Piñol defends Usec. Carpio amid drug allegations

Marje Pelayo   •   April 3, 2019   •   4368

(L-R) Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol and Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Waldo Carpio

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol shared his thoughts on the issue linking one of his officials to illegal drugs.

Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Waldo Carpio is being implicated in a controversy along with presidential son former Davao City Mayor Paulo Duterte.

Carpio is the brother of Atty. Mans Carpio, the husband of Paulo’s sister, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Piñol said he has no complaints against Usec. Carpio being the DA’s head for Special Concerns, the office managing the agency’s programs with international partners.

“Okay naman (ang performance niya),” the DA chief said.

Carpio was assigned as Assistant Secretary to the DA in September 2018 and was promoted to the position of undersecretary just two months later.

Piñol said he is not convinced by the claims of the whistleblower in a recent viral video linking Usec. Carpio to illegal drug trade.

“That’s pure canard. Maski si Pulong di ako maniwala dyan,” Piñol said.

The man in the video known as alias Bikoy alleged that Paulo Duterte is receiving drug money from illegal drugs operations in Southern Luzon and the Visayas region.

Allegedly, a monthly remittance of P30 million drug money had been transmitted to dummy accounts named under Usec. Carpio.

In an unconfirmed social media account named under Waldo Reyes Carpio, the Undersecretary was seen in photos of campaign sorties of then presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte in 2016.

He is a nephew of former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales.

President Duterte was among the principal sponsors in Usec. Carpio’s wedding.

The UNTV News Team has sought for Carpio’s comment but the undersecretary is currently on an official trip abroad.

He is expected to return to the country next week. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

CamSur, Quezon provinces declare state of calamity in ‘Tisoy’ aftermath

Marje Pelayo   •   December 5, 2019

Villagers walk next to a fallen tree in Naga City, Camarines Sur province, Philippines, 03 December 2019.  EPA-EFE/JONNEL MARIBOJOC

CAMARINES SUR, Philippines – The onslaught of Typhoon Tisoy has left more than P257-million worth of damage in agriculture in the province.

This has prompted the provincial government of Camarines Sur to place the province under a state of calamity.

According to the assessment of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), a total of 9,382 farmers suffered huge losses or considered economically displaced due to the typhoon.

Meanwhile, about 9,259.56 hectares of palay were also damaged.

Gil Dialiano Jr. was among those affected farmers who lament over their loss after the typhoon submerged their entire farmland.

This added to the burden of slumping prices of rice in the market, he said.

“Umani nga pero lugi naman dahil mura ang palay,” he said.

“Inabot ng baha kaya luging lugi talaga,” he added.

Overall, Typhoon Tisoy left more than P257-million worth of damage to the province’s agriculture.

“Ang dahilan po nito, ang damages po ng Camarines Sur na na-incur pagdating sa flooding, pagdating po sa damage houses, pagdating sa agriculture most especially” noted PDRRMC-CamSur Spokesperson Estel Estropia.

Similarly, the provincial government of Quezon also declared a state of calamity following the typhoon.

Such a declaration will allow local governments to utilize their respective calamity funds for the rehabilitation of the affected places.

Based on initial assessment, damage to agriculture in the entire province of Quezon has hit more than a billion pesos worth in the aftermath of the typhoon.

“Ang mga nasa vegetative stage, flowering stage at ang iba naman ay harvesting stage na ay dumapa at naapektuhan,” noted Quezon Province provincial administrator Roberto Gajo.

So far, authorities are still completing the damage assessment in infrastructures in the province.

Quezon province recorded two casualties from the onset of Typhoon Tisoy. – MNP (with inputs from Nel Maribojoc / Japhet Cablaida)

‘Tisoy’ destroys P530-M worth of crops in CALABARZON, Bicol

Marje Pelayo   •   December 4, 2019

A handout photo made available by Greenpeace-Philippines shows villagers working among damaged houses in the aftermath of Typhoon Kammuri in Legazpi city, Albay Province, Philippines, 03 December 2019. EPA-EFE/BASILIO SEPE

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) reported an estimated damage to agriculture from the onset of Typhoon Tisoy in CALABARZON and the Bicol Region which reached to P530-million.

Based on initial assessment received by the Department, around 3,800 farmers and over 14,000 hectares of farm land were affected by the typhoon.

The DA assured to provide the affected farmers with seedlings to recover from their losses after the typhoon destroyed palay, corn and other high value crops in their areas.

Meanwhile, the DA has P250 million in Quick Response Fund which is readily available for rehabilitation of farm lands affected by the typhoon.

The said amount is apart from the P65-million fund under the Survival Recovery or SURE Program of the Agriculture Credit Policy Council.

The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, for its part, also assured to pay for the damaged crops.  – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

Gatchalian calls for stricter monitoring in schools after reports of illegal drug alternatives

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 2, 2019

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture Senator Sherwin ‘Win’ Gatchalian has called for stricter monitoring in schools after reports of students allegedly using illegal drug alternatives such as “magic mushroom”.

In a statement, Gatchalian said that it is alarming to hear reports about high school students using psychedelic mushrooms or ‘magic mushrooms’ commonly found in rural areas as a form of illegal drugs substitute.

Department of Education (Deped) Secretary Leonor Briones said that several high school students were hospitalized after using the said illegal drug substitute.

Gatchalian also said that this incident needs to be investigated further in order to come up with a solution for the safety of the students in the country.

“Marami rin tayong dapat malaman. Gaano na karami ang naiulat na ganitong uri ng insidente? Paano natuklasan ito ng mga mag-aaral? Saan ito laganap? At ano-ano ang naging mga epekto nito sa ating mag-aaral? (We also have a lot to be learned. How many similar incidents were reported? How did students discover it [magic mushrooms]? Where is it rampant? What are its effects on our students?), ” he said.—AAC

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