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HONTIVEROS – A MAUTE-ABU SAYYAF SENATOR

HONTIVEROSGETTING HOT: INDAY SARA VS. RISA  WORD WAR

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It’s a comfort that Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio only took to social media in her verbal scrimmage with Senator Risa Hontiveros over the Marawi siege.

Remember the case of the court sheriff whom Inday Sara mauled in public for refusing to hear her pleas to stay a court order to demolish over 200 urban poor shanties in Davao City? Captured in video, the now famous “Sara Punch,” a reminder of how far Inday Sara can go in defending the poor, made headlines on national television.
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We would not say that Madam Risa avoid Davao City or face the same fate as that of the court sheriff. But it would be wise that she, like Senator Antonio Trillanes, Congressman Gary Alejano, elements of the Human Rights Watch and Jun Alcover and the other critics who throw mud without let-up or reason at the Dutertes, avoid setting foot  in Durian City while the temperature is hot.
But there is no assurance that the Inday Sara-Hontiveros clash would not go physical, with the senator of late firing dirty, bellow-the-belt scud missiles that deserve more than a reply in words on Facebook from Inday Sara.
We personally know Inday Sara to be upright and cool, except if you step on her and others’ toes.
She has her heart on the down trodden.
 In the heated exchange in Facebook with Hontiveros, Inday Sara  was defending the down trodden people of Marawi City suffering in the hands of the terrorists and hitting the senator for trying to downgrade the crime of the Moro marauders. According to Inday Sara, Hontiveros is protecting the rebels in her public statement.
In a recent interview, Hontiveros said the siege in Marawi by terrorists is not rebellion.
Inday Sara took to social media to assail Hontiveros over her statement that she said is abetting rebellion. She even went to the pain of asking the Department of Justice for the definition of rebellion in order to educate the senator.
The word war between the two is ongoing as the fierce fighting in Marawi is ongoing.
At first, it was not as bloody as the Marawi siege, but Hontiveros, lately,  has added firepower to her missiles.
Because she is accusing her of abetting rebellion, Hontiveros said that Inday Sara, her long-time acquaintance, has metamorphosed into the likes of the late President Ferdinand Marcos and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“This is the same tactic used by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos against democracy defenders like Soc Rodrigo, Lorenzo Tanada, and Ka Pepe Diokno,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
Firing more bullets at Inday Sara, the senator said that “even then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo resorted to this when she accused journalist Tina Panganiban Perez of abetting a rebellion when the latter was simply fulfilling her duty as a member of a free press.”
Completely outside of the parameters of the original subject of their word war, this brutal attack on the person of Inday Sara by a Hontiveros siege should deserve a more brutal response from an Inday Sara siege.
And a now more dangerous Durian City for  Hontiveros if she is brave enough to visit after this bellow-the-belt attack on Inday Sara who has no qualms about mauling in public a government official who pushes down the poor and the down trodden deeper.
We said Inday Sara has her heart on the down trodden.
We personally know her to be upright and cool, except  if  you step on her toes.
To Inday Sara, Senator Hontiveros stepped not only on her toes but also on that of the government now headed by Inday Sara’s father, President Rodrigo Duterte,  and the people of Marawi City now suffering from death, fear and violence inflicted on them by the Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorist groups.
