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PH reelection to UN rights council ‘condemnable,’ puts ‘pressure on govt’

Saturday, October 13 2018

PH reelection to UN rights council ‘condemnable,’ puts ‘pressure on govt’

Sainthood for slain Salvadoran bishop, Pope Paul 6th 23 hours ago TWO days after the Philippines kept its seat at the United Nationals Human Rights Council (UNHRC), rights groups and lawmakers reiterated that its reelection was “not a badge of honor,” but rather a responsibility. “Being chosen for another term to serve in the UN Human Rights Council is not a badge of honor but a yoke of responsibility for a country unabashedly promoting a war on drugs that have killed thousands of poor Filipinos,” Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin said in a statement. Makabayan chairman and former representative Neri Colmenares added that the reelection was “condemndable” because “a government known for massive human rights violations” got to win back its position in the 47-member council for the next three years. Colmenares was one of the lawyers for families of victims of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) who filed a communication before the International Criminal Court (ICC), the world’s only permanent war crimes court. “Our ICC complaint did present many evidence that the EJKs are state-sponsored and upon [President Rodrigo Duterte’s] orders,” Colmenares previously said. Teodoro Locsin, Jr., the next foreign affairs secretary, announced that the Philippines won 165 out of 192 votes on Friday in UNHRC, which is “responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.” The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) welcomed the decision but reiterated that “earning a seat in the council puts pressure on the government” to tackle many human rights violations such as the growing cases of extrajudicial killings in the country. “The Philippines’ credibility to be part of this body rests on its ability to effect actions that will concretely address these allegations, in line with its mandate to promote, protect, and fulfill the human rights of all and not just of a select few,” CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said in a statement. According to a government-backed campaign named Real Numbers PH, there are a total of 4,854 alleged drug personalities who were killed since Duterte launched his campaign on drugs in 2016 in contrast to the 13,000, which human rights groups are claiming. GLEE JALEA 2018-10-13

Army warns parents of ‘intensified’ communist recruitment in schools

Saturday, October 13 2018

Army warns parents of ‘intensified’ communist recruitment in schools

Sainthood for slain Salvadoran bishop, Pope Paul 6th 23 hours ago THE military warned parents against the “intensified covert recruitment” of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA) in major colleges and universities. Lt. Catherine Hapin, spokeswoman of the Philippine Army’s 7th Infantry Division, said it was not surprising that the youth has been the target by communists “as they were idealistic, vulnerable to radicalism and easy to train.” Hapin said that her unit recommended to parents to be more vigilant “in being constantly informed about the activities and whereabouts of their children even when inside their schools and campuses.” The warning came even as Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the “Red October” plot allegedly hatched by the communists to oust President Rodrigo Duterte, which included the students’ recruitment, fizzled out after it was “exposed” by the military. Lorenzana insisted that the documents concerning the ouster plan, which the military recovered, were factual. DEMPSEY REYES 2018-10-13

VACC asks Ombudsman to reopen probe on ‘ghost delivery’ of relief goods to Isabela

Saturday, October 13 2018

VACC asks Ombudsman to reopen probe on ‘ghost delivery’ of relief goods to Isabela

Sainthood for slain Salvadoran bishop, Pope Paul 6th 23 hours ago THE Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) urged Ombudsman Samuel Martires to re-investigate a case involving the supposed “ghost delivery” of relief goods to Isabela. The VACC made the call to Martires, through Local Government Undersecretary Martin Diño, who served at the VACC before being appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). In a statement, Diño said the VACC filed in 2015 a case before the Office of the Ombudsman against Isabela Gov. Faustino Dy 3rd, Rep. Catalina Leonen-Pizarro of ABS party-list, Rep. Michael Angelo Rivera of 1-CARE party-list and other government officials in Isabela, over the alleged malversation of public funds through falsification of public documents and for violating Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. In 2013, Diño said, Pizarro and Rivera allocated P15 million and P10 million of their Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF), respectively, to the provincial government of Isabela. “The funds were intended for social services, particularly for the purchase of relief goods for distribution to…various victims of calamities in all the municipalities in the province of Isabela,” he said. Diño also said that the document containing the transactions indicated that the Isabela government “purportedly purchased” from Sanitary Mart Corporation canned and other goods worth P10 million and rice worth P15 million from Jimmy Pua Enterprises, Inc., which did not undergo public bidding. The DILG official then claimed the rice and canned goods purchased were delivered to and received by the municipal social welfare and development officers (MSWDO) of the different Isabela municipalities for distribution from a typhoon that struck the province in 2013. “[T]here was never a purchase nor delivery of the rice and goods. The documents of the purchase and acceptance were all falsified to make it appear that there was indeed purchase and delivery,” Diño said. The VACC, Diño added, was able to obtain evidence bearing that the signatures of the municipal social welfare in the RIS and Acceptance slip “were all forged to make it appear that the MSWDO had requested and accepted the rice and goods.” The documents also indicated that the purchase of relief goods “was not made to the purported suppliers” mentioned but only to an individual named Allan Ty, according to Diño. When the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) investigated the case, the accused officials were found “cover[ing]up the crime by making Ty reimburse to the provincial government. Although the funds were returned to Isabela’s treasury, Diño said this would not let Dy and the others off the hook. Diño, at the same time, hit former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales for closing the investigation. “For over three years, the Ombudsman has slept on the case, despite the submission by the complainant of overwhelming testamentary and documentary evidence,” he said. DEMPSEY REYES 2018-10-13

