Duterte vows to support military in fight against extremism in Mindanao

Marje Pelayo   •   August 31, 2020   •   451

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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Duterte yet to greenlight DepEd’s proposed pilot face-to-face classes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has reacted positively to the possibility of a pilot study on face-to-face classes but he has not yet given his “go signal” for its implementation, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said during a public briefing on Monday.

The proposed pilot classes will be held in areas with low coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases or in low-risk areas.

“Nag-report po si Secretary Briones kay Presidente at si Presidente naman po ay positive ang kaniyang reaksyon doon sa possibility na magkakaroon po tayo ng pilot study on a limited basis (Secretary Briones reported to the president and his reaction is positive on the possibility of conducting pilot study on a limited basis),” he said.

DepEd is eyeing to hold a dry-run of limited in-person classes in some 150 schools in areas where there is low COVID-19 risk.

Briones said they are still studying the readiness of the pilot areas and the health protocols that must be applied during the conduct of classes.

Roque said a final decision is yet to be made as to when the pilot classes will push through.

Positive naman po ang reaksyon pero wala pa pong ‘go signal’. So naghahanda pa tayo sa pilot pero wala pang actual go signal (The reaction is positive but there is no ‘go signal’. We are preparing for pilot classes but no actual go signal),” Roque said.

On Monday, classes in public and private schools officially opened where 24,603,822 learners enrolled. AAC

Mindanao, secured amid threat of possible spillover of Afghan tension — PNP

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has assured that the Mindanao region remains secured amid warnings of a possible spillover of the tension in Afghanistan.

PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar made the assurance after Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence, and Terrorism Research chief Rommel Banlaoi warned that the spillover in Afghanistan could inspire local terrorist groups to carry out attacks.

Eleazar said that the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are closely coordinating to thwart attacks that may be carried out by local terrorist groups.

“I assure the public that the police and military will not allow a spillover of the Afghan conflict. Hindi namin hahayaan na makapaghasik ng kaguluhan sa bansa ang mga lokal na terorista para sabayan ang gulo sa Afghanistan (We will not let local terrorists to bring chaos amid the situation in Afghanistan),” he said.

The PNP chief said that the national police would be on full alert and intensify intelligence gathering operations to ensure there is no spillover in Mindanao.

Meanwhile, he urged the public to remain vigilant and immediately report unusual incidents that could threaten the safety of our communities. AAC

Lacson says Duterte ‘out of line’ in publicly castigating COA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Senator Panfilo Lacson reiterated on Tuesday that the Commission on Audit (COA) is independent of the executive or legislative branches of government.

In a statement, Lacson said President Rodrigo Duterte was “out of line in publicly castigating the COA, which is just performing its mandate and responsibility to the people and the Constitution.”

“For its part, the COA should not be cowed by intimidating statements, even those coming from the Chief Executive. In fact, those in the COA should proceed with more vigor, courage and independence,” he said.

Duterte, during his public address on Monday (August 16), slammed COA and told the agency to stop “flagging” government agencies.

“You make a report, do not flag. Do not publish it because it would condemn the agency or person that you are flagging,” Duterte said.

“What you are doing is flogging. Striking. Please don’t. You keep on flagging but then nobody gets jailed, nobody at all. When you flag, there is already a taint of corruption by perception,” he added.

The senator said COA has a mandate to perform, and its findings and recommendations are public documents. The public, according to Lacson, must be informed of how public monies are spent. AAC

 

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