Lucas Bersamin is Duterte’s new Chief Justice

Marje Pelayo   •   November 28, 2018   •   5547

 

Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin (Image courtesy of Supreme Court via Twitter)

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday (November 28) has appointed Supreme Court Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin as the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (SC).

 Bersamin served as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals in March 2003 before he was assigned to the Supreme Court in 2009.

 Prior to this, he served as judge at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 96 following years of private practice.

Among the notable cases that Bersamin handled was the declaration of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) of former President Benigno Aquino III as unconstitutional and the bail granted to former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.

Also, he voted in favor of the interment of the late President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani as well as in the controversial ouster of former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Bersamin will retire on October 18, 2019. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

Duterte’s net satisfaction rating dips to 62% based on recent SWS survey

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The recent net satisfaction rating of President Rodrigo Duterte dropped to +62, based on the recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

Results of the June 2021 survey showed that the president’s rating dropped to +62, which is a 17-point drop from a peak of +79 in the November 2020 survey.

In the May 2021 poll, Duterte got a net satisfaction rate of +65. The SWS released the three results on Thursday (September 23).

The June 2021 survey showed that 75% of the respondents said they were“very/somewhat satisfied” with the president’s performance, 13% indicated that they were “very/somewhat dissatisfied”, while 12% are undecided.

In the May 2021 survey, meanwhile, Duterte received a net satisfaction rate of +65, where 75% of the respondents were “very/somewhat satisfied”, 10% were “very/somewhat dissatisfied”, and 15% were undecided on the matter.

The president got a high rating in November 2020 with +79 rating,  51% of the respondents said they were “very satisfied,” 33% were “somewhat satisfied,” while 9% were “undecided,” 4% were “somewhat dissatisfied,” and 2% were “very dissatisfied.”

Despite the dip in rating, SWS fellow Geoffrey Ducanes said respondents in the recent survey were satisfied with the government’s response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Most people don’t think the government mismanaged the pandemic. They actually gave the government relatively high rating in terms of taking care of those who got COVID-19 and also relatively high rating in terms of vaccination,” he said.

Meanwhile, the delay in the results release, according to Ducanes was due to the COVID-19 pandemic where the agency had to conduct phone interviews. AAC (with reports from Lucille Lloren) 

 

Velasco asks Duterte to reconsider mandatory face shield policy

Marje Pelayo   •   September 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Allan Velasco has asked President Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider the mandatory use of face shields as an added protection against COVID-19.

In a letter to the President dated September 20, Velasco said the face shield requirement only poses an added financial burden to Filipinos who are already struggling economically due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Velasco also cited the absence of solid medical proof that the use of plastic face shields is effective against COVID-19 transmission.

“The use of face shields has made little difference in protecting against the transmission of COVID-19 over the proper use of masks alone, and imposes an additional burden to poor Filipino families already reeling from the adverse effect of the pandemic on their livelihood,” Velasco pointed out.

In his letter, Velasco recommended that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and the Department of Health (DOH) to reconsider the policy for the general public when going out of their homes or indoors, including in malls, commercial establishments, and public transportation.

Velasco cited the latest survey conducted by the World Bank entitled COVID-19 Low Income Household Panel and Economic (HOPE) showing the impact of the pandemic on the poorest households.

He said: “COVID-19 has worsened hunger among Filipinos. The cost of a face shield of about P20 to P50 is already a substantial amount equivalent to the cost of a meal for these poor Filipinos.”

Also, he noted that the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommend the use of face shields, only for those providing direct care to patients with COVID-19.

He added that based on studies conducted by physician-researchers of Wayne State University School of Medicine, combining the use of face shields and masks made little difference over the use of masks alone.

Even in the Philippine context, Velasco said that combining the use of face shields and masks made little difference over the use of masks alone which poses doubt on the efficacy of the use of face shields.

Duterte to join high-level general debate in UN General Assembly

Maris Federez   •   September 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will once again participate in the high-level general debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to be held on Sept. 21 to 27.

“The President will speak on the first day of the High-Level General Debate on 21 September 2021 within the 1600H-1800H window, New York time (22 September 2021 between 0400H and 0600H, Philippine Standard Time),” Malacañang said in a statement Sunday.

The President is expected to discuss, among other topics, the Philippines’ position on “global issues of key concern namely universal access to Covid-19 vaccines, climate change, human rights, including the situation of migrant workers and refugees, and international and regional security developments.”

The high-level general debate will be presided over by the incoming president of the 76th UNGA, H.E. Abdulla Shahid of Maldives.

It will follow a hybrid format of in-person and virtual attendance of delegates, in view of the evolving situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The UNGA is the main deliberating organ of the UN where all the 193 member states are represented.

The 2021 session will center on the theme, “Building resilience through hope – to recover from Covid-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalize the United Nations.”

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