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(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

DUTERTE OPEN TO 'CORDIAL RELATIONSHIP' WITH ROBREDO
[RELATED: Aquino congratulates Duterte, opens communication lines]


JUNE 16 -Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS Despite coming from opposite sides of the political fence, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte is open to a “cordial working relationship” with Vice President-elect Leni Robredo, his spokesperson said on Thursday.
Designated presidential spokesperson Ernesto “Ernie” Abella expressed optimism that the country’s incoming top two officials would maintain a professional relationship even if they have yet to formally meet. “I don’t know about the exact date or plans (of a possible meeting), but I’m sure that the President, being President of the entire nation, is quite open to having a cordial relationship with the Vice President, or at least more than cordial, but at least they have a working relationship,” Abella said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel’s Dateline Philippines. “But as to the nature of it, I cannot say so,” he added. Duterte’s camp opted for a separate inauguration from Robredo, saying their decision to have an “austere” celebration in Malacañang would not allow the incoming Vice President to invite more guests. Abella said Duterte was “not a very pompous person and does not stand on ceremonies” but “appreciates order.”  READ: Rody tells Leni: I want a separate inauguration The incoming Chief Executive previously said there was “no compelling reason” for him to give Robredo a Cabinet position as he did not want to offend his friend, losing vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. READ: ‘No compelling reason for me to give Leni a Cabinet post’ – Rody The son and namesake of the late dictator lost to Robredo by over 200,000 votes. Robredo, a member of the outgoing administration’s Liberal Party, vowed to reach out to Duterte and assure him of her 100 percent support. Abella said what he admired most about Duterte was his “sense of flexibility and openness,” which he said was “contrary to the common perception that he’s bullheaded.” “He does have a listening ear and quite willing to adjust although he has very firm ideas about what needs to be done and what needs to be achieved,” he added. JE/rga FULL REPORT. RELATED, Aquino congratulates Duterte, opens communication lines...

ALSO SENATE PRESIDENCY: Cayetano’s demands led to his failure -Sotto
[Duterte had earlier declared he would not meddle in the fight for the Senate leadership. He asked Pimentel and Cayetano to settle the issue between themselves.]
[RELATED: Cayetano slammed over Senate ambition]


JUNE 16 CAYETANO: THE many demands and “do’s and don’ts” being dictated by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano led to his failure to get his colleagues to choose him as Senate president of the 17th Congress, Senator Vicente Sotto III said Wednesday. He said the talks with Cayetano, the defeated running mate of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, collapsed because he had been imposing many conditions and dictating many things­—and in particular the chairmanship of the Senate committees. As a result, they opted to pick Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, a party mate of Duterte at the PDP-Laban, to be the next Senate president to succeed Franklin Drilon. Sotto and Drilon have stood firm that Pimentel will be the next Senate president amid the reports Cayetano has been “operating” to grab the Senate leadership from Pimentel. They stress that the Senate presidency has been sealed for Pimentel. Pimentel has said if Cayetano wants the Senate presidency, he should not go to Davao because the position is not determined in Davao. He should talk to his fellow senators instead. “Nobody else can elect the SP except the senators,” said Pimentel, the president of PDP-Laban where Duterte is chairman. Asked if he believed Duterte would call the senators to convince them to vote for Cayetano, Sotto replied: “I don’t know if the President will do that and if that will work, because if you want to be SP you have to campaign among your fellow senators.” Duterte had earlier declared he would not meddle in the fight for the Senate leadership. He asked Pimentel and Cayetano to settle the issue between themselves. FULL REPORT RELATED, Cayetano slammed over Senate ambition...

ALSO: Duterte to Cabinet - I will give you a free hand but you'll be answerable
[RELATED: No press secretary for President Rody]


