World Duterte Megathread - Following the exploits of a president straight out of the DC universe

Who would win the Philippine-Canadian Garbage War of 2019?

  • Durante "Harry" and the Filipinos, the most powerful race in the world

    Votes: 24 54.5%
  • Justin "Current Year" Trudeau and the Canadians, because weed dude lmao

    Votes: 2 4.5%
  • ¡Jeb! Just Jeb and the Gac Bowls

    Votes: 18 40.9%

  • Total voters


The final solution to the weeb question.
True & Honest Fan
Just to add more context to what is happening in the Philipines.

Imagine if 1000+ ISIS troops was to literally take over a small city or large town (Lets say for convince Denver, Bordeaux, etc.) and a combination of the National Guard, Army, and local armed civilian militas were rushed in there to thrown them out. To the point where the Russians, Chinese, and everyone around us were to send us supplies/intelligence support.

Even the normal groups the Philippine government deals with in terms of guerrilla warfare (the maoists and the separatists) lent a hand to help fight Isis.

I am not gonna pass judgement on Duterte as a man, or the value of his polices. Because I need to read more. Thou I will say this shit didn't just pop out of no where. The Philippines has been dealing with some insane stuff that makes the shit the west deals with look like nothing.

Keep in mind the context around everything.
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Protestant church seeks release of 3 missionaries in the Philippines

MANILA - A Protestant church has asked the Philippine authorities on Tuesday (June 26) to release three of its missionaries they are holding for joining a human rights fact-finding mission in the war-torn southern island of Mindanao.

All three are foreigners working for the Methodist ministry in the Philippines.

Mr Tawanda Chandiwana, who is from Mutare in Zimbabwe, was arrested on May 8 for allegedly overstaying his visa. He is with the 13 million-strong United Methodist Church.

Immigration authorities, meanwhile, confiscated the passports of Mr Adam Shaw, of Brunswick, Ohio, and Ms Miracle Osman, of Blantyre, Malawi.

"We vigorously protest this treatment of our mission personnel," said Mr Thomas Kemper, general-secretary of the United Methodist Global Ministries.

"It is unconscionable that Tawanda has been held for six weeks… We are respectfully asking that these young people be allowed to leave," he added.

Human rights groups have been documenting cases of abuses since President Rodrigo Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law in May last year, after Muslim militants seized large parts of Marawi city in southern Mindanao.

The five-month siege was the Philippines' biggest security crisis in decades, killing more than 1,100 people, mostly militants.

The group Karapatan (Rights) has tallied at least 49 victims of summary executions and 22 cases of torture, purportedly at the hands of security forces.

United Nations-appointed experts said Muslim indigenous communities, in particular, have suffered widespread, human rights abuses.

"They are suffering massive abuses of their human rights, some of which are potentially irreversible," Ms Victoria Tauli-Corpuz and Ms Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, the UN Human Rights Council's special rapporteurs on the rights of indigenous peoples and internally displaced people, said in a statement last week.

Martial rule had displaced thousands of the indigenous Lumad people, and some had been killed.

The UN experts said they had information suggesting 2,500 Lumads had been displaced since October, and that Lumad farmers had been killed by military forces in December.

The government has been targeting "undesirable aliens" who have criticised not just human rights abuses in Mindanao, but also Mr Duterte's war on the narcotics trade.

Since he took office in 2016, the Philippines has been drawing international criticism for the killing of about 3,900 people in police anti-drugs operations.

Among the foreigners who have angered President Duterte is Australian nun Patricia Fox, who was spotted in April at a rally in support of human rights.

President Duterte had accused her of "disorderly conduct" and ordered that she be investigated as part of moves against "undesirable foreigners".

The government is seeking to revoke her visa for engaging in activities not allowed under the terms of her visa.
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Oh boy, look who's coming to Israel:

Philippines President Duterte, Who Compared Himself to Hitler, in Talks for Israel Visit in September

Duterte has been accused of murdering civilians. The Philippines is among countries who could potentially move their embassy to Jerusalem

Jun 28, 2018 4:28 PM

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is planning a visit to Israel in September, with talks to coordinate the meeting taking place between the two countries.

Duterte is considered one of the world's most controversial leaders, his presidency marred by accusations of slaughtering citizens, comparing himself to Adolf Hitler and calling former U.S. President Barack Obama a "son of a bitch."

Plans for the visit began forming a year ago. A senior official told Haaretz at the time Duterte had expressed will to visit Jerusalem and received a generally positive response. The Philippines is also considered a leading candidate among countries to potentially move their embassy to Jerusalem.

Israel is hoping the visit will help establish direct flights between the two countries, as well as promote mutual financial investments.

In October 2017, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Duterte as part of his efforts to recruit countries to vote against a UNESCO resolution regarding Jerusalem. A Foreign Ministry official said at the time the two had a good talk.

Relations between Israel and the Philippines have tightened during Duterte's term. His administration stood beside Israel on several issues and abstained from voting in international institutes. Israel has also sold a substantial amount of arms to the Southeast Asian Republic, and the two maintain strong security relations as well.

In 2016, Duterte compared his campaign against drug dealers to the Holocaust, and said he would kill dealers like Hitler killed Jews. "Critics compare me to Hitler's cousin," he said. "Hitler massacred 3 million Jews ... there's 3 million drug addicts. There are. I'd be happy to slaughter them."

"If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have...," he said, pausing and pointing to himself.

Duterte later apologized for his words, and followed up with a visit to a synagogue in the Filipino city of Makati during a cleberation of the Jewish New Year.

Duterte also met with U.S. President Donald Trump last November, in a conversation dubbed "short, but warm and friendly" by Duterte's spokesperson.

The Filipino President recently courted controversy when during a speech he doubted the validity of the Bible and the story of creation.

“Who is this stupid God? This son of a bitch is then really stupid,” Mr. Duterte said. “How can you rationalize a God? Do you believe?”

