Duterte on Pacquiao’s corruption allegations: ‘I think he’s punch-drunk’

Marje Pelayo   •   July 13, 2021   •   454

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night lambasted Senator Manny Pacquiao  anew for alleging that billions of pesos have been lost to corruption in government agencies.

Pacquiao earlier alleged that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) failed to properly distribute P10 billion worth of financial aid from the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

“Mga kaibigan huwag kayong maniwala diyan,” Duterte said during his public address Monday night.

“Papayag ba naman ang [Commission on Audit]? Hindi lang iyan. Papayag ba kami? Papayag ba ang mga secretary ng mga departamento na ganun may mawala 10 billion? That is a statement coming from a guy who is punch-drunk, lasing,” he added.

Pacquiao claimed anomaly in the DSWD’s transaction with the digital wallet service provider Starpay Corporation.

The boxer-senator said he has evidence to prove that the program is missing P10 billion in SAP funds and that he will ask the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to investigate.

Both DSWD and Starpay have denied the allegations.

Pacquiao’s accusations came after President Duterte challenged him to prove his claims that corruption under the Duterte government has worsened.

The Chief Executive said the senator’s corruption claims are just part of a strategy given the latter’s obvious plan to take the highest position in the upcoming 2022 elections. MNP (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

Duterte’s net satisfaction rating dips to 62% based on recent SWS survey

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The recent net satisfaction rating of President Rodrigo Duterte dropped to +62, based on the recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

Results of the June 2021 survey showed that the president’s rating dropped to +62, which is a 17-point drop from a peak of +79 in the November 2020 survey.

In the May 2021 poll, Duterte got a net satisfaction rate of +65. The SWS released the three results on Thursday (September 23).

The June 2021 survey showed that 75% of the respondents said they were“very/somewhat satisfied” with the president’s performance, 13% indicated that they were “very/somewhat dissatisfied”, while 12% are undecided.

In the May 2021 survey, meanwhile, Duterte received a net satisfaction rate of +65, where 75% of the respondents were “very/somewhat satisfied”, 10% were “very/somewhat dissatisfied”, and 15% were undecided on the matter.

The president got a high rating in November 2020 with +79 rating,  51% of the respondents said they were “very satisfied,” 33% were “somewhat satisfied,” while 9% were “undecided,” 4% were “somewhat dissatisfied,” and 2% were “very dissatisfied.”

Despite the dip in rating, SWS fellow Geoffrey Ducanes said respondents in the recent survey were satisfied with the government’s response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Most people don’t think the government mismanaged the pandemic. They actually gave the government relatively high rating in terms of taking care of those who got COVID-19 and also relatively high rating in terms of vaccination,” he said.

Meanwhile, the delay in the results release, according to Ducanes was due to the COVID-19 pandemic where the agency had to conduct phone interviews. AAC (with reports from Lucille Lloren) 

 

Velasco asks Duterte to reconsider mandatory face shield policy

Marje Pelayo   •   September 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Allan Velasco has asked President Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider the mandatory use of face shields as an added protection against COVID-19.

In a letter to the President dated September 20, Velasco said the face shield requirement only poses an added financial burden to Filipinos who are already struggling economically due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Velasco also cited the absence of solid medical proof that the use of plastic face shields is effective against COVID-19 transmission.

“The use of face shields has made little difference in protecting against the transmission of COVID-19 over the proper use of masks alone, and imposes an additional burden to poor Filipino families already reeling from the adverse effect of the pandemic on their livelihood,” Velasco pointed out.

In his letter, Velasco recommended that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and the Department of Health (DOH) to reconsider the policy for the general public when going out of their homes or indoors, including in malls, commercial establishments, and public transportation.

Velasco cited the latest survey conducted by the World Bank entitled COVID-19 Low Income Household Panel and Economic (HOPE) showing the impact of the pandemic on the poorest households.

He said: “COVID-19 has worsened hunger among Filipinos. The cost of a face shield of about P20 to P50 is already a substantial amount equivalent to the cost of a meal for these poor Filipinos.”

Also, he noted that the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommend the use of face shields, only for those providing direct care to patients with COVID-19.

He added that based on studies conducted by physician-researchers of Wayne State University School of Medicine, combining the use of face shields and masks made little difference over the use of masks alone.

Even in the Philippine context, Velasco said that combining the use of face shields and masks made little difference over the use of masks alone which poses doubt on the efficacy of the use of face shields.

Villar, Pacquiao among billionaire senators in 2020

Marje Pelayo   •   September 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Cynthia Villar remains the richest senator based on the 2020 Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).

Based on the SALN released by the Senate of the Philippines, Villar has a net worth of P3.87 billion followed by boxing Senator Manny Pacquiao who has a net worth of P3.18 billion.

Meanwhile, detained Senator Leila de Lima ranked the poorest among senators with a net worth of P9.54 million.

The release of SALNs has been a practice to inform the public of the assets of government officials for transparency.

Though recently, Malacañang has been arguing against it saying President Rodrigo Duterte may opt not to release his SALN and leave the matter to the Office of the Ombudsman.

List of richest, poorest senators based on 2020 SALN:

Cynthia Villa P3,875,696,435
Manny Pacquiao – P3,187,092,600
Ralph Recto – P581,071,657
Juan Miguel Zubiri – P220,736,702
Ramon Revilla – P179,958,909
Juan Edgardo Angara – P150,898,358
Franklin Drilon – P106,862,853
Grace Poe – P101,327,620
Sherwin Gatchalian – 91,213,596
Vicente Sotto III – P85,643,477
Pia Cayetano – P84,891,678
Richard Gordon – P77,569,572
Manuel Lapid – P74,948,572
Francis Tolentino – P59,582,000
Nancy Binay – P59,770,251
Panfilo Lacson – P58,330,268
Aquilino Pimentel III – P37,203,400
Imee Marcos – P36,270,467
Ronald Dela Rosa – P34,383,136
Joel Villanueva – P33,029,725
Francis Pangilinan – P23,941,333
Christopher Lawrence Go – P22,274,508
Risa Hontiveros – P16,720, 359
Leila De Lima – P9,544,111

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