Malacañang will not intervene in the disputes of Congress over Charter Change
UNTV News • January 24, 2018 • 3056
MANILA, Philippines – Amending the 1987 Constitution to pave the way for the change in the form of government from unitary to federal remains to be the priority of the Duterte Administration.
But at present, the Senate and the Lower House do not agree on which method to use in revising the Constitution.
For its part, Malacañang remains firm that it will not intervene and will let the legislative branch to resolve the matter.
“In this issue, even some justices of the Supreme Court say that the judiciary cannot intervene in this issue. It is just the Congress that can resolve this and that is the stand of Malacañang,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Meanwhile, Malacañang is confident that Congress understands President Rodrigo Duterte’s stand not to extend his term.
This was after Senate President Koko Pimentel said that the term of the president should be extended during the transition period of the country to federalism.
“I am telling you now, if I extend my term event just for one day, I am now asking the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the PNP not to allow me or anybody else to mess up with the Constitution. If I extend, if I want to be a dictator, shoot me, I am not flattering you,” Duterte said.
“I don’t think the majority would want constitutional succession, so they better provide for a transition that would mean that the president will step down in 2022,” Roque said. – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue
President Rodrigo Duterte has relieved the officials and personnel of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) who are linked to the ‘pastillas scheme’.
The so-called ‘pastillas’ bribery scheme provides ‘VIP treatment’ to Chinese nationals who will pay P10,000 to Immigration officials.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, charges are also expected to be filed against the involved personnel.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has relieved all officials and employees of the Bureau of Immigration who are involved in the latest bribery scheme where they purportedly facilitate the entry into—and exit from—Philippine territory of foreigners working for Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) for an unauthorized fee,” he said.
The Palace official did not mention the identities of the involved Immigration employees or how many were relieved from service.
“May nag-report, may nag-reklamo (Someone filed a report, complaint), and apparently the proof constitutes probable cause. That’s why they were sacked,” Panelo added.
Meanwhile, Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte still trusts BI Chief Jaime Morente. However, there will be a follow-up Cabinet meeting to discuss the present situation in the Immigration Bureau.
“The present situation in the Bureau of Immigration, as well as how it is being run by Commissioner Jaime Morente, will be taken up in the next Cabinet meeting,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang vowed to take action on the reported anomaly inside the Bureau of Immigration (BI) over the so-called ‘pastillas’ scheme.
But the Palace said, it could only act on the matter once a formal complaint is filed.
“Any violation, any transgression, any anomaly, the Palace frowns on it and will act on it, if there are complaints formally filed before its office,” noted Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
Based on an expose by Senator Risa Hontiveros, BI personnel were allegedly taking bribes of up to P10,000 from Chinese nationals who wanted to enter and work in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) industry.
Panelo said the Palace is expecting BI Commissioner Jaime Morente to spearhead the investigation and enforce the necessary actions on involved BI personnel.
“The Immigration commissioner is tasked to do his job. Meaning, apart from the usual governing of his own territory, he has to know if there is an anomaly in his territory and respond to it,” the Palace Spokesperson said.
Five immigration officials were already relieved following the Senate inquiry yesterday.
Malacañang said President Rodrigo Duterte would not hesitate on stopping POGO operations in the country if evidence of corruption is proven because that would definitely have a huge impact on the country’s economy.
“Di ba sabi nga ni Presidente, ‘there is no sacred cow in this government. If it’s against the interest of the people and general welfare, I’ll stop it.’ This is the kind of President we have,” Panelo said. — MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
President Rodrigo Duterte has issued an executive order that will impose price cap on medicines.
Based on Executive Order (EO) 104 or Maximum Drug Retail Price (MDRP) price regulations will be imposed through a maximum retail price (MRP) and maximum wholesale price (MWP) system.
“Access to affordable and quality drugs and medicines is now a reality under the Duterte administration. This is part of the real and lasting reform, which President Duterte has instituted in order that all Filipinos can live decent and comfortable lives,” according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
The EO is expected to lower the cost of medicines as much as 56 percent by May. In the first phase of MDRP, 87 medicines for hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung diseases, major cancers, and other diseases have been included.
The Department of Health (DOH) has proposed 122 medicines and is reviewing to include more.
“DOH, together with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and stakeholders, was also tasked to review the price reduction of the remaining 35 drugs to finalize the list covered by the EO,” according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
The DOH is set to release the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the said EO.
Duque also warned pharmaceutical companies or drug stores not abiding by the EO may face up to 15 years of imprisonment.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
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