20 May 2017

President Duterte calls for stricter regulation on gun, ammunition sales
DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, May 19 said the government should improve the regulation of public ownership of high powered firearms and ammunition to prevent these weapons from ending up in the hands of criminals and rebels.

In his speech during the opening ceremony of the Association of Firearms and Ammunition Dealers of the Philippines Inc. (AFAD) Defense and Sporting Arms Show (DSAS) in SMX Convention Center, the President cited the threat posed by the communist rebels which he said have the means to purchase high-powered guns and ammunition from local gun dealers.

The communist rebels are earning money through extortion from mining companies and large plantation owners, he said.

“So they have the money. So we have to control. Kung may magpabili ka ng armas, make sure kung sino and I would create an office,” he said.

“May bagong ano man, si DILG Secretary by June will be Año. So doon ko ibigay ang guidance sa kanya na how to check it out that no firearms would ever, ever land in the hands of an enemy of the state,” the President added.

President Duterte told gun dealers to advise their clients that they have to work on the papers to buy bullets and arms and to submit them early to get their orders on time.

High-powered firearms should not be sold to civilians, he stressed, adding security guards should not be allowed to own firearms. They can be equipped with shotguns to defend themselves.

The President said he has opposed to arming security guards even before with high caliber firearms particularly those who are assigned to far-flung areas because NPA rebels often seized those weapons.

There is a need to revise some of the rules in buying guns and ammunition, he said noting however that it should not harm gun stores in making profit.

At the same time, the President expressed his disappointment about the attacks still being committed by the communists despite the ongoing peace talks.

DSAS, which marked its 25th anniversary this year, showcases the latest array of firearms, ammunition, and shooting paraphernalia. This is the first exhibit of DSAS in Davao City.

DSAS is organized by the AFAD whose mission is to uphold responsible gun ownership to promote the local firearms and ammunition industry.

A similar exhibit will be held in Manila in July and November this year. ###PND

President Duterte leads groundbreaking of housing projects for informal settlers, security forces
DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte led the groundbreaking Friday, May 19 of two housing projects in Davao City for informal settlers, soldiers and policemen.

The President arrived in Barangay Los Amigos for the groundbreaking of the Biyaya ng Pagbabago Housing project organized through the joint effort of the National Housing Authority, San Miguel Corp., Pilipinong May Puso Foundation and the city government of Davao.

The project is expected to be completed in March next year and is intended for informal settlers relocated from danger areas.

In his message, the President thanked those who contributed their effort and resources to realize the project particularly Ramon Ang of San Miguel Corp.

“It will come to pass, God-willing. And by that time, I hope you will still be around, I can gather here once again to celebrate the victory of the human spirit,” he said in his message.

Out of the 8.76 hectares, the total land area for development is 6.15 hectares, which is owned by the city government. This could accommodate a total of 908 residential units and two commercial lots. The Gawad Kalinga will also build one-story housing units on the area categorized as social lots.

President Duterte also attended the groundbreaking ceremony and launching of the AFP and PNP’s new housing design and modalities of Madayaw residences.

Located in Barangay Talomo in Davao City, the housing project for soldiers and policemen will be built on a 2.9 hectare land owned by the National Housing Authority.

Under the project, 16 structures with five-storey low rise buildings will be built using two different models. A total of 860 housing units will be constructed under the project.

Speaking before the members of the police and the military, the President reiterated his pledge of zero corruption under his leadership.

He also vowed to recover government properties from the hands of the wealthy which were accumulated illegally.

“Kasi kung isauli ‘yan, pagbili ko ‘yan, bidding. At gawain kong bahay para sa tao. Masiguro ninyo ‘yan,” the President said.

“But return it to the people. At kayong mga sa judiciary, you are so very easy. Just issuing TRO, restraining order,” he said of the courts’ decisions that favor the rich and influential. ###PND

President Duterte: PH independent foreign policy benefits country
DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte says his administration’s independent foreign policy is starting to bear fruit with financial assistance coming from China and Philippine agricultural products entering the Chinese market.

In a speech Friday, May 19, during the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary’s (PCGA) 33rd National Convention at SMX Convention Center in Davao City, the President responded to criticisms that he put aside the international tribunal’s arbitration decision in the country’s territorial dispute with China.

