Senator Bong Go is confident that the country will continue to grow stronger under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Bills, drugs, OFW: Here’s what Bong Go expects Duterte to tackle in 4th SONA

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Senator Bong Go is confident that the country will continue to grow stronger under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go stressed that the state of the nation will become stronger in the next three years and beyond as he expressed confidence on the gains of the Duterte administration in bringing genuine positive change in the country.

In a statement released days before the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22, Sen. Go said he expects President Rodrigo R. Duterte will call upon Congress to enact laws that are people-centered and inclusive so that all Filipinos can feel the development.

“We expect the President to be very candid in his message to the people and firm in laying down his legislative agenda to guide Congress in doing its work to make government more responsive to the needs of today and to make government services more accessible to everyone,” Go said.

He said President Duterte may also expound on possible measures that can further push government’s efforts in the fight against corruption, illegal drugs, maintaining peace and order, securing the nation and building safe communities and most importantly, concerns on housing, OFW welfare and those relevant to health and education.

Go also hinted that based on recent discussions, the president may possibly mention in his 4th SONA speech the passage of several proposed measures that include the creation of the Department of OFWs and Department of Disaster Resilience, institutionalization of the Malasakit Center, death penalty for heinous crimes involving illegal drugs and plunder, increased salaries for teachers, nurses and other civilian government workers as well as additional benefits for barangay officials and employees and the creation of a National Housing plan among others.

“Now, we see more of our people having jobs and more of their kids going to school. More communities are declared as drug-free. With the Build, Build, Build program, travel around the country is faster, safer and more comfortable. The government is able to provide better and more efficient services for our people victimized by calamities, the sick and the homeless, OFWs in distress and more corrupt officials are also dismissed from government service,” he said.

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DOJ mulls letting EKJ task force handle probe on ‘bloody Sunday’ deaths

The Department of Justice (DOJ) will hopefully decide this week whether or not to have have the Administrative Order (AO) 35 inter-agency task force on extra-judicial killings investigate the deaths of nine activists who killed during the so-called “bloody Sunday” operations conducted by the police and the military, DOJ Undersecretary Adrian Sugay said on Tuesday (March 9).

“Sa ngayon po ang direktiba ni secretary ay kami muna ay gagawa muna ng initial determination ,” Sugay said during the Laging Handa briefing.

“In fact nag-umpisa na ho ang aming investigation and maybe yung aming preliminary findings siguro within the week or maybe even in the next two or next 24 to 28 hours lalabas yung aming initial findings diyan,” he added.

He explained the initial findings will determine “kung kailangan pa po na magbuo ng special investigation teams under the AO 35 mechanism composed of prosecutors, members of law enforcement agencies para talagang mas masusi po at mas malalim na tingnan kung ano po ang nangyari dito sa siyam.”

“Yung AO 35 mechanism may limitasyon yung kanyang scope,” he pointed out.

“So kailangan talaga extra-judicial killings, particularly, involving persons who are members of cause oriented groups or those who are engaged in legitimate dissent or opposition,” he added.

Joint police and military operations were conducted in implementing search warrants last Sunday (March 7) against persons with alleged links to communist rebels in Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Batangas.

The operations led to the deaths nine persons and the arrest of six others.

A number of groups claim that those killed were unarmed civilians.

Ping lauds former OPARR undersecretary for TOYM award

Sen. Panfilo Lacson lauded on Tuesday his former undersecretary at the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR) for being named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) for 2020.

Lacson, who served as PARR from 2013 to 2015, cited lawyer Lesley Cordero for her help in putting together a comprehensive rehabilitation plan for those affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

“Without Undersecretary Cordero being seconded to the OPARR, I could not imagine how we could put together an eight-volume, 8,000-page comprehensive rehabilitation and recovery plan in record time of under eight months,” Lacson said as the Senate honored Cordero and other TOYM 2020 awardees.

“Nakatayo ako sa bulwagang ito, mahal na pangulo, upang pasalamatan at pahalagahan si Atty. Cordero, sampu ng kanyang mga kasama sa TOYM of 2020,” he added.

He added the OPARR had been operating without funds and its staff did not receive salaries in the first four months.

Yolanda, considered the strongest tropical cyclone in history, damaged 171 cities and municipalities in 14 provinces of the five regions of the country.

It left more than 6,000 people dead and affected at least 11 million.

“Walang pondo, walang sweldo sa loob ng apat na buwan, wala kaming reklamong nagtrabaho upang mapagaan ang buhay at kalagayan ng ating mga kababayan na matinding pinahirapan ng bagyong Yolanda,” Lacson recalled.

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