Vice President Leni Robredo is urging caution about the proposal to ditch Smartmatic as a technology supplier in future automated elections in the country.

Ayaw palitan ang Smartmatic? Robredo disputes Duterte: Losing ain’t always due to cheating

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Vice President Leni Robredo is urging caution about the proposal to ditch Smartmatic as a technology supplier in future automated elections in the country.

Robredo said Sunday (June 2) that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) should be allowed to explain before parties or politikos make “sweeping” claims of poll fraud.

“Huwag nating sabihin na porket natalo iyong mga kandidato natin, nadaya. Pa-explain-in muna natin. Kung acceptable sa atin iyong explanation, eh ‘di iyon na iyon. Kapag hindi sa atin acceptable, doon tayo magreklamo,” the Vice President said on her radio show, Biserbisyong Leni.

Robredo, who is facing a poll protest over her victory in the 2016 vice presidential race, said the Comelec should be allowed to explain if there is possibility of cheating in an automated elections.

“Kaya tinatanong ko, Ka Ely, iyong mga nakakaintindi: Posible ba na magkaroon ng dayaan sa isang automated elections? Kung ano iyong mga kaduda-duda para sa atin, bigyan natin ng pagkakataon iyong Comelec magbigay ng pahayag. Pero huwag padalos-dalos kasi hindi din makakatulong sa ating lahat,” she said.

President Rodrigo Duterte last week called on Comelec to ditch Smartmatic in the next elections and find a new technology provider “that is free of fraud.”

“Dispose of that Smartmatic and look for a new one that is free of fraud. Kasi ang liberal, sabi nila nadaya sila. Ako sabi nila nadaya rin. It’s creating an environment of hostile attitude,” he said in a speech before the Filipino community in Japan.

The Comelec, however, said legal bases is needed to ban Smartmatic from taking part in the succeeding polls.

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Recto gives DepEd ‘homework’: Set up face-to-face class trials in Covid-free areas

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Thursday gave an “assignment” for the Department of Education: Set up laboratory schools that will test the safety of limited face-to-face classes.

“That is the science lesson DepEd should study,” he said, adding that “debates on whether to open classes should now move from theory to trials.”

He called on the education department to work with the Department of Health, local government chiefs, Local School Boards, and “the country’s best scientific minds” to design several “classroom settings safe for our children and teachers.”

“For example, begin with 10 students in a room that is well ventilated. Tapos, mask lahat. Constant handwashing. Temperature check. And instead of whole day in school, cut it to half, and limit to 2-3 times a week. Teachers with medical clearance. Kumpleto ang safeguards. Will this work?” Recto said.

He said these “closely monitored trial classes” can be held in Covid-free areas, possibly in remote barangays or self-contained communities which have not recorded a single case of Covid-19 in months.

“One third ng mga towns, walang Covid case. Yung mga schools sa maliliit na isla na hindi labas-pasok ang mga tao, hindi ba pwede simulan doon? Ito yung tinatawag nila na granular and customized approach. Because a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work,” Recto said.

He said that to give participants “peace of mind”, government should guarantee the full cost of hospitalization, “under an insurance package worth millions.”

Recto said only volunteers should participate, “walang pilitan, because what we want is a community project and not something that is imposed by the government.”

No personal knowledge: Roque insists he’s not privy to Tulfo claim on Sinopharm vaccines

By Prince Golez

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday insisted that he was not privy to what former Special Envoy to China Ramon Tulfo claimed that thousands of government officials already received shots of Sinopharm’s coronavirus vaccine last year.

In his televised briefing, Roque said he did not want to comment on something that he had no idea about.

“I have no personal knowledge tungkol sa mga bagay-bagay na sinasabi ni Mon Tulfo,” the Palace official said during a televised briefing.

“Ang malinaw po, si Mon Tulfo na ang naglinaw, hindi na po siya special envoy to China, and he’s no longer covered by the anti-graft laws of the country,” he also said.

Tulfo earlier admitted to receiving shots of a China-made Covid-19 vaccine from a friend who smuggled it into the country.

The columnist said “thousands” of officials from the executive, legislative, military, police and local government were also vaccinated.

Sinopharm has yet to apply for an emergency use authorization before the Food and Drug Administration.

‘Justice will be done’: Duterte ‘concerned’ by PNP-PDEA shootout in Quezon City

By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed sadness and concern over the shooting incident between members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Quezon City.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte assured an impartial investigation into the incident and that justice will be done.

Two policemen were killed and four others injured following a buy-bust operation at a fast food restaurant beside the Ever Gotesco Mall on Commonwealth Avenue.

“The President, of course, expressed both sadness and concern bakit nangyari nga ito kapwa tao ng gobyerno ay nagkaputukan. Ang inassure niya ay we will get to the bottom of this incident. Magakakroon po ng impartial investigation at justice will be done,” said Roque.

“We are confident that with the PNP and the PDEA forming an investigation panel and Justice Secretary ordering the NBI to conduct its own parallel investigation that we will know the truth behind this incident,” he also said.

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