Nov 252016
Former Prime Minister Cesar Virata receives the Imperial Decoration of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun from Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa. PHOTO FROM THE JAPAN INFORMATION AND CULTURE CENTER.

Former Prime Minister Cesar Virata receives the Imperial Decoration of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun from Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa. PHOTO FROM THE JAPAN INFORMATION AND CULTURE CENTER.

Cesar Virata, prime minister during the Marcos administration, was honored by the Japanese government for promoting strong ties between the Philippines and Japan.

The Japanese Information and Culture Center (JICC), in a release, said Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa hosted at his residence the conferment ceremony of the Imperial Decoration of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.

“This was awarded in recognition of Honorable Virata’s contribution to promoting friendly relations and developing economic cooperation between Japan and the Philippines,” it said. “The decoration was decided on November 3rd by the Government of Japan.”

Virata, who was also former president Ferdinand Marcos’ finance minister, is seen in photos carrying the award and posing with the ambassador and Senator Franklin Drilon.

Drilon, who was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun in Tokyo, gave a congratulatory remark during the event.

READ: Japan gives Drilon rare honor

He received his decoration from Japan’s emperor last November 8. IDL


Senator Franklin drilon joins Former Prime Minister Cesar Virata in receiving the Imperial Decoration of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun from Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa. PHOTO FROM THE JAPAN INFORMATION AND CULTURE CENTER.

TAGS: Cesar Virata, Japan, Japanese Information and Culture Center
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Nov 242016
Philippines well poised to lead Asean

Since coming to power in June, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has made global headlines, a rarity for national leaders in Southeast Asia. His comments on his country’s relations with major powers – the US, China, Japan and Russia – have been extraordinary for their divergence from conventional wisdom. Now the time has come for him to demonstrate his leadership finesse in representing the region. The Philippines is the incoming chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, succeeding Laos, which has done a good job despite limited resources and modest expectations. In contrast, the Philippines has the most outspoken leader in Asean and expectations are high that it will raise the bloc’s profile to a new level in the year ahead as it takes over the rotating duty at the helm. Adding to this sense is the fact that the chairmanship coincides with the association’s 50th anniversary. Manila has indicated it is ready for the task, even conceiving the sweeping, snappy new theme “Partnership for changes, engaging the world”. READ: Duterte formally accepts PH hosting of Asean summit in 2017 It’s clear that whatever the Philippines has in mind for its tenure as Asean chair will have to take into account the historic importance of this milestone, coming at a time when the region is facing serious challenges. Several agenda items stand out as being the most critical. Firstly, the Philippines will give top priority to making Asean a people-centered, peopled-oriented community. The Asean Economic Community has entered its second Read More …

Nov 212016
Obama sees Duterte hitting it off with Trump

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (left) and US President-elect Donald Trump. AFP PHOTOS LIMA, Peru — President Barack Obama believes a friendlier relationship is in store for his successor-in-waiting Donald Trump and President Rodrigo Duterte due to their similar personalities, according to Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay. The two presidents never got to talk in the concluded Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit here, after a jet-lagged Mr. Duterte skipped the gala dinner and the customary family photo event of world leaders. READ: Duterte ‘falls ill,’ skips Apec gala dinner for world leaders But Yasay, who stood in for Mr. Duterte in both events, said the US president told him during a conversation in one of the side meetings that he was optimistic about the future of the US-Philippines bilateral ties under Trump’s helm. It was Mr. Duterte’s first appearance at the Apec and the last one of Obama, who will relinquish the presidency to Trump in January. “Well, he told me he is expecting a better and stronger relationship between the Philippines and the United States under the new administration of President-elect Trump, as they seem to have the same kind of temperament,” the country’s top diplomat recalled in a DZRH radio interview. READ: Duterte softens stance on US, tells Trump: ‘Mabuhay ka’ Yasay said he only replied: “Well, I hope so.” “I did not mention to him that whatever trouble afflicting us as a result of our existing relationship is more fundamental than the personalities involved,” he said. “We want to Read More …

