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CPP is deceiving the public for denying existence of its front organizations — Roque

It would be the height of deception of the local communist rebel group if it will deny the existence of their front organizations, a Palace official said Tuesday. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (OPS / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) According to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has an armed group, the New People’s Army (NPA), as well as a political wing composed of the so-called legal front groups. He argued that these front organizations may not take up arms but still belong to the communist rebel group. Roque made the statement even after clarifying that authorities have been advised against red-tagging personalties without presenting proof. “Lilinawin ko, bagama’t ang sinabi ni Secretary Lorenzana na polisiya natin talaga ay kung walang ebidensiya dapat manahimik at huwag mag-red tagging eh hindi naman po ibig sabihin noon na wala talagang mga organisasyon na talagang kasapi at kabahagi ng CPP-NPA (I’d like to make clear that although (Defense) Secretary (Delfin) Lorenzana mentioned our policy to stay silent and avoid red-tagging personalities without proof, it does not mean that there are no organizations belonging to the CPP-NPA),” Roque said during a televised press briefing.  “Ang CPP-NPA po, talagang mayroon silang revolutionary armed struggle, iyan po iyong NPA at mayroon silang political, kasama sa political ay iyong mga tinawag nilang mga organisasyon na diumano’y legal dahil hindi naman sila humahawak ng baril pero kabahagi pa rin po ng CPP-NPA at hindi po madi-deny iyan. Kaplastikan po ng CPP-NPA kung sasabihin nilang wala silang mga legal fronts na tinatawag. (The CPP-NPA has a revolutionary armed struggle, that’s the NPA and they have a political arm composed of what they call legal organizations because they don’t take up arms but they are still part of the CPP-NPA and that cannot be denied. It will be deceitful for the CPP-NPA if they will say they don’t have so-called legal fronts),” he said. Amnesty International earlier appealed to the Philippine government to halt “its vicious and at times deadly practice of red-tagging” or labeling of groups or persons as communists or terrorists. The group urged the government to address criticisms about its policies instead of allegedly endangering people practicing free speech.“In the prevailing context where red-tagged individuals become the targets of harassment, threats and even killings, courts and pertinent government agencies must take concrete steps to ensure the safety and protection of these individuals,” the group said in its website. The appeal was made as the Senate started an inquiry into the controversial red-tagging activities of some military officials. Last week, the Palace said President Duterte wanted military and police officials to stop labeling personalities as communists without showing evidence. Duterte has spoken through Lorenzana who advised officials to be careful in red-tagging, according to Roque. .....»»

Category: newsSource: mb.com.ph mb.com.phNov 3rd, 2020

Group lauds gov t for action on communist groups

The group Liga Independencia Pilipinas (LIPI) has praised the government for passing a resolution declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People's Army and National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) as terrorist organizations......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 28th, 2020

Terror tag on NPA: Legal fronts may be implicated

Now that the Communist Party of the Philippines and its New People’s Army have been declared by the government as terrorist groups, their legal front organizations can likewise be implicated in their crimes......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 27th, 2020

Dampened spirit

Today is Christmas Eve. While many of us are preparing a simple noche buena in our own homes, there are others who are far from celebrating. Early this week, the country saw a mother and a son mercilessly killed in broad daylight in front of their family and a child—such a blatant disregard for human life. The incident sparked public outrage......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 25th, 2020

Nuezca’s 3rd victim a salvageable soul

    BY ROBERT ROQUE JR.     Perhaps we’ve said all that needs to be said about the kind of human being that is Police Senior Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca. I will try my darnedest not to douse gasoline onto public anger against him since it will not do any good at this point. […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsDec 23rd, 2020

Palace: Telcos to report on service improvement on Dec. 8

MANILA, Philippines — Telecommunication companies will make a progress report to the public on Tuesday, Dec. 8, in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s demand to improve their services by December. According to the presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, representatives from Globe Telecom and Smart Communications, as well as the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), will grace his […] The post Palace: Telcos to report on service improvement on Dec. 8 appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2020

Bayan: Why is the burden on us to prove we re not a rebel front?

