Philippine eagle flies, slow motion video


This video says about itself:

Slow Motion Philippine Eagle Flight

13 July 2016

To understand the unique flight styles of different bird species, scientists use a technique called wing tracing. It involves tracing the trajectory of a point on their wing during a series of wingbeats. The pattern of a bird’s wingbeat depends on how far a bird can move its wing in any given direction, which is determined by the length and shape of the wing. Soaring birds such as this Philippine Eagle, for example, show an elliptical shaped wingtip path when viewed from the side.

Soaring Philippine eagle video


This July 2016 video sows a soaring Philippine eagle.

Philippine eagle landing, video


This video says about itself:

Philippine Eagle Landing on a Branch

13 July 2016

Birds might be known for flight, but they must also be adept at landing. This Philippine Eagle lands by orienting its body vertically, spreading its wings and flapping to slow down, and outstretching its feet, reaching for a landing spot with its large talons.

World’s biggest pearl discovery in Philippines


Giant pearl, photo by Aileen Cynthia Maggay-Amurao

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Largest pearl in the world discovered

Today, 17:38

In the Philippines probably the biggest pearl in the world has been discovered. The colossus is 61 centimeters long, 30 centimeters wide and weighs 34 kilos. The value is estimated at around 90 million euros, various media report. The pearl hitherto considered the largest weighs ‘only’ 6.4 kilos.

A fisherman found the now discovered pearl ten years ago near Palawan Island when his anchor got stuck in a [giant] clam. He had no idea what was the value of the jewel and hid it all the time under his bed, as a lucky charm.

Only when the fisherman’s house recently burned down he went with his find to the Philippine authorities. Who have studied the pearl, and now are still waiting for confirmation from experts that it is indeed the largest in the world. A Filipino official put a photo of the pearl on Facebook.

Philippines death squads, paid by United States tax payers


This video about the Philippines says about itself:

Amnesty International Concerned Over Duterte‘s Human Rights Record

8 December 2015

The human rights watchdog raised alarm over the presidential candidate [meanwhile: president]’s alleged links to the Davao Death Squad.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Philippines: Activists demand to end police killings

Thursday 4th August 2016

OVER 300 human rights groups have written to condemn what they see as trigger-happy attitudes by Philippine police towards drug gang suspects.

Their joint letter to the International Narcotics Control Board and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which was published yesterday, urges them to condemn police killings and to demand that they end.

“International drug control agencies need to make clear to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte that the surge in killings of suspected drug dealers and users is not acceptable ‘crime control’ but instead a government failure to protect people’s most fundamental human rights,” said Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phelim Kine.

A clash yesterday between commandos and armed bodyguards of a town mayor linked to illegal drugs killed six suspects and brought the running total of suspected drug criminals shot dead since Mr Duterte took office on June 30 to 402.

Senator Leila M De Lima decried on Tuesday what she called the “do-it-yourself justice” system under the Duterte presidency.

“We must call for the accountability of state actors responsible for this terrifying trend in law enforcement and the investigation of killings perpetrated by the vigilante assassins,” she said.

Regional police chief Elmer Beltejar said that police had been patrolling near the house of Mayor Rolando Espinosa in the town of Albuera when they were fired upon by his bodyguards.Police fired back, killing six of their attackers.

Mr Espinosa surrendered to national police chief Ronald de la Rosa on Tuesday after being warned to do so or risk being shot on sight.

This video says about itself:

Death toll rises as Philippines intensifies war on drugs

31 July 2016

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has promised to rid his country of crime and corruption within his first six months in office.

But a harsh crackdown has seen more than 400 suspected drug criminals killed in less than two months.

Al Jazeera’s Jamela Alindogan reports from Manila.

By Joseph Santolan in the Philippines:

Kerry backs Duterte’s murderous anti-drug campaign: “Placing a cheapness on the lives of Orientals”

4 August 2016

US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte July 30 in Manila and pledged $32 million to fund Duterte’s anti-drug campaign, an operation that involves death squads, police murders and concentration camps. Since Duterte took office at the end of June, more than 500 alleged criminals have been killed by police and vigilante groups.

Kerry has come a long way since he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971 and denounced the conduct of the US military in Vietnam in terms of moral outrage. He told the committee that “we watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of Orientals.”

Kerry has long since overcome any such moral compunctions, integrating himself into the Democratic party apparatus, running unsuccessfully as the party’s presidential candidate, and finally becoming the top diplomatic face of US imperialism. He is now the one who hangs Washington’s price tag on the cheapness of human lives.