Nov 162016
Foreign media eager to cover Duterte’s Apec debut in Peru

President Rodrigo Duterte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC LIMA, Peru — President Rodrigo Duterte arrives here for his first Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Economic Leaders Meeting before midnight Thursday under the gaze of a curious foreign press, many of whom may be wondering what controversial thing he will say next. There’s been a marked interest in the Philippine president among foreign journalists, according to Malacañang insiders privy to requests for media coverage of Mr. Duterte’s activities in this annual trade summit featuring the leaders of 21 Pacific Rim economies. “Our past presidents don’t usually get that much attention from the foreign press,” said one source, who disclosed that at least one international media agency and a Peruvian news organization were seeking an opportunity to cover or interview the firebrand Mr. Duterte. The requests have been forwarded to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), though it is not believed he will have time to speak to media during the two-day event. The Philippine leader, who will be departing from the Philippines on Nov. 17 (Manila time) with a short layover in New Zealand, is expected to land in this South American country at about 11:30 p.m. Thursday (Lima time). Lima is 13 hours behind Manila. READ: Duterte flies to Lima, Peru this week One Philippine official earlier said Mr. Duterte, whose propensity for making outrageous declarations such as “separating” from the United States or cursing out US President Barack Obama and the European Union, would have a bigger stage in the Apec Read More …

Oct 082016
Disagreements on reform outline delay peace talks

Phillipines Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza (R) and then- Chairman of the National Democratic Front of Philippines (NDFP) Luis Jalandori (C) sign a joint declaration next to the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Boerge Brende (L) in which both parties undertake unilateral ceasefires without time constraints on August 26, 2016 in Oslo, Norway. AFP FILE PHOTO OSLO, Norway—Negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front(NDF) hit a snag on Friday over disagreements on the outline of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (Caser). The session ended around lunch time Friday and negotiators took an early break. Julie De Lima, chair of the NDF reciprocal committee on socio-economic reforms, said on their part, the outline “should be based on addressing the roots of the armed conflict while the GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) wants an outcomes-based outline.” “We have exchanged with the GRP an outline of a comprehensive draft on social and economic reforms that includes agrarian reform, national industrialization, environmental protection, environmental protection, rights of the working people, foreign economic and trade relations, and, monetary and fiscal policies,” de Lima said. The NDF disclosed that everything was going well when they were discussing the preamble and declaration of the draft presented by the communist side. However, another point of contention was raised over the proposed deferring of the bases, scope and applicability part to give way for the inclusion of the nine outcome points of the government. “It was the GRP who requested the postponement of discussions on Read More …

Sep 302016
Palace: Duterte rejects comparisons with Hitler

President Rodrigo Duterte. JOAN BONDOC/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO Malacañang has broken its silence on the firestorm created by President Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks comparing himself to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and that he would “be happy” exterminate 3 million drug addicts like the demagogue’s extermination of Jews. READ: Duterte ‘happy to slaughter’ drug suspects; cites Hitler In a brief radio briefing Saturday morning, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella clarified the President did not in any way praise Hitler as a role model in his remarks that he said were “oblique” or skewed explanations of what he meant. “The Philippines recognizes the deep significance of the Jewish experience especially their tragic and painful history. We do not wish to diminish the profound loss of 6 million Jews in the holocaust that deep midnight of their story as a people,” said Abella who did not entertain any question during the interview over state-owned DZRB radio. “The President’s reference to the slaughter was an oblique deflection of the way he has been pictured as a mass murderer, a Hitler, which is a label that he rejects,” said Abella. Abella, however, stood by the President’s statement that the unresolved killings of drug suspects by police and vigilantes would have a positive effect on the country. “He likewise draws an oblique conclusion that while the holocaust was an attempt to exterminate the future generation of Jews, the so-called extrajudicial killings, roundly attributed to him, will nevertheless result in the salvation of the next generation of Filipinos,” said Abella. Latest Read More …

Sep 302016
Palace clarifies Duterte Hitler reference: PH recognizes Jews’ tragedy

Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella. FILE PHOTO The Philippines is not undermining the tragic history of the Jews. Malacañang issued this statement Saturday following the international outcry over President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement where he drew parallel comparisons between the execution of drug addicts in the Philippines and Adolf Hitler’s killing of millions of Jews during the Holocaust. “The Philippines recognizes the deep significance of the Jewish experience especially their tragic and painful history,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement. “We do not wish to diminish the profound loss of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust – that deep midnight of their story as a people,” he added. Abella explained that Duterte was just deflecting comparisons between him and the former German strongman—a label, which the President does not accept. READ: Heil Digong? “Hitler murdered 3 million innocent civilians whereas Duterte was referencing to his “willingness to kill” 3 million criminal drug dealers—to save the future of the next generation and the country.  Those are two entirely different things,” Abella said. Various individuals and organizations including Jewish groups have condemned Duterte’s “disgusting rhetoric.” The Anti-Defamation League, an international Jewish group based in the United States, said, “The comparison of drug users and dealers to Holocaust victims is inappropriate and deeply offensive. It is baffling why any leader would want to model himself after such a monster.” The Philippines was one of the nations which welcomed exiled Jews during the Holocaust. READ: When PH was the only door open to fleeing Read More …

