Incoming senator Dela Rosa eyes training on lawmaking

Robie de Guzman   •   May 15, 2019   •   3390

Former Philippine National Police chief and incoming senator, General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, speaks before his supporters during the campaign period. (Photo: Bato Dela Rosa Facebook)

MANILA, Philippines – Former Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa is planning to attend seminars on crafting laws should he win a seat in the Senate.

First time candidate Dela Rosa is poised to become a senator with more than 18 million votes in the Commission on Elections (Comelec) partial, unofficial results of the 2019 midterm elections.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, Dela Rosa said he is seeking to attend seminars on lawmaking as this is the very essence of his work as a legislator.

“Ewan ko kung meron bang seminar diyan, or ano bang training dyan para matutuhan ko kung paano gawin ‘yung ng batas, kung paano gawin ‘yung trabaho sa Senado. Kung merong ganon I’ll take that opportunity para matuto ako,” he said in an interview on Tuesday.

(Is there a seminar for that or training where I could learn how to craft laws or about our work in the Senate? If there’s any, I’ll take that opportunity so I could learn.)

But he added that he will not attend the training if these will be held in the University of the Philippines because it was “anti-police” and “anti-military.”

Dela Rosa also said that he plans to consult reelectionist Senators Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel and JV Ejercito on the things that he needs to do to prepare for the job.

“Magtawag tawag ako kina Koko Pimentel, JV Ejercito kung ano ba talaga ang trabaho ng senador. What do I need to prepare para pagpasok ko, hindi na ito katawa-tawa,” he said.

(I will call Koko Pimentel and JV Ejercito to ask about the job of a senator, what I need to prepare so I won’t look ridiculous when I enter the Senate.)

Dela Rosa is currently ranking fifth in the top-12 winning circle with 18,339,919 votes based on partial, unofficial results from Comelec as of 5:10 a.m. Wednesday.

Pimentel is currently at 11th spot with 14,255,261 votes while Ejercito is outside the winning circle at the 13th place with 13,897,153 votes.

“Kaya nga malungkot ako. Magdasal na lang. Sana si JV makaakyat, si Koko ‘wag nang bumaba,” Dela Rosa said.

(That’s why I am sad. I’ll just pray. I hope JV’s ranking would go up and Koko’s wouldn’t go down.)

Defense chief Lorenzana tests positive for COVID-19 anew

Robie de Guzman   •   November 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed on Wednesday that he has again contracted COVID-19.

In a message to reporters, Lorenzana said he was informed of his test result earlier in the day but he has not manifested any symptoms.

He said he is fully vaccinated against coronavirus.

“This morning I got the result of my swab test yesterday afternoon after the Senate hearing. I am asymptomatic,” he said.

“Yes, I am fully vaxxed. I’ll observe myself for several days after that I’ll have another swab,” he added.

The Defense chief first tested positive for COVID-19 in April and recovered.

Lorenzana took a swab test after undergoing screening for COVID-19 on Tuesday when he physically attended a Senate hearing for his department’s budget for 2022.

With this development, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said they might suspend the budget deliberations on Thursday to give way for the testing of exposed Senate staff.

Lorenzana had interactions with several senators during the session. Among those who was exposed to him were Senators Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Francis Tolentino.

Senators and staff who had contact with Lorenzana have been asked to undergo quarantine and get tested after five days.

DILG, provinces urge Senate to restore NTF-ELCAC’s P28B budget for barangay dev’t program

Robie de Guzman   •   November 16, 2021

 MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the League of Provinces of the Philippines have appealed to the Senate to restore the P28.1 billion Support to Barangay Development Program (SBDP) proposed by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) for NPA-cleared barangays in the 2022 budget.

In a statement issued on Monday, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the program is “a game-changer in our battle to end Communist Terrorism in the country.”

“Unti-unti nang nararamdaman ng mga naninirahan sa mga barangay na sakop ng SBDP ngayong taon ang tunay na kahulugan ng pagbabago at pagkalinga ng gobyerno na hindi nila naramdaman sa nakaraan dahil sa mga Komunistang Terorista,” Año said.

The DILG chief noted that “there is now momentum in the fight against Communist terrorism and slashing the P28.1 Billion will send a wrong signal to the Local Government Units who have been expecting these development projects next year.”

