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Malacañang slams House over ‘unparliamentary behavior’ against Budget Secretary Diokno

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, 14 December 2018 08:28 PM


IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_092017_Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno

FILE PHOTO: Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno

MANILA, Philippines – The Palace slammed the Lower House for treating Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno with ‘disrespect’ during the question hour on Tuesday (December 11).

In a statement on Friday (December 14), Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo called the Lower House’s adoption of House Resolution No. 2365 as ‘unparliamentary’ and something unexpected from people who call themselves honorable.

“This unparliamentary behavior has no place in the hallowed grounds of Congress, where members are referred to as “Honorable” as they represent their districts or sectors. There is no honor in browbeating a fellow worker and officer in government,” he said.

Cabinet members of the Duterte administration have sent letters to President Rodrigo Duterte expressing their support to Budget Secretary Diokno.

They argued that such an action by the members of the Lower House against Diokno appeared like prosecuting the Budget official and thus constitute a disrespect not only of his position but of the democratic process.

“We have witnessed the disrespect and utter lack of courtesy displayed by members of the House of Representatives towards Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno. The Congressional resolution urging the reconsideration of the DBM secretary’s appointment is a sheer violation of the separation of powers on the basis of a seemingly biased and hastily called ‘Question Hour,’” their letter read.

Also, the Duterte officials alleged that the resolution, which was swiftly approved, was “politically motivated and reeks of power play and ill purpose.”

According to Panelo: “It is incumbent upon Congress to accord utmost respect, show sobriety and observe the demands of ethical refinements when inviting officials from the other branches of government in their committee hearings” given that officials, such as Diokno, “are invited as resource persons to shed light on issues of national concern that our lawmakers hope to hear and understand.”

Because of what happened, Panelo said Cabinet members have the ‘option’ not to attend any congressional hearing or immediately leave if they feel that their position is being disrespected.

“We have many options. One, we will decline any invitation if we feel that they will be repeating the same kind of treatment that a member of Cabinet would suffer in the process,” Panelo said.

“Number two, we will go there if invited, but the moment any sign of disrespect is given a member of Cabinet, we will excuse ourselves and beg leave from the committee hearing,” he added.

“The way the questions propounded by member of Congress Andaya, we saw the video in the news and we saw how arrogantly he threw questions at Secretary Diokno and how he mocked him,” the Presidential Spokesperson continued.

Still, Panelo said the Palace leaves it is up the judgment of the members of the Congress, particularly the House Ethics Committee, if they will enforce a disciplinary action against Andaya.

“I suppose having said our stand, they would know that this time that we will not allow any further disrespect to a fellow worker of government,” he said.

After everything has been said and done, the Palace official notes that the administration “will not allow a similar incident from taking place” in the future.

Meanwhile, the Palace expressed disappointment over the non-passage of the 2019 National Budget before the holiday break and put the blame to the Lower House for the matter.

‘The failure is not our part but on them…We are of course disappointed it did not pass as expected,” Panelo said.

Panelo said they are expecting that both Houses of Congress will immediately work on the passing of the national budget once the session resumes on January 14, 2019. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Duterte endorses 11 senatorial bets; drops Jinggoy Estrada

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, 15 February 2019 01:46 PM

Proclamation and Kick-off rally of PDP-Laban on February 14, 2019 in San Juan Del Monte, Bulacan

BULACAN, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte formally endorsed his senatorial line up for the 2019 midterm elections.

Five senatorial aspirants from the ruling party PDP-Laban made it to Duterte’s list.

They are named by the acronym – ‘MaBaGoKoTo”.

‘Ma’ stands for Mangudadatu referring to the Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu.

‘Ba’ stands for Bato referring to former PNP and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Chief Ronald dela Rosa.

‘Go’ stands for Go referring to former Special Assistant to the President Christopher ‘Bong’ Go.

‘Ko’ is for Koko, the first name of reelectionist Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel;

‘To’ is for Tolentino, referring to former Presidential Political Adviser Francis Tolentino.

In addition to his five party mates, the President also named seven guest candidates on his lineup of senatorial bets.

They are Senators Cynthia Villar, Sonny Angara and JV Ejercito; Taguig Representative Pia Cayetano; Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos; and music icon Freddie Aguilar.

Maraming bisaya dito. Kapag natalo itong mga kandidato ko, balikan ko kayo,” the President said in jest during the initial campaign rally in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan.

“Salamat ha. Ako si Rodrgo Duterte. I am a government worker. Kaming lahat nasa gobyerno nagtratrabaho para sa inyo,” he said to the audience.

The senatorial hopefuls in return promised the President that his trust will not be in vain as they vowed to support the advocacies and programs of the government particularly in eliminating corruption and illegal drugs.

“Twenty-one (21) years po akong nagserbisyo kay Pangulong Duterte,at sa Pilipino. Asahan ninyo po serbisyo din po ang katapat niyan,” vowed Go.

Ang numero ko kasi sa balota 24 (so) bente kwatro oras na serbisyo, bente kwatro oras na proteksyon, na pagmamahal,” promised Dela Rosa.

Meanwhile, former senator Jinggoy Estrada’s name was notably missing from the President’s lineup of senatorial bets.

President Duterte did not even mention Estrada’s name during his speech, some observers said.

In an ambush interview following the campaign sortie, President Duterte said it was too late when he was informed about Estrada’s senatorial bid.

“Too late. They gave me the signal too late. Actually, about almost a year ago I was already forming the ticket,” he said.

Overall, Duterte has 11 senatorial candidates on his list for the 2019 midterm polls. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz / Nestor Torres)

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Duterte not seeking support from religious groups for admin bets – Malacañang

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, 13 February 2019 10:32 AM

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang defended President Rodrigo Duterte from critics who are claiming the President owes part of his presidential win from religious groups.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said, even during President Duterte’s time as mayor of Davao City, he did not seek support from church leaders for himself and will definitely never do it for the admin candidates in the 2019 midterm polls.

“The President never asks help from any specific religion. What he does is he expresses himself and he tells us why he is doing this and that,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malacañang is appealing to all candidates to strictly abide by election policies to ensure an orderly, peaceful and honest elections in May.

“Every government, every administration, always appeals to the candidates to strictly observe the election laws. We have to have clean, honest, fair, credible elections,” Panelo noted.

He also assured that the President is not using any government fund to push the campaign of admin candidates.

What he is doing, Panelo stressed, are all verbal endorsements.

If ever an opposition candidate wins the election, Panelo said it does not infer that the President’s endorsement power is dwindling .

“It only means when an opposition candidate wins, it means an expression of the electorate telling them that we are putting you there to cooperate with this administration because we believe in this presidency, and not you to destabilize it,” the Presidential Spokesperson concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Duterte to fire two DAR officials over corruption

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, 30 January 2019 07:32 AM


MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte hinted that he will fire two officials of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) due to corruption and negligence over a land reform application that was stalled for two years.

“Ah may tanggalin ako sa—dalawa — sa DAR. An application that was long delayed, two years sa opisina nila. That is corruption to me” the President said during the groundbreaking of a hospital in Malabon on Tuesday (January 29).

The Chief Executive warned the two to resign or face charges.

He added that he will not allow delays in the processing of documents unless the officials can justify them.

“I will ask them to resign or else I will file charges against them and I will see to it they will get their comeuppance,” the President said. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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