Left-leaning and activist groups do not need to condemn the Communist Party of the Philippines to prove that they are legal democratic organizations, groups said Wednesday. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 25th, 2020

Vir Maganes, reporting

  BY ROBERT B. ROQUE, JR.     During Martial Law, discussing politics in public was done in the lowest decibels among peace-loving citizens. Believe it or not, that was true even for journalists. Nobody wanted to be tagged an insurgent, dragged to Camp Crame, interrogated for long hours, and thrown to the stockade for […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsNov 18th, 2020

PISTON-Cebu: ‘We have been suffering for eight months’

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu- The Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON)-Cebu Chapter appealed to the governments of Mandaue City and Cebu City to allow the traditional public utility jeepneys to ply the city streets soon. This as members of PISTON-Cebu staged a rally on Tuesday morning, November 17, 2020, in front of the […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  balitaRelated NewsNov 18th, 2020

Duterte saludo sa kabayanihan ng limang tauhan ng DPWH na nasawi

Kinikilala ng Palasyo ng Malakanyang ang kabayanihan ng limang tauhan ng Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) na namatay habang nagsasagawa ng clearing operations sa kasagsagan ng Bagyong Ulysses. Ayon kay Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, nagpapasalamat ang Pangulo at ang buong sambayanan sa kabayanihan at kagitingan ng mga search and rescue frontliners dahil sa […] The post Duterte saludo sa kabayanihan ng limang tauhan ng DPWH na nasawi appeared first on Bandera......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 17th, 2020

Mga materyales na ginamit sa pagpapatayo ng public school buildings rerebyuhin ni Briones

Manila, Philippines – Gustong rebisahin ni Department of Education Sec. Leonor Briones ang mga materyales na ginamit sa paggawa ng mga gusali ng mga pampublikong paaralan sa bansa. Ayon kay Presidential spokesperson Harry roque, sinabi ni Sec.  Briones na base sa kanilang report ay lumalabas na pare-pareho ang naging sira ng public school buildings makaraan […] The post Mga materyales na ginamit sa pagpapatayo ng public school buildings rerebyuhin ni Briones appeared first on REMATE ONLINE......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 14th, 2020

Palace tells critics to dump 'NasaanAngPangulo

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. lashed out at President Duterte’s critics for making #NasaanAngPangulo a trending topic again at the height of Typhoon Ulysses, saying the Chief Executive has always been on top of situations even when not seen in public......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 13th, 2020

Protesting Trump supporters reject results, allege conspiracy

While the streets of many American cities erupted in joy Saturday at the news of Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election, hardcore Donald Trump supporters refused to accept the result, alleging fraud and conspiracy. Trump supporters protested in Phoenix, Arizona and other American cities on November 7, 2020 after Joe Biden was elected US president (AFP/ MANILA BULLETIN) In cities including Phoenix, Philadelphia and Atlanta, the outgoing president’s loyalists gathered under the slogan of #StopTheSteal, repeating Trump’s unfounded allegations that Biden’s win was based on cheating. They wore red Trump hats, held signs reading “Stop The Steal” and waved American flags or Trump banners bearing the slogan: “Keep America Great.” The scenes were familiar to anyone who has attended or tuned in to a Trump rally. Hundreds gathered in front of the Arizona state capitol building in Phoenix, Arizona, some with their dogs dressed in Trump shirts. “I think they’re way too early,” said Donna McCollum, a retired 77-year-old who said she can trace her family history back to the American revolution. “The electoral college is the one to decide. And that has not been decided just yet. And there’s a lot of fraud here. It needs to be either redone totally or recounted.” She added: “Look at these people out here. There’s no way Biden won Arizona.” Two news organizations have projected Biden as the winner in Arizona, but others have been more cautious with the vote totals close and counting continuing. But either way, Biden has already obtained more than enough electoral votes to win, according to US media projections based on vote counts. – ‘Ground zero for cheating’ – Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes was the state that put him over the 270 needed for victory, and Trump supporters there also baselessly alleged fraud, following the lead of the outgoing president. In Philadelphia, the biggest city in Pennsylvania, around 40 Trump supporters were outside a convention center where counting had been underway, blasting hard rock and staples of Trump rallies like “YMCA” and “God Bless the USA.” Nearby Biden supporters were happily dancing to the same music. “This is ground zero for cheating in this election. I thought it was important to be here,” said Steve Padgett, a 57-year-old who works in sales. Sophia Rotunno, a 52-year-old administrative worker, said: “I have faith that our President Donald Trump did win a fair election.” “But the Democrats are not allowing a fair election to be had,” she said, falsely. “So I feel it has to go to the courts.” Despite his loss, Trump inspired a fervent, loyal following among many in the United States as he shattered norms with his bombastic populism. But there was also a darker side to some of his support that Trump could at times encourage by retweeting conspiracy theories and declining to forcefully condemn white supremacy. With the election occurring at a fevered time that has seen waves of protests over the police killing of minorities and Trump often inflaming tensions, there had been fears of election-related violence in some cities. But those fears have not been realized, and many supporters from both sides on Saturday appeared intent on keeping the peace. – ‘Too much smoke’ – On Saturday afternoon, a group of Biden supporters in Atlanta were armed — which is legal in Georgia — as they stood across from a pro-Trump protest, but there had been no violence. Trump supporters have regularly shown up at rallies armed, but guns could not be seen among Saturday’s pro-Trump crowd in Atlanta. “There’s too much smoke and some fire in a lot of places,” said Huff Croxton, a 51-year-old who wore an American flag as a cape, referring to groundless allegations of electoral fraud. “I want to see all this settled out and let’s see at the end who wins. And if Biden wins fair and square, then I’ll jump on board with the media.” In Phoenix, Shannon Morris, a 51-year-old trauma recovery life coach, said she would “fight” for Trump, but in a “peaceful way.” “I think that Trump fought for our country, and I’m going to fight for him,” she said. “Not in an inappropriate way, in a peaceful way, in a good way, in an honest way. I want my voice heard. It’s wrong to win elections by fraud.”.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsNov 8th, 2020

