Paolo Duterte pulls out from House speakership race: ‘Not the right time’
Robie de Guzman • July 6, 2019 • 1277
MANILA, Philippines – Davao City 1st District Representative Paolo Duterte on Saturday (July 6) announced that he is withdrawing his bid for the speakership in the House of Representatives of the 18th Congress.
Duterte said he made the decision after personally speaking with his father, President Rodrigo Duterte, in Davao City on Thursday night.
“We both agreed that this will not be the right time for me to be Speaker and I can still help his administration from the House in a different capacity,” he said in a statement released on Saturday.
The presidential son earlier said he might join the speakership race amid talks of term-sharing, even proposing that the highest House post be shared by representatives from Mindanao, Visayas, Luzon and the party-list groups.
He earlier said he decided to join the race to unite the members of the House who are being divided by the issue.
It was also reported earlier that the presidential son and other solons from Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) and Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod (HTL) have formed a coalition in line with the bid for a unified Congress.
Davao City 3rd District Representative Isidro Ungab is among the members of the group, dubbed as the Duterte Coalition. Ungab was earlier nominated by the HNP as its candidate for the speakership post.
The presidential son said he will now support the bid of Ungab.
“As President of Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, I will support the bid for speakership of Congressman Isidro Ungab from our sister party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago,” he said.
“The President has also been fully informed of Rep. Ungab’s participation in the race for the next Speaker of the House of Representatives,” he added.
With Duterte’s withdrawal from the race, there are now six remaining contenders for the speakership post: Representatives Ungab (Davao City), Martin Romualdez (Leyte), Alan Peter Cayetano (Taguig-Pateros), Aurelio Gonzales (Pampanga), Carlos Zarate (Bayan Muna party-list), and Lord Allan Velasco (Marinduque).
Velasco has been endorsed by the PDP-Laban as its bet for the post.
Notably, most of the speakership bets are allies of the Duterte administration and the president has repeatedly said he would not endorse any candidate despite calls for him to do so.
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said telecommunications companies should report local government units that are obstructing the building of additional cell towers by delaying the processing of permits.
Duterte made the statement in a televised address after Globe Telecom President and CEO Ernest Cu told the president about their permitting woes in order to build more cell sites and improve their services.
“We are suffering ho from many, many years of this, before your administation, many administrations, 25 to 29 permit umaabot ng walong buwan tapos marami pa ho kaming miscellaneous fees ho. Iba-ibang klaseng tower fee. Mayroon kaming special use permit,” Cu said.
Cu met with Duterte after the latter threatened during his State of the Nation Address to shut down or expropriate telcos if no improvements are made in their services before December.
“Kasi sabi ko, ‘pag hindi mo pa na-improve ‘yan, I will hang you in one of your towers. Sabi niya, “Mayor, you cannot do that because there is no tower. The local governments are all f—–g it up,” Duterte told Cu in jest.
After hearing Cu’s concerns, the chief executive urged telcos to issue a formal complaint against local government units that are stalling the processing of permits for additional communication towers.
He also told telcos to report LGUs to proper authorities.
“Isumbong niyo na lang ng diresto at ang order ko sa Cabinet ngayon is to really take the, ‘kung pinakamabigat, the most drastic measure that you can find, para magkaintindihan. This is my last mile,” he said.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, in the same briefing, said that local government units have been ordered to shorten the process and reduce the time spent in producing permits to 16 to 20 days.
“Dati po kailangan pa ng Home-Owners Association Resolution, kailangan pa ng Sangguniang Bayan Resolution, wala na po ‘yon. 16 days to 20 days po ang target para y’ong lahat ng permit ay tatakbo,” he said.
The government has been pushing for the ease of doing business to streamline the process in government agencies.
Globe Telecom and PLDT Inc. earlier said they are currently working on expansion plans to improve the communication services in the country. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)
The date was chosen based on the recommendation of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos.
The president also reminded the public that the observance of the event shall be subject to existing community quarantine and social distancing measures. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – New community quarantine classifications that would take effect in Metro Manila and other parts of the country in August will be announced by President Rodrigo Duterte before Friday, Malacañang said.
In a televised briefing on Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) is set to meet this week to discuss data on the case doubling rate of the coronavirus disease as well as the critical care utilization in the country which will be submitted by the Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday.
Roque said the IATF will submit its recommendations for the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte once appeals by the local government units on the quarantine restrictions have been finalized.
Metro Manila is currently under general community quarantine (GCQ) as well as Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal, Lapu Lapu City, Mandaue City, Ormoc City, Southern Leyte, Talisay, Minglanilla, and Consolacion in Cebu Province, Zamboanga City, Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, and Basilan in Mindanao.
Cebu City is under enhanced community quarantine while the rest of the country are placed under the more relaxed modified GCQ with strict local action.
Roque also said that “major changes” may be implemented in the government’s response against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), adding that these changes will focus more on the policies to contain the public health crisis.
He said these changes may include massive testing, “invigorated” tracing, and creation of more quarantine facilities.
As of July 28, the Philippines has recorded a total of 83,673 coronavirus infections, 55,109 of which are active cases.
The DOH said 1,678 additional cases were reported based on the total tests done by 81 of the 91 operational laboratories.
The department likewise reported 173 new recoveries, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 26,617. The death toll also increased to 1,947 with four new fatalities. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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