Liberation - updates

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2019: A bad year to be in the opposition

Dec 11, 2019 - 1:46 PM

Here are the 6 times the political opposition took a major hit from the Duterte administration in 2019

150 more MILF soldiers join Bangsamoro security team

Nov 24, 2019 - 9:10 PM

The former rebel fighters join members of the police and military in a security force tasked with protecting certain areas of the Bangsamoro region until an elected government is established in 2022

FORMER REBELS. Among members of the latest batch of the Joint Peace and Security Team of the Bangsamoro region are former rebel combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, who completed their training on November 22, 2019. Photo from OPAPP

Britain's Lib Dems unveil 'stop Brexit' manifesto

Nov 20, 2019 - 11:50 PM

The pro-European party, which has vowed to halt Britain's departure from the EU if it wins a majority, also outlines policies to tackle climate change, expand free childcare, and recruit more teachers

STOP BREXIT MANIFESTO. A cyclist travels past the battle bus of Britain's opposition Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson on her arrival for a general election campaign visit to Trumpington Park Primary School in Cambridge, on November 20, 2019. Photo by Adrian Dennis/AFP

Chinese soldiers leave Hong Kong barracks in rare clean-up cameo

Nov 16, 2019 - 8:00 PM

(UPDATED) Political analyst Dixon Sing says the rare appearance could be a 'hint' to protesters that China can still use the People's Liberation Army in a 'more naked manner' at the rallies

CHINA ARMY. A member of China’s People's Liberation Army (PLA) stands guard inside Osborn Barracks in Kowloon Tong in Hong Kong on November 16, 2019. Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP

Senate urges gov't not to pursue sugar liberalization

Nov 11, 2019 - 6:23 PM

'We do not want another industry to fall and falter because of the liberalizing imports of these products,' says Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri

OPPOSED. Senators are opposed to sugar liberalization. Shutterstock photo

Romania votes for president with liberal incumbent favored

Nov 10, 2019 - 11:03 PM

In all, 14 candidates are standing, with pro-European incumbent Klaus Iohannis the favorite to win

ROMANIA VOTES. Romanian President Klaus Iohannis casts his ballot at a polling station, in Bucharest, on November 10, 2019. Photo by Daniel Mihailescu/AFP

Trudeau rules out coalition as he forms new Canadian government

Oct 24, 2019 - 8:30 AM

Justin Trudeau's new cabinet will be sworn in on November 20. Like his first in 2015, Trudeau says it will be made up of an equal number of women and men.

WEAKENED. File photo of Canadian Prime Minsiter Justin Trudeau. Shutterstock.com

Victorious but weakened, Trudeau needs help to form government

Oct 23, 2019 - 2:09 PM

The win is a vindication for Trudeau, despite a campaign in which his party lost support across Canada

WINNING. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his victory speech at his election night headquarters on October 21, 2019 in Montreal, Canada. Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images/AFP

Romania's president names liberal as new premier

Oct 15, 2019 - 11:51 PM

Ludovic Orban, 56, a former transport minister, must now receive the backing from the fragmented parliament as the EU-member country struggles to overcome months of political instability

ORBAN. In this file photo, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis (L) and president of the National Liberal Party (PNL), Ludovic Orban (R) wave to supporters during the presidential candidature launching meeting in Bucharest, Romania on May 18, 2019. File photo by Daniel Mihailescu/AFP

7 MILF members killed in clash with ISIS-linked terrorists

Oct 05, 2019 - 3:38 PM

(UPDATED) Tension remains high in Shariff Saydona town in Maguindanao, with the MILF expected to send reinforcements after the clash

KILLED. Several MILF members are killed in a clash with ISIS-linked terrorists in Maguindanao. Photo from Angela Kalanduyan

Groups welcome proposed U.S. travel ban on officials in De Lima detention

Sep 28, 2019 - 10:55 PM

The Philippine government, meanwhile, tags the move as an intrusion of sovereignty

FREE LEILA. Senator Leila De Lima leave at Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court in Muntinlupa on 6 September 2019, after the court reschedule her trial on the trumped-up illegal drug trading charges filed against her. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

Pangilinan, Belmonte stay on as LP leaders

Sep 19, 2019 - 2:30 PM

It takes the Liberal Party's leadership 4 months to issue the resolution affirming support for two of its key leaders who wanted to resign after the May elections

STILL TRUSTED. LP president Kiko Pangilinan (R) and secretary-general Kit Belmonte (L) will get to retain their posts in the once-ruling party.

