Ablan: Resignation nothing to do with Rappler report

An official of the Department of Education on Friday broke his silence on a malicious report published by Rappler alluding to him as one of the officials who resigned over a messy laptop deal contracted by officials in the previous administration. Atty. Michel Kristian Ablan, DepEd Undersecretary for Administration, told the Daily Tribune that he relinquished his post on 28 April for personal reasons, contrary to a Rappler report that he quit from his post, along with Assistant Secretary Christopher Lawrence Arnuco, due to the laptop fiasco. “It (resignation) had nothing to do with the laptop or Transpac reports of Rappler. In due time, I will answer point by point the issues raised by those reports in order to clear my name,” Ablan said. He added that as a Career Executive Service officer or CESO, he will be transferring to the CESO pool of the Career Executive Service Board. In a Facebook post on Friday, Ablan clarified that he was not the one who entered into the laptop contracts. “I don’t know why it’s being linked to me. These contracts were entered into by the previous DepEd Admin,” his post read. Rappler’s two-part report published on 1 and 2 May showed Transpac’s letter dated 18 November 2022 addressed to Ablan, demanding P34.5 million payment for the controversial laptops. The Senate, in January, released its Blue Ribbon committee report on the overpriced and outdated laptop procurement through the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, a year before Ablan joined DepEd. Ablan is a former Undersecretary for Administration and Finance at the Presidential Communications Operations Office and concurrent Program Director of the Freedom of Information. The result of the five hearings of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee showed that the contract for the supply and delivery of laptops for public school teachers under the 2021 DepEd Laptop for Teachers Procurement Project was overpriced by at least P979 million. Aside from administrative cases, the committee also recommended the filing of graft, falsification of public documents, and perjury charges against the following officials: • Former DepEd Undersecretary Alain del B. Pascua; • DepEd Undersecretary Annalyn M. Sevilla; • Former DepEd Assistant Secretary Salvador C. Malana III; • Director Abram Y.C. Abanil; • Former PS-DBM OIC executive director Lloyd Christopher Lao; • Former PS-DBM OIC executive director Jasonmer L. Uayan; • Bids and Awards Committee Chairman Ulysses E. Mora; • Engineer Marwan O. Amil; and • Other members of the Special Bids and Awards Committee I and SBAC technical working group and secretariat of DepEd or PS-DBM. Ablan, on 22 November 2022, invited DepEd computer suppliers to a dialogue at Oranbo Elementary School in Pasig City, reminding them to adhere to the agreed technical specifications of items, rather than focus on the color and other non-technical aspects of the laptop. Wanting to provide the best that the DepEd budget can afford for its learners, he told suppliers that there has to be a way for the Department to ensure that the laptops are in good running condition for at least three years. "We have laptops that break in less than two years. So that's my one concern. I want, when you say there is a service center when you brag that you have a mobile repair unit, make sure that you really have a mobile repair unit," Ablan was quoted as saying during the dialogue. The post Ablan: Resignation nothing to do with Rappler report appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource: tribune tribuneMay 6th, 2023

DFA confirms Azurin held by Canadian immigration

Former Philippine National Police chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. was intercepted by Canadian immigration personnel upon his arrival at Langley Airport in Canada, the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed Wednesday. During the budget deliberation on the DFA’s proposed P23 billion for the upcoming fiscal year in the House of Representatives, House Minority Leader Marcelino Libanan inquired about reports of Azurin being held by Canadian immigration authorities. Responding to Libanan’s query, Nueva Ecija Representative Joseph Violago, who sponsored the DFA’s proposed budget before the plenary, positively affirmed the report. “There seems to be a misunderstanding, misinterpretation of what happened. The Canadian government expressed their regrets due to the miscommunication,” Violago said. He noted that Azurin, who resigned from his post in January, voluntarily went back home after being denied from entering Canada. In a separate statement, DFA spokesperson Teresita Daza said that the Philippine government is “in touch” with Canadian authorities regarding Azurin’s case. “The Department is in touch with Canadian authorities and hopes to get a better understanding of the incident soon,” Daza told reporters in a WhatsApp message to reporters. “While our foreign service posts are ready to assist Filipino travelers, including former government officials, these cases have privacy issues surrounding them,” she added. To recall, Azurin resigned from his post in January following Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos’ appeal to the high-ranking officials of the PNP to resign from their posts as part of the internal cleansing of the organization. Abalos sought the courtesy resignation of almost 1,000 police colonels and generals to address the alleged return of ninja cops in the PNP. The post DFA confirms Azurin held by Canadian immigration appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated News6 hr. 10 min. ago

