15 September 2016

PRRD: Diplomacy to counteract terrorism, insurgency
President Rodrigo R. Duterte has warned that terrorism in Mindanao could escalate into a full-blown civil war if diplomacy is not employed to counteract insurgency in the countryside.

“From terrorism in Mindanao, it could degenerate into a full-blown civil war,” the President warned in his speech delivered before members of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) during the 48th anniversary of the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing at Villamor Airbase on Tuesday.

“That’s why we are trying to talk. Do not be dismayed about the fact that we are talking to the Left,” he said.

As much as he would like to be strict in dealing with the insurgents, PRRD stressed that as the President of the Republic, “my job is to seek the peace of the land.”

He said, “We cannot be forever killing our own citizens. So they have agreed to talk, we can use the extra force now, we can focus them in Mindanao.”

“But the most important thing here is you have to change paradigm. Hindi na ito gyera na harap-harapan. So it’s always a matter of detection. Meaning to say, something is afoot and you have to detect to find out what it is,” he said.

The President compared the situation to a James Bond movie where the war strategy or game plan does not display so much of might. “So ibahin na ninyo because we are dealing with terrorists and there will be explosions after explosions until we find peace,” he said.

While saying that terrorism and insurgency are still two of the country’s main concerns that have to be addressed in Mindanao, he clarified that there is no issue of discrimination against the Islamic community just because the secessionist groups are composed of Muslims.

“I’m not saying that for the Moro people. Of course, I am a half-Moro or one-fourth. My mama is a mestiza Maranao, my lola is a Maranao, my lolo isChinese,” he said.

“So kayong mga Moro diyan, do not be offended kasi what we’re talking about is the Republic against the enemies of the state. It has nothing to do with bigotry or discrimination. Far from it, far from it,” he said.

Duterte to AFP: Don’t allow drugs, terrorists to compromise future generations
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte called on the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) not to allow the country to take a deep spin that will compromise the future of Filipino children.

“The horror that we are facing in the coming days would really be terrorism and drugs,” Duterte said.

President Duterte’s warning came during his talk with airmen during the 48thanniversary of the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

“Ang hingiin ko lang sa inyo, kayong mga sundalo ng Pilipinas, kung it will outlast me at nandiyan pa ‘yan, I would just like to ask you a favor. Huwag ninyong hayaan na talagang itong country will take a deep spin and because you will compromise our children and their children, ‘yung mga apo ninyo,” the Commander-in-Chief told members of the AFP

Putting his honor, life, and presidency at stake, PRRD cited the gravity of the drug problem that has corrupted some sectors of society, including people in government and the bureaucracy.

“If it will outlast me, then I’ll leave you a legacy of the list of persons you have to take care of. Pag hindi ninyo nadala ito sa maayos na pakiusap, bahala na kayo, alam na ninyo kung anong gawin ninyo. Then restore order, restore sanity in this country.”

Widodo clarifies: Duterte said “Go ahead with the process”
DAVAO CITY (PND) — Singapore’s government-owned Channel News Asia (CNA)has quoted Indonesian President Joko Widodo as saying that what President Rodrigo R. Duterte said during their meeting in Jakarta last week was “Please, go ahead with the process in line with the law in Indonesia.”

According to CNA, he disclosed this to reporters in North Jakarta after opening a new terminal at Tanjung Priok port on Tuesday.

Earlier this week, an Indonesian network reported that it had an exclusive recording of President Widodo indicating that PRRD gave him the “go ahead” to carry out the execution of Filipino death row convict Mary Jane Veloso, a suspected drug mule.

In 2010, Veloso was arrested in Yogyakarta airport for possession of 2.6 kilograms of heroin. She was given the death sentence later that year by an Indonesian court for the crime of drug trafficking.

Since the audio recording of Widodo’s exclusive media interview was in Bahasa Indonesia, there is really no way for the Filipino public to verify if indeed that was what he said unless the network releases the audio file.

The Indonesian President has already admitted that his country has an illegal drugs problem similar to the Philippines. However, the main difference is that Indonesia penalizes drug-related crimes with capital punishment in the form of firing squad.

President Duterte’s tough stance on illegal drugs may have been the cause for speculation and so much attention in the local and international media regarding Veloso’s case.

Upon his arrival from Jakarta last Saturday, Duterte refused to divulge any details regarding his conversation with Widodo pending a private meeting with Veloso’s family. (AAA/JAG/PND)

PCO Chief urges CabSecs to observe procedures in clarifying PRRD’s statements
Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Martin Andanar urged all Cabinet Secretaries to observe the proper systems and procedures before issuing clarifications on the President’s statements to avoid confusion.

In a press briefing on Thursday, the PCO chief said that under the existing standard operating procedures agreed upon on the first day of the Duterte administration, only Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella should speak on behalf of the President.

Secretary Andanar made his statement in reaction to reports that the PCO is being criticized by both the media and legislators, especially Senator Panfilo Lacson who expressed his observation that the Duterte administration has ”too many spokespersons.”

The PCO chief brought up the issue to the President during the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday night.

He clarified that every time Spokesperson Abella is not around, that is the only time he comes into the picture to explain and talk on behalf of the President as the PCO Secretary.

For clarifications on the pronouncements of PRRD, Secretary Andanar requested the President to instruct all concerned that questions be directed first to the PCO, which will then decide who among the Cabinet Secretaries can comprehensively explain a particular pronouncement.

“Pumayag po ang Pangulo na ganon po dapat ang sistema natin and it was also reiterated for the record,” he said. (LMG//FAG/JAG/PND)