President Duterte attends Hugpong’s thanksgiving party

Robie de Guzman   •   June 25, 2019   •   1531

President Rodrigo Duterte at the Hugpong ng Pagbabago Thanksgiving Night at the Peninsula Manila in Makati City on June 24, 2019. Courtesy : (Presidential Photo) Twitter

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday graced the thanksgiving party of Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), the regional political party headed by his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

The party was held at a hotel in Makati City on Monday night to celebrate the party’s victory in the 2019 Midterm elections.

The HNP supported 13 administration-backed senatorial candidates, nine of whom emerged victorious in the recent elections.

The HNP-backed senators-elect were present at the party as well as losing senatorial bets.

“Kayong lahat po ang reason kung bakit nanalo ang majority sa mga senators na tinulungan po ng HNP,” Sara Duterte said in a speech as she welcomed the party’s guests.

The president and his daughter led the singing during the event, with the chief executive dedicating some songs to Sara, and his former wife, Elizabeth Zimmerman.

Some of the notable attendees at the party were congressmen-elect Martin Romualdez (Leyte), Alan Peter Cayetano (Taguig) and Lord Allan Velasco (Marinduque).

Romualdez, Cayetano and Velasco are three of the aspirants for the House of Representatives’ speakership post. Other contenders are Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon Alvarez and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr.

The three were also seen talking with Duterte during Monday evening’s gathering.

A source, who requested anonymity for lack of authority to talk to media, told UNTV News and Rescue that Duterte may only choose among Romualdez, Cayetano and Velasco for his speakership bet.

The president may also announce his candidate before Friday, the source said.

Masbate Representative-elect Wilcon Kho earlier said Duterte may reveal his preferred speakership bet on June 28 as announced during a dinner meeting with several lawmakers at Malacañang on June 18. (with details from Grace Casin)

Sara Duterte asks other LGUs to stop restricting travelers within Davao region

Robie de Guzman   •   May 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte called on other local government units not to restrict the movement of people within areas in the Davao region that are under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Duterte issued the statement during an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio on Wednesday following reports that some workers traveling from Davao Oriental and Davao de Oro to Davao City are being required to present documents and undergo a 14-day quarantine before granting them passage to Davao del Norte.

“That’s what I’ve been saying, for those of you who are ranting on Facebook, Sirs and Ma’ams, you should have prepared for this during the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) because movement between GCQ areas would be allowed,” she said, apparently referring to officials of LGUs in neighboring areas.

Citing Section 7 (3) of the Omnibus Guidelines on the implementation of the community quarantine in the Philippines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), Duterte said the interzonal movement of persons between areas placed under GCQ for any purpose other than leisure is permitted.

“Is employment a leisure? It’s not, so they are allowed to move. There is a confusion on your part that you need to resolve,” she said.

The mayor also said that subjecting workers passing through the province to Davao City to a two-week quarantine was “unreasonable.”

“It’s unreasonable that those who are just passing through your area to return to work (in Davao City), who are not even working in your area will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine. I don’t think it’s right preparation,” she said.

The entire Davao region, including Davao City, is under GCQ from May 16 to May 31.

The presidential daughter said that if other LGUs continue to restrict the movement of people to and from their areas then they should have instead opted for an extension of enhanced community quarantine implementation.

“Kung dili mo gusto magpasulod sa inyohang LGU, ipasaka mo to an ECQ because during an ECQ dili pwede mosulod, dili pwede mogawas. But during a GCQ, kung ang imohang silingan GCQ, ikaw GCQ, pwede mo magbiyahe for Category I, II, III na offices and establishments for work,” she said.

(If you do not allow entry, you raise your (quarantine level) to ECQ because during ECQ you don’t allow entry and exit. But during GCQ, if your neighbor is GCQ and you are GCQ, you can travel to offices and establishments categorized as I, II, III for work.)

In another statement, she, however, clarified that she is not intimidating nor dictating other local leaders about movement restrictions.

Instead, Duterte said she only requested them to refrain from asking “unnecessary” documents from people traveling to their areas.

“Ang ginaingon lang nako sa ilaha, ayaw pangayui ang tao og travel order, mangayo pa sila og seal, mangayo pa og tinuod nga pirma nako because that is not required. Ayaw ninyo pangayui ang mga tao og ing-ana. Kung ang tao moingon nga empleyado sila, di ba allowed man mo-move for work, kung ang tao moingon siya nga nagatrabaho ko diha, pangitai ninyo og ID,” the mayor stressed.

(What I told them is not to ask for a travel order, a (Davao City) seal, my original signature because that is not required. Don’t ask people for that. If the persons say they are workers are they not allowed to move for work? You can ask for an ID.)

Mayor Sara also pointed out that prohibiting the entry of people through lockdowns does not guarantee protection from the coronavirus.

She said LGUs should instead ready their local government for the possible surge of COVID-19 patients.

“Ang makaprotect po sa imoha is mag andam ka imohang prevention measures, mag-andam ka sa imohang detection especially sa inyohang surveillance, mag-andam mo sa inyohang testing,” she said.

(What will protect you is your prevention measures, prepare your detection measures especially with surveillance, and ready with testing.)

“So dapat nangita na mo og mga tao dinha sa inyohang lugar nga ginasubmit ninyo for testing because naga manifest sila og symptoms sa COVID-19. Mag andam po mo og treatment ug reintegration. Mao dapat na ang nagafunction karon nga GCQ na ang inyohang area,” she added.

(So look for the people you submitted for testing if they manifest the COVID-19 symptoms. Prepare treatment and reintegration. That is how you function under GCQ.)

Duterte fires OCD Deputy Administrator Kristoffer James Purisima

Marje Pelayo   •   May 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has dismissed Kristoffer James Purisima as deputy administrator assistant secretary of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD).

According to Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, the President decided to remove Purisima from office due to “loss of trust and confidence.”

Roque could not tell, however, under what circumstance prompted the President to fire Purisima.

Wala na po akong ibang impormasyon (I don’t have additional information) other than he was terminated due to loss of trust and confidence,” Roque confirmed.

The OCD is the government’s main unit responsible for disaster preparedness and response in times of calamity.

Prior to his position in OCD, Purisima served as spokesperson of Task Force Bangon Marawi. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Davao City spent over P400 million for COVID-19 fight — Sara Duterte

Robie de Guzman   •   May 21, 2020

The Davao City government has spent at least P476 million for its response against the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Mayor Sara Duterte said.

In an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio, Duterte said the fund was sourced from the city’s internal revenue allotment (IRA) under the national budget.

She said the city’s one month IRA amounted to P476 million and all local government units (LGUs) have been mandated by the national government to spend the budget for COVID-19 response.

Aside from the P476 million, Mayor Sara also said that the city also sourced out funds from its 2020 budget, which include the peace and order fund, City Mayor’s Office, and Public Enhancement Service Fund.

Duterte said the city’s biggest expenditure remains for food, including rations to residents.

As of May 8, the city has already distributed a total of 788,656 food packs. The food rationing started on March 23.

Aside from food rations, the city government also shouldered the hospital expenses of COVID-19 patients and the cost of cremation for those who succumbed to the virus.

Duterte earlier announced she has donated her one-year salary to a trust fund to help medical workers acquiring the disease from their work.

As of May 20, the city has recorded a total of 206 coronavirus infections, with 25 fatalities and 100 recoveries.

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