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  • There is no justification for having Vice President Leni Robredo impeached, President Rodrigo Duterte told his congressional allies as he asked them to stop working for her ouster, citing freedom of speech guaranteed under his democratic leadership. “Look, you know, we just had an election. Guys, lay off. Let’s stop it. You can do other things but do not tinker with the structure of government. I will not countenance it,” Pres. Duterte said. The President added thatVP Robredo’s video message to the United Nations was only an exercise of her right to free expression. Meanwhile, senators welcomed the call of Pres. Duterte to spare the VP from impeachment, saying such move, if it were allowed to progress, would not only be time consuming but divisive as well.
  • The National Food Authority (NFA) said it is closely monitoring rice stocks in case of disruption to plans for government to government importation during the lean months. The agency said it recently assembled its regional directors for an “emergency” strategic planning meeting “in view of the possible effect on local rice inventories” due to the delay in approval by the NFA Council for government-to-government negotiations for the proposed immediate importation of half of the 500,000 metric tons (MT) rice import quota approved last year. NFA administrator Jason Aquino said “Any further delay in getting the 250,000 MT into our government warehouses may lead to disastrous consequences”.

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