The $32 million he dispensed to fund the murder of impoverished Filipinos is meant to secure Manila’s support for Washington’s anti-Chinese “pivot to Asia.”

For US imperialism, “the lives of Orientals” have always been cheap. William McKinley bought the colony of the Philippines from Spain for $20 million in 1898. The bill of sale was written in the blood of over a million Filipinos who were killed in the war of conquest that marked the entry of the United States onto the world stage as an imperialist power.

From the installation to the presidency of Ramon Magsaysay, hand-picked in 1953 by the “quiet American” CIA operative Edward Lansdale, to the full support it gave the martial law regime of Ferdinand Marcos, Washington has ruled its former colony with near total control, preserving it as a foothold in the Asia Pacific region.

The United States is seeking to maintain its global hegemonic dominance through military means, encircling Russia and China and escalating tensions to the threshold of a new world war. Under the previous Philippine administration, headed by Benigno Aquino, Manila played a key role in spearheading the US pivot in the South China Sea, filing a legal claim against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague and signing a deal to allow the unlimited basing of US forces in the country.

The newly installed Duterte administration has been more hesitant in provoking China, hoping to forge expanded economic ties with Beijing.

Duterte is a fascistic figure, openly contemptuous of human life. He has granted impunity to the police and military and called upon them to exterminate “criminals.” He declared in a speech that he would leave office as the Idi Amin of the Philippines, a reference to the Ugandan dictator and mass murderer.

The Obama administration has established a pattern of funding and support for far-right and fascistic forces around the world in pursuit of US imperialist interests. In 2013, it backed the military coup by the Egyptian butcher General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. In 2014, it supported a fascist-led coup in Ukraine as part of its campaign against Moscow. It armed the al-Nusra Front, the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, as a proxy in its campaign to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

The Obama administration has no qualms about funding the murderous Duterte government if it will facilitate the economic, political and military isolation and destabilization of China.

Duterte is putting Washington’s funds to good use. The number reported killed by police and vigilantes ranges from fifteen to twenty a day. Those murdered come from the most impoverished layers of the population, the shantytown dwellers and the informally employed, who dwell, in their millions, on the margins and in the interstices of Philippine cities, particularly Manila.

According to the New York Times, over 114,000 people, fearful of being killed in the anti-drug drive, have surrendered to the police. They have been crammed into the country’s barbaric prison system.

The British Independent published a photo essay on July 31 revealing the conditions in these jails. The fetid cells, as well as the open courts and stairwells of the prisons, are so densely packed that there is no room to breathe. Industrial livestock have far better conditions than these human beings.

Duterte proposes to relieve the overcrowding by constructing concentration camps. He is calling for the building of high-wire-enclosed facilities in the center of military bases throughout the country to house those he claims are “no longer of service to humanity.” The initial funding Duterte will use for these concentration camps was supplied by John Kerry.

The New York Times on August 2 claimed that Duterte’s crackdown was “hugely popular” with Filipinos. As evidence, it cited an opinion poll on the new president’s trustworthiness conducted before he even took office, as well as his “overwhelming victory” at the polls. In truth, Duterte won the presidency by a plurality, receiving a mere 38 percent of the vote. The base of support for Duterte comes overwhelmingly from the petty-bourgeoisie and big business.

The new president has announced that he supports the basing of US forces in the country, and since Kerry’s visit, he has begun to escalate his rhetoric against China. Washington will happily continue funding Duterte’s death squads and concentration camps as long as he toes its line against China.

In the 2016 US elections, the Democratic Party is presenting itself as the premiere party of US imperialism, in the interests of which it will continue to promote far-right governments and political forces internationally. The danger represented by the fascistic Donald Trump cannot be opposed through support for the party that is funding the death squads of Rodrigo Duterte. Only the independent struggle of the working class in the United States, the Philippines and around the world in the fight for socialism can put an end to war and the growing threat of fascism.

Ronald de la Rosa, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) testified Monday before a Senate investigation into the extra-judicial killings since President Rodrigo Duterte took office on June 1. He said the official police count of those who were killed by either police or vigilantes for the first six weeks of the Duterte administration was 1,789: here.

