Duterte to consider recommended Sulu-wide martial law —Palace

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 26, 2020   •   388

President Rodrigo Duterte is considering the recommendation of the Philippine Army to put Sulu under martial law after the recent twin blasts in Jolo, Malacañang said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the President is awaiting the official report and request of the police and military.

Aside from the Philippine Army, the Philippine National Police (PNP) also supports the idea of putting the province under martial law.

However, Roque said the decision to reimpose martial law in Sulu needs further study and the approval of both the legislative and judicial branches of government before it can be implemented.

“Iyan naman po ay kinukunsidera ng ating Presidente, subject siyempre doon sa legal and factual basis. So, kapag ang report naman ay nagtugma na sapat na dahilan ito sa martial law, ikukunsidera naman po iyan ng Preisdente, (That is what the President is taking into consideration, of course it will be subject to legal and factual basis. So if the report is verified and there is a reason to declare martial law, it will be considered by the President),” he said.

The twin explosions in Jolo on Monday (August 24) left at least 15 people dead with 77 injured. Among those killed were seven soldiers and a police officer. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Proposed order for price cap on COVID-19 tests awaiting Duterte decision – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A proposed executive order that will impose a price cap on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tests is now awaiting the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang said Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Department of Health’s (DOH) Technical Working Group (TWG) submitted the proposal after completing its review on the recommended price cap.

Roque refused to divulge the recommended price ceiling on coronavirus testing in private hospitals and laboratories but he expressed optimism that the president will approve the proposal.

“Hintayin po muna natin ang desisyon ng president. Why is that? Kasi yung iba naman, napakataas ng sinisingil, alam naman natin, pwedeng mas mura yang testing na yan,” he said in a televised briefing.

Roque said the proposal seeks to make COVID-19 testing affordable and could help boost the government’s contact tracing and mass testing efforts.

“Para mas maging affordable ang testing sa ating mga kababayan ng sa gayong paraan ay mas maraming matetesting,” he said.

The DOH earlier recommended the placing of a price ceiling after observing differences in the COVID-19 testing cost in various laboratories and hospitals in the country. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte may create independent team to probe alleged corruption in DPWH – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte may form a separate task force to investigate the alleged widespread corruption within the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Malacañang said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the president would prefer an independent body although the task force created by the DPWH is a start.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar earlier ordered the creation of a five-member task force to probe and file charges against officials and employees allegedly involved in the corrupt practices.

Roque, however, noted that some have raised doubt if it can succeed in exercising its functions as “it’s the same people investigating one another.”

The Palace also urged the public to give DPWH the chance to fight and rid the agency of corruption. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Mas maluwag na general community quarantine, umiiral sa Metro Manila —Malacañang

Marje Pelayo   •   October 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Mas marami na ang maaaring lumabas ng bahay ngayon at pinalawig pa ang kapasidad ng pampublikong transportasyon sa kabila na nananatili ang banta ng coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Hinihikayat na rin ng pamahalaan ang pagsasagawa ng business activities upang maka-engganyo ng mas maraming customers bukod pa sa mas maraming negosyo ang pinahihintulutan nang magbukas.

“Tama po kayo, mas maluwag na general community quarantine ang pinaiiral ngayon sa Metro Manila,” sagot ni Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque sa mga mamahayag nitong Lunes (October 19).

Ang pagluwag ng quarantine restrictions ay upang makabawi ang ekonomiya sa bansa mula sa epekto ng pandemya.

Samantala, ayon sa kalihim, may mga sang-ayon sa mungkahi ng Metro Manila Mayors na palawigin na ang general community quarantine (GCQ) sa National Capital Region (NCR) hanggang buwan ng Disyembre.

Subalit, naka-depende pa rin ito sa desisyon ng policy-making body ng gobyerno laban sa COVID-19.

“Iyan po ang parang nabubuong concensus, pero siyempre po hindi ko po pwedeng pangunahan because it is a collegial decision,” pahayag ng opisyal.

“Pero ang nangyayari po kasi ngayon, bagaman naka-GCQ ang Metro Manila, nagkakaroon po tayo ng mas malawak na pagbubukas ng mga industriya,” dagdag nito.

Inaasahang bago magpalit ng buwan, isasapubliko ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang panibagong quarantine classification sa NCR para sa Nobyembre.

Giit ng opisyal, posible ang anumang quarantine classification sa NCR subalit mananatiling iisa ang posisyon ng pamahalaan – ang pahintulutang makapag-hanapbuhay na ang mga mamamayan habang ipinatutupad pa rin ang minimum health standards. MNP (sa ulat ni Rosalie Coz)

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