Duterte will be the first to obey the ‘Anti-Bastos Law’ – Malacañang
Marje Pelayo • July 16, 2019 • 2700
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang assured that President Rodrigo Duterte will be the first to obey the newly-signed Republic Act 11313 also known as the Safe Spaces Act or ‘Anti-Bastos Law’.
“Since the president signed that law, it means he recognizes the need for that law and since he is the chief enforcer of all the laws of the Philippines, he will be the first one to obey the law,” said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
Signed on April 17, 2019, the new law imposes stiffer penalties to crimes “committed through any unwanted and uninvited sexual actions or remarks against any person regardless of the motive for committing such action or remarks.”
Among these acts include:
online sexual harassment
persistent unwanted comments on one’s appearance
relentless requests for one’s personal details
Likewise, the law prevents gender-based sexual harassment such as use of words, gestures or actions that ridicule sexual orientation, identity and/or expression from occurring in streets, public places, online workplaces, and educational and training institutions.
Penalties range from P1,000 to P500,000 fine, community service, and imprisonment of six days up to six months.
President Duterte has been criticized many times for his controversial remarks against women, but Panelo said those were all jokes, and definitely not sexual harassment against women.
“That particular law is penal in nature, meaning criminal in nature. In other words, the subject offended party must be offended personally by an offender,” the Presidential Legal Counsel explained.
“Pero kung general na nagkukwento, mao-offend ka? Paano mo sasabihing ikaw ang tinutukoy noon? May problema ka doon. (But he is just telling a story, in general, will you be offended? How can you tell that he was referring to you? Do you have problems with that?) How can you even charge him with what? How did they offend you? Did I refer to you? Papaano ka na? Dismiss agad iyon (How about you then? [The case] will be dismissed right away). Crime is personal to the offender,” he added.
Panelo added that persons who think they were offended by the President are always free to file a complaint once the President steps down from office.
“Any person can sue him for that violation. If you argue that, well, he is immune. Well, you can sue him after the presidency. No one is above the law, including this president and he always tells us that,” Panelo concluded. – with reports from Rosalie Coz
President Rodrigo Duterte has relieved the officials and personnel of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) who are linked to the ‘pastillas scheme’.
The so-called ‘pastillas’ bribery scheme provides ‘VIP treatment’ to Chinese nationals who will pay P10,000 to Immigration officials.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, charges are also expected to be filed against the involved personnel.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has relieved all officials and employees of the Bureau of Immigration who are involved in the latest bribery scheme where they purportedly facilitate the entry into—and exit from—Philippine territory of foreigners working for Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) for an unauthorized fee,” he said.
The Palace official did not mention the identities of the involved Immigration employees or how many were relieved from service.
“May nag-report, may nag-reklamo (Someone filed a report, complaint), and apparently the proof constitutes probable cause. That’s why they were sacked,” Panelo added.
Meanwhile, Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte still trusts BI Chief Jaime Morente. However, there will be a follow-up Cabinet meeting to discuss the present situation in the Immigration Bureau.
“The present situation in the Bureau of Immigration, as well as how it is being run by Commissioner Jaime Morente, will be taken up in the next Cabinet meeting,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
President Rodrigo Duterte has issued an executive order that will impose price cap on medicines.
Based on Executive Order (EO) 104 or Maximum Drug Retail Price (MDRP) price regulations will be imposed through a maximum retail price (MRP) and maximum wholesale price (MWP) system.
“Access to affordable and quality drugs and medicines is now a reality under the Duterte administration. This is part of the real and lasting reform, which President Duterte has instituted in order that all Filipinos can live decent and comfortable lives,” according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
The EO is expected to lower the cost of medicines as much as 56 percent by May. In the first phase of MDRP, 87 medicines for hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung diseases, major cancers, and other diseases have been included.
The Department of Health (DOH) has proposed 122 medicines and is reviewing to include more.
“DOH, together with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and stakeholders, was also tasked to review the price reduction of the remaining 35 drugs to finalize the list covered by the EO,” according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
The DOH is set to release the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the said EO.
Duque also warned pharmaceutical companies or drug stores not abiding by the EO may face up to 15 years of imprisonment.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
Tourism industry stakeholders agreed to help boost domestic travel by offering discounted airfare and hotel rates following a meeting with President Duterte.
“Come with me and be my travel companion. I’ll be traveling around the Philippines. Pasyal tayo dito sa atin. Unahin natin ‘yung atin. Mabuhay ang Pilipino. Mabuhay ang turismo ng Pilipinas,” Duterte said on his video message.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
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