29 Sept 2020
DUTERTE BLASTS FACEBOOK OVER REMOVAL OF PH MILITARY 'ADVOCACY' ACCOUNTS
MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday lashed out at Facebook for
taking down Philippine military "advocacy" accounts and pages from its
"From what I have learned in the past days, na pati ang advocacy ng gobyerno
tinatanggal (advocacies of government are being removed). So what's the
purpose of you (Facebook) being here?" Duterte said in a public briefing
aired late evening.
"We allow you to operate here, hoping that you can help us also. Now, if
government cannot espouse or advocate something which is good for the
people, then what's your purpose in my country?"
Facebook earlier said it removed pages, accounts, groups and Instagram
profiles of the two unnamed networks, some of which were linked to
Philippine police and military personnel, and another based in China which
were allegedly targeting the Philippines with manipulation campaigns on the
Fifty-seven Facebook accounts, 31 pages and 20 Instagram accounts, which
constituted one network operating in the Philippines, were taken down,
according to the social media firm's Head of Security Policy, Nathaniel
Duterte claimed that leftists are influencing Facebook.
"What would be the point of allowing you to continue (operations) if you
cannot help us?" he said.
"We are not advocating mass destruction, we are not advocating massacre,
it's a fight of ideas."
He sought an explanation from Facebook why he and his administration can't
use its platform "for the good of the people."
"If government can't use it for the good of the people, then we have to
talk. We have to talk sense. If you're promoting the cause of rebellion...
which was already here before you came, and so many thousands of my soldiers
and citizens dying... if you cannot reconcile the idea of what your purpose
is or was, then we have to talk," he said.
Duterte cautioned Facebook against "laying down policy for his government."
"You cannot bar or prevent me from espousing the objectives of government,"
he said adamantly.
The President seemingly threatened the social network, saying he doesn't
know if there's "life after Facebook."
AMLC INVESTIGATOR TESTIFIED DE LIMA NOT INVOLVED IN BILIBID DRUG TRADE, HER
MANILA Â— An investigator of the Anti-Money Laundering Council testified that
Sen. Leila de Lima was not involved in anomalous drug trading transactions,
her lawyer said.
Lawyer Boni Tacardon, De LimaÂ’s legal counsel, said in a statement last week
that AMLC Financial Investigator Artemio Baculi Jr. said in a hearing at the
Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 205 that De Lima was not among the
persons under probe over links to the drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison.
Â“We made him admit that in the financial investigation he conducted, he did
not investigate [De Lima and Jad Dera]. In fact, he was not able to show any
evidence that will show there is collusion between De Lima and the persons
he was investigating for drug trading involvement,Â” Tacardon said in
The hearing was held on September 25.
Tacardon, quoted in a statement from De LimaÂ’s office, also said that Baculi
testified that there was no case involving money laundering or of forfeiture
filed against De Lima, over conspiring with people involved in the Bilibid
Dera is De LimaÂ’s co-accused in one case. Inmate Peter Co said he delivered
P5 million twice to Dera. The money will supposedly fund the senatorial
campaign of De Lima who was then justice secretary.
But Tacardon said BaculiÂ’s testimony Â“demolishedÂ” CoÂ’s testimonies.
Â“Yung prosecution pinipilit nila na drug lord si Peter Co base sa
testimoniya ng AMLC. Eh kung matatandaan nyo, si Peter Co noong tumestigo ay
dineny niya na sya involved sa drugs noong nakakulong na sya,Â” he added.
Â“It is clear that the prosecution failed to show evidence that would link De
Lima to Peter Co,Â” Tacardon also said.
De Lima moves for bail
De Lima, in June, asked the Muntinlupa RTC Branch 205 to grant her
provisional liberty citing what she said was the prosecutionÂ’s weak evidence
against her and that she is not a flight risk. This was the case with Dera
as her co-accused.
In August, she moved for provisional liberty in the second drug case pending
before the same court, where she is facing a drug case with her former aide
The next hearing at Muntinlupa RTC Branch 205 is set on October 9.
