PDP-Laban appoints Pampanga Rep. Gonzales as party’s National Executive VP

Robie de Guzman   •   June 17, 2019   •   1097

(L-R) Representative Aurelio Gonzales Jr. and Sen. Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel

The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) on Monday announced the appointment of Pampanga third district Representative Aurelio Gonzales Jr. as the ruling party’s Interim National Executive Vice President.

Gonzales was appointed to his new role by PDP-Laban president and re-elected Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel.

His appointment paper was signed on June 13 but was only released to the media on Monday (June 17).

Gonzales previously served as PDP-Laban’s regional president for Central Luzon.

He has been reported as one of the lawmakers being considered by the ruling party to be its candidate for the House Speakership post in the 18th Congress.

Other contenders include Davao del Norte Representative and former speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Taguig Representative Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco.

The PDP-Laban has yet to announce the name of its official bet for the speakership race.

Cayetano: Term sharing deal with Velasco still stands but Duterte has final say

Robie de Guzman   •   October 17, 2019

New House of Representatives Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano walks up to his post on stage at the Philippine Congress in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines, 22 July 2019. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines – House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said that his term-sharing deal with Marinduque Representative Lord Alan Velasco still stands but stressed that President Rodrigo Duterte – who brokered the agreement – has the final say.

“No use talking about something na malayo pa. But wala naman dapat ikabahala yung kahit sino kasi nga lahat naman tayo ay sumasang-ayon na ang Pangulo ang magde-decide. And so far, meron siyang standing na decision and so far, that stands,” Cayetano said during the sidelines of his inspection of the 2019 SEA Games sports facilities in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac on Wednesday, Oct. 16.

Cayetano made the statement in response to comments that it might be difficult to replace him after he got high trust and approval ratings in September Pulse Asia Survey.

Under the term-sharing deal, Cayetano would lead the Lower Chamber in the first 15 months while Velasco will serve the remaining 21 months of the three-year term.

Cayetano said he would ask the President for instructions a few months before his term ends as leader of the super majority.

“So I promised the President na I’ll do a good job. And then one month, two months before yung middle o yung pinag-usapan, I’ll go to him for instructions,” he said.

Velasco has yet to issue any reaction on the issue.

Malacañang, for its part, said that the President will not interfere and will let House members elect their own leader.

“Nasa members of Congress ‘yun. Actually, they are the ones choosing the Speaker,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

“I don’t think he interferes. His style is he doesn’t interfere unless you ask him to,” he added.

It can be recalled that the race for House Speakership got heated when a number of lawmakers including Cayetano, Velasco and Leyte 1st District Representative Martin Romualdez expressed interest in the speakership post.

The issue had divided House members until Duterte himself intervened and endorsed Cayetano as Speaker, who will share the term with Velasco.

In the same agreement, Romualdez was given the job as House Majority Floor Leader. — RRD (with details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

Former Senator Nene Pimentel in ICU – PDP-Laban

Robie de Guzman   •   October 14, 2019

Former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr.

MANILA, Philippines – Former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. is currently in an intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital, an official from his political party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) confirmed Monday.

In a message posted on Twitter, PDP-Laban spokesperson Ron Munsayac appealed for prayers for the ailing senator.

“We are humbly asking our friends and partymates in the @PDPLABAN to pray for the full & speedy recovery of our founder and Chairman Emeritus Tatay Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr. who is currently in the ICU,” he said in his post.

His son, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, said in a message to reporters that his father is “very ill”and is “currently under treatment,” but did not provide further details.

“Doctors and hospital staff are doing their best to help him. We ardently ask that you join us in prayer for his full and complete recovery,” he said.

The 85-year old former lawmaker rose to national prominence in 1971 when he was elected as delegate to the Constitutional Convention representing Misamis Oriental.

In 1982, he founded the PDP-Laban to oppose the then-ruling Kilusang Bagong Lipunan of former President Ferdinand Marcos.

He was senator from 1987 to 1992 and again from 1998 to 2010. He served as Senate president from 2000 to 2001, and as Senate minority leader from 2001 to 2002, and 2004 to 2010.

During his time in the Senate, he authored and sponsored several key pieces of legislation including the Local Government Code of 1991, the Cooperative Code, the Philippine Sports Commission Act, among others.

House pushes for Electronic Health bills

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 2, 2019

A medical staff member (C) reviews records of patients treated for leptospirosis at a government hospital in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines, 03 July 2018.  EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

The House of Representatives is pushing for the creation of an electronic health system to strengthen the primary health care system in the country.

House Committee on Health on Monday (September 30) created a technical working group (TWG) that will consolidate several measures seeking to create the country’s electronic health system and services.

According to House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, there is a need to address the lack of information and medical record keeping.

“For Filipinos in general, it is not a usual practice to keep such documentation—whether of previous check-ups, diagnostic test results, medication, treatments, and procedures done, among others,” he said.

One of the bills pushed is House Bill 8 which seeks to establish the National Health Passport System and strengthen the primary health care system.

“As stated in HB 8, all Filipino citizens shall be entitled to a Health Passport to be used when a patient avails of medical and dental check-ups or treatment provided in government or private medical institutions,” according to House statement—AAC

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