In early June, while speaking to Filipino foreign workers in South Korea, Duterte drew sharp criticsm from his opposition and rights' activists when he called two women to the stage and prompted one to kiss him on the lips.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is also slated to visit Israel on July 19. The visit was coordinated at a meeting of national security advisers of the Visegrad group, which was also attended by Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat. The Visegrad group, also known as V4, includes Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Sorry for the triple post, but it would be kinda redundant to make a separate thread regarding this:

Rodrigo Duterte says he’ll resign as Philippine president if someone can prove God exists
By Staff The Associated Press

The Philippine president, who recently sparked outrage for calling God stupid, has courted new controversy in his largely Roman Catholic country by saying he will resign if anybody can prove that God exists.

President Rodrigo Duterte questioned anew in a speech late Friday some of the basic tenets of the Catholic faith, including the concept of original sin, which he said taints even innocent infants and can only be removed through baptism.

Duterte asks, “Where is the logic of God there?”

He says if there’s “one single witness” who can prove, perhaps with a picture, that they were able to see and talk to God, he will immediately resign.

Last week, Duterte was slammed for calling God “stupid,” with one Catholic bishop calling him a “psychopath.”


'Sorry, God': Philippines' Duterte Reportedly Apologizes to God

Less than a month after making several controversial statements about God, the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, offered his apologies to the Almighty.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte apologized to God for his earlier remarks during a meeting with Eddie Villanueva, the president and founder of the Jesus Is Lord Church, ABS-CBN News reports, citing Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, who was also in attendance.

As Panelo explained, Villanueva asked Duterte to apologize "not to the people nor to the religion, but to God," a request which the Philippine leader promptly fulfilled.

"Immediately after he made those remarks, [he] said, 'Sorry, God, hindi ka kasama dito, you're not included," Panelo said.

The president then reportedly explained that he made the original remark because of an Australian nun who was facing deportation and who, according to him, was using God "in vain" and "violating the law."

According to Panelo, Villanueva became “elated” over the president’s words, stating that “there was a misunderstanding” and that the context of Duterte’s original statement “was different.”

During a June 22 summit in Davao City, Duterte referred to God as "stupid" when recounting the biblical story of original sin.

"Adam ate it then malice was born. Who is this stupid God?" the president inquired. "That son of a b*tch is stupid if that's the case."

Later he also promised to resign from office if there was “one single witness” who could prove God’s existence by, for instance, showing him a picture or a selfie taken together.


Charming Man
True & Honest Fan

More than 60 luxury vehicles and motorcycles were smashed up by a bulldozer in the Philippines' Cagayan province in compliance with a directive issued by President Rodrigo Duterte to dispose of seized smuggled luxury vehicles.

The haul was worth more than £3 million and included a Lamborghini, Porsche, Mercedes Benz and Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Always buy legit lads...


True & Honest Fan

Philippines' Duterte crushes $5.5m of luxury cars in anti-corruption drive

(CNN)Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has overseen the destruction of $5.5 million worth of luxury vehicles and motorcycles as part of his campaign against corruption.

A government video shows Duterte watching on as a bulldozer crushes 76 smuggled cars and motorbikes, including models by Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.
The vehicles, which were destroyed Monday, were all part of a haul of 800 illegally imported into the Philippines, a government press statement said.
This is not the first time that Duterte has cheered on the destruction of luxury vehicles. In February, he ordered the destruction of 30 luxury cars, saying selling confiscated cars at auction would allow crime syndicates to bid for them under false identities.

Presidential Comm


Pres. Duterte witnesses the condemnation and public destruction of contraband luxury vehicles and motorbikes at Port Irene in Sta. Ana, Cagayan on July 30, 2018. #TatakNgPagbabago

8:09 PM - Jul 30, 2018

Since his election in 2016, President Duterte has cited his fight against corruption to justify his brutal war on drugs, purging of journalists and mass dismissal of government officials. He has previously vowed to step down if he fails to stamp out corruption.
"You know, before a place can really be developed or a viable place to do business, you have to establish first law and order," he said on Monday, according to an official government press release.
  • Informative
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Philippines: Duterte Pushes for Death Penalty for Catholic Nation
Dennis Jay Santos
Davao, Philippines

Catholics in Dagupan city protest President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, June 18, 2018.

Karl Romano/BenarNews

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte wants to revive the death penalty, his spokesman stressed Friday, putting him on a collision course with the Catholic Church just a day after Pope Francis called it unacceptable in all circumstances.

Duterte last year asked a Congress dominated by his allies to prioritize a bill to bring back death by electrocution, citing a runaway crime rate in Asia’s only predominantly Catholic country. The House of Representatives has approved the bill, but the Senate has not debated it.

Duterte won the presidency two years ago on a vow to rid the country of crime and he has given the police wide latitude in conducting its war on drugs, which he blamed as the root of all crime. More than 4,000 suspected pushers and addicts have died in police encounters, though rights groups say the estimate could go as high as 12,000.

“Bringing back the death penalty for serious drug-related offenses is still a priority of this administration,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque told reporters on Friday.

“But the decision is still with the Senate, after the House passed it,” he said.

Under the bill, so-called heinous crimes would be punishable by death. Those include some forms of rape and murder, as well as drug related offenses, including the import, sale, manufacture, delivery and distribution of narcotics.

“I think the matter of the death penalty is in the hands of the senators now. So we leave it to the Senate whatever decision they may have,” Roque said, even as he stressed that Duterte “would still try gentle persuasion” on the Senate.

Wrong in all cases: Vatican

Roque commented after Pope Francis issued a definitive statement that capital punishment is wrong in all cases. The stand went against the previous Catholic doctrine that the death penalty can be acceptable if the guilt of the party has been fully determined and “if this is the only possible way of effectively defending lives against the unjust aggressor.”

The Vatican said the change came about after “a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state” and thus “the death penalty is inadmissible.”

The decision was arrived at just this week, and was signed by the Vatican’s prefect, Cardinal Francisco Ladaria. The Pope on Thursday also said that the church would work to abolish capital punishment around the world.

