Duterte orders SolGen to ask COA to audit PH Red Cross

Marje Pelayo   •   September 16, 2021   •   405

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered Solicitor General Jose Calida to write to Commission on Audit (COA) chair Michael Aguinaldo requesting an audit of the Philippine Red Cross’ (PRC) financial records.

“I am ordering SolGen, si Calida, to write [COA chief] Aguinaldo a letter. Ask Aguinaldo to immediately conduct an audit diyan sa Red Cross. Ang hinihintay ko lang, the next step would really be the letter to be delivered by COA,” the President said during his pre-taped public address aired on Thursday (September 16).

The PRC is led by Senator Richard Gordon, who chairs the Senate Blue Ribbon committee that is investigating the government’s use of pandemic funds.

The Chief Executive once again slammed  Gordon for the latter’s Senate probe into the government’s purchase of alleged overpriced medical goods last year.

Duterte had previously accused Gordon of using the PRC as his ‘milking cow’ in his previous election campaigns which led to a call for an audit of the humanitarian organization.

Duterte calls on ASEAN countries to stand with Myanmar amid coup crisis

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte has called on member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to stand with Myanmar amid its coup crisis.

During the 39th ASEAN Summit, Duterte urged all parties in Myanmar to heed the ASEAN’s plea for peace.

“The Philippines urges all parties in Myanmar to engage in constructive dialogue with ASEAN. We are, after all, an ASEAN family. And if we cannot trust each other and work together, then who can Myanmar trust and work with?” he said.

He also urged ASEAN’s special envoy to visit Myanmar soon and meet all the parties involved.

Duterte expressed concern about Myanmar’s rejection of ASEAN’s sincere offers of assistance, stating that it may undermine the mutual trust and confidence that ASEAN-member states share.

Meanwhile, the president said the Philippines will commit to help individuals caught up in “situations beyond their control”.

“Our doors are open to our Rohingya brothers and sisters and other peoples of Myanmar who seek refuge,” he said. AAC

Duterte wants LGU officials to convince constituents to get vaccinated

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday urged local government officials to ramp up their respective COVID-19 vaccination programs.

“I urge LGUs to come up with the most systematic and efficient way of finding out who among your constituents have not yet vaccinated. Please do everything to convince them to get vaccinated,” he said during his weekly public address.

Duterte reported that as of October 24, the country has administered 55.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, where around 30 million were given as first doses and 25 million as second doses.

He added that the national government aims to fully vaccinate 50 million citizens by the end of the year.

“We also need to ramp up vaccination rate in various LGUs in order to reach our target of inoculating 50 million fully-vaccinated individuals by the end of the year,” Duterte said.

The president added that vaccine supply allocated for far-flung provinces must not expire and should preserve its integrity.

” Yung mga bakuna na sana umabot na doon sa pinakamalayong lugar and the provincial, city, and
municipal health officials will take over. Ang concern ko lang naman is that they would be able to preserve the integrity of the vaccines. That is very important. Ibig sabihin na hindi expired, walang sira, hindi ma-contaminate and all,” he said. AAC

Duterte welcomes Senate panel’s move to challenge his memo before SC

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (October 25) welcomed the move of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to challenge his memorandum before the Supreme Court (SC).

Duterte assured they will defend the memorandum prohibiting Executive Department officials from attending the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearings on the procurement of pandemic supplies. The Senate panel wants to challenge the legality of Duterte’s said memo.

“At last, the members of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee have finally seen the light. We welcome this move of bringing the legality of the memorandum to the Supreme Court and we would like to congratulate the members for realizing, albeit late. That it is the court which should eventually decide on the constitutionality of the order and we will defend it,” the President said during his weekly public address aired Monday night.

“This is by far the most decent thing the committee has done and we are most eager to answer whatever questions you have regarding my not allowing officials of the Executive to attend your hearings that are legislative purposes,” he added.

The president again criticized the panel’s way of questioning resource persons, saying executive officials are made to wait for a long time but are not called to speak.

“Iyong mga tao ko sa gobyerno, iyong ipinapatawag ninyo at pahintayin ninyo ng ilang oras at hindi naman ninyo tatawagin at kung nandoon iniinsulto ninyo, para bang walang alam,” he said.

Duterte added that the SC is the only venue where the disagreement with the Senate panel may be settled.

“You have to be courteous if you want to be treated with courtesy,” he said. AAC

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