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Some personalities on Duterte’s ‘narco-list’ deny allegations

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, March 15th, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte reads out the names of alleged narco-politicians

MANILA, Philippines – Several personalities whose names were mentioned by President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday (March 14) as among those listed on his narco-list have spoken up to clear their names.

El Nido, Palawan Mayor Nieves Rosento questioned the government’s claim that the allegations against them have been validated.

“Sinasabi po nila na they validated all of these. Saan po talaga actual na nakukuha yung mga information? Will it be sa mga taong kumakalaban sa atin o yung mga nasagasaan natin ng pagi-implement natin ng batas? (They were saying that they have validated all of these. Where did they get the actual information? Was it from our rivals in the election or was it from those offended by our implementation of the law?),” she said.

Pangasinan 1st District Rep. Jesus Celeste maintained his clean conscience on the matter ever since his name was implicated in illegal drugs two years ago.

“Sa unang una pa lamang noong 2016, nagrequest na ako na imbestigahan ako. Binuksan ko ang pamamahay ko na imbestigahan lahat. Meron namang resulta na. Negative lahat ang result, (Even before in 2016, I requested to investigate myself. I opened my house doors for investigation. And the results were negative,)” Celeste argued.

Los Baños Laguna Mayor Ceazar Perez, for his part, asserted his innocence ever since his name was dragged into the controversy.

“2017 pa lang kumakalat na iyang involved ako sa drugs. Binabalewala ko lang kasi walang katotohanan yung bagay na yun, (These drug allegations against me has been going around since 2017. I just ignore it because there is no truth to that matter,)” he said.

On Thursday (March 15), President Rodrigo Duterte surprised the public by naming the alleged drug personalities on his narco-list.

The list involved 35 mayors, seven vice mayors, one provincial board member and three congressmen.

They are from Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, MIMAROPA, Caraga Region, Central Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Central Luzon, SOCCSKARGEN, Northern Mindanao and Western Visayas.

 “There can never be a valid argument to deny the public, the people of the Philippines at large, to know who are the officials who should not be there in their office and in these particular case now, those who are involve  in the deadly name of drug trafficking,” the President said.

According to DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, they released the narco-list as part of their mandate adding that such a move has nothing to do with the upcoming election.

“I would like to assure na ang ating mga kababayan, even yung mga nagsasabi ng negative campaigning na wala po kaming instensyong ganun. (I would like to assure the public, even those who accused us of negative campaigning, that we have no such intention.)  This is just incidental na panahon ng eleksyon ngayon (that election period is on,)” explained Malaya.

The official said the narco-list was carefully screened by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the lead agency in the Inter-Agency Committee On Anti-Illegal Drugs with the help of other law enforcement agencies to nclude the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces Of The Philippines (AFP), and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency.

“So itong apat na ahensyang ito, nagtulungan para mabuo itong listahan na ito,(These four agencies worked together to come up with this list.) So we are very confident. Mabigat yung ating mga ebidensya at sana panigan tayo ng Ombudsman, (We have strong evidence and we hope the Ombudsman will rule in our favor,)” Malaya concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

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Former Senator Alvarez withdraws from congressional race

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Sunday, May 12th, 2019

Former Senator Heherson Alvarez (Photo courtesy: Dayao Ti Amianan)

Former Senator Heherson Alvarez has withdrawn his bid for a congressional seat in the 4th congressional district of Isabela, two days ahead of the May 13 Midterm Elections.

In his statement released on Saturday (May 11), Alvarez who “had hoped that this election would have been (his) last effort to render public service after several decades of cumulative experience,” said that the blatant practice of vote-buying had led to his decision to withdraw.

The former lawmaker claimed that “the massive and overwhelming vote-buying makes the electoral process a sham.”

He added that “vote-buying is vote-killing and it is as destructive to our democracy as drug is as destructive to our physical well-being.”

Alvarez also said that he “cannot continue in this political exercise that violates (the) precious political freedom of choice of leaders.”

He called on the public to renounce, denounce and withdraw tolerance on vote-buying lest the country withers away because of it.

He also cited President Rodrigo Duterte’s warning to jail the perpetrators of vote-buying and to “make those who undermine our free suffrage accountable to our laws and constitution.”

The former senator also thanked the President for his endorsement as the standard bearer of Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in Isabela’s 4th congressional district.

He also made an appeal for the people to “stand up and assist the President to strengthen our democratic system.” /mbmf

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Duterte advises Filipinos to ‘follow rules’ on Election Day

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, May 10th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The 2019 Midterm polls is only three days away, and with this, President Rodrigo Duterte reminds all political candidates and voters to “just follow (election) rules” on Monday (May 13).

The last day of campaigning is on Saturday (May 11) and the President is expected to join the meeting de avance of his party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in Pasig City.

“I promised the people that this election and every other election that will take place during my time, or (under) my watch — you just follow rules. It’s when you start to break rules (that’s when problems start). Sundin mo lang ang batas at walang problema, (Abide by the law and (we’ll) have no problem),” the President stressed.

The Chief Executive also advised both admin and opposition candidates to respect each other’s respective ideals and positions on public issues.

“This is for my candidates and for the opposition. Everybody’s stand or position must be respected. That is the rule in this country. This is democracy,” he emphasized.

President Duterte is likely to stay in Davao City on the day of the election on Monday where he is also expected to cast his vote.

The President said he leaves it to the people to decide on the election day emphasizing that he has no intention of convincing anyone to vote for the candidates he endorses.

“Let’s talk about national candidates. It’s up to you if you believe it or not. I won’t try to convince you. I’m not going to say, ‘vote for these candidates,’” he said.

President Duterte believes that not all of his senatorial bets will win the election but he reiterates to all Filipino voters to think it over and carefully list down their preferences before they go out to vote.

“I know you have about 12. I do not think that… Well, on the law of averages, I do not think that this 12 will make it,” President Duterte said.

“But kung ito lang man ipalit ninyo, you better think, please. (But if you would replace them with just anyone, you better think, please.) Think hard and sleep on it tonight. It’s (the election is) just around the corner,” he concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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Duterte, no interest in filing cases vs alleged ‘matrix’ plotters

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, May 9th, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte has no interest in filing charges against the alleged plotters included in the “ouster” matrix.

READ: DOJ to look into Malacañang’s new oust Duterte matrix

On Wednesday (May 8), the Malacañang released a new ouster matrix linking the Liberal party, Magdalo group, and several media outfit in an attempt to discredit the president.

Duterte also said there is a non-Filipino intelligence community.

“Now their Otso [Diretso] has created another black propaganda. So I revealed it. There is an intelligence community but it’s not Filipino. Actually, you would know who it is if you try to read my character. That was revealed in the matrix. They released black propaganda that included my daughter. I’m not interested to file cases,” he said.

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