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Philippines Today

Philippines Today

By JO ERLINDA M. GABOT

 

 

CUNETA FOR MAYOR. Actress-singer Sharon Cuneta accompanies her brother Cesar Joseph Cuneta at the Pasay City Comelec office as he reactivates his registration as a voter. Cesar, a pilot, wants to continue the legacy of their late father Mayor Pablo Cuneta by running for mayor in 2019 under the Duterte coalition.  

 

PASAY CITY — A brother of actress-singer Sharon Cuneta is running for mayor of Pasay in the 2019 elections.

 

Cesar Joseph "Chet" Cuneta, 57, a commercial pilot, said he wants to continue the legacy of his late father, Mayor Pablo Cuneta, who held the post for 41 years starting when he was just a calesa driver.

 

Sharon disclosed Cesar's plans on Instagram, adding she will be behind her brother and will campaign for him.

 

Cesar, accompanied by Sharon, went to the local Commission on Elections office, and had his registration as a voter re-activated.

 

 Sharon revealed Cesar will run for mayor under the coalition supporting President Rodrigo Duterte.

 

Cesar is expected to be pitted against the Calixto clan, once an ally of the late Mayor Cuneta headed by the late Mayor Eduardo Calixto. At present, Mayor Antonio Calixto is the city executive while sister Emi Calixto-Rubiano is a congresswoman of the city.

 

"Kung mamarapatin niyo pong iboto ang kapatid ko ngayong eleksyon, talaga pong I shall be there behind him. Tsaka asahan niyo po ang kinikita ng gobyerno mapupunta sa tao ng Pasay, sa taumbayan," the actress said.

 

The actress was earlier seen dining with President Duterte and Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go in Malacañang Palace.

 

The President earlier said that he is grateful for the "many things" Cuneta has done for him and his family. He said his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, is an avid fan of the megastar.

 

The singer-actress posted the photo of her and Cesar at the local Commission on Elections office, where her brother enlisted as a voter in Pasay, as voter registration for the 2019 polls resumed and will last until Sept. 29.

 

“It took us many, many heart-to-heart talks throughout some time to finally come to this decision. And we made sure that when we came to it, it was with all our hearts and souls,” Sharon wrote on Instagram.

 

“Only with the spirit to serve honestly and with our father Pablo’s legacy in mind,” added the performer, who is married to Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, the president of the opposition Liberal Party.

 

Pangilinan said he respected Cesar's decision to run for mayor under the Duterte coalition.

 

Sharon  said her brother is giving up “32 years of his career as a hardworking pilot to serve the people of Pasay City” and she will be “110% behind him.”

 

“He will make sure that all of Pasay’s earnings will go toward making the city progressive and will be for the benefit of the people. I myself will be by his side,” Sharon said. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

CPP-NPA warns Duterte likely to be toppled

Published in Latest News

 

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte is likely to be toppled by the communist rebels by October if you believe statements attributed to Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison.

 

 Duterte himself said Sison, his former professor, is “dreaming" or hallucinating.”

 

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and the Armed Forces of the Philippines laughed Sison’s statements, adding that the real reason peace talks with the communists were canceled was that the communist rebels were plotting since 2017 to oust President Duterte by October this year.

 

The CPP also cast doubt that President  will finish his term.

 

"In less than two years, he has become isolated domestically and internationally. Thus, there is high probability that Duterte will not be able to complete his six-year term of office and will be forced out of Malacañang by way of a surge in anti-fascist protest actions or some other means," the CPP said in a statement sent to reporters on the day Duterte marks his second year in office.

 

"Far weaker than the Marcos dictatorship, the US-Duterte regime will likely be ousted in a shorter period of time,” the CPP warned.

 

The party said the clamor for the President's ouster has been growing daily throughout the country due to his administration's "hostile moves."

 

“Everyday, the clamor for his ouster grows loud and reverberates across the country. In his drive to accelerate his bureaucrat capitalist plunder and establish his autocratic rule, his regime has exercised hostile moves that subjected the Filipino people to deepening crisis and oppression,” the CPP stressed.

 

It cited the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act, war on drugs, anti-tambay operations, and counterinsurgency operation as among the ways Duterte has antagonized society.

 

“His regime has attacked the people in almost every level possible. He has alienated himself from the Filipino people, not only with his killing campaign, but also with his corruption in government contracts for infrastructure projects; his refusal to heed the demand of workers for wage increases and to end contractualization; his use of police force to suppress workers strikes; his contempt for millions of homeless people and threats of violence against them; his indifference to the plight of hundreds of thousands of jeepney drivers; his narcissism and misogyny; his bigotry against the religious; his war of destruction in Marawi and the continuing military offensives against the Moro people to seize control and establish dominance over the Bangsamoro; and so on,” the CPP said.

