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House Speaker confident joint session will approve proposed martial law extension

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Pantaleon Alvalez is confident that the Congress will approve the martial law extension in Mindanao.

Both houses of Congress are set to convene in a joint session, Wednesday, to study President Rodrigo Duterte’s request for a 1-year extension of martial law to be effective on January 1, 2018.

“For me being from Mindanao I don’t see any reason why they will not consider it,” Alvarez said.

The House Speaker said even if the war in Marawi has ended it doesn’t mean that the war of the government against the rebels has also ended.

“There are still movements. Many of their companions are still there. The extortion continues in the plantations, mining sites, contractors, and even in bus operators,” Alvarez said.

Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, on the other hand, said he will question this move to the Supreme Court because they believe that implementing it is against the Constitution.

“If we are going to read the Constitution it says ‘the extension of the declaration or promulgation.’ It does not refer to the extension of an extension,” Lagman said.

Former soldier and now Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano said it will have a big impact on the soldiers.

“Continuous combat operation, kulang sa kagamitan (insufficient equipment), will lead to demoralization,” Alejano said.

Earlier Tuesday, the House conducted an all-member caucus in which they invited the heads of the Department of the Interior and Local Government and Department of National Defense, and Executive Secretary Salvador Mideialdea to shed light on the need to extend martial law in Mindanao. – Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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SC sets oral arguments on petitions against martial law extension

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, January 11th, 2018


MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) seeks to study anew the basis of the government in extending for another year the enforcement of military rule in Mindanao.

In line with this, the high tribunal has set a 2-day oral argument to discuss the petitions questioning the martial law extension.

The SC also ordered the consolidation of the petitions filed by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman and other groups.

“The submission of comment on GR No. 236061 by the Solicitor General’s Office not later than 5:00 in the afternoon of January 13, 2018 (Saturday) with the comment to be served personally on counsel for petitioners,” SC Spokesperson Atty. Theodore Te said.

“The court further directed the conduct of oral argument on the consolidated petitions on January 16, 2018 at 2:00 in the afternoon and January 17, 2018 starting at 10:00 in the morning,” Te added.

The petitions are asking the Supreme Court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the 1-year extension of the military rule in the southern region of the country.

They argued that there is no actual rebellion in Mindanao that calls for the extension of martial law.

The government’s move, they note, also violates the Constitution that limits the enforcement of a military rule.

Solicitor General Jose Calida initially argued that there is an urgent need to extend martial law in Mindanao since there remains a threat of terrorism in the region.

It can be recalled the high tribunal affirmed last December 5 its decision in favor of the previous and first extension of the military rule in Mindanao.  – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

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Año formally assumes DILG-OIC post

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – Former AFP Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año takes on a new role as the officer-in-charge of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“Of course identifying terrorists and continue the program of the government to defeat the terrorists, but aside from that we have so many interventions together with other departments like a dialogue with ulamas, getting the preparations of the local government units particularly the local executives,” Año said.

Also among the priorities of the new leadership is strengthening the campaign of the government against illegal drugs and supporting the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).

But amid the controversies of the police under the DILG—Año said the National Police still have accomplishments.

“Those what we call national troops are being sensationalized but those ordinary policemen who serve warrants for index and non-index crimes–they reached thousands,” Año said.

But Año can’t be appointed as the secretary of the agency yet after his retirement last October 26, 2017.

Under the Republic Act 6975 or the Department of Interior and Local Government Act of 1990, no retired or resigned military or police officer may be appointed as secretary within 1 year from the date of his retirement or resignation.

For the meantime—former OIC Cataliño Cuy whom Año replaced will take over the position of former Dangerous Drugs Board Chair Dionisio Santiago.

Meanwhile, President Duterte has designated Martin Diño as undersecretary of DILG.

“I hope this time gagalaw ang lahat ng barangay kapitan at saka mga kagawad sa buong Pilipinas. Five billion kami. Iyan ang dami ng barangay governments,” Diño said.

(I hope this time all barangay captains and councilors across the Philippines will start working. We are five billion. That is the number of barangay governments.)

Diño is the former chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority or SBMA but the President designated Atty. Wilma Eisma in his place. – Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue

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Groundbreaking ceremony held for the New Terminal at Clark International Airport

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, December 21st, 2017

CLARK, Pampanga – The government has chosen the Megawide-GMR Consortium to construct the new terminal of the Clark International Airport Terminal in Pampanga.

The said facility will be 100 square meters wide. Upon its completion, it is expected to help ease congestion at airports in Metro Manila.

A ground breaking ceremony was held earlier for the construction of the new terminal.

It was attended by several high-ranking government officials such as House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Secretary of Transportation Arthur Tugade and BCDA President Vince Dizon.

“We will now make the plans alive. We will grant the dream of Kapampangan residents of Tarlac, Zambales, and Central Luzon to have a premier international gateway in this area,” Department of Transportation (DOTr) Sec. Arthur Tugade said.

The new terminal of the Clark International Airport will be built in this area. The new terminal is expected to accommodate an additional of 8-million passengers, and would help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport or NAIA.

“The expansion of Clark International will also expand connectivity growth and opportunities outside of imperial Manila. Clark and the surrounding areas as well as the pathways that link it to Metro Manila will enjoy wider, broader and access to tourism, trade, business work and even education,” House Speaker Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez said.

The soon-to-be constructed new terminal of the Clark International Airport will be the 1st hybrid project under the Duterte administration’s Build, Build, Build project.

It is also considered as the fastest approved government infrastructure project.

“This project, our bid price is P9.36-million. We were given 30 months for this project so we look forward to commence early by next year,” GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. President Manuel Louie B. Ferrer said.

The construction of the new terminal will begin next year in accordance with the order of President Rodrigo Duterte. – Leslie Longboen | UNTV News & Rescue

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