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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has wines named in his honour

Filipino entrepreneurs in Spain are about to launch a line of wines and cava named for Rodrigo Duterte with proceeds benefiting rehabilitation and community charities in Philippines.




It is estimated that over 10 million Filipinos live outside of Philippines and many of them remain actively engaged with politics in their mother country while maintaining family and cultural connections.

The 2016 election of President Rodrigo Duterte has galvanised the Filipino diaspora as Duterte’s policies seek to break with the status quo of virtually all of his varied predecessors.

Filipinos throughout the world are renowned engage in global commerce and other interesting international activities.  Filipino entrepreneurs in Spain have decided to honour President Duterte by combining the excellence of Spanish wines with a cause designed to help raise awareness for the rehabilitation initiatives in Philippines which are supported by President Duterte.

The initiative is the brainchild of Monaco based entrepreneur Maria Elizabeth ‘Olga’ Briton who along with her business partners and associates is set to launch the product on the 26th of August in Barcelona.

Maria Elizabeth ‘Olga’ Briton

The Duran spoke with Olga’s business partner Chona Abiertas Tenorio who is working to brand and distribute of a new range of wines and cava (sparking Spanish wine) branded as DU30 wines and cava, DU30 being the popular social media abbreviation for Rodrigo Duterte.

Chona Abiertas Tenorio explained her support of Duterte and how soon it will be possible to purchase a drinkable souvenir dedicated to the Philippine President that also helps to support the charitable causes associated with the President.

AG: Could you please tell us about yourselves and how you get into the wine business? I understand you were born in Philippines and currently live in Spain.

CA: My name is Chona Abiertas Tenorio. I was born in Mamburao Occ. Mindoro, Philippines and currently live in Spain. It was early autumn of 1987 when I arrived to Barcelona, I  was 24 years old then. I left my young family with two kids behind as well as my work as a Disbursing Officer in the Provincial Government of Occidental Mindoro to seek better job opportunities.  Life abroad is not easy so I grabbed the first job opportunity presented to me as a babysitter. But I kept struggling to change and improve my situation. I pursued studying while working to support my family and give my children the best education they deserved.  I finished my law degree at the University of Barcelona and engage in International Private Law practice. I have my own Law firm with offices in Barcelona and Madrid and created a Social Enterprise denominated as Cat Financial and Marketing Services S.L.

Cat Financial is a social enterprise offering integral services, mostly to the Filipinos, from RIA Money transfers and Remittances, DKV Health Insurance, Travels and Tours and Entertainments tie-up with ABS-CBN Star Cinema.

A couple of years ago, my colleagues proposed me to start with the import and export business, helping the small producers of Wine in Penedes to export their Wines and Cava to the Philippines and  Latin American countries. We already have our own trademark DUC de Montgros Wines, yet we are still finishing the legal procedures and negotiations with the Distributors in Columbia and Mexico.

Things changed when one day, a friend from Monaco came to visit me in Barcelona to organise a group of Duterte Supporters. We’ve been thinking on how we could help our President to beat the pandemic social problems in the Philippines.  We know that it is not a “one-man battle”, but a collective responsibility of all Filipinos  to make our country the best place to live. We believe in his causes and we want to support his livelihood and rehabilitation program.

So, our desire to help in our humble way brought us to launch DU30 Wines and Cava Special Edition in honour of our President to support the livelihood and rehabilitation project of the President.

AG: Could you tell us about the DU30 wines you are currently selling?

 CA: DU30 Wines come with a Guarantee of Origin D.O. Massis del Garraf. The Red Wine is a blend of Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Syrah provides colour intensity, Balsamic hints and its tannin is very pleasant to the palate. The Merlot provides freshness and aroma and the Cabernet Sauvignon gives structure and complexity to this wine. This Wine won the Guia Peñin Best Wines Awards in 2013 in Spain with 91 points and took the Silver Medal in the Wine Master Challenge 2013 in Lisbon.

The Cava is certified with a Guarantee of Origin . D.O. Massis del Garraf as well, which is a blend of typical varieties of grapes: 35% Xarello, 30% Macabeu, 20% parellada, 10% Chardonnay and 5% Subirat Parent. It offers an aroma of sweet bread, smoked nuts and varied white fruits. It is tinged with small and persistent bubbles, a smooth texture and is good balance in the mouth. It’s a perfect example of taste, style and luxury Cava.

