De Lima formally announces bid for Senate reelection in 2022 polls

Marje Pelayo   •   July 21, 2021   •   213

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.

1Sambayan to reveal line-up of candidates in the 2022 polls in September

Marje Pelayo   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Opposition group 1Sambayan hinted at revealing its line-up of candidates for the 2022 National Elections in September.

According to Retired Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, they are now in the process of completing the names to be included in their line-up of candidates.

“We are very inclusive, that’s why up to now we’re trying to form a bigger coalition,” Carpio said.

The former magistrate said 1Sambayan Coalition is strengthening its group by entering into an alliance with other organizations to match the ruling party of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The group initially invited Vice President Leni Robredo to run as president on their side.

Likewise, they asked other popular names like former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Atty. Chel Diokno, Senator Grace Poe, Congresswoman Vilma Santos-Recto, and Congressman Eddie Villanueva.

Poe, Diokno, and Recto already turned down the offer.

Yet, the 1Sambayan Coalition believes there is a chance for the opposition to stand out and defeat the administration lineup.

Carpio said among those whom they invited in the coalition was Senator Ping Lacson, who already announced his bid for the 2022 national elections, though he declined their invitation.

As a prior assessment of what to expect in next year’s polls, the group said Lacson will definitely divide the administration’s expected votes.

“Sa tingin po natin, with the solid opposition, mahahati lang po nila ang boto ng administrasyon,” noted Howard Calleja, the group’s convenor. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

PNP welcomes DOJ review of cases vs cops cleared in drug war deaths

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police (PNP) welcomes the reinvestigation of cases against police officers involved in anti-illegal drug operations and were  cleared of administrative liability by the PNP Internal Affairs Service.

The Department of Justice is eyeing to review the deaths that resulted in the course of the government’s war on drugs.

PNP Chief Police General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar assured the  full cooperation of the PNP in the planned case review.

“The PNP is open to any investigation dahil wala kaming itinatago. If the DOJ will push through with the review of the cases of those police officers who were already cleared, I will guarantee full cooperation. Ito naman ang assurance namin sa DOJ sa simula pa lang. Handa ang PNP na gawing available para sa review ng ahensiya ang alinmang case folder na hilingin nito,” he said.

The PNP previously submitted to the DOJ case folders of anti-illegal drug operations, where deaths occurred, for the agency’s review and investigation. AAC

Palace on possible Lacson-Sotto tandem in 2022: ‘We wish them the very best’

Robie de Guzman   •   July 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Wednesday welcomed the possible tandem of Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III as presidential and vice presidential bets in the 2022 elections.

“We wish them the very best because in a democracy kinakailangang may pagpipilian ang taumbayan,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing.

Roque issued the statement after Sotto said he and Lacson may announce their political plans for 2022 on August 5.

Lacson and Sotto have been touring across Luzon to meet with various local officials and sectors for their proposed programs.

The two senators said they have received “very encouraging” response to their proposals during their consultation meetings.

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