23 April 2017

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – On Liberal Party’s statement rejecting impeachment against the President

We welcome the Liberal Party’s position not to support any impeachment move against President Rodrigo Duterte.

President Duterte being the duly elected leader of our country with no less than 16 million Filipinos who voted for him. Any act to remove him from office is an attempt to subvert the people’s will.

In addition, any impeachment process would be counterproductive for the Philippines which has been described to be the fastest growing in Southeast Asia.  We therefore have to seize our economic momentum and not de derailed by destructive politics.

On Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s visit to Pag-Asa island and China’s challenge on PH aircraft

The visit of the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to Pag-asa Island is part of the efforts to improve the safety, welfare, livelihood of Filipinos residing and living in the municipality of Kalayaan which is part of the province of Palawan.

The Philippines has long been undertaking customary and routine maritime patrol and overflight in the West Philippine Sea which are lawful activities under international law.  Such flights will likewise enable us to reach our municipality.

On the 30th ASEAN Summit in Manila and the state visits of Sultan Bolkiah and President Widodo to the Philippines

The 30th ASEAN Summit is the first of two leaders-level meetings that the Philippines will host as this year’s Chair of ASEAN.

President Duterte will chair this Summit which will be attended by the Heads of States/Governments of the ten (10) ASEAN Member-States.

Also happening before the ASEAN Summit are the state visits of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei on April 27 and of Indonesian President Joko Widodo on April 28

Preparations are now in full swing for all activities scheduled next week in Manila.

Work in the government sector in the cities of Pasay, Makati, and Manila are suspended on April 27 while work in the government and private sectors in Metro Manila are suspended on April 28.

Gov’t preparations for ASEAN Summit, state visits of Widodo, Bolkiah in full swing

The Philippine government has stepped up preparations for the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and the State Visits of Indonesian President His Excellency Joko Widodo, and His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yan Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in Manila this week.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will chair this year’s 30th ASEAN Summit on April 29 involving the Heads of States/Governments of 10 ASEAN Member States, namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Preparatory meetings, involving ASEAN Ministers and Senior Officials, will take place from April 26 to 28.

The 30th ASEAN Summit is the first of two leaders-level meetings that the Philippines will convene this year as Chair of ASEAN. The second one, the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits, will be held in November and will be participated in by the ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners, such as Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States.

Before the actual Leaders’ meeting on April 29, His Majesty Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and His Excellency Widodo will hold state visits in the country on April 27 and April 28, respectively.

“Preparations are now in full swing for all activities scheduled [this] week in Manila,” said Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella in a statement on Sunday.

“The President looks forward to meeting His Majesty the Sultan and President Widodo, respectively, to build on the gains achieved during President Duterte’s visits to Bandar Seri Begawan and Jakarta,” Abella added.

In an earlier press conference in Malacañang, ASEAN 2017 Director-General for Operations Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr. said the agenda for the separate meetings of President Duterte with the two leaders will be specific to issues that relate to both countries.

“For Indonesia I think it will be a follow-up of what President Duterte and President Widodo had talked about in Jakarta when the President went there for a visit. This is a return state visit of President Widodo. And I would imagine that security of our sea lanes, cross-border traffic and patrol, agriculture, I think, may be one of the issues that will be discussed with Indonesia,” Paynor said.

“With Brunei, similar issues that I feel will just be reiterated and perhaps further elucidated,” he added.

Duterte visited Indonesia in September last year as his first-ever state visit as President. He then visited Brunei Darussalam in October also for a state visit.

Paynor said Widodo is also expected to join Duterte in the launch of the Davao-General Santos-Bitung Roll-on Roll-off sea linkage route in Davao City on April 30.

In time for the summit, Malacañang has declared suspension of work in the government sector in the cities of Pasay, Makati, and Manila on April 27 and in government and private sectors in Metro Manila on April 28.###PND

President Duterte opens 2017 Palarong Pambansa, tells athletes to love and defend their country

(SAN JOSE BUENAVISTA, Antique) — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Sunday led the formal opening of the Palarong Pambansa 2017 underscoring the importance of building competitiveness, camaraderie and values among the youth.

In his speech, President Duterte said his administration is giving high priority to education to prepare the Filipino youth for the future noting that they will be the country’s nation builders.

“We are pouring money on the education sector. You have the biggest appropriation in the annual budget and for the rest of my term it will be because I’ve always believed na ang edukasyon would save us someday,” he told the crowd of young athletes from various provinces in the Philippines.

The President said through sports competition, the youth develops a sense of discipline necessary to become good and productive citizens of the country.
“So we are trying to build competitiveness, fairness, values, and the sense of goodwill sa inyong mga bata,” he said.

While insisting on the values that they must acquire, the President told the young athletes about the importance of loving their country and defending it.

Duterte advocates for the reimplementation of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program to teach the youth about military service.

The President stressed that no other people will defend the country from both external and internal threats except its own citizens.

He also reported about his strides to fight graft and corruption in government as well as the proliferation of illegal narcotics.

Duterte assured the people that under his leadership, he will not tolerate corruption and he will be tough in combating illegal drugs and criminality.

At the same time, the President also warned about the threats of Islamic extremism in Mindanao, which he said he would stamp out under his administration.###PND