National Heroes Day celebration at Libingan Ng Mga Bayani

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Highlights of President Rodrigo Duterte’s speech at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayuani during the commemoration today of the National Heroes Day —

  • President Duterte inclined to put PHP2-M bounty for ‘ninja’ cops protecting drug syndicates
  • President Duterte vows to push ‘hard’ family planning
  • President Duterte orders release of Php4.7-B to widows of WW veterans and AFP retirees
  • President Duterte urges Congress to hasten federalism approval
  • President Duterte to China: ‘Treat us as brothers and not your enemies’

Arrival and wreath-laying:

Speech of Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano and President Rodrigo Duterte:


”I dedicate in front of the brave Filipino soldiers who died for us and I will continue to honor them and this message I have imparted to the soldiers and police, you will have my support, you will have all the things to fight criminals,” the President said.


”I said I will fight criminality and drugs because most of the criminal acts are really on the account of drug menace. So I will not relent, the campaign will be continuous and I will be harsh as I can ever be. I will finish this problem of drugs, corruption and crimes,” he added.


Vow to push ‘hard’ family planning

With the country’s 100-million population still increasing, President Rodrigo Duterte vowed on Monday to push ‘hard’ a better family planning program of his government.

”I will push it hard, we need the family planning and we need to rationalize everything there,” the President said in his speech during the National Heroes Day celebration at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City.

Three days before his inauguration as the country’s 16th President last June 30, President Duterte laid out his family planning program including a three-child policy.

The President also intends to push aggressive campaign for the Reproductive Health Law that was signed in 2012 but implemented only two years later due to a restraining order from the Supreme Court.


Release of Php4.7-B to widows of WW veterans and AFP retirees

President Rodrigo Duterte announced Monday the release of PHP4.7 billion in unpaid total administrative disability (TAD) for widows of World War II veterans and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) retirees.

”It will be released as soon as possible,” President Duterte announced in his speech during the National Heroes Day celebration at the Libingan ng nga Bayani in Taguig City.

Reading from the notes handed to him by Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, the President said the spouses of deceased WWII veterans aged 80 and above will get a total of PHP3.5 billion.

On the other hand, the President said, AFP retirees will receive PHP1.2 billion.


Call for Congress to hasten federalism approval

MANILA, Aug. 29 (PNA) — President Rodrigo R. Duterte urged Congress to hasten his proposal to change the form of government from the present unitary type to federal system.

The President made the statement in a speech delivered in this year’s commemoration of National Heroes Day to honor the Filipino heroes at the “Libingan ng mga Bayani” in Taguig City on Monday.

He reiterated his call to Congress to push for a federal system of government patterned after France, which follows a federal-presidential form of government, where only the President is the elected official.

President Duterte explained that under the French political system, the President is the executive head of state, while the head of the government is the Prime Minister (PM) who is appointed by the President.

The PM stays in office while having the confidence of the National Assembly and the President of the Republic.

In France, the president has very limited power, but a powerful one, “Powerful statements but very limited,” PRRD said.

“Hurry up (with) the federal system because I said you follow the country with the presidential office because that would hold together the country,” he said.

The President warned not to just go to a parliamentary form of government.

“It will be disastrous for this country. Somebody should hold the Armed Forces and the Police to control the country,” he said.

In the meantime, he said the country should focus on marching forward to progress to the next century.

“At this time, it will be good to have a federal system because the present unitary type has done us no good,” he said.

He vowed to step down from the office once the shift from presidential to federal-presidential has been undertaken and perfected within three years.


To China: ‘Treat us as brothers and not your enemies’

President Rodrigo R. Duterte has appealed to the Chinese people to treat the Filipinos as their brothers by allowing the Filipino fishermen to fish in the disputed West Philippine Sea.

President Duterte made the appeal in his speech during Monday’s National Heroes’ Day celebration attended by the members of the diplomatic corps, including Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua, at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

”It might be that the Chinese people find a place in their heart for the Filipino people, for after all, there is a Chinese blood in me. So I hope that you treat us as brothers and not your enemies and take note of the plight of our citizens,” he said.

The President has expressed concerns over the plight of the Filipino fishermen who are being barred by China from fishing within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines in the WPS.

”Maybe, just maybe, if we continue and treat each others as brothers and understand specially the plight of the fishermen, that’s why they are there because they are poor,” he said.

For now, President Duterte told the Chinese ambassador that he will never use the Philippines’ victory in the Permanent Court of Arbitration which, he said, it might lead to the suspension of talks with China.

”I will never bring the matter because it might lead to the suspension of the talks and that is not good, Mr. Ambassador. So, I proposed that we have a soft landing everywhere,” the President said.

While expressing his willingness to hold bilateral talks without the arbitral judgment, President Duterte said he would eventually discuss the international arbitral court ruling with China.

”I will not use the arbitral judgment now, but I would one day sit in front of your representative or you and then I will lay there my position and I would say that this paper, I cannot go out of the four corners of this document and that is the arbitral judgment,” the President said.

President Duterte said he would not go to war with China.

”If I’m not ready for war, then peace is the only way,” he said.

The President drew laughter from the crowd when he asked in jest the Chinese ambassador to “maybe give us time to build our forces also. You have so much superiority.”


— Jelly F. Musico

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