05 June 2017

President Duterte visits Japanese escort flotilla in Subic
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — President Rodrigo Duterte visited on Sunday, June 4, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Escort Flotilla One comprised of helicopter carrier JS Izumo and guided missile destroyer JS Sazanami berthed here for a four-day port visit to the Philippines.

In an interview with media, President Duterte said he was happy to board the JS Izumo, noting the state-of-the-art ship that can respond to both conflict and humanitarian missions.

Duterte added that he is the first head of state to board the JS Izumo,  which was commissioned in 2015.

Japan has been a historical friend of the Philippines helping the country in different ways particularly through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Japan is also providing the Philippines with defense assets such as ships and trainer planes, he said.

“Our ties with Japan is historical and I know that we will be with them for all time. They can count on our gratitude for helping us and also our friendship to fight with them,” he told reporters.

“We have so many problems in this world and I said we are friends, historical ones. We have a lot to say thank you to you. And I’d like Japan to know that we are a people of gratitude,” he added.

Aside from visiting JS Izumo, the President also met Katsuyuki Kawai aboard the Japanese helicopter carrier. Kawai is Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s special adviser.

The Japanese contingent is headed by Rear Admiral Yoshihiro Goka, the commander of the JMSDF Escort Flotilla One. The JS Izumo together with several patrol helicopters and 800 officers and crews are here for a goodwill visit to the Philippines prior to its participation to the Malabar Naval exercise in India.

The four-day visit includes a series of confidence building activities between the Philippine Navy and the JMSDF personnel.

The Escort Flotilla One’s port visit is expected to enhance the strong relationship between the Philippine Navy and the JMSDF. ###PND

President Duterte vows to end terrorism in Marawi City, won’t talk peace with Maute
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu — President Rodrigo Duterte assured on Sunday, June 4, that the military could eliminate the local terrorist groups in Marawi City.

In his speech during his visit to Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base here, President Duterte insisted that he would not negotiate with the Maute group and suspected members of the Islamic State, who have been occupying some parts of the city, ordering the troops to further intensify their offensive.

“Nagpunta kayo dito naghanap ng gulo sa Pilipinas, lalo na kayong  mga foreigners, you are the extremist guys, you do not want to do nothing with the world except to kill and destroy. Eh kung ‘yon ang gusto ninyo ibibigay ko talaga sa inyo,” Duterte said before members of military and police who successfully foiled an attack of Abu Sayyaf bandits in Bohol last April.

“I will not negotiate. Wala akong pakialam kung anong gawain ninyo ngayon diyan. You do it because pagabot ng panahon kung nakakaintindi kayo ng Bisaya, I will not spare your life,” he added.

The Chief Executive pledged that he would give all the support to the Armed Forces including more defense and air assets and additional troops in order to end the crisis once and for all. 

He lamented that he had lost scores of soldiers and policemen from the siege but said the military would not stop until they have freed the city of terrorist groups.

“You started the ruckus, we did not ask for it, you were all along brutal and cruel. At hindi ako papayag ng ganon… Magkaubusan na tayo diyan. We have crossed the bridge of rubicon, ika nga. Hindi ako aatras diyan,” he said.

Duterte noted that it could have been easy for him to eliminate the Maute group in Marawi but laws and various agreements and treaties have prevented  him to do so.

“They (military) cannot just fire at will at all people because we are government and we are bound by rules. We are bound by agreements and we are bound by treaties. And even without that, we should know that we are fighting fellow Filipinos,” he said.

The Commander-in-Chief flew in straight to Cebu from Subic, Zambales to attend the traditional boodle fight with soldiers. 

He thanked them for remaining true to their mandate of protecting the country from all threats especially terrorism.

Duterte and the military feasted on rice, pancit, fish, pork lechon, scrambled eggs and fruits during the communal meal. ###PND

More civilians rescued during humanitarian pause in Marawi – Palace
Close to 200 civilians were rescued on Sunday with the four-hour humanitarian pause in Marawi City, the Palace said Monday, June 5.

