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Updated: 32 min 48 sec ago

Alvarez tells Negros: Vote 12-0 for Senate

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 14:42

Friday, October 06, 2017
Marchel P. Espina

HOUSE Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez asked the new members of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) to vote straight for the senatorial candidates of the administration party in 2019.

Alvarez, who administered the oath of about 12,000 Negrense members on Thursday in the cities of Bacolod and Victorias, sought the support of party members for the next senatorial elections.

Speaking before the crowd at the University Negros Occidental-Recoletos gymnasium in Bacolod, Alvarez said: “Ngayon pa lang, nakikiusap ako sa inyo, dahil miyembro na kayo ng PDP. Pwede ba sa dadating na halalan, sa 2019, pweda ba 12-0 ha? (Right now, I’m asking you because you’re now members of PDP. In the upcoming elections in 2019, can we make it 12-0?)”

It drew cheers from the crowd.

He continued: “Kung sino ang line-up ng ating partido, 'yun lang ika-kampanya natin. 'Yun lang sasabihin natin sa ating supporters, eto bobotohin para mabilis magagawa ng pangulo ang pagbabago na gawin para sa ating bayan (Whoever is the line-up of our party, we will campaign for them. We will tell our supporters to vote for them so the President could hastily implement change for our country.”

In a chance interview, Alvarez said that the gathering of forces is “in preparation” for the 2019 elections as it includes senatorial candidates.

‘Mabagal na kapulungan’

Alvarez called the Senate “mabagal na kapulungan,” because they are slow in acting on the bills while those in the House of Representatives, the “masaganang kapulungan,” are hardworking.

He added there are about 180 bills that are pending at the Senate.

“Kaya kinausap ko ang ibang congressmen na lumipat doon sa senado para bumilis sila, (That’s why I talked to some congressmen to transfer in the senate so they will be faster),” Alvarez said.

He said the ruling party is pushing for the senatorial bids of Negros Occidental Third District Representative Alfredo Benitez, the third richest congressman in the country; and Bataan First District Representative Geraldine Roman, the first transgender woman elected to the Congress.

Liberal Party scored

Alvarez said the PDP-Laban won’t recruit members who have ties with illegal drugs.

Addressing the crowd, the House Speaker asked: “Sino sa inyo ang kasama sa droga? Taas kamay! Wala?” (Who’s here into drugs? Raise your hands! No one?)”

He added: “The President doesn’t want you to join PDP if you’re into drugs. Kapag kasama ka sa droga, doon kayo sa Liberal Party (If you’re into drugs, join Liberal Party).”

Alvarez said the previous administration didn’t do anything to stop the proliferation of illegal drugs.

“Kasi sila nag palaganap ng droga. Wala silang ginawa noong administrasyon nila. Dumami ang droga sa Pilipinas (They helped with the proliferation of drugs. They didn’t do anything during their administration. The drugs proliferated in the Philippines),” he added.

Moreover, Alvarez, during his speech, assailed LP for its “attacks” and “sabotage” of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Ayaw nila ng pagbabago na ipapatupad ng ating pangulo. Kaya gagawin nila lahat para sirain si Presidente Duterte (They don’t want President Duterte to implement change. They will do everything to destroy President Duterte,” he said.

The lawmaker said they won’t let it happen, which drew cheers from the crowd.

“I guarantee you that all the promises made by President Duterte in the last elections will be realized in the remaining years of his term. No matter what will happen, we will do everything to fulfil the commitment of our President,” Alvarez said.

He said that Duterte promised to fight illegal drugs, criminality and poverty, which they are doing right now.

Source: Sunstar Bacolod

UNEGA Resolution for Coalition with PDP-Laban Passed

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 08:35

on Fri, 10/06/2017 by Jun delos Reyes

The Secretary General of the United Negros Alliance (UNEGA) Party, Board Member Salvador Escalante, Jr., handed a Resolution to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) Secretary General, Pantaleon Alvarez, for the Proposed Coalition by and between the UNEGA and (PDP-Laban) for the purpose of pursuing common goals for the benefit of all the constituents of the Province of Negros Occidental.

Congressman Alfredo “Albee” Benitez, 3rd District Negros Occidental delivers his message and presented the more than 10,000 community leaders of the towns and cities of Negros Occidental to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez of the House of Congress in support to PDB LABAN at the Basic Membership Seminar, Federalism Forum and Oathtaking Ceremony at the jampacked crowd at Victorias Coliseum, Victorias City, yesterday.*(Jun de los Reyes/NDB photo)

This was during the PDP-Laban Basic Membership Seminar and Oath Taking Ceremony held in Victorias City, yesterday, attended by thousands of officials from the different towns and cities of the province.