JUNE 16 -Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte had a three-hour meeting with his Cabinet at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay on Wednesday night, June 15. RTVM
DAVAO CITY — President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has reminded his incoming Cabinet members to ensure that his administration would not be tainted with corruption or they would be answerable to him for their misdeeds.
Duterte made the reminder during the three-hour meeting with his designated officials at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay on Wednesday night, incoming Agriculture secretary Emmanuel Piñol said. “We were told by the president that there should be no corruption, make sure there is no corruption. (He said) nobody from my family will interfere with your work, I’m giving you a free hand on the people you choose,” Piñol told reporters Thursday here. “But you (incoming Cabinet members) are answerable to me for your misdeeds and for the people you have chosen,” he added. “We are accountable for every misstep we make. It was a very clear statement.”  It remains unclear what Duterte would do in the event that his officials get involved in corruption. Piñol, however, believes that Duterte would not hesitate to remove those who are guilty of wrongdoings. “The president would relieve the entire department and city hall if one commits a wrongdoing. I think that’s still the same mindset,” the incoming Agriculture chief said. “Nobody is indispensable. There are no (sacred) cows,” he added. Piñol said Duterte was serious but in a light mood when he presided over the meeting. “We are upbeat. We are happy. The president was very happy,” he said. Last month, Duterte vowed to be harsh when it comes to corruption and has outlined bold measures to address the problem. READ MORE...RELATED, No press secretary for President Rody...

ALSO: Duterte transition team meets Aquino in Malacañang
[RELATED: Aquino offers help to Duterte during first phone call]


JUNE 16 -President Aquino meets with Duterte transition team at Malacañang. PHOTO courtesy of Bong Go
DAVAO CITY – Two weeks before inauguration, the transition team of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday met with outgoing President Benigno Aquino III in Malacañang. Duterte’s aide Christopher “Bong” Go, who is part of the inaugural committee, shared to the media the photos of their visit. Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa tours Duterte transition team. PHOTO courtesy of Bong Go. Go said Aquino “graciously toured” them in the presidential palace, including the Rizal Hall where Duterte will take his oath of office. Go said they had a meeting with outgoing Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. and staff after the tour. FULL REPORT, RELATED...Aquino offers help to Duterte during first phone call...

ALSO By J. Ma. Montelibano: GLIMPSES - His challenge, our challenge
[It is not the lack of a majority of support from Filipinos that make me wonder how the new President can tackle all the major concerns he has identified. I am not questioning his guts and willingness to ride the tiger of change as I believe he has that.  I am wondering what kind, and what level, of disruption our society will undergo, and its manifestations in societal life. Forging a peace between Right and Left, between Christians and Muslims, between pro-US and anti-Chinese sentiments, between pro and anti-Marcos forces, and all these simultaneously, is not just a tough act but a veritable mission impossible.]


JUNE 17 -INQUIRER EDITORIAL CARTOON FOR JUNE 17: “It’s all over but the shouting,” the saying goes, as one administration is on its final stage transitioning to a new one. The shouting has not all stopped but has become quite irrelevant on a national basis. Partisanship has become embedded in the political psyche of Filipinos; it takes little to provoke it, and it takes a lot to mute it. The new appointments of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte are eliciting mixed reactions, naturally. There are fresh faces, and fresh faces are always a strong statement of change. There are also old faces, old in the political scene, and carry their own strengths and baggage. The appointments of militant Left personalities raise eyebrows and deep concern from the status quo, and it will not be quiet in that front. Neither will the Marcos burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. I suppose any reconciling move will first be met with serious distrust among partisans. But if the intent is to forge a healing in this regard, it may be impossible as there are simply too many victims and families of victims of martial law who cannot ever forgive and forget. A new administration, however, traditionally carries a lot of goodwill among Filipinos. The fact that only 39% voted for Duterte doesn’t mean he will not have the initial support of the majority of Filipinos. Outside of the passionately partisan and the haters, paid and otherwise, Filipinos do wish to not only move on but to move forward. The majority of Filipinos, although conditioned by history to be divided, intuitively understand that active divisiveness will negate the good things that can possibly come. After all, the spirit and practice of bayanihan is a counter-force to the fractiousness that has weakened us as a people. It is not the lack of a majority of support from Filipinos that make me wonder how the new President can tackle all the major concerns he has identified. I am not questioning his guts and willingness to ride the tiger of change as I believe he has that. I am wondering what kind, and what level, of disruption our society will undergo, and its manifestations in societal life. Forging a peace between Right and Left, between Christians and Muslims, between pro-US and anti-Chinese sentiments, between pro and anti-Marcos forces, and all these simultaneously, is not just a tough act but a veritable mission impossible. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Duterte open to ‘cordial relationship’ with Robredo


Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

DAVAO CITY, JUNE 20, 2016 (INQUIRER) By: Yuji Vincent Gonzales @YGonzalesINQ INQUIRER.net June 16, 2016 - Despite coming from opposite sides of the political fence, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte is open to a “cordial working relationship” with Vice President-elect Leni Robredo, his spokesperson said on Thursday.

