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Angie M. Rosales

Duterte’s PDP-Laban gains more supporters

Monday, 09 April 2018 00:00 Published in Headlines

The ranks of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) continue to strengthen with 30,000 new members taken in over the weekend in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

The oath-taking last Friday was only part of PDP-Laban’s continued national recruitment, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said.
“It’s the beginning of a long weekend but PDP-Laban is not resting on its mission on spreading change and federalizing the Philippines. Our 30,000 new members here in the home province of our secretary general will significantly bolster our efforts,” he said.
PDP-Laban is the party of President Duterte.
Pimentel was referring to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez who was with him in leading the new members in their pledges at the University of Southeastern Philippines.
They were joined by Representatives Zajid Mangudadatu of the 2nd District of Maguindanao and Reynaldo Umali of the 2nd District of Oriental Mindoro. On Thursday, Pimentel went to Bocaue, Bulacan province, to preside over the oath-taking ceremony of Bocaue Mayor Eleanor Villanueva-Tugna and local grassroots leaders.

The ceremony was attended by Cibac partylist Rep. Sherwin Tugna and provincial leaders of PDP Laban.
Pimentel then visited Villanueva’s father, Bro. Eddie Villanueva of the Jesus is Lord Movement, at the latter’s home in the city.
The Senate chief has earlier said the party now has significant presence in most provinces of the country following the massive influx of new members since 2016.

Leila slams groups for fake news on her sister, son

Monday, 09 April 2018 00:00 Published in Metro

Sen. Leila de Lima yesterday slammed efforts by some sinister groups in proliferating fake news, not sparing even her sister and son as unwitting victims, on supposed involvement in drug trafficking.

“Absurd and incredible these fake news are, the sad reality is some people tend to be fooled into believing them,” she said.
The said fake news against her sister and son both first circulated in social media in December 2016 and were mostly shared and re-shared by pro-Duterte pages and websites to various social media platforms, including Facebook and YouTube.
“My sister was reported to have been arrested in Beijing for drug trafficking. Her friends called her about that. When that fake news came out, my sister happened to be at a hospital, watching over my sick mother,” she recalled.
“Another fake news targeted my youngest son, Vincent, who was reported to have been arrested at an airport in Berlin for possession of drugs. My son has never set foot in another country,” she added.
The senator claimed to be at the receiving end of more than 33 fake news stories and there were several instances where some of these made their rounds on Facebook and Youtube, causing her relative and friends to worry about her condition.
These, she said, were part of the well-oiled and orchestrated campaign to damage her good name and discredit her due to her vocal opposition to the Duterte administration’s murderous war on drugs.
“I remember there were relatives and friends who frantically contacted me or my family to check on my well-being when it was reported that I had committed suicide, or was suffering from one ailment or another,” she shared.
The senator further lamented how some of the fake news stories and videos uploaded online may have easily corrupted the public’s mind in trying to differentiate between what is real and what is fake news.
The senator said no one has become immune from fake news nowadays.
De Lima vowed to fight back the tide of fake news, including lies and deceits directed not only to her and her family but even to those critical of the present Duterte administration.
In January 2017, de Lima delivered a fiery privilege speech to denounce the unabated proliferation of fake news on the Internet and other social networking sites where she likened fake news to a “virus” that could “bring about a zombie apocalypse.”

Du30 to Guevarra: Return DoJ’s ‘dignified image’

Saturday, 07 April 2018 00:00 Published in Headlines

President Duterte has two directives to new Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra in taking over the key post in place of resigned Vitaliano Aguirre which is “do what is right and bring back the dignified image of the Department of Justice (DoJ).”
Mr. Duterte named Guevarra as ad interim secretary of the Department of Justice (DoJ) the other day.
Guevarra said he would first “wind up” his tasks as Senior Deputy Executive Secretary at the Office of the President before reporting for work at the DoJ.
“The President told me to bring back the DoJ’s dignified image,” Guevarra said.
“The President seldom sees me, yet he entrusts such a sensitive position to me. I’m overwhelmed with such confidence,” he added.
Guevarra earned his bachelor of laws from the Ateneo de Manila University and placed second in the 1985 Bar examinations. He was in active private practice and a faculty member at the Ateneo School of Law until April 2015.

