Palace warns Robredo against ‘revealing state secrets’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 18, 2019   •   464

Malacañang has reiterated President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that Vice President Leni Robredo could be removed as the co-chairman of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-illegal Drugs (ICAD) if she reveals sensitive information about the drug war to foreign individuals and entities.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said revealing state secrets would be damaging to Filipino people.

“Not to mention that under Article 229 of the Revised Penal Code, such revelation of privileged information is a crime which has perpetual special disqualification from office, among its penalties,” he added.

Panelo said the president’s warning came when the vice president previously requested access to all data and documents relating to the government’s war on drugs.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte to announce new quarantine classification on Nov. 30

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 26, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte is set to announce on Monday (November 30) the new quarantine classification that will be implemented for the month of December.

National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez said there might be an ease in the restrictions after the holiday season.

Several areas in the country, including Metro Manila, are currently under general community quarantine (GCQ) for the month of November while other areas are under modified GCQ.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the President will make an announcement on Monday even though it is a holiday.

“I have had to personally change my schedule because I was told na magkakaroon ng talk to the people po ang Presidente sa a-trenta ng Nobyembre (that the President will have a talk to the people on November 30) which is a holiday,” he said during a press briefing. -AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Palace urges public to continue observing health protocols this holiday season

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has urged the public to continue practicing minimum health safety protocols during the holidays.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr., on Tuesday (November 24) said the Department of Health (DOH) is already preparing for a contingency plan for a post-holiday surge in COVID-19 cases.

“Mas mabuti nang maagap, sabi nga. Sa ngayon, alam natin na ang Christmas season ay isang masayang okasyon sa Pilipinas kung saan marami ang pagtitipon, pagkikita-kita at reunions ng mga miyembro ng pamilya at mahal sa buhay […] siguraduhin na sa darating na holiday season ay mapapanatili natin ang minimum public health standards, (It is better to be prepared. We know that Christmas season is a merry occasion in the Philippines where there are reunions with family members and loved ones […] make sure that this holiday season we can maintain minimum public health standards)” he said during a press briefing.

The DOH already released Circular 2020-0355 where classified as safe activities are attending online masses, noche buena or media noche with the family inside the home. This also includes online video calls among family members who are apart during the holiday season, and shopping in online stores.

Moderate risk are small gatherings in public areas that take into consideration physical distancing and restrictions on mass gatherings while high risk activities include physical attendance in indoor religious activities with many attendees, shopping in crowded malls and tiangge, big gatherings in enclosed spaces, and singing, speaking loudly, and physical contact. AAC

Roque to ask Duterte if he wants to release his SALN

Marje Pelayo   •   October 30, 2020

 MANILA, Philippines — Members of the opposition have questioned Malacañang anew why it cannot release to the public the details of President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement of assets, liabilities and network (SALN) following the release of the senators’ SALN.

To end further speculations on the issue, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said he will discuss the matter with the President and ask him if he wants his SALN to be made public.

“Mag-uusap po kami ng ating presidente. Para matapos na po itong issue na ito ay tatanungin ko po baka naman po magbigay ng permiso ang presidente para isapubliko ang kaniyang SALN, [I will talk to the President. To end this issue, I will ask him if he would permit making his SALN public],” Roque said.

“Pero wala pong itinatago ang ating presidente. Bago po maglabas ng ganitong guidelines ang Ombdusman, taon-taon naman po inilalabas ng presidente ang kaniyang SALN, [But the president is not hiding anything. Before the Ombudsman released its guidelines, the President had been releasing his SALN to the public],” he added.

In a report released by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), the last time President Duterte’s SALN was made public was in 2016 and 2017 but it was no longer available in 2018 and 2019.

Malacañang insists that the Chief Executive is only following the guidelines issued by the Office of the Ombudsman over his SALN.

“Tatanungin po natin iyan sa Presidente. Kasi ang kaniyang posisyon bilang isang abogado, sundin namin ang guidelines ng Ombudsman [We will ask the President because his position as a lawyer is to follow the guidelines of the Ombudsman],” Roque said. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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