Philippines VP vows to take on Duterte after cabinet exit

admin   •   December 6, 2016   •   11004

Philippines Vice President Leni Robredo listens to a reporter's question during a news conference following her resignation from her post in President Rodrigo Duterte's cabinet, at the Quezon City Reception House, Metro Manila, Philippines December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Ezra Acayan

Philippines Vice President Leni Robredo listens to a reporter’s question during a news conference following her resignation from her post in President Rodrigo Duterte’s cabinet, at the Quezon City Reception House, Metro Manila, Philippines December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Ezra Acayan

 

Philippines Vice President Leni Robredo resigned from the cabinet on Monday but vowed to lead the opposition and challenge the policies of President Rodrigo Duterte, including his deadly war on drugs and moves to reinstate the death penalty.

Robredo, who will remain vice president, had clashed frequently with Duterte and decided to resign from her ministerial role after being instructed via a text message to stay away from his cabinet meetings.

She was elected vice president in May in a separate contest and was not Duterte’s running mate.

Robredo renewed her warning of a plot taking shape to remove her from the number two post and said the instruction from Duterte was tantamount to being sacked.

“If you are not being allowed to attend cabinet meetings anymore, what does that mean?” she said at a news conference.

“I will be an opposition leader. I will oppose policies that will be detrimental to the people.”

Those includes the death penalty, lowering the age of criminal liability and alleged extrajudicial killings as part of the crackdown on drugs, which has killed more than 2,000 people.

Duterte accepted Robredo’s resignation as housing secretary “with a heavy heart”, his spokesman Ernesto Abella said.

Robredo, 52, a former lawyer and social activist, won the vice presidential election in May by a narrow margin, defeating Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the son and namesake of the late dictator overthrown in a 1986 revolt.

Marcos, better known by his nickname “Bongbong”, has appealed to a tribunal of the Supreme Court for a recount, which Robredo said she was confident of winning.

Robredo did not give details of the alleged plot to “steal” the vice presidency, but said Marcos accompanying Duterte on an official visit to China in October was telling.

“In China, the president took Bongbong Marcos and even introduced him as the vice president,” she said.

Marcos’s lawyer, Vic Rodriguez, issued a statement saying Robredo’s resignation was “long overdue given her very obvious adversarial attitude”.

He described Robredo’s claim of a plot to unseat her as hypocritical.

“The vice presidency has indeed been stolen, and it was stolen by no less than Mrs Robredo,” Rodriguez said. — Reuters

COMELEC resolution sa disqualification cases vs BBM target mailabas sa Enero 17 – Guanzon

Robie de Guzman   •   January 11, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Inihayag ni Commission on Elections (COMELEC) first division presiding Commissioner Rowena Guanzon na target nilang mailabas sa Enero 17 ang resolusyon sa mga petisyong humihiling na madiskwalipika si presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Ang mga petisyon ay isinampa ng grupong Akbayan at ng isang Bonifacio Ilagan laban sa kandidatura ni Marcos.

Ayon kay Guanzon, noong Enero 7 pa natapos ang preliminary conferences sa mga petisyong ito at noong Lunes naman nai-raffle kung sino ang ponente o susulat sa desisyon ng dibisyon.

Aniya, posibleng basahin nila ang resolusyon sa session hall ng COMELEC sa Palacio del Gobernador at maaari ding mapanood via live streaming.

Bukod dito, isa pang disqualification case na inihain ni National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Commissioner Abubakar Mangelen laban kay Marcos ang hinihintay na lang din ang resolusyon.

Defense chief on martial law rumors amid rising COVID-19 cases: Fake news

Robie de Guzman   •   January 7, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Department of National Defense (DND) chief Delfin Lorenzana has denied rumors circulating on social media that the government will declare martial law or a total lockdown to address the rapidly growing new COVID-19 cases.

In a statement, Lorenzana said there is no compelling reason for President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law.

