03 September 2016

Public asked to stay calm, be vigilant
The public is asked to stay calm amidst the bombing that happened on Friday evening which led to the death of 14 persons and wounding scores of other civilians.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella before midnight said “an explosion of still unverified cause occurred at the Davao night market resulting to the death of at least 10 persons and around 60 people injured.”

He advised the public to avoid making speculations and avoid posting unfounded information on social media. “It is best that the populace refrain from reckless speculation and avoid crowded places. There is no cause for alarm but it is wise to be cautious.”

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has declared a “State of lawless violence” in the entire country, to allow him, as Commander-in-Chief of the law enforcement units, to call on them to suppress lawlessness.

Abella said that attached to the declaration, there will be check-points to be established on various corners of the country, as a deterrent measure against the terror groups who sow criminality.

“We ask everyone to cooperate. When passing a check-point, let us turn off our headlights and turn-on the light inside the vehicle to allow our law enforcers to perform their jobs.”

Abella further asked, “let us cooperate. It is for our own safety. The government is doing its best but the unity and cooperation of everybody is necessary to fight the terrorists and to cleanse the country of criminality.”

He also advised the public to be vigilant and to report to the authorities information about people sowing crimes.

Earlier, Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar confirmed that there are reports of assassination plots against President Duterte. “Aside from efforts of the government troops to protect the President, it would even be better if the people could act as ‘neighborhood watch’ to gather information at the community level to help ensure his safety,” and allow him to pursue the programs beneficial for the nation and the future generation.

The President has waged a war on illegal drugs and has ordered the military to destroy the Abu Sayyaf Group who do terroristic activities and victimizing even the innocent. (LTA/PND)

PRRD’s declaration of ‘state of lawless violence’ covers the entire country; cooperation of all sought despite the inconvenience
President Rodrigo Duterte in the early morning of Saturday has declared a state of lawless violence in the country following an explosion at the night market in Davao late Friday night that led to the death and injury of scores of innocent civilians but asked that Filipinos cooperate despite the inconvenience.

The President announced the declaration when he visited the blast site in the early morning of Saturday. It was declared not only because of the bomb explosion but the crisis involving the illegal drugs and the war on criminality.

Presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said “first, it’s not martial law. Second, it is not a suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. Kaya nagdeklara ng state of lawlessness, ay maraming pangyayari dito sa ating bayan.”

He said that the President was prompted to declare because of the following reasons: “One, we have the drug menace, which covers the entire country. Ninety eight percent of the barangays have been infiltrated by drug dealers – and by drug dealers, I mean drug users, drug pushers, drug lords. Pangalawa, mayroon tayong kriminalidad na nagaganap po doon sa buong bansa natin. Lahat ng klaseng crime: may private crimes, may public crimes. Number three, mayroon tayong terorismo, at iyan iyong ginagawa nila ngayon sa Davao, na ang intention, to create fear and panic among the population. And number four, iyong rebelyon at iyong mga ginagawa ng Abu Sayyaf.”

The declaration, he said is aimed at protecting the country “mapangalagaan natin ang kaligtasan ng ating mga kababayan, ginagamit ngayon ng Pangulo ang lahat ng sandatahang lakas dito sa ating bansa upang ma-suppress o ma-prevent, o masugpo o mahinto ang kalakaran na hindi sumusunod sa batas.”

In a palace statement, Abella clarified that the president’s declaration of a state of lawlessness is rooted in Article VII Section 18 of the Constitution.

Under Section 18 of said provision, it states that “the President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all Armed Forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion.”

He also clarified that the declaration does not involve the suspension of the writ of Habeas Corpus, it is not in any way likened to martial law.

With the declaration, the residents will be inconvenienced but palace officials are asking for the everyone’s cooperation and unity.

“Magkakaroon lang ng mga inconvenience like for instance, kung dating walang checkpoint, maglalagay tayo ng checkpoint. Oh ‘di siyempre medyo hihinto ka, iche-check ka, may inconvenience ka. Pero kailangan iyon sapagka’t malawak nga ang problema natin, hindi mo alam kung iyong nakasakay diyan eh mga terorista o kaya mga drug lords ‘di ba, mga pushers,” Panelo said. (LTA/PND) 

Duterte: I have the duty to protect the country, keep the integrity of our nation intact
With the environment of lawless violence happening, President Rodrigo Duterte demonstrates a focused leadership and strong stand against criminality and assured that the government is here to protect the public.

The President gave the assurance immediately following the latest bombing in Davao which killed 14 and injuring dozens of innocent people.

President Duterte said “I have the duty to protect the country and to keep the integrity of the nation intact.”

“ It is not Martial Law, its nothing to do with the suspension of the habeas corpus,” the President said adding that the fight on illegal drugs and criminality covers his declaration of state of lawless violence nationwide.

In the aftermath of the latest bombing incident, Duterte told his fellow Davaoeños to remain calm and stay vigilant.

“Just keep calm. The government is here with you much as humanly possible to protect everybody.” The President said even as he rallied the citizenry to do their part by being vigilant in this extra-ordinary times whose city have suffered and one of the most battered cities on terrorism.

