Duterte defends controversial SEA Games cauldron

Marje Pelayo   •   November 20, 2019   •   683

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte defended the controversial stadium cauldron for the 30th South East Asian Games (SEA Games) happening from November 30 to December 11.

The issue stemmed from Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon questioning the amount spent for the cauldron which allegedly has reached P50 million during the Senate deliberation on the proposed 2020 budget of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).

Drilon said such a huge amount could be used to construct school rooms.

The Chief Executive said, the price was reasonable because it included the honorarium for national artist Bobby Mañosa who designed the monument.

“Itong si Mañosa was commissioned to create iyong nakitang kaldero ngayon (what you see now as the cauldron). It is the product of the mind,” the President said.

Based on report, the design alone costs P4.48 million while the foundation costs P13.5 million.

The labor and construction, meanwhile, costs P32 million.

“You cannot estimate how much nalugi ka (your loss) because it is the rendition of the mind of the creator. Kung iyan ang singil niya, huwag mong bilhin kung ayaw mo (If that’s his price, don’t buy it if you don’t like it),” Duterte said. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte orders LGUs to provide aid to repatriated Filipinos amid US-Iran tension

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 8, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to provide aid to repatriated Filipinos amid the tension between the United States and Iran.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said he already directed the local government units to assist returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW).

“I am directing all the local government units the local chief executives to provide assistance and accommodate our returning OFWs. They are displaced, untimely ang pag-uwi nila, so dapat, tulungan natin sila (their return is untimely so they should be assisted),” he said.

Año assured that they will provide all kinds of assistance to repatriated Filipinos.

“Of course, the President gave a word na even if financial ay magbibigay siya, (that he will also provide financial assistance)” he added.

The DILG official also assured that they will respect the decision of Filipinos who would choose to stay in the Middle East.

“Especially kung Iranian or Iraqi citizens iyong kanilang mga spouses, so we have to respect kung anong gusto nila (Especially if their spouses are Iranian or Iraqi citizens so we have to respect their decisions) But, we have to make sure they are also safe,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

Duterte to sign 2020 nat’l budget on January 6, Palace confirms

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 3, 2020

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers a speech during his visit to the earthquake victims at the M’lang National High School in Cotabato on December 30, 2019. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Malacañang has confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte will sign the P4.1 trillion 2020 national budget on Monday (January 6).

Presidential Legislative Liason Office Secretary Adelino Sitoy said there will be a presidential ceremonial signing at the Malacañang Palace on Monday.

However, Sitoy did not confirm if the president will veto provisions in the said budget.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, the president did not mention about a possible veto.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has finished the review of the General Appropriations Bill last week.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

No PNP Chief yet? Duterte threatens to take over

Marje Pelayo   •   November 29, 2019

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) and former National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde (R) during the 117th Philippine National Police (PNP) police service anniversary in Quezon city, Philippines, 08 August 2018. EPA-EFE/STR

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has not decided yet as to who will assume the position vacated by former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, retired General Oscar Albayalde.

The President said he is carefully assessing the credentials of potential candidates to head the country’s main law enforcement arm.

Without an honest, corruption-free man to assume the job, the Chief Executive hinted on taking over the PNP.

“Ang akin, (for me) if they have even a single case of corruption, wala na, (it’s a no), you’re out,” the President warned.

“I would rather not appoint anybody for that matter. Ako na ang hahawak noon (I will take over). I will be the one directing the guidance and direction,” he added.

The President previously said he wants to be conscientious in choosing the next chief of the national police following controversies that tainted the credibility of Albayalde in relation to his alleged involvement with the so-called ninja cops or drug recycling issue that compelled him to resign.

President Duterte acknowledged, meanwhile, that there are a lot of things within the PNP that needs improvement and overhaul.

“But verily itong pulis maraming problema, pati generals nila kasali sa droga (Verily I say these policemen are the problems themselves, even their generals are involved in drugs),” the Chief Executive noted.

“Iyan ang ayaw ko diyan, pati generals. Hindi lumabas iyan hanggang hindi ako naging president (That’s what I hate, that even the generals [are involved]. Not until I became president that this was exposed),” he added. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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