NEWS AT A GLANCE
PET questions Calida interest in private case
By: Tina G. Santos - Reporter / @santostinaINQPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 05:10 AM January 22, 2021
MANILA, Philippines — The Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), comprised of the entire Supreme Court, admonished Solicitor General Jose Calida for his inordinate interest in a private electoral protest that does not involve his principal client, the Republic of the Philippines.
“Lamenting a decision he posits as unfavorable to a particular family and lackadaisically invoking People’s Tribune are not hallmarks of a high-ranking government official on whom public trust is reposed,” the tribunal said in a Nov. 17 decision made public only on Thursday.
“The standing asserted by the Solicitor General should be reviewed. ‘People’s Tribune’ is not to be hoisted wantonly in big-ticket cases involving private parties,” the high court said in ruling on the inhibition plea Calida filed against Associate Justice Marvic Leonen on Nov. 9.
Calida, along with former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., moved for the inhibition of Leonen, whom they accused of being biased against the Marcos family in favor of Vice President Leni Robredo.
Duterte registers for the national
By: Darryl John Esguerra - Reporter / @DJEsguerraINQINQUIRER.net / 09:59 AM January 22, 2021
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has registered himself on the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys), official photos from Malacañang revealed.
Photos sent to reporters late Thursday showed Duterte having his biometric information being taken by Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) personnel for the national ID.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Duterte’s long-time aide Senator Bong Go were also seen having themselves registered into the PhilSys.
Duterte last month approved the P3.52-billion additional budget for the implementation of the national ID system for 2021. The additional funds will be used to register 20 million more individuals to the PhilSys this year, on top of the 50 million target registration.
Signed by Duterte in August 2018, the PhilSys Act or Republic Act No. 11055 seeks to harmonize and integrate several government IDs by establishing a single national identification system for all citizens and resident aliens through the collection of basic personal information and biometric data.
The pre-registration process for the national ID system started only last October, covering around five million Filipinos from 32 provinces.
The delay in the implementation of the national ID system was highlighted during the distribution of the government’s emergency cash subsidies amid the Covid-19 pandemic which was marred with delays due to concerns on security, the reconciliation of lists of beneficiaries, and logistical challenges.
Pfizer or Sinovac
Published January 21, 2021, 12:17 AM, by Jullie Y. Daza
MANILA, Philippines — Who wants to be injected with the Pfizer vaccine?
The President wants to know. We want to know which brand Mr. Duterte’s physicians will recommend for him, now that we’re learning a few things more about covid vaccines after 29 elderly patients died in Norway as a consequence of their Pfizer shots.
Pfizer called the deaths “not alarming and in line with expectations,” but Norwegian authorities brought down the “age group thought to be affected to 75 from 80,” reported Bloomberg. This means that persons 75 years old and older, especially if they are weak and show symptoms of serious ailments, should not be vaccinated. Among the Norwegian fatalities were 13 residents of nursing homes and some 85-year-olds. Pfizer is the only brand in use in Norway.
How ironic that the Pfizer-Norway incidents made headlines around the world just one day after the company “commits to give PH covid vaccine as quickly as possible” (front page, Manila Bulletin, Jan. 16, 2021). In the Philippines, Pfizer is the only vaccine with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) while Sinovac waits for permission to conduct trial runs.
Sinovac is a hotter topic between Malacañang and the Senate, and in media. For one, the chic, English-speaking general manager of China’s Sinovac, Helen Yang, had a busy day last Monday answering her interviewers on at least three different TV channels. She parried their questions on the price of the vaccine. (It’s P650 according to Harry Roque and P3,809.50 by Senator Frank Drilon’s calculations based on DOH figures.) As to why Sinovac’s efficacy rate in Brazil, 50.4 percent, is so far away from Turkey’s 91 percent, Ms. Yang said that’s because in Brazil the doses were administered to frontliners, a small group compared to the massive numbers in Turkey.
For your own good, believe the experts who say that the following shouldn’t be vaccinated: pregnant women, the frail and elderly, kids younger than 18, persons with serious ailments.
