Palace hopes proposed emergency powers will pass in 18th Congress

Robie de Guzman   •   June 11, 2019   •   1619

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday expressed hope that the Duterte administration’s proposed emergency powers to solve the perennial traffic problems in Metro Manila will be approved in the next Congress.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the government remains hopeful that the proposal will hurdle the 18th Congress to ease the travel of commuters.

“Congress knows what is the problem so it should know what to do to respond to a situation. After all, they are there, just like the President, to serve the Filipino people and that includes putting the riding public in a convenient situation,” Panelo said in a Palace news briefing.

The measure seeking to grant President Duterte with emergency powers to combat traffic in Edsa, one of the country’s major thoroughfares, was stalled in the 17th Congress due to various issues.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade earlier hinted that the bill may be given another shot in the next Congress.

President Duterte earlier vowed to reduce the travel time from Cubao in Quezon City to Makati to five minutes by December this year.

However, Panelo did not elaborate on the chief executive’s plan.

 “Surprise! He has something on his sleeves,” he said. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte admits asking PNOC-EC chief to resign due to ‘idiotic contract’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 18, 2019

(L-R) PNOC-EC president Pedro Aquino Jr. and President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that he had asked the president and CEO of the Philippine National Oil Company Exploration Corporation Pedro Aquino Jr. to resign due to questionable contracts with a Russian oil firm.

During his speech at a business forum on Thursday (October 17), the president criticized Aquino for his “idiotic contract”.

“Here is a guy who prepared a contract with the Russians and the Russians thought that it—that was all there is to it,” he said. “He wanted now the Board of Trustees to ratify what he prepared.”

“Sabi ko, ‘Ano iyong kalokohan mo na baliktad? (I said, ‘What foolishness is this’?) Given the power to draft, to prepare—to what not, and then after that, have it approved by the Board of Directors. Baliktad ang gusto mo (You want it reversed). You want the Board of Directors to ratify your idiotic contract,’” the president said.

Aquino tried to strike a deal with a Russian oil firm without the approval of the board of trustees.—ACC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte on Espenido’s assignment: ‘Bacolod is badly hit now’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 18, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte has assigned Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido to Bacolod City because the city is “badly hit” by illegal drugs.

The deployment of Espenido was announced on Thursday (October 17), during the President’s speech at the 45th Business Conference and Expo in Manila.

“Bacolod is badly hit now and I placed Espenido there, iyong tinatakutan nila na pulis, (the police who is feared)” he said. “Sabi ko (I said), ‘Go there and you are free to kill everybody.’ T*** i**** iyan. ‘Go, start killing them.’”

Espenido, who was recently promoted from the rank of major to lieutenant colonel, faced controversies after the illegal drug operation in 2016.

In November 2016, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa was killed in the custodial facility during the service of a warrant. Meanwhile in 2017, Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and 14 other men were killed during a police operation.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte warns ninja cops: ‘I can be evil like you’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 18, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte takes a bow before the guests as he takes center stage during the 45th Philippine Business Conference and Expo at The Manila Hotel on October 17, 2019. VALERIE ESCALERA/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday once again warned so-called ninja cops who are involved in the recycling of seized illegal drugs.

Duterte believes criminals like drug pushers, holdappers, and ninja cops have the ‘monopoly of evil in this country’.

“Well, I think you are—that’s a very stupid paradigm because I can be evil like you, and more than, if I want to be,” he said during the 45th Business Conference and Expo in Manila on Thursday (October 17).

Malacañang also confirmed the President’s disappointment over the involvement of policemen in recycling seized illegal drugs

According to presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, the President laments that despite the salary increase there are still anomalies being committed by some members of the PNP.

READ: Lawmakers say Albayalde not yet off-the-hook in ‘ninja cops’ issue despite early exit

“He expressed disappointment over certain—[the] incident on the ninja cops. Sabi niya, dinagdagan na niya ang sweldo, dinoble na, pero parang hindi pa rin. Ayun, nangyari pa rin iyon, (He said he already increased their salary, even doubled it but it was not enough. There are still [anomalies] happening)” Panelo said during a press briefing on Thursday.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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