Duterte to visit Cotabato following BIFF attack in Maguindanao – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   May 11, 2021   •   323

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will head to Cotabato on Tuesday following the clash between soldiers and some members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) over the weekend, Malacañang said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the president will meet with the officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), and government security troops to discuss the incident in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao.

“Siya po ay makikipag-ugnayan sa BARMM officials, sa ating kapulisan, sa ating kasundaluhan at pag-uusapan nila kung paano maiiwasan yung insidente nga nung Linggo, kung saan ilang armadong miyembro ng BIFF ay panandaliang nag-occupy ng Datu Paglas pero sandali lang naman iyon at napaalis din sila ng hukbong sandatahan,” Roque said in an online briefing.

“Ang objective po ng Presidente, para iparating ang mensahe na hindi po niya puwedeng pabayaan ang kaniyang katungkulan na ipatupad ang batas,” he added.

On Saturday, around 20 BIFF members led by Mohiden Animbang a.k.a. Karialan occupied the Datu Paglas public market but state security forces drove them away before they could attack civilian residents.

“Dahil nga po doon sa insidente kung saan ilang miyembro ng BIFF ay panandaliang nagtungo sa Datu Paglas, ang kaniyang mensahe, ang warning niya po talaga, ipatutupad niya ang batas at hindi niya kukunsintihin ang paggamit ng dahas diyan po sa Maguindanao,” Roque said.

The military earlier said that the situation in Datu Paglas has already normalized but assured that security forces “will not rest until the threat is neutralized.”

Local officials and residents in Maguindanao were also urged to remain vigilant despite the thwarted attack of the armed group.

Duterte to meet with lawmakers on Bayanihan laws – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   June 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to meet with some lawmakers later Thursday to discuss Bayanihan 2 and the proposed Bayanihan 3 laws.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the meeting will take place after Duterte’s ceremonial signing of several measures at Malacañang.

Roque did not identify the lawmakers who will be meeting with the president but said they are “leading members” of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

“I can only confirm that there will be a meeting today to discuss both Bayanihan 2 and Bayanihan 3 with leading members of both houses of Congress,” he said in a Palace briefing.

“This will occur after the ceremonial signing of several bills again and I know they will be discussing Bayanihan2 and 3, beyond that I have no further information,” he added.

Bayanihan Laws seek to help the government address the COVID-19 pandemic.

The validity of the Bayanihan 2 is set to expire on June 30 while the proposed Bayanihan 3 is still being discussed in Congress.

Bangsamoro execs seek more oxygen supply for COVID-19 patients

Robie de Guzman   •   June 22, 2021

Some members of the Bangsamoro Parliament are pushing for the allocation of funds for the procurement of additional oxygen tanks for COVID-19 patients in the region.

Bangsamoro Parliament deputy speakers Ziaur-Rahman Adiong and Atty. Nabil Tan, and Parliament Member Atty. Ubaida Pacasem filed a bill that seeks to appropriate P50 million for the acquisition of additional oxygen tanks to be distributed in the different provinces of the region.

“The bill is being introduced as a pre-emptive measure to guarantee the sufficient supply of oxygen in our medical facilities in the region,” they said in the bill’s explanatory note.

“If realized, the same will serve as a buffer stock to contend the possible scarcity of required oxygen so that BARMM constituents will not be deprived of oxygen tanks, should there be supply shortages in the future as the number of COVID-19 patients is rapidly increasing,” the lawmakers added.

Under the bill, the P50 million will be allocated under the Quick Response Fund (QRF) in the Bangsamoro Treasury Office not otherwise appropriated, as additional funding and budgetary requirements for fiscal year 2021.

Ministry of Finance, Budget and Management shall release the appropriated amount to the Ministry of Health, subject to existing accounting and auditing laws, rules and regulations.

Pangulong Duterte, gumamit lang ng matapang na pananalita para hikayatin ang publiko na magpabakuna — DOJ

Robie de Guzman   •   June 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Naniniwala ang Department of Justice (DOJ) na gumamit lamang ng mabigat na pananalita si Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte upang hikayatin ang mga taong ayaw pa ring magpabakuna kontra COVID-19.

Sa public address noong Lunes ng gabi, nagbanta ang pangulo na ipaaaresto ang mga taong tumatangging magpabakuna matapos nitong magpahayag ng pagkainis sa mga ayaw makinig sa panagawan ng pamahalaan upang makamit ang herd immunity sa lalong madaling panahon.

“I believe that the President merely used strong words to drive home the need for us to get vaccinated and reach herd immunity as soon as possible,” ang pahayag ni Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

Sinabi rin ni Guevarra na bilang abugado, alam ng pangulo na ang hindi pagpapabakuna ay karapatan ng sinoman.

“As a lawyer, he knows that not getting vaccinated is a legal choice,” ayon sa kalihim.

Sinabi rin ni Guevarra na sa ngayon ay wala pang batas o legal na batayan sa bansa na mag-oobliga sa isang tao na magpabakuna laban sa COVID-19.

“There is no law as yet that compels vaccination against COID-19, much less criminalizes it, as presently available vaccines are still in their trial phases,” ang wika ng kalihim.

Nilinaw din ng DOJ chief na humihingi rin sa kanya ng payong legal si Pangulong Duterte kung kinakailangan.

“He seeks my legal opinion only when he finds it really necessary,” ani Guevarra.

Sa public address ng pangulo, iginiit nitong kailangang magpabakuna ng lahat upang magkaroon ng proteksyon laban sa mas mababagsik na uri ng COVID-19 gaya ng Delta variant na unang natuklasan sa bansang India.

Ngunit kung ayaw pa rin ng ilan na magpabakuna ay mapipilitan aniya siyang gumawa ng paraan upang mahanap ang mga taong nagmamatigas pa rin laban sa pagtanggap ng COVID-19 vaccine.

Binatikos naman ng National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) ang pahayag ng pangulo at iginiit na walang malinaw na legal na basehan ang pagpapa-aresto sa mga ayaw magpabakuna.

Sinabi rin ni NUPL President Atty. Edre Olalia na maaaring banggain ng pangulo ang kapangyarihan ng hudikatura na may karapatng mag-utos ng pagpapa-aresto kung may matibay na batayan.

“Ang problema dito parang magbabanggaan, paano kung sasabihin ng korte ganito sabihin ng executive ayaw ko e di magkakabanggaan yan so magkakaroon ng sana wag naman ang tinatawag na contitutional na krisis kasi sino ang magreresolba ngayon kung ang dalawang sangay ay magbabanggaan,” ani Olalia.

Nangangamba rin ang NUPL na magdulot lang ng kalituhan o takot ang pahayag ng pangulo kapag hindi ito lubos na naunawaan ng publiko. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Dante Amento)

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