Presidente Rodrigo Duterte has verbally given a notice to the United States of America that the scheduled war games between the Philippines and the USA next month would be the last.
In his talk before the Filipino community here in Hanoi, Vietnam Wednesday evening, September 28, Duterte said that he would be establishing new alliances with other countries like China and Russian.
Duterte earlier said that the US has been undermining the Philippines as he blamed America for the plunging peso which he said is being manipulated.
“I will visit China. I will open the door for everyone. I will go to Russia. I’m serving notice now to the US. I will maintain the alliance but I will establish new alliances. I serve notice to you now that this will be the last joint military exercise with US,” said Duterte.
US and the Philippines has scheduled an annual Philippines Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) to be held from October 4 to 12 in multiple locations in Luzon, including Palawan.
It will be the first war games between the two treaty allies under the Duterte administration.
Approximately 1,400 US servicemen based in Okinawa and 500 Filipino soldiers will train “side-by-side to grow capabilities and better prepare to operate together during a natural disaster or armed conflict”.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. however clarified that what the President was referring to was the joint military exercise with other countries within the territorial waters but outside the 12-mile radius.
Yasay said President Duterte was not specifically referring to the Balikatan exercise.
A week after their simultaneous raids in Lorenzo-owned companies in Davao, the New People’s Army rebels strike again this time attacking a mining firm in Mati City, Davao Oriental morning of May 6.
Like their early morning raid in Lapanday Foods Corporation in Mandug, Davao City last April 29, the rebels also raided the Mil-Oro Mining Corporation in Barangay Macambol, Mati City around 4:30 am Saturday.
About 15 heavily-armed rebels overpowered the guards and took away seven firearms with several rounds of ammunitions. The report said guerrillas also took nine handheld radios, three GPS gadgets, a laptop computer, a printer, a digital camera, two wristwatches and a pair of shoes.
The rebels also torched a total of 27 vehicles before leaving the area. Estimated cost of damage is placed at P109 million.
The military is now conducting hot pursuit operation against the rebels.
A frustrated murder complaint was filed against self-confessed Davao Death Squad member Edgar Matobato by one of his victims in Digos City, Davao del Sur Friday, September 23.
The complainant, Abeto Salcedo Jr., positively identified Matobato as the gunman who shot him at close range as he was emerging from the DAR provincial office in Digos City last October 24, 2014.
“I could not be mistaken,” he said, adding that only his car’s window glass separated him from the gunman.
Salcedo sustained three bullets wounds that remained lodged inside his body to this day.
Salcedo, a retired adjudicator of the Department of Agrarian Reform in Southern Mindanao, was accompanied by a lawyer when he filed the frustrated murder complaint against Edgar Matobato at the city prosecutors office in Digos City this morning.
Assistant City Prosecutor Jehrameel Libre, who received Salcedo’s complaint, said they have 60 days to decide whether or not to pursue the case in court.
Matobato, who had admitted to being a gun for hire, said on Thursday upon questioning by Senator Tito Sotto, that he had no involvement in the Salcedo slay-try, saying he was under the Witness Protection Program at that time.
A multimillion drug rehabilitation facility will soon rise in Davao City.
A groundbreaking is scheduled December this year and it will be funded by Resorts World Manila and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).
City Administrator Zuleika Lopez said the facility will complement Davao’s current drug rehabilitation center in Bago Oshiro, a facility that is also servicing even drug dependents from outside the city.
Lopez said that the facility will be built on a 2.5-hectare property in Malagos.
Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte on Tuesday welcomed the news, saying it will definitely help the city accommodate more drug dependents who wish to reform.
“We support this because this will also help decongest our rehabilitation center,” said Duterte during the revived weekly public affairs program Pulong-pulong ni Pulong Tuesday morning.
At present, the Davao City Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Drug Dependents (DCTRCDD) in Bago Oshiro can only accept a maximum of 100 people.
Davao City has recorded around 9,000 drug personalities who turned themselves to the authorities since July.
Vice Mayor Duterte meanwhile hit back at Senator Trillanes anew for the senator’s challenge for a drug test. This after the young Duterte hinted earlier that he is gathering evidence against a senator that is using cocaine.
Though not named, Senator Trillanes immediately took up the cudgel and challenged Duterte for them to undergo drug test which the vice mayor accepted.
In Tuesday’s press conference, VM Duterte said he was advised by President Rodrigo Duterte not to mind detractors like Senator Trillanes.
Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte slammed the latest witness of the Senate inquiry on extrajudicial killings who implicated him in two summary killings allegedly perpetrated by the shadowy vigilante group Davao Death Squad.
A certain Edgar Matobato who claims to be a member of the Davao Death Squad said Thursday, September 15, that there were two instances when Paolo Duterte ordered them to kill someone the vice mayor got in trouble with.
