15 January 2017
Duterte asks Filipinos to show nationalism by fighting graft
DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte said the Filipinos can stop graft and corruption in government by being patriotic and that it is time to fight abuses in government.

In a speech during the 49th Annual Installation of the Board of Trustees and Officer of the the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. on Saturday, January 14, the President reiterated his pledge of zero corruption in government under his watch.

“Dito sa graft and corruption, alam mo kayo lang ang makahinto niyan, hindi ako. Kayo lang talaga. The Filipino guy must be assertive,” the President told Davao City businessmen during the event in Marco Polo Hotel.

“Do not be afraid of government employees even the military and the pulis if you are right. That is what I guarantee you now,” he added noting that if Filipinos want to help the government they have six years to do it.

The public, he said, must be assertive in dealing with government agencies whether in applying for land certificates or clearing packages at the Bureau of Customs.

Only the people can effectively combat graft and corruption because as president, he said, he cannot micromanage everything.

“Anyway I think that we should have a respite from corruption. Ngayon, if you want your country really to grow, ayaw ko ng away,” he said.

The President also mentioned his war on drugs, adding that after meeting the country’s mayors last week, he is arranging to meet the governors next week to warn them about getting involved in the drug trade. He vowed to eliminate illegal drugs in the country under his term.

Telling criminals and drug dealers how the ongoing deadly crackdown will stop, the President said: “Drop your guns if you are a terrorist; drop the shabu tonight and tomorrow it will be heaven.”

The President also reported about recent Mindanao bombings involving the Maute group, saying all suspects have been accounted for. One of the suspects, he announced is the son of a Cotabato mayor, who is now detained in Malaysia.

There is good working relations with Malaysia and Indonesia in tackling cross border security and terrorism, he said.

He also said he gave the approval to other countries’ navies to enter Philippine waters during pursuit operations.

President Duterte also discussed the ongoing peace process particularly with the communist rebels and Muslim separatists.

At the same time, he told Davao City businessmen that he has brilliant people in his cabinet helping him move the country forward. While he ensures peace and security, the cabinet members work on improving the economy and uplifting the lives of the people, he said.###PND


Palace urges Catholic faithful for cooperation to ensure peaceful Sinulog Feast
Malacañan called on the Catholic faithful to cooperate with the authorities in ensuring a peaceful celebration of the Sinulog Festival in Cebu.

“Ang mensahe po ng Malacañang sa mga pupunta po sa Sinulog, sa Pit Señor, ay makipag-cooperate po tayo sa ating kapulisan para sa maayos na selebrasyon,” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in an interview over Radyo ng Bayan on Sunday, January 14.

“Alam po natin na ito po ay pinupuntahan ng libu-libo kundi milyong tao at ang ating gusto pong mangyari ay at the end of the day, maayos po at peaceful ‘yung celebration,” he added.

The Palace official noted the religiosity of the Filipinos who call for help upon Sto. Niño, especially when faced with major challenges.

“We are a very faithful country at number one po ang Diyos sa puso ng karamihan. For majority of the Filipinos, we draw our strength from the Sto. Niño. Minsan pag wala na po tayong makakapitan, do’n po tayo sa simbahan pupunta, magdadasal and this really is another religious event na talagang hindi pwede nating palampasin na ganun-ganon lang,” Andanar said.

“We’re all praying for everyone’s safety,” he added.

Secretary Andanar meanwhile said President Duterte will not be attending the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump.

He said that instead, the Philippines will be represented by its Ambassador.

“Ang representative po ng Pilipinas sa Trump inaugural ay ang head of mission or ‘yung Ambassador po ng Pilipinas to the United States of America. Customarily, ang head of mission po talaga or ‘yung Ambassador ang representative ng ating bansa,” Andanar explained.

“Because this is totally a domestic event, mga Amerikano po talaga ang nandiyan para i-celebrate ‘yung inauguration,” he added.###PND

Duterte attracts a record P1 trillion in ODA in 7 months
The Duterte administration has posted a historic first by raising the highest amount of official development assistance (ODA)—Php 1 trillion—in just seven months in office.

​”From July 1st to now, the President has raised close to one trillion pesos in ODA. And I’m only counting the amounts from China and Japan, and there’s more ODA that we have received but haven’t counted in from various countries,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said, emphasizing that he was referring to ODA alone, not trade deals.

​ODA refers to outright grants and loans given by foreign governments to support developing countries by providing low-interest and long-term or concessional funds to finance the latter’s development efforts.

​To date, the ODA from China and Japan totaled to US18 billion, at US$9 billion each. “The ODA from Japan, as announced by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is one trillion yen, which is equivalent to more or less US$9 billion,” Dominguez said.

ODA from China

​For the ODA from China, Dominguez said, the government has already submitted the list of projects to China last November, which include the rehabilitation of the Agus River project that would include irrigation projects in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and a seaport in Cebu, among other infrastructure projects.

​”Our team is going to China in the third week of January to discuss how to make progress in the projects that we have submitted to them,” Dominguez said.

