Road to Speakership: who to stick with to be House Speaker

Maris Federez   •   June 27, 2019   •   1209

Reps Lord Allan Velasco, Martin Romualdez and Alan Peter Cayetano vying for the Speakership in the House of Representative

The battle for the next House Speaker is still on among these names: Velasco, Romualdez, and Cayetano.

They are all making headlines and are seen to be always with President Rodrigo Duterte and his family in several gatherings.

Taguig Representative-Elect Alan Peter Cayetano had been close to the President for a long time now.

When Cayetano failed to make it in the 2016 Vice Presidential race, the President appointed him as the secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

He said he resigned as DFA secretary and ran for Congress in the lone district of Taguig claiming that the President wanted him to be House Speaker.

“Hindi naman ako magre-resign sa DFA na walang plano, na wala kaming napagusapan [I won’t be resigning in DFA if I didn’t have a plan, or if we hadn’t have an agreement],” he said.

The name of Leyte Representative-Elect Martin Romualdez, meanwhile, floated when Hugpong ng Pagbabago Chairperson Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio called him “Speaker” in one campaign rally.

He had always been seen in gatherings where the Duterte siblings were also present.

On Wednesday night (June 26), Romualdez laid down before the President his platform in case he gets to be chosen as House Speaker.

Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco, on the other hand, is seen to have taken the lead in the speakership race as the administration party PDP-Laban on Wednesday endorsed him for the job.

He’s also been seen with Mayor Sara Duterte since the campaign period and in several occasions.

Meanwhile, Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon Alvarez had been trailing behind the three in the race.

It can be recalled that Alvares had been removed as House Speaker in the 17th Congress for allegedly making statements against the Chief Executive.

Mayor Sara was allegedly behind the ouster of Alvarez that happened on the very day of the 2018 SONA. (with reports from Grace Casin) /mbmf

Duterte threatens to impose ‘martial law-like’ measures if quarantine violators persist

Marje Pelayo   •   April 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to impose a more drastic measure particularly against violators of the government’s lockdown rules as cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continue to climb in the country.

In his late-night address on Thursday (April 16), the President warned of military and police take over if Filipinos continue to break the government’s enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.

I am just asking for your disiplina, kasi kapag ayaw ninyong maniwala, mag-take over ang military at police (I am just asking for your discipline because if you do not obey, the military and police will take over). I am ordering them now to be ready,” the President said addressing quarantine violators.

Sila na, parang martial law na rin. Mamili kayo (They will take over like in martial law. You decide),” he added.

The President expressed frustration over reports of residents repeatedly violating quarantine rules despite the government’s efforts in providing social relief at this time of crisis.

Nearly two weeks before the extended Luzon-wide ECQ is lifted on April 30, President Duterte said he will be compelled to order the government forces to enforce strict social distancing and curfew measures if the number of quarantine violators continue to increase.

“Ayaw ko pero kapag naipit na ang bayan at wala kayong disiplina, (I don’t want to do it but if the entire country is compromised because you lack discipline),” he warned.

The Chief Executive also directed the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to investigate the perpetrators of cockfighting and street drinking sessions in Metro Manila amid the ECQ.

He threatened to cut government aid to those who would further ignore ECQ measures.

 “May pera pala kayong pangsabong. May pera pala kayo pang-inom. Ibigay ko na lang (sa iba,) [You have money for cockfighting. You have money for drinking sessions, so I might as well give the money [to those in need,] ” the President said.

“There’s not enough to go around. Hindi talaga magkasya. We are getting low sa supply ng pagkain na. Ilang araw na iyan buong Pilipinas pinapakain mo – 18 million families (Our supply especially of food is getting lower. We have been feeding 18 millione Filipino families for days now],” he concluded. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

READ: Duterte warns unruly quarantine violators not to taunt gov’t amid relief delays

Presidential yacht ready to accept COVID-19 patients

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 13, 2020

The Presidential yacht BRP Ang Pangulo is now ready to accept coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients after its conversion into a floating quarantine facility.

The Philippine Navy (PN) said it can accommodate a total of 28 patients with five medical personnel.

“Three exclusive compartments were prepared by PN personnel for the patients with temporary division in place observing 3-meter distance between them. Patients and medical staff are given different access points,” their statement reads.

The Navy added that the crew will remain onboard while the ship is being utilized as a quarantine facility.

PPEs were provided for the crew and rapid antibody tests were also conducted on them.

The ship’s remodeling began 48 hours after President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants to utilize the ship for COVID-19 patients. AAC

Duterte’s ‘shoot them dead’ order only aims to warn troublemakers —PNP

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 2, 2020

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday (April 2) said the ‘shoot them dead’ order of President Rodrigo Duterte was only a warning for lawless elements.

PNP Spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac said the PNP is not taking the order literally.

“Iyong pahayag ng Pangulo ay magsisilbing babala lalo na sa mga magtatangka na gumawa ng karahasan, tiyak na ang parusa ng batas ay ipapataw sa iyo (The President’s statement serves as a warning to those who will attempt to cause violence, you will certainly face punishment from the law),” he said.

Banac said law-abiding residents have nothing to worry about because the PNP is always ready to serve the people.

“Ang ating batas ay nariyan para sa kabutihan ng lahat. At sinoman na lalabag ay mananagot sa batas. Ang PNP naman ay tagapagpatupad. Wala naman po dapat ipangamba dahil ang PNP ay kakampi at maglilingkod sa inyo (Our law is here for the good of everyone. And anyone who will violate the law will be accountable. The PNP implements the law. There is no need to worry because the PNP is an ally and will serve you),” Banac said.-AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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