'Turkey has shocking evidence of Khashoggi's killing'

Saturday, October 13 2018

'Turkey has shocking evidence of Khashoggi's killing'

'Turkey has shocking evidence of Khashoggi's killing' 'Turkey has shocking evidence of Khashoggi's killing' 06:59 hrs [USA], Oct 13 (ANI): Turkish investigators have claimed that they have "shocking and disgusting" audio and video evidence which shows that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week. CNN quoted a source saying that the evidence showed that there was an assault and struggle inside the building, adding that there was proof that the Saudi journalist was killed. The source added that a Western intelligence service found the source of the evidence, which was considered in a briefing by the Turkish authorities as "shocking and disgusting". Turkish investigators had previously claimed that Saudi Arabia has carried out the abduction and possible killing of Khashoggi, a charge which Riyadh vehemently denied. Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 where he went to the consul to collect some documents to permit him to marry his Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz. He was captured in the camera while entering the building but never came out of it. Rebuffing its involvement in the disappearance, the Saudi officials had asserted that Khashoggi left within a few minutes of his arrival. However, Cengiz, who was waiting outside, had said that she did not see the journalist coming out from the building. Most United States intelligence officials believe that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had carried out an operation to silence Khashoggi, who wrote a series of columns criticising the kingdom country's regime in The Washington Post. Earlier this week, the US had expressed concerns about Khashoggi's disappearance and urged the Saudi government to conduct an investigation into the case. President Donald Trump is set to call Saudi's King Salman soon to discuss the matter. (ANI) SEARCH talking point on sify news Latest Features

Sitharaman visits Dassault Aviation plant in France

Saturday, October 13 2018

Sitharaman visits Dassault Aviation plant in France

Sitharaman visits Dassault Aviation plant in France Sitharaman visits Dassault Aviation plant in France 15:49 hrs Paris: Amid the raging controversy over the 2016 Rafale deal signed between India and France, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday paid a visit to the production plant of French aerospace major, Dassault Aviation, in Argenteuil near Paris. Sitharaman also met Dassault Aviation's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Eric Trappier there. The Defence Minister is on a three-day visit to France for the first India-France Ministerial level annual Defence Dialogue. She participated in the meeting with her French counterpart Florence Parly. During the defence dialogue held on October 11 in Paris, the two ministers comprehensively reviewed the entire gamut of the bilateral defence cooperation, which is a key pillar of the India-France strategic partnership. They also exchanged views on contemporary regional and international developments of mutual interest. Both sides discussed ways to deepen defence-related official as well as operational level interactions. It was agreed to expand the scope and complexity of the regular joint exercises (Shakti, Varuna and Garuda) in the future. Recognising that India-France partnership in the Indian Ocean Region is important for preserving and promoting the common strategic and security interests, both the ministers noted the continuing implementation of the "Joint Strategic Vision of India-France cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region". During the visit, Sitharaman also addressed a select audience on the 'India-France Defence Engagement in a Multi-polar World' at the French Military College's Institute for Strategic Research, a well-known think-tank for military and strategic affairs based in Paris. Sitharaman also called on Prime Minister of the French Republic, Edouard Philippe, on October 12 and discussed issues of bilateral cooperation. During her visit, she also interacted with CEOs of French defence industry and visited a defence manufacturing site. In her interaction with the top leaders of the French defence industry, the Indian Defence Minister urged them to undertake and expand their defence manufacturing in India under the 'Make in India' initiative. Sitharaman also called upon the leaders to promote defence technology and R&D cooperation with Indian stakeholders such as Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bharat Electronics Limited, Bharat Earth Movers Limited, Goa Shipyard Limited and Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited. Earlier on Thursday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had said that Sitharaman's visit to France was an attempt by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government to "cover up" the alleged Rafale scam. The Congress has been accusing the Centre of irregularities in the high-profile Defence fighter jets contract, alleging that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government was procuring each aircraft at a cost of over Rs 1,670 crore as against Rs 526 crore finalised by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. Late on Wednesday, Dassault Aviation clarified that it had "freely chosen" India's Reliance Group for a partnership to set up joint-venture Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL) to manufacture parts for Rafale aircraft and Falcon 2000 business jets. SEARCH