Duterte tells Filipinos: Be assertive vs corrupt officials

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2019   •   737

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (July 22) advised Filipinos to “be assertive,” and “make a scene” when they encounter corrupt officials.

In his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasan Pambansa, Duterte called on Filipinos to help fight corruption in the government by being assertive and making a scene in the government office when they are asked for more than the required payment.

“Kayo rin kasi sinasabi ko na sa’yo, be assertive. At ‘pag kayo hiningan more than the required payment by the government, again I’m telling you, mag-iskandalo kayo sa opisina,” the president said.

(I am telling you, be assertive. And when you are asked for more than the required payment by government, again I’m telling you, make a scene in the office.)

“Make a scene, sampalin mo ‘yang mga ya** na ‘yan kasi aabot rin sa akin ‘yan,” he added.

(Make a scene, slap that person because that report will reach me.)

The president even gave a line that Filipinos may use when dealing with a corrupt official: “[Ang sabi] ni Duterte that if you extort money from me, I will slap you. At sampalin talaga ninyo. Di na bale magka-away. I will defend you.”

The chief executive said he has punished corrupt officials at the Malacañang Palace.

“Ako magprangka sa inyo. Ako lang ang presidente na hanggang ngayon nambubugbog ng tao. Pinapakain ko ng pera ‘yang mga ya** na ‘yan,” he said.

(I will be frank with you. I am the only president who until now beats people. I make them eat bills.)

He also encouraged Filipinos to report corrupt government officials through hotline 8888.

“Be sure that it is true. Though you are not liable for libel, pero ‘wag naman ‘yang makasakit ka ng tao na wala namang kasalanan (but don’t make a report that would only hurt innocent people),” he said.

Duterte, in his speech, also expressed frustration and lamented that corruption in the government remains “pervasive,” despite his crackdown against erring public officials.

“I have fired or caused the resignation of more than a hundred officials and appointees of government without regard to relationship and friendship and alliance,” he said.

Last week, Duterte met with personnel and officials of the Bureau of Customs tagged in corruption allegations to tell them they will be facing administrative raps before the Office of the Ombudsman.

“There is no sacred cow, as the saying goes, in my administration,” he said.

In his last three years in office, Duterte has pledged to run after government officials tagged in corrupt practices.

Duterte to insist arbitral ruling to China: ‘Whether you like it or not’

Marje Pelayo   •   August 22, 2019

(L-R) President Rodrigo Duterte, Pag-asa Island and Chinese President Xi Jinping

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)

Duterte to decide on banning online gambling in PH amid China’s call – Palace

Marje Pelayo   •   August 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Wednesday (August 21) said it is up to President Rodrigo Duterte to decide on the operations of online gambling in the country.

“We have to ask the President on this policy or issue,” Panelo told reporters.

“Hindi natin alam kung may possibility or wala. We have to ask the President,” he added.

On Tuesday (August 20), Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang has called on the Philippine government to ban all forms of online gambling.

“We have also taken note of the Philippine government’s announcement and appreciate it,” he said in a press conference in Beijing.

“We hope the Philippines will go further and ban all online gambling,” he added.

Defense officials expressed concern over proximity of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) near military camps arguing the possibility of Chinese workers becoming spies for Beijing.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), meanwhile, has already stopped accepting applications for POGO licenses in the country unless underlying issues are settled.

But Panelo noted that online gambling remains legal under Philippine law.

Defense chief lauds Duterte order on foreign vessels entering PH waters

Robie de Guzman   •   August 21, 2019

One of the anti-submarine vessels which docked at Pier 15 South Harbor, Manila.

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.

READ: Duterte warns foreign ships to get clearance before entering PH waters

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.

Duterte’s order came after reports of Chinese warships that allegedly entered the Philippine territory, particularly in Sibutu Strait in Tawi-Tawi, without permission from the government.

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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