HOUSE SPEAKER Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Congressman, 1st District of Davao Del Norte, PDP LABAN National Secretary General administers the mass oathtaking of more than 10,000 city, municipal, barangay officials, kagawads and community leaders at the Basic Membership Seminar, Federalism Forum and Oathtaking Ceremony at Victorias Coliseum, Victorias City, yesterday, October 5.*(Jun de los Reyes/NDB photo)

It is stated in the Resolution that UNEGA has been recognized by the Commission on Elections as the dominant local party for Negros Occidental. It shares and wholeheartedly supports the vision and ideology of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for a peaceful and democratic way of life characterized by freedom, solidarity, justice, equity, and social responsibility, self-reliance and efficiency, enlightened nationalism, and a shift to a federal system of parliamentary government.*


Source: Negros Daily Bulletin

House passes resolution giving NHA power to award unoccupied houses

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 06:49

Published October 5, 2017, 10:00 PM
By Ben Rosario

The House of Representatives has unanimously adopted a joint resolution that would grant the National Housing Authority (NHA) the power to award other qualified beneficiaries the thousands of unoccupied and unassigned housing units previously reserved for uniformed personnel of the government.

Voting 212 for and zero against, the Lower Chamber approved House Joint Resolution (HJR) No. 15 authored by Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez and several other members of the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development that he chairs.

Benitez pushed for the approval of the measure to address the housing controversy that came to fore when hundreds of homeless members of the Kadamay urban poor organization forced their way into NHA housing projects in San Jose del Monte and Pandi in Bulacan. The members of the organization occupied units meant for members of the police and military services.

President Duterte has also backed the re-awarding of government constructed housing units if the original awardees are no longer interested.

“Instead of leaving the finished units to deteriorate and go to waste, it has become imperative for government to let other homeless families benefit from its low cost housing program.” Benitez explained.

Under HJR 15, unawarded housing units in the Armed Forces of the Philippines/Philippine National Police/Bureau of Fire Protection/Bureau of Jail Management and Penology/Bureau of Corrections housing projects may now be allocated to other qualified beneficiaries if the said houses are not yet occupied.

Transfer of award may cover shelters whose ownership and possession are surrendered by awardees. Also, units whose respective awards have been canceled due to default in the payment of amortization and violation of the terms and conditions of the loan agreement may also be awarded to new applicants.

Benitez disclosed that government has allocated P22.779 billion to implement the housing program for uniformed personnel. The budget called for the construction of 74,195 housing units as of March 31, 2017.

Benitez said the Commission on Audit has reported that as of 2016, 62,472 units have already been completed but only 7,143 were occupied. The remainder, 55,329, remained unoccupied as of December, 2016.

“The low occupancy rate of the completed housing units by their intended beneficiaries is a clear indication of a failed program in the face of the magnitude of the need for housing,” the senior administration solon lamented.

Benitez added: “The reported occupancy rate of the completed housing units for the program is at a mere 8.09 percent.”

He warned that the glut in vacant houses threaten government’s bid to recover expenses that can be used for other social projects. He added that this will also result in the fast deterioration of the units, expose them to risk of being occupied by unqualified or unintended beneficiaries and deprive beneficiaries of the timely use and benefits of the housing projects.

Aside from Benitez, other authors of HJR 15 are Reps. Jose Christopher Belmonte (LP, Quezon City); Ron Salo (Kabayan Party-list); Rozzano Rufino Biazon (LP, Muntinlupa City); Winston Castelo (PDP-Laban, Quezon City); Raneo Abu (PDP-Laban, Batangas); Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales (LP, Pampanga) and Aileen Radaza (PDP-Laban, Cebu).

Source: Manila Bulletin

No Albee clash, Bong confirms

Thu, 10/05/2017 - 08:29

Thursday, October 5, 2017
By Gilber Bayoran

Whatever his decision, there will be no clash.

This was also the response yesterday of Negros Occidental Vice-Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson to the statement of Rep. Alfredo Benitez, who is being pushed by the mayors of the 3rd district of Negros Occidental, to run for governor in the 2019 elections.

Lacson, who already signified his intention to run for governor of Negros Occidental in the next local election, reiterated that he will remain with the Nationalist People's Coalition, despite the invitation for them to join the PDP-Laban of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Benitez was quoted as saying earlier that he will not run against Lacson in the gubernatorial race. But Lacson said he was not aware of that, although he had talks with Rep. Benitez before.

Lacson said this information has not been relayed to him. but added “I hope the fake news does not come from the media”.

Benitez, who is now on his last term as congressman of the 3rd district of Negros Occidental, was already reported to have been included in the PDP-LABAN senatorial line up in the 2019 elections. But the solon said he has yet to decide on it.

About 11,500 political leaders in Negros Occidental, including those in Bacolod City, are expected to simultaneously take their oaths as PDP-Laban members in the cities of Victorias and Bacolod today.

Last year, more than 200 political leaders in Negros Occidental led by Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. also took their oaths as PDP-Laban members.

Earlier Marañon had said that he will support whatever decision Benitez makes.

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi are expected at the oathtaking rites.

“Tomorrow (today) is a very big day for PDP-Laban. I am sure they will have the numbers in attendance both in Victorias and Bacolod cities. So I wish them well”, Lacson said.

