MinBane

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Archive for the tag “Government of Philippines”

Philippines: Statement – Participation of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in the 36th ASEAN Summit (26.06.2020)

Philippines: Ressa finally pinned by the Authorities

This has been a slow train coming. The Philippine authorities has gone after her since the beginning of the reign of President Rodrigo Duterte. If you thought the ABS-CBN issues was a retaliation from the government towards the press. The same authorities has directly gone after Rappler and Maria Ressa since the start. They have wanted this so bad and found their escape.

Ressa and her online news organization have had issues with Duterte since the campaigning before the election. Duterte Campaign even blocked a Rappler reporter from his campaign. I’m sure plenty has forgotten about that part. So, to me there are clearly merits to the libel against Ressa, but they are not sanctioning the company. The company that they have gone after for its ownership and structure. Just like they have done with ABS-CBN. If you see pattern, I see it too.

That they finally got Ressa was just a matter of time. They got an old article and found some discrepancies and could with this get her detained. That’s because she is challenging the throne without any fear. The way the Rappler and Vera Files are going after the state officials and dropping juicy bombs that interfere with the way they are operating. The state doesn’t want that, but want clapping and cheers from the media houses. They want empty suits and celebrities cheering on and praising the team. This is not what the Rappler does and that’s why its so hard hit.

For the ones following, this was just a matter of time. The authorities have worked hard to pin something on Rappler and Ressa. They have been so on their case, that they have to more careful than anyone else. Whatever they do and whatever they say: It would scrutinized to hell and back. That is why we are here and seeing this happening over an old article from 2012 republished in 2014. It is just so fitting.

Yes, there are merits to the wrongdoing of some statements in the article and allegations towards the Wilfredo Keng. Still this is very fitting that this happens to a CEO and leader of a Media House or Outlet, which publish articles and stories that the government don’t want to have out. That’s why this is happening here and not to government friendly press. They are shielded, even if they could do something similar.

So with this in mind. Duterte and team can celebrate. They finally got one of their targets and possibly detained up to six years. Ressa is a target for who she is and what does. She is maybe not always correct about it. Still, the need for these voices are there. If this was cyber libel and defamation of character. Than, its weird that the article is still online. The one that is the reason for this case.

Now it will be easier to get rid of unfriendly stories. To give way to the ones writing, narrating and documenting wrongdoing by the authorities and the associates. The pork barrels and other schemes can be easier hidden. Since if you might write about it. They can libel your ass and your in the slammer. Instead of revealing a dishonest civil servant or public official, which the media should do. They have the microphone and the platform to undress the kings. However, if they are not allowed to do this. Then there is something wrong with the leadership.

This is worrying, this set a standard for possible criminal cases towards journalists and credited media persons. The saddest part of this is that it happened because of SUV and a Court Justice driving a car. The story on an SUV broke the back and was used a weapon against Rappler. That is how far the state goes now. The same government that are proud of destroying illegally imported vehicles. The ironies couldn’t be more blatant than this. Peace.

Philippines: Sen. Vincente Sotto III letter to Chairperson Sec. Francisco Duque III (03.06.2020)

Philippines: The levels of quarantines can boggle you mind!

Well, its about that time. Well, it isn’t really… Just another Sunday in quarantine and awaiting the “new normal” or back-to-life. If I may, this is about the news updates and the Omnibus Guidelines on community quarantine from the Inter-Agency Task Force of the Philippines. Which is fine by itself, but it’s sort of flexibility between similar terms can make a brother fuzz a little bit.

Because you have the “General Community Quarantine” for instance. Than you have the Enhanced Community Quarantine”. If you thought it was tricky, no you have the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine” and the Modified General Community Quarantine”. Last, but not least of these is the Modified Community Quarantine”

The big one of these is the ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) and the GCQ (General Community Quarantine). With the ones in between. A mind can be messed up by less. By all means, these words are in play, because of the variations of spread of COVID-19 and the ratio per capita. However, its still hard to know what all means. Even with the Omnibus Guidelines. Its a hectic mess.

