By FRED M. LOBO
President Duterte has admitted that there is still more work to be done to achieve lasting peace in the Philippines which is still sailing in “rough waters.”
“I have to work over time,” as various factors and factions are bugging us, said DU30.
The President, in a post-disaster assessment briefing in Bicol, said it is important to place the right people in government because there is still more work to do, and not just anybody from factions like the Communists who are pressuring the government.
“The ship of state of the Republic of the Philippines is sailing on rough waters,” he said.
Duterte expressed hope that the BangsamoroOrganic Law ( BOL) is ratified soon to grant the Bangsamoro government fiscal autonomy and hopefully put an end to the decades-old conflicts in Southern Philippines.
Translation: The ball is in the BOL.
“I’m not saying that there is a storm but unless we get through with this BOL and what would be the reaction of [Moro National Liberation Front founder Nur] Misuari… sabihin niya he’s left behind is something which we have — I have to work over time,” he added.
Yes to overtime work—charged to altruism, Mr. President.
President Dutertere called he signed the BOL in July last year after it was delayed in the House of Representatives and there was a possibility that not everybody would like the BOL.
But I’m hoping that misunderstandings could be settled immediately, he added.
Duterte said he considered dealing with Communist rebels as a tough problem and even hopeless.
“Ang talagang medyo matigas na nakikita ko na wala talagang pag–asa, ito si [Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder] Sison… Wala tayong makuha diyan sa NPA,” DU30 said.
The President lamented that dealing with Communists will not work, citing the appointments of former Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo and former Agrarian Secretary Rafael Mariano.
“Maski na sabihin nila walang coalition but they want to join ‘yung mga economic bodies natin kagayang NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority), itong Department of Trade. Ah, mahirap ‘yan (That’s going to be difficult),” Duterte said.
However, Duterte, who scrapped the peace talks with the Reds in November 2017, recently expressed hope about the negotiations, saying “I pray that if there’s going to be a talk — really talk. I don’t know what will happen and if it can happen at all.”
Difficulties lie ahead but let the road to peace remain open.
Claiming that rebellion persists in Mindanao, the extension of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus until Dec. 31, 2019, is justified, government lawyers told the Supreme Court (SC) last Tuesday.
Please dismiss the petition assailing the constitutionality of the extension, the third since martial law was first imposed in Mindanao in 2017, they argued.
In a comment filed with the SC, Solicitor General Jose C. Calida said that contrary to the allegations of Rep Edcel Lagman, rebellion – a key requirement for declaration of martial law under the Constitution — persists in Mindanao.
There are official reports of the AFP on “ongoing rebellion of the Daesh-Inspires groups and its local and foreign allies, particularly the Daulah Islamiyah (DI) and also of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) forces in Mindanao,” Calida said.
The solicitor general said the “Daesh-inspired groups have shifted their strategy from establishing a Wilayat to global insurgency or rebellion” and that “they continue their recruitment and radicalization activities teaching their new members how to launch deadlier attacks and to sow chaos and instability that will extremely endanger the public.”
“Based on the AFP’s end of first semester data, the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has a total of 424 members with 473 firearms. .. The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) has 264 members with 254 firearms…It is necessary to provide public safety in Mindanao,” Calida added.
Meanwhile, President Duterte has called for the support of Congress and other sectors for his “Build, Build, Build” development plan for the country through budgetary approval and other forms of support.
Let’s also use the controversial P46-billion road users’ tax for disaster-mitigation, he urged.
Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said that key reforms done to improve right-of-way (ROW) processes have now borne fruit since the issuance of Department Order No. 65, which created a ROW Taskforce (RTF) for each project.
“Significant progress in the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program can be seen,” Villar added.
“We are happy to announce that the NLEX Harbor Link Project will be accessible to the public by January. When this is completed, travel time from C3 in Caloocan and NLEX, will be reduced to 10 minutes. The DPWH is currently undertaking the finishing works in concreting the additional 600-meter segment which would make 2.7 kilometers of Mindanao Avenue Extension accessible within the first quarter of 2019… We are happy that during the term of President Duterte, we are able to deliver these projects,” he added.
Yes to “Build3” program to rebuild the country and check traffic and related problems. Yes to
speedy national economic development!