“We must remember that the battle against the CTGs is not just a battle of arms, it’s also a battle for the hearts and minds of our people,” he said.

The League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) echoed Año’s appeal.

During its 8th General Assembly, the LPP said it passed Resolution No. 2021-009 supporting President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-insurgency program and urging the Senate to approve in full the proposed Support to the Barangay Development Program in the 2022 General Appropriations Bill.

“The full and continued implementation of the BDP needs to be pursued in order to bring about and sustain progress and development in these identified conflict-affected barangays that urgently need government support and assistance,” said LPP President and Marinduque Governor Presbiterio Velasco, Jr.

“The proposed projects under the SBDP which were identified by the community residents themselves, represent their collective aspiration towards genuine peace and development,” Año said.

The DILG Secretary stressed that cutting the proposed NTF-ELCAC budget next year will deprive these remote barangays of development and will make them vulnerable once more to the CTGs at a time when we have already gained significant strides in our whole-of-nation approach to defeat communist terrorism.

“Mahigit 50 taon nang naghihirap at napag-iwanan ang ating mga kababayan na nakatira sa mga bulubundukin at malalayong lugar na dati ay pinamumugaran ng mga communist terrorist groups (CTGs),” he said.

“Nakikiusap po tayo sa ating mga Senador na huwag ipagkait ang pagkakataong maramdaman nila ang pagmamalasakit ng gobyerno at malasap ang tunay pagbabago,” he added.

Año said that the P16.44-billion development projects under the SBDP this year are in full swing in the 822 insurgency-cleared barangays with several projects already completed and others in different phases of implementation.

Of the 2,318 SBDP projects funded this year, 19 are already completed, 557 are undergoing implementation, 783 are under procurement, and 959 are under pre-procurement.

Among the completed SBDP projects are livelihood projects in Barangay Mount Diwata, Monkayo, Davao de Oro; lot purchase for housing in Barangays Don Mariano Marcos, Tagbua, and Calapagan, Lupon, Davao Oriental; distribution of seed capital to poor farmers in Barangay Caduha-an, Cadiz City, Negros Occidental; livelihood project in Sangab, Maco, Davao de Oro; installation of 50 units LED solar street lights with solar panel in Barangay Darapuay, Bansalan, Davao del Sur; and purchase of rice harvesters in Carataya, Mahunodhunod, Putian and San Antonio in Cuartero, Capiz.

“Based on the current status of SBDP projects, we are expecting that majority of them will be completed by the first quarter of 2022 with some spill-over projects to be completed by the second quarter,” Año said.

He explained that some of the projects are still under procurement on the LGU level because it takes about 1-2 months for the preparation of pre-procurement documents like Detailed Engineering Design (DED) from the implementing local government units (LGUs), Certificate of Pre-condition (CP) or Certificate of Non-Coverage (CNC) from the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), and Notice of Authority to Debit Account Issued (NADAI) from the Bureau of Treasury (BTr).

The DILG Chief maintained that completing these documentary requirements were even more challenging with the stringent COVID-19 restrictions as another 4 to 5 months are needed to complete the procurement process in compliance with the Republic Act (RA) 9184.

He added that actual implementation of the SBDP projects on the ground takes about 1 to 4 months to complete depending on the nature of the project with non-infra projects usually completed faster than infra projects like roads and buildings.

Bong Go to run for president as Bato drops out of race

UNTV News   •   November 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Saturday, Nov. 13, withdrew his candidacy for vice president to pursue presidential bid in 2022.

Accompanied by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte, Go filed his certificate of candidacy under Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS) at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) main office in Intramuros, Manila.

Meanwhile, Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, Go’s supposed running mate under PDP-Laban, has pulled out of the presidential race.

When asked why he was quitting, Dela Rosa said his withdrawal is a “party decision” and he is just following orders.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, meanwhile, announced that President Duterte will file his candidacy for vice president on Monday, November 15.

“On Monday, babalik si Presidente dito sa Comelec para mag-file ng kanyang candidacy for vice-president. So, abangan natin ang sunod na kabanata,” Andanar told reporters at the Comelec office on Saturday.

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