01 July 2017

Palace warns public vs NPA’s planned attacks

Palace warns public vs NPA’s planned attacks

Malacañang on Saturday, July 1, reiterated its call to the public to be alert and on the lookout against the reported planned attacks of the New People’s Army (NPA).

In his Mindanao Hour briefing over Radyo Pilipinas (formerly Radyo ng Bayan), Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the NPA’s planned attacks on people-oriented programs and infrastructure projects are extortion-related.

“We wish to forewarn the public of reported planned attacks of the NPA on people-oriented programs and infrastructure projects and request the citizenry of Mindanao and everyone else in the country to be on the alert and on the lookout,” Abella said.

“We also appeal to everyone to share information with authorities on suspicious persons and activities in their communities. Sabi nga po nila, if we can work together, we can prevent these extortion-related activities,” he said.

“Para po sa perspective ng militar, ang mga gawain po na mga planned attacks na ito ng mga NPA are all extortion-related,” he added.

Abella meanwhile provided the updates on the government’s operations in Marawi, saying that civilians killed are at 39 or lower than what was previously reported.

“According to Scene of the Crime — SOCO report’s correction, ‘yung ni-report po na, for the previous 17 cadavers recovered 17 days ago is actually po, actually 12 lang po pala upon full examination. So ‘yung verified are only 12 cadavers,” he said.

Meanwhile, Abella said civilians rescued are at 1,713. Terrorists killed, meanwhile, are at 317 while government casualties are at 82.

In the same radio briefing, the Palace official dispelled allegations made by Senator Risa Hontiveros that President Rodrigo Duterte’s first year in office is allegedly a year of misogyny.

Abella reiterated the Duterte administration’s commitment for women’s rights, which he said, extends to action initiated by the President when he was still mayor of Davao City.

“We hope that Senator Hontiveros should judge the President not by the word that he says, but for what he stands for, tsaka po ‘yung talagang tinatayuan niya,” Abella said.

Abella noted that among the projects and programs made by then Mayor Duterte for women include the local version of the Reproductive Health Bill in Davao City; the passage of the Women’s Code by the Davao City Council in 1997; as well as the creation of the Davao City’s Council for Women, which enables the monitoring of reports of violence against women in 182 barangays in the city.

Abella also said it was under Duterte’s watch as mayor of Davao when the Women and Children Protection Unit was established at the Southern Philippines Medical Center to provide psychological support, as well as the Davao’s version of the 911 for emergencies.

“If only the Senator would really look and not just make comments based on prejudgments and kneejerk reactions, I would say that … we would be in a better place,” Abella said. ###PND

President Duterte to communist rebels: Stop waging war

President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday, July 1, warned the New People’s Army (NPA), saying that the communist rebels should stop waging war against the government.

The President expressed his frustration over the continuing attacks by the NPA on government forces despite the ongoing peace talks.

“Would you please stop waging war? Alam mo hindi ko kayo maintindihan. Unang sabi doon sa itaas, si Sison ordered to engage government forces in this struggle… That they changed it so that they will stop until such time matapos itong sa Marawi siege. Kasi walang— ang sabi ko nga eh, there will never be a space for you kung terrorist ka, kayong mga komunista. Wala kayong space diyan sa terorista,” Duterte said.

“In the meantime kung mag-usap tayo in the future, then stop waging war kasi baka itong mga sundalo ayaw na rin makipag-usap,” Duterte said during the 50th Araw ng Davao del Sur held at the Davao del Sur Coliseum in Digos City.

“Kami, utusan lang kami lahat. We are just co-workers in government basta pulis. But the only reason na medyo mataas ako, but I do not control everything and I cannot control everybody,” he said.

“You decide. Do not create something which is not acceptable also to me and to the guys doing the fighting,” he added.

At the same time, the President renewed his commitment to bring peace to the country, reiterating his intention to negotiate with major rebel groups, including the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front.

However, he said the government will never negotiate with the ISIS-inspired Maute group that occupied Marawi City.The President also mentioned the ongoing conflict in Marawi City, sympathizing with the soldiers fighting for the city’s liberation from the Maute group.He said he always prays that the war will end soon because he does not like people dying.He said the military offensive in Marawi City will continue until the last terrorist is taken out.

The President meanwhile underscored the hard work of the Davao del Sur’s founding fathers.

“So, one is that I would like to credit the founding fathers of this province for their tireless effort to make what is now Digos,” the President said.

“Maganda na ang Digos ngayon, Davao del Sur,” he noted.

The President however said the only concern today for the province is illegal drugs, as he warned the local police force to stay away from the drug trade.

“Alam mo, ang problema lang ninyo is droga. Medyo malakas pati— I’m also— I would like to warn the police here,” Duterte said.

“Lay off sa drugs ha, kamong mga pulis kay alam mo na. Huwag kayong pumasok diyan kasi kasali kayo sa statistics diyan.”###PND

President Duterte vows not to compromise with terrorism

Tagum City — President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday, July 1, assured the public that the government remains committed to fulfilling its promise in giving an equal share of the national wealth to Mindanao.

“Rest assured that the government remains committed in fulfilling its promise in giving an equal share of the national wealth to Mindanao, including Davao del Norte,” President Duterte during the 50th founding anniversary of Davao del Norte.

“Use the money to uplift the lives of your people and realize your great potential. All I ask in return is that you remain committed to the continuing war against illegal drugs, corruption, criminality, and terrorism,” he added, saying that both the government and the public must remain “steadfast and united” against the threats in the way of life.

President Duterte added that Davao del Norte, under the command of Governor Antonio Rafael del Rosario, will continue to become one of the fastest-growing provinces in Mindanao.

“With its vast resources and strong, resilient, and vibrant people, the province will be able to achieve greater development at par with the rest of the nation,” the President mentioned.

The Chief Executive also underscored that he does not want to compromise with terrorists involved in the Marawi crisis.

“I will never, never, never, compromise with terrorism,” Duterte said, adding that the government will fight until the “last terrorist is executed.”

The President also expressed that he had a “heavy heart” knowing that many of his troops and police were dying because of the crisis in Marawi City.

“If there is one person in this Republic and this country who is traveling with a heavy heart, it’s me, because I ordered the Armed Forces and the police to go there and fight and perhaps to die,” he said.

President Duterte added that he had to do it because it is his constitutional duty to preserve and defend the Filipinos, adding that as President, he cannot accept the existence of terrorism in the Philippines.

He also reiterated in his speech that he would not negotiate with terrorists.

“You are living witnesses to what is unfolding in the Middle East. Wala… there’s no redeeming values I know… We will not go out there until the last terrorist is executed. ###PND