Duterte signs GAA2019 with lone witness

President Rodrigo Duterte signs into law the General Appropriations Act of 2019 with no other witnesses but Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

Salvador S. Panelo , Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential Spokesperson, said “the 2019 GAA is the reflection of the Administration’s vision of genuine change for the Philippines, where effective and efficient delivery of programs, projects and public services for our people will be its hallmark.”

“True to his commitment and constitutional duty to be fealty to the constitutional directives, the President vetoed items of appropriation that are either considered by law and jurisprudence as rider provisions not being related to a particular appropriation or they seek to amend the Constitution and certain statutes,” he said.

The Chief Executive also vetoed items of appropriations under the Department of Public Works and Highways for falling outside the government’s programmed priorities which are in the total amount of P95,374,241,000.

The President likewise subjected certain provisions to conditional implementation in order to ensure conformity with existing laws, rules and regulations, such as the allowance and benefits of teachers and creation of teaching positions, construction of evacuation centers, funding for foreign-assisted projects, revolving fund, and lump-sum appropriations for capital outlays, as well as financial assistance to local government units and funding requirements of our foreign service, among others.

Copies of President Duterte’s communication to Congress will be furnished to the members of the Malacañang Press Corps once they become ready and available.

Joint AFP-PNP Law Enforcement Operation Neutralizes CNT leader

The combined law enforcement operations conducted by 71st Infantry (Kaibigan) Battalion Intel units, 1001st Brigade, 10MIB, ISAFP, PNP and CIDG Tagum City resulted to the neutralization of NPA Deputy Secretary on April 15, 2019 at Brgy. Canocotan, Tagum City.

A timely information from a concerned citizen that group of Communist NPA Terrorist (CNT) under A.K.A Jay Pogs was seen at vicinity Brgy. Canocotan, Tagum City. It allowed Lieutenant Colonel Esteveyn E Ducusin, Battalion Commander of 71st IB to immediately take action. Lieut. Colonel Ducusin immediately ordered the troops to monitor and confirm the veracity of said information.

After the information has been confirmed, at about 4:00am, a combined law enforcement operation was conducted to serve the warrant of arrest against A.K.A Jay Pogs in their safe house at Brgy. Canocotan, Tagum City, Davao Del Norte. A.K.A Jay Pogs has a standing warrant of arrest for Serious Illegal Detention with Criminal Case Number 8703-2013.

Upon the knowledge of the presence of the troops, immediately the undetermined number of CNTs fired at the operating troops, the troops responded which resulted to five (5) minutes fire fight.

A.K.A Jill armed with one (1) M16 rifle loaded with nineteen (19) ammunitions was killed while her comrades and Jay Mendoza A.K.A Jay Pogs who was an Executive Commander of Weakened Guerilla Front 2 (WGF 2) escaped leaving behind A.K.A Jill.

A.K.A Jill with true name Cindy Terado is the Deputy Secretary of Weakened Guerilla Front 2 (WGF 2), Sub-Regional Committee 2 (SRC 2), Southern Mindanao Regional Committee and said to be the live-in partner of A.K.A Jay Pogs.

At the vicinity, planted IED was recovered along with cellphone, residuals of drug paraphernalias and subersive documents. White envelopes believed to be material for extortion were seen inside the house.

“I thank all the concerned citizens who keep on giving a timely information, it just means that they no longer want these terrorist groups in their area.” Ducusin said.

“I will reiterate that our bounded duty is to protect the people and secure the land. One way to do so is to continue military operation because we need to pursue CNTs to eradicate them as well the problem they are creating,” Ducusin added.

The cadaver of A.K.A Jill is under the custody of PNP Tagum for proper disposition while a pursuit operation is still ongoing.

COMELEC to conduct vote-counting machine demonstration on April 15

By Vikki J. Amorio

Voters and official candidates are invited to learn how to use the vote-counting machines (VCM) for the 2019 midterm elections as the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) will be having a VCM Roadshow on April 15 at Panabo City Hall.

 

Here, the public will be given a glimpse of the actual election day as participants will learn proper shading and feeding of ballots to the VCM.

 

The roadshow is a movement to educate voters and ensure an organized and smooth election, as there are certain prohibitions and reminders that the electorate should be mindful about.

 

Among these are not to overshade and overvote, avoiding crumpling, folding, wetting or making unnecessary marks on the ballot. COMELEC further reminded to only use the markers provided by the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI). If not followed, the VCM will reject the ballot.

