Duterte wants to personally welcome Filipinos repatriated from nCoV-hit China
Robie de Guzman • February 5, 2020 • 669
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte wants to personally welcome Filipinos returning from China, particularly Hubei province which is stricken with the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), a Malacañang official said Wednesday.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles told reporters during a press briefing that Duterte “wants to be there” when the first batch of Filipinos repatriated from China arrives on Saturday.
The more than 40 Filipinos who are set to arrive at the Clark International Airport in Pampanga will immediately be transported to the Fort Magsaysay Drug Rehabilitation Center in Nueva Ecija to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
However, it remains unclear if Duterte will be allowed to visit as groups tasked to secure the president’s safety are still discussing the issue.
“He’d like to be there on Saturday but tingnan muna natin sa PMS (Presidential Management Staff) at sa PSG (Presidential Security Group),” he said.
He added that the chief executive has directed Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to go to the quarantine site and to personally supervise the reception of Filipino repatriates.
“Naka-protective gear siya, he will just supervise and manage the transportation and ensure that maganda yung pagreceive sa mga kababayan nating mga Pilipino,” he said.
Nograles, meanwhile, allayed the fears of communities surrounding the facility, assuring that the government has prepared the highest level of quarantine measures to prevent their exposure to the virus.
“All quarantine measures will be at its highest level there. All our medical health workers who go in and out of that facility will undergo such extensive quarantine medical protocol so that’s probably going to be the safest place in terms of quarantine protocols and procedures,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (January 18) maintained that the government will not allow any franchise application to push through unless business owners settle their obligations with the government.
Though the President did not mention any particular business or company, his remark comes as lawmakers push for a franchise bill for ABS-CBN.
“No franchise will ever be implemented. Maski bigyan ninyo ng limang libong franchise iyan, hindi ko i-implement iyan. Settle your account with the government.” the President said.
In July 2020, the House of Representatives (HOR) Committee on Legislative Franchise denied ABS-CBN’s bid for a fresh 25-year franchise after it lapsed in May 2020.
On January 4, 2021, Senate President Vicente Sotto III filed his version of ABS-CBN franchise bill.
Earlier this month, Batangas 6th District Representative and House Deputy Speaker Vilma Santos-Recto filed her version noted as House Bill No. 8298. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte vouched for vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.’s plan to procure Chinese-made vaccine Sinovac for the government’s vaccination program against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
This is amid questions on the efficacy of Sinovac and allegations of overpricing.
“I’m telling Gen. Galvez na ang game plan niya, sundin niya (follow his game plan). With or without the investigation, proceed and implement what we plan to do,” President Duterte said.
Duterte revealed that even before the pandemic worsened, he had appealed to Chinese President Xi Jinping regarding the vaccines. In response, the Chinese leader promised to help.
“Long before na pumutok ito tumawag na ako kay President Xi Jinping. Tapos sabi ko wala kaming resources. We do not know how to make it. Please do not forget the Philippines,” Duterte said, recalling his conversation with Xi.
Just recently, China committed to provide the Philippines with 500,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines for free.
As for the corruption issue, President Duterte assured that the procurement process will go through the thorough review of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez before the pricing and the documentary requirements are finalized.
Duterte maintained that at this stage, the government is not allowed to speak of the pricing of the Sinovac vaccine as stated in the contract.
“They signed a memorandum of confidentiality. They cannot reveal the price kasi it will result in, na malugi ‘yung iba. — in some countries malugi sila, ‘yung ibang countries, hindi pare-pareho,” Duterte said.
He slammed critics who insist that there is corruption in the vaccine deal.
“Ito ayaw kong ‘yung pa-off tangent na mga tirada ninyo: ‘Bakit ba ito si Duterte Sinovac ng Sinovac?’ I-ano ninyo ang utak sa corruption-corruption. I don’t know why are you so occupied about corruption,” Duterte told critics.
“Maghanap kayo hindi dito. Baka sa inyo. Baka sa departamento ninyo. Hindi dito sa akin, ” he added.
The Chief Executive also stressed that the government is not forcing anyone to receive and to purchase a particular brand of COVID-19 vaccine. Anyone who wants to procure vaccine other than Sinovac is free to do so just be responsible for the consequences.
“Almost everybody na kilala ko are scrambling to buy itong Pfizer. Well, to me I think it’s a good one. If you want to follow the experience of Norway, go ahead. Nobody will stop you,” he said referring to a report that 23 elderly patients died after receiving the Pfizer-made vaccine.
“We never prohibited anybody from buying from government. We are not — we are not selling, we are buying for the people, libre.” he said. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said there are groups urging his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, to run for president in 2022 but the Chief Executive expressed his opposition to the idea.
He stressed that the presidential seat is not for a woman to fill.
“My daughter inuudyok naman nila, sabi ko, ‘My daughter is not running,’” he said during the launch of the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project in Quezon City on Thursday (January 14).
“I have told Inday not to run kasi naaawa ako sa dadaanan niya na dinaanan ko . Hindi ito pambabae. Alam mo, the emotional setup of a woman and a man is totally different. That is the sad story,” he said.
Rumors about the younger Duterte’s possible 2022 bid surfaced after a Pulse Asia survey conducted from November 23 to December 2, 2020 revealed that one in every four Filipinos expressed support for the presidential daughter’s bid for the presidency in the next election.
As for him, the Chief Executive said he will not accept any offer of term extension even if Congress moves to amend the Constitution for that matter.
On Wednesday (January 13) the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments began discussing the proposed change in the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.
Critics of the Duterte administration slammed such a move, claiming it is a front of Duterte allies to push for term extension and scrapping of term limits among politicians.
“Kaya nga hinihingi ko ang Congress, akala nila term extension ,” Duterte said.
“Maski ibigay mo sa akin on a silver platter, maski ibigay mo sa akin libre another 10 years, sabihin ko sa iyo, p***** i** mo, iyo na lang iyan. Tapos na ako,” the President said. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
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