07 February 2017

Duterte sets sight on modified land reform
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday, February 6, led the launching of “Hardin ng Lunas sa PSG” at the Presidential Security Group (PSG) Grounds, Malacañan Park, where he vowed to continue land reform programs.

“Kailangan natin ng lupa. I will continue with the land reform, but modified. ‘Pag ako nagbigay ng konti, isa, dalawang ektarya, susuportahan ko talaga. Like this, seedlings, fertilizers, lahat,” the Commander-in-Chief said.

“In my time, nag-iipon lang ako ng pera, ‘pag nag-land reform ako, if I give you five hectares I will support you all the way and buy your product,” he continued.

President Duterte, meanwhile, warned real estate speculators, those who buy lands with the hope that the price will increase, that he will tax idle lands heavily.

“If (land) hasn’t been developed for 10, 20 years, dodoblehin ko ‘yung real estate mo o triple, unless you are willing to lend it to somebody, to the barangay para magamit ng mga tao,” the President cautioned.

The “Hardin ng Lunas”, Duterte said, reminded him of his late mother Soledad ‘Nanay Soling’ Duterte, whose death anniversary was commemorated last Saturday. He said his late mother used to be an advocate of land use.

“Ayaw ko magyabang pero ‘yun ang nanay ko. My mother was also a civic worker. She established the Boys Town, nagtayo sya ng village for the blind. Tinuruan silang magtanim. That is my mother’s legacy, and many others. Iyon ang nanay ko. She was the exponent of vacant lots that can be used,” he said.

The PSG, together with Mr. Tony Cortes of Corvill Agricom Inc. and Dr. Isa Cojuangco-Suntay of Tarlac Heritage Foundation, developed an idle lot in the PSG compound into a semi-organic vegetable garden planted with assorted vegetables and root crops, such as mustard, water spinach, cabbage, okra, among others.

The harvests at the ‘Hardin ng Lunas’ will be shared by the PSG to their neighbors, friends, families, and needy beneficiaries like the Hospicio de San Jose, underprivileged families living nearby Malacañan, and government-run drug rehabilitation centers.

“I’d like to commend the Suntay sisters for their— sayang ma’am, naabutan mo sana nung buhay pa nanay ko, makapagintindihan talaga kayo. What she was doing hardin, Philippine mental health. Marami ang nanay kong ano, especially yung farming,” President Duterte said.

In the same speech, meanwhile, President Duterte said government officials, particularly directors who have been given authority to sign documents, should be the first ones to report to work and the last person to leave the office.

“They must be there all the time. ‘Pag wala sila dito, I’m warning you, ‘yung heads of offices na maghintay-hintay ‘yung tao, I will initiate summary dismissal,” the President said, adding that there will be no second chances for erring officials.

“Wala akong pasensiya-pasensiya. Kasi kung ganoon ang gawin ko ‘yun ang ginagawa noon ng mga dumaang Presidente, walang nangyari sa bayan natin,” Duterte said.

“I do not care if I go down history as the most unpopular, okay sa akin ‘yan. As long as during my time, everybody follows the law,” he added.###PND

Duterte assures big companies of clean government, urges to pay correct taxes
President Rodrigo Duterte assured large corporations on Monday of a clean government as he encouraged them to pay the right taxes to fund government projects.

“Basta kung ‘yung ibinayad ninyo accurate and correct, on time collection, the spending will be there for you to see,” Duterte said during the launch of Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) 2017 Tax Campaign.He said the government will not have problems with large corporate taxpayers for as long as they pay the right taxes.”I think that we have a responsible taxpayers base. Kayo ‘yung malalaki…No more, no less ako. I will not tax you to death if I think it’s unrealistic. Hindi masyado ako sa taxation,” he said.He stressed that there will be no corruption during his administration as he vouched for the integrity and efficiency of his Cabinet officials.“This I can promise you: There will be no corruption. It behooves upon you to stop it,” he said.He added that he would implement strict rules on government corporations promising to stop giving exorbitant and excessive allowances to them.The President cited Davao City as an example of corruption free government noting that the city recorded high economic growth rate.

He encouraged the public to be assertive to effectively fight graft and corruption. He also warned companies joining government biddings to follow regulations and told those in government to do away with red tape.The Large Taxpayers Service (LTS) of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) officially launched its 2017 Tax Campaign at the Philippine International Convention Center.

The year’s tax campaign kickoff program unveiled LTS’ thrust to attain its collection target as well as improve taxpayer service in keeping with the President’s call for change.

Handling the country’s 2,320 large corporate taxpayers and contributing at least 62.4 percent of the BIR’s revenue collection, LTS wants to boost its collection for this year with an assigned collection goal of around P1.1 trillion.

Last year, LTS collected P963 billion, surpassing its 2015 revenue collection of P881 billion with a collection growth rate of 12.1 percent. “Ako, Kaisa sa Pagbabago” is LTS’ theme for its tax campaign this year.

The BIR has a collection goal of P1.8 trillion for 2017 as compared to P1.6 trillion in 2016.###PND

Andanar graces PSG web launch
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar joined the launching of the Presidential Security Group’s website aimed at bringing the command closer to the people.

“Today we are launching the PSGTroopers.com as our audience here all knows, PSG Troopers is the official publication of the PSG and PSGTroopers.com is its online counterpart,” Andanar said during the launch of the portal at the PSG Officers’ Clubhouse on Tuesday, February 7 at Malacañan Park.

“I therefore commend you for being abreast with the changing media landscape and keeping up with technology,” he added.

As the President’s close-in security, the PSG members know how unconventional the President is as he defies structure and definition, Andanar said.

“Hindi po de-kahon si Pangulong Duterte. Thus, strategic communication under the Duterte administration has never been as challenging,” he noted.

