01 September 2016

Pres. Duterte traces historical roots of Mindanao conflict
Zamboanga city — In his speech on Wednesday at the Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) headquarters here in Camp General Basilio Navarro, President Rodrigo R. Duterte traced the roots of the Mindanao conflict.

He said it started when the Spaniards colonized the Philippines beginning 1571 and propagated the religion of Christianity with gun support from the Spanish military. This was around a hundred years after the Muslim religion was introduced by the Moro people in Mindanao.

In the 20th century, the President said Americans cultivated Mindanao and invited people from Luzon and the Visayas to come to Mindanao “because it is the land of promise.”

The President said he doesn’t have any problem with Moro National Liberation Front leader Nur Musuari. “We have agreed in principle na mag-usap para to resolve the conflict of the history of Mindanao,” he revealed, adding he also has no problem with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

However, he said “may problema ako sa Abu Sayyaf because they are terrorists.” They operate mostly in the Sulu area where the Tausugs are the dominant ethnic group.

PRRD recounted, “In the olden times, yung kwento ng mga ninuno, the Tausug warrior is an honorable man. Eh bakit ba ‘yan— putulan ng ulo yung mga hostage niya. Hindi trabaho ito ng totoong Tausug. Something is going wrong. Kaya nakikiusap ako sa mga Tausug sana mag-intindihan nalang tayo at you know, we craft the Philippines, gawin natin itong Pilipinas na magustuhan ng lahat, walang nalulugi.”

He recalled hearing stories before that among Tausugs, “pag nag-break ka ng word of honor, patayan yan. Pero it has deteriorated into some kind of cannibalism.”

According to the President, his own grandmother was a Maranao Moro and he gets hurt every time there is fighting in Mindanao. “Eh bakit tayo magpapatayan? Magkwentuhan na lang tayo,” he said.

PH to gain from Miss U hosting
The country is up to gain from the hosting of the 2016 Miss Universe Beauty Pageant in January 2017, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Teo in a press briefing in Malacañang said on Thursday.

“I’m sure that after the Miss Universe, the Philippines will be in the world map. Everybody will be looking at us because during the Miss Universe contest, all the beautiful places, the destinations will be featured,” Teo said.

It will be a two-week event with the candidates and their delegation starting to arrive as early asJanuary 13.

Teo said that with the hosting, the country is expected to surpass the 2016 tourist targeted at 6 million.

In an earlier briefing aimed at getting the nod of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, DOT Under Secretary for Administration and Special Task Force Atty. Falconi Millar said some 190 countries are expected to join the pageant. He also said that it will be viewed on television by 1 billion people worldwide aside from the walking advertisements, YouTube and other social media platforms which will make mention of the Philippines, its beautiful places, people and food. The media mileage for the country is separate for the website of the hosts.

The DOT has said that the Philippines will be given a three-hour exposure during the grand coronation night which will allow it to receive 21 billion media mileage.

The worldwide exposure will surely bring in economic gains in various sectors of the society, from the smallest business man to the high end tourism stakeholders.

Teo said the ancillary events will be brought to the different provinces. Among the places that will be featured are Davao, Cebu, Iloilo, and Vigan. She clarified that there are still other destinations in the country which might be included as some of the local governments have signified their desire to host.

Only the main event will be held in Metro Manila, at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.

The holding of the pre-pageant events outside Metro Manila came as a suggestion of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during an earlier briefing in Malacañang with no less than Miss Universe Pia Wurtzback convincing the President to agree to the country’s hosting. This is to prevent further aggravating the traffic congestion in the Metropolis, which the President is very much concerned about.

In the earlier briefing, Teo said that the hosting will not entail the use of government money but will jointly be shelled out by the Miss Universe Pageant Organizers and the private sector in the country. Half of the total budget for the pageant will be spent in the Philippines for the staff and crew, the DOT said.

Teo said that the Philippines’ hosting is important. Relating the Bahamas experience, she said that after they hosted, they recorded a 14.9 percent increase in stop-over of travellers and a 70 percent increase in tourist arrivals.

“This is of the same level as the world cup,” Teo earlier said. (LTA/PND)

PRRD: I am not comfortable signing procurement of bullets, arms that hurt human being
With the declaration of war on drugs, terrorism and crime, President Rodrigo Duterte is walking the extra mile to forge a lasting peace with Moro rebels and the communists to pave the way for a brighter future of Filipinos, but the road to law, order and peace has a price to pay.

For weeks now, President Duterte took time to pay his last respect to policemen and soldiers who have died in line with their duties that include the 15 brave soldiers killed in pursuit of punitive actions against members of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Jolo.

“Everytime I sign something that would have to deal with procurement, bullets and arms and all that could hurt the human being, I’m not comfortable with it.”

The President said this on Wednesday night with the members of the The Annointed Church in Davao City, after visiting the wounded soldiers in Zamboanga, and the body of those who died in the offensive.

“I have to do my duty to be with my soldiers,” President Duterte said.

“I went to Zamboanga to (just) visit the dead and the wounded soldiers. Marami akong nakita na sabog yung na-trauma, tinamaan ng bala. May isa doon, he lost his, altogether ‘yung shoulder niya. May mga tinamaan rin na comatose na.”

The President said “I am also sad to see the other side also suffering and being wounded. Puro Pilipino tayo eh, ‘yan ang mahirap diyan.”

Earlier, President Duterte said “Interesado ako kasi ‘yung bakbakan diyan sa Jolo, hanggang ngayon. Sayang ‘yung pera, sayang ‘yung bala. Ipatay mo rin sa kapwa mo Pilipino.”

The money used to buy bullets, the President repeatedly said whenever he speaks to the public, can be used to help the Filipinos, especially the poor, to improve their lives.

But the government has to do its thing, maintain the peace and stop those who perpetrate crimes. He is looking forward to meet Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Chairman Nur Misuari to discuss peace in Mindanao, Duterte said : Kung mga komunista pumayag na, baka dito sa panahon ko, kung maawa si Allah, eh ‘di meron tayong magandang swerte sa buhay.”(PPA/LTA/PND)

Palace: Anti-drug campaign second phase up; private sectors helps gov’t
The second phase of the anti-drug is in full swing with the investigation of members and officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) allegedly involved in the illegal trade.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said “swift disposition of justice, looking into the cases, investigating. This is part of a whole menu of the second phase.”

Abella said that part of the second phase is the construction of rehabilitation centers for the “rehabitable”.

“We do have people who have already promised and have committed to—for example providing for rehabilitation centers and so we have that, we have access to certain provisions,” Abella said.

In fact, the Palace official said several groups are already helping do counselling and other assistance in relation to the program.

In a related development, Abella encouraged critics of the anti drug campaign to come and observe what really is happening on the ground. They should also look at the statistics, which if properly looked at would show a different picture.

“These people really should come and not just base their opinions on headlines,” as he made reference to the existence of certain people who are out to discredit the current administration. (PPA/LTA/PND)