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Palace: Pilot testing of PH ID system to start in September

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The pilot testing of the national identification system will begin on September, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that during the Cabinet meeting on Monday, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia and National Statistician Dennis Mapa reported about the implementation of the Philippine ID system (PhilSys).

“There will be a pilot testing which will run from September to December 2019 to register a substantial number of Filipinos nationwide,” Panelo said in a statement.

“By the end of the President’s term in 2022, one hundred seven million Filipinos are targeted to be registered,” he added.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) earlier said the registration for the national ID system will be open to Filipinos and resident aliens aged five and above. Indigents, persons with disabilities and government workers will be the first to be registered.

READ: PSA assures national ID for 6M Filipinos

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Republic Act 11055 or the PhilSys Act in August last year. The law, which covers Filipino citizens and foreign residents, seeks to harmonize, integrate and interconnect the redundant government-issued IDs by establishing a unified ID system.

The national ID will contain the cardholder’s PhilSys number and full name as well as facial image, sex, date of birth, blood type, and address; biometric information, including fingerprints, iris scan, will also be in the card.

Information on marital status, mobile number and email address will be optional.

The PSA said that by 2022, around 100 million cards will be issued to Filipinos and resident aliens.

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Palace: Term extension bid for elected officials up to Congress

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, July 11th, 2019

Courtesy : HOR Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – The decision on whether to amend the Constitution to provide for longer terms of elected officials, as proposed by House speaker bet Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano, is up to lawmakers, Malacañang said on Thursday.

“The decision would always lie on the members of Congress because they are the ones passing the bill. I will not preempt the wisdom of the members of Congress on this matter,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters at a Palace press briefing.

Cayetano, during a gathering of lawmakers on Wednesday, proposed to extend the term limits for elected officials, insisting it would be more “practical” and “productive” for the Lower House.  

Panelo also suggested to congressmen to consult the public about the proposal.

“I think they should conduct a survey on the sentiments of the people, whether or not they agree on that proposal. And I’m sure since that has been floated, there will be opinions being expressed by many sectors,” he said.

At present, a congressman has a three-year term and may serve for no more than three consecutive terms.

A senator has a six-year team with one re-election. (with details from Grace Casin)

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Term-sharing in House speakership won’t affect legislative agenda—Malacañang

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Courtesy : HOR Facebook page

Malacañang has assured that the term-sharing in the House Speakership will not affect the legislative agenda of the administration.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said it is the decision of the House of Representatives if they will follow President Rodrigo Duterte’s endorsement about the term-sharing.

READ: Duterte: Cayetano, Velasco to share term as House Speaker

“Nag-agree na nga iyong tatlo, sila nga ang magkakalaban, (The three have already agreed) they forged into unity so how can there be disruptions?” Panelo said.

READ: Duterte: I don’t want to interfere in House affairs

Duterte already announced the term-sharing on Monday (July 8) between Taguig City Representative Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco as House Speakers.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Malacañang slams Amnesty International over calls to probe Duterte’s war on drugs

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, July 8th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang lambasted human rights group Amnesty International (AI) over calls for the United Nation Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to investigate the administration’s war on drugs.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Monday (July 8) accused the group of politicking and using the issue to malign the reputation of the President Rodrigo Duterte’s government.  

According to Malacañang, the group doesn’t have the right to probe the human rights situation in the country given that the Philippines has a local human rights body authorized to conduct an inquiry on the alleged abuses as a result of the government’s drive against illegal drugs.

Panelo added that there are organizations in the Philippines that can provide legal assistance to victims of human rights abuses such as the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).

“The problem is this Amnesty International is politicizing the so-called extrajudicial killings of this country,” Panelo argued.

“There is bias. There is prejudice. We’d rather have our own groups here protective of human rights, to help, those who feel that there have been police abuses in the matter of police operations” he added.

The Palace insisted that the international group has no basis for its claims adding that its figure on alleged deaths related to the government’s drug war is exaggerated and is not backed by factual reports.

Likewise, the Duterte administration challenges its critics to file a formal complaint if there is any proof or confirmed victims of abuse in relation to the drug war as the government will not tolerate such practice especially among law enforcers such as the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Filing a complaint, Panelo said, is the most appropriate action against any case of abuse, if there’s any, during the conduct of anti-drug operations.

“I think it is incorrigible on the part of the Amnesty International to make that call. It keeps on calling for an investigation ever since. But the fact remains that the basis for their call is factually wrong,” argued Panelo.

“They’re saying that there have been murders in this country as if all those who are killed in the police operations have been intentionally slaughtered or killed by the policemen” he concluded.

Earlier on Monday, AI, made public its report – “They Just Kill” – which demanded the UNHRC to approve a resolution that seeks for an investigation into the Philippines’ drug war.

It also called for the UN body to “immediately initiate an independent, impartial and effective investigation into human rights violations in the ‘war on drugs,’ including the commission of crimes under international law.” – with reports from Rosalie Coz and April Cenedoza

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