Although Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri has announced he tested positive for COVID-19 despite being asymptomatic, some senators have opted not to undergo a COVID-19 test.
Senators Risa Hontiveros and Kiko Pangilinan have decided not to go through COVID-19 testing, saying they are not manifesting any symptoms and are strictly following protocols given by the DOH.
Some of their co-lawmakers have already taken the test including Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senators Grace Poe, Imee Marcos, Pia Cayetano, Ramon Revilla Jr., Francis Tolentino and the first two senators who initiated to undergo self-quarantine, Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Nancy Binay.
Senator Christoper Bong Go has also undergone COVID-19 testing with President Rodrigo Duterte who came out negative. — by Harlene Delgado
The reinstatement of the death penalty may have a glimmer of hope to be passed in the Senate with a seeming majority vote.
Thirteen senators have, so far, manifested to vote for it which include Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senators Bong Go, Ronald Dela Rosa, Sherwin Gatchalian, Aquilino Pimentel III, Panfilo Lacson, Lito Lapid, Imee Marcos, Bong Revilla, Francis Tolentino, Cynthia Villar, Pia Cayetano and Manny Pacquiao.
“Basta death penalty, kahit anong paraan, lethal injection , kahit ano, basta death penalty [As long as it’s death penalty, however way it is done. Lethal injection, whatever, as long as it’s death penalty],” said Senator Manny Pacquiao.
Thirteen is enough a number to have the bill passed in the higher chamber of Congress.
However, this could still narrow down as the versions they are pursuing vary, with most of them wanting to limit the imposition of the death penalty to high-level drug trafficking only.
This is in contrary to what President Rodrigo Duterte is pushing which is also to include plunder.
The senators are also divided as to how the said capital punishment must be carried out.
On the other hand, ten senators comprised of Senators Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros, Leila De Lima, Francis Pangilinan, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Richard Gordon, Grace Poe, Nancy Binay, Ralph Recto and Joel Villanueva have openly opposed the bill.
Senator Sonny Angara has yet to state his position as he prefers to hear the debates regarding the death penalty first. (with reports from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines – Six senators of the 17th Congress are soon to leave the Senate.
Senators Francis Escudero, Gringo Honasan, Loren Legarda and Antonio Trillanes IV have until June 30 to serve their last term.
Senators Bam Aquino and Joseph Victor Ejercito, meanwhile, needed to leave following their defeat in the 2019 midterm polls.
Escudero may be leaving the Senate but he remains in public office after winning as governor of Sorsogon.
Legarda, likewise, is shifting to local governance after being proclaimed as the new representative of Antique.
For his part, Honasan said he is still hoping for President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment of him as head of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
“It’s up in the air. That will be decided after June 30 by the appointing authority,” Honasan said.
Meanwhile, Senators Aquino and Ejercito said that their next plan to enjoy their private lives with their respective families.
“Ngayon ang ating destiny ay maiba hindi man magpatuloy dito. I guess na mahalaga right now just to take steps back. Spend more time with your kids and try to determine how to help the country in other ways,” Aquino said.
“Maraming paraan para tumulong sa ating bayan,” he added.
“Tulungan ko muna ang wife ko sa mga businesses naming,” Ejercito said when asked about his plans following his exit from Senate.
He admitted, however, that he regretted the outcome of running against his brother Jinggoy Estrada.
“Ang regrets ko…ang pinakamabigat kong problema yung dalawa kaming magkapatid na tumakbo,” Ejercito said.
“Sana kinausap ko na lang. Nag-usap kami ng father ko, ng pamilya na nasabi ko na sana ang aking concern. Ilang beses ko sinabi na ito ang mangyayari na pwede kaming mahila lahat pababa. Exactly ito na nga ang nangyari,” he added.
Trillanes, meanwhile, said he is thinking of going back to school.
The controversial senator earlier said he will remain critical of the Duterte administration even outside of Senate. — Marje Pelayo(with reports from Nel Maribojoc)
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