Hontiveros also stepped on the toes of the police and military personnel risking their lives to protect the people and democracy by driving away this rebellious nincompoops using the Muslim religion as cover for their atrocities.
Whichever way you look at it, the Maute-Abu Sayyaf terrorists are rebels engaged in rebellious act to carve out part of the nation as their own.
But to Hontiveros, the terrorist attack on Marawi City is not rebellion.
Having started his political career as a lackey of a progressive group that  espouse rebellion against government, Hontiveros certainly knew what rebellion is.
On May 22 while the peaceful predominatly Muslim city of Marawi was preparing for the coming Ramadhan, a horde of the Maute Group and its brother-in-violence Abu Sayyaf Group launched an attack and occupied parts of the city.
Now on its 21st day since the attack, troopers continue to engage the rebels in fierce fighting.
The death toll is hair-raising: 20 civilians dead and 58 soldiers killed. Never mind the 198 terrorists killed in the fighting. They deserve their fate. About a hundred of the demons are still embedded in fortified homes and buildings and tunnels in the heart of the city with civilians as human shield. Residents have fled the city for safer grounds. About 2,000 people are trapped in the war zone. The fighting continues and nobody knows when it will end.
And then here comes Senator Hontiveros in defense of the Moro rebels.
Hontiveros is saying that the Marawi siege is not a rebellion. We sympathize with her for her ignorance fed by personal political agenda. She is one of the vocal critics of the Duterte administration, having in her company the pitiful left-overs of the Aquino administration who do nothing but criticize Duterte.
Political agenda can dull the senses to the point that an elected official, like Senator Hontiveros, will sell her principles to protect terrorists.
Inday Sara could not be wrong in saying that Hontiveros is acting like a spokesman of the terrorists by saying that the bloody siege on Marawi City of the Maute and Abu Sayyaf terror gangs is not rebellion.
If Hontiveros can read, hear and see, she would have learned that the terrorists attempted to raise the flag of ISIS at the Marawi City Hall and the Provincial Capitol. She would have known that the Marawi siege has been defined as an act of rebellion by the Department of Justice and Solicitor the General.
But still, the senator is standing ground on her definition of rebellion despite legal luminaries telling her that she is wrong about the Marawi siege being not rebellion. And she continues her attack on Inday Sara.
There must be something wrong with the senses , or the head, of this lady that requires a visit to a shrink.
Hontiveros’ personal agenda of dislike for President Duterte is oozing out through her statement.
President Duterte has declared Martial Law in Mindanao due to rebellion, citing the Marawi siege, the growth of militant Moro groups out to carve out Mindanao as part of their agenda to create a global Muslim caliphate ruled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Rebellion is one of conditions for declaring Martial Law. Hontiveros  is not calling the Marawi siege a rebellion in order to discredit President Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law. Hontiveros’ mantra is the same nonsense sang by her cabal of administration critics who filed a petition at the Supreme Court to nullify President Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law.
The military is compiling a list of the terrorists and their supporters involved in the siege that includes government officials.
Hontiveros should be in that list for abetting rebellion.
jokeningOr better still, the senator should be thrown into the strongholds of the terrorists, so that once soldiers launch a final and finishing assault to completely obliterate the rebels, Hontiveros  would be among those reduced to smithereens.
The country does  not need a member of the terrorist Maute and Abu Sayyaf, like Senator Hontiveros,  sitting in the Senate. 

