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Archive for the category “Asia”

Opinion: Duterte’s own goal…

I don’t know about you, but in this instance I thought no matter what President Rodrigo Roa Duterte would be the winner, as he hired Leni Robredo as the Co-Chair of the ICAD three weeks ago on the 6th November 2019. Today we are clocking 24th November 2019. This means the Vice-President got 18 days at the ICAD.

In this matter, I thought she couldn’t win. She couldn’t manage with the mandate of ICAD and neither the strings of the ICAD to succeed in anything. But apparently, the President couldn’t manage to anyone questioning him and reporting to him. Who wasn’t “Yes Men” or the following his protocol to the T.

Because, this is only a loss for the President. Who couldn’t see Leni fulfilling her time or even manage to implement anything. Therefore, it isn’t Leni’s loss, but the President. However, before I dwell on that, let me show the weird timeline of this matter. Will show three pieces, of when she was announced, limiting her power and now the firing. Before addressing the matter on my own.

Hired:

MANILA — A day after accepting the challenge to lead the government’s intensified campaign against illegal drugs, Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo has called for her first meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), Malacañang said on Thursday. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo was told by Executive Secretary (ES) Salvador Medialdea through a phone call that Robredo and ICAD members would meet to discuss President Rodrigo Duterte’s efforts to fight illegal drugs” (Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos – ‘Robredo to meet with ICAD members: Palace’ 07.11.2019, PNA).

Limited scope:

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday said Vice President Leni Robredo would remain as Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) co-chair but would have limited access to classified information in the fight against the proliferation of illegal narcotics. “Need to know lang siya. If she asks something, then you give her…you give her half of it. The other half, if it’s a classified information, there is no need for her to know,” President Duterte said during a press conference in Malacañang” (PCOO – ‘President Duterte clarifies VP Robredo’s role as ICAD co-chair’ 20.11.2019).

Fired:

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 24) — President Rodrigo Duterte has fired Vice President Leni Robredo from her post as co-chair of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), less than three weeks after her appointment, his spokesperson told CNN Philippines. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Sunday that apart from her missteps, Duterte fired Robredo because she spoke with foreigners, was asking for the scope of her powers and was among those daring the President to fire her, along with Senator Francis Pangilinan. “So pagbibigyan niya (Duterte) na rin si Pangilinan,” Panelo said. [Translation: So the President is also giving in to Senator Kiko Pangilinan.]” (Ina Andolong and Xave Gregorio – ‘Duterte fires Robredo from anti-drug czar post’ 24.11.2019, CNN Philippines).

If the President and his close associates thinks this is wise. These three weeks will not be remembered as a tale of success or victory. This is not Build! Build! Build!, where you can show off a few bridges, pieces of roads and possible transit projects. No, this is actual changes on the drug-war and prove that its legit.

Because, the mandate of ICAD was already marginal as is, the powers of the ICAD and the Co-Chair isn’t that significant. The mandate alone together with the others is limited. That’s why in the end, its up to the President if he wants the police, the army and other agencies to act differently in concern of the drug-war.

That’s why, I thought Vice-President Robredo couldn’t win this one. But by firing her only after three weeks. Before, she even started. Even as she has talked to NGOs and ambassadors of foreign nations. She is still viable to do that, even as that hurts the pride of the President. Not like she was selling out or giving away islands or territory to the Chinese. No, she was just talking.

President Duterte was the loser here. He lost it and couldn’t manage to be asked what sort of mandate and possible tasks she could consider at the Co-Chair of ICAD. Like that is too much to dare? Even if she dared him to fire her. That was a trick and he went for it.

This doesn’t make him look wise nor brilliant. It makes him look stupid and that’s not a look any President want to have. As a Head of State, he should been more calm and given her time. That is if, he was sincere about appointing her. Not that I think he was a single second, but still he should been more easy. No matter how head-stirring it would be to work with her. Because, Leni should have gotten more than a hot-minute at ICAD.

She couldn’t even report, be apart or have any possible time to achieve squat. Not like he could have changed much in three weeks either. The ploy was to get her in and let her fail. Instead, he failed and shown that his temper cannot stomach another busy-bee, whose has the courage to question him. That was to much for Rodrigo. That’s why Leni had to get axed.

President Duterte, this make you look stupid, not smart. FYI: If you had kept Robredo at ICAD, she could have failed and not achieved much. Been a stalwart and loose canon on-ship, as she could only do minor tweaks and not significantly change anything. The results would be mediocre, but you could have pinned on her.

