MANILA, Philippines – At least 15,000 people are expected to stage a rally to express support for President Rodrigo Duterte during his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City on Monday.
Among the pro-Duterte groups who have begun to gather at the Batasan Hills are Friends of Rody Duterte (FORD), Koalisyon ng Maralita, D4 Movement for Federalism, Alliance Reform Philippines, Hugpong ng Pagbabago Movement, Inc., and United Defenders of Democracy.
Persons participating in the pro-Duterte rally are wearing shirts in red, white and blue colors.
Rally organizers said more Duterte supporters are expected to arrive this afternoon. A short program is slated to begin around 2 p.m.
Pro-Duterte groups also expressed hope that the president will talk about the Federalism proposal in his SONA speech later. They also hope that Duterte will grant their request to grace their program after the SONA.
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said some pro-Duterte groups have coordinated their plans of staging a rally and were directed to occupy the IBP Road near Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Quezon City.
The NCRPO appealed anew to rally organizers not to go near the anti-Duterte rally to taunt or shout invectives as this may incite trouble.
Police also discouraged rally goers from bringing bags and backpacks or wearing of jackets that may be used to sneak in bombs or explosives.
The Philippine National Police Station 6 has been assigned to monitor the pro-Duterte rally in the area. (with details from Aiko Miguel)
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte maintained that he will raise the arbitral ruling that favors the Philippines in the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea when he visits China next week.
Duterte is scheduled to fly to China for a working visit from August 28 to September 3.
He will meet Chinese president Xi Jinping and talk about the Hague ruling, the code of conduct, as well as the proposed joint oil exploration in the West Philippine Sea.
“So whether you like it or not, would it make you happy or not, angry or otherwise. Sorry, but we have to talk the arbitral ruling, then what we get, if there is a start of the exploration and extraction of whatever there is in the bowels of the earth,” the President said during the inauguration of the 7.5 megawatt peak solar power project in the municipality of Odiongan, Tablas Island in Romblon on Wednesday (August 21).
“The proposal of 60-40 in our favor, would be a good start. I hope it would graduate to something like towards how do we solve the arbitral ruling peacefully,” he added.
The event was the President’s first public engagement after being out of the public eye for more than a week. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has lauded President Rodrigo Duterte’s move to require foreign vessels to first secure a clearance from the government before entering the Philippine waters.
“That is a very good development. At least now we have some authority to enforce our laws within our territorial waters,” Lorenzana said Tuesday.
Earlier, Duterte, through spokesman Salvador Panelo, issued a directive for all foreign vessels to provide notification and get clearance from proper government authority in advance of the actual passage. He also warned foreign vessels that Manila will either get compliance in a friendly manner or enforce it in an unfriendly manner.
When asked to elaborate, Panelo explained that by saying ‘unfriendly,’ it means blocking entry to any foreign vessels intruding in the Philippine territory.
He, however, clarified that the President’s order didn’t mean an automatic use of force against intruders.
“By that it means that we will ask them to move out of the place, that’s unfriendly, because before we never said anything, we just allow them, we just make protest, but this time, we will tell them, please get out of our territorial waters,” Panelo said.
Lorenzana, for his part, could not say yet the “unfriendly option” the Philippine Military could use to ward of intruders into the country’s waters. The Defense chief said he will defer the matter to the Philippine Navy. (RRD with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)
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