Duterte vows to support military in fight against extremism in Mindanao

Marje Pelayo   •   August 31, 2020   •   171

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte leads the candle-lighting and the offering of flowers at the blast site at Barangay Walled City in Jolo, Sulu on August 30, 2020. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — For the first time since his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Rodrigo Duterte made his public appearance to visit Jolo, Sulu.

Specifically, the President visited the sites of the twin explosions that occurred on August 24 which killed a number of soldiers.

He delivered a short speech before the troops at Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Headquarters where he vowed to give his full support to the military in fighting and eradicating terrorists activities in Mindanao. 

“Bilang isang Pilipino ibibigay ko sa inyo ang lahat ng suporta na kailangan ninyo para matupad ang inyong misyon dito sa Jolo (As a Filipino, I will give you all the support you need to accomplish your mission here in Jolo),” he said. 

“I commit myself to working with you my dear troops to ensure that these terrorists will have no future in this country,” he added.

During the ceremony, the President commended the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the sake of peace and order in the province. 

President Duterte said that he regrets the situation in Mindanao and added that if not for the atrocities in the region, it could have attained the progress that the province has been aspiring for decades.

“For decades, Mindanao’s progress has been hindered by the threat of insurgency and extremism,” the President said. 

“Kung wala lang sana itong seed of hatred na nakalagay sa isip from generation to generation, sana ngayon maganda na ang buhay para sa lahat, (If only the seeds of hatred had not been planted in the minds of people from generation to generation, quality of life [in the region]would have improved for everyone by now),” he added.

The President appeals to all government forces to continue the fight against terrorism and work hard to achieve long lasting peace in the country. 

“If we cannot really agree,  then we fight and we fight hard hanggang magkaubusan na (until no one is left). Maybe by that time, kung ubos na ang lahat, wala ng giyera (when everyone is gone, the war would finally end)” he said. MNP (with reports from Rosalie COZ)

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Cayetano heeds President’s ‘stern warning’, vows to send budget to Senate on Nov. 5

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 9, 2020

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has acknowledged President Rodrigo Duterte’s “stern warning” over the speakership row.

“We welcome the President’s stern warning to all parties to stop all the politicking as it could jeopardize the welfare of our fellow citizens at this critical time,” Cayetano posted on social media.

Cayetano apologized to the President and the public and announced they will submit the printed proposed budget to the Senate on November 5. He also reiterated that the House will not sacrifice the budget in this critical time, for political expediency.

“As a matter of detail, we will submit the printed budget to the Senate on November 5, allowing them to proceed with their hearings, and preparing the way for the formal transmittal on November 16, immediately after Congress votes and approves on third reading the 2021 General Appropriations Bill,” he said.

On Thursday night (October 8), President Rordigo Duterte addressed the nation appealing to the House to resolve the issue between Cayetano and Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco.

The President pointed out, lawmakers need to face more important issues and serve the people especially amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Huwag ninyong sobrahan ang laro sa Congress, na iyong budget mismo ang nalagay sa alanganin. I’m just appealing, gusto ko lang sabihin in one straight statement, either you resolve the issue sa impasse ninyo diyan at pass the budget legally and constitutionally. Kapag hindi ninyo ginawa, ako ang gagawa para sa inyo, he said during his address.

Cayetano assured the public that they are also concerned about the welfare of the people and will do their part to aid the citizens through processing the proposed national budget.

“We believe we can help everyone by delivering fully budgeted programs that are responsive to the needs of our fellow citizens as we rebuild the nation from this public health and economic crisis,” he said. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Bill authorizing President to expedite issuance of permits reaches plenary

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 8, 2020

The Senate on Thursday (October 8) began discussions on the proposed measure to grant President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers to expedite approval of permits during a national emergency.

Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri sponsored Senate Bill 1844 which aims to grant the President authority to suspend the requirements for national and local permits, license, and certifications during national emergencies.

Zubiri lamented the persistence of bureaucratic red tape in government agencies and local government units while the country is in the middle of a pandemic.

He also shared President Duterte’s frustration on how it has affected the country’s COVID-19 response and the building of communication sites which are vital today as the country transitions to a new normal.

“We echo the President’s frustration over the continued red tape and corruption in the country, and with this provision, we will be able to put an end to that, hopefully, Mr. President, once and for all,” he said.

Senators Ramon Revilla, Christopher Bong Go and Ronald dela Rosa also supported the bill, saying it would contribute to the country’s recovery amid the pandemic.

Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go also encouraged the public to report government personnel and officials who are abusing their power.

“When you see wrongdoing, report it. When you see opportunistic public officials, file complaints. We will see that they will be held accountable,” he said.

The Bayanihan 2 to temporarily suspends the requirements for the construction of telco sites and internet infrastructures for a period of three years except for building permit and height clearance permit.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) previously reported that local government units across the country have approved over 1,000 permits for construction of telecommunication sites. AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

Duterte to announce final decision on reduced physical distancing in public transport

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 16, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte will make his final decision on Thursday (September 17) regarding the reduction of physical distancing in public transportation.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said doctors have opposing opinions on the matter and added that last meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Against COVID-19 even took six hours discussing the issue.

“Ang mga doctor iba-iba rin po ang mga pananaw. Wala pong isang opinyon pagdating dito sa pagbawas ng isang dangkal lang naman na social distancing sa pampublikong mga transportation (Our doctors have varying opinions. There is no unified opinion when it comes to social distancing in public transportation),” he said on Wednesday (September 16) during a press briefing.

Roque also said the IATF based their recommendation to reduce physical distancing on research and advice from doctors.

“Ang rekomendasyon po ay isusumite kay Preisdente. Si Presidente na po ang magde-decide (The recommendation has been submitted to the President and he will be the one to decide), Roque said. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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