Go, Domagoso express willingness to undergo drug test anew

Maris Federez   •   November 22, 2021   •   401

 

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential aspirants Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go and Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso signified their willingness anew to undergo drug testing following the move of Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

Manila City Public Information Office chief Julius Leonen said Mayor Isko has always been willing to undergo voluntary drug testing.

“Ready po siya any time. Pero priority niya muna ang constituent niya,” Leonen said.

In earlier interviews, Mayor Isko has already signified his willingness to do so.

“Kasi if a president will fight against drugs as a matter of policy, then dapat talaga kami rin. Ako, I don’t mind. Anytime mas maganda nga ahensya ng gobyerno,” Domagoso said.

Senator Go, meanwhile, reiterated that, although it is not mandatory, he is willing to undergo drug testing any time of the day.

“Ako naman po willing magpa-drug test anytime of the day. Anytime po kung kakailanganin,” Go said.

“Though hindi mandatory, pero just to prove lang po sa Pilipino kung sino yung fit na mamuno sa ating bansa ay willing po akong magpa-drug test, any time of the day po,” he added.

Presidential candidate Leody de Guzman, on the other hand, said he will not fall for the gimmickry of the Lacson-Sotto tandem.

He, however, said that he will have a change of heart should the Commission on Elections make it mandatory, but warned that such might infringe the Constitution and violate human rights.

“Hindi kami mahuhulog sa klase ng gimik na ginagawa ng tambalang Lacson-Sotto. Pero tulad ng sabi ko rin dati, kung gawing mandatory ng Comelec ang drug test, susunod ako bilang kandidato,” De Guzman said.

“Ngunit, nais ko silang paalalahanan na maaari itong paglabag sa Konstitusyon na magbubukas sa marami pang paglabag sa mga karapatang pantao,” he added.

Although other 2022 national elections presidential aspirants, Senator Manny Pacquiao and Vice President Leni Robredo have stated, in past interviews, that they are willing to undergo drug testing, they have yet to give their statement on this development.

Former Senator Bongbong Marcos has also not given his statement on the matter, although his camp has earlier stated that they do not feel being alluded to by President Duterte when he talked about a certain presidential aspirant who was using cocaine. /mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

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)

Pacquiao wants to remove Cusi as PDP-Laban President; Cusi-wing retaliates

Maris Federez   •   December 3, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential aspirant Senator Manny Pacquiao is gunning to unite the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) by making peace with the party members.

“Yung mga nasa Cusi Wing, susuporta sa’kin, magpapasalamat ako para ma-unite ulit yung PDP,” Pacquiao said.

But the lawmaker said, to achieve unity within the party, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi must step down as the president of the PDP-Laban Cusi-wing.

“Si Cusi tanggalin na sa officer sa PDP kung may katungkulan man siya kasi nadadamay yung mga members na iba. Kasi may vested interest siya eh. Secretary ka ng Energy. May problema pa tayo sa kuryente tapos pulitika nang pulitika. Magserbisyo ka. Maghanap ka ng paraan para mapamura mo yung singil ng kuryente,” Pacquiao pointed out.

Cusi did not comment on Pacquaio’s statement, but Atty. Melvin Matibag retaliated on his behalf.

Matibag told Pacquiao to focus on strengthening his candidacy rather than picking a fight with  someone who is not a candidate.

“Senator Pacquiao must focus on the strength of his candidacy than trying to pick a fight with a non-candidate. Secretary Cusi remains as the President of the PDP Laban,” Matibag said.

Matibag said Cusi will remain as the president of the PDP-Laban Cusi-wing after being elected by the majority of the party which was witnessed by President Rodrigo Duterte, the party’s chairman.

“He was placed there in an election presided and witnessed by President Rodrigo Duterte as Chairman of the Party,” he added.

Matibag also slammed Pacquiao’s statement which he said was “clearly misplaced and not properly thought out”.

To date, the ruling party is yet to decide whom to support as president in the 2022 national elections. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

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