The death penalty was abolished in the Philippines in 2006 when more than 1,200 inmates on death row had their sentences commuted to life in prison. The move was orchestrated by then-President Gloria Arroyo, a staunch Catholic and a vocal opponent of death penalty who serves as House speaker and a known ally of Duterte.

Arroyo was installed as commander in chief of the country after graft-tainted leader Joseph Estrada was forced out of office over a massive corruption scandal in 2001.

Under Estrada’s term, the Philippines saw the resumption of executions in 1999 as a reaction to a rising crime wave. But the Catholic Church prevailed on Estrada a year later to issue a moratorium, which held until Arroyo took over.

Duterte, who claims that he was molested as a child by a Catholic priest, has been pushing for the death penalty.

He first stated his support for the death penalty last year, when he told Congress during an address that “capital punishment is not only about deterrence, it’s also about retribution.”

He has argued that it was necessary to instill fear among criminals, particularly drug pushers who have been emboldened over the years.

“In the Philippines, it is really an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. You took life, you must pay it with life,” Duterte had said.

Felipe Villamor in Manila contributed to this report.


Duterte’s killing season opens fire on the Left
Tactics used to target Filipino drug suspects are now being deployed against leftist activists and alleged supporters of an outlawed communist movement

A Filipino member of the communists' armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA) in a remote village on the southern island of Mindanao in a file photo. Photo: AFP/Stringer
Last year, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to bomb the schools of indigenous lumad people in mountainous areas of the southern island of Mindanao for allegedly teaching communism to students.

The threat represented a violent reversal for the tough-talking leader, who famously said on the campaign trail in 2016 that if elected he would become the country’s first “leftist president.”

Upon taking office, the Mindanao native prioritized pursuing peace with the leftist Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing New People’s Army (NPA). Formed in 1969, the NPA has been at war against the government ever since.

Duterte’s peace initiative, like those of his predecessors, quickly fell apart amid new firefights between rebels and government troops. Last year, Duterte abandoned the peace effort and designated both the CPP and NPA as “terrorist organizations”, a punitive upgrade from their previous classifications as “illegal organizations.”

The shift has opened the way for a new offensive against the country’s leftists, a campaign of harassment some see as an extension of his brutal war on drugs. The anti-drug drive has resulted in as many as 16,000 deaths, many in police shoot-outs with alleged drug suspects, according to rights groups.

New People’s Army (NPA) fighters in formation in the Sierra Madre mountain range, located east of Manila. Photo: AFP/Noel Cialis
In January, Duterte vowed to pursue left-wing organizations for allegedly acting as fronts for the outlawed communist movement. Weeks later, Duterte stirred a backlash for his unbridled threat to “shoot in the vagina” female NPA fighters.

Duterte’s crude and violent threats against communist rebels has put leftist activists and ethnic minority lumad communities situated in known NPA-controlled territories spread across Mindanao in the government’s firing line.

In December, eight lumad tribe members were killed during a military operation against the NPA in Lake Sebu town in South Cotabato province. Authorities later closed the village’s school on suspicion that it was teaching communism to students.

The Save our Schools Network, an umbrella group of child-focused nongovernmental organizations and church-based groups, has documented 225 military “attacks” on lumad schools since last year.

John Timothy Romero, spokesperson for the Center for Lumad Advocacy, Networking and Services (CLANS), a civil society group, said 33 formal and non-formal lumad-run schools in Central Mindanao have been closed by authorities since last year, affecting nearly 4,600 primary and secondary school students.

Local military officials accused the schools of teaching subversion and communism, and justified the closures because they lacked proper Department of Education licenses. Romero denied the schools were used to propagate communism, although he admitted that NPA rebels have a presence in the affected areas.

New People’s Army members walk past a hammer and sickle flag displayed in a village on the southern island of Mindanao in a file photo. Photo: AFP/Stringer
“We’re operating in remote mountain areas where communist rebels are around, but that does not mean that we are NPA supporters. We are just caught in the war between the military and the NPA,” he said.

A local court in Northern Luzon, an area where the NPA is also active, ordered the arrest of four prominent leftists – Satur Ocampo, Teddy Casino, Rafael Ocampo and Liza Maza – on murder charges. Mariano served as Duterte’s agrarian reform secretary until last year, while Maza currently heads the government’s National Anti-Poverty Commission.

The court junked the murder case against the four on August 13 due to insufficient evidence.

Ryan Amper, spokesperson for the Stand for Human Rights Mindanao group, stressed the crackdown against leftists, human rights activists and environmental defenders is part and parcel of the Duterte government’s rising political persecution.

Amper says that “Oplan Tokhang”, Duterte’s anti-drug policy that has morphed into a seemingly unmitigated killing spree against illegal drug users and pushers, is now being deployed against left-leaning activists, community leaders and lumads who resist big mining and plantation operations in Mindanao.

“We have verified incidents where the military knocked on the houses of suspected NPA rebels or supporters and asked them to surrender,” Amper said. He said in several cases those identified as NPA supporters, including some who opposed big mining operations, were eventually killed by unidentified gunmen.

Amper’s group has recorded at least 140 killings of activists and lumad tribal leaders, allegedly perpetrated by state agents, since Duterte came to power.

Duterte’s anti-drug drive has killed at least 4,075 in legitimate police operations, according to official data up to March 2018. Over 16,000 potentially related deaths recorded through the end of 2017 were classified as “cases under investigation.”

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in military garbs. Photo: Reuters
Oplan Tokhang was derived from the two Visayan words “toktok” (knock) and “hangyo” (plead). With tactics derived from Duterte’s Davao City when he served as mayor, the operations involve police officers knocking on the doors of alleged drug suspects and pleading for them to surrender and undergo rehabilitation.

Amber says those tactics have been transformed into “political tokhang”, whereby over 600 mostly leftist activists in Mindanao have been slapped with allegedly fabricated charges, mostly by the military, since Duterte assumed power in June 2016. “This political tokhang is meant to silence the dissent of activists and community leaders,’ Amper said.