Sep 302016
‘Duterte has sunk to new depths’—Amnesty International

President Rodrigo Duterte. AP FILE PHOTO An international human rights group on Friday criticized President Rodrigo Duterte for his speech where he drew parallel between the executions of drug addicts in the Philippines and the killings of Jews by Adolf Hitler. “With this latest outburst, President Duterte has sunk to new depths. Governments—both in the region and around the world—should speak out immediately and condemn these outrageous statements,” said Josef Benedict, Amnesty International’s (AI) Deputy Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific in a statement. “They serve no discernible purpose other than to put more lives at risk.” Reacting to his critics who have compared him to Hitler, Duterte on Friday said he was willing to kill millions of drug addicts to solve the country’s problems. READ: Heil Digong? “There are 3 million drug addicts (in the Philippines). I’d be happy to slaughter them,” he said. “If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have…,” he said, pausing and pointing to himself. Various individuals and organizations including Jewish groups have condemned Duterte’s “disgusting rhetoric.” AI, which has slammed Duterte for his shoot-to-kill order against officials suspected of being involved in the drug trade, noted the rise in human rights violations since Duterte’s election. READ: Amnesty Int’l hits Duterte’s shoot-to-kill order to curb drugs “Since coming to power, there has been a surge of state-sanctioned violence and unlawful killings across the Philippines. Instead of stopping and condemning these human rights violations, and ensuring those responsible are held to account, he has vowed Read More …

Sep 302016
Duterte’s Hitler remarks ‘deeply troubling,’ says Pentagon chief

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at a press conference during a defense ministers meeting of ASEAN , Friday, Sept. 30, 2016 in Kapolei, Hawaii. AP PHOTO KO OLINA, United States—Pentagon chief Ashton Carter on Friday criticized the “deeply troubling” remarks by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, in which he likened his deadly war on crime to Hitler’s efforts to exterminate Jews. Carter’s comments came during a regional security summit with Southeast Asian ally nations, where he sought to reassure counterparts that America’s ongoing commitment to its Asia “rebalance” would continue into the next US administration. Earlier on Friday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had made televised remarks drawing parallels between his campaign to wipe out his country’s drug problem and Adolf Hitler’s genocidal drive. READ: Heil Digong? “Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now there are three million drug addicts (in the Philippines). I’d be happy to slaughter them,” Duterte told reporters in his home city of Davao. Carter said the remarks were not discussed at the summit. But “speaking personally for myself, I find those comments deeply troubling,” he added. The “informal” meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), held on Oahu in Hawaii, focused mainly on longer-standing regional issues such as continued unease over China’s growing reach across the South China Sea. Beijing has in recent years rapidly expanded its physical presence in the strategically vital waterway, turning small maritime features, islets and reefs into much larger islands capable of holding military facilities. Carter has repeatedly stressed that Read More …

Sep 302016
American found dead on Cebu road

CEBU CITY, Philippines—An American national was found dead along a road in Barangay (village) San Miguel, Cordova town, past midnight on Friday.Keneth Larrivee, 65, was last seen drunk while walking home after attending a benefit dance in the area, said PO1 Cesar Ian Padillo, desk officer of police station of Cordova, a town located on Mactan Island, Cebu.He said Larrivee was seen slumped on the ground, about 500 meters from his house, by residents who also came from the dance.Thinking that the American had fallen asleep, they went to his house and told his Filipina wife that they found Larrivee on the ground.When his wife came to check, she was surprised to find an open wound on Larrivee’s head. She immediately rushed him to the Lapu-Lapu District Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival by the physicians.Padillo said the American may have slipped and hit his head since Larrivee was drunk while he was at the benefit dance./rga   RELATED STORIES American found dead inside deep well in Negros Occidental American found dead inside hotel room Latest South Korea picks new site for US missile defense system American found dead on Cebu road WATCH: Man turns mirror into gigantic touchscreen iPhone Cebu police chief relieved Recommended Disclaimer: Comments do not represent the views of We reserve the right to exclude comments which are inconsistent with our editorial standards. FULL DISCLAIMER View Comments For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.