Bello’s resignation and withdrawal of support to administration won’t matter — House Speaker

UNTV News   •   March 12, 2015   •   2542

FILE PHOTOS: Rep. Walden Bello of Akbayan and House Speaker Feliciano ‘Sonny’ Belmonte Jr. (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines – Congressman Walden Bello announced his intention to resign as representative of the Akbayan Party-list.

Bello also announced his withdrawal of support to the Aquino administration. His reasons for withdrawing his support include the Mamasapano clash.

Bello’s decision saddened his colleagues in the partylist. Akbayan Party-list Rep. Barry Gutierrez said that even before, Bello had already been airing his opposition to some issues like the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

Despite this, they still respect the decision of the congressman.

Gutierrez, however, stressed that the support of the party-list to the President stays.

“As he said before we are allies but we are principled allies and I would like to think that there is a mutual respect when it comes to issues where we cannot really come to an agreement. To respect each others positions,” he said.

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on the other hand said there is no need to conduct a loyalty check among the members of the Congress. He said everyone has a right to leave as he chooses to do so. Belmonte, however, ensures that this will not affect the flow of work in the Congress.

“Considering that more than 92% or 93% of everybody belongs to the majority here in this Congress, it doesn’t really matter whether one or two drops out,” he said.

Malacañang, on the other hand, respects the decision of Congressman Bello to withdraw his support to the administration. (Grace Casin /UNTV News)

Opposition groups vow to campaign for presidential bet Leni Robredo

Robie de Guzman   •   October 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Critics of the administration on Thursday vowed to come together to campaign for Vice President Leni Robredo following her announcement to seek the presidency in the 2022 elections.

In a statement, opposition coalition 1Sambayan urged “every peace and democracy-loving Filipino to unite and stand behind” Robredo.

“We in 1SAMBAYAN stand firm behind VP Leni in her presidential bid in the 2022 national elections. It is a light of hope that comes at a time of great uncertainty: a country on its knees due to a failed pandemic response, a struggling economy, and a backdrop of the loss of lives and livelihood for the Filipino people,” it said.

“[W]e are up against the vast resources of the Duterte administration. If we remain divided, we will stand to lose more than just the elections: we will lose our country, our democracy and integrity in public service,” it added.

“But knowing that we are fighting for the survival of the country fuels our vigilance and our resolve to push for the presidency of VP Leni in next year’s elections,” it further stated.

1Sambayan earlier endorsed Robredo as its presidential candidate for next year’s polls.

Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV also said that the Magdalo group will join Robredo in her fight to defeat the administration’s bet and in accomplishing her plans for the Philippines.

“Nagbubunyi ang Magdalo sa desisyon ni VP Leni na pamunuan ang tunay na oposisyon sa 2022 elections sa pagtakbo bilang Presidente,” he said.

“Makakasama nya ang Magdalo para maipanalo ang laban na ‘to, at tuluyang iahon ang ating bansa mula sa pagkasirang ginawa ni Duterte,” he added.

The Akbayan Party, which also endorsed Robredo’s candidacy expressed hope that she will be able to clinch the presidency to “stop the continuation of tyranny, win the fight against the pandemic and economic recession, and lead us back safely to the path of democracy.”

Robredo is expected to file her certificate of candidacy on Thursday afternoon.

She will be facing other presidential aspirants, including former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, and Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson.

Ex-DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman passes away at 68

Maris Federez   •   September 19, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — Former Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Juliano-Soliman passed away Sunday morning, September 19. She was 68.

Soliman passed away at 7:32 am due to complications from renal and heart failure.

She was last seen in public at the necrological services of former President Benigno Aquino III last June.

Soliman held the position as DSWD chief twice: first during the term of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the second, under the presidency of Aquino.

Prior to joining the government, Soliman was a known civic society leader and activist, being with various non-governmental organizations that take care of poor, underprivileged communities.

Soliman obtained her bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of the Philippines Diliman. She earned her master’s degree in public administration at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Palace blames Aquino admin for release of heinous crime convicts through GCTA

Marje Pelayo   •   September 4, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang blames the past administration for letting the release of heinous crime convicts by mere computation of the good conduct time allowance (GCTA).

This was in response to the appeal of Thelma Chiong to President Rodrigo Duterte not to release the convicts behind the rape and slay of her two daughters in 1997.

“That’s why the president says: ‘It’s not in my administration,’” Panelo said citing the President.

“If they are saying: ‘Why are you not removing those people who are doing the wrong computations?’ The president’s answer: ‘I cannot do that because they are the employees of the previous admin, and even prior to that. So please, don’t blame me, please tell that to Mrs. Chiong,’” he added.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, President Rodrigo Duterte has already ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review measures for the possible re-arrest of freed convicts who benefited from the GCTA law when they were not supposed to be out because of the heinous crimes they committed.

Panelo stressed, the President does not tolerate injustice for that matter.

The Palace spokesman said it has been a practice inside the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) under the previous administration of former President Benigno Aquino III to release convicts through the provision of the GCTA even if they have committed heinous crimes.

The number of beneficiaries of the GCTA increased further when the Supreme Court (SC) ruled for the retroactive computation of the GCTA. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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