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Duterte thanks Kuwait, says ‘We’re okay now’

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

 

President Rodrigo Duterte

 

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte was pleased to announce that the Philippines’ is “okay now with Kuwait.”

This, after a controversial rescue mission of distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in the Gulf State induced an unwanted episode in the two countries’ diplomatic relations.

The President thanked the Kuwaiti government for signing the labor agreement on the protection of OFWs in their country.

“I’d like to thank officially the Kuwait government for giving us these conditions, which would better place in a more —  maski konting kaligayahan lang naman sa mga OFWs (at least provide a little happiness to OFWs),” the President said during the Philippine Navy’s 120th anniversary on Tuesday, May 22.

Mr. Duterte expressed appreciation to Kuwait for granting several conditions he set for the protection of OFWs which include a day off once a week.

The signing of the agreement prompted the President to order the total lifting of deployment ban of OFWs to Kuwait. – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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Relatives of 7 Filipino seafarers detained in Libya call for gov’t help

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

An image of the detained seafarers presented at a press conference

MANILA, Philippines – In August 2017, seven Filipino seafarers were detained in Libya over accusations of oil smuggling.

Seventeen months later, their families are still crying for the government to help bring home their loved ones to the Philippines.

Crystal Allera was emotional while calling for President Rodrigo Duterte’s action on the plight of his husband and six other overseas Filipino workers (OFW).

“Now we are appealing to our President to please help us…to please assist us, to please give us your immediate help, assistance para po makalaya po ang mga mahal namin sa buhay,” said Crystal.

“Sana po ma transfer sila to another facility po. Iyong safe na facility. Iyon po iyong cry po namin,” she added.

“Ang hirap pong magpalaki ng mga bata ng walang mga tatay sa tabi nila. Nagtatrabaho lang po sila tapos they are in a place where the situation is very hostile. Sana matulungan po kami agad ni Presidente,” called Donna Marie Malapad, a representative of Captain Arthur Soria, one of the detained men.

Crystal narrated how her husband described their situation inside detention in Libya.

“Mahirap po ang kalagayan nila dahil iyong space po na nandoon sila is parang 3 by 4 square meters… parang 12 square meters. Tapos lately, sabi 27 sila sa loob so practically half square meter lang po sila doon. Iyong pagkain po nila salu-salo and no drinking water, medical aid. Scarce po,” she said.

Labor Secretary Sylvestre Bello III, meanwhile, said he plans to fly to Libya by mid February to check on the condition of the detained Filipino seafarers.

Bello confirmed that there are private firms who wish to help the detained Filipinos.

“May development doon na made to the effect na I may go to Libya and work for the release of the 7 seafarers,” Bello said.

“By law, iyong benefits ng detained seafarers naibibigay regularly ng manning agencies,” he added.

The seafarer’s kin are coordinating with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to further explore other means to help the detained seafarers and eventually process their repatriation. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

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Duterte orders backchannel talks with Reds

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte | PCOO/Richard Madelo

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is reopening doors for peace.

Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) Board Member Avelino Andal confirmed that the Chief Executive ordered him to hold backchannel talks with the communist rebels.

According to Andal, he already conveyed the President’s message to the leaders of the leftist group which the latter positively welcomed.

“Actually napag-utusan ang inyong lingkod at utos mula sa presidente na kung maaari ay i-resume ang pag-uusap,” Andal revealed in a phone interview.

“Sapagkat ang kaniyang pinagdidiinan ay bilang presidente, siya ay kaibigan at hindi kaaway ng mga rebelde,” he added.

Andal was a former activist and political detainee during the Martial Law regime. He was once a rebel returnee himself.

In 2018, President Duterte ordered the suspension of backchannel talks with the communist rebels for the government to thoroughly assess the provisions of the agreements to be entered into by both parties.

Though Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo did not confirm such backchannel order, he expresses confidence that such a move will bring positive results.

“What is important to me is if there is one, then the CPP-NPA at this time and for a change should listen to the president, and most likely they may at this time to the urgings of the president,” he concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Duterte to march the streets to support the Bangsamoro Basic Law

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, January 14th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte. | REY BANIQUET/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed on Monday (January 14) that President Rodrigo Duterte plans to fly to Cotabato City to join a massive rally on January 18 in support of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

The mass action will be held two days before the scheduled plebiscite for the BBL in areas of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); Isabela City-Basilan and in Cotabato City.

Lorenzana assured that President Duterte and the rest of his Cabinet as well as the Congress support the BBL.

“All out si Presidente. Sa January 18 pupunta (siya) sa Cotabato para sa big BOL rally. The day before dapat pupunta din siya sa Jolo pero dahil may importante siyang gagawin dito, hindi makapunta,” Lorenzana said during a meeting with leaders of the Bangsamoro communities outside the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BAR) on Sunday (January 13)

“Pero pupunta kami. Ako, si Sec. Ano, si Sec. Galvez, para kumbinsihin na namin si Sakur. Matigas ang ulo ni Sakur, pero we can convince him maybe para lumambot ang puso niya at tanggapin ang BOL,” the Defense Secretary said referring to Governor Abdusakur Tan II of Sulu who opposes the BOL.

Malacañang expressed confidence that with the presence of President Duterte himself, the public will be more convinced of supporting the passage of the BBL.

“The voice of the president is always a powerful influence on whatever matter he gives his voice into,” confirmed Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

Lorenzana, meanwhile, assured the public that the government is working very hard to ensure an honest, clean and peaceful elections in May.

Lorenaza and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) vice chair and head of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission Ghadzali Jaafar called on all parties involved in the BOL especially the leaders of Muslim groups to be calm and pay respect to whatever the decision of the public will be regarding BBL.

“Hindi na pwede ang takutan dito. Tapos na ang pagiging rebolusyonaryo natin. Tapos na. Bibigyan na nga tayo ng chance to lead. Now it’s time to, itapon na natin ang uniporme natin. Magsuot na tayo ng barong o di kaya ng coat, and then start being a diplomat. Start being a statesman. Start thinking of how to improve our area,” Lorenzana said.

“Please do not do anything that will divide their favor because one of the major responsibilities of a leader, whether you’re like a revolutionary leader like me or political leader, your responsibility is,at all times, to unite your constituent and to unite your people,” appealed Jaafar.

“Leaders like us must never become agents of disunity of our people,” he emphasized further.

The plebiscite will be held on February 6 in Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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