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Malacañang: Congress should explain P2.4-B realignment in 2019 proposed budget

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, December 7th, 2018

 

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Gloria Arroyo and other congressmen should provide clarifications concerning funds that were allegedly realigned to their districts in the House version of the 2019 proposed national budget, according to Malacañang.

This was after negative reactions surfaced from different quarters on the alleged existence of pork barrel in the 2019 proposed budget.

On Wednesday, Senator Panfilo Lacson presented a list of what he believes are inserted pork barrel funds in the P3.575 trillion budget transmitted from Congress, including billions of pesos allocated to the projects in the districts of two lawmakers.

On the other hand, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said, “I think we should ask the Speaker why the allocation is that large as compared to others…the fact that some quarters are reacting, it behooves those who are involved in the realignment to respond to the protest of some elements of the society.”

However, Malacañang reiterated it is a different issue if the realignment can be justified.

The official also assured that the government will not allow any form of corruption.

“If the Speaker or whoever is involved with that realignment can justify why there is a need to place that kind of amount in a particular area and the other areas don’t need that, then that could be justified. If the other areas need that kind of money, and you’re depriving them of that, then there’s something wrong with that,” said Panelo.

Malacañang is also confident that President Duterte won’t allow the budget proposal of his administration to be used in corruption.

It is also possible for the president to veto line items in the proposed budget when necessary.

“The president can always use the veto power if he feels that there is a need for that,” said Panelo. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

 

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Duterte still most trusted PH government official — Pulse Asia

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

An undated handout photo made available by the Presidential Photographers Division (PPD) shows Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (center) is greeted by supporters during his meeting with the Filipino community in Seoul, South Korea (issued on 16 July 2019).

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is still the most trusted government official in the country based on the latest survey of the Pulse Asia Research, Incorporated released on Wednesday (July 17).

Pulse Asia reported that Duterte got an 85 percent approval and trust rating in the survey conducted from June 24 to 30.

The figure was two points below the 87 percent that Duterte received in March.

Only three percent of the 1,200 survey respondents said they disapprove of Duterte’s performance as chief executive, 4 percent claimed to have small or no trust in him while 11 percent were undecided.

Earlier this month, Duterte also got a new personal record-high satisfaction rating of 80 percent despite the ramming incident near Recto Bank in June, according to the survey of Social Weather Stations.

READ: Record-high rating: Duterte’s ‘political will’ makes him unique – Analyst

Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo, meanwhile, obtained a 55 percent approval rating and 52 percent trust rating; 26 percent claimed they have small or no trust in her while 24 percent disapproved of her performance as vice president.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III also enjoyed high ratings in the latest survey, garnering 77 percent approval rating and 73 percent trust rating.

Pulse Asia noted that approval is the predominant opinion as regards the work of President Duterte and Senate President Sotto across geographic areas. Vice-President Robredo enjoys majority approval in most geographic areas and socio-economic groupings, with only Metro Manilans and those in Class ABC withholding majority scores from her.

On the other hand, former House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo got 26 percent approval rating and 22 percent trust rating while Supreme Court Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin obtained 41 percent approval rating and 35 percent trust rating.

Among the key issues that dominated headlines during the survey period were the reported ramming of a Filipino fishing vessel in Recto Bank; the explosion in Indanan, Sulu; the public school teachers’ plea for pay hike; fraud allegations in the May 2019 polls; the call made by 11 United Nations experts for the conduct of a probe on the human rights situation in the Philippines; deportation from Hong Kong of former DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario and Philhealth “ghost” dialysis claims.

Pulse Asia said it has 95 percent confidence level in the survey results with an error margin of +/-2.8 percent.

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Senators divided over PH’s possible withdrawal from UN human rights body

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2019

UNHRC Hall | Courtesy: United Nations Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.’s tweet about the Philippines’ possible withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) earned mixed reactions from members of the Senate.

In reaction to the issue, Senator Panfilo Lacson said the Philippines may face unfavorable consequences in the future with its withdrawal from different UN bodies.

“It may be a matter of time when we will be left to our own devices. We do not know when, but being a developing country, we may need to knock on the doors of the community of nations sooner or later,” Lacson said in statement on Monday (July 15).

For his part, Senator Francis Pangilinan believes there will come a time when the Philippines will have to explain the outcome of the government’s drive against illegal drugs.

“We can run but we can’t hide. Sooner or later we will have to explain if not to the international community at the very least to ourselves and our citizens why tens of thousands have been killed,” Pangilinan said.

“Yet the drug menace has become worse while drug syndicates and customs officials behind the smuggling of tons of shabu through the BoC go unpunished,” he added.

But Senate President Vicente Sotto III expressed support to whatever the Foreign Affairs Department proposes best for the country.

“He would be in the best position to assess what is beneficial for our country as far as diplomacy with others is concerned,” Sotto said of Locsin.

Locsin posted the idea on Saturday (July 13) when a netizen inquired about how the Philippine representation in Iceland reacted to the Council’s approval of Iceland’s resolution seeking to probe into the human rights situation in the Philippines in relation to the Duterte administration’s drug war.

READ: Philippines eyes withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council

The resolution garnered 18 affirmative votes, 14 negative and 15 abstentions. – with details from Nel Maribojoc.

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Know: Personalities who are likely to join Presidential Race in 2022

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Thursday, June 27th, 2019

It’s still three years before President Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends, and yet, this early, several names are already floating to likely run in the presidential race in 2022.

Among the list is Senator Cynthia Villar who also topped the senatorial elections this year.

Even President Duterte had, at one point, mentioned supporting the Villars in case anyone of them decides to run in 2022.

“One of the factors kung bakit ako pumayag, si Speaker (Manny Villar). Kaya kung may presidente na suportahan ko, si Speaker [one of the factors is Speaker (Manny Villar). If there is anyone I will support for presidency, it’s the Speaker],” said the President.

Senator Villar thanked the President for his trust. She, however, maintained that it is still too early to announce any decision regarding the 2022 elections.

“We thank President Duterte for his trust and confidence. Manny and I think 2022 is so far away and we are just focusing our efforts in reelecting me as senator in 2019,” Villar said.

On the other hand, the name of Senate President Vicente Sotto III was also mentioned by President Duterte in his first State of the Nation Address in 2016.

President Duterte said Sotto can become the president once Federalism is approved in Congress and the need for the new president arose.

Another name floating is that of Senator Panfilo Lacson, who had recently denied in his Twitter post that he is already posturing for the 2022 elections.

This came about when the senator had been actively giving his opinions on issues on his social media account.

Read: Lacson tells critics: I’m not posturing for 2022 polls

Lacson ran but lost in 2004 Presidential race. He, however, said he is not closing any doors for the possibility of running for the said position again.

Senator Richard Gordon has also been alluded to by the President in his 2017 SONA as the country’s potential top leader.

Vice President Leni Robredo, on the other hand, is also not brushing off the possibility of aiming for the highest position in the government.

She was quick to add, however, that this is not something that one plans, believing it as part of destiny.

Even presidential daughter Mayor Sarah Duterte-Carpio is also being seen as the one who will follow her father’s footsteps. 

She said, however, that this matter is not in her mind yet as she is focusing on her job as the chief executive of Davao City. (with reports from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

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