Opposition not surprised by Duterte axing Robredo from ICAD

Marje Pelayo   •   November 25, 2019   •   298

MANILA, Philippines – The recent dismissal of Vice President Leni Robredo from her position as co-chairperson of the Interagency Committee on Anti-Drugs (ICAD) drew flak from critics of the Duterte administration.

Senator Francis Pangilinan lambasted the Duterte administration for not keeping its word to the people.

He claimed the administration is being threatened by the vice president’s growing popularity.

“Malacañang did not just blink. Parang silang napuwing nang todo-todo. Umatras,” Pangilinan tweeted.

“Dahil sa takot at pangamba na lalo pang lumawak ang suporta kay VP Leni bunga ng mas maayos at higit na epektibong kampanya laban sa iligal na droga, agad-agad nilang tinanggal siya sa ICAD,” he added.

Senior Deputy Minority Leader Rep. Carlos Zarate, meanwhile, said Robredo’s dismissal was expected.

“The firing of VP Leni is bound to happen because the Duterte administration’s campaign against drugs is truly a sham,” Zarate said.

“From day one of her appointment up until she was fired, she was already a threat to the Duterte administration’s bloody yet fake drug campaign,” he added.

On the other hand, Albay First District Rep. Edcel Lagman said it was wrong of Robredo to take Duterte’s offer seriously, adding that the vice president should not have accepted the offer because it was a set up for her to fail.

“The mistake of Vice President Leni Robredo is that she took her role as anti-drugs czar very seriously while President Rodrigo Duterte considered her appointment as a flippant joke and an off-the-cuff reaction to her criticisms on his bloody war against drugs,” Lagman noted.

“From the very start, Robredo was set up to fail.” He added.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, meanwhile, accused the administration of covering up its incompetency in hosting the 30th South East Asian Games in the country.

“The timing of this decision is not surprising to me. I won’t be surprised if this is yet another attempt to draw public attention away from widespread anomalies & incompetent and embarrassing handling of the SEA Games,” Hontiveros said in a statement.

But Malacañang denied on Sunday (November 24) that Robredo’s dismissal was a move to divert public attention away from the failures in organizing the SEA Games.

“The SEA Games organizers have apologized. You cannot discount any delays, incident of non-transport or late checking-in given the fact that there are so many athletes coming in,” Panelo said.

He added that such circumstance cannot be avoided and was never intentional. MNP (with inputs from Harlene Delgado)

Duterte creates inter-agency task force on zero-hunger

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 16, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order creating an inter-agency task force to end hunger in the country.

Based on Executive Order no. 101, an inter-agency task force on zero-hunger will be created which will be chaired by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

“Involuntary hunger, food security, undernutrition and child wasting, stunting, and mortality continue to be serious concerns in the country,” the executive order reads.

The task force aims to assure that all government policies, programs and projects are centered in maintaining zero-hunger in the country.

“There is a need to carefully coordinate, rationalize, monitor and assess the efforts of concerned government agencies and instrumentalities to ensure a whole-of-government approach to eradicating hunger and achieving food security,” it further reads.

The members of the task force include the secretaries of agrarian reform, budget, education, environment, health, labor, interior and local government, trade, science and technology, communications, National Economic and Development Authority director-general, and the head of the Commission on Higher Education.

The fund for the task force will be taken from the allotted budget of the members.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte grants gratuity pay for gov’t job order, contractual workers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 16, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the gratuity pay for 2019 government job offers and contractual workers.

The Chief Executive signed Administrative Order no. 20 which grants a one-time gratuity pay, ranging from P1,000 to P3,000, for contractual and job order workers in the government.

Workers who rendered four months of satisfactory performance will receive P3,000 worth of gratuity pay. Meanwhile, those who rendered service for less than four months will receive P1,000 to P2,000.

“Granting a year-end gratuity pay to JO (job order) and COS (contract of service) workers is a well-deserved recognition of their hard work,” the administrative order reads.

Malacañang also said this will serve as recognition for their service.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte urges evacuees not to return home until situation in Taal is safe

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 15, 2020

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers a speech during his visit to the families affected by the Taal Volcano eruption at the Batangas City Sports Coliseum on January 14, 2020. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte urged evacuees not to return to their homes yet until the situation in the Taal region is considered safe.

“Wala munang babalik doon hangga’t hindi mag-kalma ang panahon (No one is allowed to return until the situation is calmer). Nobody is allowed to go there, to go back until such time that you are safe,” he said.

The chief executive visited over 1,000 evacuees currently taking shelter in Batangas Provincial Sports Complex. He also distributed cash assistance worth P3,000 and food packs.

Over 30,000 residents were evacuated from Batangas and Cavite after authorities raised alert level 4 on Sunday (January 12) due to Taal Volcano’s eruption.

Duterte also assured the evacuees that the local government, government agencies, and members of his Cabinet will be open to provide assistance to those in need.

“I am really very pleased, very happy that all agencies are here on hand and trying their best to do their best to help the community,” he said. —AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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