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Malacañang awaits word from HOR on blocked budget

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2018


QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The sudden suspension of the budget hearing in the Lower House of Congress for the proposed 2019 National Budget raised questions from Malacañang on the kind of relationship that the Executive branch has with the Legislative body.

This, despite having the Lower House’s “super-majority” or the large number of solons allied with the Duterte administration.

Though Malacañang stressed it is not blaming anyone, the Palace admitted it has yet to hear anything about the issue from House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“Let’s just say with the budget being rejected by Congress, we don’t know what ties we have with the House now. We’d like to think that they continue to be important allies of the President, but apparently the change of leadership has also brought in a different kind of relationship,” explained Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

For now, the Palace regards this as a simple misunderstanding. Still, it would let the Congress explain about the issue.

But Roque said President Duterte does not believe Congress will reject the proposed national budget.

 “As of now, I think he’s giving the Congress the benefit of the doubt. He does not actually want to accept that for the first time, Congress does not want to enact on his budget,” the Spokesperson added.

Malacañang is also firm on the use of cash-based budgeting system for next year.

However, if Congress rejects the proposal, the government will be compelled to have a re-enacted budget for 2019.

Under the cash-based budgeting system, government agencies will only propose projects to be funded and implemented within the fiscal year.

The Congress has earlier expressed concerns that under this system, the “Build, Build, Build Program” of the Duterte administration will suffer, though the economic managers have said otherwise. – Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo

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GIS EXCLUSIVE: Atty. Harry Roque eyes reform in PH judicial system if elected

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

(L-R) Talk show host, Daniel Razon and former presidential spokesperson, Atty. Harry Roque on the set of Get It Straight with Daniel Razon

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque wants reforms in the country’s judicial system.

If given the chance in the Senate in the upcoming May midterm elections, Roque said he will push for the inquisitorial system in court trials.

The inquisitorial system, as opposed to the other method which is the adversarial system, is a legal practice of exposing evidence in court where the judge acts not only as a passive recipient of information but is primary responsible for gathering the pieces of evidence needed in the case while simultaneously representing the interest of the state.

In an interview with Get It Straight with Daniel Razon, Roque explained that under the inquisitorial method, court proceedings will be expedited, unlike the adversarial system currently adopted in the Philippines where the court only acts as a referee between the prosecution and the defense.

Roque was among the legal counsels of the victims in the long-standing Maguindanao Massacre which remain unsolved since it happened in November 2009.

“Bulok ang sistema natin. Hindi gumagana. Hindi katanggap-tanggap. Ang aking solusyon dyan, ibalik natin sa inquisitorial (system) gawin natin na ang huwes na ang kukuha sa ebidensya hindi na magaantay ng pagsusumite ng mga ebidensya sa korte. Kunin na niya at siya na ang magdesisyon sa lalong mabilis na panahon,” Roque explained.

He would also push for amendment in the existing Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.

He would propose to lower the oil price ceiling of US$80 to US$60 as basis for suspending the excise tax on oil.

Despite the fact that his views sometimes oppose that of President Rodrigo Duterte, Roque said he still supports the President’s war on drugs and his policies regarding West Philippine Sea.

He believes it is better for the Philippines to be friends with China to be able to negotiate matters lightly and easily.

“Mas importante na makipagkaibigan tayo. Bakit? Kapag kaibigan mo ang isang bansa mas madali kang magkaroon ng areglo. Wala namang pinagkaiba iyan sa kaso sa Pilipinas na kapag mabuti ang relasyon doon sa mga nagdedemandahan mas maaga at mas malakas ang possibility na magkakaroon ng compromise agreement,” the human rights lawyer said.

Roque thanked Kuya Daniel Razon for opening his program to election hopefuls like him so that they are able to introduce their platform of government without spending a centavo.

“Ang mga walang perang gaya ko ang pagasa lamang ang mga programang gaya nito,” he concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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Palace unworried over travel advisories vs. Mindanao travel

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang is unfazed by the travel advisories released by United Kingdom and Australia to their nationals against travel to Mindanao.

This is due to a bombing incident at a mall in Cotabato City.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that it is only normal for foreign governments to be concerned over the security of their citizens.

The palace defended that the Cotabato blast is an isolated case.

“But yun ay isolated case lang naman, so, in so far as the national defense secretary is concern, it’s very safe to travel sa Mindanao,” said Panelo. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Malacañang assures passenger safety a gov’t priority in NAIA

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, December 28th, 2018

Image grabbed from commons.wikimedia.org

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang is scrutinizing the latest travel advisory issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) alleging security measures at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as deficient.

The advisory which circulated on social media on Wednesday (December 26) said NAIA “does not maintain and carry out effective security consistent with the security standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).”

“In view of this finding and effective immediately, airlines issuing tickets for travel between the United States and MNL are directed to notify passengers in writing of this determination,” the advisory further stated.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in response to the issue assured on Friday (December 28) that passenger safety remains the government’s utmost priority in NAIA.

“We assure everyone that the Philippine government, through the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and the Office for Transportation Security (OTS), is prioritizing the implementation of strict security measures at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport,” Panelo said.

Among the recommendations are the procurement of additional x-ray machines, walk-through metal detectors and alarm systems.

These improvements, however, will be realized on the second quarter of 2019 as they need to go through proper government procedure, according to Panelo.

He added that the government is also taking into consideration the inputs from global partners such as the International Civil Aviation Organization on the issue.

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is confident that the country has enough defense against terror threats in NAIA.

He noted, however, that the government cannot discount the fact that the country’s main gateway is a potential target for terrorists.

Lorenzana believes the US travel advisory referred to the rules and regulations being imposed in NAIA and not about it being vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

“Hindi naman siguro. I think it’s the management of the airport, the way passengers are being screened, ang mga equipment natin, if they are not adequate,” he said.

Nevertheless, the Defense Secretary calls on the public to be vigilant and alert against lawless elements and to keep safe at all times especially this holiday season particularly when going to crowded areas. –  Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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