Amper blamed the growing number of cases filed against activists on the Inter-Agency Committee on Legal Action, which was created by the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in October 2017. The mechanism aims to strengthen intelligence-gathering, investigations, prosecutions and monitoring of perceived “threat” groups in the country.

Captain Arvin Encinas, spokesperson of the 6th Infantry Division based in Central Mindanao, denied accusations that the military has filed fabricated charges against those critical of the government or its associated business interests.

“Our charges are backed with evidence,” he said. Encinas also acknowledged that there has been a surge in cases filed against believed militants and community leaders since the military intensified its operations against the NPA in response to Duterte’s call to “crush” the insurgents.

The allegedly “manufactured” charges filed against suspected communist rebels and their activist supporters include murder, frustrated murder, serious illegal detention, alarm and scandal, public disorder, grave coercion and obstruction of justice, among others.

Leftist protestors in Manila in a file photo. Photo: AFP/Noel Celis
So far, the government has sought to declare over 600 individuals as “terrorists” in the mounting crackdown against the communist movement under the Human Security Act of 2007, which critics said puts named persons on a virtual “hit list” for state agents.

From a high of 25,000 combatants in the 1980s, the military estimates there are now around 3,700 NPA guerillas under arms, mostly operating in Mindanao, a region prone to various types of insurgencies.

The military hopes to reduce the NPA’s numbers by half this year through programs that include payments for surrendered firearms and livelihood assistance schemes that help fighters transition to live peacefully in mainstream society.

For Amper and others, Duterte’s regime is laying the groundwork for mass arrests and even political killings by filing false charges against political dissenters.

Activists are fighting back through protests. Last month, a lumad group barricaded the entrance of the Department of Education in Central Mindanao with a coffin bearing the remains of their dead tribal leader, Pakingan Gantangan.

Gantangan died of cardiac arrest on July 21 while participating in a months-long picket protest seeking permits for dozens of schools serving lumad communities that had been closed by the government for operating without licenses. They recently dismantled their picket after reaching an agreement with education officials.

Gantangan’s daughter, Jolita Tolino, a volunteer teacher for the school operated by CLANS in their remote community in Sultan Kudarat province’s Kalamansig town, was arrested by the military earlier this year on charges of murder and frustrated murder. Her family claims the charges are fabricated.

Update, he's gone to Israel:

Duterte in Israel, first visit by a Philippines president
JERUSALEM — Sep 2, 2018, 2:10 PM ET

Rodrigo Duterte, accused of committing serious human rights violations as part of his deadly crackdown on drugs at home, and who has stirred controversy with comments about the Holocaust, received a warm welcome in Israel when he arrived Sunday for a four-day visit.

Ahead of his departure, Duerte said he "looks forward to broader cooperation on a broad range of mutually important areas - defense and security, law enforcement, economic development, trade (and) investments and labor."

Sales of Israeli weapons to his government are high on the agenda, according to Israeli media. Filipino officials have said the Philippines has recently acquired Israeli-made arms such as Galil assault rifles and pistols for its 120,000-strong police force, which is at the frontline of Duterte's battle against illegal drugs and other crimes.

Duterte will kick off his four-day visit by attending an event of the Filipino community in Israel Sunday evening. An estimated 28,000 Filipinos live in Israel, mostly as health aides.

A Filipino living in Israel, Lisa Levi, told Channel 10 TV that she is "excited" and "proud" he is visiting.

Speaking in Hebrew, she said "I wish I could hug him and thank him for everything he does."

She said her home country is safer now and that accusations of rights abuses are "untrue."

Duterte, who has stirred controversy with his foul-mouthed attacks on Barack Obama and even God, will receive a warm welcome in the Holy Land meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other officials.

Duterte drew outrage in 2016 when he compared his anti-drug campaign to the Nazi genocide of Jews in World War II and said he would be "happy to slaughter" 3 million addicts. He later apologized.

He is scheduled to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem on Monday and later a monument commemorating the Philippines' rescue of Jews during the Holocaust.

In contrast to the warm official welcome, Israeli human rights activists plan to protest the visit and have encouraged President Reuven Rivlin not to meet him over accusations of rights abuses at home.

Official Philippine police tallies place the number of suspects killed in police-led anti-drug raids at more than 4,500 since Duterte took office in June 2016.

International human rights watchdogs have cited far higher death tolls.

Duterte, a 73-year-old former government prosecutor, denies condoning extrajudicial killings but has openly threatened drug dealers with death.

Relatives of several people slain in the president's anti-drug campaign last week asked the International Criminal Court to prosecute him for alleged crimes against humanity, in the second such request for a ruling on thousands of deaths that have occurred during the crackdown.

Duterte's visit this week marks the first ever by a Philippine president to Israel since the countries established diplomatic relations in 1957.

In Israel visit, Philippines' Duterte dogged by past rhetoric

Published September 1, 2018 10:52pm

MANILA/JERUSALEM - When Rodrigo Duterte makes the first visit to Israel by a president of the Philippines next week, officials on both sides will try to play down his record of jarring invective while promoting commercial and military ties.

Israel sees the four-day tour by Duterte and his top ministers as a chance to thank Manila for taking in Jews during the Holocaust and backing the Israeli independence campaign that followed.

Tourism, labor and defense deals are also on the agenda, cementing relationships between the Asian power and booming Israel, both historical US allies.

Yet Israel's Government Press Office has said most of the visit will be closed to the media, an apparent precaution against faux pas by a president whose two-fisted crime-fighting tactics and rhetoric have raised hackles at home and abroad.

Some Israeli pundits have recoiled at his planned attendance at Holocaust commemorations.

In 2016, in a bungled reference to an opponent’s remark that his rise could be like that of Adolf Hitler, Duterte said he himself would be “happy to slaughter” drug addicts on the scale of the Nazi leader's Jewish genocide.

While Duterte apologized for that, he has been dogged by accusations from activists that thousands of killings in his ongoing war on drugs were executions, which he rejects, and is rebuked by women’s groups for remarks that make light of rape.