LACSON TO DUTERTE: INSTEAD OF RESIGNING, APPLY CORRUPTION LAWS TO BOTH
FRIENDS AND FOES
MANILA Â— Sen. Ping Lacson on Tuesday renewed his call on the President
Rodrigo Duterte to exercise "strong political will" in the effort to weed
out corruption from the government.
This comes after Duterte in a televised address Monday night revealed that
he offered to resign over corruption allegations surrounding top government
"Instead of resigning, the president only needs to be consistent in applying
the anti-graft and corruption laws to both friends and foes," Lacson said in
response on Tuesday.
"Strong words and warnings may work, but only when backed by political will
and followed by concrete actions. There is no better way," he added.
Lacson offered the same response earlier this month when a proposal to give
Duterte emergency powers to clean up the embattled Philippine Health
Insurance Corp. was floated at the House of Representatives.
"Ewan ko kung sabihin ko ito sa inyo. I offered to resign as president.
Pinatawag ko Â‘yung lahat ngÂ… Sabi ko na I have Â— kasi nagsasawa na ako,"
Duterte said last night.
Referring to corrupt officials, he added: "You better come up with an
explanation that is really good to hear because kung mawalaan ako ng
pasensya, bastusin talaga kita (if i lose patience I will really disrespect
"Or Congress can call me and we will discuss...I do not have any qualms
about you setting up oversight committees. That is good. More people
watching the peopleÂ’s money, the better," he added.
Not 'a whiff' of corruption?
Despite this, inaction on corruption is not a new allegation lobbied at
Duterte. In fact, he has often been accused of overlooking corruption on
behalf of his friends and appointees.
As early as August, Lacson had already said he was dismayed by Duterte's
failure to uphold his promise that he would not tolerate even "a whiff of
"He previously said 'just a whiff of corruption,' just a faint smell, you're
fired. This is not just a whiff of corruption. It's very disappointing..."
Lacson said in a mix of English and Filipino during an interview with ANC,
referring to the unfurling allegations of fraud and mismanagement against
top officials at PhilHealth.
With the state-run insurer having been the subject of three separate
investigations, its Chairman of the Board and Health Secretary Francisco
Duque III has been the subject of much criticism. Over half the Senate
called for his resignation over the country's initial response to the
pandemic and these calls were renewed as the upper chamber investigated the
GOV'T DATA SHOW 'DRUG WAR' DEATHS INCREASED BY 76% IN AUGUST Â— INT'L RIGHTS
MANILA Â— An international rights watchdog on Tuesday logged another spike in
the extrajudicial killings linked to President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign
against illegal drugs.
The report, released by Human Rights Watch, was based on government data and
showed that "drug war" deaths rose to 76% in August compared to the four
months previous. A total of 46 deaths were reported by the government in
This marks another rise in reported deaths, with the months of April to July
already marking a 50% increase with an average of 39 deaths as compared to
the months of December 2019 to March 2020 when the average monthly death
rate was 26.
Drug war victims are 'sitting ducks' amid community quarantine
"'Drug war' operations are typically carried out in urban areas in major
cities, targeting impoverished communities that are facing the dual
increased risk from the anti-drug campaign and the pandemic. During the
lockdown, these communities have been hemmed in by police and local
governments, with residents largely confined to their homes," HRW said.
According to the group, the community quarantine has effectively made urban
poor communities "sitting ducks for anti-drug raids by the police and their
agents." It has been 196 days since the Philippines was first placed under
Newly-minted PNP chief General Camilo Cascolan has denied that these EJKs
ever occurred but has also said that police officers died during anti-drug
MECQ FOR LANAO DEL SUR; METRO MANILA, OTHER URBAN AREAS UNDER GCQ FOR
MANILA Â— The governmentÂ’s inter-agency task force recommended to keep Metro
Manila, which accounts for more than half of the countryÂ’s coronavirus
cases, under general community quarantine until the end of October.
Meanwhile, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging
Infectious Diseases recommended placing Lanao del Sur, including Marawi
City, under a stricter modified enhanced community quarantine.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque later told reporters that President
Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendations.
Aside from Metro Manila, Batangas, Tacloban City, Bacolod City, Iligan City
and Iloilo City will also be under GCQ, under the IATFÂ’s recommendation.
