Activist call on
the youth to emulate Martial Law heroes and martyrs
By Samahan ng Progresibong
September 18, 2016
QUEZON CITY – Donning
half masks of the faces of the leaders of the student protest movement
in the early seventies known as the of First Quarter Storm who are now
recognized as national heroes and martyrs, members of the Samahan ng
Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK) gathered three days before the
forty-fourth anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law by former
president Ferdinand Marcos to honor and express gratitude to the
heroes and martyrs who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the struggle for
democracy and civil liberties at the Batayog ng mga Bayani Memorial in
“By drawing inspiration from
the generation of martyrs that led the toppling of the dictatorship,
we are humbled by the stories of their lives, of their individual and
collective sacrifices to which we owe them our present freedoms, said
Joanne Lim spokesperson of the group.
She added that,
“Incidentally, after more than four decades since Marcos assumed
absolute power and discarded all civil liberties, we are once again
faced with a regime that is strikingly similar. Human rights
violations are on the rise but more worrisome is that people seem to
mistake it for progress”.
They also called on the
youth to take up the challenge of continuing where the heroes and
martyrs of the FQS generation left off.
“The challenge does not call
for us to simply defend whatever rights and freedoms we currently
enjoy but to broaden and take it further. We need more extensive
political rights and civil participation in order to struggle against
modern-day social conflicts such as state-sponsored violence,
contractualization, and the ever-increasing disparity between the
haves and have nots graft and corruption, and ecological justice,” Lim
SPARK likewise announced
that they will add their voices to the clamor to stamp out all forms
of contractualization as well as the abusive practices of on-the-job
trainings of college students.
“The youth must take a
deeper look at the situation of the labor sector in the country
because will all end up as employees and blue-collared workers once we
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President Rodrigo Duterte marked his first participation in the
13th ASEAN Business and Investment Summit on 6 September 2016 in
Vientiane, Lao PDR. Joining him were DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez,
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, the Philippine-ASEAN
Business Advisory Council (PH-ABAC) led by incoming chairman Mr.
Joey Concepcion, Ms. Tessie Sy-Coson and Mr. George T. Barcelon,
and the Filipino Entrepreneur Awardees at the 2016 ASEAN
Business Awards, led by Ms. Sherill Quintana of Oryspa.
Duterte: ASEAN must
support MSME development; Shares PH economic focus towards inclusive
September 8, 2016
Lao PDR – Philippine
President Rodrigo Duterte declared that the Philippines’ economic
thrust for inclusive growth will focus on innovating micro, small and
medium enterprises (MSME) development, e-commerce, youth and women
entrepreneurship, as he served as one of the speakers in the 13th
ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) held on 6 September in
The President believes that
in order to be a global player, ASEAN must ensure the effective
implementation of key economic agreements and the integration of
existing sub-regional cooperation frameworks in ASEAN such as the
Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth
Triangle (IMT-GT) and the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East
ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).
“Hailing from Mindanao, I
commit to promote BIMP-EAGA. We intend to open up our other major
islands like Mindanao and the Visayas with high quality backbone
infrastructure,” he said, adding that the Philippines will accelerate
infrastructure spending by improving national roads and bridges.
The President, joined by key
economic managers, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary
Ramon Lopez and Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez
III, called for ASEAN’s support for MSME development and expressed
hope to further expand the Roll-On Roll-Off (RO-RO) facility to Davao-General
Santos and Bitung in Indonesia.
“We will work and
collaborate with ASEAN in helping the MSMEs look for all ways to
connect them in the countries of ASEAN and the world. We will work in
advancing our policy and regulatory environment providing an
affordable and innovative digital platforms, and accessing best
practices and financial resources,” he said.
ASEAN must engage the world
in a “robust way” by maximizing Free Trade Areas (FTAs) with Australia
and New Zealand, China, India, Japan, and Korea, according to him. He
also announced that the Philippines will host the Regional
Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) senior officials’ meeting in
The President mentioned that
ASEAN needs “stronger resolve and action to combat transnational
crime” and noted that illicit and illegal drug trade undermines
“social cohesion, the rule of law and the socio-economic programs of a
Speaking before members of
the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC), which gathers leading
CEOs, heads of chambers and commerce and industry and business
organizations from ASEAN Member States (AMS), the President emphasized
that sensibly-crafted and well-implemented laws are imperative towards
bringing good governance and order, as well as providing an enabling
environment for the country’s progress and prosperity.
