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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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Palace: Trump’s support on Duterte’s war on drugs, more important vs. reports

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, April 23rd, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has refused to pay attention to the latest report of US State Department that expresses alarm over President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs”.

Based on the report, the cases of extrajudicial killings are the “chief human rights concern” in the Philippines which shows “a sharp rise with the onset of the anti-drug campaign in 2016”.

But Presidential Spokesperson  Harry Roque said the report directly contradicts US President Donald Trump’s statements which support the anti-drug war.

“Given what we heard from President Trump, let’s just say it exists but we prefer to hold on to the words of President Trump. He is, after all, the president,” Roque said. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Duterte wants pursuit of ‘labor-only contracting’ firms

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, April 20th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: PHL President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (Cerilo Ebrano / Photoville International)

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has directed Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to submit a report on companies engaged in labor-only contracting.

These are companies that implement repeated short-term employment contracts better known as “cabo” and 5-5-5 schemes.

The president gave the labor department 30 days to submit the report to the Office of the President.

The National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) was also ordered to coordinate with the labor secretary in relation to the order.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, this is still part of the president’s promise.

“To crack down on them because the promise was to end 555 — end. Ang promise ng Pangulo, habang ganiyan ang depinisyon ng contractualization na hindi lahat ay bawal, kung hindi iyong mga cabo lamang, sisiguraduhin ni Presidente wala talagang 555 at wala talagang cabo,” said the presidential spokesperson.

(To crack down on them because the promise was to end 555 — end.  The president promised, while the definition of contractualization says not everything is prohibited but only “cabo”, the president will ensure that there will be no more 555 and cabo schemes.)

On Thursday, Malacañang said the president will no longer sign an executive order banning contractualization of workers.

Roque said it is the duty of the Congress to enact laws that will ban all types of contract labor in the country.

Duterte, however, will possibly certify the proposed bill as urgent to speed up its progress in Congress. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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PDP-Laban reveals senatorial slate for 2019 polls

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, April 20th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — Ruling party PDP-Laban has bared its senatorial line-up which includes 20 personalities for the 2019 midterm elections.

Among them are six re-electionists namely, Senators Grace Poe, Sonny Angara, Cynthia Villar, JV Ejercito, Nancy Binay and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.

The line-up is also composed of Representatives Ace Barbers, Albee Benitez, Karlo Nograles, Zajid Mangudadatu, Geraldine Roman, Reynaldo Umali and Pia Cayetano.

Also included in the slate are secretaries Special Assistant to the President Secretary Bong Go, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque,  presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino, communications assistant secretary Mocha Uson, musician Freddie Aguilar, former interior secretary Raffy Alunan and TV reporter Jiggy Manicad.

According to the Senate president, the senatorial bets should express their support to the platforms of the political party.

“Titingnan natin ang service to the party. Tulungan naman ang partido. Alam mo number one advocacy namin federalism. Dapat magpakita sila na active sila sa federalism movement,” said Pimentel.

(We will look at their service to the party. The party is very supportive. Our number one advocacy is federalism. Members should show their active support to the federalism movement.)

The Senate president also said that the line-up will undergo the scrutiny of the party chairman, President Rodrigo Duterte.

The final line-up of the party’s senatorial slate is set to be released in September. — UNTV News & Rescue

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