Looming ‘coup’? Paolo Duterte says speakership race far from over
Robie de Guzman • July 11, 2019 • 1270
MANILA, Philippines – Presidential son, Davao City 1st Representative Paolo Duterte on Thursday said the fight for the House speakership is far from over despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s endorsement of a term-sharing scheme between Congressmen Alan Peter Cayetano and Lord Allan Velasco.
In a message to reporters, the younger Duterte said no one has formally won the speakership race yet and an election would still be held on July 22 when the regular session of 18th Congress opens. This is also the day when President Duterte will deliver his fourth State of the Nation Address.
“May election pa sa July 22 at doon ako mas interesado, kung sino ang manalo. Kasi may bali-balita, may isa sa tatlo na balak mag coup d’etat on the day,” Duterte said.
“Mukhang hindi pa tapos ang laban para sa kanilang tatlo at sa mga backers,” he added.
The lawmaker did not name the speaker aspirant who might stage a coup d’etat during the House speakership election.
It was earlier reported that Cayetano will serve as speaker for 15 months, to be succeeded by Velasco for 21 months. Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez, another speaker contender, will be the majority leader.
Aside from Cayetano, Velasco and Romualdez, other solons who have expressed interest in the position are Davao City Representative Isidro Ungab, Bayan Muna party-list Carlos Zarate and Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon Alvarez.
Ungab has been nominated by regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago, headed by Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Caprio while Zarate is the progressive Makabayan bloc’s bet.
When asked for comment, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said it is still up to House members to choose their leader.
“In the ultimate analysis, the vote on the speaker would lie on the members of Congress. The only reason why the President gave that suggestion is because those or vying for it went to him and sought his wise suggestion to settle the row between and among them,” Panelo told reporters
He also believes that the president’s influence would remain unscathed even if lawmakers don’t vote for Cayetano as speaker.
“It’s not a reflection of the clout of the President. Because the President didn’t want to interfere in the first place, didn’t want to intrude. It’s them who somehow persuaded him to come in,” he said.
President Duterte earlier said the election of the speaker has resulted in a “bitter and fractious rivalry,” and that he decided to step into the speakership squabble “to save the unity of the alliance and avert its fragmentation.” (with details from Grace Casin and Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said telecommunications companies should report local government units that are obstructing the building of additional cell towers by delaying the processing of permits.
Duterte made the statement in a televised address after Globe Telecom President and CEO Ernest Cu told the president about their permitting woes in order to build more cell sites and improve their services.
“We are suffering ho from many, many years of this, before your administation, many administrations, 25 to 29 permit umaabot ng walong buwan tapos marami pa ho kaming miscellaneous fees ho. Iba-ibang klaseng tower fee. Mayroon kaming special use permit,” Cu said.
Cu met with Duterte after the latter threatened during his State of the Nation Address to shut down or expropriate telcos if no improvements are made in their services before December.
“Kasi sabi ko, ‘pag hindi mo pa na-improve ‘yan, I will hang you in one of your towers. Sabi niya, “Mayor, you cannot do that because there is no tower. The local governments are all f—–g it up,” Duterte told Cu in jest.
After hearing Cu’s concerns, the chief executive urged telcos to issue a formal complaint against local government units that are stalling the processing of permits for additional communication towers.
He also told telcos to report LGUs to proper authorities.
“Isumbong niyo na lang ng diresto at ang order ko sa Cabinet ngayon is to really take the, ‘kung pinakamabigat, the most drastic measure that you can find, para magkaintindihan. This is my last mile,” he said.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, in the same briefing, said that local government units have been ordered to shorten the process and reduce the time spent in producing permits to 16 to 20 days.
“Dati po kailangan pa ng Home-Owners Association Resolution, kailangan pa ng Sangguniang Bayan Resolution, wala na po ‘yon. 16 days to 20 days po ang target para y’ong lahat ng permit ay tatakbo,” he said.
The government has been pushing for the ease of doing business to streamline the process in government agencies.
Globe Telecom and PLDT Inc. earlier said they are currently working on expansion plans to improve the communication services in the country. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)
The date was chosen based on the recommendation of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos.
The president also reminded the public that the observance of the event shall be subject to existing community quarantine and social distancing measures. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – New community quarantine classifications that would take effect in Metro Manila and other parts of the country in August will be announced by President Rodrigo Duterte before Friday, Malacañang said.
In a televised briefing on Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) is set to meet this week to discuss data on the case doubling rate of the coronavirus disease as well as the critical care utilization in the country which will be submitted by the Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday.
Roque said the IATF will submit its recommendations for the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte once appeals by the local government units on the quarantine restrictions have been finalized.
Metro Manila is currently under general community quarantine (GCQ) as well as Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal, Lapu Lapu City, Mandaue City, Ormoc City, Southern Leyte, Talisay, Minglanilla, and Consolacion in Cebu Province, Zamboanga City, Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, and Basilan in Mindanao.
Cebu City is under enhanced community quarantine while the rest of the country are placed under the more relaxed modified GCQ with strict local action.
Roque also said that “major changes” may be implemented in the government’s response against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), adding that these changes will focus more on the policies to contain the public health crisis.
He said these changes may include massive testing, “invigorated” tracing, and creation of more quarantine facilities.
As of July 28, the Philippines has recorded a total of 83,673 coronavirus infections, 55,109 of which are active cases.
The DOH said 1,678 additional cases were reported based on the total tests done by 81 of the 91 operational laboratories.
The department likewise reported 173 new recoveries, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 26,617. The death toll also increased to 1,947 with four new fatalities. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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