Duterte not keen on exposing narco-politicians; DILG believes otherwise

Marje Pelayo   •   October 12, 2018   •   2448

President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is not in favor of making public the list of political candidates being linked to illegal drugs or the so-called narco-politicians.

“No, I will not. It’s not a good policy to let know the — to telegraph your intention or what you know about the other fellow, especially in matters of breaking penal laws. No, I will not. We will not in government,” the President said when asked on the matter during a press briefing on Thursday (October 11).

But the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is determined to expose the names of the politicians also considered as drug personalities.

According to DILG Spokesperson Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya, they are planning to provide the Commission on Elections (Comelec) with a copy of the narcolist and politicians with existing legal cases once the filing period ends on October 17.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is still validating and verifying the backgrounds of the names in the said narcolist.

The DILG, meanwhile, leaves the decision to the poll body to assess if the said narco-politicians are candidates for disqualification.

“We will leave it to the Comelec kasi nasa kanila na ngayon kung anong gusto nilang gawin doon. Basta kami as far as the DILG is concerned, we have this list. We will forward it to them and we will leave it to them how they will dispose of it,” said ASec. Malaya.

The DILG added that they would ask the permission of the Chief Executive to disclose the list should Comelec refuse to do so.

But as for the poll body, the matter is already in the agency’s law department for assessment,  and they plan to release the result next week.

“Kailangang may due process, di pwedeng dahil nasa listahan ka, disqualified ka agad. pangalawa, titingnan natin yung listahan kung under the rules, pwede ba natin silang i-disqualify,” said Comelec chair Sheriff Abas. — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte’s China visit to skip Fujian province

Marje Pelayo   •   August 23, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte and his delegation are set to fly to China for a working visit in response to the invitation from Chinese President Xi Jinping.

It will be Duterte’s fifth visit to Beijing and his eight meeting with Xi.

The two leaders will meet on August 29 when they will discuss several agreements on education, science and technology, economy and social development.

The President himself also stressed that he would insist the Hague Arbitral Ruling during his meeting with the Chinese President along with other sensitive issues like the code of conduct and joint exploration in the disputed territory in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

“We cannot preempt what does the President will discuss in particular regarding the arbitral ruling. So, it will be his call during the meeting with the President with his counterpart,” explained Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Meynardo Montealegre.

The Philippine delegation will also attend a business forum in China in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The President’s itinerary includes a meeting with Vice President Wang Qishan and some relax time in the opening of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Guanzhou on August 31 in support to the Philippines’ GILAS team in their game against Italy.

Meanwhile, contrary to earlier announcements, President Duterte will no longer push through with his visit to Fujian province where he was supposed to grace the launching of a university building as tribute to his mother, Soledad.

According to the President’s close in staff, this is not the right time for it.

“But for this particular visit, there was a plan and then the recommendation now is to move it at a later date because it’s more appropriate to be done at a later date and not at this particular time,” noted Robert Borje, the Chief of the Presidential Protocol and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs. – MNP (with details 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)

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