03 March 2017

President Duterte leads groundbreaking of Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway
MACTAN, Cebu — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Thursday, March 2 led the groundbreaking ceremony of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX).

In his speech at the Virlo Public Market in the municipality of Cordova here, President Duterte lauded the project saying that that would be vital to the city as it “suffers nfrom lack of mobility.”

“Aside from that, it’s really the total absence of infrastructures,” he said.

The 8.2-kilometer toll bridge facility, which is expected to be completed in 2020, seeks to ease traffic congestion, foster economic growth, and bring development to the entire Cebu province.

The CCLEX alignment will start from Cebu South Coastal Road and will end at the Mactan Cebu Circumferential Road in Barangay Pilipog in Cordova. It will cross the Mactan Channel through the tidal flats of Cordova.

Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corporation, a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corporation, will finance, design, build, operate, and maintain the bridge through the public-private partnership framework. It will then be owned by the local governments of Cebu City and municipality of Cordova after 35 years.

During his speech, the Chief Executive assured Filipinos that he is “committed to stop drugs before I go out.”

“It will not end tomorrow… for as long as there is a drug pusher and a drug lord,” Duterte said.

The President said he is trying to zero in on law and order “because peace is what makes a country develop and progress.”

President Duterte said the only way to secure the country really is to be peaceful.

After the ceremony, the President told reporters that he is “exceedingly excited” to see his grandson. His daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte gave birth to a baby boy on Thursday afternoon.

During the same interview, President Duterte said Senator Juan Ponce Enrile advised him on a number of things during their meeting last Wednesday, March 1 such as on drugs, national security, problems on terrorist, and peace talks. ###PND

Presidential Comms shifts to second gear – Andanar

Cebu City — Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on Thursday, March 2, announced “revitalizing” changes to be made to his office this week during a meeting with the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) at the Golden Prince Hotel.

The Presidential Communications Chief was in Cebu in time for the ASEAN – PCOO Roadshow.

“We’ve been in office for about eight months now. It’s about time to shift second gear,” Andanar told the new officers and members of the KBP – Cebu Chapter disclosing some courses of action his office is planning to take in the next days.

Secretary Andanar plans to “fix” the International Press Center (IPC), whose building was newly renovated, and to revitalize the Philippine News Agency (PNA) as the premiere news wire agency of the country.

“We have about 40 plus reporters, if we combined them all, in Metro Manila. So if you look at the numbers, sheer number of reporters, then you have a very powerful Philippine News Agency. Those who are operating in Mindanao, in the Visayas, and in the provinces of Luzon can maximize the reports that we write for the Philippine News Agency. And that’s one way to rejuvenate, revitalize Philippine News Agency,” the Andanar said.

Modernization plans for the PNA include a modernized news room, a television, a broadcast, and news cast to be shown on the internet, social media sites, and also a special channel, which will be a sub-channel of PTV when it becomes digital.

“Once a station becomes digital, you have the HD channel, the main channel, then you have sub-channels—3 to 4 sub-channels. One of those sub-channels will be the Philippine News Agency, one will be the Muslim Lumad TV, and there will also be the tele-radyo, which is the Radyo ng Bayan, that will have a video cast and maybe one more, maybe an agricultural channel if the Department of Agriculture would like to sponsor,” Andanar explained.

Secretary Andanar is likewise working on having an integrated news room, which included People’s Television (PTV), Radyo ng Bayan, Philippine Information Agency (PIA), and PNA.

Also within the 2017 PCOO deliverables for the year are the groundbreaking of the Mindanao broadcast hub in Davao, FM1 or the FM station for the youth, PIA kiosks in the domestic and international airport among others, among others.

Meanwhile, Secretary Andanar explained the current reorganization of the PCOO.

“I saw it, me and Ernie (Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella), and Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, we saw the wisdom of doing a little reorganization, to which the Content & Messaging, ang head nun si Queenie (PCOO Assistant Secretary Rachel Queenie Dizon-Rodulfo)… So sabi ko, since si Spokes (Abella) is the one talking and he’s the one managing the press briefing room, napagusapan namin na it’s just rational for him to lead the content & messaging (aspect),” Andanar disclosed.

Aside from the Content and Messaging Group, Spokesperson Abella will also have oversight function to all contents and messaging aspect of all agencies under the PCOO. Likewise, Abella will now be the spokesperson of not only the President, but latter’s alter ego as well, the Cabinet.

