Bong Go senate bid gets big boost from CARAGA Govs endorsement

As the campaign season for the 2019 midterm elections gets underway, support for the candidacy of former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Bong Go is steadily picking up among local government officials all over the country. Most recently, all five governors in the CARAGA Region unanimously pledged their “unequivocal and unified” support for Go.

The governors who signed the pledge were Angel Amante-Matba of Agusan del Norte, Adolph Edward Plaza of Agusan del Sur, Glenda Ecleo of Dinagat, Sol Matugas of Surigao del Norte and Vicente Pimentel Jr. of Surigao del Sur.

The CARAGA region is home to more than 1.5 million registered voters who, with the endorsements, are largely expected to vote for Go in 2019.

Prior to joining the senate race, Go was busy going around the country as part of his regular duty as SAP. This included the setting up of several Malasakit Centers in Cebu, Iloilo, Tacloban, Bacolod, Palawan, Manila (PGH), Maasin, Dumaguete, Davao, Pampanga, Bohol, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan, Zamboanga, and Legazpi. As well as attending to the needs of the victims of various natural and man-made calamities all over the country.

While as President Duterte’s trusted assistant Go was seen as one of the most influential men in government, he says that running for senator gives him the opportunity to help more Filipinos.

“Tulad ng lahat ng ginagawa ko simula pa nung nag umpisa akong mag trabaho kay Mayor Duterte, isa lang po ang rason – ang makatulong sa ating mga kababayan,” he said.

“Ang pag file at pag-pasa ng mga batas ay isa lamang sa mga paraan upang makatulong. Maski ilang batas ang aking ihain sa Senado, makakaasa kayo na bawat isa dito ay naglalayong makatulong sa pag angat ng kabuhayan ng bawat Pilipino,” he added.

PRESS STATEMENT OF THE COALITION AGAINST CORRUPTION (CAC): NO TO PROMOTION OF LAPEÑA

The CAC is a private sector volunteer organization whose advocacy is to fight corruption in all its forms, within and outside government. CAC is apolitical. We adhere to the principle, enunciated by no less than President Duterte himself, that there must be NO SACRED COWS. We must follow where the truth leads us without fear or favor. Let the ax fall where it may.

We partner with the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) in the War on Corruption from discovery all the way to the prosecution and conviction of corrupt officials.

We encourage whistleblowers to come out and reveal what they know. They are the best source of information as they have personal knowledge about the systems and incidents of corruption in their workplace. Their motivation is not our concern.

Yesterday, CAC hosted a press conference for Bureau of Customs (BOC) whistleblower Atty. Lourdes Manaoang on the drugs scandal involving the BOC. She accused BOC Commissioner Lapeña of incompetence at the very least. On-going investigations by the NBI, Senate and the House of Representatives will reveal the extent of the culpability of the former BOC Commissioner Lapeña.

Thus, it was premature that Lapeña should be rewarded with a promotion to a cabinet-level rank while the investigation is in progress. In fact, Lapeña’ s reassignment and promotion, without first being cleared of culpability, undermines the President’s avowed policies of “zero tolerance” and “not even a whiff” in the war on drugs and corruption. Illegal drugs and other syndicated crimes can only flourish in an environment of unmitigated corruption.

We urge the President to put on hold the reassignment, much less promotion, of officials while they are under investigation for wrongdoings.

Paolo Duterte on BoC official clearing him from the 6.8B shabu smuggling

Muli nating napatunayan na lahat ng sinabi Senator Antonio Trillanes laban sa akin ay pawang produkto ng guniguni, tsismis, at kasinungalingan.

Nagbabala na ako noon na dapat hindi paniwalaan ang mga sinasabi ni Trillanes dahil sa eksperto siya sa pagsisinungaling at paghabi ng tsismis at kwentong mapanira.

Naapektohan ng mga paninirang ito ang aking pamilya, lalo na ang aking mga anak.

Isang bagay ang klaro ngayon — tsismoso ang senador na ito. Ang masama ay maging siya ay naniniwala sa kanyang sariling tsismis.

At ang akala nya kaya niyang linlangin ang lahat. Pero hindi.

Masaya ako ngayon at unti-unti nang lumalabas ang totoo.

Gayunpaman, patuloy nating hahabulin si Trillanes para pagbayaran nya at pagdusahan ang kasiraan na dinulot nya sa akin, sa akin mga anak at buong pamilya, at mga taga-suporta.

Maraming salamat sa mga naninindigan sa katotohanan at tama. Maraming salamat sa mga patuloy na sumosuporta.

PAOLO Z. DUTERTE

Grab to file motion for reconsideration on PCC’s P12M fine on Grab

Grab Philippines will ask the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to reconsider its decision of imposing Php 12 million fine on Grab.

In its decision, PCC said Grab is being fined Php 8 million for failure to keep pre-transaction incentives, promos, pricing, and quality of service; and, solidarily with Uber, Php 4 million for failure to keep operations separate, and failure to suspend assumption of board seat in Grab.

We respectfully disagree with PCC’s decision. Grab completed the transaction legally, and did not violate the interim measures order.

During the review of the deal, we worked closely with the PCC and explained the following market conditions that affected the interim measures:

– Grab’s price algorithm, until the LTFRB suspended the time component in its fares, remained the same. The supposed increase in price was affected by the higher incidence of surge, which was driven by the low supply of vehicles and high concentration of demand. Fare and surge rates remained within the LTFRB-approved range. Promos and incentives were also maintained but pivoted towards ka-Grab rewards program to address the issues related to considerable imbalance between supply and demand.

– In terms of Uber’s equity stake and board seat, we maintain that the deal was already consummated before the issuance of the interim measures order. The interim measures, as worded, should be interpreted to apply prospectively and should not cover acts already consummated before its issuance.

– Grab and Uber operations in the Philippines remained separate and without any integration nor was there automatic transfer of passenger and drivers data. Grab did not take over Uber operations and did not do anything to violate the interim measures after it was put into effect.

PCC, despite Grab’s filing of motion for reconsideration, can be assured that Grab will abide by and remain faithful to its voluntary commitments. We have been closely coordinating with both the PCC and the monitoring trustee to ensure that high service standards met.

Atty. Miguel Aguila

Grab Philippines Lead Legal Counsel

ON NORA AUNOR’S DELISTING IN THE NATIONAL ARTIST AWARDS

The artistical and musical legend that is Nora Aunor may not have passed the critical eyes of a select juror and the awarding authority to be bestowed the National Artist award but her enrapturing film artistry and musicality and mass acceptance surpass any technical recognition given by any entity or authority. Her phenomenal rise to movie and musical stardom that counted a generation of shrieking and adoring fans unparalleled in the movie and music industry is a walking testament to her mesmerizing artistry and singing voice and the people’s acceptance. She truly is the crowned people’s artist.

Ms. Nora Aunor is still young and in God’s perfect time we are optimistic that she will be proclaimed as a National Artist. Her non-inclusion does not diminish her iconic stature as the country’s Superstar and her significant contributions to film, theater, television and music industries.

Her non-inclusion should be viewed as to spare Ms. Nora Aunor from the emotional and psychological torment she will go through as a result of the barrage of mixed reactions the award will bring. As she herself stated in her statement:

“Ano ba naman ang isang award kung ang kapalit neto ay paulit-ulit na paghamak sa pagkatao ko at sa mga taong naniniwala sa akin.”

“Sapat na po sa akin ang respeto natatanggap ko sa mga kasamahan ko sa trabaho.”

Salvador S. Panelo
Presidential Spokesperson &
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel