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Malacañang confident Congress will pass 2019 national budget

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, 18 January 2019 02:32 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang believes there is no need to pressure Congress to pass the proposed 2019 national budget.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the lawmakers themselves know very well how important the passage of the measure is for the overall state of the country.

“I am sure they will be passing that naman. They are all concerned with the services, the infrastructures that will be affected,” Panelo said.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III previously said the Senate targets to pass the measure on the second and third reading before the end of January.

House Minority Floor Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. already filed a petition for mandamus in the Supreme Court (SC) to compel Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno to release the fund for the salary increase of government personnel.

Diokno argued, however, that such a request has no legal basis unless the proposed 2019 General Appropriations Act is passed.

Once enacted, the fourth tranche of wage hike for government workers will be enforced specifically for teachers, soldiers and police.

“If the budget is approved, then the petition becomes moot and academic,” Panelo said.

When asked if Malacañang feels confident that the national budget will be approved, Panelo said, ” “I think so. I was with the Speaker Arroyo. She mentioned that most likely it will pass,” — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Malacañang: Renaming the Philippines requires change in the Constitution

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, 12 February 2019 06:14 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Changing the name of the Philippines will require a change in the Constitution.

This was noted by Malacañang on Tuesday (February 12) when the issue on renaming the Philippines resurfaced after President Rodrigo Duterte hinted that he is amenable to using “Maharlika” as the country’s new name in the future.

During his speech in Maguindanao on Monday (February 11), President Duterte expressed his agreement to the late President Ferdinand Marcos’ proposal of changing the country’s name to Maharlika as it better suits the Filipinos’ native roots.

“The Philippines was discovered by Magellan using the money of King Philip. Okay na iyan. Balang araw palitan natin. Actually, tama si Marcos. Gusto niyang palitan — Maharlika,” President Duterte said in his speech.

In the 16th century, the Philippines was named ‘Las Islas Filipinas’
by Spanish explorer Ruy Lopez de Villalobos in honor of King Philip II of Spain when the country was still a Spanish colony.

It officially became the Republic of the Philippines in 1946 when the United States of America relinquished its sovereignty over the Philippine islands.

In 1978, former Sen. Eddie Ilarde filed Parliamentary Bill 195 which sought to change the name of the Philippines to Maharlika, a Tagalog word attributed to nobility and royalty.

Netizens took to social media to post their views on the matter:

“Tama lang na Republic of #Maharlika. Royal Malayan blood ang dating. Pag Philippines kasi, we are reminded of being conquered,” wrote Twitter user @millionairex7s.

“Agree with changing Pinas’ name, but #maharlika? Too abstract a word for me. I can’t relate to it. Maybe ‘Republic of Malay’ — that I can live with,” said @visayasKami.

Others just straight up oppose the idea of changing names.

“From Republic of the Philippines to Republic of Maharlika??? How about a ‘no’,” said @sanandresmariel.

“OK, I support the pres, but dude, it’s not the right time to change that. We should focus on more important things,” wrote @avbxiii.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo clarified, however, that though the President was just aiming at opening a discussion on the matter, the proposal would need a charter change.

“Mas preferred siguro kung constitutional amendment para wala nang question,” he said.

There had been many attempts to change the name of the Philippines in previous Congresses but not a single legislation prospered. — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mon Jocson)

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Malacañang hits ‘scaremongers’ spreading fake news about Duterte’s health

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, 4 February 2019 04:05 PM

A screenshot of President Rodrigo Duterte’s live broadcast via Facebook dispelling the rumors about him being dead. (SOURCE: Honeylet Avancena FB)

MANILA, Philippines – The Duterte administration has no plans of suing those who spread fake news about President Rodrigo Duterte’s health.

“Ordinaryo na iyan. We’re used to that anyway. So let it be,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

Panelo noted that such fake news are the machinations of the administration’s critics. But the Palace expressed confidence that majority of the Filipinos remain in support of the Duterte administration.

“Sinasadya nila iyan, mga kritiko. Actually galing iyan sa mga kalaban ni Presidente hindi sa mga ordinaryong tao,” he explained.

A report on the alleged death of the President circulated on social media during the weekend with calls for the possible take over of Vice President Leni Robredo.

In response to the hoax, President Duterte’s partner Honeylet Avanceña posted a video of the President to clarify the rumors.

“For those who believe in the news that I passed away. Then I request of you, please pray for me, for the eternal repose of my soul. Thank you,” the President said in the video.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea asserted that the President is doing fine.

“He (President Rodrigo Duterte) is okay and ready to rumble. Hindi naman siya sa si Superman. Siya po ay tao po lamang na paminsan-minsan ay “not feeling well di ba?” Medialdea said.

Panelo, meanwhile, assured that the President’s health is in the best condition and explained that he just needed some rest in preparation for his busy schedule in the next few days.

The Presidential Spokesperson argued that if ever there is one person who knows of the President’s health, it is President Duterte himself so it is him who decides to rest if he feels he needed one. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Malacañang: New measure on public access to SALN will violate the law

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, 4 February 2019 03:27 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang insists that as a separate institution, it will not meddle in the affairs of Congress.

However, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the measure which Congress is pushing under House Speaker Gloria Arroyo will violate the Constitution.

Panelo was referring to House Resolution Number 2467 which seeks to tighten the procedure by way the public can access the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) of lawmakers and regular employees of the government.

The proposed bill demands approval from the House plenary to be able for the public to have access on the SALN.

In case of individual request, it should get the approval from the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) before release.

Panelo cited in particular Article 11 of the Philippine Constitution which requires all public officials to submit their respective SALNs while Article 3, Section 7 provides the public the privilege to access information of public concern.

Panelo added that it was President Rodrigo Duterte himself who first ordered transparency in the executive branch when he released Executive Order 2 in relation to the Freedom of Information.

The Presidential Spokesperson also noted that anything that will add burden to the public in accessing public information will be violate the rights of the people and will be against the principle of transparency and accountability on workers of the government. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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