President Rodrigo Duterte has backed out from running for Senator in the 2022 eletion by filing his statement of withdrawal with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday afternoon, December 14.
Duterte filed his withdrawal a few hours just hours after his longtime aide, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, officially backed out of the presidential race.
Exactly two weeks after announcing that he is pulling out of the presidential race, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has officially withdrawn his candidacy at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Manila Tuesday morning.
Without fanfare, Go personally submitted his statement of withdrawal before the poll body’s Law Department. The document was received at 10:46 a.m., Comelec records show.
“I am no longer in this race to run for the presidency in 2022, I spoke last November 30, I just waited a little while to let my supporters know that my heart and my mind really re-resisted to run as President,” Go said in an interview.
Go, who went on his own to the Comelec office, said he felt that it was the right time to file his withdrawal. Not even his party, the PDP-Laban, knew that he was filing the withdrawal Tuesday.
“No one knows. Because if I let them know, many will know,” the senator said. READ MORE
President Duterte views CCTV footage of Resorts World attack
The Philippine National Police (PNP) revealed the identity of the lone gunman of the attack at the Resorts World Manila in Pasay City that killed 38 individuals, including the gunman himself, early on Friday.
The identification of the gunman put to a close speculations that the attack was a terrorist act.
In a press conference at the Remington Hotel at New Port City, Pasay City on Sunday, July 4, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Oscar Albayalde identified the gunman as Jessie Carlos, Filipino, 43, separated and a former employee of the Department of Finance (DOF).
He is married to Jen Carlos. They have three children — one son and two daughters.
The suspect’s last known address is at 1663 Felix Huertas St. corner San Lazaro, Barangay 339, Zone 34, Sta. Cruz, Manila.
Carlos was dismissed from the service for issues on misdeclaration and non-disclosure of his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN).
Albayalde added that “at 5:30 a.m. this morning (Sunday), members of his family arrived and sat down with our SITG (Special Investigation Task Group) investigators, after thorough review of details, photos, CCTV (closed-circuit television) footages, the family confirmed the identity of the perpetrator.”
According to his immediate family, his being hooked in casino gambling made him heavily indebted.
This became the cause of a misunderstanding between him, his wife and parents.
His bank account’s outstanding debt of PHP4 million and several other non-bank related debts prompted him to sell his Ford Ranger.
During the press conference, the gunman’s parents, Fernando Carlos and Teodora Carlos expressed their deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the victims and to the public in general.
“Today, we hope to have brought closure and peace to the bereaved families,” Albayalde said.
According to Albayalde, the wife of the gunman remained silent during the press conference as she was “depressed” while thinking about their three children aged, 17, 13, and 8.
Jessie’s wife also did not finish the press conference and hurriedly left the place.
“We also reiterate our prior statements that this is not an act of terrorism but this incident is confined to the act of one man alone as we have always said,” Albayalde said.
“We have and will continue to base our pronouncements on facts and evidence properly gathered,” he added.
“We will not allow people or any threat group to use this situation to advance their propaganda or personal causes whether foreign or local. This is our duty to the Filipino people and to the international community,” Albayalde said.
Albayalde added that the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), on April 3, 2017, barred Jessie Carlos from all casinos, including the Resorts World.
Likewise, the NCRPO chief urged the public not to spread false speculations connecting the incident to terroristic act.
“We ask for people to stop spreading false speculations linking this act to terrorism. Again, as we always maintained, this not an act of terrorism! Help us build peace here in our region by spreading only the truth,” Albayalde said.
“Moving forward, we will continue to investigate, we ensure to the families that we shall spare no one of any lapses committed during the incident,” he added. (Perfecto T. Raymundo/PNA)
Moro rebels who laid Marawi City under siege since Monday are positioned around an Army base with snipers sporadically shooting at Army choppers.
On Thursday, May 25, heavy gunfire exchanges were heard throughout the day as troopers battled it out with the terrorist Maute Group.
Media reports said there had been two attempts by Moro snipers to shoot down helicopters flying in or out of the 103rd Brigade headquarters, the command base of the military operations against the Maute Group which occupied and burned several public and private establishments on Monday, May 22.
The military said the sniper fires are diversionary tactics aiming to draw away focus of troopers now closing in on the terrorists in fierce firefights in many parts of the city.
The terrorists are pinned down and are resorting to these diversionary attacks to try to shift the military’s attention from focus areas, said Lieutenant Colonel Jo-Ar Herrera, spokesman of the 1st Infantry Division, in a report in RAPPLER.com.
“We will not stop until we flush out the remnants of the terrorist group,” said Herrera.
After ordering police and military to wrap Davao City with a tight security cordon, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio issued her own guideline for Dabawenyos to follow while Martial Law in Mindanao declared by President Rodrigo Duterte is in effect.
The guideline revolves around a “Hold and Secure” strategy for security agencies and a to-do list for Dabawenyos.
The Hold and Secure method will be implemented in ensuring the security of our people, the guideline premised.
The Davao City Police Office and the anti-terrorist Army contingent Task Force Davao have sealed the city with land-and-sea checkpoints to thwart entry of terrorists.
Hours after President Duterte, her father, declared Martial Law in Mindanao on May 23, Duterte-Carpio gathered security agencies to map out contingency plans and strict security measures as the terrorist Maute Group laid siege on Marawi City in Lanao del Sur.
She ordered a lockdown and intensified deployment of checkpoints, aware that the Marawin violence could spill over to the city.
