Duterte won’t allow ABS-CBN to operate even if Congress grants a franchise, unless…

Marje Pelayo   •   February 9, 2021   •   991

 MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte maintained that he will not allow ABS-CBN to operate even if Congress grants a new franchise.

In his weekly public address on Monday evening (February 8), the President said lawmakers may do what they are mandated to do as regards this issue.

“Congress is planning to restore the franchise of the Lopez. Wala akong problema doon kung i-restore ninyo (I have no problem if you decide to restore it),” he said following moves from several lawmakers to revive the franchise application of ABS-CBN eight months after it shut down.

“Kung ibigay ninyo ang (If you give them) franchise because it is within your power to do it, go ahead,” he added. 

The Chief Executive maintained, however, that he will order the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) not to grant the media network a license to operate unless the media giant pays its arrears to the government.

“If you say that they can operate, kung meron na sila (once they have the franchise), no, I will not allow them. I will not allow the NTC to grant them the permit to operate,” Duterte said.

“Unless and until mabayaran ng mga Lopez ang taxes nila (Unless and until the Lopezes pay their taxes) I will not. I will ignore your franchise, and I will not give them the license to operate,” he stressed.

Duterte added that allowing ABS-CBN to operate without settling its dues would be similar to “giving them a prize for committing criminal acts.” 

He said he will let the Ombudsman handle the matter between ABS-CBN and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) concerning transactions that involved public funds.

Dumating sa akin ito in official capacity. Ang magawa ko lang dito ay (This reached me in official capacity. What I can do is) I think I’ll pass it on to the Ombudsman. Para sa akin ang Ombudsman ang pinaka-independent body na mag-solve nito. Gusto ko lang ibigay sa kanila kasi , pera ito ng tao. (I believe the Ombudsman is the most independent body to solve this. I want them to handle this because this is people’s money). It’s the government’s money that is involved,” he said.

It was in July last year when ABS-CBN lost its franchise, two months after its franchise expired in May. 

The lawmakers denied their application for a fresh 25-year franchise due to labor and tax violations.

Duterte inaugurates Sariaya Bypass Road

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2021

President Rodrigo Duterte has inaugurated the 7.42-kilometer long Sariaya Bypass Road in Quezon Province.

In a speech after unveiling the marker on the new road on Thursday, Duterte said the completion of the project affirms the administration’s “strong commitment to improve the quality of life of Filipinos by pursuing strategic infrastructure projects across the country thereby improving connectivity and mobility, creating jobs, and dispersing economic activity throughout the regions.”

“It will likewise spur the growth of industries and business opportunities in the area, thereby boosting the socio-economic development of Quezon Province and improve the lives of the people,” Duterte said.

“As we continue to overcome the current pandemic and carefully reopen our national and local economies, infrastructure development will play a vital role in our success,” he added.

The bypass road is seen to provide faster and safer travel for motorists and will also allow efficient transport of goods to and from the markets in Southern Luzon, the President said.

The road could also lessen the traffic volume along Daang Maharlika from Sariaya to Lucena City by 40 percent.

Stretching from the Manila South Road Daang Maharlika to the Quezon Eco-Tourism Road, the Sariaya Bypass Road is expected to cater to around 15,000 motorists and commuters daily going to the different provinces in the Southern Tagalog Region.

At the same time, it is seen to spur economic and social development through efficient transportation, improved road safety and enhanced business opportunities in Quezon Province.

The Sariaya Bypass Road is one of the flagship projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) under the administration’s Build, Build, Build Program.

Duterte urges public not to be choosy with COVID-19 vaccine brands

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte urged the public anew not to be choosy with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine brands.

During his Talk to the People on Tuesday night (October 19), Duterte expressed optimism over developments in the country’s vaccine supply as the government moves to build herd immunity.

However, he reminded the public to remain vigilant by continuing to follow health protocols; get vaccinated and avoid being choosy with vaccine brands.

“Do you know, if these vaccines that we have been giving to the population are not really effective and right, marami nang patay ngayon (many people would’ve been dead by now),” he said.

The president reiterated that the national government is trying hard to fight against the pandemic, and expressed his gratitude to other nations that provided aid to the Philippines.

“We’ve been trying hard, really hard to fight. [This] COVID program nakatutok kami lahat dito (we are all focused on this). I’d like to thank everybody who have really contributed to what we are now seeing,” he said. AAC

Pangulong Duterte sa mga ayaw magpabakuna vs COVID-19: ‘Turukan habang tulog’

Robie de Guzman   •   October 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Muling umapela si Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa publiko na magpabakuna na kontra COVID-19 upang agad nang maabot ng bansa ang minimithing herd protection laban sa nakakahawang sakit.

Ginawa ng pangulo ang apela sa gitna ng marami pa ring bilang ng mga Pilipinong ayaw magpabakuna sa kabila ng pagdating ng mga suplay sa bansa.

 Kung ayaw magpabakuna, sinabi ng pangulo na dapat hanapin ang mga ito sa bawat barangay at “turukan habang tulog.”

“Alam ko marami pang ayaw eh. Iyan ang problema ‘yung ayaw, ayaw magpabakuna. Kaya hanapin ninyo ‘yan sa barangay ninyo. Akyatin natin ‘pag tulog at turukin natin habang natutulog para makumpleto ‘yung istorya. Eh kung ayaw, eh ‘di akyatin sa bahay eh, tusukin natin sa gabi. Ako ang mag-ano — I will lead the journey,” ang wika ng pangulo sa kanyang recorded na Talk to the People noong Lunes ng gabi.

Sa ngayon ay pinalalawak na ng pamahalaan ang coverage ng mass vaccination sa bansa.

Sa Biyernes, Oktubre 15, ilulunsad na ang pagbabakuna sa mga batang may edad 12 hanggang 17 na may co-morbidities saw along ospital sa Metro Manila.

Sinisimulan na rin ang pagbabakuna sa general adult population sa ilang lugar.

Nasa 23 milyong Pilipino ang fully vaccinated laban sa COVID-19 habang 26 milyon naman ang nakatanggap ng unang dose mula nang simulan ang vaccination program noong buwan ng Marso.

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