De Lima formally announces bid for Senate reelection in 2022 polls

Marje Pelayo   •   July 21, 2021   •   615

MANILA, Philippines – Opposition Senator Leila de Lima has formally announced her bid for reelection in the 2022 national polls.

In a press release issued by her camp, De Lima said “the political persecution she has been subjected to by the Duterte regime only strengthened her resolve to fight for her advocacies.”

De Lima said her “unjust detention” prompted her to seek reelection and work harder “to defend human rights at all cost.”

The lady senator earlier chided President Rodrigo Duterte for failing to fulfill all of his campaign promises.

This, she expressed through a letter to the Chief Executive days before Duterte’s sixth and final state of the nation address (SONA).

Among the issues she referred to include illegal drugs, corruption, the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and the state of the country’s economy.

“Mahigit na apat na taon mo na akong ipinakulong para maitago ang iyong pagka-inutil, bukod pa sa paghihiganti mo sa akin. Mahigit na apat na taon na ipinagkait mo sa akin, sa aking pamilya, at sa labing-apat na milyon na bumoto sa akin. Mahigit na apat na taon na akin ngayong sisingilin sa pagtatapos ng iyong termino,” she said.

“Tatakbo akong muli. Hindi ako susuko. Tuloy ang laban. Sisingilin ka namin sa anim na taon na pambabalasubas mo sa aming bansa,” De Lima stressed.

Considered as Duterte’s staunchest critic, De Lima is known for her strong opposition to the current administration’s “murderous and failed” war on drugs which she claimed to have resulted in the death of thousands of suspected drug offenders.

She has been in detention since February 24, 2017 over drug charges.

P1.1 million worth of shabu seized in Taguig City

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — Around P1.1 million worth of illegal drugs were confiscated in a series of operations in Taguig City, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Thursday.

In a statement, the PNP said police operatives conducted four successive operations, led by the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on Tuesday, January 11.

Initial report revealed that a tricycle driver identified as Halil Abo, 26, was arrested after two heat-sealed plastic sachets of shabu worth P173,400.00 were found in his possession.

An hour after, elements of the NCR Drug Enforcement Unit conducted a separate buy-bust operation leading to the confiscation of P515,440 worth of illegal drug and the arrests of drug suspects, Wynlove Buco, 38, and Eusebio Bahia Jr.,43.

Taguig City police also arrested 44-year old Raffy Lumenda, who was found with illegal drugs with a street value of P345,440.00.

Two individuals, identified as Alvin Co, 36, and Jessie Christopher Cruz, 38, were also nabbed for illegal drugs along MLQ St., Purok 5, Brgy. Lower Bicutan, Taguig City in another anti-illegal drugs operation conducted on the same day. Confiscated items were packs of suspected shabu worth P76,160.00.

PNP chief Police General Dionardo Carlos lauded police officers involved in the operation.

“Successive operations in a day—this is a feat. I thank the dedication of the police units involved. This huge amount of illegal drugs must be reflective of the network of narcotic operations that may be behind these cases,” he said.

“The next step is to identify the big fish,” he added.

Presidential aspirants launch relief assistance to areas affected by Typhoon Odette

Maris Federez   •   December 17, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential aspirant Senator Manny Pacquiao has called on his fellow aspirants to join forces in extending assistance to areas affected by the onslaught of Typhoon Odette.

Pacquiao made the appeal through his Facebook and Twitter accounts, asking other candidates in the 2022 national elections to set aside politics and join together to help the typhoon victims.

Vice President Leni Robredo, in her reply via twitter, signified her support to Pacquiao’s call.

Pacquiao thanked the vice president and offered the cargo plane he chartered to bring assistance to those affected by Typhoon Odette.

The two candidates committed to having close coordination to implement the said activity.

Meanwhile, VP Robredo said she also personally lead in receiving in-kind donations and preparing the same for distribution to the typhoon victims.

“Para mas mapabilis ang pagkilos natin, nandito po ako ngayon sa ating Campaign Volunteer Center sa Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City, which we will be converting into a relief hub. We also convened our operations center dito,” Robredo said.

