‘Bayan’ to protest alleged fraud in 2019 midterm polls

Marje Pelayo   •   May 15, 2019   •   2176

Courtesy : BAYAN’s Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – The group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) is brewing a mass protest on Friday (May 17) to question the results of the 2019 midterm elections.

Bayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes criticized the remarks of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Tuesday (May 14) saying it is through “Duterte’s magic” that most of the admin-endorsed senatorial candidates entered the Top 12 list of the partial, unofficial results of the midterm polls.

Due to this, Reyes said, the election results cannot be trusted.

Reyes has accused Duterte of using government resources for election results to favor administration bets. Also, he alleged that the Armed Forces and the National Police have been utilized to target and harass opposition groups.

Apart from that, Duterte allegedly placed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) under his control to do some “magic” in the automated polls.

Reyes also accused the President of extending the martial law in Mindanao and backing government-sponsored disinformation to manipulate the elections.

Reyes, meanwhile, gets the support of former congressman and losing senatorial candidate, Neri Colmenares.

In a Twitter post, Colmenares refused to accept the election results saying: “I will never concede defeat to a rotten electoral exercise that has basically deceived, bribed, intimidated and manipulated our people into electing the worst kinds of leaders imaginable.”

Meanwhile, Malacañang said such reactions are expected from left-leaning party-list groups.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said, “Their loss is a clear indication that our people do not believe in their advocacies.”

He added that Reyes’ allegations “have not been backed by any semblance of evidence and can easily be fact-checked.”

“We hope that Mr. Reyes would be humble enough to accept the electoral defeat even as we are magnanimous in our triumph,” Panelo said,

“We reiterate our call to the opposition. Let us set aside our partisanship and work together for the betterment of the Filipino people. The sovereign voice has spoken,” the Presidential Spokesperson concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Gov’t seeks single facility for COVID-19 patients

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 17, 2020

The government is looking for a single facility to house confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients to prevent overcrowding in hospitals.

On Monday (March 16), Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the recommendation will be discussed in a meeting with the members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

“We are recommending that there should be only one place where we can put all those confirmed cases,” he said.

Panelo said this would lessen the risk of occupational transmission of the virus. He said placing patients in one or two facilities may help in controlling the spread of the disease.

“Baka maubusan tayo ng ospital na paglalagayan (We might run out of hospitals for the patients); and not only that, we are exposing our health workers to the same infection,” he said. — AAC

Duterte, Panelo one-on-one interview deferred anew

Robie de Guzman   •   January 28, 2020

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo and President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – The scheduled televised one-on-one interview of President Rodrigo Duterte with his spokesperson Salvador Panelo has been postponed anew.

In a televised advisory, Panelo said the interview with Duterte, which was supposed to be held Tuesday, will be moved to a later date because the president is feeling “under the weather.”

Panelo said it may be rescheduled next week.

The said interview was initially set on January 22 but was postponed due to “pressing matters.”

The president conducted his first televised interview with Panelo in September 2018 where they discussed wide-ranging topics on martial law in Mindanao, reopening of Boracay Island, increasing rice prices, his critic former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, among others. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte to sign 2020 nat’l budget on January 6, Palace confirms

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 3, 2020

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers a speech during his visit to the earthquake victims at the M’lang National High School in Cotabato on December 30, 2019. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Malacañang has confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte will sign the P4.1 trillion 2020 national budget on Monday (January 6).

Presidential Legislative Liason Office Secretary Adelino Sitoy said there will be a presidential ceremonial signing at the Malacañang Palace on Monday.

However, Sitoy did not confirm if the president will veto provisions in the said budget.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, the president did not mention about a possible veto.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has finished the review of the General Appropriations Bill last week.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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