Duterte urges Filipinos to set aside differences as PH marks 35th EDSA anniversary

Robie de Guzman   •   February 25, 2021   •   366

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday called on Filipinos to ‘set aside differences and work together’ as the country marks the 35th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution.

The EDSA People Power Revolution in 1986 was “inspired by the valor of those whose sacrifice made the liberties we enjoy today possible,” Duterte said in a message.

The president also urged Filipinos to remain vigilant in protecting their rights and the country’s democratic institutions.

“As we contemplate the relevance of this occasion, let is proceed with renewed hope and optimism towards the realization of our shared aspirations for our nation. May this serve as a constant reminder for all of us to remain vigilant in safeguarding our democratic institutions, preserving our values, and upholding our rights as Filipinos,” he said.

“Guided by the spirit of EDSA, let us set aside our differences and work together in building a legacy that we can proudly leave behind for future generations of Filipinos,” he added.

The EDSA People Power Revolution overthrew the government of the late dictator President Ferdinand Marcos and installed the late former President Corazon Aquino to the presidency. RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

Duterte to skip April 24 ASEAN Leaders’ meeting in Jakarta – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   April 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte will not be attending a summit of leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia on April 24, Malacañang said Thursday.

“Ang president po, hindi personally mag-a-attend. But I’m sure that our Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will be there,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a media briefing.

Roque did not say why Duterte would be skipping the meeting but the DFA said in a statement that the president “decided to remain in the country to attend to pressing domestic concerns in light of the surge of COVID-19 cases.”

“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has designated Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. as his Special Envoy to the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting to be held on 24 April 2021 at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia,” the DFA said.

“The Philippines strongly supported the convening of the Meeting even without the full attendance of all ASEAN Leaders,” it added.

The department said the special leaders’ meeting will “address urgent matters in the region, including recovery efforts, the situation in Myanmar, ASEAN community building efforts, external relations, and regional and international issues.”

“The President, through Secretary Locsin, will convey the Philippines’ commitment to ASEAN’s collective efforts in addressing threats and challenges to peace and stability in the region,” the DFA said.

“Secretary Locsin will also express the Philippines’ strong support to the initiative of Brunei Darussalam and the Secretary-General of ASEAN to use their good offices, in accordance with the ASEAN Charter, to visit Myanmar and spearhead ASEAN’s response to the crisis in Myanmar,” it added.

Duterte won’t compromise on quarantine protocols for returning OFWs

Marje Pelayo   •   April 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said he is not comfortable with relaxing quarantine and testing protocols for arriving overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

During Wednesday’s (April 21) public address, the President noted that less stringent measures could compromise the entire country as COVID-19 cases continue to surge.

“I’m not quite comfortable with the relaxation that’s being brought now,” he said.

“I am not ready for a compromise lalo na ngayon. ‘Yung ibang sakit siguro, pwede pa – iyong mga rabies. Pero ito, talagang … as I have said, dapo rito, dapo roon,” he added.

The meeting which included health experts was in response to the appeal of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III for an immediate swab test on OFWs upon arrival and a shortening of the quarantine period or their stay in hotels or isolation facilities.

“Kaya nga po kami nakikiusap sana, na kung maaari, ay we go back to the original protocol noon na pagdating ng ating OFWs, swab kaagad sila,” Bello said.

The medical experts recommended a review of the testing protocol but insisted that the implementation of strict quarantine measures is still best to be strictly enforced at this time.

“The [Technical Advisory Group] had some preliminary discussions po regarding the current issue, and we were thinking that based on the data that we have right now, it’s a better option to review the testing protocol,” said DOH-TAG member Dr. Anna Ong-Lim.

“We recommend that it be done at a later time, but the critical intervention should really be that quarantine should be strictly enforced,” she concluded.

SC releases copy of decision on Marcos’ electoral protest

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has released a copy of its decision junking the electoral protest filed by former Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo.

Based on the 91-page decision of the SC Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), Marcos’ “allegations appeared bare, laden with generic and repetitious allegations and lacked critical information.”

It also junked the third cause of action of the electoral protest which is the annulment of elections in three provinces: Maguindanao, Lanao Del Sur, and Basilan.

After the recount, Robredo got a total of 14,436,337 votes, while Marcos got 14,157,771 total votes.

Last February, the SC dismissed Marcos’ electoral protest; however, the former Senator said it does not include their third cause of action.

According to the tribunal, Marcos also failed to prove there was an anomaly during the elections and that Robredo was behind it. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

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