30 November 2016

President Rodrigo Duterte’s Bonifacio Day Message

Today is an important day to commemorate and to honor the father of the Katipunan and the Great Plebeian from Tondo, Andres Bonifacio, whose life and legacy have inspired countless generations and whose actions have shaped the course of our nation’s history.

It was Bonifacio who dared to lead a mass action that defied the colonial rule and quelled the hunger of a people longing for change. 

He belongs to the league of heroes willing to lay down his life and put aside his own interests to honor the nation and defend it from its enemies. His courage and love of country served as a guiding torch in the midst of darkness.

May this occasion serve as a reminder for us to live up to the spirit of Bonifacio, whose spirit remains patriotic, unfettered, and independent.

Every waking day is an invitation to dedicate our lives for a worthy cause; to uplift the quality of life of our countrymen; and to bring back the pride and honor in our identity as a people.

Our government calls on the public to get involved in community and national issues that affect our lives. May we all find strength to tap in our collective voice so that we can know ourselves better and understand our struggles in history.

Let us cultivate our capacity to act united and share common aspirations for a peaceful, just, prosperous, and truly free nation. 


November 2016

Duterte inaugurates mega drug rehabilitation center

President Rodrigo Duterte led the inauguration of the mega Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (DATRC) at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija on Tuesday, November 29, as part of the administration’s efforts to solve drug problem in the country.

In his speech, President Duterte said he would fulfill his campaign promise to eliminate illegal drugs and create a safer environment for the Filipinos.

“Let me warn you, drugs is a very virulent agent in any society. The campaign against drug will continue ‘till the last day of my term. I will not stop until the last drug pusher is out of the street and the last drug lord or king killed,” he said.

The President said the drug lords have invested on the lives and sanity of the Filipinos.

“Kaya maraming property, mga hotel, barko, lahat na nandiyan sa kanila,” Duterte said.

He said there will be no let up in the campaign against illegal drugs and the only compromise is for the illegal drug users and pushers to surrender.

“The only compromise that’s acceptable to me is you surrender,” Duterte said.

“If you continue, I said, you might end losing not only your funds but your life,” he added.

Duterte meanwhile thanked Chinese philanthropist Huang Rulun who donated the first large scale drug rehabilitation center in the country, which can accomodate 10,000 drug addicts.

For his part, Huang stated that the donation was his way of showing support to the administration’s war against drugs and as a sign of goodwill for the President’s efforts to strengthen the country’s ties and friendly relations with China.

Huang is an honorary chairman of the  Federation of Filipino-Chinese Association of the Philippines  Foundation, Inc. (FFCAP) and  chairman of  the board of directors  of Century Golden Resources Group. 

During the event, the President unveiled the marker of the rehabilitation center together with Huang and the administration’s  top officials.

DATRC is located in Fort Magsaysay, a military camp that occupies a land area of hectares divided by four zones. It has a total construction area of 60,000 square meters with 172 building units.

Huang first met with the President  in Davao last June 28 before he donated an amount of about P1.4 billion to construct two drug rehabilitation centers inside Fort Magsaysay.

In expressing his appreciation for the assistance extended by Huang to the government, the President stressed that those whom he consider as the country’s allies should also help him solve the country’s drug problem instead of criticizing his administration in its war against drugs.

In his speech, the President also mentioned the ambush that happened in Lanao del Sur wherein seven members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and two soldiers were wounded. The PSG personnel were part of the advance team of the President who is set to visit Marawi City on Wednesday to visit wounded soldiers fighting the Maute group.

Duterte said he would push through with his visit despite ongoing conflict in the province.###PND

 PAGCOR underscores role in Social Development
Arnell Ignacio, Assistant Vice President for community relations and services department of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), today said PAGCOR plays an important role in the government’s agenda for change as he enumerated the undertakings of the government owned and controlled corporation.

“The primary role of PAGCOR is to produce funds for the government,” according to Ignacio in a press briefing in Malacanan on Wednesday, Nov. 30.

“There are a lot of other things that PAGCOR is doing aside from gambling. The core thrusts of PAGCOR are gaming, licensing and social responsibility,” explained Ignacio.

He said PAGCOR recently turned over Php 5 billion to the socio-civic fund of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

“When we turned over the Five Billion, his original plan is for the resurrection of the Botikang Bayan. But whether this fund will be used for the Botikang Bayan or for drug rehabilitation, its up to the President to decide,” said Ignacio.

The PAGCOR official also said that from its gross income, five percent immediately goes to the franchise tax and fifty percent goes to the National Treasury.

