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Peter Wallace lauds Duterte administration in first 100 days

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, October 6th, 2016

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MANILA, Philippines
— Australian businessman Peter Wallace commended President Rodrigo Duterte for accomplishing some of his campaign promises such as stamping out drug menace and eradicating corruption during his 100 days in office.

Speaking at a press briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday, October 5, Wallace praised the government for the “remarkable change” happening in the country since Duterte took office on June 30.

“I’ve been studying this man for quite some time. I’ve known him for quite some time. This is a man who genuinely cares for this country and genuinely cares for its people. And what I particularly like, he cares for what really matters like in the provinces where we have the poorest of the poor and the people suffering the most,” said Wallace, founder of the Wallace Business Forum.

Wallace is a known businessman who has lived in the country for four decades. He has been granted Philippine citizenship considering his contributions to local business community and his various socio-civic advocacies.

Wallace particularly hailed Duterte’s signing of an executive order for the implementation of the Freedom of Information, which he said should have been done a long time ago. He likewise expressed support for Duterte’s economic team led by Finance Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez III and the 10-point economic agenda.

Wallace also defended the President’s “radical” style of ruling the country giving his two cents in the way Duterte is being portrayed in the media.
He noted that some social ills such as drugs and criminality have prompted the President to use offensive language.

“He’s angry and he’s frustrated and he takes this out by swearing, which is not terribly abnormal in the society that he is mixed in. But it is difficult for particularly foreigners to understand,” he said.

“And what happens unfortunately is too often what he says is taken literally rather than interpreting what he actually meant. Because if you do that, you find that most of the swearing is just top of the head type of stuff, that doesn’t have any real importance to it, that isn’t the real intent. It’s underlying that behind that really matters. And what’s underlying behind that is that he wants change and he wants to get things done,” he added.

Wallace likewise believes the President is not severing ties with the United States despite his recent pronouncement of establishing economic ties with Russia and China.

“He’s trying I think to establish that the Philippines is a truly independent country. It is no longer a colony of the US. It is no longer subservient in any way to the US. It wants its independence and in a fairly dramatic way that he’s trying to put that across, right? Now, it’s an unusual way,” he said.

For his part, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the President’s statement might not necessarily mean breaking up of alliances with other countries.
“He is not closing. He is broadening,” Secretary Abella said adding that there was still no move to end ties with US.

On the matter of the extrajudicial killings, Wallace said that this does not affect business at all.

“I don’t see it affecting business particularly. There’s no question that there has been concern raised by some of the foreign business community over these but nobody, nobody is withdrawing. No companies are going out but business is not affected directly,” he said.

Wallace also believes that Congress needs to stop hearings and focus on granting the President emergency powers to address the worsening traffic problem.

Source: Presidential Communications (Government of the Philippines)

— UNTV News and Rescue

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Roque to insist on ICC’s non-jurisdiction over PH anti-drug war

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque is set to attend the International Criminal Court (ICC) Assembly of State Parties in New York, USA on December 7, 2017.

He will have the chance to speak before the body of prosecutors and insist that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction over the anti-drug war of the government because the courts in the Philippines are still able to investigate on complaints.

It can be recalled that some human rights groups such as the Amnesty International requested the ICC to conduct a preliminary examination of the drug-related killings in the Philippines.

Roque said that if the ICC will violate the principle of complementarity, there is a possibility for the Philippines to withdraw from the Rome Statute of ICC.

“Although the statement has not been finalized, my statement is we agreed to be a member of the ICC because of the principle of complementarity that the court will only exercise jurisdiction if our courts are unwilling or unable to exercise jurisdiction on any crime cognizable by the International Criminal Court. And to violate the principle of complementarity would be to violate the very basis of our consent to be bound by the Rome Statute. And if this will happen, then there may be a possibility that the Philippines, like the three other African states, may withdraw from the Rome Statute of the ICC,” said the presidential spokesperson. — UNTV News & Rescue

 

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Malacañang allays fears over possible declaration of a revolutionary government

by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, December 1st, 2017


MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said there is nothing to worry about a declaration of a revolutionary form of government because it is President Rodrigo Duterte himself who has been dismissing the issue.

“There is no revolutionary government. Let us now end the talks about revolutionary government. Let’s now move on. To the opposition, look for other issues,” said Sec. Roque.

This was in response to the Vice President Leni  Robredo’s sentiments regarding reports that some government officials are involved in organizing protests to call for the president to declare a revolutionary government.

The vice president said persons involved in such movement can be held legally liable.

“Nakakabahala  ito, kasi… kapag sinabi kasing revolutionary government, gusto mong isantabi iyong Konstitusyon. Ito, ano ito, laban ito sa mga existing na batas, kaya nakakabahala na. Iyong tanong nito, iyong mga sasali ba dito may be held legally—‘di ba?—may be held liable? Kasi iyong pag-alsa laban sa Konstitusyon, pag-alsa iyon laban sa pamahalaan,”said the vice president.

(This is alarming because when you say revolutionary government, you want to set aside the Constitution. This is against the existing laws, so it is really alarming. Those who participate may be held legally—may be held liable, right? Because it can be regarded as rebelling against the constitution and the government.)

She also argued that it seemed ironic to see public officials moving against the government they represent.

Nevertheless, Robredo trusts President Duterte’s word that he will not declare a revolutionary government because he doesn’t want it in the first place.

Duterte, however, said it is only possible if the welfare of the state and the people are in jeopardy.

“We need a radical change. I have to…we need a radical change in government. We need not go into a revolutionary government. I do not want it. Only when everything is turning upside down, maybe,” said Duterte.

Thus,  Roque said that the controversies surrounding the issue should not be entertained. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue

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CJ Sereno urges lawyers to pressure the government in upholding human rights

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, November 24th, 2017

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno urges members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to defend human rights amidst increasingly glaring atmosphere of impunity in the country.

In her speech in the Pagtugon sa Hamon Summit, Thursday, Sereno also calls on lawyers to pressure the government in upholding human rights, pointing to extrajudicial killings that are happening in relation to the administration’s war on drugs.

She emphasizes that applying such pressure is part of lawyers’ duties.

The Chief Justice said it is high time that the culture of accountability be institutionalized in order to end impunity and human rights violations in the country.

“Pressure is important, pressure must be continually built up, in all fora, venues and information platforms, for all public officers to respect human rights, to not issue any statement that encourages a disregard for human rights and to investigate human rights violations…make your stand, make your stand in such a way that no one will doubt that your hearts are with the Filipino people,” Sereno said. – UNTV News & Rescue

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