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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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Incoming senator Dela Rosa eyes training on lawmaking

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Former Philippine National Police chief and incoming senator, General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, speaks before his supporters during the campaign period. (Photo: Bato Dela Rosa Facebook)

MANILA, Philippines – Former Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa is planning to attend seminars on crafting laws should he win a seat in the Senate.

First time candidate Dela Rosa is poised to become a senator with more than 18 million votes in the Commission on Elections (Comelec) partial, unofficial results of the 2019 midterm elections.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, Dela Rosa said he is seeking to attend seminars on lawmaking as this is the very essence of his work as a legislator.

“Ewan ko kung meron bang seminar diyan, or ano bang training dyan para matutuhan ko kung paano gawin ‘yung ng batas, kung paano gawin ‘yung trabaho sa Senado. Kung merong ganon I’ll take that opportunity para matuto ako,” he said in an interview on Tuesday.

(Is there a seminar for that or training where I could learn how to craft laws or about our work in the Senate? If there’s any, I’ll take that opportunity so I could learn.)

But he added that he will not attend the training if these will be held in the University of the Philippines because it was “anti-police” and “anti-military.”

Dela Rosa also said that he plans to consult reelectionist Senators Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel and JV Ejercito on the things that he needs to do to prepare for the job.

“Magtawag tawag ako kina Koko Pimentel, JV Ejercito kung ano ba talaga ang trabaho ng senador. What do I need to prepare para pagpasok ko, hindi na ito katawa-tawa,” he said.

(I will call Koko Pimentel and JV Ejercito to ask about the job of a senator, what I need to prepare so I won’t look ridiculous when I enter the Senate.)

Dela Rosa is currently ranking fifth in the top-12 winning circle with 18,339,919 votes based on partial, unofficial results from Comelec as of 5:10 a.m. Wednesday.

Pimentel is currently at 11th spot with 14,255,261 votes while Ejercito is outside the winning circle at the 13th place with 13,897,153 votes.

“Kaya nga malungkot ako. Magdasal na lang. Sana si JV makaakyat, si Koko ‘wag nang bumaba,” Dela Rosa said.

(That’s why I am sad. I’ll just pray. I hope JV’s ranking would go up and Koko’s wouldn’t go down.)

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Lacson cancels Senate probe on ‘Bikoy’ narco videos

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

Senator Panfilo Lacson (left), “Bikoy” (upper right), Peter Joemel Advincula (lower right)

MANILA, Philippines – A Senate panel on Wednesday cancelled its scheduled investigation on the allegations of Peter Joemel Advincula, who claimed to be ‘Bikoy’ in the video series entitled “Ang Totoong Narco List,” which linked some members of the Duterte family and their close allies to the illegal drug trade.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, made the announcement shortly after the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) announced that they have declined Advincula’s request for legal assistance.

READ: IBP declines ‘Bikoy’ request for legal help

Lacson made the decision after Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Advincula was the same person who linked former President Benigno Aquino III and former government officials in illegal drugs in 2016.

SP Sotto said it all. We are now recalling the letter of invitation sent to Advincula yesterday,” Lacson wrote on his Twitter account.

“Notices will be sent out for the cancellation of the committee hearing on Friday. Enough of this nonsense,” he added.

“The problem with asking Bikoy who are the people behind him is if we will believe him,” he continued.

READ: Senate to probe ‘Bikoy’ claims this week

Lacson earlier said his committee could schedule a hearing on Friday if Advincula will accept the invitation, and present a sworn statement and evidence to back his claims. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

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Lacson questions Acierto’s motive in Yang drug links report

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, March 28th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday expressed doubt on the motive behind the recent appearance of former Police Colonel Eduardo Acierto to implicate former Presidential economic adviser, Michael Yang in illegal drug trade.

Acierto surfaced on March 24 from months-long hiding to reveal that he had submitted an intelligence report detailing Yang’s alleged drug links along with a certain Allan Lim.

The former cop claimed he submitted the report to his superiors in the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Malacañang, but it was allegedly ignored.

He also released his own diagram showing Yang and Lim’s supposed connection to the Johnson Chua Drug Trafficking Syndicate.

READ: Acierto releases matrix showing Yang’s alleged drug links

In the said matrix, Yang, nicknamed the “Dragon,” was connected to Lim, a Chinese businessman who allegedly operates several clandestine drug laboratories in the country, including the one which was raided by authorities back in 2004.

But Lacson questioned Acierto’s report as part of it happened when President Rodrigo Duterte was still the Mayor of Davao City.

“What took you took so long [in revealing this now and] between 2004 na Mayor pa [ng Davao City] si President Duterte na ni sa imagination, wala namang mag-iisip na magiging Presidente? Bakit hindi mo ipinursue noon, kung ganyang (impormasyon) malakihan yan?” he asked.

(What took you so long in revealing this now and between 2004 when President Duterte was still the Mayor of Davao City? No one even imagined then that he will become the President. Why did you not pursue it when the information is very serious?)

Lacson earlier admitted to seeing the intel report and the drug matrix when Acierto was summoned to a Senate hearing in the previous year. He said he advised the dismissed cop then to provide all the details as photographs are not convincing enough to support his claims.

READ: Lacson: Gov’t should pursue probe on Acierto’s drug claims

The Senator said he was also puzzled as to why Acierto did not use the opportunity during the Senate hearing to reveal the said drug matrix.

He believes the government should pursue the investigation and verify Acierto’s drug claims.

“I would like to think na dapat gawing pormal [ang imbestigasyon] kung magkaroon man ng closure yung accusation na ginawa ni Acierto,” he said.

(I would like to think that the investigation should be made formal if ever there will be a closure on Acierto’s accusations)

Meanwhile, a resolution seeking to probe Yang’s appointment as Presidential Economic Adviser and determine the extent of his engagements under the Duterte administration has been filed by Opposition Senator Leila de Lima.

She also urged Acierto to bare the details of his intelligence report on the alleged links of several personalities in the illegal drug trade.

“The intel report of Acierto, if publicized and verified, will raise questions as to Duterte’s real involvement in the drug trade in the country,” she said.

The Senator, who is currently detained over her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison, dared Duterte to probe Yang’s alleged drug links.

“Kung galit ka talaga sa ilegal na droga at sa drug users at pushers, patunayan mo ngayon Mr. Duterte, at paimbestigahan si Yang. Hindi ‘yung puro mahihirap at walang kalaban-laban ang pinagdidiskitahan mo,” she said.

(If you really hate illegal drugs, and drug users and pushers, prove it now, Mr. Duterte, and have Yang investigated. Don’t just focus on the poor and the helpless.) – Robie de Guzman (with details from Nel Maribojoc)

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