LIKE MAUTE AND ABU SAYYAF TERRORIST

BEBOT ALVAREZRIGOR ZABALAHouse Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez will “tear apart” any directive issued by the Supreme Court ordering Congress to convene in a joint session to discuss President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao.

Alvarez also hit at those behind petitions asking the Supreme Court to order Congress to hold the joint session.
‘”“ They should go back to their law books, “ said .Alvarez in response to a question from journalists about the petitions asking  the High Court to compel the House and Senate to convene in a joint session to tackle President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration.
Alvarez says the Supreme Court has no power to compel the House and Senate to a joint session.
But the Speaker did not stop there.
“How can the Supreme Court dictate Congress on what to do? We’re co-equal bodies. I’ll tear apart any directive issued by Supreme Court telling Congress, dictating Congress to convene in a joint session,” warned Alvarez.
moro rebelsPresident Duterte, who declared Martial Law in Mindanao on May 23 following the attack on Marawi City by the Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorist  groups, is mandated by the Constitution to submit a report to Congress justifying his declaration of Martial Law. The House and Senate did not convene in joint session to discuss the President’s report prompting the filing of the  petitions before the Supreme Court to compel the two legislative bodies, as required by the Constitution, to hold the joint session.
The Supreme Court said that it will consolidate two mandamus petitions filed before the body asking the high court to order the Senate and the House of Representatives to convene in joint session and vote jointly on President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation 216 declaring martial law and suspending the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao.
The Court was to start hearing the petitions next week.
As the matter stands, the Supreme Court has not yet issued a decision or order on whether or not to compel Congress to hold a joint session.
But Alvarez could not contain his mouth. He does not want the Court to decide on the petitions.
The Speaker’s insulting comment  that he would “tear apart” any directive by the Supreme Court compelling Congress to hold the joint session  is a warning to the High Court: keep your hands off the issue. 
Petitions have been filed before the Supreme Court, which has a mandate to tackle legal issues raised before it.
The Speaker wants the Court to  abandon this mandate.
Alvarez said that the High Court cannot impose its decision on the legislature and has no power to compel the House and Senate to hold a joint session to discuss President Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law.
Alvarez’s logic is off tangent. The joint session is mandated by the Constitution.
President Duterte has assured that Proclamation 216 declaring Martial Law in Mindanao would address violence imposed by terrorists, particularly on Marawi City, assuring the public that the limited martial rule would not be like the Marcos martial law.
This explanation from the President apparently did not sink on the Speaker’s gray matter.
He thinks Proclamation 216 is not limited to Mindanao, gave dictatorial powers to the House and its Speaker to question the power and authority of other branches of  government like  the Supreme Court.
The Speaker said the Court would be “dictating” on Congress if it agrees to the petitions to compel Congress into holding a joint session to tackle Proclamation 216.
But who is acting like a dictator?
“How can the Supreme Court dictate Congress on what to do? We’re co-equal bodies. I’ll tear apart any directive issued by Supreme Court telling Congress, dictating Congress to convene in a joint session,” the Speaker said.
Alvarez also warned that the petitions could precipitate a constitutional crisis if a clash over the issue of compelling Congress to convene a joint session would ensue between Congress and the Supreme Court.
What is wrong with Congress holding a joint session on President Duterte’s Martial Law.
After all, the Speaker has been saying that majority of Senators and Congressmen support the President’s declaration.
The scenario of the declaration being revoked by Congress or its extension if President Duterte ask for it is denied, is farfetched.
So what crisis is Alvarez talking about?
There is going to be a  crisis if the Speaker of the House of Representatives insults  and defies the Supreme Court. Alvarez has already created one by challenging the authority and power of the Supreme Court. He insulted the highest court of the land by saying that he would tear apart any order by the Supreme Court compelling Congress to hold a joint session.
President Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao is working perfectly for the civilians and against the terrorists and other elements planning to sow violence in Mindanao.
No harassment. Except from Alvarez, a Mindanaoan, who is harassing the Supreme Court.
President Duterte said that if there is a need, coverage of Martial Law may be extended to th Visayas and Luzon.
We suggest that the coverage should include a prohibition on high government officials, like Speaker Alvarez, to insult and defy other branches of government and its officials.
mauteLike the Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorists who challenge President Duterte and his administration, government officials who challenge the authority and power of other branches of government create mayhem and are threats to peace and order. RIGOR ZABALA

A snake in the grass

taerigor-zabalaBeing “immoral” is only one of the many “sins” of Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez.

