99 Dead – 2018 Super Typhoon Ompong estimated Philippine death toll

Super Typhoon Ompong left dozens dead with many more missing as landslides hit mining bunkhouses in Itogon, Benguet. 43 bodies have been recovered in Itogon with 30 reported to be still missing. Northern Luzon bore the brunt of Signal Number 4 winds. The Cordillera Administrative Region (which includes Benguet Province), Baguio City (3 deaths), Cagayan Valley (7 deaths), Ilocos Region (1 death), Central Luzon (one death) and NCR (one death) suffered most of the deaths in the Philippines. At this moment, the official death count stands at 59 bodies recovered nationwide with dozens still missing and would be presumed dead as hours turn into days. NOTE: The 99 death toll is an educated guess based on all available, and sometimes conflicting data, regarding those still missing in Itogon, Benguet (currently ranging from 30 to 80) so we adopted the conservative number of 40 then included the 59 confirmed deaths. These figures still do not include reports that may come in delayed due to damaged communication lines and from far flung areas. Suffice it to say that it may take a week to come up with a pretty accurate report.

rp 2018 sept 16 itogon 2

 

At least 60 dead (mostly in Itogon, Benguet landslide) due to Typhoon Ompong

Super Typhoon Ompong left dozens dead with more missing as landslides hit mining bunkhouses in Itogon, Benguet. Northern Luzon bore the brunt of Signal Number 4 winds. The Cordillera Administrative Region, Baguio City, Cagayan Valley and Ilocos Region sustained most of the mortalities.

 

rp 2018 sept 16 itogon, benguet landslide

Leah Salonga on Singapore, strict law enforcement, drug war and national development

leah salonga singapore rp drugs

It was this kind of strictness that I yearned for here in the Philippines all those years ago.

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For some strange reason I started thinking of an incident back in the 1990s that took place in Singapore.

An American teenage boy by the name of Michael Fay was found guilty of vandalizing cars and stealing government property, and was sentenced to 6 lashes of a cane. President Bill Clinton pleaded for clemency, hence the sentence was lessened to just 4, after which the young Mr. Fay was deported back to the United States.

I remember the protests of the west against the cruelty of this kind of corporal punishment (although there were some folks that were totally in favor of it). Afternoon television programs featured it. People Magazine wrote an article on the young Mr. Fay. The photograph used made him look vulnerable, more like a child than someone on the verge of manhood.

However, in Singapore, after the sentence was pronounced, many people interviewed for the news were proud of their country, that they were this strict in meeting out punishment for crimes against the state and its people. Plus, cars are extremely expensive, costing at least twice the amount it normally would in the US. So of course the anger over them getting keyed is high as well.

Moral of the story: obey the rules of the country you live in or visit. Render no destruction to property, public or private. All visitors are subject to the same laws as its residents.

It was this kind of strictness that I yearned for here in the Philippines all those years ago. And now my mind is thinking of the word “perhaps.”

Perhaps if government was more strict back then…

Perhaps if the war on drugs began much earlier…

Perhaps if everyone was less apathetic and more sympathetic and empathetic towards one another…

Perhaps… Perhaps… Perhaps…

So now here we are.

This is on all of us. We’re all in this together. It’s pointless to stand on one side and place all the blame on someone that isn’t us. WE all did this. All of us. So it’s going to take all of us to fix it.

– Leah Salonga

#Duterte #WarOnDrugs

Sara Duterte’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago seizes the initiative from problematic PDP Laban

 

Upon the election of then Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte as President of the Republic of the Philippines, under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban), in 2016, the PDP Laban national political party had no way to go but up. As TRAPOs (TRAditional POliticianS) jumped on the PDP Laban band wagon, PDP Laban easily achieved a SUPER MAJORITY head count in the House of Representatives and controlled the Duterte Administration Coalition in the Senate. PDP stalwarts Koko Pimentel became Senate President and Pantaleon Alvarez became House Speaker. By absorbing incumbent congressmen/women, governors and mayors into the PDP fold, PDP was poised to SWEEP the 2019 midterm senatorial and local elections to totally demolish the Aquino Administration dominant political group, the Liberal Party. sara hnp cropped

On the way to a projected 2019 PDP Laban sweep of the senatorial elections, then Speaker Alvarez floated what he thought to be the absolutely brilliant idea of packing the PDP senatorial slate with long-time (but not nationally prominent) PDP leaders from the House of Representatives. The thinking was that since local elections would be won by PDP, then it was but natural for the PDP senatorial candidates to be carried to electoral victory. Left on the sidelines to mull their future are Duterte Administration Coalition incumbent senators who are up for re-election but are not PDP members (Cynthia Villar, Nancy Binay, Grace Poe, Sonny Angara and JV Ejercito). Note: Koko Pimentel (of PDP Laban) and Bam Aquino (of the opposition Liberal Party) are also for re-election.