“I’ve been all around Asia particularly about the ASEAN countries and China. At huwag ho kayong maniwala na for example, Ramon del Rosario and itong si Justice Carpio na mahina ang dating ko, na hindi ko ginawa ‘yung arbitral award as a leverage,” he said.

The President said he is handling the issue cautiously to avoid conflict with China and to improve relations with the Asian giant.

China is offering better relations with the Philippines and that the dispute will be discussed sometime in the future because there are other claimant states in the South China Sea, the President said.

President Duterte also said that Chinese grants amounting to billions started to come in and tropical fruits from the Philippines now enter the Chinese market.

“Ang ating banana exports is already in parity with last year’s figures. Halos tabla na. Pineapple, well there’s a slack because there was also a stoppage of the planting. Because nobody was buying,” he said.

China is also offering to build two bridges across the Pasig River to ease the traffic condition in Manila, according to the President.

“So ngayon, next month… nag-donate sila ng dalawang bridge to traverse Pasig River. We’re going to start it this year,” the President said.

President Duterte also reiterated his tough stance against illegal drugs vowing to continue the ongoing anti-illegal drugs campaign in the country.

The PCGA is a civilian organization formed to assist the PCG in the promotion of safety and property protection at sea, the preservation of its marine environment and its resources, and the conduct of maritime search and rescue.

Among PCGA’s projects include mangrove planting, coastal clean ups, and deployment of reef enhancement structures.

The cornerstone of PCGA’s program is the formation of coastal community auxiliary divisions aimed at minimizing casualties during sea mishaps and preparing communities to become first responders during disasters.

The convention has a theme, “PCGA in the Millennium: Reliable, Relevant and Important.”###PND

PRRD debuts in Mula sa Masa, Para sa Masa program
President Rodrigo R. Duterte appeared Friday, May 19 before the first episode of Mula sa Masa, Para sa Masa television program on the government channel PTV4 making good on his promise to provide a direct line to the general public and conveying the government’s actions on key national issues.

The public service program hosted by veteran TV reporter Rocky Ignacio allowed the President to air his position on burning issues of the day. The hour long program was also watched by an impressive number of online audience.

During the program, President Duterte commented on a number of issues.

At one point, the Chief Executive conveyed his confidence on the appointment of retired general Roy Cimatu to take over the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The president who highlighted his concern for the environment as part of his administration’s efforts at nation building said Cimatu is “a silent guy, very low-key personality but he does his work very well”.

“I know Cimatu, he is honest, hardworking, he is a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy,” Duterte said. “The quality that had always been my requirement sa mga cabinet members is that you serve with honesty and integrity,” the president underscored.

President Duterte during the program also allayed the public’s fears arising from the pipe bomb attacks recently in Quiapo, in downtown Manila.

“But certainly it is not an ISIS thing. One is that kung ISIS iyan di puputok sa Quiapo yan it could be somewhere else but definitely not Quiapo karamihan nakatira dyan kapatid natin na Moro,” he said.

“If it is ISIS, I do not think it would start there or initiated in that place. Let’s put things at the proper perspective. Para we act
fairly in everybody’s thing and this is not theirs,” the president added.

President Duterte also emphasized his administration’s commitment to work closely with its international neighbors for progress and to ensure political stability in the region.###PND

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – On Associate Justice Carpio’s remarks that PRRD gave green light to China reclamation activities in WPS
President Rodrigo R. Duterte maintains a two-track approach to our relationship with PROC; one, to grow our healthy economic, trade and investment relationships, and to ensure that our arbitral rights in the WPS are not compromised, more so now through the newly established bilateral consultation mechanism to manage disputes in the area.

With all due respect to the Senior Associate Justice, Chinese island-building and military deployment activities on certain features in the West Philippine Sea have been ongoing for some years now.

The disputes in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea are not the sum total our relations with China, but we are cognizant of the warmer relationships we have in the region.

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella Re: PH engages PROC on WPS claims
The Philippines engaged PROC in a frank discussion on possible oil explorations in the WPS.

President Duterte was forthright about its economic rights awarded by the Arbitral Court in the Hague, a claim the Chinese leader said they would vigorously contest given their historic claims to the area.

Given this complexity both parties agreed to pursue a more peaceful resolution to the matter that satisfies both our sovereign and economic rights.