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Ex-poll Commissioner opposes Duterte’s plan of a revolutionary government

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

Former Comelec Commissioner Gus Lagman

Former Comelec Commissioner Gus Lagman


MANILA, Philippines – “Not democratic” This is how former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Gus Lagman described the proposal of President Rodrigo Duterte regarding the establishment of a revolutionary form of government.

Lagman said, doing so would take away from the voters their freedom and rights to choose the leader of the country.

According to the former Comelec commissioner, the government should allow its people to elect leaders in accordance with the proper election process.

“That would be bad because I think the people should have the freedom, the privilege and the right to elect its leaders . . revolutionary government is not democratic..,” Lagman said.

On the other hand, Malacañang said the President will not push through with his proposal without sufficient basis and proper consultation with all sectors of the society.

“He has said that he will declare a revolutionary government only if and when the destabilization attempts against the government will lead to anarchy so in other words, he simply laying the premise of what could happen. The President again and again has all access to information and he may have his own reasons for doing so,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said.

Meanwhile, Lagman stands by his recommendation to use an Automated Election System with Enhanced Transparency and Accuracy (AES- ETA ) in the next election in the country.

Such a system combines the automated and manual precinct counting. Through his, Lagman explained, the results of the voting will become more transparent.

“We don’t have to automate the precinct counting because it only takes 5 to 12 hours anyway. What we should automate is the 40-day canvassing that follows the precinct counting,” Lagman said.  “That’s not what we’ve been doing in the last 3 elections, we automated the precinct counting and like I said 10 billion is the cause and we lost the transparency.”

According to Comelec spokesperson Director James Jimenez, Namfrel was given the chance to present the said system in 2015.

Jimenez also clarified that it is the Comelec Advisory Council that approves the type of system that will be used in elections.

He explained that the Comelec follows a bidding process before implementing a new system.

“It’s unfair to say we ignored it because, in fact, the Comelec set up a pilot test precisely for that system. We called media together, we called observers, we called lawyers to look at the system. The test turned out to be less than ideal,” said Jimenez.

“The 2010, 2013 and especially the 2016 elections their results have stood the test of multiple protests. 2016 was, in fact, hailed as one of the best elections we’ve ever had,” he added.

The Comelec director noted the PCOS machines used for the elections also have audit trails to ensure the transparency of the elections in the country. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

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HoR terminates impeachment vs. resigned poll chief Andres Bautista

by UNTV   |   Posted on Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — The House Committee on Justice will no longer continue writing the articles of impeachment against resigned Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista.

This was after the committee received a copy of a letter from Malacañang about the resignation of the poll chief.

According to House Committee Chairman Reynaldo Umali, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea personally called to inform him about the decision of the president that the resignation of Bautista is effective immediately.

The committee decided to just accept the evidence from the resource persons as part of the process. The set evidence was supposed to be used for the writing of the articles of impeachment.

The House committee is set to release a report that formally ends the impeachment process.

“It has ended well for the House of Representatives and also for the Senate because this will really relieve us of the many things we ought to do,” said Umali.

“It’s done. It’s much relief on our part,” said Tish Bautista, the estranged wife of the poll chief.

Meanwhile, Tish Bautista believes their fight has just begun.

Because after the resignation of her estranged husband, they are now preparing for the plunder charges they plan to file against him.

“We are on the road to making him accountable to the Filipino people for everything that he is stolen plunder case will be filed against the people responsible we are just waiting for the NBI to complete its report,” said Atty. Lorna Capunan, legal counsel for Tish Bautista.

UNTV News Team tried to get Mr. Bautista’s comment on the matter, but as of this writing, he has not yet responded to our calls and text messages.  — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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Creation of Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, unconstitutional and redundant – critics

by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, October 6th, 2017

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


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Impeachment complaint vs. poll chief Andres Bautista likely to be dismissed – Rep. Umali

by UNTV   |   Posted on Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_091917_ Chairman Rey Umali

House Committee on Justice Chairman Rey Umali

MANILA, Philippines — House Committee on Justice Chairman Rey Umali claims to have found defects in the documents submitted by the complainants in the impeachment complaint against Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista.

First was regarding verification and second, the complainants failed to submit authentic records to prove their allegations.

“It may be dismissed because it did not comply with the requirements on the form,” said Umali.

But the endorser of the complaint Kabayan party-list Rep. Harry Roque appealed to the committee to consider the new batch of documents they filed.

Roque said they can prove that Tish Bautista,  the estranged wife of embattled Comelec chief , has personal knowledge on Andy Bautista’s alleged hidden wealth.

“The rules contemplate that defects in form can be rectified and returned to the complainant,” he said.

Tish added, “By coming here and bringing these documents affirming my affidavit, I’m doing my job and my duty to this country.”

But Cong. Umali insisted that it is the main complainant who should have personal knowledge and not any other witness.

“Kasi personal knowledge dapat nandoon ka, nakita mo, narinig mo (Because it must be personal knowledge, you should have been present, have witnessed it and  heard it . Kung gusto nila ng personal knowledge, dapat yung asawa ang nagfile (If they wanted personal knowledge, the wife should have filed it). Definitely, she would have personal knowledge of whatever, pero hindi naman sila ( But not them [complainants]),” said Umali.

On Wednesday, the House Committee on Justice will hear the impeachment complaint against Bautista.

Umali said he will let the members of the committee decide if they will accept the new documents filed to replace the defective ones. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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