Cayetano has to work for House speakership – Koko Pimentel

Robie de Guzman   •   July 11, 2019   •   1569

(L-R) Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano and Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel on Thursday said Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano still needs to work on getting the House speakership post despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s endorsement of a term-sharing deal between Congressmen Cayetano and Lord Allan Velasco.

“Advantage siya ngayon with the statement of the President. Swerte nga niya eh. He has the advantage but not an assurance — he still has to work for it,” Pimentel told reporters in a Senate press briefing.

He said Cayetano still needs to convince House members to vote for him on July 22 when the regular session of the 18th Congress opens.

“Sa July 22, para hindi siya magulat, he has to make sure kumbinsido na ang lahat. Majority or plurality to vote for him as House speaker,” he said.

Pimentel added that among the lawmakers that Cayetano needs to convince are the 85 members of the ruling party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

Pimentel is the current president of the ruling party while President Duterte serves as its chairman.

The PDP-Laban earlier fielded Velasco as its bet for speakership.

According to Pimentel, PDP-Laban representatives are set to meet with Cayetano on Thursday night to discuss matters, including committee chairmanships.

Pimentel said the meeting is important for Cayetano to get the party’s support.

Cayetano is a member of the Nacionalista party.

“He cannot sit as House Speaker without the support of the PDP-Laban,” Pimentel said.

The lawmaker also reiterated they are abiding with the president’s decision to endorse a term-sharing set-up between Cayetano and Velasco, with the former serving first in 15 months to be succeeded by the latter in the remaining 21 months of the term.

They initially wanted Velasco to serve first before Cayetano.

Meanwhile, Pimentel said it was theoretically possible for members of the House of Representatives not to heed the president’s endorsement of Cayetano as speaker when they vote for their leader on July 22.

This was his comment on Davao City Representative Paolo Duterte’s hint that solons might launch a coup and vote for their personal choice.

“Basta theoretically, everything is possible kasi basta’t collegial body ganun naman talaga eh,” he said. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

Duterte doesn’t want to rest despite doctor’s advice – Bong Go

Robie de Guzman   •   November 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte doesn’t want to heed his doctor’s advice to take a rest, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said Wednesday.

Go, a former top aide of Duterte, said the president prefers to continue working and performing his official duties while he is staying in his hometown in Davao City.

“Sa totoo lang, ayaw magpahinga ng Pangulo, kahit sabihin mong he was advised by the doctor to rest,” he told reporters in Malacañang.

“Hindi po siya makatagal sa bahay at talagang gusto niyang magtrabaho at gumala,” he added.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Monday said the chief executive would go on a three-day break but later said he would just work from home in Davao City.

The Palace previously said the president’s doctor had advised him to limit his physical activity after he complained of “unbearable” pain in his spine following a minor motorcycle accident within the Malacañang complex on Oct. 16.

Duterte was in Japan to attend Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement ceremony when he complained of spinal ache and had to cut his trip short. After consultation with his doctor, Panelo said the president experienced a muscle spasm.

Go assured that Duterte is in good shape, adding that the chief executive is set to visit North Cotabato on Friday. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Drilon, Robredo camp hit Cayetano’s ‘all talk’ remarks

Robie de Guzman   •   November 12, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon hit House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano for his “totally uncalled for” remarks against Vice President Leni Robredo.

“I am saddened by his statement. Such comments are totally uncalled for, especially coming from the Speaker of the House,” Drilon said in a statement.

Cayetano earlier said that Robredo is “all talk” since her appointment as the co-chairperson of the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs (ICAD).

President Rodrigo Duterte last week designated Robredo to co-lead the government’s body against illegal drugs.

Since then, she has been meeting with several groups to float her ideas to address the country’s drug problem, such as scrapping the “Oplan Tokhang” and implementing a health-based anti-drug campaign.

Instead of criticizing Robredo, Drilon said everyone should support the government’s war on drugs and set aside politics.

“It cannot be denied that illegal drug continues to be a problem, notwithstanding the over 5,000 deaths from Operation Tokhang,” he said.

“The gravity of this issue on illegal drugs calls for everyone to set aside politics. In the remaining two and a half years of the administration, we should all work together to solve this problem,” he added.

The senator also noted that even Malacañang has vowed full support for Robredo as she undertakes this task.

“We expect the allies of this administration to do no less,” he added.

Meanwhile, Robredo’s spokesperson and legal counsel, Barry Gutierrez, said the vice president has only begun doing her new task and told Cayetano to stop criticizing if he can’t help her do her job.

Gutierrez also said the entire government should unite to eradicate illegal drugs in the country.

Palace: Duterte to take a 3-day break

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 11, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte will be having a three-day break beginning Tuesday (November 12), according to Malacañang.

However, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Monday (November 11) clarified that it will not be an official leave since the president will still be doing his paperwork. The president will fly home to Davao Monday night.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea will be the officer-in-charge of the Executive branch while Duterte rests, according to Panelo

“Well upon the advice of friends, of colleagues, and the world, it seems. And most likely upon the advice of doctors also to take a respite from his punishing schedule,” he said.

Panelo clarified there are no medical concerns that prompted the three-day break.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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