MANILA – Malacañang on Tuesday insisted that retired military officers are the best people to lead the government’s Covid-19 response and vaccination rollout because of their expertise in logistics.Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark after opposition senators… Read More
Palace should exert effort to condemn the action of the Chinese coast guard especially in light of the recent passage of the coast guard law that give them the authority to fire on foreign vessels operating in China-claimed waters
President Rodrigo Duterte will protect all Filipinos, including fishermen, following reports that a fisherman was reportedly harassed by a Chinese coast guard ship near the Philippines-occupied Pag-asa Island, Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark after opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros urged the Palace to denounce China’s bullying after Filipino fisherman Larry Hugo, 42, recently said that a Chinese coast guard ship tried to block his way to one of the sandbars near Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). Read More
MANILA – The Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) is open to an investigation into the alleged anomalies in the country’s hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.Former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, who chaired the Phisgoc, made the statement on… Read More
Yesterday, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año showed, as part of his presentation in the Senate inquiry on redtagging, a video of children who were killed while battling government forces.
These were kids who had made the fatal mistake of joining the front organizations of the CPP NPA NDF like GABRIELA, CEGP, LFS, ANAKBAYAN, IBON, etc—and then ended up dead as NPAs.
These were photos that, on so many occasions in our meetings at the NTFLECAC, reduced so many of us—men and women—to tears.
And we don’t flinch and look away at the photos of our children cradling M16s in their lifeless bodies, their eyes forever closed.
And I suspect the reason I have for not looking away is the same for my colleagues at the NTF ELCAC, Madame Senator.
We don’t look away because we bear witness to the unspeakable crimes done on our children.
Children we birthed.Whose bodies we not only housed but their hearts, minds and souls as well so that they grow up noble, pure, full of love and light.
And at the NTF ELCAC, we know how SATUR OCAMPO, ARLENE BROSAS, SARAH ELAGO, CARLOS ZARATE, EUFEMIA CULLAMAT, FERDINAND GAITE, FRANCE CASTRO, TEDDY CASINO, CAROL ARAULLO, NERI COLMENARES AND THE FRONT ORGANIZATIONS THEY REPRESENT ARE PREDATORS WHO LIE IN WAIT, READY TO STEAL OUR CHILDREN FROM US AT ANY MOMENT.
How their dreams have been stolen from them and how their pure hearts have been ripped out of their chests and corrupted with hate and lies by the CPP NPA NDF.
And so we don’t look away at their lifeless bodies.
This, to my mind, Madam Senator, is part of my Sacred Duty: to bear the pain in my heart so I may use this pain and this rage I feel as fuel to fight these monsters in our midst and to end this scourge
.And so it was with great surprise that I heard you say, “Speaking as a mother and speaking as a long time peace advocate for the past 3 decades, but mostly speaking as a mother, tama po ba Mr Chair na magpakita tayo ng ganyang mga video tungkol sa mga bata, mga anak ng kapwa magulang who are now dead and cannot speak for themselves?”
Madame Senator, I understand.
These are not pretty photos and in ordinary times, I would agree with you. But these are not ordinary times. There is a 52 year old war we wage that has stolen so many precious things from us—foremost of which is our children.And I’m thinking—if you’re going to speak up in defense of children who are now dead and cannot speak for themselves, would it not be better for you to speak up against the very reason they are dead and cannot speak for themselves rather than of photos of these children that offend your finer sensibilities?
In other words, there is something terribly wrong when we speak up against images of dead children being shown and remain silent over what led to their tragic and horrible deaths.
And I didn’t hear you speak a word against the deceptive recruitment of the CPP NPA NDF front organizations that were mentioned in Sec Año’s presentation: GABRIELA, LFS, ANAKBAYAN, CEGP, IBON—that brought on the early and violent demise of our children, Madame Senator.
And this is what concerns me because let me promise you, Madame Senator, if those who are in power look away and refuse to bear witness, and if they deny what it is that stares us in the face: terrorists out to get our children, there will be more of our children dying horrible, violent deaths.
And not just in photos.And the Grief and Pain that deeply wounds our people-mothers like you and me– will be even deeper and the cost to us as a people will be unbearable.
Statement of Senator Risa Hontiveros on the non-renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise
A DANGEROUS PRECEDENT
“The non-renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise has set a dangerous precedent. Because the government allowed politicking in the process of renewing a legislative franchise and succeeded in the shutting down of a media institution, we have effectively begun to ring the death knell on press freedom in the country.
The political persecution of ABS-CBN sends a chilling message to Filipino media practitioners and journalists: toe the line or get shut down. May takot at pagbabanta ang mensaheng inihahatid ng gobyerno: kapag kaaway ka, pwede kang ipasara.
While Filipinos are struggling with an unprecedented public health crisis brought by COVID-19, we have limited their access to life-saving information through the closure of a major media network that services at least 69 million Filipinos.
Because officials committed to settle their personal score with ABS-CBN, 11,000 workers are now in danger of losing their jobs and may fail to provide for their families in the near future; all while Filipinos are facing a major economic recession due to the global pandemic.
We must speak out against this outrageous act of political persecution. We must protect the cause of a free press in this country. We must not be afraid to hold those in power into account.
