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Senate likely to consider second extension of Martial Law

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, December 10th, 2018

PASAY CITY, Philippines – Security officials met with members of the Senate on Monday (December 10) to defend their recommendation of extending the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao for another year.

Present in the executive session were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, and AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said he is likely to consider the recommendation due to threats of rebellion.

“In my opinion, there is a continuing rebellion. There is an actual rebellion on going,” said Sotto.

Meanwhile, Senator Ralph Rector is in favor of the extension, however, not for one year but for six months only.

“What is appealing is that they’re saying that they would be able to wipe out the Abu Sayyaf  if we give them a year of extension and to reduce the capability of CPP-NPA. That’s an appealing proposition to extend martial law. But then, why not 6 months?” Recto said.

According to Sotto, the Congress is likely to convene in a joint session on Wednesday to discuss the proposed one year extension of Martial Law.

It was in May 23, 2017 when the entire Mindanao region was placed under Martial Law following attacks from Maute terrorist group in Marawi City.

It was extended to a year until December 31, 2017 and another extension until the last day of this year. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

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GIS EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Gary Alejano wants to strengthen PH maritime affairs if elected in Senate

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Magdalo Party list Representative Gary Alejano wants to push for the establishment of a Department of Maritime and Oceanic Affairs if given a seat in the Senate.

On the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon on Tuesday (January 15), Alejano said he wants to focus on issues that concern the country’s maritime rights.

Alejano is among those critical of the Duterte Administration with regard to the issues in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) because of the government’s alleged lack of action to drive away China in the said territory.

The lawmaker also opposes the conduct of a joint exploration in the area because, according to Alejano, it will mean that the Philippines is surrendering to China its rights to the WPS.

Alejano believes that China would somehow pull back its reclamation activities if the Philippines’ action will affect its reputation as a superpower.

“The moment na lalabas sa international community na ito palang China is rising irresponsibly, na bully siya at hindi sumusunod sa international law, sino pa ang gustong sumanib sa kanya?” Alejano argued.

“Kaya nga depende, sa kanila po iyon. Sa atin naman, we can rally the world against China. Ibig sabihin we can use the ruling as our leverage but it doesn’t mean that we will close doors with China,” he said.

But the lawmaker said that though they may disagree on some issues with the Duterte administration, they support it at some point such as the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), salary increase and the enactment of the National ID system, free irrigation and free tertiary education.

“Kasi nangyari po ganito, kung meron mang pupuri sa ginagawa ng kasalukuyang administrasyon kukunin yan doon sa kanyang kaalyado,” Alejano said.

“Kapag meron namang pagbabatikos, pagpupuna sa kasalukuyang administrasyon… lumalabas na puro batikos lamang kami. Hindi po. Nandito para kontrahin just for the sake of kontrahin at pigilan ang kaunlaran ng bansa,” he further noted.

Should be given the chance in public office, Alejano also wanted to establish measures to provide further protection to overseas Filipino workers (OFW) should they decide to retire in their home country such as the OFW pension system. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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GIS EXCLUSIVE: Dr. Willie Ong to prioritize improvements in PH health care system when elected

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, January 10th, 2019

Veteran physician Willy Ong gestures during his interview on the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon on January 10, 2019

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Veteran physician Dr. Willie Ong became a social media sensation for his helpful tips on almost every health condition.

His knowledge in the medical field has been his tool in helping people especially the poor who need medical help.

“Masarap makatulong sa isa, dalawa, tatlo. Pero baka makatulong tayo sa isang libo, dalawang libo why not, di ba? Baka may gusto pa ang Dios na ipagawa sa akin. Iyon talaga ang purpose ko,” he said.

Dr. Willy is also active in a number of public services in different parts of the country.

“Ang nakikita ko yung ginagawa sa UNTV, libreng gamotan, libreng lab test. Alam ko yung nababalitaan ko sa mga mahihirap kong pasyente marami pumupunta dito sa inyo. Pag nakita ko sa isang matutulungan, example lang heart patients yung mga may congenital heart, kaya nating tulungan yung 1, 250 thousand. Eh limang libo sila, papaano yun?” he argued.

Based on the latest survey, Ong landed on the 21st to 29th spot. Despite this, he is still confident of landing a seat in the Senate.