Matobato said they killed someone from Deca Homes in Mintal and another one in Toril — all upon the instigation of Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte.
The witness also claimed to be one of the close-in bodyguards of Paolo Duterte since his childhood days and he used to accompany the young Duterte when attending his classes at the Ateneo de Davao.
Matobato also claimed to have personally delivered a P3 million payola to the Bureau of Customs officers coming from Paolo Duterte. The witness said that the young Duterte is behind the rice and oil smuggling in Davao City back in 2013.
Matobato also accused Paolo Duterte of ordering the death of billionaire businessman Richard King in 2014 over an alleged love triangle. The witness identified Joel Tapalis and Loloy Gabas as the assassins who killed King.
Matobato claimed that the two assassins were “double-crossed” and eventually killed by them. He said that he was later framed up too and was accused and tortured by police authorities to admit to killing King. He said he was also forced to implicate police officer Leonardo Felonia to the King murder.
Felonia is now facing murder charge in relation to King’s death along with confessed assassin Paul Labang and his cohorts Rodel dela Cerna and Rommel dela Cerna.
In a released statement, Paolo Duterte calls Matobato a madman as he denied all of the allegations made by the witness.
“What (Senator Leila) de Lima and this certain Matobato says in public are bare allegations and in the absence of proof are mere hearsay. I will not dignify with an answer the accusations of a madman,” Duterte said.
It was learned that Paolo also attended elementary and high school at the Philippine Women’s College and not Ateneo de Davao as claimed by Matobato. The young Duterte also denied knowing Matobato or having him as a close-in bodyguard during his childhood days.
The Davao City Council on Tuesday approved the release of P4.5-million cash assistance for the victims of Roxas night market bombing that left 14 dead and 70 others injured.
The cash assistance, which was approved based on an urgent motion during the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) regular session, will be sourced from the City Government’s Crisis Intervention funds and incident expenses.
Lawyer Raul Nadela Jr., chief of staff of Mayor Inday Sara Duterte said the distribution of cash assistance will immediately start Tuesday night.
Each family of 14 fatalities will receive P40,000 while the 70 injured will be given P30,000 each from the Crisis Intervention Fund.
The city will also shoulder the food expenses during the wake of the 14 victims for a maximum of 10 days, and the meals of watchers of injured victims for 20 days.
The burial lot at the Davao Memorial Park including the excavation fee will be sourced from the city’s incident expenses.
Nadela added that the Mayor initially gave out cash assistance to all the blast victims from her own money.
Meanwhile, support for grieving families of the night market bomb victims as Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) Secretary Silvestre Bello III as he gave out P10,000 cash assistance to each family of the 14 dead victims and P5,000 to each injured victim.
Bello personally visited the wake of fatalities and injured victims in various hospitals on Monday afternoon.
Bello said the assistance was pooled from the Employment Compensation Commission (ECC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Council (OSHC) under DOLE.
Also, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Davao Manager Gloria C. Ybanez said Monday her office is now processing the documents needed for the payment of medical bills of all blast victims including those who were already discharged from the hospital. CIO
Heads will roll after the Davao City bombing last Friday that killed 14 people and injured 67 more.
Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio allegedly wants the commander of Task Force Davao Col. Henry Robinson Jr. replaced. Robinson assumed the post only last May 2016.
It was learned that the mayor is also contemplating on replacing the newly-installed Davao City Police Office director Sr. Supt. Michael John Dubria. Dubria just assumed the post last June 2016.
No replacements have been identified so far for the two posts.
Mayor Duterte is said to be very disappointed with Friday night’s bombing which happened under the very nose of the police and Task Force Davao. TF Davao personnel as well as police are always seen in the Roxas Boulevard night market securing the area.
Thousands frequent the area every night for its ukay-ukays, food stalls, and massage services especially during the weekends.
Mayor Duterte is also set to offer a P1 million reward money for anyone who could give information about the suspect/s and another P1 million that could arrest the perpetrator/s who placed the IED in the massage area of Roxas Boulevard that evening.
The police said that they already have about three to four persons-of-interest. Two of them are said to be females. There are also about eight witnesses who gave information to the authorities that led to the identification of the POIs.
Witnesses earlier claimed that a tall bearded man left a bag in the massage area and hurriedly left. Few seconds after, the explosion happened.
PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa said they are currently cross-matching the POIs to a gallery of known terrorists.
Dela Rosa said they are also waiting for the post-blast report of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit. Initial findings showed that the IED is crafted from a mortar round based on the fragments taken from the blast area.
According to dela Rosa, the explosive is closely similar to the signature IED of Abdul Manap Mentang, the suspect in the Valentine’s Day bombing of the Davao City Ecoland Terminal in 2005. Mentang remains at-large.
Dela Rosa said it could be possible that Mentang is involved in the night market explosion in Roxas last Friday night.