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News Briefs: Go rejects Senate run, vows to serve Duterte ‘until death’

/ 07:02 AM February 17, 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte with Christopher Bong Go in Malacanang.
INQUIRER PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC

Go rejects Senate run, vows to serve Duterte  ‘until death’

President Duterte’s right-hand man, Christopher “Bong” Go, on Friday said he was not interested in running for the Senate, despite efforts by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to convince him to join the legislature.

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“I will serve Mayor Duterte until death, if I do not go first,” he said in a statement.

Go said he was more amenable to granting Alvarez’s wish to enlist him as a principal sponsor for his wedding.

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In a speech in Negros Oriental, Alvarez said he would convince the special assistant to the President to run for the Senate in next year’s polls.

The Speaker said the administration’s slate needed a candidate from Mindanao. Go has been Mr. Duterte’s close aide since 1998. —LEILA B. SALAVERRIA AND ALLAN NAWAL

Proposed bill classifies internet access ‘basic service’

Internet access should be classified as a “basic service,” instead of a “value-added service,” so government could regulate the quality and cost of the service by telecommunication firms, a lawmaker said on Friday.

Makati Rep. Luis Campos Jr. said House Bill No. 5337 would reclassify internet access so that the National Telecommunications Commission could compel suppliers like Smart Communications and Globe Telecom to provide rising connection speeds “under pain of severe punitive fines.”

The bill seeks to amend the 23-year-old  Public Telecommunications Policy Act of the Philippines, which treats internet access as a “value-added service,” meaning that suppliers may provide the service on their own terms. —DJ YAP

FDA: Reports of HIV-laced Thai canned goods fake news

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cautioned the public not to share unverified text messages claiming that canned goods from Thailand were laced with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

In an advisory, the agency issued its warning against circulating unverified, misleading and false information through text messages or social media about Thailand’s canned goods.

A copy of the supposed warning was posted on the FDA website, in which the public was cautioned not to eat canned fruit products from Thailand because of HIV contamination.

The alleged warning added that many types of canned fruit products had been removed from supermarkets after these were supposedly tainted with HIV-positive blood.

The FDA said it has coordinated with Thailand’s Department of Agriculture on the matter.—JULIE M. AURELIO

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TAGS: Bong Go, Food and Drug Administration, food scare, internet access, Philippine news updates
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