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Duterte’s birthday wishes: More strength, time with family
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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

MANILA, March 23 (PNA) – President Rodrigo Duterte’s birthday wishes are simple – more strength to complete his work and a quiet time with his family.

“So my wish really, my prayer to God is that bigyan niya ako ng konting lakas na lang to do our — work, time because it is needed,” he said during a press briefing held at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport upon arriving from his official visits to Myanmar and Thailand.

The President, who will be turning 72 on March 28, said that 24 hours is not really enough for the presidency, unless one wants to sleep more than just about four hours.

“I only ask God that give me a little bit of time, a little strength to surmount the problems of the country and that I’d be able, not really to solve but maybe mitigate some of the rigors of governance,” Duterte said.

He also said that the only gift he would like on his birthday is time with his loved ones.

“I would be very glad to spend my time with my newest grandson Stone and the rest of my children and grandchildren. That would have been the greatest gift that I can ask in this planet. Iyon sa akin tama na,” he said.

Duterte said that he could no longer ask for more since God has already given him everything.

“Naibigay na ng Diyos ang lahat ang dapat ko. I have reached the highest — the apex of anybody’s dream,” he said.

He said that he would also offer a prayer for the Philippines.

“Nakuha ko na lahat. No more gifts to — except maybe a prayer to God for my country,” Duterte said.

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PHL Navy: BRP Gregorio Velasquez capable of surveying Benham Rise 
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Elite Navy unit during the Miss Universe Pagent activities when the Philippine Navy deployed its elite unit – Naval Special Operations Group – to provide security to Miss Universe candidates on board M/V Happy Life which brougth them to Batangas for a pictorial on Thursday (Jan. 19, 2017). (PNA photo by Joey O. Razon)

Elite Navy unit during the Miss Universe Pagent activities when the Philippine Navy deployed its elite unit – Naval Special Operations Group – to provide security to Miss Universe candidates on board M/V Happy Life which brougth them to Batangas for a pictorial on Thursday (Jan. 19, 2017). (PNA photo by Joey O. Razon)

MANILA, March 21 (PNA) – The Philippine Navy (PN) is ready to deploy its sole survey and hydrographic ship, the BRP Gregorio Velasquez (AGR-702), if ordered to survey Benham Rise.

The statement was made by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, Col. Edgard Arevalo, when asked what assets could the military field should President Rodrigo Duterte and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana formalize the order calling for the mapping of the 13-million-hectare Benham Rise, which the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) confirmed as part of the Philippines’ continental shelf in 2012.

“In most probability, the BRP Gregorio Velasquez will be the one to be deployed,” Arevalo said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Tuesday.

Arevalo said the ship is the Navy’s sole asset capable of conducting oceanagraphic and hydrographic survey.

The BRP Gregorio Velasquez (formerly the R/V Melville) was one of two former American ships pledged by then president Barack Obama during his visit to the Philippines during the APEC Leaders Summit in November 2015.

The other ship was the USCGC Boutwell, which has been renamed to BRP Andres Bonifacio (FF-17), the third Hamilton-class cutter in the Navy’s service.

BRP Gregorio Velasquez was commissioned into PN service in June 2016.

The R/V Melville was used in the 1976 movie “King Kong”, starring Jessica Lange, specifically because of its hypoid propulsion drive at that time, which allowed it to move sideways. This type of drive is used on research vessels for station keeping in the ocean over drill and coring sites.

According to policy, auxiliary research vessels are to be named after national scientists, hence her namesake, Dr. Gregorio Velasquez, a pioneer in Philippine phycology.

Velasquez pioneered the intensive study and collection of the Philippine blue-green algal species. He was named National Scientist in 1982. He was also conferred a Distinguished Science Medal and Diploma of Honor by the Republic of the Philippines (1956), the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (1956-1957), and the Republic of the Philippines Cultural Heritage award in 1972. He was in the World’s Who’s Who in Sciences in 1970.

Arevalo meanwhile clarified that the Chief Executive and Lorenzana have yet to give specific orders for the military to patrol Benham Rise, as well as parts of the West Philippine Sea.

