Duterte to identify less than 10 officials behind alleged PCSO corruption – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   August 2, 2019   •   1352

President Rodrigo Duterte | PCOO

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to identify less than 10 officials allegedly involved in the “massive corruption” in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), a Malacañang official said on Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President mentioned this during a speech at the joint anniversary celebration of the National Security Council and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency on Wednesday night.

However, Panelo said the chief executive did not elaborate on the issue, adding that the public should just wait for further announcements.

This comes after Duterte ordered the immediate suspension of all PCSO gaming operations over the supposed corruption in the agency. More than 30,000 gaming outlets were shut down over the weekend following his order.

On Tuesday, the president lifted the halt of lotto operations but suspension on small-town lottery (STL), Keno and Peryahan ng Bayan operations remain until the investigation has been concluded.

Presidential Anti-Corruption Commissioner Greco Belgica, meanwhile, said investigation is underway on PCSO officials linked to corruption including the agency’s former general manager Alexander Balutan.

Belgica added that PCSO officials will also be subjected to lifestyle checks.

“No one (is) exempted, no one will be spared from the top down,” he said. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

No ‘Sara for President’ in 2022, no term extension —Pres. Duterte

Marje Pelayo   •   January 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said there are groups urging his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, to run for president in 2022 but the Chief Executive expressed his opposition to the idea.

He stressed that the presidential seat is not for a woman to fill.

“My daughter inuudyok naman nila, sabi ko, ‘My daughter is not running,’” he said during the launch of the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project in Quezon City on Thursday (January 14).

“I have told Inday not to run kasi naaawa ako sa dadaanan niya na dinaanan ko . Hindi ito pambabae. Alam mo, the emotional setup of a woman and a man is totally different. That is the sad story,” he said.

Rumors about the younger Duterte’s possible 2022 bid surfaced after a Pulse Asia survey conducted from November 23 to December 2, 2020 revealed that one in every four Filipinos expressed support for the presidential daughter’s bid for the presidency in the next election.

As for him, the Chief Executive said he will not accept any offer of term extension even if Congress moves to amend the Constitution for that matter.

On Wednesday (January 13) the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments began discussing the proposed change in the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

Critics of the Duterte administration slammed such a move, claiming it is a front of Duterte allies to push for term extension and scrapping of term limits among politicians.

“Kaya nga hinihingi ko ang Congress, akala nila term extension ,” Duterte said.

“Maski ibigay mo sa akin on a silver platter, maski ibigay mo sa akin libre another 10 years, sabihin ko sa iyo, p***** i** mo, iyo na lang iyan. Tapos na ako,” the President said. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte vouches for China’s Sinovac, says LGUs may choose any vaccine brand

Marje Pelayo   •   January 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday (January 13) vouched for the efficacy of Sinovac, the COVID-19 vaccine developed in China.

He said the Chinese-made vaccine is “as good as any other” vaccines developed in the United States and Europe.

“Hindi nagkulang ang Chinese sa utak (The Chinese is not lacking in knowledge). They would not venture kung hindi sapat (if it’s not) safe, sure, and secure. Iyang tatlo. It must be safe, sure and secure. That is the guarantee,” the President said.

His remark comes after several local government units (LGUs) opted to choose and procure the brand of their choice other than the ones preferred by the national government. 

“We are not forcing anybody to join the cause of the national government,” Duterte said.

“I am addressing this to the mayors. You can choose any vaccine you like to buy. Wala kaming pakialam kung ano ang pipiliin niyo (We don’t care which one you choose). Hindi kami makialam sa lahat ng bagay in the purchase (We won’t meddle in anything that has to do with the [vaccine] purchase),” he stressed.

But he reminded the local chief executives that it is still the national government that approves whatever medicine or drugs should be made available for public consumption.

The President maintained that he prefers whatever vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez will procure, for after all, he is his representative and that his decision will be the President’s responsibility.

“Ang responsibility niya ay responsibility ko rin. Kung may bulilyaso at the end of the day, akin talaga yang responsibility (His responsibility is my responsibility. If there are problems along the way, at the end of the day, it is my responsibility),” the President stressed.

During the meeting, Galvez confirmed that the national government is set to grant the Chinese drugmaker Sinovac its emergency use authorization (EUA) for its vaccine before February 20.

The official added that initial delivery will be 50,000 doses, followed by 950,000 doses in March then to one to three million in increasing volumes in the succeeding months. 

Duterte to meet with Cabinet on January 11 – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   January 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to meet with the members of his Cabinet on Monday night, January 11, Malacañang said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte rescheduled his weekly address to the nation to conduct the Cabinet meeting.

The president normally holds his weekly address on Monday but moved it to Wednesday this week.

“Mamayang gabi po, there will be a Cabinet meeting and the talk to the people will be on Wednesday,” Roque said.

The Palace official did not give any information on the topics that will be discussed during the meeting.

Duterte last convened his Cabinet officials in December 14, 2020. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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