Duterte signs ‘Bawal Bastos’ law

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 16, 2019   •   2152

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the ‘Bawal Bastos’ act into law which penalizes cat-calling and other forms harassment in public places.

The Republic Act No 11313 or Safe Spaces Act was signed on April 17 and was released to the media on Monday (July 15).

Based on the newly signed law, there will be heftier penalties for acts of cat-calling, unwanted invitation, and sexist slurs.

“The state also recognizes that both men and women must have equality, security, and safety not only in private, but also on the streets, public spaces, online, workplaces, and educational and training institutions,” the law states.

Among the harassment acts include catcalling, wolf-whistling, unwanted invitations, misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic and sexist slurs; persistent uninvited comments or gestures on a person’s appearance; relentless requests for personal details, statement of sexual comments and suggestions; public masturbation or flashing of private parts, groping, or any unwanted advances. The law also covers online sexual harassment and cyberstalking.

There will be various penalties depending on the crime committed.

First degree offenses will face P1,000 fine for a first offense, including 12-hour community service and Gender Sensitivity Seminar.

Second degree offenses will face P10,000 fine for a first offense including 12-hour community service with Gender Sensitivity Seminar.

Third degree offenses will face 11-30 days imprisonment, for a first offense with P30,000-fine and attendance to Gender Sensitivity Seminar.—AAC

Palace: Duterte to take a 3-day break

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 11, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte will be having a three-day break beginning Tuesday (November 12), according to Malacañang.

However, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Monday (November 11) clarified that it will not be an official leave since the president will still be doing his paperwork. The president will fly home to Davao Monday night.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea will be the officer-in-charge of the Executive branch while Duterte rests, according to Panelo

“Well upon the advice of friends, of colleagues, and the world, it seems. And most likely upon the advice of doctors also to take a respite from his punishing schedule,” he said.

Panelo clarified there are no medical concerns that prompted the three-day break.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte to attend ASEAN-ROK summit in South Korea

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 11, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte will attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Republic of Korea (ASEAN-ROK) Commemorative Summit in South Korea from November 25 to 27.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed on Sunday (November 10) that the president will be attending the summit in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the dialogue partnership between the regional bloc and South Korea.

“He will push through with the trip,” Panelo said.

President Duterte and South Korean President Moon Jae-In are also expected to have a bilateral meeting to discuss trade and security issues.

The Philippines and South Korea have recently celebrated its 70th bilateral relations.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Palace welcomes Robredo as drug czar

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 6, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte greets Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo on the sidelines of the commencement exercises of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) ‘Mabalasik’ Class of 2019 at Fort General Gregorio Del Pilar in Baguio City on May 26, 2019. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

The Malacañang has welcomed Vice President Leni Robredo’s decision to accept the offer to become the drug czar for the administration’s war on illegal drugs.

On Wednesday (November 6), Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the vice president is welcome to join the cabinet meeting on Thursday (November 7) to talk to President Rodrigo Duterte about the parameters of her power.

“So she would know exactly what she will do or what she intends to do, to tell the President what she has in mind so the President can help her,” he said.

Panelo also lauded Robredo for accepting the offer of the chief executive.

READ: Duterte formally appoints Robredo as drug czar

“By her acceptance, it shows that she is much smarter than her colleagues in the opposition who don’t want her to succeed,” Panelo added.

The Malacañang confirmed that the drug czar will have all the access in the intelligence reports and documents on the anti-drug war.

Panelo also reiterated that the president’s offer was not a trap and assured the cabinet will support her.

“We will give all the support, being a member of the cabinet, it behooves all of to help each other because her success is the success of the cabinet as well as this administration and ultimately the Filipino people,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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