Anti-Terrorism Bill still under review —Pres. Duterte
Marje Pelayo • June 23, 2020 • 495
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is still waiting for feedback from his legal team as regards the controversial Anti-Terrorism Bill.
The President himself said that the bill is still under review of the team and he is waiting for their recommendation.
“My legal is still reviewing it in Malacanang. Hindi ko pa natanggap. I had it reviewed. It’s always automatic, pagdaan sa akin, I endorse it to legal without even reading it actually, if you really want to know,” the President explained.
“It’s (the) legal (team) who will return it to me with a recommendation, by then, I will approve it or not,” he added.
Critics have been raising their concern about the bill, arguing against its provisions which to them pose a violation of human rights.
Meanwhile, the President insists that the communist rebels are the major threats to national security.
He cited the recent attacks by the new People’s Army (NPA) against government troops delivering goods to residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Terrorism is number one on our list. Actually the number one threat to the country ay hindi Abu Sayyaf, hindi ang mga terorista of no value. Itong high value targets ito iyong mga komunista. Kaya ang utos ko talaga sa Armed Forces, sa sundalo, upakan mo,” the President said.
[Terrorism is number one on our list. Actually, the number one threat to the country is not the Abu Sayyaf, not the terrorists of no value. The high-value targets are the communists. That’s why I ordered the Armed Forces, the military to neutralize them.]
President Duterte is planning to pay a visit to military camps in the coming days to check on the welfare of the soldiers. —MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang has allayed public fear of a possible ban on social media giant Facebook following President Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks on Tuesday night (September 29) expressing his disappointment over the platform’s policy.
“You cannot lay down a policy for my government. I allow you to operate here. You cannot bar or prevent me from espousing the objectives of the government,” Duterte said.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the President wants to have a talk with Facebook to clarify issues regarding its censorship policy against pages that support the government.
“Number 1 po kasi tayo sa buong mundo sa Pilipinas so kung wala tayo, malaking kawalan yan sa Facebook [The Philippines is the number 1 user in the world. It’s a big loss to Facebook],” Roque said.
“Pero at the same time, dahil nga number 1 tayo, marami ring Pilipino ang gumagamit ng Facebook. Maapektuhan din. So sinabi naman ng president, pag-usapan iyan [But at the same time since we are number 1, many Filipinos are using Facebook. It will affect us. So the President wants a discussion about it],” he added.
Among the accounts that have been taken down is the advocacy group Hands Off Our Children, a page which aims to protect minors from recruitment by extremists who entice youths to become combatants and fight the government.
Meanwhile, Malacañang has again questioned Facebook’s choice of fact-checkers— online news platforms Rappler and Vera Files— who are critical of the present administration.
Roque said the government is now contemplating on commissioning fact-checkers of social media platforms in the country similar to what other countries are doing.
“Pag-aaralan po natin kung dapat gawin natin iyan dahil di po tayo makakapayag na ang fact-checkers ay tanging mga laban lamang sa gobyerno [We will take that into consideration because that has to be done. We cannot allow that fact-checkers are only those who are all against the government],” Roque concluded. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Phillippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday said that President Rodrigo Duterte should just implement the anti-graft laws to all violators instead of resigning if he wants to end corruption in the government.
“Instead of resigning, the President only needs to be consistent in applying the anti-graft and corruption laws to both friends and foes,” Lacson said in a statement.
Lacson issued the statement after Duterte said he has offered to step down from office out of frustration over the rampant corruption in the country.
“Ewan ko kung sabihin ko ito sa inyo. I offered to resign as president. Pinatawag ko yung lahat, sabi ko, ‘Kasi nagsasawa na ako. In my years of government […] talagang wala na katapusan itong korupsyon. Mahirap talaga pigilin,” Duterte said during his public address late Monday night.
The president’s remarks follows on the heels of fresh allegations of irregularities in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
Duterte earlier promised to fire officials over just “a whiff” of corruption.
“Strong words and warnings may work, but only when backed by political will and followed by concrete actions. There is no better way,” Lacson said.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III also said that it is the corrupt officials who should be resigning and not Duterte.
“Dapat ‘yung mga corrupt sa gobyerno makaisip noon, hindi siya. He was elected by the country, he cannot turn his back on the specified task by the Filipinos! I don’t think he means it,” Sotto said in a message to reporters.
As for Duterte’s offer to appear before a Congressional hearing to tackle corruption, Lacson said it may not be necessary.
“In fact, the Senate is already proposing in a bill to give him Bayanihan-like powers to address red tape in government,” he said.
Lacson was referring to Senate Bill 1844 which seeks to authorize the president to expedite the issuance of national and local permits and licenses in times of national emergency to address corruption and red tape in the government. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has mentioned more than once in the past, wanting to step down from his post due to massive corruption in government.
He repeated himself on Monday evening (September 28) during his late night public address.
“I offered to resign as president. Ipinatawag ko ang lahat. Sabi ko, ‘Kasi nagsasawa na ako. In my years of government, talagang wala na katapusan itong korupsyon. Mahirap talaga pigilin (I called everyone and said, “I am getting tired of it. In my years of government service, corruption is endless. It’s very difficult to eradicate),” the President said.
Specifically, the President expressed deep dismay over corruption and irregularities in the management of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
He said he is keen on proposing to Congress to dissolve the state insurance agency as he admits privatizing it cannot be an option.
“PhilHealth, I am going to propose to Congress to abolish [it]. Kung i-privatize mo naman, walang pera (If it will be privatized, there is no money), he said.
PhilHealth is facing a big revamp or reorganization among its officials and employees following a series of hearings and investigations on the anomalies within the agency.
Meanwhile, the President defended the government’s move to sell several state properties. He cited the need to raise funds to support the health sector’s COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and response plan.
“That is why we are selling properties. That’s the reason why we are selling real estate properties in Japan — because we have to raise money,” he said.
“Wala nang pambayad diyan sa PhilHealth na iyan. Kaya walang ibang remedy diyan (There is no more money to pay for PhilHealth. There are no other remedies). It must be a surgical move,” he said. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
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