President Duterte, not linking Chinese businessman to drug trade — Malacañang

Marje Pelayo   •   October 5, 2018   •   3492

 

 

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte greets Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua on the sidelines of the 10th Biennial National Convention and 20th Founding Anniversary Celebration of the Chinese Filipino Business Club, Inc. (CFBCI) at the Manila Hotel on February 19, 2018. | PCOO

 

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque defended President Rodrigo Duterte over reports that the President allegedly linked a drug lord to Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua.

The businessman, according to a report, was Davao-based businessman Michael Yang.

President Duterte in his speech before the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association on Thursday (October 4) mentioned Yang who owns the  Los Amigos  store chain in Davao City.

The President said he was able to meet Yang at a command conference in Davao City.

 “And he became close to the — to the… Kaya kapag nandiyan si ano, nandiyan ‘yan siya. I don’t I — hindi ko talaga alam ang laro niyan ha. He could be… Sabihin mo drug addict ah drug pusher… Ngayon lang ‘yan may nilabas na dose na —[Desierto?] will expose… “Go ahead,” sabi ko. And you’d be surprised, bukuhin ka ng Chinese government diyan. Eh kasama-kasama palagi ‘yang — ‘yang kasama-sama palagi ni Ambassador Zhao. Hindi mo rin maloko ‘yan military ‘yan eh. ‘Yang ambassador natin military ‘yan ng China. Kalokohan.”

During the press briefing, Roque showed a picture of the President with Yang and other Chinese businessmen taken sometime in January 2017.

“What the president meant to say is: number one he cannot believe that Michael yang is involved in the drug trade, and number 2: because he is saying that he cannot believe that Michael yang is involved in the drug trade, the report that the president linked the Chinese Ambassador to a drug lord is obviously false,” Roque said.

What the President meant was, he couldn’t think of Yang getting involved in illegal drugs because of his close ties with Ambassador Zhao.

During his speech, the Chief Executive mentioned that he actually warned Yang not to even think of entering illegal drugs trade in the country.

“Sabi ko nga doon sa command conference — sabi ko na ano, “Mag-negosyo ka dito?” Sabi ko — these are my exact words, “P***** i** mo. Do not f*** with drugs because I will bury you alive.” ‘Yun talaga ang warning ko diyan,” Duterte said. – Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo

 

DILG to discuss with LGUs, PNP parameters of Duterte’s new order to arrest mask violators

Marje Pelayo   •   May 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday (May 5) ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to arrest people who are not wearing their face mask properly in public.

President Duterte made the order during his pre-recorded address after noting that some people mindlessly don a face mask just so they can comply with the protocol.

“Itong mask, ‘yung iba, for compliance lang. Naglalagay ng mask pero nakalabas ‘yung ilong. I-detain mo tapos imbestigahan mo siya kung bakit ganoon ang behavior,“ he told the PNP adding that he has to be strict to curb COVID-19 transmission.

“Kapag hindi ko higpitan, walang mangyayari. Iyan nga, for compliance lang kayo,” he added.

In an interview following Duterte’s announcement, DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said they still have to discuss the new directive with the PNP.

“I think the President was serious. We will have to sit down with the Philippine National Police [..] to determine the parameters of the presidential directive. And we have to reconcile this with the various ordinances that were issued by the LGUs,” Malaya noted.

“I must emphasize that what people are violating here are local ordinances that were issued by the local sanggunian. We will take a look on how we can implement this directive of the President,” he added.

As for the quarantine violations, Malaya stressed that the IATF resolution is implemented through ordinances passed by the local government units. The penalty for a specific violation would depend on each LGU.

“So we may have to talk with the LGUs and of course the Philippine National Police,” Malaya said.

Malaya emphasized that it is the responsibility of the local chief executives and barangay officials to implement all minimum health standards in their respective jurisdictions.

Duterte on retaking West Philippine Sea: ‘I never promised the people I would’

Marje Pelayo   •   May 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte recalled his conversation with President Xi Jinping regarding the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

According to Duterte he asked the communist leader to just let Filipinos fish in the West Philippine Sea.

“I told China, it’s yours according to you, I’ve heard several times. But you also have heard of the fact that people are hungry. Ang Pilipino ay gutom (Filipinos are hungry) and you are not oblivious to that fact. So kindly just allow our fishermen to fish in peace,” he said.

The President said he is ready to talk with China should conflict arise over the disputed territory.

“There’s no reason for trouble. If there is one brewing, you call our attention and we can talk immediately to solve the problem,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive said he never made a campaign promise to retake the WPS.

“I never, never in my campaign as president, promised the people that I would retake the West Philippine Sea. I did not promise that I would pressure China,” he said. “I never mentioned about China and the Philippines in my campaign because that was a very serious matter.”

But President Duterte stressed that he is ready to fight for the country’s sovereignty and he will not order a retreat of Philippine vessels patrolling in the area.

Reacting to Duterte’s statement, retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio reminded the former of  his statement during the presidential campaign about riding on a jetski to Scarborough Shoal and hoisting the Philippine flag there.

He also said Duterte had issued a statement fully supporting the arbitration case against China.

Thus, Carpio said, President Duterte cannot say that he never mentioned the West Philippine Sea issue or he would be admitting that he was fooling millions of Filipinos which, the former justice said, is tantamount to “grand estafa”.

“President Duterte cannot now say that he never discussed or mentioned the West Philippine Sea issue when he was campaigning for President. Otherwise, he would be admitting that he was fooling the Filipino people big time. There is a term for that–grand estafa or grand larceny. Making a false promise to get 16 million votes,” Carpio said.

For Senator Panfilo Lacson, it is necessary to revisit the Philippines’ diplomatic relations with China.

“Maybe a review of the country’s diplomatic relations is timely and called for. All the diplomatic protests that the Secretary of Foreign Affairs filed have been ignored as if nothing was filed at all. The continued incursions and bullying finally got his goat,” he said. MNP (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

PACC creates task force to conduct lifestyle checks on gov’t personnel

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — In line with the national government’s intensified efforts to fight corruption in the country, the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) has created Task Force on Lifestyle Check.

PACC Chairman Greco Belgica said the task force will focus on officials who are always reported to be involved in anomalies but there are no documents or evidence that can prove such allegations.

Belgica said through lifestyle checks, the agency will be able to determine inconsistencies in their wealth or if there are any undeclared properties.

Ganyan po ang korapsyon, talagang tagong-tago iyan (That’s how corruption works, it is very discreet). However, by looking at their bank accounts, their properties, their SALN [Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth]—kung ang kanilang gastos at ari-arian ay hindi commensurate sa kanilang kinikita sila po ay pwedeng kasuhan (and if their expenses and properties do not commensurate with their income, they can be held accountable),he said.

The PACC is also coordinating with local authorities and other government agencies in validating reports of anomalies or corruption in various government agencies around the country.

Belgica reminds government officials and personnel to declare their properties with honesty. He reiterated that unexplained wealth is a violation of the law.

“Living beyond your means that you cannot explain and yet you are spending like a billionaire, millionaire that is highly questionable,” he said. AAC

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