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Baldo asks Duterte, DOJ: ‘Review Batocabe slay case’

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Saturday, April 13th, 2019

Daraga, Albay Mayor Carlwyn Baldo

MANILA, Philippines – Daraga, Albay Mayor Carlwyn Baldo maintains his innocence in the killing of Ako Bicol Party-list Representative Rodel Batocabe.

In a press conference on Friday, Baldo appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte and Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra to review the case and evidence presented, and to find the real perpetrators of the crime.

“Nananawagan ako sa ating mga kinauukulan lalo na higit sa ating Pangulong Duterte at sa ating Secretary of Justice Menardo Guevarra na basahin at rebyuhing mabuti ang kasong ito lalo’t higit ang mga nakalap na physical evidence ng PNP na tukuyin kung sino talaga ang mga taong nasa likod nito,” Baldo said.

(I appeal to authorities, especially to President Duterte and Secretary of Justice Menardo Guevarra to review my case, especially the physical evidence gathered by the Philippine National Police to find the real perpetrators of the crime)

Baldo is facing two counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder before the Legazpi City Regional Trial Court (RTC) in relation to the death of Batocabe.

READ: Daraga Mayor Baldo faces murder raps over Batocabe slay

Baldo was tagged as the mastermind in the killing of Batocabe who was shot dead while attending a gift-giving event for senior citizens in Daraga town last December 22, 2018.

His security detail, PO1 Orlando Diaz, also died in the incident.

Batocabe was eyeing the mayoral seat of Daraga in the 2019 polls prior to his assassination.

READ: Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo named as mastermind in Rep. Batocabe’s slay

Baldo was arrested in January 2019 after unlicensed firearms were found inside his residence during a search operation.

He was later released after posting a bail of P3 million.

READ: Suspended Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo out on bail

“Inosente po ako at wala po akong kinalaman sa nasabing kaso. Bilang pulitiko, di ko po kailanman naging gawain na gamitan ng puwersa ang aking mga katunggali,” he said.

(I am innocent and I am not involved in the said case. As a politician, I have never used force against my rivals.)

Baldo also said that those behind the crime wanted to get rid of him although he refused to divulge any name.

“Habang lumalapit ang election ay dumadami po ang intelligence report na nagsasabing may mga taong nais akong patahimikin,” he said.

(As the local election nears, intelligence reports are piling up which state about the attempts of some people to silence me)

Atty. Merito Fernandez, Baldo’s lawyer, also insisted that the case should have been dismissed because of numerous inconsistencies made by witnesses and evidence gathered by investigators.

Fernandez also pointed out that the autopsy report conducted on Batocabe’s body does not match the testimony given by the alleged gunman, Henry Yuson, who said he shot the late lawmaker four times.

Yuson and four others, namely Christopher Naval, Jaywin Babor, Rolando Arimando and Emmanuelle Roselle were also charged with murder and attempted murder over Batocabe slay. – Robie de Guzman

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Malacañang says Duterte’s 4th SONA will be ‘short’

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

Courtesy : PCOO

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to deliver a ‘short’ speech for his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President’s speech will not be lengthy this year, probably because of the pre-SONA forums held by his administration in the run-up to the event.

“By the way, he (Duterte) said that, because I asked him about the SONA this morning. He said, ‘Oh, it will be short,’” Panelo told reporters in a Palace press briefing.

The president, in numerous times, has been observed to give lengthy speeches that would sometimes extend for hours.

When asked how short will be Duterte’s speech, Panelo replied with “Di naman sinabi, basta ang exact words niya, ‘short lang’. You count from the two hours, one, two, three, maging tatlo.”

Duterte’s first SONA in 2016 lasted for more than one hour and 30 minutes, his second SONA lasted for two hours while his last year’s SONA lasted for 48 minutes.

READ: Duterte to explain Chinese fishing in PH waters at 4th SONA

Panelo did not provide any detail on the topics that Duterte might discuss in his speech but the President earlier said he would use SONA to ‘educate’ the public on the constitutionality of his decision to allow Chinese fishermen to trawl in the Philippine waters.

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PH to deploy social welfare attachés for OFWs under new law

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law establishing the Office for Social Welfare Attaché to assist overseas Filipino workers (OFW), especially those who have fallen prey to illegal recruiters.

Duterte signed the Republic Act 11299 on April 17, a copy of which was made public on Monday (July 15).

The newly-signed law amended the Republic Act 8402 or the Migrant Workers Overseas Filipino Act of 1995 to include the said office.

It mandates the Office for Social Welfare Attaché (SWA) to deploy personnel to countries with large concentration of Filipino workers, as determined in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Under the measure, a social welfare attaché’s duty includes management of cases of Filipino workers in distress, such as victims of trafficking or illegal recruitment, rape or sexual abuse, maltreatment and other forms of physical or mental abuse, and case of abandoned or neglected children;

SWAs are also mandated to undertake survey and prepare social welfare situationer on the OFWs in their areas of assignment; establish a network with overseas-based social welfare agencies or individuals which may be mobilized to assist in the provision of appropriate services.

They should also respond to and monitor the resolution of problems and complaints or queries of Filipino workers and their families; establish and maintain a data bank and documentation of OFWs and their families to provide effective social welfare services; submit regular reports on plans and activities undertaken, recommendations and updates on the situation of OFWs.

The law states that the budget for the Department of Social Welfare and Development while the DFA, DOLE, the Department of Health and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration are tasked to craft the measure’s implementing rules and regulations within 60 days after the effectivity of this act.

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Duterte signs law on student fare discount on all modes of transportation

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law the bill imposing a 20 percent fare discount for students on all modes of public transportation.

Duterte signed Republic Act 11314 or the Student Fare Discount Act on April 17 but was only made public on Monday (July 15).

Under the law, a 20 percent discount for domestic regular fares of all kinds of public transportation shall be provided to students during the entire time they are enrolled in elementary, secondary, technical-vocational or higher education institution.

The law covers public utility buses, jeepneys, taxis and similar vehicles-for-hire, tricycles, passenger trains, aircrafts and marine vessels.

Student fare discount was only previously available for land transportation.

To avail the discount, the student should present his duly-issued school identification card or current validated enrollment form supported by the prescribed government-issued identification document.

The measure, however, does not apply to school service, shuttle service, tourist and any similar service covered by contract agreement and with valid franchise or permit from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

The law also does not cover individuals enrolled in dancing, swimming or driving schools and other informal short courses of seminar type and post-graduate studies.

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