Former OTS chief lambasts cultural decay at airports

The former Office for Transportation Security chief lambasted the cultural decay in the airport security teams that allows negligent screeners to continue working there, this before he could begin an internal purge. Ma. O Ranada Aplasca, who resigned from his post over the airport screener caught on closed-circuit television swallowing $300 bills taken from an outbound Chinese national, said the problem with airport security is “more than systemic, it is cultural.” “There was the problem with ‘tanim-bala.’ Maybe the problems were not highlighted in the past because no one was caught. Based on our records, for the past several years, no one was dismissed in the OTS for violations of our disciplinary policies,” he said. Aplasca said when he was the director of the PNP Aviation Security Group, his initial task was to clear the country’s airports of the “tanim-bala” scheme, in which airport inspectors hid bullets in travelers’ luggage to extort money. “That tanim-bala was the first marching order to me by former President Duterte, and that’s where I felt his 100-percent support; that’s why, in less than one month, we were able to solve the problem,” he said. Aplasca said that before his resignation Tuesday, the OTS had initiated 68 cases against erring personnel, with at least 11 people dismissed. Found guilty Meanwhile, DoTr Secretary Jaime Bautista said the female Security Screening Officer and three other OTS screeners involved in the cash swallowing incident last 8 September were “found guilty of stealing.” Bautista said the guilty verdict was included in the investigation report handed to him by the OTS group of investigators, which included the CCTV footage that showed the lady scanner stuffing the money into her mouth at Terminal 1’s final security checkpoint at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The four SSO screeners face administrative and criminal cases. “The investigation showed that she was guilty and swallowed the money. However, what she said in an affidavit was that it was chocolates. But the investigators saw that she was guilty,” Bautista said in Filipino in an interview with the media after a Senate hearing on Tuesday. The CCTV footage showed that at around 8:20 p.m. on 8 September, a Chinese passenger, identified only as Mr. Cai, placed his shoulder bag on the inspection tray at the final security checkpoint. After trying to promote the gateway to potential foreign investors who may want to operate the NAIA, Bautista expressed frustration and dismay at the incident. He authorized the imposition of the maximum penalty on those found guilty to demonstrate the Department of Transportation’s determined push to rid the NAIA and attached agencies of scalawags. Aplasca submitted his courtesy resignation last Tuesday, 26 September, to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. through DoTr Secretary Bautista after House Speaker Martin Romualdez told him to resign or the Speaker would personally block the budgets of the DoTr and OTS. Not enough Meanwhile, Senator Grace Poe said Wednesday the resignation of Aplasca would not be enough to stop the criminal activities at the country’s airports. “A resignation at the top does not clean up the ranks,” said Poe, who chairs the Senate Committee on Public Services. “More than ever, the Office of Transportation Security needs steady leadership to implement much-needed reforms,” she said. “There should be zero tolerance for criminal acts and unprofessional behavior,” she added. “While a witch hunt might put a syndicate on pause, the OTS urgently needs to review and tighten its security program,” she said. She continued: “Our airports should improve the physical layout of the security screening stations and provide proactive measures to prevent further incidents.” She also noted that the challenge now is to appoint someone with “immense political will to overhaul the agency and stop these incidents once and for all.” The senator stressed that the OTS must improve its hiring system and enforce ethics training. “Employees must undergo extensive background checks,” she said. “In the long-term, we should also look into providing better compensation and benefits to these employees so they would not be enticed to do this nonsense,” she added. The post Former OTS chief lambasts cultural decay at airports appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated News14 hr. 10 min. ago

NAIA lady scanner, others found ‘guilty of stealing’