“Up to now there is still no instruction from President Duterte and Secretary Lorenzana for us to patrol the Benham Rise and the West Philippine Sea. But we are always ready to defend our territory and sovereignty,” he added.

 

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MMDA intensifies road clearing ops
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Photo shows the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) cruising along Pasig River with routes from Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City to Intramuros in the City of Manila and vice-versa. (MNS photo)

Photo shows the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) cruising along Pasig River with routes from Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City to Intramuros in the City of Manila and vice-versa. (MNS photo)

MANILA, March 22 (PNA) –The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has towed more than 3,000 vehicles since January this year, as it intensified its campaign on clearing of road obstructions and illegally parked vehicles in Metro Manila.

The agency has towed a total of 3,128 illegally parked vehicles in roads across the metropolis or an average of 53 vehicles daily, according to its Traffic Discipline Office.

Meanwhile, 3,128 vehicles were apprehended and towed for the first two months of the year.

MMDA General Manager Thomas Orbos said many motorists have no proper garage or adequate parking space for their vehicles as manifested by the large number of towed units.

He said road obstructions are one of the reasons of traffic congestion in the metropolis.

Data from the MMDA showed that a total of 14,222 vehicles were towed last year, significantly increasing from 1,881 impounded illegally parked vehicles in 2012.

The MMDA Anti-Illegal Parking and Sidewalk Clearing Operations have been relentless in clearing illegally parked vehicles obstructing the streets in Metro Manila particularly the Mabuhay Lanes which serve as alternate routes to EDSA.

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Myanmar urged to support PHL-led initiatives for ASEAN
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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Myanmar President U Htin Kiaw witness the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol and Myanmar Minister of Agricultural, Livestock and Irrigation Dr. Aung Thu during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on March 20, 2017. The MOU is intended to strengthen both countries’ food security and agriculture cooperation. (Photo by Toto Lozano)(PPD Malacanang)

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Myanmar President U Htin Kiaw witness the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol and Myanmar Minister of Agricultural, Livestock and Irrigation Dr. Aung Thu during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on March 20, 2017. The MOU is intended to strengthen both countries’ food security and agriculture cooperation. (Photo by Toto Lozano)(PPD Malacanang)

MANILA, March 22 (PNA) – The Philippines has asked Myanmar to support its agenda for ASEAN, as the country chairs the summit this year,Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told reporters Wednesday.

Lopez has joined President Rodrigo Duterte in his visit to Myanmar early this week.

“Of course, as chair of ASEAN, the Philippines consistently sought Myanmar’s support for the region’s deliverables this year, touching on increasing trade and investment, integrating MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprises) into the global value chain, and promoting an innovation-driven economy,” he said.

During the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) Retreat and Related Meetings held in Manila, the Philippines has pushed for initiatives such as self-certification scheme for MSMEs; action agenda on investment, inclusive business, and women and youth entrepreneurship; endorsement of ASEAN Declaration on Innovation; ASEAN Roll-on Roll-off Network; endorsement of the ASEAN Trade in Services Agreement; and conclusion of the text of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Myanmar’s Planning and Finance Deputy Minister Maung Maung Win attended the AEM meeting early this month.

In a bilateral level, the two ASEAN member states have agreed to strengthen ties in agriculture sector, Lopez said.

Governments of the Philippines and Myanmar are eyeing to boost cooperation in agricultural technology including capacity building measures, education cooperation and exchange of best practices through agricultural specialists and experts.

The two countries are also interested to jointly explore measures to advance efficient production of hybrid rice as well as pineapple fiber clothing.

Data from the ASEANstats showed that Philippine exports to Myanmar between 2014 and 2015 rose 66 percent from USD20.5 million to USD34.1 million.

Myanmar’s exports to the Philippines in the same period increased by 33 percent from USD9.0 million to USD12 million.

As member states of ASEAN, the Philippines and Myanmar benefit from the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA), which aims for free flow of goods in the region by reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers.

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte’s official trip to Myanmar and Thailand this week completed his visit to all ASEAN member states.

President Duterte went to Laos in September 2016 to accept the ASEAN chairmanship.

In the same month, the Chief Executive visited Vietnam.

