Duterte vows justice for Absalon cousins killed in Masbate blast — Palace

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 10, 2021   •   623

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to seek justice for football player Keith Absalon and his cousin Nolven who were killed by a landmine blast in Masbate City on Sunday (June 6).

In a virtual press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the President has heard the plea of the victims’ families.

“Nangako ang Pangulo na masusi itong iimbestigahan at pagbabayaran ang may mga sala,” he said.

(The President vowed to thoroughly investigate the incident and hold the perpetrators  accountable)

“Pwede pong hulihin, litisin at parusahan ang mga taong gumamit ng pasabog na ito kahit saang parte ng daigdig because what they did po was a crime against the international community. Mariin namin itong kinukundena,” Roque added.

(Those who use landmines can be can be arrested, put on trial, and punished in any part of the world because what they did  was a crime against the international community. We deeply condemn the act.)

The Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) on Tuesday took responsibility for the incident and expressed their remorse “over the untimely and unnecessary deaths.”

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reported that Keith and Nolven also sustained gunshot wounds.

Based on the necropsy report of the City Health Office in Masbate City, Keith also sustained a gunshot wound on the right eye while Nolven sustained a gunshot wound on the right shoulder blade and on the left lateral distal thigh. AAC

 

 

 

Duterte on Senate probe into Pharmally: ‘More than martial law’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday called the Senate order to detain Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corporation director Linconn Ong as “more than martial law”.

In his weekly talk to the nation aired Monday night (September 27), Duterte criticized the Senate’s “intimidation” tactics in its investigation on government transactions with Pharmally.

Akala ko ba ayaw ng mga taong Pilipinas ng martial law? Tingnan mo ang ginagawa ng Senado ngayon, (I thought the Philippines does not like martial law? Look at what the Senate is doing now), it is just more than a martial law,” he said.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chaired by Senator Richard Gordon has ordered Ong’s detention after citing the latter for contempt for allegedly evading questions regarding Pharmally’s P8 billion worth of transactions with the government. Ong was supposed to be transferred to the Pasay City Jail.

Duterte said the Senate panel is not really looking for answers but expecting specific replies from summoned resource persons.

Kung ayaw ninyo ang sagot, magagalit kayo tapos you threaten (If you don’t like the answer you will get mad and threaten) you will—’We will cite you in contempt and we can detain you forever.’ Is that how a civilized Congress works? Takutan ba ito (Is this intimidation),” he said.

“Do not blame him because that is his truth. You just cannot assume altogether that he is lying. That would be a cockeyed view of what a hearing should be,” he added.

Duterte also wondered what the human rights advocates have to say regarding the issue.

“So ang Human Rights, gusto kong marinig kung ano rin ang sinasabi (I also want to know what they have to say). The Constitution really provides that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Is there a due process of law if you already have the preconceived answer? And if it does not dovetail your frame of mind, you send him to jail?” he asked.

The president addressed Senator Richard Gordon anew during his speech, telling him to “try to be a lawyer and not a despot.”

“You are not the king of Congress. Please do it for the sake of you, your family, and for the country,” he said. AAC

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.

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