Lacson tells Duterte ‘a lifetime thank you’ for MUP pension increase

Marje Pelayo   •   June 14, 2019   •   6966

Senator Panfilo Lacson

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson extended a ‘lifetime’ gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte for approving the pension increase of some 220,000 retired military and uniformed personnel (MUP) in the government.

“On behalf of the 220,000 MUP retirees, let me say a lifetime ‘THANK YOU’ to PRRD for Joint Resolution No 1,” Lacson said on his tweet on Thursday (June 13).

“No other President has shown such concern for those who served and offered their lives for country and people. All we have to do is continue breathing for as long as we can,” the senator added.

Congress Joint Resolution No. 1 signed by the President authorizes an increase in the base pay of MUPs.

On Tuesday (June 11), the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) already released the pension requirements of retired MUPs under the Armed Forces of the Philippines-General Headquarters (AFP-GHQ), Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

Specifically, the DBM released P29.9 billion to the AFP-GHQ; P21.7 billion to the PNP; P1.9 billion to the BFP; and around P731 million to the BJMP.

“Accordingly, the recently released amounts already include the adjustment of the pension of the retired MUPs as indexed to the base pay scale of MUP in the active service covering the period June to December 2019 based on the available funds as certified by the Bureau of the Treasury,” the DBM said.

Senator Lacson and Senator Gringo Honasan co-authored the Senate Joint Resolution which authorizes the increase in the base pay of military and uniformed personnel (MUP) in the government.

It was approved and signed as Congress Joint Resolution No. 01.  

Duterte on ‘ninja cops’ case linking Albayalde: ‘Give me clear proof’

Robie de Guzman   •   October 7, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech upon his arrival at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City on October 6, 2019 following his successful official visit to the Russian Federation. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday stressed the importance of following the due process in the ‘ninja cops’ issue, which allegedly involves several policemen, including the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), General Oscar Albayalde.

Duterte made the statement amid calls for Albayalde to resign over his purported link to illegal drugs.

Eh kung mga ‘yung criminal binibigyan mo ng (Even criminals are given) presumption of innocence. You know, Albayalde is the PNP chief. Give me a clear proof that he was there on the take or was in the trafficking of drugs. Just because he was the… Tapos may tinawagan siya (he called someone),” he said after his arrival from Russia.

“I could not just do it in a knee jerk. I have to follow procedural due process and allow him time to answer,” he added. “The right to be heard – it’s given to criminals, to kidnappers. It should be given to a general of the Philippine National Police.”

When asked if he still trusts Albayalde, Duterte replied with: “Well, he is still there.  Otherwise, I would have you know just — I would have told him to just go out.”

The issue on ‘ninja cops’ was revived when Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino bared during a 2020 budget hearing about the continued activities of ‘ninja cops’ and their link to so-called Manila ‘drug queen,’ later identified as former village chief Guia Gomez Castro.

Albayalde’s name was dragged into the issue after former Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief and now Baguio City mayor Benjamin Magalong mentioned a controversial 2013 anti-drug operation carried out by cops under Albayalde who was then the head of Pampanga police provincial office.

Albayalde was relieved from his post in 2014 for command responsibility while the involved operatives were charged and ordered dismissed.

The dismissal order, however, was not implemented as the police officers were only demoted in 2017.

Aquino, who was then the chief of Central Luzon Regional Police Office, claimed Albayalde called him to ask not to enforce the dismissal order against the 13 cops.

The PNP chief has repeatedly denied the allegation. He insisted during a Senate hearing that he only called then Central Luzon Regional police director Aquino in 2016 to ask about the status of his former men’s case.

Duterte earlier said he will wait for the Senate and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to end their respective probes on the case of the so-called ‘ninja cops’ before deciding what action to take.RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte vows to hike teachers’ pay this year

Robie de Guzman   •   October 7, 2019

A Filipino teacher stands by as a student writes letters on a chalk board at a public school in Manila, Philippines on 10 June 2008. The Commission on Audit (COA) has reported that because of the inept allocation of government resources, funds that were meant for public schools in the country’s most depressed areas instead went to those that had the least need for classroom, tables, and chairs. EPA/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has assured teachers that their awaited pay increase will be given this year.

Duterte made the promise when he arrived in Davao City on Sunday from his five-day visit to Russia.

However, he clarified that the pay hike will not be doubled and may only be about 35 percent.

“It’s coming, their increases. But not doubled. Mas marami ang teachers (There are a lot more teachers). Pero nandiyan po, dadating yan this year (But it is there, it’s coming this year),” he said.

“I think it’s about — the last time they were discussing was about 35 (percent) but it could be more. I do not know,” he added.

When asked when the salary increase for teachers will be implemented, Duterte replied with: “You know government is such a very complex animal. And you cannot just… If I give you the timeline tapos I could not make it on the deadline, I have to explain more than what is expected of government.”

“Mas mabuti na lang ‘yan kung nandiyan na, sinasabi ko nandiyan na ‘yan. Basta sinabi ko may increase din sila, (It is better to say it is forthcoming. I said they would get increase)” he added.

The clamor for teachers’ pay increase came after the Duterte government hiked the salaries for soldiers, police officers and other uniformed personnel last year.

Teachers’ groups have been asking the government for salary increase, ranging from P10,000 to P30,000, saying their present pay is no longer enough to sustain their needs. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Janice Ingente)

Duterte returns from Russia with P620M worth of business deals

Robie de Guzman   •   October 7, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte strikes his signature pose with some members of his delegation during the Philippines-Russia Business Forum at the House of the Unions in Moscow, Russian Federation on October 4, 2019. JOEY DALUMPINES/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is back in the Philippines after his five-day visit to Russia, bringing P620 million worth of business deals.

Duterte, who arrived in Davao City on Sunday afternoon, said his second visit to Russia generated “greater momentum for the Philippines-Russia relations.”

“[This] is a key element of our thrust to rebalance Philippine foreign policy towards independence, balance, and diplomatic agility,” he said in a speech upon his arrival at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City.

“The gains we have made in this visit bring us a step closer to our objective of a stable, comfortable, and secure life for all Filipinos. That is my vision for and bounden duty to the nation and I will do everything to achieve that — towards that end,” he added.

The President said the two countries have agreed to broaden and deepen its ties in all areas of cooperation, including security and defense as well as trade, investment, energy, agriculture, science and technology and socio-cultural exchanges.

He said the Philippines and Russia also signed bilateral deals on the uses of scientific research, health, energy, culture and foreign policy consultations, which, according to Duterte, are important in securing the country’s strategic interests.

The Chief Executive also cited that Russia has accredited two additional Philippine fishery establishments that will allow the export of tuna and other products to Russia and the larger market of the Eurasian bloc.

“This is only the beginning. The horizon is wide. There is room for significant growth,” he said.

Duterte also signed a memorandum of intent with Russia on the exploration of possible cooperation in the construction of nuclear power plants.

However, he clarified that the deal is not yet final as it still requires consultations with the Cabinet. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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