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SONA 2018: Action items in Duterte’s 2nd SONA

by admin   |   Posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2018

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his second state of the nation address (SONA) on July 24, 2017.

On July 24, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his second State of the Nation Address (SONA). We noted some of the action items and what the administration has accomplished so far.

“Unrelenting” war on drugs
In his second SONA, President Duterte said that his campaign against illegal drugs will continue and will be “unrelenting.”

“I have resolved that no matter how long it takes, the fight against illegal drugs will continue because that is the root cause of so much evil and so much suffering  that weakens the social fabric and deters foreign investments from pouring in. The fight will be unremitting as it will be unrelenting.”

Land Use Act
President Duterte appealed to the lawmakers for the passage of the Land Use Act which aims to institutionalize mechanisms to evaluate land use to ensure sustainable use of land.

“I am appealing to all our legislators to immediately pass the National Land Use Act or NALUA [applause] to ensure the rational and sustainable use of our land and our physical resources, given the competing needs of food security, housing, businesses and environmental conservation.”

An agency to focus on disaster response
President Duterte called on the legislators to craft a law that would establish a department for disaster resiliency and response.

“I am calling [on] both houses of Congress to expeditiously craft a law establishing a new authority or department that is responsive to the prevailing 21st century conditions and empowered to best deliver [an] enhanced disaster resiliency and quick disaster response.”

Passage of Death Penalty bill
The President called on Congress to pass the reimposition of death penalty on drug-related offenses and join him in a “fight against illegal drugs and all forms of criminality.”

“I therefore ask Congress to act on all pending legislations to reimpose the death penalty on heinous crimes — especially on the trafficking of illegal drugs.”

Stop irresponsible mining
President Duterte warned “all mining operations and contractors to refrain from the unbridled and irresponsible destruction of our watersheds, forests, and aquatic resources” and rehabilitate their areas that host their operations or else, face steeper taxes.

“I am holding all mining companies and its officials responsible for the full and quick clean-up, restoration [and] rehabilitation of all areas damaged by mining activities, and the extension of all necessary support to the communities that have suffered mining’s disastrous effects on their health, livelihood, and environment, among others.”

TRO on RH Law
The President asked the Supreme Court to lift its two-year temporary restraining order on contraceptive implants.

“The Supreme Court TRO that prevents the Department of Health from distributing subdermal implants, which will cause the wastage of P350 million worth of taxpayers’ money. I also note that since its issuance two years ago, this TRO has impaired the government’s ability to fully implement responsibly family planning and methods and the RH Law. It is time that we put an end to the practice of some parties of resorting technicalities in our laws, prevent the government from fulfilling its mandate.”

Implementation of the K-12 program
President Duterte said his administration will continue to support the implementation of the K to 12 program which aims to expand the basic education system in the country.

“In our bid to accelerate human capital development, we should ensure lifelong opportunities by enhancing quality of and access to education, training programs. We have sustained investments in higher education and committed to the full implementation of the K to 12 Basic Foundation Program.”

Return of a national heritage
The President told the U.S. government to return the iconic Balangiga bells which was seized by American soldiers as war booty in the 1901 in a defeat against the Filipino soldiers.

“That is why I say today; give us back those Balangiga bells. They are ours. They belong to the Philippines.They are part of our national heritage.”

Passage of a new tax reform law
President Duterte asked the Senators to pass his administration’s first batch of tax reforms, after the Lower House passed its version of the bill.

“The fate of the tax reform is now in the hands of the Senate…Well really, I leave it up to you. We are all Filipinos. If you think that’s a waste, fine! If you think, it’s not good, it’s okay with me. I can survive. I call on the Senate so support my tax reform in full and to pass it without haste.” — Marje Pelayo

 

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Canada vows to resolve trash dumping issue after Duterte’s war threat

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, April 25th, 2019

Containers of mixed wastes shipment from Canada declared as “recyclable scrap plastics” but actually contained household trash, newspapers, plastic bottles and bags, and even used adult diapers.

MANILA, Philippines — Canada has committed to resolve its trash dumping issue with the Philippines.

The Embassy of Canada in the Philippines released a statement on Wednesday (April 24) after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to wage war if Canada will not take its garbage back.

“Canada is strongly committed to collaborating with the Government of the Philippines to resolve this issue and is aware of the court decision ordering the importer to ship the material back to Canada,” the Embassy said in a statement posted on its Facebook account.

The Embassy added that: “A joint technical working group, consisting of officials from both countries, is examining the full spectrum of issues related to the removal of the waste with a view to a timely resolution.”

On Tuesday (April 23), President Duterte issued a warning to Canada for its failure to remove its trash illegally exported to the country.

