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Duterte endorses 11 senatorial bets; drops Jinggoy Estrada

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, February 15th, 2019

Proclamation and Kick-off rally of PDP-Laban on February 14, 2019 in San Juan Del Monte, Bulacan

BULACAN, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte formally endorsed his senatorial line up for the 2019 midterm elections.

Five senatorial aspirants from the ruling party PDP-Laban made it to Duterte’s list.

They are named by the acronym – ‘MaBaGoKoTo”.

‘Ma’ stands for Mangudadatu referring to the Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu.

‘Ba’ stands for Bato referring to former PNP and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Chief Ronald dela Rosa.

‘Go’ stands for Go referring to former Special Assistant to the President Christopher ‘Bong’ Go.

‘Ko’ is for Koko, the first name of reelectionist Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel;

‘To’ is for Tolentino, referring to former Presidential Political Adviser Francis Tolentino.

In addition to his five party mates, the President also named seven guest candidates on his lineup of senatorial bets.

They are Senators Cynthia Villar, Sonny Angara and JV Ejercito; Taguig Representative Pia Cayetano; Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos; and music icon Freddie Aguilar.

Maraming bisaya dito. Kapag natalo itong mga kandidato ko, balikan ko kayo,” the President said in jest during the initial campaign rally in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan.

“Salamat ha. Ako si Rodrgo Duterte. I am a government worker. Kaming lahat nasa gobyerno nagtratrabaho para sa inyo,” he said to the audience.

The senatorial hopefuls in return promised the President that his trust will not be in vain as they vowed to support the advocacies and programs of the government particularly in eliminating corruption and illegal drugs.

“Twenty-one (21) years po akong nagserbisyo kay Pangulong Duterte,at sa Pilipino. Asahan ninyo po serbisyo din po ang katapat niyan,” vowed Go.

Ang numero ko kasi sa balota 24 (so) bente kwatro oras na serbisyo, bente kwatro oras na proteksyon, na pagmamahal,” promised Dela Rosa.

Meanwhile, former senator Jinggoy Estrada’s name was notably missing from the President’s lineup of senatorial bets.

President Duterte did not even mention Estrada’s name during his speech, some observers said.

In an ambush interview following the campaign sortie, President Duterte said it was too late when he was informed about Estrada’s senatorial bid.

“Too late. They gave me the signal too late. Actually, about almost a year ago I was already forming the ticket,” he said.

Overall, Duterte has 11 senatorial candidates on his list for the 2019 midterm polls. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz / Nestor Torres)

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President Duterte also has a right to privacy—DOJ

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte greets members of Japan’s House of Councillors during their courtesy call together with Japan House of Councillors President Chuichi Date, at the Malacañan Palace on January 8, 2019. RENE LUMAWAG/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte also enjoys the right to privacy under the Constitution, according to Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

In a text message, the Justice Secretary said the president will only be obligated to disclose his health to the public if he is suffering a serious illness.

“The Constitution requires the President to divulge any serious illness on his part. But if the illness is not serious enough to affect the discharge of his official functions, the President has no duty to inform anyone,” he said.

Guevarra added that if Duterte’s illness will not disrupt his duty as president, the he is not obligated to inform the public.

During the weekend, there were rumors circulating that President Duterte was confined in Cardinal Santos Medical Center. However, on Sunday (May 19), former Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go posted photos of him and President Duterte enjoying breakfast.

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Comelec hopes to proclaim winning Senators, party-list groups on Tuesday

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, May 20th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Winning senatorial bets and party-list organizations in the 2019 midterm elections may likely be proclaimed on Tuesday (May 21), the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Monday.

Comelec Spokesperson Director James Jimenez said the poll body, which sits as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), has yet to complete the canvassing of votes as certificates of canvass (COC) from several areas are yet to come in.

Out of the total 167 COCs, the NBOC is still awaiting five COCs from Japan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United States and Abuja in Nigeria.

The COC from Jones in Isabela, where a special election is being held, has also yet to come in.

