World Newsletter

23 Sept 2020



MANILA - In his first appearance at the UN General Assembly, President

Rodrigo Duterte said all countries should get access to coronavirus vaccines

once these have been developed, deemed effective and distributed to the


In a pre-recorded video message to the UN convention that aired early

Wednesday (Manila time), Duterte emphasized "ensuring universal access" to

medicines and technology to combat COVID-19 "is pivotal in the global

pandemic recovery."

"The world is in the race to find a safe and effective vaccine. When the

world finds that vaccine, access to it must not be denied nor withheld. It

should be made available to all, rich and poor nations alike, as a matter of

policy," he said during the UN's 75th anniversary.

"The Philippines joins our partners in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast

Asian Nations) and the Non-Aligned Movement in raising our collective voice:

the COVID-19 vaccine must be considered a global public good."

Duterte earlier called out Western countries and companies for allegedly

profiting from the coronavirus pandemic.

Duterte urged UN members to pool resources to "empower" the World Health

Organization, which has been battered by the pandemic and criticisms from

some countries, like the United States.

"We need a WHO that is quick to coordinate and quicker to respond. The

Philippines will do its part in the pooling of global resources. Our health

workers are among the best," he said.

The President said the pandemic is the "biggest test" the world and the UN

is facing since World War 2.

"We are at a crossroads. How we address COVID-19 will define our future," he


Duterte said coordination of plans and courses of action between member

states is vital while each country fights the pandemic with its own strategy

since "COVID-19 knows no border."

He welcomed the launch of UN COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, which is

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' project designed to aid low and

middle-income countries to overcome the health and development crisis caused

by the pandemic and support those severely affected by the economic toll and

social disruption it caused.

Since the start of the pandemic, 31.3 million people have contracted

COVID-19, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University. Of those,

965,000 have died and 21.5 million have recovered.





MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said his administration will

continue to protect human right rights but at the same time called out

“interest groups” that use the issue to criticize him.

In his first address at the United Nations General Assembly since assuming

office in 2016, Duterte repeated his stance of defending Filipinos against

illegal drugs, crime and terrorism.

“The Philippines will continue to protect the human rights of its people,

especially from the scourge of illegal drugs, criminality, and terrorism,”

he said in a pre-recorded speech.

Other countries have expressed concerns over the impact of drug war-related

killings and media attacks under Duterte on the human rights situation in

the Philippines.

But Duterte claimed that both well-meaning and ill-intentioned groups

raising these concerns have “weaponized” human rights.

He said these groups have tried to do so to hit his administration.

“They attempt to discredit the functioning institutions and mechanisms of a

democratic country and a popularly elected government which in its last two

years, still enjoy the same widespread approval and support."

In a veiled reference to the countryÂ’s communist insurgency, Duterte cited

unnamed groups for moving against the government but being guilty of

violating human rights.

“These detractors pass themselves off as human rights advocates while

preying on the most vulnerable humans; even using children as soldiers or

human shields in encounters. Even schools are not spared from their

malevolence and anti-government propaganda,” he said.

“They hide their misdeeds under the blanket of human rights but the blood

oozes through.”

Duterte also defended the contentious Republic Act 11479 or the

Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, the law he signed early in July and in the

middle of a pandemic.

He stressed that “terrorism looms large,” and his government will do

everything to protect the people from terrorism.

“The Marawi siege, where foreign terrorist fighters took part, taught us

that an effective legal framework is crucial. Our 2020 Anti-Terrorism Act

shores up the legal framework by focusing on both terrorism and the usual

response to it,” he said in his pre-recorded speech.

The president also said that the enactment of the law was pursuant to

Security Council resolutions and the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.





MANILA - Former Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio on Wednesday commended

President Rodrigo Duterte for raising Philippines' arbitral win against

China before the United Nations General Assembly and hoped the

administration would implement the policy.

Duterte, in his first speech before the UN assembly, said the Philippines

"firmly rejects" any attempt to undermine the award that invalidated China's

sweeping claims over the West Philippine Sea.

Beijing has continued to ignore the ruling as Duterte sought closer ties

with the economic giant for his administration's infrastructure projects.

The President's statement welcoming the support of other member-states is

"heartening," Carpio said.

"I fervently hope that this is the policy that the Duterte administration

will implement across all levels – in the protection of our exclusive

economic zone in the West Philippines Sea, in the negotiations for the Code

of Conduct, and in gathering the support of the international community for

the enforcement of the arbitral award," he said.

Carpio, a long-time advocate of the Philippines' sovereignty in the disputed

waters, recently joined former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario

and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales in a landmark case seeking to

punish Chinese President Xi Jinping over his country's destructive

activities in the South China Sea.





MANILA — If President Duterte could have his way, he would like Speaker Alan

Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco to respect their

term-sharing agreement forged last year, to ensure a smooth transition of

leadership in the House of Representatives.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said the renewed in-fighting in the

House leadership was among the topics discussed during the PresidentÂ’s

meeting with the Cabinet and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management

of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) the other night in Davao City.

