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Comelec gives due course to Cardema bid to sub as Duterte Youth rep

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

Ronald Cardema

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has given due course to the bid of former National Youth Commission (NYC) chairman Ronald Cardema to substitute as the first nominee of the Duterte Youth party-list group in the 18th Congress.

The Duterte Youth was one of the party-list groups proclaimed as winners in the 2019 midterm elections by the National Board of Canvassers on May 22.

In a resolution released on Tuesday (June 4), Comelec said it has given due course to the nomination of five new nominees as substitutes to the original nominees who backed out of their nominations.

These include Cardema, Gian Carlo Galang, Catherine Santos, Kerwin Pagaran and Sharah Shane Makabali.

In a separate Twitter post, Comelec commissioner Rowena Guanzon clarified that only Cardema’s plea for substitution was given due course.

“His substitution is not yet granted because there is a pending petition or opposition on the ground that he is over 30 years old and cannot be a rep of a youth sector party-list,” she said.

Guanzon earlier said questioned Cardema’s bid, saying he failed to file the nomination bid on time and did not meet age requirements for a nominee of the youth sector under the Party-list System Act.

READ: Guanzon to oppose Cardema’s substitution as Duterte Youth rep

It can be recalled that Cardema’s last-minute filing of his substitution plea as Duterte Youth first nominee drew widespread criticism due to various issues raised against him.

These include his being older than the age limit for representatives of the youth sector, for filing his bid on a Sunday and for allegedly using the NYC email addresses to send out news releases about the Duterte Youth party.

Chairman Sheriff Abas, Al Parreño, Marlon Casquejo, Socorro Inting, and Antonio Kho, Jr. voted in favor of the resolution; Guanzon dissented while commissioner Luie Tito Guia abstained.

The poll body also said in its resolution that it granted the withdrawals of the party-list’s original nominees: Ducielle Suarez, who is Cardema’s wife; Benilda de Guzman, Arnaldo Villafranca, Joseph de Guzman and Elizabeth Anne Cardema.

The same Comelec resolution showed the reasons for their withdrawal of candidacy: Cardema’s wife backed out because she “could no longer fulfill the expectation set forth by the party; Joseph de Guzman said he wanted to support the group’s stance “away from public opinion”; Benilda de Guzman wanted to pursue her passion for teaching; while Villafranca and Elizabeth Cardema wanted to enjoy privacy and fulfill their obligations with their respective families.

Comelec also directed the Duterte Youth party to publish its revised list of nominees in two newspapers of general nationwide circulation at its own expense and submit proof of publication.

Malacañang, meanwhile, distanced itself from the issue.

“We do not intrude nor interfere into the proceedings of any branch of the government or any constitutional body,” Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters at a Palace press briefing.

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PNP to deploy 14,000 cops for SONA

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

Courtesy: PNP

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will deploy over 14,000 cops for President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22.

Among the 14,000 cops, 8,500 of them will be deployed in Quezon City, while the rest will be deployed in the rest of Metro Manila.

According to National Capital Region Police Office Director PMGen. Guillermo Eleazar, they have not monitored any threat in the security during SONA. He said they would no longer need to deploy container vans or barbed wires.

“Noong mag-start tayo three years ago ay walang mga container van, walang barbed wire kung ano man iyong napagkasunduan sa pag-uusap ay iyon ang susundin (When we started three years ago, we did not have any container van or barbed wire. We follow what was discussed),” he said.

Eleazar also said the pro and anti-Duterte rallyists already agreed on where they will set up during the program.

He also advises the rallyists not to wear jackets and backpacks for security precautions.

“We are discouraging them from bringing bags and jackets,” said Eleazar.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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Duterte signs ‘Bawal Bastos’ law

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the ‘Bawal Bastos’ act into law which penalizes cat-calling and other forms harassment in public places.

The Republic Act No 11313 or Safe Spaces Act was signed on April 17 and was released to the media on Monday (July 15).

Based on the newly signed law, there will be heftier penalties for acts of cat-calling, unwanted invitation, and sexist slurs.

“The state also recognizes that both men and women must have equality, security, and safety not only in private, but also on the streets, public spaces, online, workplaces, and educational and training institutions,” the law states.

Among the harassment acts include catcalling, wolf-whistling, unwanted invitations, misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic and sexist slurs; persistent uninvited comments or gestures on a person’s appearance; relentless requests for personal details, statement of sexual comments and suggestions; public masturbation or flashing of private parts, groping, or any unwanted advances. The law also covers online sexual harassment and cyberstalking.

There will be various penalties depending on the crime committed.

First degree offenses will face P1,000 fine for a first offense, including 12-hour community service and Gender Sensitivity Seminar.

Second degree offenses will face P10,000 fine for a first offense including 12-hour community service with Gender Sensitivity Seminar.

Third degree offenses will face 11-30 days imprisonment, for a first offense with P30,000-fine and attendance to Gender Sensitivity Seminar.—AAC

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Duterte wants OFW department up by December

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

One-stop service for Overseas Filipino Workers or OFWs in side the POEA biulding in Ortigas.

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte wants the establishment of a separate Department of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) by December this year to address the persistent woes with illegal recruiters and other concerns.

Duterte said the proposed department’s power will include strict regulation of Philippine-based recruitment agencies.

“Kaya apurahin ko ‘yang Department of OFW. Bawal na ang recruitment sa abroad — sa labas. Kung gusto nila, diyan sila maglagay ng mesa. So, under the supervision of government at walang horrendous charges. Hindi ako papayag ng ganun ‘pag natayo ‘yan,” the president said in a speech during the Araw ng Pasasalamat for OFWs ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo last Friday (July 12).

Duterte said he wants the framework for this proposal be completed by the second week of August.

He also warned illegal and abusive recruiters to shape up as they will no longer operate without direct government supervision once the proposed department is created.

“Kaya kayong mga recruitment, bilang talaga ang araw ninyo… ‘Pag hindi ko kayo nadala sa usapan na maganda, brasohan tayo. ‘Pag nag-brasohan tayo, kayo ang matatalo. Sigurado ‘yan,” he said.

In line with this, former special assistant to the president and now Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go filed the Senate Bill 202 or the Department of Overseas Filipinos Act of 2019.

Go’s proposal seeks the creation of the said department to serve as the umbrella agency to address all concerns of Filipinos working overseas.

The measure will also create an Overseas Filipinos Assistance Fund to provide financial aid to Filipino migrants in distress and provide livelihood loans for OFWs returning to the Philippines for good.

Once approved into law, the department will absorb the functions of the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs, the International Labor Affairs Bureau and the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.

Currently, Filipinos wanting to work abroad need to go to different departments to secure necessary documents and present other concerns such as employment and technical education.

The neophyte lawmaker believes the president will certify the measure as urgent to swiftly hurdle the Congress before the year ends.

“I think it’s possible and doable naman po by December. Maybe the president will certify it as urgent. At ang gusto na mangyari ng presidente [ay] maiwasan ang illegal recruitment or maging biktima ng illegal recruitment,” he said. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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