MARIE: … si Ms. China Jocson, Assistant to the Presidential Spokesperson. Good morning, ma’am.
LEO: Good morning, ma’am.
MS. JOCSON: Hi, good morning Marie. Belated Happy Birthday to you.
MARIE: Thank you, ma’am. Here with us si Leo Palo of the Malacañang Press Corps.
MS. JOCSON: Hi Leo, magandang umaga. Thank you for working on a weekend as well.
MARIE: Go ahead ma’am with your statement please.
MS. JOCSON:Thank you so much, Marie.
First, you know this is a very historical week for the President and for the nation as well. The high point being the liberation of Marawi. You know, the President also touched based with OFWs, engaged with the Bureau of Prisons, met with high level ASEAN voicing concern over piracy in Malacca. He also met with officials of the Peace Process. He then met with the nation’s business community at the Manila Hotel, and yesterday, inaugurated Cebu Pacific’s main hub in northern Mindanao.
The President’s nation-building mode is on overdrive and here are the details: President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the Federalism Summit and Oath Taking Ceremony of some 6,000 new members of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino and Lakas ng Bayan on October 17th, at the Capitol Convention Center in Pili, Camarines Sur. Swearing-in under the PDP-Laban were incumbent regional, provincial, cities, municipal and barangay officials in the province of Camarines Sur. Officers of the Federalismo Alyansa ng Bicol or they call themselves ‘FAB’ and Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption were also present during the event. In his speech, the President said the Philippines need to catch up with its Asian neighbors that have become prosperous due in large part to their federal setup. He also said federalism is the only chance the country has to finally bring peace in Mindanao.
The President flew to Mindanao later that day, making his 7th visit to Marawi City. This time, to declare the city’s liberation from terrorists after more than 4 months of conflict. His declaration came on the heels of the death of terrorist leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute who were taken down by sniper fire on October 16. In his message, the President commended the military and police personnel who risked their lives to fight the terrorists. He also announced that the liberation of Marawi City marked the start of the rehabilitation process of the war-torn city.
On October 18, President Duterte graced the 7th Anniversary of the Public Service Show ‘Buhay OFW’ at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay. Buhay OFW is hosted by Marissa Del Mar. The show will also launch the Anti-Trafficking OFW Movement or ATOM, which aims to provide assistance and protect Overseas Filipino Workers from being victims of human trafficking, forced labor and abuses while working abroad. During his speech, the President vowed to help OFWs by improving the country’s economy. He also warned illegal recruiters that they could face his wrath for victimizing Filipino.
Later that day, the President talk to key officials, personnel and jail commissioned and non-commissioned officers of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, National Capital Region at the National Capital Region Police Office Multi-Purpose Center at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig. He promised to improve jail facilities and provide trainings for inmates so they can earn money for their family even while in jail. The President also said, he will upgraded security equipment and increase the salaries of jail personnel.
On October 19, President Duterte convened a meeting with the officials of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, government of the Republic of the Philippines or the OPAPP – GRP in Malago, Clubhouse in Malacañang Park. Present in the meeting were OPAPP Secretary Jesus Dureza, Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III, OPAPP Assistant Secretary Dickson Hermoso, OPAPP Assistant Secretary Yeshton Don Bacay and other officials. Later, President Duterte graced the high level forum on ASEAN 50 at the Conrad, Manila Hotel in Pasay City.
The forum aims to bring the best retrospective and perspective of ASEAN leaders and official as well as the eminent persons and years on the making substance, significance and future of ASEAN as a regional bloc, mark its 50th Founding Anniversary.
On that, the highlight was the President speech that his call for government to cooperate and act on the problem of piracy in the Strait of Malacca. He said drastic action must be taken to resolve the very dangerous situation there. Also on October 19, President Duterte graced the concluding ceremony of the 43rd Philippine Business Conference and Exposition of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the Manila Hotel.
The 43rd PBC and Exposition was a truly event, that convene business and government leaders both local and international to exchange strategy since creating a more competitive business environment towards the projected economic transformation of the Philippines by 2022.
In his speech, President Duterte reiterated his intent to lead a corruption-free government, announcing that he had just fired an Undersecretary of the Department of Budget and Management for corruption. He also said his directive is for government official to live simple life and not to use their position for personal gain. Finally yesterday, Friday the 20th, the President graced the launch of ‘CGY’ – the airport code for Cagayan De Oro as the 7th domestic hub of Cebu Pacific at the Laguindingan airport in Misamis Oriental.
Cebu Pacific had its CGY as another domestic hub to expand its operation in the Mindanao region. I will now proceed to reading the statement from Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella.
First it’s on the—on the 2023 FIBA World Cup hosting bid. The Philippines, together with Indonesia and Japan offers bid for the hosting rights of the 2023 FIBA World Cup. President Duterte backs the FIBA World Cup to support the initiative of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Chairman V. Manuel V. Pangilinan and SBP President Al Panlilio. This hosting is very rare and it will unify the country and will have positive impact on basketball and tourism.
Next is on the military pullout in Marawi. The start of the military pullout in Marawi does not signal the end of fighting between our troops and Maute terrorist stragglers. While enemy force has greatly diminished, we will continue to be alert and assure the residence of the City that we will not compromise the security with the presence of some unit of the Armed Forces. We cannot afford to drop our guard for possible threat coming from the remaining network of the Daesh-inspired terrorist, boost. They’ll operating as we begin the challenging task of rebuilding, reconstruction and rehabilitation of Marawi.
Last statement is on the real killer of Michael Siaron. Authorities have put closure on the death of Michael Siaron, whose photo was compared to the Pieta image, after ballistics examination from a recovered firearm revealed that he was killed by a member of a syndicate also involved in the illegal drug trade. The Siaron case verifies what government has said from the start of the campaign against the illegal drugs: Many of these killings were perpetuated by those involved in drug operations as well; drug traffickers and pushers eliminating each other.
The relentless attribution of such killings to police operations was both premature and unfair to law abiding enforcement officers who risk life and limb to stop the proliferation of illegal drugs in our society. Government assures the public and the families of victims of deaths under investigation that authorities will pursue cases until the truly guilty are brought before the bar of justice.
Those are the statements, Marie and also the President’s wrapped up. Back to you.
MARIE: Thank you so much, Ma’am. Happy weekend. Mabuhay ka.
JOCSON: Mabuhay ka rin, Marie until next weekend. Thank you.
MARIE: Thank you so much, Ma’am.
LEO: Thank you, Ma’am China Jocson.