6,000 cops to man Duterte’s 3rd SONA

Marje Pelayo   •   July 11, 2018   •   3567


FILE PHOTO: Members of the Philippine National Police in formation

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – A total of 6,000 policemen from the National Capital Region (NCR) will be deployed to ensure security and order on the course of President Rodrigo Duterte’s third State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 23.

According to NCR Police Office (NCRPO) Chief PCSupt. Guillermo Eleazar, they are considering two options to address the bulk of protesters on the day of SONA. They are specifically contemplating on whether or not to set the protest line in Ever Gotesco Mall in Commonwealth Avenue or in Batasan Road.

This is in view of the possible repeat of last year’s event when President Duterte went out of Batasan Complex to personally address the protesters.

Eleazar added that all cops will not be allowed to bring their respective service firearms.

“Maximum tolerance. Wala kaming baril na dadalhin sa mga CDM but of course ang mga security forces natin ay meron. Pero malayo sila. Hindi sila hahalo o malapit sa mga rally,” Eleazar confirmed.

The PNP will not set up container vans and barbed wires to block the protesters but there will be 13 sub security task groups to be led by the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) who will monitor the surroundings up to the Batasan area.

Also, the PNP will invite representatives from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to join each of the sub security task group to check on the actions of police and demonstrators.

“Ito ang magiging unbiased defenders namin just in case we will be criticized or merong mga sasabihin itong ibang grupo on maliscious intentions against us. At least andon ang Commission on Human Rights na nakita nila what really happens,” Eleazar added.

On Saturday (July 14), the PNP sets to have a dialogue with leaders of militant groups. Though the PNP has not receive any threats prior to the event, the NCRPO assures that the will remain on full alert status.

“When the NICA brief us yesterday, wala syang sinabi na threat o manggugulo. But just the same hindi tayo pwedeng maging kumpiyansa. Just like the previous SONA and other major events laging nakahanda tayo doon,” the NCRPO Chief explained.

The NCRPO, meanwhile, reminds foreign nationals that they are strictly prohibited to join any protest actions. – Lea Ylagan / Marje Pelayo

Duterte urges Congress to expedite creation of agency concerning OFWs

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 28, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte urged Congress to expedite the creation of a new agency that will cater to the welfare of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

“So I proposed in the coming months, and I hope to come up with a Department of Overseas Workers,” he said.

Duterte said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has so much burden to focus on OFWs.

The President also said the new agency will address the persistent woes encountered by OFWs. There is also a proposal to create another agency for seafarers.

“So iyan ang ano ko sa mga kababayan ko na naghihirap sa labas, (So that is what I can provide for our fellowmen abroad) that there will be a more thorough review in policies for your protection and that somebody should look after you,” he said.

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go in 2019 filed Senate Bill 202, or the Department of Overseas Filipinos Act of 2019 in support of President Duterte’s advocacy. AAC

Duterte to announce quarantine classifications for November tonight

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 26, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte will announce the new quarantine classifications for November on Monday (October 26) evening, according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

“We will proceed with our meeting with him via Zoom at inaasahan pa rin pong magre-report ang ilang miyembro ng Gabinete lalong lalo na dito sa quarantine classifications (and we expect several Cabinet members will also present their report especially for the quarantine classifications),” he said during a press briefing.

Roque also confirmed the technical working group of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) already has a recommendation regarding the quarantine classifications.

The Palace official also confirmed that the President already assigned a vaccine czar two months ago. This was after the proposal of Senate President Pro Tempore Ralp Recto in order to prepare for the needed storage facility and the system for vaccine distribution.

“Two months ago, I recalled si Presidente may tinalagang vaccine czar kaya lang po, iyong naitalagang vaccine czar is hesitant when I asked him if I could remind the public that he has been designated as a vaccine czar kasi baka hindi na raw po maalala ni President. So we would like to wait for the Pesident to make an announcement anew (I recalled, two months ago, the President already assigned a vaccine czar. However, the assigned vaccine czar was hesitant when I asked him if I could remind the public that he has been designated. He said the President may have forgotten already so we would like to wait for the President to make the announcement anew),” Roque said. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Russia eyes establishing a pharma facility in PH for COVID-19, Duterte says

Marje Pelayo   •   October 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday that Russia is planning to establish a pharmaceutical company in the Philippines for the manufacture of COVID-19 vaccine.

The President said he had a serious discussion on the said plan with outgoing Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev during the latter’s farewell courtesy call in Malacañang on October 14.

“I just had a talk with the ambassador of Russia, the outgoing, and we had a serious one-on-one talk. He said Russia is coming in. They want to establish here, gagawa sila ng pharmaceutical and vaccine papasok,” the President said.

He reiterated his preference to source the COVID-19 vaccine from either China or Russia once available.

He added that the government has already secured enough budget for the purchase of the initial batch of vaccines, although an additional amount is still needed to cover for the vaccination of the entire Filipino population.

“ I have the money already for the vaccine, but hahanap pa ako ng maraming pera because you know there are 130 million Filipinos and to me ideally, all should have the vaccine without exception,” Duterte said. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)


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