Pangilinan questions motive behind Duterte’s offer to Robredo
Robie de Guzman • November 6, 2019 • 298
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Francis Pangilinan is questioning the motive behind the move of President Rodrigo Duterte to designate Vice President Leni Robredo as co-chairperson of the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs (ICAD).
Pangilinan said the offer, which was based on Executive Order 15 establishing ICAD, seemed like a ploy to silence Robredo from criticizing the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.
“Kataka-taka lang ang motibo ng Malacañang sa EO na ito. Malayo sa naunang pronouncement na itatalaga si VP bilang drug czar. Bakit biglang co-chair na lang? Takot ba sila na bigyan ng tunay na kapangyarihan si VP at baka masapawan sila o may tamaan?” he said in a statement.
“Epektibong stratehiya laban sa naglipanang illegal drugs ba ang tunay na layunin nitong EO o epektibong stratehiya para ipitin at patahimikin ang Bise Presidente na tumututol sa araw-araw na patayan ng mahihirap habang pinapalusot ang mga ninja cops, ninja sa Customs, at mga sindikato ng droga?” he added.
According to Pangilinan, the appointment may be accepted by Robredo if the current framework of the drug war is “publicly discarded for being based on false assumptions” such as the treatment of drug addiction as a criminal issue and that drug users must be killed daily.
“Drug addiction is a health problem. It is largely rooted in poverty and inequality,” he said.
“Hindi masosolusyunan ng pagtutok sa maliliit na drug user at pusher ang problema ng droga. At hindi masosolusyunan ng pagpatay ang problema ng gutom at kahirapan,” he added.
The senator, president of Liberal Party, said there are other issues that the government must focus on such as the spread of African Swine Fever in the country, victims of recent Mindanao quakes and other woes faced by local rice farmers.
The president’s move came after the vice president called on the former to allow the United Nations to investigate his war on drugs, which she said was “not working.” She later clarified that she meant to urge the administration to assess its campaign.
Robredo herself has yet to comment on the proposal on Wednesday but her spokesperson earlier called on the offer as “meaningless,” and that Malacañang is not serious regarding the issue.
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he will appoint Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa as the next police chief.
Duterte made the announcement during a speech in Davao City.
The president said he would formally designate Gamboa as the next PNP chief after they meet with Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año.
Duterte earlier asked Año to supervise the police force until he has chosen its next chief.
“We have the PNP chief. I’m going to appoint you as the regular PNP [chief]. But […] you and Secretary Año and I will have a long, long talk first,” he said addressing Gamboa in his speech.
“Pinakita mo sa akin ‘yung sincerity mo and I’d like you to leave something that you will be remembered by the country,” he added
Gamboa, who was in the event, acknowledged Duterte’s remarks by standing up and giving a salute.
Gamboa was designated as PNP OIC after former chief Oscar Albayalde stepped down in October over allegations that he protected some police officers tagged as ‘ninja cops’ for their involvement in the selling or recycling of illegal drugs seized from an operation in Pampanga in 2013.
Albayalde was the chief of Pampanga police when the operation was conducted.
In a statement, the PNP welcomed Duterte’s pronouncement of Gamboa’s appointment.
“The PNP welcomes the pronouncement of Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte to appoint PNP OIC PLTGEN. Archie Francisco Gamboa as the regular PNP Chief,” the statement read.
“Under the able leadership of PLtGen Gamboa, we assure the public that the PNP remains committed to intensify the campaign against criminality, illegal drugs and corruption, following the rule of law and with utmost respect for human rights, and vigorously pursue internal cleansing to weed the ranks of rogue cops, all towards winning back the trust and confidence of the people,” it added.
In a separate statement, Año also welcomed Gamboa’s designation as the next PNP chief.
“He is very qualified for the job. I expect that he will work harder now that he is the permanent Chief PNP and lead the organization in its intensified fight against illegal drugs, criminalities, communist terrorist groups and extremists,” Año said.
“I also expect that he would continue to cleanse the PNP ranks of scalawags,” he added.
He also called on the entire police force to support Gamboa, enforce the law and fulfill their mandate “to serve and protect the people.”
MANILA, Philippines – The total deployment ban of Filipino workers to Kuwait will remain in effect until the labor agreement signed in 2018 between the two countries is fully implemented, Malacañang said Friday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the labor department’s call for a total ban on deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) to Kuwait following the killing of household service worker Jeanelyn Villavende.
“The Palace wishes to inform the public that President Duterte has approved the recommendation of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III on the total deployment ban of Filipino workers in Kuwait,” Panelo said.
He added that the ban will stay until the memorandum of agreement between the two countries is fully honored and “the terms contained therein are incorporated in every labor contract with our OFWs.”
Bello earlier said he recommended a total deployment ban to Kuwait after results of a re-autopsy by the National Bureau of Investigation revealed that Villavende had several missing internal organs and had “clear indications of sexual abuse.”
The re-autopsy was conducted after a certificate released by Kuwait’s Ministry of Health showed that Villavende died of “acute failure of heart and respiration” as a result of shock and multiple injuries.
In a statement on Thursday, Bello said the implementation of a total deployment ban of workers was fueled by the alleged attempt of the Kuwaiti government “to cover-up the true case of death” of Villavende.
He said the re-autopsy on the Filipino worker’s remains was in complete contrast to the report of the Kuwaiti authorities.
Bello also said that another cause for the ban was the failure of the Kuwaiti government to come into an agreement regarding the standard employment contract in accordance with the Memorandum of Agreement in 2018.
“Under the MOU, we were supposed to come up with a standard employment contract in order to provide sufficient protection for our OFWs. That’s almost two years ago of discussing and debating but until now, we have not finalized anything,” Bello said.
The total ban covers the processing and deployment of all household service workers, semi-skilled, skilled workers and professionals including Filipino crew seafarers for Kuwait.
However, skilled workers and professionals who have unexpired contracts or categorized as Balik-Manggagawa, and those who will be cleared by the Secretary of Labor are exempted from the ban.
“Those who will come home for a vacation and has an existing contract are still allowed to travel to Kuwait, however, workers with new contracts will be covered by the ban. This move is nothing less than for the protection of our workers,” Bello said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.