Commission on Elections (Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez admitted in the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon that the agency now has only five billion pesos budget for the upcoming May 2018 village polls.
MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Elections (Comelec) Spokesperson James Jimenez admitted in the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon that the agency now has only five billion pesos budget for the upcoming May 2018 village polls.
The amount was originally seven billion pesos but the agency already used five billion pesos for the printing of ballots.
But Jimenez assured that the said spending will not go to waste.
“Ang maganda diyan Kuya Daniel, yung karamihan doon sa ginastos namin noon magagamit pa natin ngayon. Ang bulto talaga niyan ay yung balota. So magagamit natin yan,” said Jimenez.
(What’s good about it Kuya Daniel is that most of the things we spent on can still be used today. The bulk of which were the ballots. We can still use those.)
However, the official said the amount paid as salary for their additional personnel remains irrecoverable.
Still, several lawmakers are pushing for the postponement of the barangay election in May but Comelec insists that they will continue to prepare for the polls.
In fact, Jimenez said that the agency is now 85% prepared and will start the printing of 18 million ballots mid-February.
Jimenez argued that another postponement of the election would definitely affect democracy in the country specifically the public’s rights to select the leaders of the land.
On top of the problems considered by the Comelec is vote buying.
When host, Daniel Razon, asked Jimenez why no vote buyer has ever been jailed by the commission, the latter said, “Medyo mahirap mapatunayan ang vote buying (Vote buying is difficult to prove).”
Another issue the agency wants to resolve is the implementation of election gun ban since they still have not received any written notice from the palace regarding the ban.
“Nawi-weaken yung institusyon, nawi-weaken yung process kasi hindi ka sure (It weakens the institution and the process because you’re not sure). Yun ang (That is the) lasting damage,” said Jimenez.
Even the Philippine National Police (PNP) said they are just waiting for the Comelec to issue its guidelines for the gun ban.
“Expected na magkakaroon ng gun ban (Implementation of a gun ban is expected),” said PNP PIO PCSupt. John Bulalacao. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue
Age, health of Imelda Marcos to be considered in her arrest — PNP
FILE PHOTO: Imelda Marcos
QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center is prepared in case the court decides to place former first lady Imelda Marcos under PNP’s custody.
However, PNP chief PDG Oscar Albayalde said they have not been notified yet for advance coordination with the court regarding the release of the arrest warrant against Marcos.
Albayalde added that in consideration of Marcos’ age and health condition, they have not ordered personnel of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to wait at the gates of Congress like in the case of Senator Antonio Trillanes.
Nevertheless, the PNP Chief has directed the CIDG director to lead the arrest upon release of the warrant.
At present, Marcos is facing minimum of 6 years in prison and perpetual disqualification from holding public office after the Sandiganbayan found her guilty on seven counts of graft.
However, the former first lady may still post bail for her provisional liberty as graft is a bailable case. — Lea Ylagan
No new permits for firecracker manufacturers — PNP
FILE PHOTO: Manufacture of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices
The Philippine National Police (PNP) will closely monitor the manufacture, sale, and distribution of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices ahead of the holiday season.
PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde said they will no longer issue new permits for makers and sellers of firecrackers as mandated in the Memorandum Order 31 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte’s memorandum also orders the PNP and other concerned agencies to inspect and ensure that manufacturers, distributors, sellers and users of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices comply with the government’s safety requirements.
Licenses and permits of those found in violation of existing laws, rules and regulations will be cancelled or revoked.
Republic Act 7183 authorizes the PNP to process applications for the issuance of licenses or permits.
Under his memorandum, Duterte also ordered the PNP to confiscate and destroy prohibited firecrackers and strictly prohibit the import of such devices.
Memorandum 31 is similar to Executive Order 28 that Duterte issued in June 2017, regulating the use of firecrackers and fireworks due to “firecracker-related injuries and deaths.”
General Albayalde said that controlling the number of firecracker manufacturers is an initial step to possibly implementing a total firecracker ban in the future. — Lea Ylagan
PNP supports martial law extension in Mindanao
Philippine National Police Chief Oscar Albayalde reiterated his support for the extension of martial law in Mindanao after it was reported that crime rate in the region has declined.
“If ever the President decides to extend the martial law, we will fully support that kasi (because) what we see here is the improvement in the peace and order,” he said.
The average monthly crime rate of 8.79 percent recorded by PNP from January to September in 2017 went down to 5.92 percent in 2018.
Albayalde said the extension of martial law in Mindanao is important particularly as the May 2019 elections loom closer. — Lea Ylagan