This Cava won the International Wine Challenge 2008 in the UK with the Commended Medal with a 90 points rating by Wine Advocate- Robert Parker in 2011, Rated 91 points by the Globe & Mall (Canada) Beppi Crosariol in 2013, 88 points  by Guia Peñin in 2015 and 94 points by the 50 Great Cavas in 2016.

AG: What was the specific inspiration for naming a line of wines after Rodrigo Duterte?

CA:This line of wine is a special edition to honour our President, to show him our undying support and show our love for him as he also shows his love for our country and its people.

AG: Does President Duterte know about your wines? If not are you planning to try and inform him?

With due respect to our President we informed him first, before we did the Press Release.

AG:I understand that some of the profit from the sale of the wines goes to charity. Could you please tell us more about that?

We have commited to donate 0.20€ or PHP12.00 for every bottle sold to the Rehabilitation/Livelihood program or whichever will be the President’s choice and we are looking forward to announce which we choose, on the Launching Day of the new product line.

AG:What countries is the DU30 wine currently sold in and are there plans to expand in the near future?

It will be available to the public after this month’s launch and most of it will go to the Philippines.


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Understanding the Holodomor and why Russia says nothing

A descendant of Holodomor victims takes the rest of us to school as to whether or not Russia needs to shoulder the blame.

Seraphim Hanisch



One of the charges that nationalist Ukrainians often lodge against their Russian neighbors is that the Russian government has never acknowledged or formally apologized to Ukraine for the “Holodomor” that took place in Ukraine in 1932-1933. This was a man-made famine that killed an estimated seven to 10 million Ukrainians , though higher estimates claim 12.5 million and lower ones now claim 3.3 million.

No matter what the total was, it amounts to a lot of people that starved to death. The charge that modern-day Russia ought to apologize for this event is usually met with silence, which further enrages those Ukrainians that believe that this issue must be resolved by the Russian acknowledgement of responsibility for it. Indeed, the prime charge of these Ukrainians is that the Russians committed a genocide against the Ukrainian people. This is a claim Russia denies.

To the outside observer who does not know this history of Russia and Ukraine’s relationship, and who does not know or understand the characteristics of the Soviet Union, this charge seems as simple and laid out as that of the Native Americans or the blacks demanding some sort of recompense or restitution for the damages inflicted on these societies through conquest and / or slavery. But we discovered someone who had family connections involved in the Holodomor, and who offers her own perspective, which is instructive in why perhaps the Russian Federation does not say anything about this situation.

Scene in Kharkiv with dead from the famine 1932-33 lying along the street.

The speaker is Anna Vinogradova, a Russian Israeli-American, who answered the question through Quora of “Why doesn’t Russia recognize the Holodomor as a genocide?” She openly admits that she speaks only for herself, but her answer is still instructive. We offer it here, with some corrections for the sake of smooth and understandable English:

I can’t speak for Russia and what it does and doesn’t recognize. I can speak for myself.

I am a great-granddaughter of a “Kulak” (кулак), or well-to-do peasant, who lived close to the Russia/Ukraine border.

The word “кулак” means “fist” in Russian, and it wasn’t a good thing for a person to be called by this label. A кулак was an exploiter of peasants and a class enemy of the new state of workers and poor peasants. In other words, while under Communism, to be called a кулак was to bring a death sentence upon yourself.

At some point, every rural class enemy, every peasant who wasn’t a member of a collective farm was eliminated one way or another.

Because Ukraine has very fertile land and the Ukrainian style of agriculture often favors individual farms as opposed to villages, there is no question that many, many Ukrainian peasants were considered class enemies like my great grandfather, and eliminated in class warfare.

I have no doubt that class warfare included starvation, among other things.

The catch? My great grandfather was an ethnic Russian living in Russia. What nationality were the communists who persecuted and eventually shot him? They were of every nationality there was (in the Soviet Union), and they were led by a Ukrainian, who was taking orders from a Georgian.

Now, tell me, why I, a descendant of an unjustly killed Russian peasant, need to apologize to the descendants of the Ukrainians who killed him on the orders of a Georgian?

What about the Russian, Kazakh golodomor (Russian rendering of the same famine)? What about the butchers, who came from all ethnicities? Can someone explain why it’s only okay to talk about Ukrainian victims and Russian persecutors? Why do we need to rewrite history decades later to convert that brutal class war into an ethnic war that it wasn’t?