“We should act together in
concert to ensure that the economic gains we made so far will advance
at full speed, so that ASEAN can confidently play its rightful role as
a global player contributing to economic growth and prosperity,” he
The ABIS is ASEAN’s premier
annual business and investment event, which coincides with the 28th
ASEAN Summit. Per organizers, ABIS is where the ASEAN private sector
identifies, discusses and develops answers to pressing issues that
impact the region’s investment attractiveness and business potential.
ABIS 2016, carrying the
theme “Operationalizing ASEAN Economic Community – Turning Vision into
Reality,” aimed at charting new ideas, opportunities and insights to
propel the business sector towards regional development.
security in EV
By DPAO, 8ID PA
September 8, 2016
CAMP VICENTE LUKBAN,
Catbalogan City – In adherence to the declaration of President
Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s “State of National Emergency on Account of
Lawless Violence”, the 8th Infantry Division and the Police Regional
Office 8 is currently conducting joint AFP-PNP security patrols and
checkpoints all throughout the Eastern Visayas to secure the people,
vital facilities and infrastructures against the Abu Sayaff and other
Upon the President’s
declaration of “State of Lawlessness” on September 5, 2016, a
coordinating conference was initiated by this Command headed by Maj
Gen Jet B Velarmino AFP, Commander together with the PNP headed by
Police Chief Superintendent Elmer C Beltejar, Acting Regional
Director, PRO-8 and other Law Enforcement Agencies to come-up with
measures to ensure the safety and well-being of the people of Eastern
Visayas. With that, the body agreed on the need to enhance present
security measures especially in public places such as bus terminals,
airports, seaports, commercial centers and places of worship.
Maj Gen Velarmino also added
that the 8ID will deploy sufficient troops to augment the Philippine
National Police in their foot and mobile visibility patrols,
checkpoints and inspections. Likewise, troops and K9 bomb sniffing
dogs will be augmented to the Philippine Coast Guard and CAAP/ATO in
all seaports and airports in the AOR, respectively.
With the aforesaid, we would
like to appeal to the public for your utmost cooperation and
understanding as we, your Army in Region 8 together with the
Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies, will
continue to do our mandate of protecting and serving the people of
Amend bank secrecy
law to counter terrorism, corruption – Chiz
By Office of Senator Escudero
September 6, 2016
PASAY CITY – The
Senate is headed toward relaxing or repealing the country’s law on
bank secrecy as a step to counter terrorism and corruption, according
to Senator Chiz Escudero.
The Senate Committee on
Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, which Escudero chairs,
heard today several legislative proposals to amend the bank secrecy
law or Republic Act No. 1405.
There have been talks of
changing the bank secrecy law to allow authorities to probe highly
suspicious bank accounts, especially after $81-million hacking of the
Bangladesh account with the US Federal Reserve early this year that
ended up in a Philippine bank.
The Philippines and Lebanon
are the only remaining countries with stringent laws on bank secrecy
in the world, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Amando
RA 1405 prohibits disclosure
of bank deposits, either held by public officials or private
individuals, with any banking institution.
Section 2 of the law states
that all deposits of whatever nature in banks or banking institutions
in the country are “considered as absolutely confidential nature and
may not be examined, inquired or looked into by any person, government
official, bureau or office, except upon written permission of the
depositor, or in cases of impeachment, or upon order of a competent
court in cases of bribery or dereliction of duty of public officials,
or in cases where the money deposited or invested is the subject
matter of the litigation.”
Escudero, however, said that
since some Senate proposals may exclude government officials, they
will however compel public officials to submit a waiver in favor of
the Ombudsman on the secrecy of their bank deposits, along with their
sworn Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN). Such
move is enclosed in Escudero’s proposed Senate Bill No. 80.