According to Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, the female Security Screening Officer and three other members of the Office for Transportation Security who were caught on closed-circuit television were "found guilty of stealing" in the cash-swallowing incident that occurred on 8 September 2023 at Terminal 1's final security checkpoint at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Bautista said the guilty verdict was included in the investigation report handed to him by the OTS group of investigators, including the CCTV footage showing the lady scanner putting the money into her mouth and three other accomplices. The female SSO is facing administrative and criminal cases, as well as those who were involved in the 8 September incidents. “Ang sinasabi sa imbestigasyon ay guilty na pera ang sinubo. Although ang sinasabi nga ng babae ay chocolate daw, mayroon siyang affidavit. Pero ang nakita ng mga imbestigador na guilty siya,” Bautista said in an interview with the media after a Senate hearing on Tuesday. “Ang result ay, although hindi pa lumalabas officially, parang lumalabas na talagang nakita na mayroon silang pagkakasala. Apat kasi yung nakita natin dito na may talagang ginawa sa CCTV. Siguro pag nagkaroon ng criminal investigation, may lalabas pa kung mayroon pang other people involved,” he added. CCTV footage showed that at around 8:20 p.m. on 8 September, the Chinese passenger, identified only as Mr. Cai, placed his shoulder bag on the inspection tray at the final security checkpoint. As Cai passed through the body scanner, the screener could be seen conducting a manual search of his bag on the inspection table. The screener “suspiciously turned away while apparently holding something in her left hand with her fist tightly closed. She then swiftly placed something in her waist area and went back to the inspection table.” Cai had returned to the screening area and complained after discovering that his wallet was open and some of his money was missing. The passenger confronted the screener, who turned her back on him. In footage taken by another CCTV camera, she was “clearly seen deliberately swallowing the dollar bills, folded into one small piece,” as she used a handkerchief to cover her mouth. The screener was seen having difficulty swallowing the bills despite drinking water from a bottle given to her by a colleague. The screener’s supervisor approached her, “seemingly communicating with her” as she was “almost choking in her effort to swallow the dollar bills” to “apparently ensure that the bills were properly disposed of (no evidence),” according to the report. Cai has refused to file charges against the screener. Former OTS Administrator Ma.O. Aplasca confirmed on Friday, 22 September, that they received the counter affidavit of the accused and even said that, as of today Friday, she continues to deny the allegations that she swallowed the dollar bills. An OTS source said that it is not the normal way to eat chocolate by pushing something into her throat with her finger and drinking bottled water afterward. Secretary Bautista has directed the Office of Transportation Security (OTS) to immediately file the necessary charges against security screening personnel found involved in an 8 September incident of baggage theft at Terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Bautista expressed frustration and dismay at the incident at NAIA that the Secretary was recently trying to promote among potential foreign investors who may want to operate and maintain the country's main gateway. He even authorized imposing the maximum penalty on those found guilty to demonstrate the Department's determined push to rid NAIA as well as other attached agencies of scalawags. Former OTS Administrator Ma.O. Aplasca submitted his courtesy resignation last Tuesday, 26 September, to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. through DOTr Secretary Bautista after Speaker of the House of Representatives Martin Romualdez asked him to resign or the speaker would personally block the budget of OTS and DOTr due to the repeated stealing scandal.   The post NAIA lady scanner, others found ‘guilty of stealing’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News22 hr. 30 min. ago

