed under the Rules of Court.
“All PNP personnel shall at all times respect the human rights and dignity of the suspect,” Najera said.
He said the PNP should continue to follow Republic Act No. 7438, or the law on the rights of persons arrested, detained or under custodial investigation, and the Antitorture Law of 2009.
3 days of detention
“No arrested person should be charged beyond the period of three days. After (three days), the detained person shall be released,” Najera said.
He said civilians could not be tried in military courts while civil courts and legislative assemblies continue to function.
Najera said martial law also “does not impair the right to bail.”
Nothing to fear
“There is nothing to fear for the issuance of martial law in Mindanao. The objective and goal is for the benefit of people in Mindanao, particularly Marawi,” said the PNP spokesperson, Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos.
“As you can see, our guidelines to our forces is not to abuse the rights of the citizenry,” he said.
Sen. Franklin Drilon said the Bill of Rights could not be set aside under martial law.
Even with the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, the rule on warrantless arrests still apply, Drilon said in a statement
In Cotabato City, every motorist is required to log in at checkpoints and to present valid IDs after reports that some inmates of Marawi City jail were rescued by the Maute group. Some of the inmates were Maute members who were from the city.
In Cagayan de Oro City, it was business as usual, although more policemen could be seen outside shopping malls and business establishments.
In Tagum City, Davao del Norte province, policemen manning checkpoints have become more strict in inspecting vehicles and pieces of baggage.
Entering Davao City has become more difficult, as policemen manning checkpoints closely examine passengers and vehicles.
Just another ordinary day. Locals pause for selfie shots at an armored personnel carrier manned by the Task Force Davao and positioned right outside the City Hall. Photo by Joselle R. Badilla
Just another ordinary day. Locals pause for selfie shots at an armored personnel carrier manned by the Task Force Davao and positioned right outside the City Hall. Photo by Joselle R. Badilla
Tank at Davao City Hall
A tank was stationed at City Hall, becoming an instant favorite background for people who took photos with soldiers.
Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said checkpoints were expected to mushroom in the city.
“Ensure that you have updated vehicle registration papers and drivers’ licenses. Ensure that you have valid and existing licenses for your personal guns. You cooperate with the AFP and the PNP in the conduct of checkpoints,” she said.
She also advised individuals to “always bring valid IDs.” —WITH REPORTS FROM ALLAN NAWAL, EDWIN O. FERNANDEZ, FRINSTON LIM AND JEANNETTE I. ANDRADE
The camp of Filipino death row inmate Mary Jane Veloso on Thursday expressed disappointment at the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) to prevent her from spilling the beans on her recruiters who allegedly tricked her into transporting illegal drugs in Indonesia.
"The bottom line is: how in heaven's name can we get to hear the side of a fellow compatriot who is behind bars and waiting in death row in a foreign land and who cannot come home for said purpose?" said National Union of People's Lawyers (NUPL) president Edre Olalia in a text message.
Veloso's testimony was supposed to be gathered on April 27 in Yogyakarta prison but the CA 11th Division came out last March with a temporary restraining order (TRO) whose validity was extended through a preliminary injunction issued on May 22.
The CA action stemmed from the petition filed by the Public Attorney's Office (PAO), counsel for Veloso's recruiter Maria Cristina Sergio and her live-in partner Julius Lacanilao, who said the deposition was against the constitutional right of the accused.
The PAO cited Section 14 paragraph 2 of the Bill of Rights, which gives, among others, an accused the right to a speedy, impartial, and public trial and meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence.
Olalia said Veloso's recruiters invoked "what may be deemed esoteric and archaic legal argumentation under the peculiarities of the case."
"The recruiters assert that they want to confront her in person yet they themselves oppose and put all roadblocks every step of the way to make this happen," he said.
Veloso's camp described her situation as unique "that calls for judicial equity, if not flexibility."
"Indeed, it warrants common sense or basic empathy," Olalia said.
Veloso was sentenced to die by firing squad in April 2015, but Indonesian authorities agreed to hold off the execution so she could testify in the case against her recruiters in the Philippines. —KG, GMA News
By Merlina Hernando-Malipot (MANILA BULLETIN)
Despite the tension in Marawi City, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday announced that the opening of schools in Mindanao will push through as scheduled on June 5.
The DepEd said in an official statement that the “opening of classes in public elementary and high schools, including those in Mindanao, will push through on June 5, as scheduled.”
Education Secretary Leonor Briones, during a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, offered assurance that there would be no changes in the schedule of school opening for public schools this coming school year (SY) 2017-2018.
Briones emphasized that “schools will not be used as evacuation centers.” In Marawi City, Briones said that “the Provincial Capitol and the Mindanao State University (MSU) will serve such purpose” for affected families.
Meanwhile, DepEd also reminded all sectors concerned “to ensure the neutrality of schools and temporary learning spaces as zones of peace.” Similarly, DepEd noted that “students, teachers, and personnel must be spared from any form of violence, intimidation, or threat.”
