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Palace ‘open’ to the return of Dengvaxia, Bodjie Pascua attacks the vaccine’s critics

Palace ‘open’ to the return of Dengvaxia, Bodjie Pascua attacks the vaccine’s critics

  • Duterte Die-Hard Supporters slammed the use of the vaccine Dengvaxia in the past
  • The palace is now open to the use of the vaccine
  • Bodjie Pascua slams its critics

Dengue is on the rise in the country once again. The outbreak officially started early this year and it has since taken nearly 500 lives, along with over a hundred thousand cases.

The Dengvaxia (Dengue Vaccine) was first used in the country back in April of 2016 during the Aquino administration. The Php 3.5 billion program faced controversy as several children allegedly died after being given the vaccine.

The program continued for a while during the Duterte administration before getting shut down. Sanofi Pasteur, the French company that manufactures Dengvaxia, said that studies conducted showed that the program actually increases the health risks of people who have never been infected by dengue.

The supporters of the current administration slammed the previous one and blamed the controversy on the former President.

Now, Malacañang is saying that they are ‘open’ to using the vaccine once again because of the current Dengue outbreak.

Former health secretary and now Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin, who is also facing charges over the deaths of the children who were vaccinated during the program, released a statement begging the current administration to run the Dengvaxia program once more.

Garin said the vaccination program will be able to reduce dengue-related hospitalization by 80 percent and will decrease the cases of the fever to 93%.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo also said that if the positives outweigh the negatives, then running the program would be a no-brainer.

“If the weight of findings show that there is benefit using Dengvaxia against dengue, then certainly the government should consider it,”.

Panelo said that the Palace is open to any solution that would counter the current outbreak.

“We’re always open to anything that will benefit the Filipino people. We’re not closed to any suggestion. We need experts to support any call for the return of Dengvaxia,” he added.

Actor Bodjie Pascua was not happy with Panelo’s statement.

Back in June 2018, Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Atty. Persida Acosta attributed the death of 60 children to the Dengvaxia program and based this on her team’s examination. Ted Failon and Noli de Castro also reported the controversy in the past.

“Ano masasabi mo ngayon Persida? Ka Noli? Ano na DDS?” said Pascua.

Also in 2018, the use of vaccines declined because according to Filipino doctors from the Doctors for Truth and Public Welfare group, PAO has been spreading ‘fake news’ about Dengvaxia.

PAO forensics chief Dr. Erwin Erfe was also criticized by the doctors for spreading fake news about measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine having links to autism.

The Department of Health still claims that there have been zero deaths caused by the Dengvaxia program and that those children died of other causes.

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Agot Isidro cracks at Sara Duterte for ‘having a meltdown’

Agot Isidro cracks at Sara Duterte for ‘having a meltdown’

  • Agot Isidro says Sara Duterte is having a meltdown after calling everyone a liar
  • Davao City mayor Sara Duterte defended senatorial-bet Imee Marcos over issue on her education background
  • Spokesperson Salvador Panelo says Sara Duterte may only be referring to ‘white lies’

Agot Isidro has taken another jibe in this May polls-campaign season. But this time, her critical eye focused on campaign manager and Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio over the latter’s remark that honesty should not be an election issue because “everybody lies.”

The actress-activist took to Twitter to refer to this incident as Duterte-Carpio’s ‘meltdown’ after leading the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) campaign rally in Parañaque City: “Walang isang kandidato diyan na hindi nagsisinungaling, kaya hindi dapat nagiging issue ang honesty ngayon,” said Duterte-Carpio. “Lahat sila sinungaling. Lahat ng tao sa mundong ito sinungaling.”

The mayor only said this in defense of her senatorial-bet Imee Marcos when candidates from the Otso Diretso opposition slate have been criticizing Marcos for lying about graduating with honors from the University of the Philippines College of Law and obtaining a degree from Princeton University.

The irate campaign manager previously drew flak online as netizens pointed out that the issue is not education, but that Marcos was lying about it when Duterte-Carpio stated that the only qualification for being a senator is the ability to read and write.

“Kasi sinasabi nila the issue is not about a college degree but honesty, so ano’ng gagawin natin sa kanila?,” said the presidential daughter.

Seeking the Palace’s reaction, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo distanced from the mayor’s statement and said he would have “to ask Inday (Duterte-Carpio’s known moniker) exactly what she meant by that.”

“She might want to say that everybody gives white lies. Not the lie as in lying. That’s my understanding,” Panelo added.

Isidro quote-retweeted the article from Rappler covering Panelo’s response and took a jab at the spokesperson as well: “Mr. Panelo, hirap no? tsk tsk tsk” followed by an emoji of a face side-eyeing someone.

