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

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, 12 December 2018 10:00 AM

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

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AFP coordinates with counterparts over ‘entry’ of foreign terrorists in PH

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, 22 March 2019 12:34 AM

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has confirmed it is closely coordinating with its foreign counterparts over the possible entry of foreign terrorists in the country through its airports and backdoor channels.

AFP Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) Spokesperson Col. Gerry Besana said this is following reports that some foreign terrorists are attempting to enter the country amid the strict security measures being implemented in the tri-boundary of the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.

“We do not discount the possibility that they might use our airport here. How will you know that people sitting or standing beside you is a terrorist?Not unless he is holding a gun, carrying explosives or anything that will also indicate that he is a terrorist,” Besana said.

The AFP official also revealed that eight out of ten foreign terrorists who were monitored to have entered the Philippines have been tracked in Central Mindanao.

Five of these persons have been identified, including Iraqi Abdul Rahman who allegedly brought an Islamic State flag in the country, two Indonesian nationals, and a Singaporean named Mauwiya.

Mauwiya is believed to be a remnant of Zulkilfli Binhir alias Marwan, the Indonesian terrorist killed by the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP SAF) during a controversial operation, dubbed as the “Mamasapano Encounter” in January 2015.

“We’ve been trying to account all of them, but, of course, [as I’ve] said it is so hard. Nobody can tell who the terrorist is if they simply pose as ordinary people, not unless those are high-value targets reported by our foreign counterparts,” Besana said.

The military assures to continue monitoring and patrolling the country’s borders with the help of other countries, which promised to assist the Philippines in its fight against terrorism. – Robie de Guzman (with details from Lea Ylagan)

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Duterte signs Philippine Occupational Therapy Law

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, 19 March 2019 07:51 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Republic Act 11241 or Philippine Occupational Therapy Law which will regulate the practice of occupational therapy in the country.

Duterte signed it on March 11 and was released to the media on Tuesday.

Under the said law, there will be a Board of Occupational Therapy under the supervision of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

This board will supervise and regulate the registration, license and practice of occupational therapy in the country.

“It shall develop and nurture competent, virtuous, productive and well-rounded occupational therapists whose standards of practice shall be excellent, world class and globally competitive through inviolable, honest, effective and credible licensure examinations and through regulatory measures, programs and activities that foster their continuing professional growth,” the law states.

There will also be a license examination which will be open to Filipino and foreign occupational therapists. Passers will have to meet the requirement of 75% general average with no grade lower than 60% in any subject.

Occupational therapists treat patients patients that have physical, sensory, or cognitive disability. They help develop, recover, improve, as well as maintain the skills needed for daily living and working.—Aileen Cerrudo

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Duterte signs law abolishing Road Board

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, 19 March 2019 05:23 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte has finally signed the law abolishing the controversial Road Board.

The Republic Act 11239 was enacted on March 8, according to the document released by Malacañang on Tuesday (March 19).

The newly-signed law abolishes the Road Board which previously managed the road user’s tax or Motor Vehicle User’s Charge (MVUC) for repair and maintenance of roads.

Under the measure, the monies collected from the MVUC will now be remitted to the National Treasury Bureau under a special account in the General Fund.

The law states that the collected fund “should be earmarked solely for the construction, upgrading, repair and rehabilitation of roads, bridges, and road drainage to be included in the yearly General Appropriations Act.”

A Congressional Oversight Committee will also be established to monitor the implementation of this act and the use of special funds.

The committee shall be composed of five members each from the Lower House and Senate to be appointed by the Speaker of the House and Senate President, respectively.

The panel must have one member each from the minority groups and will be jointly chaired by a designated member of the House of Representatives and a Senator.

The law stated that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) shall, as needed, absorb the employees of the abolished Road Board Secretariat, without diminution of their salaries and other benefits.

Employees who are separated from the service as a result of the abolition of the Road Board and its secretariat shall receive separation benefits provided that those who are qualified to retire under existing laws shall be allowed to retire and receive retirement benefits to which they may be entitled under applicable laws, rules and regulations.

The law also mandates the transfer of Road Board rights, records, assets and liabilities to the DPWH, including the unexpended appropriations or allocations.

The Secretaries of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) shall craft the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) within 30 days from the effectivity of this act.

President Rodrigo Duterte has been pushing for the abolition of the Road Board, calling the agency a “milking cow” of corrupt government officials.

In 2018, the Commission on Audit flagged Road Board’s billions of pesos worth of unobligated projects and millions of pesos of excessive costs and overpayment. – Robie de Guzman

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