Duterte vows to hold accountable operatives who ‘acted beyond bounds’ in drug war

Marje Pelayo   •   September 22, 2021   •   430

President Rodrigo Duterte in his speech on Tuesday (September 21) at the 76th United Nations General Assembly has vowed to hold accountable anyone who went beyond bounds in his administration’s drug war.

He stressed that his administration “has a mandate and an obligation” to his people and all criminals will be dealt “with the full force” of the Philippine law.

“Those found to have acted beyond bounds during operations shall be made accountable before our laws,” he said.

Duterte said the Philippine government has finalized with the UN a joint program on human rights, a model for constructive engagement between a sovereign member state such as the Philippines and an international body.

“Meaningful change, to be enduring, must come from within. The imposition of one’s will over another – no matter how noble the intent – has never worked in the past. And it never will in the future,” he said, implying his rejection of the probe set by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The chief executive admitted that achieving such a goal “has not been without challenges.”

Thus, he informed the UN that he had instructed the country’s Justice Department and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to review the conduct of his administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.

Duterte renews call for regional unity to attain peace, stability in South China

Robie de Guzman   •   October 27, 2021

President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated his call for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to remain united in pursuing peace, stability, and prosperity in the South China Sea, Malacañang said Wednesday.

In a press statement, the Palace said that Duterte made the remarks during the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits on Tuesday.

Duterte said the regional bloc should pursue initiatives to resolve the dispute in the contested waters in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 2016 Arbitral Award that favored the Philippines.

“We have come a long way in keeping the peace and promoting prosperity in our region. We must not allow those with diverging interests to make our efforts fail,” he said.

Duterte, in his intervention at the 24th ASEAN-China Summit, urged countries to translate their commitments into action regarding the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in the midst of the evolving geopolitical situation in Asia.

“Talks should not remain empty rhetoric. They should be translated into action to fortify the trust and confidence we have cultivated through the years. Acta non verba. Deeds, not words,” he said.

As claimants craft a binding Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, Duterte lauded the Philippines’ contribution to the substantive progress in the second reading of the Single Draft COC Negotiating Text, as the country reaffirms its commitment to the conclusion of an effective and substantive COC.

Noting 2017-2027 as the Decade of Coastal and Marine Environmental Protection in the South China Sea, the president reiterated the Philippines’ call for holistic efforts to protect and preserve biodiversity and the marine environment.

Also during his intervention, the Filipino leader pointed out that a dynamic ASEAN-China cooperation puts both sides in a formidable position to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, address climate change and manage geopolitical issues.

He expressed his gratitude to China for supporting ASEAN’s pandemic response, particularly by “making life-saving vaccines global public goods,” the Palace said.

Also during the summit, the president said that ASEAN’s road to recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will be long and difficult as the region reels from the impact of the contagion.

He emphasized the need for a phased and comprehensive implementation of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and called for the immediate establishment of the ASEAN Centre on Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases.

Aside from COVID-19 and the territorial dispute, the Palace said that Duterte also called on his fellow ASEAN leaders to stand with Myanmar in solving its crisis peacefully for the welfare of its people.

He likewise urged Myanmar’s political players to “engage in constructive dialogue,” and allow the ASEAN Special Envoy to visit the country.

At the 22nd ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit, Duterte welcomed the Joint Statement on Advancing ASEAN-ROK Cooperation and underscored the need for deeper regional integration to accelerate post-pandemic recovery.

At the same time, he welcomed the signing of the Philippines-ROK Free Trade Agreement Tuesday, noting it is needed “for our economies to recover and bounce back,” the Palace said.

He also pushed for the full implementation of the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement and the early entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, it added.

Malacañang also said that the President welcomed the United Kingdom as ASEAN’s new Dialogue Partner and vowed to enhance relations with the European Union (EU) as the new Country Coordinator for ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations.

Duterte attended Tuesday’s summit via video conference. This is Duterte’s second straight year of virtually attending the meeting amid the coronavirus pandemic.



Duterte inaugurates Sariaya Bypass Road

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2021

President Rodrigo Duterte has inaugurated the 7.42-kilometer long Sariaya Bypass Road in Quezon Province.

In a speech after unveiling the marker on the new road on Thursday, Duterte said the completion of the project affirms the administration’s “strong commitment to improve the quality of life of Filipinos by pursuing strategic infrastructure projects across the country thereby improving connectivity and mobility, creating jobs, and dispersing economic activity throughout the regions.”

