Chinese Casino operator, pinapasok ni President Rodrigo Duterte sa Boracay - Makabayan bloc

WATCH | Chinese Casino operator, pinapasok ni Duterte sa Boracay – Makabayan bloc

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3 na patay! Makabayan bloc slams ‘tokhang style’ raids in Southern Luzon

By Billy Begas

Members of the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives condemned the tokhang-style simultaneous raids in the Southern Luzon region, which resulted in the death of three activists.

House Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate it was supposed to be a Sabbath Day, but government troops made it a bloodbath day.

“Ito ang gustong mangyari palagi ng gobyernong Duterte sa ilalim ng terror law, na araw-araw ay may madugong raid at pagtatanim ng ebidensya laban sa oposisyon at kritiko ng gobyerno. They already did this in Mindanao, Negros, Manila, Tacloban, Capiz, and, now Southern Tagalog, where an obvious pattern or modus operandi of Tokhang emerges,” said Zarate.

He said that activists will be initially red tagged and put under surveillance and harassment. “Last, their homes or offices would be raided, evidence planted on them or they would be killed.

According to Karapatan-Southern Tagalog in Laguna two labor leaders and a human rights worker were arrested. They claimed that authorities planted firearms and explosives on them.

In Rizal, two were killed and the house of two peasant leaders were raided.

In Cavite, the office of the Workers’ Assistance Center in Dasmarinas was also raided, where BAYAN Cavite coordinator Manny Asuncion was killed.

In Nasugbu, Batangas, a fisherfolk leader and two of his family members were arrested.

The house of Lino Baez of BAYAN-Batangas was peppered with bullets.

Bayan Muna party-list Representatives Ferdinand Gaite and Eufemia Cullamat also condemned the attacks.

Gaite said the incidents are the result of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “kill, kill, kill” message.

“Just last Friday, Pres. Duterte in a speech in Cagayan de Oro told state forces to kill armed rebels. But, these forces do not distinguish between armed rebels or activists, they just kill then say ‘nanlaban’ then plant firearms and explosives,” said Gaite.

Cullamat urged Congress to investigate the rampant human rights violations under the Duterte administration.

Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago said search warrants are being weaponized to crack down on activists, peasants, trade union organizers and human rights defenders.

“Walang katumbas na salita at galit ang sahol ng atake at inhustisya!” Elago added.

Inflation adjusted: House panel okays bill raising max deposit insurance coverage to P1M

By Billy Begas

The House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries has approved a measure that will empower the state-run Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) to increase the maximum deposit insurance coverage (MDIC).

The committee deliberated on House Bill 5812 authored by Makati City Rep. Luis Campos to increase the deposit insurance coverage to P1 million from the current P500,000 that was pegged 12 years ago.

Instead of putting a cap on the insurance coverage, the committee chaired by Quirino Rep. Junie Cua instead opted to authorize the PDIC’s governing board to increase the MDIC “to an amount indexed to inflation and other economic indicators, subject to review and/or adjustment every three years.”

Campos said the committee’s proposal is better since the PDIC will now be allowed not just to initially raise the MDIC, but also periodically thereafter.

“This relieves Congress of having to worry about adjusting upward the MDIC every now and then to account for the general increase in prices,” Campos, a committee member,” said Campos.

The MDIC stood at P40,000 in 1984. Congress increased it to P100,000 in 1992, P250,000 in 2004 and P500,000 in 2009.

Banks pay for the compulsory insurance premiums to guarantee the MDIC.

Kiko to gov’t: Follow guidelines on priority sectors to vaccinate first

Senator Kiko Pangilinan on Sunday appealed to the government to respect its own guidelines and priority list and to refrain from violating them and skipping to the head of the queue for the limited Covid-19 vaccine shots.

“Nakasaad sa batas na sinertify as urgent at ipinasa ng Senado na dapat inuuna ang mga health workers sa mga bakuna dahil sila ang nasa unahan ng pakikipaglaban sa virus,” he said, citing Republic Act 11525.

Noting the recent spike in Covid cases and the emergence of new strains, Pangilinan said Republic Act 11525 or the Covid-19 Vaccination Program Act passed by Congress lists the hierarchy on the priority list for those who need to get vaccinated: healthcare workers, senior citizens, people with co-morbidities, frontline personnel including uniformed personnel and teachers, and indigent population.

“Di ba sa eroplano pag may emergency, pinauuna ang mga magulang sa pagsuot ng life vest at oxygen mask para mapangalagaan din niya ang kasamang anak? Ganun din dito. Inuuna muna ang pwedeng mag-alaga sa mga vulnerable, pagkatapos ang vulnerable,” he said.

“’Ika nga, yung mga hindi nakasakay sa eroplano, hindi kasama. Usapin ito ng kalusugan kaya unahin ang makakasiguro ng kalusugan ng sambayanan at ng ekonomiya,” he added.

Pangilinan’s reminder also comes after the World Health Organization (WHO) made a statement noting that the Philippine officials’ disregard of the priority list may “impact and jeopardize future deliveries of vaccines through the Covax facility” to the country.

The Covax Facility is a global initiative aimed at equitable access to the vaccines.

WHO has advised that priority groups should include healthcare workers on the frontlines followed by people over the age of 65, and the rest of the population.

Pangilinan reminded that the goal is to curb the infection, reduce deaths, and protect the healthcare system, which can only happen if those most in need of the vaccine receive it first.

Amid the scarce supply, vaccines have come in trickles in the country with the first shipment of 600,000 doses of China’s Sinovac arriving last Sunday followed by 487,200 doses from AstraZeneca.

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