Designated presidential spokesperson Ernesto “Ernie” Abella expressed optimism that the country’s incoming top two officials would maintain a professional relationship even if they have yet to formally meet.

“I don’t know about the exact date or plans (of a possible meeting), but I’m sure that the President, being President of the entire nation, is quite open to having a cordial relationship with the Vice President, or at least more than cordial, but at least they have a working relationship,” Abella said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel’s Dateline Philippines.

“But as to the nature of it, I cannot say so,” he added.

Duterte’s camp opted for a separate inauguration from Robredo, saying their decision to have an “austere” celebration in Malacañang would not allow the incoming Vice President to invite more guests. Abella said Duterte was “not a very pompous person and does not stand on ceremonies” but “appreciates order.”

READ: Rody tells Leni: I want a separate inauguration

The incoming Chief Executive previously said there was “no compelling reason” for him to give Robredo a Cabinet position as he did not want to offend his friend, losing vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.

READ: ‘No compelling reason for me to give Leni a Cabinet post’ – Rody

The son and namesake of the late dictator lost to Robredo by over 200,000 votes.

Robredo, a member of the outgoing administration’s Liberal Party, vowed to reach out to Duterte and assure him of her 100 percent support.

Abella said what he admired most about Duterte was his “sense of flexibility and openness,” which he said was “contrary to the common perception that he’s bullheaded.”

“He does have a listening ear and quite willing to adjust although he has very firm ideas about what needs to be done and what needs to be achieved,” he added. JE/rga

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Aquino congratulates Duterte, opens communication lines SHARES: 1590 VIEW COMMENTS By: Nikko Dizon, Tarra Quismundo @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 08:53 PM June 16th, 2016


Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and President Benigno Aquino III FILE PHOTOS

MANILA — Outgoing President Aquino congratulated on Thursday, his successor, incoming President Rodrigo Duterte, assuring the latter of an open communication line even after the end of his term on June 30.

It was the first time that Mr. Aquino and Duterte spoke on the phone since the outspoken and at times irascible Davao City mayor won by a landslide in the May 9 national elections.

A Philippine Daily Inquirer source said this meant that President Aquino has essentially opened the communication line between him and Duterte during the latter’s presidency.

The source said that incoming Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Duterte’s executive assistant Christopher “Bong” Go went to Malacañang for a meeting with Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa when the latter decided to introduce them to President Aquino.

In an official statement released Thursday night, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said that Medialdea and Go, also the designated head of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS), were with other members of the transition committee.

“Executive Secretary Ochoa brought them to the President’s office and introduced them. Then the President invited them to a tour in the main Palace building,” Coloma said.

Go later shared with Malacañang reporters that Aquino and Duterte talked over the phone, although he did not reveal details of the conversation. Go made the confirmation as he, along with Medialdea and incoming Secretary to the Cabinet Leoncio Evasco Jr. visited Malacañang Palace to meet with Ochoa.

Mr. Aquino and Duterte have yet to personally meet since the elections.

Go said Mr. Aquino and Duterte spoke while his group was visiting the Palace. It was unclear who called who, how long the two spoke, and what other matters were discussed.

The conversation happened a day after Duterte met with his Cabinet appointees in Manila for the first time since his proclamation. His camp would not say whether the President-elect returned to Davao City after dismissing his meeting past 11 p.m. Wednesday, or if he stayed in Manila for the night.

Without the Mayor, the Duterte group visited Malacañang for a largely undisclosed agenda, but Go is part of the committee making arrangements for Duterte’s inauguration at Malacañang’s Rizal Hall on June 30.

It would be the first presidential inauguration in the Palace since the late President Carlos P. Garcia’s 1957 oath-taking. Garcia was vice president to President Ramon Magsaysay and took over as President when Magsaysay died in a plane crash. Presidents usually take their oath at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.

Go said Mr. Aquino brought the group around the Palace after their meeting with Ochoa and his staff.