Many barangay posts in BARMM uncontested

As the October barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections draw near, we wrote about the apprehension of the authorities over the conduct of the elections in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or BARMM. The Philippine National Police has statistics on several towns flagged as possible election “hot spots.”  In fact, they have asked for a postponement of the elections in those areas, but the Commission denied this despite documented incidents of election-related violence. But just as there are conflict areas, there are an almost equal number of barangays where peace is expected to prevail. There will be no contest in those barangays as the candidates will run unopposed. While this could taint the democratic process as the right of citizens to choose their leaders will be somehow restricted, it is still a welcome development. How does this work? This needs the intervention of the patriarchs of families, the elders of the village, and city or town executives. What is essential is to resort to what local tribes (among Maranaws) call “musawarah,” which is Arabic in origin, and “musyawarah,” which is the Malay word for consultation or dialogue. Contending candidates engage in dialogue to find common ground for agreement to avoid a socially, financially, and politically costly election. In the case of a barangay where one family numerically dominates, they choose by rotation from among the siblings or family leaders who will be the Punong Barangay. The other positions, like barangay councilor or kagawad, secretary, treasurer, etc., are equally divided among themselves. And there is an equitable distribution of the salaries and whatever largesse the barangay will receive from the government and local projects. In contested barangays, the town mayor offers a hefty sum to the party running against his chosen candidate and promises a monthly allowance and other assistance. By buying off the different bets, the mayor gets the full support of the barangay, with the Punong Barangay acting as his political operator when the mayoral elections come around. Experience tells us that the mayor, supported by most Punong Barangays, gets to perpetuate his dynastic family in power. This is also one way of settling “rido” or family feuds that are a side issue during elections. Through back channeling and having a common candidate and slate, families that for years were involved in “rido” are open to reconciliation. A Rappler report said about “149 barangays in Maguindanao del Sur’s 24 towns have unopposed bets for barangay chair.” And local leaders are still negotiating to have more unopposed candidates in more barangays. According to local leaders, this scheme is resorted to not necessarily for partisan considerations but for peace because election rivalries are the common cause of “rido.” This is happening also in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur and many other BARMM barangays. Through the efforts of provincial governors and city and town mayors, several barangays have candidates running unchallenged in October. Democrats might find this an assault on the freedom of the people to choose their leaders. They will claim that politicians manipulate the people to surrender their fundamental rights as citizens to perpetuate themselves in power and protect their dynasties. But what good is democracy if we have conflict and instability in the villages and one cannot sleep at night for fear of violence? In weighing which interest is preponderant — peace or freedom — pacifists will go for the former. This column supports the work of local leaders in BARMM to have familiar candidates for the coming elections so that lives will not be unnecessarily sacrificed on the altar of politics. The post Many barangay posts in BARMM uncontested appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 19th, 2023

Missing NBP detainee arrested

Michael Cataroja, the 25-year-old detainee who had gone missing since last 15 July from the maximum security compound of the New Bilibid Prison, had been rearrested by the police in Angono, Rizal on Thursday. The search for Cataroja at the NBP in Muntinlupa led to the discovery of “human” bones at the prison facility’s septic tank, but the report was later amended that the bones found were of chicken. Another report would claim the severed head of Cataroja was found in the septic tank and his body was discovered at the dormitory of the Sigue-Sigue Gang. The severed head story was later branded by authorities as “fake news.” Informed of Cataroja’s arrest, Bureau of Corrections Director General Gregorio Pio Catapang ordered an investigation into how he escaped from the NBP. Two BuCor officials, Supt. Geraldo Aro and Senior Insp. Angelina Bautista, were suspended by Catapang last 5 August over the disappearance of Cataroja. Catapang later accepted Bautista’s resignation over allegations that she made money from trade within the NBP walls. The post Missing NBP detainee arrested appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 18th, 2023

