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President Du30 First 100 Days

President Du30 First 100 Days

Metro Manila traffic to improve in next 100 days – Palace

The grueling traffic in Metro Manila may soon ease up, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Tuesday.

“Within the next hundred days you should be feeling some [improvements],” said Abella.

He said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade presented a “menu” of solutions to improve Metro Manila’s traffic “very soon” during Monday’s Cabinet meeting.

Abella did not disclose the suggested solutions, but he said they include an option to buy transport tickets in places outside of a station.

Abella said there was also a proposal to build “nicer and better waiting rooms” for passengers.

“They’ll try to reduce travel time pero habang nagaantay kayo for the next trip maganda yung [pahihintayan]. Aayusin,” said Abella.

[Translation: They will try to reduce travel time. But while you are waiting for the next trip, the waiting area will be improved.]

Tugade earlier said the strict implementation of traffic rules would be the easiest solution to decongest Metro Manila's roads.

Peace advocates say GPH-CPP talks won’t be easy, won’t be quick

Metro Manila  — The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has been leading the insurgency for 47 years with no end in sight until President Rodrigo Duterte took over and personally handled the peace process.

Stakeholders said Monday there's a marked difference between the way the Duterte government is handling the peace process and how the previous administrations have tackled the negotiations in the past.

Soliman Santos, a former lawyer for a regional branch of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) during talks under the late President Corazon Aquino, believes one key difference is that the previous administrations and the rebels approached the talks for temporary gain.

“It was, in my view, an approach to peace as tactics under a war strategy for both sides,” said Santos, who is now a judge.

“Very clearly, the factor is the new President himself, his attitude towards the Left of which he claims some affinity with if not organizationally, in terms of advocacies,” he said. “He says he's a socialist and thats not too far from socioeconomic agenda of NDF.”

Father Christopher Ablon of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform said they've been pushing for peace since 2007. One major difference between Duterte and previous presidents is the trust he has gained from the rebels over the years when he served as mayor of Davao City.

Ablon said he is happy with recent developments, but advises caution and vigilance among everyone involved to keep the peace process from backtracking.

He said there have been indications that talks won’t go as smoothly as many expected, citing the rescheduling of the formal resumption of the talks from early to late July to August, and the planned meeting between Duterte and communist party founder Jose Maria Sison that has not yet taken place.

“These are signs that the peace negotiations as we have known it is not that easy and it will not be that fast,” Ablon said. “We should not be in … euphoria that Duterte will create magic for us.”

[Insert article re Duterte not ready to release all CPP-NDFP officials until peace talks conclude]

Retired General Raymundo Jarque, who once hunted down New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas on Negros Island and later became a supporter of the talks and a consultant for the NDF, believes Duterte sees how the conflict affects the poor.

He said, however, that even if the peace process takes decades, the issues still have to be discussed properly until a final agreement is reached by the two sides.

Jarque claimed he was a victim of injustice. He sought “asylum” in the rebel movement in 1995 after he was accused of stealing a ton of prawns.

He said the peace process should be given a chance to succeed.

“For the first time [the] Philippine government and President Duterte initiated this set up by inviting leftist and other progressive to join the government in attaining peace,” Jarque said.

The resumption of the talks have been set in Oslo, Norway. The Norwegian government is brokering the talks.

The talks would cover a planned Amnesty Proclamation for all political prisoners and detainees which requires concurrence by Congress. Socio-economic as well as political and constitutional reforms will also be discussed, plus a ceasefire.

Duterte meets lawmakers in Davao, discusses illegal drugs, priority bills

About two weeks before his first State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday met with some lawmakers to discuss the state of the country and his corresponding plans.

Two senators, two governors, and 12 congressmen from the incoming majority bloc flew all the way to Davao City to meet with the President.

Among those present were Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Citizens' Battle Against Corruption Rep. Sherwin Tugna, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco, Palawan 1st District Rep. Franz Alvarez, and Masbate 3rd District Rep. Scott Davies Lanete.

Also present were Tarlac Governor Susan Yap and Bataan Governor Albert Raymond Garcia.

Tugna said PDP-Laban members invited lawmakers who are joining the incoming majority at the House of Representatives.

