Coalition of the Confused

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Confused malcontents swilling Chardonnay while awaiting the Zombie Apocalypse.

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Duterte   Asia

Started 11/11/17 by Jenifer (Zarknorph); 3417 views.
Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


Malcolm Turnbull can't stay silent on Rodrigo Duterte's murderous drug war when he visits the Philippines

"We deplore the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines," Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Melbourne radio in August.

But will Turnbull have the courage to say those words directly to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila on Monday, on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit?

Turnbull has said the focus of his visit will be on counterterrorism. But he also needs to plainly and publicly condemn extrajudicial killings in the Philippines to ensure both Duterte and the Filipino people are clear about where the Australian government stands.

Australia joined 38 other countries in demanding an end to the killings in a United Nations joint statementin September.

However, Australia has been shy to raise concerns publicly during bilateral visits, which has allowed Duterte to milk these visits as expressions of support for his murderous "war on drugs".

Since taking office, President Duterte has created a human rights crisis in the Philippines.

More than 12,000 people have been summarily executed in the past 15 months by police and police-backed vigilantes who are targeting suspected drug dealers and users.

Its victims are predominantly the urban poor, including children.

Aljon and Danila Mesa, two brothers killed six days apart in September 2016 are two such victims of this drug war.

Their mother told Human Rights Watch: "When we saw our son in the river, he was covered in packing tape and floating." He had been shot execution-style through the mouth.

Because the family had just paid for Aljon's funeral, they were unable to raise funds for Danilo's and he was buried in a mass grave.

This killing campaign was instigated enthusiastically by the President, who has cheered on the soaring body count.

Duterte's anti-drug campaign has also seriously harmed free speech and political space in the Philippines.

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Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


Donald Trump's Asia tour: Extravagant Manila gala masks violent protests, regional tensions

Leaders from across Asia have joined US President Donald Trump at an extravagant gala dinner in the Philippines' capital, a show of amity in a region fraught with tensions that have lurked behind his marathon tour of the continent.

Key points:

  • Donald Trump arrived in Philippines for meetings with leaders of South-East and East Asian nations
  • Philippine-US relations strained by Rodrigo Duterte's anti-US sentiment
  • Left-wing protester described Mr Trump as CEO of "imperialist US Government"

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte set the tone of cordiality ahead of the two days of summit meetings he will host beginning today, suggesting that despite their differences over claims to the South China Sea, the leaders should not discuss the issue.

But not all was well and peaceful in Manila ahead of the stop of Mr Trump's Asia tour.

Earlier on Sunday, Philippine police used water canons and batons to prevent hundreds of protesters reaching the US embassy in Manila just hours before Mr Trump arrived.

Carrying placards declaring "Dump Trump" and "Down with US Imperialism", the left-wing protesters were blocked by police in riot gear with shields and batons, and then showered with jets of water from a fire engine.


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Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


ICC to investigate allegations Rodrigo Duterte committed crimes against humanity


Really?  Just ask him - he brags about it!

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutors have opened a preliminary examination into Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's "war on drugs", which has led to the death of thousands since it began in July 2016.

Key points:

  • About 4,000 mostly urban poor Filipinos have been killed by police in the past 19 months
  • Mr Duterte has dared the ICC to bring him to trial
  • His tirades against the court are notorious, and include calling it "bullshit"

Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said the examination was a review of whether crimes against humanity had been committed and whether the Hague-based court might have jurisdiction to eventually bring suspects to trial.

About 4,000 mostly urban poor Filipinos have been killed by police in the past 19 months in a brutal crackdown that has alarmed the international community. Activists believe the death toll is far higher.

"While some of such killings have reportedly occurred in the context of clashes between or within gangs, it is alleged that many of the reported incidents involved extra-judicial killings in the course of police anti-drug operations," Ms Bensouda said.

Mr Duterte's spokesman Harry Roque said the court would accuse the President of crimes against humanity, but Ms Bensouda's statement did not identify potential suspects.

Mr Roque dismissed the action as "a waste of the court's time and resources".

Since it was set up in 2002, the ICC has received more than 12,000 such complaints or communications, just nine of which have gone to trial.

A preliminary investigation is the first formal step the prosecutor takes when considering whether a situation in one of the ICC's member states could eventually lead to charges.

Ms Bensouda will now begin a process that may take several years, gathering information on whether any crimes were committed, whether they are serious enough to be admissible at the court, and whether the court has jurisdiction, since it can only prosecute crimes when a member state itself fails to do so.

Mr Duterte dared the court to bring him to trial and said he would rot in jail to save Filipinos from crime and drugs.

His tirades against the court are notorious, and include calling it "bullshit", "hypocritical" and "useless", stemming from one of its prosecutors saying there could be grounds for an investigation into his bloody crackdown.

He also threatened to cancel the Philippines' ICC membership and said European
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From: Alfi (THIALFI)


"Mr Duterte dared the court to bring him to trial and said he would rot in jail to save Filipinos from crime and drugs."

If Mr. Duterte were rotting in jail, the crime rate in the Phillippines would be much lower.

Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


He wouldn't last very long.

Mass murderers don't tend to have many friends.

Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


Or... he could turn tail and run.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to withdraw country from ICC 


The Philippines says it is withdrawing from the International Criminal Court (ICC) due to what President Rodrigo Duterte called "outrageous attacks" by UN officials and violations of due process by the ICC.

