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

admin   •   March 17, 2017   •   4088

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

Congress to tackle proposed creation of a Medical Reserve Corps

Marje Pelayo   •   August 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives is set to discuss the possible creation of a medical reserve corps as a solution to the shortage of medical workers in the country. 

Under House Bill numbers 6809, 6821, 7007 and 7151, a medical reserve corps will be composed of graduates of medicine, nursing, medical technology and other health related fields despite not having a professional license.  

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano is certain that many Filipinos in the medical community are willing to join the corps and help.

“We have so many capable kababayans from the medical community who are willing to help and are just waiting to be tapped. All we need to do is to institutionally allow them to do so,” he said.

Based on the 2012 data of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), about 16 percent to 19 percent of doctors and nurses in the country were working abroad because of the higher pay compared to working in the Philippines. 

Cayetano explained, however, that the Bayanihan 2 Bill has provided additional funds for private and public medical workers to address the issue of lower pay among healthcare workers. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

Next PNP Chief: DILG’s Año to recommend 5 names to Duterte

Robie de Guzman   •   August 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año is set to submit to President Rodrigo Duterte his shortlist of candidates to be the next chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

In an exclusive interview with UNTV News, Año said his list would consist of five names – three of them are three-star generals and are members of the PNP command group. The remaining two would be two-star and one-star generals but he has yet to pick the names of those he will recommend to the president.

“Sa ngayon, pare-parehas sila eh. Pero for sure, yung mga 3-star [generals] kasama yan sa ire-recommend ko. Pag-aaralan ko pa yung mga 2-star at 1-star na pwede isama sa listahan but I will submit five names,” he said.

Año said he will submit the list at least a week before the mandatory retirement of PNP chief General Archie Gamboa.

Gamboa will bow out of the police service when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56 on September 3.

“Normally, mga two weeks to one week before magsusubmit na ulit ako ng pangalan sa Pangulong Duterte kung sino mga ire-recommend ko, pero ibig sabihin naman nun, ang Pangulong Duterte pwedeng pumili anybody from one-star to three-star,” the DILG chief said.

Whoever will be chosen from the five would inherit a PNP that is among the country’s frontliners in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

All generals in the police force are eligible to be promoted to the police’s top post. The president may also choose a general outside the shortlist given by Año to be his next police chief.

When asked about the possible extension of Gamboa’s term as PNP chief amid the public health crisis, Año replied with: “Palagay ko naman wala na siguro kasi bawal naman ang extension kasi, so we have to follow the law,” he said. “Ang organization naman kasi dynamic, naka-lay out naman dyan ang direction plans kahit naman sino umupo diyan, itutuloy nya lang yung programs.”

Among the three-star generals and members of command group of the PNP are deputy chief for administration Lieutenant General Camilo Cascolan, deputy chief for operations Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, and chief directorial staff Lieutenant General Cesar Hawthorne Binag.

Cascolan belongs to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sinagtala Class of 1986, while both Eleazar and Binay belong to PMA Hinirang Class of 1987.

Cascolan will retire in November 2020, Eleazar in November 2021, and Binag in April 2021.

Meanwhile, among the two-star and one-star generals whose names might get picked on for the top police post are directorate for operations director Major General Emmanuel Licup, National Capital Region Police Office director Major General Debold Sinas, and Police Regional Office 4A director Brigadier General Vicente Danao Jr.

Both Licup and Sinas belong to the PMA Hinirang class of 1987 while Danao belongs to the PMA Sambisig Class of 1991. – RRD (from the report of Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Duterte tells telcos to report LGUs delaying permit processing

Robie de Guzman   •   July 31, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said telecommunications companies should report local government units that are obstructing the building of additional cell towers by delaying the processing of permits.

Duterte made the statement in a televised address after Globe Telecom President and CEO Ernest Cu told the president about their permitting woes in order to build more cell sites and improve their services.

“We are suffering ho from many, many years of this, before your administation, many administrations, 25 to 29 permit umaabot ng walong buwan tapos marami pa ho kaming miscellaneous fees ho. Iba-ibang klaseng tower fee. Mayroon kaming special use permit,” Cu said.

Cu met with Duterte after the latter threatened during his State of the Nation Address to shut down or expropriate telcos if no improvements are made in their services before December.

“Kasi sabi ko, ‘pag hindi mo pa na-improve ‘yan, I will hang you in one of your towers. Sabi niya, “Mayor, you cannot do that because there is no tower. The local governments are all f—–g it up,” Duterte told Cu in jest.

After hearing Cu’s concerns, the chief executive urged telcos to issue a formal complaint against local government units that are stalling the processing of permits for additional communication towers.

He also told telcos to report LGUs to proper authorities.

“Isumbong niyo na lang ng diresto at ang order ko sa Cabinet ngayon is to really take the, ‘kung pinakamabigat, the most drastic measure that you can find, para magkaintindihan. This is my last mile,” he said.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, in the same briefing, said that local government units have been ordered to shorten the process and reduce the time spent in producing permits to 16 to 20 days.

“Dati po kailangan pa ng Home-Owners Association Resolution, kailangan pa ng Sangguniang Bayan Resolution, wala na po ‘yon. 16 days to 20 days po ang target para y’ong lahat ng permit ay tatakbo,” he said.

The government has been pushing for the ease of doing business to streamline the process in government agencies.

Globe Telecom and PLDT Inc. earlier said they are currently working on expansion plans to improve the communication services in the country. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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