Ethnic warfare did not start in Russia until after WWII, when some ethnicities were accused of collaboration with the Nazis and brutal group punishments were implemented. It was all based on class up to that time.

The communists of those years were fanatically internationalist. “Working people of all countries, unite!” was their slogan and they were fanatical about it.

As for the crimes of Communism, Russia has been healing this wound for decades, and Russia’s government has made its anticommunist position very clear.

This testimony is most instructive. First, it points out information that the charge of the Holodomor as “genocide!” neatly leaves out. In identifying the internationalist aspects of the Soviet Union, Ukraine further was not a country identified as somehow worthy of genocidal actions. Such a thought makes no sense, especially given the great importance of Ukraine as the “breadbasket” of the Soviet Union, which it was.

Secondly, it shows a very western-style of “divide to conquer” with a conveniently incendiary single-word propaganda tool that is no doubt able to excite any Ukrainian who may be neutral to slightly disaffected about Russia, and then after that, all Ukrainians are now victims of the mighty evil overlords in Moscow.

How convenient is this when the evil overlords in Kyiv don’t want their citizens to know what they are doing?

We saw this on Saturday – taken to a very high peak when President Petro Poroshenko announced the new leading “Hierarch” of the “Ukrainian National Church” and said not one single word about Christ, but only:

“This day will go down in history as the day of the creation of an autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine… This is the day of the creation of the church as an independent structure… What is this church? It is a church without Putin. It is a church without Kirill, without prayer for the Russian authorities and the Russian army.”

But as long as Russia is made the “problem”, millions of scandalized Ukrainians will not care what this new Church actually does or teaches, which means it is likely to teach just about anything.

Russia had its own Holodomor. The history of the event shows that this was a result of several factors – imposed socialist economics on a deeply individualized form of agrarian capitalism (bad for morale and worse for food production), really inane centralized planning of cropland use, and a governmental structure that really did not exist to serve the governed, but to impose an ideology on people who really were not all that interested in it.

Personal blame might well lay with Stalin, a Georgian, but the biggest source of the famine lay in the structures imposed under communism as a way of economic strategy. This is not Russia’s fault. It is the economic model that failed.

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Mueller Finally Releases Heavily Redacted Key Flynn Memo On Eve Of Sentencing

Alex Christoforou



Via Zerohedge

Having initially snubbed Judge Emmet Sullivan’s order to release the original 302 report from the Michael Flynn interrogation in January 2017, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finally produced the heavily redacted document, just hours before sentencing is due to be handed down.

The memo  – in full below – details then-national security adviser Michael Flynn’s interview with FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka, and shows Flynn was repeatedly asked about his contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and in each instance, Flynn denied (or did not recall) any such conversations.

The agents had transcripts of Flynn’s phone calls to Russian Ambassador Kislyak, thus showing Flynn to be lying.

Flynn pleaded guilty guilty last December to lying to the FBI agents about those conversations with Kislyak.

The redactions in the document seem oddly placed but otherwise, there is nothing remarkable about the content…

Aside from perhaps Flynn’s incredulity at the media attention…

Flynn is set to be sentenced in that federal court on Tuesday.

Of course, as Christina Laila notes, the real crime is that Flynn was unmasked during his phone calls to Kislyak and his calls were illegally leaked by a senior Obama official to the Washington Post.

*  *  *

Full document below…

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Don’t Laugh : It’s Giving Putin What He Wants

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself.

Caitlin Johnstone



Authored by Caitlin Johnstone:

The BBC has published an article titled “How Putin’s Russia turned humour into a weapon” about the Kremlin’s latest addition to its horrifying deadly hybrid warfare arsenal: comedy.

The article is authored by Olga Robinson, whom the BBC, unhindered by any trace of self-awareness, has titled “Senior Journalist (Disinformation)”. Robinson demonstrates the qualifications and acumen which earned her that title by warning the BBC’s audience that the Kremlin has been using humor to dismiss and ridicule accusations that have been leveled against it by western governments, a “form of trolling” that she reports is designed to “deliberately lower the level of discussion”.