Duterte-Carpio is no stranger to the Maute Group violence. Police identified the Marawi-based terror group as behind the Night Market bombing in September last year that killed 15 people and injured 70 others.
Duterte-Carpio presented the 30-point guideline during a media briefing on May 24.
The mayor said she has ordered lifting of the lockdown order she imposed on May 23.
Coming in as a security measure is the “hold and secure” strategy to prevent violence in the city.
“What we are trying to do is prevent violence from entering the city and prevent violence from erupting inside the city,” Duterte-Carpio said.
She discouraged outsiders from travelling to and from Davao City and advised city residents to stay home if there is no pressing importance to leave homes.
A “Hold and Secure” method will be implemented in ensuring the security of our people.
Call 911 immediately to report suspicious-looking persons, materials and actions by group of persons.
Exercise prudence in planning your activities.
Travel to and from Davao City is discouraged, as well as in other places in Mindanao, unless there is an urgent matter that needs to be attended to.
Do not leave your residence if you do not have business or matters to attend outside.
Travelling via motorcycle convoys is discouraged.
Crowded places, churches
Avoid crowded places.
Religious activities are encouraged to be conducted during daytime. Muslims observing Ramadan are encouraged to hold their activities inside mosques and residences.
All rallies and large-group activities should have permits from the local government.
Ensure that you have updated vehicle registration papers, and driver’s licenses.
Ensure that you have valid and existing licenses for your guns [License to Own and Posses Firearm (“LTOPF”) and Permit to Carry (“PTC”)].
Cooperate with the AFP and PNP personnel conducting checkpoints.
Familiarize yourself with the contents of your own baggage. Do not accept baggage from strangers.
In the conduct of checkpoints, turn off your headlights and turn on your overhead lights during inspection. 15. Allow the inspectors to smoothly make the inspections.
Always bring a valid personal identification document.
Minors and evenings
Minors are extremely discouraged from going out of their residences except when accompanied by adults. 18. Avoid going out late at night and consuming excessive alcohol.
Buddy system is encouraged to those who work at night especially during travel to and from work.
We encourage that you conduct your personal activities in the daytime.
Loitering in all areas is discouraged.
Do not leave bags and other personal belongings unattended.
Do not leave your cars unattended for a long time.
Do not retain large sums of money in your residences.
Business establishments and schools
Business establishments and schools are required to create emergency plans for their respective premises.
Business establishments and schools are encouraged to invest in private security, modern security equipment and fire extinguishing equipment.
Do not retain large sums of money in your premises.
Schools are encouraged to implement tighter security measures by properly screening guests. Tourists and tourism activities
Tourists are discouraged from going to areas that are not included among the main tourism areas of the city.
Always bring with you your passports and other proofs of identification.
“But if you confront government with violence, my orders are shoot to kill”
By Cielito M. Reganit
President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, May 24, assured the public that he will not allow abuses in the implementation of martial law in Mindanao amid concerns raised on the possibility of human rights abuses similar to those perpetrated during the Marcos era.
The President made the assurance in a press briefing shortly upon arriving at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport from a shortened official visit to Russia.
“I will assure you I am not willing to allow abuses. Government is still running, the Congress is functioning, and the courts are open for citizens to seek grievance,” Duterte stressed.
He also assured the public that in all decisions and actions, the primordial concern is the safety and welfare of the people.
“It is our Constitutional mandate to enforce the law and provide security. It is our Constitutional duty to ensure that every family, every community, all Filipinos, are assured to live in peace and harmony. We will stay true to our mandate and duty, this I can assure everyone,” Duterte said.
The President cut short his visit to Moscow after declaring martial law in Mindanao following violent clashes between government troops and the Maute Group in Marawi City on Tuesday.
The clashes erupted after security forces raided the hideout of Isnilon Hapilon, an Abu Sayyaf leader who has been tagged as the head of the Islamic-inspired terror group in the Philippines.
Duterte said the series of terror acts committed by the Maute group, which included the taking over and burning of several government facilities, establishing checkpoints within the city and flying the flag terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), constituted the crime of rebellion.
The acts committed by the terrorist group also resulted in the loss of lives of government forces as well as the displacement of innocent civilians.
“These things government cannot allow. It is an open defiance and the violence, the atrocities continue. Government must put an end to this. I cannot gamble with ISIS because they are everywhere. And, you know what is happening or you must be very aware of what happened in the Middle East,” the President said.
With the declaration of martial law, the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is likewise suspended in the entire Mindanao island, including the provinces of Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Sulu.
“Checkpoints will be allowed; searches will be allowed; arrest without a warrant will be allowed in Mindanao. And I do not need to secure any search warrant or a warrant of arrest,” Duterte said.
However, the President said that law-abiding citizens have nothing to worry about the imposition of martial law.
“Remember that this is not intended for the law-abiding citizens. We are the least of your worry,” he said.
“But if you confront government, and my orders are one: to enforce the law. And anyone caught possessing a gun and confronting us with violence, my orders are shoot to kill,” he said.
“I said, I will not allow abuses. The courts are open. But anyone now holding a gun, confronting government with violence, my orders are spare no one. Let us solve the problem of Mindanao once and for all,” Duterte said.
The President likewise said that he may consider expanding the areas covered by martial law to include the Visayas.
“Government may consider the covered areas of Martial Law in the event that members of the Maute group and other ISIS affiliated terrorists seek sanctuary or expand their terroristic activities in the Visayas and Mindanao.” he said. (PNA)
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