Duterte to use ‘extraordinary powers’ to resolve water shortage

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 29, 2019   •   468

President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday (October 28) that he is prepared to use expropriation or outright police power to resolve the worsening water shortage.

“I will use the extraordinary powers of the presidency. I could not just allow people go out without water even for drinking,” he said.

The president said he is reviewing all options which can resolve the water shortage in Metro Manila and other provinces and he is prepared to expropriate or impose outright police power of the state.

This includes pushing for the Kaliwa Dam project which has been opposed by local governments and environmental advocates due to the possible flooding and displacement of indigenous people.

The president said that the local government who are opposing the said projects should put up safeguards to ensure sufficient water supply.

“It [the project] might create some danger or damage but that is not my concern. My concern is the welfare [of the people]. Ganito iyan (It’s like this): The greatest good for the greatest number,” according to Duterte.

Water concessionaires are currently implementing rotational water interruptions due to the low water level in Angat Dam.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

J&T Express vows cooperation in probe over alleged parcel mishandling

Robie de Guzman   •   July 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Courier Service company J&T Express on Wednesday said it is ready to face any investigation after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered authorities to probe reports of alleged mishandling of parcels.

“We appreciate the concern expressed by the President towards our customers’ welfare as well as the well-being of our many partners and employees,” J&T Express company said in a statement.

“Furthermore, we will cooperate with the government in any investigation that they will conduct,” it added.

On Tuesday night, Duterte directed the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe the company and its finances.

Duterte’s order came after a video of the company’s employees carelessly throwing packages into a truck circulated on social media.

An online toy store earlier complained about the service of the J&T Express, citing reports from their customers that some items delivered by the courier service were damaged.

The president warned the courier firm of possible closure if they are found liable.

“We are committed to improving our services for the benefit of the public,” the J&T Express said.

The firm earlier said it will sanction employees involved in the alleged mishandling of packages. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

3 options being considered for Duterte’s SONA, Sotto says

Robie de Guzman   •   July 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Congress is considering three scenarios for President Rodrigo Duterte’s 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 27, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said.

In an online press conference, Sotto said the Senate and the House of Representatives have been discussing options on how to hold the SONA this year amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Option number one involves conducting a traditional SONA in the Batasang Pambansa, with the president and several members of the legislative branch in attendance but without guests.

Option number two is to have the president deliver his speech at the Malacañang while lawmakers convene in Batasang Pambansa.

Option number three will see the President staying in Malacañang while senators and members of the House convene in their respective session halls.

Sotto believes the Palace will prefer that the address be made in Malacañang to ensure the president’s safety amid the threat of coronavirus pandemic.

“Kung ano ang safest sa pangulo ang primary consideration sa pag-decide sa SONA setup,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Anti-Terrorism Bill still under review —Pres. Duterte

Marje Pelayo   •   June 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is still waiting for feedback from his legal team as regards the controversial Anti-Terrorism Bill.

The President himself said that the bill is still under review of the team and he is waiting for their recommendation. 

“My legal is still reviewing it in Malacanang. Hindi ko pa natanggap. I had it reviewed. It’s always automatic, pagdaan sa akin, I endorse it to legal without even reading it actually, if you really want to know,” the President explained. 

“It’s (the) legal (team) who will return it to me with a recommendation, by then, I will approve it or not,” he added.

Critics have been raising their concern about the bill, arguing against its provisions which to them pose a violation of human rights.

Meanwhile, the President insists that the communist rebels are the major threats to national security. 

He cited the recent attacks by the new People’s Army (NPA) against government troops delivering goods to residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Terrorism is number one on our list. Actually the number one threat to the country ay hindi Abu Sayyaf, hindi ang mga terorista of no value. Itong high value targets ito iyong mga komunista. Kaya ang utos ko talaga sa Armed Forces, sa sundalo, upakan mo,” the President said.

[Terrorism is number one on our list. Actually, the number one threat to the country is not the Abu Sayyaf, not the terrorists of no value. The high-value targets are the communists. That’s why I ordered the Armed Forces, the military to neutralize them.]

President Duterte is planning to pay a visit to military camps in the coming days to check on the welfare of the soldiers. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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