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Senate prepares anti-political dynasty provision

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

The Consultative Committee

MANILA, Philippines — The Consultative Committee (ConCom) still has to address several details of the anti-political dynasty provision in the proposed amendments to the Constitution.

According to a member of the ConCom, former Senate President Nene Pimentel, there remain questions on whether children, as well as husbands and wives of incumbent politicians, should be prohibited from running for office.

“We should include in the definition, the relationship of public officials and mistresses,” said Pimentel.

The proposal is similar to the anti-dynasty bill filed in the Senate by the Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes chairman Senator Francis Pangilinan.

The bill might be incorporated in the proposed amendments to the Constitution.

“Up to the second degree is the prohibition whether they will run simultaneously, or interchangeably,” said Pangilinan.

Meanwhile, people in the academe are against a no-election scenario in 2019.

The possible postponement of the polls surfaced due to the discussions in Congress to postpone anew the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

It can be noted there are proposals to reschedule the polls from May 14 to October 18 to pave way for the proposed federalism.

“First, this power grab is damaging democracy since Filipino voters will be deprived for one legislative term,” said University of the Philippines assistant professor of political science Gene Pilapil.

Senator Pangilinan is also not in favor of the said proposal.

“It’s too tight and hindi dapat sigurong madaliin ito kung charter change ang pinag-uusapan at pwersahan ng October. Palagay ko malaking disservice ito sa ating mamamayan,” said Pangilinan.

(It’s too tight and the charter change should not be fast-tracked. I think this is a huge disservice to the public.) — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

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Fiscal risks of federalism delays cha-cha

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2018


QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Senate has maintained that deliberations on the proposed federal charter will not be rushed despite calls from the Lower House to fast track discussions.

According to Senate committee on constitutional amendments chairman Francis Pangilinan, there are several questions to be addressed in the campaign for charter change.

These include the warnings of the Duterte administration’s economic managers on the possible threats of federalism on the country’s economy.

“Hindi biro ang usapin ng charter change na dapat magkaroon na ng charter change dahil baka ang maging resulta nito ay man-made calamity, both political and economic disaster,” said Pangilinan.

At the Senate hearing on Wednesday, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez cited the possible fiscal risks of implementing the proposed federal charter.

He said country’s investment-grade credit ratings of the country which allows the country to borrow money with lower interest rates “will go to hell” if the proposed shift to a federal government pushes through.

According to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), a total of P120 billion is needed by the government to make the shift.

Due to the issues raised, senators urge for more serious discussions on the matter.

“Bakit hindi na lang after May 2019 na mag-ConCon para magkaroon ng separate na halalan para mabusisi ng husto ang revision ng ating Saligang Batas,” said Pangilinan.

Until now, senators have yet to decide on how to amend or revise the Constitution despite its progress in the lower chamber. — Nel Maribojoc

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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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Bicam deletes anti-political dynasty provision in the proposed BBL

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The bicameral conference committee has deleted in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) the provision that bans political dynasty in the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

According to House Majority Floor Leader Rudy Farinas, the provision was removed because it violates the current Constitution.

“It was dropped by the Senate after we cited the flaws of the provision that violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution,” he said.

The Senate version of the bill states that “no Party Representative should be related within the second (2nd) civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to a District Representative or another Party Representative in the same Parliament.” This means that the anti-political dynasty provision applies only to party-list representatives.

Farinas said that though one senator argued that such similar prohibition is contained in the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Reform Act, he explained that “such law applies to all SKs in the whole country without distinction.”

“It does not violate the equal protection clause as it applies to all those belonging in the class so distinguished,” he added.

Farinas said there was no objection on the side of the Congressmen but they called the attention of the Senators on the “constitutional infirmity” of the provision. The Senators then decided to remove it.

The Bangsamoro Transition Committee (BTC) earlier noted the provision as “discriminatory” and “selective.”

The bicameral conference committee has created subcommittees to tackle controversial provisions of the BBL such as the government structure, public order, security and judicial system of the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

Deliberations are expected to be tedious especially when it comes to the territorial provisions of the BBL as long debates on the inclusion of Lanao Del Norte and North Cotabato to the Bangsamoro territory are expected.

The bicameral conference committee targets to finish its deliberation on the proposed BBL on Wednesday (July 11). – Grace Casin / Marje Pelayo

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