During the Mindanao Hour press briefing in Malacañang, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella reported that as of 6 pm last night, 179 civilians were rescued following the four-hour humanitarian pause in the fighting, from 8 am to 12 noon yesterday.

Abella said troops continue to make headway into inner areas of the city but the operations are being slowed down by the use of civilians as human shields and as the terrorists use madrasahs and mosques as their staging areas.

The Palace official also reported that as of June 4, the government has so far released a total of P45,316,760 worth of augmentation assistance in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The support was given to affected families through the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office Region 10 and Field Office Region 12.

As of June 4, Abella said there have been 37,640 families or 185,878 persons displaced in Regions 10 and ARMM.

Of which, 3,768 families or 18,065 persons are still staying in 29 evacuation centers, and 33,872 families or 167,813 persons are staying outside the evacuation centers with their relatives and friends.

During the same briefing, Abella noted that President Rodrigo Duterte has promised to end the Marawi conflict within the shortest possible time but consistent, of course, with due regard for the protection of innocent lives and the avoidance of abuses.

He said that drug lords financing these attacks will be brought to justice and their networks will be closed down in Lanao and anywhere else in Mindanao or the rest of the country, he said.

“As we go about the long-term cleansing and rebuilding effort, we welcome the continuing support of the MNLF, the MILF, and other civil society groups now finding common cause with the government in fighting a terror threat to all Filipinos,” Abella added.

While the Palace cannot comment on specific numbers of foreign terrorists operating in the country, Abella said it is clear that violence in Marawi is being waged by local as well as foreign nationals.

He further noted that the southern part of Mindanao has served as a refuge for fugitives from Indonesia, Malaysia, and other locations.

Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr. said the
operations on the ground will continue relentlessly as what’s pointed out repeatedly in previous days.

“We are determined to end this problem as soon as possible and cause the return of Marawi back to its citizens within this period, especially Ramadan,” the Armed Forces of the Philippines official said.

Padilla said AFP Chief of Staff has directed ground commanders to do everything to avoid the bombing of mosques and other places of worship. ###PND

Palace issues EO 27 to implement PH medium-term development plan
Malacanan on Monday ordered the implementation of the country’s new medium- term development plan.

Signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on June 1, 2017, EO 27 directed all government agencies, including government-owned or -controlled corporation (GOCCs), and local government units (LGUs) to align their programs, budgets, and strategies with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) and Public Investment Program (PIP) for ‎2017-2022.

The PDP ‎2017-2022 is the first medium-term development plan to operationalize Ambisyon Natin 2040—of attaining inclusive economic growth in the country and eventually transforming the Philippines into a globally competitive knowledge economy.

On the other hand, the PIP ‎2017-2022 contains the priority programs and projects to be implemented by the national government agencies and instrumentalities, including GOCCs, that contribute to the goals and outcomes in the PDP and within the medium term. Formulation of the PIP is slated for completion in July this year.

Under EO 27, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), headed by NEDA Director-General and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, will monitor compliance, assess outcomes, update outputs, and recommend policy directions for the implementation of PDP and PIP ‎2017-2022.

“The NEDA Secretariat shall work together with various implementing agencies for the prioritization and sequencing of identified strategies, policies, programs, and projects, including proposed legislation. The monitoring of outcomes and implementation shall be reported regularly to the appropriate NEDA Board Committees, existing Cabinet Clusters, and Inter-Agency Committees of the government,” the EO stated.

“All heads of departments, offices, and instrumentalities of the national government, including GOCCs, are hereby directed to submit to the NEDA Board, through the NEDA Secretariat, the agency performance / accomplishment reports with respect to the outcomes and outputs identified in the PDP and PIP, in the format and frequency prescribed by the NEDA Secretariat. The NEDA Secretariat shall prepare the Socioeconomic Report to present the accomplishments of outputs and outcomes and recommend policy directions for moving forward,” the Order added.

As for the funding, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will identify the amount necessary to implement provisions of the Order. The annual appropriations, the EO said, shall be prepared in accordance with the regular government budget procedures and included in the budgets of the concerned government agencies under the General Appropriations Act. ### PCO-Content