“PNoy graciously toured us inside Malacañang Palace. He showed us around Rizal Hall where the inauguration will take place, after a short meeting with E.S Ochoa and staff,” Go told reporters. SFM

(Note: The 12th paragraph of this story was corrected to indicate that it was President Carlos P. Garcia, not Carlos Romulo, who last took an oath as President inside Malacañang in 1957.)


MANILA STANDARD

Sotto: Cayetano’s demands led to his failure posted June 16, 2016 at 12:01 am by Macon Ramos-Araneta

THE many demands and “do’s and don’ts” being dictated by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano led to his failure to get his colleagues to choose him as Senate president of the 17th Congress, Senator Vicente Sotto III said Wednesday.

He said the talks with Cayetano, the defeated running mate of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, collapsed because he had been imposing many conditions and dictating many things­—and in particular the chairmanship of the Senate committees.

As a result, they opted to pick Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, a party mate of Duterte at the PDP-Laban, to be the next Senate president to succeed Franklin Drilon.

Sotto and Drilon have stood firm that Pimentel will be the next Senate president amid the reports Cayetano has been “operating” to grab the Senate leadership from Pimentel. They stress that the Senate presidency has been sealed for Pimentel.

Pimentel has said if Cayetano wants the Senate presidency, he should not go to Davao because the position is not determined in Davao. He should talk to his fellow senators instead.

“Nobody else can elect the SP except the senators,” said Pimentel, the president of PDP-Laban where Duterte is chairman.

Asked if he believed Duterte would call the senators to convince them to vote for Cayetano, Sotto replied: “I don’t know if the President will do that and if that will work, because if you want to be SP you have to campaign among your fellow senators.”

Duterte had earlier declared he would not meddle in the fight for the Senate leadership. He asked Pimentel and Cayetano to settle the issue between themselves.

-------------------------

RELATED FROM MANILA STANDARD

Cayetano slammed over Senate ambition posted June 13, 2016 at 12:01 am by Macon Ramos-Araneta


DESPERATE TO BE SP: Senator Alan Peter Cayetano

TWO senators on Sunday assailed defeated vice presidential candidate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano for his alleged desperate attempt to grab the Senate presidency from incoming Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III.

Senators Panfilo Lacson and Vicente Sotto III, however, stressed that Pimentel would be the Senate president of the 17th Congress.

“No amount of intrigues and self-serving statements coming from him or anybody can alter what the majority of the 17th Congress consider as sealed and delivered Senate presidency to Pimentel,” Lacson said.

 Lacson was among those who joined the so-called Supermajority in the coming 17th Congress and rallied behind Pimentel’s leadership of the Senate.

Sotto has said Pimentel will be the Senate president and he will be the majority leader replacing Cayetano in the next Congress.

Pimentel is the president of PDP-Laban, which is led by Duterte. The outgoing Davao City mayor was adopted by PDP-Laban when he ran for president in the May 9 elections.

Cayetano, who has been pushing himself to replace incumbent Senate President Franklin Drilon, belongs to the Nacionalista Party.

Cayetano has rebuked his colleagues in the Senate for opting for the status quo instead of change when they declared Pimentel as the next Senate president.

In an earlier interview in Davao City, Cayetano said his offer to run for Senate president was conditioned on the fact that “we will have a majority that will be supportive of the mandate of the president.”

Lacson strongly reacted to the pronouncements of Cayetano, saying he was not at all against Duterte.

“I’m not at all against President-elect Duterte as averred by Senator Cayetano,” Lacson said.

“In fact, I continue to believe that the [outgoing] mayor can really make a difference in reducing crime and corruption in our country.

I merely commented on his statement undermining the integrity and independence of the Senate because I felt it was my obligation to do so.”

“If i say it will pass, it will pass,” said Sotto who insisted the Supermajority would be supportive of Duterte’s agenda while maintaining its independence.

Drilon, the first to break the news that the majority of the senators had opted to support Pimentel, said the coming Senate would not be a “rubber stamp” of the Duterte administration. He said it would be cooperative but not subservient.

Sotto had earlier said some of their colleagues had scored Cayetano over his plan to make the Senate presidency a “parking slot,” where he would spend his time while waiting for the lapse of the one-year ban on losing candidates to occupy a government post.

Cayetano, a lawyer, has been offered by Duterte to choose between sitting as secretary of the Department of Justice or the Department of Foreign Affairs.


