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Youth commissioner Ice Seguerra resigns

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairperson Aiza Seguerra

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque has confirmed the resignation of National Youth Commission (NYC) chairperson Cariza “Aiza” Seguerra.

However, Malacañang has yet to confirm if President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted Seguerra’s resignation.

She was appointed in August 2016 with a three-year term.

There was no reason cited for the resignation of Seguerra who is among the known supporters of Duterte during the May 2016 elections.

In her Facebook post, Seguerra said she personally informed President Duterte the reason for her resignation from the National Youth Commission.

When asked if the Chief Executive accepted the resignation of the youth commission chair, Roque said: “I have no information yet regarding that. What I do know is that, the Office of the Executive Secretary has received the resignation of chairperson Aiza Seguerra.” — UNTV News & Rescue

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Roque pursues Senate dream to revive Miriam Santiago’s legacy

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

Former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque speaks after filing his certificate of candidacy on October 17, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – Former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque surprised the public as he filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator on Wednesday (October 17), the last day of filing.

His decision came days after he announced that he was considering the advice of President Rodrigo Duterte for him to run for a lower position which he eventually confirmed as a nominee of an environmental party-list group Luntiang Pilinas.

He said his main reason for finally aiming for a seat in  the Senate  is to relive and continue the legacy of one of the most brilliant senators in history, the Iron Lady of Asia, late Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

“Ang aking babala ay ‘yung mga korap, mga bobo, mga tiwali sa gobyerno ay mumultuhin na po ni Miriam Defensor-Santiago sa pagkatao ni Harry Roque,” he announced.

Roque said he was grateful that the ruling party Duterte’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) offered him to run under its banner though he preferred to run under People’s Reform Party (PRP), the political party of the late Senator Santiago.

Roque claimed it was Mayor Sarah who arranged with PRP for his certificate of nomination and acceptance (CONA), a group which he implied is not a breeding ground for “traditional politicians.”

“Ang ating puso ay nasa Senado. Ang importante po talaga ay maisulong ang liderato na binigyang buhay ni dating Senador Miriam Defensor Santiago,” he said.

“Kinakailangan na mamili ang mamamayang Pilipino hindi lang basehan ng kasikatan, kinakailangang suriin ang kwalipikasyon ng mga kandidato…lalong lalo na sa senado. Ang Senado ay deliberative body. Kinakailangan po diyan ay may alam sa batas…bagong anyo ng mga maninilbihan sa senado,” he added.

When asked how his relationship with the President is doing, Roque said: “It’s a very good relationship.”

He stressed that he holds no grudges, “none at all,” against the President even with the sudden replacement of him as the Presidential Spokesperson by Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.

“Let me make it clear. I did not feel offended at any time during my stint as the presidential spokesperson even if there was at least one instance when I thought I could perhaps do my job better,” he noted. — Marje Pelayo



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Former Spox Harry Roque drops Senate dream, eyes party-list election

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, October 15th, 2018

Former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

MANILA, Philippines – Former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque has decided to defer his senatorial plans and run for a congressional seat instead.

Roque had a personal talk with President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday (October 14) and from there, Roque decided to go with the recommendation of the President realizing his slim chance of winning in the senatorial race.

Instead, he will run as the second nominee of the environmental party-list “Luntian Pilipinas party-list” following Ciara Sotto, the daughter of Senate President Tito Sotto, as the first nominee.

“I am taking the advice of the President while it was always my intention to file a certificate of candidacy, for the position of senator. I will actually file tomorrow a certificate of nomination for partylist,” he said.

If given a seat in the Lower House, Roque vows to push for the closure of all open-pit mining operations in the country as pursued by the Duterte administration.

While he was offered by President Duterte with the position of press secretary, Roque admitted that he is not the best person for the position citing lack of experience and training.

He added that by going back to his private life, he can now freely express his views and opinions.

“It’s time to be my own person again… Yes, nothing has changed. I’m now back to the old person I was. I knew that as a spokesperson, I had no personal views; that period has ended. I’m able now freely to advocate for the many issues that are close to my heart,” he said when asked about his future plans.

Nevertheless, he will remain a supporter of the Duterte administration although he is not discounting the possibilities of him criticizing the government in the future.

“But even as my own person, I think the President has always respected who I am and we respect instances wherein I may have criticisms because he knows I don’t seek to overthrow him,” he said.

In the end, Roque clarified that he holds no grudges against the President and he does not regret serving as the administration’s spokesperson.

He maintained that he remains in good terms with the Chief Executive. — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Malacañang awaits word from HOR on blocked budget

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2018


QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The sudden suspension of the budget hearing in the Lower House of Congress for the proposed 2019 National Budget raised questions from Malacañang on the kind of relationship that the Executive branch has with the Legislative body.

This, despite having the Lower House’s “super-majority” or the large number of solons allied with the Duterte administration.

Though Malacañang stressed it is not blaming anyone, the Palace admitted it has yet to hear anything about the issue from House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“Let’s just say with the budget being rejected by Congress, we don’t know what ties we have with the House now. We’d like to think that they continue to be important allies of the President, but apparently the change of leadership has also brought in a different kind of relationship,” explained Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

For now, the Palace regards this as a simple misunderstanding. Still, it would let the Congress explain about the issue.

But Roque said President Duterte does not believe Congress will reject the proposed national budget.

 “As of now, I think he’s giving the Congress the benefit of the doubt. He does not actually want to accept that for the first time, Congress does not want to enact on his budget,” the Spokesperson added.

Malacañang is also firm on the use of cash-based budgeting system for next year.

However, if Congress rejects the proposal, the government will be compelled to have a re-enacted budget for 2019.

Under the cash-based budgeting system, government agencies will only propose projects to be funded and implemented within the fiscal year.

The Congress has earlier expressed concerns that under this system, the “Build, Build, Build Program” of the Duterte administration will suffer, though the economic managers have said otherwise. – Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo

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