US Sen. Durbin renews call for De Lima’s release from detention

Robie de Guzman   •   January 9, 2020   •   913

US Senator Richard Durbin

MANILA, Philippines – United States Senator Richard Durbin renewed his call for the Duterte administration to release detained opposition Senator Leila de Lima, saying this is an “easy and honorable way forward.”

In a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, Durbin urged the Philippine government to give De Lima a quick and credible trial instead of threatening the travel of Americans with visa requirements.

“The Duterte regime should stop threatening the travel of Americans and so many others who travel between our nations, and instead ensure a quick and credible trial for Senator de Lima or simply do the right thing and release her,” he said.

Duterte’s spokesman Salvador Panelo earlier said the Philippine government would require all Americans to secure a visa before entering the country should the US government enforce the ban on Filipino officials said to be involved in De Lima’s detention.

The Philippine government also ordered the Bureau of Immigration to deny entry to Durbin and Senator Patrick Leahy.

It was Leahy and Durbin who pushed for the inclusion of a provision in the US 2020 budget banning the entry of Philippine officials linked to the detention of the Filipino senator.

Another American senator, Edward Markey, has also been banned from entering the Philippines for filing a resolution calling for De Lima’s release.

De Lima, one of Duterte administration’s fierce critics, has been detained since 2017 over her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade while she was Justice Secretary. She has repeatedly denied the charges.

Panelo reiterated that De Lima’s detention was not a case of political persecution, insisting that the senator was afforded due process and that there is a “probable cause” to issue a warrant for her arrest. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Pangulong Duterte, wala pang pasya kung sino ang iendorsong presidential bet – Malakanyang

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Umapela ang Malakanyang sa publiko na bigyan pa ng panahon si Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte upang magpasya sa kung sino ang susuportahan nitong kandidato sa pagka-pangulo sa 2022 elections.

Kasunod na rin ito ng pag-atras sa halalan ng ini-endorso niyang si Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.

“Si Pangulo has options, has choices that he has to make and we should give him the time to make those options; to make those choices; to make those decisions and give him the leeway to make the announcement kung kinakailangan at kung kailan niya gusto gawin. Hintayin na lang po natin si Pangulong Duterte,” ang pahayag ni acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles.

Una nang sinabi ni Go na umatras siya sa halalan dahil ayaw aniya ng kanyang pamilya na sumabak ito sa presidential race.

Ayaw rin umano niyang ilagay sa mahirap na sitwasyon ang pangulo dahil sa pagtakbo ng anak nitong si Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte bilang bise presidente, katambal ni presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Sinabi naman ng pangulo na iginagalang niya ang desisyon ni Go lalo’t para ito sa kapakanan ng kanyang pamilya.

Noong Martes inianunsyo ni Go ang pag-atras sa halalan ngunit hindi pa ito personal na humaharap sa Commission on Elections upang pormal na bawiin ang kandidatura.

Kasunod ng pag-atras ni Go, nanawagan naman ang mga kaalyado ng administrasyon na suportahan na lang ng pangulo ang tambalang Bongbong at Sara para sa 2022 elections.

Duterte says he respects Bong Go’s decision to drop 2022 presidential bid

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said he respects the decision of Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go to withdraw from the presidential race in the 2022 elections.

Duterte made the statement during a speech before the Joint National Task Force-Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in Zamboanga City on Thursday.

“Senator Bong Go, ano ba talaga, Bong? Tatakbo ka o hindi?” he said.

“Well, I would like to off-the-cuff statement. You have made a lot of people sad than happy. We respect your decision lalo na kung pamilya. Wala na tayong magawa diyan,” he added.

Last Tuesday, Go announced he won’t be pursuing his presidential bid because his family does not want him to seek the presidency. He also does not want to put Duterte in a difficult situation.

Go’s announcement came days after he admitted to having a hard time and being hesitant in seeking the country’s top post as he was already set to run for vice president.

Duterte’s former aide turned senator initially filed his candidacy for vice president under the PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

But he withdrew his candidacy to run for president under Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS) party through substitution.

Bong Go withdrew from the vice presidential race after presidential daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte filed her candidacy for vice president under Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) party.

Go has yet to formalize his withdrawal following his announcement.

The Commission on Elections earlier said aspirants must personally appear before the poll body to file their statements of withdrawal. (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte tells Filipinos to be a hero like Andres Bonifacio amid pandemic

Robie de Guzman   •   November 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday called on Filipinos to “become a hero” like Andres Bonifacio and emulate his strong sense of civic duty and love of country amid challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the country marks the 158th birth anniversary of Bonifacio, Duterte said the bravery and patriotism of Bonifacio and other Filipino heroes who fought the colonizers “must serve as guiding post in beating the odds that hinder the country’s progress as a people and as a nation.”

“As we commemorate these events, I invite every Filipino to become a hero like Bonifacio by participating actively in our nation-building efforts, especially in those challenging times when we have to secure our nation’s health, safety, and wellness,” President Duterte said in his speech during the commemoration at the Pinaglabanan Shrine in San Juan City.

“In this light, I call on our kababayans to emulate Gat Andres Bonifacio’s strong sense of civic duty, courage, and love of country in our daily lives, even in the simplest ways. May we be challenged to give our very best for the benefit of our people and nation,” he added.

Duterte also lauded Bonifacio’s bravery, adding that remembering the late hero’s sacrifice for the country’s independence “could provide a sense of hope, determination, and optimism for today’s generation of Filipinos” amid difficult challenges.

“May this event be a constant reminder of the invaluable contribution and selfless sacrifice of our heroes, especially Gat Andres, in paving the way for the liberty and independence that we enjoy today,” he said.

“Indeed, remembering historical events such as these are vital to enriching our understanding and appreciation for our nation’s culture,” he added.

This year’s commemoration of Bonifacio day also marked the opening of the newly restored El Deposito Underground Reservoir and the new diorama exhibit at the Museo ng Katipunan, which showcases the historical Battle of San Juan del Monte.

Duterte thanked the National Historical Commission of the Philippines for undertaking the restoration and rehabilitation of the historical and cultural landmarks, saying these provide the new generation of Filipinos a glimpse of the country’s long and colorful history and heritage.

“I believe that by revisiting and honoring our past, we will be able to impart a stronger sense of nationhood to the present and future generations of Filipinos,” he said.

Also present during the event were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Cabinet Secretary and Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Alexei Nograles, and San Juan City Mayor Francisco Javier Zamora.

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