Then weigh this street-smart advice from a white-haired, nearly toothless “lola” who told a roaming reporter why she didn’t need a vaccine: “I’m old, I’ve only a few years left. I can wait for my turn at the very end of the line.”
Pinky Webb does ‘hair flip’ gesture as Roque loses cool in televised interview
IMANILA, Jan. 20. 2021 — News anchor Pinky Webb once again gained traction on local Twitter, this time due to her “hair flip” gesture in a televised interview with presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Wednesday.
During the interview, the Palace official, who earned his law degree from the University of the Philippines and was a long-time professor at the university, was asked by Webb for his opinion on the tweet of fellow faculty member Danilo Arao.
The latter posed a challenge to the university’s alumni working as top-level officials in the Duterte administration in light of the UP-Department of National Defense Accord termination.
“CHALLENGE: UP faculty and alumni who are Duterte’s top-level officials should denounce
Lorenzana’s letter terminating the 1989 accord. This disregards everything that UP stands for. Should they remain silent, a six-word question: Where is your honor and excellence?” Arao tweeted on Monday.
Roque responded: “There’s really no such thing when you are a Presidential spokesperson.”
“All I’m saying is, let’s talk about this, I support the steps of the UP President, and let’s see why a 30-year-old accord should not be continued when it has worked, apparently perfectly well, in the past 30 years,” he added.
“I’m not duty-bound by anything that Prof. Areo says,” the spokesperson further said.
Roque later on remarked that Webb’s question was “unfair” and reiterated his previous stance.
“In the first place, why am I duty-bound to follow anything that Prof. Arao says?” he asked.
“You made it appear as if it’s compulsory to follow it,” Roque added.
Webb responded that she did not tell him he was “duty-bound” but Roque insisted that such was the case.
“But you said I had to follow him, and if I did not do as he did then I have no honor or excellence. Is that a fair question? That’s not,” the spokesman said.
Webb once again clarified that she only asked for the spokesman’s views on Arao’s tweet and whether he agrees with it.
However, Roque claimed that Webb implied he has “no sense of excellence or honor” if he doesn’t agree with Arao, which was immediately refuted by the journalist.
Webb later asked the presidential spokesman how he would like to end the topic, in which he responded that he would like to facilitate a discussion between UP president Danilo Concepcion and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in light of the UP-DND Accord.
A clip of the interview circulated on the microblogging platform, prompting Webb’s to enter the top trending list on Wednesday afternoon.
Yung G na G si Harry Roque tapos flip lang ng flip ng hair si Pinky Webb. Love it! Hahaha! pic.twitter.com/9hB2aLqTdQ
Twitter users took notice of how Webb did a “hair flip” gesture amid the interview where Roque lost his cool.
A Filipino commented that the Palace official was “clearly offended” by her query, based on his reaction.
Others were amused by Webb’s reaction to Roque and called her gesture a “mood.”
“Pinky Webb’s composure is amazing where do I learn this HAHAHAHAHAHA,” another Twitter user wrote in response to the viral clip.
“The way she flipped her hair HAHAJHSAH. She ain’t about Roque’s b*llsh*t HHAHSHS,” exclaimed a different online user.
“The president says women are not suitable for a high position in the government (’cause) they are too ’emotional’ yet we have Roque here getting pissed over an interview and having 0% composure. Look at the way Pinky Webb handled this man’s fragile masculinity,” another Filipino commented.
This was not the first time that Webb caught the online community’s attention because of an interview.
Last March, the CNN Philippines anchor debunked speculations that Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon was “asleep” in a televised interview she hosted where the opposition senator talked about the resolutions he filed to extend ABS-CBN’s franchise before.
Webb responded to a Twitter user who asked what really went down during the interview with Drilon and informed him that the senator only looked down at his documents on the table, which was not visible to the viewers at that time.
Here’s what happened. As I was laying the premise for my question, I saw Sen Drilon look down at the documents he had on the table. I did not see him fall asleep.
— Pinky Webb (@iampinkywebb) March 2, 2020
A clip of the interview was edited to make it appear as if he fell asleep on-air.
When the edited video went viral, Drilon was defended by his former subordinate in a law firm, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., and former senator JV Ejercito, who lauded the lawmaker’s work ethics when they were colleagues.