 

In a statement, Lorenzana said during the unilateral ceasefire from 2016 to January 2017, the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army, and the National Democratic Front called a People’s Congress during which they created a three-year plan that included the ouster of Duterte if he rejected a coalition government.

 

Duterte rejected the NDF demand for a coalition government in November 2017, calling it “pure nonsense.”

 

An ongoing review of all peace documents and agreements showed that they lay the foundation for power-sharing under a coalition government, Lorenzana added.

 

The Defense chief said the communists used the lull created by the ceasefire and peace talks to regain lost ground and rebuild their base, as well as to obtain the release of top party members who were detained.

 

“Based on the foregoing deliberate actions of the CPP-NPA-NDF, it is obvious that they are not sincere to talk peace and end the armed conflict. They are employing the revolutionary dual tactics to show semblance of peace but continually conducting violence and terror acts on the ground,” he added.

 

The communist rebels also failed to agree to the conditions set by Duterte for peace talks to resume, including a stop to its collection of “revolutionary taxes,” which the government brands as extortion. This, he said, showed that the communists were not sincere.

 

“They [CPP-NPA] have been tagged as a terrorist organization locally and internationally. They had their chance to work for peace when President Duterte appointed four of their members to the Cabinet. But they betrayed the government when they used their positions to advance the CPP’s revolutionary movement,” the DND chief added. 

 

The Justice Department, meanwhile, has restarted proceedings to declare more than 600 people linked to the CPP and NPA as terrorists.

 

“We will continue with our petition in the court, unless and until the President and the government peace panel direct us otherwise,” acting Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said following the termination of the peace talks between the government and the communist rebels set last week in The Netherlands.

 

The DOJ earlier filed before the Manila City Regional Trial Court last March a petition seeking to declare communist leaders and their armed members as terrorists.

 

The Justice Department submitted to the court a list of over 600 names, including those of CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison, former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, and UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, it tagged as terrorists.

 

Corpuz, a former chairman of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, was named UN special rapporteur in 2014. She decried her inclusion in the list as “baseless, malicious and irresponsible.”

 

She founded the indigenous peoples' advocacy and research group, Tebtebba Inc., and helped draft the Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples, which was adopted by the United Nations in 2007.

 

Ocampo is facing murder charges in the Manila RTC for his alleged involvement in the murder of suspected military spies in the communist movement in the 1980s.

 

Also in the listare alleged CPP leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, National Democratic Front of the Philippines consultant Rafael Baylosis, former peace panel chief Luis Jalandoni, human rights lawyer and former Baguio City councilor Jose Molintas and Cordillerans Joanna Carino, Windel Farag-ey Bolinget, Sherwin De Vera, Beverly Sakongan Longid and Jeannette Ribaya Cawiding.

 

The petition was filed following the termination of the peace talks between the government and the CPP in November last year.

 

“The CPP and NPA are merely buying time by deceiving the Philippine government in entering into peace talks, while their main purpose is to mobilize all their forces in preparation for the people’s war aimed at overthrowing the duly constituted authority, seizing control of the Philippine government and imposing a totalitarian regime,” the DOJ petition stated.

 

Yes, matinee idol John Lloyd Cruz may soon be busy again in showbusiness.

 

This after rumoured “wife” Ellen Adarna has reportedly given birth to healthy baby boy in Cebu, although the couple has not made any official confirmation on this.

 

At the same time, the couple’s mother studio, the top network ABS-CBN, has denied reports it has rejected the return of John Lloyd in the network.

 

John Lloyd took a break in October last year, and since then, his name has become a hot topic among tabloid writers and netizens on social media.

 

ABS-CBN has released its official statement on the actor’s showbiz comeback after reports came out that the network allegedly turned its back on him.

 

In a statement sent to MS Entertainment by Kane Errol Choa, ABS-CBN Head for Integrated Corporate Communications, the executive belied any incident that happened regarding Lloydie’s showbiz return, the network itself reported on its website.

 

“There is no truth to reports that John Lloyd Cruz approached ABS-CBN to request that he return to work, and that the network turned him down,” Choa’s statement said.

 

But Choa clarified that John Lloyd was still on an indefinite leave from the network.

 

“John Lloyd is still on an indefinite leave to attend to personal matters,” she stated.

 

“ ABS-CBN values its strong relationship with John Lloyd built through the years. ABS-CBN’s doors are always open to John Lloyd, and he will always be a Kapamilya,” the statement ended.

Duterte’s God

Published in On Distant Shore

There are two things that when discussed almost instantly divide a group of people – politics and religion. President Duterte has effectively used the first to divide the Filipino, knowing that with most of the political base that gave him an overwhelming victory in 2016 following him blindly despite his outrageous actions and remarks, the divide would tilt in his favor.

