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Opposition coalition says 2019 poll a chance to correct 2016 ‘mistakes’

The Oposisyon photo, credit to OVP PHOTO RELEASE

THE NEWLY-FORMED coalition of groups opposed to the present administration formally launched yesterday its eight-member senatorial slate for the 2019 midterm elections, with Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo urging voters to correct the “mistakes” made in the 2016 polls.

Ms. Robredo, chairman of the opposition Liberal Party, said the Oposisyon Koalisyon (OK) slate is composed of public servants with “integrity, experience, and competence to help the Filipinos who are facing the daily hardship of poverty, injustice, and lack of opportunities.”

“Ano ba ang pangako ng mga kandidato noon (2016 elections)? Natupad ba? Ano ba ang dahilan kung bakit natin sila ibinoto? (What was the promise of the candidates then (2016) Were these fulfilled? What was the reason why we voted for them?),” she said.

She took a jab at the current government led by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, saying it is time for a clean-up.

“May pagkakataon na linisin kung anumang dumi na nandyan (There is an opportunity to clean whatever dirt that is there),” she said.

She also said the formation of OK is an indication that the opposition is “alive” despite challenges.

“Maraming nagsasabing natutulog ang oposisyon, pero buhay na buhay po ang oposisyon (Many are saying that the opposition is sleeping, but it is very much alive),” Ms. Robredo said.

The OK senatorial slate is composed of Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” A. Aquino IV; former senator and interior secretary Manuel “Mar” A. Roxas II; legal counsel to the vice-president Romulo B. Macalintal; Magdalo Party-list Representative Gary C. Alejano; Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) Chairperson Jose Manuel “Chel” I. Diokno; former Bangsamoro Transition Commission member Samira Gutoc-Tomawis; former solicitor general Florin “Pilo“ T. Hillbay; and former House of Representatives deputy speaker Lorenzo “Erin“ R. Tañada III. — Charmaine A. Tadalan

LTFRB warns overcharging UV Express drivers

THE LAND Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Wednesday said it will conduct law enforcement operations against UV Express drivers who overcharge their passengers.

LTFRB Chairman Martin B. Delgra III, in a press briefing, said his agency is “now preparing for an inspection in so far as the UV Express is concerned.”

“We are going to operate on certain areas where there are reported overcharging of fare sa UV Express,” he said, citing such routes as Cavite, Manila, Marikina, and other parts of Metro Manila.

Pero (But) we have received these reports so we will have to — we appeal for now. We appeal for the UV Express operators to stop the overcharging because we will have to enforce the rule on overcharging ‘no. But nevertheless, we will already conduct. We are actually preparing to conduct enforcement activities,” Mr. Delgra said. — Arjay L. Balinbin

PNPA head relieved over hazing, ‘oral sex’ scandals

THE HEAD of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) has been ordered relieved by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Officer-in-Charge Eduardo M. Año over the alleged “oral sex” and hazing punishment on underclassmen by senior cadets.

“OIC-Secretary Año has ordered the immediate relief of the PNPA Director, Chief Superintendent Joseph Andol, for command responsibility and to pave the way for an impartial investigation into the incident,” said DILG Assistant Secretary Jonathan E. Malaya in a statement on Wednesday, Oct. 24.

The DILG Chief has also directed Philippine Public Safety College President (PPSC) Ricardo De Leon to conduct an investigation on the issue.

According to initial reports, the incident happened on Oct. 6 within the academy premises and involved an upperclassman ordering two plebes to perform oral sex as punishment for allegedly committing violations.

“We should not tolerate such scandalous acts in our ranks. The PPSC should act with dispatch to ensure that the true ideals, values, and discipline in the academy will continuously be upheld,” said Mr. Año.

He added that the Philippine National Police will also conduct a separate probe to determine criminal liability. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras

DoLE, PALSCON to hold nationwide career fair

THE DEPARTMENT of Labor and Employment (DoLE) will hold a nationwide career fair caravan in partnership with the Philippine Association of Local Service Contractors, Inc. (PALSCON) to match employers’ manpower needs with job seekers.

In a statement on Wednesday, DoLE said Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III and PALSCON National President Rhoda Castro-Caliwara have earlier signed an agreement for the activity.

Apart from job openings, the caravan will offer «training and human resource development activities, create training modules and information campaigns relative to the workers’ welfare, enhancement and growth.»

The Bureau of Local Employment (BLE) will be tasked to assist PALSCON by giving data regarding local employment and job generation. Regional and Field Offices of DoLE, meanwhile, will provide technical support and program monitoring upon implementation of the Job Fair Caravan. — Gillian M. Cortez