PHILSTAR

Duterte tells Cabinet: I will give you a free hand but you'll be answerable By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated June 16, 2016 - 5:55pm 10 155 googleplus0 0


Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte had a three-hour meeting with his Cabinet at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay on Wednesday night, June 15. RTVM

DAVAO CITY — President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has reminded his incoming Cabinet members to ensure that his administration would not be tainted with corruption or they would be answerable to him for their misdeeds.

Duterte made the reminder during the three-hour meeting with his designated officials at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay on Wednesday night, incoming Agriculture secretary Emmanuel Piñol said.

“We were told by the president that there should be no corruption, make sure there is no corruption. (He said) nobody from my family will interfere with your work, I’m giving you a free hand on the people you choose,” Piñol told reporters Thursday here.

“But you (incoming Cabinet members) are answerable to me for your misdeeds and for the people you have chosen,” he added.

“We are accountable for every misstep we make. It was a very clear statement.”

It remains unclear what Duterte would do in the event that his officials get involved in corruption. Piñol, however, believes that Duterte would not hesitate to remove those who are guilty of wrongdoings.


Incoming Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol

“The president would relieve the entire department and city hall if one commits a wrongdoing. I think that’s still the same mindset,” the incoming Agriculture chief said.

“Nobody is indispensable. There are no (sacred) cows,” he added.

Piñol said Duterte was serious but in a light mood when he presided over the meeting.

“We are upbeat. We are happy. The president was very happy,” he said.

Last month, Duterte vowed to be harsh when it comes to corruption and has outlined bold measures to address the problem.

READ MORE...

He is planning to reshuffle personnel at the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Bureau of Customs and Land Transportation Office, agencies that he described as “most corrupt.”

The tough-talking Duterte will also prohibit military and police officers from tagging along with them their staff in their next assignments to prevent payoffs.

He has also warned judges against issuing temporary restraining orders for a fee, a practice that he said had delayed important government projects.

While he was criticized for his plan to put his classmates in key posts and for supposedly "recycling" officials from previous administrations, Duterte said his administration would be filled with “men of integrity and honesty.”

Other issues

Piñol said other matters tackled during the meeting were the K to 12 program, traffic problem, budget and food security.

He said incoming Education Secretary Leonor Briones informed the president that it is too late to shift gears with regard to K to 12 because of a law that institutionalized the program.

“She (Briones) is open to improvement and modification but is steadfast in her position that there is no way we can amend that because of the law,” Piñol said.

Piñol reported to Duterte his consultations with farmers who are affected by the El Niño phenomenon.

He said he is eyeing a cash for work program for farmers and fishermen so they can earn additional income. Under his proposal, farmers and fishermen would be asked to prepare roads, clean bodies of water and plant mangroves, among other tasks.

Piñol said he is also working closely with seed growers to increase rice production in preparation for La Nina, which is expected to hit the country in November.

“We are talking to seed growers. We want to know how many seeds are available. By October, we have to harvest them. The planting should be done in July so we can have enough rice,” he said.

Piñol said incoming Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade reported about the traffic problem in Metro Manila and proposed cracking down on unregistered or “colorum” vehicles.

With regard to the proposal to grant Duterte emergency powers to address traffic woes, Piñol said the matter “was referred to the legal minds.”


DIOKNO

Incoming Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, meanwhile, informed Duterte that about P1.7 trillion remains unspent in this year’s budget.


DOMINGUEZ

Incoming Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez discussed his proposed meeting with the business sector from June 20 to 21 here. Duterte is expected to attend the second day of the meeting.

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

No press secretary for President Rody SHARES: 2871 VIEW COMMENTS By: Tarra Quismundo @TarraINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer 01:03 AM June 17th, 2016


NEW SPOKESPERSON Ernesto “Ernie” Abella, the incoming presidential spokesperson, and incoming Presidential Communications Operations Office chief Martin Andanar face the reporters outside the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City where President-elect Rodrigo Duterte earlier met with his Cabinet. RICHARD A. REYES

Whether President-elect Rodrigo Duterte keeps his ban on the press throughout his six-year term remains to be seen.

But for now, he is showing the least interest in partnership with the media.

Unlike some of his predecessors, Duterte will have no press secretary. He will have only two officials whom journalists can tail for information.

