President Duterte, not linking Chinese businessman to drug trade — Malacañang

Marje Pelayo   •   October 5, 2018   •   3478



FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte greets Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua on the sidelines of the 10th Biennial National Convention and 20th Founding Anniversary Celebration of the Chinese Filipino Business Club, Inc. (CFBCI) at the Manila Hotel on February 19, 2018. | PCOO


MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque defended President Rodrigo Duterte over reports that the President allegedly linked a drug lord to Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua.

The businessman, according to a report, was Davao-based businessman Michael Yang.

President Duterte in his speech before the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association on Thursday (October 4) mentioned Yang who owns the  Los Amigos  store chain in Davao City.

The President said he was able to meet Yang at a command conference in Davao City.

 “And he became close to the — to the… Kaya kapag nandiyan si ano, nandiyan ‘yan siya. I don’t I — hindi ko talaga alam ang laro niyan ha. He could be… Sabihin mo drug addict ah drug pusher… Ngayon lang ‘yan may nilabas na dose na —[Desierto?] will expose… “Go ahead,” sabi ko. And you’d be surprised, bukuhin ka ng Chinese government diyan. Eh kasama-kasama palagi ‘yang — ‘yang kasama-sama palagi ni Ambassador Zhao. Hindi mo rin maloko ‘yan military ‘yan eh. ‘Yang ambassador natin military ‘yan ng China. Kalokohan.”

During the press briefing, Roque showed a picture of the President with Yang and other Chinese businessmen taken sometime in January 2017.

“What the president meant to say is: number one he cannot believe that Michael yang is involved in the drug trade, and number 2: because he is saying that he cannot believe that Michael yang is involved in the drug trade, the report that the president linked the Chinese Ambassador to a drug lord is obviously false,” Roque said.

What the President meant was, he couldn’t think of Yang getting involved in illegal drugs because of his close ties with Ambassador Zhao.

During his speech, the Chief Executive mentioned that he actually warned Yang not to even think of entering illegal drugs trade in the country.

“Sabi ko nga doon sa command conference — sabi ko na ano, “Mag-negosyo ka dito?” Sabi ko — these are my exact words, “P***** i** mo. Do not f*** with drugs because I will bury you alive.” ‘Yun talaga ang warning ko diyan,” Duterte said. – Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo


Duterte to deliver public address on April 12, Roque says

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his public address on Monday (April 12), Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. confirmed.

In a text message to reporters on Saturday (April 10), the Palace official said the President will push through with his weekly public address on Monday.

Duterte skipped his public address last week after several members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) tested positive for the COVID-19. Due to his several days of absence, speculations have surfaced questioning the state of the President’s health.

However, several officials, already assured that Duterte is of good health and will deliver his public address on Monday.

Meanwhile, Roque said he was admitted to a hospital for COVID-19 treatment. AAC

SC junks petition vs PH withdrawal from ICC

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday (March 16) unanimously junked petitions against the Philippines ‘ withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The high court said the issue of the country’s withdrawal from the ICC  has been considered moot as the withdrawal has already taken effect on March 17, 2019.

“In a unanimous decision penned by Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen, the Supreme Court dismissed the Petition questioning the unilateral withdrawal for being moot and academic,” the SC said in a briefer released on Tuesday (March 16).

The statement released by the SC public information office says the decision acknowledged that the President, as the primary architect of foreign policy, is subject to the Constitution and existing statute.

Therefore, the power of the President to withdraw unilaterally can be limited by the conditions for concurrence by the Senate or when there is an existing law that authorizes the negotiation of a treaty or international agreement or when there is a statute that implements an existing treaty,” it added.

Two petitions were filed against President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to withdraw from the ICC, stating the decision still requires concurrence from two-thirds of the members of the Senate.

“The Court also noted that the judiciary has enough powers to protect human rights contrary to speculations raised by the petitioners,” the briefer reads.

Duterte made the announcement in March 2018, after the ICC announced it will conduct a preliminary investigation on the government’s war on drugs. -AAC

Sec. Roque to undergo facility-based quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   March 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque says he is now inclined to undergo a facility-based quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.

During his stint as presidential spokesperson amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Roque has undergone 35 RT-PCR tests.

He said he is currently asymptomatic and admitted that he was shocked to find out that he was infected with the virus.

“It came as a surprise and a shock. It’s not just a shock na after about 35 tests nag-positive tayo,” he noted.

The Palace official said he plans to stay at an institutional quarantine facility since his wife also has comorbidities like him.

Sec. Roque clarifies, however, that he had no close interaction with President Rodrigo Duterte or other Cabinet members.

He says he met the Chief Executive last Thursday, March 11 on the launching of the rehabilitation projects for the Dumaguete-Sibulan airport and he was still negative for COVID-19.

“Hindi naman ako nakipag-close interaction with anyone kasi pag public event, hindi naman ako bumubulong and I tried to keep my distance also,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the official also advises those who had close contact with him during the past days to undergo quarantine and RT-PCR test.

The official will keep on working while in isolation.

He will also attend the meeting with the President and the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 virtually.

“Tinamaan po tayo ng COVID-19. Wala naman po tayong sintomas. Mag-a-isolate tayo para huwag makahawa,” he said.

“Pero tuloy po tayo sa hanapbuhay dahil ganiyan po talaga ang buhay. Tuloy-tuloy ang buhay kahit nandiyan si COVID,” he concluded. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)


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