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Duterte urges businessmen to report corrupt acts of gov’t officials

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, November 8th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

PASIG CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte urges the business sector to be wary and report to him any act of corruption from among local government officials.

The President said he is willing to spend time listening to reports as it is a way to show the public how sincere the government is in eliminating corruption in the government.

“I’d like to encourage, urge, and move businessmen, especially foreigners and locals, that if there’s anything that bothers you in the course of your business, in your application to do business or in the running of your business, and you run into something like attempts or demands amounting to corruption, everybody is put on notice that you can have an audience with me in my office by the Pasig River. I’m giving you a 24 hours audience should the case may be,” the President said in an event with a Chinese automobile maker in Pasig City on Wednesday (November 7).

President Duterte said that he would bring the complainant and the concerned official face to face to verify and get a clearer picture of the situation.

“But if you have something against anybody in government, anybody at all, go to me, I will contact you and I will call the person you are complaining against and the three of us will talk. And I assure you that if it is indeed something which amounts to corruption or graft, I’ll give you the privilege of slapping that person a dozen times in front of me. That way, you placed him in humiliation and you maybe shed off his dignity,” the Chief Executive said.

The President believes it will be an effective way to accost a corrupt official by humiliating them and exposing their corrupt practices.

The President’s call to the business community is aimed at cleansing both the government and the private sector of corruption, illegal drugs, and criminality which, according to the President, are hampering the country’s economic growth. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Duterte approves Filipino sign language law

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, November 16th, 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law the Republic Act Number 11106 or the Filipino Sign Language Act.

The law declares Filipino sign language as the national language of the Filipino deaf and shall be used by the government in all transactions involving the deaf.

The law seeks to eliminate all forms of discrimination against the Filipino deaf by using the Filipino sign language in schools, broadcast media and workplaces.

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Duterte arrives in PNG for APEC Meeting, historic visit

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, November 16th, 2018

 

President Duterte arrives in Papua New Guinea | Photo via RTVM

PAPUA NEW GUINEA – President Rodrigo Duterte has arrived at Jacksons International Airport in Papua New Guinea after more than six hours of air travel straight from the 33rd ASEAN Summit in Singapore.

The President is joined in by his economic managers to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Meeting until November 18.

He is the first Philippine president to visit the southwestern Pacific nation.

“You know the visit of the president here is not only to attend the APEC but it is so important for the relationship of the two countries. In fact, the excitement here does not only involved the Filipino community even the Prime Minister himself,” said Philippine Ambassador to the PNG Dr. Bienvenido Tejano

Together with the President are some members of his Cabinet namely Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin; Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez; Agriculture Secretary Ramon Lopez; Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo; and Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.

First in his schedule is a meeting with 40,000-strong Filipino community working and living in Port Moresby.

He is expected to attend on Saturday (November 17) to the APEC leaders’ dialogue with APEC Business Advisory Council and the Pacific Islands Leaders.

On Sunday (November 18) he will join other world leaders in the official International Monetary Fund (IMF) Dialogue with Leaders and to the APEC Leaders’ family photo.

This will be followed by a Leaders’ Retreat and Leaders’ Working Lunch.

As for the latest update on the agreement between the Philippines and PNG on rice production, Ambassador Tejano said a 25-hectare rice plantation is now in the process as part of the deal.

“This is the first time that we see this kind of growth, and the local people here are so excited and they’re hoping to see this succeed,” Tejano concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Return of Balangiga bells presses Duterte to step foot on US soil

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, November 16th, 2018

Courtesy: Philippine Embassy in Washington DC

SINGAPORE – After more than a century, the “Bells of Balangiga” are now coming home to the Philippines.

The decision to return the bells, according to U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, is expected “to smooth the bonds that were tested but never broken by war” in a ceremony on Thursday (November 15) with Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez in Wyoming.

As expected, some US war veterans raised strong opposition returning the bells as they were memorial to the 48 US soldiers who were killed in the Balangiga massacre.

Secretary Mattis emphasized, however, that the sacrifices of the U.S. soldiers will never be forgotten.

“To those who fear we lose something by returning these bells, please hear me when I say: Bells mark time, but courage is timeless. It does not fade in history’s dimly lit corridors.”

Two of the bells are at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming while the third bell is at the US Army museum in South Korea.

The bells are expected to arrive in December. In fact, the Philippine National Commission for Culture and the Arts said, the third bell in South Korea has already been placed inside a crate.

Now what?

With the bells finally coming home to the Philippines, the pressure is on President Rodrigo Duterte.

It can be recalled that in his 2017 state of the nation address (SONA), the President Duterte demanded from the US the return of the bells.

Speaking in a press conference at the 33rd ASEAN Summit in Singapore, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. told reporters that the return of the bells might convinced President Duterte to finally visit the U.S.

The DFA Secretary recalled his conversation with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley when he was still Philippine Ambassador to the UN.

“I said, ‘He won’t come unless we get back the Balangiga bells’,” Locsin said when he was asked by Haley why President Duterte has not accepted President Donald Trump’s invitation for him to visit the U.S.

“And then she asked, ‘the Balangiga bells?’ I said, ‘Yes. The three bells that we rang when we were going to ambush the US cavalry. And we rang it and they killed us,” he narrated.

Locsin cited the efforts of some concerned Filipino and American friends led by Hank Hendrickson and others from the US-Philippines Society to bring the bells back.

When he told the President of the conversation with Haley, Locsin said he believes he received a positive response.

“He would have to go there. I would think. If that’s the condition he made. He laughed. He smiled…To me. I mean, ‘You know, Sir, now that we’re getting the bells,’ and in the context of my conversations with Haley… he smiled,” Locsin said. – Marje Pelayo

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