Duterte condoles with Aquino family over death of ex-Pres. Noynoy

Robie de Guzman   •   June 24, 2021   •   269

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has extended his condolences to the family of former President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III, who passed away on Thursday morning at the age of 61.

“I join the entire nation in mourning the passing of former President Benigno S. Aquino III. I express my deepest sympathies to his siblings, Ballsy, Pinky, Viel, and Kris, as well as to all his loved ones, friends, and supporters, in this period of sadness,” Duterte said in a statement.

“May you take comfort in the knowledge that he is now in a better place with his Creator,” he added.

He also urged everyone to “set aside our differences” and to pay respects to the late leader.

“Let us all take this opportunity to unite in prayer and set aside our differences as we pay respects to a leader who has given his best to serve the Filipino people,” he said.

“His memory and his family’s legacy of offering their lives for the cause of democracy will forever remain etched in our hearts,” he added.

Malacañang, through Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, earlier expressed gratitude for Aquino’s service to the country and remembered his legacy as a leader.

Roque said Aquino was a “simple public servant elected by people”.

The Palace said that as a former head of state, Aquino may be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, but the decision would depend on his family.

Roque also said he has no information yet on whether or not a state funeral will be held for the late president.

Clusters of Delta variant cases seen in Northern Mindanao, Antique – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday reported that clusters of Delta COVID-19 variant cases have been observed in Northern Mindanao and the province of Antique in Western Visayas.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the cluster of infections in the Northern Mindanao was seen in a family while different clusters of infections were observed in Antique.

She said one family cluster may have stemmed from an individual who came home from work and infected the household.

“Ito pong ating cluster of infection na isa, dito sa may Delta variant, nakitaan natin na mayroon isang kapamilya na nagtratrabaho sa isang lugar at umuwi sa kanilang pwesto, at doon sila po ay nagkaroon ng pagkakahawa-hawa. There is a link,” Vergeire said in a press forum.

The DOH earlier confirmed the local transmission of the highly contagious variant following the phylogenetic analysis conducted by the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center, and case investigation by the DOH Epidemiology Bureau and the regional and local epidemiology and surveillance units.

The number of Delta variant cases in the Philippines rose to 47 after 12 more local cases were detected. Of these cases, three died while eight remain active.

The DOH reminded the public to continue adhering to COVID-19 health protocols, such as the wearing of face masks and face shields, social distancing and avoiding unnecessary travels and gatherings.

They must also get vaccinated against COVID-19 when it is their turn.

The DOH likewise urged local government units to shorten the duration of case detection to isolation and immediately isolate symptomatic patients, and ramp up their vaccination and prioritize the senior citizens and people with underlying conditions.

Philippines lists 6,845 new COVID-19 infections; active cases up to 55,069

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday reported that the Philippines has logged 6,845 new cases of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), pushing the cumulative tally to 1,537,097.

The DOH said that the country’s number of active cases rose to 55,069.

Of this, 93.4 percent are mild, 1.3 percent are asymptomatic, 1.6 percent are moderate, 2.3 percent are severe, and 1.4 percent are in critical condition.

The DOH noted in its report that two accredited testing laboratories failed to submit their data on time.

The DOH also reported 2,330 more patients who have recovered from the disease, bringing the total recoveries to 1,455,137.

The death toll remained at 26,891 as there were no reported new fatalities.

Data from the DOH also showed that 52 percent of the country’s ICU beds are occupied and 36 percent of ventilators are being used.

In the National Capital Region, 42 percent of the ICU beds are occupied while 32 percent of the ventilators are in use.

The DOH also noted a positivity rate of 12.3 percent out of 43,668 tests reported last July 21.

PNP to deploy 15,000 cops to secure Duterte’s final SONA on July 26

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) will deploy around 15,000 police officers to secure President Rodrigo Duterte’s last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 26.

PNP chief Guillermo Eleazar said the National Capital Region Police Office has finalized the security preparations and deployment plans for the SONA.

“Handang-handa na ang inyong Philippine National Police sa SONA ng ating Pangulong Duterte sa darating na Lunes,” Eleazar said in a statement.

“Nakalatag na ang mga security plan at nakaantabay na rin ang sufficient number ng ating kapulisan para sa deployment at iba pang contingency measures,” he added.

Eleazar said the PNP has not monitored any threat to the SONA but assured that all personnel are ready to respond to any eventuality.

Police officers will also use body-worn cameras to help monitor the movements of suspicious persons who may be planning to disrupt the SONA, he added.

Eleazar asked for the public’s cooperation and urged groups planning to stage mass actions to conduct their activities online amid the threat of the more infectious Delta COVID-19 variant.

“Sa ilan nating mga kababayan na patuloy pa ring nagpa-plano para sa isang rally, nagpapa-alala ang inyong PNP na lubha pang delikado ang ganitong klaseng pagtitipon lalo na at may kumpirmasyon na ng local transmission ng Delta variant ng COVID-19,” he said.

“Mas ligtas na makinig at manood na lang tayo ng SONA sa ating mga tahanan,” he added.

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