Items filtered by date: Sunday, 12 November 2017

Netizens call for #BoycottPenshoppe after controversial blogger attends event

Penshoppe's #IAmDifferent tees are being sold at Php 449 each. Photo by Romsanne Ortiguero, InterAksyon.

Just a few hours after Penshoppe’s launched its #IAmDifferent anti-bullying campaign on October 23, the brand drew flak after allegedly getting controversial blogger Franco Mabanta as endorser.

Netizens took to social media to express their dismay and called for the boycott of the brand using the hashtag #boycottpenshoppe.

Mabanta, a social media influencer and known to be a vocal supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte, was condemned for his Facebook post criticizing Pinoy Ako Blogger Jover Laurio. Mabanta called her “Ogre Lady and “super ugly.”

The said post was deleted on Mabanta’s Facebook page but netizens took a screenshot as receipt, which has circulated online.

Reddit Philippines posted this screenshot of Franco Mabanta’s Facebook post against Pinoy Ako Blogger Jover Laurio.

Penshoppe joined international and local celebrities as part of the global campaign against bullying. In a press handout by the brand, Mabanta’s name is not included in the roster of its brand ambassadors.


From the Philippines, ambassadors include Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte, Sofia Andres, Tanner Mata, Maria Fabana, and Emilio Perez. International names include Bella Hadid, Lucky Blue Smith, Kaia Gerber, and Sandara Park.

Other influencers also joined the cause including Alab Pilipinas head coach Jimmy Alapag, She Talks Asia co-founder Vicky Herrera, entrepreneur Patti Grandidge, and signer-songwriter Keiko Necesario.

The said post of Mabanta wearing the #IAmDifferent campaign tee of Penshoppe drew negative reactions, with some saying that it is ironic for a “bully” to be espousing an anti-bullying campaign.

Meanwhile, here are some the netizens’ reactions regarding the issue:

Meanwhile, Laurio of Pinoy Ako Blog also posted in her blog a receipt of a chat exchange indicating that a Penshoppe staff clarified that Mabanta is not an endorser of the brand.

The screenshot of the online conversation further indicated that Mabanta just “attended as a guest who wanted to support the event. Actually, he was a guest of a guest.”

“Hopefully this will not dilute the good message of the campaign,” the message from Penshoppe concluded.


Asean draft statement makes no mention of Rohingya crisis

A Rohingya refugee girl sits next to her mother who rests after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, in Teknaf, Bangladesh, September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
MANILA — A draft of the statement to be issued after a Southeast Asian summit makes no mention of the exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar’s Rakhine state following a military crackdown that has been described by the United Nations as ethnic cleansing.

One paragraph of the communique, seen by Reuters on Monday, mentions the importance of humanitarian relief provided for victims of natural disasters in Vietnam and a recent urban battle with Islamist militants in the Philippines, as well as “affected communities” in northern Rakhine state.

The statement was drawn up by the Philippines, current chair of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – which includes Myanmar – whose leaders met for a plenary session in Manila on Monday.

The draft did not give any details of the situation in northern Rakhine or use the term Rohingya for the persecuted Muslim minority, which Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has asked foreign leaders to avoid.

The government in mostly-Buddhist Myanmar regards the Rohingya as illegal migrants from Bangladesh and does not recognize the term.

Well over 600,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh to find shelter in refugee camps after military clearance operations were launched in response to attacks by Rohingya militants on security posts on Aug. 25.

The plight of the Rohingya has brought outrage from around the world and there have been calls for democracy champion Suu Kyi to be stripped of the Nobel peace prize she won in 1991 because she has not condemned the Myanmar military’s actions.

In September, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the situation in Rakhine was best described as ethnic cleansing.

Some members of ASEAN, particularly Muslim-majority Malaysia, have voiced concern. However, in keeping with ASEAN’s principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of one another, the issue appears to have been put aside at the summit.

In September, Malaysia disavowed a statement issued by the Philippines on behalf of ASEAN’s foreign ministers as misrepresenting “the reality” because it did not identify the Rohingya as an affected community in Rakhine state.

Suu Kyi, who did not mention the crisis in a speech after arriving in Manila on Sunday, criticized ASEAN’s principle of non-interference herself in 1999 when she was fighting for democracy in a country then ruled by a military junta.

“This policy of non-interference is just an excuse for not helping,” she wrote in an opinion column in the Thai daily the Nation at the time. “In this day and age, you cannot avoid interference in the matters of other countries.”

Roberto Romulo, a former Philippine foreign minister, told the Philippine news channel ANC that there appeared to be no discussion about the Rohingya at the ASEAN summit.

“They’re treating with a great deal of respect a discredited Nobel Peace Prize winner like Aung San Suu Kyi,” he said.

