Robredo on alleged failed unification: ‘I have not given up on unifying our people’

Maris Federez   •   October 14, 2021   •   406


MANILA, Philippines — “If unity was not possible among the presidential contenders, I have not given up on unifying our people.”

These are the words of Vice President Leni Robredo on what is perceived to be an already impossible task of uniting the presidential candidates against the administration due to the seeming limitation set by the Robredo-initiated Unity Talks.

Robredo, however, said that she is not losing hope in unifying individuals from different groups, starting from the senatorial line-up under her ticket with Senator Francis Pangilinan who will run as her vice president.

Robredo-Pangilinan camp has yet to finalize its senatorial slate but the vice president assured that the lineup represents individuals from different parties.

She stressed that only three among them are from the Liberal Party, a staunch supporter of the vice president.

“When I decided to run for the vice (sic) presidency, it was my signal to move on already from all attempts to unify the personalities and the parties.”

“We are very hopeful that unity is still possible, maybe not among the presidential contenders but definitely among many different kinds of people from different political affiliations.”

Meanwhile, Senator Panfilo Lacson who is also a presidential aspirant, said that the Unity Talks does not really aim at achieving unity, following the meeting that he and his running mate Senate President Vicente Sotto III had with VP Robredo.

Lacson admitted to feeling slighted by the alleged plan of a Robredo-Sotto tandem.

“Si Sen. Drilon mismo, tinuro niya si VP Leni at si SP Tito Sotto na sila’y magkatandem, in my face. It’s good that I didn’t notice it, I was informed by SP after our meeting. Sabi niya ‘Hindi mo ba napansin na yung dalawang daliri ni Frank nakaturo samin dalawa?’ Parang effectively telling me in my face to withdraw and mag-create ng bagong tandem between the VP and Senate President. So sa akin, when I was told that, I felt insulted,” Lacson said.

Sotto, meanwhile, believes that Robredo’s attempt for unity talks is already a belated move as the Lacson-Sotto tandem has already established an organized alliance with different parties nationwide.

“Too late for us for any unity talks even at that time. We were already organized and set up nationwide. We are now forming a cooperative alliance between NUP, NPC, REPORMA, and UNA,” Sotto said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

VP Leni under quarantine after exposure to COVID-19 positive case

Maris Federez   •   December 29, 2021

MANILA, President — Vice President Leni Robredo has announced that she is under quarantine following exposure to a COVID-19 case.

Robredo made the disclosure in a Facebook live video on Wednesday (December 29) afternoon, noting that she was exposed to one of her close-in security who tested positive for the virus Tuesday.

“Kagabi tinawagan ako na yung isang close-in security ko nag-positive. So ngayon, naka-quarantine ako,” she said.

The Vice President said she, along with her team who were also exposed will be on quarantine for seven days.

She added that they started their isolation period immediately after hearing the news from the security team on Tuesday night.

“Our protocol in the office is to go on quarantine for seven days, kaya hanggang after New Year pa,” she added.

Robredo said that while this development put her planned visit to more typhoon-hit areas in the country on hold, she assured that the relief operations her office has been conducting will not stop.

“Yung trabaho ko gagawin ko na munang online para hindi sayang sa oras pero nahinto yung aking pag-iikot pero rest assured na yung mga teams natin ay tuloy tuloy yung relief operations on the ground,” she said.

The Vice President said this is the second time she has been exposed to a COVID-19 case.

She is fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, and received Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as a booster shot this month. —/mbmf

Presidential aspirants launch relief assistance to areas affected by Typhoon Odette

Maris Federez   •   December 17, 2021


MANILA, Philippines — Presidential aspirant Senator Manny Pacquiao has called on his fellow aspirants to join forces in extending assistance to areas affected by the onslaught of Typhoon Odette.

Pacquiao made the appeal through his Facebook and Twitter accounts, asking other candidates in the 2022 national elections to set aside politics and join together to help the typhoon victims.

Vice President Leni Robredo, in her reply via twitter, signified her support to Pacquiao’s call.

Pacquiao thanked the vice president and offered the cargo plane he chartered to bring assistance to those affected by Typhoon Odette.

The two candidates committed to having close coordination to implement the said activity.

Meanwhile, VP Robredo said she also personally lead in receiving in-kind donations and preparing the same for distribution to the typhoon victims.

“Para mas mapabilis ang pagkilos natin, nandito po ako ngayon sa ating Campaign Volunteer Center sa Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City, which we will be converting into a relief hub. We also convened our operations center dito,” Robredo said.

“Starting today, puwede na pong mag-drop off ng mga in-kind donations dito,” she added.

Robredo also appealed for volunteers to help them in repacking the goods. Details of this, she said, will be posted on their official FB page.

