Friday, February 24, 2017

1M Crowd Expected at Pro-Duterte Grand Rally on Feb 25

EDSA Revolution Anniversary
Pro-Duterte supporters will again unite to show their support to President Duterte. They will be staging a peace rally/gathering on February 25. The rally will be held at the Quirino Grandstand, the same spot where they showed full support to the candidacy of the then Mayor Duterte. Interior Undersecretary John Castriciones, who is also the secretary general of the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte National Executive Coordinating Council (MRRD-NECC), said in an interview that various groups supporting Mr. Duterte and members of different religious communities would converge on Rizal Park for the two-day event. Organizers have no target figure for the number of people attending the rally but they are optimistic that they can get an attendance of 1 million.

Castriciones also said that the gathering is a show of support to the government's campaign against the evils of society like illegal drugs, corruption and poverty.

Social Media Supporters Urge People to Join  

Avid supporters of the President are already disseminating information about the said event tomorrow. Sass Rogando Sasot, a known Duterte supporter asks her followers to go to the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta on February 25. The event will start at 5pm. She even posted a video encouraging people to come and participate in the event. Right now, the post has been shared and liked by thousands of her followers. The video has been viewed by almost 700,000 people.

Aside from the Manila gathering, there will be several events or rallies that will be held in various parts of the country. Some big events are expected in the Visayas and Mindanao areas, particularly in Davao. A lot of Duterte supporters abroad will also held similar events on the same day. The complete list is posted on Sasot's Facebook account with the hashtag #UnitedDDS.  

EDSA People Power Revolution Anniversary

February 25, 2017 is the 31st anniversary of EDSA People Power Revolution but the celebration will be simple according to the Palace. The usual salubong will not be performed. Instead, a program will be held at Camp Crame that will be attended by Sec Medialdea and other government officials. Meanwhile, President Duterte will be at Davao City to attend to an important event for the Bangsamoro Transition Commission.

A rally will also be held at EDSA Shrine. Prominent people, including former President Fidel Ramos, former Sen Rene Saguisag and martial law survivor Etta Rosales, have confirmed their attendance. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

550 Donated Blood Units Tainted With HIV: DOH Report

DOH report on HIV-infected blood units
A report from the Department of Health (DOH) revealed that the number of HIV-infected blood units is increasing every year. According to the December 2016 HIV and Aids Registry of the Philippines (Harp) report, the DOH have detected at least 550 HIV-infected blood units last year. The increase is more than 17% compared to the data in 2015, which is 456 cases.

But the DOH assured the public that these tainted blood units were not transfused to patients. These were discarded after initial screening from blood banks. They also sent the blood samples to Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for confirmatory tests.

This data is alarming since it shows that there is an increasing number of people infected with HIV in the Philippines. HIV leads to AIDS, an incurable disease up to this day. With regards to the tainted blood units, the donors may not have any knowledge that they are already infected with HIV.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Killed Drug Suspects Worth P5,000 said Amnesty International

AI report on President Duterte's drug war
According to Amnesty International, police personnel involved in anti-drug operations were being paid for every drug suspect killed. This report was one of the findings of the London-based human rights watchdog. AI also alleged that most of the killings done by the authorities or suspected vigilantes is systematic, planned, and organized. Since the order came from the top authorities, these drug-related killings can be considered as crime against humanity.

AI conducted their own investigation to unearth the truth about the spate of killings around the country. A lot of the cases are considered extra judicial killings. Most of the victims are poor people and they are targeted because they are suspected drug users or sellers. According to Tirana Hassan, AI's crisis response director, the national police are breaking laws they are supposed to uphold while profiting from the murder of impoverished people. This accusation was backed by their own investigation conducted in November to December 2016. They interviewed at least 110 people including families of victims and witnesses.

Police Paid to Kill Drug Suspects

The most controversial finding of the group is the alleged pay out to police officers for each encounter with drug suspects. An active anti-narcotics police officer who was interviewed by the group revealed that they are not paid for arrests but given incentives for killing drug suspects. The amount ranges from P8,000 to P15,000. The officer said that they are paid in cash secretly by the headquarters. Some local government units in Metro Manila are also providing incentives for every killed drug suspect.

Two hired-killers interviewed by the AI also revealed that a police officer pays them P5,000 for every killed drug user and paid higher if the job is to kill a pusher, which is between P10,000 to P15,000.

Some police officers also get incentives from funeral homes where they bring killed drug suspects. Some get as much as P10,000 per cadaver since they bring them to expensive funeral homes.

In most occasions, drugs and weapons are planted to link the suspects in the drug trade.

AI Must Testify on the Pay-for-Kill Claim 

Meanwhile, Senator Chiz Escudero said in a recent interview that he wants Amnesty International to testify in a Senate inquiry about the alleged pay-for-kill scheme in the PNP. The allegation that the PNP paid its personnel and assassins is a serious issue.

As of January 2017, there are already more than 7,000 casualties on the war on drugs by President Duterte. Critics say that most of these were done in EJK style.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sec Aguirre Denied Involvement in Bribery Scandal

Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre DOJ
In the latest Senate hearing on the bribery scandal involving top officials of the Bureau of Immigration, Secretary of Justice Vitaliano Aguirre denied his alleged involvement in the bribery case. "I could not be bribed." This is the statement of Aguirre when asked about his alleged participation or knowledge of the P50 million given to 2 BI commissioners.

Associate Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles, both frat brothers of Aguirre and President Duterte, denied that they have asked money from Jack Lam or retired Police Senior Superintendent Wally Sombero Jr. Sombero acted as the middleman for Lam and tried to negotiate the release of the Chinese nationals who were arrested in Fontana late last year. However, the testimony of these BI officials have failed to convince the Senators.

Meanwhile, Secretary Aguirre was forced to apologize to some senators for insinuating that they have a sinister plot to implicate him in the bribery scandal. Aguirre apologized to Senator Francis Pangilinan and Senator DeLima during the hearing on Tuesday.