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
Duterte signs admin’s first oil exploration service contract with Israeli firm
President Duterte signs the Petroleum Service Contract for East Palawan Area during a ceremony held at the Malacañan Palace on October 17, 2018. | PCOO/Rolando Mailo
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte signed on Wednesday (October 17) an oil and petroleum exploration deal with an Israel firm in line with the government’s “effort to attain energy security and sustainability at the soonest time possible.”
The Department of Energy (DOE) initiated the ceremonial signing of the Petroleum Service Contract (PSC) covering Area 4 or the East Palawan Basin under the Fifth Philippine Energy Contracting Round (PECR) of the DOE.
“The PECR was established as a transparent and competitive system of awarding service or operating contracts for prospective petroleum or coal areas within the country,” the DOE explained on its website.
President Duterte and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi signed the PSC on behalf of the Philippine government while Mr. Itay Rapahel Tabibzada, president and CEO, signed for the Israeli firm Ratio Petroleum Ltd.
The PSC is the first petroleum service contract signed under the Duterte administration.
“The President has been very clear – our country needs to attain energy security and sustainability at the soonest possible time. We are currently experiencing how our dependence on importation has left us at the mercy of price movements in the global oil markets. We need to boost the exploration and development of our own energy resources and the awarding of the petroleum service contract to Ratio Petroleum is a step in the right direction,” Secretary Cusi was quoted as saying.
Under the contract, Ratio Petroleum Ltd would be able to conduct exploration activities in about 416,000 hectares of the East Palawan Basin for potential energy resources for a period of seven years. – Marje Pelayo
Duterte to military, police: Do not engage in partisan politics
FILE PHOTO: Philippine National Police
President Rodrigo Duterte urged the military and police to remain neutral and not to indulge in partisan politics as he vowed for an honest 2019 midterm elections.
During the change of command ceremony of the Philippine Army at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on Monday, Duterte appealed to the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines not to support any political candidates.
“And let us make a deal here, a promise to make a commitment to the Filipino people. This election, strictly neutral tayong lahat. The armed forces, the police, and the uniformed personnel of government, I am asking you not to indulge in partisan politics. Wala tayong susuportahan. Iyong mga kandidato ko, ako lang because this is a political position. But I expect everybody to respect that constitutional prohibition,” the president said.
Duterte made the statement after he personally escorted his long-time aide, Christopher ‘Bong’ Go, who filed his candidacy for senator before the Commission on Elections.
The president also assured the public that no one will be allowed to use government sources for their political activities, not even his trusted aide.
Duterte also said he will campaign for his candidates.
“I’ll announce to the country now that we make a pledge: there will be an election and it will be an honest one. Walang — nobody but nobody can use government resources, not even bong. I will not allow it. As a friend I can invite him but he should not… of course I will campaign for my candidates, eh wala pa naman akong slate.”
The Chief Executive also reiterated his plan to appoint newly retired Philippine Army chief Rolando Bautista as the new secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
The former commander of the intelligence service of the AFP, Major General Macairog Alberto is the newly installed army chief. — Rosalie Coz
Duterte accompanies SAP Bong Go in filing his COC
President Rodrigo Duterte accompanies long-time aide, Special Assistant to the President Secretary Christopher “Bong” Go during the latter’s filing of candidacy for senator. | Screengrab from PTV live stream via Facebook
MANILA, Philippines – Special Assistant to the President Secretary Christopher “Bong” Go finally filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) on Monday (October 15) for the senatorial race in the 2019 mid-term elections.
He was accompanied by President Rodrigo Duterte himself as he filed his COC at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) main building.
Drawing inspiration from his travels around the country, Go said that he will focus more on helping ordinary Filipinos and knowing their situations in different areas.
“Ang pagtakbo ko po hindi para sa akin kundi para sa kapwa ko Pilipino, para sa mga nakasalamuha ko sa pag-iikot ko at pagbibista ko sa iba’t-ibang lugar sa Pilipinas; para sa mga lubos na nangangailangan, at para sa mga nakararanas ng karukhaan,” he said during the media briefing.
This is Go’s first time to enter politics.
Prior to his filing, Go mentioned to a group of reporters that he feels sad knowing that he will be away from the President whom he considers also as a father.
Go admitted he is nervous about being a neophyte politician but he gets his inspiration from the President and said a strong voice must be heard in the Senate.
He vowed to push for legislation that would help the poor, specifically making medical services affordable and accessible to them.
“Unang una po ay gusto kong magtatag ng Malasakit Centers sa buong bansa gaya ng naumpisahan na ng ating pangulo. Ito po ang one-stop -shop para di na pahihirapan ang ating mga pasyente. Itong mga panahong ito ay litong lito ang ating mga kababayan hindi nila alam kung sino ang lalapitan nila…iyon po ang una kong gawin. Ikalawa, iyong pag repeal sa age of criminal liability,” he said when asked about his platform of government. – Marje Pelayo