PCOO Chief: Duterte admin to continue respecting PH press freedom

Robie de Guzman   •   May 3, 2019   •   1470

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar

MANILA, Philippines – The administration of President Rodrigo Duterte will continue to respect press freedom in the country, Malacañang assured as the public marked the World Press Freedom on Friday (May 3).

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement that the Duterte government has been implementing programs that would protect members of the media, contrary to allegations of the President’s critics.

“Asahan niyo po na patuloy na irerespeto ng Duterte administration ang press freedom sa bansa taliwas sa mga alegasyon ng iilan.” Andanar said.

(You can expect that the Duterte administration will continue to respect the press freedom in the country, contrary to the allegations of some)

“Ilan lamang po sa mga patunay na iginagalang at pinoprotektahan ng administrasyon ang mga mamamahayag sa bansa ay ang Presidential Task Force on Media Security o PTFoMS na agad na nilagdaan ng pangulo sa unang mga buwan ng kanyang pamamahala,” he added.

(Among the initiatives that will prove that the administration respects and protects media practitioners in the Philippines is the creation of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security or PTFoMS which he immediately ordered in his first months in office)

Duterte, in October 2016, signed his first Administrative Order 1, which created the presidential task force on violations of the right to the liberty and security of the members of the media.

For his agency, Andanar assured to intensify their campaign against disinformation and the proliferation of false reports.

“Tayo naman po sa PCOO ay patuloy ang kampanya natin laban sa disinformation o pagpapakalat ng fake news sapagkat isa po ito sa sumisira sa malayang pamamahayag,” he said.

(We at the PCOO will continue to campaign against disinformation or the spread of fake news as this is one of the factors that destroys freedom of expression)

“Tayo naman po ay kaisa ng lahat ng mediamen sa bansa at sa buong mundo sa pagsusulong at pangangalaga sa karapatan sa press freedom,” he added.

(We are one with the all the mediamen in the country and the world in pushing and protecting for the right to press freedom)

President Rodrigo Duterte has been under fire for openly criticizing several media organizations and even threatened to block the renewal of franchise of one of the country’s biggest media networks.

He also recently lambasted a group of investigative journalists for allegedly conspiring with other critical groups in a bid to ruin his family’s reputation.

READ: Duterte hits PCIJ for report on family’s wealth

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), meanwhile, called on its colleagues to remain courageous despite the government’s alleged suppression of the press.

“On this day, let us, the community of independent and critical Filipino journalists, reflect on our role in the preservation and advancement of democracy, and rededicate ourselves to defending our rights and liberties that we may continue serving our people’s right to know,” the NUJP said in a statement.

“Let us take courage in the knowledge that no matter how despots strive to stifle freedom of expression and thought, the media, the truth, the people, will outlive them,” the group added.

The group claimed that Duterte is the only president in the country’s history that has openly led the attacks against media, with the help of “the venal and corrupted within the profession.”

“As we mark this day, we note that, more than any administration since the unlamented Marcos Dictatorship, never have freedom of the press and of expression been under siege as during the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte,” the NUJP said.

“Never has any president, Marcos included, openly spearheaded the attacks and vilification of media. We have also seen how he and his minions wield the lie as a weapon against the profession of truth,” it added.

With the recent release of the alleged “ouster matrix,” they also accused Duterte of upping “the ante and signaled that he will go to absurd lengths to stifle the independent and critical media.” (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Gov’t extends Luzon lockdown to April 30 — IATF

Marje Pelayo   •   April 7, 2020

(UPDATED) MANILA, Philippines – Luzon residents may have to endure two more weeks at home as President Rodrigo Duterte extends the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) confirmed this on Tuesday (April 7).

“Ito po ang rekomendasyon ng IATF kay Presidente na tinggap ng President,” IATF-EID Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said.

“Vinerify po naming uli at ang sagot po ay ang enhanced community quarantine is hereby extended until 11:50 pm of April 30,” he added.

In his public address on Monday evening (April 6), the President asked the public for more patience and understanding and to be more cooperative with the national government in the face of a health crisis brought about by the deadly coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The President, likewise, reiterated his call for the public to stay at home as the solution to this global pandemic is simply to “not get infected.”

He noted the sad reality of COVID-19 patients passing without having a funeral service as their remains go straight to cremation.

Duterte admitted that even the national government is getting ‘desperate’ as it has limited resources to distribute to millions of Filipinos affected by the crisis.

