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NPA surrenderees to be given own lands

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, 8 February 2019 02:25 PM

FILE PHOTO: Rebel returnees

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte wants former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) who have returned to the government fold to be included in the next land distribution program of the government.

“The president directed the inclusion of New People’s Army surrenderees in the next round of land distribution,” said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

He gave the directive during a cabinet meeting at Malacañan Palace on Wednesday night (February 6).

Among the topics discussed were various programs that will give farmers wider access to loan facilities.

The president added that during his term, he will ensure the distribution of all government-owned land to land reform beneficiaries. — UNTV News & Rescue

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AFP on Duterte’s move to scrap talks with Reds: ‘It’s the right thing’

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, 22 March 2019 08:42 PM

File photo: Members of the New People’s Army

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Friday (March 22) that cancelling the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) was the right move.

“Dapat lang. 31 years of deceptive ploys using peace talks, across five administrations, only resulted to more terrorist NPAs being released, an opportunity for the CTG (communist terrorist groups) to recruit and recover lost areas of influence, publicity for Joma [Sison] in the international arena as a ‘dove,’” AFP deputy chief of staff for civil-military operations Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr. said in a message sent to media on Friday.

Parlade added that the decades-long peace process “wasted government funds spent for negotiations and junkets, opportunity losses for investments and development because of prolonged and intermittent fighting.”

“They had their best chance when peace was offered again to them by PRRD [President Rodrigo R. Duterte], offering Cabinet posts in good faith for them to help in good governance but they blew it by attacking projects, killing society forces, and even innocent civilians,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday permanently ended the peace negotiations and told the communist rebels to just talk to the next administration.

Malacañang followed this up with an announcement that a new panel will be created to pursue localized peace talks with communist members on the ground in line with the government’s new whole-of-nation approach to end the 50-year armed struggle.

READ: Gov’t to create new panel for localized peace talks

But for CPP Founder Jose Maria Sison, there is nothing new in Duterte’s latest move to scrap the peace talks with the Reds, likening him to “an old broken record.”

“As far as the NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) is concerned, Duterte formally killed the peace negotiations on Nov. 23, 2017 with his Proclamation 360 terminating them,” Sison said in a statement released Thursday evening (March 21).

The communist leader added that Duterte was just “merely driving more nails into the coffin of the peace negotiations under his regime.”

He also claimed that the President only wants to implement fake localized peace process controlled by the military, instead of negotiating with the CPP national leaders.

“Instead of peace negotiations at the national level by the duly-authorized panels of the GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) and the NDFP, what Duterte wants is fake localized peace negotiations staged and controlled by the military and military-occupied Office of the Presidential Adviser for the Peace Negotiations,” he said.

But according to AFP, Sison was just trying to muddle the issue to conceal his panic over Duterte’s decision.

AFP Spokesperson Marine BGen Edgard Arevalo said in a statement that Sison is well aware that local peace engagement has been immensely successful.

“Mr. Sison has the temerity to call President Duterte ‘stupid’ for thinking that government will be successful in attaining peace by engaging NPA (New People’s Army) Commanders and fighters on the ground instead of the CPP-NPA’s national leadership,” Arevalo said.

“Mr. Sison consistently calls localized peace talks as a “waste of people’s money”, “cheap trick”, “absurd and stupid”, and by other deriding terms. He moves heaven and earth to prevent it because it will further relegate him to history’s dustbin,” he added.

The AFP official said that since January 2018, more than 11,000 NPA fighters and sympathizers have returned to the government’s fold after realizing that they have been deceived.

“But enough is enough. 50 years of duplicity, deceit, and murder of thousands of his comrades on mere suspicion of being military informants or have expressed desire to go back to mainstream society must stop,” Arevalo said.

He also called on anew to communist rebels to come out of hiding and take advantage of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Programs being offered by the current government.

“They should follow the lead of their comrades who stopped being menace to society and are now experiencing a life free from hunger, fear, and uncalled for perils fighting government. They should take advantage of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Programs,” Arevalo said. –— Robie de Guzman

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Duterte: Misuari to wage war if push for federalism fails

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, 21 March 2019 03:10 PM

Courtesy : PCOO President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (right) chats with Moro National Liberation Front Founding Chairman Nur Misuari (left) at a meeting at the Malacañan Palace on March 19, 2019.

MANILA, Philippines – Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Founding Chairman Nur Misuari has threatened to go to war against the government if the proposed shift to federalism is rejected, President Rodrigo Duterte revealed on Wednesday.

Duterte met with Misuari in Malacañang on Tuesday night upon the latter’s return from his trip to Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. This was already their second meeting in less than a month since the formal ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

The BOL was the result of the government’s negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which was established by former MNLF members.

“Sabi ni Misuari kagabi (Misuari told me last night), if you do not give it [federalism] to me, let me be very honest. I will go to war,” Duterte said during a campaign sortie of the PDP-Laban in Marikina City on Wednesday.

The President said he assured Misuari that he understands his stand but the approval of the proposal as well as the type of the federal system to be used depends on Congress. The 1987 Philippine Constitution would also have to be amended to enable the shift to federalism.

Duterte also said that a panel will be formed between the government and MNLF for the negotiations.

“Let’s form a panel because you have to inform the people. We cannot negotiate secretly here. Sabi ko, (I told him) day-to-day they will be briefed kung ano ang outcome (about the outcome). How gusto mong ma-apply ‘yang federal system sa gusto mo (how do you want the federal system to be applied). Will it be like the BOL or a different type?” he said.

Malacañang, meanwhile, denied allegations that Duterte’s move to reveal Misuari’s warning is meant to influence the Congress and the public to approve the proposed federalism.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President only wanted to let the public know about the importance of the bill.

“He responded to that and said, if it fails, we will be dying together. Ibig sabihin, lalabanan kita, ‘yun ang ibig sabihin ni President, lalabanan mo gobyerno, eh di lalabanan din kita, (it means, I will fight against you, that was what the President meant. If you go against the government then I will also fight you.)” Panelo said.

Although the MNLF’s threat is serious, Panelo said that Misuari has also expressed hope that federalism will be realized during Duterte’s term.

The shift to federalism is one of Duterte’s campaign promises.

The House of Representatives had passed its version of the proposed Charter Amendment while the Senate has yet to tackle the bill. – Robie de Guzman (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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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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