“There’s no press secretary. There’s the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) secretary, and then the presidential spokesperson. The presidential spokesperson is Ernie (Abella) and the secretary is me,” said Martin Andanar, the incoming chief of PCOO.

Abella on Wednesday took the place of lawyer Salvador Panelo, Duterte’s temporary presidential spokesperson whom the Davao City mayor had designated as his chief presidential counsel.

Panelo, however, said he would still speak for Duterte “on very important issues.”

Duterte, the longtime mayor of Davao City, has banned the press from his events since late June, after drawing global criticism for saying corrupt journalists were legitimate targets of assassination.

Even United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has condemned Duterte’s comments that seemed to justify extrajudicial killings.

Despite the clarity of Duterte’s statements, his allies have insisted the press has misquoted him.

“So that there will be no more errors,” they said, Duterte would no longer call news conferences. For information from the Duterte administration, reporters should coordinate with public broadcaster PTV 4.

It is unclear whether Duterte’s camp is gleeful about the ban, but reporters and editors, in the past three weeks, have not had to agonize over whether they should quote him word for word whenever profanity spewed from his mouth as naturally as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

Asked yesterday whether Duterte would speak again to journalists, Andanar said: “That has not been discussed.”


INQUIRER

Duterte transition team meets Aquino in Malacañang SHARES: 752 VIEW COMMENTS By: Yuji Vincent Gonzales @YGonzalesINQ INQUIRER.net 07:39 PM June 16th, 2016


President Aquino meets with Duterte transition team at Malacañang. PHOTO courtesy of Bong Go President Aquino meets with Duterte transition team at Malacañang. PHOTO courtesy of Bong Go

DAVAO CITY – Two weeks before inauguration, the transition team of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday met with outgoing President Benigno Aquino III in Malacañang.

Duterte’s aide Christopher “Bong” Go, who is part of the inaugural committee, shared to the media the photos of their visit.


Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa tours Duterte transition team. PHOTO courtesy of Bong Go.

Go said Aquino “graciously toured” them in the presidential palace, including the Rizal Hall where Duterte will take his oath of office.

Go said they had a meeting with outgoing Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. and staff after the tour.

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Aquino offers help to Duterte during first phone call SHARES: 114 VIEW COMMENTS By: Kristine Angeli Sabillo @KSabilloINQ INQUIRER.net 04:37 PM June 17th, 2016


President Benigno Aquino III says his first phone conversation with incoming Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was "pleasant." KRISTINE ANGELI SABILLO/INQUIRER.net

President Benigno Aquino III on Friday said he had a “pleasant” first phone conversation with president-elect Rodrigo Duterte whom he congratulated.

“It was a very short conversation,” Aquino told members of the Malacañang Press Corps at a restaurant in Binondo, Manila.

Aquino managed to talk to Duterte over the phone when the president-elect’s staff visited Malacañang on Thursday.

“Yung members of his staff went to the Executive Secretary (Paquito Ochoa Jr.) yesterday (Thursday). The Executive Secretary brought them to me. We shared some of our experiences for the last 6 years to them,” he said.

Duterte’s representatives then called Duterte so that he may talk to Aquino.

“We had a short conversation wherein I congratulated him, (we) asked each other how we were. And I reiterated the offer to be of assistance,” Aquino told media.

He described the conversation as “pleasant.”

Aquino said Duterte did not reject his offer of help.

He said his team is ready to assist the incoming administration on the transition and so they won’t have to “reinvent the wheel.”

The President said he told incoming executive secretary Salvador Medialdea that he hopes the Duterte administration would “build upon all of the things that (his government has) started…”

Duterte’s aide Christopher “Bong” Go on Thursday shared photos of the incoming gov’t transition team visiting Aquino.IDL


INQUIRER

GLIMPSES His challenge, our challenge SHARES: 899 VIEW COMMENTS By: Jose Ma. Montelibano @inquirerdotnet 12:20 AM June 17th, 2016


INQUIRER EDITORIAL CARTOON FOR JUNE 17 -


By Jose Ma. Montelibano

“It’s all over but the shouting,” the saying goes, as one administration is on its final stage transitioning to a new one. The shouting has not all stopped but has become quite irrelevant on a national basis. Partisanship has become embedded in the political psyche of Filipinos; it takes little to provoke it, and it takes a lot to mute it.

