Duterte eyes land reform in Mindanao, promises to return Marawi to its people

Marje Pelayo   •   May 14, 2018   •   5334

Marawi City ruins

 

MARAWI CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte directed Special Assistant to the President Bong Go to ensure a comprehensive land survey in Marawi City.

This was after President Duterte promised to return Marawi City to its native settlers, the Maranaos.

“We are rebuilding Marawi, the money is slowly coming in. It’s not overnight. If it had been cleared already, leveled to the ground, we will return it to you,” President Duterte said Friday, May 11,

Aside from this, the President also directed Presidential Adviser on OFWs and Muslim concerns Secretary Abdullah Mama-o to negotiate with the Maute militant group after a number of Maute members surrendered to authorities last week. The surrenderers said some of their colleagues signified their intention to surrender as well.

The President tasked Mama-o to assess if it is possible to open an amnesty program for potential Maute surrenderers.

However, President Duterte warned the Maute militants not to enter into an alliance with the New People’s Army (NPA). Should they decide to surrender, they would be among the recipients of the land reform once it pushes through in Mindanao.

The land reform eyes clear designation of land to Maranaos and other tribal communities. The president said he is willing to provide equipment such as tractors for the locals to cultivate the land and turn the into plantation of rubber trees and palm for palm oil production.

The president also plans to send Maute surrenderers to Malaysia and Indonesia in order to acquire knowledge on palm plantation and palm oil production. — Weng Fernandez | UNTV News & Rescue

Duterte to listen to public’s sentiment on VFA issue

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is open to listening to the public about their sentiments on the issue regarding the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States (US).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said those who wish to voice out their opinions on whether the VFA should be abolished or not can send messages through the government hotline 8888.

Kung nais ninyong marinig ang inyong boses tungkol dito, huwag po kayong mag-atubili, kayo po ay magpadala ng e-mail o mensahe o kung anuman doon sa mga linya ng ating mga ahensiya sa gobyerno para makarating po kay Presidente (If you want your voices to be heard, do not hesitate and send an email or message through government agency hotlines for it to reach the President), he said.

Duterte, during his public address on Wednesday (February 24), said he is still undecided on what to do. He previously demanded the US to pay if it wants the VFA to continue.

Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt.Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said the military will support the decision of the President but also said the Philippines should be able to defend itself without any assistance. -AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte to visit areas affected by ‘Auring’—Palace

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte is set to visit areas affected by the onslaught of tropical depression Auring, Malacañang announced on Tuesday (February 23).

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles in an online briefing said the President wants to see firsthand the damage wrought by Auring and the situation of displaced residents. Duterte will visit the affected areas in the Caraga region accompanied by several members of the Cabinet.

Nograles reported that financial aid has already been given to the residents. He further assured that additional relief assistance will also be provided.

As of February 22, the number of families affected by Auring has reached 28,009. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte certifies as urgent bills expediting purchase of COVID-19 vaccine

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent two proposed measures that seek to expedite the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. confirmed.

On Thursday (February 18), Galvez announced that the President has certified as urgent two proposed legislations: Senate Bill 2057 or An act expediting the procurement and administration of vaccines for the protection against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); and House Bill 8648 or Proposed Emergency Vaccine Procurement Act of 2021.

“Pinirmahan na po ng ating mahal na pangulo ang pag-sertipika ng panukalang batas as urgent. Nag-usap po kami kanina kasama po si Senator Bong Go at magandang balita po na talagang napirmahan na po niya ang Senate Bill na nakikita natin na makatutulong po sa atin, he said.

Senatre Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri, in a statement, said the Senate will try to pass the bill on second and third reading by Monday.

Meanwhile, the President has also approved a memorandum order that will authorize the local government to provide advance payments exceeding 15% of the total contract amount for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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