Duterte admits asking PNOC-EC chief to resign due to ‘idiotic contract’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 18, 2019   •   423

(L-R) PNOC-EC president Pedro Aquino Jr. and President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that he had asked the president and CEO of the Philippine National Oil Company Exploration Corporation Pedro Aquino Jr. to resign due to questionable contracts with a Russian oil firm.

During his speech at a business forum on Thursday (October 17), the president criticized Aquino for his “idiotic contract”.

“Here is a guy who prepared a contract with the Russians and the Russians thought that it—that was all there is to it,” he said. “He wanted now the Board of Trustees to ratify what he prepared.”

“Sabi ko, ‘Ano iyong kalokohan mo na baliktad? (I said, ‘What foolishness is this’?) Given the power to draft, to prepare—to what not, and then after that, have it approved by the Board of Directors. Baliktad ang gusto mo (You want it reversed). You want the Board of Directors to ratify your idiotic contract,’” the president said.

Aquino tried to strike a deal with a Russian oil firm without the approval of the board of trustees.—ACC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Palace: No decision yet on extension of Luzon-wide ECQ

Marje Pelayo   •   April 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to decide on whether to continue or modify the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine which will lapse on April 30.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said despite Monday’s discussions with health experts, congressional leaders and members of the Cabinet on the current state of the country in light of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the President did not give any final decision on the matter.

Roque said none of them recommended a total lockdown nor total lifting of the ECQ.

Ang opsyon na lumabas kahapon, ipagpatuloy o hindi naman kaya i-relax, hindi naman kaya completely itigil ang ECQ sa iba’t ibang lugar ng bansa. Depende sa dami ng kaso ng COVID-19,” explained Roque.

[Among the options that were raised yesterday were either to continue, to relax or to completely lift ECQ in different parts of the country. It will depend on the number of COVID-19 cases.]

Among the personalities who attended the meeting in Malacañang were former Health Secretaries Dr. Esperanza Cabral and Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan together with public health experts Dr. Susan Mercado, Dr. Antony Leachon, and Dr. Mahar Lagmay, among others.

In the Philippines, most confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported in Metro Manila and in nearby areas like Bulacan, Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon (CALABARZON).

Metro cities like Cebu and Davao were also affected.

These major cities are also the country’s center of commerce and transportation, according.

Roque said the President is likely to decide once he received the complete recommendations of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 in collaboration with public health experts, and the World Health Organization (WHO) in line with the Luzon-wide ECQ. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte will lift ECQ once antibody treatment for COVID-19 is available

Marje Pelayo   •   April 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte in his late-night address on Monday (April 13) said the national government cannot conclude yet as to when the crisis on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) would end.

But as soon as an effective treatment or a vaccine against the disease is made available in the market, he said he would lift the lockdown order or the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

The Chief Executive stressed that while there is no proven cure yet for the virus, the ECQ is necessary to keep everyone at home and minimize the risk of getting infected with the deadly COVID-19.

Mayroon ng medisina o antibody ang isang giant pharmaceutical (company). Ang sabi by May baka they would start to market it, ipagbili na nila (A giant pharmaceutical company has introduced a medicine or an antibody. They say they plan to market it by May),” President Duterte said.

“Kung mayroon na niyan tapos makita ko na ginagamit na ng tao, ili-lift ko, tutal kung magkasakit kayo may antibodies naman tayo mabili (Once available and I see that it’s being used, I will lift (ECQ). So even if we get sick, there will be antibodies available that you can buy). I will lift the quarantine,” he added.

Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, meanwhile, assured that concerned Cabinet members have recommended to the President several options that the national government may undertake while waiting for an available vaccine for COVID-19.

It was also to answer queries as to the possibility of further extending or partially lifting the Luzon-wide ECQ after it lapses on April 30.

Roque said, the government is still weighing options based on two important considerations.

Humahanap po tayo ng balance. Iyong punto na hindi naman masasabing naging pabaya ang gobyerno na pangalagaan ang kalusugan laban sa COVID-19 at ang katunayan na kinakailangan namang magkaroon ng kabuhayan ang ating mga mamamayan (We are looking for a balance, one where it cannot be said that the national government had been negligent in protecting the public health against COVID-19, and a proof that the people need a source of livelihood),” Roque said. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Public need not worry about Duterte’s ‘shoot them dead’ warning vs quarantine violators — IATF

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 2, 2020

There is no need to worry about President Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘shoot them dead’ order against those who would disrupt the enhanced community quarantine, according to Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Spokesperson Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

In a digital press conference on Thursday (April 2), Nograles said the public should remember that the country is facing a public health issue and not a peace and order issue.

“This is a public health concern. Let’s not complicate things by making it a peace and order problem. It’s already hard and difficult as it is. Let’s focus on one enemy, which is COVID-19,” he said.

The IATF Spokesperson said that despite the ceasefire with the rebel groups. the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are prepared to take action if there is disorder.

“Hindi po papayag ang gobyerno na may manggugulo at may magti-take advantage sa situation na to (The government will not allow anyone who will cause chaos or take advantage of this situation),” Nograles said.

“Alam naman ng mga policemen natin, our AFP kung ano ang protocols pagdating sa peacekeeping and law enforcement (Our policemen, the AFP know the protocols when it comes to peacekeeping and law enforcement),” he added.

On Wednesday (April 1), Duterte warned that he will order the police and the AFP to shoot anyone who creates trouble. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

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