Nonetheless, for matters about the agencies under the PCOO that has to do with operations, Andanar assured, he is still the “go-to guy”.

Moreover, Andanar is planning to revert back PCOO to its former name as Office of the Press Secretary. He said an executive order had already been drafted, waiting for President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature.

“And by the way, once we go back to the Office of the Press Secretary, there is a possibility, God willing, that we can also revitalize the press attachés in other important countries we deal with,” the PCOO chief concluded.

Those present during the dinner meeting included Fr. Roberto Ebisa, KBP-Cebu chairman; Jose Maria Lanza, KBP-Cebu executive vice chairman; Atty. Cynthia Barte, KBP-Cebu legal counsel; Atty. Pacheco Seares, executive director of Cebu City Press Council, Atty. Eddie Barrita, bureau chief of PNA; Harold Clavite, PIA Director-General; and Angelo Villar, PIA Deputy Director-General.###PCO-Content

PCOO on the roll; Andanar unveils initiatives
Cebu City – Secretary Martin Andanar unveiled on Friday, March 3, the progress of the initiatives of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) during the Cebu leg of the 2017 ASEAN-PCOO Roadshow.

“The President wants to decentralize the government—transparent, inclusive. That’s why for the first time the Presidential Communications Operations Office is going around the country to make its presence felt,” Presidential Communications Chief Martin Andanar.

The Cebu event is part of the PCOO’s nationwide information, education, and communication (IEC) drive on the country’s chairmanship of this year’s Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“We want to achieve a few things. One is to introduce ASEAN, reintroduce ASEAN, and underline the importance of understanding the Association of South East Asian Nations,” Andanar explained.

Aside from ASEAN, the campaign also discussed Freedom of Information (FOI), Presidential Task Force on Media Security, and New Media Communications for Participatory Governance.

“We salute President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for signing it right away. FOI is now in the legislative agenda,” Andanar said, referring to Executive Order No. 2, signed by the President on July 23, 2016, establishing the first Freedom of Information law in the Philippines covering all government offices under the executive branch.

Andanar further lauded the President for signing in October last year Administrative Order No. 1 that created the Task Force on Media Security.

“It’s actually the first time a President is assigning one team to protect the media here in our country,” Andanar pointed out.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Communications Chief revealed his plan of having emergency broadcast centers in the country, similar to the ABC of Australia and NHK of Japan.

“We are building PTV-4 and Radyo ng Bayan as emergency broadcast centers in the entire country,” Andanar said.

Related to this, he mentioned tapping social media to disseminate emergency information to the public.

“We have to take advantage of what we have, and what we have is social media. And most of the people are engaged in social media,” Andanar said.

Hundreds of participants composed of information officers from regional line agencies and local government units, bloggers, representatives from the business community and the private sector, students, and members of the media attended the ASEAN- PCOO Roadshow at the Grand Convention Center of Cebu.

Speakers during the event included Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security, PCOO Assistant Secretary Kristian Ablan, Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Region VII officer-in-charge Fayette Riñen, and blogger Carlos Munda of MindaNation.

After the roadshow, Andanar proceeded to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport to lead the launching of the PIA kiosks.

“It’s (PIA kiosk)a symbol that we are bringing the Office of the President, through PCOO and PIA, directly to the people,” Andanar said.

Those who witnessed the launching included PIA Director-General Harold Clavite, GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation President Louie Ferrer, Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority General Manager Atty. Steve Dicdican, and Lapu-Lapu City Acting Mayor Marcial Ycong. ###PCO-Content

President Duterte visits soldiers in CDO
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Friday, March 3, attended the wake of soldiers who were killed in action in an encounter with the New People’s Army (NPA) in Misamis Oriental.

He was greeted warmly upon his arrival at the Camp BGen. Edilberto Evangelista Chapel, where the remains of the fallen soldiers lie in state. The fallen soldiers were awarded the Bronze Spearhead Devise Medal.

The President also extended financial, medical, and educational assistance to the bereaved families.

Cpl. Marzon Morales and Pvt. Oshin Rosala were killed-in-action in clashes with the NPA at Barangay Kaulayanan, Sugbongcogon, Misamis Oriental last February 27 and 28.

The firefight reportedly ensued after the 58th Infantry Battalion responded to local residents’ complaints of NPA troops demanding food support in the area.