Tags: balik eskwela, classes, Department of Education, DepEd, Manila Bulletin, Marawi, No change in school opening date in Mindanao: DepEd, opening
Philippine Daily Inquirer
COTABATO CITY—Senior Insp. Freddie Manuel Solar was planning to go to Cotabato City to enroll at the Notre Dame University College of Law. But now, his dream of becoming a lawyer will no longer happen.
Solar, 32, a graduate of Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Class 2007 and the intelligence unit chief of the Marawi City police, was shot dead by one of the armed men who attacked the city on Tuesday afternoon. According to reports, the armed men belong to the Maute terror group and the Abu Sayyaf, whose forces pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
Solar was on board a police car when gunmen took him hostage in front of Amai Pakpak Medical Center. His captors later shot him dead.
Solar was one of five law enforcers killed in clashes between government troops and members of the terror groups on Tuesday.
“We lost a dedicated police officer and a good father,” said SPO2 Patricia Bueno of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Solar’s wife, Manilyn, said her husband was in civilian clothes when taken by the armed men. She said they shot and killed Solar when they learned that he was a police officer.
“He died defending the people that he had come to protect. We lost a humble, kindhearted, determined brother who we dearly love, all for the sake of the country,” wrote his sister, Susan Solar-Urbano on her Facebook account.
Solar was born in Baguio City and left two young children, a boy and a girl.
“For numerous times, we pleaded for him to come back to Baguio. We asked him to apply for reassignment to any other place in the Philippines except Mindanao,” Urbano said. But Solar did not heed his family’s request.
“He said the people there (Marawi) respected him and this was enough for him to stay. He had come to love the people of Marawi,” Urbano said.
Solar was assigned to Marawi City after he graduated from the PNPA in 2007. He was a member of the special Science class of Baguio City National High School.
Urbano said her brother, who dreamed of becoming a guest speaker someday at the PNPA, died “defending the people that he had come to cherish.”
“This is really heartbreaking for all of us. He dedicated his life for our country,” she said.
Bueno, Solar’s aunt, said the policeman’s remains were still in a hospital on Wednesday while his wife was in a safe place within Marawi.
Bueno said her nephew wanted to become a lawyer because he wanted to help his colleagues who got into trouble while performing their sworn duties as law enforcers.
Before joining the PNPA, Urbano said, Solar had repeatedly said he would be successful someday and become an inspiration to graduates.
She recalled that growing up, life was hard for Solar and his family in Baguio City.
“Our father could hardly make ends meet. Oftentimes, we went to our neighbors and asked for sayote tops or camote tops just to have something to eat. We begged at the store to lend us rice just so we could cook something,” Urbano recalled.
“Life was really hard but this did not stop my brother from pursuing his calling and achieving his dreams. He experienced hardship and this became his bread and butter to [reach] his goals in life,” she said. —EDWIN O. FERNANDEZ WITH A REPORT FROM KARLSTON LAPNITEN
By: Christine O. Avendaño-Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Commission on Appointments on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of 29 general/flag and senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, including a newly promoted brigadier general who was grilled for his involvement in the “Hello Garci” wiretapping scandal in 2004.
It was Sen. Panfilo Lacson who sought for newly promoted Brig. Gen. Pedro Sumayo Jr. to disclose what really happened in the wiretapping incident of a purported conversation between former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former Commission on Elections (Comelec) official Virgilio Garcillano where the pair talked about rigging of the 2004 elections.
President Arroyo later won the presidency and she apologized for the scandal that almost brought down her administration.
At the hearing called by the commission’s committee on national defense, Lacson told Sumayo the controversy “remains unresolved and needed closure.”
Sumayo was implicated in the controversy as he was the group commander of MIG-21, the unit that was responsible for the recording of the phone of Garcillano.
On questioning of Lacson, Sumayo admitted that his unit intercepted phone communications of “enemies of the State,” including the Abu Sayyaf Group, the Jemaayah Islamiyah and the New People’s Army.
He said he was not aware until informed by his officers that the unit had intercepted calls of Garcillano.
“I was not aware of who ordered the wiretapping of the phone of Garcillano,” Sumayo said.
Sumayo said his immediate superior ordered him to destroy the recordings. He said Garcillano’s number was removed from the list of his “targets” at that time.
But he sought to assure the committee that it would never happen again.
The other confirmed officers were Carlito Galvez Jr. (to the rank of lieutenant general); Adelius Bordado (commodore); Danilo Rodelas, Robert Emperad and Allan Ferdinand Cusi (rear admiral); Arnel De la Vega, Emmanuel Salamat and Ronnie Evangelista (major general); Milfredo Melegrito, Cirlito Sobrejana, Jess Estoesta, Perfecto Rimando Jr., Francisco Mendoza Jr., Arnulfo Matanguihan, Melquiades Ordiales, Manolo Samarita, Glorivine Dida, Ramiro Manuel Rey, Nixon Dortes, Raniel Ramiro, Felipe Bejar, Felicisimo Budiongan, Henrico Rennaldo Macalalad, Jose Faustino Jr., Lope Dagoy, Erickson Gloria, Ernesto Lopena, and Pelagio Valenzuela (brigadier general).