US President Joe Biden's attorney general nominee pledged Saturday to depoliticize the Justice Department and to vigorously prosecute the Donald Trump supporters who attacked the US Capitol.

Biden’s attorney general pick vows to prosecute Capitol attackers

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US President Joe Biden’s attorney general nominee pledged Saturday to depoliticize the Justice Department and to vigorously prosecute the Donald Trump supporters who attacked the US Capitol.

In testimony prepared for his confirmation hearing on Monday and Tuesday, federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland indicated he wants to remove the taint of political interference left on the department by Trump.

He said that if confirmed, he would reaffirm “policies that protect the independence of the department from partisan influence in law enforcement investigations (and) that strictly regulate communications with the White House.”

He also promised to create clear guidelines for FBI investigations, amid allegations that the agency strayed deeply into politics in investigating Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016 and then Trump in 2017-2018.

In an apparent reference to the Black Lives Matter movement, Garland also said that enforcing equal justice for people of color remains an incomplete and “urgent” task, 150 years after the Justice Department was founded following the Civil War.

Minorities still face discrimination in housing, education and the jobs market, and suffer more than others the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and climate change, Garland said in his statement.

“The Civil Rights Act of 1957 created the Department’s Civil Rights Division, with the mission ‘to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans, particularly some of the most vulnerable members of our society,'” Garland said.

“That mission remains urgent because we do not yet have equal justice.”

Garland also said the country faces a serious threat of extremism, as exemplified by the deadly January 6 attack by Trump supporters on the US Capitol, which shut down the legislature as lawmakers met to certify Biden’s election win.

The Justice Department has already charged some 230 people in that event and is investigating hundreds more, with the possibility of charging some with seditious conspiracy.

“If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6 — a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government,” Garland said.

Garland, 68, worked in the Justice Department before becoming a judge nearly 24 years ago.

Seen as a moderate liberal, in 2016 he was nominated by then Democratic president Barack Obama to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court.

But Republicans determined to turn the high court to the right stalled the nomination, allowing Trump in 2017 to put forth a conservative nominee.

Garland, who must be confirmed by the evenly split Senate, is expected this time to gain enough support from Republicans for his nomination to go through.

Agence France-Presse

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Lodi si Win? Migz Zubiri ribs Vico Sotto over lack of love life

Does Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto want to follow in the footsteps of bachelor Senator Sherwin Gatchalian?

Sotto’s lack of love life became the subject of senators’ ribbing Monday (March 1) when the mayor went to the Senate to personally receive the Senate’s commendation for being named as one of the United States government’s anti-corruption champions.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri acknowledged that “honest to goodness public service” can sometimes cause a politiko’s love life to take a backseat.

“Kaya ang payo ko kay Mayor Vico, huwag nyang kalimutan yung private life lalong lalo na ang kanyang love life…” Zubiri said, adding that he also got married late due to work.

“ O baka gusto po nyang e-idolize ang ating pambansang bachelor ng Senado, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian…” the senator added.

The 46-year-old Gatchalian is currently in a relationship with actress Bianca Manalo.

Sotto’s uncle, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, joked that there are “many applicants” for the role of the mayor’s girlfriend.

The 30-year-old politiko has said he doesn’t have time to find a girlfriend because of the demands of his work in government.

Parang Duterte lang: Lorenzana declines Sinovac vaccine due to old age

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana won’t be getting vaccinated with Sinovac vaccine donated by China.

And the reason for his decision? Lorezana is too old to get the Chinese-developed vaccine, which has not been recommended by local drug regulators for senior citizens.

The country’s defense actually volunteered to show leadership by example but learned he can’t be get the Sinovac vaccine due to his old age. Lorenzana is 72 years old.

“I wanted to be the first to receive the Sinovac vaccine in DND to build trust and confidence among personnel but health experts advised that those over 59 should not be vaccinated. Besides, the front liners will have first priority,” he tweeted on February 28.

In another tweet, Lorenzana said he was informed that he was not qualified for the Sinovac vaccines.


The Chinese-made vaccines have not been recommended for health workers and seniors by the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to varying efficacy rates.

“I volunteered to be among the first to be vaccinated but was told that I’m not qualified based on Sinovac’s age limit (18-59). I wanted to lead by example to not cast doubt against Sinovac and hopefully bring confidence among DND personnel,” he said in a later tweet.

Although he passed up the vaccine line, Lorenzana attended the rollout of the vaccines for intended health workers in military hospitals as well as Department of National Defense personnel Monday, March 1.

“All is set for today’s rollout, with 100,000 doses allocated for DND Personnel. 29,040 of which are for the health workers of the Veterans and VLuna medical centers, military and civilian staff of the DND-Proper,” he said.

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