“Starting today, puwede na pong mag-drop off ng mga in-kind donations dito,” she added.

Robredo also appealed for volunteers to help them in repacking the goods. Details of this, she said, will be posted on their official FB page.

Meanwhile, Labor leader Leody de Guzman also responded to Pacquiao’s call.

He volunteered his group to help in the distribution of the relief goods.

“Tama yun. Napapanahon yung ganyang panawagan. Yung maraming pera, yung may bilyon bilyon 3-5 billion na uubusin na eleksyon ay maganda yung kalahati niyan ibigay sa mga taga Mindanao dahil sa nangangailangan sila duon. Katulad ko at Rj nakahanda kami sa makinarya sa distribusyon ng kanilang ipamimigay,” de Guzman said.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, on the other hand, said that should Senator Pacquiao made his appeal personal through private communication, he could have acquiesced and joined the call.

He said he will also send his reply privately and will offer his resources.

But since, Lacson said, the appeal was made through social media, responding to it will violate his principles, saying ‘calamity politics’ is the lowest form of campaigning.

“Since it was done through media – it goes against my principled belief that ‘calamity politics’ is the lowest form of campaigning. In fact, I consider it abominable,” Lacson said.

As in the past, he and his friends and supporters send help to those affected by calamities without media coverage.

“As in the past calamities, my Senate office, as well as friends and supporters, assisted without fanfare and without any media coverage. We did it in Cagayan Valley, and Bicol region, and some other areas hit by strong typhoons,” he said.

He emphasized that election or no election, his team is always ready to help.

For his part, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno asked the city council led by its Presiding officer Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna to hold a special session and pass a resolution to allocate funds to be used in sending help to families affected by Typhoon Odette.

“I have already asked the presiding officer of the City Council, Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, to immediately hold a special session and a resolution be passed allocating a certain sum of money for the typhoon victims in the Visayas and Mindanao,” Mayor Isko said.

Moreno’s camp has also launched a donation drive and urged the participation of all who can help and coordinate with his office.

Meanwhile, the tandem of former Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio used their volunteers in distributing relief goods in areas hit by Typhoon Odette.

The BBM-Sara Uniteam prepared relief packs containing 5 kilos of rice, canned goods, milk, and coffee.

On his Facebook page, Marcos thanked all who sent help to his office and their headquarters.

“Marami pong salamat sa lahat ng nagparating ng agarang tulong sa ating mga tanggapan at headquarters. Mahalagang maitawid ito sa ating mga kababayan sa lalong madaling panahon,” Marcos said.

“Ipakita natin ang pagbabayanihang Pilipino na siyang magbabangon sa atin mula anumang sakuna,” he added. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

Duterte’s endorsement of candidate, a game-changer — analyst  

Maris Federez   •   December 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — An endorsement from an incumbent president provides a huge advantage to a candidate.

For the coming national and local elections, an endorsement from President Rodrigo Duterte can be a game changer for a candidate and change the status of his or her candidacy, according to political analyst and senior research fellow of the Ateneo Policy Center Atty. Michael Henry Yusingco.

“But definitely kapag naendorso ka ng isang politico, especially if that is the incumbent president who enjoys the high popularity rating, it’s going to be a big boost. But is it going to bring victory? Of course, it’s not,” Yusingco said.

He added that, with the country’s political climate, being a game changer will still depend on how much the President will put on as support to his chosen candidate.

“So yung power nung endorsement to be a game-changer will depend on the willingness and enthusiasm of President Duterte to work hard for the candidate that he wants to endorse,” Yusingco said.

Yusingco explained that a candidate’s chance of winning does not only depend on the mere endorsement of the President, but also on what he or she is capable of.

“Siyempre yung endorsement din naman is also dependent on the quality of the candidate he wants to endorse. Kumbaga wala namang kwenta ang endorsement kung walang kwenta ang kandidato na ieendorso niya. Meaning, wala namang chance of winning at all,” Yusingco said.

Following Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go’s withdrawal of his candidacy for president in the 2022 national elections, opinions rise on who President Duterte will choose to endorse and give his support.

To date, the president is yet to announce his chosen presidential aspirant who he thinks will continue the reforms and programs he has started. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

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