PDP-Laban has an alliance with the NPC.* GPB

Source: The Visayan Daily Star

11,500 joining PDP-Laban to boost federalism push

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 19:31

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
By Carla Gomez

About 11,500 political leaders in Negros Occidental will simultaneously take their oaths as members of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakasng Bayan in Victorias and Bacolod cities tomorrow morning, Yves Akol, PDP Laban Negros Island secretary general, said yesterday.

The mass oathtaking is part of the push towards a federal form of government, he said.

PDP Laban national officials at the oathtaking will be led by party secretary general, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, and treasurer, Internal Revenue Deputy Commissioner Clint Aranas, Akol said.

Chairman of the party is President Rodrigo Duterte, while its president is Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III.

Akol said 9,000 will take their oaths at rites at the Victorias Coliseum in Victorias City organized by Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District).

In Bacolod City 2,500 will take their oaths at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos organized by Mayor EvelioLeonardia, Akoladded.

Those who will take their oaths do not include barangay captains, he also said.

He said no additional Negros Occidental mayors will be taking their oaths tomorrow, since the PDP-Laban already has an alliance with the Nationalist People's Coalition.

Among the Negros Occidental officials who have opted to remain with the NPC, headed by Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco are Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, Rep. Melecio Yap (1st District), Rep. Mercedes Alvarez (6th District), Rep. Greg Gasataya (Bacolod), and about 10 mayors.

The main objective of the PDP Laban expansion is to gather forces to push the campaign for federalism awareness, Akol said.

The objective is for the move towards federalism to be acted on by Congress next year, and for it to be in place before the president's term ends, he added.

He said they are also hoping for theretention of the Negros Island as part of one federal state with the shift towards federalism.*CPG

Source: The Visayan Daily Star

Panukalang Batas ni Cong. Albee Benitez Pasado na sa Appro

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 19:48

October 3, 2017


Panukalang batas na magtatatag ng Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, na itinataguyod ni Cong. Albee Benitez bilang tagapangulo ng Committee on Housing and Urban Development, pasado na sa Committee on Appropriations.

Itataguyod ng Department on Human Settlements ang mas komprehensibong programa ng pabahay para sa mga maralitang tagalungsod. Pangagasiwaan nito ang paglinang sa mga lupa ng gobyerno para sa makamasang pabahay at titiyakin ang maayos na urbanisasyon.

CCTVs for public places, establishments urged by solon

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 07:27

Updated October 2, 2017, 12:19 PM
By Charissa Luci-Atienza

A House leader proposes to require business establishments to install closed circuit television (CCTV) or video surveillance system to deter crimes and to protect lives and properties.

Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez filed House Bill (H.B.) 6381 calling for the installation of the CCTV cameras or video surveillance system in business establishments, public offices and facilities, public and private schools, parks, public markets, and major roads and intersections.

“The ever- changing methods of criminals in perpetrating crimes and avoiding capture requires and complex us to likewise change and adjust our efforts by making use of all resources and technological innovations available at our disposal,” he said.

He said that emergence of CCTV is seen as one of those technological developments that will deter crimes and solve unresolved and pending offenses.

“The puzzle on the death of Kian Loyd delos Santos, who was allegedly killed without basis during an anti-drug operations shows how CCTV cameras can help determine the truth and identify the perpetrators and bring them to the Courts of Law and face the consequences of their actions,” Benitez said.

H.B. 6381 mandates business establishments and public areas to turn on their CCTV/ surveillance cameras for recording for 24 hours every day.

The video recording shall be kept on safe keeping for 90 days from the date of recording and may be disposed of after the lapse of the period.

For business establishments, the installation of the CCTV cameras/video surveillance shall be a mandatory requirement prior to the issuance of business permits.

Source: Manila Bulletin

Benitez: No clash with Lacson in 2019

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 18:17

Monday, October 02, 2017
Marchel P. Espina

LOOKS like there won’t be a clash between Negros Occidental Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and Third District Representative Alfredo Benitez in the gubernational post in the 2019 elections.

The lawmaker said Sunday that “we will not run against each other.”

Benitez, who is on his third and final term, was included in the senatorial slate of the administration party in the next elections.

However, he said that he has yet to make a decision about his political plans.

“No decision yet,” he added.

Both Benitez and Lacson have been tight-lipped on the talks about their possible clash in the top provincial post in 2019.

Both are leaders of Love Negros, rival political party of United Negros Alliance (Unega) headed by Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., who is on his third and final term.

Benitez had earlier said he could run for governor, senator, or rest from politics in the next elections while Marañon had been urging the lawmaker to run for senator in the next elections.

Lacson, on the other hand, has yet to reveal his political plans.

He had earlier said that running for governor in 2019 is an option considering that Marañon is now on his last term.

Unega and Love Negros used to be allies before their break up in 2013, when Marañon decided to seek a second term against Nationalist People’s Coalition bet former vice governor Genaro Alvarez, who was supported by Benitez.

Benitez and Alvarez then formed Love Negros as the opposition party.

Source: Sunstar Bacolod