PDP-Laban appoints Pampanga Rep. Gonzales as party’s National Executive VP
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Monday, June 17th, 2019
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.
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Friday, July 12th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Three lawmakers gunning for the speakership of the House of Representatives of the 18th Congress met on Thursday night with some members of the ruling party, PDP-Laban.
Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano, Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco and Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez met with PDP-Laban in Taguig to discuss the forthcoming opening of the 18th Congress and the measures that need to be prioritized.
Cayetano also talked about his programs that will help the Duterte administration’s legislative agenda, as well as his plan to push for full debates on significant issues that will affect the welfare of the Filipino people.
They also discussed the term-sharing set-up between Cayetano and Velasco as House speakers endorsed by the party’s chairman, President Rodrigo Duterte.
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Friday, July 12th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives on Thursday said it is closely working with government intelligence agencies for the security of President Rodrigo Duterte’s fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22.
House Sergeant-at-Arms Retired Major General Romeo Prestoza said they are directly coordinating with relevant intelligence units to evaluate any risks to the House or President Duterte during the SONA.
He said the increased security follows the recent bombings that rocked Sulu in Mindanao.
“Well part of it kasi, sa experience ko kasi I’ve been an intelligence officer for 27 years, those things talagang kinoconsider namin. Hindi namin pinapabayaan, tinitingnan namin,” Prestoza said in a press briefing about the SONA 2019 preparations.
“That’s why we initiate ‘yung direct na contact with the NICA (National Intelligence Coordinating Agency), ISAFP (Intelligence Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines) and other intelligence units to see kung meron talagang connection or possibility na umabot dito,” he added.
However, Prestoza assured they have yet to see substantial security threats to the upcoming SONA, which Duterte will deliver at the Batasang Pambansa.
“When it comes to security threats, wala pa namang substantial, meaning talagang wala pang nakarating na actual na threat,” he said.
He also emphasized that the House security is prepared and well-equipped to handle security issues.
“We have extensive training and seminars to include simulation exercises and tabletop exercises para in case na meron nga, we would be prepared. Even ‘yung protocols, when it comes to emergencies ginagawa din namin,” Prestoza said.
When it comes to directing signal jammers on SONA day, Prestoza said the Presidential Security Group (PSG) shall be responsible for it based on their assessment of the proceedings.
“Kung kailangan nila or they feel they need to initiate na the jamming procedure, sila makakapag-dictate noon. I cannot dictate it,” he said.
In the same press briefing, House Acting Secretary General Dante Roberto Maling said that preparation activities for SONA remain on track and are the same as in previous years.
“Basically, the preparation has been the same through the years except siguro for very minor details, mga maliliit na arrangements lang. It doesn’t really deviate from what has been happening from the past years,” Maling said.
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Thursday, July 11th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel on Thursday said Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano still needs to work on getting the House speakership post despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s endorsement of a term-sharing deal between Congressmen Cayetano and Lord Allan Velasco.
“Advantage siya ngayon with the statement of the President. Swerte nga niya eh. He has the advantage but not an assurance — he still has to work for it,” Pimentel told reporters in a Senate press briefing.
He said Cayetano still needs to convince House members to vote for him on July 22 when the regular session of the 18th Congress opens.
“Sa July 22, para hindi siya magulat, he has to make sure kumbinsido na ang lahat. Majority or plurality to vote for him as House speaker,” he said.
Pimentel added that among the lawmakers that Cayetano needs to convince are the 85 members of the ruling party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
Pimentel is the current president of the ruling party while President Duterte serves as its chairman.
The PDP-Laban earlier fielded Velasco as its bet for speakership.
According to Pimentel, PDP-Laban representatives are set to meet with Cayetano on Thursday night to discuss matters, including committee chairmanships.
Pimentel said the meeting is important for Cayetano to get the party’s support.
Cayetano is a member of the Nacionalista party.
“He cannot sit as House Speaker without the support of the PDP-Laban,” Pimentel said.
The lawmaker also reiterated they are abiding with the president’s decision to endorse a term-sharing set-up between Cayetano and Velasco, with the former serving first in 15 months to be succeeded by the latter in the remaining 21 months of the term.
They initially wanted Velasco to serve first before Cayetano.
Meanwhile, Pimentel said it was theoretically possible for members of the House of Representatives not to heed the president’s endorsement of Cayetano as speaker when they vote for their leader on July 22.
This was his comment on Davao City Representative Paolo Duterte’s hint that solons might launch a coup and vote for their personal choice.
“Basta theoretically, everything is possible kasi basta’t collegial body ganun naman talaga eh,” he said. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)
UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.