25 February 2017
President Duterte urges BTC to craft law towards peace in Mindanao
President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, February 24, called on the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) to craft a Bangsamoro Basic Law that will pave the way for peace in Mindanao.

President Duterte led the launching of the BTC at the Waterfront Insular Hotel in Davao City, which was attended by delegates from the Moro community.

“I am urging the BTC to navigate the hindrances and obstructions at hanapin ninyo ang daan hanggang patungo ng kapayaan. Mahirap ‘yan. It’s going to be long journey but if there is a product that is acceptable to all, makikita ninyo ako,” Duterte said.

He said he will even ask every Filipino to vote for it “because it will make us a great nation.”

Duterte reiterated that he is pushing for a federal type of government, one which would also benefit Mindanao.

“I would be happy to step down if I see a good law that would govern us all equally,” he said, adding that he will be happy to step down once the federal system is in place.

“I just simply love my country and I would give way. I will step down, just come up in a hurry of what is good then have an election. We can have the regional territorial autonomous region,” Duterte said.

“I would be very happy to leave a country that… leave the office and see my country peacefully,” he added.

In the same event, President Duterte urged Moros to resist extremism.

“I’m asking you now: resist extremism. Kasi pag-extremism magkagulo tayo hindi ko na ma-kontrol ‘yan,” he said.###PND

Palace says call for reviving EDSA spirit valid, urges people to discern against opportunists
Malacañan on Saturday, February 25, said it agrees with critics in urging people to remember and relive the spirit of nation-building that brought about the EDSA People Power Revolution 31 years ago but cautioned against political opportunists.

In an interview with Radyo ng Bayan, Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said President Rodrigo Duterte remains focused on improving the lot of the Filipino through increasing infrastructure spending and convincing investors to do business in the country.

“We would wish that people were cooperative instead of focusing on you know, being adversarial. Well, criticism is always ano, is welcome. Iba rin po ‘yung being adversarial,” Abella said.

He said what the country needs now are “people who are truly and sincerely nation patriot, nation builder,” and not people “who take advantage of political position for their own advancement.”

The Palace official also assured that there is no suppression of dissent, noting that the Duterte administration has allowed protesters to rally on the streets as long as they do not break law and order and interfere with traffic.

Meanwhile, Abella also commented on the statements that the arrest of Senator Leila de Lima is a political harassment.

Abella explained that De Lima’s arrest is based on probable cause.

“Linawin po natin na ‘yung kanya pong kaso ay kriminal. Hindi po ito pulitikal na bagay,” he said.

“As you can very well see, the way it’s all played out, is everything was played also in the open in media, wala naman pong naitago and you know, for all intents and purposes, everything was objective… everything was done objectively and with fair play,” he added.

In the same radio interview, Abella noted that the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted in December 2016 on the optimism of job availability showed a record high of +37, the highest net optimism since 1998.

Abella said the Duterte administration is focused in creating 1.2 million jobs annually.

“It will be addressed by attracting more foreign investments, increasing infrastructure spending, the ease of doing business, improving the ease of doing business in the Philippines tsaka ‘yung pagdedevelop po ng ating human resources,” he said.###PND