Duterte returns from Russia with P620M worth of business deals

Robie de Guzman   •   October 7, 2019   •   838

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte strikes his signature pose with some members of his delegation during the Philippines-Russia Business Forum at the House of the Unions in Moscow, Russian Federation on October 4, 2019. JOEY DALUMPINES/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is back in the Philippines after his five-day visit to Russia, bringing P620 million worth of business deals.

Duterte, who arrived in Davao City on Sunday afternoon, said his second visit to Russia generated “greater momentum for the Philippines-Russia relations.”

“[This] is a key element of our thrust to rebalance Philippine foreign policy towards independence, balance, and diplomatic agility,” he said in a speech upon his arrival at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City.

“The gains we have made in this visit bring us a step closer to our objective of a stable, comfortable, and secure life for all Filipinos. That is my vision for and bounden duty to the nation and I will do everything to achieve that — towards that end,” he added.

The President said the two countries have agreed to broaden and deepen its ties in all areas of cooperation, including security and defense as well as trade, investment, energy, agriculture, science and technology and socio-cultural exchanges.

He said the Philippines and Russia also signed bilateral deals on the uses of scientific research, health, energy, culture and foreign policy consultations, which, according to Duterte, are important in securing the country’s strategic interests.

The Chief Executive also cited that Russia has accredited two additional Philippine fishery establishments that will allow the export of tuna and other products to Russia and the larger market of the Eurasian bloc.

“This is only the beginning. The horizon is wide. There is room for significant growth,” he said.

Duterte also signed a memorandum of intent with Russia on the exploration of possible cooperation in the construction of nuclear power plants.

However, he clarified that the deal is not yet final as it still requires consultations with the Cabinet. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

No ‘Sara for President’ in 2022, no term extension —Pres. Duterte

Marje Pelayo   •   January 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said there are groups urging his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, to run for president in 2022 but the Chief Executive expressed his opposition to the idea.

He stressed that the presidential seat is not for a woman to fill.

“My daughter inuudyok naman nila, sabi ko, ‘My daughter is not running,’” he said during the launch of the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project in Quezon City on Thursday (January 14).

“I have told Inday not to run kasi naaawa ako sa dadaanan niya na dinaanan ko . Hindi ito pambabae. Alam mo, the emotional setup of a woman and a man is totally different. That is the sad story,” he said.

Rumors about the younger Duterte’s possible 2022 bid surfaced after a Pulse Asia survey conducted from November 23 to December 2, 2020 revealed that one in every four Filipinos expressed support for the presidential daughter’s bid for the presidency in the next election.

As for him, the Chief Executive said he will not accept any offer of term extension even if Congress moves to amend the Constitution for that matter.

On Wednesday (January 13) the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments began discussing the proposed change in the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

Critics of the Duterte administration slammed such a move, claiming it is a front of Duterte allies to push for term extension and scrapping of term limits among politicians.

“Kaya nga hinihingi ko ang Congress, akala nila term extension ,” Duterte said.

“Maski ibigay mo sa akin on a silver platter, maski ibigay mo sa akin libre another 10 years, sabihin ko sa iyo, p***** i** mo, iyo na lang iyan. Tapos na ako,” the President said. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte vouches for China’s Sinovac, says LGUs may choose any vaccine brand

Marje Pelayo   •   January 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday (January 13) vouched for the efficacy of Sinovac, the COVID-19 vaccine developed in China.

He said the Chinese-made vaccine is “as good as any other” vaccines developed in the United States and Europe.

“Hindi nagkulang ang Chinese sa utak (The Chinese is not lacking in knowledge). They would not venture kung hindi sapat (if it’s not) safe, sure, and secure. Iyang tatlo. It must be safe, sure and secure. That is the guarantee,” the President said.

His remark comes after several local government units (LGUs) opted to choose and procure the brand of their choice other than the ones preferred by the national government. 

“We are not forcing anybody to join the cause of the national government,” Duterte said.

“I am addressing this to the mayors. You can choose any vaccine you like to buy. Wala kaming pakialam kung ano ang pipiliin niyo (We don’t care which one you choose). Hindi kami makialam sa lahat ng bagay in the purchase (We won’t meddle in anything that has to do with the [vaccine] purchase),” he stressed.

But he reminded the local chief executives that it is still the national government that approves whatever medicine or drugs should be made available for public consumption.

The President maintained that he prefers whatever vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez will procure, for after all, he is his representative and that his decision will be the President’s responsibility.

“Ang responsibility niya ay responsibility ko rin. Kung may bulilyaso at the end of the day, akin talaga yang responsibility (His responsibility is my responsibility. If there are problems along the way, at the end of the day, it is my responsibility),” the President stressed.

During the meeting, Galvez confirmed that the national government is set to grant the Chinese drugmaker Sinovac its emergency use authorization (EUA) for its vaccine before February 20.

The official added that initial delivery will be 50,000 doses, followed by 950,000 doses in March then to one to three million in increasing volumes in the succeeding months. 

Duterte to meet with Cabinet on January 11 – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   January 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to meet with the members of his Cabinet on Monday night, January 11, Malacañang said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte rescheduled his weekly address to the nation to conduct the Cabinet meeting.

The president normally holds his weekly address on Monday but moved it to Wednesday this week.

“Mamayang gabi po, there will be a Cabinet meeting and the talk to the people will be on Wednesday,” Roque said.

The Palace official did not give any information on the topics that will be discussed during the meeting.

Duterte last convened his Cabinet officials in December 14, 2020. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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