The rest of the country will be under modified GCQ, the most relaxed form of
The new quarantine classifications will be in effect beginning October 1,
The countryÂ’s confirmed coronavirus cases reached over 307,000. Of the
figure, 252,665 have recovered, while 5,381 have died.
VELASCO INVOKES WORD OF HONOR; DUTERTE STEPS INTO ROW
MANILA Â— Speaker-in-waiting Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco yesterday
took a dig at incumbent Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, challenging him to show
his word of honor that he will indeed step down next month based on their
term-sharing agreement brokered by President Duterte in July 2019.
Â“Let us uphold the agreement as this was made Â‘for God and our country
1521.Â’ I have always intended to honor the agreement. The covenant was
crystal clear: a 15-21 term-sharing agreement,Â” said Velasco.
Meanwhile, Duterte has called both Cayetano and Velasco to a meeting at
Malacañang today to sort things out in the House leadership row.
In a post in both his Facebook and Instagram accounts, Velasco, also
chairman of the House energy committee, recalled that CayetanoÂ’s term
expires on Sept. 30, after which the second term immediately begins.
Â“That was the pledge made before the President,Â” the supposed incoming House
leader reiterated. Â“Trust and honor are values that are important,
especially in these trying times. They reveal our true character and show
what we, as leaders, are truly made of,Â” Velasco said.
Â“It was an agreement brokered by and forged in the presence of no less than
President Duterte,Â” he said.
Velasco urged Cayetano to be gentleman enough to make true his promise, as
the agreement Â“was based on mutual trust and confidence.Â”
Â“It is in this period of difficulty that our people yearn for honorable
leaders whom they can trust Â– leaders who are able to live up to their
promises come hell or high water, leaders with palabra de honor (word of
honor) who lead not with lip service, but who back up their words with
action,Â” Velasco added.
GOV'T MULLS ADDITIONAL CHRISTMAS PERKS FOR HEALTH WORKERS
The government will study additional incentives for medical workers who will
take care of coronavirus patients this Christmas, the Department of Health
"Maybe for this specific season, because of our situation, maybe the
government can grant additional incentives," Health spokesperson and
Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told ANC.
"But that has to be discussed and we still need to study that further, if
the budget of the government is there. There are really no allocations for
that," she added.
Health workers get regular incentives for going on duty on a holiday, on top
of Christmas bonuses, noted Vergeire.
The Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2), a law that lets President
Rodrigo Duterte realign funds for the pandemic, also covers incentives for
medical professionals "directly caring" for coronavirus patients, she said.
FACE MASKS, GLOVES DUMPED ALONG EDSA
MANILA Â— Medical waste such as face masks and gloves were dumped along the
bicycle lane on EDSA, Quezon City yesterday.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) general manager Jojo Garcia
said they reported the incident to the Philippine National Police.
The hazardous waste scattered along EDSA near White Plains Avenue included
surgical face masks and gloves.
The MMDA will determine whether the trash was thrown in the area
intentionally or accidentally from a passing dump truck, Garcia said.
The agency could not check any video footage of the incident because there
is no closed-circuit television camera in the area, he added.
MMDA street sweepers cleaned the hazardous waste without wearing protective
equipment, according to radio reports.
AIRASIA OFFERS P8 SEAT SALE TO SUPPORT BORACAY REOPENING, SPUR ECONOMIC
MANILA - AirAsia Philippines said Tuesday it would offer base fares for as
low as P8 and other deals to support the reopening of Boracay, which is set
to begin accepting tourists Oct. 1.
Base fares for as low as P8, its SNAP flight and hotel deals offer 30
percent off on flights and an 8 percent off on Boracay activities are
available with the promo code BORA8 at AirAsia's website from Sept. 29 to
Oct. 4, the airline said in a statement.
"The overall implementation of this reopening will be the model for the
restoration of leisure travel to more domestic destinations. Right now, our
goal is to stimulate activity inside local economies by supporting
businesses and enterprises heavily affected by the pandemic," AirAsia
Philippines CEO Ricky Isla said.
AirAsia said it tapped local hotel operators to provide savings and
convenience to consumers.
