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DND: Phl and Russia yet to have military alliance

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte attend a meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Lima, Peru, November 19, 2016. (Photo courtesy: Reuters)

Russia is aggressive in offering the Philippines assistance to fight international terrorism and piracy.

However, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana clarified that there is no military alliance yet between the country and Russia.

“Very aggressive sila na makipag-ano tayo sa kanila relationship na military. Hindi naman alliance pero exchange lang ng mga estudyante, mga personnel, participation sa exercises, kumbaga observer lang sa exercises muna,” Sec. Lorenzana explained further.

(They are very aggressive in intensifying our relationship with them in terms of military. But it’s not alliance. It’s more of providing exchange students, personnel, participation in exercises, or providing observer in exercises.)

President Rodrigo Duterte plans to visit Russia in April or May.

Meanwhile, US State spokesperson John Kirby said there won’t be any effect on how the United States views the importance of its bilateral relationship with the Philippines.

The statement was made after reports of planned maritime exercises and intensified defense ties between Russia and the Philippines.

“And so again, I would leave it to both of their governments to discuss it. What I can promise you is that it won’t affect how we view the importance of our bilateral relationship with the Philippines,” Kirby said.

Two Russian navy ships are currently docked in the country for a goodwill visit and they will remain in the Philippines until Saturday.

Kirby also gave assurance that the defense relationship of the US and Philippines remains strong.

“The first thing I would say is that the defense relationship between the United States and the Philippines remains very, very strong. We do have security commitments, alliance commitments that we take very, very seriously.”

Pres. Duterte has already invoked independent foreign policy creating a bit of a tension with America in connection with his controversial war on drugs.

The president also explained his plans to intensify the relationship of the country to other world power such as Russia and China not for military alliance but for economic alliances. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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ConCom begins regional public consultations on June 18

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, June 18th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Consultative Committee

MANILA, Philippines — Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked to review the Constitution, will begin the conduct of public consultations across the country on Monday, June 18.

ConCom will visit several regions in the country to get the pulse of the public and inform them of the planned amendments to the Philippine Constitution.

ConCom’s first stop is Dumaguete City followed by Baguio City, Tacloban City, Butuan, and Legazpi City among others.

“Karapatan na magkaroon ng disenteng bahay, karapatan na magkaroon ng edukasyon at karapatan sa kalusugan. Bakit po mahalaga? 20 porsyento po. Twenty-six million Filipinos ang tinatawag ng NEDA as under the poverty line. Ibig sabihin po walang sapat na kita sa maghapon para kumain ng tatlong beses maghapon,” said …

(The right to have a decent life, the right to education,  and the right to health. Why is it important? There are 20 percent or 26 million Filipinos whom NEDA calls as, under the poverty line”, which means they do not earn enough to afford three meals a day.)

It can be recalled that among the provisions ConCom seeks to add in the Constitution are the mechanism to end political dynasty; preventing politicians from party jumping, and the proposed prohibition among politicians to solicit or accept campaign contributions from religious organizations, and foreigners and from illegal activities.

In his speech in Davao City on Saturday, June 16 in line with the Eid’l Fitr celebration, President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated that once the federal government is formed, he is ready to step down from his office.

“The time for federalism has come to our country. We have to move away from the style of a unitary form of government,” said Pres. Duterte.  “If you want a new leader to handle the transitioning of this country from unitary to federal, I would be happy to step down. I will resign,” he added.

ConCom aims to submit to the president the adopted draft on July 9 ahead of his State of the Nation Address. — UNTV News & Rescue

 

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President Duterte inaugurates resort-themed Mactan Cebu International Airport

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, June 8th, 2018

Mactan Cebu International Airport

 

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Together with stakeholders of Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) and local officials, President Rodrigo Duterte led the inauguration of MCIA Terminal 2 in Lapu-Lapu City.

The project aims to give the public a world-class travel experience through its unique designs that feature the local culture to invite more tourists and business travelers.

MCIA’s passenger capacity is expected to reach 12.5 million following its opening.

The 65,000 square meters-wide Terminal 2 is expected not only to address the increasing number of passengers but also open more international flights in Cebu.

Mactan Cebu International Airport is one of the flagship projects of the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program of the present administration. — Gladys Toabi | UNTV News & Rescue

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Duterte unaware of Ayungin Shoal harassment incident

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, June 8th, 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte at a press briefing after his arrival from South Korea 

 

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte seemed to be the only person unaware of the harassment incident against Philippine soldiers in Ayungin Shoal on May 11.

In an interview upon his arrival from South Korea on June 5, President Duterte said he has no knowledge of the incident and that he cannot comment on the issue.

“What kind of harassment in the first place before—before I commit myself to answer the question, what kind of harassment was this?” he said.

Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque facilitated the inquiry from a reporter asking whether the President has already been briefed on the reported harassment by Chinese forces of Filipino soldiers in a resupply mission to BRP Sierra Madre stationed in Ayungin Shoal.

“This is the first time I’ve heard of it. It would be dangerous for me to answer questions without really having the slightest idea of what it is all about,” the President added.

Based on reports, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has already filed the Philippines diplomatic note to China over the incident. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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