"[T]hey invited members of congress who are allied with them who are part of the incoming majority. It's a courtesy visit," Tugna explained.

The legislators got a peek at how the President works in his hometown. Duterte, a night owl, met them for about five hours — from around 9:00 Saturday evening to 2:30 Sunday morning.

Angara said the President mostly talked about the illegal drug situation in the country and how he plans to address the issue.

"He mentioned that so many officials are involved. Treason iyon para sa kanya, kasi sila iyong dapat magprotekta pero sila pa naging cause ng paglaganap ng droga sa bansa," Angara said.

[Translation: "He mentioned that so many officials are involved. That amounts to treason for him, because they are the ones who are supposed to protect the country, but they are the reason for the spread of drugs."]

Angara said Duterte also asked lawmakers to ensure the passage of the revival of the death penalty. "Talagang seryoso siya doon (death penalty). Naniniwala siya na dapat ibalik."

[Translation: "He is very serious about it (death penalty). He believes that it should be brought back."]

Incoming House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez with Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro are co-authoring 17th Congress' House Bill 01, proposing the restoration of the death penalty.


A brief State of the Nation Address

Although his meeting with the lawmakers lasted for hours, Duterte told them that his first State of the Nation Address will only be 10 minutes long.

After the meeting, Duterte briefly greeted his supporters waiting for him outside the establishment and allowed them to take pictures.

Pres Duterte greets supporters waiting for him outside the After Dark restobar in Davao City at 3am @cnnphilippines
 It was already almost three in the morning when the president toured the lawmakers around the Central 911 compound, which houses the communications and emergency response center of the city. Malacañang earlier said that it will launch the 911 emergency hotline nationwide next month.

After their meeting, Duterte toured lawmakers around the 911 Emergency Rescue compound. @cnnphilippines
Both Angara and Tugna agree that Duterte seems different when he is in Davao City, compared to when he is in Manila.

"Parang mas-relaxed siya ngayon. Nasa comfort zone sya dito sa Davao. Better to see him in Davao," the Senator said. "He's more relaxed here," Tugna pointed out.

Duterte slams U.S. anew, says it ‘imported terrorism’

President Rodrigo Duterte accused the United States of bringing in terrorism to its own territory.

“It is not that the Middle East is exporting terrorism sa (to) America. America imported terrorism,” Duterte said as he spoke before hundreds of Muslims during the Mindanao Hariraya Eid’l Fit’r celebration Friday.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as the use of violence to endanger human life in a bid to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion through acts such as mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping.

Duterte said the U.S. destroyed the Middle East when it attacked the government of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 2003. He said U.S. and the Great Britain forced their way to Iraq to kill Hussein.

But he said after 10 years, investigation showed that there was no legal basis to declare war against Iraq.

“Look at Iraq now. Look what happened to Libya. Look what happened to Syria.Nauubos ang tao doon, pati bata binobomba ng gasoline (The people there are getting few, even children are being bombed), because of — they were push to the wall for the failed promises,” Duterte said.

This is not the first time Duterte slammed the U.S.—a long-term security ally of the Philippines.

Back in the campaign trail, the tough-talking Davao City mayor once dared the U.S. and Australia to cut diplomatic ties with the Philippines. This was in reaction to strong remarks by U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg and Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely against comments made by Duterte on the 1989 rape-slay of an Australian missionary. He took back his words days later, blaming the media's leading questions—saying they prompted him to make the statement on cutting diplomatic ties.

After winning the 2016 elections, Duterte said it will not rely on U.S. in dealing with its dispute with China over the South China Sea.

"It will not be dependent on America. And it will be a line that is not intended to please anybody but the Filipino interest."

Duterte names country's topmost drug lords

Two days after naming police top brass allegedly protecting illegal drug trade in the country, President Rodrigo Duterte came out with another list — this time, naming the drug lords themselves.

Duterte, complete with a chart illustration of the drug trade network, identified on Thursday three of the country's topmost drug lords.

The President named Chinese nationals Wu Tuan (also known as Peter Co) and Peter Lim (a.k.a. Jaguar).