These trips were followed by visits to Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia in October last year, Malaysia in November, and Singapore and Cambodia in December.

 

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Saksihan sa Pechanga ang Pagtatanghal ng DIVAS live sa Pebrero 18
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Divas Concert

Divas Concert

Itinatampok ang apat na sikat sa larangan ng musika— Kyla, Angela, KZ, at Yeng na tinaguriang DIVAS Live in Manila— sa isang kakaibang pagtatanghal na masasaksihan live sa Pechanga Resort & Casino sa Pebrero 18 alas-7:30 ng gabi.

Ang Pechanga Resort & Casino sa Temecula, California ay kilala sa pagtangkilik ng magagaling at mahuhusay na mga Pilipinong artista at mang-aawit kagaya ng international singer na sina Martin Nievera, Gary Valenciano, Mega Star na si Sharon Cuneta, Lani Misalucha, ang singer/aktres at Tony Award winner Lea Salonga, pupolar na komedyante at aktor, Vice Ganda, winner ng ‘Star Power Search 2011′ Angeline Quintos, international actress at top endorser Anne Curtis, at Pop Star Princess Sarah Geronimo– na bigay todong umaaliw sa kagalakan ng mga manonood.

Bukod sa maayos na mga kainan, pahingahan at kasayahan, nais ng Pechanga Resort & Casino na mag-alay ng natatanging kaganapan lalo na sa Pilipinong mga patron. Kung kaya’t ang ‘DIVAS Live in Manila’, na kilala at tagumpay sa larangan ng pag kanta at entertainment ay mag-aaliw sa mga Pilipinong patron at taga subaybay ng naturang casino.

Ang Filipina DIVAS na patok na nagtangghal Live sa Manila ay mapapanood sa buwan ng mga puso sa Pebrero 18 alas-7:30 ng gabi sa isang masayang pagsasama ng apat na sikat na mang-aawit— Kyla, Angeline Quinto, KZ, at Yeng Constantino. hatid sa inyo ng premyadong Pechanga Resort & Casino.

Si Kyla ay minsang binansagang Princess ng R&B na kalaunan ay tinanghal na Queen sa taglay na kasikatan at patok na mga awitin gaya ng “On the Wings of Love” at “Til I Met You.” Si Kyla, na 16-taon ang seniority sa tatlo, ay dati ng nanalo sa MTV Video Music Awards noong 2001 at malimit na hilingang umawit ng mga dayuhang bisita sa Manila upang magtanghal.

Ang ‘Queen of Theme Song’ na si Angeline, na ihinalintulad kay Regine Velasquez ng mga millenials sa ganda ng boses at isa rin sa bumubuo ng Divas. Aaliwin kayo ni Angeline sa kanyang solo na tiyak na kagigiliwan at pag-uusapan.

Sa isang banda, si KZ ay isang overnight sensation matapos magtamo ng grand championship sa X-Factor Philippines kung saan lahat ng indikasyon ay nagtuturo ng makulay na mga susunod na taon. Ang interpretasyon ni KZ sa ‘Mahal Ko O Mahal Ako’ ang nagbigay daan sa brand ng ‘Himig Handog’ na ipinagmamalaking pag-uusapan. Ikinukumpara ang istilo ng pag await ni KZ sa international singer na si Pink.

Pagdating sa pagtatanghal, ala- Taylor Swift o Madonna at Lady Gaga naman ang dating ni Yeng ayon sa mga tagamasid. Si Yeng ay bumulusok paitaas mula sa pagiging Pop Rock Princess sa Pinoy Dream Academy bago tanghaling Superstar. Karaniwan, ang mga awitin ni Yeng ay madalas ipalabas sa PETA-staged musical. Nagpasikat sa kanya ang “Jeepney Love Story” ng siya’y nasasa ilalim pa ng Pinoy Dream Academy na “Hawak Kamay” at ang awiting sinulat niya para sa kabiyak na si Yan Asuncion na may titulong “Ikaw.”

Ang apat na Divas ay nasa ilalim ng pamamahala ng Cornerstone Entertainment na nagbigay daan sa isang kosyepto ng pagtatanghal di lamang lokal kungdi international sapagkat sila anya ay ‘world class’ at dapat lamang maibilang na international stars mula sa Manila.