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Miss Universe 2018 opposes the lowering of age criminal responsibility; Malacañang thinks the beauty queen is ‘misinformed’

Miss Universe 2018 opposes the lowering of age criminal responsibility; Malacañang thinks the beauty queen is ‘misinformed’

  • “I would rather that the efforts be refocused to why those children may be committing those crimes.”
  • Catriona Gray should be educated about the bill, but still agrees with her that the problem of the delinquent children should be addressed first
  • Fighting for the rights of children appears to be one of her advocacies

According to Malacañang, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray has been misinformed about the bill which seeks to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 15 years old to 12.

Last February 20 at the Novotel Hotel in Quezon City, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray held a press conference.

During her interview with GMA News on lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility, she pointed out that the government should focus first on the reasons why these children continue doing crimes; believing that the ages from 9 to 12 years old, children are not yet developed cognitively.

“I would rather that the efforts be refocused on why these children may be committing those crimes. Because working with kids, you know that when they’re that young–when they’re 11, 12, or nine years old–they’re not developed in that way, cognitively, to make decisions knowing full well the consequences,” Gray said in an interview with GMA News.

After Catriona spoke expressing her disagreement with the said bill, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo also made a statement.

A day after the Filipina beauty queen’s press conference, Panelo said Gray should be educated about the bill but still agrees with her that the problem of the delinquent children should be addressed as well.

“She should be educated. She may have been misinformed of the facts given that the opposition to the lowering comes from yung mga dating kritiko ng administrasyon (old critics of the administration), “Yung sinasabi niya na focus on the problems, kasama yun eh (She’s saying that we should focus on the problems. That’s part of it). When you lower the criminal liability, kasama yun (that’s already part of it),” he said.

Panelo also clarified that what is stated in the law is that children in conflict will not be put in jail together with the adult criminals, but rather rehabilitated before sending them off to society.

“Sa batas nakalagay doon yung rehabilitation. Ang focus nga rehabilitation, eh (Rehabilitation is what is stated in the law. So the focus is rehabilitation). So you are solving precisely the problem why these people are engaged in crimes,” Panelo said.

He really emphasized to Catriona that the government is already focusing on the problem because the children will not be jailed  but instead will be rehabilitated to know why they have committed crimes and in time they will be put back in society.

“Miss Universe hindi naman ikukulong. Ire-rehabilitate nga natin. Kaya tama ka doon (Miss Universe, they will not be jailed. We will rehabilitate them. So you are right when you said that), let’s focus on the problem. We are precisely focusing on the problem. Because the problem is they’re engaged in crimes, So what will we do? We will have to rehabilitate them. Learn why they have committed these crimes, and then put them back to society,” he continued.

Despite being misinformed, accordingly to the Palace, they much-admired Catriona for speaking out her opinion on the matter which shows the evidence that she is truly concerned with the children.

“But I’m glad she mentioned it. It only means that she’s also concerned, which every Filipino citizen should have been – with a kind of concern,” Panelo said.

It has been the passion of Miss Universe Catriona Gray to work with children, even before winning the Miss Universe pageant – as fighting for the rights of the children appears to be one of her advocacies.

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Anne Curtis, Dingdong Dantes, other celebrities react to the bill lowering criminal liability to 9 years old

Anne Curtis, Dingdong Dantes, other celebrities react to the bill lowering criminal liability to 9 years old

  • Celebrities expressed their disapproval of bill that lowers criminal liability to nine years old.
  • This includes reactions from Bianca Gonzales, Anne Curtis, Dingdong Dantes, Jim Paredes, and Bullet Dumas.

The House of Panel has approved the bill that lowers the minimum age of criminal liability from 15 years old to 9 years old. This has sparked outrage not just from netizens, but also from known showbiz personalities.

Celebrities have expressed their opinions on the move by the government which has drawn dismay and disapproval by many.

Television host Bianca Gonzales may not have tweeted anything regarding the topic, but she has retweeted a message by Carlo Pamintuan stating that jailing 9-year-olds “will not do anything” because the children are just forced to commit the crime due to poverty.

It’s Showtime host Anne Curtis has directly expressed her opposition towards the bill saying that the news saddens her as the kids still have a chance to change their ways.

Another host from It’s Showtime and musician Teddy Corpuz shared a two-part video of kids who experienced law under the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act in 2006.

Actor Dingdong Dantes has agreed to the statement of Atty. Chel Diokno. He added that the children are at the age wherein they are strongly influenced by the adults around them.

He also suggested that the government should focus on creating an environment that will make the youth productive members of the society.

Jim Paredes has described the news as “disgusting”.

He has also questioned the statement of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo who said that the criminals nowadays are the minors that were used by former delinquents because they grew up that way.

OPM arist Bullet Dumas shared a photo by Plcpd Foundation, Inc. stating that “children are not little adults”.