Authorities believe both of them are part of the Chinese triad; with Co operating in Metro Manila and Luzon, while Jaguar in the Visayas.

Methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu remains the most prevalent illegal drug in the Philippines.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre III said the two were "Level 5" drug lords — the highest tier in the drug lord hierarchy. They are believed to have at least 100 kilograms of illegal drugs in every transaction.

According to the chart presented to Duterte by intelligence officers, retired police official Marcelo Garbo was an associate and "coddler" of Co and Jaguar.

The third drug lord is Herbert Colangco, he's not part of the Triad but is also a Level 5 drug lord.

Colangco is the inmate who produced a music video from inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

Duterte said Colangco worked with hotelier Richard King, who was killed in June 2014.

Solicitor General Jose "Joe" Calida said these top-level drug lords were believed to be the ones who had offered a hefty bounty for the heads of the President and PNP Chief Ronald dela Rosa.
Operating behind bars

Co and Colangco are currently detained at the NBP — but have allegedly been using their cell phones to transact their deals.

Aguirre said 75 percent of the country's drug trade were being transacted from inside the national penitentiary.

He said the government was thinking of transferring these high-profile inmates to Tanay, Rizal or to an AFP facility — or even moving them to a remote island where there would be no cellular signals.

A drug raid in Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa last May yielded P275M-worth of suspected shabu.

Meanwhile, Jaguar is out of the country, according to Solicitor General Jose "Joe" Calida.

President Duterte had warned Jaguar that he would be killed if he would step foot again in the Philippines.

Robredo thanks Duterte for Cabinet post

VP Robredo has maintained she would fully support President Duterte. (file photo)

Vice President Leni Robredo thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for appointing her to a Cabinet post as the country's "housing czar" early Thursday evening.

This developed after Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre III told reporters minutes earlier that the President had offered the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chairmanship to Robredo.

Aguirre also said that Robredo had been asked by the President to attend a Cabinet meeting on Monday.

"Mas mapaglilingkuran natin ang ating mga kababayang walang tahanan at maipagpapatuloy natin ang ating pangakong itulak ang kaunlaran at kaginhawaan para sa ating mga kapus palad na kababayan." Robredo said in a statement.

[Translation: "We will be able to serve our countrymen better, especially those without a roof over their head. We will be able to realize our promise to improve the quality of life of poor Filipinos."]

Robredo added that providing shelter for the poor and marginalized was also an advocacy of her late husband, Jesse.

Turn of events

The news about the offer came as a surprise as Duterte previously said a number of times that he was not committed to giving Robredo a Cabinet post.

Duterte even cited the situation of losing vice presidential bet, Bongbong Marcos, for not giving Robredo a Cabinet seat.

The incoming President then had said that Marcos was a friend, and giving a post to his VP rival might hurt him.

It also took a while before Duterte and Robredo met each other personally — which happened at Camp Aguinaldo during the AFP's turnover ceremony.

A few days after that, Robredo went to Malacañang and had a brief meeting with the President.

Asked for a reason for the President's change of mind, Aguirre said there had been a "warming up" between the two highest officials of the land after the meetings. Photos of Duterte and Robredo smiling and exchanging pleasantries also made it to social media — with netizens coming up with memes about a "Dubredo" team-up.

After the elections, Robredo had always maintained that she would fully support the new administration.

The reins of HUDCC had previously been held by two Vice Presidents — dubbed as housing czars: Noli De Castro and Jejomar Binay.

Duterte’s PDP-Laban challenges Comelec SOCE deadline extension

President Rodrigo Duterte's political party — PDP-Laban — is asking the high court to declare as illegal the decision by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to extend the deadline in the filing of campaign expense reports.

Party lawyer George Garcia said the poll body violated a provision of Republic Act 7166 which states that the Statement of Campaign Expenditures (SOCE) should be filed within 30 days after the elections. He said the deadline cannot be extended.

The party said the poll body should not tolerate the “whims and caprices” of the Liberal Party (LP) of Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino III. The LP had asked for an extension saying the expense documents were voluminous.

“Sa aming palagay ang Comelec po ay walang kapangyarihan na mag extend ng filingpo nito,” Garcia said.