Waterbirds counted in China


This video says about itself:

2014 Balanga City Asian Water Bird Census

DENR, in coordination with the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines and the City Government of Balanga, conducted a census of migratory waterbirds in Barangays Sibacan, Tortugas, Puerto Rivas Lote, Puerto Rivas Itaas, and Puerto Rivas Ibaba, on January 18, 2014.

Terns, Plovers, Black-winged Stilt, Sandpipers and Little, Intermediate and [Great] Egret as well as a rarely-seen Chinese Egret, fleeing the cold weather of their country of origin, were among those counted.

The yearly census, which aims to determine bird population, covers all Asian countries and is conducted in January. The first census in the Philippines was conducted in 2004.

From BirdLife:

Decade-long Citizen Science project counts China’s waterbirds

By Ed Parnell, Thu, 14/01/2016 – 18:01

Since 2005, more than 150 volunteers have taken part in the China Coastal Waterbird Census, which, in November 2015, published its third report on the state of the country’s coastal waterbirds

The coastal wetlands of China constitute some of the most important migratory, passage and wintering sites along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Unfortunately, the area also faces some of the world’s most serious conservation challenges. In order to protect and manage important sites along the flyway effectively, reliable data are desperately needed, making the China Coastal Waterbird Census – and the work carried out by its volunteers – of critical conservation importance.

“We discovered at least 10 sites of international importance for birds, yet still without proper protection”, said Bai Qingquan, one of the coordinators of China Coastal Waterbird Census Team.

The latest report, which covers the period from 2010–11, presents a huge amount of information about China’s coastal avifauna. A total of 161 species were recorded during the survey, including 21 globally threatened species.

Peak counts occurred during April’s northward migration period, when almost 266,000 individual waterbirds were logged from 111 species. Twenty per cent or more of the entire population of the following globally threatened birds were recorded during the latest census: Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea (Critically Endangered: 103), Saunders’s Gull Saundersilarus saundersi (Vulnerable: 5,451), Relict Gull Larus relictus (Vulnerable: 6,005), Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor (Endangered: 561) and Siberian Crane Leucogeranus leucogeranus (Critically Endangered: 700).

“The China Coastal Waterbird Count, which is organised and implemented solely by volunteer bird watchers has lasted for 10 years and is a great example of Citizen Science”, said Vivian Fu, Assistant Manager of Hong Kong Bird Watching Society/BirdLife International China Programme. “The findings of the census not only display significant scientific value, but also contribute to the conservation of sites and species of international importance. We hope that more and more people will join us in future.”

The report, which is written in Chinese, with an English summary and annotations, can be downloaded here (PDF, 55 MB).

The China Coastal Waterbird Census has been coordfinated by the The Hong Kong Bird Watching Society (BirdLife Hong Kong) and over the years has received support from the following donors: the Darwin Initiative; Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong; Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust; the Tolkien Trust; the Asian Waterbird Conservation Fund; and Ford Green Awards.

Filipina women raped by Japanese army demand compensation


This video says about itself:

Malaya Lola Music Video (2007)

This music video tells of the plight of the Malaya Lolas — a group of Filipino women who were abducted and used as ‘Comfort Women‘ by Japanese soldiers during the second World War.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Comfort women‘ demand compensation from Japan

Thursday 7th January 2016

ELDERLY Filipino women raped by Japanese troops during World War II demanded compensation from Tokyo yesterday.

Their claim follows the Japanese government’s pledge last week of one billion yen (£5.7 million) to compensate the 46 surviving South Korean “comfort women,” as they were euphemistically dubbed by the Japanese army.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also issued an official apology as part of the deal, aimed at easing diplomatic tensions between the two countries.

Tens of thousands of women across Asia were forced into sex slavery by invading Japanese forces.

Victims’ group Malaya Lolas president Isabelita Vinuya urged the Philippine government to support their demand for justice from Japan.

“We have appealed more than once or twice to our government to help us, support us before Japan so that we can be given justice for the sufferings we went through during World War II,” she told a press conference, adding that many of the women have died without seeing justice.

Ms Vinuya said she was just 13 when the Japanese troops raped women and children in her village of Mapaniqui in Pampanga province.

The troops also razed homes and killed men in the village. Three other women at the press conference said they were teenagers when they were raped.

“Is there a difference in the rape of a South Korean and a Filipino woman?” asked the victims’ lawyer Harry Roque. “The answer is there should be none.”

In 2010, the Philippines’ highest court dismissed a case brought by Ms Vinuya and 70 other women demanding that the government seek compensation from Japan.