Duterte fires OCD Deputy Administrator Kristoffer James Purisima

Marje Pelayo   •   May 22, 2020   •   887

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has dismissed Kristoffer James Purisima as deputy administrator assistant secretary of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD). 

According to Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, the President decided to remove Purisima from office due to “loss of trust and confidence.”

Roque could not tell, however, under what circumstance prompted the President to fire Purisima. 

Wala na po akong ibang impormasyon (I don’t have additional information) other than he was terminated due to loss of trust and confidence,” Roque confirmed. 

The OCD is the government’s main unit responsible for disaster preparedness and response in times of calamity.

Prior to his position in OCD, Purisima served as spokesperson of Task Force Bangon Marawi. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte invites Juan Ponce Enrile to discuss West Philippine Sea issue

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte will seek the counsel of former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on issues surrounding the West Philippine Sea dispute.

In a taped speech aired on Friday, Duterte said he has invited Enrile to join his meeting with Cabinet officials on Monday, May 17, to discuss the Philippines’ territorial dispute with China.

“We have respectfully invited Senator Enrile to come here kasi hindi man ako puwedeng makalabas na mag-usap,” he said.

“Pakinggan natin siya. Huwag na tayong — hindi na ako magsalita. Makikinig lang ako sa kanya kasi siya ‘yong — he was there right at the beginning,” he added.

Duterte said he would be all ears if the former lawmaker and a shrewd lawyer were to discuss the West Philippine issue with him.

“Sa kanya ako makinig kasi sa kanya ako bilib sa utak at pag-intindi nitong problema itong ating West Philippine Sea,” he said.

The president expressed hope that the 97-year old Enrile would accept his invitation.

Duterte did not say his reasons for consulting Enrile on the matter, but the former senator had previously expressed support for the Duterte administration’s diplomatic way of dealing with the maritime dispute. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Bagong quarantine status para sa NCR Plus at iba pang lugar, iaanunsiyo Huwebes ng gabi

Robie de Guzman   •   May 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Nakatakdang ianunsyo ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ngayong Huwebes ng gabi ang panibagong community quarantine classification na ipatutupad sa National Capital Region (NCR) at iba lugar sa bansa.

Ayon kay Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, nakapagsumite na ng rekomendasyon ang Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) kasabay ng pagpupulong nito kaugnay ng community quarantine status ngayong araw.

“Nagkaroon po ng rekomendasyon sa susunod na quarantine classification na inaasahan namang iaanunsyo ng ating presidente mamayang gabi dahil tuloy din po ang talk to the people ng ating presidente mamayang gabi,” ani Roque.

Sakop ng iaanunsyong quarantine classification ang NCR at kalapit lalawigan ng Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal at Laguna, maging ang iba pang mga lugar na isinailalim sa modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) hanggang May 14.

Kabilang din sa aabangan kung mapapalawig pa ba ang ipinaiiral na travel ban sa India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka at Bangladesh bunsod ng pagkalat ng mas mapanganib na coronavirus variant.

Tiniyak naman ng Malakanyang na nananatiling batayan sa pagpapatupad ng quarantine status ang daily attack at weekly attack rate ng COVID-19 sa mga apektadong lugar, pati na ang kapasidad ng healthcare system.

Sa kasalukuyan, nasa 66 percent o moderate level ang utilization rate ng intensive care unit (ICU) beds sa Metro Manila. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte to visit Cotabato following BIFF attack in Maguindanao – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   May 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will head to Cotabato on Tuesday following the clash between soldiers and some members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) over the weekend, Malacañang said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the president will meet with the officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), and government security troops to discuss the incident in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao.

“Siya po ay makikipag-ugnayan sa BARMM officials, sa ating kapulisan, sa ating kasundaluhan at pag-uusapan nila kung paano maiiwasan yung insidente nga nung Linggo, kung saan ilang armadong miyembro ng BIFF ay panandaliang nag-occupy ng Datu Paglas pero sandali lang naman iyon at napaalis din sila ng hukbong sandatahan,” Roque said in an online briefing.

“Ang objective po ng Presidente, para iparating ang mensahe na hindi po niya puwedeng pabayaan ang kaniyang katungkulan na ipatupad ang batas,” he added.

On Saturday, around 20 BIFF members led by Mohiden Animbang a.k.a. Karialan occupied the Datu Paglas public market but state security forces drove them away before they could attack civilian residents.

“Dahil nga po doon sa insidente kung saan ilang miyembro ng BIFF ay panandaliang nagtungo sa Datu Paglas, ang kaniyang mensahe, ang warning niya po talaga, ipatutupad niya ang batas at hindi niya kukunsintihin ang paggamit ng dahas diyan po sa Maguindanao,” Roque said.

The military earlier said that the situation in Datu Paglas has already normalized but assured that security forces “will not rest until the threat is neutralized.”

Local officials and residents in Maguindanao were also urged to remain vigilant despite the thwarted attack of the armed group.

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