Duterte confirms Calida initiated review of Trillanes’ amnesty grant

admin   •   September 10, 2018   •   3829

FILE PHOTO: Solicitor General Jose Calida

 

Upon his return to the country on Saturday, President Rodrigo Duterte confirmed that Solicitor General Jose Calida initiated the review of the amnesty granted to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

Malacañang has released last week Proclamation No. 572 which voids the amnesty granted to Sen. Trillanes in 2011 by then president Benigno Aquino III in relation to the former’s rebellion and coup cases.

The proclamation states that “the grant of amnesty to former LTSG Antonio Trillanes IV under Proclamation No. 75 is declared void ab initio because he did not comply with the minimum requirements to qualify under the Amnesty Program.”

Speaking before the media at Davao City International Airport, President Duterte said he couldn’t say no to SolGen Calida especially when there is strong evidence.

“Alam mo si Calida medyo bright na matino. ‘Pag sinabi ng SolGen may mali and this has to be corrected, I cannot refuse,” said Duterte.

“He is the government lawyer; I am not. Though I am a mayor or a mayor and a President, I cannot insist, lalo na in view of the fact it was already recorded as a public paper. So kung ano ‘yang sinabi niya doon, then ‘yun ang paniwalaan ko.”

The President also said that it is up to the Supreme Court to decide whether to void or affirm the said proclamation.

“Well, nandiyan na sa Supreme Court. I leave it at that. If the Supreme Court would say that my declaration, proclamation is null and void, then let it fall. But then… if I’m affirmed or sustained, then it’s the military now,” Duterte said.

He also maintained that he is not targeting Trillanes
and refuted speculations that the proclamation is part of an effort to silence his critics.

“Sila nga ang nagsasalita diyan, ako tahimik lang eh,” he said. “Hindi ko kasi sinasagot, alam mo bakit? Kung bigyan mo ng importansya ‘yang sila — feeling great sila,” the President said. — Janice Ingente

Lawmakers deny links to DPWH corruption

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 29, 2020

The eight current and former lawmakers named by President Rodrigo Duterte to have been involved in the corruption in the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) have denied the said allegation.

Occidental Mindoro Representative Josephine Sato, in a statement, said her inclusion in the list is to out malign her credibility especially with the upcoming elections.

“The report made by Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Greco Belgica which impinges on my credentials as a public servant is clearly calculated to sow intrigues and disruption in the local politics of Occidental Mindoro,” she said.

Sato said Belgica is a known ally of her possible opponent in the 2022 elections.

Former Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat Jr. said he is currently not facing any investigations involving corruption.

Baguilat reiterated that he will not go through the lengths of promoting Cordillera products had he been accepting kickbacks from the DPWH projects.

Misamis Occidental Representative Henry Oaminal also released a statement welcoming the investigations to be conducted on the issue to prove his innocence.

Bataan Representative Geraldine Roman also expressed her willingness to cooperate in any investigation to clear her name.

“I am open to any investigation to establish the truth on this matter and I am sure that my honor will be vindicated. My conscience is clear,” she said in a statement.

Quezon City 5th District Representative Alfred Vargas, meanwhile, has insisted that his 12 years in public service has been unblemished.

“I am ready to submit myself to an investigation by the proper authority. Mere allegations are not proof,” he said.

Quezon Province Representative Angelina Helen Tan, meanwhile, challenge the PACC to visit the project in Gumaca and not base their allegations on anonymous tips and reports.

Northern Samar Representative Paul Daza said there might be former DPWH contractors who might have put his name on the list especially after his office exposed alleged anomalies in the department’s projects.

“Records and history will show that it was my office who exposed former elected officials and contractors for abandoning projects. Because of my call for an investigation, I believe no less than six (6) of them have already been blacklisted by the DPWH recently,” he said.

ACT-CIS Partylist Representative Eric Yap reiterated he was not involved in any DPWH bidding in Benguet. He is also willing to resign if proven guilty of the allegations against him.

Once the session resumes at the House of Representatives, Yap said he will file a motion to investigate Belgica regarding alleged anomalies in the Duty-Free Philippines. -AAC (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Duterte proposes new task force on new COVID-19 variant

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 28, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte has proposed the creation of a task force that would focus on the new variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

After the emergence of the new strain in the United Kingdom (UK) and several other countries, President Rodrigo Duterte called for an emergency meeting on Saturday (December 26).

“I would suggest that we create a panel whose job would be only to observe the different progression and the identification of the new strain,” he said.

Duterte reiterated the need to prepare through stricter border control, surveillance, and enhanced monitoring of cases in other countries. The national government already extended the (UK) travel ban until January 14.

The COVID-19 variant was also detected in Japan, Canada, Singapore, and Australia. AAC

Duterte to veto items in the proposed 2021 national budget

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to veto several items in the proposed 2021 national budget, the Palace confirmed on Friday (December 25).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the ceremonial signing for the P4.5 trillion national budget is scheduled for Monday (December 28). The Palace official, however, did not disclose which items in the national budget will be vetoed by the President.

“Sigurado po na magkakaroon po ng veto message. Pero I am not at liberty to discuss po kung ano itong mga items na ito (I am sure there will be a veto message, but I am not at liberty to discuss what theses items are),” he said.

The education sector will receive the bulk of the budget with P708.2 billion, followed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) with P694.8 billion. Meanwhile the country’s health sector will receive P287.5 billion. AAC

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