Duterte’s Japan trip not a ‘reward’ for Cabinet officials — Malacañang
Marje Pelayo • May 29, 2019 • 3104
TOKYO, Japan — Malacañang denied that President Rodrigo Duterte’s trip to Japan is a reward to his Cabinet members following the administration’s victory in the 2019 midterm elections.
“The Palace does not share the position or remarks of Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose C. Laurel V concerning Cabinet members joining the President in this trip to Japan,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement on Tuesday (May 28).
“It is worth mentioning that Cabinet members were prohibited by the President to campaign for the administration candidates during the last elections. It is therefore sans logic that they can be rewarded when they were disallowed from contributing to the reason or cause for the grant of reward,” he added.
In a press briefing ahead of President Duterte’s arrival to Japan, Ambassador Laurel told reporters that the trip was a form of reward as eight of administration’s senatorial candidates won in the election.
“Ito’y pabuya sa nakaraang eleksyon (It’s a reward for the elections),” Ambassador Laurel said in a press conference on Tuesday (May 28).
“But I think the President is so elated with the results of the midterm elections, that this is an affirmation of what his administration does in the last three years. It’s like a reward,” he added.
In response, Panelo said that Ambassador Laurel “may have been either innocently speculating for lack of information or may have been misinformed of the nature of the trip” saying the presence of the Cabinet officials is necessary.
According to Panelo, some 25 business agreements will be signed during the working visit and the President’s delegation is expected to bring home about P300-B worth of investments from Japan.
He added that these investments will open at least 80,000 job opportunities for Filipinos.
Panelo noted that Japan is the Philippines’ second major trading partner and the fourth biggest source market for tourism.
He cited Japan’s contribution to the country’s infrastructure development and peace efforts in the Mindanao.
“The President therefore needs most of his team players, not only as a sign of respect or giving importance to our long-time ally, but we likewise see the need for a stronger cooperation between our governments,” Panelo said.
“This can be achieved by the constant dialogue by our Cabinet members with their counterparts in the Japanese government, who are, in various ways, involved in our country’s significant transactions with Japan,” he added.
President Duterte arrived in Japan on Wednesday evening to attend the 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia in Tokyo hosted by Japanese firm Nikkei.
He is set to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a bilateral meeting followed by greet and meet with the Filipino community in Japan.
The President is accompanied by a total of 16 Cabinet members and at least 200 other delegates.
Ambassador Laurel during the press interview clarified that the trip is not a junket though he did not clear if the organizer also shouldered the expenses of the Cabinet members and the local officials who joined the trip.
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the grant of one-time financial aid of P20,000 to qualified pensioners under the employees’ compensation (EC) program.
Under Administrative Order (AO) No. 39, which was signed on Monday, Duterte authorized the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) to grant the cash aid to EC pensioners for permanent partial disability, permanent total disability and survivorship, in the public and public sectors, “subject to the availability of funds and pertinent laws, rules and regulations.”
Duterte directed the ECC, Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to set aside and release appropriate funding to cover the financial assistance from the Social Insurance Fund under the EC Program.
The ECC, in coordination with the SSS and GSIS, will issue the implementing rules and regulations necessary for the effective implementation of the order.
In signing the AO, Duterte recognized that the “adverse effects of the pandemic on the economy, supplementary health necessities for the battle against the virus, and restrictions imposed on our mobility and social interaction, have increased the financial and health burdens experienced by the EC pensioners.
The one-time cash aid will be granted to around 31,000 pensioners of the SSS and GSIS.
Duterte said AO 39 will take effect following its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday said there is no need for President Rodrigo Duterte to speak on China’s incursions in the West Philippine Sea, saying the strong statements of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of National Defense (DND) also reflects the president’s stance on the issue.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement to dispel notions that Duterte has been silent on the reported number of Chinese vessels still lingering in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
“Doctrine of qualified political doctrine, kapag po hindi dini-dis-own ng president ang mga sinasabi ng kaniyang mga alter-egos, parang siya na po ang nagsasalita, hindi na kailangang siya ang magsalita,” Roque said in an online briefing.
The Palace official was referring to a Constitutional Doctrine which states that “utterances of alter egos are utterances of the President unless the president renounces them.”
Roque also reiterated that Duterte already stressed the importance of the 2016 Hague Ruling on the West Philippine Sea and that the Philippines will not set aside the landmark decision.
The National Task Force-West Philippine Sea earlier reported that at least 240 Chinese vessels were found lingering in various parts of the West Philippine Sea during its latest sovereignty patrols in the area.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier demanded the immediate withdrawal of the remaining Chinese vessels in the Julian Felipe Reef, telling the ships to sail away and for the Chinese to “leave our sovereign territories and abide by the international law.”
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. also repeatedly fired off diplomatic protests and called for the immediate withdrawal of Chinese vessels in the disputed waters.
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver another public address Thursday evening (April 15), Malacañang said.
In a press briefing Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte will share details about his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his “Talk to the People” later.
“Mamaya po magkakaroon ng ‘Talk to the People’ ang Pangulo. Siya na po ang magkukuwento kung ano ang nangyari sa kanilang usapan ni President Putin,” he said.
Duterte and Putin held a 30-minute telesummit on Tuesday.
Malacañang earlier said that the two leaders talked about ways to combat coronavirus pandemic and reaffirmed their shared commitment to further enhance cooperation between the Philippines and Russia.
Duterte also thanked Putin for Russia’s commitment to bolster cooperation in various areas, including fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two chief executives also stressed the importance of ramping up global production and supplies of COVID-19 vaccines.
Aside from the COVID-19 response, Duterte and Putin also discussed the “steady progress” in defense and security cooperation between the two countries, fostered by regular exchanges between defense, intelligence, and military agencies.
The Palace also said that Putin highlighted the positive trajectory of Philippine-Russia relations and emphasized the many opportunities for greater cooperation in the fields of trade and investments, agriculture, and energy development even as both countries work on further enhancing political-security cooperation.
During the telesummit, Duterte also reiterated his invitation for Putin to visit the Philippines as soon as circumstances allow, which the Russian president welcomed.
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