MANILA, Philippine – Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday said he raised the issue of human rights and extrajudicial killings during a conversation with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who was “receptive” to his comments.
“All throughout, it was a cordial and positive exchange,” he said.
Trudeau said Canada had a reputation for being frank in discussing issues like the rule of law and human rights with partners everywhere.
“I emphasized the people-to-people ties between Canada and the Philippines and the great connection there but I also mentioned human rights, the rule of law, specifically the extrajudicial killings being an issue Canada is concerned with,” he added.
Meanwhile, the trash issue was also one of the topics of concern. Trudeau emphasized that he does not disregard the issue. In fact, his government is finding an appropriate solution to the problem. However, there are certain matters that need to be settled first.
“Canadian legal regulations prevented us from being able to receive the waste back in Canada even though it originally came from Canada we had legal barriers and restrictions,” he said.
Meanwhile, DENR-Environment Management Bureau chief, Geri Geronimo Sanchez confirmed that cases were already filed against the consignee of the waste shipment from Canada.
He added that the shipments contain non-hazardous but recyclable materials, therefore, they do not violate the country’s environmental laws.
“We have filed and the criminal case is ongoing so I cannot really share much of what will happen but there is already a court order to return it to the Canada,” Sanchez said.
Only 26 of the 55 containers of waste shipment remain in the country. – Angela Lagunzad | UNTV News & Rescue
PH-Kuwait agreement on OFW protection to push through amid rift – Cayetano
Overseas Filipino workers in Kuwait
SINGAPORE – Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has assured that the signing of the bilateral agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait will push through despite the recent setback in the two countries’ diplomatic relations.
Cayetano said it is likely to happen by middle of May this year.
“In fact they are following up on the signing as well as Secretary Bello. We will try to have the signing of the agreement here in the Philippines before Ramadan,” Cayetano said upon his arrival to Singapore to attend the 32nd ASEAN Summit.
The agreement covers protection for Filipino household and skilled workers in Kuwait and a number of privileges such as the use of communication gadget, the right of OFWs to keep their passports and employment documents and to ask the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) the opportunity to choose an employer in case of unfavorable working conditions.
However, Cayetano couldn’t confirm if the agreement has provisions on whether or not the Philippines will lift its deployment ban of workers in Kuwait.
Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti government is yet to respond to the apology sent by Cayateno over the rescue of distressed OFWs by the Philippine Embassy staff which led to Kuwait’s expulsion of Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa.
Cayateno, however, said Villa will still stay in Kuwait to carry on with assisting our compatriots in need of embassy assistance.
The Secretary also confirmed the arrest of the drivers of the rescue team. However, he is confident of their release as they were just hired by the embassy. – Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue
Palace: Trump’s support on Duterte’s war on drugs, more important vs. reports
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has refused to pay attention to the latest report of US State Department that expresses alarm over President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs”.
Based on the report, the cases of extrajudicial killings are the “chief human rights concern” in the Philippines which shows “a sharp rise with the onset of the anti-drug campaign in 2016”.
But Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the report directly contradicts US President Donald Trump’s statements which support the anti-drug war.
“Given what we heard from President Trump, let’s just say it exists but we prefer to hold on to the words of President Trump. He is, after all, the president,” Roque said. — UNTV News & Rescue
Duterte wants pursuit of ‘labor-only contracting’ firms
FILE PHOTO: PHL President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (Cerilo Ebrano / Photoville International)
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has directed Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to submit a report on companies engaged in labor-only contracting.
These are companies that implement repeated short-term employment contracts better known as “cabo” and 5-5-5 schemes.
The president gave the labor department 30 days to submit the report to the Office of the President.
The National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) was also ordered to coordinate with the labor secretary in relation to the order.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, this is still part of the president’s promise.
“To crack down on them because the promise was to end 555 — end. Ang promise ng Pangulo, habang ganiyan ang depinisyon ng contractualization na hindi lahat ay bawal, kung hindi iyong mga cabo lamang, sisiguraduhin ni Presidente wala talagang 555 at wala talagang cabo,” said the presidential spokesperson.
(To crack down on them because the promise was to end 555 — end. The president promised, while the definition of contractualization says not everything is prohibited but only “cabo”, the president will ensure that there will be no more 555 and cabo schemes.)
On Thursday, Malacañang said the president will no longer sign an executive order banning contractualization of workers.
Roque said it is the duty of the Congress to enact laws that will ban all types of contract labor in the country.
Duterte, however, will possibly certify the proposed bill as urgent to speed up its progress in Congress. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue