Pacquiao camp downplays rumored ouster from PDP-Laban

Maris Federez   •   August 13, 2021   •   328

MANILA, Philippines — The camp of Senator Manny Pacquiao has downplayed the reported move of the Cusi-led faction to oust him from the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

Pacquiao’s group said the move of the faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi is illegal, unauthorized, and does not have basis.

The rumored ouster move surfaced after PDP-Laban Secretary-General Melvin Matibag questioned Pacquiao’s loyalty to the party.

Matibag said Pacquiao remains loyal to the People’s Champ Movement (PCM), the regional party that the senator had previously formed. Such, Matibag stressed, is a violation of the PDP-Laban’s Constitution.

The PDP-Laban official also alleged that Pacquiao has presided over a PCM meeting that passed a resolution to transform the PCM into a national political party.

Matibag said the PDP-Laban national executive committee will meet Friday to discuss the possible ouster of the senator from the party. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

PDP-Laban Cusi-wing meets with Mayor Sara

Maris Federez   •   October 25, 2021

 

The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) Cusi-wing on Monday met with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

In his Facebook post, Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa can be seen with Mayor Sara in the hallway of the Davao City Hall.

Dela Rosa did not elaborate what transpired during their meeting, but in an interview with UNTV News, the party’s presidential bet said he just reminded the young Duterte that the deadline for the substitution of candidates is drawing near.

“I just reminded her that Nov. 15 is fast approaching,” Senator Bato said.

November 15 is the last day for the filing of substitution of candidates in any position in the 2022 National and Local Elections.

Mayor Sara, meanwhile, confirmed the said meeting but did not give any detail.

Yes ma-confirm nako ang post ni Senator Dela Rosa ang iyahang Facebook post na dunay siyay picture nga gi-post. ma-confirm nako na diri na nahitabo sa akoang opisina alas-onse sa udto,” Mayor Sara said in the local dialect.

[Translation: Yes I can confirm ang post ni Senator dela Rosa, ang kanyang Facebook post na picture. I can confirm na dito ‘yan nangyari sa opisina ko kaninang alas-onse ng tanghali.]

Prior to meeting with Senator Bato, Mayor Sara also met presidential aspirant Bong-Bong Marcos in Cebu on Saturday (October 23) during the birthday of Congresswoman Yedda Romualdez, the wife of House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

Pacquiao, Cusi face off in Senate; Gatchalian ousts Matibag from budget hearing

Maris Federez   •   October 21, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Finance Subcommittee hearing on the budget of the Department of Energy on Thursday went sour as Senator Manny Pacquiao took the floor to question DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

Pacquiao and Cusi are members of two opposing factions of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

In the committee hearing, Pacquiao asked Cusi about the alleged “tongpats” or markup in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

The lawmaker also questioned why the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEM-C) remains as a market operator despite the existence of the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP).

“Nakita natin kung paano sinindikato ang mga nasa kapangyarihan ang EPIRA law. Kung yung trabahong para sa isa ay ginawang dalawa kaya doble doble ang bayarin ng mga consumers,” Pacquiao said.

Cusi then explained that PEM-C still manages IEMOP which was created in 2018 as part of the transition stage.

The DOE official also denied the alleged corruption and insisted that they abide by the regulations set by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA).

“Wala pong corruption. Bakit po ang capitalization ng IEMOP is only 7,000? Kasi nga non-profit, non-stock corporation […] Wala pong kinikita yan,” Cusi said.

“Ito pong sinasabing accusation na ganyan, masakit din po ano. And I hope it can be done outside the walls of Senate at kung may kailangan ikaso, ikaso,” he added.

Pacquiao also questioned the alleged relationship between Attorney Matibag who is the president and CEO of the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) and PEM-C, which Matibag himself answered.

“If Sen. Pacquiao only read the EPIRA Law, buo ang kwento nito eh. TRANSCO noon ang operator muna, bago nag PEM-C […] Wala na TransCo diyan. Alam niyo let’s call a spade a spade dito sa hearing na ‘to. This is all political, Sen. Pacquiao. Alam naman natin to, ito yung pinapasabi mo nung bago ka umalis eh. Na sinasabi mo meron kang pasabog,” Matibag said.

