Creation of Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, unconstitutional and redundant – critics
admin • October 6, 2017 • 5217
MANILA, Philippines — Magdalo party-list Rep Gary Alejano believes the creation of Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, is unconstitutional and redundant.
The lawmaker argued that such a commission will only be used for the president’s benefits.
“This is a clear threat and intimidation to what the Ombudsman is doing. And this is also an assault on the independence of the Ombudsman,” said Alejano.
Members of the Liberal Party (LP) also criticized the said proposal of the president.
Senator Franklin Drilon said the president might use the said executive order to impose discipline, or possibly control over the officials of other branches of the government like members of the Congress, Judiciary, Civil Service Commission, Commission on Audit, Commission on Elections, Commission on Human Rights, and the Office of the Ombudsman.
Drilon explained that the creation of a presidential anti-corruption commission would violate the constitutional independence stated under the Constitution.
Ifugao Rep. Teddy Bagulat, meanwhile said the plan of the president is a clear intimidation to the Office of the Ombudsman and aims to harass the critics of his administration.
On the other hand, administration ally Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said the chief executive has the authority to create a separate organization.
He said the Executive branch should be able to detail the functions of the said commission.
“Let’s assume then that there is corruption in the Office of the Ombudsman, below the Office of the Ombudsman, where will the people go to? The Ombudsman? And if you were the president and you always hear such a complaint, will you just let it be? So I agree with the organization of commission but be conscious of the limits of its functions,” said Pimentel.
“They should know the extent of the power or limits of their power, the executive branch cannot discipline the ombudsman,” he added. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue
MANILA, Philippines – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Tuesday described the national government’s COVID-19 vaccination plan as “suntok sa buwan” after the Senate conducted a hearing to tackle the program.
“Parang suntok sa buwan ang vaccination program lalo na yung sinasabi nila na 148 million doses within the year. The arrival of the vaccines is not even definite,” Drilon said in a statement.
“How can they say that they will be able to purchase 148 million doses by the end of 2021 when up to now, we haven’t given any Emergency Use Authorization to any vaccine and we have not been able to raise, through loans, all the needed amount for the purchase of the vaccines?” he added.
Government officials involved in the COVID-19 response on Monday faced senators to explain the administration’s plans for the immunization of Filipinos against the novel coronavirus disease.
The government earlier said it is planning to inoculate 70 million Filipinos this year and that it is eyeing to rollout the vaccination plan in the coming months when the initial batch of at least 50,000 vaccines is delivered in February.
The Food and Drug Administration previously said it may issue an emergency use authorization for the application of Pfizer and AstraZeneca within January.
“I am not reassured in the slightest by what I heard. To be honest, I am more confused now. The government’s Covid-19 vaccination plan fails to provide the public the assurance they need from the government,” Drilon said.
“The plan is good on paper. The plan is filled with uncertainties and it leaves too much to chance,” he added.
Drilon said the government’s target of securing 148 million doses within the year is “simply difficult to achieve given what Sec. Carlito Galvez said that 80% of global supply has already been procured by rich countries.”
“If only the government was able to make advanced purchases last year, similar to other low-and-middle income countries such as Indonesia and Brazil, maybe we would have a better chance of securing these 148 million doses of vaccines this year,” he added.
The minority leader added the funding is not even guaranteed at this point as the government has not fully secured the necessary loans to fund the P70 billion in the unprogrammed fund for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines.
The government has allotted P82.5 billion for the purchase of the vaccines but only P12.5 billion is in the programmed appropriation – P2.5 billion will come from the General Appropriations Act and another P10 billion under the extended Bayanihan 2.
“They have a better chance of achieving their targets if they lift the restriction that they set that prevents local chief executives and the private sector from buying vaccines directly from the manufacturers,” Drilon said.
“It will facilitate a speedy purchase of the much-needed vaccines. I believe there is a consensus among the senators insofar as lifting this restriction is concerned,” he added.
MANILA, Philippines – The chief of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) must be summoned to the Senate’s inquiry into the government’s COVID-19 vaccination plan to explain the controversial advanced vaccination of his unit, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said.
“The PSG Commander must be called and must appear in the investigation of the Committee of the Whole to shed light on this issue,” Drilon said in a statement Thursday.
“The most important ‘who’ and ‘how’ of the story remains a mystery. The PSG commander is deliberately withholding the basic questions of who and how from the public,” he added.
PSG commander Brigadier General Jesus Durante earlier admitted that some of the presidential guards “independently” inoculated themselves with an unregistered vaccine without the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The PSG chief took full responsibility for the administration of the unregistered vaccine as he stressed that it was done without the knowledge of President Rodrigo Duterte or any other agency.
Drilon said Durante must be made to explain on how they obtained the vaccine and where it came from.
“All they give to the public are alibis, excuses and lies. There is more to it that will be revealed to the committee once Brig. Gen. Durante appears in our hearing. The Senate must summon the PSG commander,” he said.
“Who else was involved? How did unregistered Covid-19 vaccines enter the country? Who imported it from China?” he added.
Durante has yet to issue a statement in response to Drilon’s remarks.
The Senate Committee of the Whole is set to conduct an inquiry into the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the country on January 11. RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco urged the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to submit to the Office of the Ombudsman their report on the alleged involvement of several lawmakers in anomalies at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
“Pursuant to due process, we believe that the matter should be brought before the Ombudsman, given the limited jurisdiction of the PACC over officials in the Executive Branch, and not those in the legislature,” he said.
In a statement on Tuesday (December 29), Velasco said the President made it clear that there is a presumption of innocence and such announcement was not an indictment. He also remind the public “not take it as gospel truth that it’s true.”
Based on reports, Velasco said the House members included in the PACC list claimed that none of the representatives from PACC have invited them for questioning.
“It appears that the PACC has not made any investigation as to the veracity of the accusations against them since they belong to another branch of government, which is not within the authority of the Commission,” Velasco said. AAC
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