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Duterte to attend 33rd ASEAN Summit in Singapore

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, November 9th, 2018

ASEAN Leaders during the Opening Ceremony of the 32nd Summit in Singapore. From left to right: Tun Musa Hitam (Malaysia), U Win Myint (Myanmar),
Rodrigo Roa Duterte (Philippines), Nguyen Xuan Phuc (Vietnam), Lee Hsien Loong (Singapore), Prayut Chan-o-cha (Thailand), Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (Brunei),
Samdech Hun Sen (Cambodia), Joko Widodo (Indonesia), Thongloun Sisoulith (Laos)
(Photo credit: ASEAN2018 Organising Committee)

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to depart for Singapore to attend the 33rd Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit from November 13 to 15.

He will be joining other ASEAN leaders and dialogue partners in the said event.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) revealed some of the agenda that the ASEAN leaders are expected to address such as infrastructure development, economic integration, issues regarding the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea, as well as transnational and transboundary issues including terrorism, violent extremism and illicit drugs among others.

The heads of states will also hold the second summit on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) although leaders are not expected to conclude the negotiations on the matter in the summit.

RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement among the ten ASEAN member countries.

“We were hoping that the RCEP would be concluded by the time of the Summit but it seems that we’ll have to wait a little bit longer. During the Summit, the leaders would express their commitment to conclude the negotiations because this is very important for the region, especially in view of the rising trade developments, tensions, unilateral actions, and we expect the leaders to call for the expeditious conclusion of the RCEP,” said DFA Assistant Secretary for ASEAN Affairs Juniver Mahilum-West.

Meanwhile, it is highly expected that the leaders will discuss matters regarding the South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea. The Philippines is in charge of the coordinatorship on ASEAN-China Dialogue Partnership this year until 2021.

“And we are quite sure that the South China Sea, as I’ve mentioned before, would be one of those regional developments that would be taken up in the Summit. As to the detail of the discussions, I cannot say but for sure there’s going to be discussion on the South China Sea,” the Assistant Secretary said.

Leaders are expected to release outcome documents after the summits.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump will not attend the November summit. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will attend on his behalf. Reports said Trump will travel to Paris to attend the 100th commemoration of Armistice that ended World War I.

Nevertheless, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will be in attendance at the Summit.

The DFA said that about four to five leaders have requested an audience with President Duterte on the sidelines of the event. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Duterte calls axed Bacolod police chief a drug lord ‘protector’

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Bacolod City Chief of Police PSSupt. Francis Ebreo. | Courtesy: Bacolod City Police Office FB page

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte called recently sacked Bacolod City Police Chief PCSupt. Francis Ebreo a drug lord “protector”.

The Chief Executive noted an incident where Ebreo exhibited a behavior unexpected of a chief of police.

“There was this, si Cano, a councilor who has been tagged by the PDEA almost a decade ago to be engaged in trafficking, na-ambush. That incident na pumunta sila sa ospital. Silang dalawa ng deputy niya. What’s the **** business of going to the hospital? Ambush and drug lord? Tapos, nag-iwan pa sila ng dalawang security,” the President narrated referring to the ambush of Councilor Ricardo “Cano” Tan and his wife on December 14.

“I would understand if he (Ebreo) would send a topnotch investigator of the police. Pero kung silang dalawa mismo, the first and second highest police officials of the city, nagtataka ako kung bakit ganun. It’s a strange behavior,” he added.

The President vented his anger on the sidelines of the state visit of Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday (January 16). – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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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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