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De Lima’s statement on Duterte’s ‘U.S. separation’ pronouncement

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, October 21st, 2016

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Sen. Leila M. de lima’s statement on President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncements of “separation” from the United States, and ideological alignment with China and Russia as “against the world”:

 

“I was listening to that and couldn’t help but think:bakit sa isang foreign visit n’ya in-announce iyang kagimbal-gimbal na foreign policy n’ya? It’s one thing to keep your Cabinet members in the dark – which is deeply troubling in itself – but it’s a whole level of betrayal to keep that from the Filipino people, and to announce it for the first time in front of foreigners.

Probing questions must be asked in light of these earth-shaking policy overhaul. What does “separation from the US, both in military and economics” mean, and what are its consequences to our national interests? Are we really completely abrogating our 70-year-old alliance with America? What will be the impact of this separation, particularly in terms of trade and investment? And, by saying that he has “realigned himself” with the “ideological flow” of China, is the President saying that he’s going to sponsor a change in our democratic set-up of government into something that approximates or resembles the communist or totalitarian system of mainland China? Mabibigat na usapin ito that goes into the very basis and philosophy of our foreign policy in particular, and the democratic character of our government in general. Mga usapin ito ng bawat Pilipino.

To borrow the eloquent words of my colleague Senator Gordon, what a “material concealment” from the Filipino people! Obviously, this is not what they signed up for when they cast their vote last May 2016, if we go by the huge disparity between the trust rating that the US garnered vs. China, where Filipinos themselves said that they trust the US most and China least[1]!

And with good reason!

Kapag naghanap ka ng kaibigan, hindi mo lang hinahanap yung mayaman, yung papautangin ka, yung maraming toy guns na ipapahiram sa’yo – tinitignan mo rin kung paano ka n’ya ita-trato bilang tao at kung kaya at handa s’yang ipagtanggol ka. Makipaglaro man sa’yo, wala namang assurance na igagalang n’ya ang pagkatao mo.

I’m not saying that China or Russia is not capable of respecting our people’s human rights, but we have to look at facts and reality, not the romantic picture that our star-struck and starry-eyed President wants to see.  If their own people have limited expectations about respect for their human rights, labor law protections and, in general, freedom from violence from their own government, palagay mo ba tayong mga Pilipino can expect more?

Oo nga siguro, mas mahirap makakuha ng visa sa mga bansang katulad ng US, pero iyon ay dahil may kaakibat na pangakong mas magandang buhay, hindi pamumuhay na ikaw ay ituturing na basura oless than human.  Parang illegal recruiter lang ‘yan,if it’s too easy and if it sounds too good to be true,malamang kapahamakan at pang-aapi ang naghihintay sa’yo diyan.

Ilang mga Pilipino, kabilang na mga OFWs, ang nasaChina at Russia? Ilang mga Pilipino ang nasa ibang bansa, hindi lang sa US? If you position yourself as the single third world country in the company of two huge, but isolated nations, who do you go to for help if there are OFWs and other Filipinos in trouble in those other countries?  Palagay mo kaya mo mag-isa?  Palagay mo tutulungan ka lagi ngChina at Russia?  Palagay mo they are even in a position to help you under most circumstances?

I’m not only talking about material aid, but in terms of leverage and negotiating power with other countries.  If you isolate yourself from the world, it isn’t you who suffers, Mr. President, it is the Filipino people. By all means, make friends! But stop making yourself the enemy of the world!

Masaya ka na papautangin ka ng isang bansa.  Oo nga pero, kung isang bansa lang ang kausap mo at in-isolate mo ang sarili mo sa buong mundo, palagay mo competitive ang level ng interest rates o iba pang kondisyon na ipapataw sa’yo bilang kapalit?

President Duterte has a really inflated, if not delusional, view of himself as a strongman at the level of China and Russia’s leadership.

But he’s only proving that he’s a naïve child, looking at the world through distorted lenses when it comes to a lot of things, including foreign policy – absolutely no concept or care for the consequences of his actions. But that’s what you get from violently and vengefully silencing the voices that try show you reason – you deny yourself the chance to mature.

