Sara Duterte hits ally’s ‘grossly unacceptable’ ouster from key House post

Robie de Guzman   •   March 3, 2020   •   543

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who chairs the regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) blasted the removal of Davao City Third District Representative Isidro Ungab as head of the House Committee on Appropriations in the lower chamber’s major shake-up on Monday.

In a statement on Tuesday, Duterte-Carpio said the HNP “strongly condemns” Ungab’s removal from the key House post, calling it “grossly unacceptable” and “disadvantageous” to the reform agenda being pushed by the Duterte government.

“For HNP, the ouster of Ungab was grossly unacceptable as it is disadvantageous to the Duterte administration’s reform agenda for the Filipino people and the country,” she said.

Also booted out from post is Oriental Mindoro Representative Paulino Salvador “Doy” Leachon as head of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal.

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano earlier said Ungab and Leachon were removed from their posts because they were “more interested in funds and intrigues” than working with him.

The shake-up follows Cayetano’s accusations against Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco of attempting to stage a coup to grab the top House post.

Velasco has denied the allegation.

Duterte-Carpio said Ungab is a good soldier of the President who did his job with pride and principle.

She, however, denied any personal knowledge on the alleged coup attempt.

Meanwhile, Leachon claimed that Cayetano’s move was just a smokescreen of his alleged intention of not honoring the term-sharing agreement with Velasco as brokered by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“You’ve been telling that there was a coup in order to, as I said it was a smokescreen para pagtaguan ang tunay na dahilan na gusto mo magtagal sa position para diridiretso ang enjoyment ng kasamahan or ikaw partikular ka sa iyong probinsya to the detriment of other members,” he said.

It can be recalled that in July 2019, Duterte brokered a “15-21” term-sharing deal between Cayetano and Velasco to settle the conflict in the then-House speakership race.

Under the deal, Cayetano will serve the first 15 months while Velasco will serve the remaining 21 months of the three-year term. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

Sara Duterte asks other LGUs to stop restricting travelers within Davao region

Robie de Guzman   •   May 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte called on other local government units not to restrict the movement of people within areas in the Davao region that are under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Duterte issued the statement during an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio on Wednesday following reports that some workers traveling from Davao Oriental and Davao de Oro to Davao City are being required to present documents and undergo a 14-day quarantine before granting them passage to Davao del Norte.

“That’s what I’ve been saying, for those of you who are ranting on Facebook, Sirs and Ma’ams, you should have prepared for this during the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) because movement between GCQ areas would be allowed,” she said, apparently referring to officials of LGUs in neighboring areas.

Citing Section 7 (3) of the Omnibus Guidelines on the implementation of the community quarantine in the Philippines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), Duterte said the interzonal movement of persons between areas placed under GCQ for any purpose other than leisure is permitted.

“Is employment a leisure? It’s not, so they are allowed to move. There is a confusion on your part that you need to resolve,” she said.

The mayor also said that subjecting workers passing through the province to Davao City to a two-week quarantine was “unreasonable.”

“It’s unreasonable that those who are just passing through your area to return to work (in Davao City), who are not even working in your area will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine. I don’t think it’s right preparation,” she said.

The entire Davao region, including Davao City, is under GCQ from May 16 to May 31.

The presidential daughter said that if other LGUs continue to restrict the movement of people to and from their areas then they should have instead opted for an extension of enhanced community quarantine implementation.

“Kung dili mo gusto magpasulod sa inyohang LGU, ipasaka mo to an ECQ because during an ECQ dili pwede mosulod, dili pwede mogawas. But during a GCQ, kung ang imohang silingan GCQ, ikaw GCQ, pwede mo magbiyahe for Category I, II, III na offices and establishments for work,” she said.

(If you do not allow entry, you raise your (quarantine level) to ECQ because during ECQ you don’t allow entry and exit. But during GCQ, if your neighbor is GCQ and you are GCQ, you can travel to offices and establishments categorized as I, II, III for work.)

In another statement, she, however, clarified that she is not intimidating nor dictating other local leaders about movement restrictions.