The island paradise of Boracay will accept travelers from all over the
country beginning Oct. 1, the Department of Tourism earlier said. Tourism
was greatly affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns.
All tourists bound for Caticlan are required to present the following
-A medical certificate issued by any government physician
-A travel authority pass issued by the Philippine National Police (PNP)
-A Health Declaration Card which can be found at aklan.gov.ph
-A negative RT-PCR test results taken within 72 hours prior to their
-Booking confirmation details for hotel/resort to be presented upon check-in
AirAsia said enhanced health and safety measures remain in place for a
smooth travel experience.
BATANES CONFIRMS FIRST COVID-19 CASE
MANILA - The northernmost province of Batanes reported Tuesday its first
case of COVID-19 since the coronavirus pandemic started early this year.
A 29-year-old resident who returned to the province on Sep. 22 tested
positive for the coronavirus on Monday, the local government said in its
official Facebook page.
He has travel history in a quarantine facility at Santa Rosa, Laguna.
The patient is asymptomatic and currently under isolation at the quarantine
facility in Basco, Batanes.
"All identified (close) contacts and other LSIs (locally stranded
individuals under quarantine are being strictly monitored by the Provincial
COVID-19 Task Group," it said.
"We remind everyone to continuously observe minimum public health standards
such as wearing of face masks and face shields, observe physical distancing
and practice proper hygiene.Â”
The Philippines as of Monday recorded 307,288 cases of COVID-19, with
252,665 recoveries and 5,381 deaths.
ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLE
ELLEN ADARNA RESPONDS TO NETIZEN WHO CALLED HER OUT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
MANILA Â– Actress Ellen Adarna slammed a netizen who called her out after she
posted photos on her social media page where she can be seen visiting some
tourist spots in Cebu.
According to a screenshot posted by PEP, the netizen commented in AdarnaÂ’s
post and said: Â“Dalaga ghorl? Ka lagan ba.Â”
Obviously annoyed by the comment, Adarna responded to the netizen to defend
Â“Bakit ghorl na parang boy, or boy na parang Â‘ghorlÂ’ (di ko alam paano ka
i-address kasi nalilito ako kung babae ka ba or lalaki). First, this is my
life. And 2nd, dalaga or not, people need a break. 'Wag mo masyado ipahalata
ang pagka-ignorante mo ghorl na mukhang boy... hindi maganda,Â” she said in
Based on her recent posts, Adarna visited the Temple of Lea in Cebu, which
is owned by her family. She went to the temple along with her cousins to do
Adarna likewise went swimming at an undisclosed place in the city.
After going on hiatus from showbiz for nearly three years, Adarna has been
busy spending her time at her home in Cebu.
She previously said in an interview that she has no plans of returning to
the limelight anytime soon, as she embraces an important role behind the
"I don't want to say, like, forever, right? But definitely, not in the next
seven years," she said.
Her reason? "I want to be with my son in his formative years. I'm a very
Nonetheless, Adarna continues to entertain her followers through her social
PBA PLANS TO RELAX DRAFT REQUIREMENTS FOR NEXT SEASON
MANILA -- PBA commissioner Willie Marcial will recommend that the league
relax its draft requirements, after the cancellation of the D-League season
due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Incoming PBA rookies are generally required to play at least seven games in
one D-League conference, with Fil-foreign players required to play at least
seven games in two conferences.
Due to the global health crisis, however, the Aspirants' Cup was cancelled
earlier this year, and the PBA is uncertain as to when they can again hold
D-League games as amateur sports events remain barred under current
"Sasabihin ko sa mga governors, wala ng requirements ang D-League muna, kasi
hindi nakapag-D-League," Marcial said during an interview on "Power and
Play," when asked about the status of the upcoming PBA Draft.
"So 'pag hindi ka nakapag-D-League, pwede ka ng dumeretso sa draft, depende
sa edad mo," he added.
Incoming rookies must be 21 years old at the day of the draft.
The draft, traditionally the first activity of the new season, is
tentatively scheduled for December or January, according to Marcial.
NBA WILL RESUME ON 30th SEP
FOREX $1 = P 48.51
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him,
and to let him know that you trust him. - Booker T. Washington