Sotto says high approval rating due to Senate performance
Robie de Guzman • July 17, 2019 • 1276
MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday said he was humbled by the latest survey of the Pulse Asia Research Incorporated showing his high approval and trust ratings in the second quarter of 2019.
In the Pulse Asia survey released on Wednesday, Sotto obtained 77 percent approval rating and 73 percent trust rating.
These figures are higher than his 65 percent approval rating and 61 percent trust rating recorded in March.
“I am humbled by the continued display of support from the public,” Sotto said in a statement.
But the Senate leader said the latest survey was not a reflection on his leadership but the institution as a whole.
“We, at the Senate, dispense our duties not for the sake of high or good ratings but to conscientiously perform our mandate with the public interest in mind. What I can assure, under my leadership, is that the Senate will continue to strive and focus on our legislative work,” he said.
The survey noted that only 7% of the 1,200 respondents disapproved of Sotto’s performance as Senate President while 16% were undecided.
The same survey revealed that President Rodrigo Duterte remains as the most trusted and appreciated government official, garnering 85 percent trust and approval ratings.
Vice President Leni Robredo, meanwhile, obtained a 55 percent approval rating and 52 percent trust rating.
Former House Speaker Gloria Arroyo got 26 percent approval rating and 22 percent trust rating while Supreme Court Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin received 41 percent approval rating and 35 percent trust rating.
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate has approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to grant President Rodrigo Duterte ‘flexibility’ to schedule the opening of classes in schools during a state of emergency.
Voting 23-0, senators on Monday unanimously passed Senate Bill 1541, which proposes to amend Section 3 of the Republic Act 7797, a law which sets the opening of school-year as early as the first Monday of June but not later than the last day of August.
The measure covers all basic education schools, including foreign or international schools in the country.
Once enacted into law, the bill would authorize the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of the Department of Education, to set the opening of classes nationwide or in selected areas at any date during a state of emergency or calamity.
A similar measure has been approved in the committee level in the House of Representatives on Saturday.
The approval of the proposed measure comes amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic which has affected millions of people worldwide. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent a bill that seeks to strengthen the country’s anti-terrorism law.
In a letter to House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday, Duterte certified as urgent House Bill No. 6785, which seeks to amend and toughen the Human Security Act of 2007.
In his letter, Duterte said the immediate enactment of the measure is to “address the urgent need to strengthen the law on anti-terrorism in order to adequately and effectively contain the menace of terrorist acts for the preservation of national security and the promotion of general welfare.”
The House Bill reportedly adopted the Senate version which passed on third and final reading in February.
Under the bill, anyone who threatens to commit terrorism, propose any terroristic acts or incite others to commit terrorism shall mete out a penalty of 12 years of imprisonment.
It also introduces provisions penalizing those who will propose, incite, conspire, participate in the planning, training, preparation and facilitation of a terrorist act; as well as those who will provide material support to terrorists, and recruit members in a terrorist organization.
The measure also includes a new section on foreign terrorist fighters to cover Filipino nationals who commit terrorist offenses abroad.
It also aims to provide law enforcers the much-needed tools to protect the people from terrorism threat and, at the same time, safeguard the rights of those accused of the crime.
Once a bill is certified as urgent, the Senate and the House of Representatives can immediately pass a measure on second and third reading on the same day.
Rights advocates had earlier warned that the bill’s enactment would worsen the human rights situation in the country.
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