“The President is hoping that the Speaker and Rep. Velasco will abide by

their agreement. But if Velasco has no numbers, he cannot do anything,”

Roque said at a virtual press briefing yesterday from Malacañang.

Duterte has said he wonÂ’t be able to do anything if Velasco fails to muster

enough numbers to remove Cayetano from his post.

Deputy Speaker LRay Villafuerte said a “supermajority” in the House wants

Cayetano to remain as speaker until the next elections.





MANILA -- The first Speaker of the House of Representatives under the

administration of President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday that the

government's response to the coronavirus pandemic was "a failure."

"Alam natin lahat, ‘wag na tayong magbolahan dito, pataas nang pataas,

paakyat nang paakyat pa rin ang ating COVID-positive, instead na pababa,"

said former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

"Anong tawag natin dito? Alangan namang tawagin natin itong success. Para sa

akin, letÂ’s be honest, itÂ’s really a failure, iyong approach. The way it was

handled I think, is a failure," he told ANC.

Tracking COVID-19 cases in the Philippines

The government should have rolled out "localized" solutions instead of

one-size-fits-all policies, said the representative of Davao del Norte's

first district.

For example, instead of banning face-to-face classes nationwide, authorities

should have taken into account the lack of internet and television signal in

some provinces, and the inability of teachers and parents to use gadgets for

distance learning, said Alvarez.

Regulators should have also stopped the “unabated” importation of

agriculture products that compete with the harvest of local farmers.

Avarez said he did not relay his suggestions directly to Duterte because it

had been "very difficult" to get an appointment with the President since his

ouster as Speaker.

"I am not criticizing the PresidentÂ… Inilalabas ko lang ang saloobin ko as a

citizen of this country. Ito ang nakikita kong mali e, baka sakaling

pakinggan," said Alvarez. "Kailangan nating i-address ito dahil kapakanan ng

mga kababayan natin ito."






MANILA - Facebook on Wednesday said several social-media accounts belonging

to two networks -- one based in China, the other purportedly with "links" to

individuals associated with the Philippine military and police -- were found

to have violated its policies.

The social-networking company said it has thus removed pages, accounts,

groups and Instagram profiles of the two unnamed networks, which were

allegedly targeting the Philippines for "coordinated inauthentic behavior"

or manipulation campaigns on the platform.

Fifty-seven Facebook accounts, 31 pages and 20 Instagram accounts, which

constituted one network operating in the Philippines, were taken down,

Facebook's Head of Security Policy Nathaniel Gleicher told reporters in a

virtual briefing that he conducted from California.

"We are attributing this network to the Philippine military and Philippine

police. In particular, we found links behind this network that connected to

both these organizations and individuals associated with these

organizations," Gleicher said.

"Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their

identities, our investigation found links to Philippine military and

Philippine police," Facebook said in a statement.





MANILA — The Philippines commemorates the anniversary of the declaration of

martial law on September 21 — two days before it was actually announced,

something historians say is a result of ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos'

propaganda and his efforts to revise history.

"Throughout the Martial Law period, Marcos built up the cult of September

21, proclaiming it as National Thanksgiving Day by virtue of Proclamation

No. 1180 s. 1973 to memorialize the date as the foundation day of his New

Society," a special feature in the government's Official Gazette reads.

"The propaganda effort was so successful that up to the present, many

Filipinos—particularly those who did not live through the events of

September 23, 1972—labor under the misapprehension that martial law was

proclaimed on September 21, 1972," it adds.

But how did moving an anniversary by a mere two days serve Marcos' interest?


It muddled the timeline of the last two days of the Filipino people's

freedom: September 21 which saw Ninoy Aquino's last privilege speech, where

he made a final warning against martial law, and a protest 30,000-large at

Plaza Miranda, and September 22, which saw the rounding up of Marcos'

critics and the media in anticipation of the declaration.

"Personalities considered threats to Marcos had already been rounded up,

starting with the arrest of Senator Aquino at midnight on September 22, and

going into the early morning hours of September 23, when 100 of the 400

personalities targeted for arrest were already detained in Camp Crame by 4

a.m.," the Official Gazette reads.

"In the meantime, the military had shut down mass media, flights were

canceled, and incoming overseas calls were prohibited. Press Secretary

Francisco Tatad went on air at 3 p.m. of September 23 to read the text of

Proclamation No. 1081," it added.

Former Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile's ambush would be staged on

September 22 as well, which Marcos would use to justify his declaration of

martial law the following day. This was also meant to distract from the fact

that rumors of the looming martial law declaration were already swirling.

In truth, Marcos had been hinting at, and planning for, martial law as early

as 1969.

"When Marcos appeared on television at 7:15 p.m. on September 23, 1972 to

announce that he had placed the 'entire Philippines under Martial Law' by

virtue of Proclamation No. 1081, he framed his announcement in legalistic

terms that were untrue. This helped camouflage the true nature of his act to

this day: it was nothing less than a self-coup," the Official Gazette

feature reads.









