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PH earns praises from UN, EU, Japan for the landmark Bangsamoro Organic Law

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, July 30th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ enactment of the landmark Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) has earned compliments from the international community following its official signing by President Rodrigo Duterte on July 26.

The United Nations, in a statement by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, recognized it as “a landmark achievement on the road to lasting peace in the southern Philippines.”

The European Union said, “The passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law represents an opportunity for the Filipino people to embrace peace and stability after decades of strife,” in a statement by EU Spokesperson Maja Kocijancic.

The Philippines’ ally Japan, meanwhile, was the first to express its support “for the development of Mindanao in a wide range of fields, in accordance with progress in the peace process.” This, according to Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kano, is Japan’s commitment under the Japan-Philippines Joint Statement on Bilateral Cooperation for the next five years announced in October 2017,

The Bangsamoro Organic law is considered a key step to ending a decade-long armed conflict in the southern Philippines that had claimed thousands of lives since it began in the 1970s.

For his part, President Duterte appealed to the Moro community to give BOL a chance in leading the path towards peace.

“Hindi pa kami nag-usap sa Tausug group, kay Nur, o kahit kanino ang kailangan kausapin ko. Iyong BBL tapos na. Bigyan lang natin ng panahon. Huwag tayong mag-giyera. Kasi kung mag-giyera — wala naman problema mamatay tayo. Mamatay man tayo lahat. Ang problema, ang mga mahirapan ang mga bata, matanda, pati mga babae. Mag-iwan lang tayo ng maraming orphans. Maglaki ng walang tatay, hirap ang nanay. Papaano… Huwag natin pasukan ‘yan. Hindi panahon natin ‘yan. Hindi ‘yung away na pwede tayong makipagsapalaran na ubusan. Mag-usap na lang. Iyong Abu Sayyaf, mag-usap na lang tayo,” the President said during his visit to fire-affected residents in Brgy. Bus-Bus in Jolo, Sulu on Friday (July 27).

A ceremonial signing of the BOL  is being prepared between President Duterte and the leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). – Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo

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Duterte calls axed Bacolod police chief a drug lord ‘protector’

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Bacolod City Chief of Police PSSupt. Francis Ebreo. | Courtesy: Bacolod City Police Office FB page

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte called recently sacked Bacolod City Police Chief PCSupt. Francis Ebreo a drug lord “protector”.

The Chief Executive noted an incident where Ebreo exhibited a behavior unexpected of a chief of police.

“There was this, si Cano, a councilor who has been tagged by the PDEA almost a decade ago to be engaged in trafficking, na-ambush. That incident na pumunta sila sa ospital. Silang dalawa ng deputy niya. What’s the **** business of going to the hospital? Ambush and drug lord? Tapos, nag-iwan pa sila ng dalawang security,” the President narrated referring to the ambush of Councilor Ricardo “Cano” Tan and his wife on December 14.

“I would understand if he (Ebreo) would send a topnotch investigator of the police. Pero kung silang dalawa mismo, the first and second highest police officials of the city, nagtataka ako kung bakit ganun. It’s a strange behavior,” he added.

The President vented his anger on the sidelines of the state visit of Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena on Wednesday (January 16). – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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Duterte orders backchannel talks with Reds

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte | PCOO/Richard Madelo

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is reopening doors for peace.

Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) Board Member Avelino Andal confirmed that the Chief Executive ordered him to hold backchannel talks with the communist rebels.

According to Andal, he already conveyed the President’s message to the leaders of the leftist group which the latter positively welcomed.

“Actually napag-utusan ang inyong lingkod at utos mula sa presidente na kung maaari ay i-resume ang pag-uusap,” Andal revealed in a phone interview.

“Sapagkat ang kaniyang pinagdidiinan ay bilang presidente, siya ay kaibigan at hindi kaaway ng mga rebelde,” he added.

Andal was a former activist and political detainee during the Martial Law regime. He was once a rebel returnee himself.

In 2018, President Duterte ordered the suspension of backchannel talks with the communist rebels for the government to thoroughly assess the provisions of the agreements to be entered into by both parties.

Though Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo did not confirm such backchannel order, he expresses confidence that such a move will bring positive results.

“What is important to me is if there is one, then the CPP-NPA at this time and for a change should listen to the president, and most likely they may at this time to the urgings of the president,” he concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Duterte to march the streets to support the Bangsamoro Basic Law

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, January 14th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte. | REY BANIQUET/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed on Monday (January 14) that President Rodrigo Duterte plans to fly to Cotabato City to join a massive rally on January 18 in support of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

The mass action will be held two days before the scheduled plebiscite for the BBL in areas of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); Isabela City-Basilan and in Cotabato City.

Lorenzana assured that President Duterte and the rest of his Cabinet as well as the Congress support the BBL.

“All out si Presidente. Sa January 18 pupunta (siya) sa Cotabato para sa big BOL rally. The day before dapat pupunta din siya sa Jolo pero dahil may importante siyang gagawin dito, hindi makapunta,” Lorenzana said during a meeting with leaders of the Bangsamoro communities outside the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BAR) on Sunday (January 13)

“Pero pupunta kami. Ako, si Sec. Ano, si Sec. Galvez, para kumbinsihin na namin si Sakur. Matigas ang ulo ni Sakur, pero we can convince him maybe para lumambot ang puso niya at tanggapin ang BOL,” the Defense Secretary said referring to Governor Abdusakur Tan II of Sulu who opposes the BOL.

Malacañang expressed confidence that with the presence of President Duterte himself, the public will be more convinced of supporting the passage of the BBL.

“The voice of the president is always a powerful influence on whatever matter he gives his voice into,” confirmed Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

Lorenzana, meanwhile, assured the public that the government is working very hard to ensure an honest, clean and peaceful elections in May.

Lorenaza and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) vice chair and head of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission Ghadzali Jaafar called on all parties involved in the BOL especially the leaders of Muslim groups to be calm and pay respect to whatever the decision of the public will be regarding BBL.

“Hindi na pwede ang takutan dito. Tapos na ang pagiging rebolusyonaryo natin. Tapos na. Bibigyan na nga tayo ng chance to lead. Now it’s time to, itapon na natin ang uniporme natin. Magsuot na tayo ng barong o di kaya ng coat, and then start being a diplomat. Start being a statesman. Start thinking of how to improve our area,” Lorenzana said.

“Please do not do anything that will divide their favor because one of the major responsibilities of a leader, whether you’re like a revolutionary leader like me or political leader, your responsibility is,at all times, to unite your constituent and to unite your people,” appealed Jaafar.

“Leaders like us must never become agents of disunity of our people,” he emphasized further.

The plebiscite will be held on February 6 in Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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