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Duterte to NPA: ‘Come down, spend the holidays with your loved ones’

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

A band of rebels going down the mountain (Photo screengrab from YouTube video).

A band of rebels are going down the mountain (Photo screengrab from YouTube video).

 

President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a holiday ceasefire with the New People’s Army (NPA) as he invites the leftist group to leave their arms and come down to the city to spend the holidays with their loved ones.

As declared by the President, the holiday ceasefire will take effect from December 23 to 27 and on December 31st to January 2 and 3.

The President vowed that there will be no arrests on the course of the ceasefire.

“I guarantee you na walang aresto, walang oppression, wala sa lahat. At kung magsalubong kayo ng sundalo ng Pilipinas, sundalo ko, magkamay lang kayo. At pag-ayaw mo, huwag mo na lang tingnan,” he said.

(I guarantee you there will be no arrests, no oppression, no everything. And when you meet a soldier of the Philippines, my soldier, just shake hands. Or if you don’t want to, just don’t look at him.)

However, the President clarified that the ceasefire does not cover criminals, kidnappers and terrorist groups who usually operate and take advantage of the holiday season to commit lawless acts.

He also urged the Moro people to join the truce.

“It’s not your festivity…it’s ours Christians, and we would like you to share the moment with us,” invited Duterte.

The President made the declaration at the celebration of the 81st Anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Wednesday. — Bryan de Paz | UNTV News & Rescue

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Lower House outlines structure of its proposed version of PH federal gov’t

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The Lower House of Congress has released its version of a proposed federal form of government.

Based on the said proposal, the country will be called the Federal Republic of the Philippines which will have a parliamentary form of government with the president as head of state.

The president will still have the oversight power over all agencies of the government and will remain as the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

However, in the Lower House’s proposal, there will be no vice president.

The Lower House will serve as a federal assembly which will be led by the House speaker himself, while the Senate will remain and will be led by the Senate president.

The Senate and federal assembly will elect a prime minister.

The prime minister will prepare the proposed yearly funds of agencies that will be in charge of contracts and loans of the country.

He or she will also have the power to appoint and remove heads of executives offices, Cabinet members, and police officials.

Under the proposed federal form of government, the Philippines will be divided into five states.

These will be Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and Metro Manila. Each will have three state senators.

Party-list representatives will remain to represent marginalized sectors.

The president, prime minister, senators, members of the federal assembly, local government official and state officials will be in power for five years and may seek re-election.

The proposal also includes having a two-party system. The first election under the proposed new constitution will be held in may of 2022.

Aside from the office of the president, the lawmakers also propose the abolition of the Office of the Ombudsman and Judicial Bar Council (JBC).

The House of Representatives’ version also limits the freedom of the press, speech, and expression.

Meanwhile, when asked if President Duterte could still run for president under the new proposal, the committee on constitutional amendments chairman Rep. Mercado said,“Yes, he still can because he’s still in the first term. It can be as long as it’s in accordance with the Constitution.” — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

 

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DND verifies presence of foreign terrorists in the Philippines

by UNTV   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 9th, 2018


MANILA, Philippines — The Department of National Defense (DND) has received a report from the governments of Malaysia and Indonesia that foreign terrorists have entered through the country’s backdoor.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that DND and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are continuously conducting their intelligence gathering to confirm the veracity of the report.

“It is ongoing. We are intensifying our monitoring on the south and as of now we cannot confirm the presence of foreign terrorist but there are homegrown terrorists there in the south we are sure of that,” said Lorenzana.

The AFP for its part said that they are focusing on relatives of neutralized Maute fighters who may be supporting existing terror groups.

“In terms of skills and confidence, we have already diminished them but we are looking on another angle. It’s more on radicalization of the other youth members and supporters of ISIS-Maute,” said Philippine Army chief LtGen. Rolando Joselito Bautista

Secretary Lorenzana noted that these homegrown terrorists are among the reasons why they recommended a one-year extension of martial law declaration in Mindanao.

“We requested for the extension of martial law because we believe that there is still rebellion there brought about our homegrown terrorists, the Maute group, assisted by some foreigners,” said the defense secretary.

The AFP chief said that the extension of martial law is a huge help for the military to move against the terrorist group.

“It does not mean that you will reduce or diminish the threat but we have a lever and call it as manageable risk,” said Bautista. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue

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PNP to deploy snipers and intel units at Tuesday’s Quiapo feast

by UNTV   |   Posted on Sunday, January 7th, 2018


MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has positioned a skeletal force on Quiapo area in Manila to provide security ahead of the yearly Traslacion on Tuesday.

According to National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief PDir. Oscar Albayalde, the PNP will deploy additional forces of more than 5,600 personnel next week for the said procession.

A battalion of soldiers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will also be deployed.

Authorities will also deploy members of the PNP Special Action Force, SWAT, and personnel from its explosive and ordinance division.

The NCRPO will also position snipers at high-rise buildings in Quiapo.

Authorities will also deploy 23 medical stations, 65 ambulances, and 15 rescue boats within and around Quiapo.

“As of this time ready na ready na po tayo doon sa ating pagdadaos ng Traslacion (we are fully prepared for the celebration of Traslacion), including all the other government agencies involved particularly yung local government unit ng city of Manila,” said the NCRPO chief.

The police will also implement a ban on liquor and use of guns from  January 8-10.

“Two days of gun ban or suspension of the permit to carry firearms outside of the residence,” said Albayalde.

A no-fly zone will also be in effect over Manila as part of the security measures for the yearly procession.

Members of the PNP intelligence group, who will not be in their uniform, will also be in the area of the procession.

“Hindi tayo pwedeng mag relax dito (we cannot just relax here). Our intelligence operatives are continuously monitoring threat groups even outside of Metro Manila na puwedeng gumalaw (that may make a  move) while this Traslacion is ongoing,” explained Albayalde.

He also reminded the public to expect the conduct of more random checks of bags of those who will participate in the procession.

The chief of the NCRPO calls on the attendees to remain on alert and be vigilant and to immediately report to the police any suspicious object or individual during the conduct of the event. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue

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