If given the chance, Ong wants to push for what he calls as his GOALS.

GOALS means G or free ‘gamot’ medicine especially for the poor;
free O or operation for minor surgery;
proper Advise or diagnosis from attending doctors;
‘ligtas’ or safe and secured drugs, immunization and food for the public.

Among others, Ong considers illegal drug addiction as a long-standing problem in the Philippines.

To address this, Ong said drug dependents must be given proper attention to help them recover

“Ang konti lang, yung less than 1 gram. Pag nahulihan idederetso na sa rehab. Hindi yung dadalhin sa kulungan makukulong siya doon,” he explained referring to the weight of offense for a drug dependent.

“Kasi kapag kinulong natin… unang una puno na yung Jail natin. At naaddict sya doon di naman siya criminal nahulihan lang siya ng konti isasama mo doon sa mga criminal. Pag doon sa kulungan natin ano problema? Napakataas ng Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS mataas din sa kulungan,” he added.

Ong has earned 9 million followers on Facebook which makes his social media account on top 22 of all FB accounts in the country.

He ranked 43, meanwhile, among the top Youtube accounts with 840,000 subscribers. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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REPASO 2018: Dengvaxia scare, communist terrorism and the Martial Law

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

 

The trauma of the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine has caused the government the public’s trust to its other vaccination programs.

Measles cases in the country soared by more than 300% last year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

This was because of the public’s fear of having the same fate as the alleged Dengvaxia vaccinees whose death remain uncertain to this day, according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

“There is a significant drop in the confidence of our people in the immunization program of the DOH from 92% to measly 33%. Ang laki ng bagsak talaga,” Duque said.

It was a “lesson learned the hard way”, the DOH said, referring to the impact of the Dengvaxia controversy.

That’s why the agency wants to change how the public views of the agency.

 

A hearing on the controversial dengue vaccine

“Kung mag-i-introduce ka ng new health program, mag-i-introduce ka ng bagong bakuna,  bagong intervenyion kailangan talaga pag- aralan mo. Kailangan kompleto talaga ang iyong ebidensya. Kailangan alam mo ang magiging resulta. You have to communicate it properly doon sa mga recipients, kailangan naitindinhan din ng recipients kung ano iyong tinatanggap nila,” explained Health Spokesperson Undersecretary Eric Domingo.

But aside from the health concerns, the government also faced challenges in security this year.

President Rodrigo Duterte once again requested Congress to extend the declaration of Martial Law in the province of Mindanao for another year or until December 31, 2019.

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_110117_Marawi City

FILE PHOTO: Marawi City ruins (UNTV News)

According to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, the extension is needed as terrorist groups like Abu Sayyaf, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF), Daulah Islamiya and other terrorist groups sowing fear in the region.

“We cannot turn a blind eye to the reality that Mindanao is still in the midst of rebellion,” Medialdea said.

Several lawmakers opposed the proposal but later on, martial law was extended for the third time in Mindanao since it was declared on May 2017 when the Maute terror group conquered Marawi City.

The communist New People’s Army (NPA) also remains a challenge to the Philippine government.

 

FILE PHOTO: New People’s Army in formation

The military revealed an alleged ‘Red October’ plot, an oust-Duterte movement allegedly formed by the communist rebels backed by opposition groups.The two groups denied the allegations but according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), they have recovered documents in some encounters with NPA proving that they were plotting a destabilization against the government.

Meanwhile, the government did not declare a ceasefire this year even after the communist group announced their declaration of a unilateral ceasefire.

According to the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) they did not recommend to reciprocate the communists’ ceasefire declaration because leftists were not sincere of their intention and they would just use the ceasefire to strengthen their arms.

Meanwhile, a resolution was submitted to Congress calling the President to revive the peace negotiations with the Reds.

But the President remained cold towards the proposed resumption of peace talks.

Instead, he said he preferred to create a hit squad to match the NPA’s sparrow unit.

“So mag-create ako ng sparrow (unit), Duterte death squad against the sparrow,” the President said.

In December, the President issued Executive Order 70 which created a National Task Force tasked to eliminate the rebel group.

This, despite the continuous surrender of NPA members in different parts of the country through the efforts of military on localized peace talks. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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