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PH respects US work visa ban; eyes appeal if baseless

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, 22 January 2019 04:08 PM

(L-R) The American flag and the Philippine flag

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Tuesday (January 22) said it respects the decision of the United States government to impose a one-year ban for Filipino applicants of US work visas.

“(The President says) whatever your laws are, we will never intrude into that. The same way that whatever laws we have, we will enforce it. So if that is the law in the US and there were violations, then we have to respect. They have basis for that. we will only react if our workers are mistreated, maltreated or being discriminated against. But if they violated the laws of the US, then they have to face the music,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing.

However, Panelo said, the Palace is yet to verify the basis of the US Department of Homeland Security for issuing such order.

“What we can do is first, we need to know whether there is basis for their decision. If we can see na wala naman (there’s none), then we will ask for a reconsideration,” he said adding that it is up for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the US Ambassador to the Philippines to discuss the matter.\

On its website federalregister.gov, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) removed the Philippines from its list of countries eligible for the H-2A and H-2B visas along with Ethiopia and Dominican Republic citing overstaying and human trafficking concerns.

Panelo said the Palace is yet to receive a report from the US Embassy as to the exact details of the ban.

The Presidential Spokesperson added that once the report reaches them, that’s the time that the government will make a move officially according to the situation.

In response to the issue, the DFA reminds Filipinos overseas, particularly those in the US, “to follow immigration rules and avoid staying beyond what is allowed in their visas.”

“As visa issuances are a country’s prerogative, the DFA notes the concerns that led the DHS to arrive at its decision. Nonetheless, the Philippines is open to the possibility of working with the United States in addressing these issues, as it has previously done so with similar concerns involving the Filipino Community there,” the DFA said in a statement.

“The Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. along with the other Philippine Consulates General in the US, will continue to extend appropriate assistance to all its nationals pursuant to law,” the agency concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz / JL Asayo)

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Malacañang: Renaming the Philippines requires change in the Constitution

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, 12 February 2019 06:14 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Changing the name of the Philippines will require a change in the Constitution.

This was noted by Malacañang on Tuesday (February 12) when the issue on renaming the Philippines resurfaced after President Rodrigo Duterte hinted that he is amenable to using “Maharlika” as the country’s new name in the future.

During his speech in Maguindanao on Monday (February 11), President Duterte expressed his agreement to the late President Ferdinand Marcos’ proposal of changing the country’s name to Maharlika as it better suits the Filipinos’ native roots.

“The Philippines was discovered by Magellan using the money of King Philip. Okay na iyan. Balang araw palitan natin. Actually, tama si Marcos. Gusto niyang palitan — Maharlika,” President Duterte said in his speech.

In the 16th century, the Philippines was named ‘Las Islas Filipinas’
by Spanish explorer Ruy Lopez de Villalobos in honor of King Philip II of Spain when the country was still a Spanish colony.

It officially became the Republic of the Philippines in 1946 when the United States of America relinquished its sovereignty over the Philippine islands.

In 1978, former Sen. Eddie Ilarde filed Parliamentary Bill 195 which sought to change the name of the Philippines to Maharlika, a Tagalog word attributed to nobility and royalty.

Netizens took to social media to post their views on the matter:

“Tama lang na Republic of #Maharlika. Royal Malayan blood ang dating. Pag Philippines kasi, we are reminded of being conquered,” wrote Twitter user @millionairex7s.

“Agree with changing Pinas’ name, but #maharlika? Too abstract a word for me. I can’t relate to it. Maybe ‘Republic of Malay’ — that I can live with,” said @visayasKami.

Others just straight up oppose the idea of changing names.

“From Republic of the Philippines to Republic of Maharlika??? How about a ‘no’,” said @sanandresmariel.

“OK, I support the pres, but dude, it’s not the right time to change that. We should focus on more important things,” wrote @avbxiii.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo clarified, however, that though the President was just aiming at opening a discussion on the matter, the proposal would need a charter change.

“Mas preferred siguro kung constitutional amendment para wala nang question,” he said.

There had been many attempts to change the name of the Philippines in previous Congresses but not a single legislation prospered. — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mon Jocson)

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Malacañang hits ‘scaremongers’ spreading fake news about Duterte’s health

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, 4 February 2019 04:05 PM

A screenshot of President Rodrigo Duterte’s live broadcast via Facebook dispelling the rumors about him being dead. (SOURCE: Honeylet Avancena FB)

MANILA, Philippines – The Duterte administration has no plans of suing those who spread fake news about President Rodrigo Duterte’s health.

“Ordinaryo na iyan. We’re used to that anyway. So let it be,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

Panelo noted that such fake news are the machinations of the administration’s critics. But the Palace expressed confidence that majority of the Filipinos remain in support of the Duterte administration.

“Sinasadya nila iyan, mga kritiko. Actually galing iyan sa mga kalaban ni Presidente hindi sa mga ordinaryong tao,” he explained.

A report on the alleged death of the President circulated on social media during the weekend with calls for the possible take over of Vice President Leni Robredo.

In response to the hoax, President Duterte’s partner Honeylet Avanceña posted a video of the President to clarify the rumors.

“For those who believe in the news that I passed away. Then I request of you, please pray for me, for the eternal repose of my soul. Thank you,” the President said in the video.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea asserted that the President is doing fine.

“He (President Rodrigo Duterte) is okay and ready to rumble. Hindi naman siya sa si Superman. Siya po ay tao po lamang na paminsan-minsan ay “not feeling well di ba?” Medialdea said.

Panelo, meanwhile, assured that the President’s health is in the best condition and explained that he just needed some rest in preparation for his busy schedule in the next few days.

The Presidential Spokesperson argued that if ever there is one person who knows of the President’s health, it is President Duterte himself so it is him who decides to rest if he feels he needed one. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Malacañang: New measure on public access to SALN will violate the law

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, 4 February 2019 03:27 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang insists that as a separate institution, it will not meddle in the affairs of Congress.

However, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the measure which Congress is pushing under House Speaker Gloria Arroyo will violate the Constitution.

Panelo was referring to House Resolution Number 2467 which seeks to tighten the procedure by way the public can access the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) of lawmakers and regular employees of the government.

The proposed bill demands approval from the House plenary to be able for the public to have access on the SALN.

In case of individual request, it should get the approval from the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) before release.

Panelo cited in particular Article 11 of the Philippine Constitution which requires all public officials to submit their respective SALNs while Article 3, Section 7 provides the public the privilege to access information of public concern.

Panelo added that it was President Rodrigo Duterte himself who first ordered transparency in the executive branch when he released Executive Order 2 in relation to the Freedom of Information.

The Presidential Spokesperson also noted that anything that will add burden to the public in accessing public information will be violate the rights of the people and will be against the principle of transparency and accountability on workers of the government. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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