Statement by Assistant to the Presidential Spokesperson Ms. China Jocson (Marie Peña-Ruiz Kaagapay ng Bayan – Radyo Pilipinas)

MARIE:                                               Magandang umaga, ma’am.

MS. JOCSON: Hi Marie, how are you today?

MARIE:                                               Fine, ma’am. It’s a beautiful Saturday morning, as beautiful as you.

MS. JOCSON: Salamat, Marie. We’re always talking na every Saturday, phone pals na yata tayo. Okay. Thank you, Marie. So I will give our listeners the—a wrap up of the very productive week of our President, and then I will proceed with the statements. Okay?

MARIE:                                               Yes, ma’am. Go ahead, ma’am.

MS. JOCSON: Thank you. So these are the wrap up of PRRD’s weekly activities for this week:

We start on Monday, September 4, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte began the week by presiding over the 18th Cabinet meeting of his administration in Malacañang. Agenda for discussion included a briefing on the flu outbreak, a discussion on the microeconomic performance during the second quarter of 2017, the status of the President’s legislative agenda, among other matters.

Later in the day, the President met with Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Angelito Banayo and Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) Chief Operating Officer Pocholo Paragas also in Malacañang.

Also in the Palace, he met with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, MILF Peace Implementing Panel Chair Mohagher Iqbal, Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) Chair Ghadzali Jaafar, BTC Commissioner Abdulra of Macacua, and BTC Executive Director Esmael Pasigan.

On Tuesday, September 5, President Duterte led the unveiling of the Grand Hyatt Manila marker at the main lobby of the hotel in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. He likewise attended the 55th anniversary celebration of Metrobank, and at the same venue, awarded the outstanding leaders, soldiers and police officers during the 2017 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Awarding Ceremonies. On this day, the President signed Executive Order No. 39 mandating the Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary as ex-officio chair of the PNOC Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC) and PNOC Renewables Corporation (PNOC-RC).

Now, on Wednesday, September 6, the President met with Carlito and Eva Arnaiz, parents of the 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz, at the Malago Clubhouse. Malacañang earlier guaranteed a thorough and impartial investigation into the killing of the young Arnaiz. The President graced the 60th founding anniversary the Social Security System (SSS), where he commended the agency for efficiently safeguarding and nurturing the hard-earned contributions of its members. Later that day, he led the presentation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Business Awards 2017, where he called on the awardees to help their fellow entrepreneurs, especially the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

On Friday, September 8, President Rodrigo Duterte commended the locals of Digos City for their solidarity and cooperation in the crucial task of fostering sustainable development during the 17th Araw ng Digos founding anniversary celebration in Davao del Sur. The Chief Executive vowed to push for valuable programs for the region, and to spearhead inclusive growth throughout the country.

I will now proceed with reading the statements from Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella. First will be on the Barangay Elections: While we adhere to the President’s position of postponement of barangay and SK elections, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), like the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), has always been prepared if in case the barangay elections will push through.

On the President’s remarks that the campaign against illegal drugs is being sabotaged: The President’s campaign against illegal drugs has adversely affected many, including powerful narco-politicians and deep pocketed drug lords who flourished prior to this administration. It should not come as a surprise that these malignant elements would conspire to sabotage the President’s campaign to rid the Philippines of illegal drugs and criminality, the centerpiece program of the administration, to succeed, which may include creating scenarios creating public anger against the government. The recent killings apparently targeting the youth should be viewed with suspicion and urgency.

Lastly, on Hurricane Irma: The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), through our Honorary Consulate in Miami, is closely monitoring the situation in Florida following Hurricane Irma’s expected landfall over the weekend. Members of the Filipino community have been advised to stay indoors, avoid unnecessary travels, and check the latest weather advisories and bulletins from government websites. That’s all for today, Marie.

MARIE:                                               Thank you very much, ma’am.

MS. JOCSON: Maraming salamat at mabuhay ka.

MARIE:                                               Happy weekend ma’am. Mabuhay po kayo. Thank you very much.