“Russia’s move towards using humour to influence its campaigns is a relatively recent phenomenon,” Robinson explains, without speculating as to why Russians might have suddenly begun laughing at their western accusers. She gives no consideration to the possibility that the tightly knit alliance of western nations who suddenly began hysterically shrieking about Russia two years ago have simply gotten much more ridiculous and easier to make fun of during that time.

Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the emergence of a demented media environment wherein everything around the world from French protests to American culture wars to British discontent with the European Union gets blamed on Russia without any facts or evidence. Wherein BBC reporters now correct guests and caution them against voicing skepticism of anti-Russia narratives because the UK is in “an information war” with that nation. Wherein the same cable news Russiagate pundit can claim that both Rex Tillerson’s hiring and his later firing were the result of a Russian conspiracy to benefit the Kremlin. Wherein mainstream outlets can circulate blatantly false information about Julian Assange and unnamed “Russians” and then blame the falseness of that reporting on Russian disinformation. Wherein Pokemon Go, cutesy Facebook memes and $4,700 in Google ads are sincerely cited as methods by which Hillary Clinton’s $1.2 billion presidential campaign was outdone. Wherein conspiracy theories that Putin has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government have been blaring on mainstream headline news for two years with absolutely nothing to show for it to this day.

Nope, the only possibility is that the Kremlin suddenly figured out that humor is a thing.

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself. The hypocrisy is so cartoonish, the emotions are so breathlessly over-the-top, the stories so riddled with plot holes and the agendas underlying them so glaringly obvious that they translate very easily into laughs. I myself recently authored a satire piece that a lot of people loved and which got picked up by numerous alternative media outlets, and all I did was write down all the various escalations this administration has made against Russia as though they were commands being given to Trump by Putin. It was extremely easy to write, and it was pretty damn funny if I do say so myself. And it didn’t take any Kremlin rubles or dezinformatsiya from St Petersburg to figure out how to write it.

“Ben Nimmo, an Atlantic Council researcher on Russian disinformation, told the BBC that attempts to create funny memes were part of the strategy as ‘disinformation for the information age’,” the article warns. Nimmo, ironically, is himself intimately involved with the British domestic disinformation firm Integrity Initiative, whose shady government-sponsored psyops against the Labour Party have sparked a national scandal that is likely far from reaching peak intensity.

“Most comedy programmes on Russian state television these days are anodyne affairs which either do not touch on political topics, or direct humour at the Kremlin’s perceived enemies abroad,” Robinson writes, which I found funny since I’d just recently read an excellent essay by Michael Tracey titled “Why has late night swapped laughs for lusting after Mueller?”

“If the late night ‘comedy’ of the Trump era has something resembling a ‘message,’ it’s that large segments of the nation’s liberal TV viewership are nervously tracking every Russia development with a passion that cannot be conducive to mental health – or for that matter, political efficacy,” Tracey writes, documenting numerous examples of the ways late night comedy now has audiences cheering for a US intelligence insider and Bush appointee instead of challenging power-serving media orthodoxies as programs like The Daily Show once did.

If you wanted the opposite of “anodyne affairs”, it would be comedians ridiculing the way all the establishment talking heads are manipulating their audiences into supporting the US intelligence community and FBI insiders. It would be excoriating the media environment in which unfathomably powerful world-dominating government agencies are subject to less scrutiny and criticism than a man trapped in an embassy who published inconvenient facts about those agencies. It certainly wouldn’t be the cast of Saturday Night Live singing “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to a framed portrait if Robert Mueller wearing a Santa hat. It doesn’t get much more anodyne than that.

Russia makes fun of western establishment narratives about it because those narratives are so incredibly easy to make fun of that they are essentially asking for it, and the nerdy way empire loyalists are suddenly crying victim about it is itself more comedy. When Guardian writer Carole Cadwalladr began insinuating that RT covering standard newsworthy people like Julian Assange and Nigel Farage was a conspiracy to “boost” those people for the advancement of Russian agendas instead of a news outlet doing the thing that news reporting is, RT rightly made fun of her for it. Cadwalladr reacted to RT’s mockery with a claim that she was a victim of “attacks”, instead of the recipient of perfectly justified ridicule for circulating an intensely moronic conspiracy theory.

Ah well. People are nuts and we’re hurtling toward a direct confrontation with a nuclear superpower. Sometimes there’s nothing else to do but laugh. As Wavy Gravy said, “Keep your sense of humor, my friend; if you don’t have a sense of humor it just isn’t funny anymore.”

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