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Several lawmakers consider elevating the issue of martial law extension to the Supreme Court

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, December 14th, 2017

The House of Representatives’ Makabayan Bloc

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives’ Makabayan Bloc has expressed grave concern over the decision of Congress to extend for another year the military rule in Mindanao.

With this, the opposition group wants to bring the matter to the Supreme Court (SC).

“We will question this in courts. We will question and we will resist this on streets,” Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Ariel Casilao said.

“Like the mentored resource person, this is a psychological war against the public. This is not a matter of public safety. They want to impose a state of fear. To fear the public so they won’t fight. But this is a huge mistake,” Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Carlos Zarate

This is also what the Senate’s minority bloc plans to do.

“Bring the issue to the Supreme Court, raise the factual basis for the extension of martial law because there is no actual uprising, nor armed conflict that will justify the extension, the imposition of martial law,” Senate minority leader Senator Franklin Drilon said.

However, some senators believe the public has nothing to worry about in the decision of Congress to approve the request of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Especially since, the Senators said, there have been no reported human rights violations in Mindanao during the existing military rule.

“In a way it’s a blessing in disguise because the consciousness, the awareness of the people that there is a martial law allows us to focus our attention on the security forces. It might even be a deterrent against possible abuses,” Sen. Panfilo Lacson said.

“Where have been the abuses? Where have been the confirmed abuses? We asked for a briefing from the CHR (Commission on Human Rights), there have been no confirmed abuses,” Senate President Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III said.

According to Pimentel, the Congress will not allow the Executive Department to abuse the rights lawmakers and senators gave them.

“If there is no justification then you can expect, Congress or the Senate to oppose the imposition of martial law,” Pimentel said.

National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon also allayed fears over the alleged possibility of declaring military rule in the entire country.

“Because here in Visayas and Luzon, many of people here can commit insurgency. They can do small deployments,” Esperon said.

Esperon also emphasized that the decision of Congress i a huge help to them in achieving long lasting peace in the region of Mindanao. – Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

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Duterte on fish taking incident in Panatag Shoal: ‘It was barter’

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Fishermen sort their nets in the coastal town of Masinloc, Zambales, about 130 nautical miles from disputed Scarborough Shoal, in northern Philippines April 22, 2015.
REUTERS/ERIK DE CASTRO

 

PASAY CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte, for the first time, has spoken on reports that Chinese Coast Guard personnel allegedly filched the fish catch of Filipino fishermen in Panatag Shoal.

In a speech during the 120th founding anniversary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday, June 18, the Chief Executive described the incident as a form of barter and not an outright seizure.

“It was a barter in exchange for the isda (fish). Ang problema iyong valuation. Hindi tayo nagkakaintindihan dito (The problem is valuation. We don’t understand each other). It was not an outright seizure,” explained the President.

Senator Risa Hontiveros slammed this statement of the President, saying he only seems brave when arresting poor, nighttime idlers but would not even do anything with Chinese vessels loitering in the Panatag Shoal.

Duterte, meanwhile, insisted his administration has a policy when it comes to addressing the maritime dispute. He reiterated that the Philippines has already filed a protest against China.

“If I threatened them or file a thousand protests which we did. Hindi lang natin ipinapublish iyong protesta natin (We just don’t publish our protests),” said the President.

The Chief Executive also clarified that the Woody Island is not among the territories being claimed by the Philippines where Chinese bombers were reportedly deployed.

“Woody island, it’s really somewhere, you know that. It’s too far away, it’s not even part of the islands that are claimed by the Philippines. It’s an island so far it’s not part of our territorial or economic zones,” Duterte explained.

Malacañang maintained that this is the stand of the President and it is not being influenced by any foreign leader.

“Sa tingin ko naman sa pananalita ng presidente, no one can say na merong nagpapatahimik sa presidente (The way the President speaks, no one can say that somebody is trying to keep him quiet), ” said Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque. – Bernard Dadis | UNTV News & Rescue

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Duterte orders PNP to keep Kadamay out of gov’t housing in Rodriguez, Rizal

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, June 14th, 2018

Image grabbed from RVTM video

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to make sure that the members of the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY) will not occupy the vacant housing units of the National Housing Authority (NHA) in Rodriguez, Rizal.

The President also ordered the NHA to explain why the said housing units are still unoccupied by soldiers and police and when will beneficiaries transfer to the units.

Yesterday, Kadamay members stormed the government housing units in San Isidro, Rodriguez, Rizal.

Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said if Kadamay members will insist on the illegal occupation of government housing units, they will definitely face charges under the law.

“They will have to deal with the full extent of the law. The rule of the president is to implement the law, he will implement the law,” Roque said, — Rosalie Coz

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Duterte raises loan budget for vendors, small businessmen to curb “5-6”

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, June 14th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte at a press briefing in Cebu after his arrival from his official visit to Korea.

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte ordered an increase in the loan budget for vendors and small businessmen, according to Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol.

Piñol said the President made the directive on Monday, June 11, during their regular Cabinet meeting.

Secretary Piñol cited Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez as saying that vendors and retailers resorting to “5-6” lending scheme are forced to increase the prices of their products. Such lending scheme collects up to 20% interest.

“So the tindera will have to come up with a margin of profit that will cover the 20% interest that she has to pay to the usurer on a daily basis and the mark up for her profit,” Piñol explained.

Based on DTI’s study, “5-6” lenders already have more than P30 billion collectible amount scattered across the country.

“So iyon ang kailangang tapatan ng gobyerno because unless we do that, it will be the consumers who will be at a great loss. Because they are actually the ones paying the interest of the 5-6 utang of the tinderas,” explained Secretary Piñol.

DTI’s budget for the loan program is currently P1 billion. It will be raised to P5 billion as ordered by the President.

Piñol added that at present, the government has existing loan programs for food producers such as farmers and fishermen to aid in their expenses. – Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo

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