The new appointments of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte are eliciting mixed reactions, naturally.

There are fresh faces, and fresh faces are always a strong statement of change. There are also old faces, old in the political scene, and carry their own strengths and baggage.

The appointments of militant Left personalities raise eyebrows and deep concern from the status quo, and it will not be quiet in that front. Neither will the Marcos burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

I suppose any reconciling move will first be met with serious distrust among partisans. But if the intent is to forge a healing in this regard, it may be impossible as there are simply too many victims and families of victims of martial law who cannot ever forgive and forget.

A new administration, however, traditionally carries a lot of goodwill among Filipinos.

The fact that only 39% voted for Duterte doesn’t mean he will not have the initial support of the majority of Filipinos. Outside of the passionately partisan and the haters, paid and otherwise, Filipinos do wish to not only move on but to move forward.

The majority of Filipinos, although conditioned by history to be divided, intuitively understand that active divisiveness will negate the good things that can possibly come. After all, the spirit and practice of bayanihan is a counter-force to the fractiousness that has weakened us as a people.

Not just a tough act but a veritable mission impossible

It is not the lack of a majority of support from Filipinos that make me wonder how the new President can tackle all the major concerns he has identified. I am not questioning his guts and willingness to ride the tiger of change as I believe he has that. I am wondering what kind, and what level, of disruption our society will undergo, and its manifestations in societal life. Forging a peace between Right and Left, between Christians and Muslims, between pro-US and anti-Chinese sentiments, between pro and anti-Marcos forces, and all these simultaneously, is not just a tough act but a veritable mission impossible.

READ MORE...

While Duterte has been very vocal in wanting to reconcile opposing camps and perspectives, he also wants to go after the drug trade and its many nefarious faces with hammer and tong. In addressing all these concerns, he does not need only his determination and authority, but an army of Filipinos, armed and not, to cooperate.

After all, it is about the people’s sentiments and points of views, their preferences and biases. They may be after change, even drastic ones, but they believe the change has to come from the guilty ones – not themselves. Unfortunately, in partisanship, every side is guilty.

The power of a presidency lies in the people, democratically and otherwise, even in war.

The support of the people, therefore, is crucial in any reformist movement. The might of the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police cannot be the main power to effect change because the process may be more destructive than the intentions of reform. A country cannot move forward on the blood and dead bodies of its own citizens. No one must be pondering about these concerns more than Rodrigo Duterte. He must want peace on all fronts and deflate criminality so much that he risks almost everything.

The power of the presidency also lies in government, especially the Executive Branch.

It means the President has to juggle between decades-old hate between the armed personnel of the AFP and PNP on one side versus the NPA and its unarmed political fronts on the other. It also means getting the most out of the departments and agencies while he is trying to root out corruption in these same institutions.

CASTRO, MAO TSE TUNG

I remember that in the rebellions of Fidel Castro in Cuba and Mao Tse Tung in China, they each had an army of committed advocates, intellectuals and people’s organizations who would die for their causes. In other words, the army of Duterte will have to do the same. Are they there, are they so predisposed – by character or by conviction?

I want change, even the radical one.

I am willing to accept what is difficult to swallow if I believe that the ensuing turbulence and disruption favor the majority of Filipinos, especially the poor.

And, by the way, I do not equate rebels, Muslims or NPAs, as natural enablers of the poor or protectors of their equality and human rights. I have seen only the violence and carnage from the 60’s, ordinary lives being sacrificed for ideologies that have not established a pattern of relief for the people they are supposed to be fighting for.

Only now can we hope to see any basis to judge favorably – if they succeed.

We depend on the President, and he depends on us

Meanwhile, there has to be a clear prioritization in the new dispensation. If it is only a matter of “weather-weather lang”, if the sense of partisanship will not be immediately silenced from the leadership so their followers will follow suit, then there will be no reform, no transformation.

What will ensue will be a deepening of wounds and the drawing of more rigid lines between protagonists. And again, the majority of Filipinos who are simple, ordinary, or poor will be usual casualties.

I believe that we cannot entrust our future only or mostly to politicians.

I believe that we have to rely on ourselves and inspiring models in our society, including the new president, Rodrigo Duterte.

 We may be ordinary but we are the people, the major players.

We depend on the President, and he depends on us. On that relationship hangs the history of our country.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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