Amnesty International Philippines representative Wilnor Papa told ANC that the ASEAN leaders would talk about “terrorism and peace and order … but there are a whole lot of elephants in the room they won’t be talking about, that people are trying to ignore.”


‘A VERY MINOR BLOGGER’ | Watch: Du30 supporter Sass Sasot confronts journo over BBC feature on PAB’s Jover Laurio

Avid Duterte supporter and blogger Sass Rogando Sasot (right) confronts BBC's Richard Head (left) Monday afternoon, November 13, 2017, at the International Media Center in Pasay City during the ASEAN Summit. Photo by Camille Aguinalod, InterAksyon
(UPDATED – 3:09 p.m.) MANILA, Philippines — Staunch Duterte supporter and blogger Sass Rogando Sasot confronted British Broadcasting Corp. Southeast Asia correspondent Richard Head Monday afternoon at the International Media Center in Pasay City, where local and foreign reporters were covering the ASEAN Summit, raising questions about BBC supposedly giving a “minor blogger” and Duterte critic Jover Laurio a platform on the international media network.

Sasot and Head came across each other when the latter approached Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson to greet her, who was with Sasot.

“Tell me, Mr. Jonathan, how is it possible that Jover Laurio, a very minor blogger in the Philippines, was featured by the BBC in order to defend herself against the people who outed her identity, but not someone like me whose social media following is way, way higher than her, whose Facebook engagement is way, way higher than her, and who you have even interacted on Facebook?” Sasot asked.

Laurio is behind Pinoy Ako Blog, which is often critical about the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“I know that in order for you to be interviewed by a big platform like BBC, you should have been given access. It’s either that you were really, really famous, that you are a decision-maker of a country, you are a celebrity, and you’re gonna be given this platform. But Jover Laurio is none of that. The only link to that is that she is being protected, sponsored, financed probably by the Liberal Party of the Philippines,” Sasot added.

Head repeatedly said that he would rather continue the conversation with Sasot elsewhere.

“We can have this conversation for a very long time. Can we find time over where we actually can engage and talk together?” he asked.

They then asked for each other’s schedules and found that Sasot is going to Davao on Tuesday, while Head will be in Manila until Wednesday.

The conversation returned to the topic of Laurio, and Sasot said that Pinoy Ako Blog “was slandering and libeling people along the way, especially those who are critical of the Vice President of the Philippines.”

She added, “And the BBC and the international media do not care about this anger. All you care about is whether is the president has a paid troll network or not. And you have insulted not just me but millions of followers and supporters of the president.”

“Do you know that a lot of overseas Filipino workers are doing everything in order to combat the lies being peddled by mainstream media, including Rappler, Inquirer, ABS-CBN?” she continued. “And I know that international media is only getting its feed from these people because they have power, resources, and connections to do this. You know, a lot of people are insulted that you are only covering one side of the story.”

“That’s not true,” Head replied. “We have covered many sides.”

Sasot also said the media (it is unclear if she was referring to the BBC) also compromised her safety by publishing her address.

Despite the tension, with Sasot even bursting into tears at one point, the two ended on a polite note.

“It’s nice to talk to you,” Head said.

“Yeah, nice to talk to you,” Sasot replied.

Watch the video: Sass Sasot in a confrontation with BBC's Richard Head


Protesters vs Trump, 6 cops hurt in dispersal; ralliers to return Tuesday

Water cannons are used by Manila police to disperse the protesters on Monday. (contributed photo)
MANILA – (UPDATE, 3:30 P.M) Dozens of protesters and six policemen were injured Monday when security forces forcibly dispersed, with truncheons and water cannons, a phalanx of anti-Trump activists who were trying to advance nearer the US Embassy as the 31st ASEAN Summit and related meetings opened a few kilometers away.

Militant groups and police authorities quickly traded accusations about who started the violence, with Manila police – backed by NCRPO chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde – saying video and drone footage clearly showed protesters rushing a police unit at the corner of Taft Avenue and Padre Faura to breach through a cordon leading to Roxas Boulevard, which was in total lockdown for the Summit events.

The event drew quick condemnation from the organizers of the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN People’s Forum, which had been under way in Quezon City since the weekend, as a gathering of Southeast Asian peoples in parallel with their governments.

“We condemn the violent dispersal of a peaceful demonstration by people’s organizations and social movements against the ASEAN Summit and East Asia Summit as represented by Heads of States and governments that have imposed on the peoples of Southeast Asia a development model that has increased social inequalities and violated the human rights of the people,” said a statement sent to media by Dr. Ed Tadem, co-convenor of the ACSC/APF Philippine National Organizing Committee.

One of the protest leaders in Manila, former party-list representative Teddy Casiño, said in a radio interview that despite the dispersal, the mass actions will continue, and in fact, “we have a concluding activity tomorrow (Tuesday),” when most of the 31st ASEAN Summit, the East Asia Summit and related meetings are scheduled to end.

