Lacson claps back at Duterte’s statement that Senate inquiries are all in vain

Maris Federez   •   August 27, 2021   •   488

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson has belied the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte that inquiries conducted by the Senate never ended up going anywhere.

Lacson said the general public has been enjoying a significant number of laws that the Senate has enacted based on the inquiries and investigations conducted by the upper chamber of Congress.

The Senator, in a seeming swipe at the President, told the chief executive to review the separation of powers in government.

“Magbasa rin muna siya tungkol sa doktrina ng Separation of Powers at Checks and Balances ng Ehekutibo, Kongreso at Hudikatura bago niya kami pakialaman sa Senado,” Lacson said.

The President, Lacson said, should instead focus his attention on the performance of the Cabinet, not just in addressing the pandemic but also in other aspects of governance.

“Sa halip, asikasuhin niya ang mga kakulangan ng sangay ng gobyerno na kanyang pinamumunuan na hitik sa incompetence at corruption, hindi lang sa pagtugon sa pandemya kundi sa maraming aspeto ng governance,” he said.

Lacson also expressed his disappointment that the President has been the one defending his officials who are the subject of their investigation, instead of being the one to charge these officials for their inaction or poor performance.

“Kaya hindi nakakasuhan ang ilang matataas na opisyal na naging subject ng pag-iimbestiga namin ay dahil ipinagtatanggol niya sa halip na makasuhan,” he said.

“Hindi trabaho ng Senado ang magsampa ng demanda. Trabaho ng Executive Branch iyon. Judiciary naman ang magpapakulong. Mahirap bang i-memorize yan?” Lacson added. —/mbmf

Duterte sets to work even during holiday break to focus on recovery, rehab efforts

Maris Federez   •   December 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said he will be going around areas severely affected by Typhoon Odette during the holiday break to focus on the recovery and rehabilitation efforts and closely monitor the distribution of relief goods to calamity victims.

Duterte made the announcement during his visit to Puerto Princesa City, Palawan which was also ravaged by the typhoon.

“So titingnan namin, hanggang pasko magtatrabaho ako. Hindi ako mag-new year. Talagang lalabas ako. Sabi ko mag-overtime kami gobyerno, hindi magsara maski na pasko,” Duterte said.

“Sabi ko magsakripisyo na muna tayo tutal marami nang pasko sa buhay natin, sobra-sobra na. Itong pasko na ito ibigay natin sa tao,” he added.

Aside from Palawan, the President also visited Cebu, Siargao, Dinagat Islands, Negros Occidental, Leyte, and Bohol.

The Chief Executive also apologized for the delay in the government’s response.

“Maghingi ako ng tawad na napatagal ang response sa gobyerno. Sa totoo lang, hirap din kami dito sa taas because of the so many places scattered around at malalayo. Pati yung pera. Alam mo kasi maraming nagsasalita. Yung calamity fund, up to sa mga mayors, kailangan may report ang damage ng isang lugar bago ma-release ang pera,” he explained.

Based on the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council report, around 52,000 families were rendered homeless by the typhoon this holiday season. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte visits areas affected by Typhoon Odette

Maris Federez   •   December 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday (December 18) visited the areas severely battered by Typhoon Odette.

The President was accompanied by Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go and other government officials.

In a brief statement sent to reporters, Senator Go said that they first flew to Maasin in Southern Leyte. There, the President met with local government officials and heads of concerned national government agencies to assess the situation and damage brought by the typhoon.

They then proceeded to Surigao City in Surigao del Norte where he also met with local government units and with Dinagat Island officials.

The President and his team conducted an aerial survey in the typhoon-stricken areas and saw the damage firsthand.

Go said that the president summoned the officials of the Departments of Energy, Agriculture, Social Welfare and Development, Public Works and Highways, the National Housing Authority, and the Office of the Civil Defense.

Go reported that there were many people stranded in Siargao.

The senator also noted the vast damage in infrastructure, as well as trees toppled by the strong winds brought by the typhoon.

Go said electric power and telecommunications were cut in major areas in the said provinces.