[Translation: We believe the Comelec has no power to extend the filing (of SOCE).]

This is the second petition challenging the Comelec resolution to extend the filing of the SOCE.

A petition filed by Manuelito Luna of 1-Abilidad party list and retired army colonel Justino Padiernos was junked by the high tribunal on a technicality — they failed to attach a copy of the Comelec resolution.

Luna’s appeal of the court's ruling is still pending.

Duterte names 5 police generals allegedly linked to illegal drugs

President Rodrigo Duterte is not entertaining any honeymoon with scalawags in the Philippine National Police (PNP).

In his speech during the 69th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force Tuesday, the President sprung a surprise on national television when he named five police generals, including three still in active duty, he said were involved in illegal drugs.

The officers he named who are still in active duty are former Region 6 Director Bernardo Diaz, former NCRPO Director Joel Pagdilao and former QCPD Director Edgardo Tinio. The two who have retired are Vicente Loot, who is now mayor of Daan Bantayan, and former Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo.

“At this time, I order them relieved from their assignments and report to the director general. I would like to talk to them but certainly I would expect the police commission to do their thing,” Duterte said.

Tinio in an interview told CNN Philippines he has never been involved in any illegal activity.

“I’m willing to subject myself to a lie detector test, and I’m willing to subject my cellphones to forensics,” Tinio said.

There was no immediate reaction from the other officers Duterte named.

The President's instruction to the National Police Commission was clear — “Imbestigahan niyo ito at wag niyo akong bigyan ng sarswela. Hanapin niyo ang totoo,” he said.

[Translation: Investigate this and don’t give me theatrics. Find out the truth.]

Duterte expressed his dismay, saying PNP officials involved in the illegal drug trade in the country have committed treason.

“Masakit na pakinggan kasi ginastusan mo na, pinaaral mo na, binigyan mo ng uniporme, pati medyas,” he said.

[Translation: This pains one to hear this because you spent for them, you gave them education, you gave them uniform, you even gave them socks.]

More than being a politician, Duterte said he has a moral obligation to tell the truth to the nation.

“It’s really not my practice to humiliate people,” he said. “Pulitiko ako … pero dumating ako sa posisyon na ito, and I have a sacred responsibility to tell the truth to the Filipino people.”

[Translation: I’m a politician … but I was elected to this position, and I have a sacred responsibility to tell the truth to the Filipino people.]

The President warned officials not to get involved in the drug trade because of the deadly consequence.

“Marami ng namamatay, at marami pang mamamatay. At wag kayo sumali dyan maski opisyal kayo, because you will put yourself in the line of fire,” Duterte said.

[Translation: Many have died and many more will die. And don’t get involved, even if you are officials, because you will put yourself in the line of fire.]

“I’ve been warning everybody. Do not destroy my country because I will kill you. Do not destroy the youth of my country because I will kill you,” he added.

The President tapped the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the fight against illegal drugs and criminality.

He also thanked former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for paving the way for him, when she raised the problem of illegal drugs as a threat to national security during her administration.

“It’s going to be a bloody fight, but I am not going to apologize for it. I assume full legal responsibility for it,” he told the military.

“Wag kayo matakot basta nasa tama kayo,” he said.

[Translation: Don’t be afraid as long as long as you are in the right.]

The President also said he is willing to stake his honor, his life, and even the presidency just to make sure that he will win this battle.

Duterte admitted, it may be difficult for him to completely stop the illegal drug trade in six months, which he promised during the election campaign, but he said he will come close to it. “Six months and one day after, medyo tapos na (it will more or less be finished),” the President said.

Tinio, who was in his quarters when Duterte mentioned his name as among senior PNP officers allegedly involved in drugs, said he will readily report to PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa and will open himself to any investigation.

Tinio said he doesn’t know why Duterte had linked him to the illegal drug trade.

“I’m surprised that my name was dragged into this mess,” he said.

Tinio vowed to clear his name and retire early.

Duterte said he believes the revival of death penalty will instill fear among criminals. The death penalty is not primarily intended to deter criminals but to exact retribution for their crimes, he said.

Turning to the military, Duterte promised to provide the air force with more equipment to enable it to perform difficult operations.

