Category Archives: Social Media

Locsin Is New Spokesperson, Roque Is Now Foreign Affairs Secretary

MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – It’s a classic case of musical chairs.  Teddy Boy Locsin is the new Presidential Spokesperson, and Harry Roque is taking his place as Foreign Affairs Secretary.

The reshuffle was announced by President Rodrigo Duterte in what many believe is his strategy of dealing with infighting within his Cabinet.

It all started when Locsin tweeted that “The Philippines has only one President,” in reaction to an Inquirer news story on Duterte’s U.N. General Assembly speech where he mentioned that the arbitral ruling on the Philippines’ claim over the West Philippine Sea is now part of international law. In that news story, Roque was quoted as saying that the Philippines should now pursue a multilateral approach to the territorial dispute.

Sources close to Duterte told The Adobo Chronicles that as a good tatay (father), the President opted to deal with the brotherly conflict between Locsin and Roque in a neutral manner without siding with either Cabinet member.

Good move, Tatay Digong!

Manila Bay White Sands Will Be Closed Until There’s A Vaccine

MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – One of the biggest criticism about the white sanding of Manila Bay has been timing.  Many believe that spending a huge amount of money for cosmetic purposes was inappropriate at a time when the country was in a middle of a pandemic that has affected people’s health and  livelihood.

The government argued that the rehabilitation of Manila Bay has been in the works, and in the budget, even before Covid-19.

But when the “new” Manila Bay was opened to the public, all of the government’s efforts to promote physical distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus went out the door. Manileños descended upon the bay to get a glimpse and to experience a Boracay moment — all to the detriment of the government’s regulations on minimum health standards.

Today, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) ordered the immediate closure of Manila Bay, vowing to keep it closed until there’s a coronavirus vaccine.

IATF’s move comes as no surprise as most of its policies in fighting Covid-19 have been consistently  premised on the mantra “until there’s a vaccine.”

To those who were able to frolic in the white sand of the bay, congratulations.  To the rest, see you on the other side of a Covid-19 vaccine!

 

Maria Ressa Next In Line For Presidential Pardon

MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – The absolute pardon granted by  Rodrigo Duterte to convicted murderer, American Scott Pemberton, is fueling speculation on who’s next in line for this Constitutional prerogative granted to the President of the Philippines.

Pemberton is the U.S. marine convicted of killing Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude in 2014.

Duterte supporters have supported the President’s move, citing geo-politics and many other justifications for his action.

Sources close to Malacañang Palace say that Duterte is seriously considering Rappler CEO Maria Ressa as the next beneficiary of absolute pardon.

Ressa, a fierce critic of Duterte, was convicted of cyber libel by a Philippine court.  The conviction is currently on appeal. 

Political and legal analysts believe that a pardon for Ressa is quite likely on the same grounds of geo-politics, not to mention the fact that her conviction is for cyber libel, a much lesser offense than Pemberton’s murder.

If all goes well, and Ressa is pardoned, the American citizen will no longer have reason to accuse the Philippine government of “weaponizing the law” to curtail her freedom of speech or to silence her online news business.

The ball is now in the court of Duterte.