De Lima, denies link to riot in Bilibid

admin   •   September 29, 2016   •   3086



“Hulihin niyo na ako ngayon. Kung iyan naman talaga ang gusto ninyo! Ikulong niyo na ako ngayon! I am here. Do what you want to me, Mr. President. I wait for you. (…) Hindi po ako duwag dahil wala po akong kasalanan. ‘Yung mga nagtatago, ‘yung mga duwag ang umaatras. Hindi po si Leila De Lima. Hindi po ako pinalaki ng tatay ko para maging duwag,”

(Arrest me now, if that is what you want! Put me in jail now! I am here. Do what you want to me, Mr. President. I wait for you. (…) I am not a coward because I am an innocent. Those who hide are cowards but not Leila De Lima. My father did not raise me to be a coward.)

Senator Leila De Lima was bursting with anger when she faced the members of the media at a press conference yesterday.

This, after she heard the news that she is being linked to the riot that erupted inside the Building-14 of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

In the said incident, high-profile inmate Tony Co died, while Peter Co, Vicente Sy, and Jaybee Sebastian were injured.

De Lima said, it is impossible that illegal drugs and contrabands can still get inside the highly guarded compound inside the NBP.

“Napakatanga naman natin na maniniwala tayo sa mga ganyang storya. Bilibid-14 is supposed to be most guarded facility now. Andyan ang mga SAF tapos gagawa ng storyang ganyan? Na nagsha-shabu kaya nagka-riot?”

(We are fools for believing that story. Bilibid-14 is supposed to be most guarded facility now. There is SAF, then they make stories about it? That they are taking shabu that’s why the riot happened?)

De lima said the inmates were particularly targeted because they are the ones who refused to testify against her.

“Maybe kahit drug convicts iyan, marunong naman makonsensya siguro. Kasi ayaw ngang mag-testify, ayaw mag-execute ng sinumpaang salaysay katulad ng iba.”

(Maybe even they are drug convicts, they have conscience. That’s why they refuse to testify, they refuse to execute a sworn affidavit like others.)

The lady senator also disclosed a text message allegedly from the wife of Jaybee Sebastian that was forwarded to her by a source.

In the message, Sebastian’s wife appears to be giving blessing to her husband to testify against De Lima, which she says is against their principle.

Sen. De Lima also said Pres. Duterte’s apology to Pangasinan Representative Amado Espino and those who he wrongly accused in the drug matrix, shows that all evidence put up against her are all fabricated.

“Dahil iyan sa utak ho niya. Wala ho siyang ibang hangarin kundi sirain ako. Destroy me, at all costs. I am his only agenda. Sabi nga ng text ng asawa ni Sebastian, ako lang naman ang kailangan.”

(Because in his head, he has the intention to destroy me at all costs. I am his only agenda. As the text message by Sebastian’s wife, i am the only one needed.)

The lady senator begged the president to stop their demolition plans.

Apart from her family, the senator said her former staff and colleagues are now also being dragged into the issue.

“Mga former staff ko, mga former officials ko, nilalapitan niyo lahat. Nakakarating po mga sumbong nila sa akin and I feel so helpless. I cannot help them with lawyers dahil kung papadalhan ko sila ng lawyers, sasabihin iyan poprotektahan siya, para hindi siya maano.”

(My former staff, my former officials. Someone reports to me that you are also trying them. And I feel so helpless. I cannot help them with lawyers because if I give them lawyers, they will say that they are protecting me.)

“Tama na po! In your desperation, Pangulo, para siraan niyo ako, hindi niyo na iniisip kung ano na nagiging itsura niyo. Sa mata ng bayan at ng buong mundo. Kayo na po ang pinagtatawanan. Hindi po ako.”

(Stop it! In your desperation, Mr. President, to destroy me, you dont think anymore of your image in the country and in the whole world. They are laughing at you, not me.)