Comelec conducted a special election for national and local positions in Jones, Isabela after vote-counting machines (VCM) and ballots deployed there were intentionally torched and destroyed during the May 13 polls.

Around 762 registered voters will participate in the special polls.

The poll body said COCs from the said areas cover more than 1.6 million votes.

“I think at this point, it’s a pretty sure bet that we are going to have a proclamation tomorrow,” Jimenez said in a press briefing at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

Comelec Director for Education and Information Department Atty. Frances Arabe earlier said the poll body wanted to complete the canvassing of votes before holding a one-day proclamation ceremony.

READ: Proclamation of senators, party-list expected early this week – Comelec

She added that winning party-list groups may be proclaimed in the morning while the senators-elect will be proclaimed in the afternoon.

“The Commission en Banc wants a 100% proclamation. We will try our best to canvass all the COCs so we can only have one event for the proclamation of Senators and the Partylist as well,” Arabe said.

“It will be done in one day but separate schedules. So, party-list will be done in the morning and the proclamation for the Senators in the afternoon,” she added.

Comelec also explained earlier that defective secure digital (SD) cards used in overseas voting have delayed the canvassing of votes by a week.

Arabe said the replacements of corrupted SD cards have to come from their warehouse hub in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

“That’s why it took time because they had to ship the replacement SD cards,” she said.

With the new SD cards, the Comelec office for absentee voting hopes for a smooth transmission of results in order to complete the canvassing of votes.

As of 7:18 p.m. on Sunday, reelectionist senators Cynthia Villar and Grace Poe still topped the Comelec’s partial and official tally, followed by Bong Go, Pia Cayetano, Ronald dela Rosa, Sonny Angara, Lito Lapid, Imee Marcos, Francis Tolentino, Koko Pimentel, Bong Revilla and Nancy Binay.

The NBOC met at 1:42 p.m. on Monday but the canvassing was suspended immediately as there was no COC to canvass.  

The Board is set to resume the canvassing of votes at 7 p.m. later. (with details from Aiko Miguel)

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Names that stand out in House speakership race of the 18th Congress

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Sunday, May 19th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: House of Representatives (UNTV News)

The names of Lord Allan Velasco, Martin Romualdez, Alan Peter Cayetano and Pantaleon Alvarez have been floating to be the next leader in the House of Representatives (HOR).

Both Romualdez and Velasco were endorsed by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in the campaign rallies of Hugpong ng Pagbabago.

President Rodrigo Duterte, on the other hand, purportedly wants Cayetano to hold the reigns in the House.

And Alvarez, the first choice of the President to lead the last Congress, is making a return.

But now that former Senator Loren Legarda and Presidential son, former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte had been proclaimed winners in their districts, the list of possible Speaker of the House has gotten longer.

According to PDP-Laban campaign manager, Senator Manny Pacquiao, they will still wait until the proclamation of all the winners in the midterm elections has been completed before they set a meeting with the party to select the next House Speaker and Senate President.

“We still have to deliberate on that, but we need to finish the proclamation first before we discuss the talks for Senate President. It will be an internal discussion,” said Pacquiao.

So far, Mayor Duterte who sits as the Hugpong ng Pagbabago Regional Party head is yet to announce her chosen one.

In one of her earlier statements, Sara said that she will support anyone as long as that person supports her father.

“So walay choice of one but ang ginatan-aw namu kung kinsa and supporter ni President Duterte [there is no choice of one but what we are looking for is who among them supports President Duterte] because we need the House of Representatives to move towards the direction of the President,” the mayor added.

Meanwhile, in a statement, Liberal Party secretary general Congressman Kit Belmonte said that dictatorship is expected to remain in the lower chamber especially now that there is only 18 of them who made it in the elections.Our last count is 18 representatives so far – not much different from our numbers in the current Congress. Which means you can expect the same tyranny from the supermajority,” Belmonte said.

The newly elected members of the House of Representatives will begin their term on June 30. (with reports from Grace Casin) /mbmf

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