“There is a crisis in this country” he said, adding there is “nothing to hide, I suggest the public has to be liberal and understand” as he ordered the military and police to conduct searches which aim to prevent perpetrators of blood incidents from pursuing their criminal and terroristic act.

The President said until the threat against the people is neutralized, the declaration of state of lawless violence nationwide remains in effect. (PPA//LTA/PND) 

President Duterte visits Davao blast casualties
DAVAO CITY — Straight from his previous engagements and without a wink of sleep, President Rodrigo Duterte was still up in the hours before dawn. After a briefing at the Davao City Police Office (DCPO), the President proceeded to the Marco Polo Hotel for a meeting with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. As soon as this was adjourned, the President proceeded to walk from the Marco Polo Hotel to the blast site ,which was only a short distance away.

The President personally inspected the blast site together with the Executive Secretary and talked with police officers and first responders on the scene. After which he allowed an ambush interview with the media.

Initially, the President refused to speculate about who was responsible for the act which was subsequently claimed by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). “Well, just keep calm and it’s seasonal in our city, we have suffered the most, one of the most battered cities about terrorism and all of these things, criminality. And I said the government is here with you as much as humanly possible, we will protect everybody. We have very limited soldiers and policemen.”

The President said “I suggest that the citizens also do their part by being vigilant and at this time, you can go anywhere but be sure if your hairs on your nape stands up, there’s something that’s afoot, then maybe just get out as soon as possible,” Duterte said.

Immediately after the blast, checkpoints were established around the city and it was difficult to get around every few hundred meters without being stopped at a police/military checkpoint.

“I might just declare a state of lawless violence in this country. It’s not martial law but I am inviting now the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the military and the police to run the country in accordance with my specifications,” President Duterte said.

The President assured that although there will be an increased presence of the police and military, all these will be under the directive of the National Government. “I have this duty to protect the country. I have this duty to keep intact the integrity of our nation. So, I’m declaring now a State of Lawlessness, it is not martial law. It has nothing to do with suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus. We go about, but I said there will be checkpoints and I believe that we are allowed to do that under such circumstances.”

As soon as the impromptu press conference ended, the President proceeded to visit the blast casualties beginning at the San Pedro Hospital, the Southern Philippines Medical Center, Angel Funeral Parlor and the Cosmopolitan Funeral homes.

While walking towards the bedside of the victims and before meeting the relatives of those injured, the President’s hand was left placed on his left chest, demonstrating his deep care and concern for the innocent Filipinos who were victim of the terroristic act. Going to each and everyone of the victims, he stopped to look at a medical equipment that monitors the condition of one of the victims unconsciously lying on the bed. He went on to talk to the families, reassuring them that the government will do its best to give justice to the victims and that they will be taken cared of.

Hospital staff and patients were pleasantly surprised by the predawn, unscheduled visit of the Chief Executive. President Duterte spent a few minutes with each of the survivors in closed-door sessions. Duterte reassured the survivors that he will do everything in his capacity to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The most poignant scenes unfolded when President Duterte insisted on seeing the remains of the fatalities who were still in the morgue. The President asked to view each one and touched their faces and at one point, even kissed the remains of a young pharmacy student who died while undergoing surgery in the hospital where she was doing her practicum.

“The thoughts and prayers of the entire nation are with the people of Davao,” posted the Presidential Communications Office social media account on Facebook.

Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio also invited the the citizens of Davao City to a memorial of the victims at the explosion site. “Everybody is welcome to offer a prayer, flowers, and to light a candle for those who have passed. Let us all come together as a people,” she said in a statement posted on the same social media account.

One netizen said “mas lalo natin suportahan ang ating mahal na Pangulo. Higit na mas kailangan niya tayo ngayon, sa atin siya humuhugot ng lakas at sa Taas. Halina’t ipagdasal po natin an gating bayan laban sa kasamaan.”

Davao City is currently under lockdown and checkpoints will remain. The public was assured that this is only a precautionary measure and they could go wherever they wanted around the city but being vigilant and of the happenings around them. (AAA//LTA/PND)

Duterte: Ph is ready to cooperate, establishing good order among nations in ASEAN Summit
The Philippines is ready to cooperate and establish a good order among nations in the forthcoming 28th and 29th ASEAN Summit in Laos, according to President Rodrigo Duterte just hours before his hometown Davao City was rocked by an explosion owned by Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) which killied 14 people and injuring dozens more.

“We are ready to talk a about terrorism, human trafficking and drugs,” President Duterte told reporters after he inaugurated Fridaythe multi-billion peso Davao International Container Terminal (DICT) in Panabo City Davao Del Norte.

The Philippines “is ready to do its part internationally, comply with (our) obligations, comply with the contracts that (we) have entered into with foreigners in this country doing business,” the President added.

Anticipating a one-on-one meeting with the United States, Russia and China, Duterte said: “ I’d like the Ambassador to just answer me one question. Is there any on going construction for expansion in the South China Sea.”

On the plight of Filipino fishermen, Duterte said: I should be expecting a favorable answer when I get to Laos.”

