House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez believes that postponing the 2019 midterm elections will help the lawmakers to focus more on tackling the proposed constitutional amendment.
Alvarez said the Lower House is facing a tight schedule in the coming weeks because they will have to deliberate on the 2019 Proposed National Budget along with the proposed shift to the federal government.
He also noted that the congressmen will be busy campaigning for the upcoming polls once they file their certificates of candidacy (COC) in October.
“Papaano tayo magka- quorum dito? Anong mangyayari? Syempre magkakampanya na ang mga congs. Election iyan. (Dapat hindi na mag-eleksyon muna?) Kung gugustuhin talaga na matapos ito kasi kailangan mo ng focus diyan,” argued Alvarez.
But Senator Francis Pangilinan disagreed with the House Speaker insisting that the people’s right to suffrage should not be compromised.
Meanwhile, Alvarez stressed that they will continue working on the proposed federalism even without the Senate.
This is because the Senate’s version of the bill is still pending in the committee level.
“Wala naman sinasabi na magcoconvene kami into constituent assembly. Three-fourth vote of all its members. Congress may propose. Hindi ito iyong parang batas na inaaprubahan mo. Proposal lang ito for the people to agree,” he added.
Earlier today, the members of the consultative committee tasked by President Rodrigo Duterte to review the 1987 constitution submitted a copy of their proposed federal charter to the house leaders.
However, solons are yet to tackle the content of the proposal.
House Majority Floor Leader Rudy Fariñas also clarified that only Congress has the power to propose amendments in the Constitution.
“Alam naman nila na ang kanila is just recommendatory. They are only advisory and I hope that we can make that very clear to the public,” Fariñas concluded. – Grace Casin
Sonny Angara files for reelection; will push for remedial measures against TRAIN
Senator Sonny Angara
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) on the last day of filing on Wednesday (October 17).
The 46-year-old senator is seeking reelection for another term after serving in the Senate since 2013.
Prior to his stint in the Senate, he served as representative of Aurora province for three consecutive terms.
Angara is being dubbed as the “tax man” in the Senate for his role in the passage of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law as the chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.
The new tax reform package faces mounting criticisms for allegedly adding to the burden of Filipinos.
When asked how the issue would affect his candidacy, Angara said: “I’m sure the TRAIN will be an issue in 2019. Pag-uusapan po iyan and there will be talks on its pros and cons, hindi maiiwasan iyan.”
“We try to point out what’s in the law. If ever may binabatikos doon ay ang excise tax which is maybe 1 percent of the law…Doon talagang nagkamali sa prediction, sa assumptions regarding kung saan papunta ang presyo ng gasoline o petrolyo…Doon nagkamali talaga that’s why we’re moving to suspend the second tranche of the excise tax increase,” he explained further.
If given the chance in the Senate, Angara said he would push for the full implementation of the remedial measures to alleviate the impact of the law alongside the rising inflation.
Sonny Angara is running under the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) where he took over as president in September.
The LDP is the political party founded by his late father former Senate President Edgardo Angara. — Marje Pelayo
Mocha Uson announces bid for 2019 midterm elections
Celebrity blogger Mocha Uson
PASAY CITY, Philippines – Celebrity blogger Margaux “Mocha” Uson announced on Monday (October 8) her intention to run in the 2019 midterm elections.
The former Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary, however, did not reveal which government position she will file candidacy for.
“Oo. Tatakbo na ako. Kasi kung ako na ganitong klaseng tao ay sinisiraan ng ganyan, paano na iyong mga walang boses? Dapat magkaroon ng boses ang ordinaryong Pilipino,” she said.
Uson denied that rumors that she was forced to resign because President Rodrigo Duterte fired her. – Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo
Comelec reminds candidates that COC filing period begins Oct. 11
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will open the filing of the certificate of candidacy (CoC) for the 2019 midterm elections beginning October 11 to 17.
Comelec offices across the country will open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. to accept applications from eligible candidates.
The poll body reminds those running for election in Manila that even though they are not barred from bringing their supporters on the day of the filing, they are not allowed to enter the premises of the Palacio del Gobernador or inside the Comelec main office.
“Supporters, I think ,will be kept outside. Kasi nga nasa 3rd floor tayo, so it will be a lot easier to control that. Hindi katulad noong nakaraan kung saan nasa ground floor lang medyo talagang dinudumog tayo,” said Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez.
“We will try to make it as orderly and as dignified as possible,” he said further.
Similar to the 2016 elections, Jimenez said all candidates in an area will be given a space for media interview.
The poll body, however, clarified that it is not prohibited to post any campaign materials even prior to campaign period. – Aiko Miguel / Marje Pelayo