Duterte in good shape, ready for Japan’s trip — Malacañang

Marje Pelayo   •   May 28, 2019   •   1845

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the commencement exercises of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) ‘Mabalasik’ Class of 2019 at Fort General Gregorio Del Pilar in Baguio City on May 26, 2019. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Questions about President Rodrigo Duterte’s health heat up following his performance at Sunday’s graduation rites for the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Mabalasik Class of 2019.

Duterte arrived two hours late and seemingly wobbly when he almost fell while boarding the ‘white carabao,’ a military jeep commonly used for the traditional trooping-the-line ceremony.

But Malacañang was quick to defend the President.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo explained that the Chief Executive barely had sleep the night before the ceremony due to piles of documents that he needed to sign and reports that he needed to review.

Because the President is a night person, he usually stays up until 6:00 a.m. according to Panelo.

He added that it would explain why after awarding diplomas to the top two cadets of the graduating class, the President delegated the rest to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

The Presidential Spokesperson assured that the President is in good shape and he is ever ready for his trip to Tokyo, Japan.

Duterte is set to fly to Japan on Tuesday (May 28) to attend the 25th Nikkei Conference on the future of Asia and to meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a bilateral meeting. – (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Palace on Duterte’s motorcycle accident: ‘Nothing to worry about’

Marje Pelayo   •   October 17, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Bong Go confirmed on Thursday (October 17) that President Rodrigo Duterte figured in a motorcycle accident on Wednesday night while doing rounds inside Malacañang complex.

But Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo explained that the President has already parked his motorcycle when he fell off the vehicle.

“The President was reaching for his shoe when he fell off his motorcycle that resulted in a minor injury, particularly light bruises and slight scratches, to his elbow and knee,” Panelo said.

According to Panelo, the President is now resting in his official residence.

“We assure our people that the President is fine, and his recovery entails no major medical procedure,” the Palace spokesperson concluded.

Fukushima residents after Typhoon Hagibis: ‘We’ve never seen damage like this’

Robie de Guzman   •   October 15, 2019

Rescue works are underway in flooded areas in Kawagoe, Saitama prefecture, Japan, 13 October 2019. According to latest media reports, at least 26 people have died and more than 20 are missing after powerful typhoon Hagibis hit Japan provoking landslides and rivers overflowing across the country. EPA-EFE/JIJI PRESS

Fukushima residents on Tuesday (October 15) took stock of the damage left in the wake of Hagibis as the death toll of the worst typhoon to hit Japan for decades climbed to 66.

The highest death toll was in Fukushima prefecture north of Tokyo, where levees burst in at least 14 places along the Abukuma River, which meanders through a number of cities in the largely agricultural prefecture.

At least 25 people died in Fukushima, including a mother and child who were caught in floodwaters, NHK said. Another child of the woman remains missing.

Part of Masaharu Ishizawa’s family’s back garden had been washed away, breaking water pipes and electricity lines.

The family was using water carried from a local community center to clean up.

Two doors down, an old house had collapsed after the flood washed its foundations away.

About 133,000 households were without water while 22,000 lacked electricity, well down on the hundreds of thousands initially left without power but a cause for concern in northern areas where temperatures are falling.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a parliament committee on Tuesday (October 15) that the government is planning to classify the aftermath of Typhoon Hagibis as a “catastrophic disaster.” (Reuters)

(Production: Kwiyeon Ha, Hideto Sakai, Akiko Okamoto)

PNP denies pressures from former generals pushed PGen Albayalde to resign

Maris Federez   •   October 15, 2019

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has denied that there had been a group of former generals who pressured PGen Oscar Albayalde to step down from his post as chief of the national police.

Albayalde announced his resignation on Monday (Oct. 14) amid the controversial drug raid in Pampanga in 2013 while he was still the provincial director.

Senator Richard Gordon mentioned the possibility that pressures from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) pushed Albayalde to resign.

“Ang naging dahilan ni Albayalde ay serye ng pagdinig at pressure doon sa issue (Albayalde’s reasons for his resignation were the series of hearings and on the issue itself),” PNP spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac said.

The PNP, however, admitted that Albayalde’s decision to go on a terminal leave had affected the morale of the police.

Banac said the PMA Sinagtala Class of 1986, where Albayalde belongs, is in full support of the former police chief’s decision.

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte is still in the process of choosing the next PNP chief.

Three senior police officers are already in the shortlist of the president. These are:

  • PNP OIC PLtGen. ARCHIE GAMBOA
  • Deputy Chief PNP for Operations PLtGen. Camilo Cascolan
  • Chief of Directorial Staff PMGen. Guillermo Eleazar

The President, however, has the prerogative to choose anyone of the generals in the PNP. —(from the report of April Cenedoza) /mbmf

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