Gov’t pushes digitalized, mechanized farm sector

The Department of Finance (DOF) said the government is rapidly digitalizing the country’s agricultural systems and mechanizing farm production to ensure food security over the long run. During the virtual 2020 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the government wants to turn the coronavirus-induced health emergency into an opportunity. Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) To do so, Dominguez said efforts to implement the twin measures are being done to expand Filipinos’ market access for food producers while keeping food supply available and prices affordable. “We are confident that the innovative measures we are putting in place today will transform Philippine agriculture into a dynamic, high-growth sector that will fuel our country’s strong recovery,” Dominguez said during the high-level Food Security Roundtable at the meeting. Dominguez said the government is also promoting digital marketing to support ongoing efforts to boost consumer spending in the new normal and sustaining public investments in rural infrastructure. He added that the government is accelerating the move towards agricultural technology-based farming and value chain development to ensure long-term food security.  To channel more funds into the agriculture sector, the government is also encouraging more private-sector financing in the sector by proposing reforms in the Congress that will provide more access to credit for the entire agricultural value chain, Dominguez said.   “We all aspire for greater food and nutrition security for our people. Only an efficient and modern agriculture sector can fully deliver that,” Dominguez, who was Agriculture secretary during the administration of the late President Corazon Aquino, said. Amid pandemic, Dominguez III said the Philippines has been handling the COVID-19 crisis “with strength on the food security front” duets reforms, particularly with the passage of the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL). According to Dominguez, the agriculture sector was “one of the brightest spots” of the Philippines’s response to the pandemic owing in large part to the RTL. He pointed out that agriculture sector even continued to grow when the rest of the economy contracted because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Dominguez said rice tariffication was among the main reasons why the government has succeeded in keeping food prices and supply stable, and inflation low during the COVID-19 emergency.  Keeping rice prices stable has been helpful for low-income households that spend a fifth of their budgets on rice alone, he added.   “The Philippines faced the COVID-19 pandemic with strength on the food security front,” Dominguez said.  He pointed out that despite logistical restrictions resulting from the lockdowns imposed to protect people and communities from the lethal coronavirus, the government was able to sustain the flow of produce from local farms to Filipino consumers.   “A food crisis did not happen. This is credited to the effective management of the food supply by our Agriculture Department,” Dominguez said......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsNov 8th, 2020

AFP top brass deny red-tagging

The Philippines’ top military officials, including Armed Forces of the Philippines Southern Luzon Command Chief Antonio Parlade Jr., on Tuesday again denied red-tagging actresses Liza Soberano and Angel Locsin and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and accused the National Democratic Front and similar organizations of trying to destabilize democracy......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 3rd, 2020