“Ibibigay ang lahat ng kailangan n'yo (We will provide everything you need), I will see to that,” the President said. “We will acquire more helicopters and night vision capability.”

Senators seek death penalty for terrorists, plunderers, rapists, drug pushers

Duterte performs ceremonial toss for Gilas in FIBA OQT

Amidst the loud chants of his name, President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday performed the ceremonial toss in the Gilas Pilipinas' game against France in the FIBA OQT.

“Duterte! Duterte!”

The crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena was already in a frenzy before the game even began Tuesday night as they cheered not for the players and their respective teams, but for President Rodrigo Duterte.

Gracing a sports event for the first time as President, Duterte performed the ceremonial toss in the Philippines-France opening match in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (FIBA OQT).

After delivering a speech on the 69th Anniversary of the Philippine Air Force in Clark, Pampanga, where he stunned the nation by naming senior police officer allegedly involved in drugs, Duterte showed full support for the national team and stayed the entire game to cheer along with the crowd.

The President’s presence seemed to give Gilas an early boost as they made basket after basket to enjoy a ten-point lead early in the game.

Unfortunately, the French team, led by NBA stars Tony Parker and Boris Diaw, fought back hard, eventually defeating the Philippines, 84-93.

The Philippines men’s basketball team’s best finish was in the 1954 Olympics also held in Brazil, where it brought home a bronze medal. The country has not participated in an Olympic basketball game since the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics.

Gilas is looking to bounce back in Wednesday’s do-or-die game against New Zealand as it hopes to secure the lone ticket for its grouping to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

Police officials named by Duterte deny link to drug trade

Police officials linked by President Rodrigo Duterte to illegal drugs have denied any involvement and said they were willing to be investigated.

Chief Supt. Edgardo Tinio, one the five active duty and retired Philippine National Police (PNP) officers named by Duterte Tuesday, said he has never been involved in any illegal drug activity in his 35 years in service.

The former Quezon City Police chief told reporters he was speaking up not to fight with Duterte but to clear his name.

"Yung ating mahal na Pangulo, kaya ko po syang harapin, kaya ko po syang tingnan ng mata sa mata na hindi po ako involved sa illegal drugs," he said.

[Translation: I can face the President. I can look him straight in the eye and say that I am not involved in illegal drugs.]

Retired police general Vicente Loot also hopes he will be given the chance to clear his name.

Loot, now Mayor of Daanbantayan town in Cebu province, said the president may have been misinformed.

"I hope I will be given the chance to be heard because this is unfair to me and my family. I am being tried by publicity now. Who can question the President?" he said.

"I think he (Duterte) was given the wrong information. But I'm still willing to present myself for investigation,” he added.

Former Western Visayas director, Police Chief Supt. Bernardo Diaz, said he has always hated illegal drugs because he has personally seen their terrible effects on his own family.

"Unang-una hindi po ako protector ng illegal drugs. Ako po'y may mga rason kung bakit po galit sa pinagbabawal na droga,” he said.

[Translation: First of all I am not a protector of anyone involved in illegal drugs. I have my reasons for hating illegal drugs.]

“Never in my career na ako'y nakasuhan o ako ay nareklamo o nagkaroon ng derogatory report dahil sa ipinagbabawal na droga,” he added.

[Translation: Never in my career have I been accused of or been the subject of a derogatory report because of illegal drugs.]

In a telephone interview with CNN Philippines on Tuesday evening, former National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Joel Pagdilao said there was no truth to reports that he had protected those involved in illegal drugs.

"Sa tagal ko po sa serbisyo, iningatan ko po ang aking service reputation at sa lahat ng aking command na hinawakan. Talagang pinaglalaban ko ang mahuli yung mga illegal na droga sa aking kinasasakupan, malaki man o maliit," he said.

[Translation: In my long years of service and in every command I have held, I have always protected my reputation. I have vigorously fought to put people involved in illegal drugs, big or small, behind bars.]

Pagdilao added that he was ready to face all of the accusations. He said he would report to Director General Ronald Dela Rosa on Wednesday.

Retired Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo, the most senior among the five named by Duterte, has not issued any statement.

Source: CNN Philippines


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