In June, Duterte called God “stupid” and has lashed out repeatedly at the Catholic church, deeming it hypocritical. His visit will include sight-seeing in Jerusalem's walled Old City, which houses major Christian, Jewish and Muslim shrines.

"There's just no knowing what he will say from one moment to the next, so both sides want to keep this (Israel) visit as low-key as possible," one official involved in the planning, and who asked not to be identified by name or nationality, told Reuters.

Taking care

Aides say Duterte hopes to regulate labor relations with Israel, where between 24,000 and 28,000 Filipinos work, mostly as care-givers, and to promote Holy Land tourism from the predominantly Catholic Asian country which has been growing by 30 percent to 50 percent annually in recent years.

Establishing a direct air connection between Israel and the Philippines is in discussion.

Duterte also wants to improve security cooperation with Israel, which has sold the Philippines three radar systems and 100 armored vehicles, and which Manila is now eyeing for an aircraft deal. According to Israeli government data, exports to the Philippines were worth $143 million last year.

Duterte, who has kept domestic opinion on edge by hankering for retirement before his term ends in 2022, makes no secret of his personal disdain for Washington and its foreign policy.

Still, he shares Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rapport with US President Donald Trump. That has stirred modest hope in Israel that the maverick Asian leader might use his visit to announce recognition of Jerusalem as the country's capital, as Trump did last December, outraging the Palestinians.

"We have been encouraging the Philippines on this (Jerusalem recognition), as we do with all countries," one Israeli diplomat said. "We don't know that Duterte will do it - but neither do we know that he won't."

Ernesto Abella, an official with the Foreign Ministry in Manila and a former Duterte spokesman, said the issue of moving the Philippine embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as the United States did in May, had not been discussed.

Abella said the controversy around Duterte's Hitler comments had been settled "way back".

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said in a statement that Israel "assign(s) great importance to this visit, which symbolizes the strong, warm ties between our peoples as well as the enormous potential for developing and strengthening the relations".

Duterte arrives in Israel on Sunday and on Wednesday departs for neighboring Jordan. Reuters
UPDATE: Duterte says ‘never again’ at Holocaust memorial
Philippines' Duterte says 'never again' at Israel's Holocaust memorial
Ori Lewis

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte attends a ceremony commemorating the six million Jews killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust, in the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem September 3, 2018.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte stands beneath pictures of Jews killed in the Holocaust during a visit to the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem's Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem September 3, 2018.

(Reuters) - Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who once likened his crime-fighting policy to Hitler's mass murders and then apologized for the comparison, on Monday laid a wreath to commemorate the Holocaust dead in Jerusalem.

During his visit to Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial and museum, Duterte stood alongside his daughter, Sara, whom he fathered with Elizabeth Abellana Zimmerman, his Jewish first wife, which by religious tradition makes Sara Jewish too.

In a solemn ceremony, he kindled the eternal flame in the Hall of Remembrance and laid a wreath.

Reading from what he wrote in the visitors' book after the ceremony, Duterte said: "Never again."

"May the world learn the lesson of this horrific and benighted period of human history. May the hearts of peoples around the world remain ever open. And may the minds of all men and women learn to work together towards providing a safe haven for all who are being persecuted."

In 2016, in a reference to an opponent's remark that his rise could be like that of Adolf Hitler, Duterte said he himself would be "happy to slaughter" drug addicts in a similar way to the Nazi leader's mass murder of Jews.

Duterte is paying an official four-day visit to Israel, the first by a Philippines president, and officials on both sides have tried to play down his record of jarring invective.

Israel's Government Press Office said most of the visit would be closed to the media, an apparent precaution against any faux pas by a president whose two-fisted crime-fighting tactics and rhetoric have raised hackles at home and abroad.

Tourism, labor and defense deals were signed earlier when Duterte met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his office.


"We share the same passion for peace. We share the same passion for human beings. But we also share the same passion of not allowing a family to be destroyed by those who (have) corrupt ideologies," Duterte said, in an apparent reference to drug dealers.

Duterte has apologized for likening his war on drug dealers with the Holocaust but he has been dogged by accusations from activists that thousands of killings in his ongoing war on drugs were executions, accusations he rejects. He has also been rebuked by women's groups for remarks that make light of rape.

In June, Duterte called God “stupid” and he has lashed out repeatedly at the Catholic church, calling it hypocritical. His visit will include sightseeing in Jerusalem's walled Old City, which houses major Christian, Jewish and Muslim shrines.

After arriving in Israel on Sunday, Duterte met with hundreds of Filipinos living in the country who work mainly as care-givers and received a rousing reception, Israeli media said. Between 24,000 and 28,000 work as carers for the elderly.

Netanyahu, in his remarks, said his own father had been looked after by a Filipina care-giver and that after he died at age 102, his uncle had benefitted from the care of the same worker.

"I, like many, many Israeli families, am deeply moved by this show of humanity," Netanyahu said.

On Wednesday, Duterte departs for neighboring Jordan.
Duterte thanks Netanyahu for help in ending Marawi siege:

Duterte thanks Netanyahu for help in ending Marawi siege

Israeli leader welcomes first Philippine president to the country as critics slam Duterte's human rights record.

03 Sept 2018
The Philippine president praised Israel's prime minister for his "critical help" in ending a five-month siege by rebels in a southern city as they held talks in Jerusalem amid criticism of the Filipino leader's human rights record.

Rodrigo Duterte told Benjamin Netanyahuon Monday the conflict in Marawi on Mindanao island "could have dragged on were it not for the very substantial and crucial equipment" from Israel. He did not elaborate.

It was the first time Duterte acknowledged publicly Israel's help in ending the Marawi siege in 2017.

"Mr Prime Minister, I can only thank you so much especially at the critical help that you have extended my country in time when we needed it most," Duterte said.

"In the recent trouble in the Philippines, the extent of the help that you extended was very critical in winning the war."

The Marawi siege took place between May and October 2017, when fighters who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, known as ISIS) took over the city.

