Duterte invokes PH’s arbitral win against China in UN speech

Marje Pelayo   •   September 23, 2020   •   1045

President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday (September 23) invoked the Philippines’ arbitral win against China over the disputed territories in the South China Sea.

The President raised the matter during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly, his first since his election as president of the Republic of the Philippines. 

Before the heads of governments in the UN, President Duterte stressed that the Philippines reject any attempts to undermine the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague that was declared in July 2016.

“The Philippines affirms that commitment in the South China Sea in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 2016 Arbitral Award. The Award is now part of international law, beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing governments to dilute, diminish or abandon. We firmly reject attempts to undermine it,” he said.

“We welcome the increasing number of states that have come in support of the award and what it stands for — the triumph of reason over rashness, of law over disorder, of amity over ambition. This – as it should – is the majesty of the law,” he added.

Reacting to his speech, Senator Panfilo Lacson said the President’s statement in the UN General Assembly should cast all doubts about his position in the territorial dispute with China.

In response to Lacson, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin clarified that President Duterte never was a ‘slave’ to China as critics commonly think.

Locsin stressed, it just so happened that the territorial dispute is something that the President inherited from the administrations before him.

The Philippines and China’s long-standing maritime dispute over territories in the West Philippine Sea has led to Manila filing a case in 2013 with the international arbitral tribunal challenging Beijing’s massive claims in the South China Sea.

The Arbitral court ruled in favor of the Philippines in July 2016 invalidating China’s self-imposed “nine-dash line’ — an undefined and vaguely located demarcation line that China uses to back its claims and reject the ruling.

Since his presidency, President Duterte has been criticized for not upholding the ruling as he most of the time insists that the Philippines cannot do anything to counter China given the latter’s military might and dominance.

Palace welcomes Duterte’s latest satisfaction rating

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Friday welcomed the result of the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showing President Rodrigo Dutertet’s net satisfaction rating of 62 percent.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte’s latest rating remains way ahead of his predecessors during the same period.

“We consider this high satisfaction rating unprecedented as comparable data from previous presidents indicate this is the highest net satisfaction rating of the beginning of a Chief Executive’s final year in office,” he said.

Roque noted that the late former President Benigno Aquino III scored 30 percent satisfaction rating a year before he finished his term in June 2015, while President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had -31 percent a year before she stepped down in June 2009.

He also said that President Fidel Ramos got 49 percent while President Corazon Aquino’s rating only reached 24 percent in April 1991.

“Rest assured that President Duterte will continue to exercise decisive and compassionate leadership until the remainder of his term to serve and protect the interest and welfare of all Filipinos,” Roque said.

According to the SWS, Duterte’s satisfaction rating was the highest in November 2020 with 79 percent but dipped to 65 percent in May 2021 and then to 62 percent in June 2021 amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Duterte’s net satisfaction rating dips to 62% based on recent SWS survey

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The recent net satisfaction rating of President Rodrigo Duterte dropped to +62, based on the recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

Results of the June 2021 survey showed that the president’s rating dropped to +62, which is a 17-point drop from a peak of +79 in the November 2020 survey.

In the May 2021 poll, Duterte got a net satisfaction rate of +65. The SWS released the three results on Thursday (September 23).

The June 2021 survey showed that 75% of the respondents said they were“very/somewhat satisfied” with the president’s performance, 13% indicated that they were “very/somewhat dissatisfied”, while 12% are undecided.

In the May 2021 survey, meanwhile, Duterte received a net satisfaction rate of +65, where 75% of the respondents were “very/somewhat satisfied”, 10% were “very/somewhat dissatisfied”, and 15% were undecided on the matter.

The president got a high rating in November 2020 with +79 rating,  51% of the respondents said they were “very satisfied,” 33% were “somewhat satisfied,” while 9% were “undecided,” 4% were “somewhat dissatisfied,” and 2% were “very dissatisfied.”

Despite the dip in rating, SWS fellow Geoffrey Ducanes said respondents in the recent survey were satisfied with the government’s response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Most people don’t think the government mismanaged the pandemic. They actually gave the government relatively high rating in terms of taking care of those who got COVID-19 and also relatively high rating in terms of vaccination,” he said.

Meanwhile, the delay in the results release, according to Ducanes was due to the COVID-19 pandemic where the agency had to conduct phone interviews. AAC (with reports from Lucille Lloren) 

 

Duterte asks PNP, AFP to deploy medical personnel to hospitals needing more staff

Robie de Guzman   •   September 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has asked the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to prepare for the deployment of their medical personnel to hospitals that are in need of additional manpower.

“Kung wala nang iba, ‘yung mga nurses sa pulis marami yan, pati sa medical corps ng army. I have to use a little of my influence sa kanila to convince them,” Duterte said in a taped public address aired late Wednesday.

“Please place your human resources on ready, on deck because talagang alam mo yun lang madali kong maasahan,” he added.

Duterte issued the statement after receiving reports that a lot of medical personnel, particularly in St. Luke’s Medical Center were unable to go on duty due to COVID-19 infection.

The AFP said it has started deploying a number of its personnel to some hospitals in Metro Manila as it continues look for more nurses from its ranks.

The PNP, for its part, said it is currently accounting the number of its medical teams that could be deployed to assist medical workers amid rising cases of COVID-19.

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