House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has threatened to charge those behind the smear campaign against him and the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

Cayetano to sue those behind smear campaign vs SEA Games

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House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has threatened to charge those behind the smear campaign against him and the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

In a press briefing in San Juan City, Cayetano said he will expose people purveying fake new not only against him but those spreading hoax and false information about the country’s preparations for SEAG amidst series of reported blunders and mishandling of event.

“Yung nag-violate ng law na umabot sa libel at cyber libel, yes. It’s the obligation of course,” he said.

“I-expose ko lang sila. Pababayaan ko na ang Pilipino na buweltahan sila,” he added.

Cayetano, chair of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC), said he will ask the entire board who they think are those should be held liable from spreading fake information on SEA Games.

“I need the Phisgoc board to approve it. But my vote sa PHISGOC is that anything that tried to smear my name or any personality, okay lang kasi personal ‘yun. But if you try to smear the name of the SEA Games or of the country, dapat naman humarap ka,” he said.

On Wednesday, Party-list Congressmen Ron Salo (Kabayan) and Mike Defensor (Anakalausugan) both agreed that those spreading misinformation against the Philippines’ hosting SEAG should be held liable amidst the series of fiascos reported in the sporting event.

In his interpellation with Salo, Defensor said purveyors of fake news on SEA Games should be investigated and be held liable under the law.

“Ano po bang criminal liability nito? It this tantamount to libel or treason?” said Defensor.

Salo in response agreed to Defensor’s remarks, saying that those spreading hoax in various social media platforms and in mainstream media about the SEAG hosting have are “criminally liable.”

“Sa batas, siguradong may criminal liability po sila sa pagpapakalt ng mali impormasyon,” said Salo.

Defensor and Salo are eyeing a House inquiry after the SEA Games against those who circulated false information against the country’s hosting of SEAG although the lapses on the part of the organizers, particularly the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) shouldn’t be downplayed also.

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POLITIKO / Across the Nation

POLITIKO / Latest News

Rule of law prevailed: Trillanes hails CA ruling junking revival of rebellion raps

Former senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Tuesday (March 2) hailed the favorable ruling of the Court of Appeals (CA) concerning his rebellion case.

“Today, the rule of law prevailed,” Trillanes declared.

With this, the former lawmaker also expressed gratitude to the appellate court for the favorable ruling.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa mga CA justices na gumawa ng desisyong ito,” he stated.

“Sana all na judges and justices ay may ganitong sense of justice to check the prevailing authoritarianism in the country,” he added,

Trillanes’s petition before the CA assailed the 2018 orders of Makati City Judge Elmo Alameda to issue a hold departure order (HDO) and arrest warrant against the former lawmaker even though the same magistrate dismissed back in 2011 the rebellion case against him.

The case was dismissed by the judge in 2011 after Trillanes was granted amnesty by then President Benigno Aquino III.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) sought to revive the case before the Makati court after President Rodrigo Duterte revoked the amnesty.

Sinong guilty? Lord Velasco’s allies gang up on Alan Cayetano after ally exposes P20-B budget cut

By Billy Begas

Allies of House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco slammed the camp of Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano for his supporters’ attempt to drag the Marinduque lawmaker in the issue involving the P20 billion pension and gratuity fund of uniformed government personnel that was diverted to infrastructure projects.

Senior Deputy Speaker Salvador Leachon said it was clear based on the explanation of House Committee on Appropriations chairperson Eric Yap that the slashed P20 billion will not be used this year to pay the pension and gratuity of uniformed personnel.

“Based on Congressman Yap’s accounts, which I find to be accurate, the current problems involving the pension of uniformed retirees was due to the P70-billion cut in their budget for the year 2020, during Cayetano’s term,” Leachon said.

Yap said that the House then led by Cayetano slashed P70 billion from the 2020 national budget.

Earlier, Anakalusugan Rep. Michael Defensor said that he did not know what happened then. “Hindi ko ho alam kung nag-usap sila (House-led Cayetano and Department of Budget and Management) pero ang sigurado ko ho nagrereklamo ngayon ang DBM dahil binawasan ang pension fund.”

Yap claimed that the DBM knows the reduction of budget.

“Their unfounded allegations against Speaker Velasco boomeranged to them when it turned out the current problems faced by uniformed retirees was brought about by the more than P70 billion deducted from the 2020 PGF budget during Cayetano’s time,” said Leachon.

Defensor contradicted Leachon’s claim in a text message. “How can it have boomeranged when Chair Eric Yap admitted that they slashed the Pension and Gratuity Fund by 20 billion. They should not over complicate and over think- return the 20 billion to our military, police and uniformed personnel pension and gratuity fund.”

Defensor also challenged the camp of Velasco to show to the public that they did not use it as pork barrel fiund.

Deputy Speaker and Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves said Defensor’s accusations were “part of an obvious attempt to antagonize Speaker Velasco.”

“It was obviously premeditated with some members of the so-called ‘BTS sa Kongreso’ present to interpellate Defensor and tried but failed to amplify the allegations against Speaker Velasco,” Teves said referring to Back To Service sa Kongreso formed by Cayetano in January.

Teves added that the game plan of Cayetano’s camp was to make Velasco “look bad in the eyes of President Duterte by attacking the Speaker on an issue very close to the Chief Executive’s heart—the pension and gratuity pay of police and military retirees.”

Deputy Speaker Lito Atienza, meanwhile, blasted Cayetano’s group for hypocrisy following the revelation of Deputy Speaker Isidro Ungab that the Cayetano-led House manipulated the 2020 national budget, which resulted in budget cuts totaling P209 billion, including the P70 billion slashed from pension and gratuity fund.

“Umaalma sila sa binawas na P20 billion na napunta naman sa COVID-19 response ng gobyerno pero ‘yung P70 bilyon at kabuuang P209 bilyon na tinapyas nila sa 2020 national budget e okay lang sa kanila,” said Atienza.

Defensor said it is not true that the P20 billion went to purchase COVID-19 vaccines.

He said that based on the copy of the General Appropriations Act, the budget for vaccines remained at P2.5 billion.



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