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

MARIE:                                               Magandang umaga, ma’am.

MS. JOCSON: Hi, Marie. Good morning. How are you?

MARIE:                                               Fine, ma’am. I hope you’re doing fine, too.

MS. JOCSON: Yes, I am. Alam mo, Marie, napaka-busy ng ating Presidente this last week. Hanggang kaninang umaga eh, mayroon pa siyang ginagawang trabaho. So, are you ready and your listeners to listen to the week that was of PRRD?

MARIE:                                               Yes, ma’am. At sa hanggang gabi, mayroon din siyang dinner with the Davao media ‘no, ‘yung mga nasa Davao at marami rin siyang pinahayag doon.

MS. JOCSON: Oo, tama ka diyan Marie. So, I will now proceed with those activities, and then after which, I will read the statements from Presidential Spokesperson Abella. Okay, Marie?

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

MS. JOCSON: Thank you. We will start with last Monday, that’s September 18.

President Rodrigo Duterte began the week by leading the Order of Lapu-Lapu posthumous awarding ceremony for PO3 Junior Hilario, where he pinned the medal of Kalasag to the fallen cop’s son and gave his family cash assistance. PO3 Hilario was killed in an anti-illegal drug operation, in Caloocan City. He then proceeded to the 6th Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) Opening Ceremony, where PRRD commended public lawyers for providing legal assistance to the marginalized sectors of society and encouraged them to fight for justice and protect the rights of the underprivileged.

Tuesday, September 19, in separate meetings in Makati City, President Duterte met with ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) Leaders, together with AIPA Secretary General Isra Sunthornvut, ASEAN Secretary-General LêLương Minh, and this year’s AIPA President, Philippine House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. He pitched for regional unity and raised concerns about destructive forms of mining, climate change, and security.  He also aired the need for dialogue to resolve issues with regard to the South China Sea and the rising tension in the Korean Peninsula.

The President also attended the 38th ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) closing ceremony, which highlighted the organization’s role to support the work of ASEAN’s three community pillars. AIPA is a regional parliamentary organization that serves as the center of communication and information among member parliaments.

In Malacañang, the President met with Philippine Special Envoy to the European Union (EU) Edgardo Angara, where the latter presented a book, “The World of the Manila-Acapulco Galleons: The Global and Human Context,” which Mr. Angara co-authored with Instituto Cervantes Executive Director Carlos Madrid. Later in the day, PRRD appeared on the television program ‘Sa Totoo Lang’ hosted by Mr. Erwin Tulfo. To cap off the day, Proclamation No. 319 declaring September 21 as a National Day of Protest was also signed.

On Wednesday, September 20, in a series of meetings at Malacañan Palace, PRRD led the oath-taking ceremony of the newly elected Philippine National Police Academy Alumni Association, Inc. (PNPAAAI) Board of Trustees. He vowed to improve the PNP’s fighting capacity, including their intelligence network.

On the occasion of the Gawad Career Executive Service (CES) and the 2017 Outstanding Government Workers Conferment Ceremony, President Duterte awarded the Gawad Career Executive Service (CES), the Civil Service Commission Pag-asa Award, the Dangalang Bayan Award, and the Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award to exemplary civil servants reiterating the government’s commitment to fight corruption, criminality, and illegal drugs.

He also met with United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim to discuss his strong policies against terrorism and illegal drugs in the country; the recent issue involving Commission on Human Rights, the invitation for United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) to set up a satellite office in the Philippines; and the US government’s all-out support for the Philippines in its fight against terrorism. Lastly, for that day, he presided over the 3rd Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council Meeting or the LEDAC.

On Thursday, September 21, PRRD made his fifth visit in war-torn Marawi City, where he expressed his utmost gratitude to the soldiers. The Commander-in-Chief announced here that he would finally lift martial law once government forces wind up the offensives in the conflict zone.

And on September 22, the President made public a diagram of individuals and politicians linked to the country’s illegal drug trade, particularly the operation of the drug campaign in Marawi City and the entire of Mindanao during the gathering with Davao media. This was what you were talking about earlier, Marie.

MARIE:                                               Yes, ma’am.

MS. JOCSON: Oo, iyon ‘yun. So noong September 22 nga, that was when the President was in Marawi and he faced the Davao media. And then lastly ‘no, early this morning, September 23, the Chief Executive paid his last respects to PO2 Alexis Laurente, who died in Marawi. He ordered that an Order of Lapu-Lapu be pinned on the fallen Special Action Force (SAF) commando, there.

Those are the activities of PRRD for the week. I will now proceed to read statements from Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella.

First is on the UNHRC adopts the 3rd Philippine UPR – We welcome the United Nations Human Rights Council’s final adoption of the Third Philippine Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Report. The adoption of the Philippine UPR Report in Geneva recognizes the human rights record of the Philippines and our country’s commitment to human rights under the leadership of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. This likewise reaffirms our respect for the dignity of the Filipino people and the protection of the Filipino family as we strive for a better life in a society free of illegal drugs and other crimes.

We congratulate the efforts of Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary (DFA) Alan Peter Cayetano, together with Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Undersecretary Severo Catura of the Presidential Commission on Human Rights and the rest of the members of the Philippine government UPR team for their tireless efforts in explaining to the world our policies, practices, commitments and obligations in the area of human rights.

On the Pew Research Center Survey – Our campaign against illegal drugs and criminals, support to get unwavering support from our people. The Palace welcomes the findings of the Pew Research Center, that’s P-E-W Research Center, an American think tank, showing that 86% of Filipinos have favorable views of PRRD. 78% of Filipinos approving of PRRD’s handling of illegal drugs issue, and 62% of Filipinos believing that the government is making progress in its campaign against illegal drugs. The campaign against illegal drugs, as the President said, would be relentless until the drug apparatus is dismantled, the last drug pusher is out of the streets, and the last drug trafficker behind bars.

Lastly, on the Cabinet SALN – While we uphold the principle of transparency and accountability in public service, those working in the government, such as members of the Cabinet, still have the right to privacy. There are some who may use the sensitive personal information and other data contained in the SALNs to harass people or commit fraud.  We therefore consider security concerns as valid issues. With the Data Privacy Act in full force and effectivity this year, data protection officers are obliged to redact items in SALN to protect the right to privacy of all state workers, including Cabinet members. This is consistent with global data protection regulations.

That’s all for now, Marie. So we are able to listen to the wrap up of the President’s activities.