LP lawmakers seek P13.19-billion cash aid for rice farmers

Sep 11, 2019 - 3:45 PM

Liberal Party stalwart and Occidental Mindoro congresswoman Josephine Ramirez Sato says direct cash assistance, not the government's zero-interest loans, would help rice farmers

AID FOR FARMERS. Liberal Party lawmakers Jose Christopher Belmonte, Josephine Ramirez Sato, Stella Quimbo, and Gabriel Bordado file House Resolution No. 15 on September 11, 2019. Photo from Liberal Party Media

Duterte tells disarmed MILF soldiers: Do not be disheartened

Sep 07, 2019 - 10:36 PM

Having been at war for much of their lives, the former Moro rebels face insecurity and uncertainty as they return to civilian life

NOT SURRENDER. Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels stand guard at the entry of Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat on September 7, 2019 ahead of a weapons decommissioning ceremony. Photo by Ferdinandh CABRERA/AFP

'We are not surrendering': Tears, prayers as MILF begins large-scale disarming of forces

Sep 07, 2019 - 2:12 PM

'If it is in our power to make peace happen and Allah grants it to us, we do not want our families to go through what we’ve suffered,' says an MILF combatant

READY FOR CHANGE. MILF Combatant Mokada Alia Abas Salipada wears the uniform made for the Joint Peace and Security Team, a newly established unit in the Bangsamoro region that mixes MILF combatants, soldiers, and cops. Photo by Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler

Government wants MILF to give up more weapons

Sep 07, 2019 - 9:41 AM

The MILF says it has 40,000 fighters but only about 7,000 weapons. OPAPP Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr wants the combatants to give up their own guns, too.

PEACE IN MINDANAO. OPAPP Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr and BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim lead a media forum on the decommissioning process on September 6, 2019. Photo by Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler

'There is another life coming,’ Murad tells MILF fighters before disarming

Sep 06, 2019 - 3:40 PM

Over a thousand MILF combatants will disarm in a ceremony to be led by President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday, September 7

COMMITMENT. BARMM chief minister Ahod Ebrahim promises to ensure transition of 40,000 fighters to civilian life. Photo by Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler

Mindanao closer to peace as MILF decommissions 12,000 fighters – gov't

Sep 06, 2019 - 9:43 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte will lead a ceremony in Maguindanao on Saturday, September 7, as former rebels from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front begin their transition to civilian life

DECOMMISSIONING. More than 1,000 soldiers of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front will begin their transition to civilian life on September 7. File photo by Adrian Portugal/Rappler

PM Johnson loses majority ahead of Brexit parliament showdown

Sep 03, 2019 - 11:25 PM

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemns a plan by lawmakers to block his Brexit strategy as 'surrender' and says it will undermine his intention to negotiate a new divorce deal with the EU

BREXIT. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he gives a speech on domestic priorities at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, northwest England on July 27, 2019. File photo by Rui Vieira/AFP

China 'rotates' troops in Hong Kong ahead of planned rallies

Aug 29, 2019 - 3:39 PM

'The Hong Kong Garrison of the Chinese People's Liberation Army on Thursday morning completed the 22nd rotation since it began garrisoning Hong Kong in 1997,' Xinhua news agency says

PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTEST. This file photo taken on August 28, 2019 shows pro-democracy protesters taking part in a rally to support Cathay Pacific staff in Hong Kong after some of their staff were sacked for supporting opposition to a controversal extradition bill. Photo by Philip Fong/AFP

