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Veteran senators to guide new colleagues in Senate

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2019

UNTV File photo

MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III said on Wednesday (May 15) that veteran senators are willing to guide their new colleagues once they assume office.

Sotto added that the Senate Secretariat is always ready to assist the new senators.

“Anytime upon request or instruction, as they always do every time there is a new member of the Senate,” the Senate president said.

This came after former PNP Chief Ronald dela Rosa, one of the leading senatorial candidates in the ongoing canvassing of the 2019 midterm polls, admitted in an interview that he needs a training or a crash course in lawmaking.

“Mayroon bang seminar diyan o ano bang training diyan para matutunan ko kung paano gawin ang batas? Ano ba ang mga trabaho namin diyan sa Senado? Kung mayroong ganun, I will take that opportunity para matuto ako,” Dela Rosa said on Tuesday.

(Is there a seminar or a training where I can learn how to craft laws? What does our job in the Senate involve? If there are [seminars] I will take the opportunity to learn.)

In reaction to Dela Rosa’s statement, Senator Panfilo Lacson said the incoming senator need not worry as his veteran colleagues are willing to give them pieces of advice on how to do their work in the Upper House.

Lacson, also a former PNP Chief, was Dela Rosa’s upperclassman in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

Lacson is a member of the PMA Class of 1971 while Dela Rosa belongs to PMA Class of 1986. – Marje Pelayo

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Senators divided over PH’s possible withdrawal from UN human rights body

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2019

UNHRC Hall | Courtesy: United Nations Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.’s tweet about the Philippines’ possible withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) earned mixed reactions from members of the Senate.

In reaction to the issue, Senator Panfilo Lacson said the Philippines may face unfavorable consequences in the future with its withdrawal from different UN bodies.

“It may be a matter of time when we will be left to our own devices. We do not know when, but being a developing country, we may need to knock on the doors of the community of nations sooner or later,” Lacson said in statement on Monday (July 15).

For his part, Senator Francis Pangilinan believes there will come a time when the Philippines will have to explain the outcome of the government’s drive against illegal drugs.

“We can run but we can’t hide. Sooner or later we will have to explain if not to the international community at the very least to ourselves and our citizens why tens of thousands have been killed,” Pangilinan said.

“Yet the drug menace has become worse while drug syndicates and customs officials behind the smuggling of tons of shabu through the BoC go unpunished,” he added.

But Senate President Vicente Sotto III expressed support to whatever the Foreign Affairs Department proposes best for the country.

“He would be in the best position to assess what is beneficial for our country as far as diplomacy with others is concerned,” Sotto said of Locsin.

Locsin posted the idea on Saturday (July 13) when a netizen inquired about how the Philippine representation in Iceland reacted to the Council’s approval of Iceland’s resolution seeking to probe into the human rights situation in the Philippines in relation to the Duterte administration’s drug war.

READ: Philippines eyes withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council

The resolution garnered 18 affirmative votes, 14 negative and 15 abstentions. – with details from Nel Maribojoc.

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Know: Personalities who are likely to join Presidential Race in 2022

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Thursday, June 27th, 2019

It’s still three years before President Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends, and yet, this early, several names are already floating to likely run in the presidential race in 2022.

Among the list is Senator Cynthia Villar who also topped the senatorial elections this year.

Even President Duterte had, at one point, mentioned supporting the Villars in case anyone of them decides to run in 2022.

“One of the factors kung bakit ako pumayag, si Speaker (Manny Villar). Kaya kung may presidente na suportahan ko, si Speaker [one of the factors is Speaker (Manny Villar). If there is anyone I will support for presidency, it’s the Speaker],” said the President.

Senator Villar thanked the President for his trust. She, however, maintained that it is still too early to announce any decision regarding the 2022 elections.

“We thank President Duterte for his trust and confidence. Manny and I think 2022 is so far away and we are just focusing our efforts in reelecting me as senator in 2019,” Villar said.

On the other hand, the name of Senate President Vicente Sotto III was also mentioned by President Duterte in his first State of the Nation Address in 2016.

President Duterte said Sotto can become the president once Federalism is approved in Congress and the need for the new president arose.

Another name floating is that of Senator Panfilo Lacson, who had recently denied in his Twitter post that he is already posturing for the 2022 elections.

This came about when the senator had been actively giving his opinions on issues on his social media account.

Read: Lacson tells critics: I’m not posturing for 2022 polls

Lacson ran but lost in 2004 Presidential race. He, however, said he is not closing any doors for the possibility of running for the said position again.

Senator Richard Gordon has also been alluded to by the President in his 2017 SONA as the country’s potential top leader.

Vice President Leni Robredo, on the other hand, is also not brushing off the possibility of aiming for the highest position in the government.

She was quick to add, however, that this is not something that one plans, believing it as part of destiny.

Even presidential daughter Mayor Sarah Duterte-Carpio is also being seen as the one who will follow her father’s footsteps. 

She said, however, that this matter is not in her mind yet as she is focusing on her job as the chief executive of Davao City. (with reports from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

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Lacson tells critics: I’m not posturing for 2022 polls

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, June 24th, 2019

Senator Panfilo Lacson

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson on Monday denied he is already posturing for the elections in the year 2022 amid his being active in Twitter.

“To those accusing me of posturing for 2022, I am not. I am just myself – mostly serious, sometimes funny, naughty, controversial, dull, boring,” he said in a post.

Lacson made the remark after his critics accused him of already preparing to run in the next polls with his recent statements against the actions of the Duterte administration.

The former Philippine National Police chief turned lawmaker first sought the presidency in 2004 but lost to President Gloria Arroyo. He attempted to run again in 2016 but he backed out and ran for a Senate seat instead.

Lacson explained to his followers why he enjoys using Twitter.

“I love Twitter. It makes me think, fact-check, google and learn. As of this hour, I have 22,218 followers; following 374; blocked 448,” he said.

As of posting, Lacson’s followers have increased to over 23,500. Since joining Twitter in February 2015, Lacson has so far made 821 tweets, followed 374 accounts and blocked 448.

On Saturday, the senator also gave a “sound advice” on how to deal with a basher that you can’t ignore.

“Insult him back hard enough. Give him what he deserves,” he said.

“Kill him by natural cause, or make his blood boil to suffer a stroke,” he added.

“Never mind if you’re dealing with a troll. For all you know, you’re hitting a real person,” he concluded.

Lacson has been using Twitter to share his thoughts and issue a statement on various issues. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

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