Duterte appoints Galvez as vaccine czar; ‘good choice’, say lawmakers

By Genalyn D. Kabiling and Charissa Luci-Atienza In a meeting with government officials on the disaster response Monday, President Duterte announced he wanted former AFP chief and now Presidential peace adviser Carlito Galvez Jr Galvez to lead the government’s vaccine acquisition and distribution effort.  Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. (NTF AGAINST COVID-19 / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Duterte said Galvez would be the only authorized official to negotiate for the country’s’ vaccine supply. He expressed his dislike with the creation of committees since the process will take long.  “As I have said earlier during the start of the COVID, I only want one line of authority coming from dito sa the Task Force sa pagbili ng bakuna, the negotiation, manufacture, negotiation, production or distribution is ibinigay ko ‘yan kay Secretary Galvez,” he said. “I have great faith in Charlie to really come up with the solutions for the problem,” he added. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque defended the additional assignment given to Galvez, saying the planned immunization drive would involve “more of a logistics challenge than a medical challenge.” Galvez, who joined the Duterte Cabinet in 2018, also currently serves as chief implementer of the government’s plan to fight the coronavirus outbreak. Meanwhile, members of the House of Representatives lauded Galvez’s designation as vaccine war, among them: Representatives Michael Defensor, Roger Mercado, Ronnie Ong, Alfred Vargas and Rosanna Vergara. “It’s more of a logistics challenge than a medical challenge,” Roque explained. He said the only medical issues involved in the vaccine purchase are related to safety and efficacy of the drugs. This matter, he said, will be handled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  He said Galvez is expected to continue his close coordination with the Department of Health and other agencies that will be involved in the vaccination drive. “Gen. Galvez would have the hindsight of what happened and the understanding of the COVID baseline. What we need is the leadership and managerial skills in taking the lead of the COVID vaccine campaign,” Defensor, chairperson of the House Committee on Public Accounts, said in a text message when asked if the vaccine czar should have been a medical doctor.  “I support the President’s appointment of Sec Galvez.  Galvez is an innovative  administrator. He can be trusted to implement the program well,”  Mercado said in a separate text message.  “We are happy that the president is preparing early and appointing someone to lead is good news,” Ong said.  Vargas also rallied behind the  the decision of President Duterte to appoint Galvez, saying that “we don’t need a doctor but a manager for this job.” Vergara also gave her vote of confidence to Galvez.  “Being the COVID-19 policy chief implementer, he has a clear overview of the COVID-19 situation in the county and such knowledge is very crucial in the distribution of the vaccine. I am sure, there are medical experts who advise the good Secretary,” she said.  “I am assuming  the vaccine chosen has already passed all testing and FDA approvals , the challenge will be to properly allocate and distribute it fairly across the country to the most vulnerable  and this is the challenge anyone who heads this Task Force will face– how do you properly allocate this should the vaccine supply be limited because of world wide demand? Thus, the need to plan for equally expedited distribution and delivery. Building a delivery system that is quick, fair and will not result to inequitable distribution,”  Vergara added......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsNov 3rd, 2020

Makabayan bloc & lsquo;not a Red front& rsquo;

A lawmaker representing one of the progressive groups in Congress on Thursday has denied that their organizations are fronts for the Communist Party of the Philippines or its armed wing, the New People’s Army......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 30th, 2020

Duterte, Roque to discuss possibility of releasing SALNs

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said he would ask President Rodrigo Duterte if he is amenable to voluntarily disclose his State of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) amid growing calls for the release of the 2018 and 2019 documents. In a televised briefing, Roque said he would personally ask the Chief Executive to make public […] The post Duterte, Roque to discuss possibility of releasing SALNs appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 29th, 2020

Motorcycle Taxis To Resume Soon

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the resumption of the pilot study on motorcycle taxis on Friday. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said it is good news for the commuting public as they can now soon be able to utilize their services. “Mabuting balita po iyan dahil pwede […].....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 24th, 2020

