Women wearing hijab, robe-like dresses to undergo tight inspection in Davao City checkpoints

Robie de Guzman   •   September 17, 2019   •   173

DAVAO CITY – Female passengers who are wearing hijab or robe-like dresses will undergo strict inspection at checkpoint stations in Davao City, Task Force Davao (TFD) said on Tuesday.

The tighter security inspection is part of an effort to strengthen the security measures in the city following the Sept. 8 blast in Indanan, Sulu which involved a female suicide bomber wearing a hijab.

At checkpoint stations, passengers are required to individually pass through a walkthrough scanner while their luggage will go through an X-ray scanner.

The TFD also put up a curtained cubicle to inspect females, especially those who are wearing robe-like dresses, hijab or Abaya Anjou like Muslim women.

Appointed female soldiers will be the ones to conduct body inspections on Muslim women in respect to their culture and traditions.

“Yung ating mga inspection cubicles ay at least to protect their privacy so we encourage them to wear pa rin kung kailangan nila, hindi natin pinagbabawalan yun na magsuot (ng hijab). They don’t have to worry,” TFD commander Lt. Col. Consolito Yecla told UNTV News in a phone interview.

“Actually, we are thinking on how to ensure na di talaga ma-violate ang kanilang privacy kaya nagkaroon ng mga inspection cubicle,” he added.

Yecla said the inspection in a cubicle for women is also a way to prevent any threat groups or individuals from entering the city.

This system has already been implemented at checkpoint areas in Davao City Overland Transport Terminal and Barangay Sirawan in Toril District.

This inspection system is the latest to be implemented by local authorities in Davao City.

Other city ordinances relating to security include the “no backpack policy” and the ban of non-transparent water containers in public places.

“We will be adopting additional measures to augment our present strategy to ensure that our security measure will really be up to date,” Davao City Police Office director Col. Alexander Tagum.

The TFD likewise urged the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious persons or things to prevent any untoward incidents. RRD (with details from Correspondent Hazel Fuerzas)

Davao City bans pigs, pork products from Luzon

Marje Pelayo   •   September 27, 2019

DAVAO CITY – The city government of Davao has issued a temporary entry ban on live pigs and pork products from Luzon following the outbreak of the African Swine Fever (ASF).

According to the executive order issued on Wednesday (September 25), the “temporary ban applies to all live pigs, pork, and pork-related products and by-products, whether fresh, frozen, processed, or cooked, including but not limited to frozen boar semen, from the entire island of Luzon and the other ASF-affected areas.”

Likewise, the order also prohibits backyard hog raisers from practicing swill feeding to prevent further spread of the deadly pig virus as food leftovers may contain contaminated pork meat.

Instead, hog raisers are encouraged to use commercially available feeds sourced from areas that are not affected by ASF.

The city government also urges the immediate reporting of sick pigs or incidence of pig mortality in their farms for verification of the City Veterinary Office.

Mike Defensor says sorry to Sara Duterte: ‘Speakership fight left us confused’

Robie de Guzman   •   July 10, 2019

(L-R) AnaKalusugan party-list Representative Mike Defensor and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio

MANILA, Philippines – AnaKalusugan party-list Representative Mike Defensor on Wednesday apologized to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio for showing to reporters a text message she supposedly sent to urge solons to vote for House speaker of their personal choice despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s endorsement of a term-sharing set-up between Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco.

“I apologize to Mayor Inday Sarah if I have in anyway offended her with my statement,” Defensor said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Defensor bared to reporters a screenshot of the supposed text message, which he said came from someone “very close” to the Davao City mayor.

The supposed text message read: “Hi sir! I have the go signal of Mayor Inday to publish. ‘Kaya nanawagan siya ngayon sa lahat ng mga Congressmen na bumuto ayon sa kanilang kagustuhan dahil ang kanya[ng] ama ay na set-up lamang ng mga gahaman na gabinete na kaalyado ni Cayetano – Mayor Inday.”

But Duterte-Carpio disowned the text message, told Defensor to identify his source and advised him to “stop sowing intrigue.”

