Paolo Duterte denies plan to pursue House Speakership

Robie de Guzman   •   May 28, 2019   •   3035

Davao City First District Representative Paolo “Pulong” Duterte | Courtesy : PVI-Press by Cerilo Ebrano

Newly-elected Davao City First District Representative Paolo “Pulong” Duterte on Monday denied that he is pursuing the House Speakership post.

On a Facebook post, the presidential son assailed rumor mongers for feeding the Chief Executive wrong information about his supposed candidacy for the top House post.

“Pulong to President Duterte: I did not say I want to be Speaker… may nagkamali na naman bulong sa tenga mo Mr. President,” the younger Duterte said.

The incoming House member posted the message after his father, President Rodrigo Duterte, threatened to step down from office if Pulong pushes through with his bid when the 18th Congress opens in June.

During the oath taking ceremony of newly-appointed government officials in Malacañang on Monday, Duterte said he will resign if his son will decide to gun for House Speakership.

“Itong si Paolo, sabihin ko sa kaniya, ‘If you run for speakership, let me know kasi kung tatakbo ka, magreresign ako kasi marami na tayo.’ Yung kapatid mo na mayor, tapos, quite really for someone who’s so uneasy about these things. Though I think it’s a democratic practice, hayaan mo yang tao sino gusto nila,” he said.

The Chief Executive also revealed that several congressmen have approached him to ask for his support for their bid to get the top House post.

Among them are congressmen-elect Alan Peter Cayetano (Taguig), Lord Allan Velasco (Marinduque), Martin Romualdez (Leyte) and Pantaleon Alvarez (Davao del Norte).

While he personally knows and considers them as his close allies, the President said he will remain neutral on the speakership issue.

“Wala akong kinakampihan. I am on my last three terms. Gusto ko lang to do good. If that good is not good for everybody then I’m sorry. Yan lang ang makaya ko,” he said.

Others eyeing the speakership are incumbent Majority Leader Fredenil Castro (Capiz) and Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales (Pampanga).

Duterte opted to ‘work from home’ instead of 3-day rest

Marje Pelayo   •   November 12, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte joins other leaders during the plenary session of the 16th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club at the Polyana 1389 Hotel in Sochi, Russia on October 3, 2019. RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to go home to Davao City after visiting the wake of businessman John Gokongwei Jr. on Monday night (November 11).

Earlier, Malacañang announced that President Duterte will have a break from his pressing schedule and spend time with his family for three days.

However, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President declined the suggestion and instead, opted to work from home.

“While the demands of pressing work that go along with the highest position of the land are unceasing, the people can rest assured that the President can keep up with the same and is in the best position to know how he can maintain to be on top of his health,” Panelo said.

On Monday, Malacañang clarified that President Duterte’s decision to stay in his home in Davao City is not health related and there is no reason for him to file an official leave.

“Well upon the advice of friends, of colleagues, and the world it seems and most likely upon the advice of doctors also to take a respite from his punishing schedule. (No medical concern?) Wala naman (None at all,)” Panelo assured. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte to attend ASEAN-ROK summit in South Korea

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 11, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte will attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Republic of Korea (ASEAN-ROK) Commemorative Summit in South Korea from November 25 to 27.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed on Sunday (November 10) that the president will be attending the summit in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the dialogue partnership between the regional bloc and South Korea.

“He will push through with the trip,” Panelo said.

President Duterte and South Korean President Moon Jae-In are also expected to have a bilateral meeting to discuss trade and security issues.

The Philippines and South Korea have recently celebrated its 70th bilateral relations.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte eyes ban on use of plastic

Robie de Guzman   •   November 8, 2019

Plastic along coastline in Cap-Haitien, Haiti | REUTERS

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is eyeing to ban the use of plastics in a bid to mitigate the effects of climate change, Malacañang said.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the president mentioned the idea during a discussion on climate change in a Cabinet meeting last Wednesday.

“The president floated the idea to ban the use of plastics, which according to him would require legislative action,” Panelo told reporters but said he is not sure if Duterte was referring to single-use plastics.

There are bills filed in Congress seeking to ban the use of single-use plastics that are currently pending at a committee level.

These measures seek to prohibit food establishments, stores, and markets from issuing single-use plastics, and task manufacturers to control the circulation and disposal of these materials. It also encourages consumers to instead use reusable or other alternative materials.

The Philippines has been listed in a 2015 report as one of the biggest sources of plastic leaking into the oceans, after China and Indonesia.

A recent study by Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) revealed that Filipinos use more than 163 million plastic sachet packets, 48 million shopping bags and 45 million thin film bags daily.

The report called “Plastics exposed: How waste assessments and brand audits are helping Philippine cities fight plastic pollution,” used data from household waste assessments and brand audits conducted by Mother Earth Foundation (MEF) in six cities and seven municipalities across the country in the past five years.

The organization extrapolated the data to calculate daily and yearly plastic usage throughout the country in order to provide new quantitative evidence about plastic pollution in the Philippines.

GAIA said that findings in the report show how cities and municipalities in the Philippines are struggling against plastic residuals despite efforts of many localities to institute Zero Waste programs.

With the projected increase in plastic production worldwide, including in the Philippines, the group said that national governments, as well as local government authorities need robust data and effective strategies to address the looming plastic pollution crisis.

It also called on manufacturers to regulate, and stop producing, single-use plastics.

“We would appreciate kung ang Pangulo will tell Congress na iprioritize nga itong bill on single-use plastic,” Beau Baconguis, an Asia Pacific Plastics Campaigner of GAIA said.

“Dapat hindi lang tignan as a waste disposal issue at waste management issue pero titingnan ang buong life cycle ng plastic at buong problemang kaakibat ng different stages ng production ng plastic,” Baconguis added.

The House of Representatives, for its part, assured it will continue to conduct inquiries on proposals to ban the use of plastics in the country.

“There will be a hearing before the committee level, all the stakeholders shall be heard, and ultimately we shall decide the course,” Cavite Fourth District Representative Elpidio Barzaga Jr., who chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources, said.

“The decision of the President will carry much weight in so far as the action of the House of representatives is concerned,” he added. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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