 

While voters are allowed to bring their phones inside the polling precinct, they are prohibited to use the same. Furthermore, taking a selfie with the ballot is considered an election offense as this violates the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot. Under the law, the offense may sanction the violator up to six (6) years of jail time.

 

To know more about the election DO’s and DON’T’s, the public is invited to join the roadshow on April 15 9a.m. to 11a.m. at Panabo City Hall. PWDs are also highly encouraged to participate by the local COMELEC office.

Floirendo won’t do an Alvarez in the House

After having declared his interest on the top post of the House of Representatives, Davao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr. assured residents of the 1st congressional district that he will not do an Alvarez in case he becomes the Speaker of the 18th Congress.

Floirendo was referring to the “zero budget” given to him by then House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez back in 2018.

In a press conference Thursday, April 11, Floirendo said he knows how his constituents in the 2nd District suffered when Alvarez withheld his budget.

“I know how it feels, kaya di ko gagawin yan sa mga tao. I will not give a zero budget to any of my colleagues,” Floirendo said.

Floirendo said he is not even certain if Alvarez would be re-elected considering the formidable opponent he has in the person of incumbent Governor Anthony del Rosario.

In a statement, Floirendo appealed to his colleagues in the Lower House to join him in giving the Duterte administration a solid support from the legislative department.

“I am calling on my fellow Filipino lawmakers, regardless of political and ideological affiliations, let us work as one in serving the people. I ask my fellow lawmakers in the coming 18th Congress to join hands with me in ensuring that the Duterte administration gets the full support he needed from the legislative department. I know that we all wanted what is good for the President and ultimately what is good for the Filipino people,” Floirendo said.

Floirendo revealed that after his declaration for his Speakership bid few days ago, many of his colleagues called him up asking if he is serious about it.

“I told them, “as serious as the President’s adamant will to improve the lives of the Filipino by 2022”. After hearing that, they said that they will support me,” said Floirendo.

The congressman who was the top donor of President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign fund in 2016, said that he had been a politician half his life and he never ever aspired any national position.

“I’d rather be on the backseat than up front. Many of my colleagues know that. But this time around, it’s a different scenario. When I give my support, I give it my 100%. I asked nothing after President Duterte won, I did not ask anything when I was being persecuted by the House leadership under Alvarez,” Floirendo said.

“And now that I am running for speakership I also did not ask any support from the President. For we both respect the separations of power. But if he will give me a chance to serve I will always be grateful and will make sure I will do my duty to unite the Lower House,” he added.

Floirendo joins speakership fray

Davao del Norte 2nd District Representative Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr. has officially joined the fray for the speakership bid.

Palace spokesman Sal Panelo initially revealed the matter during his weekly press briefing in Malacañang Monday, April 8.

Panelo said he received a text message earlier with the information and that he readily called up Cong. Floirendo to confirm.

“And he confirmed. He is vying for the speakership,” Panelo said.

In a released statement after the Malacañang briefing, Rep. Floirendo confirmed his decision to seek the speakership come 18th Congress.

“I indeed met last night with some very important personalities of the land to talk on some important matters regarding the mid-term elections and the 3 remaining years of the Duterte administration.

Among those we discussed was the importance of ensuring a stable administration under President Rodrigo Duterte,” Floirendo said.

The Dabawenyo solon said that his decision to join the fray is not for his own political ambitions “but to ensure that President Rodrigo Duterte gets a solid support from the House leadership.”

“Also, I wanted to correct a big mistake I committed when I emphatically endorsed Alvarez as Speaker to President Duterte. I want to unite the Lower House in fully backing the Duterte administration realize its dreams for the Filipino people in the three remaining years,” said Floirendo.

“And who could better understand and harmonioulsy work with a Dabawenyo President than a Dabawenyo congressman?,” he ended.

A highly-reliable source revealed that the decision was reached to ensure that ousted House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez will not be able to regain his old position once incumbent House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo retires from Congress.

Alvarez was ousted as Speaker because of allegations of arrogance, corruption and unwarranted acts as Speaker.

Floirendo, President Rodrigo Duterte’s biggest campaign fund contributor in the 2016 presidential race, was instrumental in Alvarez’s rise to power as he also funded the former Speaker’s campaign in 2016 and endorsed him to Duterte for possible candidate for the speakership.