Democrats say summary of Trump’s call with Zelenskiy raises more questions than answers

Robie de Guzman   •   September 26, 2019   •   582

Democratic members of the U.S. Congress were not satisfied by the White House summary of a phone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and Ukranian President Volodmyr Zelenskiy, suggesting the document raises more questions than answers about Trump’s efforts to exert pressure of Zelenskiy to open an investigation on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

“The release of the transcript of one of President Trump’s calls with President Zelenskiy, which just came out, will not assuage our concerns or the public’s concerns. Based on early reports, it may heighten them,” Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, said.

Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, said the role of Trump’s attorney, Rudolf Giuliani, as a back-channel interlocutor to the Ukrainian government is particularly disturbing to Democrats.

“That is lawless. That undermines our national security. That is an abuse of power. That is unpatriotic. That undermines the electoral process and our democracy and the American people will not stand for it,” Jeffries said. (Reuters)

(Production: George Tamerlani)

Afghanistan Crisis: OFWs escape to Dubai, Qatar with help from employers

Marje Pelayo   •   August 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Relatives of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Afghanistan confirmed with UNTV that their family members have reached Dubai safely after narrowly escaping the unrest in the Taliban-controlled country.

From Dubai, they are expected to return home to the Philippines soon.

On Tuesday (August 18), 35 Filipinos arrived in the Philippines from Afghanistan.

Based on records of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), there are around 130 Filipinos in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Joseph Glenn Gumpal, who acts as president of the Samahang Pilipino in Afghanistan, said 11 more Filipinos have already made it to Qatar with the help of their employers.

UNTV was able to get in touch with other stranded Filipinos in Afghanistan whose fates remain uncertain after a series of flight cancellations.

Among them is Rio Adrias, who confirmed that they are in constant communication with the Philippine Embassy in Pakistan which has jurisdiction over Filipinos in the Afghan country.

The only problem, Rio said, was that the chartered flight that they were supposed to board on Tuesday was canceled and they were told that they would need to take a commercial flight.

“Hindi pa rin po namin malaman kung kailan makakalapag ang eroplano dito sa Kabul kasi puno pa rin po ng tao ang Kabul airport. Hindi pa rin po lumilikas nasa 10,000 Afghan po ang naghihintay [na] doon na po natutulog,” she said.

Rio is one of the 24 Filipinos currently staying in a shelter some distance away from Kabul airport.

As for their personal needs, Rio said they still have enough supply for several days.

They also worry, however, for the safety of other Filipinos stranded in areas with no access to food and proper lodging.

“Sa pamilya ko, huwag kayong mag-alala ako’y nakakangiti pa pero ako’y naiiyak. Pero doon po sa gobyerno po natin sana po talaga una, matulungan nyo kaming mailikas talaga dito kaming lahat na gustong umuwi kasi talagang ang hirap,” Rio said asking for government support.

“Hindi safe. Hindi kami okay. Hindi namin ma-explain yung pakiramdam namin dito,” she added.

Rio said if she makes it back to the Philippines, she would never go back to Afghanistan.

All she asks for is a livelihood support from the Philippine government in recognition for their contribution to the country’s economy. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Biden extends condolences to the Filipino people on the passing ex-president Noynoy Aquino

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 25, 2021

United States (US) President Joe Biden extended his condolences to the Filipino people on the passing of former President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III.

In a statement, Biden said Aquino was a valued friend and partner to the United States. He added that Aquino  served the Philippines with integrity and selfless dedication.

“President Aquino’s steadfast commitment to advancing peace, upholding the rule of law, and driving economic growth for all Filipinos, while taking bold steps to promote the rules-based international order, leaves a remarkable legacy at home and abroad that will endure for years to come,” he said.

The US President also extended his heartfelt sympathies toAquino’s family and to all who will mourn his absence. AAC

Biden administration releases gun crime prevention strategy

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 24, 2021

United States (US) President Joe Biden announced a gun crime prevention strategy to ensure public safety and to address the surge of gun crimes in the country.

During his speech, Biden lamented the increase of gun crimes in the US especially during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. He reiterated the need to establish an assault weapons ban. There would also be local programs that would talk to people in the community.

“We support the need for community violence intervention. These are local programs that will utilize trust in messages. Community members and leaders will work directly with people who are most like to commit gun crimes or become victims of gun crimes” he said.

Biden also encouraged the various states to deploy additional police authorities in their area. He also warned against individuals who supply illegal firearms.

“If you willfully sell a gun to someone is prohibited from possessing it, if you willfully fail to run a background check, if you willfully falsify record, if you willfully fail to cooperate with the request for inspections.. my message you as this will find you and we will seek your license to sell guns will make sure you can sell death and Mayhem on our street,” he said.

The President continues to call on Congress to take action to end the gun violence epidemic. AAC (with reports from Justin Masakayan)

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