According to the senator, the President plans to visit Bohol and Cebu provinces on Sunday (December 19).

On Friday, the President expressed concern over the state of the people in the said typhoon-stricken areas.

“I’m not so much worried about damage to structures, infrastructures of government. Ang takot ko is maraming namatay,” the President said. —/mbmf

Presidential aspirants launch relief assistance to areas affected by Typhoon Odette

Maris Federez   •   December 17, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential aspirant Senator Manny Pacquiao has called on his fellow aspirants to join forces in extending assistance to areas affected by the onslaught of Typhoon Odette.

Pacquiao made the appeal through his Facebook and Twitter accounts, asking other candidates in the 2022 national elections to set aside politics and join together to help the typhoon victims.

Vice President Leni Robredo, in her reply via twitter, signified her support to Pacquiao’s call.

Pacquiao thanked the vice president and offered the cargo plane he chartered to bring assistance to those affected by Typhoon Odette.

The two candidates committed to having close coordination to implement the said activity.

Meanwhile, VP Robredo said she also personally lead in receiving in-kind donations and preparing the same for distribution to the typhoon victims.

“Para mas mapabilis ang pagkilos natin, nandito po ako ngayon sa ating Campaign Volunteer Center sa Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City, which we will be converting into a relief hub. We also convened our operations center dito,” Robredo said.

“Starting today, puwede na pong mag-drop off ng mga in-kind donations dito,” she added.

Robredo also appealed for volunteers to help them in repacking the goods. Details of this, she said, will be posted on their official FB page.

Meanwhile, Labor leader Leody de Guzman also responded to Pacquiao’s call.

He volunteered his group to help in the distribution of the relief goods.

“Tama yun. Napapanahon yung ganyang panawagan. Yung maraming pera, yung may bilyon bilyon 3-5 billion na uubusin na eleksyon ay maganda yung kalahati niyan ibigay sa mga taga Mindanao dahil sa nangangailangan sila duon. Katulad ko at Rj nakahanda kami sa makinarya sa distribusyon ng kanilang ipamimigay,” de Guzman said.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, on the other hand, said that should Senator Pacquiao made his appeal personal through private communication, he could have acquiesced and joined the call.

He said he will also send his reply privately and will offer his resources.

But since, Lacson said, the appeal was made through social media, responding to it will violate his principles, saying ‘calamity politics’ is the lowest form of campaigning.

“Since it was done through media – it goes against my principled belief that ‘calamity politics’ is the lowest form of campaigning. In fact, I consider it abominable,” Lacson said.

As in the past, he and his friends and supporters send help to those affected by calamities without media coverage.

“As in the past calamities, my Senate office, as well as friends and supporters, assisted without fanfare and without any media coverage. We did it in Cagayan Valley, and Bicol region, and some other areas hit by strong typhoons,” he said.

He emphasized that election or no election, his team is always ready to help.

For his part, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno asked the city council led by its Presiding officer Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna to hold a special session and pass a resolution to allocate funds to be used in sending help to families affected by Typhoon Odette.

“I have already asked the presiding officer of the City Council, Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, to immediately hold a special session and a resolution be passed allocating a certain sum of money for the typhoon victims in the Visayas and Mindanao,” Mayor Isko said.

Moreno’s camp has also launched a donation drive and urged the participation of all who can help and coordinate with his office.

Meanwhile, the tandem of former Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio used their volunteers in distributing relief goods in areas hit by Typhoon Odette.

The BBM-Sara Uniteam prepared relief packs containing 5 kilos of rice, canned goods, milk, and coffee.

On his Facebook page, Marcos thanked all who sent help to his office and their headquarters.

“Marami pong salamat sa lahat ng nagparating ng agarang tulong sa ating mga tanggapan at headquarters. Mahalagang maitawid ito sa ating mga kababayan sa lalong madaling panahon,” Marcos said.

“Ipakita natin ang pagbabayanihang Pilipino na siyang magbabangon sa atin mula anumang sakuna,” he added. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

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