pantaleon-alvarezHe is accused of breaking up the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP), the party that helped propel former Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to the Presidency in the 2016 election with his “dictatorial” attitude in muscling members of the House of Representatives into voting for controversial bills, without thinking.
He ran head-on with Duterte over the impeachment of Vice President Leni Robredo.
He had no qualms about bragging in public in this Catholic-dominant nation that he has two other women aside from his wife and siring a total of 8 children.
In his congressional base in Davao del Norte’s First District, people sneer at him as a “snake in the grass” who bit the hand of those behind his dramatic rise from his dead politics to become one of the highest officials of the country.
Alvarez has filed with Ombudsman graft charges against political ally and longtime friend Davao del Norte First District Congressman Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo, Jr. in connection with the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) signed between the Floirendo-owned Tagum Development Corporation (Tadeco) and the Bureau (BuCor) involving more than 5,000 hectares of the Davao Penal Colony (Dapecol) in Sto. Tomas town in Davao del Norte.
Alvarez alleged that Floirendo was a sitting congressman and did not divest of his interest in Tadeco at the time of the signing of the JVA in 2013.
Alvarez also said the JVA was disadvantageous to the government, with Tadeco paying only P5,000 per hectare of the land it used in growing export Cavendish bananas.
Tadeco is a prioneering banana growing and exporting company founded by the late Don Antonio Floirendo, Sr., Tonyboy’s father.
Tadeco made the once economically-dormant Davao del Norte as the country’s banana capital and placed the Philippines in the map of the world’s top banana exporting countries.
Tadeco and the Floirendos were and still are a factor in Davao del Norte which helped politicians. Bringing back Alvarez to life from his political grave is one benevolent act that the Floirendos have done.
It is generally agreed in Davao del Norte that Alvarez was resurrected from his dead politics, which slept in limbo for more than a decade, by Floirendo who backed his congressional bid in the 2016 election.
Alvarez had been considered as “politically dead” after a single term in Congress from 1998 to 2001, and as Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DoTC) under the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
In the 2016 election, Alvarez joined the  presidential band wagon of Duterte, of which Floirendo was a major  campaign contributor. He would be elected as House Speaker with the support of Floirendo and Duterte and the PDP.
In his complaint against Florendo, Alvarez said Tadeco is cheating the government in the Tadeco-Dapecol JVA deal, which was actually approved by Congress.
Is the Speaker clean?
Alvarez’s  stint with DoTC was marked with a plunder rap with the Ombudsman involving a company partly- owned by his wife which undertook a project at the Manila  International Airport Authority(MIAA).
The MIAA-NAIA Association of Service Contractors (MASO) filed in 2001 a plunder case  against Alvarez and other officials  for alleged anomaly in the award without public bidding of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract to Philippine International Air Terminals Co Inc (Piatco). At the time, Alvarez was the MIAA senior assistant general manager.   
According to a report by Newsbreak in 2001, Alvarez’s wife Emelita owned 33% of Wintrack Builders Inc, a company that supposedly profited from an excess of P76.49 million ($1.64 million) from excavation work it did with Piatco.
Duterte has asked the leadership of the House of Representatives not to proceed with the impeachment case filed against Robredo. Alvarez said, No, we will proceed. Is power getting into the head of the Speaker that he now wants to collide head-on with the President?
The Death Penalty Bill no matter how controversial would have passed no matter the loud noises from the opposition, because it had presidential backing. There was no need for dictator Alvarez to railroad its passage with threats of expulsion from the party or removal from committee chairmanship if a congressman would not vote for approval of the bill.
Alvarez brags that he could not care less if he loses the Speakership.
The frustration at the House over his leadership is loud and clear and the air points to that direction.
In the meantime, let us wait for the House ethics committee to summon Alvarez over his love affairs. Morality is a treasured principle of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the Supreme Court and we would not be surprised if one of these days, Alvarez would be defrocked as a lawyer by disbarment for immorality.
Whether Alvarez is dislodged as House Speaker or if he loses his license as a lawyer, or in a worst case scenario is thrown out of Duterte’s circle, the people of Davao del Norte who voted him to office would not care.
Rightly so. For who needs a snake in the grass?

BANGLADESH AMBASSADOR GOMES: Half of Filipinas are prostitutes

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BY RIGOR ZABALA

Philippine womanhood has reaped its biggest insult from no less than a diplomat who claimed that half of Filipinas are “prostitutes.”

As newly-minted Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to snag the biggest drug lord in the country, he might be interested to know that he could have a prized catch in a foreigner, and a diplomat, at that, under his iron-first anti-criminality campaign.

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It is not rare that we often read reports about Bangladeshis being collared in foreign shores for drug trafficking but Bangladesh Ambassador to the Philippines John Gomes may not, however,  be a drug lord. But he has other sins to Filipinos that should merit the attention of the President. Gomes to us is a “criminal.”

More than 600 suspected drug dealers have died in the hands of police since Duterte and PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa launched the anti-criminality campaign that focused on illegal drug dealing and use.

