Peter Wallace lauds Duterte administration in first 100 days

admin   •   October 6, 2016   •   5792

peter-wallace-lauds-duterte-administration-in-first-100-days

 


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)

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PH now working on terminating PH-US VFA, says Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   January 24, 2020

Philippine Marines rush to shore during an amphibious landing exercise with United States counterparts on a beach on the coast of the Naval Education and Training Command in Zambales Province, northwest of Manila, Philippines, 09 May 2018. The Philippines-US Balikatan (Shoulder to Shoulder) Military Exercise is on its 34th iteration, which is aimed to enhance interoperability between security forces of the two countries. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang confirmed Friday that the Philippines has started the process of terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to end the deal if it does not reverse the cancellation of Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa’s visa.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the president issued the termination order Thursday night despite giving a month for the US to restore the senator’s visa.

Panelo said the order has already been relayed to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. as well as Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez.

“I just talked with Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin, and he said that he will start with the process and he called up already the vice chair and they talked, and Ambassador Romualdez has already been informed, I was also talking to him earlier,” he said.

In a tweet on Friday, Locsin confirmed he and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana have taken the first step in ending the 1998 deal with the US government.

Locsin sits as the chairperson of the Commission on Visiting Forces while Lorenzana serves as vice chairman.

“Del Lorenzana and I- as Vice and Chair of USVFA – are starting the process of terminating it by first contacting the Senate because it is a treaty on our side, an executive agreement on the US side. I’m leaving for Washington on a totally unrelated matter,” he wrote on his Twitter account.

Lorenzana, for his part, refrained from commenting into Duterte’s latest pronouncement.

“Will study it first,” he said in a message to reporters. “No comment muna. Too soon to comment.”

The VFA is a bilateral accord between Washington and Manila that came into force in 1999. It outlines the guidelines about the treatment of their troops when visiting the US or the Philippines. It includes provisions on visa and passport policies for US troops and the American government’s right to retain jurisdiction over its personnel, among others.

The deal may be terminated by either of the two countries by writing to the other party signifying their intent to end the agreement. Its expiration will come 180 days from the date of notification. – RRD (with details from Correspondents Rosalie Coz & Lea Ylagan)

Duterte turns down Trump invite to attend US-ASEAN meet

Robie de Guzman   •   January 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said he has decided to reject the invitation of United States President Donald Trump to attend the US-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit to be held in Las Vegas this March.

Duterte announced his decision during an interview with Russian International Television Network RT.

“I just received an invitation to go to the United States together with the ASEAN leaders. I haven’t been to the States. I was invited by [former US President Barack] Obama a while back. But I did not go,” he said in a video posted on Thursday.

When asked if he will attend the upcoming summit between the US and ASEAN, Duterte replied with: “No, no.”

During the interview, the president recalled the time when Obama criticized him and his campaign against illegal drugs.

“One time when I was being criticized by Obama in a press conference, he should have realized that I’m also the head of a sovereign state. He should have criticized me in the proper venue,” he said, referring to a September 2016 press conference where Obama urged Duterte to conduct his campaign “the right way.”

The president said Obama’s move to castigate him in a press briefing got him “so mad” and prompted him to curse the former president.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier said that the chief executive is “still pondering” on whether he would accept Trump’s invitation as he is mindful of the possibility of getting barred from entering the US since he doesn’t have a visa, and making some American senators “unhappy” seeing him there. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte can scrap PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement without Senate approval – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   January 24, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte can terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States (US) even without the concurrence of the Senate, Malacañang said on Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued the statement after the president threatened to scrap the VFA if the US government does not reverse the cancellation of Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa’s visa.

“Because it (VFA) is an executive agreement so he can cancel it without the approval of the Senate,” Panelo said.

Dela Rosa on Wednesday confirmed to media that he is not allowed to travel to the US for now after he received notification about his visa cancellation.

The senator said the exact reason on why his US visa was cancelled remains unclear but he heard reports it might be linked to the Duterte administration’s war on drugs that he spearheaded when he was the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) from 2016 to 2018.

The VFA, signed by Manila and Washington in 1998, is a bilateral deal which outlines the guidelines for the conduct of government troops when they are visiting the US or the Philippines.

Panelo said the US government should not intervene with the Philippines’ internal issues.

The Palace official also believes the president’s threat to cancel the VFA will not affect Filipino workers in the US. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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