The battle killed more than 1,000 rebel fighters, soldiers and civilians - and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

'Passion for peace'
The visit was the first by a Philippine president to Israel since the countries established diplomatic relations in 1957. Duterte compared the two in peace and conflict.

"We share the same passion for peace, we share the same passion for human beings. But also we share the same passion of not allowing our country to be destroyed by those who … know nothing but to kill and destroy," he said.

Duterte is eager to improve security cooperation with Israel, which has sold the Philippines three radar systems and 100 armoured vehicles. Manila is now eyeing an aircraft deal.

Duterte and his daughter Sara attended a ceremony at Israel's Holocaust Memorial [AP]

'Hitler admirer'
Duterte visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem on Monday, and later a monument commemorating the Philippines' rescue of Jews during the Holocaust.

In 1939, then President Manuel L Quezon issued 10,000 visas for European Jews, but only about 1,300 actually made it to the Southeast Asian nation.

Netanyahu noted how the Philippines took in the refugees who fled the Nazis, as well as its lone vote from Asia for the establishment of an Israeli state.

Recently, the Philippines also abstained in a UN vote rebuking US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"We remember our friends and that friendship has blossomed over the years and especially over the last few years," Netanyahu told Duterte.

Deadly drug war
Netanyahu has worked to cultivate allies in Asia, Africa and Latin America, where many countries have historically shunned Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians.

But Netanyahu has come under fire for embracing Duterte, whose forces are accused of killing thousands in anti-drug raids since he took office in June 2016.

Duterte also caused outrage that year when he compared his campaign to the Holocaust and himself to Hitler, saying he would be "happy to slaughter" three million drug addicts. He later apologised.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz published an editorial headlined A Hitler admirer at Yad Vashem, while left-wing politicians questioned why Netanyahu would welcome Duterte with open arms.

Netanyahu "is willing to whitewash an illegitimate leader who took pride in massacring his citizens and violating human rights, and why?" Tamar Zandberg, head of the leftist Meretz party, wrote on Facebook.

"Because Duterte is willing to support the occupation [of Palestine]," she said.
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I didn't know he thought he had cancer and the now the results:

Philippines' Duterte says tests show he doesn't have cancer

09 Oct 2018 07:40PM (Updated: 09 Oct 2018 07:42PM)

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday that a biopsy he had last week shows he does not have cancer, after calls from the public for information after the 73-year-old missed two official events last week.

When pressed by reporters at a televised briefing at the presidential palace, Duterte said: "It's negative. They had a suspicion... We can have a drink together. I can give you a run for your money."

Duterte said he underwent tests "just to satisfy the family's urgings. But, if it were up to me. I do not need...I don't fear...I don't care."

He also denied taking another medical test in Hong Kong during the weekend when he was seen shopping with his partner and youngest daughter.

Duterte's acting interior secretary told reporters the president informed the Cabinet of the results during a Monday night meeting, prompting applause.

The president made an unscheduled visit to hospital when doctors asked him to repeat digestive tract procedures three weeks after similar tests.

Duterte's condition "is not serious" and will remain a confidential matter, his spokesman, Harry Roque, told a separate news briefing.

The constitution provides for the public to be told of the state of health of an incumbent president, if serious.

"The constitution says that you must let the people know, but the procedure is not to go direct to the people. The cabinet should be the one to decide if you are fully incapacitated to discharge the functions of your office," Duterte said.

Duterte's health was a constant source of speculation after he disappeared from public view for a week last year but his aides dismissed rumours about his condition.

(Additional reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Update: He's once again speaking crap about Catholics, this time he says to shoot bishops

BY TOM O'CONNOR ON 12/6/18 AT 1:43 PM

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out against Catholic critics of his war on drugs, insulting their religion and calling on believers to turn against their clergy.

Duterte has been notoriously blunt about his disregard for the Catholic faith, which more than 80 percent of the Philippine population adhere to, and has referred to God in the Bible as "stupid" and a "son of a bitch." The leader, who has even offered to resign if the existence of God could be proven, continued his rhetorical assault on Catholic leaders Wednesday during a speech at Malacañang Palace, in Manila, and argued that his beliefs did not necessarily make him an atheist.

"I never said I do not believe in God. What I said is your God is stupid, mine has a lot of common sense. That's what I told the bishops," Duterte said. "I never said I was an atheist. Well, the presidency is a God-given gift. I am sure God would not have given me the position if I was a bullshit."

"I couldn't have made it in life...without God," he said. "But these bishops of yours, kill them. They are useless fools. All they do is criticize," he added.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte sings a song after leading the Christmas tree lighting ceremony of the Office of the President at the Kalayaan Grounds at Malacañang Palace, in Manila, Philippines, on December 3. Duterte has set his sights on Catholic leaders who have criticized his controversial war on drugs.TOTO LOZANO/OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES

At a press briefing the following day, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Secretary Salvador Panelo told reporters that the statement was "only a hyperbole on the part of the President," whose remarks the press "should be getting used to." He explained that Duterte "makes certain statements for dramatic effect, but he actually means stop criticizing and do some good for this country, help us."

Catholic leaders were hardly assuaged, however, and many responded with indignation. A number of Catholic priests have been killed in the past year, and clergy feel that they are under attack for their opposition to Duterte's controversial anti-drug campaign that has killed up to an estimated 12,000 people since his election in May 2016. In a message to Duterte, activist priest Robert Reyes said, "I hope you change your view and instead of the war on drugs, help wounded communities and not just kill, kill, kill," according to Philippines broadcaster ABS-CBN.

"We have already faced quite a lot of persecutions in the past two thousand years of Church history. We always respond the way Jesus would," Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David wrote on Facebook, going on to cite Bible verse Luke 6:27-36, in which Jesus tells followers to "Love your enemies."

Duterte, though immensely popular in the Philippines, has also been met some political opposition. Philippine Senator Antonio Trillanes called on the leader to take a drug test of his own after he twice joked about using marijuana to stay alert during meetings. Duterte's extreme no-tolerance policy toward drugs has extended to his own family, threatening to have his own son shot should he be found guilty on narcotics charges. His son was later acquitted.