Abangan ang pagtatanghal ng Divas, Live in Manila sa Pebrero 18, 7:30 ng gabi ihinahatid ng ipinagmamalaki sa Temecula, California—- Pechanga Resort & Casino. Bumili na ng tikets (mula $118, $98, $88 hanggang $78) sa Pechanga Box Office 877-711-2946 o online sa www.Pechanga.com.

Ang mga pagtatanghal sa Pechanga Theater ay nagdudulot ng komportable at natatanging karanasan sa konsierto. May 1,200 na mag upuan sa teatro, habang bawat isang pagtatanghal ay naghahandog ng mga makabago at naayong tugtuging akma sa pandinig. Sa paglilibang sa mga paboritong artista sa Pechanga kumpara sa ibang lugar ay walang hirap na pagpapatunay lamang kabilang din ang libreng valet at sariling parking sa mga bisita, libreng casino/resort shuttles, gourmet at kaswal na kainang pagpipilian sa lugar, at komportableng mga upuan at malapitang tanaw habang nakaupo sa teatro.

Patungkol sa Pechanga Resort & Casino
Inaalok ng Pechanga Resort & Casino ang isa sa mga pinakamalaki at malaganap na kasiyahan na pang resort/casino kahit saan sa United States. Ibinotong numero unong casino ng mga mambababasa ng USA Today at hinirang na “Four Diamond property” ng AAA mula pa noong 2002, ang Pechanga Resort & Casino ay nagbibigay ng walang katumbas na paraan para sa isang araw o pang-matagalang marangyang bakasyon. Naghahandog ng mahigit sa 3,400 sa pinaka mainit na slot machines, table games at world-class entertainment, 517 mga kwarto sa hotel, kainan, spa at championship golf sa Journey sa Pechanga, ang Pechanga Resort & Casino ay tampok na destinasyon na tumutugon at humihigit sa kagustuhan ng mga panauhin nito at ng komunidad. Ang Pechanga Resort & Casino ay pag-aari at palakad ng Pechanga Band ng mga Luiseño Indians. Para sa karagdagang impormasyon, tumawag ng toll-free sa 1-877-711-2946 o pumunta sa www.Pechanga.com.

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Trump nominee for state secretary grilled on EJKs in PHL
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 By Nimfa U. Rueda
LOS ANGELES — US Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson endured tough questioning about human rights – including extrajudicial killings (EJKs) in the Philippines – during his confirmation hearing in Washington earlier this week.
Sen. Marco Rubio grilled Tillerson, the outgoing ExxonMobil CEO nominated by Donald Trump to be the US Secretary of State, about his views on reported human rights violations in Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines.
Rubio asked Tillerson: “Since President Rodrigo Duterte took oath last June, The Los Angeles Times reports that roughly over 6,200 people have been killed in the Philippines by police and vigilantes in alleged drug raids. In your view, is it the right way to conduct an antidrug campaign?”
In response, Tillerson said the United States and the Philippines had a longstanding friendship and that it was important to keep that in perspective when engaging with the Philippines.
“They have been an ally. We have to ensure that they stay an ally,” he said.
Rubio replied: “That’s correct Mr. Tillerson, but my question is about the 6,200 that have been killed in these alleged drug raids. Do you believe that it is an appropriate way to conduct that operation, or do you believe that it is something that’s conducive to human rights violations (and) that we should be concerned about?”
Shortly after the hearing, Amnesty International USA criticized  Tillerson for not calling out governments, including the Duterte administration, for human rights violations.
“After a day of questioning, Tillerson’s commitment to human rights in the US and abroad is in serious question,” Amnesty International USA executive director Margaret Huang said in a statement.
“While he confirmed that US foreign policy should include the prioritization of human rights, he refused to acknowledge human rights abuses by known and long-recognized violators.
“It is extremely (disconcerting) that a nominee for Secretary of State would claim that governments in countries like Syria and the Philippines with clear patterns of documented violations are not considered human rights abusers,” Huang added.
She said Tillerson’s statements suggested that under his leadership the State Department would not pressure human rights violators “even in the face of overwhelming evidence.”
Troubling
At the end of the hearing, Rubio indicated that Tillerson’s responses were troubling.
Rubio told Tillerson: “I asked you about whether Vladimir Putin was a war criminal, something that you declined to label him as. I asked about China, whether they were one of the worst human rights violators in the world, which again, you didn’t want to compare them to other countries. I asked about the killings in the Philippines. I asked about Saudi Arabia being a human rights violator, which you also declined to label them.”
Rubio said not taking a stand against human rights abuses had lead other countries to believe that “America cares about democracy and freedom as long as it’s not being violated by someone that they need for something else.”
“We need a secretary of state [who] will fight for these principles. That’s why I’m asking these questions,” said Rubio, one of those who ran against Donald Trump in the primaries to be the Republican presidential candidate.

