President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his speech during the closing ceremony of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits at the Philippine International Convention Center on November 14, 2017. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
DAVAO CITY — President Rodrigo Duterte again lambasted the leftist groups especially the New People’s Army (NPA) because of their continued acts of violence, recently.
Including the involvement of a four-month-old infant in an NPA ambush in Bukidnon last November 9.
According to the chief executive, he wants to formalize or announce NPA’s category as a terrorist group and not a rebel group. He also wants to file cases against all group members involved in spreading violence like murder and arson.
“Before, we recognized them as legitimate rebels. But with their continued depredations and killing of innocent people, I’ll be issuing a proclamation. I will remove them from the category of a legal entity or at least a semi-movement which would merit our attention, placing them as, the same with America, — terrorist,” President Duterte said.
Since 2002, the United States has considered CPP-NPA as foreign terrorist organization.
President Duterte also blamed the rebel group for the price hike in common goods.
“Because NPA extorts. Even the farmers pay. It is an added cost to the price. All the businessmen here burned the — but it’s providing work for the countryside and yet they are destroying the very essence of the industry. That is the reason for the increase, they extort,” he added.
With regards to the peace talks, he also questioned the group: why would they talk to him if they consider him a fascist and an anomalous leader.
In the end, the Chief Executive warned that he will strengthen military offensives against the NPA and the groups supporting [these rebels] will also be held accountable.
“Now it’s a great conspiracy between Bayan even the—they are in conspiracy with the rebellion going on. We will study and maybe we will have a crackdown there somewhere. So all of those, pretending to be the — speaking for the people, those quasi-stuff you are talking about, you say it is legitimate and yet you are — I said continuing the depredations, putting industries down and making it hard for the people to make a living,” Duterte said. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue
Malacañang to conduct information campaign on TRAIN Law
FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte wants the public to understand everything about the provisions and the purpose of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN Law.
This, following a series of increases in prices of goods and services in the country.
In line with this, the government will conduct an intensified information dissemination about TRAIN.
“I also know that PCOO is working double time to embark on a dissemination campaign on the salient features of TRAIN. Likewise, the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) will not hesitate to prosecute individuals who will take advantage of price hikes invoking TRAIN as a legal basis,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
Roque also assured that government agencies like the DTI will not allow businessmen to exploit the system for their own gains.
“Ang excise tax naman po pinapataw hindi dun sa old inventory kundi sa mga bagong inventory. So walang dahilan para tumaas ang presyo on day 1 of the effectivity of the law (The excise tax is imposed not on the old inventory but on the new inventory. Therefore, there is no reason to increase prices on day one of the effectivity of the law),” Roque said.
Meanwhile, the government will improve the cash transfer fund in order to ease the burden of poor families.
“We already have a list of beneficiaries on the conditional cash transfer. It would be the same population that will benefit from this cash mitigation which is a provision of the Tax Reform Act or TRAIN,” the spokesperson added. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue
Lawmakers oppose possible term extension for President Rodrigo Duterte
FILE PHOTOS: (Left-Right) Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and Rep. Edcel Lagman
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s term will end in 2022.
However, owing to the proposed shift to a federal form of government, Senate President Koko Pimentel noted the possible extension of the chief executive’s term to pave way for the transition period.
With this, opposition senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan expressed concern that changing the Constitution and the system of the government will not only extend the term of the president but also give him more powers.
The senator noted one of these powers might be the creation of laws that would no longer need the approval of Congress.
According to Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, the President can manipulate the decision of the constituent assembly to implement the changes he wants in the Constitution.
Lagman explained this is because of the existing administration-allied supermajority in Congress.
On the other hand, Malacañang strongly denied the alleged term extension of the chief executive.
“I would like to repeat, the President does not want his term to be extended. In fact, he wants to shorten it,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez clarified the issue on the alleged possibility of a ‘no-election’ scenario. Alvarez said it might happen in the 2019 senatorial polls and not in the 2022 presidential elections.
He explained, should the charter change push through to pave the way for federalism, the structure of the government will change.
The House speaker said it might affect the senators whose term will end in 2025, noting it is practical to not hold an election in 2019 so that all senators will simultaneously end their terms in 2022.
Alvarez added that election for local positions and lawmakers in the House of Representatives might push through in 2019. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue
PH to welcome other foreign telcos if China won’t accept deal according to constitutional requirement
FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte shake hands with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang during the Chinese official visited the country.
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines may possibly open the playing field for telecommunications providers to other foreign companies.
Malacañang said that it is not yet final if the third telecommunications company to be joining the country’s playing field will be coming from China.
This, despite the fact that President Rodrigo Duterte offered this to Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang when the Chinese official visited the country.
Presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said if Chinese telecom will not heed with the 60/40 percent constitutional foreign-ownership provision, the Philippines will open the market to other foreign companies.
“We gave China the option but if this is not acceptable to it, unfortunately, we will have to look for other players because we will have to honor what the Constitution provides — 60/40 in terms of owning a telecoms company,” he said.
Roque, however, said they do not see any indication that China will not push through with the project.
President Duterte is determined to implement the project the soonest possible time to create better competition and better telecommunications service for the public.
“So far, as far as I know, it has been offered to China. We don’t know what the details are but the deadline is fast approaching. The President wants it up and about in the first quarter of this year,” the spokesperson added. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue