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China’s President Xi to visit PH on Nov. 20-21

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, November 19th, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the first meeting of the French-Chinese business council in Beijing, China, January 9, 2018. REUTERS/Ludovic Marin/Pool

MANILA, Philippines –China’s President Xi Jinping is set to arrive on Tuesday (November 20) to Wednesday (November 21) for a two-day state visit through a personal invitation from President Rodrigo Duterte.

This is the first time that a Chinese President will step foot on Philippine soil after 13 years since the state visit of former Chinese President Hu Jintao during the time of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2005.

The two countries’ diplomatic ties went through rough sails when tensions over territorial claims escalated.

Xi and Duterte’s meetings are expected to rekindle ties and bolster cooperation between the two countries.

“These face-to-face meetings are so important because they promote understanding and goodwill between the leaders and also show a good example to their citizens that you know Philippines and China should cooperate more closely and again, cooperation comes from understanding each other’s position very well,” said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) earlier announced that the highlight of Xi’s visit will be the Philippines signing in to China’s Belt and Road Initiative – a development strategy that involves massive infrastructure development as well as trade and investments in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the South Pacific.

Xi’s visit will also involve the signing of agreements on financial assistance from China to fund the Duterte administration’s infrastructure projects.

Though China’s offer will bring huge benefits to the Philippines, Secretary Dominguez clarified that the provisions of the Belt and Road Initiative and other deals will still be reviewed before final signing.

“We will certainly review it again, this belt and road agreement,” he assured.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with President Duterte in Davao City last month to facilitate the arrival of the Chinese President. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Duterte orders backchannel talks with Reds

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte | PCOO/Richard Madelo

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is reopening doors for peace.

Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) Board Member Avelino Andal confirmed that the Chief Executive ordered him to hold backchannel talks with the communist rebels.

According to Andal, he already conveyed the President’s message to the leaders of the leftist group which the latter positively welcomed.

“Actually napag-utusan ang inyong lingkod at utos mula sa presidente na kung maaari ay i-resume ang pag-uusap,” Andal revealed in a phone interview.

“Sapagkat ang kaniyang pinagdidiinan ay bilang presidente, siya ay kaibigan at hindi kaaway ng mga rebelde,” he added.

Andal was a former activist and political detainee during the Martial Law regime. He was once a rebel returnee himself.

In 2018, President Duterte ordered the suspension of backchannel talks with the communist rebels for the government to thoroughly assess the provisions of the agreements to be entered into by both parties.

Though Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo did not confirm such backchannel order, he expresses confidence that such a move will bring positive results.

“What is important to me is if there is one, then the CPP-NPA at this time and for a change should listen to the president, and most likely they may at this time to the urgings of the president,” he concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Duterte to march the streets to support the Bangsamoro Basic Law

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, January 14th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte. | REY BANIQUET/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed on Monday (January 14) that President Rodrigo Duterte plans to fly to Cotabato City to join a massive rally on January 18 in support of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

The mass action will be held two days before the scheduled plebiscite for the BBL in areas of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); Isabela City-Basilan and in Cotabato City.

Lorenzana assured that President Duterte and the rest of his Cabinet as well as the Congress support the BBL.

“All out si Presidente. Sa January 18 pupunta (siya) sa Cotabato para sa big BOL rally. The day before dapat pupunta din siya sa Jolo pero dahil may importante siyang gagawin dito, hindi makapunta,” Lorenzana said during a meeting with leaders of the Bangsamoro communities outside the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BAR) on Sunday (January 13)

“Pero pupunta kami. Ako, si Sec. Ano, si Sec. Galvez, para kumbinsihin na namin si Sakur. Matigas ang ulo ni Sakur, pero we can convince him maybe para lumambot ang puso niya at tanggapin ang BOL,” the Defense Secretary said referring to Governor Abdusakur Tan II of Sulu who opposes the BOL.

Malacañang expressed confidence that with the presence of President Duterte himself, the public will be more convinced of supporting the passage of the BBL.

“The voice of the president is always a powerful influence on whatever matter he gives his voice into,” confirmed Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

Lorenzana, meanwhile, assured the public that the government is working very hard to ensure an honest, clean and peaceful elections in May.

Lorenaza and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) vice chair and head of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission Ghadzali Jaafar called on all parties involved in the BOL especially the leaders of Muslim groups to be calm and pay respect to whatever the decision of the public will be regarding BBL.

“Hindi na pwede ang takutan dito. Tapos na ang pagiging rebolusyonaryo natin. Tapos na. Bibigyan na nga tayo ng chance to lead. Now it’s time to, itapon na natin ang uniporme natin. Magsuot na tayo ng barong o di kaya ng coat, and then start being a diplomat. Start being a statesman. Start thinking of how to improve our area,” Lorenzana said.

“Please do not do anything that will divide their favor because one of the major responsibilities of a leader, whether you’re like a revolutionary leader like me or political leader, your responsibility is,at all times, to unite your constituent and to unite your people,” appealed Jaafar.

“Leaders like us must never become agents of disunity of our people,” he emphasized further.

The plebiscite will be held on February 6 in Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Duterte fires Bacolod City police chief, 4 others for illegal drugs

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, January 14th, 2019

Bacolod City Chief of Police PSSupt. Francis Ebreo. | Courtesy: Bacolod City Police Office FB page

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte sacked Bacolod City Chief of Police PSSupt. Francis Ebreo over the weekend for his alleged involvement in drugs and for “making the people of Bacolod miserable.”

“I am relieving and dismissing you from the service as of now, Senior Superintendent Francis Ebreo,” the President straightforwardly announced on Saturday (January 12) during the birthday celebration of Vallacar Transit CEO, Leo Rey Yanson in Bacolod City.

Aside from Ebreo, the Chief Executive also axed other Bacolod city police officers, namely: PSupt Richie Makilan Yatar, PSupt. Nasruddin Daud Tayuan; PSinp. Victor Paulino; and PSSupt. Allan Rubi Macapagal.

Based on reports, Ebreo was outside the venue of the event when President Duterte announced his order.

President Duterte added that the said officers were protecting a drug syndicate operating the city.

Meanwhile, Western Visayas Police Regional Officer Chief PSupt. John Bulalacao said the officials concerned have already been relieved from their positions; an investigation is underway. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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