26 July 2016

PRRD reiterates War vs Criminality, corruption in SONA
Speaking before a joint session of the 17th Congress during his first-ever State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Rodrigo R. Duterte reiterated his stance against criminal elements and crooked government officials. “I was determined then as I am determined and better positioned now to wage war against those who make a mockery of our laws, including those who make life for us miserable,” he said.

Only less than a month into the presidency, Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs has already yielded more than 3,600 arrests and 120,000 surrendereds, of which 7,000 are pushers. Anti-illegal drugs operatives have also neutralized a big-time suspected drug lord and arrested a former mayor dubbed as the “Mindanao drug queen”.

“I said that the fight against criminality, illegal drugs and corruption will be relentless and sustained. I reiterate that commitment today that is why I call on the Philippine National Police, the barangay chairmen, the mayors, the governors and all those occupying seats of power and authority not to lower their guard. There will be no let-up in this campaign. Double your efforts. Triple them if need be. We will not stop until the last drug lord, the last financier, the last supplier and the last pusher, have surrendered or put behind bars or below the ground if they so wish,” PRRD stressed.

The President in the past weeks had said that the drug problem is deeply rooted in society. The fact that no one dares talk about it for fear of reprisal from drug lords and their henchmen is proof of the corrosive nature of drugs.

He called on the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies to do their job and they will have his unwavering support. He however warned, “Abuse your authority and there will be hell to pay, for you will have become worse than criminality itself!”

President Duterte has ordered the National Police Commission to hasten the conduct of its investigation of police officers facing administrative charges for their alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade. Lifestyle checks will be conducted on PNP officers and members aside from being subjected to surprise drug tests.

PRRD also proposed the creation of an inter-agency committee on illegal drugs that will integrate military reservists to campaign against illegal drugs and disseminate information on drug rehabilitation programs being offered by the government and the strengthening of the Reserve Officers Training Corps to instill love of country and citizenship. (PND)

PRRD to Congress: Enact law to better manage public information
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday encouraged the members of both Congressional chambers to pass a law creating the People’s Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) for a better management of public information.

The President made the endorsement to the two houses of Congress during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.

Under the plan earlier unveiled by Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, PBC is envisioned to replace People’s Television Network (PTV-4), a state-run broadcasting network.

“Ito ang gusto ko (This is what i like) — tutal pera naman ng tao (besides its people’s money) — to observe editorial independence through innovative programs and intelligent treatment and analysis of news reports, as well as developments of national and international significance,” President Duterte emphasized, adding that a team from the British Broadcasting Corporation is arriving to conduct training for PTV-4 personnel.

In the same speech, PRRD said the government’s Bureau of Broadcast Services, better known as the Radyo ng Bayan, shall undergo an upgrade to make it financially viable and dependable for accurate, independent, and enlightening news and commentaries.

Radyo ng Bayan will be integrated with PBC, which will establish broadcast hubs in the Visayas and Mindanao. At present, a PCO Satellite Office is being set up in Davao City, the President said.

The country’s first Muslim channel, to be called Salaam Television, and the first Lumad channel will also be set up in Davao.

Meanwhile, President Duterte directed the PCO to coordinate with the Office of the Executive Secretary and the Presidential Legal Counsel in implementing the recently approved EO on the Freedom of Information.

“There is an Executive Order, it’s out. As an example on the part of the Executive Branch to make transparency and integrity as yardsticks in government performance, savings and expenses while engaging the public to be vigilant in participating in government programs and projects,” PRRD said. (PND)

Andanar: ‘President passionate to deliver change
Palace Communications chief Martin Andanar said he shared the President’s aspiration for positive change, giving context to his response a day prior to the President’s first State of the Nation Address.

“There are issues that I’m passionate about that were mentioned in the speech: unilateral ceasefire (no amount of medals or cash gifts will compensate lost lives), no separation between God and State, Muslim and Lumad TV, Task Force Against Media Killings,” Andanar underscored.

The PCO Secretary lauded the President’s capacity to communicate from the heart, risking going against the established structure and expected protocol and tradition of the annual speech given to Congress on its opening day.

He said the President’s extemporaneous, spontaneous style reaffirmed his desire to fulfill his campaign promises to the people.

“And the Filipino, disciplined, informed and involved, shall rise from the rubbles of sorrow, apathy and pain so much that all mirrors of the world will reflect the face of a passion that will change this land,” Andanar quoted the President.

Observers have characterized the President’s speech as “post-modern,” “unpredictable and sincere in many parts,” “communicating to multiple audiences,” “a mix of serious and facetious,” “a roller coaster ride,” “delivered by a thinking President.”

Andanar likewise expressed gratitude to the President for his attention and support to government media.

“No President has given this premium on government media’s potential in his SONA,”Andanar, who oversees the government’s information machinery, said.

President Duterte announced a milestone in government programming that would expand the services of PTV4, soon to be replaced by the People’s Broadcasting Corporation, which aims to replicate international broadcasting services such as the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) in the U.K. and Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) in Australia.

The President repeatedly emphasized his dream to direct greater services to Mindanao and Visayas, as these major islands are considered crucial sites for government information campaign.

“The establishment of the first Muslim and Lumad channel in the country is a resolve of the President to keep abreast the indigenous peoples on issues affecting them and the entire nation,” Andanar said. “The lumad need relevant and necessary support to pursue education, livelihood, and the protection of their cultural identity.”