Senators urge House to show fairness in handling impeachment case vs Duterte

admin   •   March 17, 2017   •   3866

FILE PHOTO: Members of the House of Representatives attend the opening session of the 17th Congress to cast votes for their new leaders. Kenji Hasegawa/Photoville International)

FILE PHOTO: Members of the House of Representatives attend the opening session of the 17th Congress to cast votes for their new leaders. (Kenji Hasegawa/Photoville International)

The House of Representatives is being urged to show impartiality and fairness in handling the impeachment complaint filed against President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Constitution defines Congress as an independent branch of the government.

It is co-equal to the Executive and the Legislative branches and is expected to perform check and balances against the two other branches.

Hence, some senators, being members of the Congress, urge their twin chamber — the House of Representatives, to show their impartiality in handling the impeachment complaint filed against the President.

“Bilang sila ang kambal na house namin sa kongreso ng Pilipinas,  I am hoping na ano man ang nangyari sa House of Representatives, both good and not good, katulad dito sa Senado, ay hoping na they will rise to the challenge ng fair na paghusga sa merito ng impeachment complaint at inaasahan ko ang maayos nila na aksyon sa prosesong iyan,” said Senator Risa Hontiveros.

(As the Senate’s twin house in Congress, I am hoping that whatever happened in the House of Representatives, both good and not good, like in the Senate, they will rise to the challenge of being fair in judging the merits of the impeachment complaint. I trust their appropriate action on the process.)

The lady senator also hopes that House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez can still prove his fairness in the process, even if he earlier tagged the impeachment complaint as something “stupid”.

“Kahit si Speaker naman po ay isang boto sa House of Representatives at isang boto bilang ex oficio member sa kanilang sa committee on justice, so kahit sinabi nila iyon ay inaasahan ko pa rin ang maayos at makatwirang pagkilos ni Speaker sa impeachment complaint na ito,” Hontiveros added.

(Even Speaker is one vote in the House of Representatives and one vote as ex oficio member of committee on justice. Even though he said that, I’m still counting on the appropriate and just actions of the Speaker in this impeachment complaint.)

Liberal Party president Senator Francis Pangilinan said, whether or not they agree with the complaint against the President, lawmakers should respect the impeachment process as afforded by the Constitution.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, on the other hand, said “good luck” to the Magdalo Partylist and cited that in order to convict the President, 1/3 votes from House, and 16 votes from Senate will be needed.

Minority Senator Bam Aquino said it is the right of every Filipino to utilize processes under the law to demand accountability of government officials.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, however, maintains that Congress, which will stand as impeachment court, should evaluate carefully the merits of the complaint.

“Puno’t dulo naman ay ebidensya eh, kung paano mo ito patunayan sa Kongreso being fiscal of impeachment case. What happens here iyong Kongreso titingnan ang mga ebidensya, titingnan iyong complaint, at titingnan kung may basis iyong complaint,” Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said.

(Ultimately it’s about the evidence; how you are going to prove it in Congress as the fiscal of the impeachment case. What happens here, Congress will examine the evidence, the complaint and will evaluate if the complaint has basis.)

While some senators refused to comment, Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito insists the filing of the complaint is not timely, as the country cannot move forward with ouster moves like these.

Magdalo Partylist Senator Antonio Trillanes, on the other hand, welcomes and supports the filing, and said it is the last venue for the President to finally face allegations against him. — Joyce Balancio | UNTV News & Rescue

Duterte to attend ASEAN-ROK summit in South Korea

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 11, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte will attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Republic of Korea (ASEAN-ROK) Commemorative Summit in South Korea from November 25 to 27.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed on Sunday (November 10) that the president will be attending the summit in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the dialogue partnership between the regional bloc and South Korea.

“He will push through with the trip,” Panelo said.

President Duterte and South Korean President Moon Jae-In are also expected to have a bilateral meeting to discuss trade and security issues.

The Philippines and South Korea have recently celebrated its 70th bilateral relations.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte eyes ban on use of plastic

Robie de Guzman   •   November 8, 2019

Plastic along coastline in Cap-Haitien, Haiti | REUTERS

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is eyeing to ban the use of plastics in a bid to mitigate the effects of climate change, Malacañang said.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the president mentioned the idea during a discussion on climate change in a Cabinet meeting last Wednesday.

“The president floated the idea to ban the use of plastics, which according to him would require legislative action,” Panelo told reporters but said he is not sure if Duterte was referring to single-use plastics.

There are bills filed in Congress seeking to ban the use of single-use plastics that are currently pending at a committee level.

These measures seek to prohibit food establishments, stores, and markets from issuing single-use plastics, and task manufacturers to control the circulation and disposal of these materials. It also encourages consumers to instead use reusable or other alternative materials.

The Philippines has been listed in a 2015 report as one of the biggest sources of plastic leaking into the oceans, after China and Indonesia.

A recent study by Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) revealed that Filipinos use more than 163 million plastic sachet packets, 48 million shopping bags and 45 million thin film bags daily.

The report called “Plastics exposed: How waste assessments and brand audits are helping Philippine cities fight plastic pollution,” used data from household waste assessments and brand audits conducted by Mother Earth Foundation (MEF) in six cities and seven municipalities across the country in the past five years.

The organization extrapolated the data to calculate daily and yearly plastic usage throughout the country in order to provide new quantitative evidence about plastic pollution in the Philippines.

GAIA said that findings in the report show how cities and municipalities in the Philippines are struggling against plastic residuals despite efforts of many localities to institute Zero Waste programs.

With the projected increase in plastic production worldwide, including in the Philippines, the group said that national governments, as well as local government authorities need robust data and effective strategies to address the looming plastic pollution crisis.

It also called on manufacturers to regulate, and stop producing, single-use plastics.

“We would appreciate kung ang Pangulo will tell Congress na iprioritize nga itong bill on single-use plastic,” Beau Baconguis, an Asia Pacific Plastics Campaigner of GAIA said.

“Dapat hindi lang tignan as a waste disposal issue at waste management issue pero titingnan ang buong life cycle ng plastic at buong problemang kaakibat ng different stages ng production ng plastic,” Baconguis added.

The House of Representatives, for its part, assured it will continue to conduct inquiries on proposals to ban the use of plastics in the country.

“There will be a hearing before the committee level, all the stakeholders shall be heard, and ultimately we shall decide the course,” Cavite Fourth District Representative Elpidio Barzaga Jr., who chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources, said.

“The decision of the President will carry much weight in so far as the action of the House of representatives is concerned,” he added. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

LOOK: Robredo’s memo to Duterte on acceptance of anti-drug post designation

Robie de Guzman   •   November 6, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday sent a memorandum to Malacañang stating her acceptance of President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer for her to become co-chairperson of the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs (ICAD).

Robredo’s spokesperson, Barry Gutierrez posted a photo of the memorandum on his Twitter account with the caption, “Handa na ba kayo para sa akin?”

The vice president on Wednesday said she has accepted the designation in hopes of stopping the killing of innocent lives under the administration’s anti-drug war.

Duterte made the offer following Robredo’s call to allow the United Nations to investigate his war on drugs, which she said was “not working.”

She later clarified that she meant to urge the administration to assess its campaign.

In a briefing with Malacanang Press Corps, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Robredo is welcome to attend the meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday.

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