There were reportedly around 30 armed rebels from Guerilla Front 4B, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee who engaged the soldiers.

Duterte then went to Camp BGen. Edilberto Station Hospital, where he visited the wounded soldiers, namely: Pfc. Marquin Variacion, Pfc. Vincent Niño Lopez, Pvt. Regie Joy Duyan, and Pvt. Ramon Balibagon, Jr.

Each was personally awarded with the Wounded Personnel Medal. Financial assistance, medical and educational support were also extended to the2m.

He likewise visited Sgt. Joshua Delawan, Pfc. Jeneses Andam, and Kenneth de Guzman, who are also confined at the Camp BGen. Edilberto Evangelista Station Hospital. ###PND

Duterte provides  assistance to wounded soldiers
JOLO, Sulu — President Rodrigo Duterte arrived in Sulu Friday to extend financial assistance to soldiers who were injured during an encounter with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

The President arrived in Jolo around 3 p.m. and proceeded to Camp Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital to visit the soldiers and personally hand over financial support.

Duterte pinned the Wounded Personnel medal to each of the 11 wounded-in-action troopers confined here in Camp Teodulfo Bautista.

Last Wednesday, soldiers from the Philippine Army clashed with members of the Abu Sayyaf in a firefight at around 4:30 p.m. in Indanan, Sulu, wounding 11 government troopers.

Among the wounded infantrymen during Wednesday’s clash include Sgt. Marvin Oliveros, Pfc. Mac Allen Balderama, Pfc. Antonio Agliam Jr. Cpl. Julios Dupagan, Cpl. Robert Esperon, Cpl. Camilo Vertido, Pfc. Willam Reboya, Cpl. Erlie Gallebo, Sgt. Renato Geverola, Pfc. Joselito Begnalen, and Cpl. David Mark Antonly Leyno.

Few hours before the President’s arrival in Jolo, another group of soldiers had an encounter with the Abu Sayyaf in Patikul, Sulu, injuring 16 from the government side.

They are 2nd Lt. Rupert Cariaga, Pfc. Jayson Pendon, Cpl. Igzel Mercado, Cpl. Rogelio Bacnat, Pfc. Urselito Villarito, Pvt. Ruben Mutia, Pvt. Jerry Selgas, Pfc. Rolando Gamueta Jr., Cpl. Benjie Albarracin, Cpl. Al-Rashid Tiamwat, Jr., Pvt. Christian Leopoldo, Pvt. Morris Perez, Pvt. Julius Castillion, Pfc. Arvin Langi, Cpl. Bernardo Ortiz, Jr., and Pvt. Mark April Asistin.

While the President is visiting the wounded soldiers, two more wounded soldiers arrived from Patikul encounter, making the total wounded soldiers to 18. They are Pfc. Reynaldo Falcasantos and Pfc. Stephen Flores.###PND

President Duterte Open to Peace Negotiations With CPP-NPA-NDF in Pursuit of Lasting Peace
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is once again open to the resumption of the peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF.

The President said this in an interview at Camp Edilberto Evangelista Chapel when he visited the wake of two soldiers who were killed in action in an encounter with NPA rebels on February 27 and 28 at Misamis Oriental.

Duterte said that in pursuit of peace, he is willing to talk once more with the NPAs. “I’m open to talk to the rebels, just not the killers. I’m ready to talk and I’m ready to stop this war. I would prefer for us to not have war, but we need to talk from the heart,” he said.

The President also said that communication and good intention are vital steps towards peace.

“I’m ready as long as we communicate well. I’m ready to resume the ceasefire again, but this time I want it to be sincere. Back then, there was a ceasefire but my soldiers were killed. I’m ready to resume the ceasefire again as long as it is working towards peace,” said Duterte

When asked, President Duterte said that his plans for peace negotiations with the NPAs would include three requests from the rebel group, including the release of hostages, and the halt to revolutionary taxes as well as asking of favors.

“They have to release all policemen, army, everyone from the government. They should release them all. Second, they should stop asking for revolutionary tax. Third, they should stop asking for things. They’re burning a lot of things now and we’ll never meet each other half way if that’s the case.”

President Duterte said he feels very deeply about the turmoil. “It pains me to see Filipinos fighting against fellow Filipinos. I just want peace.”

He also said that no one wins in a war. “For me, no one will win. If we Filipinos fight against fellow Filipinos, nobody wins. The nation, the Philippines loses.”###PND