Key points:

  • President announced withdrawal in 15-page statement
  • HRW say Duterte's "war on drugs" has led to deaths of more than 12,000 Filipinos
  • Police say they have killed about 4,100 drug dealers in shootouts

The decision marks a stunning about-face by Mr Duterte, who has repeatedly dared the ICC to indict him and said he was willing to "rot in jail" or go on trial to defend a war on drugs that has killed thousands of his own people.

The mercurial former mayor had initially welcomed last month's announcement by the ICC of its preliminary examination into a complaint filed by a Philippine lawyer accusing Mr Duterte and top officials of crimes against humanity.

But in a 15-page statement, dated March 13, Mr Duterte said he was withdrawing from the ICC's founding treaty, the Rome Statute, because of "baseless, unprecedented and outrageous attacks" by UN officials, and ICC actions that he said failed to follow due process and presumption of innocence.

"There appears to be a concerted effort on the part of the UN special rapporteurs to paint me as a ruthless and heartless violator of human rights who allegedly caused thousands of extrajudicial killings," Mr Duterte said.

The ICC's examination was premature, he added, and, "effectively created the impression that I am to be charged … for serious crimes falling under its jurisdiction".

Mr Duterte's chief critics said the move was a U-turn that showed the tough-talking leader was now in panic mode.

London-based rights group Amnesty International called the withdrawal "misguided" and "cowardly".

According to ICC rules, a withdrawal is effective one year after receipt of notification.

The Philippines comes under its jurisdiction because it is a member, and pulling out cannot affect jurisdiction retroactively.

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Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


Oh, that zany Duterte!

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to arrest an International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor if she conducts activities in his country, arguing that as the Philippines was no longer an ICC member the court had no right to do any investigating.

Key points:

  • President Duterte says there is no basis for investigations into him.
  • Police have killed thousands as part of Mr Duterte's crackdown on drugs.
  • He argues the Philippines never joined the ICC, because it was never published in official gazette.

Hitting out at what he said was an international effort to paint him as a "ruthless and heartless violator of human rights", Mr Duterte withdrew the Philippines from the ICC's Rome Statute a month ago and promised to continue his crackdown on drugs, in which thousands have been killed.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in February announced the start of a preliminary examinationinto a complaint by a Philippines lawyer which accuses Mr Duterte and top officials of crimes against humanity, and of killing criminals as a policy.

Mr Duterte has cited numerous reasons why he believes the ICC has no jurisdiction over him, and suggested that any doubts about that should have been dispelled by his withdrawal.

"What is your authority now? If we are not members of the treaty, why are you f***ing in this country?," he told reporters, in comments aimed at Ms Bensouda.

"You cannot exercise any proceedings here without basis."

"That is illegal and I will arrest you."

It is not clear whether Ms Bensouda or the ICC has carried out any activities in the Philippines related to the complaint against Mr Duterte.

Mr Duterte has told security forces not to cooperate with any foreign investigators and last month said he would convince other ICC members to withdraw.

Mr Duterte had earlier vowed to face the ICC but critics say pulling out is futile, because the ICC has jurisdiction to investigate alleged crimes committed in the period from when the Philippines joined in 2011 to when its withdrawal takes effect in March, 2019.

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Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


Somebody's cleaning house.

Motorcycle-borne gunmen have assassinated a mayor in a town north of the Philippine capital, the second such killing of an official in two days, police said.

Ferdinand Bote, 57, became the 12th elected local official murdered since President Rodrigo Duterte unleashed a deadly anti-narcotics campaign after coming to power two years ago, although Bote was not linked to the drug trade.

He and his driver were leaving a government office in the capital of Nueva Ecija province when gunmen approached his sport utility vehicle and shot him dead, said Adrian Gabriel, the town's police chief.

"He was repeatedly shot with the use of a short firearm," police said in an initial report, but the driver escaped unhurt.

Police retrieved at least 18 empty shells at the scene.

Local news broadcaster GMA News tweeted CCTV footage of the ambush and assasination.

The government will spare no effort in getting to the bottom of the latest crime, said Harry Roque, a spokesman for Mr Duterte.

"We assure everyone that we will discharge the state obligation for every murder," Mr Roque said in a statement, promising a fair and thorough investigation by police to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Back to back assassinations

On Monday, Antonio Halili, 72, who had gained prominence in 2016 for parading drug suspects in the streets of Tanauan, south of Manila, was hit by a bullet in the chest while attending a weekly flag-raising ceremony.

Mr Duterte said the mayor may have had some drug involvement and his "walk of shame" campaign to parade suspects was a ploy to convince police he was not engaged in the illegal drug trade.

At Halili's wake, his daughter Angeline told reporters it was unfair to link her father to the drug trade, and said Mr Duterte had been misinformed.

"I can't blame the president," she added.

"If that's always what you hear from the same people that you talk to and they keep telling you the same thing it gets in your system to the point that you believe it, even though it's a lie."

Halili had been stripped of his supervisory powers over police in October 2017, due to a proliferation of illegal drugs in his city, amid allegations by the national police that he may have been involved.

Halili had denied the allegations.

Police have killed more t
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Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)



From: BerrySteph


Jenifer (Zarknorph) said:

As the Philippines prepares for pivotal mid-term elections, President Rodrigo Duterte seems to be going from strength to strength.

A society that the US has horribly polarised and damaged.