08 September 2016

Caretaker favors increasing penalties vs. “bomb jokes”
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Thursday expressed his support for a law to be passed in Congress increasing the penalties against those who spread “bomb jokes” and for the citizenry to be disciplined on the matter.

“If only to quell itong mga birong hindi maganda ho, dapat madisiplina tayo dito sa bagay na ito,” he said in a radio interview over DWFM anchored by Orly Mercado, a former Senator and Defense Secretary.

At the same time, ES Medialdea explained anew Memorandum No 3 – the guidelines for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) in the implementation of measures to suppress and prevent lawless violence.

“Ang pag-isyu po nito was by virtue of the spate of violence na nangyayari ho sa Mindanao,” he said.

“We can’t take this just sitting down anymore, we have to address it. So the President made the decision to declare a state of lawless violence,” the Executive Secretary said.

Based on the guidelines about the deployment of additional military and policemen, the Palace executive stressed “augmentation lang po ng police authorities sa mga areas na dapat nating tuntunan. May mga intelligence report na baka ulitin, siyempre preventive po itong mga measures na ito.”

“Memorandum Order No. 3, Section 5, we categorically stated that the constitutional rights of every individual should respected and given due regard by the Armed Forces and the police.”

As a safety reminder to the general public, he stressed: “In case of police and military checkpoints – inspection should be limited to a request to roll down vehicle windows, search for things in plain view only and production of documents and identification and vehicle registration papers.”

The Palace official added, “No further intrusive action shall be taken, such as demanding the opening of trunks or asking person on board to step out unless the subject individual consents or agrees thereto.” (PPA/JAG/PND)

Indonesia to adapt PH-style drug crackdown
The war against illegal drugs initiated by President Rodrigo R. Duterte is getting positive feedback from other Asian countries.

Indonesia’s anti-narcotics chief Budi Waseso praised the move by the Philippine President and called for a similar crackdown to be implemented in his country.

Waseso mentioned in a press conference that the drug problem in Indonesia is no different from the Philippines. “The life of a dealer is meaningless because (he) carries out mass murder. How can we respect that?” he asked.

Indonesia’s anti-narcotics agency BNN said it will upgrade its arsenal of weapons, training of officers, technology and equipment needed in the fight against the illegal drug trade.

While President Duterte has earned both praise and criticism for his efforts, both the Philippines and Indonesia apparently share the same philosophy in the war against illegal drugs.

“It can happen because (the illegal drugs problem) in Indonesia is as bad as in the Philippines,” Waseso said. (AAA/JAG/PND)

Duterte, Obama shake hands after brief meeting
Presidents Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Barack Hussein Obama were spotted to have finally met and talked to each other for few a minutes at the holding room where leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were gathered on Wednesday night in Vientiane, Laos.

This came before a “family photo” of the ASEAN heads of state and their dialogue partners were taken prior to their gala dinner hosted by the Lao People’s Democratic Republic for the visiting leaders.

In a media briefing at the Philippine Ambassador’s residence in Vientiane, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said that in spite of a controversy over the last few days because of the way the international media portrayed an expression that is differently interpreted in our country, President Duterte and President Obama shook hands just before they went out for the gala dinner.

“They had a very warm conversation that lasted for a few minutes. Unfortunately, I cannot share more than that. All I know is that after we went to the Presidential Palace tonight, nandun na si President Duterte sa holding room ng leaders,” he said.

“As the leaders came in, he would stand up and shake their hands and one of them was President Obama. And instead of just shaking their hands in parting, they spent a couple of minutes together until the other leaders…so despite the rough start, I think Duterte is more effective on the personal, face-to-face level,” Senator Cayetano added.