The President added that the P275-B budget that Congress authorized him to spend is not enough and would be gone in two months.

Thus, he asked the Department of Finance to find ways to generate revenues.

“We are finding ways to adjust the budget. We will prioritize the people, the stomach. If they have nothing to eat, a human being can become violent,” he added.

He appealed to those who have more to give to those in need and asked the Filipino people to pray for the country and the world in the face of this global pandemic.

“I am calling on the nation to come together and pay tribute to the indomitable spirit of the Filipino and unite in one prayer to God to fight our common enemy,” he concluded. MNP (with input from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte, Cabinet members pledge salaries for COVID-19 response

Marje Pelayo   •   April 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte announced he is giving his one month salary amounting to P400,000 to help in the implementation of the national government’s action plan in fight against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Meanwhile, other members of the President’s Cabinet also have agreed to give 75% of their monthly salaries from April to December of this year as support, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

Panelo added that other department secretaries also agreed to share by giving a portion of their respective salaries.

Meanwhile, members of the House of Representatives are targeting to raise P100-M to boost financial aid to those affected by the pandemic.

About 200 congressmen have pledged to donate their full salary for the month of May to help the government’s efforts against COVID-19.

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said they are raising an initial P50-M from the lawmakers while they plan to source out the other 50-M from other private individuals and groups to complete the P100-M pledge.

Cayetano said they are set to discuss on Wednesday as to which particular government effort they would donate the fund.

Ayaw naman namin na halimbawa bumili ng PPEs iyon pala may P5-B or P2-B worth of PPEs o kaya bumili ng pagkain iyon pala may provisions na sa pagkain,” Cayetano said.

“We want to use the money where it will be most effective,” he added.

Malacanang, meanwhile, is pleased with the support from other branches of government.

“The Office of the President is pleased to know that the two other branches of the government have their own program of helping the battle against COVID-19 even as we acknowledge the support given by various heads of offices and agencies in their personal capacities to thwart the COVID-19 pandemic,” Panelo said. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

‘Dry run’ for ouster plot? Lacson urges gov’t to probe Quezon City protest

Robie de Guzman   •   April 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson is calling on the government to thoroughly look into the protest held by some residents in Quezon City on Wednesday.

The rally held by several residents from Barangay Bagong Pag-asa to demand aid from the local government prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to issue a stern warning against those who violate the law and cause trouble during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Duterte earlier told police and the military to “shoot” troublemakers if the situation puts their lives on the line. He also called for the public’s patience as the government works to deliver assistance amid the COVID-19 crisis.

“Definitely, the President’s warning to have ‘troublemakers’ during the enhanced community quarantine shot was exaggerated and harsh. But coming from this President, what else is new?” he said in a statement issued Thursday.

Police earlier voiced out suspicion that the incident may have been instigated by a left-leaning group.

Lacson, citing his background on law enforcement and intelligence, said the answer on whether the protest was “politically instigated” lies on the investigation as he has suggested to authorities.

He said the probe would show if the protest was indeed a valid “hunger-driven spontaneous act of people” out of exasperation or a “politically instigated act of violence by sinister groups” out to destabilize the administration.

“I couldn’t help but suggest to authorities to thoroughly investigate if the ‘riot’ in Quezon City involving protesters demanding aid – but in violation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine – was indeed a valid “hunger-driven” spontaneous act of people who simply lost their patience out of exasperation, or a politically instigated act of violence by sinister groups out to take advantage and destabilize the administration and duly constituted authority,” he said.

“As such, concerned authorities may opt to look into the possibility that Wednesday’s incident could be a “dry run” to test public sentiment as well as the ability of law enforcers to respond,” he added.

He said that at least one group, specifically the urban poor group Kadamay, posted an “invitation” on its Facebook page to an event scheduled for April 1.

“Muling mangalampag bukas April 1. April Fool’s Day pero ang mamamayan ay hindi na maloloko sa napakabagal at inutil na pagtugon sa pangangailangan ng sambayanan,” Kadamay said on a Facebook post, dated March 31.

Lacson, however, clarified that this is not to say that protests during the COVID-19 quarantine should be presumed as politically instigated.

“There is no saying, however, that all protests during the ECQ should be presumed as politically instigated. Yet, it cannot be denied that there may be groups with motive to exploit the volatility of the situation to advance their own political agenda,” he said.

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

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.