 

Families and friends have fought over Duterte’s policies over Facebook and other social media, and in reunions and meetings in the last two years. And for all those years, the cunning former Davao mayor has mostly maintained his political base. But when he recklessly and outrageously dwelt into religion, he may have overstepped his bounds and now face the possibility of losing his advantage in the national schism that he has created.

 

By asking the rhetoric question that nobody in his right mind would ask in Roman Catholic Philippines, “Who is this stupid God?”, Duterte divided his throng of followers into three: those that would stick with him for better or for worse, and rightly or wrongly; those who would now ask themselves, “Should I continue trusting this man?”; and those who would abide by their faith and their belief and abandon him outright.

 

Looking at this plain and simple equation, it is easy to see that with just one thoughtless, stupid remark, Duterte is beginning to lose his grip on his supporters, and apparently his grip on his own self. This is a man so overwhelmed by power and misplaced ego, he is hastening his journey to infamy and notoriety with every action and word that he makes.

 

This man who enjoys playing God in deciding who has sinned and who deserves to be thrown into the Pasig River and into the Manila Bay to be eaten by sharks, now thinks he is smarter than God and dares question the Church’s teachings.

 

“Who is this stupid God?” Duterte said in a televised speech in Davao last week. “You created something perfect and then you think of an event that would destroy the quality of your work? How can you rationalize that God? How can you believe him?”

 

The public reaction, including those of Philippine Catholic Church leaders, ranged from “forgiving” to “fighting.”

 

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), asked Filipino Catholics to “choose to love” Duterte and “pray for him with compassion.” “We pray for his healing and for God’s forgiveness, but we must rebuke his errors about our Christian faith,” he added.

 

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle called on the faithful to “be at peace” and “read the situation with the eyes of faith.”

 

Other Catholic and Christian leaders, however, were less forgiving.

 

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo urged Catholics to wake up and stand up against evil: “I am happy that many people are now speaking out. Duterte crossed the red line when he insults our God. People have come out of their stupor. I say to all, wake up and stand up. Evil should not be tolerated,” Pabillo said, adding that a person “who has no respect for others and even for God is himself not respectable.”

 

Activist priest Robert Reyes urged Catholic bishops to adopt a stronger stance on attacks against the Church: “He (Mr. Duterte) has proven himself to be a murderer. There is no more time. He is a murderer. He is a blasphemer. He has declared war against the Catholic Church.”

 

Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes called President Duterte a “madman” and urged the faithful to pray for an end to his “blasphemous utterances and dictatorial tendencies.”

 

Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David said that while Duterte is free to have his own thoughts on religion, “disagreement is not a license to insult,” especially since many of his supporters are Catholic. Philippine Council for Evangelical Churches National Director Noel Pantoja said Duterte’s remark was “completely inappropriate,” since its target was worshipped “not only by a majority of Filipinos but also by a vast number of people all over the world.”

 

The Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP) issued a pastoral letter expressing concern about Mr. Duterte’s rants: “These should not be allowed to pass without our community taking a stand for our Lord Jesus Christ and for the Catholic Church to which we belong.”

 

Brother Eddie Villanueva, leader of the Jesus Is Lord movement and whose son, Sen. Joel Villanueva, is a known Duterte ally, said: “When you are a leader, especially the highest leader of the nation, and you mock, wittingly or unwittingly, the God being acknowledged by your Constitution, you are actually violating the soul of the nation.”

 

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, another Duterte ally, agreed that Duterte crossed the line when he insulted God. “I believe that he crossed the line. So he should make amends. After all, he is the leader of our country,” he said.

 

As usual, the President and his apologists in Malacanang are not ready to apologize. Amid the outrage, Duterte insisted: “Your God is not my God because your God is stupid. Mine has a lot of common sense. If I choose not to believe in any God, what’s the fucking thing about it. It’s a freedom to choose one.”

 

And instead of trying to defuse the bomb that the President has created, presidential ally Pastor “Boy” Saycon chose to throw fuel into the fire. Saycon, who has been named one of three members of a panel tasked to dialogue with Church leaders, said just before the meeting that he was not discounting the possibility that the Catholic Church could be used to destabilize the Duterte administration.

 

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, who is also a member of the group tasked to dialogue with the Church, for a while distanced himself from Saycon’s remarks, but the next day turned around, saying that some church officials could be conniving with the communist rebels to oust Duterte. He said the criticisms of the Church against Duterte started in 2016 after their preferred presidential candidate did not win. Haaay, Harry, what’s happened to you?

 

And then on Sunday, Duterte offered another excuse. He said he just wanted “to test the limits of everything” and he would keep his silence for now because he first wanted to see “how the nation reacts.” He added: “We are not precluded from sometimes being vicious,” he said. “There’s a time to be proper and a time to be a s**t.”

 

And that’s the problem with the Filipinos remaining passive despite all these “s**t” coming from their leader. This demagogue from Davao will interpret it as a license to continue becoming vicious and churning out “s**t.” (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

 

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