Friends forever.

Bong Revilla reunites with Jinggoy Estrada in birthday gathering

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Friends forever.

Senator Bong Revilla has reunited with his good friend former senator Jinggoy Estrada during his recent birthday celebration.

Revilla, accompanied by his wife Bacoor City Mayor Lani Mercado, attended the former senator’s birthday bash held at an outdoor tent. A photo of the group was shared on Instagram by the actress-turned-politiko.

“Happy Bday Sen.Jinggoy Estrada!!! It was nice to see you after a long ttime. Be blessed with the gift of family and friendship. @bongrevillaph and our family will always ❤️ you!!!” the senator’s wife captioned the photo.

Revilla and Estrada were cellmates for a number of years when they were detained at a police custodial center pending a trial on the pork barrel scam.

Revilla was released after four years in detention following his acquittal in 2018. Estrada, on the other hand, was released on bail in 2017 after more than three years in detention.

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Protektado na: 200 cops get Sinovac jab on 1st day of vaccine rollout

MANILA – Around 200 medical personnel, including three ranking officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) took their first dose of China-donated CoronaVac vaccines on Monday at Camp Crame.

Brig. Gen. Luisito Magnaye, PNP director of health service; Lt. Col. Cleto Manongas, PNP General Hospital (PNPGH) chief, and the hospital’s deputy chief, Lt. Col. Raymond Ona, were among the first to get inoculated on the first day of the national vaccine rollout.

After his vaccination, Magnaye said it is good to lead and be among the first to get vaccinated.

“’Yung takot po wala po ‘yan dahil sa unang babakunahan, lalo ngayon meron tayong pandemic dahil magkakaroon ako ng proteksiyon sa katawan (Even if I’m among the first ones to get the shot, there’s no fear at all, we are in a pandemic and with this shot I would be protected),” he said.

During the symbolic vaccination, PNP chief, Gen. Debold Sinas said there were 800 vaccines initially allotted for the police force’s health workers.

“Today, the PNP was given 800 vaccines for our health workers. Nagawan na ‘yan ng health service, ang mga policy at mga pangalan kung sino ang mag-a-avail nito. Ang mag-a-avail po nito para sa kaalaman ng lahat ay ‘yung mga health workers lang natin sa PNP (The health service has come up with a policy and names of who could avail of these vaccines and these are our health workers at the PNP),” Sinas said.

Around 200 PNP health workers will be vaccinated per day.

“According to the director of health service, naka-schedule kung ano oras pupunta ang mga tao dito para walang agawan, overcrowding (They have a schedule so that overcrowding would be avoided),” Sinas said.

In a press briefing Monday in Camp Crame, PNP deputy chief for administration, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, said a total of 804 vaccine recipients are front-liners assigned at the PNP General Hospital.

“Accordingly, based on my discussion with the director of health service lahat dun walang nag-backout even though initial assessment meron iba na hindi qualified,” Eleazar said.

“Meron tayong assessment, not on their own choice but for clinical reason, pero madali naman fill-up ‘yun dahil there a lot of personnel coming from the health service na puwedeng magpuno sa kakulangan na ‘yun (We can easily fill up the slots with other health service staff),” he added.

About 75 percent of the PNP personnel have expressed willingness to get inoculated with the vaccine.

Eleazar attributed the positive response to the information dissemination made by the PNP Health Service and the ground commanders, confident that the number would go higher.

Sinas said that aside from the vaccination, police also secured the transport of the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines from China’s Sinovac Biotech which arrived on Feb. 28.

“PNP has also helped secure the vaccine hub in Marikina and the distribution of the vaccine to the different hospitals sa NCR (National Capital Region),” he said.

Sinas said police personnel would get inoculated soon as the PNP is among the priority sector as they would help secure and assist in the vaccination program,

“Lahat tayo magpa-vaccine (We should get vaccinated) unless otherwise sinabi ng doctors natin na hindi pa puwede because of some reasons. I am directing everybody all PNP personnel to avail of the vaccine kasi hindi natin alam kung kailan ulit i-allow magpa-vaccine sa PNP (We’ll never know when’s our next turn),” he added. (PNA)

May body cam na! Ace Barbers hopes PDEA, PNP ‘misencounter’ won’t be repeated under amended Dangerous Drugs Act

By Billy Begas

The proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act (Republic Act 9165) includes the mandatory use of body cameras during anti-drug operations.

