02 September 2016

Government anti-drug ads to be released today
THE Presidential Communications Office (PCO) is set to release its anti-drug advertisements today, September 2, as part of the government’s intensified efforts to eliminate illegal drug trade and abuse in the country.

PCO Secretary Martin Andanar said that releasing the ads would increase the government’s reach in sending the strong message that the drug menace is continuously destroying lives, hence, must stop.

“The advertisements will target the Filipino families who might be dealing with problems caused by drug abuse. All hope is not lost; the time to end illegal drug-dependence is now,” Andanar said.

The advertisements, directed pro-bono by acclaimed director Brillante Ma. Mendoza, and endorsed by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, will show two different scenarios: a point of view of a father who is a drug user, and an OFW mother who has a drug-user son back home.

The “Father” point of view shows him missing the important moments of her daughter’s life because of his addiction to illegal drugs. The ad ends with the father confined in the hospital due to the ill effects of his addiction, but already forgotten by his family.

The “Mother” point of view shows her doing her multiple jobs abroad while her son is requesting money. Little did she know that the money her son was asking was for him to buy illegal drugs. She continues to send his son some money while her son continues to be addicted and eventually gets involved in crimes.

The 30-second anti-drug advertisements will be aired on TV and on cinemas nationwide. The full-length videos, on the other hand, will be posted on the Presidential Communications social media pages.

Malacañang calls on the Filipino people to help protect the President
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar called on the Filipino to help protect the life of President Rodrigo Duterte by staying vigilant in the wake of the reported assassination plot against the Philippines’ head of state.

In an interview over radio station DWFM on Friday, Andanar said that aside from efforts of the government troops to protect the President, it would even be better if the people could act as “neighborhood watch” to gather information at the community level to help ensure his safety.

“Of course, malaki din ang tulong ng taumbayan kung tayo ay magsisilbing mga neighborhood watch. Kumbaga, tulungan din natin iyong ating mga kapulisan, dahil alam naman natin na kulang pa rin ang numero ng ating mga pulis,”Andanar said.

The Presidential Security Group is not taking the report lightly. “Itong mga assassination plots na ito, although araw-araw naman nakakatanggap ang ating Pangulo ng assassination threat at ito naman ay minamatyagan ng ating Presidential Security Group (PSG),” Andanar said.

Reports on the assassination plot heightened with the arrest of two men this week, who claimed to be involved in smuggling gun parts in relation to this plan.

“Ito kasing nahuli na mga piyesa ng baril ‘no. Eh kung ia-assemble ito sabi nila abot ng isang daan na M16 rifles at gagamitin daw ito dapat sa assassination. Pero meron ding mga reports na naglalabasan na ito pala iyong assassination — this was during the campaign,” he said.

Although the assassination plot is nothing new to President Duterte, the administration has always been on high alert on his security especially now with the unrelenting war on criminality and illegal drugs.

“You know, and lalo na ngayon at napakadami pong mga kalaban at imminent dangers ang ating Pangulo dahil sa kampanya laban sa droga dahil nga dito sa unang sigwada.”

When asked if the latest development on the threat on the life of the President does not bother Malacañang on security concerns in the midst of his scheduled local and international travels, Andanar said “this is part of the territory, itong mga nangyayari sa ating Pangulo, itong mga death threats na ito hindi naman natin ito babalewalain lang. We will also take extra ordinary steps para mas lalong masiguro ang seguridad ng ating Pangulo, “ he said.

President Duterte was placed in office through a landslide vote with about 6 million margin of votes against the closest rival. Few weeks in office, he received a popularity rating of 91%, the highest in the country’s history for a sitting President.

With these numbers and the support the President is getting in relation to the priority programs both locally and internationally, the government is confident that a great majority of the Filipino people will help protect the President from harm to attain the dream of making the country safer for everybody. (LMG/LTA/PND)

General situation in South China Sea, transnational crime, human trafficking and regional security top issues in ASEAN Summit
The General situation in South China Sea, transnational crime and human trafficking are among the issues which will be raised in the forthcoming 28th and 29th Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Summit in Laos.

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary Ma. Helen de la Vega said during Friday’s pre-departure press briefing in Malacanang.

“On the particular issue on the South China Sea, discussions there might be anchored on the general situation in the South China Sea, maritime security, and the rule of law and United Nation Convention Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” the DFA official said.

She added that the Summit will be a vehicle for local leaders “to promote our (Philippine) key priorities or messages which include: a drug-free ASEAN, respect for the rule of law, our aspiration for a legally-binding code of conduct, emergency response and disaster management, protection of migrant workers, combatting trafficking in persons, peace and reconciliation efforts, and combatting terrorism.

President Rodrigo Duterte will lead a 30-man delegation to the event where he is expected to push for the adoption of a genuine change especially in the area of the fight against illegal drugs.

The DFA said some teams are already flying to Laos on September 3 for a Senior Officials Meeting followed by the ministers meeting.

“ The ministers represent also the council, the council called for instance the ASEAN Political-Security Council. These are ministers who would have to look at the developments happening at the ASEAN Political-Security pillar,”De la Vega said.

De la Vega said the Summit will also aim to strengthen the ASEAN Secretariat, the creation of units that could help promote our ASEAN Centrality in as far the region’s relations with the world. (PPA/LTA/PND)

Duterte to focus on PH genuine change at the 2016 ASEAN Summit
President Rodrigo Duterte will be focusing on the genuine reforms in the Philippines during the 2016 Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Summit to be held in Lao People’s Democratic Republic with its theme, “Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic Asean Community.”

Focusing on reforms, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary Ma. Helen Dela Vega on Friday said the President “wants to make the international community aware that he’s very sincere to evolve genuine change in the country. He wants them to understand where he’s coming from as far as, for instance this issue on illicit drugs are concerned.”

During the pre-departure media briefing, Dela Vega said PRRD “will explain to the international community the problem that we had, how it impacts on the social fabric of our society, and a problem that could affect us even in the future.”

The DFA official further explained that during the ASEAN Summit, the Philippines will formally accept the chairmanship of ASEAN beginning January 1, 2017 which aims to “strengthen the relations with the other ASEAN member states and dialogue partners, and to reiterate the support for the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.”

She said the Philippine delegation will also “promote our Philippine key priorities or messages which include: a drug-free ASEAN, respect for the rule of law, our aspiration for a legally-binding code of conduct, emergency response and disaster management, protection of migrant workers, combatting trafficking in persons, peace and reconciliation efforts, and combatting terrorism.”

President Duterte is also expected to hold nine bilateral talks which “are in the works” but the DFA official was quick to say “subject to availability of schedule.”

Since this is the first international summit of PRRD, there will be bilateral meetings at the sidelines and the President is expected to give his insights on the thrust of his administration.

The 30-man Philippine delegation includes DFA Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr., Department of Trade Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, and Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo. (PPA/LTA/PND)