The President said he would no longer allow Canada to turn the Philippines into a “dumpsite.”

”For Canada’s garbage, I want a boat prepared. I will give a warning to Canada maybe next week that they better pull that thing out or I will set sail to Canada and dump their garbage there,” the President said.

“We will declare war. Load the containers to a ship and advise Canada. I will advise Canada that, ‘Your garbage is on the way. Prepare a grand reception. Eat it if you want to,’” he added.

It was between 2013 to 2014 when the Bureau of Customs (BOC) intercepted a total of 103 containers of mixed wastes shipment from Canada declared as “recyclable scrap plastics” but actually contained household trash, newspapers, plastic bottles and bags, and even used adult diapers.

During his visit to the Philippines to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in 2017, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to cooperate with the Philippine government in resolving the offending shipment.

Trudeau, however, said the Philippines and Canadian governments need to settle issues including who will pay for the shipment of the illegal trash to the country.

In its statement, the Embassy reiterated the Canadian government’s commitment “to working collaboratively with the Government of the Philippines to ensure the material is processed in an environmentally responsible way.”

The embassy added that the relationship between the two countries “is built on strong people to people ties, common interest in strengthening political, economic and cultural relations, and in mutual commitment to peace” and is highly valued as the two countries celebrate their 70 years of diplomatic relations this year. — Marje Pelayo

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ISIS will never gain foothold anywhere in the Philippines—Duterte

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

(L-R) President Rodrigo Duterte and the ISIS flag | Courtesy : PCOO

President Rodrigo Duterte is confident that ISIS will never gain foothold anywhere in the Philippines.

During his speech in Jolo, Sulu on Tuesday (April 9) in commemoration of the Day of Valor, he said that the government is close to crushing violent extremism and is pleased with the military efforts against the Abu Sayyaf Group.

“Your efforts have brought us even closer to our ultimate objective of totally crushing the violent extremism at its roots. With this, I can confidently declare that ISIS will never gain foothold anywhere in the Philippines,” he said.

ISIS-linked militants held Marawi City hostage back in 2017. The military was able to retake the city after five months killing almost 900 insurgents including Isnilon Hapilon, considered leader of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia.

The Chief Executive assured that he will continue the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) while he is still in office. He will also provide assistance to the military and their families.

He committed to release P500 million fund for the military.

“I will continue to release 500 more and 500 more millions to my soldiers who do something for their country. I will see to it that you will have funds when you retire and that your school—your children and their schooling will be assured even if we are no longer there either by natural or by any other means of saying goodbye to this world. I have your back covered,” the president said.

The Chief Executive is eyeing on appointing former military officials to government posts. However, he denied using the military to empower himself.

He said that he prefers the military because he has seen failure and corruption in the bureaucracy.

“Hindi ako sabihin na pinapalakas ko ang sarili ko sa (I am not empowering myself using the) military because I do not need that. The people elected me. But I have a special fondness for the military for being fundamentally honest at (and) industrious. Kaya as you would see, the next few officials coming in would be military guys,” he added.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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PNP on RevGov: We adhere to the rule of law

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is prepared to adhere to the rule of law should a revolutionary government be declared in the country.

According to PNP Pcol. Bernard Banac, it is the mandate of the national police to maintain peace and order in the country.

“Sineseryoso ng PNP ang lahat ng banta sa seguridad, at peace and order, base sa aming mandato (Based on our mandate, the PNP is taking all threats seriously, and [maintaining] peace and order). The PNP shall always stand behind the flag and uphold the Constitution. We adhere to the rule of law and obey legal orders of the duly constituted authorities,” he said.

Meanwhile, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the President’s threat about forming a revolutionary government is due to his frustration on what is happening in the country.

“What I know though, is that he is getting exasperated by and frustrated with endless roadblocks to his attempts to protect the people’s interests,” he said in a text message.

He added that the President knows the limitations of his authority.

“As a lawyer the president knows the scope and limitations of his constitutional powers and he will act in accordance therewith,” he said.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo also said that the President’s statement on forming a revolutionary government is out of frustration in all of the country’s problems including illegal drugs, corruption, and rebellion of communist groups.

Malacañang also clarified that the President’s warning in declaring a revolutionary government is not against the public but against the government’s enemies.

“It was more of an exasperated expression and I to put on notice against the transgressors that he will not just sit idly, and watch them do their illegal things,” Panelo said.

Meanwhile, the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) President Edre Olalia said the President’s warning has no legal basis and does not follow logic.

“First of all, there is absolutely no legal, constitutional, & factual basis to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. Secondly, his reaction to the cautionary criticism of the opposition is non-sequitur,” he said.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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