House Committee on Dangerous Drugs chairperson and Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said the amendments can be found in Section 21 of House Bill 7814 that was approved on second reading last week.

“This could have aborted any seeming illegal activity that were intended to be perpetrated by any personality against law enforcers or could have recorded all activities during the entire operation. Unfortunately, even as we have called for its use years ago, our pleas seem to have fallen on deaf ears, whether intentional or otherwise,” said Barbers.

Barbers filed a similar bill that was approved in the 17th Congress. However, the Senate did not pass a similar measure.

Upon the resumption of the 18th Congress, Barbers re-filed a similar bill. It was approved on second reading last Tuesday, a day before the reported misencounter between the police and agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency happened.

Barbers said the measure also includes the legal presumptions against personalities who could be considered coddlers/protectors and financiers of drug suspects or syndicates, importers/exporters and manufacturers/cultivators of dangerous drugs, and consenting lessors of properties being used as laboratories or drug dens.

“If before, these personalities go scot-free, now these legal presumptions will put them on almost the same footing as the drug suspects themselves because of the presence of factual circumstances that will incriminate them and thus could make them liable under the amended law. There will be no place for them to hide now and their world will be much smaller if these amendments will be passed quickly,” he explained.

Amid the delay in its passage, Barbers still believes that the war on drugs brought a lot of gains for the government.

“While it may be true that there are still drugs in the streets, those are much lesser now than when President Duterte assumed office,” he added. “The tons of drugs confiscated from 2016 up to the present are testament enough that we are winning the war on drugs. The fact that we have avoided and prevented the slip of the country into a narco state is the most important victory of this war. Those who cannot see that has something blocking their eyes.”

Senate honors Vico Sotto for winning anti-corruption award

The Senate on Monday adopted a resolution commending Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto for being recognized by the US State Department as one of the 12 “International Anticorruption Champions.”

Senate Resolution 657, introduced by Senator Lito Lapid, was adopted in consideration with Senate Resolution 660, authored by Senate President Tito Sotto and Senator Ping Lacson.

In his sponsorship speech, Lacson said Mayor Sotto has set the bar high in public service. He said Pasigueños are fortunate to have a leader who “embodies wise thoughts, prudent actions and selfless intentions to advance the well-being of his constituents.”

The US State Department said Mayor Sotto is a standard –bearer of a new generation of Philippine politicians who prioritize anti-corruption and transparency in their election campaigns and in the office.

“This recognition by the U.S. State Department bestowed upon Mayor Vico Sotto, the only Filipino public servant in the roster of honorees, meaningfully uplifts the morale and dignity of the Filipino people amid the challenging times of global pandemic,” Sotto and Lacson said in their resolution.

Sotto lauded his nephew and godson for accomplishing the things he did despite being relatively new in the political arena. Sotto said the young mayor’s accomplishments are truly impressive and laudable.

“His new and fresh perspective have led to many positive changes in the local government of Pasig City…like saving billions for the city government coffers as a result of transparent bidding, 140 percent in the increase in salary of health aides and the regularization of contractual workers who had been serving the government for more than 20 years,” Sotto said in his co-sponsorship speech.

“And now by reason of his earnest efforts against corruption and his commitment to transparency initiatives, Mayor Vico received a recognition awarded by the U.S. State Department. This has brought optimism in a government where corruption is the norm and goodness and honesty are the exceptions,” he added.

“To my nephew and godson, I already knew from the start that you are destined for greater heights. Your journey is still long and your tasks are many, if not endless. But with your current unparalleled achievements, I am certain that there is nothing that you cannot accomplish,” Sotto said.

According to the resolution, Mayor Sotto has been steadfast in his commitment to rid corruption by eliminating kickbacks in the awarding of city contracts. He established a 24/7 public information and complaints hotline for the purpose.

The young mayor also involved civil society organizations in the city’s budgeting and policymaking He mandated at least a 10 percent reduction in the value of city government contracts, a measure intended to reduce bribery in the contract awarding process.

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