Philippines’ Duterte says trusts Trump to be fair on immigration

admin   •   November 16, 2016   •   5353

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures while delivering a speech during the 80th National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) founding anniversary at the NBI headquarters in metro Manila, Philippines November 14, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures while delivering a speech during the 80th National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) founding anniversary at the NBI headquarters in metro Manila, Philippines November 14, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

 

Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte thinks he will get along with Donald Trump as the U.S. president-elect “has not meddled in human rights” issues, and he trusted Trump’s judgment to deal fairly with the undocumented workers he plans to kick out.

Duterte’s hostility towards traditional ally the United States has defined his presidency so far, but he has changed his tune since Trump’s surprise election win last week.

“It was a well-deserved victory. You (Trump) are the chosen leader of the most powerful country,” Duterte told reporters at a function at the presidential palace late on Tuesday.

He acknowledged Trump’s intent to crackdown on illegal migrants. Large numbers of Filipinos are believed to be working illegally in the United States and remittances from all U.S.-based Filipinos is equivalent to 3 percent of the country’s GDP.

“I trust in his judgment that he would be fair in the matter of the treatment of illegal immigrants. I cannot talk for the illegals because, whether President Trump or anybody else for that matter, an illegal is always an illegal.”

Duterte’s volatility and willingness to castigate anyone he disagrees with earned him the nickname “Trump of the East” when he was campaigning as the alternative candidate in a presidential election he won in May by a big margin.

His warm words for Trump contrasts starkly with the abuse he poured on incumbent Barack Obama, who he told repeatedly to “go to hell” and called a “son of a bitch” for daring to voice concern about the death toll in Duterte’s drugs war.

When asked if he thought he would get along with Trump, he said he could be friends with anyone and noted the incoming president had not said anything about human rights – a no-go topic for Duterte and a trigger for his rage.

“We don’t have any quarrels. I can always be a friend to anybody especially to a president, a chief executive of another country,” he said. “He has not meddled in the human rights.”

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella on Wednesday said Trump’s migration policy would have little impact on the Philippines.

He declined during a regular briefing to give an estimate of the number of Filipinos working illegally in the United States.

Abella said there were mechanisms in place to provide them with business and employment opportunities and the government encouraged them to return home before Trump takes office. — Reuters

Lacson backs gov’t move to block release of P80-B congressional realignments

Robie de Guzman   •   February 19, 2020

Senator Panfilo Lacson

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday revealed that at least P80 billion in congressional realignments have been withheld by President Rodrigo Duterte and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

In a statement, Lacson said some lawmakers tried to realign at least P80 billion from the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program to their districts’ “pet projects” under the P4.1 trillion 2020 national budget.

But instead of exercising his veto power over the line items which could stall the approval of the budget, the lawmaker said Duterte decided to just block the release of the budget by way of a DBM circular now called “for later release,” which has the same effect of a veto.

“I support the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte and the Department of Budget and Management to withhold the release of these congressional realignments,” he said.

“This is one reason why I continue to support the leadership of President Duterte in spite of some disagreements with him over some policy issues: He has time and again displayed the strong political will, even against many self-proclaimed allies in Congress whose loyalty clearly lies where the money lies,” he added.

Lacson advised the president to “always be wary of these so-called allies” who have the propensity to praise him to high heavens and never criticize him but with self-aggrandizement and greed as their only motivation and nothing else.

The House of Representatives has yet to issue a comment on Lacson’s claim. – RRD (with details form Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Trump takes a limousine lap before Daytona 500 auto race

UNTV News   •   February 17, 2020

President Donald Trump took a loop around the Daytona 500 racetrack on Sunday (February 16) in the presidential limousine known as “The Beast,” drawing cheers from fans at NASCAR’S most prestigious race.

Ramping up his nationwide re-election effort after his acquittal in the U.S. Senate impeachment trial, Trump served as the grand marshal at the annual National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing event, which takes place in the electoral swing state of Florida.

After his motorcade made its way around part of the track, Trump took a break to take pictures with supporters.

After being driven a full lap in the limo before the race began, Trump delivered the opening line: “Gentlemen, start your engines” at the Daytona International Speedway before a crowd of 100,000.

Previous presidents who attended NASCAR events at the speedway include Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush.

Florida is one of a handful of U.S. states that swing between Democrats and Republicans in presidential elections.

Trump won the state, where he has golf courses and a home that is now considered his primary residence, in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. (Reuters)

(Production: Pavithra George)

It’s more fun in the Philippines: Duterte invites Filipinos to visit local tourism sites amid Covid-19 fears

Robie de Guzman   •   February 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has called on Filipinos to visit local tourism sites amid fears of international travel and restrictions due to the threat of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In a taped message posted on social media, Duterte urged the public to help boost local tourism by visiting the country’s scenic spots and discovering other awe-inspiring hidden gem attractions.

“To my fellow Filipinos, I encourage you to travel with me around the Philippines. I assure you that everything is safe in our country, be it an issue of health, be it an issue of law and order and be it an issue of accessibility,” the President said.

“Come with me and be my travel companion. I’ll be traveling around the Philippines. Pasyal tayo dito sa atin. Unahin natin ‘yung atin. Mabuhay ang Pilipino. Mabuhay ang turismo ng Pilipinas,” he added.

The chief executive issued the call after the tourism sector reported at least P10 billion in revenue losses due to an entry ban on travelers to and from China, the country’s largest tourism market, after it was hit by coronavirus outbreak.

Duterte said local airline companies and hotel operators have agreed to offer discounted rates to counter the negative effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, and to promote the country’s tourism sector to local tourists.

“Maraming magagandang mapuntahan sa Pilipinas, wala kayong dapat alalahanin,” he said.

The Philippines has imposed an entry ban on foreigners who travelled from China, Hong Kong and Macau within 14 days in an effort to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus strain. It later expanded the ban’s coverage to include Taiwan.

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