Duterte supporters to stage rally for SONA

Robie de Guzman   •   July 22, 2019   •   1199

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)

Duterte says he ordered dismissal of 3 cops in body camera extortion case

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 21, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday (November 20) said that he ordered the dismissal of three police officers involved in the body camera extortion case.

The three police officers were allegedly involved in extorting around P5 million from a bidder of body cameras.

“In the police, I—the three majors were working on a body camera and they were arguing because maybe of—because of money. What else? Because of corruption. And so I said, ‘Fire them, dismiss them,'” he said.

Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa identified the police officers as Police Major Emerson Sales, Police Major Rholly Caraggayan and Police Major Angel Beros. 

Gamboa also said that he will sign the dismissal papers by Monday (November 25).—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Palace tells Robredo, Aquino: “Trust is earned”

Robie de Guzman   •   November 21, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – “Trust is earned.”

This was Malacañang’s response to Vice President Leni Robredo and her ally, former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino after they questioned President Rodrigo Duterte’s lack of trust in the vice president despite her appointment as co-chairperson of the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs (ICAD).

In a statement issued on Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that Robredo must “understand that one’s election to the Vice Presidency does not automatically clothe the occupant with trustworthiness.”

“Trust is earned. The missteps of the VP did not inspire confidence in the matter of keeping to oneself classified information,” he said.

“Her job in leading the agencies involved in the anti-illegal drug campaign requires competence and creativity. Trust comes into play only as regards the non-transmission of state secrets that imperils the safety of the Filipino people and the sovereignty of the country,” he added.

Panelo also said that the president’s expressed remark should not stop Robredo from performing her new task.

“Since she will not be given access to privileged communication, she should not be bothered by the expressed lack of trust by the appointing power with respect to the confidentiality of state matters requiring secrecy,” he said.

“After all, she is tasked to help end the illegal drug trade in the country and not to get secret information of the government to share the same with her foreign and local peers,” he added.

The Palace official also reiterated that despite her being a member of a political opposition group, she was still given the job to co-lead the government anti-drug body to help address the country’s drug problem instead of “endlessly voicing criticisms.”

“Her designation is a call of duty coming from the Chief Executive to end the illegal drug trade in the country, a rare chance given to her, despite her being in the opposition, to help in the campaign against illegal drugs, instead of being a rambunctious critic who cannot see anything good on the war on drugs initiated by this administration,” he said.

Panelo also asked Aquino to focus on his case still pending before the Sandiganbayan, as well as taking care of his health, instead of “touching on a matter related to the dreaded drug menace that he never gave the attention and importance it deserves during his six-year presidency.”

The Palace official earlier claimed that the country’s drug problem “ballooned in magnitude” due to neglect during Aquino’s presidency. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Duterte issues ultimatum to state offices to finish paperwork by December 15

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 21, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte has issued an ultimatum to state agencies to finish their paperwork by December 15.

The chief executive also expressed disappointment over the continuous red tape in the government despite his several warnings.

“It seems that things are moving very slow and that is why it is still a source of corruption. The longer you sit on the paper or nothing at all—either you are not working,” he said.

“Even the Cabinet members, they have one month to decide. I must have your decision on the papers before you. And I said last night, it has to be December 15. It’s been so many months now. Papers that are on your table must be out with a decision. If it’s for approval, good; if it is for denial, fine. But let it out,” he added.

Duterte also said military and government officials who are too slow in performing their duties should be removed from office.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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