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Duterte bets’ lead in senatorial race, proof of public support to administration – Malacañang

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in one of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) sorties on March 3, 2019. (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

Malacañang is elated with the turn out of results for the administration senatorial bets in the 2019 Midterm Elections.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the election result is proof of the public’s positive response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s appeal for support for the people whom he trusts to advocate the laws that the administration is pushing.

“The victory of the administration’s candidates and the shut out of the Otso Diretso candidates send a strong message that our people yearn for stability and continuity of the genuine reforms that the Administration started. They yearn for a constructive – not obstructionist – Senate which will help in crafting the President’s legislative agenda,” Panelo added.

Malacañang, nevertheless, has made the assurance that the Senate will remain independent although it would seem to consist mostly of President Duterte’s allies.

“No Senate has never been under any president. They always rise above parties and considerations where issues involve national interest, national security, and the interest of the Filipino people,” Panelo said.

The Palace official thanked the Otso Diretso candidates for the fair fight in the elections.

He, however, said that the administration hopes that the opposition will respect the decision of the people.

He added that while Malacañang expects the President’s critics to continue with their role as opposition, it also appeals to them to act in accordance with what the constitution provides. (with reports from Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

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Death penalty for drug trafficking possible in new Senate—Sotto

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, May 17th, 2019

Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III

Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III said that death penalty for drug trafficking may be possible under the new Senate.

During a Kapihan sa Senado forum on Thursday (May 17), Sotto said that this is because more senators backing the restoration of death penalty will be entering Senate.

“In the new Senate, there’s a possibility of 13 [votes for death penalty] for high-level drug trafficking alone,” Sotto said.

Among the senators backing the restoration of death penalty include Sotto himself, Manny Pacquiao and Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian.

Based on the partial, official results the senatorial candidates in favor of the capital punishment include Cynthia Villar, Christopher “Bong” Go, Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Francis Tolentino.

However, Sotto said that even though there is a possibility that the death penalty will be passed, it will not be a Senate priority. He added that the proposition will still undergo an intense debate in the Senate.

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Opposition supporters question Comelec over alleged anomalies

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, May 17th, 2019

Members of Tindig Pilipinas and the Silent Majority protesting the technical glitches that were encountered during the May 13, 2019 polls Courtesy : FB page of Now You Know

MANILA, Philippines – Supporters of the opposition group on Friday questioned the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on alleged anomalies in the May 13 midterm elections.

Members of Tindig Pilipinas and the Silent Majority gathered in front of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City where the Comelec is canvassing votes for the senatorial and party-list elections.

The groups were protesting the technical glitches that were encountered during the polls, such as defective secure digital (SD) cards and vote-counting machines (VCM), as well as the seven-hour delay in transmitting data from Comelec’s transparency server.

Members of said cause-oriented groups, who were chanting “what happened to the midterm elections, Comelec?” repeatedly during their picket, were also demanding the poll body to explain the alleged irregularities that cast doubts on the credibility of the midterm polls.

They also sought to question the poll body for its alleged mishandling and inaction of supposed anomalies observed, including the designation of Nacionalista Party as the minority party, the disenfranchisement of voters, and the “blatant commission” of pre-campaign and campaign violations of some candidates such as electioneering and vote-buying.

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Malacañang expects Go, Bato, Tolentino to be independent as senators

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2019

(L-R) Former Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, former presidential adviser Francis Tolentino, former special assistant to the president Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday (May 16) said it expects incoming senators, particularly those who are close allies of President Rodrigo Duterte, to be independent when it comes to issues involving national interest.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement following concerns that the check and balances in government may be affected as administration-backed Senate bets look set to join the upper chamber of Congress.

Partial and unofficial count from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) showed that nine Senate bets endorsed by Duterte are in the top 12.

These are reelectionist Senator Cynthia Villar, former special assistant to the president Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, former Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, former presidential adviser Francis Tolentino, House Deputy Speaker Pia Cayetano, reelectionist senators Sonny Angara and Koko Pimentel, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos and former Senator Bong Revilla.

Three of them – Go, Dela Rosa and Tolentino – are known close allies of Duterte.

Panelo, however, believes that the three will do their job well and always put first the best interest of the nation.

 “It’s just happened that they are very close to the president but that doesn’t mean they will be subservient,” he said.

“Whether or not Senate or Congress is dominated by the allies of whoever is incumbent, we expect them to pass economic reforms that will be beneficial to the Filipino people. The issue on whether you are an ally or not should not be discussed,” he added.

Panelo stressed that the mandate of the Congress is to pass laws that will be beneficial for the people.

“It’s about time to eradicate the discussion on parties’ consideration. That is where we fail,” he said.

Aside from Duterte’s allies, other senatorial candidates who are in the winners’ circle based on partial tally are reelectionist senators Grace Poe, Nancy Binay, and former senator Lito Lapid. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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