“There are two ways of doing
it in so far as government officials are concerned: One way is to
remove government officials from the coverage of 1405, while the other
is to comply with the provisions of 1405 by requiring all public
officials and employees to submit a waiver together with their SALN in
favor of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), the Bureau of
Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Ombudsman to look into their deposits,”
This way, he said, would not
require changes to the law but would simply require public officials
to submit a waiver together with his or her SALN.
Since 2010, the veteran
lawmaker has been submitting, together with his SALN, a written waiver
on the secrecy of his bank deposits, which he files every year with
the Office of the Ombudsman.
In the case of private
individuals, removal of bank confidentiality will apply under certain
circumstances, the senator said.
“Halimbawa pag nag-apply ka
ng abatement or compromise sa tax mo na dapat bayaran, siguro nman
puwedeng tingnan magkano ba talaga ang pera mo, baka mamaya ang
in-offer mo ay maliit lang.”
An example of this is the
estate tax. “Sa estate tax, namatay yung depositor, ang problema pag
may namatay na ang depositor at naglipat na ng bahay, ni hindi
malalaman ng kaniyang asawa at mga anak na may deposito pala ang asawa
o tatay dun. Dito marapat pasok na buksan yun.”
Escudero said that once
amendments to the bank secrecy or the mandatory waiver for public
officials is passed, bank records automatically become accessible to
the AMLC, BIR, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the
“Now if they refuse to sign
a waiver, then they don’t have a business being in government. Para sa
akin, sino mang nasa gobyerno wala siyang karapatang sabihing sikreto
yun,” he said.
unites for Oplan Broadcastreeing 2016
September 5, 2016
TACLOBAN CITY – About
600 participants from radio and TV stations, national agencies,
schools, local officials, residents, civic and business groups joined
the 2016 Oplan Broadcastreeing in Barangay Tanghas, Tolosa, Leyte on
September 3, 2016.
Participants planted 1,000
talisay trees provided by the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources (DENR) which will serve as shoreline protection of this town
facing the Pacific Ocean.
Artemio Caneja of the Department of the Interior and Local Government
(DILG) which spearheaded the activity together with the Kapisanan ng
mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) Eastern Visayas Chapter, expressed
hope that the plants would thrive with the support of the local
government and residents.
This is the second straight
year that the tree planting was held in the same venue, based on
recommendation by DENR after noting some plants had died due to the
elements and being eaten by grazing animals.
Among the groups that joined
the tree planting were the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire
Protection, local government of Tolosa, KBP member-stations DYVL
Aksyon Radyo, i-FM, PRTV and DYDR Kaugop Radio, Bombo Radyo Tacloban;
Perpetual Help Credit Cooperative; Eastern Visayas State University in
Tacloban City; Visayas State University-Tolosa campus, Leyte Normal
University, Rizal Central School, Tacloban City Central School, Delta
Volunteer Fire Brigade, RADNET, Perpetual Help Credit Cooperative
Incorporated (PHCCI), Philippine Red Cross, and Philippine Information
Agency. Manila Bulletin and People’s Forum likewise joined the
The provincial government of
Leyte, City Government of Tacloban and LNU lent vehicles for the
transport of participants while LGU-Tolosa, Pepsi Cola, Quality Bread
Bakeshop and Coca Cola Philippines donated drinks and food for all.
Mayor Erwin Ocana of Tolosa,
Leyte welcomed participants, while messages of support came from DILG
OIC-Assistant Director Artemio Caneja and KBP-EV KBP-EV Chairperson
Arwe K. Lam, as read by KBP-EV Auditor Hermie Songalia. Forester
Wilfredo Lacambra of CENRO-Palo, Leyte oriented participants on the
proper planting of talisay trees, while DENR and RADNET volunteers
were paired to guide and monitor each delegation as they went about
the tree planting in their designated areas.
The event was likewise
graced by the presence of DENR Assistant Regional Director Carlito
Tuballa, DYVL Aksyon Radyo Manager Francisca “Babes” Custodio (past
KBP-EV Chairperson and current KBP-EV Action Officer); Mr. Ian
Goldfinch, a volunteer from the Australian government working with
DILG on project management; Blanca Cercado, chief of the Local
Government Capacity Development Division (LGCDD) of DILG-8; and Nilda
Go, KBP-EV Secretary.
