Official Week in Review: May 16 – May 22, 1983

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May 16–

PRESIDENT MARCOS has announced that the Development Bank of the Philippines has beefed up its lending potentials with a $100-million long-term loan agreement concluded with a group of international banks.

The President said that he had authorized the DBP earlier to arrange the loan with financial institutions to ensure adequate funding for its lending operations.

He said that proceeds of the loan will help finance foreign exchange requirements of priority projects and support the planned expansion of DBP’s operations after it is granted commercial banking powers.

After the loan negotiations, the DBP award a mandate to a syndicate of five banks which will underwrite and lead-manage the transaction. The lead managers include four American banks: Asia Pacific Capital Corp., a Citibank affiliate, Bankers Trust Asia Ltd., Chase Manhattan Asia Ltd., Chemical Asia Ltd., and a British bank, Standard Chartered Ltd.

Monetary authorities earlier announced that DBP will soon be granted commercial banking powers. It can then become commercial bank.

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May 17—

PRESIDENT MARCOS has ordered the lifting of a presidential commitment ordered issued last March 22 for the detention of one Vicente Lombres who was arrested in Surigao del Sur together with nine other members of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its military arm, the New People’s Army.

Lt. Gen. Fidel Ramos, chief of the Philippine Constabulary, recommended Lombres’ release. Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile endorsed the recommendation.

Ramos said records examined established that Lombres’s involvement in the subversive movement in Surigao was minimal.

Ramos found Lombres cooperative and well-behaved during the latter’s detention.

The Constabulary arrested Lombres and the nine others last Feb. 28 in Tandag wharf, Surigao del Sur aboard the m/v Loadstar while bound for Baganga, Davao Oriental.

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May 18

PRESIDENT MARCOS said that there are no “secret decrees” as he announced plans to revise two decrees that he said had not been enforced and which need updating to reflect the present “liberal thinking” of the government.

Referring to a wire story about Decrees No. 1834 and 1835 dated Jan. 16, 1981 increasing penalties for rebellion, sedition and other crimes against security, he said that some sectors of foreign media contributed to the confusion by “making a mountain out of a molehill.”

While declaring that there are no secret decrees, he added that the government would soon revive the two above-cited decrees, which have yet to be enforced.

The President said that these decrees had not been enforced because they have not been published as required by law.

The President also said that a study has been made as to what decrees that were published and what decrees that were not published. “And we came out and told the Bureau of Printing exactly where they, have failed and what they should do.”

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May 19—

PRESIDENT MARCOS said yesterday that the government could wipe out all subversives in the country within a month, but would be accused of genocide if it did so.

The President also said some opposition leaders had contacted communist rebels and Muslim secessionists to promise them support and favors.

Referring to subversives, Marcos told reporters: “We can finish them off in a month if we want to. The only problem is that they will cry genocide if we start killing all of them because it might involve some members of the opposition.”

He said undercover agents had infiltrated the New People’s Army and the Moro National Liberation Front.

The President said that some opposition members had offered independence to Mindanao, Sulu and Basilan, where the Muslim secessionists are active, “if ever they come out the winners.”

“Considering they (the opposition) cannot get together, we have not taken this too seriously . . . The government has been very liberal and generous with these elements no matter how spiteful they have been,” the President added.

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May 20—

PRESIDENT MARCOS has urged the opposition leaders yesterday not to deal with subversives, declaring they should not compel the administration to utilize the same powers that had been utilized in the past.

Earlier, the President stated that despite oppositionists’ cooperation with dissidents, the government would maintain its policy of liberality towards them.

The President made the appeal in a meeting with the League of Provincial Governors and City Mayors, led by Leyte Gov. Benjamin Romualdez, which was attended also by members of the Cabinet and the Executive Committee in Malacañang.

At the same time, the President said that in the 1984 elections for the Batasang Pambansa, under Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) rules, the choice of official candidates will be made by the leadership within the area where the candidacy is made.

A candidacy will be decided by the regional leaders in a caucus, confirmed by the central committee or the national committee of the KBL.

The President called on local executives to rise above their petty squabbling and unite behind the government effort to improve the quality of life for all Filipinos.

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May 21—

PRESIDENT MARCOS said yesterday that the Philippines is not holding the United States hostage over issues concerning the operation of American military facilities in the country.

The President told newsmen that while the formal review of the bases agreement by the US and the Philippine panels has not yet been going on regularly.

He said that the question of social cost has come up, referring to the social problems such as prostitution and abandoned children which have beset the communities around Clark Air Base in Angeles City Subic Naval Base in Olongapo City.

Ambassador to the US Benjamin R. Romualdez had earlier said that the Philipipnes would seek US recognition of its share in the responsibility to improve the social conditions in those, communities.

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May 22—

PRESIDENT MARCOS capped his “Pulong pulong” dialogue with farmers yesterday with an order that farmers in drought areas be given more time to pay off loans to banks, which in turn will be given to settle their obligations with the Central Bank.

In his radio-TV dialogue with farmers from all regions, the President said the Central Bank will let rural banks restructure for one year their rediscounting liabilities under short-term supervised credit programs secured by the restructured notes of their borrowers.

During the life of these restructured loans, the banks will have access to CB rediscounting.

The President said that the farmers being the lifeblood of the economy he will continue to concentrate development in the countryside, as he has been doing since the signing of the Agrarian Reform Act in 1972.

The dialogue was the highlight of Farmer’s Week.

The President ordered the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation to settle at once claims on rice and corn loans covered by crop insurance.

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Source: National Library of the Philippines

Office of the President of the Philippines. (1983). Official Week in Review. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, 79(29), clxvii-clxix.