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Duterte says waging war with China a ‘winless’ battle

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, May 17th, 2018

 

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte talked tough about South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) during a media interview in Malacañang, Wednesday, May 16.

The President said it is pointless to question China’s military buildup in the disputed territory because infrastructures and defense equipment are already in place.

“There is an airport. There are businesses installed. There are military equipment already in place so what’s the point of questioning whether the planes there land or not? There’s an airstrip. Hindi naman mag-landing iyan doon sa bato. Maganda ang airstrip nila,” the President said.

Mr. Duterte said that even though he can declare war with China, he is not willing to risk his men in a “winless” battle.

“I can declare war on China tonight. At sino ang magpunta? Sundalo ko? Pulis ko? Mamatay lang lahat iyan. Why will I go to war for a battle that I cannot win? Para akong g***,” he said.

President Duterte said he is willing to discuss why he allow ”things to just stay there” but not at this time. Still, he reiterated that it is useless to fight China when it is impossible to dismantle the structures in the area.

“We have to take into account, but it would take a longer time to do that. Pero kung… Busy ako ngayon. I will discuss with you geopolitics and why I allow things to just stay there. Hindi mo na rin mapaalis. Bakit mo awayin?” the President said.

Mr. Duterte blamed the Aquino administration for not taking action despite filing and winning the Arbitration case against China.

“There was sufficient time for him to stop. Siya iyong nag-demanda. Bakit hindi sila pumunta doon?” he said.

The UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favor of the Philippines’s claim to exclusive sovereign rights over the South China Sea. The decision was announced on July 12, 2016, days after President Duterte assumed presidency.

Despite justifying diplomacy with China, President Duterte vowed to insist the arbitral ruling during his term.

“In front of my entire Cabinet, I said that during my term I will insist and mention arbitral ruling,” the President assured. – Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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Malacañang: China bombers in South China Sea ‘a serious concern’

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, May 21st, 2018

 

 

West Philippine Sea

 

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang expressed “serious concern” over reports that Chinese H-6K bomber aircraft are now stationed in the disputed islands in the South China Sea although it admitted that it has no verified information yet on the matter.

Despite this, Malacañang insists the ASEAN’s call to claimant countries in the South China Sea to stop their respective activities in the disputed territory to avoid further escalation of tension and maintain regional peace.

“We take note of the reports that appeared and we express our serious concerns anew on its impact on constructive efforts to maintain peace and stability in the region,” announced Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday, May 21.

Last weekend, President Rodrigo Duterte in his speech said he considers having a joint exploration and development in the disputed islands rather than waging war with China.

“We don’t have to fight. We can divide this in a joint development, a joint exploration. Then we’ll give you a bigger share rather than fight,” the President said in Cebuano.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano recently had a meeting with members of the U.S. Asia Pacific Command. Roque said such move was to show that the Philippines is giving high importance to its alliance with the US while opening doors to other countries like China, Russia, Australia, and Japan.

For its part, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) assures the Filipino citizens that it is doing its best to constantly monitor the situation and to protect the country’s sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea.

In fact, the Philippine government is planning to raise the issue of militarization in the area in the upcoming Bilateral Consultative Mechanism consultations with China.

Amid reports, Magdalo Party List Rep Gary Alejano sees a diplomatic protest against China as a way to make known to the global community the growing concern over China’s militarization in the South China Sea.

“If we allow militarization there, na tayo di nagre-raise ng (and we do not raise our) concern, then we are a part of the aggressive militarization of China. The Philippines should file a diplomatic protest because when you file a diplomatic protest, it’s saying to the whole world that we are concerned about the militarization, “ Alejano said. – Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo

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Duterte on a ‘firing mode’ against erring officials

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, May 21st, 2018

 

President Rodrigo Duterte during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Vista Alegre Homes in Talisay City, Negros Occidental on May 20, 2018

 

CEBU CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte hinted at firing another set of government officials including a “head of an agency” in the coming days due to allegations of corruption.

“I have fired and will fire tomorrow some more people. Mayroon pang isang head of agency,” he said.

The President made the announcement on Sunday, May 20, during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Vista Alegre Homes in Barangay Dos Hermanas in Talisay City, Negros Occidental.

“When you are granted itong mga (these) free ports, then you begin to abuse by issuing so many franchises of gambling because it is in the franchise. Correct, it is in the franchise, but everything goes under a regulation. It’s just the right for you to operate within your directorate. But when you begin to issue gambling permits outside of your … mahirap iyong ganun (therein lies the problem),” Duterte added.

The President reiterated his dislike for gambling that’s why he wants to limit its operations in the country.

“Ako ayaw ko niyan kaya (I don’t like it) as much as possible we limit it. I do not want to quarrel with anybody. And I said that when you begin to do that, you insist on something which is wrong,” he said.

Mr. Duterte also warned against approaching his family members to gain favor. If that’s the case, the President stressed “consider it denied.” He cited an instance where he fired one official for consulting his sister about a transaction.

During his speech at the opening of the Philippine National Games 2018 at Cebu City Sports Center on Saturday, he mentioned that  two officials were using his name and the names of his common-law wife and children to solicit funds.

In a separate speech during the ceremonial groundbreaking of the oil and gas production facility of the Alegria oil field in Cebu last Saturday, the President said he might also fire the government corporate counsel but did not give further details.

“I just fired the — maybe I’ll fire the corporate counsel tomorrow,” he said.

Atty. Rudolf Philip Jurado is the current government corporate counsel whom the President appointed in April 2017. – Lalaine Moreno / Marje Pelayo

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Ousted Sereno dares Duterte to resign

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, May 18th, 2018

(L-R) Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno; President Rodrigo Duterte

 

PASIG CITY, Philippines – A fiercer former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno dared President Rodrigo Duterte to resign a day after the Chief Executive said he would quit the presidency if anyone could prove that he had a role behind her ouster.

“Galing sa kaniyang bibig ang pag-amin na siya ang nagpasimula at nagpupursigi sa pagtanggal sa akin. Puwes ginoong pangulo, mag-resign ka na,” Sereno said during her speech in an event organized by “Manlaban sa EJK” and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines on Thursday, May 17.

(The admission came from his own mouth that he initiated and pursued my ouster. In that case Mr. President, you better resign.)

She cited Duterte’s marking of himself as her enemy in response to her question on why the solicitor general filed the ouster petition against her. She also criticized the President’s policies and described his alliance with China as worrisome as it implies that it serves as government’s protection to retain Duterte in power.

“Kung gayon naman po ang sinabi ng pangulo na hindi siya matatanggal sa pwesto kasi siniguro ni ginoong  Xi Jin Ping na hindi siya matatanggal pagkat siya ay po-protektahan, sana pala pumunta din ako kay ginoong Xi Jin Ping,” she said.

(If it is as the President said that Mr. Xi Jin Ping assured to protect his presidency, I should’ve gone to Mr. Xi Jin Ping as well.)

She also slammed the President for saying he does not prefer a politician or a woman to become the country’s next chief justice.

“Kailangan niyang i-respeto ang pantay na karapatan, oportunidad at estado sa buhay ng babae at lalaki,” she added.

(He needs to respect the equal rights, opportunities and social status of men and women.)

Sereno also maintained that only the Senate as the impeachment court has the sole power to remove an impeachable officer like her.

Malacañang, meanwhile, refused to comment on Sereno’s remarks saying she has the right to express her opinion as a private individual. — Mai Bermudez |
UNTV News & Rescue

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