Noting PSG members are a special group of people, Andanar said they were chosen from thousands of military and police personnel to protect the President because the chief executive trusts them.

Andanar encouraged the PSG, which targets both local and international audience, to help the President push his agenda for genuine change.

“Together, let us help the President as he traverses the road towards a nation without crime, without drugs and without corruption,” he said. “Together, let us deliver what has to be communicated and we thank you for taking the extra step towards understanding.”

Based on the PSG website, the present-day PSG originated from the ragtag squad established by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo around March 1897, when he was elected President of the revolutionary government.

PSG underwent transformations since then but when the late Ferdinand Marcos assumed power, the Presidential Security Agency was expanded to the Presidential Security Command under the late President Diosdado Macapagal.

Former president Corazon Aquino disbanded the Presidential Security Command in 1986 and replaced it with a leaner Presidential Security Group.

During the presidency of Fidel Ramos, a former military man, PSG facilities were improved. The headquarters became a full-fledged camp that had two chapels, a gymnasium and physical fitness room, nursery and children’s playground, K-9 doghouse, apartments for enlisted personnel, a tennis court, rifle range and a house for golf caddies.

President Rodrigo Duterte designated Brig. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista as PSG’s 31st commander, who assumed office on July 2, 2016.###PND

Dressed down cops off to Mindanao
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday, February 7, berated Metro Manila-based police scalawags in Malacañan prior to heading to the Cabinet meeting.

A total of 228 errant cops, with varying offenses from ‘hulidap’ to robbery-extortion, were presented by Philippine National Police (PNP) Director-General Ronald Dela Rosa before the Commander-in-Chief.

“Mahirap talaga ang pulis. Eh kaso nag-a-ambisyon kayo ng mas malaking kita. Kunin niyo diyan sa mga vendor, sa mga driver, magkapera lang. Minsan hold-up, minsan mga inosenteng tao sinisita ninyo. Kung anu-anong kalokohan na sinasabi ninyo,” Duterte said.

The Commander-in-Chief said that instead of retraining the errant cops, he would be sending them to Mindanao, particularly in Basilan, to beef up the government forces in the South.

“Kailangan ko ng pulis sa South. Kulang ang pulis sa Basilan kasi maya’t maya pinagpaputok-putok yung mga istasyon doon. Nauubos. Kayo lahat ngayon nandito, kasali kayo sa Task Force South,” President Duterte said.

“Doon ninyo ipakita yung kalokohan ninyo. Hindi ako mag-retraining. Anong i-retraining ko sa inyo?” He added while instructing the cops to prepare to “move out” to Mindanao. He gave them 15 days to prepare.

“If you do not want to go there, go to your superior officer and tell them that you’re going to resign,” the President so ordered.

Meanwhile, President Duterte disclosed the need to put up a squad composed of the army, navy, and air force to keep track of rogue former law enforcers.

“Kasi karamihan ng mga pulis, yung na-dismiss, yun ang mga sindikato kasi may alam kayo. Kayo ang pinaka-delikadong kriminal pag naalis sa pulis. Alam ninyo ang pasikot-sikot eh,” he said.

He underscored the fact that the most vicious criminals were mostly ex-policemen and ex-military men, citing as an example the members of the notorious crime syndicate “Kuratong Baleleng.”

Thus, President Duterte advised them to behave if they opt to retire, and look for a clean source of living.

“Tumindig kayo diyan. Mahintay ako pagtapos kausapin ko kayo mamaya. Huwag kayo umalis diyan,” the Commander in Chief chided before heading to attend the hours-long Cabinet meeting.###PND

DND chief affirms “all-out war” vs NPA armed rebels
The government forces will carry out all-out war operations against the armed rebels of the New People’s Army (NPA).

This was confirmed by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Tuesday, February 7, few days after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the suspension of peace talks with the communist groups.

“Yes, it is an all-out war kasi they are considered by the President already as terrorists. We also consider them as terrorists,” Lorenzana said.

He clarified that the all-out offensive will be limited only to the armed component of the rebel group and not their peaceful supporters.

He said that the military has already started preparing for battle following sporadic skirmishes in Mindoro and several provinces in Mindanao for the past two days.

He stressed that NPA rebels are considered as threat to national security as they continue to attack government troops and to terrorize communities such as extorting money from businessmen.

Lorenzana, meanwhile, assured the public that the military will take the high road to ensure that no human rights abuses will happen during operations against armed rebels.

“We will see to it that those abuses will not be committed again. It is bad for the image of the military. Alam mo nawawalan ng kredibilidad ‘yung military pagka umaabuso sila. And we try to avoid that,” he said.

The DND chief also said that the authorities are ready to execute the order of the President to arrest the leaders of the communist groups once they return to the country.

Lorenzana, meanwhile, denied accusations that the military was out to sabotage the peace negotiations saying that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has also been longing for peace with communist insurgents just like President Duterte.

“We want peace. We do not want to sabotage. We support the peace process that was initiated by the President,” he said.

During the same briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella announced that the state weather agency has acquired two Doppler radars.

“PAG-ASA gets two Doppler radars for Cagayan and Samar, which will be used for—which will be helpful and be used for monitoring and tracking weather systems,” he said.

Abella likewise mentioned that President Duterte’s micro fund program will pilot-run this month, a project under the Department of Trade and Industry.

“We commend the Department of Trade and Industry in addressing the government’s concern to get rid of “5-6” money lending system by launching the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso Program (P3) in the provinces of Mindanao, Sarangani and Leyte,” he said.

The Palace official said the amounts will be ranging from 5,000 to 300,000, which can be accessed by entrepreneurs, 26 percent per annum with no collateral requirements.

Abella also thanked Bank of Tokyo- Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., Japan’s largest bank for its bullish outlook on the Philippine economy. ###PND