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Duterte’s travel ban divides opposition

House opposition solons apparently don’t see eye-to-eye when it comes to President Duterte’s directive prohibiting foreign travels for members of the executive branch.

Magdalo Party-List Rep. Gary Alejano gave a thumbs up to the notion, while his fellow “Magnificent Seven” member Akbayan Party-List Rep. Tom Villarin shrugged off the Palace order as unnecessary.

The Magnificent Seven is the de facto opposition bloc in the House of Representatives.

“I agree and support that policy,” said Alejano, a former Marine captain.

In fact, the Magdalo solon said that the anti-junket order should be implemented “not only [on] the executive branch but for all branches of government.”

This notwithstanding, Alejano reckoned that government officials should still have the option to travel abroad “as long as it is not during office days and not using government funds.”

Villarin, for his part, argued that such directive from Duterte isn’t actually needed because “all travels of the executive branch are approved by the Office of the President or through Cabinet officials who are the President’s alter egos.”

He also insinuated that the Palace could’ve been more discerning in green-lighting such overseas travels.

“After much traveling by Malacañang officials in 2017, now they want a travel ban in 2018. It is up to Malacañang to decide which travels are deem necessary,” said Villarin, who is based in Mindanao.

Last week, populist President Duterte said he would order a review of the travel records of those coming from the executive branch.

He reckoned that those found to have traveled abroad every month should resign from their respective posts. (Ellson A. Quismorio)