MANILA, Philippines – Taguig Representative-elect Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday expressed openness to the idea of sharing the term of the 18th Congress speakership with other contenders for the post.
In a chance interview prior to the economic and legislative agenda meeting of the Duterte administration in Clark, Pampanga, Cayetano said the idea of term sharing was mentioned by President Rodrigo Duterte himself when he met with him, along with other speakership aspirants, in Japan weeks ago.
Cayetano said he is willing to share the speakership with Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco, but the latter did not favor the proposal.
“Nasabi ko sa ating pangulo na payag nako kahit na I was expecting three years na hati kmi ni Allan Velasco. Ang problema, ayaw pa niya pumayag doon,” he said.
Others gunning for the top House post are Leyte Representative-elect Martin Romualdez, Pampanga Representative Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales and Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon Alvarez.
Cayetano said the House speakership race is fast becoming tight, with some resorting to offering money in exchange for votes.
“The reality is, may namimigay ng pera sa Congress at hindi lang pera, may kasamang papel na nagsasabing pirmahan niyo ito,” he said.
“Actually now, ang offer ay more than money, may kumausap sa akin na nag-ooffer ng P200-million pero Congressman na project sa party-list,” he added, although he refused to name names.
Cayetano also clarified that the relation between him and Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio remains amicable despite his threat to break up the administration coalition if she would endorse Velasco’s bid to become speaker.
The presidential daughter earlier said she did not express her support for Cayetano’s bid but she would back any one who would support Duterte’s programs.
“There has been some communication pero pabayaan mo muna na ma-sort out naming. Maaari ngang iba ang pagkarinig, iba ang pagkasabi… If she feels that way, I am hurt and sorry if she feels that way but hindi ganun talaga,” he said.
Cayetano and other lawmakers and Cabinet officials met in Clark, Pampanga to discuss the administration’s economic and legislative agenda for the last three years in office of President Duterte. (with details from Grace Casin)
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte reminds the public to heed government protocols for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis even after community quarantine has been relaxed.
On May 16, Metro Manila shifted to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from enhanced community quarantine to help revive the Philippines’ crippled economy.
But President Duterte stressed that such relaxation in restrictions doesn’t mean the country is free of COVID-19 and warned that the government might again tighten restrictions if situations get worse.
“Remember this, the loosening of the restrictions does not mean [we’re COVID-free],” he said.
“If the contamination will be as fast as before, and it will continue to infect yung nakalabas na (people who are allowed to go out), then we’ll have to just go back to original program,” he added.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque denied allegations that the government is not ready or has no policy for the conduct of COVID-19 mass testing.
Roque stressed that the government in fact is now preparing to hit the target of 30,000 a day testing capacity by the end of May.
“From the very beginning, we have had a systematic targeted testing at sa tingin po natin ang sinusunod natin ay benchmark recognized internationally specifically by the WHO,” the Palace Spokesperson said in defense against against critics who are questioning the government’s advice of letting private companies shoulder COVID-19 testing for their respective workers who are returning to work.
Roque added that the government is targeting to test around 1.5% to 2% of the more than 100 million Filipinos for COVID-19 infection and clarified on what is referred to as ‘mass testing.’
“Ang tawag po dapat ay expanded targeted testing,” he said.
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte travelled to Davao City on Friday (May 15) to visit his family.
The President opted to stay in Metro Manila in the past two months to focus on his work amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and due to tight restrictions under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Aside from family visit, the President intended to check on the situation in Mindanao relative to the health crisis.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is now in Davao City to visit his family whom he has not seen in months and to assess the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in Mindanao,” Roque said.
The Palace spokesman assured, however, that the President will be present in the scheduled meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 on Tuesday (May 19).
“Rest assured that he will be back in Malacañang in time for the next IATF briefing,’ Roque concluded. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)
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