ODA from Japan

​For the financial assistance from Japan, the Finance chief said, the administration will start lining up the projects on Monday, January 16, to discuss in more detail the terms from Japan.

​The finance chief clarified that the foreign aid from China and Japan countries were not requested but voluntary offers from the two countries.

​”I think they (China and Japan) are collaborating to help our country more ahead. I think they see a lot of potential in the Philippine economy, potential for our growth and potential for them to do business here,” Dominguez concluded, adding the administration will still welcome ODA from other countries as long as the offers match the government’s priorities.

Confidence in Duterte’s leadership

​For his part, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the P1 trillion ODA from China and Japan alone in less than seven months “reflects these countries’ complete trust and confidence in the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte.”

​”The ODA from China and Japan as well as from other countries will certainly offset the loss of our allotment in the Millennium Fund from the United States following the Obama administration’s unfounded allegations of human rights violations in the course of President Duterte’s war on drugs,” Andanar pointed out.

Sustaining economic gains

​”The Philippine is the fastest growing economy in Asia based on our third-quarter performance last year. We expect to build upon this milestone this year and post even better-than-expected growth,” Andanar said.

​”We are the chair of the ASEAN this year as it commemorates its 50th year. This and the Miss Universe pageant offer opportunities for the country to put its best foot forward and show the world that we are moving ahead with great strides,” he added.

​Andanar said that once the Duterte administration has made significant progress in the war on drugs and corruption, it can focus more and more on economic construction and fighting poverty by attracting more foreign investments as well as ODA and creating more jobs for Filipinos.###


Duterte launches Philippines’ ASEAN chairmanship, calls for Filipino bayanihan
DAVAO CITY — President Rodrigo Duterte led the launch on Sunday of the country’s chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) calling on Filipinos to help for the successful hosting of the annual summit.

“We recognize the truth that the success is defined by the collective work of our nation and in ASEAN’s entire membership,” the President said in a speech during the launching at SMX Convention Center here in Davao City.

“In this journey, I call on all Filipinos to take an active and constructive part during the Philippines’ Chairmanship of ASEAN. Now, more than ever, it is our spirit of ‘bayanihan’ that has helped define us as a responsible leader of our region during this crucial time,” he added.

He said more than ever, it is ASEAN’s spirit of community that will enable the regional grouping to overcome challenges that it faces as a region.

The President also called on all ASEAN’s dialogue partners to be unwavering in their support for the ASEAN’s continued development and role in regional security, stability and growth.

At the same time, he rallied support from ASEAN member states to renew their dedication to the valued purposes and principles stated in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation – including non-interference – in promoting regional peace and stability through respect for the rule of law.

The Chief Executive stressed that this is a golden opportunity for the ASEAN to work for a regional grouping that has taken its firm and secure place in the community of nations.

While ASEAN has accomplished a lot since its inception 50 years ago, the President said there is still a lot of hard work to be done to achieve real regional transformation.

“I say to you today in full humility: the Philippines – as ASEAN Chair – will remain steadfast in upholding the ideals and values we hold dear and in working for the realization of our shared aspirations,” he said.

“We are committed to the building of a strong and resilient ASEAN Community,” he added.

ASEAN member states can work to strengthen the capacities of micro, small and medium enterprises, promote and protect the welfare of migrant workers, and ensure social protection for the vulnerable sectors of society, he noted.

The President, meanwhile, said that particular attention will be directed towards the development of Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia- Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) noting that talks will be facilitated by the Philippines this year.

The Philippines’ chairmanship will be guided by six thematic priorities spearheaded by the Philippines including people-centered initiatives, ensuring regional peace and stability, pursuing maritime security and cooperation, advancing inclusive, innovation-led growth, strengthening ASEAN resiliency, and promoting ASEAN as a model of regionalism and as a global player.

The Philippines’ hosting coincides with ASEAN’s 50th anniversary celebration with the theme, “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World.”

Among the distinguished guests who graced the event were former Presidents Fidel Ramos, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, members of the Cabinet and ambassadors of the 10 ASEAN Member States.

The ASEAN commemorative coin and stamp were also launched during the event.

The guests were greeted by cultural dances, and a choir based in Davao City, who sang the theme song of the ASEAN Summit.###PND

From Secretary Martin Andanar on PRRD’s Martial Law Remarks before the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The President has categorically said no to martial law. He even made a pronouncement saying that martial law did not improve the lives of the Filipinos. We therefore decry the latest misreporting that the President will declare martial law simply “if he wants to” or that “no one can stop the President from declaring martial law.” Such headlines sow panic and confusion to many. We consider this kind of reportage as the height of journalistic irresponsibility.

The President’s remarks before the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry are clear. He mentioned declaring martial law only under the premise that the country has deteriorated into an utter state of rebellion and lawlessness. As President, he recognizes the challenges and limitations set by our Constitution in declaring martial law but he would nonetheless act accordingly if it warrants the preservation of the nation.