Duterte orders creation of MNLF, gov't coordinating committee

Aug 27, 2019 - 10:59 AM

The committee will convene in the second week of September in Davao City, says Malacañang

DUTERTE AND MISUARI. President Rodrigo Duterte and Moro National Liberation Front Founding Chairman Nur Misuari in Malacanang on February 25, 2019. Malacanang Photo

ASEAN lawmakers: Free De Lima, drop charges vs opposition

Aug 25, 2019 - 10:26 AM

The ASEAN legislators also lament the sedition charges filed against Vice President Leni Robredo and key opposition figures in the Philippines

'FREE DE LIMA.' Jailed opposition Senator Leila de Lima attends her hearing at the Muntinlupa RTC Branch. File photo courtesy of De Lima's office

Myanmar rebels carry out unprecedented attack on military academy

Aug 15, 2019 - 4:37 PM

Thursday's brazen assault targets Pyin Oo Lwin, a tourist town near Mandalay, that is also home to barracks teeming with soldiers receiving training

TNLA. This picture taken on January 16, 2014 shows soldiers of the Taaung National Liberation Army (TNLA) standing guard outside a village in Mantong township, in Myanmar's northern Shan state. Photo by Ye Aung Thu/AFP

Belmonte defends opposition: Speaking the truth is not sedition

Aug 06, 2019 - 11:20 PM

'Last I checked, ang katotohanan ay katotohanan pa rin, at hindi inciting to sedition,' says Liberal Party secretary-general and House Deputy Minority Leader Kit Belmonte

TRUTH NOT SEDITION. Quezon City 6th District Representative Kit Belmonte defends Vice President Leni Robredo and other opposition figures against the sedition complaint filed against them. File photo from Robredo's Facebook page

Trump takes back seat as China bristles over Hong Kong unrest

Aug 02, 2019 - 8:34 AM

China's People's Liberation Army garrison in Hong Kong releases a video showing tanks, helicopters, rocket launchers, and heavily armed troops in an 'anti-riot' drill

HONG KONG GARRISON. This screengrab taken from undated handout three-minute promotional video received on August 1, 2019 from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Hong Kong Garrison shows PLA soldiers warning 'protesters' during an 'anti-riot' drill in Hong Kong. Handout photo/China's People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison/AFP

AFP to train 255 ex-MILF fighters to help secure Bangsamoro region

Aug 01, 2019 - 12:31 PM

Members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces will work alongside soldiers and cops in the Joint Peace and Security Team, says Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr

WAR AND PEACE. Former MILF rebels join a training on capability building in Al Barka, Basilan. Photo by Richard Falcatan/Rappler

Robredo 'ready to face trumped up charges' in sedition complaint

Jul 25, 2019 - 12:10 PM

'This is clearly politically motivated,' says the Vice President's spokesperson Barry Gutierrez of the sedition complaint

READY. Vice President Leni Robredo faces the media at the Quezon City Reception House on May 23, 2019, to debunk the allegations made by Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy. File photo by OVP

China says army can be deployed at Hong Kong's request

Jul 25, 2019 - 8:51 AM

Article 14 of Hong Kong's garrison law says the city's authorities may ask, 'when necessary', the central government for assistance from the garrison 'in the maintenance of public order and in disaster relief'

FREE HONG KONG. A protester holds up a sign related to the recent political events and demonstrations in the territory, during the first half of the friendly football match between English Premier League club Manchester City and Hong Kong side Kitchee at Hong Kong Stadium on July 24, 2019. Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP

DOJ starts probe into Robredo, LP lawmakers in Bikoy complaint August 9

Jul 24, 2019 - 6:48 PM

(UPDATED) 'I assure everyone of utmost fairness in the resolution of this case. The evidence, or the lack of it, will speak for itself,' says Justice Secretary Guevarra

China eyes high-tech army, says U.S. undermines global stability

Jul 24, 2019 - 2:15 PM

The plan calls for more cutting-edge technology in the People's Liberation Army (PLA) arsenal, admitting it 'still lags far behind the world's leading militaries.'