In this sense, there is five quick types of Community Quarantine and to get the grip of that. We all there is levels to this, but just to listen. You could easily get confused. Very few read the whole Omnibus Guidelines and what it entails. It’s like a whole mix of statutes and measures. There isn’t in the guidelines any tables showing the vast difference. They are lined down after each other, but you have to really study it to see the minor differences.

Since, there is so many of them and the way they are mentioned in News Flashes on 24 Oras or other broadcasts. Its hard to follow or even get a grip. It isn’t well explained in a simplified fashion. Its all hectic and bunch of both legal terms and medical terms. Which in the end only confuse a brother even more.

It is easy to understand the basics, but when you blend in five types of quarantine and also has various of types of lockdowns. You just loose the understanding of things. It might been done for the common good, but the reality is that this shouldn’t be this hard.

You should easily know what to do in a quarantine. Whose allowed and what. Who should stay home, who can go to work and who has to close. If schools are open, if factories can remain open or closed. If ports can continue or if people can go to the market for a limited time. If there is a curfew and if they need a paper-stamped for passage through road-blocks. All of that would make sense.

However, when you have so many different terms, so many words and so many types. Its easy to be confused. Get your mind boggled. Especially, if a local mayor changes or Barangay Captain changes from one of those Modified Community Quarantine to a General Community Quarantine. Because, then what happens or is it just paper tigers playing around with words?

The essential thing so be to ensure the stop of the spread of COVID-19. That the public respect the quarantine and that the state delivers it promise of funds to its workers and the public in general. In the time of need. That the ones whose eating to much get called out and the get punished for the punitive damage they do to the other workers. When they are promised thousands of peso’s, but only getting leftovers. That’s not right and the ones eating the pork should be punished.

With this in mind, the variations of quarantine is a maze. You can wonder what does what and even reading the guidelines confuses me. Like I said, it would be nice with a table showing the difference. So its idiot proof. Nothing ever is, but simplifying things is positive. Especially, when you have such a vast lingo of terms. Peace.

Philippines: The Animo’s Official Statement on ABS-CBN Shutdown (05.05.2020)

Philippines: Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) – “This Is How Liberty Dies…” (05.05.2020)

Opinion: The ABS-CBN closure is political retribution and nothing else

The ABS-CBN sent a few questionable and harsh ads towards the President Rodrigo Duterte during the 2016 campaign for his election. This is certainly the reason why the termination of license of the franchise and the gag-order earlier in the year was put on the media company. As this company has the ability to put pressure on the hard-headed Presidents of its time. That is why the last time it happen it was in 1972. A record Duterte should compete with, but clearly he wants too.

This is a battle and method of retaliation of the President and his team. As this is silencing a open critic. Just like they did with Leila De Lima and Antonio Trilanes. The state has also been fierce against the independent media house Rappler too. So, its not like ABS-CBN is getting a new treatment.

It might be a temporary set-back as a way of the President to prove that you don’t mess with him. That is why I call it a retaliation, because the Senate is the final place for consideration of the license of the Franchise. Even if the National Telecommunication Commission put the cease and desist order on the media house.

What we do know, is for the ones claiming that the owners are not paying taxes. The government as late as February 2020 said they were no liabilities and no arrears. The company has paid its taxes and paid its employees. Therefore, the thought of using as an argument for the closure is futile. Unless, your docile and believe anything.

ABS-CBN only gets this, because it dared to challenge Duterte and aired certain ads. This is his way of firing back and showing flex. Not that its any good. It only shows that he doesn’t have the heart or the ability to strike back with sense. The President doesn’t have the arguments or the ads to address his opposition. Instead, he uses his office and his power together with comrades to close it for a while. Just to show the owners, the journalists, that they should all be like 24 Oras on the GMA Network, because they will never sound the whistle at any government.

