FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte graces the 3rd Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinical Forum of the Asia Pacific Association of Gastroenterology (APAGE) held at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu on September 21, 2018. | PCOO
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte explained the reason behind the skin discoloration on his face which critics like communist leader Joma Sison has been linking to a serious medical condition.
The President noted that the darkening of his skin was a result of sunburn from prolonged exposure to the heat of the sun during a visit in Jordan and from a series of visits to military camps across the country.
“Pumunta ako ng Jordan, sunog na ito. Pumunta ako ng kampo every week, pumunta ka ng kampo sa bukid, pinakamalayong kampo lumilipad ako dun,” he said during a speech at the 44th Philippine Business Conference and Expo in Manila on Thursday (October 18).
(When I went to Jordan my skin was already burnt. I go to military camps every week. I go to the farthest camps in the fields.)
The condition of his skin worsened, according to the President, when he tried the whitening cream used by his long-time partner, Honeylet Avanceña.
“Kasi ang ginamit ko kasi, sa asawa ko. Sabi niya, cream lang yan, may 1, 2, 3, 4… ngayon lang ako nakakita ng medisina na parang rocket, parang booster…Iyong sa asawa ko, okay na. Pag tingin ko, bakit nangitim ako lalo?” the President recalled when he noticed the changing in his skin color.
(I use the cream my wife uses. She said there are 1,2,3,4 steps…it’s my first time to see a medicine that’s like a rocket; it has a booster. It worked well on my wife, but when I tried it, my skin got darker.)
The President admitted consulting a dermatologist about his skin condition who advised him to use only specific skin care products.
“Sabi niya: ‘Ito lang ang gamitin mo. Pati ito lang. Iyan lang. Iyong iba huwag mo nang gamitin (dahil) mas lalo kang iitim’,” he said referring to an advice from his dermatologists.
The President aimed at critics who are questioning his health condition due to his skin discoloration.
“Third stage cancer of the brain? So what else? I have kidney problem, part of it is already gone. And my heart beats 120 miles per hour. Who won’t I die? Just wait,” he said.
“Para sa akin ang lalaki (For me, the true measure of a man) is not really the color of the face but it’s the character,” the President concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
Duterte arrives in Singapore for 33rd ASEAN Summit
President Duterte (center) gestures his trademark clenched fist as he arrives in Singapore the 33rd Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits | Photo courtesy to RTVM
SINGAPORE – President Rodrigo Duterte has arrived in Singapore for the 33rd Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and related summits from November 12 to 15.
President Duterte will join nine other ASEAN leaders in discussions with dialogue partners from the United States, China, Russia, Japan, South Korea, India and Australia on the course of the Summit.
Among the key topics in the President’s agenda will be the issue of migrant rights of Filipino migrant workers and the Philippines’ position on the South China Sea dispute as well as the country’s participation in negotiations regarding the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free-trade agreement among world leaders.
Likewise, President Duterte is expected to discuss with world leaders issues on terrorism, extremism, illegal drug problems, human trafficking and disaster management, climate change, and people-to-people exchanges.
The President is also expected to hold pull-aside meetings with the ASEAN chairman Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit.
Following the ASEAN Summit, President Duterte will fly to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting from November 16 to 18 to join other economic leaders in working out the affirmation of multilateral trading system as well as in upholding the role of APEC for the region’s economic growth and progress. — Marje Pelayo
Duterte warns gov’t takeover if recurring power outages in Palawan persists
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the First Subaraw Biodiversity Festival held at the People’s Amphitheater in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan on November 10, 2018. | PCOO/Richard Madelo
PALAWAN, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte warned the local governments and the lone electric distributor in the province of Palawan to immediately address power problems in the island archipelago or else he would order the national government to take over its facilities.
The President said he is giving Palawan Electric Cooperative (Paleco) until the end of the year to solve the issue otherwise, he will transfer Paleco’s franchise to a more competent and efficient power distributor.
“On the extreme maybe I will just give you guys, walang personalan to, trabaho lang, I’ll give you about towards at the end of the year. A new set up that would provide energy, enough energy to run a place and so that it can develop and it can operate and it can move,” he said.
“Kailangan… You’ll have to upgrade your source of energy. Kasi ‘pag hindi, ang gawain ko maghanap ako ng may pera talaga. China, eh nangangati ang kamay niyan eh just to get hold of developments here,” Mr. Duterte said in a speech during the opening of the first Subaraw Festival in Puerto Princesa City.
The President’s warning came after about six to eight hours of power interruption being experienced in the province which happens almost every day.
He noted that the power outages have started to affect businesses in the province particularly in the island’s tourism industry, its main source of income.
“That is my proposal, you better come up with something or I will do something for you, I do not want it if it’s comfortable for you but i said, yung six to eight hours you say that you need, a city for tourism and economy,” the President said in disappointment.
Reports said that President Duterte is eyeing a Chinese firm to do the job. However, he noted that the government is open to joint ventures even with other countries including the United States. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Andy Pagayona)
NDFP signifies intent to talk peace with Duterte
MANILA, Philippines – Peace negotiators from the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) signified their intentions to meet with President Rodrigo Duterte, according to NDFP peace panel chair Fidel Agcaoili.
The group seeks to hold the meeting next month upon the arrival of Agcaoili in the Philippines.
In a statement posted on NDFP website, Agcaoili said their decision to reach out to President Duterte was hopefully to bring back both parties into the peace negotiating table as required of them under the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).
NDFP Negotiating Panel Senior Adviser Luis Jalandoni will also join Agcaoili in the homecoming.
“We welcome the opportunity to meet with the President unless he does not want to or his military is against it,” said the group’s main peace negotiator.
Agcaoili said they would also talk with the Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines with the Norwegian government acting as the third party facilitator of the peace process.
In response to the communist group’s request, President Rodrigo Duterte said in an event in Palawan confirmed that he held a cluster meeting with a representation from the military to discuss the said request of the NDFP.
“Agcaoili and Jalandoni — I will not keep it a secret. I do not want iyang confidential-confidential. Pupunta dito sabi nila gusto nila akong kausapin. Ang problema nila pagka hinuli sila. So sabi ko talagang huhulihin kayo. Sabi niya, gusto daw nila ako makipag — makipag-ano sa kanila. So nagtawag ako ng cluster meeting kasali na mga military. So what do you think?,” the President said.
It was in November last year when President Duterte called off the peace negotiations because of the communist group’s lack of sincerity for peace by continuously attacking government troops on the ground.
Meanwhile, the President mentioned in March this year that he still welcomes the idea of reopening the talks however, the venue must be in the Philippines which the communist group eventually rejected. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mirasol Abogadil)