Emergency Hotlines: LANDLINE (+63) 2 911 – 8688

Malacañang shrugs off ‘guilty’ verdict of International People’s Tribunal vs Duterte

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2018

 

The panel of the International People’s Tribunal | Image grabbed from the Facebook page of International Peoples’ Tribunal PH

 

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang shrugged off the guilty verdict handed to President Rodrigo Duterte by the International People’s Tribunal (IPT) on charges of human rights violations.

According to presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, the said tribunal which recently convened in Brussels, Belgium, is propaganda body comprised of left-leaning groups.

“That’s a sham decision. It has no official sanction. The validity of the findings will depend on the credibility of the tribunals. They appear to be a propaganda body of the international left, and therefore we set it aside as a useless piece of propaganda against the government,” said Roque.

IPT 2018 convened this week to hear cases filed against Duterte on his alleged violations against political, civil, economic, social rights, international humanitarian law and others.

The IPT findings will reportedly be submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), European Parliament and International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague.

“We heard the summary of testimonies of witnesses — many of them heart-wrenching, traumatic and horrific- experts and resource persons as well as the digest of wealth of data, information, facts, and other evidence. It is our consensus therefore, the defendants Duterte, trump and all other defendants are guilty of all the charges specified in the indictment and therefore they are accountable for crimes against humanity,” said the jury.

The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) said the International People’s Tribunal is initiated by the people to seek redress when traditional institutions are either limited or skewed.

NUPL President Edre Olalia also said in a statement that the IPT is a unique arena or platform for the urgent process of establishing the truth.

He also stood firm that IPT observes due process and defendants are notified and given the opportunity to participate and defend themselves.

Olalia added that IPT’s panel is composed of eminent jurors from different disciplines and the proceedings are conducted in an open and public trial. — Rosalie Coz

 

Tags: , ,

Revised SSS charter promises expanded benefits for members

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, October 12th, 2018

 

MANILA, Philippines — The bicameral conference committee has recently approved the revised charter of the Social Security System (SSS) which promises expanded benefits for its members.

The new SSS charter will provide compulsory coverage to overseas Filipino workers (OFW), and increase its loan allotment such as salary loan and retirement benefits.

The measure will also have a lower penalty for overdue contributions from three to two percent. It also promises financial assistance for two months, amounting to half of the monthly salary, for its members who lost their jobs.

“Yung mga nawawalan ng trabaho dahil for example, kumpanya na lumilipat sa ibang bansa or nagsara ang kumpanya dahil nagkaroon ng kalamidad, dapat matulungan natin yung mga empleyado doon na mamuhay o magkaroon man lamang ng supplemental income habang sila ay naghahanap pa ng mapapasukang panibago,” said SSS Media Affairs AVP Luisa Sebastian.

Among those who are looking forward to avail of the SSS unemployment insurance are contractual workers, Mirasol Salvante and Raffy Malacad. They said this would help them sustain their needs while they look for another job when their six-month contract expires.

“Kung walang budget pa mag-aantay. Pahinga muna ganun…mag depend ka ulit sa pamilya mo,” said Salvante.

“’Pag nawalan ng trabaho wala ka agad maasahan na makukuha kasi hindi regular,” said Malacad.

The SSS, however, clarified that not all active members will benefit from the proposed policy.

“Yun ang magiging problema natin, actually kung hindi ka regular na nagbabayad sa SSS, naaapektuhan yung iba mong benepisyo sa SSS,” said Sebastian.

In order to strengthen their fund, the SSS would have to hike the monthly contribution of its members. Under the proposed law, the 11% monthly contribution will increase by 1% starting next year, and gradually hike up to 15% by year 2025.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, meanwhile, welcomes the new SSS charter. However, they are proposing some amendments in its provisions.

“Ang aming panukala ay dapat 6 months na bigyan ng unemployment insurance at yung 6 months na yun ay sapat na panahon para makahanap ulit ng trabaho yung ating mga miembro ng SSS,” said TUCP Spokesperson Alan Tanjunsay.

The group added the agency should also strictly monitor factors that might affect its operations such as the status of its investments, fight against delinquent employers and giving of large bonuses to its employees.

The Social Security Act of 2018 awaits President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature before officially becoming a law. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

Tags: , ,

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 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Duterte eyes Chinese businessman for NFA Admin post; no pick for CJ yet

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

President Rodrigo Duterte during a press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 | RTVM

 

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is yet to pick a new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (SC) following the retirement of Judge Teresita de Castro.

“Ang next chief justice? I’m still toying with so many names. Ang bagong… If there’s any vacancy there — I don’t know if there’s a vacant one there. Kung may vacancy, we’ll fill it up with good men and there are few good men in this planet. We’ll have to search them far and wide,” he said during a press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday (October 9).

The Judicial Bar Council (JBC) has started accepting applications for the position.

Meanwhile, President Duterte hinted of a person he is eyeing for the position of administrator of the National Food Authority (NFA).

“Ngayon, ang NFA, I’m looking for somebody else. I’m looking for a Chinese who’s been there in the business maybe 20 years. I’ll just ask him to, in the meantime, to be the NFA. Alam man nila ang negosyo na ‘yan,” the President said. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Tags: , ,