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In Photos: This Week in Philippine Politics

Words by Marco Pantaleon and Mia Tacoloy

Fake News “Damaging” – Former US Secretary of State

Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright criticized fake news as “damaging to democracy” in an Facebook Live interview with Rappler CEO Maria Ressa on Thursday,  November 2. She was quoted saying, “I do think it’s terrible when people don’t know what the truth is…and that those who are really good at this kind of thing…are able to manipulate information, put it into the airwaves and a variety of ways, and persuade people that lies are true.” Albright chairs the US-based National Democratic Institute (NDI) which recognized Rappler for their efforts in fighting fake news online.

Marital Woes and Election Protest not to be Conflated  – Election Lawyers

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Linking the former COMELEC Chairman Andy Bautista’s alleged corruption and marital woes to the most recent election protest is a poor argument to make, according to Atty. Emil Marañon III, an election lawyer who served as chief of staff of former COMELEC Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. He writes, “This is a very poor argument born of a very poor understanding of how automated elections work. This is no longer a manual election, where incidents are severable and fraud can possibly happen in isolation. In an automated election system employing a single type of machine running in a uniform software and produced by the same company, a technological vulnerability in one component indiscriminately affects the whole.” 

Abella not keen on leaving Government 

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Former Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella is not leaving government yet despite his replacement as President Rodrigo Duterte’s mouthpiece, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Friday. He welcomed Duterte’s decision to replace him with human rights lawyer and Kabayan party-list Rep. Harry Roque, saying the latter meets the Chief Executive’s expectations.

De Lima wants Tolentino cited for contemptScreen Shot 2017-11-04 at 7.03.15 AMSenator Leila de Lima asked the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) on Tuesday, October 24, to cite losing candidate and former MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino in contempt for violating the sub judice rule, which “restricts comments and disclosures pertaining to judicial proceedings to avoid prejudging the issue.” Tolentino made media statements on October 18 when the SET began its manual recount of more than 600 ballot boxes in the electoral protest filed by Tolentino who is serving as a political adviser for President Rodrigo Duterte. Tolentino lost to De Lima for the 12th and final spot of the 2016 senatorial elections by a margin of 1.28 million votes.

Department of Transportation files graft case against Abaya, MRT contractor BURI

Screen Shot 2017-11-04 at 4.36.30 PMFormer DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya and several others are facing graft charges in connection with the allegedly anomalous deal between the MRT-3 and its recently-terminated maintenance provider, Busan Universal Rail Incorporated (BURI). In the complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman, the DOTr says Abaya and other DOTC officials had violated bidding and procurement rules.

Australia issues travel advisory to Philippines

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Australia on Friday warned its citizens against traveling to the Philippines due to a “high threat” of a terrorist attack, including in the country’s capital, as well as western and eastern Mindanao. Canberra alerted its citizens to exercise heightened caution and to be alert regarding possible threats in the Philippines. In its latest travel advisory, the Australian government had told its citizens to “be alert to possible threats around locations that have a low level of protective security and places known to be possible terrorist targets.”

DOJ ends preliminary investigation on Kian Delos Santos case

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The Department of Justice has wrapped up the preliminary probe concerning the death of teenager Kian delos Santos last August. With sixteen policemen from Caloocan City facing criminal charges of murder, torture and planting of evidence, the case is now submitted to a three-man panel that is expected to produce a resolution by the second week of November.

DND one with President Duterte’s call to NPA

Screen Shot 2017-11-04 at 7.11.37 AMThe Department of National Defense (DND) has expressed support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s latest appeal to the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels for their “return to the fold of the law.” In a statement, Secretary Delfin Lorenzana encouraged NPA members “to stop their illegal activities…and be part of the real change that the President has spearheaded for the betterment of our country and the lives of our people.” The president had offered livelihood to rebels after Tokyo promised to help in rebuilding Marawi City, and develop more infrastructure projects all over the country, which would mean more job opportunities for them.