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Duterte:  I never ordered cops to execute drug suspects
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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte reiterates the huge problem of illegal drugs in the country is in his speech during the ‘Convergence of Nanay Volunteers as Community Drugwatch’ held at the Parade Grounds in Clarkfield, Angeles City, Pampanga on December 22, 2016. (MNS photo)

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte reiterates the huge problem of illegal drugs in the country is in his speech during the ‘Convergence of Nanay Volunteers as Community Drugwatch’ held at the Parade Grounds in Clarkfield, Angeles City, Pampanga on December 22, 2016. (MNS photo)

DAVAO CITY, Dec 28 (Mabuhay) — President Duterte has categorically denied he ordered authorities to just shoot and kill drug suspects even as he dismissed criticisms that those who died outside of police operations were victims of extra-judicial killings.

“Did I tell you to kill? I did not. I never said you should kill drug pushers,” Duterte said in a speech before village officials here on Tuesday.

He said he told policemen to make sure they were not harmed by drug-crazed pushers.

“If they put up a fight, then shoot them. But those being shot at the back, those wrapped in plastic, that’s not ours,” he said, referring to victims who had been summarily executed and were dumped in public places.

 

He said in police operations, pushers were getting killed because they had put up a fight.

 

“I have been telling you (authorities) don’t let them (drug suspects) outsmart you,” the President said in Visayan.

 

It was not the first time that Duterte denied ordering authorities to just kill drug suspects, although he underscored the need for them to stay alive during anti-drug operations.

 

He also pledged to stand by policemen or soldiers, who would face charges in line with the performance of their duties.

 

“All those you are executing as I ordered, it’s on me. Mine and mine alone,” he earlier said.

 

Duterte said authorities should not fear about the prospects of being jailed.

 

“Don’t be afraid (because) you might be charged. I take solace from my statement. I am there for you,” he said.

 

“This is what I have to say: Do your duty. If you are ordered for an operation against shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) and you face charges, I will be there. In the fulfillment of duty or in performance of your mandate, you will have my support 100 percent. I will not allow you to go to jail. I will be jailed first,” he added.

 

During his speech here on Tuesday, the President, however, said big-time pushers need not put up a fight.

 

“I’ll just call a priest to administer the last rites,” Duterte said, adding that he could not tolerate drugs.

 

“Like what happened in San Juan. They were lucky I was not (there). If there was that big haul of shabu, I will really kill you,” he said in between expletives, referring to the arrest of six suspects during the December 23 raid by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on a clandestine shabu laboratory in San Juan.

 

Duterte said if he was there, the suspects would have been killed.

 

“Let’s not resort to drama. I, myself, will shoot them if nobody would shoot them,” he said as he repeated his line that shabu has been destroying the future of the country’s youth.

 

Duterte also hit the US and the Catholic Church anew, saying they were only good at criticizing him and that they have actually not helped in so far as the war on drugs was concerned.

 

He also blasted the US for its “hypocrisy” over illegal drugs, saying it was staunchly against drug trafficking if the safety of its citizens were concerned. He cited as example the US’ invasion of Panama between mid-December 1989 and late January 1990 because the Noriega government was supposedly tolerating the illegal drug trade

 

“Panama was the original drug supplier of the US, not Mexico,” he said. (MNS)

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