Kadiwa starts sale of smuggled sugar

Some 4,000 metric tons of refined sugar smuggled from Thailand will soon be sold at various Kadiwa markets and stalls, the Department of Agriculture, or DA, said yesterday. The DA said it has received from the Bureau of Customs the shipment that was seized at the Port of Batangas last April for lack of proper documents, specifically a Notice of Arrival. The sugar was later cleared for donation and consumption based on the guidelines of Sugar Regulatory Administration Memorandum Circular 4, Series of 2023-2024, as well as provisions of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. approved the sale of seized smuggled sugar at Kadiwa centers last March, according to a statement from the Presidential Communications Office at the time. The PCO said the recommended selling price at Kadiwa stores was P70 per kilo, which was equivalent to the prevailing actual mill gate prices. The PCO statement said the President had tasked the DA and SRA to ensure that the sugar for sale passed the Food Safety Act and other regulations. When the President gave the order in March, the price of refined sugar in the market was between P86 and P110 per kilo.   August shortage The PCO explained that under the Customs Modernization Tariff Act, confiscated smuggled agricultural products could be donated by the BoC to other government agencies. This week, the SRA said the current sugar supply is more than enough to meet demand. It noted a physical stock of 262,328 metric tons of raw sugar, 448,106.45 MT of refined sugar, and 148,264.29 MT of molasses as of 16 July. However, the SRA, in mid-July, approved the importation of 150,000 metric tons of sugar as it projected a shortage in August. Also on 15 July, shipping containers found to be full of smuggled refined sugar were seized by the BoC at the Manila International Container Port after they were declared as silica sand.   ‘Smuggling encouraged’ The smuggled sugar seized at the MICP may also be donated by the BoC to Kadiwa stores, through the DA, according to BoC sources. A month prior, in June, the Department of Finance floated the idea of allowing industrial users to directly import their sugar needs if they would accept the government’s new tax scheme on sweetened beverages. Following the seizure of the smuggled sugar at the MICP, former BoC Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz scored the government’s excessive importation and the worsening smuggling of agricultural products. “The remedy in previous administrations was that we imported. With that, we encouraged smuggling,” Ruiz said. “If smugglers can smuggle through our ports, they do not pay duties and taxes, and they have an edge already. Once they sell it to the market, they gain an edge in the pricing of their goods.” According to Ruiz, smuggling costs the nation hundreds of billions of pesos every year. The DA, citing a report of its monitoring and enforcement group, said that as of 31 July, the retail price of refined sugar in Metro Manila markets ranged from P86 to P110 per kilo, washed sugar from P82 to P90, and brown sugar from P78 to P90. “We firmly believe that, through DA, this donation will reach various local communities and enable our fellow Filipinos to conveniently access sugar,” BoC Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio said. The DA, through Senior Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban and Assistant Secretary for Consumer Affairs and spokesperson Kristine Evangelista, received the donation from the BoC.   Importation not ok’d In August 2022, the SRA issued an order to import 300,000 metric tons of sugar, a move that local producers said would undercut domestic sugar prices and benefit local importers. The order was signed by then Agriculture Undersecretary Leocadio Sebastian, who was acting chairman of the SRA at the time. However, Marcos, who chairs the SRA board as concurrent DA secretary, had not approved the order. The scandal led to the resignation of Sebastian and other SRA officials. It also prompted an investigation by the Department of Justice and Congress. Since then, the DA has been under the microscope about the importation of other agricultural products like onions and rice. The post Kadiwa starts sale of smuggled sugar appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2023

Dismissal in disguise

Constructive dismissal has been defined as a dismissal in disguise, or an act amounting to dismissal but is made to appear as if it was not. More specifically, it is when an employee quits work because continued employment is rendered impossible, unreasonable, or unlikely, or when there is a demotion in rank or a diminution in pay and other benefits. (Dimagan v. Dackworks United, Inc., G.R. 191053, 28 November 2011). The test of constructive dismissal is whether a reasonable person in the employee’s position would have felt compelled to give up his or her employment under the circumstances (St. Paul College, Pasig v. Mancol, G.R. No. 222317, 24 January 2018). Here are some examples of acts that constitute constructive dismissal: In one case, an employee who was hired as a bookkeeper in a company engaged in the real estate business was held to be constructively dismissed when she was deprived of office space, was not given further work assignments, and was not paid her salaries until she was left with no choice but to stop reporting for work (Tan Brothers Corp. of Basilan City v. Escudero, G.R. 188711, 3 July 2013). In another case, an employee who was hired as a waiter in a hotel company was held to be constructively dismissed when his regular work days were reduced from five days to two days. The change in his work schedule thus resulted in the diminution of his take-home salary. The fact that he may have continued to report for work does not rule out constructive dismissal, nor does it operate as a waiver. (Regala v. Manila Hotel Corp., G.R. 204684, 5 October 2020). The Supreme Court explained that “constructive dismissal occurs not when the employee ceases to report for work, but when the unwarranted acts of the employer are committed to the end that the employee’s continued employment shall become so intolerable. In these difficult times, an employee may be left with no choice but to continue with his employment despite abuses committed against him by the employer, and even during the pendency of a labor dispute between them.” (The Orchard Golf and Country Club v. Francisco, G.R. 178125, 18 March 2013). In another case, a managerial employee was instructed to perform functions that were below her position. When she assigned another person to do the said functions and suggested a different procedure to her boss, the latter reacted negatively and told her she was stupid and incompetent. She was also asked to resign on more than one occasion but was later told to stay. After she was assured that she could keep her job, she was treated indifferently by the management. The Supreme Court held that acts of disdain and hostile behavior such as demotion, uttering insulting words, asking for resignation, and apathetic conduct towards an employee are tantamount to constructive dismissal.  (Bayview Management Consultants Inc. v. Pre, G.R. 220170, 19 August 2020). In another instance, an employee became the subject of constructive dismissal in the guise of a transfer. She was initially promoted to the position of Chief Operating Officer in one of the employer’s branches. However, two months after her promotion, she was appointed instead as Compliance Manager, and her position of COO was declared abolished when the management decided to undertake an “organizational restructuring.” It appears, however, that the said position was actually never abolished as another employee was appointed to take her place. The appointment was even publicly announced via an official communication disseminated company-wide. The Supreme Court held that when another employee is soon after appointed to a position that the employer claims to have been abolished, while the employee who had to vacate the same is transferred against her will to a position that does not exist in the corporate structure, there is evidently a case of illegal constructive dismissal. (Ico v. Systems Technology Institute, Inc., G.R. 185100, 9 July 2014). An employee who is constructively dismissed is entitled to two reliefs, namely, back wages and reinstatement. However, where reinstatement is no longer feasible, the employee shall be granted separation pay in lieu of reinstatement (Cornworld Breeding Systems Corp. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. 204075, 17 August 2022).   For more of Dean Nilo Divina’s legal tidbits, please visit For comments and questions, please send an email to The post Dismissal in disguise appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2023

