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Malacañang: Duterte opposes proposal to postpone 2019 polls

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, July 19th, 2018

 

A voter shading his ballot

 

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will not support any motion seeking to defer the upcoming elections, according to Malacañang.

In a press briefing earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said that the chief executive is cold towards the bid to cancel the national elections in 2019 to give way for the deliberations on the proposed charter change.

Roque added that he directly asked the president on his thoughts on the issue recently floated by House Leader Pantaleon Alvarez, who believed that this would help lawmakers to focus more on the proposal to rewrite the Constitution.

“I and President Duterte talked about this. I will quote the president, ‘I will not have any hand in that, he is really against the so-called no elections scenario for charter-change’,” the spokesman said.

According to Roque, the chief executive even directed the Consultative Committee (ConCom) which drafted the federal charter to include in the transitory provisions the conduct of an election of the transition president and vice president; and to ban president Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo from running for any public position in may 2022.

Roque noted that through this action, President Duterte wants himself to be an example for his allies.

“He has asked the Consultative Committee to include the provision that would ensure that he will not benefit from charter change. He would like to see all his allies do the same thing, not to benefit from charter change,” Roque said.

Meanwhile, the Palace official said that the administration is not concerned about VP Robredo’s term of office in response to allegations that the government is pushing for federalism to cut short the term of the vice president.

“We are not giving much important to the career of the vice president. It is her concern. Our main concern is the leadership of president Duterte,” Roque said. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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Arroyo’s draft federal charter wants Senate President, not VP Robredo, to succeed president during transition period

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

 

FILE PHOTO: The first meeting of Vice President Leni Robredo and President Rodrigo Duterte after their inauguration on a military ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, July 01, 2016. (Office of the Vice President)

 

MANILA, Philippines — If President Rodrigo Duterte is unable to preside over the country’s transition to the new system of government, the Senate president is the next in line and not Vice President Leni Robredo.

This is based on the resolution of both Houses No. 15 authored by House Speaker Gloria Arroyo.

House Committee on Constitutional Amendments chairman Vicente Veloso explained that they decided to skip Vice President Robredo due to the election protest against her filed by former Senator Bongbong Marcos.

“We wouldn’t know who is the vice president would be then. Would it be Robredo, Bongbong Marcos? But look at the uncertainty, I’ve been jurist for long time there is no certainty when it comes to finality of decision,” said Veloso.

But Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman questioned this provision.

“As of now the there is a vice president and that election protest will have to take its course. But meanwhile, we have a duly elected vice president who is incumbent and should not be deprived of the constitutional right to succeed to the presidency,” said Lagman.

Akbayan party-list Representative Tom Villarin also said the administration might be trying to impede Robredo’s succession, especially with the President’s current state of health.

“The problem now is you have the health condition of the President which the President admits and of course the President always been saying that he does not like Vice President Robredo to succeed him,” said Villarin.

The draft federal constitution also seeks to remove the term limit of senators and congressmen. Congressman Veloso says term limits breed political dynasty.

“Now that we have term limits in senator if you will read the history book the famous there would be Mrs. Tolentino, Mrs. Diokno, the spouses of senators because with term limit comes dynasty you will pass your work to those who can continue,” said the chairman.

Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate said in a statement that the removal of lawmakers’ term limits is for GMA to still run in Congress and remain in power.

He said their group will do everything to stop the passage of this measure.

“So GMA in effect can still run for Congress; this is designed, thus, for her and many others to remain in power ad infinitum. Just like before, we must do everything to derail this by pulling the plug now,” said Zarate.

But according to Speaker Arroyo, “ The only thing I added was a provision that instead of establishing the federal states, there’s a mechanism to establish federal states. All the other provisions were already submitted by the Con-Com and everyone else. That’s the only thing I added to make it my version.”

Under Section 2 Article 17 of the draft charter change, any move to extend the terms of President Duterte and Vice President Robredo beyond June 30, 2022, is prohibited.

The first national and local election under the federal system of government will be conducted on the second Monday of May 2022.

Solons admitted there is a very low chance that the Senate will pass its version of the proposal. But the House committee on constitutional amendments said it will do its part to pass the resolution on time to start the transition period on May 2019.

The Lower House is now deliberating the draft charter in the plenary for second reading. — Grace Casin 

 

 

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Duterte’s EJK statement not an evidence for impeachment – Malacañang

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, October 1st, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang maintained its stand in defense of President Rodrigo Duterte amid criticisms over the President’s remark on extrajudicial killings (EJK).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque lambasted former College of Law Dean Atty. Antonio La Viña who claimed that Duterte’s statement was indeed an “admission of guilt” and a culpable violation of the Constitution.

La Viña added that the President’s EJK statement could be a basis for impeachment and can be used as evidence against him in the case filed at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

But Roque believes otherwise.

He dared the lawyer to begin the challenge by the filing of an impeachment complaint against Duterte.

“Let him start, he cannot vote because he is not a member of Congress and I’m sure it will also be dismissed by Congress not because it’s a political process but because it’s utterly bereft of merit,” Roque said.

The Presidential mouthpiece stressed that the President’s remarks cannot be considered an admission because he did not directly mention he killed someone.

Roque added that there was no such crime as extrajudicial killing in the Philippines or in the international law.

“I’d like to emphasize that there is actually no crime under both domestic or international law as EJK. in fact, this is a misleading term because killing in our constitution and in our laws is never legal so there is no such thing as extrajudicial killings. It’s either lawful killing or unlawful killing,” he explained.

Roque also noted that the EJK statement is in no way can be used as evidence to back up the complaint against President Duterte in the ICC because the international tribunal has no pending investigation in the Philippines.

He added that being a lawyer himself, he would not allow the ICC to meddle with the country’s judicial system which, Roque said, is actively functioning. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Malacañang on Trillanes arrest: ‘The court has spoken’

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

 

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement that Malacañang respects the order of the court to arrest Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

The Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150 on Tuesday, September 25, issued an arrest warrant and hold departure order (HDO)  against Trillanes after the revocation of  the amnesty granted to him in 2010 revived his  rebellion cases.

“The court has spoken. As the President has said, we will respect the decision of the judiciary. Whatever Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has to say can be addressed to the court. Let us stop the drama by presscon and allow the legal process to take its course,” said Roque. —  Marje Pelayo.

 

 

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