Meanwhile, Labor leader Leody de Guzman also responded to Pacquiao’s call.

He volunteered his group to help in the distribution of the relief goods.

“Tama yun. Napapanahon yung ganyang panawagan. Yung maraming pera, yung may bilyon bilyon 3-5 billion na uubusin na eleksyon ay maganda yung kalahati niyan ibigay sa mga taga Mindanao dahil sa nangangailangan sila duon. Katulad ko at Rj nakahanda kami sa makinarya sa distribusyon ng kanilang ipamimigay,” de Guzman said.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, on the other hand, said that should Senator Pacquiao made his appeal personal through private communication, he could have acquiesced and joined the call.

He said he will also send his reply privately and will offer his resources.

But since, Lacson said, the appeal was made through social media, responding to it will violate his principles, saying ‘calamity politics’ is the lowest form of campaigning.

“Since it was done through media – it goes against my principled belief that ‘calamity politics’ is the lowest form of campaigning. In fact, I consider it abominable,” Lacson said.

As in the past, he and his friends and supporters send help to those affected by calamities without media coverage.

“As in the past calamities, my Senate office, as well as friends and supporters, assisted without fanfare and without any media coverage. We did it in Cagayan Valley, and Bicol region, and some other areas hit by strong typhoons,” he said.

He emphasized that election or no election, his team is always ready to help.

For his part, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno asked the city council led by its Presiding officer Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna to hold a special session and pass a resolution to allocate funds to be used in sending help to families affected by Typhoon Odette.

“I have already asked the presiding officer of the City Council, Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, to immediately hold a special session and a resolution be passed allocating a certain sum of money for the typhoon victims in the Visayas and Mindanao,” Mayor Isko said.

Moreno’s camp has also launched a donation drive and urged the participation of all who can help and coordinate with his office.

Meanwhile, the tandem of former Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio used their volunteers in distributing relief goods in areas hit by Typhoon Odette.

The BBM-Sara Uniteam prepared relief packs containing 5 kilos of rice, canned goods, milk, and coffee.

On his Facebook page, Marcos thanked all who sent help to his office and their headquarters.

“Marami pong salamat sa lahat ng nagparating ng agarang tulong sa ating mga tanggapan at headquarters. Mahalagang maitawid ito sa ating mga kababayan sa lalong madaling panahon,” Marcos said.

“Ipakita natin ang pagbabayanihang Pilipino na siyang magbabangon sa atin mula anumang sakuna,” he added. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

Go, Domagoso express willingness to undergo drug test anew

Maris Federez   •   November 22, 2021


MANILA, Philippines — Presidential aspirants Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go and Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso signified their willingness anew to undergo drug testing following the move of Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

Manila City Public Information Office chief Julius Leonen said Mayor Isko has always been willing to undergo voluntary drug testing.

“Ready po siya any time. Pero priority niya muna ang constituent niya,” Leonen said.

In earlier interviews, Mayor Isko has already signified his willingness to do so.

“Kasi if a president will fight against drugs as a matter of policy, then dapat talaga kami rin. Ako, I don’t mind. Anytime mas maganda nga ahensya ng gobyerno,” Domagoso said.

Senator Go, meanwhile, reiterated that, although it is not mandatory, he is willing to undergo drug testing any time of the day.

“Ako naman po willing magpa-drug test anytime of the day. Anytime po kung kakailanganin,” Go said.

“Though hindi mandatory, pero just to prove lang po sa Pilipino kung sino yung fit na mamuno sa ating bansa ay willing po akong magpa-drug test, any time of the day po,” he added.

Presidential candidate Leody de Guzman, on the other hand, said he will not fall for the gimmickry of the Lacson-Sotto tandem.

He, however, said that he will have a change of heart should the Commission on Elections make it mandatory, but warned that such might infringe the Constitution and violate human rights.

“Hindi kami mahuhulog sa klase ng gimik na ginagawa ng tambalang Lacson-Sotto. Pero tulad ng sabi ko rin dati, kung gawing mandatory ng Comelec ang drug test, susunod ako bilang kandidato,” De Guzman said.

“Ngunit, nais ko silang paalalahanan na maaari itong paglabag sa Konstitusyon na magbubukas sa marami pang paglabag sa mga karapatang pantao,” he added.

Although other 2022 national elections presidential aspirants, Senator Manny Pacquiao and Vice President Leni Robredo have stated, in past interviews, that they are willing to undergo drug testing, they have yet to give their statement on this development.

Former Senator Bongbong Marcos has also not given his statement on the matter, although his camp has earlier stated that they do not feel being alluded to by President Duterte when he talked about a certain presidential aspirant who was using cocaine. /mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)


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