LP, Makabayan blocs back Benny Abante for House minority leader

Jul 22, 2019 - 5:09 PM

Manila 6th District Representative Benny Abante also gets support from lawmakers belonging to PDP-Laban, the Nacionalista party, and the party-list groups

NEXT MINORITY LEADER? Manila 6th District Representative Bienvenido Abante Jr is gunning be the leader of the House minority bloc in the 18th Congress. Photo from Abante's Facebook page

Robredo hits sedition allegations: 'Nakakatawa talaga'

Jul 21, 2019 - 1:46 PM

'Hindi ba sila nag-verify, para hindi naman sila napapahiya?' Vice President Leni Robredo asks

'LAUGHABLE' CHARGES. Vice President Leni Robredo hits sedition allegations filed against her as 'laughable,' saying the accusations against her were far-fetched and easily verifiable. Photo by OVP

Kosovo PM resigns after being called to war crimes court

Jul 19, 2019 - 11:24 PM

'I received a call by the special court as a suspect and was offered to go as the prime minister or as an ordinary citizen of Kosovo. I chose the latter,' Ramush Haradinaj tells reporters

RAMUSH HARADINAJ. In this file photo taken on January 25, 2019 Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj speaks during an interview with the AFP, in Pristina. Photo by Armend Nimani/AFP

We must rally behind Robredo, Pangilinan tells LP bloc in House

Jul 19, 2019 - 12:13 PM

(6th UPDATE) 'We urge our fellow lawmakers at the House of Representatives to seriously consider where they stand in the face of the harassment and persecution brought upon our party chairperson,' says Senator Francis Pangilinan

LP LEADERS. Vice President Leni Robredo (center) and Senator Francis Pangilinan sing "Our Father" during the thanksgiving mass for the Otso Diretso senatorial slate on May 8, 2019. File photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

CIDG sues Robredo, LP, bishops for sedition over Bikoy videos

Jul 18, 2019 - 6:08 PM

(3rd UPDATE) Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra immediately forms a panel to investigate the complaint

BIKOY VIDEOS. Vice President Leni Robredo is included in the 36 respondents of a CIDG complaint for inciting to sedition over the viral Bikoy videos. OVP Photo

FALSE: MILF surrendered arms to gov't 'for the first time in 2019'

Jul 05, 2019 - 7:16 PM

The decommissioning process first starts in 2015 as part of the agreement between the MILF and the Philippine government

Huawei staff pair up with Chinese military on research

Jun 27, 2019 - 10:54 PM

Several research papers published since 2009 show Huawei employees have worked with researchers at different arms of the People's Liberation Army

'LP will remain steadfast to principles' even if in House majority – Belmonte

Jun 27, 2019 - 12:56 PM

'Maninidigan pa rin tayo,' says Quezon City 6th District Representative Kit Belmonte, Liberal Party secretary-general

BACK TO MAJORITY? LP lawmakers of the previous 17th Congress pose for a picture back when they were trying to claim the House minority bloc in July 2018. Several of them have been reelected into the next 18th Congress. File photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

LP open to rejoining majority bloc in the 18th Congress

Jun 26, 2019 - 4:16 PM

This move is nothing new, as most Liberal Party legislators were part of the administration-allied majority bloc in the House at the start of President Rodrigo Duterte's term

12,000 former MILF troops to be decommissioned in 2019

Jun 18, 2019 - 7:48 PM

Decommissioning of the troops comes after the ratification of the Bangsamoro Law and is part of the Philippine government's agreement with the MILF

PEACE DEAL. In this photo taken on October 15, 2012 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) stand in formation inside Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat. File photo by Karlos Manlupig/AFP

PNP begins Bikoy probe vs Trillanes, LP members

May 27, 2019 - 11:01 AM

The Philippine National Police has yet to receive a revised sworn statement from Peter Joemel Advincula, the man also known as Bikoy