A separate issue that involves PDP Laban is the running feud between former Speaker Alvarez and the Presidential daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. The feisty Mayor from Davao City organized a Davao regional political party named Hugpong ng Pagbabago and got the support of at least 4 out of 5 Davao region governors. The obvious motivation is to challenge Alvarez (who is a congressman from the Davao region) and the PDP in the 2019 local elections.

Pimentel was then removed as Senate President. Alvarez was kicked out as House Speaker in a coup that happened in dramatic fashion on the day that the President delivered his State of the Nation Address (SONA). Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo took over the House leadership. Mayor Sara called on a number of congressmen/women to effect the Alvarez ouster. The back room maneuverings and removal of her arch rival as House Speaker propelled Mayor Inday Sara to national prominence and sooner or later, NATIONAL political parties made a bee line to secure a formal alliance with Hugpong ng Pagbabago. While the PDP belatedly included the non-PDP re-electionist senators in their list of 24 possible candidates (for twelve slots), they still have to undergo a trimming process thus their future in the PDP ticket still hangs at a balance. On the other hand Sara Duterte’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago already includes Senators Villar, Ejercito and Angara in their line-up. Together with come backing Senator Pia Cayetano, SAP Bong Go and former PNP chief Bato Dela Rosa, Hugpong ng Pagbabago is ready and able to challenge PDP for the most number of senators elected in 2019. Please take note that there would be common candidates between the two parties with Bong Go and Pia Cayetano, among others, being fielded by the rival pro-Duterte political  parties. Still, in the final analysis, even after counting the common candidates for both sides, when the dust settles after the 2019 midterm elections, either PDP Laban or Hugpong ng Pagbabago will have more senatorial seats won (unless there is a tie). Should PDP Laban elect more senators, everyone would just say that the development had been expected due to the long history of PDP Laban  and the huge numbers of politicians that crossed over to them after the 2016 Presidential elections. However, a Hugpong ng Pagbabago victory would deal a crushing blow to PDP Laban and elevate Sara Duterte to national stature.

 

#Duerte #SaraDuterte #HugpongNgPagbabago #TapangAtMalasakit

 

US indicts PORK BARREL QUEEN Janet Lim Napoles, seeks EXTRADITION

A businesswoman at the center of a massive Manila corruption scandal has been charged in the US with laundering about USD$20 million allegedly pilfered from the Philippine state, prosecutors said, adding they would seek her extradition.

napoles drilon

A federal grand jury in California indicted Tuesday Philippine national Janet Lim Napoles, a key suspect in the so-called “pork barrel” scandal where politicians allegedly embezzled roughly USD$200 million (PHP 10 BILLION)that was supposed to help poor Filipinos.

Napoles, along with five family members, is accused of wiring $20 million of the stolen money from the Philippines to California bank accounts, the US attorney’s office said in a statement.

Lim, 54, is already behind bars in the Philippines, where she is on trial over graft charges stemming from the alleged embezzlement.

The Manila law firm representing her declined to comment.

The US indictment alleges the defendants used the money to buy real estate, shares in businesses, two Porsche Boxsters and finance the living expenses of three US-based Napoles family members.

“We will work with our Philippine counterparts to secure the extradition of the defendants to the United States,” said US Attorney Nick Hanna.

The US government won a court order in 2015 to freeze $12.5 million worth of assets bought by Napoles and others using the allegedly stolen funds.

“If the court orders the assets forfeited, the United States will work… to return the stolen funds back to the Philippine government,” the statement said.

The money was intended for use in development projects chosen by lawmakers, but instead it was diverted to phoney non-profit organisations and stolen.

The scandal rocked the Philippines, where one in five people live on the equivalent of just over a dollar a day.

Three Filipino senators (Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla) were among those arrested in Manila in 2014 over the scam.

After her arrest in Manila, the US government said, Napoles and her family attempted to quietly liquidate the American assets and move the cash back to the Philippines or accounts in the US and Britain.

