Philippines: Archdiocese of Manila’s Clergy Statement against the Re-imposition of Death Penalty (04.08.2020)

Opinion: The Duterte Administration doesn’t want a free-media, but a gang of YES-MEN!

Today its official the House of Representative has put the nail in the coffin for the renewal of the media house and franchise ABS-CBN. This has been an on-going battle for the media company and its associates. What this does is close radio stations across the Republic and also TV stations. They are deliberately closing one of the strong independent media houses.

ABS-CBN have had the ability to actually bring content of facts. Yes, it has its wrong like everyone does. Everyone who publish, distribute and address news will sooner or later do blunders. What this Presidency is doing is to silence and muffle media houses that dares to question them. Just like Ressa of Rappler, the ABS-CBN is in the same regard. They dared to have provocative ads and such in the campaign ahead of this administration. That’s why this sort of thing is a retaliation, as the Congress is filled with YES-MEN and people blindly loyal to the President. He won the recent mid-term election and has less of opposition to ever stop him. Everyone that oppose get into dire waters and awaiting sharks.

ABS-CBN now is in the same waters. Rappler, which is a small digital operation has survived. Even when the authorities and the state has challenged it at every possible way. Now the media house of ABS-CBN is getting detained and possibly closed because it offended the Don in the previous Presidential Elections.

There is no other way to see this. It is a political retaliation. They can use legal means and spin-it, but that is the end-game. If ABS-CBN had been positive and been less objective, if it had been as friendly as GMA and 24 Oras. They wouldn’t come in this situation. The ABS-CBN is here, because it dares to question the powers to be. It dares to challenge and also go nuts about it. If it didn’t do that and was a only broadcasting what Malacanang and the PCOO wants spread. They are just to copy verbatim and memos without questioning it.

If you do that? Then, your in trouble. Big trouble, possibly either losing your job or getting court-side. The government will figure one way or another to bring you down.

With this in mind. If anyone in the House of Representatives that voted for the closure of ABS-CBN ever speaks of freedom of speech and liberty to express themselves. Than, they got to look in the mirror and remember what they did today. The 70 members should be remember, because they clearly don’t give an rats ass about freedom of expression. They are just loyal lackey’s of Duterte.

This here shows that this administration again doesn’t trust the media to cover their actions. Neither, does it accept them pressing on issues. They are just supposed to dance along with the President and his team. Not supposed to question or speak up. If you do?

You gone go missing and be denied. Just like the ABS-CBN or Rappler who both been under fire. The ones loosing out is the public, the employees and in the end, also the men who stopped ABS-CBN. Unless they want to clap in the same echo-chamber and wants the same psalms to sing from Manila to Davao. They just wants empty-headed tabloids and scripted songs in favour of the administration. These representative don’t want to be questioned or investigated by reports. They want to have empty love like celebrities.

These people want the red-carpet treatment, they want to be kissed and get the love. That’s why they are closing ABS-CBN. To prove a point, but its a flawed point. Only undressing their motives and the message is clear.

If you don’t show us love, we will close you down. Peace.

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

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: The PHILHEALTH Overseas Filipino Premium Contribution scheme is a daylight robbery…

There is simple basics in life. Very simple basics, there is always two things that are certain. It is death and taxes. In this regard to all the Filipino who lives abroad, neither registered as Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) or not. As long as you are a citizen, you have to pay premiums for the Premium Contribution to the National Health Insurance Programme (NHIP).

It would make sense, if this are seafares and the ones directly registered to the OFW alone. They are in the programme of the state and by their working contracts are often at home in the Philippines. However, most of the ones in the circular is not. They are targeting the ones with dual-citizenship. They are targeting every single citizen abroad. Even overseas Filipinos in distress. Because, the ones whose distresses has the funds to contribute to yet another tax.

The ones who has spouses and kids at home in the Philippines. It is fine that they are paying health insurance at home. Even as they most likely is contributing taxes where they are staying. Even if it is in Europe, United States or wherever overseas. That is a natural given. They should pay within their reach and what is needed for the family left behind. However, this scheme makes it mandatory and makes it expensive to live abroad.

This circular PHILHEALTH Circular Number 0014 of 2020 is outrageous. That is just to put it blindly. That this is even an idea and the scope of it all. It is like the people of PHILHEALTH never consider the remittance of the citizens, neither the costs of doing so. Not even the exchange rate. Secondly, if they are paying so high premiums to the PHILHEALTH. How much money will they remit to their families? Some periods and months, I expect none. Especially in the year of 2021 to 2025. When the price hikes for things has gone bonkers. Who wants to spend a 100,000 pesos on a service they are not using? Except if your a rich CEO in Luzon who can buy a ranch by the blink of an eye.

This sort of scheme, which the PHILHEALTH makes mandatory. Is only ensuring that the ones whose dual-citizenship. Will revoke it and only be European or American citizens from now on. Because, why pay fortunes for services not rendered? Secondly, why work hard abroad to help family at home? When so much of the money goes to PHILHEALTH and not THEM. They went abroad for a better life and earn money to help their families. Not feed the PHILHEALTH.

If they wanted more people to use and pay, they should have some leverage. Which they don’t, unless like I told you with family members and such in need. Than, the citizens abroad could pay voluntarily, as they deem fit. Because, making it mandatory only eradicate the ideals and principals of fair treatment. This is a get-rich scheme, as they anticipate the ones already paying tax in foreign countries, using the health care coverage there. Shall also pay for health care treatment at home, which they will only use every blue moon. This is paying premiums for blue moon treatments. That is not fair.

This will only make two things more reasonable. Because a citizen where they are residing. Rescind their registration as OFW and also revoke their citizenship. Also, ensure that people doesn’t travel to the Philippines, as the repercussions of doing so. If you have defaulted on the scheme. Since, you will either wait to you have gotten a citizenship in a foreign land. Where you are residing and using their health care system.

It will also destroy the remittance to the families, to the ones close to your heart. As the premiums with the agents will take away the funds. Since, these people are already paying taxes in their respective countries, already using their livelihoods to live and also buys what they need their. Plus sent surplus to their families. Which they cannot do, when the PHILHEALTH is taken so much funds away in this premiums scheme.

I don’t know Ricardo Morales, the President and Chief Director of PHILHEALTH. But I doubt for a one second, that he would like to pay double taxes and premiums upon premiums on his salary. Because, that is what he orders right now. I can most likely say, that he thinks one time is enough. However, this scheme is making one person pay for health care in Land A and Land B. While only most of the time using the services of Land A, while the Land B get the free-for-all.

This is how Morales maybe get the budgets to cut the shortfall of fiscal funds, but also ensures that plenty of OFW and overseas Filipino become naturalized citizens where they are residing. Because, this trick isn’t any good. This is a trade, where only one party wins and its not the overseas Filipino, but the state. The citizen only get a taxed, but no representation. Since, they are already taxed or having insurance where they are. That is not fair and surely Morales and everyone involved in this scheme should pay double to, in solidarity with the OFWs. Peace.

Philippines: Department of Health – Announcement (11.04.2020)