Australian nun Sister Patricia Fox (front right) holds a candle as she attends a prayer vigil for killed Catholic priests in front of Quiapo Church, hours after the justice department nullified the immigration service order of deportation of Fox for political activism as having no legal basis, in Manila, on June 18.TED ALJIBE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Duterte's dark sense of humor has often received backlash, but the president has consistently defied any suggestions to change his behavior. Among his most inflammatory comments, he has joked about rape on multiple occasions and called former President Barack Obama a "son of a whore," though Duterte later apologized for this slur and said he had forgiven Obama in the same way he had forgiven previous "girlfriends."

Nevertheless, Duterte has managed to advance his political agenda, as the country recently approved a reform that would transition its constitution from a constitutional republic to a federation, a move for which he has long campaigned. Though critics feared he may use the change to consolidate his own rule, the new protocols have actually banned him from running again in 2022.

Duterte has contemplated stepping down early, saying in February that he would likely leave office by 2020 because he was "old," had "no more ambition" and "really would like to rest." He suggested in August that he may even resign earlier because he was "tired." Should he change his mind and attempt to overstay his term limit, Duterte in January instructed authorities: "Shoot me, I am not joking."

“Kill those useless bishops”, says Philippines’ Duterte

Rodrigo Duterte
MANILA. – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has said his country’s Catholic bishops are “useless fools” and should be “killed”, the latest attack by the controversial leader on the church, which has opposed his deadly war on drugs.

In a speech at the presidential palace on Wednesday, Duterte was quoted in local news reports as saying in a mix of Filipino and English: “These bishops that you guys have, kill them. They are useless fools. All they do is criticise.”

Addressing local government officials, Duterte also blasted the Catholic Church again, calling it “the most hypocritical institution” and saying his God is different from the one Catholics worship.

“I never said I do not believe in God. What I said is your God is stupid, mine has a lot of common sense. That’s what I told the bishops. I never said I was an atheist,” he said in an apparent reference to an earlier statement when he was quoted as saying God is “stupid” and a “son of a whore”.

The Philippines has more than 100 million people, an estimated 90 percent of whom identify as Catholic.

Duterte is known for making off-the-cuff remarks without much consideration for their content.

Earlier this week, he said he used cannabis to stay awake, but later retracted the statement saying he was just joking.

Three Catholic priests have been killed since December last year, raising alarm in the country and prompting the church and opposition leaders to condemn the continued “culture of impunity”.

“They are killing our flock. They are killing us, the shepherds. They are killing our faith. They are cursing our church,” Catholic leaders said in a strongly-worded statement earlier this year.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas also urged Duterte to “stop the verbal persecution” against the Catholic Church, “because such attacks can unwittingly embolden more crimes against priests”.

Duterte, who is a baptised Catholic, has said the church has no moral authority to criticise him, chastising the institution for the sexual abuse scandals involving priests worldwide.

He even cursed Pope Francis during the 2016 presidential campaign but later apologised.

Richard Javad Heydarian, an academic and political commentator based in the capital, Manila, said Duterte’s latest attack is an escalation of his feud with the church.

“This is a clash of two powerful institutions, the presidency and the church. So, in some ways, it’s a 21st-century struggle between the church and the state over the country’s destiny,” he told Al Jazeera.

Heydarian said there is also an “element of state crackdown” aimed at members of the clergy who are aligned with progressive groups critical of the Duterte administration.

In a statement to Al Jazeera, Carlos Conde, spokesperson for Human Rights Watch, said it is “very likely Duterte will say he was, again, joking but remarks like this are dangerous because it is clearly inciting people to commit violence against critics of the government.

“In the context of the death and violence we’ve seen in the Philippines since Duterte became president, many of them directed at members of the clergy, this is frightening and should be a cause for concern.”

On Thursday, Duterte’s spokesman, Salvador Panelo said that the president’s statement was just “hyperbole” meant for “dramatic effect”.

“We should be getting used to this president,” he told palace reporters.

Human rights advocates and an opposition senator allege the death toll in Duterte’s war on drugs has surpassed 20,000 since he assumed office in 2016.

The government, however, claims the toll is much lower. According to its latest report published in October, a total of 4,999 people have been killed since the launch of the anti-drug campaign in 2016.

Rights groups have denounced the killings as extrajudicial executions and say the crackdown is unfairly directed at the poor rather than the kingpins in the illicit trade.

The country’s Catholic Church has openly criticised the drug war and has extended help to some of the victims and survivors of the extrajudicial killings, earning the ire of the president.

Recently, Duterte threatened to have a bishop’s head cut off.

Duterte provided no evidence to back his accusation.Although he did not specify the clergyman’s name, he alleged in the same speech that a certain “Bishop David” was engaged in corrupt practices.

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Caloocan, outside Manila, is one of the most outspoken critics of Duterte’s war on drugs. His district has seen one of the highest numbers of extrajudicial killings in the past two years.

In response to Duterte’s allegation, the bishop was quoted in news reports as saying his parents “never taught me to steal”.

In an interview with Al Jazeera last year, Bishop David said it was his moral obligation to oppose the killing of human beings.

“With regards to the issue on drugs, I think that we will never soften on our stand because it is not about politics for us, it is about the lives of people,” he said at the time. – Al Jazeera


Joseph Guillaume of Houston, Don't Mess With Texas

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s lethal war on drugs campaign, the tough-talking leader’s signature and most controversial policy, will now be extended to a new enemy target: communist rebels and their alleged sympathizers.

In late November, Duterte announced to soldiers at Camp Rajah Sikatuna in Carmen, Bohol that he intends to form a new special death squad committed to assassinating New People’s Army communist leaders and assassins, in response to recent firefights that have killed government soldiers.