Canadian official probing election meddling by China resigns

An elder statesman tapped by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to look into allegations that China meddled in Canada's last two elections resigned on Friday following opposition party backlash over his appointment. Former governor general David Johnston had just released an interim report in which he concluded Beijing sought to interfere in Canada's 2019 and 2021 ballots, but failed to change the outcome of the votes. He was to begin hearings next month with testimony from targeted diaspora communities as well as national security and international relations experts, before submitting a final report in October. But opposition parties accused him of being too close to Trudeau and demanded an independent public inquiry instead. "When I undertook the task of independent special rapporteur on foreign interference, my objective was to help build trust in our democratic institutions," Johnston said in his resignation letter. "I have concluded that given the highly partisan atmosphere around my appointment and work, my leadership has had the opposite effect." Trudeau's minority liberal government has faced pressure to explain how it responded to the claims -- first reported by local media, citing leaked intelligence documents and unnamed sources -- that Beijing sought to influence or subvert Canada's democratic process. The reported accusations included secret campaign donations and Chinese operatives working for Canadian candidates or lawmakers in an attempt to influence policy. More recently, it emerged that Beijing sought to intimidate an opposition Canadian lawmaker and his relatives in Hong Kong over his criticisms of China. Last month, Ottawa expelled a Chinese diplomat implicated in the scheme. Beijing, which has called the accusations "groundless," reacted by sending home a Canadian diplomat while warning that aligning with Washington's policy on China risked sabotaging Canada's relations with its second-largest trading partner. In his preliminary findings, Johnston noted common foreign interference techniques included cyberattacks, online influence campaigns, disinformation and "the exploitation of human relationships." He also identified shortcomings in how intelligence is shared within government. But he rejected calls for a public inquiry -- advice Trudeau accepted -- citing "the sensitivity of the intelligence" at play. Johnston said his resignation would be effective no later than the end of June. The post Canadian official probing election meddling by China resigns appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 10th, 2023

PGMA clears FL from ‘coup’

Breaking her silence on the alleged House tussle, former President, now Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo slammed efforts to drag First Lady Liza-Marcos into allegations that the latter supported a plan to oust Speaker Martin Romualdez. The effort to pull her into the friction at the legislature “is disrespectful to her and to her intelligence,” Arroyo said in a social media post yesterday. “A report is going around that I was ‘duped’ by a congresswoman into thinking that the alleged House coup had the blessings of the First Lady. I am truly sorry that she should even be dragged into this political fantasy of a House coup,” Arroyo said. She slammed efforts to spread “pathetic rumors” from those who “are the ones duping the Filipino people.” “They should now move on to the serious business of making positive contributions to national progress,” Arroyo said of the rumor mongers. The social media post came on the heels of allegations that she orchestrated a failed coup against Romualdez. Rumors flew thick about the failed ouster move on 17 May when members of the House, before it adjourned session, voted Pampanga Representative Aurelio Gonzales Jr. as the new senior deputy speaker in place of Arroyo. Gonzales is one of the chamber’s deputy speakers before he was promoted to the second-highest post at the House. The reason given for the switch in posts was that it will relieve Arroyo of “the heavy load required from the position.” Congratulations flowed A day after the apparent demotion, congratulatory messages from congressmen from prominent political parties in the House poured for Gonzales, as well as for Romualdez, which caused more tongues to wag. But the former Chief Executive previously set the record straight, saying that despite her previous ambitions, she had no intention of succeeding Romualdez and that she respected Mr. Marcos’ choice to support his cousin as House leader. “I will just say three things: Every politician worth his or her salt would know that in the Philippines, no House coup can ever succeed without the consent of the President. That is simply a fact of life in Philippine politics.” “Second, I made a humble contribution to the joining of forces that became the UniTeam, and the resulting supermajority in the House is a major force for delivering our President’s agenda. Thus, I would never take any action to destroy it.” “Third, I did not have any conversation, here or abroad, with any congressman or congresswoman, or any other politician active or retired, to plot, support, encourage or participate in any way in any alleged House coup.” Arroyo’s post puts it. Likewise, Arroyo firmly stated that being Speaker once more “is no longer part of my political objectives.” Arroyo held the post from 2018 to 2019. Arroyo added that when she learned of reports that she was suspected of plotting a “coup” against Romualdez, “I decided I must speak out to clarify my political position.” She ceded, however, that some of her actions may have been “misconstrued, such as my recent trip with a delegation of Congressmen to South Korea for some official meetings.” Arroyo insisted that her only aims as representative of the 2nd district of Pampanga were to support the legislative agenda of Speaker Romualdez and President Marcos and to use whatever experience as a former President to help out “when I am called upon to do so.” Diplomatic responsibility Outside of her role as Congresswoman, her public interest is to help reduce tension between the United States and China, “given that I was strongly allied to both countries when I was President.” Arroyo was elected Speaker of the 17th Congress in place of Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez. The fire was further fueled by an announcement of Vice President Sara Duterte, after the Arroyo’s demotion, that she was tendering her “irrevocable resignation” from the ruling Lakas-CMD, which she co-leads with Romualdez. Days following Arroyo’s statement, Romualdez slammed claimed attempts to destabilize the House, declaring that the lower chamber was “in order” and would not in any way allow political maneuverings. “There is still much work to do, so occasional moves to destabilize the House should be nipped in the bud,” he said. After exchanging barbs, Romualdez and Arroyo were seen together at the rostrum at Gonzales’ oathtaking on Monday last week, indicating that no further turmoil was on the horizon. Before the ceremony, Romualdez and Gonzales even made a traditional gesture of respect on Arroyo on the plenary floor with a pagmamano. The next day, Romualdez and Arroyo were spotted together after the swearing-in of 19 new Lakas-CMD members, dousing all suspicions of the leadership dispute in the chamber. The post PGMA clears FL from ‘coup’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 28th, 2023

Rappler exposes illegal sale of DepEd laptops

CHEERS TO Rappler for following up on the pattern of corruption in the Department of Education's (DepEd) procurement system. Ryan Macasero and Bonz Magsambol co-wrote the two-part series. The first was posted on May 1 and the second on May 2.The report started with the discovery of illegal sale of laptops which DepEd had purchased for schools. The case is entirely separate from DepEd's controversial purchase of.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsMay 19th, 2023

Two DepEd admin officials resign; Ablan says quitting not related to laptops controversy

DepEd Undersecretary for Administration Kris Ablan confirmed in a message to that he resigned from his post on April 28, but the reason for doing so "has nothing to do with the laptop or Transpac reports of Rappler," Ablan said. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 4th, 2023

UK deputy PM resigns after most bullying claims upheld

UK Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab announced his resignation on Friday after bullying claims against him were upheld in a report, a fresh political shock for Britain's Conservatives. Raab's resignation gives Prime Minister Rishi Sunak a headache some two weeks before local elections at which the Conservatives are expected to lose seats. He is also battling to claw back a chasm of lost ground to the main opposition Labor Party before a general election next year. Raab, who stood in for former prime minister Boris Johnson as he battled Covid in 2020, had promised to quit if any claims against him were upheld. But even though he was cleared of most of the allegations, he blasted the conclusions of a lawyer-led inquiry. "Whilst I feel duty-bound to accept the outcome of the inquiry, it dismissed all but two of the claims leveled against me," he wrote in a resignation letter. "I also believe that its two adverse findings are flawed and set a dangerous precedent for the conduct of good government." The bar for bullying was set so low, he said, that "it will encourage spurious complaints against ministers and have a chilling effect on those driving change". Raab also resigned from his post as justice secretary, where he has had to battle a backlog in criminal cases caused by years of under-funding and disruptions caused by the pandemic. He previously served as Brexit minister and foreign secretary but was moved from that post after being criticized for failing to return from holiday as Afghanistan fell to the Taliban. Sunak, who succeeded the short-lived Liz Truss in October last year, vowed to restore "integrity, professionalism, and accountability" in government after Johnson's rollercoaster tenure. He previously sacked Nadhim Zahawi as Conservative party chairman over his tax affairs. Gavin Williamson, a former defense secretary who kept a tarantula on his desk while in charge of party discipline in parliament, quit over expletive-laden messages. Low bar Former lawyer Raab, a karate black belt, has denied bullying civil servants working for him and in his letter rejected allegations of an overbearing manner with colleagues. He insisted in his letter that ministers "must be able to exercise direct oversight with respect to senior officials over critical negotiations conducted on behalf of the British people". Not to do so, he said, would mean the loss of "the democratic and constitutional principle of ministerial responsibility". He also maintained ministers "must be able to give direct critical feedback on briefings and submissions to senior officials in order to set the standards and drive the reform the public expect of us". "Of course, this must be done within reasonable bounds," he went on. Sunak appointed senior employment lawyer Adam Tolley to look into the claims in November and he submitted his report to Sunak on eight allegations on Thursday. The report has yet to be published. But Raab said Tolley "concluded that I had not once, in four and a half years, sworn or shouted at anyone let alone thrown anything or otherwise physically intimated anyone, nor intentionally sought to belittle anyone". "I am genuinely sorry for any unintended stress or offense that any officials felt, as a result of the pace, standards, and challenge that I brought to the Ministry of Justice," he added. "That is, however, what the public expects of ministers working on their behalf." The post UK deputy PM resigns after most bullying claims upheld appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 21st, 2023

Rappler reports struggles of jeepney drivers against modernization

CHEERS TO Rappler for its report highlighting the perspectives of traditional jeepney drivers on the government's "modernization" program. The report delved into the factors that hamper their participation.Rappler's Lance Spencer Yu interviewed Danil.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsMar 7th, 2023

Rappler identifies anti-SOGIE Bill disinformation network

CHEERS TO Rappler for its in-depth report that uncovered and analyzed the online disinformation network against the SOGIESC (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Sex Characteristics) Equality Bill.The February 12 pie.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsFeb 19th, 2023

Rappler identifies anti-SOGIE Bill disinformation network

CHEERS TO Rappler for its in-depth report that uncovered and analyzed the online disinformation network against the SOGIESC (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Sex Characteristics) Equality Bill.The February 12 pie.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsFeb 18th, 2023

Rappler highlights online communities role in connecting LGBT Filipinos pushing for SOGIE Bill

CHEERS TO Rappler for its in-depth report highlighting the personal and collective struggles of the Filipino LGBT community. Through in.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2023

Rappler highlights online communities role in connecting LGBT Filipinos pushing for SOGIE Bill

CHEERS TO Rappler for its in-depth report highlighting the personal and collective struggles of the Filipino LGBT community. Through in.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2023

Some Filipinos Think News Site Rappler Should Be Shut Down

manila, philippines - Dennis, a motorcycle taxi driver in Manila, said he didn't know who Nobel laureate Maria Ressa was, but he was familiar with Rappler, a popular news website that the award-winning journalist co-founded in the Philippines."They're too biased, and their news is all negative. They don't report well or fairly," Dennis, who asked to be identified by first name only, told VOA.Two days befo.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJul 9th, 2022

Some Filipinos Think Biased News Site Rappler Should Be Shut Down

manila, philippines - Dennis, a motorcycle taxi driver in Manila, said he didn't know who Nobel laureate Maria Ressa was, but he was familiar with Rappler, a popular news website that the award-winning journalist co-founded in the Philippines."They're too biased, and their news is all negative. They don't report well or fairly," Dennis, who asked to be identified by first name only, told VOA.Two days befo.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJul 7th, 2022

Benilde prof sues Ressa, Rappler journo for cyberlibel over thesis for sale report

Journalists from the online news site Rappler have been charged of cyberlibel over a story detailing an alleged payment scheme by a college professor in Manila for students to complete the requirement......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 14th, 2021