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Russia offers Phl “sophisticated weapons, not the second-hand ones”

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Russia is ready to continue its good ties with the Philippines, as well as supplying modern firearms and other equipment the country would need.

 

Russia is confident that its good ties with the Philippines will remain.

In a press conference on Wednesday with Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev held on the Russian anti-submarine vessel Admiral Tributs at the Manila South Harbor.

The Russian Ambassador noted that he understands the Philippines’ objective to expand its relations with its foreign partners and that Russia is ready to give aid to the Philippines.

“We are talking about diversification. It’s not a choice between these partners and those ones. Diversification means preserving and keeping old traditional partners and getting new ones. So, Russia is ready to become a new reliable partner and close friend of the Philippines,” Khovaev said.

Russia is also ready to supply modern weapons for the country.

China and Russia had previously offered the Philippines weapons after reports of the United States’ plans to stop selling assault rifles to the country due to worries of rise in the death toll brought about by the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.

“We are ready to supply small arms and light weapons, some airplanes, helicopters, submarines and many, many other weapons. Sophisticated weapons. More than weapons. Not the second-hand ones.”

Also, Ambassador Khovaev assured that they never used the military cooperation as political leverage.

“The military cooperation with Russia has no political conditionality. That’s the best possible assurance. And in the history of military ties of Russia with all our partners around the world, there has never been, never I’m saying again never been, any kind of interference; any kind of link between military cooperation and political pressure. That’s not possible at all.” — Mirasol Abogadil | UNTV News & Rescue

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Malacañang to conduct information campaign on TRAIN Law

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, January 5th, 2018

President Duterte’s ratings, expected

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines —  President Rodrigo Duterte wants the public to understand everything about the provisions and the purpose of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN Law.

This, following a series of increases in prices of goods and services in the country.

In line with this, the government will conduct an intensified information dissemination about TRAIN.

“I also know that PCOO is working double time to embark on a dissemination campaign on the salient features of TRAIN. Likewise, the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) will not hesitate to prosecute individuals who will take advantage of price hikes invoking TRAIN as a legal basis,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Roque also assured that government agencies like the DTI will not allow businessmen to exploit the system for their own gains.

“Ang excise tax naman po pinapataw hindi dun sa old inventory kundi sa mga bagong inventory. So walang dahilan para tumaas ang presyo on day 1 of the effectivity of the law (The excise tax is imposed not on the old inventory but on the new inventory. Therefore, there is no reason to increase prices on day one of the effectivity of the law),” Roque said.

Meanwhile, the government will improve the cash transfer fund in order to ease the burden of poor families.

“We already have a list of beneficiaries on the conditional cash transfer. It would be the same population that will benefit from this cash mitigation which is a provision of the Tax Reform Act or TRAIN,” the spokesperson added. —  Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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Lawmakers oppose possible term extension for President Rodrigo Duterte

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, January 5th, 2018

FILE PHOTOS: (Left-Right) Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and Rep. Edcel Lagman

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s term will end in 2022.

However, owing to the proposed shift to a federal form of government, Senate President Koko Pimentel noted the possible extension of the chief executive’s term to pave way for the transition period.

With this, opposition senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan expressed concern that changing the Constitution and the system of the government will not only extend the term of the president but also give him more powers.

The senator noted one of these powers might be the creation of laws that would no longer need the approval of Congress.

According to Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, the President can manipulate the decision of the constituent assembly to implement the changes he wants in the Constitution.

Lagman explained this is because of the existing administration-allied supermajority in Congress.

On the other hand, Malacañang strongly denied the alleged term extension of the chief executive.

“I would like to repeat, the President does not want his term to be extended. In fact, he wants to shorten it,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez clarified the issue on the alleged possibility of a ‘no-election’ scenario. Alvarez said it might happen in the 2019 senatorial polls and not in the 2022 presidential elections.

He explained, should the charter change push through to pave the way for federalism, the structure of the government will change.

The House speaker said it might affect the senators whose term will end in 2025, noting it is practical to not hold an election in 2019 so that all senators will simultaneously end their terms in 2022.

Alvarez added that election for local positions and lawmakers in the House of Representatives might push through in 2019. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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PH to welcome other foreign telcos if China won’t accept deal according to constitutional requirement

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, January 4th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte shake hands with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang during the Chinese official visited the country.

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines may possibly open the playing field for telecommunications providers to other foreign companies.

Malacañang said that it is not yet final if the third telecommunications company to be joining the country’s playing field will be coming from China.

This, despite the fact that President Rodrigo Duterte offered this to Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang when the Chinese official visited the country.

Presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said if Chinese telecom will not heed with the 60/40 percent constitutional foreign-ownership provision, the Philippines will open the market to other foreign companies.

“We gave China the option but if this is not acceptable to it, unfortunately, we will have to look for other players because we will have to honor what the Constitution provides — 60/40 in terms of owning a telecoms company,” he said.

Roque, however, said they do not see any indication that China will not push through with the project.

President Duterte is determined to implement the project the soonest possible time to create better competition and better telecommunications service for the public.

“So far, as far as I know, it has been offered to China. We don’t know what the details are but the deadline is fast approaching. The President wants it up and about in the first quarter of this year,” the spokesperson added. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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