04 December 2016

Palace sees possible “reboot” of US-Philippine relations under Trump presidency
There is a great possibility that the diplomatic relations between United States and Philippines will have a reboot following a phone call between US President Donald Trump and President Rodrigo Duterte last Friday, Dec. 2, a Palace official said on Sunday.

In a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar was asked by reporters how he would assess the ties between Duterte and Trump. 

The President and Trump had a 10-minute phone conversation on Friday night, extending their greetings to each other and tackling several issues.

“The conversation between President Duterte and President-elect Donald Trump went very well and it showed that there is a big possibility that we will have a reboot of relationship between the PH and United States,” Andanar said.

“President Duterte told us, mukhang magkakasundo sila ni President-elect Donald Trump and again Trump wished the President well in his campaign against illegal drugs,” he added.

According to President Duterte, Trump will support the campaign of the Philippine government against illegal drugs and at the same time respects the country’s sovereignty. 

Asked to explain whether that reboot in relations would include aspects such as military aid and economic trade, Andanar said it is up to the President to decide on those issues.

The US-Philippine relation is wide-ranging and does not only include military cooperation and economic tie up but also encompasses people to people exchanges, education and many others, Andanar said.

The Palace official also tackled the ongoing operations against the Maute Group in Lanao del Sur, noting military offensive is continuing to neutralize the terrorist organization. 

“Our President has also called for the cooperation of the local residents para mas madali po nating masolusyunan ang problemang terrorism diyan sa area na ‘yan,” he said.

Andanar said many concerned government agencies are working together to provide the needs of the displaced civilians.

“The entire government is helping all the victims of the current conflict happening in that area. The DSWD, the Department of Health, lahat po,” he said, adding the ARMM leadership is also extending assistance to affected residents.

Authorities have placed Davao, Zamboanga, and Cotabato under terror alert level 3 to protect vulnerable  areas against retaliations from the terrorists.###PND

From the Office of the Communications Secretary on VP Leni Robredo’s resignation as HUDCC Chair and Cabinet Member of PRRD
The Palace has yet to receive the official letter of resignation of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo as Chairperson of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

A member of the Cabinet enjoys the full trust and confidence of the President for he or she acts as the President’s alter ego. Having said this, the President entrusted the Vice President, whom we all know came from a rival political party, a position in his official family in deference to the wishes of our people who want both leaders to work together and succeed.

As a Cabinet member, the Vice President is expected to be a team player where differences in policies and issues are discussed during Cabinet meetings. The President in turn respects any decision agreed upon by his Cabinet.

Recent events, however, showed the differences between the President and the Vice President as becoming irreconcilable and public.  

The Vice President has served our people for many years in various capacities and we wish her to continue this unhampered service to the nation to the best of her abilities.