Posted by Bullet Dumas on Sunday, January 20, 2019

Justice panel chairperson Salvador Leachon justified the bill, clarifying that it is only to protect the children from being used by syndicates.

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Palace asks the Church to not meddle with State Affairs

Palace asks the Church to not meddle with State Affairs

  • Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo answered bishops who have stated remarks against President Rodrigo Duterte.
  • He said that as respect to the Head of the State, the bishops should stop meddling with the State Affairs.

The bickering between the Malacañang and the Catholic Church continue  when a clergy was asked to stop meddling in State Affairs.

President Rodrigo Duterte has released statements several times regarding his criticism of Catholic beliefs which resulted to bishops stating their disagreement with the President’s administration.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo made a statement after three bishops have issued remarks against the President after he has urged bystanders to rob and kill rich bishops.

READ: “Enough is enough.” Bishop Ruperto Santos says Catholicism in the country is “under attack”

Posted by Office of the Presidential Spokesperson on Sunday, November 25, 2018

One of which is Balanga Biship Ruperto Santos, who called the current administration a disgrace to the country. Novaliches Boshop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani Jr. then challenged President Duterte to walk in the streets without his security escorts.

Panelo said that the bishops’ statements are part of their freedom of expression but later on suggested to them that they should step out of the nation’s issues.

“Freedom of expression iyan, they are entitled to that. Ang sinasabi lang namin if you are men of the cloth, ang talagang trabaho mo ay spiritual awakening sa faithful.

“Huwag mo nang pakialaman ang estado with respect doon sa mga methods na ginagawa ng estado na sa kabutihan naman ng bayan.”

Posted by Office of the Presidential Spokesperson on Wednesday, November 21, 2018

He then asked them that if they don’t fit in the President’s criticism of certain religious members, why are they reacting.

“Now, if they are affected by the criticism on the hypocrisy of certain members, if they are not alluded to, if they are not embraced in that group, then why should they be reacting?”

Panelo added, “There will always be disagreement in religious beliefs but that should not deter us from helping each other for the good of the country. Let us therefore focus on our respective duties and maintain the inviolability of the separation between the Church and the State to avoid religion and governance from mixing and impeding upon each other.”

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“Enough is enough.” Bishop Ruperto Santos says Catholicism in the country is “under attack”

“Enough is enough.” Bishop Ruperto Santos says Catholicism in the country is “under attack”

  • Bishop Ruperto Santos stated that the Catholicism in the Philippines is attacked by President Rodrigo Duterte.
  • He also clarified that his words against the President was not a result of vengeance.

Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos has stated that Catholicism in the country is “under attack” by President Rodrigo Duterte himself.

In an interview on Radio Veritas he said, “Catholicism in the Philippines is under attack, ironically, from the highest governing official of the land. The Philippine Church is in a stance where it has to defend its faith and beliefs. Enough is enough.”

He added that true believers are ready to defend the Church against slander, intimidation, and mistreatment against the ministers of the community.

The bishop also clarified that speaking against President Duterte was not for vengeance but was just an act to defend the Catholic faith.

“Yes, the Bible taught us to reject revenge and retaliation and turn the other cheek but being a true follower of Christ does not mean we will turn a deaf ear to the verbal abuses hurled against the Catholic church and its clergies.”

He also responded to Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo‘s urge for the Church not to meddle with state affairs.

“We believers, must not sit passively in one corner and let the tirades go on. We have voiced our opinions.

“After all, the Creator of heaven and earth does not need us or anybody to defend Him. The absolute truth remains that one day, those who mock God will face Him in the judgement throne and give an account for every single blasphemy said against Him.”

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“The pilot was wrong there.” Palace blames pilot for chopper landing at Ultra

“The pilot was wrong there.” Palace blames pilot for chopper landing at Ultra

  • Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that Michael Dino’s unauthorized chopper landing at Ultra was not his fault but the pilots.
  • He added that the pilot should’ve had the information that one should have a clearance before landing at the venue.

Malacañang stated that it was not Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino‘s fault that his chopper landed at the Ultra Philippine Sports Complex without the permission from authorities. It also disturbed an ongoing youth sports event at the venue.

During a Palace news briefing on Thursday, January 10, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo blamed the pilot and said Dino was merely a passenger who had no choice regarding the circumstances of the landing.

“It’s the fault of the pilot, not the passenger,” he said.

Posted by Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas on Saturday, December 15, 2018

“The pilot should have known that you’re supposed to have clearance. Ask permission first before going there. You should know it’s clear. The pilot was wrong there.”

When asked if he thinks that Dino should take responsibility, Panelo answered, “Ano ang kasalanan ng pasahero, pasahero lang ‘yun.”

Posted by Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas on Sunday, November 25, 2018

Meandwhile, The Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez said that he was informed by the PhilSports Arena staff that there was no clearance issued for Dino’s landing.

