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Duterte seeks suspension of ‘doble plaka’ law

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, April 8th, 2019

Thousands of motorcycle riders on March 24, 2019, staged a protest along EDSA to express their opposition to the implementation of double plates on motorcycles.

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is seeking the suspension of the ‘doble plaka’ law saying, bigger license plates can be dangerous for motorcycle riders.

In a speech on Saturday (April 6), Duterte said he will talk to Senator Richard Gordon about the proposition to amend several provisions in the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act.

He will first convince the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to suspend the implementation of the double plates.

“Kasi it is not good. It is dangerous to place another gadget, lalo na may kanto. May kanto iyang plate number. It could be a plastic or it could be an aluminum but still with an impact, tutusok iyan sa helmet mo. Delikado. Anything that is sharp there, hindi maganda [Because it is not good. It is dangerous to place another gadget especially if there are corners. Plate numbers have corners. It could be a plastic or it could be aluminum but still with an impact, it will stab your helmet. Anything that is sharp is not good],” Duterte said.

The President suggested that instead of using double plates, it would be better to just increase the size of the current plates by 1/4 in order for it to be more readable.

He also wants to amend the fines imposed on violators. From P50,000, he wants to lower it to P10,000 to P15,000.

“Fifty thousand is mas mahal pa sa motor. Ano na lang sir, i-compromise siguro. Ako, I’m willing P10,000 to 15,000, okay na iyan [Fifty thousand, that is more expensive than the motorbike. Maybe there should be a compromise. I’m willing [to impose] P10,000 to P15,000, that is okay],” Duterte said.

The LTO is currently drafting the implementing rules and regulation of the new law, but it might still be subject to change depending on the President’s amendments.

Meanwhile Senator Richard Gordon has appealed to the President to give the implementation of the new law a chance before opposing it.

He said that the implementation can truly determine if the new law is effective or not.

He added that he is prepared to explain the law to the President and is also open to discussing the concerns the Chief Executive has raised.

President Duterte said he signed the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act on March 8 based on the recommendation of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Motorcycle riders lauded the President’s measure to temporarily suspend the implementation of the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act.

According to Atoy Cruz, president of the Motorcycle Federation of the Philippines, they are happy because the President understands their concerns.

However, Cruz clarified that they only want amendments on some of the provisions of the law and not its full abolition. —Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Grace Casin)

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President Duterte also has a right to privacy—DOJ

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte greets members of Japan’s House of Councillors during their courtesy call together with Japan House of Councillors President Chuichi Date, at the Malacañan Palace on January 8, 2019. RENE LUMAWAG/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte also enjoys the right to privacy under the Constitution, according to Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

In a text message, the Justice Secretary said the president will only be obligated to disclose his health to the public if he is suffering a serious illness.

“The Constitution requires the President to divulge any serious illness on his part. But if the illness is not serious enough to affect the discharge of his official functions, the President has no duty to inform anyone,” he said.

Guevarra added that if Duterte’s illness will not disrupt his duty as president, the he is not obligated to inform the public.

During the weekend, there were rumors circulating that President Duterte was confined in Cardinal Santos Medical Center. However, on Sunday (May 19), former Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go posted photos of him and President Duterte enjoying breakfast.

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Former Senator Alvarez withdraws from congressional race

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Sunday, May 12th, 2019

Former Senator Heherson Alvarez (Photo courtesy: Dayao Ti Amianan)

Former Senator Heherson Alvarez has withdrawn his bid for a congressional seat in the 4th congressional district of Isabela, two days ahead of the May 13 Midterm Elections.

In his statement released on Saturday (May 11), Alvarez who “had hoped that this election would have been (his) last effort to render public service after several decades of cumulative experience,” said that the blatant practice of vote-buying had led to his decision to withdraw.

The former lawmaker claimed that “the massive and overwhelming vote-buying makes the electoral process a sham.”

He added that “vote-buying is vote-killing and it is as destructive to our democracy as drug is as destructive to our physical well-being.”

Alvarez also said that he “cannot continue in this political exercise that violates (the) precious political freedom of choice of leaders.”

He called on the public to renounce, denounce and withdraw tolerance on vote-buying lest the country withers away because of it.

He also cited President Rodrigo Duterte’s warning to jail the perpetrators of vote-buying and to “make those who undermine our free suffrage accountable to our laws and constitution.”

The former senator also thanked the President for his endorsement as the standard bearer of Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in Isabela’s 4th congressional district.

He also made an appeal for the people to “stand up and assist the President to strengthen our democratic system.” /mbmf

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Duterte advises Filipinos to ‘follow rules’ on Election Day

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, May 10th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The 2019 Midterm polls is only three days away, and with this, President Rodrigo Duterte reminds all political candidates and voters to “just follow (election) rules” on Monday (May 13).

The last day of campaigning is on Saturday (May 11) and the President is expected to join the meeting de avance of his party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in Pasig City.

“I promised the people that this election and every other election that will take place during my time, or (under) my watch — you just follow rules. It’s when you start to break rules (that’s when problems start). Sundin mo lang ang batas at walang problema, (Abide by the law and (we’ll) have no problem),” the President stressed.

The Chief Executive also advised both admin and opposition candidates to respect each other’s respective ideals and positions on public issues.

“This is for my candidates and for the opposition. Everybody’s stand or position must be respected. That is the rule in this country. This is democracy,” he emphasized.

President Duterte is likely to stay in Davao City on the day of the election on Monday where he is also expected to cast his vote.

The President said he leaves it to the people to decide on the election day emphasizing that he has no intention of convincing anyone to vote for the candidates he endorses.

“Let’s talk about national candidates. It’s up to you if you believe it or not. I won’t try to convince you. I’m not going to say, ‘vote for these candidates,’” he said.

President Duterte believes that not all of his senatorial bets will win the election but he reiterates to all Filipino voters to think it over and carefully list down their preferences before they go out to vote.

“I know you have about 12. I do not think that… Well, on the law of averages, I do not think that this 12 will make it,” President Duterte said.

“But kung ito lang man ipalit ninyo, you better think, please. (But if you would replace them with just anyone, you better think, please.) Think hard and sleep on it tonight. It’s (the election is) just around the corner,” he concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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