Solons urge Duterte anew to pick House speaker bet
Robie de Guzman • July 4, 2019 • 1459
MANILA, Philippines – Some Congressmen on Thursday (July 4) urged President Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider his position not to endorse a candidate for Speaker amid bickering among members of the House of Representatives of the 18th Congress.
Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda said the president’s endorsement will put an end to the increasing post wrangling and help the lower House elect a leader who is committed to support the legislative agenda of the Duterte administration.
“I think a presidential intervention at this point will clarify all things for Congress because at the end of the day, it is his reform agenda that is more critical to the nation,” Salceda told reporters in a press briefing.
Capiz Representative Fredenil Castro also agreed with Salceda’s sentiment.
“Ang kataga ng president ay maaaring maging guideline ng pagpili ng kung sino ang susunod na speaker ng House of Representatives,” he said.
Earlier reports said Duterte would announce his choice for speaker by June 28, but he eventually said he would remain neutral on the issue.
Anak Kalusugan Party-list Representative Mike Defensor, on the other hand, said it would only be right for Duterte to remain firm in his decision to allow House lawmakers to vote for their next leader with their conscience.
Defensor also recalled how Duterte, then serving as congressman in 1998, stood by his choice to vote for then Congressman Joker Arroyo as speaker despite the strong support for then Congressman Manny Villar.
Villar was elected speaker after receiving majority of the votes against Arroyo who only got five votes.
“Noong panahon ni Pangulong Duterte noong siya ay congressman, bumoto siya batay sa kanyang konsensya. Bumoto siya sa kanyang paniniwala kung sino dapat na magsilbi na liderato sa ating Kongreso at ito rin ang susundan kong ehemplo,” he said.
Among those vying for the highest position in the lower House are Davao City 1st District Representative Paolo Duterte, Davao City 3rd District Representative Isidro Ungab, Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano, Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez, Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon Alvarez and Pampanga Representative Aurelio Gonzales and Bayan Muna party-list Representative Carlos Zarate.
Of the seven contenders for the position, six are allied with the administration.
House members are expected elect the next Speaker when the session of the 18th Congress opens in the morning of July 22, the same day when President Duterte delivers his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA). (with details from Grace Casin)
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte has called on member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to stand with Myanmar amid its coup crisis.
During the 39th ASEAN Summit, Duterte urged all parties in Myanmar to heed the ASEAN’s plea for peace.
“The Philippines urges all parties in Myanmar to engage in constructive dialogue with ASEAN. We are, after all, an ASEAN family. And if we cannot trust each other and work together, then who can Myanmar trust and work with?” he said.
He also urged ASEAN’s special envoy to visit Myanmar soon and meet all the parties involved.
Duterte expressed concern about Myanmar’s rejection of ASEAN’s sincere offers of assistance, stating that it may undermine the mutual trust and confidence that ASEAN-member states share.
Meanwhile, the president said the Philippines will commit to help individuals caught up in “situations beyond their control”.
“Our doors are open to our Rohingya brothers and sisters and other peoples of Myanmar who seek refuge,” he said. AAC
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday urged local government officials to ramp up their respective COVID-19 vaccination programs.
“I urge LGUs to come up with the most systematic and efficient way of finding out who among your constituents have not yet vaccinated. Please do everything to convince them to get vaccinated,” he said during his weekly public address.
Duterte reported that as of October 24, the country has administered 55.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, where around 30 million were given as first doses and 25 million as second doses.
He added that the national government aims to fully vaccinate 50 million citizens by the end of the year.
“We also need to ramp up vaccination rate in various LGUs in order to reach our target of inoculating 50 million fully-vaccinated individuals by the end of the year,” Duterte said.
The president added that vaccine supply allocated for far-flung provinces must not expire and should preserve its integrity.
” Yung mga bakuna na sana umabot na doon sa pinakamalayong lugar and the provincial, city, and municipal health officials will take over. Ang concern ko lang naman is that they would be able to preserve the integrity of the vaccines. That is very important. Ibig sabihin na hindi expired, walang sira, hindi ma-contaminate and all,” he said. AAC
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (October 25) welcomed the move of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to challenge his memorandum before the Supreme Court (SC).
Duterte assured they will defend the memorandum prohibiting Executive Department officials from attending the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearings on the procurement of pandemic supplies. The Senate panel wants to challenge the legality of Duterte’s said memo.
“At last, the members of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee have finally seen the light. We welcome this move of bringing the legality of the memorandum to the Supreme Court and we would like to congratulate the members for realizing, albeit late. That it is the court which should eventually decide on the constitutionality of the order and we will defend it,” the President said during his weekly public address aired Monday night.
“This is by far the most decent thing the committee has done and we are most eager to answer whatever questions you have regarding my not allowing officials of the Executive to attend your hearings that are legislative purposes,” he added.
The president again criticized the panel’s way of questioning resource persons, saying executive officials are made to wait for a long time but are not called to speak.
“Iyong mga tao ko sa gobyerno, iyong ipinapatawag ninyo at pahintayin ninyo ng ilang oras at hindi naman ninyo tatawagin at kung nandoon iniinsulto ninyo, para bang walang alam,” he said.
Duterte added that the SC is the only venue where the disagreement with the Senate panel may be settled.
“You have to be courteous if you want to be treated with courtesy,” he said. AAC
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