“I was informed by PhilSports personnel that there was no clearance [regarding the] landing that day.

“Any public or private officials who seek landing must clear from the PhilSports Administrator who is under the leadership of the Philippine Sports Commission,” Ramirez stated.

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Presidential Spokesperson slams Aquino, Arroyo Administration: Duterte Presidency has achieved more

Presidential Spokesperson slams Aquino, Arroyo Administration: Duterte Presidency has achieved more

  • Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo answered House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s request to produce more “tangible results” when it comes to the government’s economical programs.
  • He proceeded on slamming the Aquino and Arroyo administrations, claiming that Duterte’s Presidency has done more that both previous ones combined.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo stated that President Rodrigo Duterte‘s administration “achieved more” than the combined terms of former Presidents Benigno S. Aquino III and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

READ: Actor/Director Audie Gemora accuses Pres. Rodrigo Duterte of destroying the Philippines

On Tuesday, January 8, Panelo issued the statement while addressing House Speaker Arroyo’s request to produce “tangible results” this year to lessen poverty in the country.

She stated that the administration should immediately implement the promised economic programs after mentioning the slowdown of inflation last December.

The Presidential Spokesperson said that the President has already addressed and implemented such through the Commander-in-Chief’s economic managers.

“Such is the consequence of what we have pointed out in our previous narratives on the President’s understanding of the intricacies of the Philippine economy, which he decisively addressed and which his economic managers implemented.”

He then shaded the previous administrations saying that the current government has achieved more that the previous two combined.

“The Speaker must be aware that the two and half years of the Duterte presidency has achieved more than the combined terms of the Arroyo and Aquino presidencies in terms of major policy reforms and flagship infrastructure projects duly processed and ready for groundbreaking, and some already near completion.”

READ: “Eh ngayon kung maniwala kayo, eh g*go kayo.” Pres. Rodrigo Duterte admits he’s taking MJ

Regarding the plans for this year, he mentioned that they plan to “create more jobs” this year as the Build, Build, Build Infrastructure Program is on the move.

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Pres. Rodrigo Duterte calls Holy Trinity “silly”; Palace explains

Pres. Rodrigo Duterte calls Holy Trinity “silly”; Palace explains

  • President Rodrigo Duterte attacked the Catholic Church by calling the Holy Trinity “silly”.
  • Palace explained that this was just the way how the President test the validity of the Church rituals.

President Rodrigo Duterte has once again went against the Catholic Church for allegedly interfering with affairs of the State.

On Saturday, December 29, at a speech in Kidapawan City, Cotabato province, he expressed his skepticism toward the teaching of the Church, including the subject of the Holy Trinity.

“There is only one God … God the Father. Period. There is no other God.

“You pray to one God. You cannot divide God into three. That’s silly.”

Netizens reacted to the President’s claims, expressing their opposition regarding his statement.

A Netizen said that his churchmates have been silent over government-related issues and is seriously considering if they will still continue to support the administration after Duterte’s recent comment.

But it seemed like not everyone disagreed with the President as a Netizen said that he shared the same opinion.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo addressed the matter, saying that the President was just testing the “validity” of the Church rituals when he uttered the words about the Holy Trinity.

He added that it was just Duterte’s way of “shaking long-held religious tenets and beliefs that instead of molding them into being righteous individuals make them cling to religion as an opium.”

In a statement on Wednesday, he said, “In so doing, the President puts to a test the validity of the religious rituals bordering to fanaticism as against the practice of genuine spirituality as taught by the different personifications of one God.”

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Palace speaks up about legalization of marijuana in the Philippines

Palace speaks up about legalization of marijuana in the Philippines

  • Salvador Panelo said that the President will sign any bill that will make the use of medical marijuana legal.
  • It was asked after Miss Universe Catriona Gray was asked about her stand regarding the matter.

In a media briefing held Tuesday, December 18, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo stated that President Rodrigo Duterte will sign any bill that will result to the legalization of the use of medical marijuana in the country.

He said that the president is in favor of the use of the drug and will support any legislative measure consistent with his stand.

“He’s in favor of limited use of marijuana.

“Logically then he will support and sign any bill that would be consistent with his stand.”

The topic was back in the spotlight after Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray addressed her stand regarding the issue in the Q&A portion of the pageant.

“I’m for it being used in a medical use but not so for recreational use,” she answered.

“Because I think if people were to argue ‘What about alcohol and cigarettes?’ Well everything is good but in moderation.”

When asked about the newly-crowned Miss Universe’s answer, Panelo said that she could have been “influenced by the President’s decision on that matter” or could have been her own conclusion because “she listened to the pros and cons of the matter.”

In September 2017, the House Bill No. 6517 or the Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act was approved. It seeks to legalize the use of medical marijuana.

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