26 August 2016

PRRD will not condone cops in illegal drug trade
President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he will not condone policemen who are involved in the illegal drug trade.

In a press briefing, the President said men in uniform who will be implicated in the drug problem will also face serious consequences for their actions.

“Sinabi ko na sa inyo, ‘wag ninyong lokohin ang Pilipino,” he said.

However, he said he is determined to protect the policemen especially those who had been charged while lawfully performing their duties.

“I’m telling you again, again and again. I will protect my police. They can go ahead with the trial”

The President expressed disappointment when asked by media about his reaction on policemen who are reportedly recycling drugs.

“Yan. ‘Yang isa. Nabigyan pa ng medalya. Alam mo bakit? Raid, 50 kilos. 5 kilos. Tapos, o malagyan pa ng commendation. Mga yawa. But, alam mo, in the end lalabas talaga ang totoo. You cannot suppress truth,” he said.

The President has time and again said that the drug war will go on and will not choose who to name even if they are rich or are his friends if evidence points at them. (LMG/LTA/ PND)

Gov’t eyes area in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija for rehab center
The Duterte administration is eyeing to develop an area in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija as one of its rehabilitation centers.

In a press briefing held in Malacañang on Friday, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella disclosed that this proposal is aimed to address the scarcity of rehabilitation centers in the country amidst the government’s war on illegal drugs.

Abella, however, admitted that the government does not have enough facilities to address the government’s rehabilitation efforts on the huge number of drug peddlers and dependents who had already turned themselves in.

An estimated 600,000 drug “users” and “pushers” nationwide have already surrendered to the government in its massive anti-drug campaign.

“Of the hundred percent (drug pushers), 90 percent of that are experiential users and about nine percent of that are actual heavy users and one percent are hardcore. So I believe, out of the 600,000, they (the Department of Health or DOH) can give attention, special attention to about the 60,000 or more,” he said.

However, Abella expressed belief that rehabilitation efforts may be done even at the barangay levels or through faith-based groups.“In fact, I was, you know, I’ve been around, we were able to look at some of the sites,” he said.

He also revealed proposals to develop a housing project for the users and pushers. Alongside the planned rehabilitation center, would be sustainable farming, and greening programs in the area as part of the government’s intervention to address the unemployment and livelihood problems of those who have engaged in the illegal drug trade to prevent them from returning to their old ways.

“So that when the clients (those who will undergo rehabilitation) will come out, they will have a better, they would have been better, there will not only be deep talks and then they will also have learn some skills and some sustainable things, “ he said.

“In other words, the government is very very aware and is very concerned that… it’s not just drugs are not just a national security issue but also a public health issue,” he added.

Abella added that there are even private entities and non-government organizations who are joining the government in the effort. “It’s just that they’re very quiet….that’s exactly, yun ang mga dapat naha-highlight din at this stage of the game eh ‘no. Meron actually some very credible and admirable efforts that are being done in order to address,” he said.

He also said “let us look at it at the framework of the whole matter,” he said as he pointed out that the estimated number of those who voluntarily surrendered was in itself a revelation of the magnitude of the drug problem that the country is facing, which is just the tip of the iceberg. (LMG/LTA/ PND)

RP-US relationship remains firm- Palace official
The relationship between the Philippines and the United States remains solid despite reports that the latter is “deeply concerned” on the rise of drug-related killings since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed presidency.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella made the assurance in a press briefing in Malacañang on Friday.

“We’d also like to reiterate that the relationship between the US and the Philippines remains basically solid and we do have a good relationship.”

US State Department Spokesman Mark Toner in an earlier statement stressed that their government remains committed to strengthening their bilateral relationship with the Philippine government, in its quest to forge unity among its allies in the Asia Pacific region. (LMG/ LTA/ PND)

Netizen defends Duterte against international criticism
Amidst the criticism against his harsh stand on illegal drugs and the rising body count in the war against illegal drugs, President Rodrigo Duterte finds a champion among the citizenry particularly from a lady who stood up and wrote an open letter addressed to her friends and relatives living in the United States and citizens of the world.

Posting publicly on her Facebook page, Krizette Laureta Chu acted as the voice of reason in an environment known to be a breeding ground for hate and verbal skirmishes among “netizens”.

