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Senate leadership supports call for Duterte to veto ‘pork insertions’

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, February 6th, 2019


FILE PHOTO: Senate President Vicente Sotto III

PASAY CITY, Philippines – Lawmakers are racing against time to finally pass the P3.7 trillion proposed 2019 national budget as they have until Friday (February 8) to extend session and to finalize the provisions of the bill.

House Committee on Appropriations Chair Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. said the proposed budget may possibly reach the table of President Rodrigo Duterte for signature by next week.

The senators will hold a caucus on Wednesday night to discuss the outcome of discussions at the ongoing bicameral conference committee especially on matters involving the alleged ‘pork insertions’ in the proposed budget.

Once everything is clear, the bill will likely proceed to ratification.

For his part, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said he is likely to support the position of Senator Panfilo Lacson who is calling on President Duterte to veto the alleged ‘pork insertions’ in the bill, if necessary.

“Kung nararapat at kung talagang maliwanag na pork, bakit hindi? Dapat i-veto,” Sotto said.

Senator Sonny Angara, meanwhile, said the passage of the proposed national budget remains their top priority at this point.

Angara argued that unless the proposed budget is passed, the government will have no choice but to operate with a reenacted budget until July.

“Walang defined item for 2019. Maybe if there are savings in agencies, then they will use that, or there are funds na, unprogrammed funds, hindi natuloy ang project, doon nila kukunin ang pondo,” Angara explained.

Under a reenacted budget, all pending projects of the government for this year will definitely be affected.

Among them is the preparation for the upcoming 2019 midterm elections, specifically the lack of funds for honoraria for teachers who will serve as election officers in the polls. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

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Duterte picks Cebu City Police chief as next PCSO general manager

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Cebu City Police Office Director Colonel Royina Garma | Courtesy : RTVM

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he would name Cebu City Police Office Director Colonel Royina Garma as the next general manager of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

Duterte announced this during the premiere night of the feature film “Kontradiksyon” at a mall in Mandaluyong City.

The president said Garma, who has been in the police service for more than 20 years, will be replacing Alexander Balutan.

Balutan, a retired military general, resigned last March citing personal reasons for leaving the post.

Duterte appointed Balutan in 2016 but his stint in the PCSO was marred by allegations of improper spending when the agency held a luxurious party at a five-star hotel for its employees and guests in December. (with details from Grace Casin)

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Duterte to Recto 22: ‘I’m sorry, but that’s how it is’

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

Courtesy : Presidential Photo

President Rodrigo Duterte apologized to the Recto 22 after he reiterated that the abandonment of the 22 fishermen was just a “maritime incident”.

During the premiere of the movie “Kontradiksyon,” Duterte told reporters that the incident did not result in any confrontation.

“Well, I’m sorry, but that’s how it is,” he said. “They know that that area is claimed by both. For China, it happened within their jurisdiction. For us [it happened] within our jurisdiction. We have two conflicting claims of ownership.”

READ: Filipino boat captain laments Duterte’s remark on West PH Sea allision incident

The Filipino boat captain previously expressed disappointment over Duterte’s remarks when he said the allision was only a “maritime incident”.

A Filipino vessel was allegedly hit by a Chinese vessel on June 9. The Filipino fishermen were abandoned at sea and were saved by Vietnamese fishermen after a few hours.

Duterte clarified that he is not belittling the situation. However, he said that it would not justify sending military troops to the area.

“It’s a maritime incident. ‘Little’ in the sense that it did not result in any confrontation. This not to belittle anything. There was damage but luckily nobody died,” he said. “That is not a reason to go to any military exercise there. If you do that, that’s war.”—AAC


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Source: Minor revamp looms in Duterte Cabinet

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over the 38th Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañan Palace on June 10, 2019. Courtesy PCOO

MANILA, Philippines – A minor reshuffle is expected to take place soon in the Cabinet of President Rodrigo Duterte, a highly placed source said on Monday.

The source, who requested anonymity for lack of authority to divulge this information to media, said Duterte is mulling over moving some officials amid ongoing evaluation of all departments’ performances.

The source said the revamp may include Department of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, who may be transferred to the Mindanao Development Authority.

The President may announce the possible Cabinet revamp next month, the source said. (with details from Grace Casin)

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