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NAIA on full alert status after deadly Davao bombing

by admin   |   Posted on Monday, September 5th, 2016

NAIA on full alert status after deadly Davao bombing

MANILA, Philippines — The Ninoy Aquino International Airport was under full alert status on Saturday. This comes after the bombing incident in Davao City’s night market last Friday.

Tight security measures has been implemented at the country’s main airport.  These include random rigid inspection of vehicles entering the area; increased police visibility and use of K-9 units in inspecting the perimeters of the airport.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) appeals to the public to cooperate with their security measures for the safety of all passengers. (UNTV News and Rescue)

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Palace says Duterte can declare martial law if terrorism reaches Metro Manila

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Malacañang said President Rodrigo Duterte can declare martial law if terrorism reaches Metro Manila.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the chief executive expressed concern about the recent suicide bombing which led to the death of eight individuals including one Filipino suicide bomber in Indanan, Sulu.

“Iyon nga ang kinakatakot niya kasi may suicide bomber na. (That’s what he feared, there is already a suicide bomber). He’s very concerned of that. Kaya hindi ba nag-warning siya sa enemies of the state, (so he warned the enemies of the state) ‘Don’t force my hand into it. I will not allow the disintegration of this country,’ ” he said.

“Kaya nga hindi ba don’t force me to the wall. Kapag hindi kayo tumigil, (So don’t force me to the wall. If you do not stop) I’ll be compelled to use powers granted to me by the Constitution, lalong lalo pa iyong terorismo makarating dito sa Maynila (especially if terrorism reaches here in Metro Manila),” he said.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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House closely working with intel units for Duterte’s 4th SONA security

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, July 12th, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Joint Session of the 17th Congress at the Session Hall of the House of Representatives Complex in Constitution Hills, Quezon City on July 23, 2018.
(Image courtesy of PCOO/KARL NORMAN ALONZO)

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives on Thursday said it is closely working with government intelligence agencies for the security of President Rodrigo Duterte’s fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22.

House Sergeant-at-Arms Retired Major General Romeo Prestoza said they are directly coordinating with relevant intelligence units to evaluate any risks to the House or President Duterte during the SONA.

He said the increased security follows the recent bombings that rocked Sulu in Mindanao.

“Well part of it kasi, sa experience ko kasi I’ve been an intelligence officer for 27 years, those things talagang kinoconsider namin. Hindi namin pinapabayaan, tinitingnan namin,” Prestoza said in a press briefing about the SONA 2019 preparations.

“That’s why we initiate ‘yung direct na contact with the NICA (National Intelligence Coordinating Agency), ISAFP (Intelligence Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines) and other intelligence units to see kung meron talagang connection or possibility na umabot dito,” he added.

However, Prestoza assured they have yet to see substantial security threats to the upcoming SONA, which Duterte will deliver at the Batasang Pambansa.

“When it comes to security threats, wala pa namang substantial, meaning talagang wala pang nakarating na actual na threat,” he said.

He also emphasized that the House security is prepared and well-equipped to handle security issues.

“We have extensive training and seminars to include simulation exercises and tabletop exercises para in case na meron nga, we would be prepared. Even ‘yung protocols, when it comes to emergencies ginagawa din namin,” Prestoza said.

When it comes to directing signal jammers on SONA day, Prestoza said the Presidential Security Group (PSG) shall be responsible for it based on their assessment of the proceedings.

“Kung kailangan nila or they feel they need to initiate na the jamming procedure, sila makakapag-dictate noon. I cannot dictate it,” he said.

In the same press briefing, House Acting Secretary General Dante Roberto Maling said that preparation activities for SONA remain on track and are the same as in previous years.

“Basically, the preparation has been the same through the years except siguro for very minor details, mga maliliit na arrangements lang. It doesn’t really deviate from what has been happening from the past years,” Maling said.

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Mike Defensor says sorry to Sara Duterte: ‘Speakership fight left us confused’

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

(L-R) AnaKalusugan party-list Representative Mike Defensor and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio

MANILA, Philippines – AnaKalusugan party-list Representative Mike Defensor on Wednesday apologized to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio for showing to reporters a text message she supposedly sent to urge solons to vote for House speaker of their personal choice despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s endorsement of a term-sharing set-up between Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco.

“I apologize to Mayor Inday Sarah if I have in anyway offended her with my statement,” Defensor said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Defensor bared to reporters a screenshot of the supposed text message, which he said came from someone “very close” to the Davao City mayor.

The supposed text message read: “Hi sir! I have the go signal of Mayor Inday to publish. ‘Kaya nanawagan siya ngayon sa lahat ng mga Congressmen na bumuto ayon sa kanilang kagustuhan dahil ang kanya[ng] ama ay na set-up lamang ng mga gahaman na gabinete na kaalyado ni Cayetano – Mayor Inday.”

But Duterte-Carpio disowned the text message, told Defensor to identify his source and advised him to “stop sowing intrigue.”

READ: Sara Duterte disowns text message urging solons to vote for speaker according to conscience

READ: Sara Duterte dares Mike Defensor to name source of ‘text’ on speakership vote

Defensor also clarified that he did not say the text message came from the Davao mayor herself or from a congressman close to her.

“I did not say it came from her or a congressman. In fact, I should not have shown it because reading it again it had Inday Sara’s name. I did say though that there was another person who got the same message. I apologize Ma’am if I have offended you,” he said.

“It was wrong of me to drag her name unfairly on this matter,” he added.

The solon further said that the mention of the congressman was referring to the meeting with the party-list coalition where two party-list representatives discussed the Duterte Coalition’s continued fight despite the president’s announcement of his speakership bets.

Defensor said he cannot name the said congressman citing confidentiality of their discussion.

The lawmaker also admitted to contacting Duterte-Carpio through Atty. Charo Munsayac, on the speakership issue.

Duterte-Carpio earlier said Defensor reached out to her and made “last-minute requests” for Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez, to which she said she will not interfere.

“As for continuedly asking Mayor Inday Sarah through Atty. Charo Munsayac, I admit to this fact,” he said.

“I didn’t want to bother Atty. Charo, who is my lawyer and a good friend of the Mayor, as regards political concerns but the turn of events on the speakership fight has left me and many of my colleagues confused and nonplussed on the matter,” he added.

Defensor was part of a group of legislators supporting Romualdez’s bid for the highest position in the House of Representatives.

It can be recalled that on Monday (July 8), President Duterte endorsed the term-sharing scheme between Cayetano and Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco. He also suggested for Romualdez to take the House Majority Leader job instead.

Romualdez, despite garnering 167 signatures from his fellow solons for the speakership, has dropped out of the race and accepted the president’s suggestion.

Davao City Representative Isidro Ungab, who was earlier endorsed by Duterte-Carpio’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago party as speakership bet, has yet to issue any comment on the developments in the speakership race.

House members are set to elect the next Speaker when the session of the 18th Congress opens on the morning of July 22, the same day when Duterte will deliver his fourth State of the Nation Address.

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