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, on the other hand says, rather than bursting with anger in public, Sen. De Lima should answer all allegations against her. — Joyce Balancio | UNTV News & Rescue

Duterte won’t compromise on quarantine protocols for returning OFWs

Marje Pelayo   •   April 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said he is not comfortable with relaxing quarantine and testing protocols for arriving overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

During Wednesday’s (April 21) public address, the President noted that less stringent measures could compromise the entire country as COVID-19 cases continue to surge.

“I’m not quite comfortable with the relaxation that’s being brought now,” he said.

“I am not ready for a compromise lalo na ngayon. ‘Yung ibang sakit siguro, pwede pa – iyong mga rabies. Pero ito, talagang … as I have said, dapo rito, dapo roon,” he added.

The meeting which included health experts was in response to the appeal of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III for an immediate swab test on OFWs upon arrival and a shortening of the quarantine period or their stay in hotels or isolation facilities.

“Kaya nga po kami nakikiusap sana, na kung maaari, ay we go back to the original protocol noon na pagdating ng ating OFWs, swab kaagad sila,” Bello said.

The medical experts recommended a review of the testing protocol but insisted that the implementation of strict quarantine measures is still best to be strictly enforced at this time.

“The [Technical Advisory Group] had some preliminary discussions po regarding the current issue, and we were thinking that based on the data that we have right now, it’s a better option to review the testing protocol,” said DOH-TAG member Dr. Anna Ong-Lim.

“We recommend that it be done at a later time, but the critical intervention should really be that quarantine should be strictly enforced,” she concluded.

Duterte OKs grant of one-time P20K aid to employees’ compensation pensioners

Robie de Guzman   •   April 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the grant of one-time financial aid of P20,000 to qualified pensioners under the employees’ compensation (EC) program.

Under Administrative Order (AO) No. 39, which was signed on Monday, Duterte authorized the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) to grant the cash aid to EC pensioners for permanent partial disability, permanent total disability, and survivorship, in the private and public sectors, “subject to the availability of funds and pertinent laws, rules and regulations.”

Duterte directed the ECC, Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to set aside and release appropriate funding to cover the financial assistance from the Social Insurance Fund under the EC Program.

The ECC, in coordination with the SSS and GSIS, will issue the implementing rules and regulations necessary for the effective implementation of the order.

In signing the AO, Duterte recognized that the “adverse effects of the pandemic on the economy, supplementary health necessities for the battle against the virus, and restrictions imposed on our mobility and social interaction, have increased the financial and health burdens experienced by the EC pensioners.

The one-time cash aid will be granted to around 31,000 pensioners of the SSS and GSIS.

Duterte said AO 39 will take effect following its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

Statements of ‘alter-egos’ also reflect Duterte’s stand on West PH Sea issue — Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   April 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday said there is no need for President Rodrigo Duterte to speak on China’s incursions in the West Philippine Sea, saying the strong statements of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of National Defense (DND) also reflects the president’s stance on the issue.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement to dispel notions that Duterte has been silent on the reported number of Chinese vessels still lingering in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

“Doctrine of qualified political doctrine, kapag po hindi dini-dis-own ng president ang mga sinasabi ng kaniyang mga alter-egos, parang siya na po ang nagsasalita, hindi na kailangang siya ang magsalita,” Roque said in an online briefing.

The Palace official was referring to a Constitutional Doctrine which states that “utterances of alter egos are utterances of the President unless the president renounces them.”

Roque also reiterated that Duterte already stressed the importance of the 2016 Hague Ruling on the West Philippine Sea and that the Philippines will not set aside the landmark decision.

The National Task Force-West Philippine Sea earlier reported that at least 240 Chinese vessels were found lingering in various parts of the West Philippine Sea during its latest sovereignty patrols in the area.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier demanded the immediate withdrawal of the remaining Chinese vessels in the Julian Felipe Reef, telling the ships to sail away and for the Chinese to “leave our sovereign territories and abide by the international law.”

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. also repeatedly fired off diplomatic protests and called for the immediate withdrawal of Chinese vessels in the disputed waters.


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