Last Thursday, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said Duterte had signed Guevarra’s appointment papers and administered his oath of office on the same day.
He said Duterte did not want to wait until Friday to make the announcement, as the DoJ is one of the “most sensitive” departments.
According to the President, Guevarra is the perfect replacement for Aguirre, whose resignation he had accepted, since he has “integrity,” aside from extensive legal knowledge.
When asked why Aguirre resigned, Roque said he did not see the resignation letter but noted that Duterte said that it was “just a matter of accepting a resignation tendered to him.”
DoJ better than before— Aguirre
Aguirre was at the justice department yesterday, where he attended a mass with DoJ employees.
Aguirre, meanwhile, expressed gratitude to the President for allowing him to leade the DoJ for almost two years.
“Thankful for the opportunity to have served our countrymen as the steward of your DoJ. As I leave the Department of Justice, I find comfort in the thought that, by our collective efforts, we have improved the DoJ in key areas. We have achieved this by hard work and indomitable faith in the protection, providence and guidance of the Almighty,” Aguirre said in a statement.
Aguirre recognized the efforts of DoJ officials as well as its attached agencies for welcoming him “with open arms” and for throwing all their support and cooperation.
“The DoJ is better not because of me but because everybody committed heart, body and soul to march toward a single cadence,” Aguirre said.
“I salute the good men and women of the DoJ for showing me how it is to serve selflessly in government. You have provided me the inspiration to lead by walking beside me, never behind me nor ahead of me, from Day One. I will cherish the bonds formed, the friendships made and the memories we shared,” he added.
Aguirre also took the occasion to express gratitude to Duterte “for the trust and the confidence he reposed on me as his first Secretary of Justice”.
“I am not sad that it has ended, rather I am thankful that it happened. I am eternally grateful to all. In our own humble way, we have delivered on our promise to make the DoJ better than when we found it,” he said.
Aguirre encouraged justice employees to welcome Guevarra, his successor.
“Moving forward, I humbly ask everyone to welcome with the same degree of enthusiasm and cooperation, more if need be, the team of incoming Secretary Menard Guevarra, there is only one DOJ, let us love and serve it to the best of our abilities,” Aguirre said.
Critics still after Aguirre
It was only proper for Aguirre to resign from his post but he should made be account for his questionable actions, Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said, adding that the former DoJ chief should not even be “kicked upstairs.”
Aguirre should not be kicked upstairs but instead be made to account for his blunders, decisions Kiko, de Lima say Aguirre
only Duterte’s sacrificial lamb
Pangilinan cited among Aguirre’s major blunders were on the issues concerning the downgrading of the murder charges to homicide against Supt. Marvin Marcos, who was among the principals accused in the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.; the clearing of former Bureau of Customs (BoC) Comm. Nicanor Faeldon and other Customs officials in the P6.4 billion shabu smuggling case; to the continuing drug trade in the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) under Aguirre’s watch; and the dismissal of the drug charges against self-confessed drug dealer Kerwin Espinosa and alleged drug lord Peter Lim.
Reports said that Mr. Duterte wants Aguirre to fill the position vacated by former Law Dean Amado Valdez in the Social Security System (SSS).
Valdez’ term expired last June 30 and was not renewed by the President.
Aside from the questionable decisions made by the DoJ involving some high-profile personalities, Aguirre himself has been embroiled in some controversies heated up by the opposition such as the issue on the P50 million bribery scandal involving former Bureau of Immigration (BI) officials and fraternity brothers.
Aguirre was also accused by senators of peddling “fake news” against them such as alleged involvement of Senators Bam Aquino and Antonio Trillanes IV in the siege of Marawi by the Maute group.
He was also accused by Sen. Risa Hontiveros of being involved in the plotting of numerous cases against her.
Aguirre was inadvertently caught in a photo while attending a Senate hearing on the Kian delos Santos killing sending text messages to a certain “Cong. Jing” saying that they must “expedite the filing of cases against her.”
“(But) there has to be a no nonsense investigation as to how it came about that these drug lords are acquitted. Confessed drug lords are absolved. So we welcome his departure from the DoJ but we believe he still should be held to account for these controversial decisions,” the senator said.
Sen. Leila de Lima, a critic of Aguirre, expressed belief that the former DoJ chief may have only been made a sacrificial lamb of Duterte.
Attempts at designating sacrificial lambs or scapegoats, diverting from the real issues and finger-pointing can never bury and erase the innumerable monstrosities, lies and deceptions that Duterte and his goons have been inflicting upon the people, she said.
“We should never lose sight of the fact that it is Duterte and his cohorts, including and especially Aguirre, who have been responsible for the high incidence of crimes of impunity and the brazen abuses of power in our country today. It is Duterte and his syndicate who have masterminded and executed numerous gross violations of the rights of our people and the wanton disregard of the rule of law in our society at present,” she said.

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