FILE PHOTO: The first meeting of Vice President Leni Robredo and President Rodrigo Duterte after their inauguration on a military ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, July 01, 2016. (Office of the Vice President)
Camarines Sur — “Mag-a-attend ako kahit yung iba ayaw akong pa-attend-in. Yung iba natatakot daw baka insultuhin ako, baka hiyain ako,” said Vice President Leni Robredo as she confirmed her attendance at the third State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte.
(I will attend [the State of the Nation Address] although others are against it for fear that I will be insulted or shamed.)
She said that as holder of the second highest position in the country, it is her obligation to attend the annual event.
Also, she assured that she won’t get affected in case President Duterte criticizes her in his speech; she said she will accept it instead.
“Sanay naman akong iniinsulto. Tingin ko hindi naman ako mababawasan kapag ako ininsulto,” she said.
(I am used to insults already. Insults will not diminish my being.)
Robredo also expressed her anticipation for Pres. Duterte’s take on inflation rate, the increase in prices of the basic commodities as well as the rising unemployment rate.
“Parang nagre-render ng report na ito na yung mga nangyari. Alin ba yung mga na-achieved? Alin yung mga hindi na-achieved? At bakit hindi ito na achieved? So, parating dapat lahat naman ng mga mamamayan interesado sa kung ano yung sasabihin ng Pangulo sa SONA.”
(It [SONA] is like rendering a report on what has been achieved; what has yet to be achieved and why was it not achieved. So all Filipino citizens should be interested in what the President will report at the SONA.)
President Duterte had earlier slammed Robredo for alleged incompetence. — Allan Manansala / UNTV News & Rescue
Duterte’s drug war to continue despite more than 5,000 death toll
FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte | TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
MANILA, Philippines — The anti-drug war of the Duterte administration is set to continue despite having tallied more than 5,000 deaths of drug personalities in its operations.
The government has earlier reported that the death toll has reached 5,050 since the launch of the campaign on July 1, 2016 up to November 30 of this year.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the rise and fall of the death toll depends on the response of the involved personalities in illegal drugs operation.
“It depends on how those involved in drugs will respond to operations against them. If they become violent, necessarily, the result would be violent then. What you sow, you reap,” said Panelo. — UNTV News & Rescue
Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray is back home for the holidays
Miss Philippines Catriona Gray reacts during the final round of the Miss Universe pageant in Bangkok, Thailand, December 17, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
MANILA, Philippines — Two days after winning the title, newly crowned Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray is now back in the Philippines.
Catriona arrived at around 3:30 p.m. via a private plane owned by former Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson.
She was supposed hold a press conference at the Platinum Skies Aviation but was reset to a later date.
Unlike before when the winning Miss Universe would immediately travel to the Miss Universe headquarters in New York after the coronation, Catriona was given time to spend the holidays with her loved ones.
Meanwhile, Malacañang said Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray is set to pay a courtesy call to President Rodrigo Duterte, however, there is no specific date set as of press time.
“Hindi ko lang alam ang specific date but Secretary of Tourism Berna said definitely a courtesy call,” Panelo said.
The palace has already sent its congratulatory message to Ms. Gray for her victory at the Miss Universe pageant.
Catriona is set to live in New York for the duration of her reign. – Marje Pelayo
Duterte still trusts Diokno says Malacañang
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno
MANILA, Philippines — Unless there is evidence presented that supports the allegations being thrown against Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, he will continue to enjoy the confidence and trust of President Rodrigo Duterte.
This was the statement of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on the issues facing the embattled budget secretary, among which is the P51-B addition to the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways and the alleged conflict of interest in the multi-billion-peso worth of infrastructure projects in Casiguran and Sorsogon.
“Mr. Diokno is known to be the ‘Mr. No,’ meaning, he’s a man of integrity. So, when he says he is not involved, I believe it, unless you show me, as a lawyer, competent evidence,” Panelo said.
He added that the accusers should bear the burden of proof.
Nevertheless, Malacañang will still look into the allegation of House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr., that 30 government infra projects worth billions of pesos went to a single contractor.
Andaya further alleged that some Cabinet members are benefactors of the said contractor.
“Since there is allegation of corruption, it follows that we have to investigate,” Panelo said. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue