Duterte threatens to declare martial law if NPA attacks continue

Marje Pelayo   •   April 24, 2020   •   1253

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte emphatically threatened to declare martial law if ‘lawlessness’ and attacks by New People’s Army (NPA) will continue against government forces escorting aid distribution in villages amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

In his public address aired on Friday (April 24) the President said he is directing the military and police for that matter.

“I am now warning everybody and putting notice to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and police. I might declare martial law and there will be no turning back,” President Duterte said.

Army officials have reported recent attacks by NPA rebels on government relief operations such as in Aurora province and in Davao City, killing two soldiers and wounding two others, respectively.

According to the Constitution, any part of the country may be placed under military or martial rule “in case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it.”

On April 16, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the political arm of the NPA, announced that it was extending the unilateral ceasefire with government forces until the end of April to give priority to COVID-19 response. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

READ: Ceasefire extension with NPA up to Duterte, anti-insurgency task force – Palace

Duterte tells DILG to keep monitoring complaints on ECQ aid distribution

Robie de Guzman   •   April 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte directed the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to continue monitoring and investigating reported complaints regarding the distribution of government assistance to families heavily affected by the enforcement of enhanced community quarantine in the NCR Plus.

Duterte issued the directive after the DILG officer in charge Undersecretary Bernardo Florece Jr. told the president that they have not received any complaints about the aid disbursement in the National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.

During his pre-recorded national address with some members of the Cabinet on Monday night, Duterte said he has seen media reports about beneficiaries complaining about difficulty in claiming government subsidy.

“Maraming nagreklamo na ano, so ask your field offices to try to make rounds and investigate if these allegations are true,” he said.

“Sabi mo nga as of now malinis, then I’ll take it, but with another caveat that continue to monitor through your field offices… I do not have any reason to doubt the mayors, lalo na yung malalaki,” he added.

Florece, in turn, assured the president that all DILG senior officials are doing the rounds inspecting and monitoring the aid disbursement of local government units.

Around 22.9 million beneficiaries from low-income households in the NCR Plus are expected to benefit from the government’s assistance program which was allocated with a P22.9 billion fund.

The one-time aid program covers areas that have been placed under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period from March 29 to April 1.

The NCR Plus was reverted back to MECQ starting April 12 to April 30.

Duterte willing to give away his COVID-19 vaccination slot

Robie de Guzman   •   April 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said he will waive his allocation for the COVID-19 vaccination to someone else who “can live productively.”

“Ako mag-waive ako kasi 70 above na ako. Ano bang makuha mo? Sige ng dream. Dream what? Dream of living until kingdom come? Ako mag-waive ako. Kung sinong may gusto sa slot ko ibigay ko,” Duterte said in his pre-taped public address.

“Kung panahon ko na, either it’s COVID or a bala or whatever disgrasya, wala akong masyadong ano dyan sa illusions about life or death. If anyone wants to have it, they ca have it. We (senior citizens) are not in the priority anyway kasi above ano na. Ang unahin natin ‘yung mabubuhay pa,” he added.

Senior citizens are listed in the A2 priority group for vaccination while healthcare workers belong to the A1 group and persons with co-morbidities are under A3 group.

In February, Malacañang said Duterte is willing to be administered with COVID-19 vaccines to encourage Filipinos to take the vaccine.

Duterte honors COVID-19 frontliners, fallen soldiers on Day of Valor

Robie de Guzman   •   April 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday lauded the efforts of frontliners in the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, as well as the sacrifices of soldiers as the country marks the Day of Valor (Araw ng Kagitingan).

In a message, Duterte paid tribute to the “selfless and dedicated frontliners whose unrelenting commitment in this fight reflects the heroism of the warriors of Bataan that continues to inspire in us a greater sense of patriotism and solidarity during these trying times.”

The president said the Day of Valor is “a firm reminder of the unyielding determination of the Filipino to prevail over all forms of adversity.”

“The valor of our forebears, which was exhibited during the defense of Bataan almost eight decades ago, has left an indelible mark in our history and shaped our indomitable spirit to rise after every fall,” he added.

Duterte also honored “our fallen soldiers whose sacrifice became the bedrock of our resolve to uphold our most cherished liberties.”

“May this awareness resonate among us as we strive to become worthy heirs to the nation that they fought and bled for. A meaningful and solemn remembrance to all,” he said.

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