RJ Jacinto named as Duterte’s adviser for telecommunications – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   December 2, 2020   •   489

President Rodrigo Duterte (center) with Ramon “RJ” Jacinto (right)

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Information and Communication Undersecretary Ramon “RJ” Jacinto as his adviser for telecommunications, Malacañang announced Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Jacinto’s appointment papers were signed on November 25. He will have the rank of Secretary.

Jacinto previously served as Duterte’s Presidential Adviser on Economic Affairs and Information Technology.

“We are therefore confident that PA Jacinto would ably and effectively discharge his duties in this new assignment,” Roque said in a statement.

Jacinto’s appointment was announced a day after the Palace told local telecommunications companies, Smart and Globe, to submit a report on the steps they have taken to comply with the Duterte’s call to construct more cell sites and expand their services before the end of the year.

Duterte in July threatened to shut down Smart and Globe if they fail to improve their services by December.

Duterte honors COVID-19 frontliners, fallen soldiers on Day of Valor

Robie de Guzman   •   April 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday lauded the efforts of frontliners in the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, as well as the sacrifices of soldiers as the country marks the Day of Valor (Araw ng Kagitingan).

In a message, Duterte paid tribute to the “selfless and dedicated frontliners whose unrelenting commitment in this fight reflects the heroism of the warriors of Bataan that continues to inspire in us a greater sense of patriotism and solidarity during these trying times.”

The president said the Day of Valor is “a firm reminder of the unyielding determination of the Filipino to prevail over all forms of adversity.”

“The valor of our forebears, which was exhibited during the defense of Bataan almost eight decades ago, has left an indelible mark in our history and shaped our indomitable spirit to rise after every fall,” he added.

Duterte also honored “our fallen soldiers whose sacrifice became the bedrock of our resolve to uphold our most cherished liberties.”

“May this awareness resonate among us as we strive to become worthy heirs to the nation that they fought and bled for. A meaningful and solemn remembrance to all,” he said.

Duterte remains fit and healthy amid rumors on ill health — Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   April 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte remains “fit and healthy” and continues to discharge his functions as the head of the government, Malacañang assured the public Thursday.

The Palace issued the statement following rumors claiming that the president suffered a mild stroke.

“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte remains fit and healthy for his age and we thank the Filipino people for voicing their concern and wishing the Chief Executive’s strength and good health during this time of COVID-19 pandemic as he continues to discharge his functions as head of the government,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

The rumors began after Malacañang announced that Duterte’s public address this week will be rescheduled.

Duterte was supposed to hold his “Talk to the People” last Monday but it was moved to Wednesday. Roque later then said that the president’s speech has been moved to next week.

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Duterte’s former long-time aide, disclosed that Duterte’s public address was postponed after some members of the Presidential Security Group tested positive for COVID-19.

Go assured that the president is in good health condition and busy with paperwork, even posting photos of him and Duterte to dispel the rumors.

On Thursday afternoon, Go shared another photo of him and Duterte captioned with “Now lang. Sa Bahay Pagbabago,” referring to the president’s official residence.

Duterte turned 76 last March 28.

The president’s last public appearance was on March 29 when he addressed the public after personally welcoming the arrival of one million Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Duterte in good health, busy with paperwork — Go

Robie de Guzman   •   April 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is in good health condition and busy with paperwork, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said, dispelling rumors that the president suffered a mild stroke.

In a post on Facebook on Wednesday night, Go shared photos of him with Duterte to dismiss rumors circulating on social media about the president’s health and whereabouts.

“Sa mga may masasamang hangarin, wag muna kayo mag celebrate!! Nandito lang si Tatay Digong. Tambak ang trabaho,” said Go, a former long-time aide of Duterte.

Sa mga may masasamang Hangarin, Wag muna kayo mag celebrate!! Nandito lang si Tatay Digong. Tambak ang trabaho. “Hindi…

Posted by Christopher Bong Go on Wednesday, April 7, 2021

“Hindi ito ang panahon ng pagsisisihan kundi panahon ng Pagtutulungan. Suot ko damit kong dilaw pero DU30 yan!!!” Go said, referring to the term “yellow,” which is associated with the Liberal Party.

“Sana tulungan na lang natin ang ating mahal na Pangulo para malagpasan natin ang crisis na ito bilang nagkaka-isang mamamayang Pilipino. Salamat po,” he added.

Go’s post followed rumors claiming that Duterte’s public address was canceled this week because he suffered a mild stroke.

The senator earlier disclosed that Duterte’s usual “Talk to the People” was postponed after some members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) caught COVID-19.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the public speech was rescheduled because the “physical safety of the President remains our utmost concern.”

“In addition, the preparation for the Talk of the People address entails a number of staff complement and we also take due consideration of their well-being,” Roque added.
PSG Commander Jesus Durante III earlier confirmed that a number of his members were infected with COVID-19. Out of 160 members, only 45 cases remain active.

He, however, assured that these guards are not closely detailed with the president and that they are stationed around Malacañang grounds, making their exposure to possible COVID-19 cases inevitable. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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