That’s why we are here today. We are in our 1972 moment. Where a President and his team uses their office to silence critics and by all means. Rappler was the owner structure and ABS-CBN its the franchise and its license. I am sure the government friendly press will never get into these issues. The ones who doesn’t air critical ads and content, which challenge the President in any form. But if you do, you better lawyer up and have your tools ready. Because, its going to get rocky and the road to redemption is long.

ABS-CBN is getting the full Duterte treatment. The full fury and furious intervention, maybe he will beg for forgiveness later. If he cares about the 11,000 people in limbo. However, that is not so important, as long as the President can signal that he doesn’t accept critical ads. ABS-CBN better follow the Duterte line, if not they will walk the plank. Peace.

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration: Advisory No. 56 – Series of 2020 – No POEA Governing Board Resolution Requiring Payment of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) Contribution in the Issuance of Overseas Employment Certifications (OECs) for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) – (04.05.2020)

Philippines: Duterte backtracks mandatory premium contributions to PHILHEALTH for Filipino abroad

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) no longer have to worry about paying higher PhilHealth premium contributions at this time of health crisis brought by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This is after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s decision for the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to make payment for PhilHealth premiums voluntary for OFW” (Presidential Communications Operations Office, PCOO – ‘PH gov’t suspends PhilHealth premium payments for OFWs – Palace’ 04.05.2020).

Today, there is news that President Rodrigo Duterte has suspended or backtracked the Premium Contributions for Philippine Health Insurance Company Circular Number 14, which stated that all Filipino citizens abroad would be mandatory pay hefty contribution to PHILHEALTH. Even as they are abroad, living in other nations where they either have insurance or taxed for services where they resides.

This is why I didn’t like the idea and what the circular would do to the Filipinos abroad. It would kill the need for dual-citizenship, as the Filipino’s abroad would pay for services not rendered. They would have insurance or taxes for services where they working overseas and also paying in the Philippines. That would make sense if the Filipino have spouse or children left behind. However, making it mandatory for everyone is insincere and banking on its citizens.

That is why President and Chief Director Richardo C. Morales, should step up his game if he believed in this scheme and pay double taxes for the same services. Since, that is what he initially initiated. Maybe he doesn’t see it that way, but he should get his mind correct. Unless, he has unlimited pesos from his work to pay double premium contributions to PHILHEALTH. Because, that is what the Overseas Filipinos would do.

The mentality of ushering this in. On a circular, really shows the intentions. Even if the President suspends it now. The cat is out of the bag. Someone else than Richardo might bring it back. Because, this will be funds in the bank. That the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), Seafares and everyone living abroad can be tricked by the state. Since, they would have to pay into a scheme, which they don’t get served. Doesn’t matter if the Filipino lives in the United States, Middle East or Europe. None of them get to enjoy the perks of PHILHEALTH. They are paying for the system in the nation where they reside. That should be a given, but clearly not for the Richardo.

That is why the President has to backtrack the ideas of Richardo and his PHILHEALTH. If Richardo wants the Filipino abroad to invest in it. Make it accessible and also favourable. Not only put “dollar dollar bills y’all” and remember to pay out 3 % of your salaries to me! Since, that is what the man did and what he ordered every Filipino abroad. He found a cow and wanted to milk it dry. That’s why it went up from 60,000 pesos to 100,000 pesos within a few years time.

Richardo should donate that first and show the check to the public. If he believed in this thing. Since, his the Chief Director of PHILHEALTH. Not only expect hardworking Filipino abroad to cover the shortfall of the insurance company.

Well, the President saved the day after outrage from the ones abroad feeling hoodwinked. Richardo is surely dumfounded, but we are awaiting him to pay double tax and smile to the bank. Like he should smile and grin, even post it on social media. To prove the greatness.

Since, it is suspended, but if they don’t want this thing. Then the state should abolish the idea and silence PHILHEALTH. So, they cannot re-issue this at a later date, when the rainfall has stopped. Peace.

Philippines: Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) – Statement of Solidarity on the Occasion of World Press Freedom Day 2020 (03.05.2020)

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