12 December 2016

President Duterte attends 9th Belenismo sa Tarlac
TARLAC CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte highlighted the current thrusts of his government during the 9th Belenismo sa Tarlac on Dec. 11, Sunday.

The Belenismo is considered a grand festival in this province where local and foreign tourists can witness various sizes, colors and designs of the Belen.

In his message during the event, the President mentioned the initiatives of his administration to fight drugs, criminality and corruption.

The President reiterated that he will not allow graft and corruption while he is president, stressing he has no debt of gratitude to pay since very few politicians supported him during the last presidential election.

The public can call 8888 hotline and the PTV4 will also air complaints from the public about erring officials, he said. He also vowed to fight red tape in the bureaucracy.

“Ngayon, 8888. Maglabas iyan every morning sa TV — sa PTV. ‘Itong si Mayor Duterte kumikikil daw sa akin ng ganitong negosyo.’ Kasi sa siyudad ko three days lalabas iyang permit mo,” the President said.

The public should trust his administration, he said, because he has chosen brilliant people to be part of his Cabinet.

The chief executive also highlighted the ongoing peace talks with the rebels, noting it is the time to put an end to decades long Muslim rebellion.

At the same time, the President also opened the Malacanan Palace to the public, adding anyone with grievances or those needing help could visit him at the Palace.

“Everybody is invited to go to Malacañang. Sabihin mo, pati sundalo sinabi ko, ‘pag may problema ka tapos sabihin mo itong gobyerno puro salita-salita wala na,” he said.

The President said there must be a reasonable number of visitors coming to the Palace and he especially wants students and young people to go first.

“Gusto ko ‘yang mga bata. Iyong grade school iyan. They should be allowed first. Student, high school ganun. Gusto ko sila muna,” the President said.###PND


President Duterte reiterates all-out support for the military
TARLAC CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte visited soldiers at Camp Servillano Aquino on Dec. 11, Sunday in a display of continuing support to the military. He also announced he is giving Christmas presents for them this Yuletide season.

In a speech before the soldiers, he said they have a president who gives all-out support to the military, adding that he believes in a strong police and military.

Filipinos are grateful with their armed forces and “I am more than satisfied with your performance,” he told the soldiers.

He said he will always support the military as long as there are available government resources so the Armed Forces of the Philippines remains in tiptop condition, morale is high and the organization is always backed up by the commander-in-chief.

The members of the military were reminded to do their duties and not to worry about criticisms and legal actions, the President said. This Christmas, the President may give something to the military, noting it will arrive in their camps.

The President also announced arms delivery from China and he said he is sending Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to receive the weapons to be extended by the Asian neighbor.

“Hindi na tayo kailangan maghingi pa sa iba because they’re willing to give it. Hindi naman free but it’s a grant actually. If it’s a grant payable in 25 years that is really practically giving,” he said.

He also appealed to the soldiers to understand the ongoing peace talks with the rebels, stressing that as president, he has to consider the interest of greater number of Filipinos by attaining lasting peace in the country.

He also warned about the threat posed by Mideast-connected extremist who may seek refuge in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, countries with significant Muslim populations.

At the same time, he explained his scheduled trip to Cambodia and Singapore this week noting his trip is part of his administration’s diplomatic thrust to strengthen ties with ASEAN neighbors.

“It would maybe someday work to our benefit because we have a cohesiveness at magkaisa tayo dito. The world is really a troubled one. Nagkakampo-kampo kasi, like it started with the EU. Mga Europeans gusto nila mag-kampo tapos limitado tayo dito, ganon,” he said.

This grouping limits the country’s chances, since those countries impose restrictions that make it impossible for countries like the Philippines to do business, he said.

The Cambodia and Singapore are introductory visits which in the end may benefit the Philippines in the long term, he said.###PND


From the Office of the Communications Secretary on the New York Times Article Under the Title “They are Slaughtering Us Like Animals” Photographs and Text by Daniel Berehulak, 7 December 2016
There are two sides in every story. The New York Times article entitled “They are Slaughtering Us Like Animals,” dated 7 December 2016 is totally one-sided as it depicts the Philippines as the Wild, Wild West in this part of the world. This is farthest from the truth.
If the reporter had bothered to check the facts of the 3,000 deaths under investigation by the Philippine National Police, only 1,080 are drug-related. The rest are murder and homicide cases perpetrated by gunmen which the Philippine National Police (PNP) is now investigating, the results of which will be made public in due time.The police have nothing to do with these killings. The President has not given any direct order for them to kill drug dealers and users on mere suspicion. Police operatives only neutralize those who violently resist arrest, or else they could be the ones who end up dead. Thus, the President’s marching order to the police is that they have the right to defend themselves when their lives are endangered.

There are police officers who have already died or been killed in the war on drugs. This demonstrates the magnitude of the drug problem in the country and the need for resolute and decisive response by law enforcement. As President Duterte pointed out in his first State of the Nation Address, “To our police officers and other officials, do your job and you will have the unwavering support of the Office of the President. I will be with you all the way. Abuse your authority and there will be hell to pay, for you will have become worse than criminality itself.”

We ask the foreign media to present both sides of the story when reporting on the Philippine war on drugs. We in government, including the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies, would be more than willing to help in unearthing the truth and presenting the facts about the drug menace to the public.