Ex-AFP chief Carlito Galvez is the new presidential peace adviser

admin   •   December 12, 2018   •   3413

FILE PHOTO: Former AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr.

MANILA, Philippines — Former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Gen. Carlito Galvez who just retired, has yet another role to play in the Duterte government.

President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Tuesday (December 12) at the AFP’s 83rd Anniversary and Change of Command ceremony that Galvez will be replacing former presidential peace adviser, Jess Dureza who previously resigned after two of his subordinates were accused of being involved in corruption.

“By the way, before I forget, si General Galvez will join the Cabinet next week as the Secretary of the Peace Process Office,” Duterte said to the audience.

The President added that Galvez is the 9th military man to be appointed under his administration.

His most notable accomplishment as the 50th AFP chief of staff is the strengthening of internal security operations.

“Upon assuming command, he supervised our internal security operations and the implementation of martial law in Mindanao. This led to the neutralization of more than two thousand terrorists, the recovery of thousands of firearms, and the clearing of seven guerrilla fronts,” the President said.

Replacing Galvez as AFP chief of staff is the current head of Eastern Mindanao Command, Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal.

Madrigal’s appointment coincides with the establishment of a new division of the Philippine Army in Jolo, Sulu and the formation of a national task force that will combat the armed insurgency of the communist rebels.

“We now shift to a new civilian-led approach that will tap other government agencies and other private sectors in bringing basic services and other development interventions that will address the root cause of the communist movement,” the President said during his speech.

Duterte has ordered Madrigal to continue the good work that his predecessors have started in achieving lasting peace for the country.

“General Madrigal, you are now tasked with the responsibility of preserving peace and ensuring order as we shift to this new approach. Sustain the progress of those who came before you and create a legacy that will cause ripples of positive change in the years to come,” President Duterte said. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

Malacañang leaves it to PAO Chief to decide on resigning amid corruption complaint

Marje Pelayo   •   August 15, 2019

Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Chief Persida Acosta

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang is letting Atty. Persida Acosta to decide on whether or not to resign as Chief of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) following complaints of corruption.

PAO lawyers filed the complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman accusing the PAO Chief and forensics chief Erwin Erfe of corrupt practices in relation to the disbursements and allocation of the PAO budget.

Acosta and Erfe allegedly committed a ‘systematic scheme’ in diverting P13 million of the agency’s budget for office supplies for drafting Dengvaxia-related cases.

Presidential Spokesman Secretary Salvador Panelo, meanwhile, said that knowing President Rodrigo Duterte, his trust in his officials remains unless reports of irregularities are proven.

“Si President, hangga’t walang findings of probable cause, palaging andun ang trust (President (Duterte’s) trust on a person remains unless there is no finding of a probable cause),” Panelo said.

“Pero kung may probable cause na, ibang usapan iyon, then there will be suspension galing sa Ombudsman. Hindi naman teritoryo ni president iyon (But once a probable cause is established, that’s a different story. There will be suspension coming from the Ombudsman. It is no longer the President’s territory),” the Palace Spokesman concluded. – MNP (with details from Mai Bermudez)

Malacañang wants China to explain ‘offending passage’ of warships in Sibutu Strait

Marje Pelayo   •   August 15, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang wants Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jinhua to explain the unauthorized passage of Chinese warships in Sibutu Strait in Tawi-Tawi which the Philippine government considers as “offending”.

The Philippine military couldn’t consider it an ‘innocent passage’ because the vessel maneuvered and the crew turned off the vessel’s automatic identification systems (AIS) perhaps to avoid being noticed.

Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Secretary Salvador Panelo said he will definitely raise the matter to Ambassador Zhao.

“We will call their attention,” he said.

“The Chinese ambassador invited me for a dinner one of these days and maybe I will raise that to him,” he added.

The Palace stressed such unauthorized move was a clear violation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

“Violation ng UNCLOS iyan kung dumaraan sa ating EEZ (That’s violation of the UNCLOS if they pass/enter our EEZ),” Panelo said.

“I’m sure the DFA Secretary will do something about that,” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte is set to travel to China later this month and according to Panelo, President Duterte maintains he will insist The Hague’s arbitral ruling with Chinese President Xi Jinping even if China is not accepting the decision. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

PH will now have its own space agency! Duterte signs Philippine Space Act

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 13, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Republic Act No. 11363 or the Philippine Space Act which will enable the Philippines to have its own space agency.

The president signed R.A. 11363 on August 8. The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) aims to develop the country’s space technology. This includes research and development of programs for the country to have a representation in the international space community.

PhilSA will also improve disaster management as well as enhance production and profitability of agribusinesses.

The national space agency will be headed by a director-general.

The six key development areas of PhilSA include: National Security and Development; Hazard Management and Climate Studies; Space Research and Development; Space Industry Capacity Building; Space Education and Awareness; and International Cooperation.—AAC

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