President Duterte said he is hoping that China would realize that the Philippines is doing its part not to do any act that would aggravate the problems at the South China Sea. We walk the extra mile to be conscious about this thing, that we’re not suppose to ignite. Ang problema is a everytime that they would reply, they always say that they are not willing to obey the arbitral (decision). They could have stated it otherwise, ”emphasizing that he seldom use the arbitral decision favoring the Philippines.

“ I would just want to know is there any additional construction going on. Specially, in the area of Masinloc (Zambales). Because if it gets bigger and bigger much as I as would like to avoid the trouble now, the other countries might just decide to invoke the maritime safety and begin to question using us, since we have arbitral judgment in our hands,” Duterte said giving credit to former President Simeon Benigno Aquino III who initiated the filing of the case in the United Nations (UN) international tribunal.

“t’s a journey to the future but it has place us in the right bearing,” Duterte said. (PPA//LTA/PND)

DICT inaugurates multi-billion peso port facilities
DAVAO CITY — The Anflocor Group of Companies inaugurated the modern Davao International Container Terminal (DICT) a multi-billion peso, high-tech port facility in Panabo City, Davao del Norte with no less than President Rodrigo Duterte as guest of honor.

President Duterte along with Davao del Norte representative, Antonio “Tony Boy” Floirendo, Jr. and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea assisted in the sounding of the ceremonial siren which set the port cranes and long-nosed trucks in motion.

The DICT is by far, the most modern container port in Mindanao. It is a major hub in the southern Philippines where commercial shipping loads and offloads 20 and 40-footer vans with a variety of goods.

“We live in a world that is shrinking fast. Because of modern technology, we are now closer to each other.” President Duterte said.

Duterte said that for the economy to flourish, there must be a way to ferry goods in the cheapest and fastest way. Unfortunately, with the rise of piracy incidents in the high seas, insurance rates go up and the cost of importing or exporting goods also go up.

In the press conference that followed, President Duterte responded to the question on reports that new Chinese barges have been sighted in the West Philippine Sea. Duterte said that he would like to confront the Chinese ambassador on these matters just to confirm if indeed China in currently building new structures in the area.

The President maintains that he will not broach the topic in the upcoming ASEAN meet unless another country brings out the topic. “I hope that China would realize that we walk the extra mile to be conscious about this thing, that we are not supposed to ignite. The problem is that every time they would reply, they always say that they are not willing to obey the arbitral ruling. On our part, I never bragged that we won the ruling.” Duterte said.

The President added, “What I just want to know if there is any additional construction going on in Masinloc because if it gets bigger, much as I would like to avoid trouble now, the other countries might just decide to invoke the maritime safety and begin to question us since we have the arbitral judgment in our hands. So, I do not dread the day, but I would just like to be comfortable until such time that I talk to them bilateral face to face, eyeball to eyeball.” (AAA//LTA/PND)

Duterte: Ph law enforcers are capable of investigating the blast incident
DAVAO CITY — With the latest explosion that rocked Davao killing 14 people and injuring scores of innocent civilians, President Rodrigo Duterte said local lawmen are capable of investigating the incident, and there is no need for other countries to meddle.

“The police of the Republic of the Philippines and the military, the Armed Forces of the country are capable of doing the investigation and doing it correctly,” the President told reporters early morning on Saturday at the ground-zero of the explosion.‘There’s a crime committed, murder and we will proceed accordingly. We will investigate and in the fullness of God’s time, we may be able to solve the problem.”

He said “the incident is a police matter,” adding “it’s not an isolated case in the sense that there was the grenade throwing in Cotabato City and the assault on so many places.”

President Duterte added “we are not new to this kind. It is always connected with the Abu Sayyaf or in Central Mindanao. But this is not the first time that Davao City has been sacrificed in the altar of violence.”

During an ambush interview at the blast site in Roxas St., President Rodrigo Duterte reminded the public of his previous statement regarding possible reprisals by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) on the intensified military operations in Sulu.

“We have always been ready for this. I warned, I remember warning everybody that there could be a reprisal because of the pressure there in Sulu which is going on. At nagbigay talaga sila ng warning. We know that but I said this is not a fascist state. I cannot control the movements of the citizens of the city and every Filipino of the country has the right to enter and leave Davao. It’s very porous. It’s unfortunate that this is a democracy and we cannot frisk anybody for just any reason,” the President said.

The explosion that killed 14 people and injured 60 others has placed Davao City currently under a state of lockdown with increased police and military visibility. “Yes of course, Davao is safe. There is no criminality except terrorism which I’ve been harping all along that the next horizon. I remember giving it sa like 3 to 7 years and we will have a narco politics and of course we have to confront the ugly head of terrorism”, the President said.

President Duterte said there was no failure of intelligence pertaining to this incident. Sporadic terrorist attacks have already occurred in other parts of the region including the grenade blast in Cotabato and the Maute jail raid in Lanao del Sur. The President considers it fortunate that the government can leave out the New Peoples Army (NPA) in their investigations so the investigation will be narrowed down to just a few suspects or groups.

Although there are leads as to what type of explosive device was used, the President refused to divulge any more details pertaining to the case. (AAA/PPA//LTA/PND)