“Not true. Fake news. Definitely out of the picture. There is no compelling reason to declare martial law,” he said.

Rumors that Duterte will impose a total lockdown, barring everyone from going out of their homes to address the coronavirus surge have circulated on social media at the start of the week.

This week, the Philippines saw a rapid increase in the number of new infections, with 17,220 additional cases recorded on Thursday.

The sharp increase in the country’s COVID cases is believed to be caused by the local transmission of Omicron and Delta variants.

But Lorenzana pointed out that the latest tally is lower than the over 26,000 recorded in 2021.

He added that while highly transmissible, the Omicron variant is seen to be less aggressive than the Delta variant.

“The highest we had was 26,000+ last year. Today we have 17,220. This variant while more transmissible is less virulent than delta. Less people get seriously sick,” he said.

Due to rising cases, Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, and 14 other areas in the country have been placed under COVID-19 Alert Level 3.

President Rodrigo Duterte have also directed local officials to restrict the movement of unvaccinated persons in a bid to protect them from contracting the virus.

Lorenzana, who also chairs the National Task Force against COVID-19, said the Inter-Agency Task Force is still evaluating on the possibility of implementing stricter measures to combat the COVID-19 surge. (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Duterte orders barangay officials to restrict movement of unvaccinated persons

Robie de Guzman   •   January 7, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has directed barangay officials to limit the mobility of persons who are not yet vaccinated against COVID-19 amid rising cases in the country.

During his pre-taped public briefing aired late Thursday, Duterte told barangay officials to advise unvaccinated residents to just stay at home to avoid contracting the disease, especially its highly transmissible variants.

“I’m now giving orders to the barangay captains to look for those persons who are not vaccinated and just would request them or order them, if you may, to stay put,” he said.

“If he refuses, he goes out of the house and goes around in the community or maybe wherever magpunta, he can be restrained,” he added.

Being persons in authority, Duterte said barangay captains have the power to arrest “recalcitrant” persons if they are unvaccinated and refuse to be restrained or escorted to their homes, he argued.

At the same time, village chiefs can also mobilize civilians to help them with the subjugation of people who haven’t received COVID-19 shot from leaving their homes and loitering outdoors.

“Give them the task officially probably written and that converts their status from being a civilian but also a person in authority called upon to assist the persons in authority,” he said.

“They now become agents of a person in authority. That is my position,” he added.

The president, however, clarified that he was issuing the order as part of his responsibility to ensure public safety and well-being.

He also pointed out that unvaccinated people will not be immediately imprisoned, and persons in authority will have to talk to them about the dangers of leaving their homes.

“I hate to say this word pero — these words: being the President, ultimately I am responsible for the safety and well-being of every Filipino and that is why my orders are to restrain them,” he said.

“Hindi naman kaagad arestuhin. Paki-usap lang, eh sir hindi ka nagpabakuna then you put everybody in jeopardy. You go out, you get contaminated, dalhin mo. Ngayon, por pamilya, por bahay ang contamination,” he added.

Meanwhile, Duterte ordered the police to arrest and detain for investigation individuals involved in the illegal trade of COVID-19 drugs in the black market.

“I would insist for the police to arrest them and detain them for investigation. If it’s a serious offense, that will go about 34 hours of detention and in that time, you can investigate,” he said.

The president said that nobody will be spared, stressing that his order also covers agents and sellers or sales representatives, and even owners of medical infrastructures.

“Sabihin nila even it’s a matter of violation, ‘wala kami, ‘yung aming mga staff lang.’ Do not give me that s***. Hulihin ninyo at ikulong ninyo,” he said.

The unregulated sale of COVID-19 drugs is a serious offense because it victimizes those who need the medicine but cannot afford to buy due to very steep prices.

Duterte also asked the Department of Justice to assign fiscals who could conduct summary investigation and inquest of those involved in the prohibited trade. He also wants the police to investigate their areas of responsibility and to “solve the problem.”

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