Another undertaking of PAGCOR is its feeding program and according to Ignacio, this was launched and started last month in Pampanga where it will benefit several schools and about 13,000 students.

The gaming official also said that during the recent Davao bombing incident last September, PAGCOR immediately turned over Php 5 million to the government of Davao. Also, the Php 5 million reward incentive given to Olympic medalist, Hidilyn Diaz, came from PAGCOR.

At the same press briefing, Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan, Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary for Policy and Legislative Affairs, issued a clarification regarding the news spreading online that the Improvised Explosive Device explosion yesterday that struck the advance party of the President did not really happen but was just made up in order to have a reason for the government to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

“Yes, that remains to be a conspiracy theory. So we ask citizens to always verify the news that they receive in social media,” said Ablan.

Ablan also gave a statement regarding the ongoing protest coinciding with Bonifacio Day.

“We respect the right to assemble and freedom of speech of all citizens and so Malacanan respects the protest actions being organized today, Bonifacio Day. And of course, (President Duterte) has instructed the authorities to exercise maximum tolerance. So we hope that those who are protesting today that they peacefully assemble,” said the Assistant Secretary.###PND

 4R Home Launched

The Duterte Cabinet Spouses Association launched 4R Home, a shelter program for drug users and pushers who want to mend their lives for good, on November 30, Andres Bonifacio Day, in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

In partnership with the Metro Manila Mayor’s Spouses Foundation Inc. (MMMSFI), the Cabinet Spouses Association, led by its president Mrs. Jocelyn Sueno, wife of DILG Secretary Ismael Sueno, established a free formation house designed on addressing the reformation and treatment of drug users who voluntarily surrendered.

The 4R Home project aims to “Reform, Recharge, Re-integrate, and Re-educate” those wayward drug dependents who want to return to the fold.  It is under the Office of the President with the assistance from local government units and non-government agencies.

Drug surrenderers will be required to stay in the formation house until they are ready to be re-integrated to the society. It is a continuous formation program which will provide shelter, clinical counseling with spiritual upliftment, physical activities, and skills training.

The formation house comes with complete amenities, like a dormitory, dining hall, kitchen, entertainment and social hall, clinic and counseling room, chapel, basketball court, computer room, and special livelihood areas, to implement a more holistic approach in treating and rehabilitating patients.

Joining the turnover ceremony is Metro Manila Mayor’s Spouses Foundation President Mrs. Janet Olivarez, wife of Paranaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez.###MARO-CONTENT

 Duterte asks support for Mindanao peace & development
President Rodrigo Duterte appealed to the Muslim people to help his administration achieve peace in Mindanao that in the end would bring economic prosperity in the region.

Addressing the troops in Butig, Lanao del Sur on Wednesday, Nov. 30, the President said he does not want to wage war with fellow Filipinos and this is the reason why the government has embarked on peace initiatives on different fronts.

But with the renewed violence in Mindanao, particularly in Lanao provinces as a result of Maute Group’s terrorist activities, the President said he may lose his patience and make harsh response.

He said he does not want to fan more violence to fight terrorism and illegal drugs pleading the Moro people to support his government attain peace and stability.

“Hindi ako nanakot ng tao. I am pleading to my Moro brothers and sisters: please help us. We will build a nation,” the President said.

Duterte announced that he will open the barter trade in Zamboanga City soon.

“If you want I will restore the barter trade. I will open Zamboanga again. Walang problema iyan,” he said.

The Chief Executive vowed to introduce reforms in Mindanao once a peace deal is achieved to improve the living conditions of the people. He also said he will prioritize  the region in giving assistance once foreign development aid comes.

President Duterte particularly pleaded to all the Moro political leaders, men of influence, and scholars to continue participating in the ongoing peace efforts to find solutions to the region’s problems.

He said he is open for the adoption of Sharia Law in some areas where it will be suitable as long as it is fair for both the Muslims and the Christians.

Reiterating his thrust to adopt a federal form of government, he said his government will begin the structure for federalism next year setting aside however provisions of the Constitutions that are not acceptable.

With regard to the military offensive against the Maute Group, the President said in an interview in Cagayan de Oro City that the military operations will continue the offensive against the terrorist organization.

“They (military) have to go on with the operations. What is there to stop? Wala naman nagpapakita ng sincerity diyan so the fight goes on,” he said.

The President visited the members of the Presidential Security Group confined at Camp Evangelista Station Hospital in Cagayan de Oro City who were hurt by the explosion of an improvised explosive device in Marawi City on Tuesday, Nov. 29.###PND