Harry Roque clarifies intent on “hollow blocks” threat

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Incoming Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said his threat to throw hollow blocks at people peddling lies against the administration was meant to appease President Rodrigo Duterte’s ardent supporters. In a video posted on Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson’s social media page, Roque warned Duterte’s detractors: “Kung dati-rati e hindi kayo nababato bagama’t kayo’y nambabato, ngayon po, maghanda na kayo dahil ‘pag kayo’y nambato, hindi lang po bato ang itatapon ko sa inyo, hollow blocks.”

RH Law: FDA to declare most contraceptives are non-abortificients Screen Shot 2017-11-04 at 4.36.55 PMThe Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are set to certify that most contraceptives are non-abortifacients, in a bid to realize full implementation of the Reproductive Health Law, according to a Population Commision (PppCom) official. In June 2015, the Supreme Court had imposed a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on the implementation of said law. PopCom and FDA are both agencies under the DOH.

Sources 

Fake News “Damaging” – Former US Secretary of State

Photo lifted from:http://thehill.com/sites/default/files/styles/thumb_small_article/public/blogs/albright.madeleine.jpg?itok=DTKSxQ00
Read more at:https://www.rappler.com/world/global-affairs/187277-madeleine-albright-fake-news-democracy

Marital Woes and Election Protest not to be Conflated  – Election Lawyers

Photo lifted from: http://media.philstar.com/images/the-philippine-star/nation/20160714/leni-robredo-andy-bautista-2.jpg
Read more at: https://www.rappler.com/thought-leaders/179859-andy-bautista-comelec-integrity-2016-elections

Abella not keen on leaving Government 

Photo lifted from: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/files/2017/06/Ernesto-Abella-1.jpg
Read more at: http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/11/03/17/andanar-ex-duterte-spokesperson-abella-to-stay-in-govt

De Lima wants Tolentino cited for contempt

Read more at: https://www.rappler.com/nation/186223-de-lima-tolentino-contempt-senatorial-elections-recount
Photo lifted from: https://www.rappler.com/nation/186223-de-lima-tolentino-contempt-senatorial-elections-recount

Department of Transportation files graft case against Abaya, MRT contractor BURI

Read more at:http://www.manilatimes.net/abaya-faces-raps-mrt-3-deal/358359/

Photo lifted from: https://news.mb.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Abaya_RussellPalma_04082015_3.jpg

Australia issues travel advisory to Philippines

Photo lifted from: http://www4.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Australian+Prime+Minister+Addresses+Joint+hTYRXWGlxgTl.jpg

Read more at: http://news.abs-cbn.com/overseas/11/03/17/australia-warns-against-travel-to-ph-cites-high-threat-of-terror-attack

DOJ ends preliminary investigation on Kian Delos Santos case

Read more at:

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/631083/doj-wraps-up-probe-on-kian-slay-case/story/

Photo lifted from:

https://sa.kapamilya.com/absnews/abscbnnews/media/2017/news/08/26/20170826-burial-kian-delossantos-1-jc.jpg

DND one with President Duterte’s call to NPA

Photo lifted from: http://217.218.67.233/photo/20170208/68ea7755-ac7b-412e-ac40-7931f478c5f1.jpg

Read more at: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/942665/dnd-echoes-dutertes-call-for-npa-to-lay-down-arms

Harry Roque clarifies intent on “hollow blocks” threat

Photo lifted from: http://media.philstar.com/images/the-philippine-star/nation/20171028/harry-roque-presidential-spokesperson.JPG

Read more at: http://news.abs-cbn.com/video/news/11/02/17/hollow-blocks-threat-meant-to-assure-dds-says-roque

RH Law: FDA to declare most contraceptives are non-abortificients

Photo lifted from: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/wp-content/blogs.dir/10/files/2016/09/rh-bill-contraceptives-inquirer.jpg

Read more: http://www.manilatimes.net/fda-certification-contraceptives-put-rh-law-track-population-commission-official/360246/