At a time when Filipinos are sick, jobless, and hungry, history will judge those who tried to silence the truth. History will be harsh to those who ignored the most basic needs of Filipinos during this pandemic and instead used it to consolidate power for selfish reasons.
Naniniwala ako na sa huli, maniningil ang mga anak natin. Maniningil ang kasaysayan.”
Malacañang hit back at opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros for criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte’s public address late Monday night, saying she should “study” the President’s report to Congress and help in the fight against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
In a statement on Tuesday night, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Office of the President has already submitted Duterte’s 18-page report to both the Senate and House of Representatives, detailing the actions undertaken by the Executive Branch to reduce further transmission of Covid-19 in the country.
“The good Senator may want to study the same for her enlightenment instead of courting a media hype,” he said.
Hontiveros said Duterte’s public address “was neither a sound assessment nor a concrete plan to address the Covid-19 crisis.”
“Where was she all this time when PRRD decisively acted on the national grave threat we face by undertaking aggressive measures to curb the spread of Covid-19? Was she perhaps hard on hearing when she was watching the televised message of the President as commented by one of her colleagues in the Senate? How could she have missed the program articulated by the Chief Executive?,” Panelo said.
“When the President signed Republic Act No. 11469 and the the Inter Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) was making a report to our people almost daily through its press briefings on how it was implementing the law, did she fail to catch any of these briefings on television and radio as well as read them in the newspapers?,” he added.
Instead of nitpicking, Panelo said Hontiveros should stop spreading misinformation.
“We urge her to engage in an intelligent and productive discourse and help in the battle against Covid-19 and not to contribute to the misinformation widely peddled in the social media by the purveyors of confusion and panic designed to put the President in a bad light,” he added.
He took a swipe at Hontiveros for being the only senator who voted against the “Bayanihan to Heal As One law” or Republic Act No. 11469.
“When the proposed bill was being debated in the Senate, did she not oppose its passage? What was she then opposing in the proposed legislation?” he said.
Panelo also criticized a media outlet for reporting a blog entry and tweets of entertainers and netizens criticizing Duterte’s televised address as allegedly lacking in transparency.
He defended Duterte’s public address, saying it “speaks for itself.”
Panelo said Duterte outlined the government’s program:
* To feed for two months the 18 million low-income households who were displaced by the enhanced community quarantine; * To acquire the medical equipment and supplies as well as provide the sufficient supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors and health workers for their protection and establish testing facilities and laboratories to enhance our health system; * To establish testing facilities and laboratories to enhance the country’s health system; * To assist the farmers and the fisher-folks in their hour of distress; and * To effect the smooth and efficient distribution of donations of medical supplies and PPEs by tasking the Office of Civil of Defense to the job, and giving the departments sufficient authority to implement the provisions and objectives of the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act.
“The televised message of the President highlights the unimpeded supply of food and agricultural products as well the enforcement of the law against hoarders and profiteers. The President forcefully stresses the immediate suspension, arrest and the prosecution of errant local officials who will politicize the distribution of food packages and abscond the amelioration fund assistance to be given to their constituents,” Panelo said.
He said Duterte also paid tribute to the heroism of the front-liners who risk – and of those who gave their lives for the service of the country.
“He acknowledges the generous donations of medical supplies, PPEs and other essential commodities and services coming from various countries, private corporations, individuals and even anonymous donors. He also appeals to the private employers to take care of their employees and implores all of us to take care of one another and unite as one as we face this country’s greatest crisis,” he said.
Under the Bayanihan law, Duterte must submit a weekly report to Congress every Monday detailing how he used his special powers to address Covid-19.
The report must include the amount and corresponding utilization of funds used, augmented, reprogrammed, reallocated, and realigned.
On March 24, Duterte signed the Bayanihan law which will remain in full force and effect for three months unless extended by Congress.
He also placed the entire of Luzon under enhanced community quarantine from March 17 to April 12 requiring all individuals to stay indoors and limit their movement to accessing basic goods and necessities.
As of Tuesday, heath authorities reported a total of 2,084 confirmed cases of Covid-19, 88 fatalities, and 49 recoveries. (PNA)
The bribery involving immigration officials milking Chinese nationals was earlier exposed by Senator Riza Hontiveros.
“In compliance with the directive of the President, we are immediately relieving the services of 18 immigration personnel mentioned during today’s Senate hearing regarding the ‘pastillas’ scheme,” BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said in a text message.
Sandoval added that the bureau is dealing with the matter seriously.
“We are not taking this lightly. The exposé by Immigration Officer Alex Chiong is deeply alarming, and we will ensure that we will take every measure to destroy this system of corruption, and impose the harshest penalties (on) erring personnel. Corruption has no place in the Bureau,” she added.
On Thursday, Duterte ordered the relief of immigration officials and employees supposedly involved in the scheme which purportedly gives preferential treatment to Chinese workers in Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs).
Hontiveros, during a Senate committee hearing, exposed the illegal activity where BI personnel at the airport allegedly received money from Chinese nationals for their seamless entry into the country during a Senate hearing on Monday.
On the same day, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente has ordered a probe to identify those who are involved in the scheme. (PNA)