Duterte: Colombian drug cartel now operating in PH

Marje Pelayo   •   February 26, 2019   •   2702

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said a Colombian drug cartel is now operating in the country and is behind the floating cocaine blocks found in the country’s shorelines.

“We are facing a serious problem. Pumasok na ang cartel Medellin (ng) Colombia kaya nga marami na namang nakikitang cocaine,” the President said in a speech before barangay officials in Pasay City on Monday (February 25).

In two consecutive weeks, several blocks of cocaine valued at around P2-B pesos were found on the shores of Luzon, Eastern Visayas and Mindanao.

The President revealed that the said illegal drugs were being manufactured in old trawlers by international syndicates and attached with Global Positioning System (GPS) before being thrown into the sea where drug traffickers could recover.

He also noted that cocaine is the choice of wealthy drug users while shabu is actually the “commodity of the poor”.

“Madaling lutuin noon, madaling ibenta kasi mura, at marami ang market – ang tao,” the President said.

The President warned Filipinos working abroad to stay away from illegal drugs as there are countries who penalize drug cases with death.

Likewise, he reiterated his warning against those who do illegal drugs that his government will not be easy on them.

“Whether as a drug lord, wala akong pakialam kung galing kang China, galing kang Taiwan, galing kang Malaysia. ‘Pag pumunta kayo dito at ginawa ninyo ‘yan, papatayin ko talaga kayo. Kaya kayong mga Pilipino sa labas, ‘wag ninyong gawain ‘yan kasi papatayin din kayo doon. Do not commit the — committing crimes, your crimes in other countries. I cannot help you and I won’t help you,” he said.

“I will make this statement very, very clear. I promised you that at this time of our national life, it is the time during my time that it would be very, very dangerous for anybody to do drugs,” the President concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Palace opposes Urban Dictionary definition of ‘Duterte’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 20, 2019

The Malacañang refuted the Urban Dictionary for defining ‘Duterte’ as ‘to scam, trick, or con.

During a press briefing on Tuesday (Aug 20), Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo will seek to counter the definition on the website.

“‘Duterte’ to us means honest, incorruptible, politically-willed person, courageous, selfless, honest, transparent and all good things…and other synonymous terms,” Panelo said.

The definition was uploaded by an unknown internet user one month ago. Urban Dictionary is crowd-sourced online dictionary for slang words and phrases.

Panelo suspects, the uploader might be a member of anti-Duterte groups.—AAC

Malacañang leaves it to PAO Chief to decide on resigning amid corruption complaint

Marje Pelayo   •   August 15, 2019

Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Chief Persida Acosta

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang is letting Atty. Persida Acosta to decide on whether or not to resign as Chief of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) following complaints of corruption.

PAO lawyers filed the complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman accusing the PAO Chief and forensics chief Erwin Erfe of corrupt practices in relation to the disbursements and allocation of the PAO budget.

Acosta and Erfe allegedly committed a ‘systematic scheme’ in diverting P13 million of the agency’s budget for office supplies for drafting Dengvaxia-related cases.

Presidential Spokesman Secretary Salvador Panelo, meanwhile, said that knowing President Rodrigo Duterte, his trust in his officials remains unless reports of irregularities are proven.

“Si President, hangga’t walang findings of probable cause, palaging andun ang trust (President (Duterte’s) trust on a person remains unless there is no finding of a probable cause),” Panelo said.

“Pero kung may probable cause na, ibang usapan iyon, then there will be suspension galing sa Ombudsman. Hindi naman teritoryo ni president iyon (But once a probable cause is established, that’s a different story. There will be suspension coming from the Ombudsman. It is no longer the President’s territory),” the Palace Spokesman concluded. – MNP (with details from Mai Bermudez)

Malacañang wants China to explain ‘offending passage’ of warships in Sibutu Strait

Marje Pelayo   •   August 15, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang wants Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jinhua to explain the unauthorized passage of Chinese warships in Sibutu Strait in Tawi-Tawi which the Philippine government considers as “offending”.

The Philippine military couldn’t consider it an ‘innocent passage’ because the vessel maneuvered and the crew turned off the vessel’s automatic identification systems (AIS) perhaps to avoid being noticed.

Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Secretary Salvador Panelo said he will definitely raise the matter to Ambassador Zhao.

“We will call their attention,” he said.

“The Chinese ambassador invited me for a dinner one of these days and maybe I will raise that to him,” he added.

The Palace stressed such unauthorized move was a clear violation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

“Violation ng UNCLOS iyan kung dumaraan sa ating EEZ (That’s violation of the UNCLOS if they pass/enter our EEZ),” Panelo said.

“I’m sure the DFA Secretary will do something about that,” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte is set to travel to China later this month and according to Panelo, President Duterte maintains he will insist The Hague’s arbitral ruling with Chinese President Xi Jinping even if China is not accepting the decision. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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