This is what an official visit to China looks like: they will wine you, dine you, roll out the red carpets and treat you like queens and kings. It’s a really good feeling. Pero  hindi ka pwedeng magpadaan sa bulaklak, pangako at bola. Mag-isip ka dahil hindi lang buhay mo ang nakataya, kundi buhay at kabuhayan ng milyon-milyong Pilipino. Huwag mong ibenta ang mga Pilipino sa idelohiyang tatalikod sa minamahal nilang kalayaan at demokratikong pamumuhay sa ilalim ng ating Konstitusyon.  Nangako kang tatalima sa Konstitusyon, do it. You have no right to put yourself above the sovereignty of the people.  Hindi ka diyos.

It’s saddening, frightening and highly incensing that this President does not have a true servant-leader’s capacity to put the interests of the people ahead of his own bitterness.  Biruin mo, na-deny ka lang ng US visa noon,[2] hindi ka lang naka-move on, itinanim mo pa ang bitterness mo nang ilang taon hanggang sa maging Presidente ka at magamit mo ang posisyon mo para gumanti sa pakiramdam mo ay atraso sa’yo.  Sounds familiar?  It does to me, painfully and personally familiar.¨

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Duterte eyes new agency on disaster resiliency

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte wants the passage of Disaster Agency Bill before the end of the year.

Under the proposal, the government will establish a new agency which will be called Department of Disaster Resiliency which will replace the current National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

The bill is currently being drafted although there are other proposals in disaster management that are still pending in Congress.

It can be recalled that in the previous State of the Nation Address (SONA) of the President, he recommended the creation of an Enhance Disaster Resiliency and Response Department. – Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo

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Duterte Cabinet approves P3.757-T 2019 proposed nat’l budget

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

 

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will submit to Congress on July 23 the proposed 2019 cash-based national budget to coincide with his third State of the Nation Address (SONA).

According to Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, the President approved the proposed budget during the 27th Cabinet meeting in Malacañang on Monday night (July 9).

The proposed budget for next year is 3.757 trillion pesos which is 10 billion pesos lower than last year’s budget.

Under cash-based appropriations, agencies will be forced to spend their respective budgets within the fiscal year or else would lose them.

In the past, the obligations-based budget allowed distributions within a two-year period.

Agencies will also no longer submit projects to the department of budget and management that are not yet implementation-ready.

The biggest proposed allocations are for personnel services, maintenance expenditures, capital outlays and allotments for local government units.

Meanwhile, there are no details yet if the proposal already includes the fund for the plebiscite on the shift to the federal government next year.

However, the government is confident that the Congress can allot supplemental budget for this, if necessary.

“What we expect, the referendum will coincide with the 2019 national elections so it will be included in the budget of 2019 national elections if it will really push through,” Roque said. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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Senators seek to empower, increase LGU funds against crime, drugs

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, June 28th, 2018

 

Oath-taking of barangay officials in Tarlac

 

MANILA, Philippines —Several senators are backing President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to audit the performances of local officials in relation to the administration’s intensified campaign against crime and illegal drugs.

According to Senate local government committee chairman Sonny Angara, he is currently pushing for the passage of proposals seeking to empower local government units and increase their funds to effectively curb crime and proliferation of illegal drugs in barangays.

To date, there are 11 bills filed in the Senate looking to amend the LGU code and to include the value-added tax on imported goods collected by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on the computation of internal revenue allotment (IRA).

This is aside from the measures seeking to increase the IRA to 50 percent from 40 percent share.

According to Senator Angara, appropriated LGU funds are measly to support other programs for their constituents, based on their consultations.

Available data show that 40 percent of 41,902 barangays received IRA of one million or less.

But Senator Antonio Trillanes IV nixed the move, saying this might only bring negative effects to the local communities.

He also slammed Duterte’s proposal to arm village officials and watchmen.

“Walang purpose nito but just to promote the culture of violence, culture of death, after arming them hihikayatin niya itong, barilin niyo yung mga suspetsa niyo na adik o criminal,” said Trillanes. — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue


 

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