PH Embassy in DC responds to PCFR statement


(The following was received in an email from the Embassy of the Philippines in Washington DC to the Philippine Council on Foreign Relations about the “PCFR’s statement on the campaigning of the Philippine Ambassador to the US for administration candidates.”)

FOREIGN Service Officers have always understood their role as representatives of the Philippine Government that are above and outside partisan politics. The question of who should be in power and run the government is not for us to answer. What is required of us, however, is a commitment to promote and defend democratic values, which include the citizens’ right of suffrage.

The Department of Foreign Affairs, through the Philippine Foreign Service Posts around the world, is legally mandated to ensure that qualified Filipino voters, wherever they may be, are able to exercise this right. It was in this spirit that the Philippine Ambassador to the United States appealed to our kababayans in Los Angeles to register as overseas voters and cast their ballots next year. The gains made in the past five years are due, in large part, to a more informed and engaged citizenry. It is only right that we do all that we can to sustain and expand this sense of involvement in order to preserve and build on what has been achieved so far. END

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The PCFR statement being responded to is the following:
This morning at a show on the ABS-CBN News Channel which covered the Filipino registration of voters in Los Angeles, California the Philippine Ambassador to the United States addressed the Filipino voters urging them to vote so that “the gains of this administration can be pursued.”

Given that the Chief of Mission represents the Republic of the Philippines and not the Liberal Party which controls this administration, this would be deemed as premature campaigning in favor of the administration party.

Considering that Filipino OFWs in the United States have their own party preferences, the Philippine Chief of Mission should just have stood neutral!

In the face of this anomaly we now call upon all Chiefs of Mission during the electoral season to cease and desist from campaigning for the administration and just encourage our OFWs to exercise their right of suffrage and vote with their consciences.

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‘NPA Spokesman was lying through his teeth’

[We received this email from the Headquarters of the 4th Infantry (Diamong) Division of the Philippine Army Public Affairs Office. The longer original title is "NPA Spokesman Spokesman was Lying to [sic]His Teeth” Saying it is just Right to Kill. We publish it unedited below]

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – A very deceitful statement fabricated by Rigoberto Sanchez, spokesman of NPA bandits, was released to public to justify their action six days after brutally killing Mayor Dario Otaza of Loreto, Agusan del Sur and his son Daryl.

Sanchez have point-by-point gave a “superficial” detailed information accusing Mayor Otaza of the crimes against humanity that happened inside his town. While ironically, these accusations are all coming from the number 1 Human Rights Violator and a criminal himself.

Sanchez is alleging Mayor Otaza as the mastermind of the killings referred to as brutal murder and acts of torture of Lumad and ordinary civilians. One of which is the death of Benjie Planos and Gabriel Alindao, last September 2013. Planos and Alindao are both occupying a very big position in the armed movement. Their position is “Sangay sa Partido sa Lokalidad” or the main NPA recruiter, organizers, point of contact inside the barangay. However, when Mayor Otaza have promised a better future for his town and urged his people to stop supporting the armed movement, Planos and Alindao have turned their back to the armed movement just like what Mayor Otaza did in 1986. Planos and Alindao have been subjected to death penalty of the NPA bandits because of betrayal. They were killed in September 2013 by the NPA and charged it to Mayor Otaza.

Other killings mentioned in Sanchez’ statement have suffered the same fate with the NPA’s inhumane and brutal Kangaroo Court.

Another fabricated statement was about the 4 minors and two of whom “according to Sanchez’ imagination” have been subjected to illegal arrest and illegal detention. Definitely, everyone has a soft heart when they hear about “Minors”. However, these are no ordinary minors. They have been used by the NPA bandits to do crimes to further their vested interest. Last July 19, 2013, Hon Ramon Diaganon, Brgy Chairman of Kauswagan, Loreto, Agusan del Sur, for how many years of refusing support to the armed movement, was ambushed by these 4 minors (NPA child warriors). Troops under 26th Infantry Battalion and the PNP went after the perpetrators and with the help of the civilians in the area, these 4 minors were apprehended. The 4 were immediately turned over to Patin-ay DSWD for proper facilitation as opposed to the story of “illegal detention.”

Most of the issues proliferated and fabricated by Sanchez came about after losing NPA control over Loreto. In 2013, the AFP started its Bayanihan Activities with the people. NPA in that area, have seen this as an opportunity for them to renew their lives. That is why 246 NPA surrendered and lead a normal and peaceful life.

It can be recalled on Mayor Otaza statement, he said “Before, while the NPAs is in the town forcibly taking away the food and other resources from the people, soldiers now are here giving their services to the people and bridging the gap between the people and the government. The NPAs made our people hopeful through their false promises, while the Government taught the people ways to realize their dreams.”

Sanchez’ desperate move on discrediting the peace and development advocacies of Mayor Otaza have even add up to the anguish of all the peace-loving people especially the Lumads who are experiencing NPA manipulation and exploitation.

Further, Sanchez’ admission of the crime is actually another clear evidence of them (NPA) as number one violator of the Human Rights especially the Right to Life.

Human Rights is fundamental to everyone regardless of his beliefs, religion or stature in life. It is inherent to every human being. It cannot be waived. Thus, Sanchez’ reason based from his fabricated issues about Mayor Otaza doesn’t warrant the NPA to put justice on their hands. No person is allowed to kill. It is wrong to Kill.

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