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Naval gunboat vs Abu Sayyaf

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The suspect in the much talked about murder of 18-year old Erica Jean Rosal is free. The complaint filed by police was dismissed for insufficiency of evidence and lack of probable cause.

Documents attached to the complaint included a sworn statement of the tricycle driver stating that the victim boarded his tricycle with three men, one of who was identified as Yosores.

Police however failed to submit the results of a DNA test which have yet to be released in Manila.

Divisoria Police Station Commander Chief Inspector Arlan Delumpines said that the case can still be re-filed should they get hold of it. Rosal’s lifeless body was found at the nearby Lunzuran Superhighway 6, hogtied and believed to have been raped.

Yosores vehemently denied the accusation, saying that he was working during the time of the murder, his testimony was reportedly supported by his employer and other co-workers.

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The military will deploy for the first time naval gunboats armed with surface-to-surface missiles to enhance its all-out offensive against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG.) The act, Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana said shows the determination of President Duterte to crush once and for all the Abu Sayyaf.

The military’s Joint Task Force Sulu, headed by Army Col. Cirilito Sobejana, recipient of the highest AFP medal for bravery in combat, the Medal of Valor, ordered ground and air assaults on Abu Sayyaf lairs in the jungles of Sulu without letup.

Wednesday afternoon, at least five Abu Sayyaf bandits were killed while scores of others, including 11 soldiers, were wounded in following an encounter with government troops.

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President Rodrigo Duterte is visiting Moscow this May, in a move seen to further enhance relations between the Philippines and Russia. In his visit Russia, set on the 25th, Duterte will hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Duterte disclosed, the Russian leader had said, the Philippines “… (we) will have everything you need just come…” That, he added, made him embark on the planned trip. Duterte has publicly expressed admiration for the Russian leader.

When they met for the first time at the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Lima, Peru last November, Putin extended his invitation to Duterte for the visit to Moscow.

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The President’s selfie with Stonefish, the newest entry in the Duterte family, a grandson - whose full name is Marko Digong D. Carpio - hit major news websites courtesy of Presidential Assistant Christopher “Bong” Go.

Stonefish weighs 2.42 kilos (5.3 pounds),and was delivered via cesarean operation on 2 May.

Inday Sara is “stable” and “generally fine,” Sarah’s husband, Manases “Mans” Carpio said.

“Thank you, Lord, for the gift of life,” Carpio was quoted as saying.

Mayor Duterte’s hopefulness was apparent when she posted on Instagram a photograph of a Stonefish, hinting on nicknaming her third child after it.

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There they go again… moving to raise hell. Read on, this is what we wrote yesterday. WS sees the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) resumption of rearing its ugly head in Philippine affairs will only seek to rip apart the healing, if not already healed, relations among our country, the United States and many other nations.

The body has come up with a damaging report on the state of Philippine governance in relation to its handling of the drug menace. In the same breath, the group made equally stinging recommendations that would surely fire up our hot-head President.

Resbak del campo di Duterte (Reaction of the Duterte camp).

Malacañang Thursday slammed a “thoughtless and irresponsible” report by Human Rights Watch saying the first six months of President Rodrigo Duterte in office had been a “human rights calamity” for the Philippines.

Ese su campo pa lang (And that is not Duterte speaking yet. Only his camp) But get a preview to Duterte’s poise.

International human rights critics have failed to dishearten Pres. Duterte, who on Thursday said that more deaths would be expected in the renewed campaign against illegal drugs.

"I am committed to stop drugs. This means there will be more killings because (criminals) really fight back. It won't end tomorrow," the president said

Duterte reiterated his earlier pronouncements that 6,000 policemen and 40 percent of barangay (village) chieftains are involved in the illegal drugs trade and warned them that the government has set their sights on them.

"You will die. Either you kill me or I kill you," the president said.

Duterte has given his blessing to Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa to resume the police anti-drug operations on the condition that only policemen with proven integrity would participate in the campaign.

See? Duterte stands unfazed

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The Duterte administration war on drug Philippine National Police is in its final stages, and is set to resume very soon. A compilation of stories indicates, this is a course of action that is both unsurprising and deeply unsettling because the factors that forced the administration to announce a ceasefire have not yet been fully addressed, and because the killings, which did not in fact stop, will inevitably spike again.

The administration was compelled to stop President Duterte’s war not because of concerns about the growing number of people killed, most of them poor, but because of the kidnapping of a Korean businessman and his murder, on the same day, inside the PNP headquarters. The resulting outcry overwhelmed even the bravado of PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa, who eventually, after prodding even from Mr. Duterte’s political allies, offered his resignation. But Duterte rejected it.

The irresponsible and unsubstantiated claim by some administration officials, including the scandal-plagued Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, that a shadowy Korean mafia may have been behind the kidnapping and the killing only strengthened the South Korean government’s resolve to seek both explanation and accountability from the administration.

Characteristically, the President looked for someone to blame, and found it in the PNP.

“You policemen are the most corrupt. You are corrupt to the core. It’s in your system,” he said on Jan. 30, the same day he ordered a temporary stop to his centerpiece war. As much as 40 percent of the entire police force is corrupt, he added. If this is true, a question hangs on the balanced: Why entrust his war to an organization that is, in his own words, corrupt to the core?

Now, over a month later, the administration is sending signals that it is ready to return to the almost literal battlefield. “We are ready to go back to war if given orders by the President,” Dela Rosa told reporters. Duterte noted, when his war on drugs was on hold, there was “a gain, a rise of drug activities by 20 percent.”

To that, WS subscribes. And If 40 percent in the police ranks are indeed corrupt, there are still 60 percent left on who Digong and Bato could still rely.

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Here’s one other head rearing its ugly into Philippine affairs. The International Commission on Jurists (ICJ), in a statement posted on its website, said the charges brought against de lima were fabricated and her prosecution was politically motivated.

Zarifi added that if the Philippine government really wants to stop the drug menace, it should go after those who are really involved in the illegal drug trade and bring them to court.

“We do not see this, however. We only see active persecution of those who are critical of the President’s ‘war on drugs’,” Zarifi added.

Silly. But I thought he was being accused to be on a killing rampage of drug pushers?

Meanwhile, the Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP) reiterated that Duterte’s war on drugs is misguided and unwinnable and comes at an unbearable cost to the people and communities, and expressed hopes that De lima will soon be released and allowed to attend the sessions of the Human Rights Council and at the International Forum on Human Rights this month in Geneva, Switzerland. (By Jimmy Cabato)




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