SC releases copy of decision on Marcos’ electoral protest

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 20, 2021   •   542

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has released a copy of its decision junking the electoral protest filed by former Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo.

Based on the 91-page decision of the SC Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), Marcos’ “allegations appeared bare, laden with generic and repetitious allegations and lacked critical information.”

It also junked the third cause of action of the electoral protest which is the annulment of elections in three provinces: Maguindanao, Lanao Del Sur, and Basilan.

After the recount, Robredo got a total of 14,436,337 votes, while Marcos got 14,157,771 total votes.

Last February, the SC dismissed Marcos’ electoral protest; however, the former Senator said it does not include their third cause of action.

According to the tribunal, Marcos also failed to prove there was an anomaly during the elections and that Robredo was behind it. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

Palace welcomes Robredo initiatives in fight vs COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   July 28, 2021

Vice President Leni Robredo

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Wednesday agreed with Vice President Leni Robredo’s recent remark on the need to prioritize the response to the COVID-19 crisis as it welcomed the latter’s efforts in the fight against the pandemic.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace appreciates Robredo’s initiatives to ensure success in combating COVID-19.

“We welcome the initiatives of the Vice President in the fight against COVID-19 which she enumerated in her Ulat sa Bayan and we are in no way diminishing her efforts in this trying time,” he said.

“Any contribution, including policy recommendations from the political opposition, to ensure the successful fight against the pandemic, is much appreciated,” he added.

Robredo earlier said that the response to the pandemic and its effects should be the priority and that it should be mirrored in the budget allocation, meeting agenda and other government efforts to raise vaccine confidence.

She also suggested for the government to offer incentives to those who are hesitant to take the COVID-19 vaccine instead of threatening to apprehend them.

Malacañang also agreed with Robredo’s message that it is the Filipinos who helped and came to the rescue of fellow Filipinos amid the pandemic.

Roque said that in fact, President Rodrigo Duterte paid tribute to all frontline workers during his final State of the Nation Address on Monday.

“We reiterate: Now is the time to focus on COVID-19 and help the national government in achieving population protection; so together, we will recover and have a happy Christmas and a better future for all Filipinos,” he added.

Robredo: COVID-19 pandemic should be gov’t’s main focus

UNTV News   •   July 27, 2021

Vice President Leni Robredo

MANILA, Philippines — After President Rodrigo Duterte’s final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday (July 26), Vice President Leni Robredo, delivered her own report dubbed as “Ulat ni VP Leni.”

“Tapos na ang SONA ng Pangulo. Nakarinig tayo ng talaan ng mga numero at mga proyekto. Sa kabila nito, may inasahan sana tayong madiinan na hindi nadiinan,” Robredo said in live broadcast on her Facebook account on Tuesday (July 27).

“Ang totoo: Pilipino ang tumulong sa kapwa Pilipino; Pilipino ang sumalo sa kapwa Pilipino; nakaraos lang tayo sa nakaraang isa’t kalahating taon dahil sa lakas na ibinigay natin sa isa’t isa. Humaharap po ako sa inyo ngayon para idiin: Maraming, maraming salamat sa inyo,” the vice president said implying that the administration could not get any credit for what the Filipino people have achieved.

Robredo enumerated the accomplishments of her office such as the OVP’s online donation drive for the needs of the frontliners such as PPE’s, shuttle services and temporary shelters; the establishment of Bayanihan e-Skwela which involved volunteer tutors in Community Learning Hubs in cooperation with the local government units; the launch of sikap.ph, a jobs-matching platform for blue collar workers, and iskaparate.com, which brought small businesses online – among others.

She commended the efforts of those who have been willing to assist in their programs for the people.

“The OVP does not have a large budget; unlike other agencies, we don’t have an expansive political machinery. Our budget is trust; our machinery, a people willing to give of themselves. Can you imagine what more we could have accomplished if everything, including decisions and policies of the government, was oriented towards this same bayanihan spirit?” she said.

Robredo said they are in constant consultation with experts who provided a number of recommendations which she claimed “things implementable only by the national government, and that we ask to be acted upon as soon as possible.”

Among these recommendations include:

A faster and integrated system for testing, tracing, and treatment, primarily a solid database.
Direct delivery of vaccines to our people and their communities.
Reviewing revenues from the Sin Tax, for allocation towards pandemic needs.
Paying off PhilHealth’s debts to hospitals to ensure their continued operations. Properly and sufficiently enforcing Universal Healthcare.
Passing Bayanihan 3, and ensuring the funds from this law are used so that no one starves or loses their home.
Lending to small businesses.
Offering aid to those who lost their jobs, and giving them extensive retraining opportunities to help them keep up with the evolving landscape of industries.
Allocating more funds towards raising the quality of education.

Robredo said details of the above policy recommendations will be posted on her Facebook page.

“Pero bukod sa paglalatag ng mga polisiya, alam din nating may isa pang napakahalagang tungkulin ang gobyerno: Ang itutok tayo sa iisang direksyon; ang ipaalala sa atin na anuman ang mga di-pagkakasundo, iisang bayan tayo. Tungkulin ng gobyerno, lalo na sa panahon ng krisis, na magpunla ng pagkakaisa,” the vice president said.

“Kaya nga patuloy ang pagdidiin natin: Walang ibang dapat tutukan sa mga panahong ito kundi ang pandemya at ang kanyang mga epekto. All hands on deck, laser like focus ang kailangan. Ito dapat ang isalamin ng budget, ng agenda ng bawat meeting ng pamahalaan, ng bawat memo na ibababa sa buong burukrasya,” she said.

Work in NCR Courts suspended Wednesday due to inclement weather – SC

Robie de Guzman   •   July 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo has ordered the suspension of work in all courts in the National Capital Region (NCR) due to the inclement weather, the high court’s Public Information Office (PIO) said Wednesday.

The work suspension will take effect at 12 noon, according to a memorandum posted on the SC PIO’s social media account.

It covers the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Court of Tax Appeals, Sandganbayan, and all National Capital Judicial Region courts.

The order also covers offices under the Office of the Court Administrator, Presidential Electoral Tribunal and the Judicial and Bar Council.

The state weather bureau on Wednesday morning raised heavy rainfall warnings over parts of Metro Manila and nearby areas due to the effects of the southwest monsoon, which is being enhanced by the Typhoon Fabian and a severe tropical storm outside the Philippine area of responsibility.

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