READ: Sara Duterte disowns text message urging solons to vote for speaker according to conscience

READ: Sara Duterte dares Mike Defensor to name source of ‘text’ on speakership vote

Defensor also clarified that he did not say the text message came from the Davao mayor herself or from a congressman close to her.

“I did not say it came from her or a congressman. In fact, I should not have shown it because reading it again it had Inday Sara’s name. I did say though that there was another person who got the same message. I apologize Ma’am if I have offended you,” he said.

“It was wrong of me to drag her name unfairly on this matter,” he added.

The solon further said that the mention of the congressman was referring to the meeting with the party-list coalition where two party-list representatives discussed the Duterte Coalition’s continued fight despite the president’s announcement of his speakership bets.

Defensor said he cannot name the said congressman citing confidentiality of their discussion.

The lawmaker also admitted to contacting Duterte-Carpio through Atty. Charo Munsayac, on the speakership issue.

Duterte-Carpio earlier said Defensor reached out to her and made “last-minute requests” for Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez, to which she said she will not interfere.

“As for continuedly asking Mayor Inday Sarah through Atty. Charo Munsayac, I admit to this fact,” he said.

“I didn’t want to bother Atty. Charo, who is my lawyer and a good friend of the Mayor, as regards political concerns but the turn of events on the speakership fight has left me and many of my colleagues confused and nonplussed on the matter,” he added.

Defensor was part of a group of legislators supporting Romualdez’s bid for the highest position in the House of Representatives.

It can be recalled that on Monday (July 8), President Duterte endorsed the term-sharing scheme between Cayetano and Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco. He also suggested for Romualdez to take the House Majority Leader job instead.

Romualdez, despite garnering 167 signatures from his fellow solons for the speakership, has dropped out of the race and accepted the president’s suggestion.

Davao City Representative Isidro Ungab, who was earlier endorsed by Duterte-Carpio’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago party as speakership bet, has yet to issue any comment on the developments in the speakership race.

House members are set to elect the next Speaker when the session of the 18th Congress opens on the morning of July 22, the same day when Duterte will deliver his fourth State of the Nation Address.

Davao Rep. Ungab accepts Hugpong’s House speaker nomination

Robie de Guzman   •   July 4, 2019

Davao City 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Third District Representative Isidro Ungab has accepted the endorsement of regional party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago, as a candidate for House Speaker.

In a statement, Ungab said he will abide by the decision of the party.

“I am deeply honored for the endorsement as House Speaker. I am a good soldier under the command of every Filipino,” he said.

“I am ready, willing and capable to serve in any capacity. I reiterate my commitment to support the legislative agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte, ensure further economic growth, lower poverty incidence and to help create more opportunities for all Filipinos,” he added.

On Wednesday (July 3), the HNP which is led by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, nominated Ungab as its bet for the speakership amid a tight race in the House of Representatives of the 18th Congress.

READ: Hugpong ng Pagbabago endorses Ungab for House Speaker post

The HNP said they nominated Ungab for the top House post in case President Rodirgo Duterte rejects the intent of his son, Davao City 1st District Representative Paolo Duterte, to join the speakership race “because of delicadeza.”  

“Therefore, we are endorsing the bid of Congressman Isidro Ungab for Speaker,” the party said.

It can be recalled that on Tuesday (July 2), Paolo Duterte announced his possible bid for speakership amid talks on term-sharing. He also proposed that the speaker of the house post be shared by representatives from Mindanao, Visayas, Luzon, and the party-list groups.

President Duterte earlier said he will step down from office should his son decide to gun for House speakership.

The HNP said Ungab is an experienced legislator and the only congressman to hold the chairmanships of both Ways and Means and Appropriations Committees.

Ungab assured he is ready and open to work with everyone, even expressing hope that every member will work towards unity to establish a strong House.

“HNP hopes that everyone will aim for and work towards unity and cooperation in order to establish a strong and efficient House,” he said.

Other contenders for the speakership post are Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano, Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez, Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco and Pampanga Representative Aurelio Gonzales.

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).

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