The dailyReport

Must-reads from across Asia - directly to your inbox
“We’ll hit them, too. I’m announcing that I’ll also create my own Sparrow (unit),” he said, referring to the NPA’s elite Special Partisan Units (SPARU) deployed to deadly effect against security forces at the height of the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship. “[I am] going to create my own Sparrow: the ‘Duterte Death Squad,’” the leader said.

Marcos famously leveraged the communist rebel threat, including its SPARU units, to impose a decade-long period of martial law spanning the 1970’s and 80’s that saw his regime suspend democracy, severely clampdown on civil liberties and perpetuate widespread rights abuses.

Despite the parallels, Duterte appears to have the support of not only the Philippine National Police (PNP), which has been at the forefront of his bloody drug war that has claimed thousands of lives, but also the powerful Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), which has long aimed for the total annihilation of the decades-long communist insurgency.

Duterte said in his speech that the new armed group would be sent to transport terminals, eateries and other public places to kill suspected NPA rebels as well as “junkies and loiterers.” “I will match their talent in assassinating people…That’s my plan,” he said.

It is not clear if the “Duterte Death Squad” would be civilian or security force-led, or if it has already been created or deployed.

But the surprise resignation of Duterte’s chief peace negotiator, Jesus Dureza, over corruption allegations has raised new concerns about his government’s will and wherewithal to seek peaceful settlements to various insurgent movements across the country, including the NPA’s rebellion.

The outgoing AFP Chief of Staff, Carlito Galvez, is widely expected to become the latest top general to join Duterte’s cabinet as his new top peace negotiator.

Critics, however, fear that Duterte’s escalating campaign against communist rebels, including his new death squad threat, is a possible pretext for imposing martial law nationwide to reaffirm his grip on power at a time polls show his government’s popularity is sliding.

Others are worried about the increasing militarization of Duterte’s government, with nearly a dozen senior generals currently ensconced in senior government positions, including in Duterte’s Cabinet.

And despite global outcry over his drug war campaign and its attendant extrajudicial killings, Duterte now aims to extend his extra-legal tactics through a potentially politicized new death squad.

The groundwork has been laid for more provincial violence. Citing a “number of sporadic acts of violence” across the central provinces of Bicol, Samar, and the Negros, Duterte issued a November 23 memorandum order to deploy additional troops to “suppress lawless violence and acts of terror” and “prevent such violence from spreading and escalating elsewhere in the country.”

The government has pinned blame on a spate of recent killings in those regions on the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Part of the Philippines (CPP) which has waged a lethal Maoist insurgency for almost half a century across the country.

Much of the insurgency is concentrated in the country’s southern island region of Mindanao, where the government has imposed martial law since Islamic State-affiliated militants laid devastating siege to the town of Marawi last year.

The AFP claims that martial law has strengthened their hand in Mindanao, namely through coordination with other civilian and intelligence agencies that has bolstered the effectiveness of counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations.

Some in the AFP now claim to be confident that the end of the communist insurgency is in sight, though there have been false dawns before. Predictably, Duterte has embraced thee triumphalism, declaring in September that “if God is merciful, this would be over by about the second quarter of next year.”

While boasting of alleged massive defections among the ranks of the communists, Duterte said that he would leverage those who surrender from the NPA to carry out the plan. “A lot have surrendered, they’re in different locations…and I’ll bring them here. An exchange, if you will,” he said in an apparent carrot and stick tactic.

Jose Maria Sison, the chief ideologue of the CPP currently in exile in the Netherlands, has denied the SPARU group still exists. The assassination unit is believed to have gradually ossified and disbanded after Marcos was overthrown and democracy was restored.

Sison has accused Duterte of “giv[ing] himself the reason to form his own death squads,” which can be used against “[a]nyone suspected” of working with the communist movement, who “could be killed because police have the license to kill.”

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has politely questioned Duterte’s proposal to form a new death squad, emphasizing the need for clear operational guidelines and oversight against abuse. It is believed the military would prefer to conduct any such operations through existing special force units, military insiders say.

“We will study [the proposal] very closely,” the defense chief said in an interview with CNN Philippines. “There is great danger of abuse or mistakes in these undercover operations.”

The military establishment, however, more openly welcomed the reinforcement of government troops in other areas racked by the NPA’s communist insurgency.

Brigadier General Greg Almerol, attached to the Sorsogon-based 903rd Infantry Brigade commander in the province of Bicol, argued that “the incidents of violence recorded in Bicol region is high for the past few months, particularly the attacks by New People’s Army in Camarines provinces,” and thus “we need additional armed forces to address the threats.”

At the same time, Almerol argued that communist insurgents in his area “are almost eliminated, but we really need more troops in order to fasten the time frame in crushing them.”

Senator Antonio Trillanes, a fierce Duterte critic and former naval officer, has questioned the government’s motivation for forming an anti-communist death squad, arguing that Duterte really “wants to strike fear again into the hearts and minds of the Filipinos by forewarning that there would be another round of killings.”

The leftist group Bayan, which is associated with the CPP-NPA movement, also lambasted Duterte’s latest threat and troop deployments as “inciting a killing spree against government critics, human rights defenders and just about everyone else tagged by the government as ‘red.’”

Days after, the government issued a controversial arrest order against several Bayan leaders, including prominent human rights activist and Bayan Muna congressional Representative Satur Ocampo, on charges of kidnapping and human trafficking.

The charges were dismissed by no less than outspoken Philippine Foreign Secretary Teddy Locsin, who said they were an “idiotic” and politically-charged move aimed to harass left-leaning figures.

Vice President Leni Robredo, who hails from NPA-affected Bicol province, cautioned similarly that: “People are worried that this might be a platform to declare martial law, which we all believe even if there is an ambush here is not necessary.”

The military, however, is in no mood to retreat. On December 12, the Philippine Congress granted Duterte’s request for another year of martial law in Mindanao, giving the AFP greater legal and operational leeway to chase down Islamic and communist rebels.

Rejecting proposals for a Christmas truce, the military seems poised to implement Dutetre’s latest command to “pulverize” the communist rebels, with or without a new “Duterte Death Squad.”

If only we had politicians like this in America.
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