DOJ: Duterte has ‘proper legal defenses’ should ICC probe drug war

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 1, 2021   •   368

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Justice (DOJ) assured that President Rodrigo Duterte has the “proper legal defenses” should the International Criminal Court (ICC) decide to conduct an investigation on the national government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

According to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, only Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. is authorized to speak about ICC matters. The DOJ secretary said the president will lay out the legal defenses in proper time.

“I guess should things come to the point the president may have to answer or be investigated formally by the ICC, I think he has the proper legal defenses available and will invoke of these legal defenses in the proper time,” he said.

The ICC prosecutor previously requested for an investigation into the drug war-related killings and human rights violations.

Duterte had said that the ICC has no jurisdiction to conduct an investigation. The Philippines officially withdrew from the ICC in March 2019. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

Duterte: 10.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in 5-day vax drive

Robie de Guzman   •   December 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – More than 10 million COVID-19 vaccines were administered during the five-day nationwide immunization drive, President Rodrigo Duterte said.

“Iyong bakuna nakita naman ninyo, we were able to administer 10.2 million doses throughout the country from November 29 to December 3, which is a huge achievement in our fight against COVID-19,” Duterte said during his pre-taped public address that aired late Monday.

The government had hoped to inoculate 9 million people during the three-day “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” initiative initially set from November 29 to December 1 but was later extended until December 3 to accommodate more people.

The vaccination drive was launched in a bid to scale up the country’s vaccination rate to achieve population protection against COVID-19.

So far, more than 38 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated since the immunization was rolled out in March.

The number of individuals who have received their first dose rose to 56.7 million.

The government is aiming to fully vaccinate at least 54 million by the end of the year.

With the increasing vaccination rate, Duterte expressed optimism that the country will be able to overcome the pandemic.

“Better days ahead because since December 1, we have been on average of 500 to 600 and the number of active cases continues to go down. I’m talking about the COVID,” he said.

Duterte thanked concerned government agencies, doctors and volunteers for the successful conduct of the Bayanihan Bakunahan.

“We will have a second round of Bayanihan Bakunahan from December 15 to 17,” he said in announcing the new round of vaccination campaign.

“I hope that we would have the same success. But this time lesser because parang naubos na natin ang Pilipino sa ‘yung what counts sa bakuna kaya medyo there’s a slowdown of the COVID-19,” he said.

 

Duterte offers DOH Secy post to OCTA fellow

Robie de Guzman   •   December 7, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has offered OCTA Research fellow Nicanor Austriaco the top post in the Department of Health (DOH) to replace Secretary Francisco Duque III.

During his weekly Talk to the People that aired late Monday, Duterte asked Austriaco if he is open to being designated as the new health chief.

“I would be happy to appoint you as the Secretary of Health. If that is okay with you,” he said after Austriaco finished his presentation on the Omicron COVID-19 variant during the public briefing.

Austriaco declined the offer.

“No po. Secretary Duque is doing a fine job po and he’s a Thomasian po,” he said.

Duterte pressed on with his offer, saying Duque has been asking to be replaced.

“He has shown — he vents a desire really to rest, you know, after all this ruckus against him,” the president said. “Sabi ko I’ve been forcing him to stay but he would be happy to give way to you, I’m sure.”

“Yes, Mr. President, to another Thomasian,” Duque chimed in.

Austriaco, a priest and a molecular biologist, is also part of the team developing the Philippines’ first vaccine against COVID-19.

 

Pangulong Duterte, wala pang pasya kung sino ang iendorsong presidential bet – Malakanyang

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Umapela ang Malakanyang sa publiko na bigyan pa ng panahon si Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte upang magpasya sa kung sino ang susuportahan nitong kandidato sa pagka-pangulo sa 2022 elections.

Kasunod na rin ito ng pag-atras sa halalan ng ini-endorso niyang si Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.

“Si Pangulo has options, has choices that he has to make and we should give him the time to make those options; to make those choices; to make those decisions and give him the leeway to make the announcement kung kinakailangan at kung kailan niya gusto gawin. Hintayin na lang po natin si Pangulong Duterte,” ang pahayag ni acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles.

Una nang sinabi ni Go na umatras siya sa halalan dahil ayaw aniya ng kanyang pamilya na sumabak ito sa presidential race.

Ayaw rin umano niyang ilagay sa mahirap na sitwasyon ang pangulo dahil sa pagtakbo ng anak nitong si Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte bilang bise presidente, katambal ni presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Sinabi naman ng pangulo na iginagalang niya ang desisyon ni Go lalo’t para ito sa kapakanan ng kanyang pamilya.

Noong Martes inianunsyo ni Go ang pag-atras sa halalan ngunit hindi pa ito personal na humaharap sa Commission on Elections upang pormal na bawiin ang kandidatura.

Kasunod ng pag-atras ni Go, nanawagan naman ang mga kaalyado ng administrasyon na suportahan na lang ng pangulo ang tambalang Bongbong at Sara para sa 2022 elections.

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