News Briefs: June 28, 2019 | Inquirer News

News Briefs: June 28, 2019

/ 05:00 AM June 28, 2019

Lito Lapid is lone senator with no Soce

With only three days remaining before senators assume their post, former actor and Senator-elect Lito Lapid had yet to file his statement of contributions and expenditures (Soce) for the May 2019 polls. Lapid remains the lone elected senator who has not filed his Soce, according to the Commission on Elections-Campaign Finance Office. Under Republic Act No. 7166, all politicians who filed a certificate of candidacy and all electoral parties should file a true and correct Soce within 30 days from election day. Nonsubmission prohibits winning candidates from assuming office, while late filing subjects them to administrative penalty. Lapid, who ran under the Nationalist People’s Coalition, placed 7th in the May 13 election, with 16,965,464 votes. —Tina G. Santos


Frozen pork from Poland seized on ASF fears

Shipments of frozen pork from countries with African swine fever (ASF) infection were intercepted by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) at the Cebu port on Thursday. Cebu City head veterinarian Dr. Alice Utlang said in a text message that 260 kilograms of frozen pork flat bones declared to have come from Germany turned out to be from Poland, one of the countries with ASF cases. The products were incinerated, with the importer facing sanctions to be determined by the BAI, Utlang said. Last week, another shipment from Belgium was also confiscated in Cebu. Utlang said there were 378 kilos of frozen pork flat bones that were seized and buried by their office to avoid its consumption and distribution. With Laos included among the countries facing a temporary ban on the importation of pork and pork products, there are now 16 countries on the ASF list.  They are: China, Hungary, Belgium, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Moldova, South Africa, Zambia, Russia, Hong Kong and Vietnam.  —Karl R. Ocampo



Militant lawmakers field Zarate for Speaker

Incoming Makabayan party list representatives on Thursday announced the candidacy of Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate as House Speaker. In a joint statement, the Makabayan lawmakers said they were offering Zarate as an “alternative” candidate to ensure the independence of the House and allow it to serve the interests of the Filipino people. “We need a Speaker who will stand against the tide of attacks on our sovereignty and resist the interference by United States and China, will fight corruption and will push the interests and democratic rights of our people,” the party list said in a statement. The manifesto was signed by six members of the Makabayan bloc, which include Zarate, Rep. Ferdinand Gaite and Rep. Eufemia Cullamat (Bayan Muna), Rep. France Castro (ACT Teachers), Rep. Arlene Brosas (Gabriela) and Rep. Sarah Elago (Kabataan). —Melvin Gascon

COA to GSIS: Return P260M ‘illegal incentives’

The Commission on Audit (COA) has asked the state-run Government Service Insurance System (GSIS)  to refund some P260.530 million in illegal incentives that it paid out to employees in 2018, as it did not have prior approval from the Office of the President and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). But the GSIS “firmly disagreed” to return the incentives, saying they were distributed “in good faith.” While the COA acknowledged that the amount given to nearly 90 percent of GSIS employees was meant to “encourage creativity, innovativeness, efficiency, integrity, and productivity in the public service,” it was nonetheless illegal. The agency cited the Salary Standardization Law, among other laws and resolutions, and said that “the (amount given) resulted in both illegal expenditure and erroneous computation of incentives which are not allowed in audit.” The audit body went on to say that it will disallow the amount if the GSIS was unable to secure the requisite recommendation and approval from the DBM and the President’s office. —Patricia Denise M. Chiu

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TAGS: Carlos Isagani Zarate, GSIS, Lito Lapid, Philippine News, Poland, Pork, SOCE
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