Duterte orders stricter road safety checks after South Cotabato mishap

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 20, 2019   •   189

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered stricter implementation of road safety checks after a private truck fell into a ravine in South Cotabato on Tuesday (September 17).

Based on reports, 21 people were killed while 14 others were injured due to the South Cotabato mishap.

According to the Department of Transportation (Dotr), officials from several departments had a meeting with the president on Wednesday (September 18).

The chief executive has ordered to intensify roadworthiness checks, improve driver’s licensing requirements, periodic drug testing, and financial capability checks for operators.

“The chief executive pushed for the urgent nationwide implementation of the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP) to improve the level of safety and security of passengers,” the Dotr said in a statement on Facebook.

Duterte has also emphasized that private vehicles used beyond their legitimate purpose should be banned.

Vehicles should also have proper road safety equipment and facilities while operators who do not have the financial capability for safety improvements should cease to operate.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the department will improve on road safety through various programs including Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS).

“Ilang buhay na naman ‘ho ang nawala sa atin. Itigil na ang kawalan ng disiplina. Itigil na ang pagiging pabaya sa kalsada. Sa utos ng ating Pangulo, sisikapin naming masiguro na tanging mga roadworthy vehicles lang ang bibiyahe sa kalsada, at lahat ng driver ay may sapat na kaalaman at disiplina sa pagmamaneho, (Several lives have already been lost. Let us stop the lack of discipline. Stop recklessness on the road. According to our President’s order, let us strive to ensure that only roadworthy vehicles should operate and all drivers should have discipline in driving),” Tugade said.—AAC

Palace: Duterte to take a 3-day break

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 11, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte will be having a three-day break beginning Tuesday (November 12), according to Malacañang.

However, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Monday (November 11) clarified that it will not be an official leave since the president will still be doing his paperwork. The president will fly home to Davao Monday night.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea will be the officer-in-charge of the Executive branch while Duterte rests, according to Panelo

“Well upon the advice of friends, of colleagues, and the world, it seems. And most likely upon the advice of doctors also to take a respite from his punishing schedule,” he said.

Panelo clarified there are no medical concerns that prompted the three-day break.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte to attend ASEAN-ROK summit in South Korea

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 11, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte will attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Republic of Korea (ASEAN-ROK) Commemorative Summit in South Korea from November 25 to 27.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed on Sunday (November 10) that the president will be attending the summit in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the dialogue partnership between the regional bloc and South Korea.

“He will push through with the trip,” Panelo said.

President Duterte and South Korean President Moon Jae-In are also expected to have a bilateral meeting to discuss trade and security issues.

The Philippines and South Korea have recently celebrated its 70th bilateral relations.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Palace welcomes Robredo as drug czar

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 6, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte greets Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo on the sidelines of 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. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

The Malacañang has welcomed Vice President Leni Robredo’s decision to accept the offer to become the drug czar for the administration’s war on illegal drugs.

On Wednesday (November 6), Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the vice president is welcome to join the cabinet meeting on Thursday (November 7) to talk to President Rodrigo Duterte about the parameters of her power.

“So she would know exactly what she will do or what she intends to do, to tell the President what she has in mind so the President can help her,” he said.

Panelo also lauded Robredo for accepting the offer of the chief executive.

READ: Duterte formally appoints Robredo as drug czar

“By her acceptance, it shows that she is much smarter than her colleagues in the opposition who don’t want her to succeed,” Panelo added.

The Malacañang confirmed that the drug czar will have all the access in the intelligence reports and documents on the anti-drug war.

Panelo also reiterated that the president’s offer was not a trap and assured the cabinet will support her.

“We will give all the support, being a member of the cabinet, it behooves all of to help each other because her success is the success of the cabinet as well as this administration and ultimately the Filipino people,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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