We would not suggest Gomes be on that list of dead victims. His sin is not about drugs.

His sin is about women and abusing them.

Women abuse is a crime in this country, is it not?

So Gomes might as well be labeled a “criminal” and in the radar of criminals under Duterte’s anti-crminality campaign fit to be dumped in the New Bilibid Prison in the company of drug lords.

Alex Magno, in his column First Person titled Undiplomatic (Philippine Star,  August 6, 2016), unmasked Gomes’ dark, hidden persona, his disdain for Filipinos and the uncouth manner he treats Filipino workers in his embassy.

What are Gomes’ sins?

He once made the claim that half of Filipinas were “prostitutes.”

He has described former president Noynoy Aquino as the most stupid president in the world.

He also said Filipinos are “thieves.”

Gomes could not be sent to jail for describing former President Benigno Aquino as the most stupid president, him having no franchise over the opinion.

But Gomes’ other sins should merit him  the presidential anger and inclusion in the hate list of President Duterte that counts drug lords, kidnappers, rapists, terrorists, grafters, human traffickers, etc., etc.

Gomes desecrated Pinoy womanhood by saying half of Filipinas are “prostitutes.” He also harassed Pinoy womanhood in the person of a Filipina staff at the Bangladesh embassy through his foul language and by thievery.

In effect, the honorable ambassador violated the country’s laws on respect for women. That is criminal!

Magno wrote:

“A couple of years ago, a Filipina employee who served at the embassy of Bangladesh for nearly two decades filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). The complaint was for illegal dismissal as well as a claim for benefits denied her.|

“The NLRC ruled in favor of the Filipina. Lawyers for the Bangladesh embassy, however, claim the diplomatic outpost was immune from suit.”

“The complainant, Alona T. Contridas, has elevated the matter to our Court of Appeals. This is a significant case because it covers the rights of Filipino staff working for foreign embassies in the country.”

“Contridas worked as a cleaner in the embassy. She was later promoted to messenger, with a monthly salary of P17,000.”

“Even after her promotion, Gomes instructed her to report earlier for work to perform cleaning duties in the embassy before office hours. The reason for that, it turns out, was that the person to do the cleaning was made to report to the ambassador’s home to do cleaning, laundry and cooking duties.”

“All the while, a monthly salary of P15,000 was due her. But Ambassador Gomes paid her only P12,000.  Each month, it turns out, the ambassador skims P3,000 from his embassy’s lowliest employee.”

Magno further wrote that Gomes once threw the trash before the Filipino staff.

“He routinely called Filipino “thieves” and once made the claim half of Filipinas were “prostitutes.” In a most undiplomatic way, he describes former president Noynoy Aquino as the most stupid president in the world.”

Gomes had Contreras removed from the embassy staff two years ago.

“Contridas wrote the Bangladesh prime minister complaining of the ambassador’s tyrannical behavior towards the staff. She specifically complained about the ambassador skimming from the salaries of Filipino employees,” wrote Magno.

She also informed then President Aquino about the demeaning remarks the ambassador was making about Filipinos in general and the president  in particular.

Having called Filipinos as “thieves,” we would not be surprised if Gomes repeats the same when he had too many drinks with his friends in the diplomatic corps.

Which should bring us to the case of the $81 million hacked from the Bank of Bangladesh which landed in Philippine Banks.

Gomes is bullying the Philippines government to immediately return surrendered part of the filched amount even as the Senate has yet to complete its investigation on the money laundering scandal.

He believes Filipinos were behind the heist. That is why he says Filipinos are thieves. But the Bangladesh finance minister says the hacking was completely an inside job. It happened because the Bank of Bangladesh failed to adequately protect itself from hackers or worse, allowed a conspiracy from within that bank. (Read more in Magno)

So what to do with a scum like Gomes?

Gomes wants the Bank of Bangladesh scandal resolved and the hacked money returned to Bangladesh before his ambassadorial watch in the Philippines ends.

Before he goes back home to Bangladesh, Filipinos should make this persona non grata answer for his crime.