Still, with that, you didn’t see that and you now look dumb. Not a good move. Not a good move. This was built for her, so that she couldn’t win, but even with that in the cards. You still lost your gamble. You had the winning hand, but you folded. You couldn’t even bluff, you just had to give up and let the others win. Peace.

Hong Kong: Polytechnic University – Emergency Message from PolyU (17.11.2019)

Opinion: VP Leni Robredo joins a battle she cannot win

Vice President Leni Robredo cannot win this anti-drug war. Even if she now becomes the Co-Chair at the ICAD. The President and his actions on the drug-war alone will reside, even as she has the helm of the ICAD. President Rodrigo Duterte has through the Executive Order No. 15 of 2017 and the Memorandum Order No. 17 of 2017. Already put the strains and the wordings in.

Where ICAD mandate and role is already put. The Philippines Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) by these documents are still the overall lead agency, while the Dangerous Drug Board (DDB) will remain as the policy making one.

The ICAD is a monitoring mechanism to ensure all the various agencies and government organizations are implementing all the policies, laws and issuances pertaining to the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign. That means the ICAD will monitor and supervise these organizations: DILG, DDB, DOJ, DOH, DepED, DSWD, DTI, DA, DND, TESDA, PIA, PAO, OSG, PCG, PNP, NBI, BOC, BI, AFP and AMLC.

That means the ICAD will secure the implementation of the DDB and ensure the PDEA are working accordingly. The ICAD shall then again prove their work and report to the Office of the President. This all means, the ICAD is a formal board following the works, but not directly doing it.

The task of becoming the Drug-War Czar of Robredo is a failing one from the get-go. The ICAD by the stipulations in the Executive Order and Memorandum of 2017 shows the intention. Just like the NBI, PNP, AFP, BoC, Philpost and all other agencies and existing anti-illegal drug task forces shall resume to provide active support to the PDEA in the conduct of anti-illegal drug operation. Therefore, the ICAD will provide support of PDEA, just like the other agencies are supposed to provide support of PDEA.

Therefore, if she wanted to change something. That was not being the chair of the ICAD. That would be directly involved in the DDB or PDEA. The other agencies are following the order there. The ICAD is just a supervising and monitoring unit. It is not the directing authority. Not by how the paperwork of 2017 says.

In this regard, Duterte has done a bargain. He let the PDEA chair of the hook. Gave the OVP more responsibility. While she has really less control, than how it looks. No matter how the OVP plays this out. The DDB and the PDEA might screw her over. The reports to the Presidency better be more joyful, than the ones whose been presented since its inception in 2017.

Robredo has gotten the short end of the stick. She is played before she’s touching the ground. The agency should have gotten ordered and co-chair in, wasn’t ICAD but PDEA. If she was there, should could have stopped killings and murder of civilians. However, she’s just monitoring and ensuring the implementation of the DDB policies.

OVP Robredo seems like she doesn’t understand that herself. But I cannot see her winning in this manner. Not happening and Duterte outplayed her. Robredo cannot be the winner. Not in this bargain. Unless, she has a magical wand and change the realities from the get go. Peace.

Maldivies: Standing Committee on Human Rights and Gender – People’s Majlis – Press Statement (09.11.2019)

Opinion: North Korea warns the US again!

This is not the first time the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or the North Korea fires some salvoes the way of the United States of America Administration. Especially the Trump Administration and their diplomats.

Just last year, the DPRK said this about the US: “The U.S. is fatally mistaken if it went to the extent of regarding that the DPRK would be compelled to accept, out of its patience, the demands reflecting its gangster-like mindset. A shorter way to denuclearization on the Korean peninsula is to remove deep-rooted mistrust and build up trust between the DPRK and the U.S” (KCNA: Foreign Ministry Spokesman on DPRK-U.S. High-level Talks, 07.07.2018).

So the North Koreans are tired of the gangsters in Washington DC. It is again another salvo from Pyongyang, This is not new, but this shows that the diplomatic relations are strained. What is happening is not reassuring. As the meetings, the supposed grand-deal or anything else haven’t changed anything. Only paid Kim Jong-Un for a few international trips and hotel service on the outside of North Korea.

The DPRK-U.S. relations that could have been derailed and fallen apart several times due to such hostile acts and wrong habitual practices on the part of the U.S. are still maintained. It goes to the credit of the close personal relations between Chairman of the State Affairs Commission Kim Jong Un and President Trump. But there is a limit to everything. The close personal relations can never be kept aloof from the public mindset and they are never a guarantee for preventing the DPRK-U.S. relations from getting aggravated or for making up for. The U.S. trumpets the crucial measures taken by the DPRK for confidence-building as its own “diplomatic gains” but no substantial progress has been made in the DPRK-U.S. relations and belligerent relations still persists that there can be the exchange of fire any moment. The U.S. is seriously mistaken if it is of the idea of passing off in peace the end of this year, by exploiting the close personal relations between its president and the Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK for the delaying tactics” (Kim Yong Chol – ‘Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, (KAPPC) made public a statement on Oct. 27’, 27.10.2019).

If the Trump Administration want to be serious. There need to be more love-letters and maybe not the tough-guy letter to Erdogan. That is a bad look and not showing class. Neither the tact between two parties. There is time for Washington to get in the ones whose not gangsters and whose diplomats to actually act diplomatic. That is if they are serious about making the Korean Peninsula a peaceful and non-nuclear.

However, the non-action and the threats are not the thing to sustain this one. The fragile relationship seems like it needs some reassuring messages. Needs some love and care, just like flowers needs water and sun to stay alive. This is why the Trump Administration needs to do something. That is if they they care about their allies in South Korea and Japan. Since, they all need a peaceful DPRK. They don’t need missiles hitting vessels in South Korea or closer to Japan. That is not helping anyone.

Except getting the DPRK again in the headlines, just like missile testing and showing the brilliance of the industrial actions of the weapons program. Instead of finding a middle ground and some sort of arrangement that the DPRK and the US combined seems to win with. That is not happening right now. Just more hawkish activity or non-action. Both not making anything positive.

This got to change. That is if the US administration or the DPRK want this to work. Peace.

Maldivian Democracy Network: Press Release (09.10.2019)

Maldives: Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Statement – Government Imposes temporary cessation of activities upon Maldives Democracy Network (10.10.2019)

Opinion: Sen. Imee Marcos cannot revise the plunder history of her family!

If we cannot punish old plunderers, we should stop pretending that we are out to punish the plunderers who came after them. If our people do see punishment for plunder past and present, then “plunder” would become a meaningless word added to our vocabulary” (Ruben Carranza – The Meaning of Plunder Past and Present, 2001)

Well, today was a special day, that the truth about the verdict about one court case against the family of Marcos in the Philippines. However, even if this is botched and dismissed court case because of lack of evidence. There is still plenty out there proving that this family has ill-gotten gains, has stolen and plundered. Just that they got away with it this time. That doesn’t revise nor free the legacy of the family, which became stupid-rich while being in power.

Today’s Botched Court:

MANILA, Philippines— It might have taken more than 30 years “to prove our innocence” but Senator Imee Marcos was grateful just the same. For lack of evidence, the Sandiganbayan has junked a civil case involving an alleged Marcos ill-gotten wealth worth P1.052 billion” (Malia Ager – ‘Imee Marcos: It took over 30 years to prove our innocence’ 08.10.2019, Inquirer.net).

Imee Marcos thinks she can revise history and suddenly take away the past of her family. It is natural that someone want their relatives to get a better legacy. However, the senator here is far off. If she thinks the botched plunder case now is freeing the history of Ferdinand Marcos or Imelda Marcos self. It is just a misstep in the courts. There is plenty of other cases and also foreign evidence of the actions done by her parents.

I’ll be dropping the titbits of information from Chaikin and the SARI, whose been investigating the money laundering, the illicit transfer of funds from the Philippines to Switzerland/Lichtenstein and elsewhere. To show what the Family Marcos did in their hey-day. Also, end with the court case, where the Marcos was deemed guilty of doing so in 1993 in a similar case. Therefore, the Marcos are far from “innocent” in the manner.

Like David Chaikin reported this in 2000: “A RICO claim brought in 1989 in California in the United States sets out in some 100 pages the details of how Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda Marcos and others conspired to loot, divert and launder public assets for their personal use and benefit. The RICO claim estimated that $5 billion in ill-gotten wealth was taken by the Marcoses, their associates and accomplices. But there is other material suggesting that Marcos took even greater amounts of money” (…) “The significance of the Malacanang documents is that they established investigatory leads concerning the secret Marcos assets in Switzerland. They provided the starting point for any analysis of the size of the Marcos’s Swiss wealth. Indeed, based on the Malacanang documentation and from other sources, in April 1986 the Philippines Government asserted that the Marcoses had accumulated illicit wealth of over $5 billion dollars, and that at least $1 billion had been transferred to Swiss bank account” (David Chaikin – ‘TRACKING THE PROCEEDS OF ORGANISED CRIME – THE MARCOS CASE, March 2000).

The Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative – Asset Recovery Watch updated on 20th July 2017 on the case of Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda Marcos (United States) or the ARW-63. The asset case that started in 1986 and ended in 2006. Which stated this: “According to a 2007 case study by Merceditas Gutierrez, Ombudsman of the Republic of Philippines, from 1986 to 2006, the total value of the assets recovered in the U.S. is less than $50 million. They include: (1) in New Jersey, funds in a bank account and two residences at Princeton Pike and Cherry Hill used by Marcos children (amount not given); (2) administrative settlement relating to four New York buildings (40 Wall Street, Crown Building, Herald Center, and at 200 Madison Avenue); (3) settlement agreements that led to recovery of properties such as the Olympic Tower Apartment, Pendleton Drive property, the Cedars, Summit Drive Beverly Hills, Lindenmere estate and the Makiki Heights property; (4) seizure of various jewelry, art, and other valuables; and (5) funds in Sanwa Bank and shares in California Overseas Bank and Redwood Bank” (StAR Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative – Asset Recovery Watch, 20.07.2017).

That is something from abroad, but if I go back into history in the year of 1993. This sort of case went differently: “Imelda R. Marcos was found guilty of corruption this morning and sentenced to 18 to 24 years in prison. The conviction came seven years after she and her husband, Ferdinand Marcos, were hounded out of the Philippines in a popular uprising. Mrs. Marcos clutched a rosary as her sentence was read in a special anti-corruption court. Outside the packed courtroom, crowds of her supporters held a vigil; opposite them, hundreds of anti-Marcos protesters cheered the former First Lady’s conviction” (New York Times – ‘MARCOS CONVICTED OF GRAFT IN MANILA’ 24.09.1993).

So, in another time, the courts would have done something else today. Still, the history of the Marcos will linger on. It will not be forgotten and the family is not vindicated like she claims. It is a reason why the previous Presidents have tried to recover funds from the plunder. That shouldn’t be forgotten in this matter.

It might been lack of evidence today, but if someone seriously wanted to follow the money. They might have gone to the other authorities that has kept things on file. Where they could have seen the accounts, the spending and even the estates in question. Still, the senator want to look innocent. Even if she knows perfectly well what happened. Peace.

Opinion: Duterte needs to hire an headhunter, since he re-appoints Uson!

Mocha Uson appointed Deputy Executive Director of Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, according to new list of presidential appointees from Malacañang” (Rappler, 30.09.2019).

I don’t know what President Rodrigo Duterte see in Mocha Uson, who previously worked for the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) until she stood as a candidate for the AA Kasosyo Party-list for the recent elections this Mid-Term Elections this May 2019. Therefore, she shouldn’t be eligible to be appointed in the first place. If the law of someone standing on a list as an nominee still stands. Even if the COMELEC are accepting her today. Trying some definition mombo-jumbo, which isn’t existing before the Uson showed up.

Mocha Uson was terrible in the PCOO, she was hectic and blatantly stupid on her blog. She was campaigning blindly for the President in the previous election. Now, she is appointed again. Even if it is directly impossible. She will have a high-ranking official in the OWWA.

I wondered even when she was in PCOO, what sort of skill-set did she have to be there? What part of her previous career has made capable of being there and serving the President?

Now, I wonder even more, as she will be in-charge of vital office and help Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), that is no joke. The OFW work hard all across the world with various of professions and needs support from its state. As well, as guidance and knowledge to help them to cope away from home. Therefore, the OWWA is vital to plenty of OFW.

There President Duterte has put Uson. He could have at least returned her to the PCOO, where she could only boggle headlines, making campaigns look unprofessional but in the OWWA she can make life worse for hard-working Filipino’s abroad or overseas.

Mocha Uson is only there because her loyalty to the President. Nothing else, because she is not brilliant, neither educated in any fields associates connected with the OWWA. Uson has been an Social Media personality, whose got skills in the field they are appointed too.

That is why, when he re-appoints Uson. I start to believe Duterte needs to hire a head-hunter, someone who can find people skilled, experienced and whose knows the bureaucratic system and actually knows the deal.

I don’t believe she was fit for the PCOO and certainly not the OWWA. It is a joke. This should be satire and not real life. What has she done to the President to get this perks and this positions? Because, it must be in return for something. If not, it doesn’t make sense.

What gives?

I don’t know, but something will give way, I suppose. Peace.

Philippines: National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) – Postponing the May 2020 Barangay and Sanggunlang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) remains inadequately justified, and will extend terms of office without voters’ consent (25.09.2019)

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