PROBE BEGINS. PNP chief Oscar Albayalde (R) says they are waiting for the sworn statement of Peter Joemel Advincula. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

Robredo: Liberal Party has nothing to do with Bikoy

May 23, 2019 - 1:53 PM

(3rd UPDATE) 'I can speak for the party na wala kaming kinalaman sa Bikoy issue,' says Liberal Party chair Vice President Leni Robredo

NO INVOLVEMENT. Vice President Leni Robredo (center) says she has never met Peter Joemel Advincula. OVP photo

Palestinians confirm will not attend U.S.-led meeting in Bahrain

May 23, 2019 - 7:25 AM

'This is a collective Palestinian position, from President Mahmud Abbas and the PLO Executive Committee to all Palestinian political movements and factions, national figures, private sector and civil society'

A Palestinian protester hurls stones at Israeli troops during a demonstration near the border with Israel, east of Gaza City, on May 10, 2019.  Said KHATIB / AFP

Kris Aquino defends decision not to vote for all Otso Diretso bets

May 22, 2019 - 2:59 PM

'Tapos na 'kong manahimik sa pagbayad para sa mga kasalanan at pagkukulang nung mga ibang LP nung nabigyan sila ng pagkakataon ng mga botante,' says Kris as she defends her decision to vote for only 4 Otso Diretso candidates

Pangilinan's resignation 'a sign of humility' – Liberal Party execs

May 21, 2019 - 2:35 PM

Erin Tañada, Liberal Party vice president for external affairs and Otso Diretso senatorial candidate, says he admires Senator Kiko Pangilinan's courage during the tough campaign

STILL TRUSTED. Resigned LP president and Senator Kiko Pangilinan (right) is still be trusted by other LP leaders like Erin Tañada(left), who ran but lost for senator. VP Leni Robredo (center) has not accepted Pangilinan's resignation. File photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

LP leaders Pangilinan, Belmonte resign after Otso Diretso loses elections

May 21, 2019 - 11:07 AM

(3rd UPDATE) Both LP officials claim 'command responsibility' over the loss of the Otso Diretso senatorial candidates, but party chair Vice President Leni Robredo does not accept their resignation

LIBERAL PARTY LEADERS. Senator Francis Pangilinan (left) and Quezon City 6th District Representative Kit Belmonte. Rappler file photos

Australia's conservatives secure majority government – media

May 20, 2019 - 11:29 AM

Australian broadcaster ABC says Prime Minister Scott Morrison's Liberal-National coalition will hold at least 77 seats in the 151-member lower house, one more than needed to govern on its own

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison briefs media about the flooding situation in Queensland during a press conference in Sydney on February 8, 2019. Australia's tropical north typically experiences heavy rains during the monsoon season, but the recent downpours have flooded highways, towns and turned roads into rivers. Saeed KHAN / AFP

Ka Leody wants to suspend canvassing of votes

May 18, 2019 - 4:41 PM

Leody de Guzman also questions the 'undue haste' in the proclamation of Senate and party-list winners

PROTEST. Leody de Guzman and Erin Tañada march towards PICC, Comelec official canvassing headquarters to protest against election anomalies on May 17, 2019. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Liberal Party bets dominate local races again in Calbayog City

May 18, 2019 - 12:10 PM

Liberal Party candidates win in the races for vice mayor, and took 10 of 12 city council seats in Calbayog City, Samar

PROCLAIMED. The proclaimed councilors of Calbayog City's 2nd District come from the Liberal Party. Photo by John Sydric Rendeza/Rappler

'Expect tyranny' in House with only 18 elected LP representatives – Kit Belmonte

May 15, 2019 - 7:55 PM

But while the Liberal Party is part of the opposition against President Rodrigo Duterte, its legislators once forged an alliance with the ruling PDP-Laban

LIBERALS. LP lawmakers pose for a picture back when they were trying to lay claim over the House minority bloc in 2018. File photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappelr