"I’ve seen enough to know when we have a good team."
While it’s too early to speculate on the May 2022 national and local election, people are already talking about it. This October, candidates for national and local elections will be filing their certificates of candidacy.
With the announcement of President Duterte of his preference for House Majority Leader Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, Santa Banana, there are speculations that Duterte’s candidates will be presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio, currently Davao City Mayor, for President and Romualdez will be his candidate for Vice President.
To me, having covered 10 presidents and seen national and local elections at close range, a Sara-Martin team is unbeatable. Sara can carry Mindanao, and together with Romualdez the whole of Eastern, Central and Western Visayas, and even Luzon, particularly the Solid North, and Central Luzon where Martin’s mother, Juliet Gomez Romualdez comes from.
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There’s one aspect of the enigma of how the Chinese vaccine entered the country, who smuggled it in, and how it was administered exclusively to the Presidential Security Group (PSG), some sectors of the Armed Forces, and some members of the Cabinet.
The fact that Chinatown’s civic leader Teresita Ang See Revealed that some 100,000 Chinese expatriates, including POGO (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators) have already been vaccinated with the Sinopharm vaccine reveals a miserable failure of intelligence. My gulay, the fact that Ang See knows about the smuggling and the administration of the vaccine to Chinese expatriates is a clear indication that the intelligence officials are sleeping on its job.
This is one aspect of the “who” and the “how” that I have been talking about for days now. This is why when the Senate starts its investigation next week on the mystery of these Chinese vaccines, it needs to look into the fact that billions of pesos have been allocated to intelligence in the national budget.
Santa Banana, if something like this is happening under the very noses of intelligence officials, it strikes deep into our national security!
President Duterte may have succeeded in preventing the PSG Chief Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante from appearing in the Senate, but this does not prevent the Senate from digging deeper into the “who” and “how” of the vaccinations done in September.
Article IV, Section 21 of the 1987 Constitution is very clear and unambiguous that “the Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its rule of procedure. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected.”
It’s for this reason why I was surprised when Duterte threatened the Senate that “something nasty” would happen if the chief of the PSG would be called to testify. What that “something nasty” is not known. But why was the Senate afraid of “something nasty” so much so that it no longer called on Durante to appear?
Be that as it may, with its powers, I am sure the Senate can shed some light into the issue.
Considering the crucial and urgent need for people to be administered with the proper vaccine at this point in time, in light of the possibility of the COVID-19 having a new variant, the Senate needs to come out with answers. The people expect no less.
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Amid the national tragedy of the vaccination controversy comes calls from both chambers of Congress, the Senate and the House, on the need for charter change.
While there are those for it saying that charter-change should be limited only on the economic provisions of the charter in the wake of a need for foreign investment to revive the economy, there are also those who are fearful that charter change could lead to amendment term limits of those in Congress and even the President.
There must be a way to limit charter change only on the economic provisions of the charter. I think this is crucial and urgent since we need foreign investments at this point in time to spur economic growth. I am all for charter change insofar as the economic provisions of the Constitution is concerned. While I believe that the charter is not cast in stone that it cannot be changed, I also believe that for a start we can begin with economic provisions, particularly the need to amend the restrictive and repressive provisions like limiting foreign participation in investments to only 40 percent. My gulay, it has been 34 years since the 1987 Constitution was framed. Now that the world has become global, there is a need to update it.
Those against charter change claim the country has bigger problems to contend with like the COVID-19 pandemic and its variants. Yes I admit it, but we also need to bolster the economy so we can recover from recession.
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I was talking the other day with some close relatives about how they felt over the rally and rioting at the Washington D.C. Capitol building by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump. They told me they all felt ashamed and deeply embarrassed as Americans at what happened. They said that they never thought of the United States ever becoming a Third World country with what was happening. I told them that since they chose to become Americans, they have to live with that.
Santa Banana, it’s time for authoritarian countries to gloat over the United States, which by this event alone is an assault on the bastion of democracy!
I doubt whether the United States can recover from that assault on democracy. It can now be said that the United States is no better than some authoritarian and despotic countries. In fact, as my relatives said, “we are now a part of Third World countries.”
I had a chance to become an American citizen in my younger days when I was offered an additional job at the San Francisco Chronicle. But, I did not. Thank heavens for that.
Well, that’s the end of the land of milk and honey.