Dela Rosa eyes creation of crisis center for street children

Robie de Guzman   •   July 26, 2019   •   1282

Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on Friday said he has filed a bill seeking for the establishment of crisis centers that will cater to the needs and ensure the well-being of street children nationwide.

Dela Rosa said that his Senate Bill No. 232 recognizes the need to provide care and proper nutrition to the children who were abandoned by their parents.

“Let us build a protective environment for street children, let us protect their well-being,” he said.

“The children, as stated in the Declaration of the Rights of Child, practically need special safeguards, as well as legal protection before and after birth. This is because of their physical and mental immaturity,” he added.

The senator cited recent reports from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on the increasing number of street children in Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao and other urban areas in the country.

“The vulnerable kids who roam around our streets should be sheltered from circumstances that danger their survival and normal development,” Dela Rosa said.

The lawmaker proposes to provide an emergency medical and feeding program, temporary shelter, basic educational, legal and counseling services for street children.

The bill also seeks immediate rehabilitation for street children identified as substance abusers, empowerment through livelihood, technical and social training, and support system from the local government units.

It also aims to secure foster homes or employment best suited to the child’s individual capacity, among others.

Dela Rosa said the implementation of a comprehensive program will be supervised by the DSWD along with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Dela Rosa on Espenido being in drug watchlist: “I am vouching for his integrity.”

Marje Pelayo   •   February 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ronald dela Rosa wants to know the person who included the name of P/Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido in the government’s drug watchlist or list of cops linked to illegal drug trade.

Senator dela Rosa said it surprised him to hear that Espenido’s name was on the list when it wasn’t the case when he was still the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Hindi ko nakita noong panahon ko, otherwise, hindi ko iyan i-a-appoint (I didn’t see (his name) during my time, otherwise, I wouldn’t have appointed him),” the Senator said.

Dela Rosa transferred Espenido from Albuera, Leyte to Ozamiz City.

Espenido spearheaded the raids that resulted in the killing of then Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. and the downfall of the Parojinog drug chain.

Given Espenido’s service history, dela Rosa expressed doubt as to how his name ended up in the President’s drug watchlist.

“Saan galing yan? Lumabas lang out of thin air? (Where did it come from? Did it appear out of thin air?),” the former PNP Chief said.

He urged that the PNP leadership should investigate how it happened, adding that there might be a ‘syndicate’ inside the PNP who wanted to dishonor their comrades.

“Dapat ungkatin ng PNP kung sino ang gumawa ng report na iyan, most likely sindikato na pulis ang gumawa noon (The PNP should investigate who made that report. It’s most likely a syndicate of cops who did that),” dela Rosa noted.

“Dahil kung andyan pa iyang mga pulis na iyan most likely meron na naman iyang gagawing kalokohan sa ibang kasamahan nila na makakalaban nila (Because if those cops are still in position, most likely they will repeat their follies against other cops who oppose them),” the Senator added.

Senator dela Rosa clarified that Espenido still has his full trust and similar to President Duterte, he doesn’t believe Espenido is involved in illegal drugs trade.

“He is my man I am vouching for his integrity,” dela Rosa said of Espenido.

“Kilala ko siya na matino siya (I have known him as a straight cop),” he concluded. MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Duterte can scrap PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement without Senate approval – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   January 24, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte can terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States (US) even without the concurrence of the Senate, Malacañang said on Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued the statement after the president threatened to scrap the VFA if the US government does not reverse the cancellation of Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa’s visa.

“Because it (VFA) is an executive agreement so he can cancel it without the approval of the Senate,” Panelo said.

Dela Rosa on Wednesday confirmed to media that he is not allowed to travel to the US for now after he received notification about his visa cancellation.

The senator said the exact reason on why his US visa was cancelled remains unclear but he heard reports it might be linked to the Duterte administration’s war on drugs that he spearheaded when he was the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) from 2016 to 2018.

The VFA, signed by Manila and Washington in 1998, is a bilateral deal which outlines the guidelines for the conduct of government troops when they are visiting the US or the Philippines.

Panelo said the US government should not intervene with the Philippines’ internal issues.

The Palace official also believes the president’s threat to cancel the VFA will not affect Filipino workers in the US. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

DSWD appeals to public not to give alms to street children, beggars

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 7, 2019

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has urged the public not to give alms to street beggars including street children, homeless people, and members of Indigenous Peoples (IP) groups.

The DSWD said this is in pursuant to Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1563 or the Anti-Mendicancy Law which prohibits begging or soliciting of charitable donations by the poor and other religious organizations on the streets.

The department advises the public to think of other means to help in order to keep street dwellers and IP groups away from mendicant activities that may endanger their lives.

“DSWD advises the public to provide responsible types of assistance such as conducting organized gift-giving and caroling activities, feeding sessions, story-telling, and medical missions at the activity centers in the local government units (LGUs),” the DSWD said in a statement.—AAC

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