The defendants also allegedly attempted to give some of the money to Napoles’s US-based daughter, one of those indicted, who used the cash to open a fashion business.

Last year Napoles won a legal victory when a Philippine appellate court acquitted her of charges of abducting and detaining a former aide (whistleblower Benhur Luy) who turned state witness against her in the plunder and graft charges.

However, President Rodrigo Duterte’s government recently dropped an earlier proposal to turn her into a state witness, which could have lessened her exposure to a long prison sentence if convicted.

Story by Agence France Presse

File photo: Janet Lim Napoles with Senator Frank Drilon

GMA, Sara Duterte and Hugpong Ng Pagbabago: Big winners in PDP Laban internal fighting

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hugpong mocha sara bato bong 2

 

The 2018 State of the Nation Address had major fireworks not related to the Presidential speech when the House of Representatives erupted into chaos with a coup de etat that resulted in the removal of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. The major beneficiary of the change in leadership was former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and now a Congresswoman from the province of Pampanga, who assumed the position of fourth highest ranking official of the Philippines (after the President, Vice President and Senate President).

GMA, as the former President is called, was under hospital arrest for five years of the Aquino Administration but has now been cleared of graft charges. Backroom negotiations and maneuverings point to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, the Presidential daughter, as having played a significant role in the OUSTER of her arch enemy, the former House Speaker Alvarez. Selected members of the Lower House received phone calls from Inday Sara to DUMP Alvarez. Inday Sara has just recently formed a Davao regional political party, Hugpong Ng Pagbabago precisely to weaken the Partido Democratiko Pilipino – Lakas Ng Bayan, PDP Laban, the party under which then Davao City Mayor Rodrgo Roa Duterte ran and won the Presidency in 2016. A faction of the PDP Laban recently conducted elections and removed former Senate President Koko Pimentel and former House Speaker Congressman Pantaleon Alvarez from top PDP Laban posts.

All these troubles can only WEAKEN PDP Laban as congressmen and women seek to jump out of an apparently sinking ship. GMA, currently with PDP Laban can revitalize her former political party, Lakas, while Sara Duterte has announced plans to form alliances with national political parties as well as other regional political parties. While PDP Laban and Hugpong Ng Pagbabgo are both supportive of the Duterte Administration, it s clear for everyone to see that the future of Hugpong Ng Pagbabago, as of now, is much brighter than that of the falling star, PDP Laban.

PHOTO: Hugpong ng Pagbabago logo with PCOO Asec Mocha Uson, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, former PNP Chief Bato De La Rosa and SAP Bong Go – all four rumored to run for the 2019 senatorial elections.

#Duterte #Elections2019 #MayorSaraDuterte #HugpongNgPagbabago #TapangAtMalasakit #PDPLaban

 

 

BITAY, Death Penalty: Presidente Duterte may kakampi (Atty Rey Umali) na sa Senado

Kailangan ng BITAY para labanan ang mga drug lords at pushers, dahil wala na silang takot na gumawa ng katiwalian. Sisiguraduhin ni Atty Rey Umali Kakampi ni Presidente Duterte sa Senado, ang ating AbogadoNgBayan, na walang kalakalan ng droga sa ating bansa. Ano po ang say ninyo mga kaDDS? Attendance po tayo. Nasaan kayo? Tagsaan kayo?

Watch this VIRAL VIDEO – Share to your friends.

 

FB fan page Atty Rey Umali – Like, Comment, SHARE and Invite your Friends to Like this Page – https://www.facebook.com/Atty-Rey-Umali-Kakampi-ni-Presidente-Duterte-sa-Senado-275822679649878/?hc_ref=ARQ5e4kqVFD02NZ-OWqVFYexm_KHkU5bGu0kSWhZn-LO4eBO98sY9k_uFu3uBrp1OkM&fref=gs&dti=239205739422874

Expanded video on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-S9926hs44

FB fan page with Live Streaming – https://www.facebook.com/KilusangPagbabagoMetroManila/

https://www.facebook.com/Tapang-at-Malasakit-543686932678092/

https://www.facebook.com/Hugpong-ng-Pagbabago-343618162798367

#Duterte #KilusangPagbabago #TapangAtMalasakit #HugpongNgPagbabago #ChangeIsComing #ChangeIsHere #BongGo #SaraDuterte