Oplan Broadcastreeing is
being held in line with the Memorandum of Agreement signed by the
Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Kapisanan ng
mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) in 2011 in support of the National
Since then, Oplan
Broadcastreeing activities regionwide have been able to plant 27,300
seedlings from 2011 to 2015. KBP member stations in Samar among
others, conducted a similar tree planting under Oplan Broadcastreeing
in Catbalogan City on September 3, 2016.
Cayetano writes to US
President Obama: Give Duterte, Philippines a chance; Help us
experience Change we can believe in
Office of Senator Alan Cayetano
September 5, 2016
PASAY CITY – Ahead of the historic first meeting between President
Rodrigo Duterte and United States President Barack Obama, Senator Alan
Peter Cayetano wrote an open letter appealing to the head of the
world's biggest superpower to "give the Philippines and President
Duterte a chance" to achieve genuine change, even as his government
wages a three-pronged war to address poverty, defeat drugs and
criminality, and achieve just and inclusive peace amid criticisms.
In his open letter, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair also
appealed to President Obama to help the Philippines pursue an
independent foreign policy that balances the country's relations with
the US and China, even as he affirmed the country's firm commitment to
the US as a long-time ally.
"As a Citizen of the world and a believer in Change, allow me to write
you an open letter to attempt to articulate the audacity of the
Filipino people to hope for a better future and to aspire for a nation
that is secure, peaceful, law abiding and prosperous," wrote Cayetano.
"I write to you because more than any other person, you know how it
feels to have the weight of the world on your shoulders...to have the
burden of fixing the problems of your own country but having to
constantly live up to the expectations of the entire world," he
The senator said that like President Obama, who persevered to overcome
challenges and accomplish so much for the American people in the last
7 years, the Philippines now has a president who has shown willingness
to sacrifice his life and honor to see that change comes to all
"After decades of hopelessness and up to 10 million Filipinos leaving
our country to find work in foreign lands and after an entire
generation exposed to the perils of illegal drugs, we finally have a
President who is trying to get the country back on the right track,"
"Now it is our turn. Our turn to experience Change we can believe in,"
he said, echoing the central theme of the presidential campaign that
won Obama the US presidency.
He then asked: "Will you now allow us to lose hope and fail? Will the
West deny us the 'Change we can believe in?'"
Cayetano noted that President Duterte has been misjudged by some
sectors based on the way he speaks. This has been aggravated by a
misinformation campaign about the human rights situation in the
country, he added.
"Does he (Pres. Duterte) not deserve to be judged on his record and
his actions? On facts and not manipulated statistics? On where he
wants to bring the country rather than his sometimes politically
incorrect words?" he asked.
On the two countries' relations, Cayetano stressed that the
Philippines deserves a chance to assert its national identity and
pursue an independent foreign policy.
Explaining further, Cayetano defined this as "a foreign policy for
Filipinos by Filipinos" which shall be marked by "a balanced
friendship with our oldest ally and big brother the United States of
America on one hand and a friendship of mutual respect with our
neighbor China on the other."
Cayetano expressed confidence that as President Obama has tried at
every turn to avoid war and promote peace in various parts of the
world, a win-win situation can also be worked out for the USA,
Philippines and China.
The senator then cautioned against efforts by pessimists, critics, and
hardliners in the West, the United Nations, and within the country who
want the US and the Philippines to continue to bicker and disagree.
"Hardliners fear the Philippine government will make peace with the
communist rebels. Critics fear that Christians and Muslims can't build
communities and a nation together. Pessimists say that we can't be a
drug-free country," he explained.
"Will we let the pessimists and hardliners win Mr. President? Or will
we persevere and try to understand each other, so we can wake up one
day to a peaceful, prosperous and progressive Philippines?"
"Can't we give the Philippines and President Duterte a Chance?" he
concluded, even as expressed hope for a successful meeting between the
two heads of state.