Landbank vows to submit plans for farmers after Duterte threat

Marje Pelayo   •   July 24, 2019   •   2605

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) has promised to submit its plans and programs for the agriculture sector following a threat from President Rodrigo Duterte that he would have it abolished for failure to serve its purpose.

Landbank is the main depository and servicing bank of the government with a special focus on serving the needs of farmers and fishermen in the countryside.

During his fourth state of the nation address (SONA) on Monday (July 22), the President lambasted the Landbank for being “mired in so many commercial transactions” while doing little to help out farmers and coconut growers.

The President said, “You know, you are called Landbank but you are now the number one commercial bank in the Philippines. What the heck is happening to you? You are supposed to finance agricultural enterprises and endeavors. Bakit wala (Why none)?”

“Go to the countryside and ask the people if there are cooperatives, tulungan ninyo to form one,” he added.

The President has given the Landbank until end of July to submit a viable plan for agricultural institutions and the local farmers otherwise he will ask Congress to act.

“I’m asking now Congress, if there is no viable plan for that for the farmers and it is just all commercial transactions, might as well abolish it (Landbank),” he warned.

In response, Landbank in a statement on Tuesday (July 23) vowed to comply with the President’s instructions and promised to further enhance its service channels to reach its primary clients – “the small farmers and fishers, and the agricultural sector at large.”

“We shall also be strengthening partnerships with cooperatives farmer groups and associations as well as collaboration with other key agencies and government units,” the Landbank said in the statement.

“As a matter of fact, together with the office of the provincial governor of Cotabato, we have a scheduled roadshow with initially 400 farmers, including those who never had financial access. This will just be the first of many,” it added.

Duterte to deliver public address on April 12, Roque says

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his public address on Monday (April 12), Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. confirmed.

In a text message to reporters on Saturday (April 10), the Palace official said the President will push through with his weekly public address on Monday.

Duterte skipped his public address last week after several members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) tested positive for the COVID-19. Due to his several days of absence, speculations have surfaced questioning the state of the President’s health.

However, several officials, already assured that Duterte is of good health and will deliver his public address on Monday.

Meanwhile, Roque said he was admitted to a hospital for COVID-19 treatment. AAC

SC junks petition vs PH withdrawal from ICC

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday (March 16) unanimously junked petitions against the Philippines ‘ withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The high court said the issue of the country’s withdrawal from the ICC  has been considered moot as the withdrawal has already taken effect on March 17, 2019.

“In a unanimous decision penned by Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen, the Supreme Court dismissed the Petition questioning the unilateral withdrawal for being moot and academic,” the SC said in a briefer released on Tuesday (March 16).

The statement released by the SC public information office says the decision acknowledged that the President, as the primary architect of foreign policy, is subject to the Constitution and existing statute.

Therefore, the power of the President to withdraw unilaterally can be limited by the conditions for concurrence by the Senate or when there is an existing law that authorizes the negotiation of a treaty or international agreement or when there is a statute that implements an existing treaty,” it added.

Two petitions were filed against President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to withdraw from the ICC, stating the decision still requires concurrence from two-thirds of the members of the Senate.

“The Court also noted that the judiciary has enough powers to protect human rights contrary to speculations raised by the petitioners,” the briefer reads.

Duterte made the announcement in March 2018, after the ICC announced it will conduct a preliminary investigation on the government’s war on drugs. -AAC

Bong Go ‘not interested’ in running for president, says Duterte was joking

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go has clarified he has no interest in joining in the 2022 presidential elections.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday (March 11) revealed Go has interest in becoming president, which Go denied on Friday (March 12).

Itong si Senator Bong Go pababa kami ng eroplano sabi niya sir may hingi sana ako sayo ng pabor. Sabi ko ano? Sabi niya, medyo it leaves a bad taste malayo pa pero ikaw nalang ang magsabi sa kanila. Sabihin ko ang totoo, isang bagay lang ang sasabihin daw sa inyo— gusto niya maging presidente (When we are about to disembark the plane, he asked me for a favor. I asked what it is and he said, ‘it leaves a bad taste and it is still way down the road but I want you to tell them”. I will tell you the truth, I will say only one thing—he wants to be president),Duterte said.

Go, on Friday, clarified that the President only said that in jest and added he is content in serving as a Senator.

Sabi ko (I said) I am not interested to run for higher office. Joke lang po iyon ni Presidente. Siya lang po ang nanunukso. Siya lang po ang nag-uudyok (The President was just joking. He was the one urging [me]),Go said.

He also appealed to his co-parties in the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) not to include him in politics and only choose him as the last option.

Kung wala na kayong makita ako nalang po ang pinakahuli. Mauna na sila huwag niyo na po akong isali sa usapang politikal (If you cannot find someone, I can be the last option. Let others go first and do not me include in politics),” he said. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

 

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