“It will likewise spur the growth of industries and business opportunities in the area, thereby boosting the socio-economic development of Quezon Province and improve the lives of the people,” Duterte said.

“As we continue to overcome the current pandemic and carefully reopen our national and local economies, infrastructure development will play a vital role in our success,” he added.

The bypass road is seen to provide faster and safer travel for motorists and will also allow efficient transport of goods to and from the markets in Southern Luzon, the President said.

The road could also lessen the traffic volume along Daang Maharlika from Sariaya to Lucena City by 40 percent.

Stretching from the Manila South Road Daang Maharlika to the Quezon Eco-Tourism Road, the Sariaya Bypass Road is expected to cater to around 15,000 motorists and commuters daily going to the different provinces in the Southern Tagalog Region.

At the same time, it is seen to spur economic and social development through efficient transportation, improved road safety and enhanced business opportunities in Quezon Province.

The Sariaya Bypass Road is one of the flagship projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) under the administration’s Build, Build, Build Program.

Parusa sa mga pulis na sangkot sa illegal drugs, masiyadong mababa — DOJ report

Maris Federez   •   October 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Inilabas na ng Department of Justice (DOJ) ang resulta ng kanilang ginawang review sa 52 kaso mula sa Philippine National Police (PNP) na may kaugnayan sa war on drugs ng pamahalaan.

Batay sa impormasyon na inilabas ng DOJ sa limampu’t limang case files mula sa PNP- Internal Affairs Service (IAS), mayroong mga paglabag o lapses na nangyari sa operasyon kontra iligal na droga, ngunit mababa lamang ang ipinataw na parusa sa karamihan sa mga sangkot na pulis.

Tatlumpu’t lima sa mga kaso ang pinatawan ng suspension ang mga sangkot na pulis, habang 12 kaso ang nagkaroon ng parusang demotion o pagbaba ng ranggo, at anim na kaso ang may parusang dismissal from service o pagkakatanggal sa serbisyo.

Samantala, sa kaso ng pagkamatay ni Ryan Robosa alyas Spike noong December 2016 sa Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, pinagsabihan lamang o reprimand ang ibinigay na aksyon sa mga respondent.

Ito ay sa kabila ng kinakitaan ng matinding iregularidad sa pagganap ng kanilang trabaho ang mga sangkot na pulis.

Ayon sa DOJ, hindi nabanggit sa death certificate ang sanhi ng pagkamatay, walang pre-operation report, walang koordinasyon at walang ballistic o paraffin at autopsy records ang pagkamatay ni Robosa.

Ilang kasong administratibo din laban sa mga respondent ang pinawalang bisa ng PNP-IAS.

Nasa 20 kaso ang natuklasan ng DOJ na nagkaroon ng multiple gunshot wounds ang mga suspect, at mahigit 20 kaso rin ang walang detalye.

Ayon pa sa DOJ, may ilan ding suspek ang binaril nang malapitan at may mga sinasabing nanlaban subalit negatibo sa gunpowder nitrates sa resulta ng paraffin test.

Samantala, ayon kay National Union of Peoples Lawyers (NUPL) chairman Atty. Neri Colmnenares, ang inilabas na ulat ng DOJ hinggil sa war on drugs ay ‘tip of the iceberg’ o maliit na bahagi lamang.

Marami pa aniyang  insidente na kailangan ng mas malalim na imbestigasyon para makapagsampa ng kaso sa korte.

Subalit, binigyang diin din ng dating mambabatas na ang impormasyon na inilabas ng DOJ ay kumpimasyon lamang ng pag-abuso ng PNP sa pagsasagawa ng operasyon kaugnay ng laban sa iligal na droga at nagpapakita na hindi tagumpay ang drug war gaya ng pinapalitaw ng Duterte administration.

Sinabi naman ng grupong Karapatan hindi lang dapat hanggang pagsasampa ng kaso ang gawing hakbang laban sa nagkasalang police officers.

Kailangan anila ng malinaw na sagot ng pamilya ng mga biktima hinggil sa pattern ng nangayaring pagpatay, sino ang mga perpetrator.

Samantala, welcome naman sa Commission on Human Rights (CHR) ang desisyon ng DOJ na ilabas ang impormasyon hinggil sa mga kaso ng war on drus na kanilang ni-review.

Umaasa ang CHR na makatutulong ito para sa mga pamilya ng biktima na malaman kung ano na ang status ng imbesgtigasyon at makahikayat ng mga saksi na lumitaw para sa ikalulutas ng mga kaso. —/mbmf (mula sa ulat ni UNTV Correspondent Dante Amento)


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