“Hindi na magpipilit na lumapit sa US embassy or PICC. Apat na araw na natin sinubukan [Protesters will no longer attempt to get near the US Embassy or the PICC],” Casiño said, referring to the attempts of various rally groups since Friday to mount protests near the two sites: the embassy, because of the visit of US President Donald Trump, and the Philippine International Convention Center, venue of most summit meetings.

Casiño said, “Ang isang pinag-iisipan na venue ay [One venue being considered is] Mendiola,” the historic street leading to Malacañang. He said they didn’t expect to be shooed away from Mendiola, since neither President Rodrigo Duterte and US President Trump are expected to be there on Tuesday.

The more important thing to accomplish, he explained, is to send the message that people condemn the “pagkatuta ni Duterte kay Trump [Duterte’s being a lapdog of Trump].”

Is this a peaceful rally? Albayalde asks protesters

At least six policemen were injured when ralliers rushed a civil distubance management unit of the Philippine National Police at the corner of Taft Avenue and Padre Faura Street, drone video provided by authorities showed.

Security forces were then prompted to train water cannons to stop the advancing protesters.

According to Chief Supt. Joel Coronel, Manila Police District director, “May anim [na pulis] na nasugatan dahil sa skirmish. Usually bruises at contusions. Naka-deploy pa rin sila; walang uwian dito kahit nasugatan. Binigyan ng first aid. Kahapon mayroon na po nahuli, na nagpilit [six cops got hurt, usually bruises and contusions. They remain deployed, no one goes home despite the injuries. Yesterday we already arrested some people who insisted on breaking through the security cordon].”.

Police director Oscar Albayalde, chief of the NCRPO, questioned the militant’s claims that they were only holding a peaceful mass action. “Pinupukpok [They were hitting the cops], video will show. What do you call that, a peaceful rally?”

Nonetheless, Albayalde said the security teams “are prepared for this. We prepared for the worst case.”

Albayalde said he was satisfied with the cops’ performance. “As you could see, none from our ranks retaliated. despite their injuries. This one has wounds, it’s swollen, see? And yet he doesn’t complain. You call this peaceful?”

The NCRPO chief also warned foreigneers joining the street protests “they can be deported” as “undesireable aliens” and they cannot return to the country.

He said those arrested had been trying to get to the PICC and the US embassy, “which we cannot allow. Naka-lock down Roxas Boulevard; nagpipilitan pa rin. Sinasaktan mga pulis para sila makalusot.They can conduct rally in a peaceful manner. Pero manakit ng tao, di na tama.”

Holding the rallies per se will not be stopped by the PNP, even if they do them overnight, said Albayalde. “They can stay forever if they want to. Pakiusapa natin, maging mahinahon at huwag maging bayolente. Di na makakalampas mga yan.”

The PNP-CIDG will file charges against the protesters they arrested.

Protests elsewhere

While the militants have been focused on the US embassy and Trump, protest materials sent out for ASEAN week by other left-leaning groups have uniformly slammed “the US, China, and other imperialist states,” accusing them of being “in collusion to break down tariff and trade barriers and to push for all-out liberalization, and for unlimited plunder of our resources and further exploitation of labor.”

This framing, by Kabataan Representative Sarah I. Elago, predicted dire repercussions on young Filipinos. “For the youth, this also spells the seamless transfer and sellout of intellectual capital for the students and youth, as our education system is shaped to further meet the demands of their market through reforms such as K-to-12 and the academic calendar shift,” Elago said.

“Despite Duterte’s fake patriotic gestures and advances towards China and Russia, the US and the Philippines are warming up. Duterte’s meeting with Trump will rubber stamp his aspirations of a fascist dictatorship, in exchange for the opening up of US military bases for Balikatan exercises and other operations,” she added.

Earlier, similar protests were held in Clark Field, where about half of the world leaders and top officials attending the ASEAN events flew in at the weekend via the Clark International Airport.

Clark used to hold a major American air base – one of the US’ most important outside the mainland – which became its bulwark in the Asia-Pacific alongside the Subic naval base in Olongapo City. The US bases were ousted by a US Senate vote in 1991, ending nine decades of American military presence.

According to the Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KILUSAN) which led a protest rally at the Clark Gate in Angeles City, Pampanga, “Trump’s visit to Asia is to toughen the US’ Asia Pivot and further with its wars of aggression. A continuation of the US imperialist’s survival and its rivalry with China.

“While this year’s ASEAN will only reinforce the interests of every state to continue with the neoliberal policies and strengthen the competition between the US, China and other capitalist countries. It will not tackle the real people’s issues.”

Subscribe to this RSS feed


Sign up to keep in touch!

Be the first to hear about special offers and exclusive deals from TechNews and our partners.

Check out our Privacy Policy & Terms of use
You can unsubscribe from email list at any time