This resulted in a heated argument between Pacquiao and Matibag.

It was at this juncture that Senator Sherwin Gatchalian who chaired the committee stepped in and dismissed Matibag from the hearing.

“This is my committee and you have no right calling this hearing a political hearing. The senators are entitled to ask policy questions,” Gatchalian said.

“You’re out of order. You’re no longer recognized. We’ve given you a chance to answer the policy questions but instead, you insulted this committee by calling it a political hearing. Hindi naman fair ‘yon,” he added.

Pacquiao also slammed Matibag’s action.

“Bastos itong si Atty. Matibag eh. Sayang yung pagka-lawyer niya, eh parang walang pinag-aralan,” he said.

“Wag po kayong mainit, wag po kayo magagalit sa’kin katulad ng ginawa ni Atty. Matibag […] Nabastusan ako,” he continued.

Cusi, on the other hand, apologized on Matibag’s behalf.

“I have to apologize for the interaction if you were offended by Atty. Matibag. I have to make that apology considering that he comes from the DOE family, so my apologies,” he said.

The committee set another hearing for the budget of the other attached agencies of the DOE. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

No frontrunner yet among presidential candidates — analyst

Maris Federez   •   October 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines —No frontrunner has yet emerged among the 2022 presidential aspirants, according to political analyst Professor Ramon Casiple.

With the campaign season still yet to start, Casiple said no clear platform has been laid down so far by any of the candidates.

Casiple also noted that even Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s initial declaration not to join the presidential race still cannot be considered as a final decision of the local chief executive. Not until the deadline for the substitution of candidates which is on November 15.

“Alam mo naman sa pulitika wala namang usapang tapos,” he said.

Meanwhile, presidential aspirants have started going out of their way to visit places as a prelude to the election campaign period.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno went to Barangay Banaba in Tarlac City Thursday with his running mate Dr. Willie Ong and the senatorial slate of the Aksyon Demokratiko.

Moreno held a dialogue with a farmer group and presented to them his plans to use government lands nationwide for their benefit, as well as the fisherfolks, in case he wins the elections.

“Naisip ko hindi ako totosgas. Hindi na ako gagastos para bumili ng lupa. Ang gagastusan ko na lang magtatag ako ng cold storage facility para sa dalawang industriya. Gulay tinanong mo, isasabay ko na dito ang isda,” Moreno said.

Labor leader Leody de Guzman, meanwhile, will also focus on the agricultural sector.

He said that, although he doesn’t have the machinery in running his candidacy, he is still hoping for the support of the farmers come election day.

“Buong Pilipinas yan. Forty-five million yan. May 11 million na magsasaka at yan rin ang pangunahing paglilingkuran. Plano ko na buhusan ng pondo ang ating magsasaka at mangingisda para tiyakin yung food security o availablity ng pagkain,” de Guzman said.

Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban Cusi Wing) presidential bet Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa, on the other hand, said he will push for the amendment of the Constitution, particularly its economic provisions.

He said he will advocate for a more welcoming business climate in the country that will encourage foreign investments.

“Yung restrictive economic provisions sa ating Constitution ay dadagdagan natin ng phrase na ‘unless otherwise provided by law’ to give the Senate [Congress] a leeway to decide on yung pagpasok ng mga foreign investments dito, lalong-lalo na sa ownership ng mga lands,” Bato said.

For presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo, as reflected by the color pink, her leadership will be evident through her gentle manner of speaking, working, and reaching out to the people.

These, she said, must also be reflected in the way of life of every Filipino.

“Tayong lahat ang nagdadala nito. Kailangan nating isalamin ang tunay na ibig sabihin ng pink habang suot natin ito. Gumawa ng mabuti, magpaabot ng tulong sa kapwa, maging mahinahon sa pagbabahagi ng ating mensahe,” Robredo said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

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