Palace on VP Leni’s presidential bid: It’s her right

Maris Federez   •   October 7, 2021   •   202

 

MANILA, Philippines — Following Vice President Leni Robredo’s declaration of joining the presidential race in the 2022 national elections, Malacañang said seeking any electoral post is her right as a Filipino.

“Well, it’s every right of a Filipino to stand for public office,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing Thursday.

Robredo file her certificate of candidacy (COC) on Thursday before the Commission on Elections.

The Vice President’s announcement happened two days after former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., declared that he is running for president in the coming elections.

Marcos and Robredo were known to be the closest rivals for the vice-presidential post in the 2016 elections. —/mbmf

Sara Duterte takes drug test

Robie de Guzman   •   November 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte on Wednesday said she underwent a drug test and her results yielded negative for narcotics.

In a statement, the vice presidential bet said she took the test upon the request of her running mate, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

“Today, I took a drug test that yielded negative of any illegal substances. This test, I took voluntarily upon the request of my Uniteam partner, Senator Bongbong Marcos, to support the call for transparency as aspiring public officials seeking the trust of our fellow Filipinos,” she said.

Sara shared the results of her drug test, which showed that she was negative for several illegal substances.

On Tuesday, Marcos announced that he took a cocaine test and submitted the result to law enforcement agencies.

This was after President Rodrigo Duterte’s claim that a presidential aspirant is using cocaine.

Duterte did not give any name.

“Uniteam BBM-Sara’s stand against illegal drugs is united and unequivocal. This can be seen from both our negative tests as well as our common stance against the proliferation of illegal drugs and the need for effective measures of prevention, rehabilitation, and enforcement,” Mayor Sara said.

She also stressed “as important as the war against illegal drugs is, other compelling issues continue to challenge our country’s ability to provide long-term safety and security for our people.”

“Therefore, it is crucial in this electoral season that we focus on the substantial qualifications of those that seek to lead our country,” she said.

“Particularly, that we examine our presidential and vice presidential candidates under the lens of competence and experience – an infallible ability to manage crisis through policy and practice built up through years of executive, legislative, and administrative exposure; a proven track record of delivering security and development; and a clear and tested platform for job security and sustainable livelihood,” she added.

Bongbong Marcos says he took drug test after Duterte’s cocaine-user claim

Robie de Guzman   •   November 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday said he underwent a drug test following President Rodrigo Duterte’s claim that a presidential aspirant is using cocaine.

In a statement, Marcos said he took the test on Monday and submitted the result Tuesday morning to law enforcement agencies.

He also reiterated his camp’s earlier statement that he doesn’t feel being alluded to by the president’s remarks.

“In spite of that, I believe it is my inherent duty as an aspiring public official to assure my fellow Filipinos that I am against illegal drugs,” he said.

“This is why I took a cocaine test yesterday and the result was submitted this morning to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the Office of the Chief of the PNP, and the National Bureau of Investigation. Let me reiterated my assurance to my fellowmen, especially the supporters of BBM-Sara Uniteam, that I am, and will remain, a vigilant anti-illegal drugs campaigner,” he added, referring to his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

He then called on his fellow political aspirants to take the drug test “to ensure our people, particularly the young generation, that no elected leader is into illegal substances.”

The Commission on Elections earlier said that candidates in the upcoming elections are not compelled to submit themselves to mandatory drug testing, citing a Supreme Court ruling that stated a previous order as unconstitutional. (with reports from Correspondent Joan Nano)

Go, Domagoso express willingness to undergo drug test anew

Maris Federez   •   November 22, 2021

 

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)

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