MANILA - There is "no reason" for the European Union to revoke tariff

incentives awarded to the Philippines since there is an effective monitoring

in place to ensure compliance, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Wednesday.

The EU Parliament earlier called for a review of the perks extended to the

Philippines, citing alleged human rights abuses and a "deteriorating level

of press freedom" which could lead to a suspension of the perks.

"There is no reason for them to withdraw the GSP+ [Generalized Scheme of

Preferences Plus]. Right now we have a good system, the EU Commission is the

one that grants the GSP+ privilege, itÂ’s not the EU Parliament," Lopez told


The Philippines must comply with mandated labor rights, human rights, good

governance and environmental concerns to enjoy the perks.

Lopez said the Philippines has been "fairing well" in reviews and that

"we've been able to explain all issues raised every year.

The EU Parliament has passed a similar resolution for a 3rd or 4th time, he

said, which every year the Philippines was able to explain.

"So we should be addressing the same as well in this right process of

monitoring. They conduct monitoring visits and we do accept their visit and

answer all their questions," Lopez said.

Lopez said current Philippine exports to EU is about 7.3 billion euros, 2.7

billion of which are eligible for GSP+.





MANILA - Top tourist destination Boracay island will accept travelers from

all over the country beginning October 1, the Department of Tourism said


All tourists will be required to present a negative confirmatory test result

for the coronavirus taken 48 to 72 hours prior to their travel, DOT

secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

Airlines are advised to use the Godofredo P. Ramos Airport in Caticlan as

the sole airport of entry to Boracay, she added.

In June, the island opened to residents of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras,

Negros Occidental, Bacolod and Iloilo. It closed last March due to the

COVID-19 pandemic.

Some 199 hotels and resorts with a total of 4,416 rooms were allowed to

operate since June, Romulo-Puyat said.





MANILA — The Land Transportation Office (LTO) will soon require electric

scooter users to secure a permit and a driverÂ’s license from the agency as

part of regulations to protect e-scooter users, whom the government said are

prone to road accidents.

LTO chief Edgar Galvante said an administrative order that consolidates

guidelines for the measure was only awaiting approval of the Department of

Transportation, which was also drafting a memorandum circular that will

oversee the use of all electric-powered vehicles in the country.

“We have already submitted this administrative order and we are only waiting

for its release to give guidance to authorized individuals who make use of

these vehicles and for them to know what entails authorization to use

these,” Galvante said in a radio interview.









MANILA – Angelica Panganiban, Sam Milby and Robin Padilla are the lead stars

of the first animated Netflix film from the Philippines.

Set to premiere on October 29 in the streaming platform, the adult-animation

film, “Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story,” will be available across Asia in

Tagalog-English and English as “You Animal.”

Directed by Avid Liongoren and written by Manny Angeles and Paulle Olivenza,

Netflix describes the movie as “a refreshing look at societal expectations,

personal aspirations and the classic love triangle.”

“My team and I took over 3 years of serious hard work to create this light

and comical film. While our main goal is to elicit a few laughs, our

advocacy is to encourage local animation production. In the global animation

industry, the Philippines is a go-to nation for outsourcing animation

services. We are home to thousands of talented animators but sadly, we are

not known for ideating and producing our own work,” said Liongoren.

“There have been less than 10 animated feature films in the entire 100-year

history of Philippine cinema, and we want to continue adding to that, while

also hoping that little by little, someday Filipino animators can be known

as not just service providers, but creators as well,” he added.

Based on its official synopsis, the film follows Nimfa Dimaano (Panganiban),

a pretty cat who works as a perfume sales kitty at a department store.

Her boyfriend Roger (Padilla) is the macho mongrel janitor.

Nimfa meets Iñigo Villanueva (Milby), the bourgeoisie business dog and their

chemistry ignites.

It remains to be seen whether Nimfa and RogerÂ’s love for DVDs and cheap

street food will keep them together or IñigoÂ’s high society charms will tear

them apart.

Aside from the three stars, the movie will also features the voices of Empoy

Marquez, Piolo Pascual, Arci Muñoz, Eugene Domingo, Yeng Constantino, Moira

dela Torre and Joyce Bernal.

“Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story” was animated and produced by Rocketsheep

Studio and Spring Films, which is composed of Pascual, Bernal, Liongoren,

Angeles, Erickson Raymundo and E Del Mundo.

Netflix released on Monday the first look for "Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano

Story." Check out the pictures below.










    1    2    3    4    T

team logo 1 Lakers 2-1    27    26    22    31    106

team logo 3 Nuggets 1-2    29    34    30    21    114



    L. James LAL

30 PTS, 10 REB, 11 AST

    J. Murray DEN

28 PTS, 8 REB, 12 AST






FOREX $1 = P 48.46





He has achieved success who has worked well, laughed often, and loved much.

- Elbert Hubbard

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