Congress can revoke martial law any time sans anti-terror law amendments — Drilon

Robie de Guzman   •   November 12, 2019   •   754

Filipino government troops check a villager at a military checkpoint in the town of Pingcawayan, North Cotabato province, southern Philippines, 21 June 2017. EPA-EFE/CERILO EBRANO

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Tuesday said that the government should not use the proposed amendments to the Human Security Act as a pre-requisite to the lifting of martial law in Mindanao.

Drilon made the statement in response to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s earlier remark that another extension would not be necessary if Congress amends the anti-terror law.

“Do not dangle lifting martial law in Mindanao in exchange for the speedy passage of the Human Security Act,” he said in a statement.

“The passage or non-passage of the amendments to the Human Securities Act is not a ground for extending martial law in Mindanao,” he added.

Citing Section 18, Article VII of the Philippine Constitution, the senator said that it was clear that martial law may be declared if actual rebellion exists, and that Congress may extend the declaration if the rebellion persists and public safety requires it.

“That is the only ground for extension of martial law. But it is clear since day one that the martial law or its extension in Mindanao has no basis,” Drilon said.

“It is high time that we lift (martial law to) bring back normalcy in the region,” he added.

He further stated that Congress can revoke martial law any time sans amendments to the Human Security Act.

He also said that Lorenzana was correct in saying that martial law has been going on for too long but he hopes that the government will not use it “to put pressure on Congress to pass the amendments to the Human Security Act.”

“The non-passage of the amendments to the Human Security Act should not be used as a basis or justification to further extend martial law. The amendments need thorough debates,” Drilon said.

Mindanao has been under martial law since 2017 after the Maute Terror group attacked Marawi City.

The martial law was initially set for 60 days but it was extended until the end of 2017, then until the end of 2018 and to the end of 2019.

It is set to expire on December 31, 2019.

DOH says surge in COVID-19 cases in Visayas, Mindanao due to ‘multitude of factors’

Robie de Guzman   •   June 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The rise in COVID-19 cases in the Visayas and Mindanao areas could be attributed to a “multitude of factors,” the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.

In an online press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they have noted some factors that have contributed to the spike in infections in the Visayas and Mindanao areas, including the complacency in enforcing and observing health protocols.

The DOH also observed the clustering of infections in workplaces and prisons in the said areas.

“Lagi po nating sinasabi na pag may tumataas po na kaso sa bawat lugar, we need to look at a multitude of factors because we know that there are these different factors which causes the transmission of the virus,” Vergeire said.

“Meron tayong pang-indibidwal at pang-komunidad na pagpapatupad po natin ng minimum health protocols at ‘pag tiningnan natin there are reports already coming to us from our different regional epidemiological and surveillance units na talagang mukhang nagkaroon ng complacency sa pagpapatupad ng health protocols,” she added.

Vergeire said the presence of coronavirus variants in some parts of the Visayas and Mindanao may also have contributed to the surge.

“Totoo po na meron na tayong na-detect na variants sa iba’t ibang lugar dito sa Visayas and Mindanao and these can also be drivers of the infection but let us not just rely or let us not just say that it’s just because of the variants, there are a multitude of factors,” she said.

“Kailangan po kapag tayo ay tumitingin sa response natin, it’s a continuum. So we will need to address, not just the variants, but also the other forms of response that we are having,” she added.

Data from the DOH showed that active COVID-19 cases in the Visayas stood at 13,313, and 14,426 in Mindanao as of June 20.

The DOH reiterated its call to the public to continue adhering to health protocols mandated by the government to help break the chain of COVID-19 transmission.

Visayas, Mindanao not neglected in COVID-19 vaccine deployment, Palace says

Robie de Guzman   •   June 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The national government on Tuesday denied claims that it neglected the Visayas and Mindanao regions in the deployment of COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said there is no truth in the accusations of neglect because the government has been distributing vaccine shots to areas experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

“Hindi po totoo yan na ginipit natin ang ibang parte ng Pilipinas,” Roque said during a press briefing.

House Deputy Speaker and Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez earlier said the national government is taking its time in distributing the bulk of COVID-19 vaccine doses in Metro Manila despite their repeated request for additional supply.

But Roque said only 38 percent of the vaccine supply was allocated to Metro Manila and nearby areas and that the remaining supply is delivered to the rest of the Philippines “pursuant to equitable distribution as mandated by the President.”

“Hindi po totoo yan… Inuna lang natin yung una na pinakamataas ang numero pero ngayong tumataas po sa iba, nagpapadala rin tayo ng karagdagang bakuna sa mga lugar na yan,” he said.

The Palace official also said that available data shows that compliance with minimum health protocols went down in some areas in Visayas and Mindanao that are currently facing surges in COVID-19 infections.

“Ang pagkalat po ng sakit, hindi po yan dahil sa kawalan ng bakuna. ‘yan po ay dahil bumaba ang compliance with minimum health requirements,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday placed 21 areas under stricter modified enhanced community quarantine from June 16 to 30.

Metro Manila and Bulacan will stay under general community quarantine (GCQ) level with “some restrictions” while the provinces of Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal are under GCQ with “heightened restrictions” until the end of this month.

Other areas under GCQ from June 16 to June 30, 2021 are Baguio City, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Abra, and Benguet in the Cordillera Administrative Region; Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino in Region 2; Batangas and Quezon in Region 4-A; Iligan City in Region 10; Davao del Norte in Region 11; General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, Cotabato, and South Cotabato in Region 12; and Lanao del Sur and Cotabato City in BARMM.

Signal No. 1 up in 15 areas as Typhoon Bising slightly intensifies

UNTV News   •   April 17, 2021

Typhoon Bising slightly intensified on Saturday morning as it moved northwestward across the Philippines sea, state weather bureau PAGASA said.

In its 11 a.m. weather bulletin, PAGASA reported that Bising was located at 645 km east of Maasin City, Southern Leyte moving moving northwest at 20 kilometers per hour (km/h), carrying maximum sustained winds of 185 km/h and gusts of 230km/h.

By Sunday afternoon or evening, Typhoon Bising is seen to move generally northwestward. Afterwards, it will slow down and move northward until Tuesday morning, before moving generally north-northwestward over the Philippine Sea east of Northern and Central Luzon. The possibility of a landfall scenario has not been ruled out.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal no. 1 is hoisted over the following areas (30-60 km/h winds prevailing or expected in 36 hours):

Luzon:

Sorsogon, Albay, the eastern portion of Camarines Sur (Siruma, Goa, Ocampo, Tigaon, Sagnay, Baao, Nabua, Bato, Iriga City, Buhi, Tinambac, Lagonoy, San Jose, Garchitorena, Presentacion, Caramoan), Ticao Island, and Catanduanes

Visayas:

Northern Samar, Samar, Eastern Samar, Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, and Camotes Islands

Mindanao:

Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte (including Siargao and Bucas Grande Islands), and Surigao del Sur

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.