SC ruling on ICC plea recognized limits of president’s power on foreign policy – Drilon

Robie de Guzman   •   March 17, 2021   •   670

 

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon

MANILA, Philippines – The recent ruling of the Supreme Court on the petition against the Philippines’ withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) showed that there are limitations to the president’s power with respect to foreign policy, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said on Wednesday.

Drilon issued the remark after the SC dismissed the petition questioning the validity of President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to pull out from the ICC.

“While the Supreme Court dismissed the petition questioning the validity of the Philippine government’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute for being moot and academic, the High Court acknowledged the limitations on the power of the President as the chief architect of foreign policy,” the senator said in a statement.

Drilon was among those who filed the petition along with other current and former senators Francis Pangilinan, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Leila de Lima, Risa Hontiveros, and Antonio Trillanes IV.

The SC, in a press statement on Tuesday, said the magistrates voted unanimously to dismiss the petition for being moot and academic.

The Philippines formally withdrew from the Rome of Statue, which established the ICC, in March 2019.

“The decision acknowledged that the President, as the primary architect of foreign policy, is subject to the Constitution and existing statutes,” the SC Public Information Office said.

“Therefore, the power of the President to withdraw unilaterally can be limited by the conditions for concurrence by the Senate or when there is an existing law which authorizes the negotiation of a treaty or international agreement or when there is a statute that implements an existing treaty,” it added.

For Drilon, the high court’s decision is “a clear recognition of the limitations of the power of the President with respect to foreign policy.”

“Most striking is the acknowledgment that the power of the President to withdraw ‘unilaterally’ can be subject to limitations by the Senate,” he said.

“It is a highly interesting decision and I will await the full text before I comment more extensively,” he added.

Malacañang earlier welcomed the SC decision.

Duterte ordered the country’s withdrawal from the ICC after it opened a preliminary examination on the ongoing drug war in the Philippines following reports of extrajudicial killings during police anti-narcotics operations.

PNP to deploy 15,000 cops to secure Duterte’s final SONA on July 26

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) will deploy around 15,000 police officers to secure President Rodrigo Duterte’s last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 26.

PNP chief Guillermo Eleazar said the National Capital Region Police Office has finalized the security preparations and deployment plans for the SONA.

“Handang-handa na ang inyong Philippine National Police sa SONA ng ating Pangulong Duterte sa darating na Lunes,” Eleazar said in a statement.

“Nakalatag na ang mga security plan at nakaantabay na rin ang sufficient number ng ating kapulisan para sa deployment at iba pang contingency measures,” he added.

Eleazar said the PNP has not monitored any threat to the SONA but assured that all personnel are ready to respond to any eventuality.

Police officers will also use body-worn cameras to help monitor the movements of suspicious persons who may be planning to disrupt the SONA, he added.

Eleazar asked for the public’s cooperation and urged groups planning to stage mass actions to conduct their activities online amid the threat of the more infectious Delta COVID-19 variant.

“Sa ilan nating mga kababayan na patuloy pa ring nagpa-plano para sa isang rally, nagpapa-alala ang inyong PNP na lubha pang delikado ang ganitong klaseng pagtitipon lalo na at may kumpirmasyon na ng local transmission ng Delta variant ng COVID-19,” he said.

“Mas ligtas na makinig at manood na lang tayo ng SONA sa ating mga tahanan,” he added.

8 senators to physically attend Duterte’s SONA on July 26 – Sotto

Robie de Guzman   •   July 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Only eight senators will physically attend the final State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, July 26.

Based on the list shared to the media, the following senators will physically attend Duterte’s SONA which will be held at the Batasang Pambansa Complex:

  • Senate President Vicente Sotto III
  • Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri
  • Senator Ronald dela Rosa
  • Senator Sherwin Gatchalian
  • Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go
  • Senator Imee Marcos
  • Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr.
  • Senator Francis Tolentino

Sotto said senators who have not manifested their intention to attend the SONA physically will be hearing Duterte’s address virtually.

The Office of the Senate Secretary earlier said that lawmakers and their staff who will attend Duterte’s SONA should be fully vaccinated and should yield negative results for COVID-19 RT-PCR and antigen tests.

Attendees will be required to present their vaccination cards indicating that they have completed their doses two weeks prior to the president’s SONA.

They are also required to undergo RT-PCR tests two days before the event, and antigen tests on Monday at the Batasang Pambansa Complex.

SONA attendees will also be required to wear Presidential Security Group-prescribed face masks, and face shields embedded with QR codes while inside the Plenary building.

Duterte’s political plans for 2022 won’t be mentioned in last SONA — Roque

Robie de Guzman   •   July 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The political plans for 2022 of President Rodrigo Duterte will not be included in his final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 26, his spokesperson said Thursday.

“Siguro po, hindi mapapasama ang kaniyang mga planong pulitikal,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said at a Palace briefing.

“Importante po is the roadmap for his last year in office,” he added.

Duterte earlier said he is open to seeking the vice presidency in the next elections.

Roque on Wednesday said Duterte’s SONA will look back into the past five years of his administration and will focus on measures, such as infrastructure programs, that will help the country bounce back from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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