In­ter­nal trou­ble?


I REFUSE to be­lieve that Pres­i­dent Rodrigo Duterte’s peo­ple are in dis­ar­ray. But what is hap­pen­ing now some­how pro­vides a dint of truth to the claim.

When the Pres­i­dent was in Suri­gao City to visit the vic­tims of the 6.7 mag­ni­tude earth­quake, he promised them (in Bisaya) P2 bil­lion to help them re­build their homes. But Pres­i­den­tial Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Sec­re­tary Martin An­da­nar, in a press con­fer­ence, said the P2 bil­lion is fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance for the fam­i­lies af­fected by the clo­sure of sev­eral min­ing com­pa­nies. Spokesper­son Ernesto Abella, in a state­ment to the press, later said that the Pres­i­dent’s P2 bil­lion prom­ise is for the earth­quake vic­tims.

Mean­while, House Speaker Pan­ta­leon Al­varez said he wants the Pres­i­den­tial-Leg­isla­tive Li­ai­son Of­fice (PLLO) abol­ished al­legedly for be­ing re­dun­dant. This put in line the po­si­tion of our own Sec­re­tary Ady Si­toy, the Pres­i­den­tial Le­gal Ad­viser. Play­ing coy, Sec­re­tary Si­toy re­fused to com­ment on the state­ment of Speaker Al­varez.

Also, Al­varez wants the small town lot­tery (STL) stopped. But in an in­ter­view by Aksyon 5, Chair­man Jose Jorge Cor­pus of the Philip­pine Char­ity Sweep­stakes (PCSO) said that while he re­spects what­ever Speaker Al­varez would say but they act on or­ders of Pres­i­dent Duterte, who wants STL ex­panded to earn more rev­enues to fund his projects and pro­vide aid, like hos­pi­tal­iza­tion, for the needy.

Is this an in­di­ca­tion that ri­valry or envy ex­ists among Pres­i­dent Duterte’s stal­warts? It’s not a good sign for the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Speaker Al­varez and Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary Bing­bong Me­dial­dia are both from Davao City and are known to be close to the Pres­i­dent. Abella is from Davao City while An­da­nar is from Suri­gao City. A source said that Speaker Al­varez has al­legedly a fall­ing out with Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary Me­dial­dia on some is­sues. Or, as a friend puts it, Al­varez is just KSP.

••• En­vi­ron­ment Sec­re­tary Regina Paz Lopez said her or­der to close the coun­try’s top min­ing com­pa­nies is her “gift of love to the Filipino.” No, it should be un­der­stood as a death wish for our econ­omy and for fam­i­lies re­ly­ing in the min­ing in­dus­try.

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