Sen. Gordon urges more ‘serious charges’ vs Gen. Oscar Albayalde

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Last night’s headlines (News Roundup for 19 Jan 2020)

MANILA, Philippines — More serious charges should be filed against former Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde, aside   from violations of Republic Act (RA 3019) or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, said Sen. Richard Gordon.

Gordon, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which conducted a Senate probe into Albayalde’s case warned that if this will not be done, the public would view it as molly-coddling the former PNP chief who was tagged over the ninja cops’ case.

The Department of Justice filed charges of violation of RA 3019 which is punishable by (1) imprisonment of not less than one year or more than ten years; (2) perpetual disqualification from public office; and (3) confiscation or forfeiture of any prohibited interest and unexplained wealth manifestly out of proportion to his salary and other lawful income.

Sim card registration law needed — Gatchalian

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Win Gatchalian on Saturday stressed the need for a SIM card registration law to run after perpetrators of hoax messages on mobile phones in relation to the Taal disaster.

Gatchalian said the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) repeatedly flagged the spread of false and unverified information, which causes public panic and confusion.

Gatchalian said mandatory registration for prepaid SIM cards will make it easier for authorities to track the perpetrators of fake news and make them accountable for their actions.

“We witnessed these past days the government is exerting efforts to ensure the safety of our people. But there some who have been spreading wrong information that create confusion and worries,” he said.

Angara calls on DOLE to help displaced workers

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sonny Angara on Saturday called on the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to utilize the P120 million under its budget for the assistance to workers displaced by the Taal Volcano eruption.

As chairman of the Committee on Finance that went over the 2020 General Appropriations Act, Angara pointed out DOLE has funds it can tap to provide assistance to the displaced workers, particularly those who reside in the areas within the vicinity of Taal in Cavite and Batangas.

There are now over 40,000 evacuees from Cavite and Batangas who were forced to flee their homes because of the eruption of the volcano.

Apart from the lack of food, clothing and shelter, many of the evacuees also have to cope with their loss of employment because of the disaster.

De Lima Laments Sabio’s ICC case withdrawal vs.  Duterte

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Leila De Lima has lamented Lawyer Jude Sabio’s decision to withdraw his communication to the International Criminal Court (ICC) linking Duterte and his other officials in the extrajudicial killings (EJKs) under the government’s all-out war on drugs.

“I feel sorry for Atty. Sabio. I can understand that he is going through personal issues that forced him to turn his back on the cause of the victims of mass atrocities,” De Lima said in his recent Dispatch from Crame No. 702.

“Whatever is the true reason for such an awful move, Atty. Sabio has become very vulnerable to the machinations from the dark forces,” De Lima said.

Duterte: Fully support LGUs in Taal disaster recovery efforts

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Bong Go said that President Rodrigo Duterte has instructed on Saturday concerned government agencies to fully support the recovery efforts of local government units (LGUs) affected by the Taal volcanic eruption.

 As this developed, Senator Francis Pangilinan said the government must issue more regular Taal Volcano updates over the twice-a-day situation report that the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) releases.

“Considering that Phivolcs raised alert level 2 to 4 in just two hours last Sunday, we issue an urgent appeal to government to issue bulletins every 1 or two hours to prevent panic and keep the public informed and more aware,” said Pangilinan, who was in the area to distribute relief goods and Portalets from his office and the UP community to affected residents.

EcoWaste hits ‘overkill’ use plastic banderitas

MANILA, Philippines — Environment watchdog EcoWaste Coalition on Saturday said it was an “overkill” to use single-use plastic banderitas to adorn streets of Manila for this year’s Sto. Niño de Tondo Feast.

“We are deeply saddened by the lavish use of plastic banderitas in connection with the feast of Santo Niño as if there was no tomorrow. It’s an overkill of wasteful [single-use plastics],” EcoWaste Coalition zero-waste campaigner Jove Benosa said in a statement.

 “Rarely reused or recycled, these banderitas consisting of semi-transparent plastic bags, plastic strips or plastic packaging scraps add to the residual plastic garbage that ends up in dumps or on the streets and waterways,” Benosa said.

Respiratory infections top Dotaal H concern for Taal evacuees

MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Saturday said that acute respiratory infection was among the top five conditions being observed at evacuation centers for victims of Taal Volcano’s eruption.

Medicines and medical personnel are enough to serve all that the evacuation centers, Duque said.

Duque said respiratory conditions is perfectly understandable due to the ashfall from Taal’s volcanic eruptions last Sunday, January 12, affecting thousands of families.

From the 950 consultations among evacuees, respiratory infections, hypertension, flu-like illnesses, diarrhea, and skin lesion are the top-five symptoms being observed by Department of Health’s (DOH’s) medical personnel.

P16M worth of assistance given to Taal evacuees

MANILA, Philippines — The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Saturday said some P16,585,936.61 worth of assistance has so far been given to Taal evacuees by the government.

In its 6 a.m. situational report Saturday, the NDRRMC said the assistance was provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), as well as the local government units (LGUs).

Meanwhile, volunteers from different civic organizations helped repack relief goods for the Taal Volcano evacuees, at the DSWD’s National Resource and Logistics Management Bureau warehouse in Pasay City.

Fishers hit Chinese Coast Guard visit

MANILA, Philippines — Fisherfolk group PAMALAKAYA slammed the Duterte administration for its warm welcome of the Chinese Coast Guards amid the ongoing tensions in the West Philippine Sea involving the Filipino fishers and Chinese personnel.

“It is an insult to the Philippine sovereignty and the fisherfolk who are victims of the continuing Chinese occupation of the West Philippine Sea. It is essentially the Philippine government telling the Filipino people to welcome with open arms the Chinese aggression and oppression,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA national chairman said in a statement Saturday.

Gabriela slams NHA for non-issuance of pass stubs

MANILA, Philippines — The women’s group Gabriela Women’s Party on Saturday slammed the National Housing Authority for refusing to issue entry pass stubs for qualified housing beneficiaries in Villa Lois, Pandi, Bulacan.

The release of entry passes for qualified beneficiaries in Pandi today is a result of continuous dialogues with the agency, as well as part of the resolution between urban poor group Kadamay and NHA based on last year’s consultation at the House of Representatives.

According to Kadamay, NHA officials declared that they will refuse to issue entry pass stubs to members of the organization unless they quit and join the military-backed ‘pro-government’ organization that has been harassing residents of Pandi. (Stacy Ang/IAMIGO/Currentph.com)

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