Instead, Duterte said she only requested them to refrain from asking “unnecessary” documents from people traveling to their areas.

“Ang ginaingon lang nako sa ilaha, ayaw pangayui ang tao og travel order, mangayo pa sila og seal, mangayo pa og tinuod nga pirma nako because that is not required. Ayaw ninyo pangayui ang mga tao og ing-ana. Kung ang tao moingon nga empleyado sila, di ba allowed man mo-move for work, kung ang tao moingon siya nga nagatrabaho ko diha, pangitai ninyo og ID,” the mayor stressed.

(What I told them is not to ask for a travel order, a (Davao City) seal, my original signature because that is not required. Don’t ask people for that. If the persons say they are workers are they not allowed to move for work? You can ask for an ID.)

Mayor Sara also pointed out that prohibiting the entry of people through lockdowns does not guarantee protection from the coronavirus.

She said LGUs should instead ready their local government for the possible surge of COVID-19 patients.

“Ang makaprotect po sa imoha is mag andam ka imohang prevention measures, mag-andam ka sa imohang detection especially sa inyohang surveillance, mag-andam mo sa inyohang testing,” she said.

(What will protect you is your prevention measures, prepare your detection measures especially with surveillance, and ready with testing.)

“So dapat nangita na mo og mga tao dinha sa inyohang lugar nga ginasubmit ninyo for testing because naga manifest sila og symptoms sa COVID-19. Mag andam po mo og treatment ug reintegration. Mao dapat na ang nagafunction karon nga GCQ na ang inyohang area,” she added.

(So look for the people you submitted for testing if they manifest the COVID-19 symptoms. Prepare treatment and reintegration. That is how you function under GCQ.)

House panel approves P1.5-T fund to create jobs amid COVID-19 pandemic

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 28, 2020

The House Defeat COVID-19 Committee has approved a bill seeking to provide a P1.5-trillion fund to create sustainable jobs amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

House Bill 6709 or the proposed “COVID-19 Unemployment Reduction Economic Stimulus (CURES) Act of 2020″ is set to fund infrastructure projects in rural areas to help curb unemployment amid the pandemic.

The CURES Act of 2020 shall also be undertaken with the “Balik Probinsya Bagong Pag-asa Program” and the immediate funding of CURES projects shall target the construction of health centers, school buildings, vocational learning centers, as well as improving fish ports and trading centers at barangay levels.

The House Bill is expected to be sponsored on Thursday (May 28) for its 2nd reading approval in the plenary on Thursday afternoon. It will have to go through a 3rd and final reading before it can hurdle the House.

Meanwhile, representatives of other government agencies such as the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) also endorsed the approval of the proposed CURES Act of 2020. –AAC

House solon wants charter change proposals shelved ‘indefinitely’

Robie de Guzman   •   May 21, 2020

Cagayan de Oro Second District Representative Rufus Rodriguez

MANILA, Philippines – Cagayan de Oro Second District Representative Rufus Rodriguez on Thursday said he will propose the suspension of deliberations on the controversial charter change (Cha-Cha) proposals amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Rodriguez, who chairs the House committee on constitutional amendments, said he is inclined to recommend to House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano to “shelve Cha-Cha indefinitely” to focus on discussing measures to address the public health crisis and help the Filipino people prepare for the ‘new normal’.

The lawmaker made the proposal following claims that the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and other advocates initiated moves to gather up to two million signatures in support of Cha-Cha.

“This is not the time for the DILG and its allies to relaunch their signature drive and renew their push for Cha-cha. They should postpone it until this health crisis is over,” Rodriguez said in a statement.

“So my message to Cha-cha advocates and their DILG patrons is: stop it, it won’t fly while there is a pandemic,” he added.

Rodriguez said pushing for Cha-Cha can wait as Congress will first have to attend to measures that will “save lives and the livelihood of our people.”

The DILG earlier denied it has launched a signature campaign for Cha-Cha, branding these reports as fake news. RRD (with details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

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