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Duterte raises loan budget for vendors, small businessmen to curb “5-6”

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, June 14th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte at a press briefing in Cebu after his arrival from his official visit to Korea.

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte ordered an increase in the loan budget for vendors and small businessmen, according to Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol.

Piñol said the President made the directive on Monday, June 11, during their regular Cabinet meeting.

Secretary Piñol cited Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez as saying that vendors and retailers resorting to “5-6” lending scheme are forced to increase the prices of their products. Such lending scheme collects up to 20% interest.

“So the tindera will have to come up with a margin of profit that will cover the 20% interest that she has to pay to the usurer on a daily basis and the mark up for her profit,” Piñol explained.

Based on DTI’s study, “5-6” lenders already have more than P30 billion collectible amount scattered across the country.

“So iyon ang kailangang tapatan ng gobyerno because unless we do that, it will be the consumers who will be at a great loss. Because they are actually the ones paying the interest of the 5-6 utang of the tinderas,” explained Secretary Piñol.

DTI’s budget for the loan program is currently P1 billion. It will be raised to P5 billion as ordered by the President.

Piñol added that at present, the government has existing loan programs for food producers such as farmers and fishermen to aid in their expenses. – Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo

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EXCLUSIVE: Joma says peace talks in Manila ‘will be a big problem,’ denies coming back to PH

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, June 21st, 2018

CPP Founder and NDFP Chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison

 

UTRECHT, The Netherlands – Communist leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison said he is amenable to President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer to resume peace talks between the Philippine government (GPH) and his group in pursuit of lasting peace in the country.

However, the founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is adamant that he will not come back to the Philippines for the talks, contrary to reports that he has agreed to return to the country sometime in August this year.

“Kung maaantala ang peace negotiations ng one, two or three months, hindi problema. Pero malaking problema kapag pilitin ni Duterte na sa Manila ang venue,” Sison said in an exclusive interview with UNTV News in Utrecht, The Netherlands on Wednesday, June 20.

Sison insists that peace talks should be done on a neutral ground with the presence of a third party facilitator as stated in The Hague Joint Declaration and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).

He admitted that he is fed up with the peace deal being shuttled back and forth. Still, he said, the communist group tries to understand all the reasons given by  the GPH peace panel for the series of cancellations.

“Kahit na disappointing and frustrating iyong pag kansela, kung postponement lamang ang gusto ng gobyerno ni Duterte at sa neutral venue pa rin gagawin ang peacetalks at ang Royal Norweigan Government pa rin ang third party facilitator, ay walang problema,” he explained.

Sison claims Duterte seems to be unaware of the actions of the government negotiating panel. It would explain, he said, why the President had been flip-flopping on whether or not to resume the peace deal.

“Lalo na ang principal mukhang hindi niya nasusundan ang ginagawa ng mga kinatawan niya. Pero sabi naman ng mga kinatawan niya, wala silang sinasabi at kinikilos na hindi aprubado ng principal nila,” Sison said referring to Duterte and the GPH negotiators.

Despite the uncertainties, the self-exiled leader remains positive that time will come that the two parties will resolve differences and finally end the country’s decade-long communist insurgency. — Cynthia Teruel / Marje Pelayo

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Duterte still on ‘firing mode,’ warns of more dismissals

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte (Courtesy of RTVM)

 

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte vowed there would be no let-ups in his anti-corruption campaign as he warned of dismissing more corrupt government officials.

In a speech during the 81st anniversary of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) on Tuesday, June 19, the Chief Executive said he doesn’t care if his administration will be criticized for it.

“There will be more dismissals to come. And I don’t care if my whole term would be characterized by a firing and dismissal of people from government. Ayaw ko talaga iyan (I really do not want it). Give the Filipino a respite from corruption,” Duterte said.

Duterte, however, admitted of having difficulty in resolving the deeply rooted corruption in the government.

“Marami talaga diyan (There’s plenty of it) until now. Hindi mo maputol maski sinong president (It will not stop regardless of who is president). Even if I have to just dwell on it only, focused on it only. Kaya (that is why) as fast as they come up, bibirahin mo talaga (you have to nip it in the bud). Wala akong patawad diyan (I am merciless when it comes to corruption). Sabi ko nga sa mga (As I have said) — even a whiff,” he added.

The President has fired at least 20 government officials accused of corruption and excessive travels since he came to power in 2016.

“Tungkol po sa katiwalian, pag proven at pumasok sa korupsyon, talaga namang sisibakin ng pangulo at kung kailangan ay fa-filan po ng charges (Regarding corruption, the president will not hesitate to fire people if proven guilty. Charges will be filed if needed.)” supported Special Assistant to the President Bong Go.

The opposition, however, is questioning Duterte’s sincerity in fulfilling his promise to get rid of corruption in the government after reappointing three of the sacked officials, including Agriculture Under Secretary Jose Gabriel “Pompee” La Vina, Housing Deputy Secretary-General Melissa Aradanas and Philippine Coconut Authority Member Manuel Serra. – Victor Cosare / Marje Pelayo

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Duterte appoints Marlon Casquejo as COMELEC Commissioner

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

 

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Marlon Sabucido Casquejo as ad interim Commissioner of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC.)

Casquejo replaced Christian Robert Lim who retired in February.

Based on Casquejo’s appointment paper signed by the President, he will be serving as Commissioner until February 2, 2025.

Prior to his latest appointment, Casquejo served as Assistant Regional Election Director in Davao City. – Rosalie Coz

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