Duterte to Recto 22: ‘I’m sorry, but that’s how it is’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 25, 2019   •   1331

Courtesy : Presidential Photo

President Rodrigo Duterte apologized to the Recto 22 after he reiterated that the abandonment of the 22 fishermen was just a “maritime incident”.

During the premiere of the movie “Kontradiksyon,” Duterte told reporters that the incident did not result in any confrontation.

“Well, I’m sorry, but that’s how it is,” he said. “They know that that area is claimed by both. For China, it happened within their jurisdiction. For us [it happened] within our jurisdiction. We have two conflicting claims of ownership.”

READ: Filipino boat captain laments Duterte’s remark on West PH Sea allision incident

The Filipino boat captain previously expressed disappointment over Duterte’s remarks when he said the allision was only a “maritime incident”.

A Filipino vessel was allegedly hit by a Chinese vessel on June 9. The Filipino fishermen were abandoned at sea and were saved by Vietnamese fishermen after a few hours.

Duterte clarified that he is not belittling the situation. However, he said that it would not justify sending military troops to the area.

“It’s a maritime incident. ‘Little’ in the sense that it did not result in any confrontation. This not to belittle anything. There was damage but luckily nobody died,” he said. “That is not a reason to go to any military exercise there. If you do that, that’s war.”—AAC


Lawmakers favor placing ex-warden Gerald Bantag as BuCor Chief

Marje Pelayo   •   September 18, 2019

Newly appointed Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Gerald Bantag

MANILA, Philippines – Newly appointed Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Gerald Bantag was personally handpicked by President Rodrigo Duterte to replace former chief Nicanor Faeldon.

Bantag is the former Regional Director of Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) MIMAROPA.

The President was vocal about his trust in the former jail warden to lead the controversy-laden agency.

This, despite the case he is facing in relation to the blast in Parañaque City Jail in 2016 where 10 inmates were killed.

Bantag was the jail warden on duty when the incident happened.

“Well, I think the case is in court. He’s facing homicide charges. I don’t think that he did it. If he did, then baka ma-convict siya (he could be convicted),” President Rodrigo Duterte said.

“But in the meantime, gusto ko siya kasi nagtatapon ng granada daw. Gusto ko ngang magkuha ng santo wala naman, ganun rin. Magkuha ng military, wala. Dito ka sa talagang may experience sa BJMP (In the meantime, I want him in because I heard, he launches grenade. I was looking for a saint but I couldn’t find anyone. I searched the military but none [qualified]. So (I) picked the one with experience in BJMP). That’s a bureau under the DILG and you — you take care of detention prisoners,” he added.

Senator Bong Go, meanwhile, clarified that it was not him who recommended Bantag even though the President mentioned that he was picking a “killer” as the next BuCor chief due to the mounting issues of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

“Killer pala siya? Personal choice po ni Presidente si Bantag. Kailangan na talagang linisin ang BuCor (Was he a killer? Bantag is the President’s personal choice. The BuCor needs some cleansing),” Go said.

For Senator Vicente Sotto III, the Court is yet to prove the homicide case against Bantag and so it is just right to place the likes of Bantag inside the BuCor to tame the inmates.

“Tignan natin kung kakayanin ng mga drug lord ngayon yan, matitigil ang kabulastugan ngayon doon (Let’s see if those drug lords can go against him. Their shenanigans will be over),” Sotto added.

Go also revealed that President Duterte offered the position to AFP Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal Jr. and PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde but the two refused the offer. – MNP (with reports from Grace Casin)

GCTA surrenderer calls on Duterte for ‘mercy’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 12, 2019

“Inamin ko iyong kaso ko na hindi ko naman ginawa, (I admitted to a crime I did not commit,” Lando said.

Lando, not his real name, said he had good behavior during his time in prison. He was released under the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law last January 2017.

He also said he did not pay for anything to avail the benefits of the GCTA law.

But after President Rodrigo Duterte’s order, he had no choice but to surrender. However, he calls on the president to give inmates like him a chance.

“Dapat alam din ni presidente ang damdamin ng mahirap. Sana maawa siya doon sa mga taong gusto talagang magbagong buhay, (The president should also consider poor people’s feelings. I hope he shows mercy to those individuals who really want to change their lives),” he said.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) assured that they will release inmates who really deserve to be released.

According to BuCor PIO Chief Sr. Insp. Eusebio Del Rosario Jr., they will provide clearance to those who are really eligible to be released “in accordance with the policy or the law.”

“Kung hindi sila mag-qualify dito o upon the re-computation kung mayroon pa silang natitirang sentensya na kailangang i-serve, itutuloy nila iyon, (If they did not qualify here or upon the re-computation, or they still have remaining sentence they need to serve, they have to continue it)” he said.—AAC (with reports from Sherwin Culubong)

Duterte on Faeldon: ‘I still believe in him’

Marje Pelayo   •   September 9, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte still believes in former Bureau of Correction (BuCor) Chief Nicanor Faeldon despite his dismissal order.

For one, President Duterte noted Faeldon’s action of informing the President about a warehouse that stored billions of pesos worth of cigarette with fake tax stamps when he was still head of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

That incident prompted the manufacturer to pay the government P37-B in tax.

This is one reason why despite the controversy that hounded the BuCor including the irregularities in conducting the law on Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA), President Duterte’s trust in Faeldon remains.

“Faeldon is a decent man. I still believe in him. There was a time when a businessman owned three warehouses filled with cigarettes with fake stamps,” the President said last Friday (September 6) at the groundbreaking ceremony and time capsule laying for the Naga permanent housing project.

“It was Faeldon who told me about it,” he added.

Malacañang clarified that it was not due to corruption that Faeldon was fired from office but because of disobeying the President’s order.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo noted, however, that Faeldon is not yet cleared as the Office of the Ombudsman is set to begin its investigations.

The Palace Spokesman added that it is the President who will decide whether or not to reappoint Faeldon to a different government position. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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