Chu wrote the letter as a reaction to a news item with a photo of Americans in a protest rally in New York City. In the crowd, a woman is seen brandishing a sign that says, “Duterte is a mass murderer.”

“What you see in the news, the killings on the streets, is not the handiwork of the government. As the President often says, what we’re dealing with is not a crisis, but a war. And there will be blood. There is blood not just because of legal police apprehensions, but because the drug cartels are cleaning up after their own,” Chu wrote.

Never in Philippine history has social media become more relevant or powerful. More than ever, netizens are actively involved in voicing out their opinions—whether good or bad, for or against issues in a local and global scale.

President Duterte has always believed in the power of the internet and its ability to connect people from around the country and around the globe. Though not a “techie”, Duterte believes the Filipino people should have a decent internet service not only to bridge the distance between families and friends but also as a way to exercise their freedom of expression as guaranteed in every democracy. (AAA/ LTA/ PND)

Duterte to Sereno: No anarchy under my watch
Speaking during the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCon) at the Naval Station Felix Apolinario in Davao City, President Rodrigo Duterte reminded Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno that police officers may effect an arrest even without a warrant. This was in response to Sereno’s statement to the contrary.

“Madame Chief Justice, you are again wrong when you said, ‘Do not allow yourself to be arrested without a warrant,” Duterte said.

Duterte added that it will be because of this line of thinking that the country will indeed fall into a state of anarchy. “I will not allow this to happen. There will be no anarchy under my watch!”

President Duterte who is also a lawyer and former prosecutor cited several instances when an arrest can be made even without a warrant such as when a person is committing a crime in his presence; when a crime is about to be committed or when a crime is in fact has been committed and he has direct knowledge that the person to be arrested has committed the criminal act.

The Duterte administration’s campaign has drawn much criticism not only from the Chief Justice but also from a few senators and other personalities. The so-called, extra-judicial killings have also been the subject of a protest held in front of the Philippine Embassy in New York.

Since the time he was mayor of Davao City, Duterte has always been vocal about his stand on illegal drugs. Now that he is the President, he warns the public that the war against illegal drugs will persist up to his last day in office.

Despite the negative view of some local and foreign observers, a large majority of the public have not spoken against the violence upon suspected drug syndicate members, pushers and protectors. For the first time in decades, the extent of the damage wrought by the drug cartels are being revealed and acted upon. “At no other time have the streets of Manila been free of crime.” Duterte proudly declared.

Duterte also dispelled rumors that he will impose martial law or use the military and police to enforce a dictatorship. “They (police and military) are loyal to the Constitution and not to me. Sila ang unang papatay sa akin (They will be the first ones to kill me) if I don’t do my job well.” (AAA/LTA/ PND)

Persons tagged in illegal drugs can clear their names – Andanar
The persons alleged to be involved in the widespread problem of illegal drugs whose names were announced by the President can clear their names and will be given their day in court.

Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Martin Andanar in a radio interview aired over Radyo 5 said “marami po talagang sangkot dito sa illegal na droga. We are not putting a finality sa kanilang innocence or pagiging guilty.”

He explained that those mentioned by the President were directed to report to their superiors – to General Dela Rosa for policemen and civilians, to the Supreme Court for judges, to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for the local government officials and so on.

“lahat po ng nabanggit, you will have your day in court, and you will also have your day to clarify your name even before you get to the courts. So iyon naman po ang ginagawa ng Philippine National Police, kaya nga sinasabihan iyong mga mayor na pumunta doon sa PNP and try to clean.”

He added that the PNP can receive the counter affidavit of those whose names were announced by the President on different dates. “Kung gusto nilang mapalinis iyong kanilang pangalan ng maaga, then they will have to go the Philippine National Police who will receive their counter affidavits, At malugod naman na tinatanggap ng Philippines National Police iyong mga personalities na gustong linisin iyong kanilang pangalan, even before makarating pa ito sa korte,” said Andanar.

The Executive’s stance on the illegal drug problem is of utmost priority for the President. Hundreds of thousands of personalities in the illegal drug trade have voluntarily surrendered, proof of the enormity of the problem.

Aside from high ranking police officials, mayors and judges, the President has tagged Senator Leila De Lima including someone purported to be her “lover” as included in the matrix of drug personalities whose involvement in the drug trade have been verified. (LTA/ PND)