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Duterte back in China for 2019 Belt and Road Forum

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Thursday, April 25th, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte receives a warm welcome from People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping prior to the start of the bilateral meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on April 25, 2019. (KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

President Rodrigo Duterte is back in China for the 4th time since he assumed the presidency.

The president is among the 37 international government and state leaders in attendance at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that kicked off in Beijing.

In his arrival speech, the President said he sees the establishment of more “high-quality” and “good-impact” projects between the Philippines and China, adding that the sooner they are completed, the sooner the people will feel the benefits of the relations of the two countries.

The President made this remark before he sat down with Chinese President Xi Jinping for a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the forum.

The President also expressed hope that the two countries will work together to explore new areas of cooperation and partnership.

“We look forward to a productive discussion on matters of mutual interest and concern,” Duterte said.

The President also thanked the Chinese leader for his personal invitation to the forum, which he believes is a chance to further strengthen ties.

Duterte further said, “the forum provides another opportunity to renew and reaffirm our valued relations based on mutual trust, respect, and friendship and must continue to grow strength and meaning in the coming years.”

Duterte also attended the 1st Belt and Road Forum in May 2017.  –Maris Federez

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Duterte fires FDA chief Puno over alleged corruption

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director General Nela Charade Puno | Courtesy: PNP Directorate for Personnel and Records Management

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has fired Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director General Nela Charade Puno for alleged corruption, the Malacañang said on Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo announced this during a press briefing on Thursday by reading a letter signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea addressed to Puno.

“Dear Ms. Puno, please be advised that upon the instruction of the President, your appointment as director general of the Food and Drug Administration of the Department of Heath is hereby terminated effective immediately,” the letter dated May 15 stated.

“This is in line with the President’s continuing mandate to eradicate graft and corruption, and to ensure that public officials and employees conduct themselves in a manner worthy of public trust,” the letter added.

Puno was also directed to turn over all official documents, papers and properties in her possession to the office of the Undersecretary for Health regulation of the Department of Health “to ensure uninterrupted delivery of public service.”

Puno was appointed by Duterte as head of the FDA in 2016.

READ: 3 cops killed, 3 others wounded in Camarines Sur ambush

She survived an ambush in October 2018 allegedly staged by the New People’s Army in Lupi, Camarines Sur.

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Duterte siblings proclaimed winners in Davao polls

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

(L-R) Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Paolo “Pulong” Duterte and Sebastian “Baste” Duterte | Courtesy : Respective Facebook accounts

Three of President Rodrigo Duterte’s children were proclaimed as winners of the 2019 midterm elections in Davao City.

Based on the report of UNTV News and Rescue’s C-NEWS correspondent, Janice Ingente on Wednesday, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio will serve another term following her landslide victory.

She garnered 580,058 votes in the mayoral race while her sole opponent, independent candidate Jun Marcellones only got 4,262 based on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) tally.

Sara will serve along with her brother, Sebastian “Baste” Duterte who ran unopposed as vice mayor.

Meanwhile, their eldest brother, former vice mayor Paolo “Pulong” Duterte secured a seat in the House of Representatives representing the first district of the city. He got 197,024 votes against his rivals, independent candidates Rex Labis and Susan Uyanguren who garnered 2,121 and 5,118 votes, respectively.

The three siblings were proclaimed at past 8 p.m. on Tuesday. However, they were not present during the proclamation and their lawyers received their certificates of canvass on their behalf.

In a Facebook post, Paolo expressed his gratitude for those who supported and believed in him.

“Sa mga katawhan sa unang distrito sa Davao, dako akong pasalamat sa inyong pagpili kanako isip inyong representante sa Kongreso,” he said in a visayan dialect.

(To the people of the first District of Davao, thank you very much for choosing me as your representative to the Congress)

“I am truly humbled and at the same time honored for your trust and support in me,” he added.

Sa mga katawhan sa unang distrito sa Davao, dako akong pasalamat sa inyong pagpili kanako isip inyong representante sa…

Posted by Vice Mayor Pulong Duterte – Official on Tuesday, 14 May 2019

He also thanked his family, friends and volunteers who helped him win his bid for a congressional seat.

“Dako sab akong pasalamat sa mga volunteers, sa akong mga higala, ug sa akong pamilya sa ilang dedikasyon ug kakugi aron iduso ang ating tinguha nga makatabang kita sa kalambuan sa unang distrito sa atong mahal nga siyudad,” he said.

(I would also like to thank our volunteers, my friends, and my family for their dedication and determination to push for our goal to help in improving the city’s first district)

“Makalaom kamo nga ako dili lamang inyong tingog ug kusog sa Kongreso kundili kaabaga usab ni President Rody Duterte aron makab-ot niini ang iyang mga plano ug pangandoy para sa nasud,” he added.

(You can be assured that I will not only serve as your voice in Congress but also a helping shoulder for President Rody Duterte in order to realize his plans and dreams for the nation)

It would be the first in Congress for Paolo, who quit his vice mayoral post in 2017 after his name was implicated in a Senate inquiry on the smuggling of illegal drugs in the country.

While this will be the third and last term for Sara, it would be the first time for her brother Sebastian to join the political arena.

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Duterte casts vote in Davao bailiwick

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, May 13th, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte casting his vote for the 2019 midterm national and local elections

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday cast his vote for the 2019 midterm national and local elections in his bailiwick just hours before the voting closes at 6 p.m.

Surrounded by presidential security group, Duterte arrived at the Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School (DRANHS) in Matina, Davao City at 4:42 p.m. He was accompanied by his partner, Honeylet Avanceña.

He and Honeylet first greeted officials at the school’s entrance before proceeding to his designated voting precinct.

After shading his ballot, Duterte was assisted by an election officer in feeding his ballot to the vote-counting machine. He also checked the voting receipt before dropping it into a receptacle and getting his finger marked with indelible ink.

Duterte took a total of 21 minutes in casting his vote.

After voting, the President faced reporters to answer some questions but he forewarned them that he won’t be answering questions related to the “oust Duterte” matrix recently released by the Malacañang.

Duterte said he will leave presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo to explain the matter.

When asked about his assessment on Monday’s election, the President said he has yet to receive any information on election-related violence.

In terms of technical glitches and alleged vote-buying incidents that marred the voting process, Duterte said he will let the Commission on Elections address the issue before launching any investigation into the issue.

DRANHS was the same school where the President voted during the May 2016 elections.

This was the first time that the 74-year old Duterte voted as a President because he skipped the May 2018 barangay elections.

His daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, also voted in this school earlier in the day.

READ: Sara Duterte casts vote, calls on Filipinos to vote wisely

Meanwhile, Duterte’s youngest son, Sebastian Duterte cast his vote around 3:20 p.m. at his precinct in Catigan Elementary School in Toril.

Duterte, a political neophyte, is running unopposed as Davao City Vice Mayor.

While the President’s eldest son, Paolo Duterte, voted in Catalunan Grande Elementary School around 5 p.m. Paolo is gunning for a congressional seat this election. (with details from Janice Ingente)

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