Addressing mental health amid a pandemic

BETTER DAYS Senator Sonny Angara Mental health has historically been a difficult subject to talk about in Philippine society. Many of us, no doubt, have our own stories, personal or otherwise, of how difficult it is to seek help. In fact, in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, an August, 2020, analysis of many studies on the matter confirmed that the low utilization of mental health services among Filipinos could be attributed in part to the stigma associated with mental health issues, with resilience and self-reliance becoming possible alternate coping strategies. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has made mental health an even bigger issue. The quarantine, the economic effects of the pandemic, and the anxieties brought about by the virus’ unpredictability have had a negative effect on the mental health of many Filipinos. Although we as a country are consistently rated to be in the Top 5 of a global optimism index, according to the DOH, the calls for help have been increasing. According to the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), their helpline received about 400 calls monthly from May, 2019, to February, 2020. That’s an average of 13 to 15 calls daily. By March, 672 calls were serviced, and this grew steadily in the following months, until there were 1,034 calls in July – and 440 for the half of August. These double the monthly average from March to August to 876 calls, or 32 to 37 calls daily. Many government and private mental health services are available for people who are seeking help or just someone to talk to. Aside from the NCMH crisis hotline, the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation has confidential crisis lines and a referral system to partnered psychologists. The foundation is also a hub for prevention, recognition, and treatment of depression. The Philippine Mental Health Association also offers similar services, and universities like UST, UP Diliman, and Ateneo de Manila have their own mental health service organizations. Some, like Ateneo’s Center for Family Ministries have affordable or negotiable fees. Online resources like the Silakbo.Ph website have listings for many other mental health service providers outside of the NCR. In fact, many organizations have already partnered with the Department of Health (DOH); perhaps more of them should be invited to the table to plan new policies, projects, and initiatives that will address the growing number of mental health cases. The DOH is also encouraging people to learn more about general mental health through free e-learning courses translated into Filipino.  The source material is from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) QualityRights initiative, which is a global project that aims to help participants improve their own mental health, learn how to support their loved ones and communities, and gain knowledge and skills to tackle mental health issues. Clearly, we need to reassess and adapt to the fact that more Filipinos are now looking for mental health services and treatments. This is why I am seeking to amend Republic Act 11036, the Mental Health Act, particularly its existing chapter on “Rights of Service Users and Other Stakeholders.” Our proposed amendment seek to give health service users the right to immediately receive compensation benefits and special financial assistance they are entitled to under law, should they sustain temporary or permanent mental disability in the line of duty or by reason of a person’s office or position. This is an important amendment, as the Mental Health Act requires that PhilHealth provide insurance packages to patients with mental health conditions, and that access to medicines is ensured. With the observation of World Mental Health Day last October 10, it is important to remember the DOH’s theme for this year, “Mental Health for All: Unifying Voices for Greater Investment and Access.”  This theme encourages that we open conversations on the various challenges that our mental health care system faces every day, such as social stigma and limited funding. In fact, the simple act of marking the day itself is important. It shows those who are suffering that we see them, and care for them. It tells others who are hiding their issues that it is perfectly normal to seek help. And most of all, it encourages the whole world to stand in solidarity in recognition of the need for all of society to help those with mental health issues. E-mail: sensonnyangara@yahoo.com| Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @sonnyangara Senator Sonny Angara has been in public service for 16 years—9 years as Representative of the Lone District of Aurora, and 7 as Senator. He has authored and sponsored more than 200 laws.  He is currently serving his second term in the Senate. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Robredo hits Roque’s gag request to Octa Research Group

The Duterte administration wants the Octa Research Group to stop publicizing their recommendations on the pandemic response because of its intention not to follow them, Vice President Leni Robredo said on Sunday. Vice-President Leni Robredo (OVP / Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) “Ang nakikita ko lang na dahilan kung bakit ililihim, hindi susundin iyong datos, iyong pagdedesisyon hindi nakasunod sa datos (The only reason I see why it must be hidden is that they won’t follow the data, they would decide not based on data),” she said during her weekly radio show.According to Robredo, it would be better for experts from the group to make public their research instead of just communicating it to the government in private.“For the benefit of everyone na alam ng tao kung ano iyong mga resulta ng research (the people should know the result of the research),” she asserted.The vice president disagreed with Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque who discouraged the local research group from publicizing their recommendations on placing areas under strict lockdown to avoid confusion.The Octa Research team, composed primarily of faculty members and alumni of the University of the Philippines and the University of Santo Tomas, has been regularly issuing reports on the COVID-19 situation nationwide.Roque said the group does not have the same number of experts working with the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).“I wish they would refrain from making these recommendations publicly,” he said.His statement came after the Octa team recommended to implement stricter lockdown measures in Bauan, Batangas; Calbayog, Western Samar; and General Trias, Cavite due to an increase in COVID-19 cases.   These places were not being mentioned by the IATF......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020